Architecture People & Places


ZGF in Seattle, Washington

The Federal Center South Building 1202, located on a brownfield site in Seattle, Washington was designed by ZGF Architects for the Army Corps of Engineers. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider/ Courtesy ZGF

The Federal Center South Building 1202, a General Services Administration building in Seattle, Washington, has been completed. ZGF Architects was part of the 209,000-square-foot (19,400-square-meter) project's design-build team, along with Sellen Construction.

The metal panel-clad building, which is targeting LEED Platinum certification, is a new headquarters for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Built on a brownfield site adjacent to a federal superfund site, this project's plan is in the shape of a horseshoe, a form which the firm attributes to local geographic features -- particularly the oxbows that are characteristic of the Duwamish Waterway.

 The skylit atrium of the Federal Center South Building 1202. PR Newswire/ Courtesy ZGF Architects

Menil Collection - AIA 25 Year Award 2013

A day-lit gallery of the Menil Collection museum, designed by Renzo Piano. Photo: Hester Paul  / © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The Menil Collection (1986),  located in Houston, Texas and designed by Renzo Piano, has been selected for the 2013 AIA Twenty-five Year Award.

In 1981, Dominique de Menil, president of the Menil Foundation, decided to build a museum in Houston to house one of the world's most significant collections of primitive African art and modern surrealist art.

Her main request was that all of the works could be viewed under daylight, and that lighting be treated in such a way so that the visitors would be aware of its continuous variations according to the time of day, the season and the local climate.

Overview of the Menil Collection building. Photo: Hester Paul © RPBW

AIA New Hampshire Design Awards

Hillsborough County Superior Court North, in Manchester, New Hampshire, designed by Lavallee Brensinger Architects. Photo: Joseph St. Pierre

The two recipients of honor awards from the AIA New Hampshire chapter are a city public works building and a county superior-court building, both designed by Manchester, New Hampshire-based Lavallee Brensinger Architects. Five additional buildings received merit awards, while an additional three projects were awarded commendations. A mix of project types are represented in this group, including single-family and multifamily housing, higher education, and a suite of new beach facility buildings for the city of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

Honor Awards

Photo: Joseph St. Pierre

City of Manchester Department of Public Works Administration Building
Designer: Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester, New Hampshire
Construction Manager: Harvey Construction Corporation

Jury Comments: "This building is a wonderful addition to a previously disenfranchised urban district. The architects successfully transformed a utilitarian building type into an elegant civic statement using a high level industrial aesthetic. The building placement creates a strong street edge and expresses the transformational potential of design in the public domain. The jury universally applauded the quality of the interior spaces and the simple, but effective, use of natural light. Quite simply, this building elevates the functional to the extraordinary." 

Richard Meier & Partners in Hamburg, Germany

The 15-story competition-winning design, by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, for a new Engel & Völkers headquarters in Hamburg, Germany (northwest view). Image: Richard Meier and Partners Architects

New York City-based Richard Meier & Partners Architects has won an international design competition to design a new headquarters building in Hamburg, Germany for the international luxury real estate company, Engel & Völkers.

The firm's winning proposal for the mixed-use project depicts a two-part building. The building's central organizing element is an atrium. This space is enclosed on three sides by a seven-story low-rise office building that extends to the edges of the building site, while its northwest corner is marked by a 15-story tower.

The building is organized around a central atrium. Photo: Richard Meier and Partners Architects

Balthazar Korab - 1926 to 2013

Yale Hockey Rink, designed by Eero Saarinen, photographed by Balthazar Korab.
According to the Detroit Free Press and other news outlets, noted architectural photographer Balthazar Korab has died. A posting by the Balthazar Korab Photography user on Facebook indicated that his death came "after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease."

A long-time resident of Troy, Michigan, Korab was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1926. He fled the country under cover of darkness in 1948 with his brother Antoní, and good friend László Kollár. Following their escape, Korab and Kollár both went on to major in architecture and would, years later, collaborate on a well-regarded project submission for the Sydney Opera House design competition.

Photo: Balthazar Korab, Ltd.
Upon completion of his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Korab immigrated to the United States and in 195 hired as a designer by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. It was in Saarinen's office that Korab's photographic career got its start. Although he began work as a designer, over time he became the in-house architectural photographer for the firm, and continued to photograph much of Saarinen's work after he founded his own photographic studio.

Foster + Partners in New York City

The proposed modification of the New York Public Library building would create a multistory atrium  and reading room along its western facade. Image: dbox/ Foster + Partners

London-based Foster + Partners has released renderings and a proposal for a major modification of the  New York Public Library building (1911), designed by Carrère & Hastings, also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The project will integrate the NYPL's circulating library into the Beaux Arts building for the first time in several decades.

This will be achieved by removing the existing Rose Reading Room, which extends along much of the building's western facade, overlooking Bryant Park, and by exposing seven floors of space beneath the room that has been previously closed to the public. The books currently stored in this area will be moved to an existing climate-controlled storage facility located beneath Bryant Park.

View from entrance of the proposed circulation library. Image: dbox/ Foster + Partners

The firm's design for this modification will replace the existing structural system with what is being described as a "stone and steel cradle", pulling the interior floor plates back from the existing exterior wall and forming a multistory atrium and reading room in the void that is created. The atrium will serve as a focal point for the new circulating library and balconies in the book stacks will overlook it.

AIA National Design Awards 2013

Centra Metropark, in Iselin, New Jersy was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF). Photo: Michael Moran

28 projects have received the AIA's Institute Honor Awards for 2013, recognizing good design in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.

Among the winning projects are those completed as recently as last fall, such as the new Barnes Foundation project, along with somewhat older projects going back to 2009. Many of the older projects, such as the LEED Platinum-certified Vancouver West Convention Center, have previously received other AIA awards at the national and state levels.

OMA designed the Milstein Hall building at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Photo: Courtesy OMA

Ratcliff in Cupertino, California

The two-story De Anza College Media and Learning Centre, in Cupertino, California, designed by Ratcliff. Photo: David Wakely
Ratcliff, an architecture firm in Emeryville, California, designed the recently completed Media and Learning Center at De Anza College, in Cupertino, California. The 14-classroom, 67,000-square-foot (6,200-square-meter) project opened for classes in September, accommodating classes in anthropology and general education.
The 80-foot-long (24-meter-long) atrium of the Media and Learning Center. Photo: David Wakely
The building is expected to earn a LEED Platinum certification and sports a number of sustainable features, including a 6,000-square-foot (560-square-meter) photovoltaic array mounted adjacent to the fritted-glass skylight over a central atrium space. The atrium's clerestory glazing, along with considerable glazing along the building's facades, helps to provide daylight access to many of the spaces.
Section diagram showing air circulation patterns. Image: Ratcliff

The atrium also plays a central role as the exhaust point of the center's passive-downdraft ventilation system. Cooling towers located along either side of the building serve as the system's air supply. And rooftop vacuum-tube thermal solar array also provides heat for the HVAC system.

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