BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE: NOVEMBER 6, 2000 ISSUE

Special Report -- BW/Architectural Record Awards

Super Structures

The Rose Center for Earth & Space The power of architecture to integrate people, spaces, and even complex workflow is the dominant theme running through this year's BUSINESS WEEK/Architectural Record Awards, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Architects used materials such as glass to enhance the transparency of work and bring together various teams. They crafted office spaces to spark creative interaction among employees--and corporate clients. And they mastered the ''wow factor'' by designing a ''cosmic cathedral'' of glass and steel, a planetarium of astonishing beauty that allows people to see through walls to learn about the stars and the planets.

If this contest is any measure, the awareness of architecture's abilities to expand market share and generate revenue appears to be spreading. Indeed, architecture's special ability to generate buzz and attract mass audiences and elite participants is increasingly evident to private businesses and public institutions.

This is the fourth annual BUSINESS WEEK/Architectural Record Awards contest (BUSINESS WEEK and Architectural Record are owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies ( MHP); Architectural Record has its own write-up in the October issue). It is unique among major awards programs in that the jury includes both businesspeople and architects. Applications are judged on the basis of architectural renderings and business plans. The goal is to solve difficult business problems with architectural solutions. Serving on this year's jury: William Agnello, vice-president at Sun Microsystems ( SUNW); Edward Ciffone, senior vice-president at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter ( MWD); and Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence and guru of management, innovation, and, recently, design to Corporate America.

The extraordinary range of projects shows architecture's reach. An entire container-shipping terminal in Los Angeles was redesigned to increase the efficiency of the trucks moving through its 175 acres. From a graceful canopy that shields lunching truckers from the rain to gates, guard booths, and landscaped patios, architects improved productivity as well as the rough working environment.

A terraced wall of green that climbs up a 15-story office and municipal building in Fukuoka, Japan, extends a public park--vertically. In India, combining modern architecture with traditional clay and other local materials permits the new Mahindra United World College to create a campus that hugs the rolling hills of the Sahayadri Mountains--and attract students and faculty from around the world.

French-based Valeo Thermal Systems, a supplier of new and replacement automotive equipment, and their architects used glass to bring together designers, engineers, and production people in their new Auburn Hills (Mich.) facility. Glass walls enhance visual contact between different teams, and skylights flood the entire building with natural light. There is a certain elegance to glass, a key material used by many winners this year.

The AIA chooses the jury that judges the BUSINESS WEEK/Architectural Record contest. This year there were 147 entries, with 131 coming from the private sector and 16 from the public. The largest category of entrants was for new construction of buildings, followed by interiors and renovation of older structures. There were big projects and small--37 projects submitted were more than $25 million and 22 less than $1 million. Entries came from 22 countries, including Japan, India, Australia, Canada, Britain, Barbados, Malaysia, Virgin Islands, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and the U.S.

Architecture here is transformative not just of small spaces--be they work areas or schoolrooms--but also of huge structures, such as planetariums and shipping terminals. It solves problems inside the passageways that connect subways to retail stores in Japan, or outside on Indian mountainsides. It can integrate complex components to create something entirely new and profitable. A more detailed look at the winners of this year's BUSINESS WEEK/Architectural Record Awards and why they won begins on page 122.

BUSINESS WEEK/Architectural RecordAwards 2000 Jury Members: WILLIAM AGNELLO, VP of Workplace Resources, Sun Microsystems; CAROL ROSS BARNEY, Founder and President, Ross Barney & Jankowski; EDWARD CIFFONE, Senior VP and Facilities Director, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; HENRY COBB, Founding Partner, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; JULIE EIZENBERG, President, Koning Eizenberg Architecture; ROBIN M. ELLERTHORPE, Senior Associate Director, Facilities Consulting, O'Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi & Peterson Architects; JAMES O. JONASSEN, Managing Partner, NBBJ; TOM PETERS, CHAIRMAN, Tom Peters Group; WILSON POLLOCK, Founder and President, ADD; JANE WEINZAPFEL, Principal, Leers Weinzapfel Associates


By Bruce Nussbaum in New York



Subcontinental Serenity

Mahindra United World College of India, India
CLIENT: Mahindra United World College of India
ARCHITECT: Christopher Benninger & Assoc.; Peter Wilson & Assoc.
BUILDING TYPE: College-preparatory school
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, under $5 million

The goal was to create in 14 months a campus for a college-prep school that would attract students and faculty from within India and around the world. The resolution: Combine modern architecture with local materials. There was also an attempt to pay strict attention to traditional Indian beliefs. Clay roof tiles, stone, and poured concrete create an earthy palette of colors that fits into the surrounding hills of the Sahayadri Mountains, distant lakes, and the river valley below. The buildings offer striking views of the landscape, and the entrance gate, or mahadwara, aligns with the north-south axis, an important factor in the belief system of this region of India. It binds cultural insight to educational experience. An art center makes bold use of walls of glass. Outside, broad steps provide access as well as places for students to meet and relax. The school's admissions goals have so far been exceeded.



Frugal, but Full of Energy and Light

Ground Zero Headquarters, Marina Del Ray, Calif.
CLIENT: Ground Zero
ARCHITECT: Shubin & Donaldson Architects
BUILDING TYPE: Office for ad agency
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, under $1 million

What does a fast-growing young ad agency like Ground Zero do when it needs a larger, more flexible and inexpensive space with a sharp design that shows clients that it is superinnovative? The answer is to pick an architecture firm that embodies a similar culture. Its solution was to punch skylights into the roof of an inexpensive, windowless tilt-up concrete warehouse, and knock down the walls. A dramatic ramp access to the building creates an immediate sense of excitement for clients. Open spaces, exposed beams, and metal ceiling ducts generate a sense of edginess, energy, and dynamism. Ten ''war rooms'' for intense collaboration line one wall, each clad in panels of translucent plastic and framed with metal studs. This is definitely a cool space for employees and clients.




Learning Experience

Saint-Hyacinthe School, Quebec, Canada
CLIENT: Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
ARCHITECT ABCP: Architecture-Urbanisme
BUILDING TYPE: State-of-the-art trade school
AWARDS CATEGORY: Public sector, under $25 million

The building itself is a teaching tool for a construction-related trade school. The excellent use of fine woods and masonry, attention to detail, and introduction of natural light celebrate pride of workmanship and the art of creating well-done, bright, livable spaces. An elegant metal and glass canopy covers the ''preau,'' the large gathering space for student dining, studying, and hanging out. By giving dignity to the form, the architects pay respect to the function of building with one's hands. It seems to have worked. The school's enrollment has more than doubled since the building's completion, and the number of programs teaching skills has tripled.





A ''Cosmic Cathedral'' in the Big Apple

Rose Center For Earth & Space, New York City
CLIENT: American Museum of Natural History
ARCHITECT: Polshek Partnership Architects
BUILDING TYPE: Planetarium/museum
AWARDS CATEGORY: Public sector, over $25 million

An incredibly powerful architecture makes the Rose Center for Earth & Space an immediate global icon, joining the likes of Frank O. Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Inside a glass cube 120 feet on each side floats a metal sphere 87 feet in diameter that houses a high-tech planetarium. Low iron content in the glass makes it unusually clear, rendering the building a beacon in the New York City night. This is a brave structure that combines simple geometric forms with new materials to create a ''cosmic cathedral'' that inspires awe. Compared to the planetarium it replaced, attendance was up 58% in the first eight weeks after opening, group reservations by 200%, and membership applications by 200%. Polshek Partnership Architects designed the structure. The exhibits and graphics meant to convey such concepts as scale and time in the universe were created by Ralph Appelbaum.



People Who Work in Glass Houses

Valeo Technical Center, Auburn Hills, Mich.
CLIENT: Valeo Thermal Systems
ARCHITECT: Davis Brody Bond
BUILDING TYPE: Headquarters
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, over $25 million

This is a transparent solution to a French automotive-equipment manufacturer's U.S. needs. Glass is used extensively inside the building to open up and connect offices and keep people in touch. The laboratory and testing areas are divided by soundproof glass, so that employees are in constant visual contact throughout the work process. The cafeteria opens onto a shaded outdoor space. Dropped-lighting armatures also incorporate power and data cables, allowing for quick reconfiguration of work spaces and work teams. Designers, engineers, testing staff, office administrators, and sales staff are brought together to interact in efficient, spare, and often elegant spaces. This is simply a glass box that exposes the entire process of creating and testing to view.



That's Some Truck Stop

HANJIN CONTAINER TERMINAL, Los Angeles
CLIENT: Port of Long Beach
ARCHITECT: Robert Stewart Architect/Caldwell Architects
BUILDING TYPE: Shipping terminal entry-gate complex
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, under $25 million

The power of architecture to integrate complex work environments is captured in this project. Korea-based Hanjin Shipping Co. is one of the world's fastest-growing ocean container shipping lines, with 3,400 employees in 47 countries. It needed a much larger, more productive terminal in the U.S. to handle containers and the trucks that move them. The owner, operator, and architect collaborated in dissecting the operations of a port facility, rebuilding it piece by piece, and matching the flow of work and the way it gets done. Gate buildings, guard booths, and employee facilities were all designed to keep trucks moving efficiently. A canopy cuts down on exhaust fumes during inspection. ''Who says a container terminal can't have beauty, grace, and wow?'' says one juror. Hanjin's goal of doubling its volume was met within two years of the terminal's opening in 1997.



Artists on the Factory Floor

Sticks, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa
CLIENT: Sticks Inc.
ARCHITECT: Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture
BUILDING TYPE: Commercial artists' building
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, under $1 million

Sticks Inc. specializes in designing and manufacturing contemporary art objects made from fallen timber. Hence, the term ''sticks.'' Artists work in studios, and their creations are packaged and sent around the world. Demand grew so high that new space was needed. Work in the old building was on two floors and not very efficient. A collaboration between artists, architects, and owners of the enterprise redefined the work process, creating a linear flow on one floor. The artists' studios are now integrated with the manufacturing and shipping departments. The new building is situated in a grove of mature oak trees. Output is up 20% since it opened, while time for handling and transportation is down. Products are getting to market and customers a lot faster.



Turning a Tunnel into a Temptation

Iwataya Passage, Fukuoka, Japan
CLIENT: Iwataya Dept. Store, NT&K Kyushu Dev. Co.
ARCHITECT: Walker Group/CNI
BUILDING TYPE: Underground passageway
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, under $5 million

By transforming what is essentially a pedestrian tunnel into an enjoyable experience, the Iwataya Department Store in Fukuoka, Japan was able to attract more customers from the subway to its basement shops. Fukuoka is the ''Venice of Japan,'' with heavy rainfall and canals criss-crossing the city. People use underground tunnels to go from building to building without getting wet. The retail store was losing business because people were shopping in stores within the subway station rather than walk outside a few blocks in the rain to its building. The solution was to build an underground passageway consisting of three suspended ''bridges,'' of shimmering steel, cable, and glass, that appear to span water. Indeed, sounds of water play in the background. Customers seem to like the surprise. The bridges guide people directly into Iwataya's basement shops, and their elegance meshes with the store's own modern style. After the underground passageway was completed, the number of shoppers increased 9.6% on weekdays, boosting profits.



Kids' Merchant, Grown-Up Needs

The Children's Place Headquarters, Secaucus, N.J.
CLIENT: The Children's Place
ARCHITECT: Davis Brody Bond
BUILDING TYPE: Corporate headquarters
AWARDS CATEGORY: Private sector, over $25 million

This fast-growing designer and retailer of kids' clothes had several goals in mind. It wanted a new building in a less expensive location with open spaces to bring its employees together, plus a retail store to act as a working laboratory for merchandising and design concepts. Retaining employees in the move was also important. The company got all of that and more. Using the kinds of materials and products already in its retail stores, architects built a light-filled, comfortable working environment. Top-of-the-line furniture, flat-screen technology, and other quality work tools were ordered and installed. Once they saw the building, nearly all the employees chose a longer commute to the new headquarters over quitting--yielding savings in intellectual capital, as well as money.



Tower in a Wild Kingdom

Fukuoka Prefectural & Intl. Hall, Fukuoka, Japan
CLIENT: Daiichi Mutual Life, Mitsui Real Estate
ARCHITECT: Emilio Ambasz, Nihon Sekkei, and Takenaka
BUILDING TYPE: Office space
AWARDS CATEGORY: Public sector, over $25 million

When the city of Fukuoka appropriated half of the five-acre Tenjin Central Park for a mixed government-commercial building, the residents were not happy about losing so much open space. Good architecture was viewed as one way to take some of the sting out of the loss. And Emilio Ambasz & Associates' 15-story building with lushly planted terraces spilling into the park is a creative solution to the problem. ''The wall of wild hillscape is magical,'' says one juror. ''It is an icon that helps the business identity of the city.'' The terraces also act to insulate the building itself, lowering heating and cooling costs by 20%. Because the terraces also have stairs that double as fire exits, the owners gained a great deal of additional interior space to lease out. The million-square-foot building is known as ACROS Fukuoka. The acronym means ''Asian Crossroads Over the Sea.''





_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

STORIES:
Photo Essay

Super Structures

Subcontinental Serenity

Frugal, But Full of Energy and Light

Learning Experience

A ''Cosmic Cathedral'' in the Big Apple

People Who Work in Glass Houses

That's Some Truck Stop

Artists on the Factory Floor

Turning a Tunnel into a Temptation

Kids' Merchant, Grown-Up Needs

Tower in a Wild Kingdom

INTERACT
E-Mail to Business Week Online


 
Copyright 2000 Bloomberg L.P.
Terms of Use   Privacy Policy

Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers
Bloomberg L.P.


Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers
Bloomberg L.P.