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Facades+ Miami will examine facades in tropical environments
On October 4, The Architect’s Newspaper will be hosting Facades+ Miami for the third time. The morning event features talks and workshops by national and global leaders of the AEC industry covering a range of subjects relating to building envelopes within tropical environments and the architectural vernacular of the Miami metropolitan area. Allan Shulman, founder of Shulman + Associates, is co-chair of the event.
Over the last century, Miami’s population has grown from approximately 60,000 to just 6 million. This explosive growth of the southernmost major in the U.S. has fostered an architectural identity distinct to the region, one that often adapts modernist trends to suit local environmental performance.
Founded in 1977, Arquitectonica has designed dozens of developments in downtown Miami, and they are bringing their expertise to this year's conference. In recent years, the firm has completed the Brickell City Centre, the American Airlines Arena, and Regalia. The Regalia is a nearly 500-foot-tall tower on the northeastern edge of the Miami metropolitan area described by founding partner Bernardo Fort-Brescia as a rectangular glass prism “wrapped by a sensuously undulating terrace” that simultaneously serves as a tool for interior shading.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, a firm that works globally with an emphasis on facades, is also presenting. The practice is currently constructing a significant project in Miami’s South Beach. The residential complex will contain approximately 200,000 square feet, and will stand atop an 11-foot podium to avoid the increasing threat of storm surges in Miami. Significant segments of the facade will be clad in perforated screens, filtering natural sunlight while maintaining a degree of privacy for residents of the glass-faced residential tower.
While the lion’s share of high-rise construction is centered in Miami’s downtown and in a ribbon of development adjacent to the coastline, other local and international practices are advancing with sensitive residential and commercial projects throughout the region, such as Brillhart Architecture’s timber Surfer’s Outpost; Gelpi Projects’ proposed Coconut Grove Playhouse; Germane Barnes's public art installations, such as RAW POP UP / LAB at Brickell City Centre; and micucci arquitectos asociados' institutional projects across Latin America.
Outside of architectural practices, representatives from manufacturers and engineering practices such as the Al-Farooq, Crawford-Tracey, Terranova, STI Firestop, Gate Precast, and Valspar will also be on hand to lead workshops and panels.
Further information for Facades+ Miami can be found here.
Christian Fankhauser, a recent graduate of Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, spends much of his spare time drawing facades from different periods, movements, and countries, and he has made a colorful Instagram account that has become a sort of repository of architecture across history. Through sketching a broad range of architectural landmarks, Fankhauser hopes to compare their common elements and stylistic lineage. To better understand the commonalities between structures, Fankhauser attempts to “remove the idea of scale, materiality, and paradoxically color, to focus on the proportions, the geometry, and the link between the elements constituting the facade.”
For the sketches, Fankhauser turns back toward Renaissance architecture, with a preference for buildings that began with the facade as an outward projection of the patron or owner’s prestige. Projects sketched by Fankhauser range from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Renaissance works, such as Leon Battista Alberti’s Santa Maria Novella (1458) and Andrea Palladio’s Villa La Rotonda, are simply etched; Ionic, Corinthian, and Doric orders are clearly discernible without the florid animation of flowing acanthus leaves or spiraling volutes. Similarly, the drawings forgo the play of light and shadows that define these Early Renaissance works; porticos, colonnades, and alcoves, are two-dimensional elements of the same shade and color as the rest of the assemblage.
The purpose, or methodology, of the sketches crystallize’s with structures of greater height and asymmetrical massing. Under normal circumstances, one is hard-pressed to find similarities between Giles Gilbert Scott’s Battersea Power Station (1939 & 1955) and Mimar Sinan's Süleymaniye Mosque (1558). Compressed into a smoothly digestible format, the towering smokestacks bear a similarity to the spiked minarets of Istanbul’s largest mosque, albeit with a boxier and less staggered base. This approach does veer in a slightly different direction with the playfully drawn renditions of Neo-Futurist designs such as Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower (1972) or Archigram’s Walking City (1964).
Going forward, Fankhauser intends to catalog his sketches into a larger book and potentially introduce lithographic prints. More of his sketches are available on his Instagram page.