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11 April 2012
Architecture People and Places

LPA, Inc. in Northridge, Californiagmp in Changzhou, ChinaGonzalez Goodale Architects in Sun Valley, CaliforniaGene Kaufman, Architect and Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman in New York, New YorkPopulous in Miami, FloridaRTKL in Baltimore, MarylandKCCT in Ezulwini, Swazilandgmp in Hangzhou, ChinaDavid M. Schwarz Architects with HKS in Las Vegas, Nevada...  

At Cal State Northridge, construction is complete on the new Student Recreation Center, designed by LPA, Inc. Photo: © Costeo Photography Extra Large Image

Northridge · 2012.0403

Construction of the new Student Recreation Center at California State University, Northridge, located in Northridge, California, has been completed. The $62.3 million, 138,000-square-foot (12,800-square-meter) facility was designed by Irvine-based architecture firm LPA, Inc.

Located on the outer fringe of campus, the building rises 58 feet (18 meters) and delineates a new campus edge. The east facade is mostly glass, revealing indoor activity to passersby. The facility contains two outdoor pools; basketball, volleyball, and badminton courts; a weight-training and fitness zone; a jogging track; and a 40-foot (12-meter) rock climbing wall.

The LEED Gold-targeting building includes many sustainable design features, such as displacement ventilation, recycled-content and low-emitting materials, water-efficient native landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, a rooftop photovoltaic array, rainwater harvesting, and FSC-certified wood products.

Ninety percent of usable spaces are daylit, thanks in part to daylighting tubes. Louvers shade the east-facing glass, yet allow for views of playing fields and the mountains beyond. The use of a repetitive structural model for the building's exterior, along with a cost-effective corrugated metal skin, offset the costs of other, more expensive materials. Vertical perforated aluminum fins control direct sunlight during morning hours, while the gently sloped roof drives the removal of hot air.

C.W. Driver of Southern California served as construction manager at risk for the facility, which opened earlier this year.


The German firm gmp has revealed its competition-winning design for a new cultural center in Changzhou, China. Image: © Crystal Digital Technology Extra Large Image

Changzhou · 2012.0402

The Hamburg, Germany-based architecture firm von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) has revealed its competition-winning design for the new Culture Center in Changzhou, China, one of two projects in China that the firm recently announced.

Located in the newly created city center, the 365,000-square-meter (3.9 million-square-foot) cultural complex will contain an art museum, a science and technology museum, and a library. As designed, the building will consist of six cantilevering, 45-meter- (150-foot-) tall pavilions arranged to form a large arc and define a public plaza. The basement floor will contain a parking garage and retail shops lit by lightwells, and a water course will run diagonally through the lower level.


The Palo Verde Apartments, a supportive housing complex designed by Gonzalez Goodale Architects, recently opened in Sun Valley, California. Photo: Heliphoto Extra Large Image

Sun Valley · 2012.0328

The Palo Verde Apartments in Sun Valley, California, opened to residents in early 2012. Developed by L.A. Family Housing of North Hollywood, and designed by Gonzalez Goodale Architects of Pasadena and San Diego, the permanent supportive housing complex is located on the site of a former car wash facility.

Intended to provide safe and affordable housing for previously homeless single adults with mental illness, the 35,000-square-foot (3,300-square-meter) complex houses 60 studio units, each measuring 450 square feet (42 square meters) and containing a kitchenette, bath, storage area, and private balcony or patio. The development also includes offices, community space, and program space where residents can access social, recreational, counseling, recovery, and employment services.

Configured around a landscaped central courtyard, the U-shaped building takes its architectural cues from the surrounding Mediterranean-style neighborhood. The front elevation features projecting bay windows and balconies that animate the facade and offer views of the neighborhood.

The building surpasses the State of California energy-efficiency standards by 37 percent, and is targeting a LEED for Homes Gold rating. Green features include high-efficiency mechanical equipment, Energy Star appliances, water-saving plumbing fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping, and photovoltaic panels that meet about 41 percent of the building's electrical needs.

Ali Barar served as principal-in-charge for Gonzalez Goodale Architects.


New York · 2012.0405

Construction is underway on a Holiday Inn hotel in New York City. The 50-story, 400-room hotel is located three blocks south of the World Trade Center site in Manhattan. Gene Kaufman, Architect, P.C. is performing the primary design and Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects is designing the facade.

The building will consist of a low-rise, contextual base topped by a dramatic tower featuring graduated setbacks, offering hotel guests views of the city, the Hudson River, and the Statue of the Liberty. The metal-paneled facade will reflect light, brightening the street-level pedestrian landscape. Project completion is scheduled for October 2012.

Gwathmey Siegel became Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman in 2011 when Gene Kaufman, AIA, acquired a majority share of the firm.


The new ballpark for the Miami Marlins, designed by Populous, has officially opened. Photo: Phillip Pessar Extra Large Image

Miami · 2012.0404

Marlins Park, the new home of the rebranded Miami Marlins baseball team, officially opened in Miami, Florida, on April 4, 2012. Designed by architecture firm Populous (formerly HOK Sport), the 37,000-seat facility features a retractable roof to shield spectators from sun and rain. The roof takes only 13 minutes to fully open or close. When it its open position, the roof is parked completely outside the ballpark, over a plaza area.

The facility also includes a retractable glass outfield wall that frames views of downtown Miami, and two aquariums of live fish are located behind home plate. According to the architects, the building was conceived as an abstraction of water merging with land, symbolic of Miami's coastal landscape. The facade consists of faceted metal and glass, and the roof's movements are reflected in the use of color on the building.

Earl Santee, AIA, served as principal-in-charge for Populous.


Baltimore · 2012.0405

Baltimore, Maryland-based multidisciplinary firm RTKL, a subsidiary of ARCADIS, has promoted Sandra V. Whipp, SPHR-CA, to senior vice president in the firm's Washington, D.C., office. The firm has also promoted six staff members to vice president: Kelly Farrell, LEED AP BD+C (Los Angeles, California); Yung-Jen Tai, AIA, LEED AP (Dallas, Texas); Rajan Battish, PE, ATD, LEED AP (Baltimore); Daniel E. Freed, AIA, LEED AP (Miami, Florida); and Anthony Hsu and William Lang, PMP (Shanghai, China).

RTKL has also promoted several dozen other employees in the United States. Four staff members were promoted to principal: Huy Bui, Bary Buss, Brian Cornell, and Bill Kwon. Eighteen others were promoted to associate: Hong Bae, Claire Bedat, Norman Billy, Scott Chester, Brian Frels, Tamra Green, David Kim, Jeonghan Kim, Kristen Lambert, Claudia Machado, Sarah Martz, Julien Meyrat, John Munn, Erin Ongena, Mark Palmer, Sarah Pangburn, Myung Suh, and Jiang Wu.

Melissa Marr and Gwendolyn Powell have been named senior staff. In addition, 22 staff members were named designers: Gary Chen, Will Clinton, Bethany Delay, Heather Foster, Ying Hao, Sheila Hill, Shu-Han Liao, Bin Lu, Seth Lindbloom, Ke Luo, Tien Luong, Brady Mark, Jake Martinez, Michael Militello, Allyson Price, Brandon Richard, Anissa St. Clair, Michael Sun, Dana Verbosh, Abe Warfel, Megan Yonych, and Jongseong Yun.


KCCT has revealed its proposed design concept for a new U.S. Embassy compound in Swaziland. Image: Courtesy KCCT Extra Large Image

Ezulwini · 2012.0403

Architecture, planning, and interiors firm Karn Charuhas Chapman & Twohey (KCCT) of Washington, D.C., is currently completing design development for the new U.S. Embassy compound in the town of Ezulwini, Swaziland, near the city of Mbabane.

The compound's eight buildings will include a new 71,600-square-foot (6,650-square-meter) chancery, three access-control buildings, a pool and recreation facility, a utility post, and warehouse facilities. The nine-acre (2.6-hectare) master plan protects a grove of existing mango trees while addressing a terraced landscape that rises 50 feet (15 meters) from front to back.

The KCCT team includes principals John W. Chapman, AIA, and Paul Phillips, AIA, LEED AP.


The expansion and renovation of Hangzhou South Railway Station in Hangzhou, China, is being designed by gmp. Image: © gmp Extra Large Image

Hangzhou · 2012.0321

Von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) recently revealed its competition-winning design for the Hangzhou South Railway Station in Hangzhou, China. The firm has been commissioned to design an expansion and renovation of the station.

The preliminary design features a gray granite plinth and a main volume enclosed by white walls, with prominent rows of perforated vertical slats. The daylit, clear-span waiting hall will be 18 meters (59 feet) high and 200 meters (660 feet) long, and passengers will enter through foyers to the east and west. The 90,000-square-meter (970,000-square-foot) station facility will house seven train platforms.


The new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, designed by David M. Schwarz Architects, has opened in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Steve Hall/ © Hedrich Blessing Extra Large Image

Las Vegas · 2012.0310

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 10, 2012. Home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre, the $470 million, 358,000-square-foot (33,300-square-meter) building contains three main performance spaces. LEED Silver certification is targeted.

Design architect David M. Schwarz Architects of Washington, D.C., organized the facility with dressing rooms, offices, and retail spaces at the street edge to enliven the streetscape. Clad in Indiana limestone, the art deco-inspired building also features a 170-foot- (52-meter-) tall carillon tower housing 47 bronze bells.

The main performance hall is Reynolds Hall, a 2,050-seat multipurpose venue with 23 boxes on four levels. This space reflects a radical approach to acoustics, with the box anterooms used as acoustic dampers: doors on the boxes open automatically when sound absorption and volume control are necessary.

The Boman Pavilion houses the smaller performance spaces the 258-seat Cabaret Jazz venue and 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater along with classrooms and offices for educational programs. The campus also includes the 1.7-acre (0.7-hectare) Symphony Park, which will serve as an outdoor venue.

The project team included executive architect HKS, Inc, acoustical designer Akustiks, and theater consultant Fisher Dachs Associates.

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