The old Sears building on Main in Midtown Houston has come back to life in a big way since it closed in 2018. After almost two years and $100 million in renovations, the former department store that opened in 1939 now houses Houston’s new tech hub, called The Ion. The building totals 288,000 s.f. and has dedicated academic space for innovation research, along with offices, collaboration areas, and a grand staircase with seating for 250 people. And don’t forget the food! The Ion will be home to some amazing new hospitality concepts. PRISM worked with design firm HOOD/C on marketing renderings for the anticipated new concept from Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Late August. According to chef and co-owner Dawn Burrell, the menu will “explore the soul of Afro-Asian flavors.” The restaurant name pays homage to Sears; the name references the time of year when the retailer mailed its holiday catalog, the wish book.
For the 29% of Miami-Dade residents living with a disability, a visit to the beach is no easy feat. Inaccessible walkways and the sand itself make it almost impossible for people with limited mobility to put their toes in the sand. A new adaptive oceanside park in Miami Beach is about to change that. And with an adjacent adaptive fitness and recreation center, there will be no shortage of inclusive recreational opportunities for residents of all ability levels. The Sabrina Cohen Foundation spearheaded the effort to redevelop an existing 1.25-acre city park and beach. The new park is the first phase of the masterplan that will also include the 3-story Adaptive Recreation Center, the first of its kind in the United States. The Foundation commissioned PRISM to produce the marketing renderings used in the capital campaign and opening promotions. Bruce Howard & Associates is doing landscape architecture and Kobi Karp is the architect.
A recent press conference announced the gift of $577,000 from Miami-Dade County to reconstruct the park. It features an adaptive playground and exercise equipment, a butterfly garden, and a Pathway of Inclusion – a wheelchair-accessible ramp from the beach to an observation deck extending over the dunes. The park is expected to open next summer. The Adaptive Recreation Center will be built on the adjacent city parking lot. The Sabrina Cohen Foundation is managing the capital campaign to raise the funds for construction, expected to be $10.5 - $12 million. A wheelchair-accessible deck will wrap around all three floors and provide exceptional views of the renowned Miami Beach. Plans also call for an adaptive gym, rooftop pool, robotics lab, and storage space for beach wheelchairs and flotation devices that users can take out to enjoy the ocean. Sabrina Cohen founded the eponymous foundation in 2006; she sustained a spinal cord injury in 1992 from a car crash that left her a C5 quadriplegic. The Foundation raises funds for quality of life fitness and recreation initiatives for the disabled community. To help support these plans to fund the new park and center visit their current name-a-brick campaign.
It’s been said that home is not a place, it’s a feeling. Ruth Bennett, founder of RBA Architecture, has built a successful practice on this concept, connecting people to each other and to their environments. Bennett left the large firm world where she designed projects like high-rise office towers, federal courthouses, and academic buildings to open her firm and concentrate on residential and live/work projects. She works throughout New England and New York. Bennett’s approach integrates sustainable design solutions, site conditions, and technology with expertise, proportion, and beautiful details. PRISM has been working with RBA since 2019 to produce design renderings that communicate her vision and solutions for her clients. Renderings incorporate a high level of detail showing the exterior building and materials, connection to the landscape and outdoor spaces, and definition of interior spaces to show views, light, circulation, furniture, and finishes, all very helpful to achieve client buy-in on the design.
“She never met a stranger.” Maybe it’s her energetic smile, or her special ability to connect people. Either way, we can say with certainty that our VP of BD Deborah Gross brings brightness to each day. You inspire everyone you work with every day, and we’re grateful you’re part of the PRISM team! Happy 4th Anniversary!
Thanks for our VP of Operations, Sarah Amos, PRISM runs like a finely tuned race car. Her positivity, dedication, and leadership brings joy to our clients and all of us. Thank you for seven years of service! You make us all better and we’re blessed you’re part of our team. CHEERS!
Originally known as Decoration Day in 1868 honoring those lost while fighting in the Civil War, the Memorial Day holiday evolved during World War I to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. A century later, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that established the holiday we celebrate today. Thank you to all who have unselfishly served our great nation.
"May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn't free." - Sgt. Major Bill Paxton
Successful firms know when to leverage external resources to achieve better financial performance. We realize architects are fully capable of producing quality renderings. But is this the best use of staff time? From the business perspective, here are a few reasons why architects and interior designers may want to outsource this critical part of the design and presentation process.
In the short term, partnering with PRISM on design assistance and rendering work provides these benefits:
Greater capacity: Taking lower-level tasks off your employees’ plates frees up their time for more project work, which is generally a higher billing rate. More available hours for project work means you can take on more projects without needing to hire additional employees.
Increased productivity: Repetition creates mastery. 3D visualization is all PRISM does. We turn around renderings very quickly. Outsourcing renderings allows your team to focus on what they do best, making your whole process more efficient.
Improved quality: Combining our skill and the latest rendering technology available, PRISM produces photo-realistic renderings that are publication quality. Images sell; high-quality renderings are critical for capital campaigns, marketing promotions, and public approval.
Informed decision making: Progress renderings are a valuable tool firms can use internally in SD and DD to drive design decisions. Progress renderings are also beneficial to your clients; it is far faster and cheaper to make changes before construction is underway. This is why we consider renderings such an important tool at the design team’s disposal.
The longer-term benefits of partnering with PRISM on design assistance and rendering work are just as powerful. Consider these:
Profitability: Relegating young architects to a constant load of renderings can lengthen the timeframe of moving that employee to a higher billing rate.
Retention: Similarly, assigning too many renderings over too long a period of time can squash a young architect’s desire to obtain licensure and transition into higher-level project roles. Or worse, the burnout of doing time-consuming rendering production may simply drive your staff away.
Partnering: We know firms often do free work from fear of losing a project or client. It usually comes in the form of a request to produce visuals for an unfunded or unapproved project. PRISM partners with firms and works directly with their developer clients to produce these conceptual renderings.
Relationships: Clients like working with trusted partners who understand them and their needs. By working behind the scenes to produce quality renderings and animations for our design clients, these design firms position themselves as a valued partner to their clients.
The U.S. industrial market posted its strongest quarter on record in Q4 2020 as E-commerce drove retail sales throughout the pandemic, increasing demand for industrial space. Occupier demand resulted in 264.7 million SF of new construction completions last year while industrial vacancies remained low at 4.6%. 2021 is looking just as strong, and developers are busy looking for high-growth areas to position new industrial projects. Molto Properties snagged a highly visible site on the 290 corridor for their new Barker Cypress Distribution Center. The 142,100 SF center has easy ingress and egress and is being developed speculatively. It includes 3,574 of office space, 32 dock-high doors and two drive-in doors, 32’ internal clear heights in a space that is divisible to 60,000 SF. Seeberger Architecture designed the building, working closely with Chad Parrish, Principal and director of Molto’s Houston office. Together the firms decided to bring in PRISM to produce an aerial view rendering that would be incorporated in the leasing package to clearly show the property’s vision and visibility from US Highway 290. Brokerage firm Boyd Commercial is handling the leasing.
As the housing inventory in Silicon Valley remains ultra-low and prices astronomically high, multifamily developers are betting on new amenity-rich live/work/play centers. Sares Regis Group of Northern California is one of the developers behind the successful new CityLine Sunnyvale neighborhood located just north of San Jose. The 36-acre mixed-use development includes offices, shops, restaurants, apartment homes, and ample green space. CityLine Sunnyvale is the first mixed-use development in Silicon Valley with a pending Fitwel® Community Certification. Phase I has been an overwhelming success, with market rate and affordable housing and notable anchors like an AMC Dine-In theatre and Whole Foods Market. Sares Regis asked PRISM to produce renderings for their newest addition to the development, Flats West. The new 5-story apartment community will offer a true indoor-outdoor living experience just steps away from historic Murphy Avenue, a Caltrain station, and vibrant Downtown Sunnyvale. Opening is expected in summer 2021.
Flats West boasts a walkable, bikeable, and vibrant downtown neighborhood with access to everything residents want and need. This high-end living provides an attractive alternative to single-family homes; Zillow reports the typical home value in Sunnyvale is $1.78 million! Flats West floorplans are thoughtfully designed with a contemporary layout in studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom options. Each unit boasts features such as keyless entry, smart touch features, oversized balconies, breathtaking westward mountain views and more, making them the ideal place to live and work. Amenities are shared across the adjacent community at The Flats complex, giving residents access to a wide range of options from fitness, entertainment, business, and recreation for families and pets.
Teamwork doesn’t automatically happen. It’s having a shared purpose and commitment. It is also having mutual respect and trust in those around you. In the 15 years since Jing Johnson started PRISM, our team has morphed in size and makeup. But the constant has been Jing. She is an unfailing source of inspiration and models what it means to be a servant leader. From all of us at PRISM, happiest of birthdays to you Jing!