On March 10, Facades+AM, the half-day spin-off of the popular Facades+ conference series, returns to the nation’s capital. The symposium is co-chaired by FXFOWLE senior partner Mark Strauss and FXFOWLE principal Kevin Cannon. “One of the things we noticed over the last year is that there’s a lot of emphasis on expanding the envelope not just in terms of ideas in Washington, but also responding to environmental concerns,” said Strauss. “There’s an interest in sustainability from the public side, but also from the development side.”
Facades+AM DC will comprise one keynote address and two closely-related panel discussions. After registration, breakfast, and opening remarks from Strauss and Cannon, Handel Architects president Gary Handel will deliver a talk on his firm’s new residential tower for Cornell University‘s New York City Tech Campus. The tower’s facade is a key contributor to its status as the world’s largest and tallest building designed to Passive House standards. “One aspect we haven’t seen very much in Washington, but thought we could use this even to push, is to explore the idea of Passive House and its impact,” said Strauss. “It will be interesting to hear about the challenges” Handel has encountered in scaling up, added Cannon.
Handel’s keynote address sets the stage for the morning’s first panel, “Facades and the Environment.” Presenters include Roger Frechette III (Interface Engineering), Robert Moje (VMDO Architects), and Nora Wang (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). The discussion will center on how changes in environmental design, including the rise of net zero, have influenced architecture and building performance. In addition to hearing from Moje, whose firm actively explores the intersection between sustainability theory and practice in school design, “We’re going to talk to engineers who are looking at how you begin to quantify and measure these things,” said Cannon.
The final panel, on “The Future of the Office Building,” brings together Akridge‘s Bob Schofield, Duncan Lyons (Gensler), and Marc Simmons, of Front, Inc. “There’s been a revolution around office buildings,” observed Strauss. “We’re re-thinking the face of the office building, but the panel is also going to explore how the work environment is changing, and how that influences facades.” In reference to FXFOWLE’s own portfolio, including a contemporary project in Turkey and the New York Times building (Renzo Piano), Cannon said, “We’ve been doing a lot of work lately on seeing how the inside of the building influences the facade. We want to see how those influences will land in DC.”