Mira International Trade Center
Santa Ana, CA / Unbuilt 2007
International Catalyst: Taking its cue from a binary star system called “Mira,” in which two stars are locked in rotation around each other, this 2,000,000 square foot trade center aims to catalyze reciprocal, mutually beneficial business relationships between China and the United States.
Urban Billboard: Stretching along Orange County’s 55 Freeway, the project’s 7-story, 2,000 foot long south façade is conceived of as a giant billboard to advertise the products, technologies, and identities showcased inside. The twisting and banding of alternately perforated and solid metal panels provide a shimmering texture for the freeway façade, as well as natural breaks for a variety of electronic and digital display systems.
Koi: The project’s shape is a direct result of the site’s property lines, but it intensifies its resemblance to a fish with textured surfaces and color inspired by the much revered koi. Its head contains the main entrance, an auditorium, a conference center, and an exterior glass “funnel” that carries visitors from the ground all the way to the rooftop garden and restaurants. Its tail includes a triple height exhibition space. Its spine is comprised of 600 showrooms in a back-to-back arrangement that allows ample natural light and views between inside and outside. Punctuating this spine are freestanding conference pods and other gathering spaces that foster creative interaction and the free flows of ideas.
Sustainability: The project has been designed to attain LEED Gold status. Green strategies include a rooftop photovoltaic system, rooftop windmills, ample use of natural light, daylight dimming systems, automated windows, and super-efficient mechanical and lighting systems. A thin, low-maintenance green roof system slopes down into the building, forming the focal point of an indoor courtyard atrium.
- Principal-in-Charge: Alice Kimm
Project Designers: Garrett Belmont, Robert McFadden
Project Team: John Friedman, Kanae Bamba
- Jason Chung
- 2008 AIA/Los Angeles, Next LA Merit Award
- 2009 January, California Home + Design, “Ten to Watch: The Promising Future of California Architects”
- 2008 February, The Architect’s Newspaper