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The Red Barn stays abstract and minimal
Form and surface meld to express the Red Barn’s inspiration. The simple gabled form with its vibrant red exterior recalls the typology of a traditional barn. Only upon closer inspection do the glazed ends, entry portal, hangar door, and contemporary cladding denote another reality for the building. The Red Barn’s meaning lies somewhere between the past it references and the present it occupies. The Red Barn in Westport, Connecticut, is designed as a contemporary update of the English barn. With Swisspearl the architect was able to clad the barn entirely in one material with an eye-catching red color. With these two statements, Roger Ferris + Partners wanted to reinforce the barn imagery with what the designers call the “graphic efficiency” of the building. The Red Barn draws attention to the state’s agricultural past. Cognizant of history yet rooted in modern materials and construction, the abstracted, minimal Red Barn serves as a symbol of something lost—something people don’t want to forget. Find the whole story including an exclusive interview with the architect Roger Ferris in the Swisspearl Architecture #27. Subscribe to Swisspearl’s magazine to get the printed issue and let yourself be inspired.
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LaCantina Doors sponsors new AIA-approved course for CEU credit
LaCantina Doors continues to support architects, designers, and building professionals by sponsoring multiple AIA-approved courses for CEU credits. Our newest course “An Open Invitation: Multi-Slide Doors Revolutionize Open Design by Creating A Focal Point and Bringing the Benefits of the Outdoors In” explores the design flexibility and performance characteristics of multi-slide doors and how they create a direct connection to the outdoors while contributing to energy efficiency and sustainability. This course offers 1 AIA/LSW credit, 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 IDCEC CEU/HSW credit and is available online or can be scheduled as a Lunch n’ Learn presentation by a LaCantina Doors representative. LaCantina sponsors four additional AIA-approved courses for CEU credit. To learn more about LaCantina and its continuing education courses, please visit
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We asked designers: What are the 2019 kitchen color trends?
Color is everywhere—in our homes, offices, cars, clothes, and the surrounding natural world. According to the experts, color affects us on a deep subconscious level, transcending beyond the visual spectrum to influence our moods, feelings, and activities. To learn more about the impact of color in the kitchen, BLANCO recently surveyed architects and designers to uncover current and future trends. According to 67 percent of designers surveyed, gray and white are dominating kitchen designs this year. Not only for paint and cabinetry, these smart neutrals populate the sink area, as well, and 54 percent of designers anticipate that sinks are moving towards white and gray tones. Homeowners are looking for a timeless and transitional kitchen design that also makes a personal statement. The gray trend is very timely considering BLANCO’s brand new SILGRANIT® sink color, Concrete Gray. Clean, organic, and extremely balanced, Concrete Gray is at home in both urban and natural settings. Its revolutionary warm red and cool blue undertones make it BLANCO’s most versatile color yet. Right on trend, Concrete Gray is the perfect fit with a wide array of countertop and cabinet designs.
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Nove by Citterio dazzles with furniture from Flexform
Brought to you by Flexform “The goal of architecture is life. If you don’t create life, forget it." These words admirably sum up architect Antonio Citterio’s philosophy. The firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel designed the Nove by Citterio six-floor building, covering a surface of over 27,000 square meters with offices to accommodate over 1300 people. The building was designed according to the most advanced environmental sustainability criteria and reduced energy impact and obtained the prestigious Platinum LEED certification. Nove by Citterio is located along the Luise-Ulrich-Strasse, near the Arnulf Park in Munich, an area which is undergoing a quick development, with convenient nearby train stations and facilities. The bronzed aluminum window frames give the facade a particularly dynamic and three-dimensional aspect. From the terraces and the sixth floor it is possible to enjoy an amazing view of the Alps. Inside, the building shows a perfect balance between public spaces and working areas. To furnish the lounge area, several Guscio sofas and armchairs covered in soft tobacco leather were selected, as well as some Feel Good armchairs and Tris occasional tables, in an elegant finish combining a brown stained ashwood base and golden Calacatta marble tops, all of which were designed by Antonio Citterio.
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Modern gifts and more at Glass House Design Store

The ultimate selection of design-minded gifts that will bring joy to all. The Glass House Design Store offers a curated selection of Modern Design gifts and limited edition artist commissions.

Proceeds go towards preservation of the site.

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Pilkington Spacia™: Innovation for historic restoration

It is well known that in recent years, and in years to come, energy codes for buildings have and will continue to become stricter. This is driven by a desire to reduce the environmental impact of a building as well as to reduce the cost to maintain that building.

One area that many look to when trying to improve a building is in its windows. Older buildings, created decades ago, or longer, were fitted with single pieces of monolithic glass, providing poor insulation. Eventually, IGUs, or insulated glass units, were created to improve insulation. IGUs were created using 2 pieces of glass and a spacer and therefore were much thicker than the original windows. Unfortunately, this meant choosing improved insulation at the sacrifice of the building's original appearance. Additionally, switching to the IGUs also meant the costly process of ripping out the original window sashes.

Finally, VIG, or Vacuum Insulated Glazing was created to provide the best of both worlds. Pilkington Spacia™ is the first commercially available vacuum insulated glazing product and it provides the thermal insulation of an IGU at the thickness of a standard monolithic piece of glass. Pilkington Spacia™ is now available in North America.

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A dialogue of surface: House of Religions, Bern, Switzerland
Religious believers from local communities conceived the idea for this ambitious project in Bern, Switzerland, well over a decade ago. As a result of their vision for creating an interreligious space, Europan5 launched an architectural competition in 1999, which was won by Madir Shah of Urbanoffice in Amsterdam. The competition marked the start of a fifteen-year-long process of realization. The core idea for this project was the creation of a place that would accommodate sacred spaces for five world religions under one roof. A unique place of worship that facilitates the meeting of people from different cultures, nationalities, and religious groups in one place. Dark gray Swisspearl Texial panels with two different embossed surface textures were used as the primary cladding material; this was well chosen as it is neutral and restrained, allowing the reflective, glazed section housing the religious spaces to be more prominent. Furthermore, as the fiber cement panels allow a great deal of flexibility, it gave the architects the freedom to configure the fenestration in different ways and to denote the various stacked functions. Read more about our new Swisspearl Texial facade panel on our blog “A Swiss pearl for the world."
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Apply for the 2019 Forge Prize
The Forge Prize recognizes innovation in the use of steel. Established by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the prize invites designers to submit proposals for visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component. Organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), it is intended to engage designers in developing imaginative designs that bolster steel as the 21st-century building material of choice through a two-stage design challenge, culminating with a public announcement event of winners in summer 2019. Projects can focus on Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS), Modular Construction, Long-Span, Reuse, Systems, Urban Density, etc., but are not limited in their scope or complexity. The Forge Prize is open to all innovative uses of structural steel. Get inspired! Grand Prize The grand prize winner will receive $20,000. Eligibility The Forge Prize is open to designers practicing in the U.S. or Canada. Entries will be accepted from individuals as well as teams. Team submissions are required to have a designated Team Lead. Individuals or the Team Lead should be an emerging professional, in the process of licensure or within 10-years of licensure. For full details and to submit visit
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Forecasting ceramic tile trends for 2019
Typical ceramic tile trends are shifting as manufacturers produce products with more daring designs. Advancements in ceramic tile technology have transformed the industry, from concept to creation, without compromising core function. Artisanal practices are meeting modern-day production allowing manufacturers the ability to exceed standards in performance while dabbling in stylistic experimentation. According to Tile of Spain Consultant, Ryan Fasan, “in 2019 we’re anticipating architectural products that are ideal for high traffic areas, with the broadest range of aesthetics possible.” Below highlights just a few of the leading ceramic tile trends for 2019: Return to Geometry Ceramic tile with geometric designs will play a major role in 2019. Inspired by the Art Deco movement, geometric shapes create attractive spaces and sophisticated environments while being sensitive to the nostalgia of the past eras. Playing with Finish  Gone are the days of single finish ceramic tiles. In 2019, we will see layers of finish from matte to gloss and even iridescence, enhancing the depth of floors and walls. A Classic Bet Terrazzo inspired ceramics will remain strong in 2019 but will be reinvented as manufacturers experiment with different colors, shapes, and sizes to suit every project. Explore additional Spanish ceramic tile trends by visiting here. Learn more about Spanish ceramic tile here.
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AviProtek® E: Innovative glass that’s bird-friendly AND energy efficient
With current glass facades claiming the lives of hundreds of millions of birds each year, an innovative glass solution was urgently needed to address this dire reality. Innovative firms such as Walker Glass and Vitro are leading the charge in offering intelligent solutions that deter bird collisions and optimize energy performance and the passage of visible light into the building. Walker Glass and Vitro joined forces to create AviProtek® E, bird-friendly glass that combines acid-etched visual markers on surface 1 and Solarban® with high-performance low-E coatings on surface 2. The acid-etched surface mutes reflections, providing efficient visual markers for birds while having no impact on the level of visible light transmittance. Optimal energy performance is reached with Solarban® 60 and 70XL high-performance low-E coatings from Vitro. At the Oregon Zoo Education Center, designers used 6 mm clear glass with pattern 211 on surface 1 and Solarban 70XL on surface 2. Benefits include:
  • 77 percent of the time, birds will avoid collision, which surpasses the recognized industry standard of 70 percent
  • 64 percent Visible Light Transmittance (VLT)
  • 27 Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
With AviProtek® E, it is now possible to conserve energy and save millions of birds each year.
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A total solution for mechanical systems
Heating and cooling systems are responsible for a significant portion of a building’s total energy costs. One way to keep these costs under control is through the use of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems. These sophisticated, electronic-based HVAC systems perform best with manufacturer involvement to ensure correct programming and operation. VRF-specific sequences and programming are included, for example, with Diamond Controls® Solutions from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS). This technology and services package works with mechanical systems from multiple manufacturers to provide real-time insight into building system performance and trends, plus it includes VRF-specific programming and support from the Solutions Group from METUS. By specifying this system, architects can ensure that building managers have comprehensive control of mechanical systems from a single interface. While Diamond Controls work with systems from other manufacturers, working with one company for both product and integration removes some common frustrations associated with building integrations. The Solutions Group from METUS is involved in every step of the integration process, including design, programming, installation, training, and start-up, steps that are typically handled by multiple third parties. By offering a single, integrated solution through a reliable provider, METUS improves the efficiency of the integration process and reduces the risk of miscommunication. For more information on the advantages of Diamond Controls, visit
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You are invited to USGBC MA's Green Building Showcase '18
You are invited to USGBC MA’s Green Building Showcase (GBS '18), a gathering of green building professionals to celebrate industry success and innovation. At GBS ’18 community members showcase the best efforts, designs, and products in the Commonwealth. Join USGBC MA for a night of project boards, short presentations, discussions, and awards. This year’s event has a projected attendance of 300 participants and 150 project boards. GBS ’18 will take place at 5:30 p.m. on October 25, 2018, at the Integrated Sciences Complex at UMASS Boston. Attendees include architects, engineers, contractors, developers, owners, facility managers, building users, lenders, suppliers—everyone who plays a role in designing, operating, and constructing the built environment. Learn more at the event website. Interested in seeing some of the projects submitted? See them here.