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Posts in Commercial
Mandarin Oriental Honolulu Progresses to Design Development

For all the non-architects out there, a short explanation may be necessary. The design/construction schedule from our perspective is typically described in five stages (though there is some variation in how different architects mark their progress): 

1. Conceptual Design/Entitlements: Initial programming and conceptual layout, preliminary city approvals
2. Schematic Design (SD): Establishment of key relationships and functionality, early development of key design elements, early (and on-going) coordination with Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Structural engineering drawings
3. Design Development (DD): Early development of key details and further coordination with MEP/Structural drawings
4. Construction Documents (CDs): Production of documentation necessary to price and construct the project, including full coordination with MEP/Structural drawings
5. Construction Administration (CA): Continued coordination of documented elements with the construction process in the field

This whole process is also happening simultaneously within the interior design and landscape architecture disciplines, while also coordinating with the architectural team.

Whew! This is all to explain that the Mandarin Oriental Honolulu project is progressing according to schedule, with 100% SD (Schematic Design) having just been completed! We have updated our project page accordingly, with some brand new images and information. As part of developing the design, we've done extensive exploration and modeling in 3d, so we also wanted to share a quick video overview we produced. We're excited to move into Design Development as we begin the new year!

Confluence Units Going Fast!

Presales for residential units in Confluence are currently underway, with nearly a third of the units already reserved! If you're interested in a residential unit or commercial space, please head over to the Confluence site to learn more before they're all gone!

Below is an example of the two interior finish options in the main living area. We have also added some new images at our project page, if you'd like to see more.

Confluence Featured in the Coloradoan

Confluence was featured prominently Sunday in the Business section of the Coloradoan, in a feature on buildings that are reshaping Fort Collins, alongside other projects that are revitalizing the River District. We've received lots of positive feedback on the article, so thank you! If you haven't read it yet, you can find it at the Coloradoan's website, or if you'd like more information on the project, check out our project page or go straight to the Confluence site

Presales are going on now, with units going fast!

Confluence Units Now Available!
 

We are excited to announce that residential units in Confluence are now available for presale! More information about presales and the commercial spaces available for lease is available at the updated project website. We have also added a few new renderings to our project page. We will have additional information about the individual units (and additional images) in the coming weeks, so check back soon!

 
Confluence on the Cover...
 

Confluence has been featured on the cover of the Spring 2017 issue of Colorado Construction & Design. The AIA Colorado North spotlight lists the project alongside the Ginger and Baker rehabilitation of the Feeder Supply building (another River District redevelopment project), the Windsor Mill Redevelopment, and Bohn Farm Cohousing in Longmont. 

You can visit their website here or read the full issue here; the article is on page 33. For more information on Confluence, be sure to take a look at our project page and confluencefc.com.

 
Ground Broken at Poudre Garage
 

Poudre Garage LLC hosted a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday at the project site at Remington and Oak in Old Town Fort Collins. Renovations to the interior of the historic Forest Service garage have already begun, and work on footings and foundations for the addition is scheduled to begin shortly.

David Diehl, one of the company's principals, said a few words, thanking the Downtown Development Authority for their contribution to the project, which he indicated made a big impact in the quality of the exterior materials that the project budget could accommodate.

It has been a fun and productive collaboration with the owner, and we are excited to see the project beginning to be realized! More information about the project is available at our project page, and we will provide updates as soon as a leasing website is available.

 
"Butterfly" Building Renovation Under Way!

[au]workshop has designed a renovation for the historic Dairy Gold Creamery (located between Laporte and Howes Streets in Fort Collins) for a new coffee shop tenant. The building, a good local example of the Googie style of architecture, was carefully relocated slightly to the East in order to accommodate the new Utilities Administration Building, itself a collaboration between [au]workshop and RNL Design.

Out-of date mechanical and electrical systems, lack of accessibility compliance, and the absence of restrooms and other services, dictated a complete interior renovation, with the goal of making it a lively tenant space. Working closely with the City of Fort Collins, we developed a plan that houses a customer sales space and seating, a limited commercial kitchen and an accessible restroom all in an area less than 400 square feet. 

Work is now beginning on the renovation itself, and construction is expected to take approximately a month, so we'll post another update when it is completed.

Second High-Rise in Honolulu Announced

We are extremely excited to be able to announce another project that we've been hard at work on in Honolulu! We have begun having community meetings and are in the process of developing the project further with a potential hotel operator. 

From our project narrative: 

1500 Kapiolani Boulevard is located in urbanized Honolulu, along a tree-lined boulevard which links downtown with Waikiki. The site is within a recently designated transit oriented district, which raises the allowable FAR to 10.0 in order to increase walkability and discourage automobile dependency.

In this context, our client asked us to design an iconic 400 foot tower (the height ceiling) combining street-oriented retail, a four star hotel and complementary housing, with the goal of capitalizing on views over and around existing buildings in all directions. 

Our solution focuses on a simple massing and an iconic form befitting the prestige of Kapiolani Boulevard, distinctly visible from Kahnamoku Lagoon, the Ala Moana Mall, and other areas of the city.  We created two separate small-footprint towers—allowing the overall mass to be oriented Mauka-Makai (Mountains-to-Ocean as desired by island residents) preserving view corridors and breeze patterns. For residents, the two-tower scheme maximizes views and cross-ventilation, as well as value: all eight units per typical level are corner units.

The central design move was to maximize usable common and private open space and create actively programmed spaces on multiple datums, culminating in a lushly-landscaped sky garden bridge/platform for building residents at 350’ in the air, indexing the city’s previous height limit. This sky garden metaphorically replaces a ground level context lost when Oahu urbanized and reconnects the site to the horizon

Hawaii’s mild climate and pleasant breezes are woven into the scheme at every turn with the goal of dissolving the barrier between conditioned and exterior space. At higher floors, breezes are mitigated with appropriately placed massing. This is evident at the hotel floors which link the towers, creating a natural wind eddy at the podium, and at the sky garden, where building mass and landscape elements shield the gathering spaces.

Open space/green space is a central focus on vertical and horizontal surfaces in our solution. In fact, as shown in the image above, the cumulative horizontal intensive and extensive open space is nearly 2.3 times the site area and is complemented with additional vertical gardens on multiple surfaces.

This project is scheduled to begin construction in late 2017.

More information is available at the project's page.  We are hard at work continuing the design process and we will continue to post updates, so keep an eye on the blog!

EmQuartier featured in "New Design Retail Thailand"

We're excited! EmQuartier and the rest of the Em District have been featured in New Design Retail Thailand, an English-language compendium of "recently-completed high-end shopping mall[s], department store[s], hypermarkets, [...] from Li Zenn Publishing" 

The book contains some wonderful photographs and drawings of the projects. Check out a preview on Issuu, or order a copy on the publisher's website here for 1400.00 Baht (about $40). Don't forget to see our own EmQuartier page for more information. 

It's always nice to see our work out in the world!

 

Honolulu High-Rise Announced!

We've been working on a design for this site in Honolulu for months, so we're pleased that it's finally public. The project application has been accepted by the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting and it is well along in the entitlement process.  The hotel operator is expected to be announced within a few weeks.

From our project narrative: 

Mana’olana Place | Luxury Hotel and Residences will be an instrumental catalyst in the continued revitalization of the Ala Moana Neighborhood.  The tower will include ground level retail spaces, a 125-room five-star luxury hotel and approximately 109 branded condominiums culminating in a signature restaurant and bar 400 feet above the adjacent street level.
The Mana’olana Place tower is envisioned as a modern, vertical interpretation of an indoor-outdoor sense of place and connection to the landscape embodied in the concept of lanai.  Our vision for its character began with the warm and soft tones of a wooden building softened with landscape from ground to the uppermost levels.  Terraces and balconies provide deeply shaded areas and views from these lanai frame views and create pleasant contrast and variety.  Design details will reflect a modern interpretation of a tropical environment mixed with subtle Asian influences. And at every step, gardens are woven into nearly every front-of-house experience.
When complete, the 36 story tower will represent the first implemented project in the newly adopted Ala Moana Transit-Oriented District.  With a floor area ratio of 10:1 in anticipation of the planned light rail-serviced neighborhood already anchored with the Hawaii Convention Center immediately across the street and the largest mall in the state —Ala Moana Center—located within a five minute walk, Mana’olana Place will catalyze an already diverse and active Honolulu neighborhood and will become a unique and recognizable interpretation of the tropical high-rise typology.

More information about the project is available at its page. This is only one of several projects we're working on in Hawaii, so keep an eye out for more to come!