A Point In Design

Commercial Design – Dubai Invitational Golf Club
February 2, 2012, 4:56 am
Filed under: Commercial Work

Hello readers,

This project is a continuation of my Dubai convention center project. As my previous post indicated, part of my development scheme included a hotel. It was really easy to add a golf course into the mix, although not terribly practical in an arid climate. However, as Dubai bills itself into a tourist destination it is not inconceivable that golf resorts would exist, even though golf is very much a western sport. The clubhouse needed to reflect the culture and the other projects that I had already designed. Therefore I kept to the snail theme developed in the convention project but tried to integrate some details from Middle Eastern architecture. Probably the most common element is the pointed arch (Gothic arch) often found in the historic structures of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Morocco. Often when you think of a place you get a specific image in mind. When I think of the Middle East, this image of a Byzantine fort found in the tourist town of Kusadasi, Turkey comes to mind.

I used the fort as my inspiration incorporating the crenelation detail, the material, as well as the overall massing and then brought it into the 21st century. The clubhouse has a pro-shop, change room facilities, a restaurant, and bag/cart storage facilities. The public spaces include a grand 2-story foyer as well as a courtyard modeled after those found in a riad (a traditional Moroccan dwelling).

Image Gallery

Commercial Design – T Bus Depot
January 29, 2012, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

Elevation View

This project came about by accident really. I was working on a parking garage and ended up making a sketch which after looking at it thought would be a great bus station. The sweeping roofline mimics an exaggerated bus steering wheel. The bus station has a ticket area, lounge with modern fireplace, a coffee bar, rest rooms, and a break area for the employees of the transit authority. There are two enclosed bus platforms with floor based up-lighting that flashes to indicate an arriving bus similar to the Washington DC transit system. The bus depot also has a area for trash storage and bus refueling.

Image Gallery

Commercial Project – Convention Center for Dubai
January 24, 2012, 3:27 am
Filed under: Commercial Work

Hello again web viewers. I got ambitious and decided to design on a much larger scale. I wanted to design something very modern and trendy in a money no object environment. The obvious location was Dubai, where money grows on trees and no project is too extravagant. Above you see a rendering that includes a resort hotel, a convention center, a parking garage, a maglev rail line and terminal, even a rotating restaurant in the sky with its own rooftop helipad. As I developed this urban environment I began to feel like the architect in Inception who created all of the virtual worlds that the dream extraction team migrated through. It was just like playing SimCity.

The project’s architecture has an Arabian feel to it with sculptural elements that evoke a cobra while the larger buildings could be seen to resemble the Egyptian Sphinx. Others might see snails moving through the sand. To each his own. Projects by both Mies and Le Corbusier inspired the convention center’s spacial layout, but the actual design is pure randomness. After the fact I realized that the support piers for the convention center resembled the ill-fated “Hands of Victory” sculpture found in Baghdad, Iraq. That sculpture was originally commissioned by the late Saddam Hussein and was destroyed in the war and later rebuilt by US occupation forces.

Hands of Victory Sculpture

As usual a gallery of images of the project can be found below

Building Typology – The Parking Garage
January 6, 2012, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Commentary/Reviews, Commercial Work, Photo Galleries

Winthrop Square Parking Garage, Boston, MA

Hello readers,

It is a new year and for the first post of 2012 I thought I would devote it to a building type that rarely gets any attention, the parking garage. Normally these are structures that are made as nondescript and forgettable as possible; their sole purpose being a place to park vehicles. However when an architect pours his energies into creating something beautiful as well as functional, the results are often exemplary. Below are a few of the more noteworthy parking structures that I have seen.

Of all the places that I have visited, I would have to say that Melbourne, Australia is the city that really knows how to do car parks the best. There are more underground parking facilities in Melbourne than any other city I can think of. The best being the one right on the Uni Melbourne campus. You would never know that there was a garage right below the quad.

Melbourne Uni Quad, Carlton, Victoria, AU (garage underneath)

Commercial Design – The Architect’s Office
December 10, 2011, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

front view copy

Here is a quick little building that I designed to function as an office for a sole proprietorship architectural practice. This 274 sq ft building with bathroom facilities and parking is perfect for meetings with clients for a small scale building practice. The building could easily be placed on the architect’s property and serve as a business with a separate postal address, and zoning approval of course. I feel that this out building would complement my traditional home of the year rather nicely.

Commercial Design – Strip Mall of Future
December 2, 2011, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

Hello again readers. I thought that I would design something on the commercial side of things for a change. Until recently, the mall has been the preferred medium for retail commerce. However, the cost of gas, the high rents for mall tenants and online commerce have all helped to kill that beast. Additionally, a greater emphasis is being placed on sustainability and shopping locally favoring smaller community based complexes. The term ‘lifestyle center’ has been bandied around the architectural community as the next generation in retail; a hometown based shopping area that offers shopping and community activities such as movies or climbing walls, etc. My interpretation of the lifestyle center has a very urban edge to it so it would be ideally suited for a city block in Boston or New York rather than in the downtown of a bedroom community.

I started with the sketch above and it easily expanded into an entire complex. I envisioned a 2 floor Nike shoe store occupying the anchor store in my complex (as the building evokes imagery associated with shoes i.e. shoe horn, shoe laces) with two smaller stores and a tourist info booth as well as in a separate building. Additionally an ice cream parlor and a parking garage for visitors would be included all of which are designed around a common courtyard space. I was sick of retail being so bland. If people are going to part with the little money they have, they should do it in enjoyable spaces and not within the confines of a big box warehouse or a dated mall.

Street Elevation

Below are several renderings of the complex

Shingle Style Comercial Project
January 29, 2011, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

This shingle style project is an alternate plan to my Mystic Development Scheme sited for downtown Mystic taking a more conservative approach to development in a New England coastal village. This building creates space for (2) retail stores, (2) 3-bedroom apartments, a day spa, plus space for a tourist info booth, with public restrooms, boardwalk and a pergola covered outdoor bar. A public park is also created that is directly adjacent to the new building.

Street Elevation

View down Main Street (RT 1)

View from the Mystic River

View of Park with Public Dock

View of Furnished Apt Living Room/Kitchen

Tourist Info Lobby

View of 3rd Floor Day Spa

Downtown Mystic Development
January 23, 2011, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

View of Mystic Streetscape

This project offers a possible use for the burned out block on Main Street in downtown Mystic, CT which has sat vacant for the last decade. This site was previously occupied by a large building that abutted the Mystic River, but it burned down in 2000 in a massive fire. Many development schemes for the site have been proposed, but ultimately all development options collapsed with the faltering economy. My hypothetical scheme creates two new buildings on the site with the addition of a small park which overlooks the Mystic River.

Building 1 is a small house-like structure which is in keeping with the neighboring buildings. I envisioned this being a 2-floor retail shop. Building 2 is a multi-use structure with 2 restaurants, 1 retail store, and 1 luxury loft apartment. The park space would be adjacent to building 2 with one unique feature, an entrance to an underwater Apple outlet. Modeled after the Apple store in Shanghai (see here), the Mystic store additionally offers views of the aquatic life in the Mystic river while browsing for the latest Apple products.

By introducing a high traffic store like an Apple outlet to downtown Mystic, while offering recreational space with views of Mystic Seaport, this scheme is guaranteed to increase tourist traffic valued to the local businesses in a tourist town.

View of Park

View from the Mystic river

View of Loft Apartment

View of Loft Apt Kitchen/Dining Area

View of Loft Bedroom

Elevation view of both buildings

View of Upriver cafe

View of River View Restaurant Overlooking the Park

Underwater Apple Outlet

Downtown Cultural District
July 14, 2010, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

With more people moving into cities, having places to congregate and enjoy the company of others will become more important to forging and maintaining a sense of community in our increasingly virtual world. To that end, I decided to create a downtown cultural district showcasing designs for a concert hall, modern art museum with a pyramid-shaped restaurant, Omni theater, and an outdoor food court, all placed around a central plaza. A true urban development project. The plaza is accessible by both car and light rail/subway. These type of large-scale projects are not new, but I thought that I would venture into the commercial side of design after giving you lots of residential ideas to inspire. In addition to my own design, you will also find some more notable urban development projects by more famous designers than myself. As always feel free to comment.

Cultural Complex

Cultural Complex

View of Art Museum from Parking Lot

Interior View of Symphony Hall

Interior View of Symphony Hall

Aerial View of Plaza

Other Designers
Louis Kahn’s Plans For Philadelphia mid 1940s

Triangle Area Redevelopment Perspective Drawing

Sketches of Triangle Redevelopment for Philadelphia

Moshe Safdie Architects – Marina Sands Resort Complex in Singapore

IM Pei – Government Center Urban Renewal Plan 1961

View of Government Center, Boston, MA

Many would argue that this urban project was not at all successful as the plaza around city hall remains an uninhabited wasteland today, failing to attract and keep people around the over-scaled and ugly Boston City Hall.

Waterfall City Design Recognized for its Excellence
October 2, 2009, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Commercial Work

My design was selected as one of the 4 best in a design contest for new buildings for the Boston skyline. The design was published in the Boston Business Journal on Fri. Aug 21, 2009. Shown below is the online version of the article.




The contest was also covered in the local media on the New England Cable New TV Network. Click here for a video of the story covering the contest and its winners.

Below are larger pictures of the proposed skyline intervention and a close-up of the building itself. Click on the thumbnails for the full size images.

Boston Skyline             Elevation View