In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of important developments in Downtown Los Angeles, like the groundbreaking of the Arquitectonica-designed apartments on Grand Avenue, and the topping out of The Broad next door. The red-hot area continues to make headlines, from the advancement of its upcoming streetcar to the murkiness of its proposed football stadium.
Silicon Valley definitely has the architecture bug. We’ve recently seen remarkable new designs put forth by Foster + Partners for Apple and NBBJ for Samsung. Now Gensler has released ambitious new designs for tech company Nvidia, located in Santa Clara. The 24-acre complex’s two 500,000-square-foot buildings are each shaped like triangles, a configuration that Gensler principal Hao Ko explains facilitates collaboration by allowing connections to each side of the building to be the shortest. (The triangle, he adds, is also “the fundamental primitive that defines all shapes in the digital realm.”) Undulating roofs will be made up of smaller triangle pieces, breaking down the overall mass and allowing for ample skylighting, in the in-between spaces. Construction is set to begin this summer, with completion in 2015. Apple’s circle now has geometric competition. Who’s next?
It looks like things at long-maligned LAX are looking up. First AN reported that AECOM is working on a big makeover of the airport’s roadway spaces and that Fentress Architects is completing a new Tom Bradley Satellite Terminal. Now we’ve gotten our hands on a secret shortlist for LAX Terminal 4 Connector, the next component of the airport’s international spaces. And the finalists are… Corgan (with Turner) and Gensler (with Hensel Phelps). Now if only they could get the subway to go there, LAX might actually become a world-class airport!
Well, it happened. After years of strife over the project, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved the $2 billion, 1.5 million square foot redevelopment of the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Back in 2009 the developer, Next Century Associates, threatened to tear down Minoru Yamasaki’s curving midcentury Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel to make way for the project. But a parade of preservationists, including the LA Conservancy and Diane Keaton, stood in their way. The result: a compromise in which the hotel would be preserved by Marmol Radziner and surrounded by two three-sided, 46-story residential towers by Pei Cobb Freed as well as a 100,000-square-foot retail plaza and over two acres of public open space by Rios Clementi Hale. The executive architect is Gensler. City Council certified the scheme’s Environmental Impact Report and approved a 15-year development agreement. Let the construction begin on another major Los Angeles development. Momentum is building.
Almost two years after the idea was first floated, AEG and Gensler’s 72,000 seat, $1.2 billion stadium proposal was approved by LA City Council on Friday. The vote in favor of the project’s environmental impact report (EIR) clears the way for the developer to seek an NFL team and for Gensler’s steel-winged Farmers Field to move ahead. The stadium had experienced some controversy lately as news spread that AEG was putting itself up for sale. But that didn’t deter the council, which voted 12-0 to move ahead with the plan.
The stadium, and an adjacent convention center that was recently panned by an architectural commission, is being paid for privately, although funds are coming from $275 million in tax-exempt bonds. Another proposal by developer Ed Roski and architect Dan Meis, located in the City of Industry, is also trying to lure a team. Let the games begin.
On a recent sunny day in Silver Lake the Materials & Applications gallery got folks together to eat cake. In honor of the group’s 10th anniversary M&A hosted an architectural bake-off called “Elevate Your Cake,” with groovy deliciousness by an impressive group of designers. They included Predock Frane; Chu + Gooding; Escher GuneWardena Architecture; Gensler; Deegan Day; Deutsch; Patterns; Noah Riley Design; Warren Techentin; Barbara Bestor; MASS; Osborn; Modal Design; Taalman Koch; and Andy Goldman.
That’s right, this was no amateur night. These were serious architectural cakes. Chu + Gooding’s cake, “Inopportune Totem,” looked like a porcupine had mated with a death-by-chocolate. Warren Techentin’s entry, “cubisphere,” was made up of Japanese Mochi and chocolate cake balls. It looked like a cube made of colorful (but edible) golf and ping pong balls stacked on each other. After several of the cakes were raffled off everybody got down to business: eating the rest.
Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades
Symposium: Thursday, July 26, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco
Workshops: Friday, July 27, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
California College of the Arts, San Francisco
This week in San Francisco architects and engineers at the forefront of facade design and fabrication will gather to present their latest work and research. Sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos, the first-day line-up for Collaboration: The Art and Science of Facades includes Craig Dykers of Snohetta as the keynote speaker along with presentation by leaders at SOM, Thornton Thomasetti, Firestone Building Products, IwamotoScott, Future Cities Lab, Gensler, Kreysler & Associates, Gehry Technologies, Buro Happold and more. On the second day, participants receive hands-on practical instruction through workshops with industry leaders.
Those attending both days will receive 16 AIA Continuing Education credits.
One day left to register! For registration click here.
Can’t make it out West this week? Check out the next call for papers: AN‘s Facades + Innovation Conference, October 10-12, Chicago. Download PDF.
While most design students are starting the scramble for plum summer internships, Tina Uznanski can rest easy, knowing a desk with her name on it will be waiting at Gensler’s London office. Uzanski, an interior design student at the Pratt Institute, has received Gensler’s annual Brinkmann Scholarship, winning a paid summer internship at the Gensler office of her choice and a cash prize to be put toward her final year of study at Pratt. The award was established in 1999 as a memorial to interior designer and former Gensler partner Donald G. Brinkmann.
Uznanski won the competition with her clever concept for a renovation of her neighborhood library in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that creates a flexible room through “shifting stacks.” images after the jump
Rachel Judlowe, formerly arts and design PR guru at Ruder Finn, is partnering up with architecture and design publicist Elizabeth Kubany of EHK PR.
Gensler appoints two principals as new managing directors at its London office: Ian Mulcahey and Duncan Swinhoe, who joined the firm in 2000 and 2004 respectively.
Michael Algiere departs Jones Lang LaSalle to join Cannon Design as principal and leader of the firm’s corporate/commercial interiors practice for the New York region.
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With all the news coming out of Gensler lately we’ve officially declared November Gensler Month. The latest is the firm’s new offices inside the Jewel Box building in Downtown LA, a glassy former bank branch located between huge towers at City National Plaza.