Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Peer Review Panel for Justice Center Courthouse

Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Peer Review Panel for Justice Center Courthouse


Tuesday, November 21, 2006



James Mejía, Justice Center Policy Mgr.

Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Peer Review Panel for Justice Center Courthouse

High-Level Architectural Review Panel to Ensure Courthouse Design Goals are Met

(DENVER) Citing a strong desire and commitment to deliver a process and courthouse that meets Denver’s high design standards, Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday the creation of an architectural peer review panel for the Justice Center courthouse. The review panel is expected to complete its work - which will include schematic reviews, site tours, and meetings with the design team during the schematic design and design development stages - by the end of January.

“Our goal with this prestigious panel is to not only ensure the highest level of excellence and functionality in the final design of the courthouse, but to also elicit public confidence in the design goals, process and outcome,” said Hickenlooper, who earlier this year received the Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ award for contributions to the built environment by a non-architect. “Public confidence in the courthouse’s design process and result is vital to all future infrastructure and design initiatives the City undertakes.”

“We sought advice from a number of architects on the most effective composition of a peer review panel,” said Justice Center Policy Manager James Mejía. “The consensus was that: (1) the group should be small with complementary skills to include expertise in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture, (2) members should have successful experience in large, complex projects, (3) members should come from both within and outside of Denver; and (3) members should have an interest in assisting the design process – rather than merely critiquing it.”

Architects that have agreed to be part of the review panel include the following:

Bruce Kuwabara, AIA
Partner, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Toronto

The 2006 recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal for Architecture, Kuwabara is driven by ideas about creating civic landscapes and building the public realm. He has directed the majority of his firm’s competition-winning designs, including the Vaughan Civic Centre, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, and Le Quartier Concordia for Concordia University in downtown Montreal. Current projects include the Manitoba Hydro Corporate Headquarters in Winnipeg, a 690,000 square foot building targeting 60% energy savings and LEED Gold rating, which was highly commended for innovation by the 2006 MIPM/Architectural Review Future Projects Awards program.

Kuwabara has taught on the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto and at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. In 2005 he was appointed the first chair of the Waterfront Design Review Panel for the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. He continues to participate as a jury member, guest lecturer and critic on issues of architecture, urbanism and sustainable design.

John Ellis, AIA, RIBA
Principal, Solomon E.T.C, San Francisco

Central to Ellis’ 30 years of project experience is a commitment to urban repair and the principles of New Urbanism. Much of John's work involves developing revitalization strategies - whether at the scale of a downtown or a waterfront district. John was the lead designer on two (2) federal courthouses located in urban civic areas. Ellis also teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and writes for Architectural Review.

Laurie Olin, FASLA
Founding Partner, Olin Partnership, Philadelphia

Olin's work examines the role that common aspects of the environment play in creating landscapes that are exemplary and uncommon. Mr. Olin’s firm was the landscape designer, with Harry Cobb of I. M. Pei and Partners, on the Sixteenth Street Mall. The Olin Partnership has designed the new setting for Independence Mall, in Philadelphia, and Bryant Park, in New York City.

Olin is also a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of the American Institute of Architects. In 1991, he won the Bradford Williams Medal for his writing on the history and theory of landscape architecture.

Lee Becker, FAIA
Partner, Hartman Cox Architects, Washington, DC

A key member of the Denver Justice Center design team, Becker is the lead architect for the detention facility which will be located across the street from the courthouse. His firm is known for producing award-winning design for institutional, educational and civic clients, with noted sensitivity and responsiveness to surroundings, function and context. Becker’s projects range from the commercial (Market Square and Pennsylvania Plaza in Washington, DC) to the institutional (Special Collections Library and Rouss Hall at the University of Virginia and the addition to the Divinity School at Duke University) in nature. For more than three decades, he has managed and designed buildings that span the range from abstract modern to “Collegiate Gothic” and “Classical.”

David Owen Tryba, FAIA
Founding Principal, David Owen Tryba Architects, Denver

The Master Urban Design Architect for the Justice Center campus, Tryba is the winner of the 1992 AIA Denver Young Architect of the Year and the Founding Principal of David Owen Tryba Architects, an urban design and planning firm with a national reputation for design excellence. A passion for cities directs his work and he has set a new standard for modern contextual urbanism for numerous civic, cultural, corporate and mixed-use projects.

Ranko Ruizic, AIA
Principal, AR7 Hoover Desmond Architects, Denver

Another key member of the Denver Justice Center design team, AR7 Hoover Desmond Architects is responsible for designing the post office and parking garage building that completes the three-structure Justice Center complex. Ruizic has been a lead designer at AR7 since joining the firm in 1978. His expertise in listening to the client and designing the best facility possible has been successfully demonstrated in many award-winning projects. His dedication to a project’s site and its connection to the program have led to the design of buildings that are an integral part of their context yet stand as user-oriented entities.

Manager of Community Planning and Development, Denver

Prior to joining the City and County of Denver in 2004, Park was the City Planning Director in Milwaukee where he was instrumental in establishing a disciplined approach to comprehensive planning, raising awareness of design, streamlining development review procedures and completing a comprehensive update of the city’s zoning code. Park has specialized in urban design and planning work requiring innovative design solutions that balance development needs with unique site and design quality concerns. He has worked with a variety of organizations dealing with regional planning, neighborhood planning, urban design, design guidelines and building renovation. Park serves part-time as an Associate Professor of Urban Design at the UCD College of Architecture and Planning where he directs the Urban Design Program and teaches design lectures and studios.

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The courthouse design team includes klipp Architecture of Denver, Ricci Greene Associates of New York, and Harold Massop Associate Architects of Denver. The courthouse will be part of a three-building Justice Center campus in the heart of downtown Denver which also includes a detention facility and a post office/parking garage building.

In building federal courthouses, the General Services Administration implemented various types of concept development reviews to advise architects on the design of their buildings.

“The broad objective is to have discussions among professionals that focus on design not only as it impacts issues of form and detail but also as it affects on-time/on-budget delivery,” states GSA’s concept development process guidelines. “… the purpose of the review is not to mandate solutions but to highlight opportunities to strengthen the design and fulfill project requirements.”

Because building essentials such as flexibility, functionality, schedule and aesthetic are decided early in the project, it is suggested that review be completed during the design stages of Schematic Design and Design Development.

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Posted on Nov 21, 2006 (Archive on Dec 21, 2006)
Posted by kpellegrin  Contributed by kpellegrin