80 Gensler Leaders Spotlight Their Favorite Projects

The sheer size of Gensler—5,000-plus staffers spread across 46 offices in 16 countries—is one of the things that makes the firm so unique. But what makes a firm of such vast size work is its entrepreneurial structure. “We are a self-governing, self-sustaining firm with a rotating leadership,” explains co-CEO and co-regional managing principal Andy Cohen. “It’s an incredible collaborative team—it’s not just one person at the helm.” North American co-regional managing principal Robin Klehr Avia elaborates on the beauty of the collective approach: “We believe in a constellation of stars. Any one of our 24 design partners could have their own firm and be honored at the Interior Design Hall of Fame, but then they would not have the type of collaboration they have here at Gensler. People put their egos aside and do great work as a result of that.”


So how does this utopic-sounding creative haven work in practice? “It’s a true network,” says co-CEO and co-regional managing principal Diane Hoskins. “Connectivity is key.” Offices are grouped into 10 regions, each helmed by a two-person team. Within the larger regions are designated hub offices. This collective approach keeps the well-oiled machine running smoothly and ensures resource and knowledge sharing, not to mention solidarity—a “one-firm firm,” they call it.


Gensler’s structure and global reach also allows designers to expand their horizons over the course of their careers. “Scale is an advantage,” says co-regional managing principal Dan Winey. “Our organization allows employees to explore different facets of the profession, to move in different directions as they move through life. Exploration can happen within both a design and a geographic framework: you can go to Dubai to learn about Middle Eastern culture, for instance.” Top talents also have a chance to participate in the twice-annual global leaders program, which allows designers to visit regions and markets outside their own. “They launch into a strategic deep dive, and help us rethink our practice,” says Hoskins. The result: employees are more engaged, and stay to build careers at Gensler.


Herein, the regional managing partners explain what’s unique about their territory, and the opportunities and challenges they face. We also shine the spotlight on some of each region’s senior members, who share a favorite project from their tenure at Gensler.



Northeast Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Robin Klehr Avia and Joseph Brancato

Project: Tower at PNC Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2015

This powerhouse region is comprised of four offices—New York, Boston, Toronto, and Morristown, New Jersey—ranging in size from 60 to 600 professionals. Although workplace design was a hallmark of its earlier years, practice areas have since boomed, blossoming in fields as diverse as education and health care. Recently “a surge of foreign investment has increased the development pipeline, creating an uptick in major cities,” notes co-regional managing principal Robin Klehr Avia. “The talent that fuels job growth wants to be in urban centers.” Adds co-regional manager Joseph Brancato, “To keep up with the burgeoning market, we have laser focus on nurturing our talent through programs that let them explore career paths.”

Northeast Hub Spotlight: New York

Regional Managing Director and Principal: Julia Simet

Project: Morrison & Foerster, New York, 2014


“Recently, the Atlantic named New York as the world’s most economically powerful city for its financial clout, quality of life, and global competitiveness,” notes managing director and principal Julia Simet. “At Gensler New York, we are passionate about designs that solve the complexities of modern life and connect with people. We continue to evolve our services. For example, our building repositioning team is rethinking the optimization of New York’s aging infrastructure and our brand strategy team is fully integrated with all of our practices to help clients understand how to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”

Northeast Region: New Jersey

Regional Managing Partner: Brenda Nyce-Taylor

Project: BAST Corporation, Florham Park, New Jersey, 2012


The dangling boxes in the lobby can't help but catch the eye, as do the company's innovative materials, "creatively showcsaed in the built environment."

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Stefanie Shunk

Project: Media firm, New York, 2007


Meticulous minimalism plus artful interventions “make this 2007 design endure. The project also represents a year of firsts for me: a meaningful promotion and my first widely published and awarded project.”

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Jean Anderson

Project: Burberry headquarters, London, 2008


Consolidating the fashion label’s five offices into a 1910 building resulted in an able synthesis of history with contemporary finishes that “beautifully personifies Burberry’s culture, creating an immersive and authentic lifestyle experience.”

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Becky Button

Project: Cengage Learning, San Francisco, 2014


Working on a tight schedule, “the client built a great team of consultants and then trusted us to make it happen, without micromanaging.” The collaboration—and rustic-meets-high-tech design—proved so engaging the partnership has become long term.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: EJ Lee

Project: Financial firm, New York, 2013


“A kinship between my Asian heritage and the Zen philosophy of the client resulted in a tranquil, understated elegance,” here showcased in the subtle yet intriguing wall treatments and harmonious palette.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Brian Berry

Project: McCann Erickson, New York, 2013


The personality-laden design solution for the advertising giant eschews an overly corporate look, instead “bridging the gap between business hours and after hours” in the hip hotel-style lobby used for entertaining clients.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Ed Wood

Project: New York Times, New York, 2007


The newspaper’s headquarters was “truly a collaboration with the client, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and other consultants, all working in harmony.” The pay off of such smooth sailing: a light, open, and sustainable build that champions transparency and collaboration.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Carlos Martínez

Project: Motorola Mobility, Chicago, 2014


“Every project has a story, and everything tells a story—find the story and you are done,” says the designer. Here that story coalesces around ingenuity, like custom neon fixtures configured as a subway map and roll-up garage sidewalls.



Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Mark Morton

Project: Condé Nast, New York, 2015


“Edit, edit” is the designer’s mantra, on display in the restrained luxury of the publisher’s headquarters, judiciously brightened by splashy supersized graphics from the company archives.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: John Bricker

Project: Toys ‘R’ Us, New York, 2001


Screens inside the facade change images—and degrees of transparency—allowing glimpses inside the store in this “building as billboard” that stands out in even media-saturated Times Square.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Beth Novitsky

Project: Baroue, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2006


“It’s fun designing for kids!” says Novitsky. Signage designed around a host of characters represent “different kinds of make-believe, from firemen to princesses.”

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Keith Rosen

Project: Vantone Museum, Beijing, 2009


Rosen lauds colleague—and mentee—Emma Chang’s airy museum, noting that the sculptural forms and play of light “beautifully illustrates her unique design vision. Meticulously detailed, it is certainly a Gensler project, but a Gensler project that could only have been done by a designer reared in China.”


Northeast Region: New Jersey

Regional Managing Partner: Janine Intonato

Project: Bayer Healthcare, Whippany, New Jersey, 2013


For the company behind Aleve and One A Day vitamins the opportunity "to integrate healthful practices and thus truly reflect the organization's culture" has reuslted in positive post-occupancy results that indicate employees are "more active and energized."


 

Northeast Region: Toronto

Regional Managing Partner: Annie Bergeron

Project: Motorola Mobility, Chicago, 2014


"This world-class R&D facility has it all: innovation, sustainability, and good looks!" We agree: note the laser-cut, powder-coated steel that wraps an elevator lobby.

Northeast Region: New York

Regional Managing Partner: Laurent Lisimachio

Project: Coty, New York, 2014.


“Designed more like a luxury residence than an office,” this project is a case study on “how to envision a space that has the sophistication of a highly creative and style-oriented organization” while not upstaging its licensed brands (Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein).


Northeast Region: Boston

Regional Managing Partner: Alexander Fernández

Project: City master plan, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (unbuilt)


This large-scale cross-firm master plan prototype for a sustainable city “uses petals as the defining form for each neighborhood. They could be added, as a plant would grow leaves, to organically extend the city.”


Northwest Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Dan Winey and Scott Dunlap

Project: Gensler, Oakland, California, 2015


The Bay Area and greater Pacific Northwest “are places where clients understand the value of design,” says co-regional managing principal Scott Dunlap. The technology sector receives a lot of well-deserved attention for driving growth here, but make no mistake: According to co-regional managing principal Dan Winey, the strength of the region lies in its diversity. “With legendary academic institutions, the deep pockets of venture capital, a healthy tolerance for risk, and an unmatched quality of life, this is an environment where design thrives in a way that is hard to duplicate anywhere else.”


Northwest Region: San Francisco

Regional Managing Partner: Steve Weindel

Project: Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, 2010


“Design is magic, creating an imaginary bridge to beauty where it didn’t exist before,” says the regional design director and principal. The tilted columns and luminous convex canopy that soar skyward at this regional airport prove that thesis.


Northwest Region: San Francisco

Regional Managing Partner: Kelly Dubisar

Project: Nokia R&D Campus, Sunnyvale, California, 2011


“Prior to 2008, the vernacular for most tech offices was either a crushing expanse of cubicles or something reminiscent of your parents’ garage. This project was a turning point.” To wit: a canny entry sequence boasting gazebo-like work/play structures.


Northwest Region: San Francisco

Regional Managing Partner: Melissa Mizell

Project: San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2, 2012


Because such a major airport terminal “needs to be many things to many people—a place to eat, shop, zone out, play, get some work done, people watch—this project was the perfect culmination of all the things I and my teammates learned from other projects.”

Northwest Region: Seattle

Regional Managing Partner: Susana Covarrubias

Project: WPP, Seattle, 2008


“This space was on the front end of design trends that are just now becoming mainstream, such as moving offices away from the building perimeter to gain more access to natural light,” explains Covarrubais. The timeless design “was cutting-edge back then, and still functional, relevant, and inspiring today.”

Northwest Region: San Jose

Regional Managing Partner: Natalie Engels

Project: Pivot, Santa Clara, California, 2015


“My favorite project is always the one that I have just finished”—in this case a simply serene office “strong enough to stand on its own” while allowing the Herman Miller dealership’s furniture to shine.

Northwest Region: Oakland

Regional Managing Partner: Doug Wittenbel

Project: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, San Francisco, 2002


Salvaged and recycled materials reflect the foundation’s mission and “inspired me to look introspectively at how we apply the earth’s limited resources to the spaces we create.”

Northwest Region: San Francisco

Regional Managing Partner: Collin Burry

Project: 888 Brannan Street, San Francisco, 2013


At the 1917 warehouse turned tech campus, “we unwrapped everything and took it back to the bones,” instating an urban pocket park of a lobby with reclaimed Douglas fir bench seating and a plant wall ascending in stepped segments.

Northwest Region: Seattle

Regional Managing Partner: Chad Yoshinobu

Project: Boeing, Renton, Washington, 2013


A punctured wall incorporating “a progressive transition from void to solid as it moves toward the loud manufacturing area,” solved challenging noise levels at this World War Two-era factory turned aircraft production facility.

Northwest Region: San Francisco

Regional Managing Partner: Jeff Henry

Project: Barneys New York, Dallas, 2006


“The opportunity to merge art and architecture into a memorable shopping experience” resulted in arty and organic touches softening white-box minimalism.

North Central Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Lamar A. Johnson and Nila R. Leiserowitz

Project: Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Genevieve and Wayne Gratz Center, 2012


This region inclues Minneapolis, Detroit, and La Crosse, Wisconsin, with Chicago as the hub office. While the Midwest is known for manufacturing, the region has seen great change,” says co-regional managing principal Lamar A. Johnson. “As our clients drive innovation and change regionally and globally—in areas such as technology, education, health and wellness, consumer goods, corporate campuses, and more—we have expanded our offerings to help them reimagine their businesses.” On a cultural note, “The region has a deep commitment to civic engagement, social responsibility, and  giving back to the communities we serve,” tells co-regional managing principal Nila R. Leiserowitz. “It’s something we’re truly proud of.


North Central Region: Minneapolis

Regional Managing Partner: Bill Lyons

Project: Olson, Minneapolis, 2012


“The ad agency’s new space features a playful mix of vintage and contemporary elements that blend harmoniously with the historic shell.” That includes the Georges Rousse–style supergraphic branding stretching across the ceiling.

North Central Region: Chicago

Regional Managing Partner: Todd Heiser

Project: Genevieve and Wayne Gratz Center, Chicago, 2012


The chapel annex to the Fourth Presbyterian Church riffs on the main building’s neo-Gothic architecture, but the real beauty is the activity within. “At any instant you can walk in and hear children playing or observe someone grabbing a quiet moment. It is a tangible representation of all the reasons I go to work each day.”

North Central Region: Chicago

Regional Managing Partner: Benjy Ward

Project: LAPD Memorial for Fallen Officers, Los Angeles, 2009


Inspired by the brass badges worn by police, 2,000 gleaming panels of the same material are etched with the names of those killed in the line of duty, while blank variations are a “haunting reminder that there will always be names to add in the future.”

North Central Region: Chicago

Regional Managing Partner: Anne Gibson

Project: The Ability Institute of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (unbuilt)


The touchscreen in the research hospital’s reception will inform and inspire just as the project as a whole will “change people’s lives through the power of design. The institute is wholly aligned with what we believe at Gensler: when you bring diverse perspectives together, the unimaginable can happen.”

North Central Region: Detroit

Regional Managing Partner: William Hartman

Project: Union Pacific Center, Omaha, Nebraska, 2004


Designing the railroad company’s tower headquarters—with a soaring glass atrium that allows daylight to penetrate all levels—proved a case study in all facets of a project. “I learned so many things from this client’s industry and culture that I have been able to apply directly to other projects.”

North Central Region: Chicago

Regional Managing Partner: Todd Baisch

Project: IBM, Chicago, 2005


“This office was my first project after joining Gensler. The challenge was to create a place that showcased an established technology company yet felt modern, nimble, and always changing”—a quality achieved via touches like this conference room’s graceful drapery and curved cove lighting.


Southeast Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Diane Hoskins and Kenneth Baker

Project: George Washington University Charles E. Smith Center, Washington, DC, 2011


Stretching from historic Philadelphia and Washington, DC, to subtropical Tampa and Miami, the eight offices in this region reside in some of the country's most dynamic growth markets. "At first glance these centers appear to be vastly different, yet they contain overlapping trends that allow us to create a cohesive regional strategy," says co-CEO and co-regional managing principal Diane Hoskins. This includes the integration of principal Kenneth Baker, "Even our most traditional clients such as law firms are exploring bold new strategies to enable employees to be happier, healthier, and more productive. Increasingly we are being asked to devise strategies that help our clients be more creative and competitive. We see this type of partnership only becoming ever more common."

Southeast Region: Baltimore

Regional Managing Partner: Chris Banks

Project: Pandora Jewelry, Baltimore, 2015


Washes of color on floors and gauzy sheers delineate space at this "uplifting project that completely transformed the culture at Pandora. People are happy and love coming to work in the new space."

Southeast Region: Miami

Regional Managing Partner: Walter Trujillo

Project: Bacardi, Coral Gables, Florida, 2013


Translucent yellow furnishings and fixtures, playfully reminiscent of a bottle of Bacardi Gold, define a workspace that's a "wonderful combination of reflection on the legendary brand—plus a space to explore the future."

Southeast Region: Washington, DC

Regional Managing Partner: Jordan Goldstein

Project: Intelsat, McLean, Virginia, 2014


We have seen significant growth in urban and suburban areas throughout the Washington, DC area," says managing director and city limits has become increasingly common, along with companies moving their businesses into the suburbs as the suburbs become more urban. Many organizations are capitalizing on the live-work model that offers a creative interpretation of mnixed-use planning. We're also experiencing a rise in tech companies, enabling new opportunities for more creative office projects."

Southeast Region: Baltimore

Regional Managing Partner: Ehren Gaag

Project: Price Modern, Baltimore, 2014


The office furniture dealership is "a project with incredible dimensionality" as shown in the seamless flow of work and lounge areas, outfitted with the company's offerings. "The vision was a good one from the start and as we dug in it only got better. I have tried to replicate the process on all my projects."

Southeast Region: Washington, DC

Regional Managing Partner: John McKinney

Project: Fried Frank, Washington, DC, 2012


"When you walk into this office you know you are not in your typical law firm." (Indeed: check out that lacy lattice screen.) "The architecture, pop art, and furniture work in harmony to showcase the firm's personality."

Southeast Region: Washington, DC

Regional Managing Partner: Jill Goebel

Project: Edited by Goodwill, Washington, DC, 2014


At a pop-up store for the thrift giant, paper-wrapped clothes hangers became sculpture and the team "elevated what others cast aside, raising awareness about an organizatino that enriches our community."

Southeast Region: Charlotte

Regional Managing Partner: Holly Christian

Project: Energy company, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2011


For this aerie, "the mantra we followed was to be transformational, which included transitioning a floor once reserved for executives to a space accessible by all staffers."

Southeast Region: Atlanta

Regional Managing Partner: Richard Macri

Project: 22squared, Atlanta, 2011

This ad agency project "is more than an aesthetic endeavor. The big idea was to have the new space energize and boost connections among employees." The proof is in: according to an employee survey, knowledge-sharing has increased by 20 percent.
 

Southwest Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Andy Cohen and Robert Jernigan

Project: Denver International Airport Westin Hotel and Transit Center, 2015


"The embrace of change in our region, coupled with the willingness to do things that have never been done before, is infectious," says co-CEO and co-regional managing principal Andy Cohen. "Our clients are constsantly pushing boundaries," The region spans the bright lights of Los Angeles and Los Vegas to the mountain ranges of Denver, the desert of Phoenix, and the coastal destinations Newport Beach and San Diego. "In our markets the primary economic drivers are lifestyle and tourism," says Robert Jernigan, co-regional managing principal. "In the foreseeable future, this growth trajectory is extremely positive as the US economy is strong and this fuels lifestyle-related markets. The impact of the global marketplace is the only potential challenge."

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Chris Coldoff

Project: Hulu, Santa Monica, 2013

For the television gurus, this workplace was about creating an environment that "didn't feel overly designed. Plus, it was a fun opportunity to re-imagine the very space that Gensler moved out of when we relocated our office to downtown Los Angeles!"

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Philippe Paré

Project: Mapleton Investments, Los Angeles, 2013

"Intimate dialogue with the client on how a personal art collection can inpsire architecture" resulted in gallerylike interiors, not to mention a site-specific chipped-plaster mural gracing the courtyard.

Southwest Region: Phoenix

Regional Managing Partner: Jay Silverberg

Project: Denver International Airport Westin Hotel and Transit Center, 2015

Hospitality and transportation combine in a "holistic solution depicting beauty and grace" that seeks to elevate globetrotters' experience before and after air travel.

Southwest Region: Denver

Regional Managing Partner: Brent Mather

Project: Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, 2014

Rustic yet refined plus "highly customized and thoughtful," this relatively modest regional airport challenges "the lingering perception that we are only invested in large or corporate projects!"

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Gene Watanabe

Project: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, 2007

The framelike aspect of this landmark project pays respect to the iconic Century Plaza Towers behind, while making a powerful architectural statement of its own.

Southwest Region: Newport Beach

Regional Managing Partner: David Loyola

Project: Glumac, Irvine, 2010

This low budget with a loftlike aesthetic "was about doing more with less: using less energy and fewer natural resources in a creative work environment. It was the first Office of the Future recognized by the New Buildings Institute and set the benchmark for tenant improvement projects in the United States."

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Aaron Birney

Project: Wenger, Boulder, Colorado, 2010

For the Swiss Army Knife retailer's woodsy Mile High City flagship the firm combined "historic restoration with fresh diea and local relevance in a concept that connected to the geographic location, the space, and the people of the city."

Southwest Region: Newport Beach

Regional Managing Partner: Jim Young

Project: Gensler Newport Beach, California, 2013

"Designing for your family produces some of the most exciting challenges," says the designer of the in-house project that incorporates four work modes—focus, collaboration, learning, and socialization—into LEED Platinum surrounds. 

Southwest Region: San Diego

Regional Managing Partner: Claudia Salazar

Project: Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, 2015

A refresh to the entry is anchored by a new digital exhibition area, plus a reception desk illuminated by the MOPA logo routed into its mass that cleverly "synthesizes the museum's brand identity with its architecture."

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Kap Malik

Project: The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, 2010

This skyline-defining LEED Silver tower with the twinkling "glass mosaic" facade is an exemplar on all fronts of Malik's signature harmonization that "merges architecture, sustainability, and urbanism."

Southwest Region: Los Angeles

Regional Managing Partner: Lee Pasteris

Project: Glumac, Los Angeles, 2014

Bubble swings are a playful touch but the real excitement is that this is the "first interior net-zero energy project in California, resulting in the ability to measure energy performance through the power of design."

South Central Top Picks

Regional Managing Principals: Judy Pesek and David J. Calkins

Project: Southwestern Energy Company, Spring, Texas, 2015

Things are just bigger in Texas. "Our offices in Austin, Dallas, and Houston are located in the three fastest-growing cities in the United States," says Judy Pesek, who leads the region alongside co-regional managing principal David J. Calkins. "Austin has emerged as a major tech hub and Dallas and Houston are key locations for corporate expansion." However, the scope of this region's work stretches far beyond Texas borders into 40 US cities and 14 countries. "This geographic and business sector diversity has allowed us to weather and rebound from cyclical downturns like the one we are currently experiencing in the energy industry," notes Calkins. So, what are clients asking for, in the Lone Star State and abroad? Places that encourage innovation, incorporate the latest technology, and are equally suited to work and relaxation. 

South Central Region: Dallas

PrincipalPaul Manno

Project: Hilti North America, Plano, Texas, 2015

The corporate cerise invigorates the interiors: note this accented breakout area. Elsewhere, a wall of red Hilti sawblades lends punch. "We were given full freedom to dream up provocative installation ideas, and the rare opportunity to take somebody's product and weave it into the space—it was a blast."

South Central Region: Houston

Design DirectorYishio Kuo

Project: Capital Bank, Miami, 1985

The pure, timeless interiors of Don Brinkmann "are one of the reasons I came to Gensler. This project is Brinkmann at his best: a highly sophisticated, disciplined design that is as much about what you don't see as what you do see. It gave me something to aspire to."

South Central Region: Austin

PrincipalDavid Epstein

Project: PNC Place, Washington, DC, 2010

Bold enough to anchor a site with views to the Washington Monument, the designer's breakthrough project is "environmentally smart but elegant, something not often seen in LEED Platinum projects."

South Central Region: Houston

Design Director: Lisa Pope-Westerman

Project: High Fashion Home, Houston, 2011

Fore a homewares and clothing store, "we brought our fashion-forward thinkers together to come up with low-tech, high-experience touch points," like this inventive installation of fabric scraps that surrounds the entry portal to the retail area. 

South Central Region: Dallas

Design DirectorChristopher Goggin

Project: Huckabee Architects, Austin, Texas, 2014 

Goggin's greatest compliment was being asked to design for fellow architects. "It's rewarding to know that we've achieved this level of respect from our peers and that they trust us to check our egos at the door and work with them on the design of their own 'home'."

Latin America Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Joseph Brancato and Robin Klehr Avia

Project: Facebook, São Paulo, Brazil, 2014

Though Gensler has offices in Costa Rica, São Paulo, and Mexico City, the firm has a much broader reach than those locations suggest, having worked in 23 countries in the region to date. "The major challenge in Latin America is political and market volatility," says Joseph Brancato, who along with Robin Klehr Avia guides this region. "But we continue to stay committed. We've made a long-term investment, growing our presence there for almost 15 years. We've noticed culture, heritage, and authenticity are what's paramount here—that's what continues to be at the top of our clients' minds."

Latin American Region: Mexico City

Regional Managing Partner: Mariela Buendia-Corrochano

Project: Proskauer, Washington, DC, 2014 

"Strong architectural features and artwork strengthen the relationship with the building's post-modernist design," creating a seamless experience between exterior and interior."

Latin American Region: Costa Rica

Regional Managing Partner: Richard Hammond

Project: Botswana Innovation Hub, Gaborone, Botswana (unbuilt) 

This boldly cantilevered structure, an exhilarating competition proposal for a national science and technology hub, "gave me the chance to work closer to where I grew up."

European Top Picks

Reginoal Managing Partner: Duncan Swinhoe

Project: UBM, London, 2015 

The region, which extends into the Baltic states and Scandinavia, "has found recovery from the global recession to be a long and bumpy road," admits regional managing principal Duncan Swinhoe. "But it has an amazing resource in its population of 500 million. This has generated an array of design challenges, from rethinking entire businesses to reshaping cities through infrastructure and reimaging products. Our practice thrives on the opportunities and talent it attracts." London has been the central hub of Gensler Europe for more than 25 years. "It's an incredibly diverse, open city at the same time deeply rooted within its rich heritage," he says.

European Region: London

Regional Managing Partner: Amanda Baldwin

Project: Allen & Overy, London, 2003 

"Unconventional breakout areas, like a sports lounge, library, and Zen area, were inspired by the interests and hobbies of the staff," resulting in a law firm that reads far from staid.

European Region: London

Regional Managing Partner: Enrico Caruso

Project: UBM, London, 2015 

The stars aligned on "a great client vision and a challenging project brief led by the perfect design team." The inspired result? A gemlike glass design for a marketing services company that speask to the client's aspirations of transparency and connection. 

  

Asia Top Picks

Regional Managing Partners: Dan Winey and Ray Shick

Project: Shanghai Tower, 2015 

From Sydney in the southeast to Tokyo in the north and Bangalore in the west, this supersized region's cultural and geographic diversity is "complex, challenging, and highly rewarding," says co-regional managing principal Dan Winey. "Experience has shown that it generally takes about 10 years to build a strong office that is higly integrated with the rest of our practice." Across the nine offices—lead by Winey and co-regional manager Ray Shick—the work is varied. In Japan, workplace and retail are among the largest sectors, while in China, large-scale commercial buildings lead the pack. The strongest bgrowth "is in Indiam, Australia, and Tokyo" says Shick, with Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong—those ever-frenetic Asian hubs of commerce—holding steady. 

Asian Region: Tokyo

Regional Managing Partner: Daichi Amano

Project: QVC, Chiba, Japan, 2013 

A headquarters defined by punchy-hued cast-concrete panels "achieves QBC's branding vision and meets their goal of exceeding customers' expectations through design." 

Asian Region: Hong Kong

Regional Managing Partner: Connie Ho

Project: Tha American National Red Cross, New York, 2007 

"Post 9/11, our team was so proud to help this wonderful organization celebrate its centennial with a new headquarters for its largest US chapter." The former laundry facility now boasts flexible spaces that can adapt into an emergency response center when needed. 

Asian Region: Singapore

Regional Managing Partner: Chuck Albright

Project: Hewlett-Packard Executive Briefing Center, Palo Alto, California, 2012 

The outside seeps in via a light-grazed catwalk and sky-high glazing at this "qintessential design solution for synergy between building mass and interior spaces." 

Asian Region: Sydney

Regional Managing Partner: Simon Trude

Project: The Porter, Sydney, 2015 

Operated and furnished by Haworth, this business lounge "hgas increased the building's occupancy from 18 to 97 percent and raised the bar for co-working spaces in the city." Credit its luxe look, more befitting of a high-end ski lodge than a corporate digs. 

Asian Region: Beijing

Regional Managing Partner: Emma Chang

Project: Yanqi APEC & Gateway Conference Center, Beijing (unbuilt) 

The monumental scale of this project—including a 5,000-person conference room that can be reconfigured into smaller meeting rooms via custom Skyfold partitions—is "a study in the contrast between substance and void." 

 

Middle East Top Picks

Regional Managing Partner: Chris Johnson

Project: The Gate Building, Dubai, 2004 

Though one of the newest regions for the firm, Gensler's hub office in Abu Dhabi and smaller satellites in Dubai and Doha oversee a variety of pojrects ranging from workplace fit-outs to the design of world-class cities. "We benefit from a global talent pool offering insight and global expertise," says regional managing director Chris Johnson. But we also recognize the need to expand our indigenous talent pool in order to continue Gensler's ethos of designing respectful buildings that reflect the heritage of the region." Despite the challenges that have faced the oil markets, the market is seeing sustained growth in a more considered and conservative approach, set to continue for the next 10 years. The Dubai World Expo 2020 will be an additional economic driver for the region. 

> See more from the November 2015 issue of Interior Design

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