OMA Breaks Ground Soon on their expansion of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Next month, ground will be broken on the expansion of the landmarked Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a reform synagogue in Los Angeles, which is the oldest and one of the largest Jewish congregations in that city. Originally designed by Samuel Tilden Norton, this expansion will be undertaken by our friends at OMA | The Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Construction on the $75M project will commence with the new Audrey Irmas Pavilion; the expansion, which covers three-storeys, will include space for the congregation as well as supportive services for the surrounding Wilshire Center district. The Pavilion will comprise a large event space and a smaller more flexible space, as well as, notably, a sunken garden. The new floors are characterized by a sloping facade which angles away from the historic temple, with a series of openings that filter light throughout the complex.

Peter Marino designs a second New York gallery for Lehmann Maupin

The Getty Gas Station in Chelsea is now the site of Lehmann Maupin’s second New York gallery, which was designed by our friends at Peter Marino Architect—the first, designed by Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Furthermore, Marino and company will design the Hill Art Foundation as well as a luxury apartment complex, of which both will sit above the gallery. The 9,K SqFt gallery bowed with the exhibition “Liza Lou: Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds,” the sculptor’s first in the city in a decade, a comprehensive showing which required the use of the new as well as the original gallery space; also on view at the latter, the 22″-tall “Primary,” a patchwork of colored glass beads woven by South African artisans.

SPAN Architecture’s conversion of Central Park South roof topper into triplex penthouse

A topper in patinaed copper on the mansard roof of 150 Central Park South will be converted into a triplex penthouse condo by our friends at SPAN Architecture. The famed 37-storey, limestone clad building, atop which it will sit, and which is known as Hampshire House, was completed in 1937, and is characterized by a distinctive series of cascading terraces on its northern facade, as well as its two chimneys. Though it is a famous building it is not listed as a landmark, and this permits the team to undertake extensive interior alterations there, including the addition of two storeys and the carving out of a 40′ window in the roof. The project came about when Peter Pelsinski of SPAN discovered that the topper, which housed the building’s mechanical systems, could be converted into two new floors with towering 14′ ceilings.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Design @ Kansas State University by Ennead Architects | BNIM

For Kansas State University, which has recently spearheaded an initiative to poise designers as “instruments for positive social change,” our friends at Ennead Architects, in collaboration with the Kansas City-based BNIM, have designed the College of Architecture, Planning and Design. The plan was conceived with a view towards creating an environment conducive to supporting curriculum newly adopted by the college, which trains future A+D professionals to learn how to connect with design through interdisciplinary collaboration as well as direct fabrication. And so, to this end, the interior architecture of the project permits a vast array of opportunities for communication across Architecture, Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning, Interior Architecture and Product Design departments, as well as departments related. Arrayed round a three-storey atrium, called the “Collaboration Corridor”, are studios, crit spaces—rooms which enable students and professors to critique work in an interactive and flexible learning space,—exhibition areas, and offices for faculty.

Henning Larsen’s French International School, Hong Kong

The recently completed new home for the French International School in Tseung Kwan O district in central Hong Kong was designed by our friends at Henning Larsen. It measures nearly 211,K SqFt, and is an active and open learning environment which can accommodate over 1,000 grade school students. The colorful facade features 627 ceramic tiles which, when struck by sunlight, create a kaleidoscope effect. The design integrates conventionally laid out classrooms and corridors with large, open communal spaces known as “Villas;” these are equipped to host 125 students, and each can be opened up to join another Villa adjacent to create an even more expansive collaborative space. In keeping with the School’s sustainability goals, natural light plays a major role in the interiors, while brise-soleil sun shades protect against solar gain. The project also includes a nearly 6,K SqFt botanical garden with multi-storey hanging gardens.

The Unisphere, of EwingCole

At 210,K SqFt, the “Unisphere” is the single largest site-powered, net zero commercial structure in the United States. Designed by our friends at EwingCole, it houses clinical facilities for the treatment of pulmonary disease, heart failure, and organ transplantation, as well as a virtual drug development lab. The building employs multiple strategies in order to sustain itself, and has no operational carbon footprint because its energy is renewed onsite: among others, 3,000 photovoltaic panels generate 1,175 MWH of energy each year; a quarter-mile-long concrete maze called the “Earth Labyrinth”, located twelve feet below the complex, acts as a natural ventilation system, moderating indoor temperatures; also beneath the complex, 52 geo-exchange wells, 500′ deep, are used to store energy; also, windows in office areas are made of electrochromic glass which self-adjust their tints level according to the change of seasons, location of the sun, and cloud coverage.

Manhattan Office of Sonic Union moved to Bryant Park with the help of Revamp Interior Design

NYC audio post-production company and recording studio Sonic Union has enlisted the services of our friends at Revamp Interior Design to create a new working home for its team of sound designers, engineers, creative producers, and composers; to do so became necessary when the company grew too big for its original Union Square home. To the origami benches in the company’s new bright blue plywood-clad home, the firm added felt seat cushions and colorful throw pillows, as well as loose seating, tables and carpet tiles, referencing the patterns of the cladding. The space features four studios and three vocal booths; for the wall and ceiling of each of was installed a wall-to-wall stretched fabric acoustical track system. This was a necessary structural feature of the studios due to their function and necessarily constrained the design team in terms of creativity of material intervention; nevertheless, they still managed this, introducing to these spaces a scheme of fuschia plastic film and yellow tiles.

Solar sail by Olson Kundig able to power up to 200 homes with clean energy

LAGI 2018, the Land Art Generator Initiative competition in Melbourne, is an international contest which invites designers to create large-scale, site-specific public art that generates clean renewable energy for the city. For their submission, our friends at Olson Kundig have designed a gargantuan solar sail which can produce 1,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy. Called “Night and Day” it is powered by solar energy and pumped hydroelectric energy storage. The Land Art Generator Initiative was launched as part of Victoria State’s Renewable Energy Action Plan to meet Melbourne’s 2020 net-zero energy goals. This power plant project is proposed for St. Kilda Triangle on Port Phillip Bay, and if implemented could power as many as 200 homes 24 hours per day without creating emissions: in the daytime, the photovoltaic panel-clad curved sail would collect energy, which then powers a pump that channels water into a suspended hydro battery.

CetraRuddy replaces Roseland Ballroom with 62-storey apartment building

The former Roseland Ballroom has been replaced by a rental tower designed by our friends at CetraRuddy Architects which has now launched leasing. The 62-storey building at 242 West 53rd Street, known as “ARO”, contains 426 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, starting at $2,900/month; it was also feature a four-bedroom duplex penthouse. All apartments will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, oak floors, 10′ ceilings, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances; all bathrooms, Carrara marble floors and Dolomiti marble tiled walls. Amenities are expansive, spanning multiple floors, indoors and out, and include the ARO Club, which features game rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a half-size basketball court, golf simulator &al.

The Central Hub in Sharjah: Phase I by Zaha Hadid Architects

Phase One of the Central Hub in Sharjah, designed by our friends at Zaha Hadid Architects, will be completed in the first quarter of 2019: it is the central concept of the $6.5B Aljada development in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, a major transformational project for a city widely considered the Emirates’ cultural capital: its third largest and most populous. Integral to the design concept for the Central Hub is, in the architects’ own words, “The first moment a water droplet strikes the earth’s surface:” this is reflected in the complex’ array of buildings elliptically shaped to channel winds into public spaces and courtyards, allowing for a system of natural cooling; all told the Central Hub spans just under 2M SqFt, and includes sustainable features for irrigating recovered and recycled water, sustaining a microclimate for its exhaustive gardens, as well as solar-powered lighting solutions.

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