The winning competition entry that Foster + Partners provided to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority makes no reference to the innate femininity of the firm’s design for Virgin Galactic’s Terminal and Hangar Facility at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. My response to this intuitively sensual design, however, was an immediate attraction to the curvaceous feminine symbology of the Terminal building.
Morey Bean, AIA, LEED AP
Colorado's 1999 Architect of the Year and Vice Chair of the Boulder Chapter of the Urban Land Institute, Morey’s experience includes the successful development of the Colorado Architecture Partnership, an architecture firm dedicated to sustainability and green building. Morey was appointed by the Chief Architect of the GSA to the National Register of Peer Professionals. He serves as a ULI Service Advisory Panelist and was a charter member of the Colorado Chapter of the USGBC and past president of the Colorado South Chapter of the AIA. He is a construction litigation services expert witness, land development analyst and sustainability strategies consultant.
The author was honored by the Colorado Component of the American Institute of Architects as their Architect of the Year in 1999 and is on the Roster of Neutrals for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), providing dispute settlement for the design and construction industry.
The earthquake in Haiti that hit on January 12, now seven months ago, left more than 230,000 people dead with 1.3 million homeless and 600,000 internally displaced. Undaunted not only by the immediate devastation of the quake but also by the political and governmental fragility that makes reconstruction difficult, Clemson School of Architecture Associate Professor Doug Hecker and Assistant Professor Martha Skinner continue to work to provide housing for Haitians long after they began an immediate post-quake creative search for emergency shelter for the displaced and homeless in Haiti. Their efforts resulted in the successful use of shipping containers as emergency housing -- the SEED_Haiti project.
Scheduled for completion in 2016, the South Terminal Redevelopment Program of the Denver International Airport (DIA) will juxtapose new buildings by Spain's Santiago Calatrava with the famed Jeppesen Terminal by Fentress Architects. Calatrava, from Valencia, has designed four principle elements: a new hotel and conference center, transit station, civic plaza, and rail bridge, which will all be physically integrated. In his Architectural Statement, Calatrava pays homage to the Jeppesen Terminal, notable for its tensile fabric roof: “My goal in designing adjacent to such a prominent iconic structure has been to preserve the character and integrity of the original terminal while complementing it with a design that presents an independent identity of equal quality."
When Denver’s commercial real estate industry outlines criteria for developing a successful project, it typically starts with whether the site provides any views of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Front Range to the west of the city. It follows, of course, that these units hold a value premium, as owners will pay more for this look at the mountains, a source of comfort and inspiration and an iconic representation of Colorado’s strong sense of identity.
The Denver Art Museum may well be the most prominent expression of Denver’s cultural heart. Daniel Libeskind’s 146,000 sq. ft. extension to the museum, The Frederic C. Hamilton Building, was a joint venture with the Davis Partnership and houses Modern, Contemporary, Oceanic, and African Art collections. The original museum, which opened in 1971, was Italian architect Gio Ponti’s first American commission and boasted an exterior of Italian tile and the innovation of stacking its galleries vertically, which sought to combat the “museum fatigue” that resulted from traversing the long horizontal layout typical of museums at the time.
Denver’s Union Station is a regional multi-modal hub that embodies everything about Denver’s upbeat future. The Union Depot & Railroad Company built Denver's first Union Station at the city's northwest edge. It cost $525,000 to build and opened on June 1, 1881. Union Station houses the Amtrak service and, more uniquely, the Ski Train, a local favorite that takes skiers on an entertaining ride through the Rockies to the Winter Park Ski Resort.
One of the most important climate change reduction advances in architecture and building in America is unfolding in the foothills of the Front Range outside Denver where the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is completing a flagship for renewability and energy efficiency. The Research Support Facilities (RSF) in Golden, Colorado, were built and furnished for $67 million, comprise 222,000 square feet of zero-energy building (ZEB), were designed by RNL Design with Stantec, and were built by Colorado’s Haselden Construction. Seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Platinum status, NREL is certainly practicing what it preaches: its scientists and technologists are occupying daylit spaces this summer to deliver energy strategies as they work to battle climate change and strive for national energy independence.