Search results for "Pure + FreeForm"

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Corten Colors

Printed metal panels clad new healthcare facility in Minneapolis
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Reorganizing nearly two million square feet to offer centralized and accessible care for people who need convenient access to a doctor, same-day surgery, or cancer treatment, Hennepin County Medical Center’s latest project is a new six-story building that consolidates over 40 primary and specialty clinics currently spread across nine buildings. The healthcare project, led by local architect BWBR, has resulted in Minneapolis/Saint Paul’s largest teaching hospital. The project prominently features corrosion-resistant metal panel cladding printed with a “corten” patterning.
  • Facade Manufacturer McGrath, Pure + FreeForm (provided finished flat sheets only)
  • Architects BWBR
  • Facade Installer McGrath
  • Facade Consultants Ericksen Roed & Associates (Structural), Dunham Associates (MEP/Energy)
  • Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System aluminum panels
  • Products Pure + Freeform Lumiflon (FEVE) off-set graveur direct paint system, AMA 2605 rated, Class A finish on 2mm thick Aluminum in custom finishes
BWBR’s design team said they worked closely with Pure + FreeForm from schematic design through construction administration to ensure the custom finish met aesthetic and budgetary criteria. “The early and constant collaboration was, in fact, what allowed BWBR to comfortably select and realistically defend a more radical solution to represent the character of the client and their facility.” The design team started out by creating a high-resolution mapping of rust steel and wood grains and manipulated them digitally to be suitable for an application massive in scale. The specific coloration, toning, and detailing of the imagery was finalized through an extensive process requiring several rounds of physical samples and on-site reviews. The collaborative design and manufacturing process allowed BWBR to control precisely the pattern and color that eventually was realized on the facade. Pure + FreeForm said the scale of the patterning and reflectivity of the samples played a role in final selections. “This process included examining the various conditions of natural light on the surface of the panels and how each condition would affect the perceived color, texture, or pattern. There is also a custom wood grain finish, for which we played with scale so that the pattern would be visible from the user’s point of view. By the end of our design process, we had completed five rounds of proofs and matching to arrive at the final design.”
The panels were “printed” using a Lumiflon ink, allowing for bright orange and red tones in the final finishes while offering corrosion-resistance, which would not be possible with other fluoropolymers. The refining of the panel configuration was a process of designer-contractor collaboration, which Pure + FreeForm’s custom finishes enabled: to blend patterns on a larger area in a way that was not visually repetitive. The team was able to downsize the metal panel to an economical dimension without sacrificing the perceived large pattern on the facade. This was achieved by combining three narrower panels with butt-joints and using the custom pattern to disguise the seam in between. Originally, the system was conceived as 3-millimeter plate panels, but moved to 2-millimeter flush panels, which more appropriately suited the budget. By varying the widths and locations of the panel joints, the team was able to create the appearance of larger panels. The 2-millimeter flush panels were attached to the building structure using #14 TEK 3 Long Life coated exterior fasteners. Coordination with the glazing manufacturer was required for the areas requiring flashing. There were two fabrication challenges, for which McGrath worked extensively with BWBR in the preconstruction and construction phases. First was the actual forming of the flush panels and creating the female pocket in 2-millimeter gauge. The second challenge was the panel layout and alignment with windows, in which BWBR required a layout for the panel reveals to align with the windows throughout. This meant panel sizes had to be carefully coordinated, adjusted both in fabrication design and in the field. The miscellaneous trims in the building did not use custom patterning, but rather a solid paint to match. This was achieved by working closely with McGrath and Mortenson to ensure the solid lines were not distracting from the primary jointing pattern and panel finishes.
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Slam Dunk

NBA Store offers portal into world wide web of basketball culture
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      The NBA Store, occupying a 25,000-square-foot corner storefront on Fifth Avenue at 45th Street, offers an immersive shopping experience for NBA fans. The store, designed by Gensler in conjunction with Kurt Salmon and TAD Associates, is a multidimensional design effort that merges basketball memorabilia with technology to produce unique interactive experiences. Three floors of jerseys, hoodies, and hats, along with other official memorabilia spanning NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League teams, are showcased to the public with a double height glass and aluminum facade. Set in the circular corner bay of the storefront, 31,000 LED lights form a two-story tall skewed grid that evokes the form of a basketball net. The 32-foot tall structure is capped by a sculpture designed to replicate a basketball tread—presumably on its way to “swooshing” through the LED net.
  • Facade Manufacturer Pure + Freeform
  • Architects Gensler
  • Facade Installer MBM Metal Works
  • Facade Consultants Studio NYL
  • Location New York City
  • Date of Completion anticipated completion date November, 2016
  • System curtainwall with 3mm aluminum plate trim, eyebrow and cured portal, interior wall
  • Products 3mm aluminum with bespoke 8 unit finish, lumiflon coating
Surfaces with hardwood floor patterning derived from the league’s recognizable maple wood courts extend outward beyond the glass facade to form portals and awnings. The aluminum panels are a product of Pure + Freeform, a bespoke metal company that according to Operations Director Will Pilkington, operates as “contextual, site-specific designers." Gensler, interested in the idea of bringing a durable “hardwood court” aesthetic to the exterior facade, initially approached the company. The process began with sending a sample of Madison Square Garden’s court which was sent to Pure + Freeform’s design team, which digitally copied the material properties of the court and created multiple diamond and laser engraved steel “design cylinders” capturing aesthetic qualities of the classic hardwood court. The cylinders etch into a one-eighth-inch aluminum plate through a controlled process of adding pearlized inks and resin. The plates are then baked to seal in the print. This exterior lumiflon resin technology process highlights Pure + Freeform’s “solutions-based manufacturing style” which involves production lines that add up to a 1/4 mile in length. "The best thing about our process is we can create purposeful, site-specific finishes, but then they can be formed in almost any way to emphasize their depth and character," explained Pilkington. The technology allows for a wide range of coloration, design, texture, and glossiness, allowing the design team to accurately produce a staggering array of material effects from natural stone and wood finishes to a variety of metallic, abstract, and bespoke finishes. Additionally, the printed resin fabrication process allows for the metal surface to be post-formed in a variety of challenging bent and folded configurations that typical painted surfaces would not hold up to. The NBA Store utilizes these abilities through a radiused concealed fastener application, forming the inner lining to the NBA’s trademarked logo, massively scaled up to the double height facade elevation. The material was used for interior wall paneling as well. Beyond the facade, over-scale elements play a key role in the design, evoking the larger-than-life feeling fans may have when finding themselves standing next to basketball’s greatest players. A 40-foot footwear wall made from an undulating nylon “shoelace”, a Spalding basketball chandelier featuring 68 game balls, and a wall of 2,500 hats covering every team are among the store’s most architectural features. Departments are designed to produce basketball-specific environments. A children’s section doubles as a locker room, while video screens saturate the main floors arena-like vibe with a 400-square-foot video wall broadcasting highlights, news, and social media posts to keep fans up to date. Personalization areas highlight a retail strategy that seeks to extend beyond the limits of a physical store, tapping into a vast number of online products, social media conversations, and customizable NBA merchandise. “It makes a 15,000-square-foot store like a 100,000-square-foot warehouse,” said Ross Tannenbaum, president of memorabilia and in-venue divisions for Fanatics, which is operating the store. In this sense, the retail store acts as a virtual portal of sorts, offering fans a virtual experience when entering the physical space.
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Product>First Impressions
Achieve a classic look with natural wood paneling, or an ultramodern, futuristic style with innovative metal cladding. 3D Perforated Metal Zahner

One of Zahner’s classic facade manufacturing techniques has now become streamlined thanks to its automated method for creating perforated louvered screen wall facade systems. Now it is easy to create picotage effects for architectural metal that allow airflow without harsh sunlight.

Fabrik Shildan for Flexbrick

Fabrik is very much like a textile for exterior architecture. It consists of a steel framework into which materials are woven (including terra-cotta, glass, wood, etc.) to create endless patterns in a flexible architectural mesh. In addition to facades, Fabrik can be used for pavement, roofing, shade screens, and more.

Hudson Cambridge Architectural

Designed for parkade facades, Hudson is a new stainless-steel mesh pattern and exterior cladding system with an open area of 82 percent. It provides a high level of ventilation, while still being capable of screening indirect sunlight and exterior views from the street. 

Simple Modern Pure + Freeform

Inspired by the designer and creative director’s travels throughout Europe, the finishes are meant to evoke tradition and craft. The Blue Rust finish was taken from the Beverly Pepper sculpture installation outside of the Ara Pacis in Rome. All nine finishes can be used for both interior and exterior spaces.

Prodex Prodema

Available in an astonishing ten colors, ProdEx is a construction kit for the cladding of ventilated facades made from natural wood panels consisting of a high density bakelite core, clad in a veneer of natural wood with a surface treated with synthetic resin and an exterior PVDF film, which protects it from solar radiation, dirt, and graffiti.

Pura NFC Trespa Pura NFC (natural fiber core) is a sustainable exterior cladding made from up to 70 percent natural fibers infused with thermosetting resins. Pura resembles real wood, is easy to clean, and comes in six natural wood tones. It is also certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
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Corporate Rear-Garde?

Is the U.S.’s Biennale Pavilion actually the Quicken Loans Pavilion?
The theme of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale Reporting from the Front—according to its curator Alejandro Aravena—addresses issues like inequality, sustainability, insecurity, and segregation by looking for “creative, innovative projects willing to risk going into such complex fields.” Further, these projects should be “able to integrate more than one dimension at a time, framing old, charged issues in an original way in order to move forward.” How did it happen that only one American project (from Rural Studio) was included in the main exhibition? In part, one might assume that biennale president Paolo Baratta’s selection indicates a desire to avoid work from the industrialized countries and focus on contributions from the developing global southern hemisphere. This approach mirrors the 2015 art biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor. But an examination of the participants (excluding those in the national pavilions) disproves that notion, as there are 86 participants from Europe, 22 from South America, 18 from India, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as nearly a dozen from Asia. Perhaps a closer look at the U.S. Pavilion may suggest a partial answer: The Architectural Imagination, curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce De Leon, consists of 12 speculative projects for specific sites in Detroit, Michigan. But does the world have much to learn from these 12 visionary projects? Or is their "Americaness" so specific to our corporate society and culture as to be of little interest or importance to architects in other countries? While focusing on an American city, they make a claim to offer “far-reaching applications for cities around the world.” Furthermore, they assert that the projects are entirely speculative and “offer no serious solutions for a city beset by real problems,” at a time when they believe “problem solving has become the mantra of a new social agenda for architecture.” They feel that “powerful ideas and architectural forms” can “spark the collective imagination.” Might their reliance on the power of the imagination to suggest solutions to profoundly troubling problems come at the expense of a more expansive definition of architecture and a deeper urban analysis? It is important then, to interrogate these forms and proposals in order to understand why they might hold so little appeal to the rest of the architectural world’s “collective imagination.” The curators made much of their early engagement in the design process with “an 11-member Detroit advisory board” that helped choose the sites and “arrange site visits and community meetings over a four-week period.” The group chose four sites in Detroit and then asked or selected architects to propose projects in them. The sites chosen were: Dequindre Cut/Eastern Market (1923 Division Street), Mexicantown (6370 Vernor Highway), The U.S. Post Office (1401 West Fort Street), and The Packard Plant (East Grand Boulevard and Concord Avenue). Why were relevant community members such as business improvement districts omitted from the process, giving the illusion of inclusion yet allowing the freeform architectural fantasy to predominate? It is primarily this aspect of the U.S. Pavilion’s projects that is the starting point for the group Detroit Resists’ alternative proposal and virtual occupation of the pavilion in Venice. By privileging architectural language and practice as exclusive to trained designers, the curators suggest that only architects have the capacity to “imagine” future spaces. This, in turn, encouraged the chosen designers to propose only large, internalized multi-use projects. All of these would be realized only via enormous financial investment—which in the United States doesn’t come through collective democratic action, but via top-down corporate development and profit. It is astonishing that the curators and architects are not more attentive to this reality of urban development in the United States. These projects might all be called the Quicken Loans proposals, as that company's founder Dan Gilbert has his own vision for downtown Detroit. To that end, he has invested $1 billion in 2.6 million square feet of commercial space; he has big plans to build in the city over three years. A more serious and collective attempt might produce an alternative to the previous system, one that consciously and systematically destroyed central Detroit to the benefit of the wealthy surrounding suburbs and region. But these architects (and curators) don’t seem to understand that corporate clients don’t often spend money on the sort of architectural added value hinted at in this pavilion; rather they employ commercial firms to crank out projects that bring immediate returns. Sadly, the future Detroit proposed by this pavilion seems not much different than the failed corporate city of the past. Yet there were hints of a way forward in several of the pavilion’s projects. One can detect traces of alternative design modes in the project Detroit Rock City by Stan Allen, which works off of Detroit’s enormous Packard Plant to propose conditions for the creation of future smaller-scale architectural projects scattered throughout the plant. A Liminal Blur by Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam features a single sculpture that they hoped would embody the poetics of Mexicantown; their project proposes a program that supports the local constituencies while simultaneously addressing the more vital questions of architecture’s relevance to society as a whole. Andrew Zago proposed housing for Middle Eastern refugees displaced by American warfare in the region as an important starting point for a renewed Detroit. The majority of the proposals are massive in scale and urban footprint. Pita and Bloom Architects’ New Zocolo is an “urban platform” or plinth hovering 16 feet above a street and parking lot that would become the support for six clusters of buildings in working-class Mexicantown. New Corktown (Present Future) and Dequindre CIVIC Academy (Marshall Brown Projects) both propose massive developments. New Corktown takes 250 blocks and reimagines them as a high-density environment with a 40-story complex of retail, office space, and residential flats. The Dequindre CIVIC Academy puts forward a 2.7-million-square-foot concrete mega-facility as a “coordinate unit or a single architectural entity” able to synthesize many diverse programs and spaces.
Dequindre CIVIC Academy references the idea of a coordinate unit that was developed by John Portman in his massive, fortress-like development Renaissance Center, “a total environment where all of a person’s needs are met.” Like so many other projects in the exhibition, its programming includes a multitude of uses such as cultural spaces, a community college, workshops and apartments for faculty, dining halls, and an 865-foot-tall bronze-clad tower housing a shopping center and an observatory. It’s really unfathomable that anyone would use the Renaissance Center as a model for a “new Detroit.” They would be operating on the premise that imagination alone, without reference to practicality or community involvement, can spin out benefits to the blocks lucky enough to be across the street. Clearly, this strategy did not work with the Renaissance Center, which in fact sucked the financial blood from the surrounding shops that gave the city it’s life. But the project that best illustrates the egregious defects inherent in the concept behind The Architectural Imagination is the spiraling ramp design Revolving Detroit described by its designer Preston Scott Cohen as a ”void” or a “purposeful consequence.” The massive ramp, undulating roof, or "void" can transform from orthogonal to hexagonal to elliptical and back again. With a nod to pure formalism posing as social planning, Cohen claims that the form is derived from the “historic Woodward Plan circles.” Further, the helically ascending ramp passes through the middle of a garage structure that Cohen claims will transform, over time, into a building of great importance to the city. A proposed 10-story building would rise out of the roof structure and “welcome the automobile.” It absurdly claims that as the city rejuvenates, the parking decks installed in the upper “hyperboloidal” spaces of the project will be redeveloped in a series of “performance” spaces: educational facilities, cinemas, athletic spaces, and community centers. Cohen is convinced the undulating passage will serve as a monumental portal to the river and, implicitly, a symbolic gateway to the border between the U.S. and Canada. Likewise, Greg Lynn FORM’s proposal has a mix of uses for autonomous vehicles, manufacturing robots, university researchers, and students. A 24-foot-wide, 1.7-mile-long logistics drone super-highway would connect the complex’s original vertical elevator cores. In his catalogue essay, Lynn cites Cedric Price’s Detroit Thinkgrid proposal and emphasizes Price’s plan for a cheap mobile architecture of faculty offices, small mobile libraries, and teaching “booths” that were to be delivered on the backs of trucks and craned into place according to a pre-figured grid. But judging from Lynn’s enormous proposal, he seems to have entirely misunderstood the essence of Price’s. Had he or the curators studied the 1968 project more closely and seen it as a starting point for research, they might have transformed this pavilion into one of distinguished thinking and relevance. In short, Price believed there was absolutely no need to build any fixed architectural monuments in Detroit; for they would simply squander money on unwanted buildings in an attempt to appease white guilt. His project was initiated in the wake of the 1967 riots to find a strategy to deliver workers from their tough, impoverished conditions. As described in the book Architecture and the Special Relationship, Price held extensive meetings with community groups, educational bodies, and local politicians. Far more useful would be a system of social organization that encouraged the education and circumstances of younger members of the community. In theory, this would break the cycle of deprivation and social exclusion which held them back. Regrettably, neither the curators nor the architects took Price’s thoughtful, reality-based, and radically imaginative project seriously. It, much more than the Architectural Imagination, inspired the profession and residents in Detroit to think of a truly new type of city. Provocative architecture projects that actually try to solve problems rather than remain in the gallery have been, can be, and will be embraced by architects worldwide seeking new ideas from the United States.
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The Lapidus Touch
In Magic City, the lobby staircase aims for a Lapidus
Courtesy Starz

A fictional proxy of that most famous of Miami Beach hotels, the Fontainebleau, has a starring role in Magic City, a new period docudrama from Starz set in early postwar Miami Beach. The fake hotel in question is called the Miramar Playa, and was thought up by Mitch Glazer, the show’s producer. Along with the rest of the show, it is a phantasmagoria of midcentury Miami architectural flamboyance, of woggles, cheese holes, zigzags, and bean poles (thin steel decorative poles that had a habit of jauntily going through things like tables and birdcages), inhabited by mobsters, Cuban refugees, and leggy models on beach blankets. But the more Magic City becomes distinctly Miamian, the more it becomes distinctly about architecture. Magic City is “International Style” glamour in a sticky bathing suit.

Magic City is the loosely disguised story of the famous Fontainebleau Hotel and its owner Ben Novack, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. There have been some name changes (Novack is now Ike Evans) and personality overhauls (Novack was a tough guy in with the mob; Evans is a good guy who makes big mistakes) but many of the story lines are based in truth. In spite of copious on-screen nudity, pure history turns out to be more thrilling than the show’s fiction: the Fontainebleau was the biggest and most luxurious hotel in Miami Beach, and the first hotel built at that scale since the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. It was built with Mafia money, and was a place famous for its decadence and debauchery, for headliners like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the La Ronde supper club, and for high-stakes gambling tucked away in cabanas and hotel suites. Sean Connery played James Bond there, Miss Universe was crowned there, and in 1972 both the Democratic and Republican national conventions were held there.

The cast of Magic City channels James Bond.
 

Magic City is a show about a hotel and about the very specific city within which that hotel lies, and by extension, a show about that city’s architecture. And it’s about a specific time. Miami Beach had just woken up from the architectural slumber of the Depression and World War II, launching into a feverish building boom wearing new architectural clothes. It had also just imported an architect from New York with a lot of new ideas, named Morris Lapidus.

Lapidus built or decorated hotels all over Miami Beach, where his populist take on modernism became the new look of South Florida. With shocking singularity, he invented, using his expertise as a highly innovative retail architect, the entire look of Miami Beach in that era. Although it was Novack’s hotel, the Fontainebleau was the creation of Lapidus, whose designs have made him a legendary figure of Miami Beach history.

The Miramar Playa hotel is the Fontainebleau, more or less, with elements from other hotels liberally thrown in, making the result a slightly odd mash-up. In addition to bits of the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels, there are also elements of Melvin Grossman’s slightly more subdued Deauville Hotel farther north on the beach and the smaller DiLido (now a Ritz Carlton) designed by Lapidus and Grossman together. The curve of the Miramar tower is a play on the Fontainebleau’s famous arc, but here it is a less elegant freeform curve to the Fontainebleau’s pure semicircle. The pool deck used for exterior shots is literally that of the current Deauville, one of the most boring lidos on the beach, and a far cry from the glory of the Fontainebleau’s grounds.

The lobby is the heart of the mess. To the left is the Eden Roc’s rotunda, with a tray ceiling hanging from skyhooks. To the right is Lapidus’s famous “staircase to nowhere,” a motif he used at many hotels. This one is most like the Fontainebleau’s, with clunkier details. The check-in counter is straight from the Eden Roc, but it is recessed into a wall from the DiLido. Perhaps most jarring of all is the Miramar’s color scheme: its blasé browns and golds are copied from the contemporary DiLido, going for a restrained luxury that wasn’t at all Lapidus’ taste. Any Lapidus original would have burst with brightly colored designs and patterns, often simultaneously.

Past the premiere, the locations in Magic City feel more comfortably natural, and less obvious in their boldness. There’s also more of Miami. The first episode said loudly, “We are at the Miramar Playa. Wish you were here.” By the third episode, Evans and his family move out into the city, where they have dinner at a stand-in for the Wreck Bar at the Castaways, a long-gone classic Miami dive.

 
Lapidus' Fontainbleau Hotel reimagined as the Miramar Playa in Magic City.
 

The broader range of Miami’s architectural evolution also emerges, and the city’s various styles lend some symbolic power to the plot’s themes. The real life Mediterranean Revival estates of Carl Fisher’s island developments contain an older, prewar, generation of Miami Beach wealth populated by white Gentiles with names like Firestone and Honeywell. They exclude Jews from their domains, like the classic Miami Beach Bath Club, just as they were excluded from Palm Beach society. We see this side of Miami Beach in the character of Meg Bannock, whose oceanfront estate was sold to Evans to become the site of the Miramar. Again, fiction mirrors the real story: the Fontainebleau was built on the site of the 15-bedroom Firestone estate.

As Miami’s old gentile population fades out, the nouveau mobsters move into Med Revival palazzos. Not incidentally, the house used as mobster character Ben Diamond’s house happens to be next door to the one used as Bannock’s new place.

Other Miami sites have made cameos. South Beach is a sleepy land of retired Jews from New York, and Ocean Drive is one long shuffleboard court. The Beaux Art Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami is the DA’s office in the show. The University of Miami campus, a beautifully Pan-American composition by Marion Manley, Miami’s first female architect, isn’t literally in the show, but an interesting substitute for its sleek subtropical look is. Magic City uses the Bacardi Building on Biscayne Boulevard as a convincing stand-in, providing a rare, fortuitous glimpse inside the building, an iconic tower floating over a sunny plaza that does a good job of copying Manley’s architectural work.

Magic City is not a Miamian Mad Men, a show that uses the advertising industry as a way to analyze a fantasized historical American past. Magic City is about a city that could not possibly have happened anywhere else. Magic City is about the sudden growth of a new Miami, more specifically, a new Miami Beach in the decades after World War II. It is about that new city and its growing pains, where a lot of strange things were allowed to happen, as if the Floridian peninsula was another country and not quite the U.S.A.

Strongly rooted in the history of Miami, Magic City straddles the line between straight-up historical documentary (as ridiculous as that sounds for a sexed-up drama) and surreal vacation fantasy. The strong architectural identity of the Fontainebleau, and every other notable building used in the show, makes historical inaccuracies all the more keenly felt to those who know what to look for. As for Lapidus, it almost seems strange that, for his epic architectural influence, and his influence on the look of the show, he hasn’t been bestowed with the honor of a character. If only, when the show returns next season, Lapidus could have a walk-on part, perhaps, as the designer of a hotel to rival Miramar Playa in all its gilt pattern gaudiness, as he did at the Eden Roc in real life.