VENEZUELA MONTH: Monica Ponce de Leon - a pioneer in the application of robotic technology to building fabrication.
Monica Ponce de Leon Studio Overview
Founded by National Design Award Winner, Mónica Ponce de León, AIA, Monica Ponce de Leon Studio brings together an interdisciplinary team of architects and practitioners collaborating across offices in New York, Boston, and Ann Arbor. Ponce de León's work as principal architect is integral to each project, and is supported by a diverse team bringing a unique point of view to each design process. Monica Ponce de Leon Studio has extensive experience in institutional, civic, commercial, and private residential projects and has developed methodologies that allow the projects to be on time and on budget while delivering innovative and meaningful design.
Mónica Ponce de León, AIA, is a Venezuelan American architect, educator, and Dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture. In 2007 Ponce de León received the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, the first Hispanic architect to receive this honor. Today Ponce de León is the founding principal of Monica Ponce de Leon Studio which she launched in 2011 following twenty years as a founding principal of award winning firm, Office dA. Ponce de León's work specializes in all scales and typologies from furniture design and interiors to private residences, civic buildings, public institutions, master plans and urban design. Throughout all projects, Ponce de León keeps a focus on design integration, craft, detailing, and precision. Much of the studio’s research is dedicated to an exploration of how to improve on contemporary modes of construction, investigating both industry standards as well as evolving technologies derived from digital manufacturing processes. Ponce de León is widely recognized as a pioneer in the application of robotic technology to building fabrication and in architecture education.
Known as an educational force, Ponce de León is currently Dean of Princeton University School of Architecture. She previously served as Dean of the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan (2008–2015) and as Professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (1996–2008). She also has held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology and has degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Design and University of Miami.
Among her many prestigious honors, Ponce de León has received the Academic Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design from United States Artists; and the Young Architects and Emerging Voices awards from the Architectural League of New York. Her highly acclaimed and broadly published work has received a dozen Progressive Architecture (PA) Awards, several awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and numerous citations. She was also named a National Academician (NA) in recognition of her exceptional contributions to American art and architecture.
Visit the Website: www.monicaponcedeleon.com
*Venezuela Month is an initiative by DESTIG to bring attention to the many creative successes that have originated from the country. This will be done for a month at no cost to the individuals or the country in order to bring positive attention to Venezuela during these difficult times for the people of that country.
A 3800 sqft home, featuring a cantilever and sweeping ocean views. -
This three-bedroom vacation home on Big Sur's spectacular south coast is anchored in the natural beauty and power of the California landscape. Our design embeds the building within the land, creating a structure that is inseparable from its context. The site, which features a 250-foot drop to the Pacific Ocean along the bluff and toward the west, offers dramatic views. Yet it demands a more complex form than a giant picture window.
The long, thin volume of the house conforms to the natural contours of the land and the geometries of the bluff, deforming its shape and structure in response, much like the banana slug native to the region's seaside forests. In this way, the complex structural system applies natural forms to accommodate the siting. The main bearing system of the house is set back twelve feet from the bluff, both to protect the cliff's delicate ecosystem and to ensure the structure's integrity and safety. The house itself is cantilevered over the bluff. The interior is a shelter, an elegant refuge in contrast with the roughness and immense scale of the ocean and cliff.
The main body of the house is composed of two rectangular boxes connected by an all-glass library/den. A one-story concrete wing perpendicular to the main volume holds the ground-floor bedrooms and features a green roof; it is the boulder that locks the house to the land. The lower of the two main volumes, a double-cantilevered master bedroom suite, acts as a promontory above the ocean, offering breathtaking views from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The upper volume is an open-plan space-kitchen, living room, and dining room-with a swooping ceiling, all clad in wood, that follows the shape of the land.
The house's two main façades express both shelter and exposure. On the north, clear expanses of glass reveal ocean and coastline views; long strips of translucent channel glass dapple the light, playing on the sea's shimmering surface. The south façade, clad in copper, which wraps over the roof, is mostly enclosed, offering a retreat from the forces of nature. Roof overhangs on the east and west protect the windows and the front door from the harshness of sun and wind.
Visit the Website: www.fougeron.com
Selldorf Architects is a 65-person architectural design practice founded by Annabelle Selldorf in New York City in 1988. The firm creates public and private spaces that manifest a clear and modern sensibility to enduring impact. By giving form to the needs and desires of clients and communities alike, the architectural solutions that emerge are equal parts purpose and poetry. Since its inception the firm’s guiding principles have been deeply rooted in humanism. At every scale and for every condition, Selldorf Architects designs for the individual experience. As a result, its work is brought to life–and made complete–by those who use it.
The firm offers services in architectural design, interior design, exhibition design, master planning, landscape concepts and strategic planning.
Clients include cultural institutions and universities such as the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Frick Collection, The Clark Art Institute, Neue Galerie New York, and Brown University. The recently completed Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility on the Brooklyn waterfront is the largest facility of its kind in the United States. In addition, the firm has created numerous galleries for David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and Gladstone Gallery among others, and designed exhibitions for Frieze Masters and the Venice Art Biennale. Residential architecture, both at the scale of private homes and multi-family dwelling continues to be an important part of the firm’s portfolio.
Selldorf Architects’ new monograph on the practice, “Selldorf Architects: Portfolio and Projects,” was published by Phaidon in the spring of 2016.
ANNABELLE SELLDORF, FAIA
Annabelle Selldorf is the Principal of Selldorf Architects. Born and raised in Germany, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute and a Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the Board of the Architectural League of New York, the World Monuments Fund, the Chinati Foundation, and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. In 2017, Ms. Selldorf was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three years after receiving the organization’s prestigious Award in Architecture. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architecture New York Chapter.
Visit the Website: http://www.selldorf.com
At DJ+DS we use our innovations in architecture, design, and real estate development to attack the root causes of mass incarceration which we believe to be poverty, racism, lack of access to resources and the criminal justice system itself.
Therefore, with our non-profit, government and community partners, we counter the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of courthouses and prisons by co-creating new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile villages and housing for foster age youth.
Together, we harness the power of the built environment to create triple-bottom-line equity, and support the success and expansion of restorative justice, education, and workforce development programs.
Visit the Website: http://designingjustice.org
Taller KEN, founded in 2013 by Gregory Melitonov and Ines Guzman, is a New York and Guatemala based architecture practice focused on playful design with social and cultural relevancy.
Visit the Website: www.tallerken.info
Urbahn Architects - architecture has the power to manifest our ideals, strengthen our communities, and elevate our civic intercourse.
Urbahn Architects is a full-service planning and design firm based in New York City whose work touches many lives. Since 1945, we have designed projects for organizations and institutions that engage the public in the Healthcare, Education, Justice, Science, and Infrastructure sectors. This practice has formed Urbahn’s belief that architecture has the power to manifest our ideals, strengthen our communities, and to elevate our civic intercourse.
Visit the Website: www.urbahn.com
heneghan peng architects - a design partnership practising architecture, landscape and urban design.
heneghan peng architects is a design partnership practising architecture, landscape and urban design. The practise was founded by Shih-Fu Peng and Róisín Heneghan in New York in 1999 and in 2001 opened an office in Dublin, Ireland.
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to design and have collaborated with many leading designers and engineers on a range of projects which include larger scale urban masterplans, bridges, landscapes and buildings.
Current projects include the Grand Egyptian Museum, at the Pyramids, the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre, Central Park Bridges at the 2012 London Olympic Park, a Library and School of Architecture at the University of Greenwich in Greenwich, London and a Mittelrheinbruecke in the Rhine Valley.
Visit the Website: www.hparc.com
ELS Architecture and Urban Design - For 50 years we have designed extraordinary buildings and spaces.
We have always believed in the interdependency of architecture and urban design.
All of our projects, from downtown to exurbia, are about bringing people together. We often find a forgotten space or area and turn it into the place people remember—the public realm. Our roots are in Berkeley. We are informal yet rigorous, democratic yet decisive. We create places that endure for generations.
Insight and respect
At our Berkeley-based architecture and urban design studio, we focus on the entire spectrum of public places. Insight and respect are the foundation of our work.
We begin a rigorous design process by paying close attention to our clients’ aspirations and needs and to those of their audiences. Integrating our expertise across multiple disciplines with sound business practices and stewardship for the natural environment, our programs result in high architectural and environmental value, while responding to and enlivening the existing surroundings.
As architects and urban designers we translate the joy of human connection into a place that lives.
Visit the Website: www.elsarch.com
MAD releases the campus design for Faraday Future (FF) on Mare Island, which recently announced its production of “the world’s fastest-accelerating electric car.” The project site is situated in Northern California adjacent to the Napa River, where the city recently positioned it as a “zero-emission base in California.” The site, a former navy base, will support not only FF’s research, development, and manufacture, but also is re-designed to support ongoing public programming and ecological restoration along the Napa’s banks.
The entire campus covers an area of approximately 130,000 square meters, of which 20,000 square meters as building area. Taking into account FF’s ambitious science fictional and mysterious surrealism, while ensuring the basis of its operation, MAD designed an open concept campus with a compelling structure. MAD’s proposal consists of two low, metallic structures embedded within the site’s prairie landscape, suggesting extraterrestrial objects capable of de-familiarizing employees and prospective clients with the status quo of the contemporary automotive market.
The highlight of the project is the user experience center rising into a sculptural, reflective tower. The design allows clients to watch as their car is transported from the warehouse along the elevated light rail into the exhibition hall, to right in front of them. The experience center is open to the public and the visitors can observe the whole campus.
In addition, MAD hopes to provide a flexible, and ductile working environment for the growth of its employees and the advancement of the company’s high-tech innovations. The double-height facility is punctured by a series of internal courtyards, allowing for an abundance of natural light and social spaces within, which provides employees an outdoor space for leisure and activities.
Prioritizing the project’s “zero-emission, low energy” ambition, the structures utilizes large roof overhangs, internal courtyards, and operable glass façade systems to passively reduce solar gains and allow for natural ventilation and climate modification. The transparency allows the office spaces to become directly related with day-to-day employee and visitor experiences, and a working demonstration of broader social agenda. The roofs are entirely surfaced with modulated solar power panels, with enough production capacity to support the entire campus’ daily operational demands. The experience tower is also equipped with wind power generators to further meet the campus’s daily energy needs.
Founded by Chinese architect Ma Yansong in 2004, MAD Architects is a global architecture firm committed to developing futuristic, organic, technologically advanced designs that embody a contemporary interpretation of the Eastern affinity for nature. With its core design philosophy of Shanshui City – a vision for the city of the future based in the spiritual and emotional needs of residents – MAD endeavors to create a balance between humanity, the city, and the environment.
Globally recognized as a creative pioneer, founding principal Ma Yansong is a central figure in the worldwide dialogue on the future of architecture. Ma was named one of the “10 Most Creative People in Architecture” by Fast Company in 2009. He received the prestigious “International Fellowship” from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 2011, and was selected as “Young Global Leader (YGL)” by World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) in 2014.
In 2014, MAD was selected as principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, USA, becoming the first China-based architecture firm to design an overseas cultural landmark. In 2006, MAD won the design competition for the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The residential project is composed of 56-story and 50-story high-rises and was completed in 2012. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) awarded the towers “Best Tall Building Americas” in 2012 and EMPORIS ranked them first in their 2013 “Skyscraper Awards.”
MAD has been commissioned by clients of various backgrounds for design in urban planning, urban complex, museum, theatre, social residence, old neighborhood renovation, and artworks. Current ongoing urban projects include Chaoyang Park Plaza, a mixed-use urban complex project located in the new CBD of Beijing; Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, a city-scale urban development of approximate 600,000sqm floor area in total; Huangshan Mountain Village, a master planning plus architecture design project with 450,000sqm site area. MAD’s signature cultural projects include Harbin Opera House (completed in 2015), China Philharmonic Concert Hall (in design development stage), Ordos Museum (completed in 2011), and China Wood Sculpture Museum (completed in 2011).
MAD has on-going international projects located in Rome, Paris, Japan, and Beverly Hills. In the heart of Rome, MAD is designing a mixed-use courtyard building that reuses existing structure and will house apartments, office space, and a chapel with total usable area of approximately 23,000sqm. In Paris, MAD placed first in a competition of 96 teams to build a residential complex on the right bank of the River Seine. In Japan, MAD delivered an organic design for a local education center. The firm’s latest commission is a 13,000sqm mixed-use residential complex in the center of Beverly Hills.
MAD has been a pioneer in contemporary art and design. MAD has participated in significant exhibitions in the 10th, 11th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennales. MAD also participated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), and MAXXI (Rome). An array of MAD’s architecture models have been acquired by the well-known M+ Museum (Hong Kong) as part of their permanent collections.
The firm’s design advances have been chronicled in a series of books: Mad Dinner, Bright City, Ma Yansong, and Shanshui City. MAD principals have been invited for speaking engagements at the American Institute of Architects, Architectural Association School of Architecture (London), World Economic Forum in Davos, Strelka Institute (Moscow), Harvard Graduate Schoold of Design(Boston) and the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture (London).
MAD Architects is currently led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano. MAD has offices in Beijing, Los Angeles and New York.
Visit the Website: www.i-mad.com
REX is an internationally-acclaimed architecture and design firm based in New York City, whose name signifies a re-appraisal (RE) of architecture (X). Operating across many scales, REX consistently challenges and advances building typologies, and promotes the agency of architecture.
REX’s think-tank of 30 designers, hailing from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, is led by Joshua Prince-Ramus, who was founding partner of OMA New York—the American affiliate of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture/Rem Koolhaas—until he rebranded that firm as REX in 2006. Seminal projects include the Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Texas; the Vakko Fashion Center and Power Media Center in Istanbul, Turkey; and the Seattle Central Library—all opened to critical acclaim, including American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Awards in 2005 and 2011.
Current projects include the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (The Perelman Center), an 8,400 m² (90,000 sf) building for the production and premiering of theater, dance, music, musical theater, opera, and film works; the Perth+ mixed-use skyscraper in Australia; a new performing arts center at Brown University; the Mercedes-Benz Future Lab in Stuttgart, Germany, a 10,200 m² (110,000 sf) public showcase for the brand’s impact on state-of-the-art mobility and a factory for creating, debating, and presenting the indeterminate future; a 4,300 m² (46,300 sf) private residence on Long Island for a patriarch, his four children, and each of their four future families; the re-cladding and interior renovation of Five Manhattan West, a 140,000 m² (1.5 million sf) Brutalist landmark straddling Penn Station’s rail yard in New York City; and 2050 M Street, a new, approximately 37,100 m² (400,000 sf) office building in Washington, DC that will host the CBS Washington Bureau, amongst other tenants. REX is also participating in a limited competition to design the new Museum of 20th Century Art in Berlin, between masterpieces by Mies van der Rohe and Hans Scharoun. In recent years, REX was declared winner of a limited competition for a $480 million, 80-story tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and has been a finalist in limited international competitions for the new Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway; the Finnish Innovation Fund’s Low2No sustainable development in Helsinki, Finland; the new Victoria and Albert Museum in Dundee, Scotland; and the New Central Library for Calgary, Canada.
The subject of numerous international exhibitions and publications, the work of REX has also been recognized with many of the profession’s top accolades, including two AIA National Honor Awards, a U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology National Honor Award, an American Library Association National Building Award, and two American Council of Engineering Companies’ National Gold Awards. The Vakko Fashion Center and Power Media Center was nominated for the 2013 Aga Khan Award, and the Seattle Central Library was a finalist for the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, awarded in 2014 to the best architectural work in North and South America completed from 2000 to 2013. In 2017, REX was honored as one of the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company.
Visit the Website: www.rex-ny.com
GRAFT - conceived as a ‘Label’ for Architecture, Urban Planning, Design, Music and the “pursuit of happiness”.
GRAFT was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. Further offices followed in Berlin, Germany in 2001 and Beijing, China in 2004. GRAFT was conceived as a ‘Label’ for Architecture, Urban Planning, Design, Music and the “pursuit of happiness”.
Since the firm was established, it has been commissioned to design and manage a wide range of projects in multiple disciplines and locations. With the core of the firm’s enterprises gravitating around the field of architecture and the built environment, GRAFT has always maintained an interest in crossing the boundaries between disciplines and “grafting” the creative potentials and methodologies of different realities. This is reflected in the firm’s expansion into the fields of exhibition design and product design, art installations, academic projects and “events” as well as in the variety of project locations in Germany, China, UAE, Russia, Georgia, in the U.S. and Mexico, to name a few.
Our collective professional experience encompasses a wide array of building types including Fine Arts, Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Residential facilities. The firm has won numerous international awards. With a staff of talented architectural professionals and administrators,
GRAFT has the resources and technology necessary to execute a project from programming to design and through construction, including construction documents, construction administration, and governmental agency review phases. GRAFT has rigorously undertaken an increasing role in programming, master-planning and urban design. Additionally, our firm maintains successful relationships, as needed, with associate architectural and engineering firms and specialty consultants.
Visit the Website: www.graftlab.com
TPG was founded in 1979.
Headquartered in New York City with an office in Long Island and a London affiliate, the firm works locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
While our core business focuses on Corporate Interiors and Retail Design, TPG has cultivated practice groups in Advanced Technology and Broadcast, Architecture, Healthcare, Education and Branding and Graphics. Organized in sector-specific studios, TPG provides the strong personal and specialized service of a small firm as well as the breadth and depth of resources offered by a large organization.
There are presently nine equity principals. This fact gives our firm tremendous depth at the leadership level, which enables the stability, diversity and design quality that has characterized this organization since its inception.
Visit the Website: www.tpgarchitecture.com
VHGA - contemporary New Mexico architecture that is distinctly of its time and place, to preserve local heritage.
Founded by New Mexico native, Van H. Gilbert, FAIA, the firm has a decades long commitment to the architecture and people of the mountains and southwest. Our VHGA team leverages talent, knowledge, experience, and heart to develop contemporary architecture that is distinctly of its time and place, to preserve local heritage, and to protect the environment creating a broad portfolio of projects that enrich the diverse communities that the firm serves.
From kindergartens to concert halls, state-of-science laboratories, zoological exhibits, iconic commercial and civic buildings and lovingly restored architectural treasures— we design buildings that have the power to influence a community's cultural and educational life. As proud as we are of awards from our peers in the design professions, it is the satisfaction of happy clients and the ultimate users of our projects that motivates us. We constantly challenge ourselves to create the optimum solutions for our clients most complex concerns: innovative, high-performance, sustainable, and welcoming environments for people.
Visit the Website: www.vhga.net
John Bertram received his Master of Architecture degree from Yale School of Architecture in 1994 and opened his own practice in Los Angeles in 1999.
For the past 18 years Bertram Architects has been known for excellence in contemporary residential design as well as for the careful restoration and sensitive expansion of significant mid-century architectural homes by Richard Neutra, Craig Ellwood and others. The firm's rigorously detailed work has been published in Metropolis, Robb Report, Architectural Digest - France, Architecture, Casa Vogue, Celeb Life and the Los Angeles Times.
John lives with his wife Ann Magnuson in Richard Neutra's 1939 McIntosh House in Silver Lake.
Visit the Website: www.bertramarchitects.com
The SIX is a 52-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for disabled veterans. It is located in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. McArthur Park has one of the highest densities in the USA with over 38,000 people per square mile and a total population of 120,000 people in 2.72 square miles. Offering shelter and comfort, the SIX breaks the prescriptive mold of the traditional shelter by creating public and private "zones" in which private space is deemphasized, in favor of large public areas.
The organization of the space is intended to transform the way people live-away from a reclusive, isolating layout towards a community-oriented, interactive space. The ground level contains offices, support spaces for the veterans, bike storage and parking while the second level has a large public courtyard. Surrounded by four levels of housing units with balconies wrapped with a wood screen made from recycle planking the courtyard has large openings with green roofs that visually connects the space to the street on the lower level beyond. This allows the tenants to enjoy a secured open space while still connecting to the larger community.
The uppermost level has a green roof, large public patio and edible garden with panoramic views of the area. The SIX distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design emerged from close consideration and employment of passive design strategies.
These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; utilizing low flow fixtures and storm water management; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building 50% more efficient than a conventionally designed structure.
Visit the Website: www.brooksscarpa.com/the-six
Saladang Song is a Thai restaurant located on a major arterial street in a mixed commercial-industrial neighborhood south of Old Pasadena. “Song,” which means “two” in Thai, is located next door to the original Saladang, which has been one of the city’s most popular restaurants for many years. The client, ‘Dang’ for short, is a Thai woman who immigrated to Los Angeles. In many ways, she occupies two worlds, bringing a strong sense of Thai cultural values into the context of Los Angeles. She has developed a loyal clientele by offering refined versions of traditional Thai dishes, a kind of abstraction of her native cuisine.
The design responds to her cross-cultural condition in a variety of ways. The building is conceived as a courtyard, an idea suggested by the traditional Thai sala. The sala is a simple roadside pavilion for resting and eating. Saladang Song, then, roughly translates as “Dang’s second retreat.” Los Angeles’ identity has been constructed around ideas of mobility, transience and consumer culture, and architecture has frequently accepted and celebrated this mythology. Saladang Song is conceived as a place of rest and reflection within the distracted life of the city. In a formal inversion, here the patio dining is placed at the front of the building, opposite the parking lot entry, which is at the rear.
The main components of the program are: outdoor and indoor dining, a large open kitchen, storage, and office spaces. Another aspect of the program, in the tradition of family-owned restaurants in Asia and Europe, was the request for a living space on top of the restaurant, including a rooftop garden. The patio dining is bound by a screen wall, offering a sense of protection while maintaining a strong relationship to the flow of traffic in the street. The screen wall is made of vertically cantilevered concrete slabs and laser-cut steel screens. The idea of a “textile” screen was informed by the client’s interest in traditional Thai fabrics. The slabs were built using a modified version of standard tilt-up construction. The laser-cut steel screens were patterned after textiles, but the designs have been abstracted and transformed by their method of production.
9,600 SF building area
23,000 SF site area
Wallaporn “Dang” Vattanatham
Peter Tolkin, John R. Byram, Christopher Girt, Craig Rizzo, Anthony Denzer
Kurily Szymanski Tchirkow, Inc. (Structural); Khalifeh & Associates (mechanical, electrical, plumbing); Herb Cooper (Civil); Jerry Kovacs & Associates (Geotechnical)
Eddie Effron (Lighting); Wet Design (Fountain)
2005 Honor Award, American Institute of Architects; 2002 Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly; 2001 Citation Award, American Institute of Architects; 2001 Restaurant Design Award, Finalist, James Beard Foundation; 2001 Award of Merit, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation
The Fox was built in 1929 by movie pioneer William Fox as a showcase for the films of the Fox Film Corporation and elaborate stage shows. It was one of a group of five spectacular Fox Theatres built by Fox in the late 1920s. (The others were the Fox Theatres in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Detroit, and San Francisco.)
When the theatre opened on January 31, 1929, it was reportedly the second-largest theater in the United States, with 5,060 seats. It was one of St. Louis's leading movie theaters through the 1960s and has survived to become a versatile performing arts venue.
The Fox was designed by an architect specialising in theatres, C. Howard Crane, in an eclectic blend of Asian decorative motifs sometimes called Siamese Byzantine. The interior is the architectural twin of another Fox Theatre built in Detroit in 1928. Reporters in 1929 described the Fox Theatres in St. Louis and Detroit as "awe-inspiringly fashioned after Hindu (sic) Mosques of Old India, bewildering in their richness and dazzling in their appointments ... striking a note that reverberates around the architectural and theatrical worlds."
William Fox nicknamed the style the "Eve Leo Style" in tribute to his wife, who decorated the interior with furnishings, paintings and sculpture she had bought on her trips overseas.
The Fox Theatre closed in March 1978 and was purchased by Fox Associates in 1981. The theater was restored at a price of at least $3 million and in comparison, the Fox cost $6 million to build in 1929. It reopened in September 1982 with the Broadway musical Barnum. Fox Theatricals is also the operator of the Briar Street Theater in Chicago.
The Fox seats 4,192 theatergoers plus 234 in the private Fox Club.