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2002 Annual Design Review Environments Design Distinction


Beverly Hills residential architecture from the 1950s served as the design inspiration for the Cole Haan flagship store in New York’s Rockefeller Center, designed by Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates. The retail space houses men’s and women’s shoes, outerwear, handbags and other leather accessories in a series of small rooms. Chairs and sofas from the 1950s and 1960s are provided for customers to try on shoes, and products are displayed on vintage modern furniture. Chandeliers and tables are also from these eras. Both jurors liked the shop’s mid-20th century feel. “I would be empowered if I were shopping there,” Boym said. “There are nostalgic elements that play psychological tricks on the consumer, playing with time and space. The antiques add an eclectic, sampled flavor.”

CLIENT Cole Haan, New York DESIGN Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago: Randall Mattheis, principal; Brad Pausha, Jason Hall, Matt Berry and Tim Connor, designers; Cole Haan, New York: Gordon Thompson III, creative director/executive vice president; Scott Fedje, creative director; Meiling Leung, designer; and Steve Schickendanz Architect LLC, New York

MATERIALS|FABRICATION 1950s and 1960s antique chandeliers, seating and tables HARDWARE|SOFTWARE MicroStation on various hardware platforms

Photocredit: Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing


“I wish I could try this,” McGowan said of The Emperor’s New Clothes, an interactive exhibit by Antenna Design of New York. On display at New York’s Artists Space last year, the exhibit comprised five illuminated coat hangers that carry “invisible clothes.” Visitors would pick up a hanger, take it into the adjoining fitting room and look in the “magic” mirror to witness floating, animated images superimposed onto their reflections. The images projected onto the body weren’t clothes, but rather the effects of transformations the invisible clothes produced. Each hanger triggered a different alteration. McGowan called the exhibit “intense,” and Boym was equally impressed. “Their incorporation of new media is spectacular,” Boym said. “Their projects are really poetic. I envy what they’re doing with technology.”

CLIENT Artists Space, New York DESIGN Antenna Design Inc., New York: Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger, principals; Will Pickering and Jaime Villareal, engineers

MATERIALS|FABRICATION drywall, half-silvered mirror, aluminum, infrared illuminators, video tracking HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Macintosh G4, PC, Ashlar-Vellum, SolidWorks, Macromedia Director, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Smoothware Xtra

Photocredit: Jan Staller


McGowan called the Me Issey Miyake shop in Tokyo a breakthrough in merchandise distribution. Designed by Tokyo-based Curiosity Inc., the shop features Miyake’s “me” brand, exclusive one-sized shirts that stretch to fit the wearer. Designers said the one-size-fits-all mentality inspired the store’s vending-machine concept. All shirts are factory-packaged in transparent plastic tubes and displayed in a transparent machine. Customers check out the shirts on a hanger in the store and then select the color and texture from the machine. When a tubed shirt is taken from the front of the display, another tube appears automatically. In addition to the retail environment, Curiosity also designed the tubes and product logo. The designers explained that they were interested in redefining the process of shopping with a direct interaction between the customers and products. “The craftsmanship is impeccable,” Boym noted.

CLIENT Issey Miyake Inc., Tokyo DESIGN Curiosity Inc., Tokyo: Gwenael Nicolas, principal; Hisaaki Hirawata, interior designer MATERIALS|FABRICATION transparent machine: acrylic; counter: steel; hanger: steel and acrylic HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Macintosh G4, VectorWorks, Shade

Photocredit: Yasuaki Yoshinaga


“Wild West meets swinging-singles martini guy,” Boym said in characterizing the persona of Elliott + Associates’ Doc Blue. Jurors were immediately drawn to, and had a lot to say about, this “bachelor pad,” designed for 70-year-old Oklahoma City orthodontist French Hickman. Elliott + Associates renovated 2,560 square feet on the fifth floor of a 1941 industrial-warehouse building into a loft for Hickman. Dramatic blue paint drapes the walls of the living space, and Hickman’s eclectic mix of furniture and artifacts adorns his loft, including his childhood saddle suspended from the ceiling. “It’s daring,” McGowan noted. “There’s a little bit of pop religion. This is his temple. The graphic impact is awesome.” Boym added, “The indigo finish on the floor creates great texture, such an amazing use of textural contrast. It has a very strong, unified design statement.”

CLIENT Dr. French Hickman, Oklahoma City DESIGN Elliott + Associates, Oklahoma City: Rand Elliott, principal; Brian Fitzsimmons, associate

Photocredit: Bob Shimer/Hedrich Blessing


Centerbrook Architects and Planners LLC of Centerbrook, Conn., took what was a “problem” railroad bridge for the city of Worcester, Mass., and turned it into a gateway for the city. By replacing the standard safety rails of the bridge with arches of polished stainless steel, whose supports are radial instead of vertical, the designers allowed ambient light to be reflected in a sparkling pattern as vehicles and pedestrians pass beneath the bridge. At night, the colors from traffic lights and illuminated signs bounce off the bridge’s arches to seemingly electrify the structure. Boym said she loved the bridge in context with Worcester. McGowan noted, “The light change is dynamic and engaging.”

CLIENT Worcester Redevelopment Authority and the City of Worcester, Worcester, Mass. DESIGN Centerbrook Architects and Planners LLC, Centerbrook, Conn.: William Grover and James Childress, architects; Padraic Ryan, Jonathan Parks, Roger Williams and Michelle Lafoe, design team; Maguire Group Connecticut Inc., New Britain, Conn., bridge engineers

MATERIALS|FABRICATION concrete piers and abutments, ironspot brick, stainless-steel arches HARDWARE|SOFTWARE AutoCAD

Photocredit: Jeff Goldberg/Esto


Jurors praised the patterns and materials used in Alma de Cuba, a Philadelphia restaurant designed by New York-based The Rockwell Group that attempts to capture the spirit of Cuba. The three-story restaurant incorporates a glowing red aura throughout and features a first-floor lounge, where black-and-white photographs are projected onto whitewashed walls; a second-floor main dining room with embroidered leather banquettes, a communal mahogany dining table and handcrafted carpets; and a third-level rectangular room surrounded by light boxes that project a panoramic image of tobacco fields. Boym appreciated the restaurant’s metaphors, and McGowan said, “I like how [Rockwell] conceptually used the color red effectively in the environment. The use is carefully spaced in ceilings and on tables, creating a hint of mystery.”

CLIENT Starr Restaurants LLC, Philadelphia DESIGN The Rockwell Group, New York: David Rockwell, principal; Diego Gronda, senior associate-in-charge; Jun Aizaki, architect; Tonya Rife, interior design

Photocredit: Paul Warchol


“I love this environment,” Boym said of Firefly from New York-based Antenna Design, which was part of the Massless Medium: Explorations in Sensory Immersion exhibit at the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, an art space under the bridge’s eaves. The interactive environment was designed for the cavernous darkness of the bridge and featured skeletal, self-illuminated, furniture-like objects superimposed on Anchorage’s chambered walls. By holding PDAs near each object, visitors received onscreen digital animation that responded to touch and offered a comic commentary on the object. For example, after touching a cage, a cloud of fireflies was revealed. The visitors became part of the installation while they wandered through the dark space and held their green-backlit PDAs, which were the same color as the illuminated objects. Antenna said the floating green lights evoked the image of fireflies on a summer night. McGowan appreciated that viewers became part of the exhibit, and Boym called it a “sensorial, psychedelic experience.”

CLIENT Creative Time Inc., New York DESIGN Antenna Design Inc., New York: Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger, principals; Bruce Pringle, 3D modeling; Christopher Dixon, programming; Streetbeam, New York: Louis Spitzer, PDA beaming

MATERIALS|FABRICATION steel, electroluminescent lamps, half mirrors, plywood HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Macintosh G4, PC, Ashlar-Vellum, Macromedia Director, FormZ

Photocredit: Ryuzo Masunaga


(a)way Station is a traveling architectural exhibit whose concept, construction and message are based upon the fact that it must travel. A critique on migration, the environment, by Ottawa, Ontario-based KW:a, is conceived as a room of minimal dimensions that might allow for temporary human habitation. As an abstract vessel that contains migrants’ personal belongings, the environment has 15 components and is purposefully temporary in form, built to adapt to each new exhibit space. It features tactile surfaces and movable parts for viewer interaction and a concealed sound system that continuously plays personal migration narratives, which are collected at the city where the exhibit is showcased prior to opening. “It’s a beautiful exhibit,” Boym said. “It presents the objects in a precious way. Very poetic.”

DESIGN KW:a, Ottawa, Ontario: Paul duBellet Kariouk and Mabel Wilson, principals; Yosuke Obuchi, collaborator MATERIALS|FABRICATION plywood sheets, acrylic strips, resin blocks HARDWARE|SOFTWARE AutoCAD, 3D Studio

Photocredit: Peter Tolin, Carl Kaufman, Kelli Yo


The Edible Schoolyard Kitchen Classroom, designed by Oakland, Calif.-based WOWHAUS, was built after the Edible Schoolyard, founded by chef Alice Waters, had to vacate its former space, a 1920s cafeteria in Berkeley, Calif. The Edible Schoolyard Kitchen Classroom is where middle-school children nurture, cook and eat produce they have grown in their one-acre garden. WOWHAUS designed and built all of the furnishings in the new classroom, utilizing many materials from the demolished former cafeteria. More than 50 percent of the materials used were recycled, which allowed for substantial cost savings. Erik Seniska hand-painted the garden-flanking walls and cubbies. Both jurors loved the Schoolyard’s concept. “The way it’s designed to scale is almost dollhouse-like,” McGowan said. “The color palette is an appropriate nod to Mother Earth.”

CLIENT The Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, Calif. DESIGN WOWHAUS, Oakland, Calif.: Scott Constable, principal; Buddy Rhodes, hand-case concrete tabletops and counters; Erik Seniska, hand painter

Photocredit: David Duncan Livingston


Oklahoma City-based Elliott + Associates’ first phase in the renovation and restoration of the Vesper Building was rehabilitating the exterior and converting the interior for use as executive parking. The building is located in Automobile Alley, a historic district of Oklahoma City that was originally an automobile showroom and servicing area from 1914 to 1960. In an attempt to keep the building’s historic elements intact, the architects left the original paint on the interior stairs, walls and ceilings to showcase the structure’s previous uses. The garage was illuminated with blue lighting to create a memorable and mysterious aura that attracts new business and creates excitement. McGowan described it as a “bug zapper for cars” and applauded the artistic abstract installation.

CLIENT BMI Systems Inc., Oklahoma City DESIGN Elliott + Associates, Oklahoma City: Rand Elliott, principal; Mike Mays, associate HARDWARE|SOFTWARE AutoCAD

Photocredit: Bob Shimer/Hedrich Blessing


Jurors were immediately drawn to Toronto-based burdifilek’s design of Teknion Furniture Systems’ tradeshow booth, one of the few trade-show environments to illicit a positive response. The design concept for the Teknion booth was based on a “slice of a typical Miesian office tower,” and all design elements symbolize those found in such a building. A white mesh box with black scrim holds hanging fluorescent lamps and hovers over the entire 60×60-foot exhibit space, providing overhead lighting and serving as the focal point. The environment also incorporates red glazing at the exhibit’s center and a low ceiling to help convey the retro-modern office aesthetic. Both jurors appreciated the booth’s vintage feel and the red glazing. “This, to me, is fearless,” McGowan said. “It’s about setting a stage with no fear. It’s like looking through rose-colored glasses.”

CLIENT Teknion Furniture Systems, Toronto DESIGN burdifilek, Toronto: Diego Burdi, design director; Paul Filek, managing partner; Tom Yip, designer MATERIALS|FABRICATION scrim cube, scrim panels, frame, T-bar ceiling with recessed par lamps, cables, red glazing channel

Photocredit: Kevin Viner


Jurors immediately appreciated the ecosensitivity of Camp Paint Rock, designed by Charles Rose Architects of Somerville, Mass. The camp is located at the mouth of two converging canyons at the base of the Big Horn Mountains on a 100,000-acre cattle ranch in a remote section of Wyoming. Designed for 76 inner-city Los Angeles school children, the camp comprises 16 buildings, including cabins, a dining hall and the director’s house. All buildings are sited in specific response to the topography of the area. The cabins, for example, are placed within the slope of the canyons and lifted above the ground so as not to disturb the existing vegetation or mar the view. “The use of materials in context is perfect,” Boym said. McGowan noted, “It’s socially responsible. They function and teach a lesson.”

CLIENT John and Carol Alm, Hyatt Ranch, Hyattville, Wy. DESIGN Charles Rose Architects, Somerville, Mass.: Charles Rose, David Gabriel, David Martin, Christopher Hoxie, Franco Ghilardi, Eric Robinson, Lori Sang, Patricia Chen, Heide Beebe and Marios Christodoulides, design team

MATERIALS|FABRICATION structural steel, wood, site-formed concrete, Douglas fir and locally claimed river rock HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Dell PCs, AutoCAD, Lightscape

Photocredit: Chuck Choi

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