In this issue:
· Hub for Student-Athletes at Columbia University Breaks Ground
· New NYSID Graduate Center Opens, Lobby Gets a Makeover
· Avon Dresses Up New HQ
· Historic Theater Will House Contemporary Art Forms
· Under-Utilized Maintenance Building Gets Transformed into a Campus Center



Hub for Student-Athletes at Columbia University Breaks Ground

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Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University.

Steven Holl Architects

Construction recently started on Columbia University’s Campbell Sports Center. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the new center will form a gateway to the Baker Athletics Complex, the primary athletics facility for the university’s outdoor sports program. Located on the northern tip of Manhattan, the five-story, 48,000-square-foot facility will serve as a hub for student-athletes and coaches. The facility features strength and conditioning spaces, offices for varsity sports, an auditorium, hospitality suite, and student-athlete study rooms. The design concept is derived from field play diagrams used for football, soccer, and baseball. As the diagrams yield the physical push and pull on the field, the building’s elevations allegedly will push and pull in space. At night the Columbia-blue aluminum soffits of the building will be up-lit. As part of the project, the university is also creating Boathouse Marsh, a public park that will overlook wetlands in an inlet of the Harlem River. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, park visitors will be able to walk amid water gardens on a boardwalk along the marsh’s perimeter. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2012.


New NYSID Graduate Center Opens, Lobby Gets a Makeover

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New York School of Interior Design Graduate Center and its lobby.

Gensler (left); photo by David Joseph (right)

The New York School of Interior Design Graduate Center recently opened at Park Avenue and 28th Street. The 40,000-square-foot satellite space (the school’s first), designed by Gensler, houses the school’s new graduate programs in interior design, sustainable interior environments, interior lighting design, and health care interior design. The design is similar to the 20,000-square-foot space on the third floor, which opened in September 2010, with light-filled spaces and an open layout for seminar rooms, lecture halls, exhibition space, computer design labs, and other workspaces. The Graduate Center is expecting LEED Platinum, and sustainable features include materials and finishes made from recycled materials, low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, daylight-harvesting technology, low-VOC paints, as well as an energy-efficient, water-cooled HVAC system, and sub-metering of electrical usage to help monitor and modulate energy consumption.

M. Castedo Architects redesigned the long and narrow entry space that connects the street entrance to the elevators in the rear of the building. The lobby features a concrete reception desk, porcelain floor tiles, plaster walls, and a faceted wood ceiling that that provides integral light coves and adjustable lighting. The space doubles as a showcase for large artworks from the building owner’s art collection and for student-designed exhibitions.


Avon Dresses Up New HQ

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Avon Products U.S. Headquarters.

©Avon Products — Kevin Chu + Jessica Paul Photography

Avon Products recently debuted its new 275,000-square-foot U.S. Headquarters, located in Midtown Manhattan. The cosmetics company occupies the first 12 floors of a 38-story building built in 1963, designed by William Lescaze. The space was retrofitted by HOK according to the standards of the Avon Green Building Promise and LEED-CI Gold. Construction materials were sourced locally and regionally, and recycled materials were used in elements including ceilings, glass office fronts, and countertops. In addition, 95% of seated spaces offer external views while the low-paneled workstations and glass-front offices that line the building’s core allow natural light to penetrate within the facility. HOK served as design and architect-of-record for all of the spaces except a company store and an Image Room that were designed by SpaceSmith. Because Avon is the company for women, 17% of the construction workforce was composed of women subcontractors, electricians, and woodworkers.


Historic Theater Will House Contemporary Art Forms

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Strand Theater renovation.

Leeser Architecture

Ground was recently broken for the renovation of the Strand Theater in Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District, in Fort Greene. Designed by Leeser Architecture, which won a bid from the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the almost century-old theater will become the new home for BRIC Arts | Media House, a non-profit organization that presents Brooklyn-centric programs, including the annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. The $33 million project will expand BRIC’s current 19,000-square-foot space to 40,000 square feet, and bring the organization’s contemporary art, performing arts, and community media programs under one roof. The building features 8,000 square feet of exhibition space across three galleries, a 250-seat performance space, a television studio, two classrooms, an artist performance/work space, retail space, and a public lobby. In addition, the groundbreaking also marked the start of the UrbanGlass reNEWal project, which will completely rebuild and expand UrbanGlass, the largest artist-access glass workshop in the country. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.


Under-Utilized Maintenance Building Gets Transformed into a Campus Center

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Administrative Campus Center, Claremont University Consortium.

Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects

Designed by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects (LTL), the new Administrative Campus Center for the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) in Claremont, CA, is set to open. Through the adaptive re-use of a 42,000-square-foot maintenance building, the new center will consolidate the majority of the university’s departments and services under one roof. The project is composed of a series of intertwined, tactile architectural elements that redefine the existing facility’s public presence, including a continuous, 740-foot-long cedar screen, a custom ceiling cloud, a digital garden, and a field of 168 solar chimneys that provide natural light throughout the space. To redefine the building’s character, a cedar surface wraps portions of its north, east, and south elevations, and slips into the interior, framing a new reception area and café. The south patio is a large, multi-purpose area protected from the weather by a tensile canopy with translucent stretched fabric. The spacing of the cedar panels incrementally increases to allow light inside. Illuminated at night with imbedded LED lights, the cedar ribbon acts as a wayfinding device and creates a new image for CUC. The project is expected to earn LEED Silver certification.


THIS JUST IN…

Robert A.M. Stern Architects has won a commission to redevelop the site of a mansion block in central London’s Mayfair.

New York State and City authorities and the United Nations have given the green light for the construction of a 35-story tower for the UN, to be designed by Maki and Associates and FXFOWLE. A waterfront park will also be developed, although the design team has yet to be announced.

The DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) at
Parsons The New School for Design presents “Amplifying Creative
Communities in NYC: North Brooklyn” from 11.07-20.11 at Arts@Renaissance in Brooklyn. This exhibition and workshop series are part of a two-year, design-driven initiative aimed at helping neighborhoods and communities support social innovations that create a more sustainable NYC.

Yale School of Architecture will present the exhibition “Gwathmey
Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation
” from 11.14.11-01.27.12 at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery, Paul Rudolph Hall.