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EnV Chicago


The paradigm of urban life has been evolving for decades. But rarely has the architecture of the urban high rise responded to the resident’s architectural DNA. Instead, a formula for urban residential has evolved with the form of a cereal box and a certain set of expectations for predictable finishes, features and planning concepts. Swimming upstream, the Lynd Residential Properties wanted a building that aligned with the new paradigm of urban life, and broke with the expected outcome of high rise residential design.


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SunPower Headquarters


SunPower Corp. is a publicly held company, headquartered in San Jose, California. The company designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.


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World of Whirpool


In late December of 2009, Whirlpool Corporation set a bold challenge for a new project. The project would include a new buyer showroom for several visually different branded product lines, would be the location for internal and external training on products, and their features, and would include several venues to welcome and sell potential customers. The space selected was on the roof of a historic building in a half constructed penthouse exposed to the weather. The date for the opening celebration that included the Board of Trustees had been set and it was 9 months out. The case study reviews the design approach on this fast track, high finish design project which recently received the AIA Chicago Interior Honor Award.


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Walsh College Barry Center


Walsh College provides advanced business education to midcareer professionals in the Detroit area. The majority of Walsh students are working full time in the business community, attending Walsh in the evening. While responding to the needs of area businesses, Walsh’s enrollment grew by 40% and its course offerings blossomed, creating the need for a new multi-purpose academic building. The following document walks through our approach to building a LEED GOLD addition to the campus that provide a new front door for the campus along with an improved learning environment.


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US Bank Plaza


Completed in 1974 the US Bank Plaza, originally designed by Bruce Graham, opened with the projected cost of energy to operate and occupy the building as designed had quadrupled. In addition, over time the nine-story downtown building changed uses and unfortunately fell to a 50% vacancy rate and was facing a challenging road ahead. A highly successful local developer, Urban Land Interests, was interested in the challenge of resurrecting this Madison icon. This case study looks at how VDTA successfully assisted ULI in the renovation of this flawed yet beloved modernist building, lowering the monthly energy consumption by 38%, reducing water usage by 85% and lowering the vacancy rate to 5%.


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UCSD Rita Atkinson Residences


The University of California, San Diego issued a competition brief to three shortlisted design teams in February 2008 to design and build 226 graduate student apartments at the guaranteed cost of $56,250,000. The concept and selection process was both simple and creative. The University provided a myriad of requirements contained in thousands of pages of specifications, but the fundamental message was clear, the price was fixed and all the evaluation criteria were based on the quality of the design. Webcor and VDTA were selected for the project which through rigorous team work completed the project on budget and a full year ahead of schedule.


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LAB+ Design


LAB+ is a long range project to rebuild the Laboratory Schools’ historic campus at the University of Chicago. Following an extensive research phase, Valerio Dewalt Train along with FGM Architects developed designs for a new facility – the Early Childhood Center, and addition – the Arts Wing, and renovations to the existing campus. The team is currently preparing construction documents for the project. Construction for the Early Childhood Center is slated to begin in the fall of 2011 with the Arts Wing and existing campus renovations to follow.


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LAB+ Future of Eductation: Outlook


LAB+ is a long range project to rebuild the Laboratory Schools’ historic campus at the University of Chicago. An intensive phase was completed in the first half of 2009 to gather the information to form a solid foundation for the architectural design work to follow. The “Future of Education: Outlook is a short summary of the research process and findings.


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The Kresge Foundation


The 19th Century farm rested gently on the prairie, it was a wholly self sufficient place using both the latest technology and only renewable resources to produce a harvest. The Brooks Farm built in 1869 was just such a place and is now on the Michigan Registry of Historic Places in large part due to the Italianate design of the farmhouse. Purchased by the Kresge Foundation as the site for their headquarters, this case study explores how the natural landscape of southeastern Michigan, the historic farm and significant new construction can be sensibly integrated on a three acre site.


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Block 89


The blocks surrounding Madison, Wisconsin’s Capitol building once supported a thriving shopping district. But, as has been the case for downtowns across the country, suburban malls drew retailers away in the middle of the 20th century, and by the early 1980s, the downtown retail market had reached its lowest ebb. When a few downtown buildings became available for purchase, Urban Land Interests realized this as the perfect opportunity to bring life back to Madison’s downtown. What began as a relatively small scale office building project expanded over two decades to fill an entire city block with a mixed-use development. The development of Block 89 is the story of an unusual public/private partnership between a private developer and the city, with additional help from the state, creating a synergy that has helped bring activity back to the neighborhood around the Capitol.


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Columbia College Chicago Master Plan


Columbia College Chicago is currently undergoing an important transformation. Over its one hundred year history it has moved from a small commuter school to a nationally recognized arts and media college. With the adoption of the Columbia 2010 strategic plan, Columbia became poised to challenge institutions with established reputations and considerably more resources. To achieve its full potential, Columbia 2010 contends that Columbia should do many things, but one of the most important changes is to transform its campus.


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eBay B17 and the Workplace Initiative


Experiencing steady growth in its business, eBay urgently needed room to expand its operations in San Jose. An existing 5 building campus was available, but needed immediate renovations to meet eBay’s needs as well as the cooperation of the city to upgrade the property’s entitlement. In addition Building 17, the first new building developed for eBay’s San Jose North Campus was completed in 2008. As the company has continued to grow, VDTA recently completed a collaboration with the Internal Workplace Resources Team to develop a series of pilot projects that establish a new corporate workplace standard.