Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 97

By Jackie Bryant
Photography by
Ryan Gobuty / Gensler

Featuring planar Corten
walls to provide directional
guidance and a nod to the
building's reddish exterior,
the new lobby unifies
disconnected spaces with
a holistic design.

Reconsidering the architectural interiors
created by a legend is a heady task, particularly
if it was less than 30 years since the initial
construction. Aventine, designed by Michael Graves
and completed in 1989, is a reddish-hued 11-story
office building in San Diego with postmodern
common spaces that had become dated,
disconnected, dark, and lacking in amenities
popular in offices today.
Aventine is part of a mixed-use complex
designed by Graves that includes the Hyatt
Regency La Jolla at Aventine as well as stores
and restaurants. The office tower had some
elements that aged faster than others, which was
problematic within an otherwise hot real estate
market. Rockpoint Group purchased the building
in 2015 and hired Gensler for a lobby repositioning
to make the entry sequence more functional
for tenants and more attractive to the commercial
real estate market.
"When we first approached the project, there
was this question of what do we do with a classic
piece of architecture, recognizing who the original
designer was," says Darrel Fullbright, principal
at Gensler's San Diego office. "But we quickly came
to realize that the function was paramount to us
delivering a new vision, and that the main rotunda
was directly in the way of achieving this."
Fullbright's team fused the disjointed
components-which included two front doors, three
elevator lobbies, and a rotunda-by removing the
walls separating them to create one large,
open space. Gensler retained the spirit of Aventine
by incorporating high-quality materials and details,
but with contemporary twists with marble, wood,
and planar Corten walls. A cafe was added with
black Vibia pendant lights over a counter of nublado
light marble with a contrasting quartz countertop.
A large communal table, made of flat-cut walnut
veneer and oil-rubbed bronze, occupies the center.
Gensler custom designed the cafe tables, which
were constructed by Southwest Millworks. Outdoor
tables and chairs were incorporated to take
advantage of the mild San Diego climate.
Since the repositioning, Tony Russell, a broker
for JLL, which is one of Aventine's tenants and its
leasing manager, says the lobby has come alive with
activity, something that had been missing previously.
"I see many tenants having small meetings in the
different common seating areas. Tenants also spend

lots of time taking small breaks from work, going
to the cafe for a coffee, or to play Cornhole or Jenga
on the outside patio. Before the renovation, it was not
a place people would spend time," Russell says.
Michelle Tello, a project designer for Gensler,
echoes that, adding, "the overall feedback has been
positive. The amenities and cafe are constantly
being used and attracting new tenants." And those
tenants, she notes, are even reducing their internal
lounges, maximizing their own square footage
by utilizing the main lobby and cafe instead.
The increase in usage required the building
owner to enhance the cafe since the repositioning
opened. "Additional food and beverage equipment
was added to accommodate the cafe operator's
needs," Tello says.
Besides fine-tuning functionality, the
Gensler team learned other lessons from Aventine's
repositioning, particularly about involving the
client and working around a sensitive history
and reputation. "It is important to collaborate with
your client and make them an integral design
partner, especially when proposing a unique design
for which the results are not completely known,"
Fullbright says. "It is also important that we,
as designers, are strong advocates for design
ideas that will help achieve the client's ultimate
goals and objectives." c

contract



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract Magazine - January/February 2018

Contract Magazine - January/February 2018
Contents
Editorial
Industry News
Product Focus: Set Sail
Product Briefs
designer of the year
legend award
annual interiors awards
Adaptive Reuse
Civic/Public
Education
Entertainment
Healthcare
Historic Restoration
Hotel
Lobby Repositioning
Office: Small
Office: Large
Restaurant
Retail
Showroom
Sustainable
Student
Sources
Ad Index
Bringing Nobu to Canada
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Contract Magazine - January/February 2018
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 5
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Contents
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Editorial
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Industry News
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Product Focus: Set Sail
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 31
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 33
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Product Briefs
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 35
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 40
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - designer of the year
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 43
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - legend award
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 55
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - annual interiors awards
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 67
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Adaptive Reuse
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 69
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 70
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 71
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Civic/Public
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 73
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 74
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 75
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Education
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 77
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Entertainment
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Healthcare
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Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 87
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Historic Restoration
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 89
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 90
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 91
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Hotel
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 93
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 94
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 95
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Lobby Repositioning
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 97
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 98
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 99
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Office: Small
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 101
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 102
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 103
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Office: Large
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 105
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 106
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 107
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Restaurant
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 109
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 110
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 111
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Retail
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 113
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 114
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 115
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Showroom
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 117
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 118
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 119
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Sustainable
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 121
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 122
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 123
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Student
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 125
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 126
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 127
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 128
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 129
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Sources
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 131
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 132
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 133
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Ad Index
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - 135
Contract Magazine - January/February 2018 - Bringing Nobu to Canada
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