Pentagram San Francisco Swells its Ranks With Move of London Partner
| by Levent Ozler
San Francisco Office Expands Design Services with Architecture
Today the leading international multi-disciplinary design consultancy Pentagram announced the relocation of long-standing London partner architect Lorenzo Apicella to its San Francisco office. The move by Italian-born Apicella and his team establishes that Pentagram's offices in London, New York and San Francisco will each offer the discipline of architecture. It will also allow Apicella to continue to grow his existing U.S. client base, including his work with Citibank over the last seven years. Meanwhile at Pentagram London, architecture, interiors and product design continue to be represented by partners William Russell and Daniel Weil.
Apicella began his career working with Charles Bassett and Richard Keating of Skidmore Owings and Merrill on the 70- story Allied Bank Plaza tower, Houston. He moved to London, working with top design firms CZWG led by Piers Gough and live events and exhibition consultancy Imagination, before setting up on his own (Apicella Associates). He later joined Pentagram in the United Kingdom in 1998.
Over the course of his career, Apicella's portfolio has engaged the philosophical traditions of architecture while also embracing a dynamic and more temporal dimension - buildings as billboards; structures as events; architecture as experience.
His projects span from mobile structures, exhibitions and studio interiors, to conceptual master plans and high-rise office buildings. This delicate balancing act between transient structures on the one hand to city master-planning on the other demonstrates his flair for solving problems across different scales and dimensions.
His career highlights include The Clear Channel/Adshel research and development center in Earl's Court, London; the Clore Center for Education at the Natural History Museum, London; the interiors of Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class cabins; and the Hong Kong Tourist Authority mobile pavilion.
Each of these projects demonstrates both powerful brand-building and the creation of memorable architectural spaces unique to their cultural and physical context.
The Clear Channel/Adshel campus is characterized by a slender illuminated stair tower opposite a small public garden at the edge of the site, acting as a public landmark for the thousands of cars streaming in and out of one of London's main arteries.
In the same way, Apicella applied his live events know-how to the Clore Centre for Education by utilizing a futuristic silver-paneled entrance at the ground level of London's Natural History Museum to encourage visitors to explore the Investigate children's gallery in the basement.
With the use of hydraulics, the Hong Kong Tourist Authority mobile pavilion utilizes a lightweight aluminum structure that unfolds from two standard truck trailers to reveal shear glass walls and festive red fabric shades, both visual metaphors for Hong Kong's modern architecture and traditional Chinese junk sails.
"Lorenzo's global perspective of architecture dovetails beautifully with the needs of our clients," says Pentagram partner Kit Hinrichs. "His move to our office signifies an exciting part of our expansion plan."
Lorenzo Apicella's current projects include: proposals for a new public grandstand for Chester Racecourse in England, the redesign of the Central Hall and Balcony Galleries of London's Natural History Museum and Citibank flagship branches worldwide.
Formed in 1972, Pentagram is a privately owned international multi-disciplinary design consultancy. Its services span identity, publications, packaging, product, interactive communications, exhibition and environmental design. The firm has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin and Austin, Texas. Serving Fortune 500 companies, Pentagram's seminal projects include Citigroup identity; United Airlines identity, interior, interactive and signage design; Nike Watch design and Design Within Reach identity.