June 2012: On the Drawing Board

Reuse of L.A.’s historic Dunbar Hotel; new National Guard Bureau at Hanscom AFB; Valencia College’s collaboratory; Chicago warehouse turned winery; China Mobile’s new headquarters.

May 31, 2012 |

Adaptive reuse of LA’s historic Dunbar Hotel greenlighted

Construction has begun on the renovation of the Dunbar Hotel, originally known as the Hotel Somerville, which was the focal point of the Central Avenue African-American community in Los Angeles during the 1930s and ’40s. Withee Malcolm Architects’ design for the project, now called Dunbar Village, includes the complete renovation of the hotel and the Somerville Apartments to create an 83-unit mixed-use project. Preserving Dunbar Hotel’s historic brick façade, the new design provides 41 residential units of affordable senior housing. The Somerville Apartments will be transformed into 42 units of affordable housing, with two-, three-, and four-bedroom units for families of all ages. Thomas Safran & Associates and the nonprofit Coalition for Responsible Community Development were selected to develop the project, at an estimated cost of $29.3 million.

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National Guard Bureau headquarters ready to battle earthquakes

Nauset Construction is beginning foundation work on phase two of the National Guard Bureau’s new Joint Force Headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. The four-story, 80,000-sf office building, designed by Kleinfelder, will connect to the existing 193,000-sf facility. The new joint headquarters is designed to sustain earthquakes. The foundation is made of reinforced concrete footings and floor slabs with steel-framed masonry walls, aluminum windows, and a metal-paneled roof system with integrated gutters. The HVAC system will include three 2,000 MBH gas-fired boilers, two 140-ton electric air-cooled chillers, and air handlers with multiple zones. Additional building features: auxiliary power, fire detection and suppression, security access, and surveillance and intrusion detection systems; raised computer access flooring; heated storage; and vehicle-ready work bays.

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Beirut’s waterfront to get facelift with massive mixed-use community

SB Architects, in collaboration with landscape architecture firm Sean K Simms and local architecture firm Erga Group, has completed the design of the first phase of Waterfront City, an expansive new mixed-use community on the Mediterranean near downtown Beirut. The 48-acre project is a joint venture between Beirut-based Ste Joseph G. Khoury et Fils Holding and international development partner Majid Al Futtaim. Phase one of Waterfront City will include 270 luxury residences rising eight stories above street level. Located 15 kilometers from Beirut’s Central District, Waterfront City revolves around a pedestrian promenade that overlooks the Joseph Khoury Marina—the largest marina in Beirut and one of the largest in the Mediterranean. When complete, Waterfront City will total more than 5,000 new residences, along with numerous commercial and retail districts.

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Fourth-tallest building in Vancouver under construction on a tight site

Westbank Projects Corp. commissioned BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group to design a 49-story, 600-unit mixed-use tower in downtown Vancouver. Beach and Howe tower combines 653,890 sf of residential, retail, and commercial space in an urban complex at the entrance to the Granville Street Bridge. In response to a constricted urban site, BIG designed the tower to be inverted. The tower’s small triangular base curves away from the bridge to allow light and air to enter lower apartments. As it rises, the building’s shape transforms into larger, rectangular floor plates that culminate in a square top. Buro Happold engineering firm, working with the local engineer of record, Glotman Simpson, designed a concrete core with post-tensioned walls to protect against damage in case of an earthquake and also to improve performance. Other Building Team members: design firm Dialog, Cobalt Engineering, planning and landscape architecture firm PFS, and local architect James Cheng.

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Artists and visitors go with the flow at new contemporary art institute

The new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, is designed to facilitate the way artists work today. Designed by Chris McVoy and Steven Holl of Steven Holl Architects, New York, N.Y., the 38,000-sf building will be part exhibition and performance space, part lab and incubator, fit to hold programming from visual art to theater to film. At the heart of the building will be a double-height “forum,” a flexible space that links the three levels of galleries. This floor plan will allow artists to create work that extends across spaces and permit visitors to circulate through the space via a variety of paths. BCWH Architects are the local architects on the project.

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Idea-generating ‘Collaboratory’ Featured in Florida College building

Valencia College’s West Campus Building 10 is a $13.3 million, 59,511-sf facility now under construction in Orlando by the design-build team of Schenkel Shultz Architecture and McCree General Contractors. The three-story facility will house Valencia’s Continuing and International Education program, as well as the Office of Information Technology. It will feature a high-tech “collaboratory,” which includes 12,000 sf of space specifically designed to enhance and promote creative discourse for groups ranging in size from three to 80 participants. The intent of this collection of spaces is to provide a place for idea generation, strategic planning, and execution of ideas among students, faculty, and visiting members of the business community. Building 10 will also offer classrooms, a testing center, administrative offices, and additional meeting rooms. The facility is slated to achieve a Level 2 Green Globes Certification.

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Good times flow at Chicago food distribution warehouse turned winery

Summit Design + Build has broken ground on the City Winery Chicago, a fully operational urban winery and tasting room, restaurant with outdoor wine garden, concert hall, and private event space in the West Loop. Modeled after the City Winery in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, the facility is being built in a former refrigerated-food distribution warehouse. A 5,000-sf, two-story addition will emulate the existing building while incorporating a 30-foot-high modern glass curtain wall that will showcase views of the building from both inside and out. Upon completion, the new 33,000-sf facility will feature high exposed ceilings, reclaimed wood beams, masonry, arched brick openings, and interior glass partitions so patrons can view the daily winemaking operation. New York-based Christopher Warnick Architecture is the project architect; Phillip Katz, of Phillip Katz Project Development, Mequon, Wis., is the designer on the project.

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China Mobile headquarters to be sustainable, brainstorm-friendly

China Mobile Ltd. has selected Leo A Daly, in collaboration with Local Design Institute WDCE, to design Phase 2, Plot B, at its new international headquarters campus in Beijing. Plot B, which totals 148,000 sm, consists of two R&D office and laboratory buildings and a public facility building. The internal stairways for the five-story R&D office and nine-story laboratory building will be placed on the perimeter to encourage employee interaction and idea generation. The public facilities building is differentiated from the adjacent buildings by the massing and sculpting of form, reinforced by diagonal fins which echo the treatment of its neighbors. The cladding, materials, and roofing of the facility incorporate a number of sustainable features and are designed to meet Three Star Green Building standards, the highest rating for sustainable buildings in China. +

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