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04 January 2012
Architecture People and Places

Ricardo Legorreta in Mexico City, MexicoTryba Architects in Denver, ColoradoBoora Architects in Portland, OregonBDP in London, England, United KingdomGluckman Mayner Architects in Syracuse, New YorkFinegold Alexander in Deerfield, IllinoisBurt Hill in Phoenix, Arizona...  

Mexico City · 2011.1230

Renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico died on December 30, 2011, in Mexico City, Mexico, at age 80. Legorreta was recently covered in this column as the 2011 laureate of the Praemium Imperiale award for architecture from the Japan Art Association.


The new History Colorado Center in Denver, Colorado, designed by Tryba Architects, will open to the public on April 28, 2012. Photo: Courtesy Frank Ooms Extra Large Image

Denver · 2012.0101

The History Colorado Center — a new Smithsonian affiliate in Denver, Colorado — is on track to open to the public on April 28, 2012. The $110.8 million, 200,000-square-foot (18,600-square-meter) building replaces the nearby Colorado History Museum, which was demolished to make way for a state judicial facility expansion. LEED Gold certification is being pursued for the new museum building, and exhibit installation is scheduled to begin later in January.

Located in Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District and Civic Center cultural complex, the History Colorado Center was designed by Tryba Architects of Denver to reference the state of Colorado through colors, daylighting, and materials such as Colorado sandstone and cabinetry of strand-woven aspen. A focal element of the building is its four-story skylit atrium, designed to host both exhibits and special events. Embedded in the floor is a 40-by-60-foot (12-by-18-meter) terrazzo tile map of Colorado, designed and installed by artist Steven Weitzman.

The museum will feature high-tech, hands-on, experiential exhibits, along with highly efficient, temperature- and humidity-controlled collection storage spaces on nearly every floor. Other facilities include a library, auditorium, classrooms, restaurant, and museum store, along with private rental spaces featuring views of the Rocky Mountains. The building also houses the offices of History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society), the State Historical Fund, and Colorado's Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation.

The building project manager is Trammell Crow Company and the general contractor is Hensel Phelps Construction Company. Exhibit developer Janet Kamien worked with History Colorado staff on the exhibit content. Andrew Merriell & Associates is the exhibit designer, and Richard Lewis Media Group designed the media components.


Portland · 2012.0105

Boora Architects of Portland, Oregon, has promoted architect John O'Toole, AIA, to principal. O'Toole has been with the firm since 1988, and has built a reputation for managing technically complex projects. Significant projects under his direction include the award-winning Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Davis, and several academic and research buildings in Stanford University's new Science and Engineering Quad.


London's Olympic Delivery Authority has given the go-ahead to a 28-story student housing tower designed by BDP. Image: Courtesy BDP Extra Large Image

London · 2011.1215

The Olympic Delivery Authority in London, England, United Kingdom, has approved a student housing development slated to be completed in the Stratford area of London in 2014 by developer Unite. The site is at the end of Stratford's new boulevard, at a highly visible gateway location close to the Olympic park and stadia and the new international transport links.

Designed by UK-based multidisciplinary firm BDP, the 28-story tower will contain 951 "study bedrooms," along with common rooms, a series of terraces, and a rooftop conservatory. The ground floor will include a reception area, bicycle storage, a launderette, retail units, and a bus station. Shaped in response to the immediate surroundings, the tower is set around an internal courtyard, orientated to capture the best sun path.

The building is designed to meet BREEAM "Excellent" standards, as required by the brief. Features will include stormwater attenuation, green roofs, whole-house ventilation with heat recovery, and a high level of insulation and airtightness. The entire heating and hot water load for the development will be provided by a combined heat and power (CHP) system.


Gluckman Mayner Architects has revealed its design for Dineen Hall, a new building for Syracuse University's College of Law, in Syracuse, New York. Image: © Gluckman Mayner Architects Extra Large Image

Syracuse · 2011.1213

Gluckman Mayner Architects of New York City has completed design development for Dineen Hall, a new building for Syracuse University's College of Law, in Syracuse, New York. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the five-story, 200,000-square-foot (19,000-square-meter) building will anchor the university's west campus expansion.

The exterior will feature masonry and glass. A central atrium will link the building's core elements the library, celebratory space, and ceremonial courtroom — at the main level. The celebratory space serves as a central area, with linkages to vertical circulation throughout the building and a connection to the ground-level west entrance and the first-level east entrance. The ceremonial courtroom, clearly discernable in the south facade, incorporates clear, controllable glazing at street level. The library reading room extends to the north facade of the building.

Classrooms, offices, and a cafe will be carefully arranged, with casual spaces for informal meetings interspersed throughout the facility. The design also features a green roof to serve as seasonal outdoor terrace space. Completion is scheduled for 2014.


An adaptive reuse project designed by Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc. has transformed a pair of office buildings in Deerfield, Illinois, into a synagogue for Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim. Photo: Courtesy Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc. Extra Large Image

Deerfield · 2011.1212

A $14 million adaptive reuse project has been completed for Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, Illinois. Designed by Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, the project involved converting a series of single-story 1970s office buildings into a modern religious center to support a growing congregation.

The synagogue complex consists of 71,380 square feet (6,631 square meters) of worship and community space, including a sanctuary, chapel, social hall, youth lounge, and education center with 21 classrooms and five pre-K classrooms. Through a mixture of renovation and reconstruction, Finegold Alexander adapted the existing structures, with features that include a large landscaped courtyard, expanded here as a multipurpose gathering and activity space.

The spaces inside are designed to accommodate a wide range of audience sizes. The sanctuary seats 613 and is shaped to allow for smaller gatherings. The social hall has a capacity of up to 1,200 and is divisible into four rooms for family dinners, meetings, or worship. The chapel seats 100 in a loose configuration, while a contemplation room, an ellipse enclosed by vertical glass channels, sits within a memorial alcove.

The congregation has already moved into the renovated space. Phase two, which includes renovations to a third building, is scheduled to begin in January 2013.


At Roadrunner Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, ground was recently broken for a new building designed by Burt Hill, a Stantec Company. Image: Courtesy Stantec Extra Large Image

Phoenix · 2011.1201

Ground was broken on December 1 for a new building at Roadrunner Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. Designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the 6,000-square-foot (560-square-meter) building will contain a classroom devoted to science, technology, and math instruction, along with an outdoor classroom. Sustainable features will include a rooftop solar system, a rainwater harvesting system, a garden of native plants, energy-efficient fans, and no-VOC paint.

The building was designed by the Phoenix office of architecture firm Burt Hill, which is now part of Stantec. Engineering services are being provided by Heideman Associates, a Zak Company, with Hensel Phelps in charge of construction.

This building inaugurates the Green Schoolhouse Series, a collaborative public/ private initiative to replace conventional portable classrooms with permanent, sustainably designed multipurpose buildings on the campuses of public schools that have a majority of low-income students. Each building will be erected in just a few weeks by a large team of volunteers using a barn-raising approach. The Phoenix building is the elementary-level "Safari" model, which is jungle-themed.

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