Collected Trendsetting Commissions from DesignIntelligence, Vol. 8 No. 10

This month, a team led by Leo A Daly won a sought-after $38 million contract to design the planned international terminal for Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport.

The new terminal will open in 2006, next to the international gate concourse that opened in 1994. Hartsfield’s master plan also includes the addition of a fifth runway. Daly is working with two other firms, Gensler and Stevens & Wilkinson. The 871,000-square-foot terminal will be on the airport’s east side.

A new trendsetter will be the Torre Almirante, a 36-story, 678,000-sf office tower in downtown Rio de Janeiro. Robert A.M. Stern, along with production architects Pontual Arquitetura of Brazil designed the tower to feature a curved transparent façade which will flare upward. A beacon illuminated by continuously changing lighting displays from LED fixtures will be concealed within the curtain wall. The tower’s exterior glass façade will allow for floor-to-ceiling, unobstructed views of Rio’s Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf Mountain, coastal mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The lobby will feature a 20-foot-high, back-lit onyx wall that will be visible through a full-height glass entry. Three two-story tropical gardens at the main entrance level will provide unique gathering spaces for tenants and visitors. A ground-level open-air pedestrian arcade including retail shops will integrate the building into downtown Rio’s system of continuous urban arcades. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2004.

Toshiko Mori, chair of the architecture department at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, has been selected to design a new Visitors’ Center to stand near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House Complex. Mori will work closely with restoration architects Hamilton Houston Lownie, PC of Buffalo and Christopher Chadbourne and Associates, Inc., exhibition designers of Boston.

The Martin House project encompasses full restoration including art glass windows, furniture and furnishings, and reconstruction of the pergola, conservatory and carriage house that were demolished 40 years ago. The gardens, grounds and other site elements at the Martin House will also be reconstructed as Wright originally designed them. The House will be operated as a house museum.

Mori serves on the jury that selected the short-list of firms for design of the World Trade Center site. She is principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, established in 1981.

Cesar Pelli & Associates (New Haven, Conn.) and Architectural Alliance (Minneapolis) unveiled the design for Minneapolis’ New Central Library on Oct. 1. The library will be home to a 2.5 million-item collection—the largest of any public library in Minnesota and the fourth largest in the nation. Designed to be a landmark building, the new library will be a downtown, resource-rich, and a community gathering place.

New York’s Lincoln Center has requested designs for its six acres of public space from five firms: Santiago Calatrava, Cooper Robertson & Partners; Diller & Scofidio; Foster & Partners; and Richard Meier. A final selection is expected for December.

HOK Sport is involved in development of the United States’ first urban velodrome. Dubbed “human NASCAR” the high-speed cycling arena plans to open in 2005 in San Francisco. The arena will be the first urban velodrome since the heyday of track cycling at the turn of the century. Plans call for it to be an indoor, multisport 5,000-seat arena that can expand to 6,000-7,000 for non-cycling events. The arena is also planned to serve as a venue for basketball, boxing, tennis, arena football, indoor track and field, squash, martial arts, and gymnastics. Concerts and other non-sports events are also planned uses.

Hillier of Dallas is teaming with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, PC (Rem Koolhaus et al) for a joint venture to serve as architects of record for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts’ multiform theater. The theater will include proscenium and arena stages; seating ranges from 600 to 700 depending upon the set-up. Koolhaus’ firm is also architect for the related Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. Designed in the classic Italian horseshoe configuration, its audience chamber is designed to seat 2,400.

Rogers Marvel Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architect have been named winners in the competition to redesign the public plaza of the Municipal Art Society of New York. The one-acre space has enviable views of New York Harbor, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Govenors Island. The firms won from more than 75 submissions. A multi-story beacon visible from the East River piers and Brooklyn Promenade anchors the new design. An event space to the beacon’s west will accommodate ice-skating, film screenings and evening parties.