October 3, 2005
British architect Richard Rogers has
been chosen to design a much-needed expansion to New York
City's Jacob Javits Convention Center. The 790,000-square-foot
building, originally designed by I.M. Pei, is currently one
of the smallest convention centers in any U.S. city. The expansion
will increase its size to 1.5 million square feet.
Rogers's expansion is being designed
with New York-based FXFowle Architects (formerly Fox &
Fowle) and A. Epstein & Son. No designs have been released
yet. The selection, made via RFPs issued last July by the
Convention Center Development Corporation (CCDC), a subsidiary
of the Empire State Development Corporation, is expected to
cost about $1.4 billion. The state and city of New York will
contribute $350 million apiece. The sale of bonds, backed
by a $1.50-per-key surcharge paid by the local hotel industry,
will cover $500 million. The expansion will also include a
1,500-room hotel, which will be paid for by $200 million in
private financing. The project's two stages are expected to
be completed by 2012.
In June of 2004, Saint Louis-based HOK
had been selected by the Javits Center's operating corporation,
which oversees the center's day-to-day operations, to design
a sketch, calling for one of the world's largest-ever green
roofs. Deborah Wetzel, a spokesperson for the Convention Center
State Development Corporation, says that the CCDC used HOK's
plan as a "starting point" for the design, but that
their design came before legislation authorized the CCDC to
lead the expansion.
Rogers is well known for his designs
of the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London,
and his recently completed Barajas Airport in Madrid.