Build Magazine Architecture Awards 2016
Optima Chicago Center, Optima Sonoran Village
September 28, 2016
2016 Architecture Awards
Best in Luxury Residential Tower Architecture 2016 - USA
Optima is a developer, architect, general contractor, sales/leasing, and property manage- ment company. David Hovey outlines the firm’s service offerings and latest project.
Optima designs are always site-specific and sensitive to climate and lifestyle, with the firm keen to create structures which meet the needs of the client. One of the firm’s most recent projects is the Optima Chicago Center David explains.
Optima Chicago Center is a mixed-use residential tower of 42-stories with 325 luxury residential units in downtown Chicago.
“The building is one of impressive beauty derived from its simplicity, in contrast to the complex facades surrounding it. The exterior building aesthetics evolve from an expression of the functional spaces within - transparent glass at the street level, black translucent glass at the parking level and energy efficient silver metallic glass on the residential floors. Recessed outdoor space at the recreational floor 10 and residence club floor 32 create deep shadows that are important keys to making it all work visually.
“Optima Chicago Center’s elegant, modern architecture shows off floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which accent the sleek modern floor plans - not to mention spectacular city and lakefront views. The back-to-nature interior details of the residences include bamboo laminate flooring, granite countertops, sophisticated neutral finishes, and tasteful, contemporary accents such as porcelain tile, light fixtures, cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances.
“Design details are not limited to individual residences or just our exterior - each space in Optima Center gives off a bold impression. Our doorman-equipped lobby has high ceilings with glass walls overlooking our lush plaza. These elements create a quiet barrier from the city street. Even our fitness center and residents’ lounge are constructed with comfort and luxury in mind, and are bathed in natural light.”
Another project David is keen to highlight is the Optima Sonoran Village.
“Optima Sonoran Village is a mixed-use residential community in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona on 10 acres and comprised of three 7-story buildings, one 3-story building, and one 11-story building. With 781 vertically stacked courtyard homes, grand open civic spaces, and 13,000 square feet of commercial space: Sonoran Village is a 21st century vision to urban residential design. The project features a highly articulated façade with an innovative vertical landscape system that enables plants and vines to grow on the edge of the building creating shading and privacy for units below. The vibrant color palette was chosen from native, low-water desert plants in bloom resulting from extensive design exploration, engineering, and a multi-year research collaboration with Arizona State University. The project also integrates high performance glass, deep cantilevered terraces, and perforated sunscreens that protect the interior from the hot desert sun while also allowing abundance of natural daylight into each residence. Residents are able to take advantage of the climate with large terraces and open floor plans that provide interconnected and functional indoor and outdoor space.
“The project has 100% underground parking and 6 acres of lushly landscaped open space at grade level that mitigates the heat island effect and provide an architectural oasis in the Sonoran Desert. The open spaces on the edges of the property interconnect with the central courtyards allowing public pedestrian access along pathways through the development and provide visual and functional connection of the Camelback Corridor and Downtown Scottsdale.
“At Optima, we are proud Optima Sonoran Village was the pilot project for the City of Scottsdale’s newly adopted International Green Construction Code (IgCC) which is an alternate to LEED certification.”
Overall David is keen to emphasise the firm’s mission and its early involvement in sustainable technologies and projects.
“Our mission is to reinvent residential housing by optimizing development, design and construction. Even more, Optima is striving to raise the design standard by building architecturally ambitious housing designed to accommodate modern people with their contemporary needs. By managing all aspects of the projects we do from financing through design and construction, we are able to express and realize this mission. Optima was early to incorporate green thinking and sustainability.
“Since the 1980s, Optima projects have featured green-roof sky-gardens that help the environment and reduce energy consumption. Solar power has been routinely employed in recent projects and by building dense, multi-family housing in cities and near transit hubs at close-in suburbs, Optima offers attractive efficient alternatives to the wasteful excesses of sprawl.
“Ultimately, every detail of each building is carefully considered to optimize the building’s beauty and functionality. Optima is committed to promoting advances in sustainable building design and construction by integrating innovative selection, finishes, and solutions into the master planning and creative development, including LEED, IgCC, BIM, and Virtual Building Technologies. This result makes Optima elite and our homes state-of-the- art: environmentally, aesthetically, and structurally.”