Diamond Schmitt Architects to design new mixed-use building in downtown Buffalo

Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects is designing a 12-storey mixed-use building to rise in downtown Buffalo, New York. The $80-million complex for Uniland Development Company will feature more than 200,000 square feet of Class A office space, a 120-room hotel, hospitality and retail services.
This innovative building will anchor a prime intersection bordering the Historic West Village District and serve as an urban beacon at the crossroads of an expanding entertainment corridor. “Buffalo has an extraordinary architectural presence and this project is able to reference the past while providing a new landmark to energize the city,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects.  
Historic elements and contemporary design blend to create a façade with a unique curvilinear form that rounds the intersection of Delaware and Chippewa Streets. The main entrance is located at the centre of the curved façade, a feature given emphasis and visual importance by recessing levels two through five. A four-storey atrium will include a biofilter living wall, a sustainable design feature pioneered by Diamond Schmitt Architects and NEDLAW Living Walls. A grade level courtyard and rooftop terrace provides additional landscaping.
A local manufacturer will replicate the ornate terracotta façade of the former century-old two-storey structure on this site using existing moulds. This historic façade will become the face of the new energy-efficient state-of-the-art building.
Taking inspiration from the existing heritage characteristics in the vicinity, the new building façades above the second floor will incorporate modern terracotta cladding to create a visual bridge between the historic buildings and contemporary urban fabric. The hotel portion of the building is planned for levels two through five. The office section of the building will comprise levels six through twelve.  
“This will be a green building with a low carbon footprint,” added Schmitt. Solar shading devices will minimize heat gain and glare. High-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems will conserve energy. The building is targeting USGBC LEED certification for building core and shell. Completion is scheduled for summer 2015.