Gensler to Renovate Ford Foundation's New York Headquarters

14:00 - 30 December, 2015
The Ford Foundation / Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto
The Ford Foundation / Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto

The Ford Foundation is about to undergo a massive $190 million renovation. Led by Gensler, the project will "modernize" the landmark building and expand its spaces "for convening and creating a global center for philanthropy and civil society."

Originally designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, the Ford Foundation is considered to be one of modern architecture's most iconic buildings. "That rarity, a building aware of its world," New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable once described, following the building's opening in 1967. 

These Are the World’s 25 Tallest Buildings

08:00 - 23 December, 2015

Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it's commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller. 

But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall. 

We take a look at world’s 25 tallest buildings, according to the CTBUH, after the break. 

"Link" by Gensler and FilzFelt Brings Color and Texture to Screens and Wallcoverings

14:00 - 9 December, 2015
Courtesy of FilzFelt
Courtesy of FilzFelt

Developed by FilzFelt and Gensler’s LA office, “Link” modular felt panels can be used for a variety of applications, from room partitioning, to shading, to acoustical dampening, to adding textural interest to a wall surface. The panels were designed to tackle a particular design problem at Gensler’s LA office, where red glazed panels acting as an architectural statement to be viewed from the street had been casting a harsh light into the interior conference room space behind. Searching for a flexible, free-form solution, and a soft material to contrast with the hard glass, Gensler designers discovered wool felt. Enter “Link.”

Courtesy of FilzFelt Courtesy of FilzFelt Courtesy of FilzFelt Courtesy of FilzFelt +17

Architect Magazine Names Top 50 US Architecture Firms for 2015

17:05 - 8 September, 2015
The Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith as lead architect at SOM before he co-founded Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Image © CC Flickr user Nicolas Lannuzel
The Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith as lead architect at SOM before he co-founded Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Image © CC Flickr user Nicolas Lannuzel

Architect Magazine has unveiled its list of the 50 best architecture firms in the US, with Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Gensler taking the top three slots in the overall ranking, respectively. The rankings are based on scores from three categories: business, sustainability and design. This year the methodology was updated to include three new factors: percentage of women and minority designers; range and value of employee benefits and the rate of employee turnover. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture also ranked first in the business category, followed by Kirksey Architecture and EYP Architecture & Engineering. EYP also headed the sustainability rankings, followed by Gensler and ZeroEnergy Design, while the design rankings were led by NADAAA, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Studio Gang Architects. Learn more about the methodology and view the full rankings here

FC Barcelona Announces Finalists for Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana Remodel

11:00 - 8 September, 2015
The Camp Nou stadium. Image © Iakov Filimonov via Shutterstock
The Camp Nou stadium. Image © Iakov Filimonov via Shutterstock

FC Barcelona has announced 14 teams in the running for two planned overhauls of their facilities at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, including alterations to their main stadium and the rebuilding of the Palau Blaugrana, the nearby arena owned by the club and used primarily for basketball and handball. The alterations to the two buildings are part of a larger €600 million project, known officially as "Nou Espai Barça," which seeks to improve the club's entire campus, also adding an ice skating rink, new offices, 5,000 parking spaces and improving the outdoor space surrounding the facilities. The Nou Espai Barça project was approved by the club's fanbase last April after a 72% vote in favor of the proposal.

The list names eight teams - including BIG, Populous, HKS and Arup Sport - in the running for the overhaul of the stadium itself, which will involve the addition of almost 6,000 seats to bring the stadium's total capacity to 105,000, increasing the stadium's lead as the largest football stadium in Europe. It will also include a complete redesign of the lowest seating tier to offer improved views, and the addition of a roof over the terraces. Also named are the six teams in the running to rebuild the Palau Blaugrana.

The Most Successful US Firms of 2014 are...

14:08 - 13 July, 2015
Metropolis; Los Angeles / Gensler. Image © Greenland, USA
Metropolis; Los Angeles / Gensler. Image © Greenland, USA

Architectural Record has named the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, ranking the nation's most successful practices based on their architectural revenue from 2014. Gensler, whose annual revenue surpassed one billion USD, maintained the lead for the fourth consecutive year. The firm's recent commissions, such as Los Angeles' Metropolis, help them set new records for revenue. AECOM, who came in second, also recorded significant growth - both internationally and domestically. 

The top 25 firms are...

London Underline: Gensler Envisions Subterranean Transportation Network for London

00:00 - 5 February, 2015
Bicycle Tunnel. Image Courtesy of Gensler
Bicycle Tunnel. Image Courtesy of Gensler

Last night, international design firm Gensler received the London Planning Award for Best Conceptual Project for its latest vision: London Underline. The proposal explores the potential of an underground bicycle and pedestrian park beneath the streets of London. Not only does this public interest design utilize existing abandoned space, but also generates the electricity to support itself simply by being used. 

Foster + Partners Remain World’s “Most Admired Architect”

00:00 - 9 January, 2015
Foster + Partners and FR-EE - Fernando Romero EnterprisE’s winning scheme for the Mexico City Airport expansion (click to learn more). Image Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners and FR-EE - Fernando Romero EnterprisE’s winning scheme for the Mexico City Airport expansion (click to learn more). Image Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners

A global survey conducted by BD has deemed Foster + Partners to be world’s “most admired architect" for the ninth consecutive year. The London-based practice, led by Norman Foster, is the 16th largest practice in the world. Foster + Partners’ ranking was undeniable, as the survey revealed a significant seven percent lead over runner-up contender, Herzog & de Meuron

“To be voted most admired practice by our peers is a great honor,” said Norman Foster. “It is a huge tribute to our talented and hard-working teams with their myriad skills and disciplines, both in our many studios around the world and our base in London, all working towards the common goal of bringing innovative design solutions to create a better built environment.”

See who else topped the list as the world’s “most admired,” after the break.

Three-Team Shortlist Selected to Redevelop LA's Convention Center

00:00 - 16 September, 2014
© Wikimedia CC User Cbl62
© Wikimedia CC User Cbl62

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering has selected three teams for the next phase of the competition to redevelop and expand the Los Angeles Convention Center. The teams, consisting of AC Martin + LMN; Gensler + Lehrer Architects; and HMC + Populous, will now receive $200,000 to develop detailed proposals to be submitted on December 8th.

However, according to The Architect's Newspaper, the redevelopment of the Convention Center outlined by the brief is not yet guaranteed to happen; with the city under contract with AEG to build a football stadium on a portion of the site until October 18th, the Convention Center's Executive Director Bud Ovrum confirmed that, if the city can secure an NFL team by then, the stadium is still the city's first choice.

Mexico City Shortlists Seven Architects for Major Airport Expansion

00:00 - 10 April, 2014
Zagreb Airport Competition Proposal / ZHA © Zaha Hadid Architects
Zagreb Airport Competition Proposal / ZHA © Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers are among seven international practices listed to compete for a 5,000 hectare expansion that hopes to “alleviate severe congestion” at the Mexico City airport. With each team led by Mexican firms, the shortlisted architects, which also include SOM, Gensler, Pascall+Watson and Teodoro González de León with Taller de Arquitectura X, have been asked to envision a 70-gate, phased expansion capable of hosting 40-million passengers per year. A schematic masterplan has been provided by Arup. Completion of the first phases is tentatively planned for 2018. 

'Hacked' Offices: The Future of Workplace Design?

00:00 - 18 January, 2014

What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this TEDx Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by "hacking" existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on Gensler's "hacker" philosophy, read our article here.

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

00:00 - 4 December, 2013
Foster + Partner's Apple Campus II. Image © City of Cupertino
Foster + Partner's Apple Campus II. Image © City of Cupertino

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year's results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano's Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, "this year saw a trend towards more commercial names." 

This year's "most admired" list includes:

Gensler, LOT-EK to Design Google's Showroom of Floating Shipping Containers

00:00 - 19 November, 2013
Artist's rendering of the "Google Barge". Image Courtesy of The Verge
Artist's rendering of the "Google Barge". Image Courtesy of The Verge

UPDATE: The SF Gate reports that the architects of the Google Barge have now been revealed to be San Francisco-based firm Gensler and New York-based LOT-EK, a firm with experience adapting shipping containers for retail design. 

A mysterious construction project in the San Francisco Bay has been making waves for the past couple of weeks. Moored off Treasure Island, locals apparently refer to it as 'the secret project' - and, until now, that's about as much as was known about it. 

Despite months of rumors and complete radio silence from Google, spokespeople have finally released a statement on the project, stating: "Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

While it's a shame about the dinosaur, Google's expansion into technology retail is possibly even more intriguing, as it's entirely new turf for the company: retail design.

More info and an artist's rendering of what the barge could look like, after the break...

White Arkitekter Wins FAR ROC Design Competition

01:00 - 23 October, 2013
View from Pier. Image Courtesy of White Arkitekter
View from Pier. Image Courtesy of White Arkitekter

Stockholm-based White Arkitekter, along with partners ARUP and Gensler, has been announced as the winner of the two-phase “For a Resilient Rockaway” (FAR ROC) design competition in New York. Selected from a shortlist of four and an international pool of 117, White Arkitekter’s “untraditional” proposal aims to transform an 80-acre shoreline site in the Rockaways into a resilient and affordable community through a series of small interventions that can be tested, adjusted, or redesigned overtime during the development process.

Successful Workplaces Balance Focus and Collaboration, Gensler Study Finds

00:00 - 12 August, 2013
AOL Offices by Studio A + O . Image © Jasper Sanidad
AOL Offices by Studio A + O . Image © Jasper Sanidad

Gensler, who recently topped out on the world's second tallest skyscraper in Shanghai, have just released a report outlining the keys to designing a successful workplace. Using their custom 'Workplace Performance Index' they surveyed 2035 office workers in the US to find out what makes employees happy and productive in their workplace.

One surprising result which they uncovered is that, in opposition to the trend of workplaces being designed to encourage collaboration, workers are actually spending more time on focused, individual tasks than they were 5 years ago. Consequently, over 50% of respondents said that they were distracted by others when they needed to focus. What's more, the survey found that when employees could not focus individually, collaborative work was also less productive.

Read on after the break to find out more results from the survey

Defining Gensler's Secret to Success

00:00 - 22 July, 2013
When completed, the Shanghai Tower, in Pudong, will feature an  array of innovative engineering and energy-saving systems. Courtesy of Gensler, via Metropolis Magazine.
When completed, the Shanghai Tower, in Pudong, will feature an array of innovative engineering and energy-saving systems. Courtesy of Gensler, via Metropolis Magazine.

When the $1.9-billion project is completed next year, the 2,073-foot Shanghai Tower will become the world’s second-tallest building. The state-of-the-art, spiraling form, which is engineered to help it withstand typhoons, pays tribute to the city’s dynamic rise as a leading commercial center. 

The super-tower also symbolizes the ascension—and resilience—of the firm that designed it. With 3,500 employees, Gensler operates 43 offices in 14 countries. Last year, the company worked on some 6,700 projects for about 2,200 different clients, reporting a record-breaking $751 million in revenue. This year, the company projects its revenues will be closer to $800 million—astounding figures considering the industry is emerging from one of worst economies since the Great Depression. “It’s been a serious downturn and a slow recovery,” says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the AIA. “From 2008 to 2011, architecture firms’ gross firm billings dropped 41 percent. Now, most firms are inching back, but very slowly.”

In a landscape still riddled with fallout, Gensler has managed to weather the recent economic storms. After cutting about 30 percent of its workforce in a nine-month period between 2008 and early 2009, the firm has rapidly rebuilt and now employs more staff and generates more revenue than ever before. Many in the industry today are scratching their heads: What’s Gensler’s secret? 

CAPACITY: Gensler Los Angeles Academic Studio

00:00 - 3 April, 2013

CAPACITY, the Gensler Los Angeles led academic studio at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was created with the intent to survey, understand and visualize the dynamic set of infrastructure constraints impacting and contributing to Downtown Los Angeles’ capacity to evolve. The video above highlights the documentation and synthesizing done by the SLO_GenLA '13 Professional studio which shows the capacity of Los Angeles’ infrastructure and demonstrates how the limits of each system may physically impact the future built form of the city. Once these variables, which include building information and zoning, energy, waste management, and water were universally known and their units of measure understood, scenarios for the future were generated.

Gensler Designs New Silicon Valley Headquarters for Nvidia

00:00 - 21 February, 2013
Courtesy of Gensler and Kilograph
Courtesy of Gensler and Kilograph

Silicon Valley visual-computing pioneer Nvidia has joined the expanding list of tech moguls seeking to transform their work environment into the physical manifestation of their innovative business model. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has released the first schematic renderings - designed by Gensler’s San Francisco office - that depict a pair of 250,000 square foot triangular motherships centered around collaboration - a complete contrast to the typical, dated office building commonly found throughout Silicon Valley’s “oddly banal” landscape.

More after the break...