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01 February 2012
Architecture People and Places

Frank Gehry with H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture in New York, New YorkFoster + Partners with Walter Francl Architecture in Vancouver, CanadaErick van Egeraat in Hamburg, Germany...  

The Pershing Square Signature Center, designed by Frank Gehry, has opened in Midtown Manhattan as the new home of Signature Theatre. Pictured is a model of the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre. Photo: Courtesy Gehry Partners, LLP Extra Large Image

New York · 2012.0131

The Pershing Square Signature Center has opened in New York City as the new permanent home for Signature Theatre, a nonprofit off-Broadway company. Designed by Frank Gehry, working with architect of record H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the center occupies 70,000 square feet (6,500 square meters) in MiMA, a mixed-use tower developed by Related Companies.

Spanning an entire city block, the facility features three theaters connected by a large central lobby. The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre is a 199-seat proscenium theater modeled after a traditional opera house, its proscenium and balcony wrapped in crafted plywood panels. The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre is a 199-seat flexible venue that accommodates a variety of stage and seating configurations. The 299-seat End Stage Theatre is clad in shaped plywood panels that evoke the texture of cracked earth.

The center also includes a studio theater, rehearsal studio, and a public cafe, bar, and bookstore. The $66 million project is being funded through a public-private partnership.


Designed by Foster + Partners, the Jameson House mixed-use tower was recently completed in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. © Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners Extra Large Image

Vancouver · 2012.0127

Foster + Partners designed Jameson House, a new 35-story mixed-use building in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 33,000-square-meter (360,000-square-foot) development combines 11 stories of retail and office space with 23 stories of apartments, comprising 138 residential units.

The tower's form articulates its functions: the first two stories continue the row of shop units at street level, while the uppermost office floor aligns with the cornice line of the adjacent building. In contrast with the flush facade of the office floors, the residential floors curve outwards in four wide bays, which are staggered to allow daylight to reach neighboring buildings, and oriented to provide uninterrupted views of the landscape.

The design was developed in response to the local climate, seasonal sun paths, prevailing winds, humidity levels, air temperatures, and precipitation rates. Sustainable design features include chilled floors and a mechanized valet parking system that reduces the number of parking levels. The project also integrates two 1920s Beaux Arts structures, the Ceperley Rounsfell Building and the facade of the Royal Financial Building.

Completed at the end of 2011, the building is now almost fully occupied. Foster + Partners designed the apartment interiors. Walter Francl Architecture of Vancouver served as local collaborating architect.


The Sumatrakontor mixed-use building, designed by Erick van Egeraat, has opened in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: © J Collingridge Extra Large Image

Hamburg · 2012.0120

The Sumatrakontor building has officially opened in Hamburg, Germany. Designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat, the ten-story, 37,000-square-meter (400,000-square-foot) mixed-use building combines a five-star hotel, offices, conference rooms, retail space, high-end housing, and an underground parking garage.

The facility is part of the Überseequartier master plan and the larger HafenCity waterfront redevelopment. The building forms a clear urban block around an inner courtyard that opens toward the main boulevard, creating a semi-public space.

The design makes a contemporary reference to the historic red-brick harbor buildings through the use of red stone. The large volume appears to be cut into four different volumes, underscored by a specific dialectic play between glass, aluminum, and red stone slabs for each of the volumes. In contrast, all facades facing the inner courtyard are white, like the traditional white plastered facades of the city center.

The project was developed by ING REIM; SNS property finance; and Gross + Partners (recently acquired by Pramerica).

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