What’s Happening at MKA

12.10.2014 — Years in the making, contractors have finally broken ground on the long-awaited 150 North Riverside development in the heart of Chicago. Located on an incredibly challenging site – bounded on one side by the Chicago River and bisected by active Amtrak rail lines – the Goettsch-designed office building features a striking tapered profile that enables the 53-story building’s footprint to only occupy 25% of the site. Engineering News-Record’s recent article provides more details on the engineering challenges overcome by MKA and the rest of the design team.

» 150 North Riverside Groundbreaking

10.06.2014 — The long-awaited Panama Museum of Biodiversity is now open! After years of construction, the eye-catching Panama Museum of Biodiversity (BioMuseo) dramatically beckons visitors to the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow strip of land that forever changed Planet Earth and Panama. It’s only fitting that the joyously iconic BioMuseo also serves as an agent of change, protecting the country’s increasingly fragile environment while increasing tourism, promoting development, and even advancing the A/E/C industry! The Panamanian government sought to create an inspiring, provocative tribute to Panama’s natural history and legacy of creation on the Isthmus at the entrance to the Panama Canal. An alliance of interested entities, including the Smithsonian, engaged a team led by architect Frank Gehry, world renowned for his transformational designs. The next-generation Gehry architecture demanded a first-of-its-kind structural system, featuring intricate geometries joined by complicated overlapping and interlocking surfaces. It was also designed entirely in 3D and primarily steel, technologies and materials unfamiliar in Panama.

The museum developed was exactly as hoped…but, could it be built in Panama? In an unprecedented international exchange of knowledge and technologies, MKA spent months collaborating with Gehry/EnSitu and U.S./Panamanian steel fabricators, detailers, and contractors to explore capabilities, define alternatives, create partnerships, and proactively educate until vision became reality.

The 40,000-ft² museum features eight unique galleries sheltered by a canopy of 16 folded steel plate roofs supported by an understory of steel and concrete “trunks,” evoking the surrounding rainforests. Expected to attract 600,000 visitors each year, the museum symbolizes and celebrates Panama, with an educational reach that began before it was built.

Read more about the iconic museum opening from Architectural Record or the Daily Journal of Commerce.

» Panama Museum of Biodiversity Opens

09.29.2014 — Construction has begun on Skyrise Miami, a new 305-m- (1,000-ft-) tall asymmetrical observation tower rising above Biscayne Bay.  Slated to be the tallest building in Florida, Arquitectonica’s architecturally expressive tower will feature including three viewing decks, an event ballroom, a domed theater, exhibition space, restaurants, a nightclub, and shops. Visitors to the tower will be able to take a thrill ride that drops from the upper floors to the bay. MKA’s structural design resists wind speeds of 299 kph (186 mph) and the tower incorporates wind turbines to create green power for the area.  

» Skyrise Miami Breaks Ground

08.20.2014 — MKA is proud to see one of our projects making a difference – even while it is being constructed! 

3-year old Renzo, who suffers from a rare form of kidney cancer, stepped in as construction foreman at the site of Trinity, a 20-story residential tower in San Francisco.  

Read Three-year-old with cancer gets to be foreman for a day for more.  
Photo: James Tensuan, The Chronicle

» 3-Year-Old Boy’s Wish Comes True at Trinity

07.31.2014 — Jon Magnusson, MKA’s Principal-in-Charge for Levi’s Stadium, and Brian Dickson, the MKA’s Project Manager, attended the stadium’s Grand Opening Gala on July 17, 2014.  The event celebrated the opening of the new 176,515-m² (1.9-million-ft²), 72,000-seat stadium, the first U.S. professional football stadium to achieve LEED Gold certification.  The multi-purpose facility has the flexibility to host soccer, football, motocross, and concerts – and is expandable up to 75,000 seats for major events, such as Super Bowl 50 to be held at Levi’s Stadium in February of 2016.  The first public event at the new Levi Stadium will be an MLS match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders FC on August 2, 2014.

» MKA at Levi’s Stadium Grand Opening Gala

06.09.2014 — Panama Museum of Biodiversity was awarded “Best Project - $50 Million to $150 Million” by the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois on Saturday at the 2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards banquet. This keeps MKA’s streak alive, with SEAOI wins 13 of the last 14 years!

» Panama Museum of Biodiversity wins SEAOI Award

05.19.2014 — On May 15, 2014, Peter Somers and Brian Dickson of MKA attended the AGC 2014 Build Washington Awards event, where Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington celebrated some of the state’s most successful projects and people.  Three MKA projects were recognized with awards, including the Grand Award (the highest across all categories):

2020 Fifth Avenue Data Center (w/ Lydig Construction)
Grand Award and Construction Award: $50 - $100 Million
Renovation and expansion transforming a five-story parking garage, circa 1975, into an eight-story, 6,967-m² (75,000-ft²) state-of-the art data center.

Husky Stadium Renovation (w/ Turner Construction)
Construction Award:  Over $100 Million
Significant renovation and expansion of a collegiate football stadium to increase the total capacity to 72,500, with 55,000 of the seats between the goal posts.

Via6 (w/ Lease Crutcher Lewis)
Construction Award:  Over $100 Million
68,191-m² (734,000-ft²) half-city-block development with two 24-story apartment towers on a 6-story podium.

» MKA projects at AGC 2014 Build Washington Awards

05.14.2014 — The MKA-engineered Husky Stadium Renovation receives the Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association Excellence in Concrete Construction award for cast-in-place structures and Grand Ridge Plaza receives the award for architectural decorative concrete.

More Information...

» Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association 2014 Winners

04.09.2014 — MKA Engineer Taylor Bowen presents a "University of Washington Husky Stadium Renovation" tour with Kevin Hallstrom and Dave Johnson of Turner Construction for the Washington ACI Chapter Dinner Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

» Univ of WA Husky Stadium Tour ACI

03.27.2014 — Yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the Kingdome implosion.  A thin-shell concrete roof stadium designed by our own John Christiansen, the Kingdome was the largest concrete dome ever built.  The implosion meant losing an iconic project of our firm’s history on the Seattle skyline, but made way for two new innovative MKA sports projects -- CenturyLink Field (home of the Seahawks) and Safeco Field (home of the Mariners).

» Kingdome Implosion

02.28.2014 — The MKA-engineered Veterinary Medical Research Building at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, receives a “High Honors Award” in R&D Magazine’s 2014 Laboratory of the Year Competition.

» WSU Veterinary Medical Research Building

01.24.2014 — MKA won a Platinum Award for structural design of the Panama Museum of Biodiversity at the 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards competition held by the American Council of Engineering Companies (Washington) on January 24.  Judged on a variety of factors, including complexity, innovation, and contribution to society, MKA’s entry will now move on to the ACEC National awards held in April in Washington, D.C.  Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce has a great write-up on our project and fellow winners!

» MKA ACEC for Panama Museum of Biodiversity

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