Current project news, press, and happenings.
The recently completed Utilities Administration Building was awarded LEED Platinum in a ceremony today. We're quite excited about the designation, as speakers presented it as the first building in Colorado (and only the third in the country and fourth in the world) to be awarded Platinum under the new LEED v4 standard for new construction.
Platinum was the City of Fort Collins' target from the inception of the project, and we were pleased to be able to work so closely with the City and RNL to meet that target.
Congratulations, City of Fort Collins! And thank you for helping to lead the charge on sustainability!
Our daily commute during worksessions for our Bangkok projects (Emsphere and a few others), beginning at the hotel near the project site.
The traffic in the video is especially bad due to flooding during the rainy season, but it provides a good feel for the daily experience.
We've been working hard on the aforementioned design for the Food Bank of Larimer County (renovating an existing warehouse building to house their new headquarters and distribution center) and we're excited about the project, so we wanted to share a few images.
Our solution first and foremost organizes a maze of programmatic and equipment relationship requirements that are necessary to maximize both employee and volunteer safety, efficiency, and comfort. At the same time, because we believe that good design does not have to be expensive and should be available to everyone, even non-profits, we also aimed to introduce some fun spaces into the pragmatism of the existing building.
By keeping the vast majority of the existing enclosure and plumbing in place, but selectively demolishing elements to clean up the exterior and open up the interior, we are able to keep the project cost-effective while allowing plenty of room for future growth. The addition of several used shipping containers into the warehouse divides the space into rooms, while also providing rooms within the units themselves and a pop of industrial color. They also serve as a landing point for one of our favorite elements: a warehouse mezzanine bridge that allows volunteers to travel between portions of the building above the fray of forklift traffic. This bridge also allows for tours of the facility, providing views into the cooler, kitchen, and other areas.
On the exterior, we have proposed a low-cost, extremely low-maintenance facade consisting of small opening chain link, paint, and stucco over the existing split-face CMU. A series of pre-engineered steel canopies create a village of welcoming portals, while subtly referencing the butler building construction of the warehouse itself.
It's been lovely to work with such a great organization; their dedication and passion are truly remarkable. In addition to all of the fantastic things they do, the Food Bank has been working hard to raise the funds to make the project happen, so that they can continue providing an essential service to fill an ever-growing need. Please do visit their webpage and consider making a donation to help further a great cause. More images of the project are available at our project page.
Nope, it's not a typo; we're proud to laud the professional service of our newest employee, Stephanie Bedinghaus, who has been appointed to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' Architectural Registration Exam Case Study Task Force: Project Management Group! In case, like us, you have acronym-induced sleepiness (AIS, for short), Stephanie has kindly explained it thusly:
In all seriousness, this is a highly important position, as the ARE is something all architects must pass in order to become licensed. Because what we do as architects varies from designing safe, accessible, and beautiful buildings to writing and administering contracts, it's a very difficult set of skills to properly assess, and a lot of effort goes into the writing the test. It's also probably a job for which the hardworking folks who volunteer their time probably don't get thanked enough, so we wanted to take the opportunity to say "Thanks Stephanie!"
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.
The Andalucia (previously El Molino Court) has been featured on Urbanize LA! We're excited to see the project finished and we're thrilled with all of the positive responses in the comments.
Our project page has a number of Bernard Andre's other wonderful photos of the project, and the full Urbanized LA article is available here. Be sure to take a peek at the building's rental site as well.
This has been a very rewarding project and we're humbled that it has received such an overwhelmingly positive reaction. We're proud to have been a part of it.
April is Colorado Architecture Month, an as part of the festivities, we were asked by AIA Colorado to put together something to demonstrate what a day in the life of an architect in Fort Collins is like. After a good deal of head-scratching, Spencer through together a .gif (below) documenting the most important aspects of architecture life: coffee, mouse-clicks, and custom desktop backgrounds.
Spencer also provided a few slightly verbose answers to some of AIA Colorado's questions, which they understandably didn't have room for, so we've reproduced them here:
What do you enjoy most about being an architect? An architect in Northern Colorado?
I love lots of aspects of my job (drawing all day, working with great people, a sense of play in the things we do) but I think the thing I enjoy most is the chance to think about and directly affect part of the world that is so important but so hidden in plain sight.
Architecture and the urban environment have a huge impact on where and how we live and work and play and gather and discuss; they form perhaps our largest collective experiences and endeavors. But a big part of their power is that they exist in the background, silently keeping us warm and dry, shaping space and activity while we go on about our days.
I find it really rewarding to be able to help shape that background, and I feel privileged to get a view into a part of the world that goes largely unnoticed.
Northern Colorado is an interesting example of this. As Fort Collins continues to grow, I think the quality of urban space and architectural design is becoming more frequently discussed and more highly valued, both in the form of traditional downtown urbanism and in new architectures unique to our context. This is of course a boon for us as architects, as it allows a greater public investment in and engagement with our work. That said, I think architecture and urban design will always remain somewhere below the surface of the public consciousness, which I think is appropriate.
What has been your favorite project to work on? (It would be great to have a photo to go with this!)
I’ve really enjoyed working on our smaller, more local projects (405 Linden, Confluence, Block One) as it’s incredibly rewarding to see the real-world results of your work.
My favorite project, though, might be 1500 Kapiolani, in Honolulu. Honolulu is a super interesting context for the extremity of the relationship between the ocean, mountains, and city, which is highly pertinent to Northern Colorado as well. I’m also quite infatuated with the mirrored relationship between the two towers, both as a massing and an experience.
The part I’ve really enjoyed about working on it has been the development of the very simple, elegant diagram into this very messy and complicated series of functional requirements and front and back of house relationships; developing a sketch into a working building while keeping the essence of the sketch. To me, that’s what architecture is about, so I’m thrilled to get a chance to put it into practice.
We're thrilled to be able to contribute to Architecture Month again, and we look forward to participating again next year!
Arlo is a father! Gretchen was born on February 9, 2017 at 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
We are quite proud of Arlo and Jasmine, and happy to welcome another Junior member of the workshop.
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.
[au]workshop is thrilled to announce that the world-renowned Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will be operating the Mana'olana Place Hotel and Residences as the Mandarin Oriental, Honolulu.
A few selections from the Mandarin Oriental and Salem Partners press releases:
“We are delighted with this opportunity to open a hotel in Honolulu and look forward to bringing Mandarin Oriental’s legendary hospitality back to Hawaii,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “This new development will be a welcome addition to the brand’s expansion around the world,” he added.
“We are proud to bring the award-winning Mandarin Oriental brand to Honolulu,” said James Ratkovich of Salem Partners. “Mandarin Oriental, Honolulu will set a new standard for luxury service in the islands and will offer a preferred choice to travelers and potential homeowners who desire the finest accommodation,” he added. “We look forward to revitalizing this area at the gateway to Waikiki with the first TOD project in the city and bringing jobs, economic benefits, housing and a world-class hotel to Honolulu.”