MARINA VILLA, located at one of the most important intersections in San Francisco, Bay Street and Van Ness Blvd. and located across the street from Fort Mason, this award-winning, iconic 21-unit condominium was inspired by magnificent views of San Francisco Bay, a tradition of art deco design in the neighboring Marina District and a S.F. City zoning ordinance requirement giving an area bonus for bay windows, as well as requiring 21′ building façade offsets. By reinterpreting the zoning requirement for a max. 3′ overhang combined with a 45 degree angled façade return, an undulating façade was designed which complies with the code fenestration requirement as well as giving the building a distinguished façade using locally contextual materials, glass block and stucco. The glazed bands introduce north-facing and glare-free daylight to the living and sleeping spaces, as well as giving panoramic views of the bay. The undulating wall wraps the north and east facades at the street intersection, expressing a visually strong wave metaphor, especially at night and one that that mirrors the ocean and the eternal mists which flow through the Golden Gate. The property has a unique, iconic image as a result, making it one of the most sought after condo projects in the San Francisco.

KORET HEALTH AND RECREATION CENTER is a $15 million, state-of-the-art fitness and athletic facility at the University of San Francisco, housing its Department of Recreational Sports. It is a full-time facility for use by the University, as well as the public and one of the most popular and heavily used in San Francisco. Among the featured facilities are:

  • Olympic Size indoor swimming pool.
  • Six Racquetball courts.
  • Gymnasium pavilion providing space for 3 full-size basketball courts, 4 volleyball courts, 6 badminton courts and indoor soccer.
  • Aerobics/dance room.
  • Weight room.
  • Combatives room for martial arts and self-defense.
  • Student Lounge and administrative offices.
  • Two levels of cardiovascular exercise and workout equipment.
  • Outdoor collegiate size soccer field and stands.

BIOSPHERE II, a visionary idea and a brave experiment developed in New Mexico during the early 1970’s by John Allen and others is a 3.4 acre complex modeled after biosphere earth to create an interconnected, independent and sustainable ecosphere in which humans, plants and animals can co-exist without any connection to the outside world. Privately funded with a $150 million contribution, Biosphere consists of plant biomes and a habitat biome where 8 people (biospherians) lived for 2 years during the early 1990’s to test and prove water, air purification and recycling technologies. In addition, the owner-developer, SBV wanted to demonstrate how man could survive in space or on the moon while being energy and materially disconnected from the earth for multiple years. The biomes include: an 85′ high rain forest, a 25′ deep ocean and marsh, a savannah, a desert, an intensive agriculture and an habitat. Two flexible lungs hung inside of geodesic domes are connected underground to the biomes and expand and contract to displace expanded and contracted air volumes resulting from the fluctuating, daily heating and cooling cycles of the high desert. Except for the habitat biome, the entire structure is enclosed in glass supported by a hub-less, triangulated and powder-coated steel space frame, which had to compensate for the multiple variations in biome configurations and geometries as mandated by Sarbid, the concept architect and Space Biosphere Ventures. As a result, enclosure glazing system is a sophisticated feat and was originally designed for one air change in 100 years, far exceeding even today’s criteria for the most advanced, commercial high-rise structures.

PALMETTO CONSTRUCTION HEADQUARTERS FOR DWP During the late 1980’s the Department of Water and Power, the L.A. owned utility wanted to improve it’s public image and hired architects to create better design for it’s many urban facilities. This 150,000 S.F, mixed-use building on Palmetto Street near the L.A. river offered a unique challenge to generate a unifying idea for the diverse and multiple program requirements. As the headquarters facility for all of downtown L.A.’s construction work, it’s functions include: administration offices, training facilities and classrooms, shops for repair and maintenance work, equipment and vehicle staging and maintenance, warehouse storage and roof parking for employees. Using a design metaphor of the power of water as a play on DWP, reflective steel siding and glazing at the north façade of the administration buildings was curved in a vertical, undulating form to symbolize water flowing over the façade like a waterfall and onto an outside deck at the second floor. Concrete block, tinted a warm pink to match adjacent brick buildings on Palmetto Street was laid up with split-face or textured block banding wrapping the warehouse building and the enclosed yard walls about every 8′ and then stepped back at the ends in order to create the effect of a water and wind-eroded desert sandstone formation. Palmetto palm trees, for which the street was originally named were planted to give the final green touch to an industrial oasis. It has appeared in many books that celebrate Los Angeles urban design and the project was awarded the first annual award for Design Excellence by the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission.

HABITAT, SANTA CLARA, designed and developed to be a city within a city was to be connected to San Jose and other Bay Area cities by mass-transit in the 1980’s and was the harbinger of the kind of sustainable housing and retail centers linked by light-rail and rapid transit now being developed and built throughout California. The design concept was to create a strong central circulation spine of auto and mass transit that was directly connected to a south-facing, terraced garden and mid-rise housing community on one side with outside retail mall and commercial space on the other. Over 19 acres of open space, a small lake and water features created a park-like setting. Other features included:

  • 5 levels of terraced housing or 1,275 units.
  • 6-30 story, terraced towers, 450 units ea. or 2,700 units.
  • 1,000,000 S.F. retail space on 2 levels.
  • 200,000 S.F. hotel on 3 levels.
  • 6.5 acres of recreation space.
  • parking for 10,000 cars.

WAIKOLOA LAGOON CONDOMINIUMS, a resort located near Waikoloa, Hawaii and legendary beaches is designed to optimize views and cooling ocean breezes with terraced 4-story units sitting on landscaped berms. All units are staggered in order to open up view corridors and feature decks that overlook a central swimming lagoon with it’s own island and waterfalls. The entry pavilion and recreation center with 2 tennis courts is integrated into cascading water terraces, a reflection pond and natural earth berming, creating a theme of harmonious, landscaped design for the resort.

THE FISHER THEATER, commissioned by Phillips Exeter Academy for design at the end of a 7-year campus building program that included the fabled, but expensive library by Louis I. Kahn had a limited construction budget of $750,000. The building program, however still included a campus theater for the performing arts, a shop, a green room, classrooms and practice spaces. In order to reduce costs and construction time, pre-fabricated building options were analyzed and a Butler Manufacturing Co., wide-span metal building system chosen for the building enclosure. The concept was to use the 20th C. steel version of the New England barn as a design response in this New Hampshire town with a strong 18th and 19th C. architectural context. The steel framed structure is designed to house two levels, a green room and support spaces on the lower level and theater on the upper. In order to reduce visual impact the façade facing the street is reduced to one story, while the building entrance on the opposite side remains over 30′ high. To further reduce costs, as well as enhance the industrial nature of the facility, all electrical wiring, mechanical ductwork, access catwalks, projection booth and equipment is left exposed. The theater is designed as a thrust stage with a semi-proscenium and an asymmetrical plan; bleacher seating is then able to be placed as required by the particular performance. The design allows for flexibility and creates a dynamic, even experimental theater environment for the young and creative student body at Phillips Exeter.