Search results for "morphosis"

Placeholder Alt Text

Facades+ L.A.

Here’s what to expect from Facades+L.A. this week
The 2017 Facades+ Conference in Los Angeles, presented by The Architect’s Newspaper, will kick off later this week, offering two full days of stimulating presentations, panels, and workshops. Day one —Thursday, October 19th—will showcase presentations by key regional and national industry leaders, including Deborah Weintraub, chief deputy city engineer for City of Los Angeles; Stanley Saitowitz, principal of Natoma Architects; Lorcan O’Herlihy, principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects; principals Julie Eizenberg and Nathan Bishop of Koning Eizenberg Architects; and Alice Kimm of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. The symposium will also feature panel discussions covering the design of SOM’s Los Angeles Federal Courthouse; changing perceptions of supportive housing covered in L.A.; advances in facade design that utilize computational research; and sporting facilities for the 21st Century. AN covered the panel presentations in a previous post earlier this month. Thursday’s presentations will also include sessions led by industry product leaders Vitro, Neolith, and YKK, as well as opening remarks by AN’s Diana Darling. Day Two—Friday, October 20th—is dedicated to industry-focused workshops with both morning and afternoon sessions. Russell Fortmeyer of ARUP will lead a discussion on zero-energy facades. Another morning session will cover advanced detailing for high-performance envelopes and is led by Chris O’Hara of Studio NYL, Brad Prestbo of Sasaki, and Stan Su of Morphosis. Another will explore facade design using the software engine Dynamo that will be led by Daniel Segraves and Gijs Libourel of Thornton Tomasetti. Some afternoon highlights include a stick-built curtain wall intensive led by Bart Harrington of YKK and a discussion on the future of ETFE skins by a team from Walter P Moore. For more information and to buy passes for the conference, see the Facades+ website.
Placeholder Alt Text

screen time

Morphosis-designed Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech celebrates opening
  facadeplus_logo1
Brought to you with support from
With the goal of becoming a net zero building, The Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis, forms the heart of the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, bridging academia and industry while pioneering new standards in environmental sustainability through state-of-the-art design.
  • Facade Manufacturer Island Exterior Fabricators
  • Architects Morphosis
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass, LLC (unitized curtain wall); Island Exterior Fabricators; Barr & Barr (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants ARUP (facade, structural, MEP/FP engineering, sustainability; lighting; acoustical; av/it/smart building)
  • Location Roosevelt Island, New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System unitized continuously insulated rainscreen; photo voltaic solar canopy
  • Products Louvered ZIRA system from A. Zahner Company;  Custom Unitized Curtain Wall; Custom Curved Glass Enclosure
Spearheaded by Morphosis’ Pritzker Prize-winning founder Thom Mayne and principal Ung-Joo Scott Lee, The Bloomberg Center is the intellectual nerve center of the campus, reflecting the school’s joint goals of creativity and excellence by providing academic spaces that foster collective enterprise and collaboration. “The aim of Cornell Tech to create an urban center for interdisciplinary research and innovation is very much in line with our vision at Morphosis, where we are constantly developing new ways to achieve ever-more-sustainable buildings and to spark greater connections among the people who use our buildings. With the Bloomberg Center, we’ve pushed the boundaries of current energy efficiency practices and set a new standard for building development in New York City,” said Morphosis founder and design director Thom Mayne in a press release. The four-story, 160,000-square-foot academic building is named in honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg in recognition of a $100-million gift from Michael Bloomberg, who was responsible for bringing Cornell Tech to New York City while serving as the city’s 108th Mayor. A major feature of the building is an expansive photovoltaic canopy, with a low and narrow profile that frames views across the island. One of the building’s most distinctive features is its facade, optimized to balance transparency—maximizing daylighting and exterior views, and opacity—maximizing insulation and reducing thermal bridging. Designed as a rain screen system, the outermost layer of the facade is composed of aluminum panels surfaced in an iridescent, PPG polymer coating. Viewed from afar, the aluminum panels register a continuous image that merges the river-view scenery from Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island location and Cornell University’s idyllic campus in Ithaca, New York. Facing the city, the Bloomberg Center’s west facade registers the image of the Manhattan skyline as it is viewed directly across the East River. Along the campus’ main entry and central circulation spine (the “Tech Walk”), the east facade registers an image of Ithaca’s famous gorges. Designed in collaboration with A. Zahner Company, an architectural metal fabricator, the facade utilizes Zahner’s Louvered ZIRA system to create the image patterning. Each pixel of the image is translated into the specific turn-and-tilt of a two-inch circular tab punched into the aluminum paneling; the depth and rotation of each tab determine the amount of light reflected. This pixel map was fed into a repurposed welding robot, which processed the digital information into the mechanical turning-and-tilting of the facade’s 337,500 tabs. The algorithm controlling the robot was developed in collaboration with Cornell and MIT students. “Our collaboration with the Cornell and MIT students to develop the building’s facade is an example of the type of connections that Cornell Tech will foster between academia and tech industries,” said Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Principal at Morphosis and Project Principal of the Bloomberg Center. “We were ultimately interested in demonstrating that designing for net-zero creates not only a more energy efficient building but, in fact, a healthier and more comfortable environment for its occupants. The very systems that provide our path to high building performance are the same systems that provide better control to its users while giving the building its distinct identity. Cornell University’s leadership in sustainability is central to their mission; we look to continue that leadership in both upstate as well as downstate campuses.”
Morphosis will be participating in the upcoming Facades+ Los Angeles conference on October 19 to 20, 2017. Stan Su, who contributed to Bloomberg Center as a member of Morphosis’ Advanced Technology team, will be co-presenting a morning workshop along with Brad Prestbo (Director of Technical Resources, Sasaki Associates), Chris O'Hara (Founding Principal, Facades Director, Studio NYL). The workshop will be divided up into three parts: a group discussion on fundamental detailing principals, case study examples of how those principles are employed, and a hands-on session where the group will reverse-engineer details from notable projects.
Placeholder Alt Text

Camacho Man

Actor Terry Crews is now a promising young designer
Actor, artist, and NFL player-turned-furniture designer Terry Crews was approached by Bernhardt Design President Jerry Helling to design a line of furniture, which became available to consumers this month. AN Interior arranged for Crews to visit the Downtown Los Angeles studio of Bureau Spectacular and join designer, curator, and theorist Jimenez Lai for an afternoon of discussion about life, pop culture, and what it means to be a young, emerging talent in design. AN Interior: So, Terry Crews, welcome. It’s such a pleasure and honor meeting you. We’re here to talk about Bernhardt Design. The first question we have is about youth. Bernhardt Design is a company that values and promotes young designers. I want to quote one of the final interviews by Allen Iverson where he said, “It’s not how old you are, but how long you’ve been playing in the NBA.” How does it feel to be young again, and what are some of your feelings right now about entering design once again fresh? Terry Crews: This is a great question because for me, you know, youth truly isn’t a number. It’s an attitude. You brought up Allen Iverson, but for me, Quincy Jones has always been that example of eternal youth, and he never, ever counts on the thing he did before. This man worked with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, then went to Michael Jackson and Al B. Sure, then he went to hip-hop and he's still doing it now. And he’s well into his 70s, early 80s and he’s always viewed as the youngest guy in the room. I take that approach. For me, with Bernhardt, they have that attitude. Bernhardt Design has always grabbed guys and really put a lot of investment into the youth, especially from Pasadena’s Art Center and it motivates me and inspires me. It’s one of the most exciting, most adventurous things ever. You feel like you’re discovering a new land and you just landed on the beach and it’s uncharted and you can just go and there are no obstacles and it’s fascinating and again, I’m really, really looking forward to what comes next. I want to be 70 years young. Yeah, listen, there are many, many examples of that. A lot of times in our culture, youth is praised. I mean, youth above everything, at the sacrifice of everything, and the phrase child prodigy is the term that’s normally used, but you can actually be an adult prodigy. There’s no stopping an adult prodigy. You can even be what you call an elder prodigy, where all your things happen, all of a sudden, you change the world and you’re post-50, which happens a lot, but they don’t use the term prodigy anymore, they kind of get that out of there.
The second question I wanted to ask you is about style. President Camacho from Idiocracy [who Terry Crews plays in the film] is by far the greatest president in cinematic history. You have a certain presence. That dancing is iconic in film history at this point. There’s a certain sensibility or personality with you. There’s this kind of charisma around you, which translates a lot of times into style. You’ve already designed your own house. You’ve also done these paintings. The question is, what can we expect to see in terms of your work? What can we expect to see in terms of your design as far as style goes? You know, it’s weird. That’s a great question because I, for one, feel like some people get things mixed up with flash and shock and then they call it style. I’ve seen it in entertainment where jokes become insulting as opposed to informative and insightful. I’ve seen even design itself get very cynical, which is something you really have to watch because as an artist I don’t want to offend, but I always want to be bold. Bold is the most important trait that I have and the good thing is that bold has nothing to do with personality. I’ve seen people who were very meek, very withdrawn or even sanguine or melancholy, but they were extremely bold. My wife is my best confidant because I put stuff out there. I always run everything by her first. I want to make sure that I differentiate the loudness and craziness and shock jock kind of thing from actual boldness. To me, when you say bold, I’m thinking full throttle and focused. Oh, that sounds good. I’m stealing that. You know what? You just summed it all up right there. Full throttle, focused, that’s me. Yeah, but you’re right. When you see somebody that’s literally obsessed and they’re so focused and it gets better and better and better and better, over the whole incarnation, you go, holy cow … I’ve watched other people do that, and like I said, it’s not about being crazy and dancing around and putting lights on it and sparklers. It’s like, holy cow, look at that. I’m with you, man. Next, I want to ask about process. As a film actor, probably there’s a preparation process that’s unfamiliar to designers and I wonder how you might translate that into design. You know what? Because I made all the mistakes and art is art, be it acting, drawing, designing, architecture, it’s all art and fear is your enemy. It’s your enemy. For an actor, there’s a point where you spend years overcoming fear. I’ll tell you about my first job. I was working on a movie called The Sixth Day with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the first movie I ever did. My job was to come up on the steps of his home and tell Arnold, "Hey, Adam Gibson, you’re coming with us." And he looks at me and he says all this stuff. That’s how the scene’s supposed to go. Well, the scene started. I go in, I walk up to him and nothing comes out of my mouth. I was scared to death. Instantly, I was like, I don’t belong here. I’m a football player, I have no skills. I don’t know what this is, and I doubted everything about myself and in a split second, I mean it was like, brrrr! Magically, something went wrong with the camera, which was crazy, and they had to shut everything down and all that and they said, Terry, we’re going to take a break, something is wrong with the camera, we’re going to just take five minutes. Now, they didn’t notice that I suck, but that’s what happened and I went to the side and I said, Terry, what are you doing? And I remember feeling like, if you don’t do this, you’re never going to get this opportunity again. And I used that energy and I went back at them and I looked at Arnold and I’m like, "I’m here, sir and you’re coming with us." And he was like [imitating Arnold saying his lines] and I was like, “Oh my God.” And let me tell you something, I learned something that day – you have to trust yourself. I was even so stuck on this furniture, and then I came up with a story for it and all of a sudden it started making itself. I think you’re absolutely right. I get nervous, I worry about stuff. This is super therapeutic, actually. It is. I’ve been there with you, man. It’s a hard thing, but practice makes it easier. Let’s go to the next question, which is about transformation or metamorphosis. You’re a person who’s gone through this once. You went from being an NFL player to a film actor, and now you’re about to go through it again. And during our Terry Crews week, we stumbled on your Sesame Street episode … violinist, sculpture, mime. So, here, you’re about to undergo this metamorphosis once again. Are there things that you can take away from the first time that will teach you again? First of all, being a football player is a very limiting world. It’s very, very limiting. People already have so many preconceived notions of who you are because it’s almost like a cookie cutter. But you have to understand the football thing and the art thing has never been separate with me, ever. When I went to college, I would go to the little art classes with the people in black who were so sad and I was like, Hey you all, how are you all doing? I got my letterman jacket on, I was like, alright! And then I go right to practice after that and people … there were others that had issues. Now, I know I’m an artist. I know what I do. And then when Jerry Helling, the President of Bernhardt Design came to me and said, "I want to do something with you," and I’m like, "Cool, we can find a designer, we can… " He’s like, "No, no, no, no, no. I want you to design it—pivot time." It just went back to – we need you, we know you’re a linebacker, but we need you to play defensive end on this point. We know you do drama, but here’s comedy right here. I’m the riskiest guy ever. I try everything. They were like, we want you to host the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." I was like, okay, and I didn’t know what I was doing. I mean, look at Regis and look at me. I got a 200-pound difference, me and Regis or any other host they have, Meredith Vieira. But I said, you know what? This is where all the action is and it’s funny because I’m thankful. By this practice of doing this, I’ve built a career where no one is shocked at what I’m doing. So, that’s a long answer to that question. These are deep questions. They’re so good. Beautiful answer. I really admire your courage. This takes so much courage. Words can’t really describe how thankful I am that you’re here and so glad to be sitting here with you and having this conversation. We’re really looking forward to your design. My pleasure, man. This is awesome. I love this world. I love this. Thank you, guys.
Placeholder Alt Text

Hot BODs

AN will bring you a building every day for Archtober 2017
Get ready New York City, the month of Archtober is almost upon us. While October heralds the return of chunky knits and PSLs, New York City's architecture and design community knows that the tenth month of the year is really Archtober, AIA New York's celebration of the built environment. In collaboration with the city's cultural institutions, Archtober (also known as Architecture and Design Month) fosters awareness of architecture's role in everyday life through exhibitions, conferences, films, lectures, and the Building of the Day tours – architect-led visits to the city's best-loved structures and landscapes. The first site this year is the Woolworth Tower Residences, apartments by SLCE Architects in Cass Gilbert's classic neo-Gothic skyscraper. In partnership with AIA New York, The Architect's Newspaper (AN) is pleased to be the one-and-only source for Building of the Day blogs. For all of October, we'll bring you on-the-ground stories and tour highlights, so you can ride on WXY's SeaGlass Carousel, step inside LOT-EK's shipping container Carroll House, or explore Paul Rudolph's Modulightor Building, all without leaving your office. But if you do decide to leave (and you should), tickets for all tours are now available at the Archtober website. Here is the complete schedule:
Oct. 1 The Woolworth Tower Residences Architect: Cass Gilbert (the Woolworth Building's original architect); SLCE Architects (Woolworth Tower Residences architect of record): SLCE Architects; The Office of Thierry W. Despont (interior design) Oct. 2 Empire Stores Architect: S9Architecture Oct. 3 Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm Architect: Bromley Caldari Architects Oct. 4 The Noguchi Museum Architect: Isamu Noguchi and Shoji Sadao (original architects); Sage and Coombe Architects (rneovation architect) Oct. 5 SeaGlass Carousel Architect: WXY architecture + urban design Oct. 6 Modulightor Building Architect: Paul Rudolph Oct. 7 Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning Architect: GLUCK+ Oct. 8 Project Farmhouse Architect: ORE Design Oct. 9 The Residences at PS186 & Boys and Girls Club of Harlem Architect: Dattner Architects Oct. 10 Naval Cemetery Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects Oct. 11 Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Architect: Heins & LaFarge/Cram & Ferguson (1899) Oct. 12 Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Architect: Cass Gilbert Oct. 13 New Lab, Brooklyn Navy Yard Architect: Marvel Architects Oct. 14 Open House New York Weekend Oct. 15 Open House New York Weekend Oct. 16 iHeartMedia Architect: A+I with Beneville Studios Oct. 17 56 Leonard Street Architect: Herzog & De Meuron Oct. 18 Staten Island Courthouse, St. George Architect: Ennead Architects Oct. 19 Carroll House Architect: LOT-EK Oct. 20 Columbia University – Lenfest Center for the Arts Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop (design architect); Davis Brody Bond (executive architect); Body-Lawson Associates (associate architect) Oct. 21 Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Architect: Maya Lin Studio (Designer); Bialosky + Partners Architects Oct. 22 Freshkills Park Architect: NYC Parks/James Corner Field Operations Oct. 23 The George Washington Bridge Bus Station Architect: STV – Program Architect/Architect of Record/Design Architect for Retail Development; PANYNJ Architectural Unit – Design Architect for Bus Station Oct. 24 Governors Island – The Hills Architect: West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture Oct. 25 Bronx River House Architect: Kiss + Cathcart, Architects Oct. 26 ISSUE Project Room Architect: McKim, Mead & White (original architect); Conversion to ISSUE Project Room: WORKac in collaboration with ARUP (ongoing) Oct. 27 Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District Architect: TEN Arquitectos Oct. 28 Morris Jumel Mansion Architect: Original Architect Unknown Oct. 29 Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler Oct. 30 Cornell Tech Architect: Handel Architects; Morphosis; WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism Oct. 31 The William Vale Hotel Architect: Albo Liberis
If your number-one-can't-miss tour is sold out, don't despair: There are more than enough events for everyone. Archtober has a new series called Workplace Wednesdays where firms like SHoP, Snøhetta, and others will open up their offices to ticketed members of the public for workshops, presentations, and talks. On October 29, AN Contributing Editor Sam Lubell will give a talk on Never Built New York, the exhibition he co-curated at the Queens Museum.
Placeholder Alt Text

Home Sweet Apartment

The best of contemporary apartment design, minus the affordability question
Apartments currently represent one of the most fruitful sites of invention within the field of architecture. The contemporary world, simply put, is filled with provocative apartment buildings. Michael Webb’s Building Community—New Apartment Architecture aims to chronicle some of those exemplary projects, delivering a well-rounded—though somewhat incomplete—exploration of contemporary apartment design. At 256 pages, the tome, with muted graphic design by Praline, is jam-packed with 30 smart apartment designs from across the world designed by renowned firms, including Zaha Hadid Architects, Studio Gang, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Gehry Partners, and Bjarke Ingels Group. The book uses photographs, plans, sections, and other drawings to provide unvarnished views into the ways in which communality functions at the scale of multifamily housing. The collection offers a “greatest hits” approach to uncovering what’s possible when designers and developers work together toward the shared aims of livability and sociability, touching on widely publicized projects like Morphosis Architects’ Carabanchel Housing and Luciano Pia’s 25 Verde. The latter features 150 trees along its exterior, while the former utilizes a network of plazas and courtyards to create cool and social outdoor spaces. Another stellar example comes in the form of Jakob + MacFarlane Hérold apartments in Paris, from 2008. The chiseled, ETFE-wrapped housing blocks—“softly-molded and irregular,” in Webb’s words—are designed with multiple exposures for cross ventilation and dwelling-wide balconies attached to each unit. The balconies, due to their comfortable proportions, are populated by eccentric patio furniture, plantings, and knickknacks, exhibiting the lived-in qualities of these truly successful outdoor apartment spaces. They seem like great places to live. The book also offers a collection of ruminations from housing-focused architects like Édouard François and Lorcan O’Herlihy that shed light on some of the inner workings and contemporary struggles of apartment design. As Michael Maltzan’s and Stanley Saitowitz’s testimonials lay bare: It’s often too difficult, costly, and risky to build quality and affordable multifamily housing on a mass scale. All told, the book’s six thematic sections—“Urban Villages,” “Building Blocks,” “Promoting Sociability,” “Spirit of Place,” “Reaching Skyward,” and “Looking Ahead”—are too generic for the multifaceted buildings on display, especially “Reaching Skyward.” The heading unnecessarily creates a division by elevating tall apartment buildings into a separate class. It would have been more helpful, perhaps, to compare tall and short buildings within chapters together, highlighting each via juxtaposition. The book features several examples of thoughtful affordable and social housing projects, but their numbers are too few. Instead—perhaps as a commentary on contemporary practice—too many of the projects bluntly use “design” as a tool for extracting higher rents and padding the developer’s bottom line. Studio Gang’s contribution points to this fact directly—“People were so eager to live here that rents are the highest in Hyde Park,” the architect explains—as does MAD Architect’s Marilyn Monroe tower, which was so successful that the developer asked the firm to design a virtual carbon copy next door. Maybe it would have been more effective to couch this contemporary tendency within a larger discussion focused on the rich connections between economies and architecture. Either way, the general topic of affordability is glossed over. Webb’s book, after all, comes not only as rapidly urbanizing populations make high-density living a practical necessity, but also as this egalitarian typology is simultaneously being co-opted by wealth. The book’s introduction highlights this fact: Until recently, apartments were the domains of regular, hard-working folks, not the idle rich. Perhaps more architects can take a page from Webb, and fight for greater excellence and representation of these types. As Webb explains, “Huge complexes can be humane places for a wide variety of residents as long as they are well built and maintained, provided with essential services and connections, and softened by generous plantings.” Building Community—New Apartment Architecture Michael Webb, Thames & Hudson, 2017 $65.00
Placeholder Alt Text

Soul Asylum

Deborah Berke Partners transforms Buffalo asylum into resort and conference center

For a psychiatric hospital built in the late 19th century, the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane in Buffalo, New York, was remarkably ahead of its time. At the request of physician Thomas Story Kirkbride, who helmed the hospital’s design, emphasis was placed on access to natural light, fresh air, and pastoral views to benefit patient well-being. It was originally completed in 1880, combining Victorian and Romanesque elements.

Deborah Berke Partners (DBP) recently completed the asylum’s metamorphosis into the Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center. “The intentions for this building were about it being a welcoming and safe space,” said Stephen Brockman, senior principal of DBP. “The graciousness of the space is what’s fascinating. You open these doors, and it’s breathtaking,”

That said, converting the former asylum – located in the central portion of the sprawling National Historic Landmark Richardson Olmsted Campus – into a 191,000-square-foot luxury boutique hotel and conference center without losing its character was not without its challenges.

During early presentations of the project to the local community, conversations with the relatives of people who had spent time at the hospital and felt a close relationship with it created a desire “to make it feel like it was still theirs,” Brockman said. “Our interventions were subtle.”

The hotel and conference center houses 88 guest rooms, multiple conference facilities, a fine dining restaurant, a bar, and a cafe. Of the campus’s original 11 buildings, the hotel comprises three central buildings that were the asylum’s administrative hub and patient housing.

Along with the exterior, original interior elements, including windows, interior shutters, plasterwork, stairs, and tile and wood floors were preserved, while the grand staircase was restored. The spacious hallways, 200 feet long and 15 feet wide, were also kept intact. These corridors, which were originally called “day rooms” and functioned as the asylum’s social spaces, were flooded with ventilation and light to aid patient recovery.

“The grandeur of the building simply cried out to be a destination, so this is a perfect fit,” said Jean Carroon, principal at Goody Clancy, preservation architects for the project. “The exterior is rugged and beautiful. The interior has the high ceilings, natural daylight, and views, which were part of its first life.”

To transform the building into a modern hotel welcoming the 21st-century traveler, a flagstone-and-granite entry plaza was added. A new, second entrance, in glass and steel, glows at night, as do newly illuminated towers, lit internally to serve as beacons. A staircase created within the second entrance features an illuminated glass handrail and leads to the second-floor lobby. An attic was converted into large, loft-like guest suites with partially exposed beams and high, sloped ceilings. Guest rooms were updated in neutral tones and will feature works by local artists.

Landscape architecture and planning firm Andropogon Associates updated and restored the grounds, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, adding a new roadway in Olmsted’s aesthetic, as well as guest parking. Andropogon also planted 125 new trees, interspersed with rain gardens of switchgrass, as well as grapevines and hawthorns.

It was important to pay homage to the hotel’s history as an asylum more prominently as well. To that end, Carroon noted, several patient rooms have been completely restored and will be part of the campus’s historic tours when the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center opens in late 2017 as a co-tenant with Hotel Henry. Celebrating Buffalo’s rich architectural history and honoring the site’s legacy, the center will feature a 400-square-foot interactive exhibit about the asylum and the history of mental health treatment in the U.S. 

Placeholder Alt Text

Back to School

Cornell Tech campus opens with three high-tech buildings
Yesterday Cornell Tech's campus opened on Roosevelt Island, a strip of land between Manhattan and Queens perhaps best known for housing medical institutions and mental hospitals. This development definitively stakes a new identity for the island. Created through an academic partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the project is the winner of a New York City competition for an applied-sciences campus initiated by the Bloomberg administration. The campus spans 12 acres and houses three new buildings by Morphosis, Weiss/Manfredi and Handel Architects. So far, what makes the buildings stand out is their aim to be among the most sustainable and energy efficient structures in the world. The four-story, 160,000-square-foot Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis Architects, serves as the heart of Cornell Tech. With its primary power source on-site, it is one of the largest net-zero energy academic buildings in the world. Smart building technology developed in collaboration with engineering firm Arup includes a roof canopy supporting 1,465 photovoltaic panels designed to generate energy and shade the building to reduce heat gain, a closed-loop geothermal well system for interior cooling and heating, a rainwater harvesting system to feed the non-potable water demand and irrigate the campus, and a power system conserving energy when the building is not in use. Another striking element is The Bloomberg Center’s facade, which is comprised of a series of metal panels designed to decrease the building's overall energy demand. The Bridge, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, is a seven-story “co-location” building intended to link academia to entrepreneurship. It houses a range of companies from diverse industries that have the opportunity to work alongside Cornell academic teams. The loft-like design of the building encourages dialogue between the University's academic hubs and tech companies. The building orientation frames full river views and brings maximum daylight into its interior. At the ground level, the entrance atrium opens onto the center of campus extending into the surrounding environment through a series of landscaped terraces. The House, designed by Handel Architects, is a 26-story, 350-unit dormitory for students, staff, and faculty. It is the tallest and largest residential passive house in the world, meaning it follows a strict international building standard to reduce energy consumption and costs. The House is clad with a super-sealed exterior facade created from 9-by-36-foot metal panels with 8 to 13 inches of insulation which are projected to save 882 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Yesterday’s opening comprises just the first phase of the campus development project at Cornell Tech. 
Placeholder Alt Text

Building Diplomacy

U.S. Department of State shortlists 26 firms to build embassies worldwide

A division of the U.S. Department of State in charge of constructing and maintaining embassies has selected more than two dozen architecture firms to design those facilities worldwide. Late last month, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) picked 26 firms for its Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Worldwide Design Services solicitation, a shortlist that's geographically diverse and includes a healthy mix of small-to-medium–sized firms (Marlon Blackwell, 1100 ArchitectLake|Flato) plus giants like Gensler and HOK

This time around, 136 firms vied for a spot on OBO's list, and the chosen designers are authorized to provide architecture and engineering services for building upgrades as well as new construction. Take a look at the full list, below: 1100 Architect Allied Works Architecture Ann Beha Architects Beyer Blinder Belle Architects Brooks + Scarpa Architects Clark Nexsen Diller Scofidio + Renfro Ennead Architects EYP, Inc. Gensler/Black & Veatch HOK International KieranTimberlake Krueck & Sexton Architects Lake|Flato Architects Machado and Silvetti Associates Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects Mark Cavagnero Associates Marlon Blackwell Architects Miller Hull Partnership Moore Ruble Yudell Morphosis Architects Richard + Bauer Architecture Robert A.M. Stern Architects SHoP Architects Studio MA ZGF Architects Next, shortlisted firms will have to put together a technical team, assemble information about past projects and team performance, and interview with OBO. Right now, the bureau's portfolio includes 285 missions around the world, with projects under construction and in design worth more than $7 billion.
Placeholder Alt Text

Texas Holl 'Em

Ground breaks on Steven Holl’s design for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Steven Holl's design for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) has started construction. In 2015, Holl described the commission as "the most important" of his career.

Steven Holl Architects was awarded the job back in 2012, seeing off competition from Morphosis and Snøhetta, but working out the design has been a drawn-out experience. “What you see here is the culmination of a 36-month design process,” Holl said at a design unveiling two years ago. In addition to the 165,000-square-foot Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, and the Glassell School of Art, the architect also worked on the museum's master plan.

The 14-acre campus will also include the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation, designed by Lake|Flato Architects of San Antonio. The two-storey facility will sit above MFAH's existing parking garage and provide conservation labs and studios, and a street-level cafe. Holl's translucent Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, meanwhile, will see two floors of galleries circling a top-lit three-level atrium added along with a restaurant, theater, reflecting pools, vertical gardens, meeting rooms, and underground parking.

The building will have etched glass tubular cladding that will allow daylight to filter through and also give the building a soft glow come sunset. At ground level, six reflecting pools of water will amplify the luminous qualities of the structure's skin, which will also include seven vertical gardens. These will be cut into segments of vision glass instead of the translucent tubing. Inside, the two galleries will total 54,000 square feet. The upper level is to be shielded by a luminous canopy roof, which has concave curves inspired by Texas' billowing clouds. All of the gallery spaces feature natural light. Holl is working with New York–based lighting design firm L’Observatoire International on the project.

Furthermore, Holl's new Glassell School of Art will connect with the water pools and connect the campus to The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza. All in all, MFAH's additions will come to $450 million. Construction is touted for completion in 2019.
Placeholder Alt Text

Excellence in Design Awards

Bomb squad building, verdant library, and others score NYC design awards
Today officials revealed winners of New York's annual Awards for Excellence in Design, a recognition of the city's best civic projects. Timed to NYCxDESIGN, the city's annual celebration of all things design and architecture, the projects being recognized contribute to the city's public life, preserve its history, and exemplify sustainable approaches to buildings and landscapes. The awards, now in their 35th year, are presented by the Public Design Commission, an 11-member group of designers and representatives from New York's cultural institutions that reviews art, architecture, and landscape architecture on city property. "The best public projects are purposeful and use design to build a sense of community and civic pride," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a prepared statement. "We commend the teams behind these critical and creative projects that will help build a stronger, more equitable city and improve services and recreational activities for every New Yorker." Tonight, the mayor, along with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Public Design Commission President Signe Nielsen and Executive Director Justin Moore, will present awards to this year's and last year's honorees at a City Hall ceremony. Get a sneak peek at the eight winners below (unless otherwise noted, all images and project descriptions in quotes are from the Mayor's Office): AWARD WINNERS Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center Marble Fairbanks; SCAPE Landscape Architecture Greenpoint, Brooklyn Brooklyn Public Library "Exceeding LEED Silver goals, the center will become a demonstration project for innovative approaches to sustainable design, and an environmental learning tool for the community." Double Sun Mary Temple Williamsburg, Brooklyn Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program and Department of Parks & Recreation "Gracing the interior of McCarren Park Pool’s dramatic archway entrance, Mary Temple’s paintings create a subtle and elegant visual disturbance." Downtown Far Rockaway Streetscape  W Architecture and Landscape Architecture Far Rockaway, Queens Department of Design and Construction, Department of Transportation, and Department of Parks & Recreation "Incorporating Vision Zero strategies, this comprehensive streetscape design will foster a safer, more inviting, pedestrian experience in this central business district and transportation hub." Bomb Squad Building Rice + Lipka Architects; Liz Farrell Landscape Architecture Pelham Bay Park, Bronx Department of Design and Construction and New York Police Department "The simple and smart design of this resilient office and training facility elevates critical program elements above the floodplain and allows flood waters to flow through without damaging the building." Treetop Adventure Zipline and Nature Trek  Tree-Mendous The Bronx Zoo Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Parks & Recreation, and Wildlife Conservation Society "Two new adventures provide unique perspectives at the zoo—visitors can zip across the Bronx River and navigate a series of bridges with narrow beams, obstacles, and climbing wiggling surfaces." FIT New Academic Building SHoP Architects; Mathews Nielsen Fashion Institute of Technology Agency: Department of Education and the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York "The first newly-constructed building on the FIT campus in nearly 50 years has an NEA award-winning design that reflects FIT’s commitment to openness, community engagement, and the robust exchange of ideas across many platforms." Woodside Office, Garage, and Inspection Facility TEN Arquitectos; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture Woodside, Queens Agency: Department of Design and Construction and Taxi and Limousine Commission "Serving as the central inspection location for over 13,500 taxis, this facility will provide a welcoming and dignified experience for drivers, reduce queuing times, and increase inspection capacity by more than 200 cars per day." The Cubes Administration and Education Building LOT-EK Astoria, Queens Agency: Department of Parks & Recreation and Socrates Sculpture Park "Constructed of 18 shipping containers, the Cubes will be Socrates Sculpture Park’s first permanent structure in its thirty-year history and a manifestation of the organization’s emphasis on reclamation and adaptive re-use, as well as a reference to the neighborhood’s industrial roots." SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS: The Department of Environmental Protection, for the agency’s thoughtful design of green infrastructure in the watershed to help protect the city’s water supply. "DEP’s use of green infrastructure in its upstate properties not only results in resilient and innovative designs, but is a critical component of the agency’s ability to maintain the high quality of New York City’s drinking water supply." Conservation and Relocation of three WPA-era murals EverGreene Architectural Arts; Fine Art Conservation Group; Morphosis; Weiss/Manfredi Roosevelt Island, New York Economic Development Corporation and Cornell Tech "Commissioned in the 1940s by the Work Projects Administration (WPA), these murals were painted over and forgotten for decades. As part of the new Cornell Tech campus, the murals were uncovered and conserved and will be integrated into new campus buildings for public enjoyment." Tottenville Shoreline Protection Stantec; RACE Coastal Engineering Staten Island Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Transportation, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York "In tandem with ReBuild by Design’s Living Breakwaters Project, this shoreline initiative will increase public access by creating an interconnected and seamless waterfront trail, incorporating wetland enhancement, eco-revetments, hardened dune systems, shoreline plantings, maritime forest restorations, and earthen berms."
Placeholder Alt Text

May 23

Tech+ expo: The future of the built environment is here

NYCxDESIGN kicks off this week, and our first ever Tech+ Expo will be part of it. Check us out on May 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 639 West 46th St. For more information visit techplusexpo.com.

A wave of new technologies is transforming the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. On May 23, The Architect’s Newspaper will host the first trade expo and forum to investigate this convergence: TECH+. Taking place during NYCxDesign month, New York’s official citywide celebration of design, the conference incorporates visionary speakers, engaging panels, live demos, and product displays from leaders in emerging fields like virtual reality, smart buildings, parametrics, advanced materials, drones and robotics, AEC Software, and mobile apps.

Architects, engineers, designers, builders, real-estate professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, software developers, students, and makers will converge at Metropolitan West in New York—the center of one of America’s fastest growing tech markets—to discover innovations, come across start-ups, meet top experts, and build connections. A conference addressing new architectural technologies is both needed and timely, spurring new ideas, cross-pollination, and innovation.

“We see TECH+ as the place where technology companies and the AEC industry converge,” said The Architect’s Newspaper publisher Diana Darling. “We want to share what’s happening and start pulling people together. These fields are developing quickly, and people are eager to build a community.”

Over the past six years, AN has hosted 26 events for Facades+, a series of conferences taking place in cities around the country focusing on the future of building envelopes. TECH+ will build on that series’ success by teaming up with Microsol Resources TechPerspectives conference to host a full day of inspired presentations on the Innovation Stage.

Presenters at TECH+ will include keynote speaker Hao Ko, a Gensler principal who helped mastermind the Nvidia headquarters building in Santa Clara, California, and the Mercedes-Benz headquarters building in Atlanta; Kerenza Harris, leader of Morphosis Architects’ advanced technology team; and leaders of innovative companies like Graphisoft, Humanscale, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), FXFowle, Thornton Tomasetti, and more.

Panels will discuss, among other topics, start-up technology investment, workplace design, digital printing and fabrication, virtual-reality environments, and on-site drone footage. More than a dozen exhibitors hail from around the AEC industry, in fields like BIM (building information modeling) software, virtual reality (VR), 3-D printing, engineering, and computer graphics. The conference will also showcase know-how from some of the city’s top tech incubators and research from cutting-edge technology programs at design schools like Columbia GSAPP, Parsons, MIT DesignX, and Pratt.

TECH+ is a new type of conference,” said Darling. “We’re focusing on completely new ideas and techniques, and gauging where the future of the AEC will be and how we get there.”

Placeholder Alt Text

Heart of L.A.

L.A. to heal planning scars with ambitious Civic Center Master Plan
The City of Los Angeles is moving quickly in its efforts to rework the historic Civic Center district as it aims to rectify nagging post-World War II era planning and building legacies amid a period of intense development within surrounding Downtown Los Angeles neighborhoods. The areas around the district—roughly encompassed by the 101 Freeway, Judge John Aiso Street, 1st Street and Grand Avenue—are already undergoing broad change, including the recent completion of the SOM-designed Los Angeles U.S District Courthouse and the forthcoming First and Broadway park by Mia Lehrer+Associates and OMA. The area is also due to receive a series of high-rise residential towers from Canadian developers Onni Group, including a boxy scheme by Gensler and a collection of pointed condo towers by AC Martin. The draft plan aims to convert the purpose-built bureaucratic and administrative quarter into a “Civic Innovation District”—a mixed-use neighborhood containing street-fronting retail, startup office space, broad pedestrian paths, a bounty of public parks, and high-rise residential housing. In March, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the new Civic Center Master Plan—a document based on a study by multi-service firm IBI Group that would guide the redevelopment of the area. The plan envisions adding 1.2 million square feet of office space to the area, as well as roughly 1.1 million square feet of housing, and at least 217,500 square feet of retail space, all the while reworking surrounding streets and blocks into a network of interconnected, axially-driven, pedestrian-friendly promenades. Most controversially, instituting the plan involves demolishing a variety of structures, including the historic but socially-problematic former Los Angeles Police Department headquarters from 1955—designed by architect Welton Becket and known as Parker Center. The modernist-style City Hall East building and the Metropolitan Detention Center, a 757-bed federal prison, would also be demolished via the plan, among other structures. Another aim of the plan is to establish City Hall as the visual and conceptual locus for an area that would stitch together the Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, Arts District, and El Pueblo neighborhoods. The plan would be implemented over six phases beginning later this year with the demolition of Parker Center. That structure was recently denied historic status and is headed toward demolition, to be replaced with a high-rise tower containing 712,500 square feet of office space and 37,500 square feet of ground floor retail. The existing City Hall South building will be replaced starting in 2019 with 569,000 square feet of housing and 90,000 square feet of retail uses in a podium-style tower that would also create a paseo between itself and the City Hall East building. The housing tower would face the Morphosis-designed CalTrans Building from 2004 and would sit diagonally from the new Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters building by AECOM from 2009 that made the Parker Center structure functionally redundant. Starting in 2021, the scheme calls for converting the existing Los Angeles Mall into a 390-foot tall tower complex containing 675,000 square feet of government office, commercial, and flexible spaces. The podium-style building will leave generous, wedge-shaped areas along the ground as open space. A fourth phase would bring another 520,000 square feet of housing and 90,000 square feet of retail to the southern portion of the block containing the Parker Center’s replacement between 2024 and 2027. Planning documents show those structures as a series of wedge-shaped housing towers and low commercial buildings organized around a continuation of the paseo started on the block just to the north. This paseo would connect to the booming Little Tokyo and Arts District neighborhoods, which are due to receive a slew of high-rise, mixed-use developments along the Alameda Corridor, as well. Following that development—the document times phase five to start in 2027—the Metropolitan Detention Center at the eastern edge of the block will make way for a 360,000-square-foot government office and retail tower. It is unclear whether the prison will be replaced locally or elsewhere. The final phase of the plan would demolish the modernist-style City Hall East building, replacing the striking 13-story tower with a small cultural building and a civic plaza. The plan, as specified, would be completed sometime between 2030 and 2032. A recently-released rendering by IBI Group describes the area as a more uniformly 12-20 story tall cluster of towers separated by broad swaths of open space. The plan—more radically—also envisions placing a lid over a three-block section of the 101 Freeway currently dividing the Civic Center from the El Pueblo and Union Station areas. The connection would make the Civic Center area accessible to the currently-under-construction $410 million La Plaza de Cultura project by Johnson Fain, Benchmark Contractors, and the non-profit Cesar Chavez Foundation. That project aims to bring 355 housing units at 46,000-square feet of retail space to the area.   Once completed, the Civic Center Master Plan has the potential to convert the sleepy, bureaucratic district into the lynchpin of a continuous, mixed-use center spanning from Pershing Square at the heart of downtown to the western banks of the Los Angeles River on one end and Chinatown on the other. The areas between the Civic Center and the Arts District are expected to receive a series of stops along the new Regional Connector subway line, a condition that will surely drive further residential and commercial growth in the area. The plan was recently approved by the Los Angeles City Council’s Entertainment and Facilities Committee. It now heads for consideration by the full city council, and eventually, the mayor’s office.