VOA Associates Inc. (now Stantec), has earned a name for its iconic buildings that have shaped city skylines as well as its redevelopment projects like the Navy Pier and Wrigley Field in Chicago. Its repertoire of projects is based on a culture of collaboration, with a rooted focus on sustainability and community. Through the years, VOA (now Stantec) has carved a niche for itself in interior design for corporate and healthcare. It has also undertaken master planning projects for several universities.
Here are 15 Iconic Projects by VOA Associates:
1. Roosevelt University Wabash Building, Chicago
VOA chose to go vertical for its latest addition to Chicago’s skyline. The unprecedented approach for a campus involved stacking various student-related programmes, such as recreation halls, residential suites, and academic rooms; to form the 32-story university building. The chiselled glass form is inspired by the sculpture “Endless Column” by Brancusi. The high-profile project has won several accolades including the Sustainability Honors award from the AIA.
2. Navy Pier, Chicago
Through adaptive reuse, the Navy Pier has become an important landmark for recreation, forming a stark contrast from its initial days as a military port. Its redevelopment in 1995 by VOA was a revamp for tourism in Chicago. The introduction of museums, restaurants, and a theatre on the pier create a lively public space with panoramic views of the adjoining Lake Michigan.
3. Infor Global Solutions, New York
The interior design reflects the branding of Infor Global Solutions through a pop of red in the furniture. A media wall forms the centre of attraction in the double-height space of the office. The workspace is versatile with no two areas similar, including a meet-up space underneath the stairs!
4. Deublin, Dalian
An upturned curved roof provides an identity for this industrial hall. The large central hall made to accommodate robotic equipment, is flanked by public spaces such as auditoriums and halls. The curtain wall opens out to a view of the adjoining park. The roof extends beyond the building to create a welcoming canopy at the front.
5. Pullman Artspace Lofts, Chicago
With plans of a new industrial park being constructed, the fate of the historic Pullman neighbourhood seemed bleak. VOA was roped in as the local architect for a conservation effort. The newly built 38 lofts provide artists with a safe space for their artistic endeavours and living. Existing buildings were restored for art events, which led to the formation of a cohesive mixed-use neighbourhood for the local art community.
6. University of New Mexico Cancer Centre, Albuquerque
The health facility employs a natural palette with earth tones and wood textures for its interiors providing patients with a sense of comfort. The curtain wall provides sweeping views of the mountains beyond. Gentle curves incorporated within the plan work to soften the linear nature of the building.
7. The White Chapel, Terre Haute
The lakeside forms the perfect backdrop to the soft light streaming through the White Chapel. A long series of pointed arches come together to form the non-denominational prayer hall. The soft white interior gradually opens to the adjoining lake through the large glass wall at the east end. Interlocking metal shingles are stripped away at intervals to form ribbon windows on the exterior.
8. Hyatt Place, Chicago
The Hyatt Place building is a cerulean glass-clad structure with reflections of the downtown surroundings on its exterior. The highly efficient spatial programming seen in the plan was a response to the limited building footprint available. The silver LEED-certified building embodies modern design with its clean lines and rectilinear form.
9. Pulte Group Headquarters, Atlanta
Through their new office, the Pulte Group wanted to reflect on their modern work culture with conventional cubicles being traded for informal seating and glass partitions. The interiors incorporate double-height spaces as well as linear rooms. These spaces are designed to be adapted as workspaces or meeting areas. The primarily white interiors provide the extra brightness and are complimented well by the ochre wood elements.
10. Hampton Proton Therapy Center, Hampton
Through this healthcare project, VOA brings humanity back to hospital buildings. Often designed for the efficient placing of equipment, hospital designs are forced to compromise on human comfort. This project was revolutionary as it ensured all spatial programmes were within a single floor, thereby saving patients a walk through long dreary corridors. The conical curtain wall breaks the monotony of the brick exterior and provides light to the atrium within.
11. Renaissance Shanghai Putuo Hotel, Shanghai
Opulent interiors and extravagant lighting set the luxurious mood for this interior project. The glass staircase ascends into a canopy of lights forming a spectacle in the front lobby. Wooden elements accentuate the sombre coloured interiors. The atmosphere was envisioned to create a feeling of a Chinese palace, which is achieved through the intricately detailed elements.
12. Horizon Village, University of Wisconsin
This building was designed as a new style of residency for the students of today. The façade combines conventional brick with an array of modern bay windows. The rooms are arranged to form a curvilinear volume. The curve envelops a large lawn which houses a geothermal field underneath. The sustainable design has led to it being LEED Gold Certified.
13. Florida Hospital for Women, Orlando
The interior design serves to improve patient experience and create a welcoming environment for its visitors. Nature forms the inspiration for textures and colours. The planning incorporates a flexible design with compatible furniture, which is not a common sight in healthcare design. The flexible spaces ensure that patients can be accommodated freely. A soothing blue tone and choice lighting create a calming atmosphere within. The project was given the Best of Healthcare Award by the IIDA in 2016.
14. 613 Baltic Street, Chicago
Proposed as a luxury multilevel residential complex, The Baltic does not disappoint. The exterior consists of more windows than brick wall, providing residents with unparalleled views of the bustling street and ample daylighting to all the rooms. It also houses a rooftop terrace and retail shops below making it responsive to users at all levels. It was a silver winner in the Brick in Architecture Awards 2018.
15. Johnson Center for Science and Community Life, Chicago
Centred on fostering a sense of community, the building has laboratories and science facilities with a mix of informal discussion areas in between. The brightly coloured interiors hit the right note with the target audience-students. The façade exudes horizontality with continuous bands of terracotta, which are an ode to the existing brick buildings on campus.
- Johnson Center for Science and Community © Life aiachicago.org