UNIQUE APPLICATIONS IN ARCHITECTURE & LIGHT
ISSUE 617 • 2017
6 TEECOM 16 28 Windsor Suites
Riversport Rapids Whitewater Rush
Dawson Design Associates electrifies the Windsor Suites with a lighting and design approach that honors Benjamin Franklin’s legacy
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6 Riversport Rapids
Photography by Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios
15 Design Workshop 16 TEECOM
Photography by Patrik Argast
26 Product Showcase
28 Windsor Suites
Photography by Aaron Lyles, PIXELLAB Photography & Design
Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine, Issue Volume 617, is published quarterly by Gow Industries, Inc., PO Box 160, Elkton, SD 57026. Editor: Camille LeFevre Postmaster: Send address changes to Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine, PO Box 160, Elkton, SD 57026 Subscription Inquiries: There is no charge for subscriptions to qualified requesters in the United States. All other annual domestic subscriptions will be charged $29 for standard delivery or $65 for air delivery. All subscriptions outside the U.S. are $65. For subscriptions, inquiries or address changes contact email@example.com.
Copyright ÂŠ 2017 Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine. All rights reserved. Nothing in publication may be copied or reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, but published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Innovative Design Quarterly and Gow Industries Inc, assume no responsibilities for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Printed in the USA.
TA B L E O F
CONTENTS Riversport Rapids
Windsor Suites 5
Whitewater Rush With Riversport Rapids, Elliott + Associates Architects completes its portfolio of sleek, dynamic structures in Oklahoma Cityâ€™s Boathouse District
In the late-1990s, voters in Oklahoma City approved a multi-year temporary sales tax dedicated to the construction of nine projects, which were selected to appeal to a wide variety of residents while also revitalizing the city’s downtown. Known as the Metropolitan Area Projects Plan or MAPS, the program included the creation of a Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River, which has become the headquarters for USA Canoe/Kayak and a training center for USRowing. The Boathouse District has also become a showcase for the sleek, dynamic and multi-functional rowing facilities designed by Elliott + Associates Architects of Oklahoma City. Beginning with the Chesapeake and Devon boathouses, including the CHK|Central Boathouse (see Innovative Design Quarterly’s September 2016 issue), and concluding with the Riversport Rapids Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking Center, Elliott + Associates’ work lies along a mile-long, straight stretch of river—so straight it’s become a designated Olympic training site. With each project, says architect and principal Rand Elliott, who also master planned the Boathouse District, “the structures are architecturally similar in that their forms are inspired by the simplicity of the rowing shell itself, which is light and streamlined with a sharp nose or prow. The exterior materials on each project— white-painted steel panels—are the same. But the similarities stop there.” Because every structure serves a unique purpose, as well as a different organization, its design manifests that specific concept. Still, in each case, that concept has been so finely tuned it appears as a simple, sculptural form. As a result, Elliott + Associates’ work dots the riverfront landscape as a series of abstracted shapes that sit lightly on their sites, while performing the hard work of a more industrial architecture.
Riversport Rapids Elliott + Associates Architects
Rand Elliott, Architect & Principal
Photography by Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios
The 21,102-square-foot Riversport Rapids, completed in 2016, includes three primary structures, a series of bridges, and re-circulating channels that pump the water into two courses. The lower channel offers rafting and tubing experiences for families. The other Olympic-level course, designed by Olympic slalom canoeist Scott R. Shipley, generates Class IV rapids to challenge elite athletes from around the world for both training and competition. “The site had some great advantages in that it was connected to the Boathouse District and the activity and energy already there,” says Shipley, president, S20 Design, Lyons, CO. “But the site was also challenging in that it was constrained and tight, requiring us to shrink the bottom pond. In the end this smaller size, combined with the stage and movie-screen pump house, created great energy right where the dining and concert experience areas are.” In the summer, movies are projected onto the pump house’s exterior for families to enjoy. The architectural concept for Riversport is consistent with the existing Boathouse District aesthetic, while conveying uniqueness related to the structures’ purpose and function. “What made Riversport so successful is that Scott and the whole team understood the value of remaining true to the district’s established architectural vocabulary,” Elliott says. “They were sympathetic to making it all work together.” Adds Shipley: “The typical river park celebrates the elegance of a river and the challenge is to bring that elegance into an urban environment. Riversport Rapids was different because we had the tremendous architectural influence that dominated and defined the experience down at the river. Our challenge was to define a whitewater environment that complemented and resonated with Rand’s architecture. I have to confess that we often designed a particular element with Rand’s work in mind, and then checked with Rand to see if we had succeeded.”
A triangular sun shade balances on carefully nested steel beams (top). The pavilion is the white-water facilityâ€™s sculptural centerpiece (middle). The facilityâ€™s main and raft buildings as viewed from the south side of the Oklahoma River (bottom).
The form for the Riversport complex’s main building—which houses administrative offices, a pro shop, restaurant and locker rooms—was again inspired by the sleek form of rowing shells and kayaks, with their sharp “noses” and smooth streamlined shapes. The building’s location 30 feet from the river’s edge maximizes views of the courses and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can shop, eat, enjoy the 11-acre site and views of the greater Boathouse District, and purchase tickets for rafting and other activities in the main building. The building’s corrugated, white-aluminum shingle cladding reflects light and shimmers like the river’s surface. The high-performance glass matches the color and opacity of the glass on the other Boathouse District buildings. Polished concrete floors were used throughout the facility. A combination of exposed structure, acoustical tile, and highimpact, moisture-resistant drywall for ceilings and walls were used in public areas. Wall tile was utilized in the locker rooms and restrooms.
Our architectural mantra was to design structures as light, needle-thin and fast as the boats themselves, to capture the spirit of the vessels in every building.â€? - Rand Elliott, Architect & Principal
The kayak building, whose form was abstracted from that of a kayaker twisting in space, is a landmark and symbol of the Boathouse District.
The roof of the raft building (above and right) extends toward the water to provide white-water enthusiasts with sun protection as they check in and receive orientation.
The raft storage building is east and adjacent to the main building. The 205-foot-long structure provides a defined edge for the white-water site. With only 2,041 square feet of enclosed space for rafts, life jackets, oars, helmets and other items needed for rafting, the storage building’s wing roof provides a covered outdoor area for orientation and safety instruction. The kayak building, located at the site’s highest elevation on the far-east portion, was designed as a landmark and a symbol. The building’s form abstracts that of a kayaker captured in a single kinetic moment, and is clad in metal shingles. At night, floodlights illuminate the building’s form. Used to store kayaks for experienced and repeat visitors, the dynamic kayak building is also a staging location for professional events. The sculptural centerpiece of the Riversport Rapids complex is Rotary Point, an open-air assemblage of steel beams that delicately form and define space. The pavilion’s triangular plan is threedimensionally reinforced with overlapping diagonal bracing and a translucent fabric roof. Rotary Point is used as an awards stage for Boathouse District regional, national and international competitions, and for special programs for schools, community groups and musical performances. The bridges that span the watercourses and connect the various site amenities are similar in material and design as the buildings and pavilions. These simple, geometric, ADA-compliant forms feature a transparent wire guardrail and spectacular views of the dramatic elevation changes in the whitewater course below.
A view of the white-water recreational channel with the kayak building on the horizon and the pavilion on the right.
Those rapids are powered by six pumps weighing more than 12,000 pounds each, which circulate 82,000 gallons of water per minute. The recreational watercourse provides family fun for 15 to 20 minutes, including the conveyor ride to the top of the run. The competition channel runs faster at 10 to 15 minutes. Approximately 2,000 people can raft the courses in a single day, which makes the facility one of the biggest for rafting in the world while providing opportunities for all levels of users, from novice to Olympic Champions. “The Boathouse District is now complete,” says Elliott. With Riversport Rapids open and positioned at the intersection of I-35 and I-40, known as the crossroads of the nation, “we’ve created a landmark, a signature series of structures in a highly visible urban context.” “Rand brings a whole dynamic to the design process that is both challenging and rewarding,” Shipley adds. “When we work in this white-water environment we are so comfortable with our function, our aesthetic and our form. Rand and his team challenged us on this, bringing about a design unlike any other in the world. Together we created an experience unique in its look and feel, but also unique, and uniquely Oklahoman, in its experience.” Beginning with the first boathouse Elliott and his team designed, “Our architectural mantra was to design structures as light, needle-thin and fast as the boats themselves, to capture the spirit of the vessels in every building,” he adds. The buildings’ “modern forms, angular geometry and metallic materials hint at the duality of the transparency and reflectivity of the adjacent water and its swift movement. The expression and position of the structures create a distinctive experience that seamlessly facilitates the flow of users to the many functional areas of the site.” Just as Riversport’s new complex of buildings works as a team, so do all of the structures in the Boathouse District. “Each has a distinctive purpose,” Rand concludes, “but share the same architectural vocabulary of nothing superfluous; of only what’s necessary for action and speed.” n – CLF
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TEEm Spirit FORGE’s lively redesign and expansion of TEECOM’s Oakland headquarters puts all hands on tech
FORGE (formerly FME Architecture + Design) Amie Zemlicka, Project Manager Eric Ibsen, Chief Design Officer Photography by Patrik Argast
Engineers, as a rule, are not the flashy type. Highly educated, intuitive and innovative, they’re heads-down problem solvers who keep to themselves while powering through the workday. Nonetheless, digital technologies and the client opportunities that continually arise as people, devices, networks and buildings become smarter and more responsive have driven engineers to become more open, active and collaborative. One excellent example of this evolution is TEECOM. The international, integrated technology design company brings strategic thinking and innovative engineering to telecommunications, security, audiovisual, acoustics, virtual reality, wireless, network, VoIP and other electronic systems. The San Francisco Business Times ranked TEECOM one of the top 100 fastest-growing companies, as well as one of the top 20 best places to work. All of the employees strive toward the same goal: integrating forward-thinking ideas and technology into architecture that is practical and aligns with the business objectives of the firm’s clients. For five years, the specialty engineers at TEECOM’s Oakland, CA, headquarters occupied a traditional high-rise office building downtown. (TEECOM also has offices in the U.K., Dallas, TX, and Portland, OR.) A nondescript reception area immediately led to offices on one side, with a wall on the other side. For visitors and clients, the office displayed little evidence of the company’s technological knowledge and expertise, not to mention the camaraderie “TEECOMers” enjoy. “As an engineering design firm dedicated to active collaboration and technology advancement, we realized our space no longer met our needs,” says David Marks, president and CEO, TEECOM. “We needed and wanted a workplace that reflected our passion for research and product testing, and created an immersive, energizing experience for ‘TEEm’ members and visitors alike.” TEECOM turned to FORGE (formerly FME Architecture + Design) in San Francisco, one of its technological engineering partners for more than 20 years. “They needed an office that more clearly reflected their brand and company culture,” says Amie Zemlicka, project manager, FORGE. “They were looking for a way to be more inclusive, collaborate more with clients and make more of an impression.” FORGE largely accomplished this goal with one primary design move: Opening up the entry and reception to an “all-hands area” or social space that can accommodate up to 70 people. The new all-hands area behind reception also “reflects the engineering acumen of the company without it looking like a lab or a formal place,” says Eric Ibsen, chief design officer, FORGE.
The new reception area includes a video screen that gives off a high-tech glow while showcasing the company’s latest innovations. The customdesigned reception desk of reclaimed wood features TEECOM’s logo cut out of stainless steel.
“We essentially brought the back of the house forward with this new, larger, multipurpose space,” Ibsen continues. “It’s personable, comfortable and approachable while showcasing for clients the company’s cutting-edge technology. It’s a place to be social, relax, work or meet with clients.” The new reception area includes a 13.5-by-4-foot video screen that gives off a high-tech glow while showcasing the company’s latest innovations. An Oakland-based woodworker designed the new reception desk of reclaimed wood, which features TEECOM’s logo cut out of stainless steel. A glass partition in TEECOM’s signature cyan blue screens the reception area from the all-hands social space behind. “We wanted an element that would break up the space a bit, while not creating a barrier,” Ibsen says of the blue glass element. “It also serves as an orientation point, adds a bit of drama and creates a more contemporary initial impression for people visiting the office. The glass is a simple element, but works hard in the space.”
Now we have a space that matches our TEEm spirit.” – David Marks, President and CEO, TEECOM
The social space is just to the right of reception, and sports a 13.5-foot-by-6.2-foot video wall, couch seating, a 14-foot standing-height dining table, a kitchen with a large island for catering, and an audio-visual system with prompt screen adjacent to the lectern and integrated speakers and microphones. The TEEm gathers several times a month for lunches, happy hours and knowledge sharing in the new space. TEECOM also hosts client events, presentations and industry groups here, as well. “Now we have a space that matches our TEEm spirit,” Marks says.
“David was very hands-on during the design process,” Zemlicka says. “He had a clear vision. He also wanted the design to include a mix of warm woods and fabrics, balanced with a modern clean aesthetic.” As a result, FORGE blended raw materials such as reclaimed rustic wood and concrete floors with sleek glass and stainless steel, and punctuated the new headquarters with TEECOM’s cyan blue. The 4,000-square-foot expansion also included centralizing employees in an open environment that allows them to easily collaborate and switch up work groups. Since TEECOMers work on mobile devices, the office space is networked for constant mobility. Eight enclosed conference rooms named after legendary engineers—such as Alan Turing— were added near the main entry. Each conference room has flatscreens for video conferencing and screensharing. “These get plenty of use, facilitated by online room scheduling and digital touch panels outside each door,” Marks says. The expansion and redesign also includes “phone booths” for private conversations, and showers, locker rooms and storage for bike commuters at the back. LED lighting fixtures were installed throughout the headquarters. “As an engineering company, the staff was adamant about using LED fixtures, as a philosophical, aesthetic and sustainable choice,” Zemlicka says. “We worked closely with building management to switch over from its standard compact fluorescent fixtures to LEDs.” In the new all-hands space, FORGE replaced the ceiling with bright white ceiling tile and new lighting. The team also removed office walls along the perimeter of the space to bring in as much daylight as possible. “The space is full of light now,” Zemlicka says.
The glass partition in TEECOM’s signature cyan blue screens the reception area from the social and work space behind (left). The expansion also includes dining and seating areas (right), whimsical “robot parking” and conference rooms named for famous engineers (far right).
TEECOM was so pleased with how FORGE achieved the tech company’s programmatic and design goals that it’s now having FORGE design an additional 2,000 square feet of space. “By opening up what was formerly a dark, enclosed office,” Ibsen says, “we were able to create a new, open work space that creates an amenity for TEECOM employees while showcasing the company’s unique design philosophy.”
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The all-hands space, where TEECOM also holds industry events, has a video wall, couch seating, a dining/ conference table, and an audio-visual system with integrated speakers and microphones.
“At every step, the client worked with us to make sure we were incorporating their vision,” Zemlicka recalls. “They thought carefully about all of the details. It was critical that their vision for the space was reflected at every turn. That’s what made the project so successful.”
Adds Ibsen: “We’ve worked with TEECOM for a long time. They’re extremely good at what they do and delightful, personable and knowledgeable. Their former office was vanilla. Through design and architectural work, we matched the space to their personalities, giving them a platform that reflects who they are and what they do. There’s no greater reward than hearing them say how much working in the new space makes their workdays better.” n – CLF
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Hotel Homage Dawson Design Associates electrifies the Windsor Suites with a lighting and design approach that honors Benjamin Franklin’s legacy
The first time Andrea Dawson Sheehan entered the Windsor Suites in downtown Philadelphia, the founder and art director of Dawson Design Associates (DDA) in Seattle knew “we shouldn’t do the New England, Georgian Colonial approach nearly every hotel seems to have from here to Boston,” she recalls. The hotel had already incorporated that style with heavy crown molding and raised panels in an otherwise postmodern building. Moreover, the lobby doubled as the entry foyer, allowing little space for guests and staff to accommodate each other.
Dawson Design Associates Andrea Dawson Sheehan, Founder/Art Director Photography by Aaron Lyles, PIXELLAB Photography & Design
“I thought, here is this amazing postmodern building—an architectural style that’s fashionable again—with tremendous potential and in a prime area,” Sheehan adds. The hotel is just steps away from such renowned arts and cultural destinations as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rittenhouse Square. “So I suggested we enliven the hotel with cultural ties to the history of Philadelphia.”
The new tiered lobby circles a 40-foot-tall, spiraling sculpture lit with LEDs, which was inspired by, and is an abstraction of, the helix-shape of a DNA strand.
The owners of Windsor Suites were also seeking to renovate the hotel “by doing something fresh, contemporary and progressive,” Sheehan says. “They wanted to repurpose the building and give it new life.” So Sheehan and her team began exploring the possibilities, approaching the redesign “from inventive viewpoints, rather than just interior decoration,” she says. “We worked closely with the ownership of the hotel, as well as with Modus Hotels, which manages Windsor Suites, to ensure the concept was true to lifestyle as evident in the management’s other hotels.”
“We were charged with coming up with a new narrative for the hotel…. Our approach was about celebrating the technologies and innovation Benjamin Franklin brought into American culture.”
– Andrea Dawson Sheehan, Founder/Art Director
The result is a spacious new lobby and mezzanine that offer guests a culturally interactive experience, by using design features that integrate contemporary art, architecture and technology. The design driver was the ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the United States, and scientist and inventor. Because of Franklin’s discoveries relating to electricity, lighting is one of the renovation’s key design elements. The new Windsor Suites experience begins in the tiered lobby, which circles a 40-foot-tall, spiraling sculpture lit with LEDs, which was inspired by, and is an abstraction of, the helix-shape
One of the new meeting rooms located on the mezzanine level.
of a DNA strand. The commanding light sculpture, which serves as the backdrop for the hotel’s main desk, references science, discovery and innovation; it also creates vertical connectivity between the hotel’s lower level and its mezzanine, drawing visitors up the new polishedstainless-steel staircase that circles the sculpture. In the lobby, small comfortable seating nooks with rich wood-paneled ceilings and modern glass walls provide spots for private conversations or small gatherings. Additional seating and work areas are located up the lobby stairs on the catwalk or mezzanine, offering guests the chance to observe the hustle and bustle from above or enjoy a cocktail while looking out onto the lobby. Two new meeting rooms and a boardroom with built-in window bench seating are also located on the mezzanine.
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The hotelâ€™s spacious two-room residential suites include a kitchen and formal living room. Many include private balconies overlooking Logan Square and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The notion of science and play touches every corner of the renovated spaces allowing for creativity to prosper. The design theme has enlivened and modernized the property, while paying homage to Benjamin Franklin, the City of Philadelphia and its remarkable history.” – Mike Roberts, General Manager
The elevator walls are flanked by another science- and technologyinfluenced artwork: white glass panels embossed with the image of an abstracted computer keyboard, which references communication technologies from smartphones to Franklin’s printing press. The elevator lobby is also lit with a sleek, modern fixture: an artistic rendition of electricity circumventing the globe. “It’s very reminiscent of the 1960s World’s Fair iconography,” Sheehan says. Sculptures inspired by kinetics occupy niches recessed into an elegant, curved wall. Franklin’s association with the Freemasons is captured in the Masonic symbolism incorporated into the entry area carpets. Other artworks are displayed in the hotel’s public spaces and guestrooms. The hotel’s sleek, new minimalist guestrooms include spacious two-room residential suites with kitchen and formal living room. Many include private balconies overlooking Logan Square and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “We were really charged with coming up with a new narrative for the hotel,” Sheehan says. “While many buildings in Philadelphia nod to Franklin in a variety of ways, our approach was about creating an attitude of progressive thinking, scientific innovation and artistic ingenuity. Franklin had such a big influence on Philadelphia. We have one of his quotes on a wall in the hotel. But our approach was more about celebrating the technologies and innovation he brought into American culture.” In preparation for the renovation, the hotel’s existing interiors were demolished and new mechanical, electrical and life-safety systems installed as required in the construction of a new high-end guest lobby. A new Lutron lighting-control system throughout the lobby and support spaces was also installed. All of the work was completed, however, without disrupting hotel operations. The hotel owners were so enchanted with Sheehan and her team’s work, DDA is now designing a top-floor pool and fitness area, as well as executive suites. “Inspiration is everywhere at the newly designed Windsor Suites,” says Mike Roberts, general manager. “The notion of science and play touches
The hotel’s new design narrative about art and innovation is reflected in the conference rooms, which include original artworks and multi-media conference technologies.
every corner of the renovated spaces allowing for creativity to prosper. The design theme has enlivened and modernized the property, while paying homage to Benjamin Franklin, the City of Philadelphia and its remarkable history.” n – CLF
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