Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
Bookending the charming Friday Harbor waterfront, the Island Inn at 123 West is a high point of recent Northwest architecture. Photo: © Kevin Matthews/Artifice Images
Island Inn at Friday Harbor
by Kevin Matthews
The Island Inn at Friday Harbor has got it going on. With great bone structure, sleek proportions, and an au courant nerdy streak — wearing its hydrology on its sleeve — this nicely detailed project is a real model.
A model of Northwest Architecture, done just right.
The Island Inn on Washington's San Juan Island started life as 123 West, a LEED Silver-certified mixed-use commercial-residential redevelopment of a tight urban site with great harbor views.
The original program of seven commercial units and seven residential units on the 10,000 square-foot site was built in 2009, but the condominium units priced between $500,000 and $1.5 million failed to sell in the face of the Great Recession.
The fundamental project hung-on, however, metamorphosed from mixed-use complex to boutique hotel in 2011, and with another round of construction in 2012, has emerged as quite a lovely butterfly of sustainable island tourism.
Congratulations are due to first-time developer, artist and interior designer Misty Todd, and architect Donald K. Mackay, who did the original project while Mackay was part of the team at Seattle firm GGLO Architecture Landscape Architecture. Fish Mackay Architects, where he is now a principal, designed a four-room expansion of the hotel, to a total of 16 accommodations that range from 200 to 1400 square feet, completed in May 2012. Both phases were constructed by Wellman Zuck General Contractors.
Sited a short walk from the essential ferry and seaplane terminals, on a patch of hillside once used for fuel and oil storage, the 123 West project provides a suitably-dense while contextually-sensitive bookend to the very walkable core shoreline of Friday Harbor, Washington, the de-facto capital of the San Juan Islands with just over 2000 permanent residents.
The three stepping-stories of buildings are arranged as a pair of clustered cuboid blocks, with stepping lanes dividing them, hilltown style, providing access while distributing both daylight and beautiful views of the active harbor.
The gracefully-curved Cheung Kong Center Footbridge spans 131 feet (35 meters) across a complex street intersection in Hong Kong's central district. Image: Stuart Woods
Footbridge in Hong Kong
by Gregory K. Hunt, FAIA
Approval to construct the new Cheung Kong Center at the corner of Garden Road and Queen's Road Central came with the stipulation that Cheung Kong Holdings, Ltd., would reconnect the two ends of a public footpath that once crossed the site.
Located along the southeast side of the Cheung Kong Center, the new pedestrian path by Leo A. Daly takes the form of an elevated footbridge, linking Battery Path at the upper level of Cheung Kong Gardens with Citibank Plaza across Garden Road to the east and Chater Garden across Queen's Road Central to the north.
As part of the urban infrastructure, the gracefully curved walkway has been built to form a continuous, public pedestrian-only zone connecting these major downtown open spaces.
The client required that the 443-foot-long (135-meter) Cheung Kong Center Footbridge not only incorporate specific pedestrian circulation paths but also be aesthetically compatible with the architecture of the Cheung Kong Center.
The walkway design also had to accommodate the 20-foot (6.1-meter) grade change from Queen's Road Central up to the elevation of Battery Path. Finally, given it spans over public rights-of-way, the footbridge had to be constructed without disrupting pedestrian and vehicular traffic beneath it, and no vertical structural supports could be placed on adjacent sidewalks and roadways.
Designed by Leo A. Daly with Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Ltd., who served as structural and geotechnical engineers for the project, the footbridge is built on two levels in three distinct sections.
SANAA has designed The River, a glass-and-steel community building in New Canaan, Connecticut. Image: SANAA
Architecture People and Places
SANAA in New Canaan, Connecticut —
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SANAA in New Canaan, Connecticut
"The River" will be a new spiritual and community center building, in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed by Japanese firm SANAA for the Grace Farms Foundation. The firm's designs for the sinuous building were recently submitted to the local planning and zoning commission for review.
The building is designed as a continuous sequence of glazed pavilions connected by covered breezeways all unified by a single, curvaceous roof that winds around the one-acre (0.4-hectare) building site on the 75-acre (30.4-hectare) grounds of Grace Farms. Near one end, the River contains a space that will serve as the sanctuary for Grace Community Church. Other spaces will accommodate a range of community center functions, including a library, dining room, gymnasium, and spaces for children....
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