A Contemporary Vision of Santa Monica Barrington’s Symbolism: A View of a Parametric Approach
Samuvel Benhursha, embarked on his architectural journey from a young age, when he began studying the field. Right from the start, he recognized the importance of 2D and 3D modeling tools in shaping the architectural landscape. While hand drawing remained a basic skill, Samuvel understood that knowing 3D tools could open the door to a world of innovative architectural possibilities.
His pursuit of excellence has led him to a deep knowledge of parametric design software such as Rhino Grasshopper as well as Revit Dynamo. These tools have allowed him to work on cutting-edge architectural projects with generative and organic forms, setting him apart from traditional architects. Samuvel’s vision expanded beyond borders as he found himself mentally remaking panoramas in first-world countries with futuristic wonders, envisioning himself as a creator of awe-inspiring buildings.
His dream came true when he secured a position at Solomon Cordwell Buenz, known as SCB, in San Francisco. This renowned architecture firm specializes in architecture, land use planning, urban planning and interior design and is ranked among the top 51 design firms in the United States. During his tenure at SCB, Samuvel was instrumental in advancing the Santa Monica Barrington project in Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, California, particularly during the schematic design and design development phases. Located on the prominent corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Barrington Avenue, this modern, mixed-use development will have three stories of market-rate above a two-story Whole Foods Market and five stories of market-rate with affordable housing, recreation/open space over three levels of underground parking. It is a 64,759 sf retail with Type I construction. The project’s unique challenge was its clients’ request for a parametric design that would capture the essence of California beach waves, resulting in an organic and complex facade. The costs associated with the realization of the facade experience a significant increase and reach many millions of dollars, as conventional architectural details have proven insufficient for the complexity of the organic designs.
One of the most significant challenges faced by Samuvel was the development of innovative design solutions for the external facade while adhering to project constraints. To overcome this, he engaged in iterative design workshops with a multidisciplinary project team, harnessed the power of parametric design tools such as Rhino grasshopper to explore different configurations of geometries, and set the necessary framework for algorithms that would respond to future design iterations.
Samuvel’s role also included ensuring code compliance and a functional layout without compromising the project’s net floor area. This required a delicate balance between creative design and compliance, which he accomplished by integrating aspects of code compliance into a parametric design framework.
Working with Whole Foods to match the design concepts to their specific requirements was a unique challenge. Samuvel established open lines of communication, held regular meetings to understand their brand standards and operational needs, and successfully integrated their input into the design.
To stay innovative, Samuvel immersed himself in researching architectural trends, materials and technologies. He researched emerging architectural trends, materials and parametric design tools to make his projects competitive and visually distinctive.
Creating compelling visual representations was another aspect of Samuvel’s work, requiring a balance between technical prowess and artistic creativity. He invested in developing his rendering and presentation skills using software like Adobe photoshop, indesign and illustrator and artificial intelligence software like Veras. Working with visualization experts, he created high-quality visuals that accurately convey the intent of the design to effectively communicate with the client and consultants.
In addition to his professional achievements, Samuvel achieved a significant milestone during his second year in the Master’s program in November 2020. He received the prestigious Design Excellence Award from Arizona State University’s Design School for his outstanding work in designing the school’s adaptive reuse for an art museum in Puerto Rico.
Samuvel’s commitment and innovation has extended into the field of artificial intelligence. In August 2023, he won the Artificial Intelligence Competition, where he demonstrated his expertise in using artificial intelligence tools to create visionary concepts in the field of “Artificial Nature”, organized by Arch Hive.
Notably, Samuvel’s achievements have extended to AI architectural competitions with a theme focused on “Utopia”. His exceptional talent has led to him receiving prestigious honorable mentions for his contribution.
Samuvel’s unwavering commitment to architecture is driven by his desire to contribute to creating a better world. His journey through the field has instilled in him a deep sense of responsibility, which he intends to maintain throughout his lifelong activity in the field of architecture. His exceptional achievements and dedication serve as a testament to his lasting influence in the profession.