Good afternoon and welcome to AN’s daily roundup of notable news in the world of architecture, design, and development. With the arrival of the autumnal equinox yesterday afternoon, today’s edition lands on the first full day of fall—so yank those sweaters from storage accordingly.
Here are a few newsworthy odds-and-ends on our radar today:
ODA unveils Paseo Gigena, a park-swaddled, green-roofed office complex in Buenos Aires
New York-based architecture firm ODA has revealed its first large-scale, mixed-use project in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires. Dubbed Paseo Gigena, the ambitious adaptive reuse project will transform a decrepit concrete parking structure into a Class A office building wrapped in a curving glass facade. The reborn 160,000-square-foot building, which will recycle roughly 80 percent of the original three-story structure at the site, will be flanked by lush, pedestrian path-laced open green space extending up and onto the sloping, landscaped roof of the new complex. In addition to public parkland, the roof will include a commercial brewery and private terraces for office tenants.
“This project is a great example of the private sector working with the government to create a truly unique typology that will benefit the city and its citizens for decades to come,” said ODA founder Eran Chen in a statement. “These types of partnerships are the future. It’s ambitious and takes bravery and bold leadership on all fronts, but when this is completed we will have a park that will become an icon for the city, and quite possibly the coolest office building in the southern hemisphere. If you want to get people back to work, then we need to be thinking like this.”
Queens Museum expansion will give way to dedicated children’s museum space
The Queens Museum has been awarded $26.4 million by New York City to complete its multi-phase expansion project, the initial phase of which was completed back in 2013. With the new funding, the beloved outer-borough institution, founded as the Queens Museum of Art in 1972 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park within a historic former World’s Fair pavilion known as the New York City Building, will embark on a final expansion phase. This will entail the creation of a dedicated children’s museum space focused on the arts and culture of Queens as well as expanded classroom and art storage space. The project will also include, among other components, the installation of a new, high-efficiency HVAC system. During the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum was fashioned into a vital community resource hub for the hard-hit borough.
“Queens Museum is an integral part of the communities it serves, a home for amazing arts programming, education, and important civic services – relationships they used to support their neighbors throughout the pandemic,” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to make a major investment in this exciting project, which will expand Queens Museum’s ability to connect with and serve audiences, with new space for children’s programming, storage, and energy sustainability upgrades.”
$115 million overhaul of Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine wraps up
A major, years-in-the-making renovation and expansion of Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GDSM) has at long last reached competition. Following a 7-year planning period, work on the four-phase, $115 million revamp of the 1970s-era facility at 635 Albany Street in Boston’s South End first commenced in 2018. Expanded by roughly 48,000 square feet thanks to two new additions on the building’s west and north sides, the refreshed GDSM is now LEED Gold certified and boasts both dramatically enlarged clinical spaces and a modern new facade that brings “the look of the facility into the 21st century” while “aligning the building’s look with the school’s innovative and cutting-edge reputation,” according to a press release. Shawmut Design and Construction led the highly anticipated project in partnership with SmithGroup and Compass Project Management.
Bill de Blasio names Anita Laremont as chair of the New York City Planning Commission
Following the departure of Marisa Lago, former New York City Planning Commission Chair and director of the Department of City Planning (DCP), for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Anita Laremont as her successor in the high-profile role. Laremont, a Staten Island resident who has served as the DCP’s executive director since 2018, will begin her role immediately.
“Anita is one of the smartest, savviest, most dedicated public servants I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development, in a statement. “New Yorkers are fortunate to have her at the helm as we move forward on key planning initiatives that will keep our city on a path to an equitable recovery for all.”
A new open ideas competition tasks design teams with reactivating an ancient Greek theater
Larissa, the fifth-most populous city in Greece and capital of the Thessaly region, has launched an international design competition seeking architects and multidisciplinary design teams to restore its famed open-air theater, the First Ancient Theater of Larissa or, simply, Theater A. Completed in the early third century BC on the southern slope of Frourio Hill, the city wants to return the 10,000-capacity venue to active use after centuries of inactivity, a maneuver that would also require redeveloping the area surrounding it. The competition is endorsed by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and will be conducted according to UNESCO requirements.