Archive for January 8th, 2011

January 8, 2011

John Hancock Tower receives the 2011 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award

A news release from PEI COBB FREED & PARTNERS Architects LLP follows:

Steve Rosentha

John Hancock Tower

Boston, Massachusetts
Completed 1976

Lead Designers: Henry N. Cobb

Harold Fredenburgh

Corporate headquarters and investment office building

1.7 acres, at the southeastern edge of Copley Square

Boston, Massachusetts 

Gross Floor Area
2.06 million s/f plus 750,000 s/f independent parking garage

John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company,
Boston, Massachusetts

Time Frame
Planning: 9/67–
Construction: 8/68–
Completion: 9/76

LEED Gold certified
(Existing Building)

The John Hancock Tower is an office building commissioned by the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company principally for its own use, with a few floors occupied by other tenants. The building contains a gross floor area of 2,060,000 square feet on sixty-two floors above grade and two below. It is located at 200 Clarendon Street, adjacent to Trinity Church and Copley Square, in Boston, Massachusetts. The architect was I. M. Pei & Partners (now Pei Cobb Freed & Partners), with Henry N. Cobb, FAIA, as design partner, Eason H. Leonard, FAIA, as administrative partner, Werner Wandelmeier, FAIA, as project manager, Michael D. Flynn, FAIA, as project architect for curtain wall, Harold Fredenburgh, AIA, as project design architect, Michael Vissichelli, AIA, as Job Captain, and Andrej Gorczynski, AIA, and Patrick Lestingi, AIA, as staff architects. Construction was completed in 1976.

The John Hancock Tower recently achieved LEED Gold Existing Building certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as a variety of other sustainable strategies. Some of these involve equipment upgrades, while others were integral to the original design. For example, the building’s glass façade and narrow floor plate allow natural light to reach 86 percent of all work areas.

In a lecture delivered at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1980, Cobb explained the design of the Hancock Tower as follows.

The extreme disparity in size between the tower and the church was the central predicament we faced. We chose to deal with it not by creating a gratuitous distance between the two—this would only have exacerbated the problem—but by bringing them into close proximity while positioning and shaping the tower in such a way that the church becomes the autonomous center and the tower the contingent satellite in the composition. To accomplish this, several aspects of the tower’s design may be cited as essential: First, the attenuated rhomboid plan-form emphasizes the planar and minimizes the volumetric presences of the building. Second, placement of the rhomboid diagonally on the site, with its narrow edge adjacent to the church, effectively disembodies the tower as seen from the square. Third, notches bisecting the end walls accentuate the weightless verticality of these planes and make legible the tower’s nonrectangular geometry. Fourth, the triangular space created between the church and the broad face of the tower pays homage to the apsidal view of Richardson’s building, reinforcing its intended role as the architectural cynosure of Copley Square. Fifth, the tower’s uniformly gridded and reflective surface, stripped of all elements that might suggest a third dimension, mutes the obtrusiveness of its enormous bulk and defers in all respects to the rich sculptural qualities of its much smaller neighbor. With regard to this latter aspect, it should especially be noted that the three-story-high lobby at the base of the tower is sheathed in the same manner as all other floors; had the monumental scale of this space been directly expressed or exposed to view from the outside, it surely would have upset the delicate balance in the dialogue between church and tower.

As the foregoing suggests, we adopted a strategy of minimalism in the design of the Hancock Tower not for ideological reasons, but because the situation of the building demanded it. In the determined pursuit of our goal—to achieve a symbiosis between the church, the tower, and the square—we excluded everything that did not contribute directly to this end. For we believed that only thus could we temper the inherent arrogance of so large a building and endow it with a presence that might animate rather than oppress the urban scene.

Major Components

1.6 million s/f offices (3 floors @ 47,000 s/f, 51 floors @ 30,200 s/f), lobby, banking facilities, 1,000-seat employee cafeteria / lounge (36,000 s/f), 29,000 s/f observation gallery on 60th floor, commissioned art (Don Moulton, Apples), outdoor plaza; parking for 1850 cars in independent 750,000 s/f garage with ground floor retail


American Institute of Architects:
Twenty-Five Year Award
Boston Society of Architects:
Harleston Parker Medal
American Institute of Architects:
National Honor Award 

I. M. Pei & Partners services

Complete Architectural Services; Interior Design of public spaces and executive offices 


Office of James Ruderman, New York, NY

Mechanical / Electrical

Cosentini Associates LLP, New York, NY


Mueser, Rutledge, Wentworth & Johnson, New York, NY

Steve Rosentha

Steve Rosentha

Gorchev & Gorchev

George Cserna

Peter Vanderwarker

January 8, 2011

isn’t that great


January 8, 2011

2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture, Regional and Urban Design, Interior Architecture

i got a lot to catch up, hooray


The Institute Honor Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity to elevate the general quality of architecture practice, establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architecture practice. Click here to view all 2011 AIA Awards Recipients.

AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre


The AT&T Performing Arts Center is an 80,300 square-foot, 575-seat “multi-form” theater with the ability to transform between proscenium, thrust, traverse, and flat floor configurations with only a small crew in a few hours and opens the performance chamber to its urban surroundings.

Read more

The Barnard College Diana Center

  • Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism

Located between the Lawn and Broadway, the Diana Center unites landscape and architecture, interior and exterior spaces, presenting a window onto the College and the city.

Read more

Horizontal Skyscraper Vanke Center

  • Steven Holl Architects

The Horizontal Skyscraper Vanke Center is an innovative example of the large-scale, hybrid use building, which challenges the usual developer typologies.

Read more

New Acropolis Museum

  • Bernard Tschumi Architects

The New Acropolis Museum stands less than 1,000 feet southeast of the Parthenon, at the entrance of a network of pedestrian streets that link the key archaeological sites and monuments of the Acropolis.

Read more

North Carolina Museum of Art

  • Thomas Phifer and Partners

Inside the North Carolina Museum of Art, the light of day and the lush surrounding hills have a presence unusual in institutional galleries for art. A departure from traditional hierarchies, the museum, in some respects, is a single 65,000-squarefoot room.

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One Jackson Square

  • Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC

Formerly a surface parking lot, the six-sided, split-zone site above two subway tunnels posed significant challenges, which the design negotiates through its massing, material expression, and robust foundation.

Read more

Restoration of the Ford Assembly Building

  • Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects

The restoration and preservation of the Ford Assembly Building on the San Francisco Bay waterfront, saved an historic architectural icon from the wrecking ball, and converted a long-vacant auto plant into a current-day model of urban revitalization and sustainability.

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rooftop Garden

  • Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects

The San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Rooftop Garden was conceived as a gallery without a ceiling, defined by the intersection of sculpture, space and light, serving as a quiet, contemplative space for viewing art and hosting the museum’s special events.

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U.S. Land Port of Entry

  • Julie Snow Architects, Inc.

The United States Land Port of Entry supports the mission-driven demands of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Homeland Security’s agency responsible for securing the nation’s borders and promoting legal trade and travel.

Read more

University of Michigan Museum of Art

  • Allied Works Architecture

The purpose of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) was to completely renovate and modernize the existing Alumni Hall, a 40,362 square foot facility, and build an additional 53,452 square feet of space in a dramatic new wing.

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The Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design recognize distinguished achievements that involve the expanding role of the architect in urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. The awards identify projects and programs that contribute to the quality of these environments.

Beijing CBD East Expansion

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLPThe CBD Eastern Expansion Plan defines opportunities for the growth of commerce, industry, culture and the arts by establishing a flexible framework for growth and an environmentally sustainable approach to 21st Century city design.

Read more

Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization Plan

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill ArchitectureThe Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization Plan is a comprehensive vision for helping the City of Chicago reach the goals of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the 2030 Challenge in the downtown Loop.

Read more

Community | City: Between Building and Landscape Affordable Sustainable Infill for Smoketown, Kentucky

Marilys R. Nepomechie Architect and Marta Canaves Interior DesignThis project remediates existing brownfields and re-activates a long-neglected connection among an historic African American residential neighborhood, an historic Olmsted park, and the Ohio Riverfront.

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Gowanus Canal Sponge Park™

dlandstudio llcThe Gowanus Canal Sponge Park™ is a public open space system that slows, absorbs and filters surface water runoff with the goal of remediating contaminated water, activating the private canal waterfront, and revitalizing the neighborhood.

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Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas

University of Arkansas Community Design Center“Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas” is a 230 page publication designed for use by those involved in urban development, from homeowners, to institutions, developers, designers, cities, and regional authorities.

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Townscaping an Automobile-Oriented Fabric: Farmington, Arkansas

University of Arkansas Community Design CenterThe townscape plan for Farmington proposes new public landscapes to restitch a 5,000-person bedroom community fragmented by a five-lane commercial arterial.

Read more


The Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture acknowledge outstanding building interiors created by architects licensed in the United States. The awards program draws attention to the broad diversity of interior architecture. Click here to view all 2011 AIA Awards Recipients.

The Academy of Music

  • KlingStubbins

Hundreds of hours of design research went into reconstructing the original design intent for the room, using the Academy’s substantial archives, as well as resources from The Philadelphia Historical Commission, The Pennsylvania Historical Society, and The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Read more


  • Rene Gonzalez Architect

This ingenious and sparkling glass box of retail is situated on the fifth-floor edge of a parking garage, yet somehow conquers impossible challenges.

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Armstrong Oil and Gas

  • Lake | Flato Architects

Charged with bringing new life to an underutilized building, the design team planned the enclosed program around existing elements in place and created generous, sophisticated spaces filled with daylight, natural ventilation, and views of the Denver skyline.

Read more

Conga Room

  • Belzberg Architects

It was crucial that the space provide the advanced sound capabilities necessary to respond accordingly for its performers and patrons… The design strategy for this task interestingly enough involved a dazzling experience for the eyes.

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FIDM San Diego Campus

  • Clive Wilkinson Architects

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) asked the architect to create a new San Diego campus that represents the school’s progressive attitude towards education.

Read more

John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes

  • ZGF Architects LLP

The bright and lively John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes at the University of Oregon is an awakened, dazzling space.

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Moving Picture Company

  • Patrick Tighe Architecture

The facility in Santa Monica, Calif. serves as the United States Headquarters of the United Kingdom-based visual effects post-production company.

Read more

The Power House, Restoration/Renovation

  • Cannon Design

The design challenge was to accommodate 32,000 square-feet of office, conference and support space for approximately 120 employees in a building with 19,000 square-feet of floor area, but over 400,000 cubic-feet of volume.

Read more

Registrar Recorder County Clerk Elections Operations Center

  • Lehrer Architects

The facility is housed in an existing tilt-up concrete warehouse, a structure of overwhelming size that houses all worker office space, voting pallet storage, digital voting units and personal records.

Read more

Vancouver Convention Centre West

  • LMN Architects

A visual marvel in itself, the Vancouver Convention Centre West is an inspiring step forward in the efforts of sustainability, energy reduction, and respect to local ecology.

Read more

Washington Square Park Dental

  • Montalba Architects, Inc.

Natural light floods into the space from the front windows all the way through to the back of the office space, despite the office’s linear composition that includes five private patient operatory rooms.



January 8, 2011



January 8, 2011

Twenty-five Year Award Bestowed on John Hancock Tower in Boston

By Sara Fernández Cendón

Image courtesy of 1981 Steven Rosenthal.(

The John Hancock Tower, in Boston, designed by I.M. Pei & Partners, will receive the 2011 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. Built on a small site adjacent to some of Boston’s greatest architectural assets, the tower had to be massive enough to accommodate the owner’s requirements, yet absolutely mindful of its delicate and historic surroundings. Thirty-five years after its dedication, the lean, rhomboid reflective glass tower designed by Henry Cobb, FAIA, continues to dramatize this classic architectural question of aesthetic balance. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, this award is conferred on a project that has stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years as an embodiment of architectural excellence. Projects must demonstrate excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards. The 2011 Twenty-five Year Award will be presented at the AIA National Convention in New Orleans.

The charge

Certainly, designing 2 million square feet of office space on a 2-acre lot in Boston’s historic Copley Square would have been challenge enough for Cobb, which is what the Boston-based John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance company asked I.M. Pei & Partners (now Pei Cobb Freed & Partners) to do. But doing it in the late 1960s, on the heels of the dedication of the nearby Prudential Tower, which had just become the tallest building in Boston and was owned by Prudential Insurance – a clear competitor and an out-of-towner – surely raised the stakes. Whether it was stated officially or not, the Hancock Tower had to rise above the Prudential’s 749 feet. The 60-story, 790-foot reflective glass tower eventually built did just that, and to this day it remains the tallest building in New England.

The site’s adjacent architectural landmarks–in particular Trinity Church, Henry Hobson Richardson’s neo-Romanesque masterpiece, and McKim Mead and White’s Boston Public Library–were what made Cobb’s mission exceptionally difficult. How could he apply his firm’s trademarked Modernist rationalism in a neighborhood of revered 19th century architectural icons dripping with rich, wedding-cake details in a way that was neither boastful and overpowering, nor diminutive and timid? And how could he insert such a tall building into the site without fatally rupturing Copley Square’s sense of scale and proportion? Over the years, Cobb has said that solving the relationship between the tower and the adjacent church was such a monumental task that it called for a single-minded solution.

The solution

During a lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design delivered in 1980, Cobb explained that context had dictated the minimalism of the design: “In the determined pursuit of our goal – to achieve a symbiosis between the church, the tower, and the square – we excluded everything that did not contribute directly to this end,” he said. “For we believed that only thus could we temper the inherent arrogance of so large a building and endow it with a presence that might animate rather than oppress the urban scene.”

The solution turned out to be a smooth, reflective glass tower with no spandrel panels and minimal mullions – essentially a very large mirror. To minimize its intrusion on the adjacent landscape, the building is rhomboid in shape and placed diagonally on the site, so its shorter, slightest side faces the church and plaza. Cobb has described the design as one in which the tower plays “contingent satellite” to the autonomous church, a nearly absent building to serve as background to its ornate, very present neighbor.

And the tower does seem to disappear against a bright blue sky on sunny days, but judging by the amount of discussion it has generated throughout the years, it is far from absent. In a December 1980 issue of the AIA JournalBoston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell, FAIA, wrote that the building had an unquestionably bold presence. “It’s just too big a tail to be wagged by Trinity Church,” he wrote. “But the goal of making it contingent led to its unique and wonderful form.” Campbell also called the John Hancock Tower is “one of the greatest office towers of the second half of the 20th century.”

The beauty

In light of its minimalism, the Hancock Tower presents itself as a very large mystery. Even the building’s three-story lobby is concealed from the outside, a move Cobb has explained by referring to the design’s overriding priority, which was maintaining the delicate balance between the church and the tower.

The Hancock Tower continues to serve as an office building, though an often-lamented change in function (reportedly for security reasons) was the closure of the observatory on the 60th floor. The observatory was the building’s only public space besides the lobby, and it offered spectacular views of the city. Though the building no longer offers breathtaking views from within, views of the tower remain one of Boston’s greatest assets. The experience changes as one approaches the building, and sees it transform from functioning as a sort of New England town church steeple to a mutable sculpture as one gets closer and closer.

In awarding it the 1983 Harleston Parker Medal, the Boston Society of Architects jury unanimously agreed that the John Hancock Tower met its criterion: to be the city’s “most beautiful piece of architecture.” Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, architecture critic for the The New Yorker, went even further when he wrote recently, “the John Hancock Tower remains one of the most beautiful skyscrapers ever built.”

Past Honors and Awards

The John Hancock Tower received an AIA National Honor Award in 1977. In 1994 a Boston Globe poll of architects and historians rated it as the third-best work of architecture in Boston history, behind only Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, its two closest neighbors. The John Hancock Tower recently achieved LEED Gold Existing Building certification for energy use, lighting, water, material use, and other sustainable strategies–some of them (such as ample use of natural light) a part of the original design.

In addition to the 2011 Twenty-five Year Award, the firm of I.M. Pei Partners, Architects, previously received the 2004 Twenty-five Year Award for the East Building, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Founding principal I.M. Pei, FAIA, received the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, and his firm was honored with the 1968 AIA Architecture Firm Award.

January 8, 2011

Sidney Hurwitz

found him today,

accidentally after check the blair kamin’s post on I. M. Pei  Boston Hancock Tower won the AIA’s 25 Year Award

Sidney Hurwitz

then googled him more to finf more about him,

Was born in Worcester , Massachusetts in 1932 and currently lives in Boston . He studied at the School of the Worcester Museum , Brandeis University , Showhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Academy of Fine Arts , Stuttgart , Germany . He has had one-person exhibitions the University of Utah ; Pepper Gallery, Boston . Franz Bader Gallery, Washington , DC; and others. His work has been included in Numerous group exhibitions including Krakow Print Biennial; the National Academy of Design, Smithsonian Institution and Boston Printmakers. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art ; Library of Congress; Victoria and Albert Museum , Boston Museum of fine arts and others.

i’m feeling all good of his works.

God bless you man.