Gresham, Smith and Partners was initially set up by Batey Gresham and Flem Smith, who started with a global healthcare portfolio and later on went into a range of diversified project types. GS&P provides quite a few services ranging from Architecture to Environment and Sustainability to Project management. The company has also been featured on the list of top 25 United States firms for high revenue in the year 2020. 

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Introduction_ ©Gresham Smith

The firm also hosts a competition annually called the Gresham Smith Competition, giving out Awards of Excellence for deserving teams. They go by their ethos ‘Genuine Ingenuity’ and ensure to maintain it for all their projects and work culture. Here are 15 projects by Gresham, Smith and Partners:

1. UP Health System – Marquette

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Marquette General Hospital_ ©Gresham Smith

To accommodate for the burgeoning city and increasing needs of people, Marquette General Hospital was redesigned by Gresham Smith at a new central location with a historical background. The centre was relocated and linked to the past through little details like orientation, views, and location, which emphasised the city’s history and connected its residents. 

The form of the building is designed to protect its residents from the direct sun glare through the east to west orientation of the main departments and ward off snow drifts due to high traffic. Being one of the heaviest snow-receiving cities in the United States, the team had a concept to integrate the colours of the region into the building. The white concrete and glass façade pattern resonates with the white birch trees, and additional space has been provided for future expansion with some rooms that could act as overflow rooms for the departments nearby.

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Facade system_ ©Gresham Smith

2. Vaco Headquarters

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Vaco HQ Lobby_ ©Gresham Smith

Gresham Smith was invited to plan the new headquarters for Vaco, an international management consulting firm. The two-storeyed open-plan structure retains the company’s vibrant work culture ambience and represents their company truly. Starting right from the entry lobby with the company ethos ‘Free Yourself’, to the quirky and fun elements highlighted in the space, Gresham Smith seems to have understood Vaco’s spirit even better than the company itself. 

The connection between the open workspace and the multipurpose area was a prime requirement for the Vaconians in order to showcase their unique work-life to its visitors and clients and continue this essence for the future. This link provides for holiday parties, training, 3 O’clock happy hours, and work.

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Vaco Multipurpose space_ ©Gresham Smith

3. Nashville Yards

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Nashville Yards_ ©Gresham Smith

A lackluster 16-acre site in Nashville was transformed with a new idea in 2019 with a mixed-use development of 5 million square feet and a simple skyline as one enters the city. The open spaces between the buildings are regarded as stories between places rather than just connecting streets. Not only does it attract pedestrians, and residents, but it also has Amazon’s Operations Center of Excellence that will be coming up in the future, employing 5000 people and comprising 1 million square feet of office space across two blocks. 

An underground parking lot that can be converted into office space is also a part of the construction work that is happening, which takes into account changes in preferences of transportation in the future.

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Skyline_ ©Gresham Smith

4. Charlotte Douglas International Airport – Lobby Expansion

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Roof structure_ ©Gresham Smith

As part of one of the future milestones to support the growth and needs of one of the busiest airports in the world, a 370,000 square foot expansion and lobby renovation was planned to be implemented. A Southern-style of welcoming is improvised in the design by introducing grand spaces, reducing congestion, efficient wayfinding, and baggage operation to serve more than 44 million passengers on an annual level. 

The main highlight of the expansion project is the 150,000 square foot curbside canopy which doubles as a landmark to identify the terminal easily and makes the area brighter and less dense due to the visible truss structure.

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Security gates_ ©Gresham Smith

5. LAX Airport – Wayfinding Analysis

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LAX Masterplan_ ©Gresham Smith

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the third busiest airport in the world, saw more than 88 million passengers in the year 2019. Of course, it can be naturally understood that this hub gets jam-packed with crowds of people and tourists rushing in and out, leading to congestion and delays. The Landslide Access Modernisation Program (LAMP) is undergoing 5-step implementation to address the wayfinding issues and advocate hassle-free travel. 

With a combined strategy from Paul Murdoch Architects and Linespace, the present scenario for pathfinding was studied, and a detailed wayfinding strategy was created to guide the projects so that everything could go in synchronisation. Visual Hierarchy was the main principle that is being deployed that builds intuition and familiarity with consistent graphics and automated systems.

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Analysis diagram_ ©Gresham Smith

6. University of Kentucky – Bicycle Plan

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UK’s Bicycle Path_ ©Gresham Smith

To up the Bicycle Friendly University status from Gold to Platinum-level at the University of Kentucky (UK), Gresham Smith proposed to assess the current cycle network by gathering feedback and form design solutions that would make students choose to cycle as a first option. 

The new design strategy would enclose new bicycle-designated paths, improved signage and signals, and shared-use trails. Not only would the campus become more bicycle-friendly, but it would also attract researchers and students to learn and grow together.

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Feedback_ ©Gresham Smith

7. Shanghai International Medical City

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3D Render_ ©Gresham Smith

Shanghai Minhang District Health Bureau wanted to provide for the residents and an increasing inflow of international people to gain better access to medical care by proposing a medical city. Gresham Smith planned a 77-acre garden-style medical campus with environmental strategies like energy efficiency and rainwater reuse, holding 3000 beds in five hospitals, in a dense city setting. 

The green-roofed campus plan posed a challenge as there was not enough space for the outpatient and inpatient entrances, along with parking for staff, due to all the green space. To aid this, functions that do not require windows or light were taken to the subterranean level. 

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Masterplan_ ©Gresham Smith

8. Reno-Tahoe International Airport

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Interior view_ ©Gresham Smith

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is Nevada state’s second-busiest commercial airport, named after Lake Tahoe and Reno City. Gresham Smith has made several design changes over the years to reach the airport’s goals of increasing efficiency, employing an open and welcoming look, and enhancing security. The security checkpoint was brought to a central location to ensure a better flow of passengers, and the baggage screening area was increased to improve speed and reduce errors. 

The barn-style wood features are notable as they are indicative of the region which leaves good memories for the passengers. 

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Baggage system_ ©Gresham Smith

9. Walmart Stores – Nashville

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Master Plan of Walmart_ ©Gresham Smith

Starting from 2000 to the present, Gresham Smith has been the approved civil consultant for Walmart, to double the number of Neighborhood stores to emphasize its presence in the States. The team assesses sites to evaluate their suitabilities for establishing the stores by providing concept plans, total cost estimates, and plan optimization suggestions.

10. Crockett Park

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Crockett Park_ ©Gresham Smith

Crockett Park is a harbour for a multitude of activities, ranging from free summer concerts to its annual 4th of July celebration. Spread across 164 acres currently, the original plan has been revamped to a vast expanse of fields and facilities as a popular destination. A complete design proposal was provided by Gresham Smith consisting of multipurpose fields, tennis courts, nature trails, picnic shelters, open meadows, and playgrounds. 

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Summer concert_ ©Gresham Smith

11. The Zone – Michigan State University

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Collaborative space_ ©Gresham Smith

The Zone was created not only as a training ground for future employees but also as a meeting ground for MSU’s students and local organizations. Surveys and feedback were taken from the students concerning factors like storage, privacy, and comfort. This was utilized by the team to position primary work zones, training, collaborative spaces, and breakout areas. The Zone was initially a Barnes and Noble bookstore with windows and is now brighter with a glass façade and an open ceiling.

12. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute – Naples

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Exterior view_ ©Gresham Smith

Gresham Smith designed a new LEED Gold-certified centre for the increasing patient flow at Naples with more than 6 times clinical space than the previous location. Easy navigation and visibility frame the new lobby space with a cantilevered drop-off point that provides shade and enhances the look. This centre has accommodated space for the treatment of every eye disease with 20 exam rooms, a photo suite, an optical lab, office space, and a full surgical suite. Material finishes used for the floors and walls like glass, resin, wood, and white tiles support the type of hospital and create a calming ambience.  

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Interior space_ ©Gresham Smith

13. Jackson National Planning Corporation (NPC)

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Workspace_ ©Gresham Smith

The interior build-out for three blocks of NPC’s 31,000 square-foot area was designed by GS&P, who detailed out interior design, space planning, and programming plans. The concept proposed was to create a motivating, radiant, and eco-friendly ambience by employing the company’s blue signature shade, charcoal wood hues, decorative screens, indoor plants, and textured accent panels. This supports the ‘Californian’ vision the company desired in the space, given the coastal vicinity. 

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Interior concept_ ©Gresham Smith

14. Theatre Putuo Zhoushan Opera House – China

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3D Render of Theatre_ ©Gresham Smith

This theatre project was proposed to bring a new addition and improve the quality of life to the group of 1400 islands that make up Zhejiang province in China. The aim is to make the theatre a landmark and reflect the community in the region, which is why it was positioned on the waterfront of the new island. GS won the competition that was held to transform the region through the opera house. 

The organic design has been crafted so cleverly that it mimics the scales of a fish at one angle and a mountain at another. All of the factors and design techniques employed have been traced back to the sea.

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Gathering area_ ©Gresham Smith

15. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Welcome centre

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Exterior view_ ©Gresham Smith

Due to the adverse after-effects of the tornado, GS was invited to redesign the 30,000 square-foot Jim W. Henderson Administration and Welcome Center, which is a section of the long up-gradation plan for the Daytona campus. The slope of the roof, which looks like an airplane wing, materials used like white metal plates and concrete, and the cantilevered viewing area bring in the essence of aeronautical science and flying. 

Not only does the team manage to incorporate all the facilities adequately, but it also honours ERAU’s background, which makes it stand out from the crowd, as said by the President and CEO of the University.

References

  1. Gresham Smith. Portfolio. [online]. Available at: – Portfolio – Gresham Smith : Gresham Smith [Accessed 01 July 2021].
  2. Architect Magazine. Gresham Smith. [online]. Available at: – Gresham Smith | Architect Magazine [Accessed 30 June 2021].
  3. World Architecture (2011). Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition Winners. [online]. (Last updated 25 September 2011). Available at: – Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition Winners | ArchDaily [Accessed 30 June 2021].
Author

A believer in keeping the quirkiness alive, Harshini is an architect by profession, and a psychology fanatic by heart. With a strong interest in culture and the urban environment, she aims to bring them closer.

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