October 24, 2012
by Daniel Fox

In this issue:
• Up, Up and a Away
• Up the Creek
• Pavilion’s Progress for Campus Growth
• Now Fit for a President

Up, Up and a Away

Axial view at dusk


Forum view


Skylight with mirrors


Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the 46,000-square-foot Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, recently broke ground. It is the first new building since 1981 to be erected on the terrazzo (central square) of the academy’s campus, which was designed by SOM in 1954. With its several distinct entrances, each identifiable by a threshold of glass and light, the building acts a nexus, weaving together other spaces on campus. The building is in optical alignment with the North Star (Polaris), which the academy uses to symbolize its core values. When a cadet is seated inside the Honor Board Room, he/she is aligned precisely with the star, visible through an oculus and skylight. The CCLD also features a flexible gathering space for academic and social events, a series of break-out, conference, and seminar rooms, offices, a library, and a ceremonial stair. Expected to be completed in early summer 2014, the project has been designed to achieve a LEED Silver. The project received a 2012 AIANY Design Award in the Unbuilt category.

Up the Creek

Located in “The Confluence,” a luminous, lightweight pavilion called “The Poppy” that can hold up to 1,000 for concerts.

Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates/Thomas Phifer & Partners

“The Lattice” – Six lightweight and easily deployable trail bridges.

Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates/Thomas Phifer & Partners

“The Grove” – Live oak trees present a space for community gatherings.

Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates/Thomas Phifer & Partners

A team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer & Partners has been selected to re-envision the role of Waller Creek in the context of a densely populated section of Austin, TX. Approximately 20 city blocks and equivalent to 1.5 miles in length and 28 acres in size, the project area is fragmented, undervalued, and in some places, dangerous during flooding. Charged by the Waller Creek Conservancy, the design scheme will transform the small creek into a vital component of urban infrastructure, an open stage for social interaction, and a restored source of natural beauty. The scheme calls for opening up the creek to the city by widening its path and shoreline whenever possible. A chain of parks will be embedded in five connected districts: the Lattice, Grove, Narrows, Refuge, and Confluence. From a pool of 31 submissions, the team was chosen from a short list consisting of CMG and Public Architecture; Turenscape + Lake|Flato Architects; Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, and Rogers Marvel Architects.

Pavilion’s Progress for Campus Growth

Courtesy Davis Brody Bond

Courtesy Davis Brody Bond

Courtesy Davis Brody Bond

Davis Brody Bond has been selected to design the new St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion on the St. Elizabeths Hospital east campus in Washington, DC. The multipurpose, 22-foot-high structure will form a backdrop to a plaza and will be the central point for activities that include casual dining, a farmers’ market, and other after-hours and weekend community, cultural, and arts events. Environmental responsibility was a driving design goal. Sustainable features include rainwater harvesting with a cistern capable of supplying irrigation and water for restrooms, as well as recycled or renewable materials such as canvas, burlap, “grasscrete,” and reclaimed wood. The pavilion will serve the needs of the 4,000 employees of the new Coast Guard headquarters now in the final phases of construction on the St. Elizabeths west campus. Future corporate development on the district-owned campus and the community at large will also benefit. The project team includes the engineering firm Robert Silman Associates and D.C.-based KADCON, a construction firm.

Now Fit for a President

Courtesy Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

Courtesy Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

Courtesy Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

In time for the 154th birthday of the 26th U.S. president, the American Museum of Natural History will officially reopen the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and the Hall of North American Mammals after a three-year refurbishment and enhancement project led by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Originally designed by John Russell Pope and dedicated in 1936, the two-story memorial — which includes the Central Park West entrance, the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall on the first floor — is New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor. The project includes a complete restoration of the Central Park West façade, which is now illuminated with energy-efficient exterior lighting, as well as the cleaning of a commemorative statue of Roosevelt in front of the museum. The fully renovated rotunda, a designated New York City interior landmark, showcases painter William Andrew Mackay’s expertly-conserved historical murals. An earlier phase of the project included dividing in two the display mount of the famous Barosaurus and Allosaurus exhibit at the center of the Rotunda, allowing visitors to walk between the famous combatants for the first time.

This Just In

The “Made in NY” Media Center for creative and tech industries will be located in DUMBO in a 1909 designated landmark. It will be developed by the Independent Feature Project, Two Trees Management; Brooklyn-based MESH Architectures will design the space. In addition to flexible workstations, the facility will contain classrooms, a public café, media arts gallery, lounge, numerous conference rooms, and a 98-seat white box screening/multimedia room.

Missed the 3rd annual MAS Summit for New York City? At press time, the MAS 2012 Livability Survey, proposals by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and WXY+ K&M for Grand Central Terminal, the GCT: The Next 100, Greening Manual for Historic Rowhouses, NYC Privately Owned Public Spaces are online. Foster + Partner’s GCT proposal and other presentations and panels should be available in the near future.

The Urban Web, a multi-sensory interactive installation that transforms an underused portion of the Coleman Oval Skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge on the LES is on view now through November 10th. The installation is a project of Architecture for Humanity New York.

The Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) issued a new report: “Making Midtown: A New Vision for a 21st Century Garment District”. The report brings together all of the key stakeholders to develop a shared vision and specific actions to ensure that the Garment District will continue to be an extraordinary source of fashion innovation and jobs, as well as a desirable destination neighborhood for businesses and people of all kinds.

The first ever Lighting PlugFest is coming to the 3rd annual Control This! conference and expo on lighting control and energy management systems, at The Metropolitan Pavilion, November 7.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has given Rogers Marvel Architects the green light to design a rooftop bar and terrace, doubles squash court, and additional guest rooms at the Harvard Club of New York. The club occupies several buildings, including the original neo-Georgian McKim Mead & White building from 1894 and an eight-story glass -and-steel addition by Davis Brody Bond completed in 2003. The LPC also designated the Rainbow Room, the renowned art deco-style supper club atop 30 Rock, as the city’s 115th interior landmark. The commission also designated the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, capping a two-year effort to protect more than 330 architecturally and historically significant buildings that are synonymous with the immigrant experience.

Matter Practice is installing Peace & Quiet, a dialogue station that will serve as a quiet space for talks between veterans and civilians in Times Square. The station will be active from 11.11–11.21.12.

The Park Avenue Armory continues to make progress on a $200 million capital renovation project designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Most recently, the Armory unveiled the restored Park Avenue façade, including a new copper mansard roof, reconstructed masonry, new perimeter lighting, and the restoration of the building’s original 1881 iron fence. In addition, the restoration of the historic Board of Officers Room is officially underway and scheduled for completion in September 2013.

The University of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, has topped out, and is expected to be completed in 2013.

Storefront in Art and Architecture is once again hosting Critical Halloween, an architectural costume party devoted to the most feared ghosts in the world of art and architecture: Banality and Metaphor. Dress accordingly.

When in Rome…there’s still time to see Urban Movement Design’s “UNIRE/UNITE,” winner of the 2012 Young Architects Program (YAP) MAXXI, on view through November 4. The installation offers urban furniture that promotes exercise and play in response to the obesity problem.

Congrats to Pratt Institute on its 125th Anniversary.


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