A Mithun project and a student project by a Mithun designer were recognized by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) with 2013 Charter Awards. Each year CNU recognizes a few select projects worldwide that fulfill and advance the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism – defined by the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places.
Mithun received an honorable mention for the TOD redevelopment master plan that is revitalizing the 17-acre Mariposa community in downtown Denver at RTD’s 10th & Osage Light Rail station. The visioning for this underutilized site emphasized economic development and public health connections with the built environment. The master plan strengthens connections and sets the bar for high-performance TOD and mixed-income redevelopment in the historic La Alma neighborhood, nearly tripling the existing density and adding a mix of uses. Mariposa was commended for its use of a health impact assessment and significant environmental performance, including LEED-ND Gold.
Mohammad Momin, based out of Mithun’s San Francisco office Mithun l Solomon, won the student grand prize for his plan to re-envision public housing in Lower Eastside Manhattan. His proposal, which was originally based on his University of California Master of Urban Design thesis, seeks to take advantage of unused development rights on existing NYC Housing Authority properties. Momin’s thesis showed how the city could double the number of dwelling units on site while not displacing existing residents, reintroduce the former street grid into the superblocks, create new mixed-use buildings that would hold the street-walls and do all of this while using existing planning codes.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Hirabayashi Place early next year. The $29 million (including land, construction and all development costs) affordable housing project will provide 96 workforce housing units and nearly 6,500 square feet of ground-level commercial, retail, and daycare space. Mithun’s design creates a new gateway to the International District’s historic Japantown and enables walkable communities through activated streetscapes and proximity to transit. Marpac is the general contractor.
To continue reading about Hirabayashi Place, visit www.bizjournals.com.
Mithun received three awards at this year’s AIA Washington Civic Design Awards. Newcastle Library was awarded a Merit for its welcoming aesthetic and deep green features. It’s open and transparent facade welcomes the community in, while the flexible reading and gathering spaces offer patrons a comfortable destination to relax, interact and gain knowledge.
According to the jury, the Suquamish Museum received a Citation for its “well-crafted and uncomplicated design.” The building is nestled among cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir trees, and was carefully designed to preserve the heritage of the Suquamish people. The building features a high performing exterior envelope with low-emitting materials to meet sustainability and preservation criteria.
The Brightwater Influent Pump Station also received a Citation and was described as “a pleasant environment in which to work.” The jury added that “the tower is a nice touch that connects to the community in a positive way.” The facility has exceeded expectations for appearance and odor control, while meeting the needs of an industrial facility. A sculptural tower made of more than 3,500 repurposed green glass bottles ingeniously encloses the pump station’s odor control stack and integrates art into the community.
To see the full list of the 2013 AIA Washington Civic Design Award Winners and to read the jury comments, visit www.djc.com.
A council committee recently approved an expansion to the Seattle Aquarium in addition to other projects aimed to improve the Seattle waterfront. Mithun has done a conceptual planning study for the aquarium that would almost double its size and could increase the number of visitors from 800,000 to 1.5 million. According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, it will add 70,000 square feet, including a 35,000 square foot wing south of Pier 59.
Seattle Goodwill Industries’ new 49,562 square foot building will be introduced to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 1. Mithun designed the new job training and education center and administrative support services building with a goal to enhance Goodwill’s capacity to better serve the community.
Visit Goodwill’s website for more information about the opening ceremony and to find out how you can give back to your community.
Brightwater Center was recently featured in the spring edition of EcoStructure Magazine. The article highlights the sustainable features of the recently certified LEED Platinum building and discusses how the public can benefit from learning about wastewater treatment. Mithun Chairman and CEO, Bert Gregory, FAIA, credits King County for engaging local students and the community in the process:
“King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division is a very progressive entity and recognizes that it’s important to educate residents on the watershed and treatment systems, as well as the protection of the Puget Sound and coastal ecology.”
To read more about Brightwater Center in EcoStructure’s digital publication, visit www.ecobuildingpulse.com.
Mithun’s focus on health in the redevelopment master plan and urban design for the Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) Mariposa redevelopment was recently featured in an article published by the New York Times. The plan is spearheading the movement for “design for health” and evidence-based design by incorporating a Health Impact Assessment (HIA), design strategies, and implementation recommendations that improve resident health through the neighborhood redevelopment.
In the article, Erin Christensen, Associate Principal, points to Mithun’s work on the High Point Community in Seattle as a groundbreaking early example of how design strategies can be linked to health. Because the community suffered from a high-rate of asthma, the team designed 60 Breathe-Easy™ homes that have proven through longitudinal studies to increase resident’s symptom-free days by 61% and reduce emergency room visits by 67%:
“As designers, that was the first that we had really seen a direct relationship shown between the built environment and the health of residents,” said Christensen.
The lessons learned at High Point informed green building standards including the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The Mariposa redevelopment takes healthy design beyond the home and considers all aspects of physical, mental, and community well-being in a more comprehensive and holistic approach to neighborhood planning. By integrating a health impact assessment and community engagement early on, the team was able to identify what the community needed most to support healthy lifestyles. Using a public health lens, the best evidence available, and peer review, responsive design and programmatic strategies were incorporated into the project.
In 2012, Mithun helped develop the Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative for DHA to integrate health into every aspect of design, construction, and implementation of the Mariposa development. The Initiative launches campaigns and action plans for DHA to improve specific health goals, including the creation of the Mariposa Healthy Living Toolkit, an implementation guide for practitioners to incorporate health into neighborhood design, redevelopment, and construction.
Mithun was responsible for recommendations to incorporate art in the development to help support diversity and build social cohesion (one of the health determinants). This mural is featured on the recently completed 100-unit Tapiz building, designed by Brad Buchanan, RNL. The mural was designed by a local artist who worked with kids in the neighborhood.
Continue reading the New York Times article about Mithun’s effort to design for health at www.nytimes.com.