Dilworth Park had its ceremonial opening last week, with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Michael Nutter, who called the renovation “one of the most exciting things to happen in Philadelphia in the past 50 years.” Now, two-thirds of the site adjacent to Philadelphia’s City Hall is complete, and the remaining elements will be completed in about six weeks. KieranTimberlake worked on the project in partnership with Urban Engineers and Olin.
Urban Engineers recently released a video of the new Dilworth Park featuring interviews with Philadelphians who expressed their reactions to the new public space, which had its opening on September 4. Urban Engineers worked in partnership with the design team from KieranTimberlake and landscape architects from Olin.
For the past eight years, KieranTimberlake architect James Huemoeller has spent part of each year supporting the archaeological excavations for the Contrada Agnese Project (CAP), directed by Alex Walthall (University of Texas), at the ancient site of Morgantina in central Sicily. James’ work developing and implementing data recording and management methods for the excavation continues a tradition started by the Renaissance architect Raphael, who advocated for the systematic recording of ancient ruins to preserve knowledge for future generations in a letter to Pope Leo X.
A team from KieranTimberlake, along with partners Gilbane Building Company and Travis Alderson Associates, recently completed a Building Information Model (BIM) of a virtual base on the planet Mars. The model will be an integral part of the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge: a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program designed to engage high school and community college students with building sciences and spark their interest in careers in the field. Participating students will act as facility managers responsible for maintaining the base and will develop their teamwork skills as they handle building systems issues that arise.
Renovation work at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural district is nearing completion, and Volver restaurant, operated by chef Jose Garces, has recently opened. KieranTimberlake is responsible for designing the new space, with Marguerite Rodgers leading interior design for the restaurant.
The new Volver restaurant is located at the site of the former gift shop. Entered directly from the street or from within the Kimmel Center, the dining room and bar face Spruce Street, with fully glass walls extending into the sidewalk to engage the streetscape and enliven the presence of the building. With interiors by the designers for nationally-acclaimed restaurants Fork, Lacroix, Striped Bass, and XIX, it is an inviting, urbane space that incorporates bespoke furnishings, cabinetry, and artwork by local craftspeople to create the intricately detailed atmosphere that Marguerite Rodgers is known for.
It was announced today that KieranTimberlake has been selected to design a new building for the expanding School of Engineering at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The building will include cutting-edge laboratory facilities as well as spaces for cross-disciplinary collaboration.
As we celebrate our 30th year in practice, we revisit some of our past works to see how they have matured and uncover what we can learn from them today.
By Fátima Olivieri Completed in 2003 as part of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, the Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall is a 48,000 square-foot addition that adjoins two historic structures, the Graduate Research Wing of the Moore School and the Towne Building. This new structure was built as a home for the Department of Computer and Information Science, providing much-needed faculty offices, labs, classrooms, and student amenities such as the Wu and Chen Auditorium, Weiss Tech House, and a café.
With Levine Hall, the university wanted to amplify the work of the School of Engineering and demonstrate its pioneering spirit through architecture. KieranTimberlake proposed a narrow, 6-story, bridge-like addition that would connect the existing buildings and minimize the footprint at street level. Expansive glass curtainwalls were used as the primary facades to make the activities inside the building visible to all and to maximize light and view on a dense urban site.
A mock-up of the marquee we designed for the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia is on display at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The exhibit, called Elements of Architecture, includes the fundamentals of buildings anywhere on earth: floor, wall, ceiling, door, etc. Within the room dedicated to "Facades" are twelve assemblages, including the theater marquee, that have been developed over the course of the past century—from all-glass to curtainwall to green facades.
Zahner, an American engineering design consultancy and fabrication shop, constructed both the mock-up and the actual marquee in its Kansas City factory. Made of interference-coated stainless steel, the curvilinear marquee appears to change colors from different angles and in different lighting conditions. Its dynamic, billowing shape further exaggerates its material ambiguity.
Topping off the structural steel at Congregation Rodeph Shalom was celebrated last week with a ceremonial signing of the highest steel beam by members of the clergy and administration, congregants, and representatives from the construction manager and the KieranTimberlake design team. The beam was hoisted into place by Intech Construction the following morning. In the coming weeks, concrete slabs will be poured for the first and second floors, and infill between the existing building and the new addition will continue.
In a recent profile in the RIBA Journal (Royal Institute of British Architects), James Timberlake reframes the discussion of the new London embassy in the British press. Timberlake discusses how the highly performative design sets a new paradigm for American embassies, integrating a host of environmentally responsible features and creating welcoming public spaces.
Defender of the faith
by Jan-Carlos Kucharek
In 2017 London’s new $1bn US embassy complex will open. James Timberlake, of its architect Kieran Timberlake, feels a realistic appraisal of the design will vanquish its critics.
Kieran Timberlake partner James Timberlake, though silver-haired, remains a strapping fellow. Especially when his face is six inches from yours and he’s hauling you up off your toes by your lapels. Maybe it’s something I said. ‘It’s not a moat,’ he intones slowly, smiling, before resting me back down on my heels and smoothing my collar down, ‘It’s a pond.’ True, maybe the word ‘moat’, suggesting at least defensiveness, is too loaded a meaning; but we are looking over the hole in the ground that’ll be the new American Embassy in London, and what’s the meaning of ‘pond’ anyway? Something in your garden? A component of a SuDS strategy? The Atlantic? It turns out it’s actually all three to Timberlake, hence his robust distinction.
"Defender of the Faith" is no longer available online. It can be found in the May 2014 issue of RIBA Journal, available by subscription.