In 2015 we were asked by Soul City Church to help design their new expansion and renovation. After working with the pastors and congregation, it was decided that the next season in the evolution of this community would require a new sanctuary, cafe, parking and office space, while renovating the existing building to accommodate and grow youth ministries. Our assistance on the project included support in fundraising, meeting with city officials and preparing design and construction documents. We have recently completed the drawings and are in the permitting process.
In 2015 we were asked by Studio X Architects to help design and document this 36-story residential tower in Miami. We were able to supplement their team, adding design and rendering service, technical drawings, physical and computer modeling, specification preparation and consultant coordination services. We are currently preparing Construction Documents and Specifications.
While I was a studiohead at SOM, we won this competition to design a new residential tower for Cayan, on a prominent site in Dubai’s man-made Marina.
As the technical lead for this 72 story residential project, I oversaw the complex integration of the stepped and leaning structure with the basic building systems and exterior wall. Building systems were allocated to special zones that would allow them to run vertically for 4-8 stories before being shifted. The exterior wall is constructed out of standardized panels on slip joints which dramatically reduced costs.
In order to preserve the pureness of the form, the design team developed plans which allowed the inset balconies to be located in multiple locations within any given unit. The team could then locate them in a controlled way that defied visual patterns. A sequence of six standard perforated screens were then organized over the window and balcony openings to further smooth the façade.
Because the tower sits on a twelve story parking and retail structure, many of the twisting columns had to be regularized at or near the top of the podium, however more than half of the structure continues to twist to grade.
The building was completed in 2014 and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat named it Best Tall Building in the Middle East & Africa Region.
This was my first project with Cannon Design. I was assigned as the Assistant Project Manager and Project Architect for Malcolm X College’s new campus in Chicago. The project was led by Trung Le and the Third Teacher+, both of whom focused on the fundamental belief that teaching spaces are second only to parents and teachers as foundational in determining how people learn and grow.
Their insight and exploration led to four months of working with the faculty, students, and staff to define a vision for the new health-sciences campus. We also attended frequent meetings with institutional and industry partners to tailor learning spaces and pedagogy to prepare the students for the job market. Harnessing the faculty, staff, and students' energy and pride, the team designed the buildings as a platform to enable vision to come true.
The campus is arranged to showcase critical thinking, real-world learning through simulation, healthy lifestyles through active design and to provide service to the community, and to drive a sense of community through collaboration.
The 500,000 square-foot complex is arranged to create a campus feel while realizing the efficiency of unified systems. The educational buildings share a common first and second floor, with classroom buildings and a tower extending above separately. The open areas on grade and level 3 are treated as study and gathering quads.
We completed Schematic Design, and Moody Nolan served as the Architect of Record, doing a nice job of completing the Construction Documents and performing CA services. The parking garage is complete and the building is currently under construction, nearing completion at Jackson and Damen, next door to the United Center.
During the time that the Cayan Tower project was in development, we also entered and won a competition with design partner Peter Ruggiero to develop a residential and office tower for the Dubai Contracting Company (DCC) on Sheikh Zayed Road. From the beginning, this project was an exercise in restraint, working against many building trends of Dubai and emerging cities. In order to stand out, the building would be elegant in its use of ornamentation. In order to be timeless, it would be sharp and clean, easy to maintain and operate.
DCC is a wonderfully sophisticated developer and quickly appreciated the opportunity for elegance on Sheik Zayed Road. Seen here, it is next to a pair of typical buildings screaming for attention. The developer, who was also an importer of luxury goods, quickly saw the opportunity to strengthen the brand of Rolex and their property by renaming the project.
My role on the project was the technical studiohead, and I was responsible for coordinating the consultants and organizing the drawing sets. The project is 67 stories, with office space throughout the lower half and residences near the top (where you see the partial lightwell on the facade). It was completed in 2010.
While at SOM, our studio was engaged by Tishman Speyer to design this retail, residential, and office complex in the central business district of Chengdu in the People’s Republic of China. It was a great project, though complicated by easements for a future mass transit line that would run under the project and a major earthquake that occurred during our Schematic Design Phase that changed many of the structural parameters for the area.
As the Technical Studiohead, I was responsible for leading the team to tie the two 40-story residential towers, the office tower and the 3-story retail mall with parking together. We were driven to explore and optimize local building practices and technologies. The project was completed in 2011.
Jaypee Sports City, Inida
In February of 2011, Peter Ellis, FAIA, asked me to be the Managing Director of Peter Ellis New Cities. Our one project would require hiring twenty-five architects, planners, and engineers, and relocating many of them to India in order to perform Detailed Design for a new city on the outskirts of Delhi.
I served as the Project Architect and Project Manager while the team conceptually designed catalyst projects, which would serve as benchmarks for quality throughout the city.
I worked closely with the client’s three local architecture firms, engineering firms, and their construction teams to ensure that the projects were built efficiently, by local laborers, at the highest quality possible.
I also led the firm’s business operations including human resources, accounting, and public relations. Together with the staff, we developed a strategy for building a reputation throughout India which would lead to work throughout the developing world and in North America, restructuring cities to face evolving economic and ecological challenges.
In 2004, SOM was engaged to design this 36-story luxury residential tower on the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee. The lower levels included a lobby, wine tasting room, health club and pool and community room and each upper level had just two units, with private elevator lobby and recessed balcony.
My role on the project was as the project architect. Together with a team of four other architects, we created all of the drawings and coordinated all of the consultants in a design-assist-based process. As my first project after working on the General Motors Headquarters, it was a delight to be involved in a project from start to finish, including reviewing every RFI and shop drawing. The project was completed and occupied in 2008.
I was asked to lead the design team for this invited competition to add residential buildings in an existing public park in Deventer, in The Netherlands. Our winning design enhances the park by placing unique, pavilion like buildings throughout. The team imagined a game of hide and seek between the park patrons and the buildings, the buildings would be prizes in and of themselves, worth finding.
Two buildings became their own hills, with parking structures in the middle and a bar building hovering along one edge. One wrapped with town houses, the other sloped to grade, so that park users could ascend the hill and enjoy the view.
The second pavilion was a super-efficient bar, but also wanted to be raised up to enjoy the view, so it is set it on a grove of piloti. As playful gestures, one of the centermost columns was replaced with an actual tree, and about a quarter of the columns are at seemingly random angles.
The glass tower would be found in a different way. Its highly reflective glass and skewed vertical lines break one's expected perspective and blur the line between building and sculpture. This tallest building pretends it is invisible.
I spent my first five years with SOM working on GM’s Global Headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The 1977 John Portman building was being renovated by General Motors as a sign of their commitment to their city and to the people who had made GM great.
I first worked on Construction Administration for the new Wintergarden and glass-floored circulation bridge, key components in updating the wayfinding and branding in this city-within-a-building.
I also was a key member of the design and CA team for the new people-mover station, the new north entrance lobby, and the cable-stayed pavilion in the new entrance plaza. These moves, along with the removal of a pair of low buildings, created a welcoming connection to the city that had never previously existed.
This mixed-use tower was designed in our studio at SOM in 2009 for downtown Oakland and included residential condos, office space, a boutique hotel, and parking. After extensive meetings with the city and community, a tapered design evolved which was both structurally efficient and allowed the building to relate to the scale of its existing neighborhood.
This residential tower was conceptually designed in our studio at SOM in 2010 for the South Loop neighborhood, and uses an offset balcony scheme to frame dramatic views and capitalize on passive heating opportunities.