The design of the new 30,000 square-foot branch library for the Cuyahoga County Public Library system effortlessly integrates the fundamentals of a library function within the current forested landscape. Vegetation covers much of the site perimeter and climaxes with a dense blend of deciduous and coniferous plantings to the south of the property. This pure commitment to preserving and enhancing the current scenic vistas is reflected in the branch library design.
The design concept reinforces the Owner’s commitment to providing sustainable design with their capital improvement projects and reinforces this dedication to their patrons by exhibiting the inclined vegetative roof along the active Wallings Road. The configuration of the building provides a perspective that the library is an extension of the surrounding tender lawn with all services and functions located below this plane.
The interior layout of the structure is configured to maximize the current nature-panorama and provide numerous opportunities to decompress while absorbing a favorite paperback. These east-facing areas are largely clad in glazing to capture the views while the opposite functions are framed in wood panels to balance the energy conservation of the project.
Built in the early 1960’s, the Akron-Summit County Public Main Library was a major program that came out of the $80 M bond issue to develop libraries in Akron and Summit County. The key of this entire program was renovating and expanding the main library in downtown Akron. Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects selected GSAA to act as our partner in the development of this project. After much discussion and consideration of all points of view from Akron city leadership it was decided that the more affordable approach would be to proceed with the existing site. The city of Akron decided to do a municipal garage, complementing the library program and providing much needed parking for a building of this magnitude. The 120,000 square foot existing building needed an additional 160,000 square feet to meet the expectations of this library in downtown Akron. What remains of the existing building is the concrete frame only. This may be called a surgical renewal, but the design is very simple and flows from one building into another in a very seamless manner so one does not know when he is in the old building or in a new building. The new structure wraps around the existing building with an auditorium for 460, a 35,000 square foot floor plate with three floors for stack areas and reading areas only. The organizational space is crucial for allowing different departments to provide their own identity and for allowing the easy flow throughout the building for users to feel very comfortable as they participate in the library program.
Akron Summit County Public Library selected RF+PA to design a branch library for Bath, Ohio. Following the requirements of similar branches, the size, scope, and value corresponded to 12,000 SF and $2.2 M as a maximum budget. The 120 foot by 100 foot rectangular design allows for flexibility of the program while approximately 1/3 the area or less then 400 SF, provides the many back of the house requirements such as administrative offices, meeting and conference rooms and other ancillary facilities.
The transparent design allows the community to recognize the various activities such as the children’s areas, youth and adult reading sections while also enjoying the beautifully wooded site.
The first of two existing student residence towers at the University of Cincinnati has been renovated for modern day use by Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects. Built in the mid 1960’s, the image and experience of the 15-story, 152,000 square foot Morgens residence tower was tired and depressing. The university was concerned with the number of students moving off-campus to spaces better equipped to handle their lifestyles.
The main goal of the project was to create the best possible living experience for students, so to encourage them to make the most of their college experience by living on campus. Besides a complete replacement of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, the fifteen floor building was completely transformed with a new interior and a dramatically updated and more efficient skin. The thirteen floors of living units are a combination of one, two, and five bedroom units, each complete with their own modern kitchen and bathroom.
When constructed, the building overlooked a large parking lot, and thus did little to showcase the view with its narrow windows. However, years ago that parking lot was replaced by the main campus green, creating a lush park-like setting for the building. With the complete replacement of the building façade, floor-to-ceiling glass now creates the sense of sitting within a park on the lower floors and presents beautiful vistas of the
campus green from the upper floors. The glass walls also make the relatively small spaces seem much more expansive, which has allowed the university to place more students within each unit. The previous exterior balconies, which went mostly unused and made the university uncomfortable, were enclosed as a part of the interior space, creating a more usable space and thus a more valuable space to the university.
Concurrent with the renovation of the building, and upgrade to the surrounding site also took place as a part of a larger Master Plan, by the architect. An imperative of the Master Plan recognizes the necessity for pedestrian connectivity though the site. The improvements generated in this project will link the ‘Campus Green’ pedestrian paths to the ‘podium’ which the residence halls sit upon. A common design language of materials, hardscaping, landscaping, and lighting will continue from the Campus Green through the residential hall site. Various types of outdoor gathering spaces were important to incorporate, from social to quiet study spaces.
The exterior image of the building has become a glowing beacon at the termination of the campus green. When the residence hall became available to students in May of 2013, the previously undesirable residence tower sold out the 464 beds available in three days.
Nine Ohio universities, together with governmental and private agencies, make up the consortium of the Ohio Aerospace Institute. The purpose of this building is to create an atmosphere for advanced university research, communication, and application. The building’s design succeeds in allowing resident and visiting scholars to join together to share their on-going research.
A three-story atrium links a technologically advanced lecture hall to second floor classrooms and third floor offices and workshops. The offsetting of these three levels in plan visually connects secured work areas to the public lobby. The two upper floors, mezzanine and balcony, overlook the floor below, and are covered by a softly curved atrium roof. This sweeping roof system essentially creates one large volume, in which scholars interact as they pursue collaborative projects.
Modern technology is utilized in material choices for this project to maximize energy efficiency and acoustical quality. The specially coated window assemblies are filled with argon gas and lined with tailor-made gaskets for optimum thermal insulation value. Three different types of glass make up the curtain wall assembly: reflective glass for areas that house closed offices, classrooms, administrative offices, the auditorium, and the atrium skylight; tinted glass for the front of the building where the entrance and three-story atrium are located; and tinted glass with low-emissivity coating for the scholar work areas.
Both in its interior spaces and as an object in the landscape, the building’s design is intended to reflect the excitement of the aerospace enterprise.
One of the most prominent buildings of the Akron skyline is the Polymer Science Complex; a state-of-the-art laboratory facility designed to house the University of Akron’s world famous Polymer Institute.
Sited prominently on the major east-west corridor of the campus and adjacent to the Auburn Science Center, this building complex creates a cohesive research facility for graduate and doctoral candidates.
The facility includes 50 research laboratories located in 3 of the 4 corners of each of the structure’s two towers. The fourth corner is open to a three-floor atrium. Complete facilities for these laboratory research clusters are contained in these communicating three-floors. Laboratories are smaller than five workstations, have individual offices adjacent to each lab for its technicians, and are located at the corners of the structure. Service areas are concentrated in the building’s center. Offices for faculty research advisors are included within the clusters. One tower accommodates chemistry laboratories and the other houses physical science laboratories.
Within this facility, graduate and doctoral candidates pursue the exciting investigation and discovery of new technologies. The building’s transparent glass shell conveys its different functions, while at the same time expressing the creative activity found within the building.
The quality of public transportation in the Cleveland Region is expanding, examples such as the Euclid Corridor and other stations have both heavy and light rail that are experiencing a change in image, function and passenger comfort. The Buckeye Woodhill station follows this pattern of Design Excellence set by the local public transit authority.
The first priority was the handicapped access that is a mandate allowing passengers to arrive at the platform regardless of whether west or east bound. Each platform has a translucent “halo” that is providing protection from the wind, rain, and snow.
The project was a rehabilitation of the existing transit station. The current station was deteriorated, not welcoming and was demolished. The redesign is required to meet ADA mandates and make the entire station completely accessible to all patrons. All design items were reviewed with the development corporation with community input. Major construction began in the fall of 2011 and completed in 2013. The station remained completely operational during construction. The program includes redevelopment of the existing platform, construction with ramps for accessible access, new stairway with mini- high ramp on both eastbound /westbound platforms. Additional items include redevelopment of the parking and vehicular apron, directional signage, security features and updated lighting.
The total site area is 2.036 acres of land. The topography has approximately 24 feet of elevation between Woodhill Road and the new Platform. The reconstruction of the bridge results in elevation changes along the North property line on Buckeye Road. An accessible entrance has been provided off Woodhill Road and Buckeye Road.
Each platform has a canopy that is 16’ side and 60’ long, providing protection from the weather and includes a concrete mini- high ramp to provide handicap access into the rail cars. To complement this planning strategy there is a continuous ramp that allows passengers to move vertically and horizontally 24’ from street level to platform.
Major exterior building materials include poured-in-place concrete and a steel structure. The “halos” are kalwall and supported with steel tubes. No ferrous materials meet the platform on the exterior as concrete encloses all columns and other ferrous materials for protection and maintenance. The existing concrete wall is clad with porcelain tile on stud wall within the structure and painted in those areas outside the vertical structure. All existing and new concrete retaining walls are painted with anti-graffiti paint.
The renovation of the 145-year-old Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), a not-for-profit educational institution in University Circle, opens a new chapter in Cleveland’s commitment to preserving its history as both a transportation industry leader and as a family-focused community. The dual gems of this project are the renovation of the 77,400sf Crawford Auto Aviation Collection portion of the museum and the 4,700sf addition of a glass pavilion to house the century-old Euclid Beach Park Carousel.
This renovation brings more cohesion to the long disparate elements of the WRHS, marking the completion of a project that began five years earlier when the board realized that the museum was dated (untouched since it’s initial construction in 1964), had too many narrow spaces, low ceilings, poor lighting, and was not ADA compliant. The overall design intent was to improve the visitor experience by creating a much more open atmosphere that would be conducive to the display of the large collection of automobiles and aircraft (157 cars and 10 aircraft). “The automobiles and aircraft that are the core of the collection are now more accessible and better cared for”, says Gainor Davis, Ph.D., CEO and president of WRHS.
Through the careful reorganization of program spaces, all of the corridors and small spaces were eliminated. For instance, the bookstore, previously located in a narrow corridor, was relocated to a new prominent position at the front of the museum facing onto University Circle. All of the new walls and ceilings were curved, to open up views through the space and reinforce the idea of motion. Glass was added in many locations to the previously windowless façade, allowing passing visitors the ability to catch a glimpse inside of the exciting collection the museum has to offer.
Bratenahl is a distinctive residential village, founded in 1905 with a current population of 1,350 and located along the shores of Lake Erie ten minutes northeast of downtown Cleveland. The surrounding residences, built over a century ago, were progressively eclectic in their day, when their classic European grandeur helped create a lifestyle for Cleveland’s cultural and political leaders. Dr. Blackstone, a prominent surgeon selected two parcels in the Breezy Bluff Development. This decision was the result of the need to recognize the size of space required to build a house to accommodate two 40 rank pipe organs (one English and one German).
Music (sound) was a major design determinant. Space was designed to incorporate interior shapes and surface to resolve the issue of echo and reverberation of playing two instruments.
The proportion and size of the space created resulted in dimensions appropriate for a music, living and dining environment. The residence is 9,000 square feet on three levels with undulating surfaces and open floors. The major space for music and living is 80-feet long by 34-feet wide and a height of 43’. The two pipe organs, one at each end require the house to remain “firm and solid”, zero tolerance and no drifting from reverberations or wind gusts.
With two musical instruments dictating the size and proportion, the villa continues to reflect the same quality as its old classic counterparts. Because of sound, the spacious living areas are open to each other. This encourages flow from room-to-room. “The spaces are deceptively simple,” described Dr. Blackstone, “There is great beauty in the apparent emptiness and magnificent sound.” He informed us that they covet their space and the agreement between architect and owner was based on design compatibility. They believe their home is poetic and they have a responsibility to be the curator of their space. The villa is oriented towards the lake, affording expansive views with floor-to-ceiling glass.
The steel frame with 5” pipe columns and 10” wide flange beams were selected to meet the space expectations of the Blackstone requirements. The diagonal bracing further acts as a design factor to defuse the sound and reverberation. The rigid frame with moment connections creates the volume for proper sound required for the zero tolerance. The central airshaft provides tempered air and proper levels of humidity. It also controls the sound factor associated with mechanical systems. The entire house is pressurized and air is distributed at the pinnacle with return air following the open grilles at the ground level.
The house is a mosaic, created by the Owner and Architect.
Case Western Reserve University directed Richard Fleischman Associates to provide renovation and addition to the existing H.G. Wood Building. The School of Medicine elected to complete a reorganization of the existing laboratories. Besides accommodating new collegial spaces for graduate and doctoral students, the flexible science center complemented this entire concept.
A new state of the art NMR Facility approximately 6,000 SF will accommodate 800,600,500 MHZ. The plan is unique and provides an ideal space for research. New construction required only two modified exterior walls, which were adjacent to existing toilet facilities, exits, and therefore the net educational space increased to 91% efficiency and provided more collegial space, to students and faculty.
In a phased renovation, building limitations and tenant-related criteria are primary ingredients in determining how phasing occurs. It is crucial to obtain tenant buy-in at the outset, involve them at all phases, and keep them fully advised of schedules and changes throughout.
Some building limitations become significant when building operations are being maintained, though they are not relevant in a normal unoccupied renovation project — for instance, asbestos abatement containment. Further, all life-safety systems and means of egress need to be maintained in occupied areas. But by far the most significant factor is maintaining HVAC service in occupied areas. How areas are grouped for renovation is determined by how it is possible to isolate those areas with HVAC service.
The impact of the HVAC system in determining phasing can be seen in two projects: the Peck Federal Building and the Western Reserve Historical Society renovation.
We investigated multiple options for the building exterior and interior mechanical systems in order to provide a design that meets their PBS-P100 Design Guide criteria. We also performed an analysis of the ability of the existing building to meet GSA’s blast-resistance criteria. The findings from these studies were incorporated into two presentations of alternate schemes with associated construction costs.
The project is an adaptive reuse of an existing brown field site into a community resource learning center. The project includes a new façade, parking lot, roof and interior build out. The scope of work included an evaluation of the existing facades in terms of their viability and proposed solutions and replacement options to provide PNC and the community with a new image to this existing structure. The final design included demolition of the existing facade to the structure and attaching a new curtain wall and masonry wall assembly to this core composition. The team collaborated with ESI Design of NY on the interactive displays layout and interior building layout. The project anticipates a LEED Certification as part of the building reuse and community location.
515 Garage represents six years of continuous design and evaluation. The primary goal was to provide new retail and parking facilities on Euclid Avenue, with an opportunity to build luxury apartments above.
It was determined that concrete would be used for retail floors and steel frame incorporated for residential units. Soil analysis dictated the maximum of 24 stories using a concrete mat foundation.
During the four year period an unbelievable amount of studies were prepared looking at parking, housing and retail development. Although the apartments were not built plans for every level and unit were developed.
Wright State University’s satellite campus in Celina, Ohio consists of a single, 40-year-old, 57,000 sq. ft. building. The project called for the entire building, consisting of classrooms, labs, and offices, to be renovated along with new additions of science labs and an activity center.
WSU had previously undergone a master planning process to establish a design concept which called for the existing building to be given ‘book ends’ - the new activity center at one end with the new science center at the opposite. Our team challenged the Master Plan and recommended an expansion strategy that would centralize the activities within the building, thus creating much needed collegial space.
The new design concept combined the separate activity and science center additions into one single two-story addition. The new addition was centrally located for three main reasons:
1) It became the nucleus of an exciting new facility that had previously been a long single corridor. This central hub location provides spaces in which students and faculty gather, as well as placing the exciting science program on display for everyone to view as they pass through the space.
2) The two previously disconnected two-story wings containing the faculty offices and classrooms were able to be connected through the mezzanine level of the addition. This connector serves as a student lounge, which not only allows for much easier access through the facility, but also creates a space of interaction between students and faculty passing to-and-from their offices.
3) Locating the new two-story addition between two existing wings reduced site development costs by not having to develop as much land area as well as being able to utilize some of the existing building’s exterior walls.
The new addition is simply clad on its two sides, facing the existing wings, by a solid monolithic color of porcelain tile. The sloped glass façade was driven by the fact that the addition sits directly on the shore of the largest inland lake in the state of Ohio, Lake Grand St. Mary’s.
Every classroom in the facility was renovated in various ways to enhance the learning environment. A large window, extending to the floor, was added into each room in order to provide more natural light and to give occupants a view of the beautiful surrounding landscape. Large colorful coves were created at the entrance to each classroom to break-up the long mundane corridors.
Three non-descript entrances previously dotted the front of the building. The desired main entrance was enhanced by creating a large dynamic steel canopy flanked by tiled signage walls.
The purpose of a Catholic Church building is to provide a place for the assembly of people to conduct the liturgical life of the church. The prime purpose of the assembly of the congregation is to offer worship to God. In the Catholic Church, the supreme act of worship is the Mass.
The design of Holy Family Church incorporates the concept of liturgical form and symbolism into its visual, auditory and acoustic space. All the elements of the liturgy are related to the strong axis of the Church. The Baptistery is the gateway, and the Sanctuary to the climax. The shrines and confessionals are related to the axis. Each is expressed on the interior as well as being apparent on the exterior.
The art of Christian Space can be observed as an evolution of structures that change in form and proportion. One can research and identify the beginning of the early Christian Basilica as a reflection or mirror of the Roman Basilica, which was the governing or judiciary hall. Through the centuries, periods of architecture Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Modern reflected the social, political, and religious fervor of the time. Therefore, the various change in building images.
The St. Michael The Archangel Parish structure can be described as being the network of artistic and functional spaces that are architecturally innovative. It is more then a building, because it demands response and encourages everyone to expand his or hers spiritual horizons.
The church is largely symbolic; it was crated to allow the congregation to celebrate liturgy. The space for 1,000 seats, Sanctuary and Baptismal Font are sized and proportioned to relate to the community of worshippers in the celebration. In this space a spiritual event takes place and is illuminated by the transcendence of faith. Consequently, the parish is careful to respect the prescriptions of the liturgy. The basilica plan is abandoned in favor of a plan constructed of masonry in which the worshipers take their places not before but round the altar; and it also explains the formal quality of the building, the ellipse.
The elliptical form was created to reflect the liturgical requirements for the community worshipers. The elliptical shape also became structurally sound and esthetically pleasing. The shape has structural benefits, its 20-foot walls support steel trusses of various sizes that allow the super structure enclosure to be both roofing material and glass.
The church plan has evolved from a Roman Basilica plan through centuries, however the plan for St. Michael The Archangel Parish reflects current requirements but still carries the Renaissance and Baroque themes of Rome.