Contract - November/December 2011 - (Page 18)

editorial Adapting and Looking Forward As we end 2011 and look forward to what 2012 holds for all of us, it’s a good time to pause and assess where we are economically, specifically in the architecture and design professions and the construction industry. Indicators point to a mixed bag, with some glimmers of growth. Reed Construction Data reported on November 23 that year-to-date nonresidential construction starts for the first 10 months of 2011 combined rose 10 percent from the same period in 2010. Breaking that down further for the same 10-month time period, commercial starts climbed 13 percent, including a 15-percent gain for retail and a 56-percent leap for office starts. Industrial building starts doubled. Institutional building starts overall climbed 12 percent, including a 23-percent increase for medical facilities. In November, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, said, “We’re seeing some regions and some construction sectors move into positive territory. But there continues to be a high level of volatility in the marketplace with architecture firms reporting a wide range of conditions from improving to uncertain to poor. It’s likely we will see a similar state of affairs in the coming months.” The ASID Interior Design Billings Index has yet to reenter positive territory since spring 2011 (scores above 50 indicate an increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicate a decline), but it was close in the last two reporting months, August (48.6) and September (48.2) after July (45.1), which was an all-time low since the index launched in 2010. Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for ASID, noted, “What’s in store for the interior design industry in the upcoming months remains unclear. Political and economic uncertainties remain as major speed bumps to recovery, keeping credit tight and jostling consumer confidence.” With this news, the outlook for 2012 has some uncertainty, but one increasingly consistent type of project for architects and designers in recent years has been the renovation and adaptive reuse of existing building stock. This project type is an important factor not only in an economic recovery, but also in our continued efforts to design and build sustainably in a throw-away society. In this issue, we feature a variety of renovation and adaptive reuse projects, from the Bota Bota spa on a converted boat (page 80) to the AOL offices designed by 2011 Contract Designer of the Year Studio O+A (page 60) to the actual studios of four design firms. The Toronto office for Red Bull (cover, page 68, and an interview with designer Johnson Chou on page 136), reflects an exciting ingenuity in materiality and form embraced by a younger generation of designers. With the nine projects in this issue, I hope that you will be inspired by the new life the designers infused into existing, otherwise mundane structures. Also in this issue, the annual Contract Brand Report asked readers to tell us their favorite brands in 32 categories of interior building products and furnishings. What is your favorite seating brand? Your favorite lighting company? Which company did Contract readers believe is the most environmentally sustainable manufacturer serving our industry? Find out on page 95. Finally, a hearty thank-you to our Contract Editorial Advisory Board, sponsors, and speakers Vivian Loftness and Darrel Rhea for a very successful and informative Contract Design Forum, held in November. Learn more about the Forum and presentations by Loftness and Rhea on page 22. But before you enjoy the rest of our November/December issue, take a moment and flip back to pages 4 and 5 of this issue, the pages immediately before the Table of Contents. It’s a hint of the redesigned Contract. Stay tuned: We have a new look coming to you in our next issue in January. Sincerely, John Czarnecki, Editor in Chief p.s. Wondering who will be the 2012 Designer of the Year? And which projects will win Interiors Awards? Mark your calendars for our annual Interiors Awards Breakfast: Friday, January 27, 2012, in New York. Visit for ticket information. Photo by Jay Suherwanto 18 contract november/december 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November/December 2011

Contract - November/December 2011
Industry News
Product Briefs
Product Focus: Classic Touch
Product Focus: Generating Buzz(i)
Gelfand Partners Architects Office in San Francisco Designed by Gelfand Partners Architects
Sorg Architects Office in Washington, D.C. Designed by Sorg Architects
Sauerbruch Hutton Office in Berlin, Germany Designed by Sauerbruch Hutton
Roth Sheppard Architects Office in Denver Designed by Roth Sheppard Architects
AOL West Coast Headquarters in Palo Alto, California Designed by Studio O+A
Red Bull Canada Office Expansion in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Designed by Johnson Chou Inc.
Goods Shed North in Melbourne, Australia Designed by BVN Architecture
Bota Bota Spa in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Designed by Sid Lee Architecture
A’maree’s in Newport Beach, California Designed by Paul Davis Architects
2011 Contract Brand Report Awareness Survey
Designers Select: Building Products
Ad Index

Contract - November/December 2011