Aarhus, Denmark’s second most populous city, will see the introduction of a new harbor bath designed by our friends at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), who have designed other harbor baths in Denmark, which beggars the question of what that is: Copenhagen’s Harbour Baths, such as BIG’s Islands Brygge (2003), are recreational swimming facilities constructed along a waterfront, falling conceptually somewhere between a dock designated for people to hang out around and a man-made beach. In 2007, the International Olympic Committee recognized the first BIG harbor bath with an honorable mention for Best Public Recreational Facility. The Aarhus Harbor Bath opened last month and comprises three pools of varying depths for swimming and diving; these include a 164′ lap pool. A supplementary project, now under construction, is AARhus, designed by BIG in collaboration with another Danish firm, Gehl Architects: a mixed-use development adjacent to/associated with the Bath.
The new recently completed Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto was designed by our friends at Perkins+Will, in collaboration with HGA, an integrated architecture and engineering firm, with a view towards realizing Packard Children’s future vision of itself as the nation’s most technologically advanced, eco- and family-friendly hospital for pediatrics and obstetrics. The center places a large emphasis on holistic healing, embracing ready views of and access to the outdoors, abundant natural light, and sustainable features such as water recovery and landscape irrigation, the use of recycled/reclaimed local materials, and an external shading system which reduces the need for air conditioning. Packard Children’s uses 38% less water and 60% less energy than an average Northern Californian hospital, and is on course for LEED Gold certification. All floors for patient cares feature outdoor patios with overlooks; a non-denominational sanctuary opens onto a healing garden for quiet meditation or prayer.
ANSYS Hall is to be a 36,K SqFt, 4-storey facility designed by our friends at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson for use by the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Named for the software company funding the development, the Hall will most notably feature an indoor/outdoor “maker-court”: a space in which students can develop, and create and implement prototypes. It will also house a simulation lab and research space, serving as both a resource for scholarship as well as creativity. Scheduled for completion in the summer of 2020, ANSYS Hall’s design was led by CMU alumni: Design Principal Gregory Mottola, FAIA, and Principal in Charge Kent Suhrbier, AIA.
It cannot be reasonably denied that our friends at Olson Kundig make beautiful houses, and “Cliff Dwelling”, which sits on the edge of a leafy hill-face above the Semiahmoo Bay in White Rock, BC, was designed with a view towards simultaneously creating privacy while employing a a glassy exterior to allow every room excellent views of the bay and islands and mountains in all directions (except the opposite one). Peace and quiet were also considerations: a road runs above the downward sloping site, so thick concrete walls were implemented to block out road sounds. The house covers three levels, on which one are collected the main living areas; a den, children’s bedrooms and an exercise area on another; a master suite hidden away on a level of its own. Interesting features include glass guardrails capped with steel handrails, an entry gallery, and unfinished zinc siding.
The 56,K SqFt School of International and Public Affairs, designed by our friends at Arquitectonica, is to be constructed on Florida International University (FIU)’s University Park campus, to provide the university with a technologically advanced center for a variety of educational, creative, and performance programs, as well as faculty and student research facilities. Structurally the design reflects one of the core principles of FIU as an internationalist university responding to the multicultural makeup of the city of Miami: historically, and fast becoming more than ever a monumentally important nexus of trade, finance and culture. The visually striking structure is one of the first buildings designed under the auspices of an initiative of FIU to impose LEED standards upon all new construction undertaken for the university: sustainable features of this project include solar panels, a roof with vegetation, and low-VOC content building materials.
In collaboration with landscape architecture firm DTAH, our friends at Perkins+Will redesigned the building which houses the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. The structure, originally designed by the Canadian architect Arthur Erickson in the 1930’s, later updated by the same in the 1970’s, required a number of important upgrades to meet today’s building standards and the perceived needs of contemporary workplaces; the stated goal of the creative team was to re-energize the offices, drawing inspiration from Erickson, many of whose works carefully integrated architecture and landscape design. DTAH and Perkins+Will introduced sculptural structures in crystalline glass to the building’s public plaza, which also serve as seating, and in the same space, took up the English slate which originally abounded there and replaced it with a locally sourced granite more resilient to cold weather. For the interiors, they transformed what was originally a program clearly delineated into private work areas into a more open work environment conducive to collaboration.
Memorials for mass shootings and other acts of terrorism have proved subjects of controversy in the past, with the reasonable calling into question of the specific means by which the victims of a tragedy are paid tribute, or the mere fact of there being a tribute paid at all: for example, the status quo response of Norwegians to a proposed memorial for the 2011 Norway Attacks was, essentially, that the horrible thing should be forgotten and moved on from. For this reason, of which a firm of the caliber of our friends at Handel Architects are undoubtedly acutely aware, such projects must be undertaken with thoughtful sensitivity. Survivors and family members of survivors of the Charleston church shooting engaged in close dialogues with the creative team as regarding how best to pay tribute to their fallen friends and family members. The design of the memorial, informed by a wish for unity and repair in the face of blind hatred, takes the form of two fellowship benches facing each other; an opening between them widens towards the entrance, welcoming strangers to enter and join in an intimate commune. The benches high backs arc up and around like wings, providing a sense of enclosure and comforting enveloping.
On June 25th, our friends at Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) held a public meeting during which were revealed their plans for a seven-storey glassy addition to the Union Station train station (1925) in the West Loop district of Chicago, a structure originally designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. Developed by Riverside Investment & Development and Convexity Properties, the proposed addition will comprise a hotel, apartments, an office complex, and retail space; if accepted, it would cause an increase in the height of Union Station from 150 to 245′ with 404 apartments to be housed within a glassy rectangular volume on top of the original structure, which would, in turn, house 330 hotel rooms. In addition to submission for review by Chicago’s landmark preservation committee,—Union Station has been a Landmark since 2002—the first phase of the development will also require zoning approval and aldermanic (city council) approval. If that’s approved, the second phase will see the construction of an apartment tower above an existing train platform in the immediate proximity of the station.
In keeping with a slew of recent articles in the A+D presses about houses, buildings, and developments in the New York Metropolitan area designed with a view towards offsetting possible damages in the event of another natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy, this Fire Island, NY house, designed by our friends at Delson OR Sherman Architects, was able to withstand the effects of Sandy, despite being located on an exposed beachfront, thanks to the invention of the designers, who completed their updates to house just before the storm struck. Barrier islands along the south of Long Island like Fire Island were among the worst hit by the storm, resulting in $70B work of damages. But this home was protected by features like vertical cement siding, metal roofs, and impact-resistant windows, giving it a strong exoskeleton.
Financed by the Howard Hughes Corporation and designed by our friends at SHoP Architects, with landscape architecture (including outdoor furniture) by our friends at James Corner Field Operations, the Pier 17 revitalization is nearing completion after 4 years of planning and construction. A 300,K SqFt mall and public space, the plan has experienced a number of revisions since it was originally presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The roof of the mall is now covered in pavers and designed with a view towards flexibility; the design features planters which can be moved to accommodate larger crowds, as well as a freight elevator which allows food trucks onto the roof directly from the adjacent FDR parkway; the roof can accommodate 3,400 standing guests. The mall is structured as a series of buildings within building, which in their design and implementation utilized materials paying homage to the pier’s natural heritage: sustainably harvested tropical hardwood, corrugated zinc sheets and tiles.