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18 January 2012
Architecture People and Places

SOM in Wujiang, ChinaThe Mufson Partnership in New York, New YorkPerkins Eastman in New York, New YorkGDS Architects with A&U, 2HM, and Haima in Incheon, South KoreaShepley Bulfinch in Boston, MassachusettsHOK in Port-au-Prince, HaitiSorg Architects in Port-au-Prince, HaitiCO Architects and FXFOWLE in Los Angeles, CaliforniaHOK with Potter Lawson in Madison, WisconsinIA Interior Architects in San Francisco, CaliforniaVOA Associates in Chicago, Illinois ...  

SOM has revealed its competition-winning design for the Greenland Group Suzhou Center, a 358-meter- (1,175-foot-) tall mixed-use tower planned for Wujiang, China. Image: SOM/ Crystal CG Extra Large Image

Wujiang · 2012.0117

The Chicago, Illinois, office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has revealed its competition-winning design for the Greenland Group Suzhou Center in Wujiang, China. The 75-level, 358-meter- (1,175-foot-) tall tower will be prominently sited next to Taihu Lake as part of a mixed-used development. The building's curved, tapered form will unify offices, hotel, and service apartments within a single volume.

The tower will feature a composite core and outrigger structural system, with an unusual split-core configuration of the upper floors. By placing half of the building core program on each side of the lobby and interconnecting them with structural steel braces, the combined core becomes more effective than a typical center-core system, while also creating a dramatic, tall lobby space within.

As designed, the tower features a 30-story-tall operable window. The atrium will maximize daylight penetration, facilitate mixed-mode ventilation in the public spaces, and act as a fresh air supply source for the tower. The building will be oriented to harness both the stack effect and the prevailing winds via the atrium's east and west facades.

Other energy-saving strategies include a high-performance facade, lighting energy optimization using efficient fixtures and occupant controls, energy-recovery systems, demand-controlled ventilation, and an onsite energy center with a combined heat and power plant. According to Luke Leung, SOM director of sustainable and MEP engineering, the design aims "to achieve a 60% savings in energy consumption compared to a conventional U.S. high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use."


New York · 2012.0112

The Mufson Partnership, a New York City architecture firm specializing in corporate interiors and residential design, has named Julia Belkin a partner. In her new status, Belkin joins company cofounders Larry Mufson and Ed Von Sover, and Stan Judovits. She began her tenure at the firm in 1998 as manager of business development, and most recently held the title of principal. Previously she held a marketing position with Hermine Mariaux Inc., a licensing and patent company specializing in the table top/ furniture industry.


New York · 2012.0112

James Butterfield, RA, has joined the New York City office of Perkins Eastman as associate principal. Butterfield has over 19 years of design and management experience, with a background in higher education, lab planning, hospitality, and master planning projects. He was previously a design principal at RMJM, where his clients included Washington University, Duke University, the National University of Singapore, St. Peter's College, and Hofstra University, among others. His portfolio also includes Madinat Al-Soor, a city of 30,000 people in Waterfront City, Dubai; Xi Cheng Tian Jie, a 2.15-million-square-foot (200,000-square-meter) mixed-use development in Chongqing, China; and several hospitality projects in the United States and Asia.


GDS Architects has revealed its competition-winning design for Cheongna City Tower, a 446-meter- (1,463-foot-) tall observation tower in Incheon, South Korea. Image: Rayus/ Courtesy GDS Architects Extra Large Image

Incheon · 2012.0112

The competition-winning design for Cheongna City Tower, a 446-meter- (1,463-foot-) tall observation tower in Incheon, South Korea, has been revealed by the design architect, GDS Architects of Pasadena, California, and Seoul. Envisioned as a new national landmark for South Korea, the tower is slated for fast-track completion in time for the 2014 Asian Games. As designed, the building's highest occupied level will be 397 meters (1,302 feet) high.

The building is designed to appear almost invisible thanks to a sophisticated skin system that will include optical cameras and LED technology. The cameras will capture views from the opposing wall, and those images will be projected onto the skin, creating the illusion of invisibility. The podium will comprise a series of crystalline pods housing cultural, educational, and entertainment amenities, including a performance center, outdoor amphitheater, indoor waterpark, children's area, technology museum, retail space, sports center, and water features. The development will be adjacent to the canal network and Crystal Lake in the Cheongna area of Incheon.

The project team also includes Seoul-based executive architect Samoo Architects & Engineers; associate architects A&U Group Architects, 2HM Architects, and Haima Architects; structural engineer King-Le Chang & Associates, based in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Hong Kong office of Arup, performing facade and sustainability design.


Boston · 2012.0111

Mario Vieira, AIA, has joined the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Shepley Bulfinch as a principal. With 25 years as a healthcare architect, Vieira has worked with community hospital clients up and down the East Coast, including a master plan and award-winning patient care tower for Cape Cod Hospital; inpatient and ambulatory projects for Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut; and work for the Southcoast Hospitals Group. He recently led the planning and design of a series of hospitals in Papua New Guinea.


HOK has revealed its design for the LEED Platinum-targeting Project Haiti Orphanage and Children's Center in Port-au-Prince. Image: HOK Extra Large Image

Port-au-Prince · 2012.0111

As the official, pro-bono design partner of the U.S. Green Building Council for Project Haiti, international architecture firm HOK has revealed its design for the Project Haiti Orphanage and Children's Center, a LEED Platinum-targeting building planned for Port-au-Prince to replace a facility damaged by the January 2010 earthquake. The nonprofit organization Fondation Enfant Jesus will operate the center, as it did the previous one.

The building design responds to the dense urban condition and prevailing easterly trade winds by organizing all the spaces around a courtyard facing east, which also echoes the vernacular "gingerbread" style of Haiti. The main three-story, L-shaped structure will be organized around the central courtyard, which is also intended as a social focal point. It will be flanked by kitchen, dining, and training spaces.

As designed, the building massing, orientation, openings, and materials take advantage of passive design principles. Building systems will require minimal maintenance, provide independence from the city's unreliable power grid, and harness excess energy to power street lights and public charging stations on the street. The building will also incorporate local materials and artwork, especially ironwork, murals, and woodwork crafted by local artisans.

Conceived in biomimicry, according to the architects, the design references the local kapok tree, both in the branching supports in the building's balcony system and in the low-emissivity, heat-shedding characteristics of the building's second skin. The below-grade area will serve as the building's "roots," with a closed-loop system for collecting, treating, and storing water, and a biodigester to treat waste and provide gas for cooking. The first three stories will function as the structure's "trunk." Protecting the building like tree bark, a boundary layer will shield exterior walkways and vertical surfaces from direct sunlight while allowing for daylighting and natural ventilation. Rooftop gardens will serve as the "foliage," supporting the solar energy system and providing additional green space.


Sorg Architects has revealed its design for U.S. Embassy staff housing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Image: Sorg Architects Extra Large Image

Port-au-Prince · 2012.0105

Sorg Architects, based in Washington, D.C., has revealed its design for staff housing for the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Modeled after the Cubist forms of the Haitian "Bidonvilles" (clustered houses hugging the hillside), the design also echoes the bold, colorful forms and materials commonly found in local art. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2012 and be completed in January 2014.

The project consists of 107 new townhouse units and a new residence for the deputy chief of mission, along with support facilities, including a recreation center with an outdoor pool and basketball and tennis courts. The townhomes will have between three and five bedrooms. Exterior finishes will consist primarily of cement plaster finish and accent horizontal aluminum panel cladding. Aluminum-framed glazing systems, doors, and windows will be shaded by overhangs and trellises. Located in a seismic category D area, the complex will feature a lateral force resisting system of special reinforced masonry shear walls, laid out to conform to the OBO adopted code.

The architects report that sustainability measures have been considered in the development of the conceptual design, and include both passive and active features to offset demands on the limited local infrastructure. Green features will include split HVAC systems throughout (no ductwork), whole-house ventilation fans, operable windows, onsite wastewater treatment, photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays, locally fabricated precast concrete pavers, and added trees to shade buildings and pavement.


Los Angeles · 2012.0110

CO Architects of Los Angeles, California, and New York City-based FXFOWLE have formed a joint venture firm, CO/ FXFOWLE. The joint venture represents a genuine collaboration between the two firms in all project services, rather than the customary design architect–associate architect relationship. Each firm will maintain its individual identity and operations while pursuing new projects together as CO/ FXFOWLE.

Formed in order to expand each firm's reach, in terms of both geography and expertise, this joint venture differs from those that are created to blend qualifications for a single, specific project. FXFOWLE's strength in urban planning, infrastructure, commercial, cultural, and education projects complements the extensive experience of CO Architects in healthcare, science and technology, medical-education, and civic typologies.


At UW-Madison, construction continues on the Wisconsin Energy Institute, designed by HOK with Potter Lawson. Image: Courtesy HOK Extra Large Image

Madison · 2012.0110

Construction is advancing on schedule at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, a state-funded, $55 million building on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin. The five-story, 104,000-square-foot (9,660-square-meter) building was designed by the St. Louis, Missouri, office of HOK with architect of record Potter Lawson of Madison.

The facility will serve as a research hub intended to facilitate collaboration among scientists from different disciplines. The lead tenant will be the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), one of three BRCs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct basic research that generates technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other biofuels. Other building occupants will include the UW Energy Institute, the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, and the Center for Renewable Energy Systems.

Each research floor will feature an interior light well spanned by bridges, providing open sightlines and "highways" to encourage interaction among researchers and staff. Offices and work stations will ring the perimeter of each floor, with laboratories in the interior.

LEED Gold certification is targeted, and the building is on track to achieve 54 percent better energy efficiency than basic energy code for laboratory research buildings. Sustainable design elements include a 22-kilowatt photovoltaic array; a building design and orientation to optimize daylighting and reduce electric lighting demand; and finish materials such as recycled-glass terrazzo flooring and reclaimed wood tiles.

The building is being constructed in two phases, with Phase II slated to commence when funding is achieved. The general contractor is Mortenson Construction of Milwaukee.


San Francisco · 2012.0109

IA Interior Architects has announced several staff promotions. Janet Eadie (corporate, San Francisco, California) and Julianne Hunter (corporate, Chicago, Illinois), have been promoted to principal. Frank H. Limahelu (Los Angeles) has been promoted to senior associate. Four staff members have been promoted to associate: Scott Jenkins (Denver, Colorado), Brandi Mayo (Los Angeles), Donna Muller (Los Angeles), and Kristen Streeter (Washington, D.C.).


The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois, has officially opened its new East Building, designed by VOA Associates. Image: Courtesy VOA (With apologies from ArchitectureWeek for the extreme vignetting effect in this image, as received)Extra Large Image

Chicago · 2012.0109

At the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois, the new East Building has officially opened. Designed by the Chicago office of VOA Associates Incorporated, the three-story, 27,100-square-foot (2,520-square-meter) building houses 18 classrooms, including three dedicated to folk and ethnic dance. A 150-seat, 2,100-square-foot (200-square-meter) flexible space located on the middle floor serves as the facility's largest instructional space and principal performance venue.

The facade of the building is designed to be urban in character and to relate to the school's existing facility, located directly across the street. Through the use of large expanses of glass and a well-lit two-story entry and gathering space, the front portion of the building serves as a "front porch" of sorts, intended to facilitate interaction with the surrounding Lincoln Square community.

With sustainable features such as energy-saving heating and cooling systems, water-efficient plumbing technology, and a green roof, the new building is targeting LEED Gold certification.

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