Archive for ‘Public Facilities’

August 2, 2011

CENTRA at Metropark | KPF

CENTRA at Metropark

Iselin, New Jersey

Hampshire Properties

New York

Managing Principal
Lloyd Sigal, AIA

Design Director
Hugh Trumbull

Project Manager
Devin Ratliff

Project Team
Greg Mell
Alex Adarichev
Sam Leung
Allison Weinstein
Christopher Dial
Gerardo Cali
Jeong A Lee

Structural Engineer
DeSimone Consulting Engineers

MEP/FP Engineer
AMA Consulting Engineers

Landscape Architect
Towers Golde

Lighting Designer
S + S Lighting Design

Tishman Construction

Site Area
1,025,262 sf

Building Area
110,000 sf

Michael Moran

Retrofitting suburbia is a 21st-century concern in America as buildings created for short life spans now require attention. The infill and improvement of suburban sprawl towards more sustainable ends includes projects like this office building, located in a business park near the New Jersey Turnpike west of New York City. KPF’s renovation of and addition to an unremarkable glass and metal office building creates a signature building for the site, which they are also master planning. The architects answered some questions about the newest addition to Metropark.

What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project? 

Following an initial RFP submittal, we met and reviewed several concept sketches for a master plan encompassing current and future build out for the entire site. A second meeting was requested; we then presented concept sketches for the first building/renovation. The project was awarded to us after this second meeting.

Can you describe your design process for the building?

The entire design process was very interactive with client. The Rhino modeling program was heavily utilized to develop and communicate concepts and design elements. Costs were carefully monitored throughout the various design stages.

The client purchased the property which had a poorly sited, a 100,000-square-foot building and the potential for 750,000 square feet for future development. In lieu of tearing down the existing structure, which was in bad condition and functioning below current standards, the client and architect made a critical choice to salvage valuable components and recycle the structure to work for prospective tenants. Transformation of the given structure aims to reposition the property as a whole and pave the way for continuing development. Accordingly, the first building becomes a gateway to a new master vision.

How does the completed building compare to the project as designed? Were there any dramatic changes between the two and/or lessons learned during construction?

Green roof design was greatly simplified and deferred until later buildings of the master plan are implemented which will benefit from green the roof aesthetic.

How does the building compare to other projects in your office, be it the same or other building types?

This site is less urban and building is on the smaller end of the spectrum of our work.

How does the building relate to contemporary architectural trends, be it sustainability, technology, etc.?

There are several key attributes that contribute to repositioning: first and foremost, the grand-scale civic plaza. Sited on the primary axis of arrival from the train station, the building’s picturesque fourth floor levitates above the street, forming an “urban room.” The void draws the street space into a room beneath a protecting overhang. A sculptural three-fingered tree column offers an art piece to the community and pivots the axis into the site. This spatial frame in plan and section generates a gateway about the western corner.

The second important attribute to repositioning the building is the integration of the landscape to unify the best qualities of suburban New Jersey environment with the building. Animating the topography creates smaller scaled arrival rooms for the car and enlivens pedestrian sequences leading to the plaza. Thus, the landscape design serves to bring nature into direct dialogue with the building.

Lastly, the new design represents a dramatic departure from the original architecture, catalyzing not only a change in perception but also a physical change in how the project interacts with the environment. State-of-the art technology and systems contribute to a sustainable approach to developing a better workplace. The project generates an atmosphere conducive to work and social discourse, while also taking full advantage of the surrounding nature.

E-Mail Interview conducted by John Hill

July 31, 2011

Xi’an Expo 2011 Officially Opens

aerial2 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

guangyun-entrance1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

greenhouse-night1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

greenhouse-birdview Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

flowing-gardens-overview2 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion4 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion3 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

The Xi’an Expo 2011 has officially opened and, as expected, the international horticultural event has attracted a staggering 200,000 in just the first weekend! We’ve been covering the Expo beginning with Plasma Studio + GroundLab’s conceptual design, and we have been featuringupdates about the project over the course of the last few months.  The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.   Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials.  As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.

More images after the break.

“By leaving behind the obvious typological and historical references to Xi’an’s past, this project is seeking a contemporary authentic expression of China’s current and future ambitions, adding an entirely new layer to the Millenial tapestry of Xi’an. By the same token, Flowing Gardens explores a new syncretic balance between urbanism and landscape with universal relevance. The traditional subordination of ground and landscape by buildings has been reversed to offer a unique symbiotic experience,” explained the architects.

International Competition: 1. Prize, 2009
Project: 2009-2011
Opening: April 28th 2011
Completion: March 2011

Client: Chan-Ba Ecological District
Architecture: Plasma Studio, BIAD
Landscape Design: GroundLab, LAUR Studio, Beijing Forestry University
Engineers: John Martin and Associates, Arup

July 30, 2011

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena | Estudio Barozzi Veiga

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena / Estudio Barozzi Veiga © Julien Lanoo

Floor Plan Floor Plan

Floor Plan Floor Plan

Situation Situation

Section Section

Floor Plan Floor Plan

Section Section


Architects: Estudio Barozzi Veiga
Location: Águilas, 
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 10,200 sqm
Photographs: Julien Lanoo

The project is a natural response to the particular stimulus, offered by the location. On one hand the need to respect the urban tissue that growths inside, on the other, the one’s to preserve the expressive hue of the natural landscape.

It is through from this contrast, that we define and articulate tensions which allows the project to organize itself while a coherent response to the constraints of place. The building is a dialectic reflection, simple but at the same time strong, between the urban artificiality and the organic naturalness.

Thus, the building results in a large mass, shaped in function of the tensions that proceeds from the different character of the spaces surround it. Tangent to the town, the facades are clean, orderly and paused, while tangent to the sea, the facades translate the surrounding space and the configuration offered by the landscape and geography, through large and concave surfaces, that provides a direct and intensive relation with the surrounding natural environment.



July 7, 2011

midi station in Brussels | Atelier jean Nouvel AJN

midi station by jean nouvel located in brussels, belgium
image © ateliers jean nouvel

french architect jean nouvel has unveiled the preliminary design for the midi station renovation project located in brussels, belgium.
the proposed buildings will transform the existing railway station into a symbolic destination for travelers while simultaneously
announcing their arrival to the capital city of both belgium and the european union.

view from the esplanade de l’europe
image © 
ateliers jean nouvel

a 550 meter long facade comprised of retail, offices and a conference center will border the heavily frequented avenue fonsny at ground level.
the exterior will be clad with orange hued panels while visible vegetation accent multiple staggered roof terraces. the distinctive v-shaped silhouette
emerges from the elongated base generating a prominent urban landmark. the extensive glass curtain wall will envelope the angled facades reflecting
the lively and continuous train activity into the surrounding landscape creating a dynamic urban mirror.

view from the avenue paul henri spaak day
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view from the docks
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view at the foot of building v
image © jean nouvel

view from the center of brussels
image © ateliers jean nouvel

view from the avenue paul henri spaak night
image © ateliers jean nouvel

ground plan
image © ateliers jean nouvel

elevation south on avenue fonsny
image © ateliers jean nouvel

partial elevation avenue fonsny
image © ateliers jean nouvel

July 5, 2011

Prince George Airport | mgb

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

Prince George Airport /mgb Courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Inc

site plan site plan

plan plan

detail detail

detail detail

section section

section section

mcfarlane | green | biggar Architecture + Design () was commissioned to design three phases of the  Airport expansion and renovation. The project has contributed to a strong civic identity for the  community as the gateway into northern . The project highlights our interest in revitalizing existing spaces and structures in a highly sustainable manner. The first phase addressed new security measures required by the changes to airline travel after September 11th, 2001. New requirements by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority [CATSA] resulted in a national program to upgrade Canadian airports with new equipment and, at times, new space. The second phase addressed new demand for international travel to and from the region. The second phase incorporates international arrivals, domestic baggage claim and offices for the Canadian Border Services Administration.

Architect: mcfarlane | green | biggar Architecture + Design Inc (mgb)
Project Team: Steve McFarlane, MAIBC AAA MRAIC LEED® AP (Lead Design); Michael Green, MAIBC AIA RAIC (Lead Design); Michelle Biggar, BBE Int. Design (Lead Interiors); Vicki Brown, Hozumi Nakai
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Courtesy of 

Structural Engineer: Equilibrium Consulting

Mechanical Engineer: Keen Engineering
Electrical Engineer: NRS Engineering
Specifications Morris: Specifications Ltd.
Code Consultants: GHL Consulting Engineers
Builder: Wayne Watson Construction

The project involves the expansion of the existing terminal to include a new departure lounge, international arrivals area, security screening area, baggage make-up room, support offices and renovations to the existing check-in hall and arrivals areas. The design modernizes the 1970’s Transport  designed terminal and establishes a fresh approach to the interior and exterior architecture.

The structure is exposed heavy timber, concrete and steel. The design focused on the craft of the structural and envelope detailing. Exterior cladding includes an innovative structurally-glazed curtain wall supported on custom-designed castings. The unique point-fixed glazing system penetrates only the inner pane of laminated glass in the insulated unit preventing thermal bridging. The glazing solution is the first of its type in North America. The ductile steel castings were used to support the roof and used for departure lounge benches illustrating the design’s integration of architectural solutions from structure to furniture.

Design Rationale
Materials were selected for their purpose and not for their decorative value. Durability, sustainability, elegant detailing and cost were all weighed in the decisions to develop a simple natural palette for the building. Wood became the dominant material as a means to satisfy the project’s ambitions to relate to the regional economy and aesthetic. Fir ceilings and exterior soffits continue the plane of the interior to the exterior of the terminal. Interior wood elements include ‘birch box’ seating and maple benches that were designed to create variety and intimacy within the departures lounge.

Arriving passengers are greeted with a sky-lit central atrium that serves as the primary circulation linking departing and arriving passengers. The dense structure is layered with a fir sunscreen and a steel and engineered-wood structure. The space transforms throughout the day with a dynamic play of light and shadow.

The back-of-house baggage ‘make-up’ area is enclosed with translucent polycarbonate planks in extruded aluminum frames. The polycarbonate screens the work area while providing a luminous box from the exterior as passengers descend to the apron from their aircraft. Charcoal fiber-cement panels and panelized cedar complete the exterior palette and continue into the interior.

The  community has embraced the building for its modern and materially expressive aesthetic. The community sees the airport redevelopment and the terminal’s design as a catalyst for future growth and a strong symbol as a gateway for commerce, industry and tourism. The project is particularly unique in its ability to define a strong modern architectural character in a part of BC that is often challenged by modest budget projects.

May 16, 2011

Seattle Public Library, Main Branch #3, Seattle, WA

ID: 3151

Alt. Name:

Seattle Public Library, Central Library #3, Seattle, WA
Seattle Library Downtown Branch #3, Seattle, WA

Construction Date:

Start Date: 2000   End Date: 2004

Building History:

Competition occurred in 1999, among five invited firms: Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rotterdam, Netherlands; Steven Holl, New York, NY; Norman Foster and Partners, London, UK; Cesar Pelli, New Haven, CT; and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF), Portland, OR; finalists were OMA, Steven Holl, and ZGF; OMA awarded the contract in September 1999; OMA Partners-in-Charge: Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Ramus; LMN Partner-in-Charge: John Nesholm; Seattle City Librarian, Deborah Jacobs, collaborated with OMA and LMN closely on the project; Jacobs emphasized a collaborative approach to design, eliciting ideas from the public and staff in frequent meetings; renowned engineer, Cecil Balmond, Chairman of Europe & Building Division at Arup, the huge engineering firm, participated in the engineering work on the building; Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners engineered the glass curtain wall façade; the curtain wall was awarded an American Institute of Architects Washington Chapter 2000 Award; Hoffman Construction Company was the building contractor; subsequent to the building’s completion, a dispute arose over cost over-runs between Hoffman Construction and the administration of the Seattle Public Library; Bruce Mau Design Incorporated, Toronto, ON, consulted on the library’s signage; Petra Blaisse was the landscape architect; in 1999, the scheduled completion date was 2003, although several factors conspired to delay the opening: asbestos removal from the old library was slow, the construction company experienced excavation problems, a retaining wall on Fifth Avenue needed extra repairs, and delays occurred in the ordering of the steel members forming for the facade; the building actually opened Sunday, 05/23/2004;

Structure Type:

built works – social and civic buildings – libraries


1000 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA
map latlong or map of street number


Arup, Ove , (1438)
Balmond, Cecil , (1969)
Blaisse, Petra , (1958)
Brown, Jim , (1899)
Dewhurst, Laurence , (1698)
Hoffman, Lee Hawley , (1700)
Hunter, Adam , (1898)
Koolhaas, Rem , (1180)
Loschky, George , (1956)
Macfarlane, Timothy , (1699)
Marquardt, Judsen , (1957)
Mau, Bruce , (505)
McBride, Damien , (1897)
Nesholm, John F., (1578)
Ramus, Joshua , (1577)
Zimmer, Robert , (1618)


Arup, Ove, and Partners (1011)
Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners, Structural Engineers (1219)
Hoffman Construction Company (1220)
Inside / Outside, Landscape Architects (1408)
Loschky Marquardt and Nesholm (LMN) (1127)
Mau, Bruce, Design Incorporated (1221)
Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) (794)


Knecht, Barbara, “Defining Component-Based Design”, Architectural Record, 153-160, 7/2004. 
Olson, Sheri, “How Seattle learned to stop worrying and love Rem Koolhaas’plans for a new Central Library”,Architectural Record, 120-125, 8/2000. 
Olson, Sheri, “Thanks to OMA’s blending of cool information technology and warm public spaces Seattle’s Central Library kindles book lust”, Architectural Record, 192: 7, 88-101, 7/2004. 
Lamprecht, Barbara, “The nice and the good: library, Seattle, USA”, Architectural Review, 216: 1290, 52-57, 
“Been there”, Architecture Boston, 9: 1, 14-19, 01-02/2006. 
Kipnis, Jeffrey, “A Time for Freedom”, Architecture Interruptus, 18-20, 2007. 
“Bibliothek in Seattle”, Arch Plus, 156: 56-65, 5/2001. 
Hantzschel, Jarg, “Zentralbibliothek in Seattle”, Baumeister, 101: 7, 40-49, 7/2004. 
Clausen, Meredith L., “Infopools und atmende Bucherregale : Entwurf Offentliche Bibliothek Seattle”, Bauwelt, 94: 27-28, 22-24, 7/25/2003. 
“Seattle Central Library”, GA Document, 80: Front cover, 8-61, 6/2004. 
“Seattle Public Library”, Library Journal, 130: 2, 15, 02/01/2005. 
“Algoritmi genetici: il diagramma delle funzioni trasformato in forma spettacolare in tre progetti di OMA a Seattle, Berlino e Seul = Genetic algorithm: the functional diagram transformed in spectacular fashion in three projects by OMA in Seattle, Berlin and Seoul.”, Lotus International, 127: 52-65, 
Ouroussoff, Nicolai, “Civic Boosterism Never Looked So Sexy”, New York Times, 2, 46, 12/26/2004. 
Patton, Phil, “DESIGN; I Like the New Car, but I Love the New Building”, New York Times, 7, 10/26/2005. 
Gunderson, Mary Parlato, “Letters to the Editor: Libraries Venues are sanctuaries for creative imaginations”,Seattle Post-Intelligencer, B7, 11/16/2007. 
“Library architect earns Pritzker Prize”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 04/17/2000. 
Marshall, John Douglas, “Rem’s bling-bling ; the library Rem Koolhaas almost didn’t get the chance to design”,Seattle Post-Intelligencer, F1, 5/23/2004. 
Mulady, Kathy, “Library steeling for work delays”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, B3, 3/26/2003. 
Manahan, William W., “Letters to the Editor: Mountains of praise tempered by critical look”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, D3, 04/01/2007. 
“Plans for new library unveiled today: Architect will show conceptual drawings at Benaroya meeting”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer , C7, 12/15/1999. 
Eskenazi, Stuart, “Something for everyone”, Seattle Times, A1, A12, 09/12/2008. 
Gilmore, Susan, “Library funds put back into city’s budget”, Seattle Times, B2, 11/13/2009. 
“Rahner Q & A Rem Koolhaas”, Seattle Times, E1-E2, 09/09/2008. 
“Nordstrom + The Library + Frederick and Nelson + The Convention Center + The Mayor + Developers = The Deal That Ate Downtown”, Seattle Weekly, 17-21, 23-25, 02/09/1994. 
Lacayo, Richard, “Rem Koolhaas”, Time, 171: 19, 105, 05/12/2008. 


Bruce Mau Design Inc. (646) Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners Engineering structures worldwide (645) LMN Architects (752) News Release 20 April 1999 Library Board narrows list of architects to design new central library on April 22 (1605) Office of Metropolitan Architecture (744) On Architecture: How the new central library really stacks up (1913) Seattle downtown library: a modern marvel? (3431) Seattle Public Library (747)Seattle’s Eccentric ‘Book Behemoth’ Shatters Stereotypes (1778)

May 7, 2011

National Tourist Route Trollstigen | Reiulf Ramstad Architects

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1250604375-siteplan site plan

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1250604415-plan-building-1 building plans 01

Architects: Reiulf Ramstad Architects, Oslo Norway
Location: Romsdalen – Geiranger Fjord, 
Project team: Reiulf D Ramstad, Christian Fuglset, Anja Strandskogen, Christian Dahle, Nok Nimakorn
Client: Norwegian public roads administration
Structural Engineer: Dr Techn. Kristoffer Apeland AS, Oslo 
Mechanical Engineer: Erichsen & Horgen Engineering AS, Oslo 
Electrical Engineer: Norconsult, 
Contractor: Christie Opsahl AS, 
Landscape: , Oslo 
Constructed Area: 200,000 sqm (the landscape area)
Design year: 2004-2010
Construction year: 2005-2010
Photographs: , Oslo 

The project will enhance the experience of the Trollstigen plateau’s location and nature. Thoughtfulness regarding features and materials will underscore the site’s temper and character, and well-adapted, functional facilities will augment the visitor’s experience. The architecture is to be characterised by clear and precise transitions between planned zones and the natural landscape. Through the notion of water as a dynamic element –from snow, to running and then falling water- and rock as a static element, the project creates a series of prepositional relations that describe and magnify the unique spatiality of the site.

May 3, 2011

The Oloron-Sainte-Marie Multimedia Centre by Pascale Guédot

























French architectural firm Pascale Guédot have designed the Oloron-Sainte-Marie Multimedia Centre, located in the town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie in south-western France.

The Oloron-Sainte-Marie Multimedia Centre by Pascale Guédot

Oloron Sainte Marie, a town on the edge of the Pyrenees with a population of around 12,000, offers a magnificent site at the confluence of the Aspe and Ossau torrents for the Piémont Oloronais intercommunal multimedia centre. This is the first step in the renewal of an industrial wasteland, part of an ambitious urban regeneration project. With this town centre amenity, the architect Pascale Guédot has designed a new living space with fine architectural and urban qualities.  A major element in this recapture of the site, a wide public portico has been created, linked to the opposite banks by two walkways designed by RFR, successfully releasing the site from its isolation.

Originally a municipal initiative dating from 1990, the Confluence site is now a showcase for recent intercommunal aspirations. A child of deindustrialisation, in the late 19th century this urban wasteland housed a high concentration of textile industries, which exploited the hydroelectric power produced by the torrents. With the development of the road networks and because of the site’s inaccessibility, industry gradually moved to the outskirts and changed its character.

Over the 20th century, the Confluence continued to decline, until the architecture competitions and the subsequent development of the site, launched respectively in 2005 and 2009 and won by Pascale Guédot and Michel Corajoud. The multimedia centre replaced a former beret factory abandoned in the  1980s, and was erected on that building’s original stone foundation.

Situated at the end of the confluence, the new multimedia centre – unlike the beret factory it replaced – provides access to the river banks. It is the balcony overhanging the water that releases the space for a fine public promenade, right alongside the rivers. This combines with two terraces of greenery designed by Michel Corajoud, laid out below and on either side of the portico. Together, the design acts as a catalyst to magnify the environment.

Modelled by the stone foundation of the former factory, the shape of the building – the multimedia centre is designed around a set of superimposed volumes – is of great simplicity. The main block, overlaid with a transparent wooden lattice, which contains the reading rooms and administration, conveys a sense of  levitation through the presence of a recessed intermediate level made entirely of glass, containing the children’s space. The bow of this wooden vessel  culminates in a wide window offering spectacular views over the torrents. In synergy with promenade viewing point, this detail unveils a building that is shaped by and for its environment.

The spatial layout of the two-storey multimedia centre is fully visible from the moment the visitor enters the building. The entrance to the main reading room is an extension of the portico, while at the heart of the building, an atrium generates a visual connection between the youth area in the basement and the primary space for other users. This sense of connection – an effect accentuated by the peripheral location of the weight bearing structures – offers an instant spatial  grasp of the building. The mixed texture – concrete infrastructure and steel newels and frames for the superstructure – contributes to the creation of a unitary  volume, where shelves and reading spaces are freely arranged.

The bright atmosphere comes from the natural light that penetrates through the roof lights in the wooden lattice covering the ground floor ceiling. Opposite the  entrance, an immense window draws the eye towards the water and the riverbanks, the focus of the relaxation space located at this spot. At basement level, the light has its source in the transparent glass curtain wall which diffuses natural light and offers a surprising panorama of the Pyrenean torrents and their untamed banks, contrasting with the historic and immemorial town above them.

Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Pyrénées Atlantiques

Intercommunal multimedia center
Public concourse
44-space car park
Area : Multimedia : 2 700 m² total floor area
Concourse : 1,255 m²
Car Park : 1,110 m²

Multimedia Center : €5,481,482 excl. VAT
Concourse, car park, promenade: €2,096,115 excl. VAT

Photos :
BERGERET Gaston (all except aerial view)
BALLOÏDE PHOTO.COM (aerial views only)

|| Marcel Bedaxagar

Pascale Guédot

April 30, 2011

NBHW Fire Station | LIAG Architects

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

NBHW Fire Station / LIAG Architects © Bernard Faber

site plan site plan

elevation 01 elevation 01

elevation 02 elevation 02

elevation 03 elevation 03

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elevation 05 elevation 05

section 01 section 01

section 02 section 02

section 03 section 03

section 04 section 04

Architects: LIAG Architects
Project area: 11,815 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2010
Photographs: Bernard Faber

The building is characterised by a complex structure, partly the result of the necessary close proximity of the fireman’s rooms to the depot in a volume that must conform to stringent town planning conditions.

A design was chosen that runs from its abutment with the council offices up towards the railway tracks, rising to a height of about 20 metres, thereby accentuating the entrance to the city centre. The highest point of the design is removed as far as possible from the council offices. The council wished for a high point marking the entrance to the city of .

There is parking on the roof, out of sight of the ground floor. The visible strong slanting line on the front and back of the building forms the access ramp for the parking.

Energy Neutral Building

LIAG and the municipality of  joined forces in an ambitious plan for a sustainable and energy efficient building. The municipality of  has the policy that all its buildings must perform 20% better than the applicable legal norms.

Aside from a balanced choice in materials with attention for environmental impact in manufacturing and recycling, use has been made of building elements that due to their size and detail can easily be reused and fit within the vision of ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ building. In this way all the windows of the offices are one size and a high degree of repetition of elements has been chosen in the façade. Many of these elements can easily be reused at the end of their current useful life-cycle.

Use is made of underground thermal energy storage (UTES) to achieve a pleasant and comfortable indoor climate using a minimum of energy. In order to further utilize this system the parking deck is used as a solar collector. Water hoses will be built into the parking deck to pump water heated by the sun into the ground so that cold water can be pumped up to be used to cool in summer, and warm during winter, the building of 8,500 m2 gfa and the adjoining council offices of 12,500 m2 gfa. This system means that a new boiler is not required for the 8,500 m2 of additional functions. All energy required by the fire station and the Brijder care centre for addicts will come from the UTES installation. Additionally the UTES system can be used to keep the parking deck ice-free in winter.

This building design actually works as an energy/climate plant with general functions for the municipality of .

April 23, 2011

The Northwest Maritime Center | Miller Hull Partnership

The mission of the Northwest Maritime Center is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery. As the first LEED™ Gold non-proft waterfront center in Washington State, the new community and education facility was recently completed. The project is divided into two buildings – one housing the educational programs including a boat shop, classrooms, and a replica pilot house. The other building promotes the rich maritime heritage of the community with a chandlery (retail space), small vessel storage, exhibit and information gallery, community meeting rooms, and office spaces for maritime partner organizations. The buildings surround a paved public plaza designed to not only provide a link between the NWMC education pier, jetty, public boardwalk and the buildings, but also house major community events and ensure public shoreline access in perpetuity. A second level balcony connects the two buildings while providing great views to Port Townsend Bay and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

As an organization committed to promoting and preserving maritime heritage, industry, skills, and culture, one of the primary goals of this project was not only to protect but to actually improve and restore the waters of the Puget Sound. From energy use reduction to habitat restoration and material selection – all aspects of impacts were considered by the client and the design team. A community-based planning process more than 10 years in the making, the design team focused on making sound sustainability-focused planning decisions early that helped ensure that, as technology has evolved, the design has been able to effectively respond and adapt.

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

Northwest Maritime Center / Miller Hull © Nic Lehoux

pedestrian context pedestrian context

pier sunlight diagram pier sunlight diagram

site location site location

Architects: Miller Hull Partnership
Structural Engineer: Quantum Consulting Engineers
Owner/Developer: Northwest Maritime Center
General Contractor: Primo
Landscape Architect: GGLO
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Nic Lehoux

As a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and preserving a rich maritime heritage, on-the-water programs, and nurturing the art and craft of wooden boats, the Northwest Maritime Center was designed not only to protect but to actually improve and restore the waters of the Puget Sound. From energy use reduction to habitat restoration and material selection–all aspects of sustainability were considered by the client and the design team.

Located in  the Northwest Maritime Center, truly reflects its surrounding community. The center recently achieved  Certification, and was designed by .  Follow the break to read more about this project, along with additional photographs and drawings.

The site of the Northwest Maritime Center was formerly a bulk oil terminal for over eighty years. To clean up this critical waterfront property on  Bay, more than 2,400 tons of contaminated soil was removed and properly disposed and the old pier that supported barges loaded with oil was removed.

The new pier, the hub of the center’s on-the-water programs, was designed to minimize shadows over prime eelgrass habitat. Construction utilized innovative materials such as reflective panels and grating, and included a voluntary planting of more than 8,000 shoots of new eelgrass to restore fragmented eelgrass beds in the bay. Students and volunteers from the community assisted scientists and divers in the restoration process. Eelgrass plays a vital role in a shoreline’s ecosystem as it is the nursery grounds for many fish and shellfish species. The first water source heat exchanger plates were installed in Puget Sound under the new pier to utilize the temperature of water to efficiently heat and cool the buildings.In a unique public/private partnership, access to the shoreline, the center’s second level walkways, as well as the waterfront boardwalk, were deeded to the city in perpetuity, making the outdoor spaces a gathering place for both visitors and full-time residents of . In addition, the maritime center partnered with the city in a pilot project for development of a low impact development (LID) pedestrian streetscape. This included the installation of raingardens to control and treat stormwater due to the proximity of Puget Sound. The center also worked with the city to establish the first Transportation Demand Management Plan in the city to reduce vehicle trips and parking congestion, and provide ample bike storage and outlets for electric cars.Other energy use reduction strategies included abundant natural daylight and ventilation achieved through operable clerestory windows running the length of the buildings which minimized the need for artificial lighting. Furthermore, 100 percent of the center’s power derived from Puget Sound Energy is from the utility company’s “green power” program, thereby reducing the center’s energy load on the city’s power grid. One element that was not installed due to funding constraints was a solar system to reduce electrical usage. However, the center is primed and wired for solar panels to be installed on the roof if funding becomes available at a future date.“A community-based planning process more than 10 years in the making, we ensured the Northwest Maritime Center’s two buildings were compatible with the other historic structures in’s National Landmark Historic District,” said Craig Curtis, partner at Miller Hull and the lead designer of the project. “The two buildings, constructed of over 60% of FSC certified wood, occupy a prime location at the end of Water Street, at the transition between the old brick buildings of the late 1890’s and the adjacent Coast Guard clapboard buildings at the Point Hudson Marina, which were constructed in the 1930′s.”A move toward  certification was conducted at the later stages of the design process. “The intent was always to build a sustainable building,” said Curtis. “However, a donor learned that the project would easily qualify as a certified building under the LEED program.” The Martin/Fabert Foundation stepped forward to support the campaign’s additional costs to incorporate other sustainable elements that would help it achieve  certification

“Every sustainable project needs a champion and given the center’s mission, sustainability goals, and prime location on Puget Sound, it was a wise investment on our part,” said Lisa Martin. “We strongly believe that a sustainable building is key to ensuring the health of the center and its programs for future generations.”The  specializes in award-winning design for public works buildings that actively engage their communities. Miller Hull’s built work spans a wide range of project types such as interpretive, community and nature centers, museums, city halls and public administration buildings, libraries, schools, higher education facilities, mixed use buildings, laboratories, corporate offices, condominiums and small residences. The  is the recipient of the National Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.