Search results for "Carpenter Center"

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A Look Back at the Toronto International and New York Film Festivals
Film festivals are sneak previews of what to look for throughout the year, both on the big screen and through streaming services like Netflix. There are a surprising number of films circulating that are informed by architecture and design, including standouts like Twelve Years and Slave and Spike Jonze’s Her. In Stray Dogs (NYFF), a girl asks her mother why the walls of their apartment are so mottled. Her mother says houses are like people, with wrinkles on their face; their walls are so scarred because during a heavy rain the house cried tears. Not all tales are so sad, but It’s always a wonderful surprise when the physical space plays such a prominent role. Here is a selection you should be sure to catch that were previewed at the recent Toronto and New York Film Festivals (TIFF and NYFF). Look out for Main Hall, a stroboscopic deconstruction of the central exhibition space of Vienna Secession building; the photographer’s studio of layered colored scrims, mirrors and camera of Pepper’s Ghost; the architectural illustrator starring in Bobô; the constructivist building that is built up and toppled down to the strains of Shostakovich in Gloria Victoria; the beautifully destroyed industrial interior of Portrait as a Random Act of Violence; the fetid water, workers and ships of Gowanus Canal; checking into anonymous spaces in Hotells; the ruined Byzantine Greek church in Trissakia 3; the framing device of a square perched in fast-moving riverbeds in Brimstone Line; or the tall, bleak apartment building (and its miniature in glass) at the center of Rigor Mortis; and Kenneth Anger’s Airships 1,2,3 of dirigible flying over Manhattan [all seen at TIFF]. At NYFF, we saw Aujourd’hui, the end of the world as experienced at the Biblioteque Nacionale de France (BNF) by Dominique Perrault (the filmmaker says this apocalyptic film is set there to echo the end of knowledge); L’Assenza (Absence), about a movie-goer who sees his doppelganger in a B&W 1960s Italian film set in a chic modernist house; and Nebraska (Bruce Dern won best actor at Cannes), described by veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler as a Walker Evans come to life. Of particular note is Cold Eyes. Set in Seoul, a crack police surveillance team (the squad that precedes the tactical teams) uses the nearly ubiquitous CCTV cameras throughout the city and GPS tracking, coupled with detailed city maps, to target their quarry. There are new high rises everywhere with only a few holdouts of low-rise, downtrodden older stores and markets dotted around the city center. This is where the underworld nests because of its central location but off the digital grid. The key villain is often perched on rooftops so he (and we) see the cityscape, roadways, and pedestrian traffic and track the mayhem he causes. The striking opening sequence includes Seoul’s underground subways, above ground parking garages, and rooftops. A true sense of the layered urban fabric. (TIFF) Similarly, Trap Street is about surveying and surveillance. The hero works as a surveyor of streets for a private GPS company in China. Intrigued with a girl who works at a covert lab on a “trap street”—a by-way that is literally off the map, he also moonlights installing hidden cameras in government offices. All goes haywire when he realizes he's being surveilled. (TIFF) Have you ever wanted to eat a building? In Exhibition a party gathers to do just that -- at least a cake that is a scale model of the West London townhouse by modernist architect James Melvin, who designed the first fully-glazed curtain wall building in England, Castrol House (1960). The spartanly beautiful house which Melvin occupied and was remodeled in the 1990s by Berlin architects Sauerbruch Hutton features a metal spiral stair, sliding walls, built-in desks, doors studded with irises, and floor-to-ceiling glass panes. The house is occupied by an artist couple who work on separate floors and communicate by intercom. The husband, played by artist Liam Gillick, decides they should sell the house which they’ve occupied for nearly 20 years, to try something new. This sets off a series of disruptions, particularly for his wife, who loves the house and for whom it has always been a safe haven. A highlight is the disingenuous realtor (Tom Hiddleston) who is selling the house, which is the anchor and catalyst of this film. (NYFF) Only Lovers Left Alive is Jim Jarmusch’s love letter to Detroit….and Tangier. Shot entirely at night, the vampire Adam shows his longtime partner Eve, his favorite haunts in this post-industrial city: the Michigan Building, an abandoned 1925 Rapp & Rapp Italianate movie palace turned parking garage, Albert Kahn’s Packard plant, and musician Jack’s White house. Growing up in Cleveland, Jarmusch’s vision of Detroit was “almost mythological...this Paris of the Midwest” drawn in “visually and historically, for its musical culture and industrial culture.” (NYFF) Whereas Jarmusch looks longingly backwards, Spike Jonze envisions a near-future Los Angeles in Her. His world is a modernist paradise with elevated walkways, efficient public transportation supplanting cars, and sleek residential high-rises—Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) lives in the Beverly Wilshire City Tower—that sport submersive video environments in the living room, rear-lit shelves, and 3D sculpture in the lobby. Theodore wanders through the city, whose exteriors were shot around the 18 feet-high, 15-person across Circular Walkway linking the Oriental Pearl and Jin Mao towers in Pudong, Shanghai. His budding romance with a female operating system, Samantha (voice of Scarlett Johansson) also takes him to his Jamba Juice-colored office, and an Asian fusion restaurant with coped walls that are striated like a skeleton, globe lanterns, and white Eames-like chairs. The film’s design was influenced by conversations Jonze had with DS+R’s Liz Diller, who he asked what the future could look like. She replied with a question: is your imagined future utopian or distopian. Utopia won. (NYFF) Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave is what the director likens to a science fiction film since his protagonist has landed in a completely alien world. This Turner Prize winner, who started out making sculpture and art films, has included two pivotal scenes centered on building construction in this tale of a free black man, Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from Saratoga, NY, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. In the first, he argues with the overseer/chief carpenter, John Tibeats (Paul Dano), over the laying of shingles—“make them boards flush. Smooth to the touch.”—which are kicked in, rebuilt, and fought over, resulting in Solomon’s trade to a far harsher plantation. After more than a decade, he is again working on the construction of a new gazebo with a white day-labor carpenter, Sam Bass (Brad Pitt), a Canadian who opposes slavery on moral grounds. Gradually, as they work together, Solomon asks Bass to relay his story. This is what finally frees him. (TIFF & NYFF) Films and directors: Airships, Kenneth Anger Aujourd’hui, Nicolas Saada Bobô, Inês Oliveira Brimstone Line, Chris Kennedy Cold Eyes, Cho Ui-seok & Kim Byung-seo Exhibition, Joanna Hogg Gowanus Canal, Sarah J. Christman Her, Spike Jonze Hotells, Lisa Langseth L’Assenza, Jonathan Romney Main Hall, Philipp Fleischmann Nebraska, Alexander Payne Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch Pepper’s Ghost, Stephen Broomer Portrait as a Random Act of Violence, Randall Lloyd Okita Stray Dogs, Jiao You | Tsai Ming-liang Trap Street, Vivian Qu Trissakia 3, Nick Collins Twelve Years and Slave, Steve McQueen Requested photo credits: Only Lovers Left Alive. Photo Credit: Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics 12 Years a Slave: Fox Searchlight Pictures      
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Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center for Visual Arts: Fifty Years Later
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Completed in 1963, it is Le Corbusier’s only major building in the United States, and one of his final commissions before his death in 1965. The renowned modernist architect envisaged a "synthesis of the arts," the union of architecture with sculpture, painting, and other arts. In the spirit of Corbusier’s unique style, the building stands out among the more traditional architectural prototypes of the Harvard campus. This is evident right from his initial concept sketch of the building, where Corbusier utilized bold colors to denote the new building, while shading the surrounding Harvard campus in dark brown—a color not typically part of his visual palette. The Center is unmistakably Corbusier, and reminiscent of the Villa Savoye with its smooth concrete finish, thin columns which break up the interior spaces, and a great curvilinear ramp which runs through the heart of the building, encouraging public circulation while providing views into the design studios. This achieves visibility and transparency of the creative process taking place within. To mark the anniversary of the buildings completion, Harvard displayed new material that revealed the evolution of this unique five-story structure. While Le Corbusier was never able to see his preliminary sketches come to fruition, the Carpenter Center for the Arts successfully unites a range of art disciplines, and continues to maintain the largest 35mm film collection in the New England region, as well as housing Harvard’s historic film archives.
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The Law of the Meander
Music Pavilion for Villa Church, 1927-1938.
Courtesy Museum of Modern Art

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York
Through September 2013

It is hard to believe that this is the first retrospective exhibition of Le Corbusier at MoMA. An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, the title chosen by the curators Jean Louis Cohen and Barry Bergdoll, asks us to view these selected works of Le Corbusier under the rubric of landscape as the frame for the exhibition. The show is wonderful and is hung with a very didactic point of view, but to focus on both landscape and provide a retrospective diachronic view of his major works, built and unbuilt, drawn or painted, is difficult to accomplish within the limited space of the gallery. The catalogue that accompanies this exhibition does succeed in reconciling these two points of view admirably and is a wonderful contribution to the scholarship on Le Corbusier.

Using original drawings, watercolors, paintings, models, and films, Le Corbusier emerges as an architect and painter concerned with nature since his early work in his hometown in Switzerland. This might surprise many who blame Le Corbusier as the culprit, or, more to the point, the scapegoat for all the mistakes of modern architecture and city planning in the 20th Century. Viewing mostly lesser-known images of familiar works, we can perceive the evolution of his thinking in multiple mediums. The exhibition begins with the paintings of Charles L’Eplattenier, his first mentor, and Le Corbusier’s own romantic landscapes of the Jura School. It continues with the polemical proposals for erasing big chunks of Paris and replacing the medieval urban fabric with abstract utopian urbanism office towers and low- and medium-rise housing surrounded by parks and freeways. The landscape-oriented work begins with his sketches of landforms and cities that resulted from his airplane trips up and down the coast of South America in 1929.

Plan for Buenos Aires, 1929 (left). Governor's Palace, Chandigarh, 1951-1965 (right).

Le Corbusier boarded the inaugural flight of “Aeroposta Argentina” on October 22, 1929. Piloted by Jean Marmoz and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, it flew from Buenos Aires to Asuncion del Paraguay. It was an epiphany for the 42-year-old architect whose previous urban proposals for Paris were scandalous. Although specific to their context, the generic flat Cartesian urbanism of Ville Contemporain de Trois Millions D’habitants, Ville Radieuse, and Cite Linear Industrial was transformed into an aerial geological view of the site as structured by mountains, rivers, and the ocean. The marvelous urban proposals that he made from the plane for Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Rio were reflective of the unique waterscape of the river Plata of Buenos Aires, the promontory peninsula of Montevideo, the many hills and two rivers of Sao Paolo, and the extraordinary sequence of bays and boulders of Rio de Janeiro.

Plan for Algiers and Barcelona, 1935.

A drawing from a 1928 lecture in Buenos Aires, entitled The Law of the Meander- solution to the crisis!, shows to what extent this particular epiphany became axiomatic of his worldview. The fall of 1929 was the turning point in his career from his early prismatic houses and polemic urban proposals to a more grounded view not of landscape but of site. This geological view was not concerned with vegetation, which for Le Corbusier was always generic, but with the dramatic topography of these cities. His ocean voyage with fellow passenger Josephine Baker to Rio and then Buenos Aires was a quest for “the future of architecture” and resulted not in architectural commissions but in the gathering of these lectures as a book. In my opinion, his best book on his particular view of the theory and praxis of architecture and urban planning was published in 1930 in Paris as Precisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning.

The otherness of Latin America’s climate, vegetation, and topography drew out the sensual side of Le Corbusier’s complex personality. His bold proposals of urban infrastructure integrated into the landscape as architecture for Rio, Montevideo, and Sao Paulo are both sensual and monumental. None of these “earthscrapers” proposed were built in America, but he continued to draw them on a subsequent trip to Brazil in 1936 as a consultant to Lucio Costa for the Ministry of Education Headquaters and the University City of Rio. His later project, the Plan Obus for Algiers, a refinement of the earthscraper architecture/urbanism, was also unrealized.

Urban Plan for Rio de Janeiro, 1929 (left). The Fireplace, 1918 (right).

Although Le Corbusier was a relentless traveler looking for new work in the Soviet Union, Latin America, Istanbul or Algiers, he cannot be considered the model for the contemporary name-brand architect that proposes generic branded architecture irrespective of context. As his sketchbooks show us, Le Corbusier was constantly observing his surroundings and paid attention to almost everything he saw on his many travels: from the vernacular structures to agriculture and celestial phenomena. Each one of his architectural projects were inflected to reveal the physical and cultural values of the context that he was working with—never a generic or prototypical solution for architecture.

Le Corbusier would paint every morning and this practice nourished his architecture, but rarely does his painting reach the excellence of most of his built work. Yet his best buildings have painterly and sculptural values and the sensitivity to color and materials is evident in the original models and drawings as well as paintings. Before his collaboration with Amédée Ozenfant and the advocacy of “Purism,” he was engaged in exploring the relationship of architecture and landscape as a subject for painting. The most surprising oil painting in the show is The Fireplace from 1918. In this painting, a white cubic volume appears painted in perspective on an abstracted field of layered colors. Even as a purist painter or architect, one can see the creeping influence of surrealism in his painterly work, which would reach its zenith in the Charles de Beistegui apartment in Paris of 1929–1931.

Parthenon, Athens, 1911 (left). Still Life, 1920 (right).

While Le Corbusier was very hopeful that Argentina and Brazil were the ideal countries to build his architecture, all his efforts resulted in only two built works on that continent: Villa Curuchet with Amancio Williams as site architect in La Plata, Argentina, and the Carpenter Center with his colleague and former employee Jose Luis Sert as patron in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Some of the most striking and rarely seen works in the show are the long scrolls for his lectures that illuminate a particular subject. Whether it is Columbia University’s scroll of the Palace of the Soviets shown next to the original model, or his long sketches for Algiers and Barcelona with the vertical garden city made during a lecture in Chicago in 1935, these drawings register the emotional and spontaneous intensity of his ideas and the urgency to convince us of his own world view. He said to the audience at Columbia University on April 28, 1961, “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing allows less room for lies.” Here the notations and the calligraphy are complimentary to the ideas and give us a secondary reading of how he himself inhabited his own architecture. Le Corbusier never attended University and he never taught architecture, making these scrolls important documents of the didactic role of Le Corbusier as public architect.

In Precisions, speaking of Brazil he writes: “When, after two and a half months of constraint and inhibition everything breaks out in a festival.” He concludes: “Ladies and Gentlemen this year my attentive wanderings in Moscow with its steppes, at the pampa and in Buenos Aires, in the rain forest and in Rio have deeply rooted me in the soil of architecture.” You must see this show and beware: this exhibition will change your view of Le Corbusier and his complex role in the “Modern Movement.”

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"Sky Reflector Net" Installed at Lower Manhattan's Fulton Center
Next year, when construction wraps up at the Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan, commuters will be gazing up, rather than around, at the station’s new artistic centerpiece—a curved, 79-foot-high reflective aluminum diamond web encased in a stainless-steel tracery. The showstopper will send ambient daylight into the mezzanines, passageways, and possibly even the platforms to help passengers orient themselves in the transportation hub. At $2.1 million, Sky Reflector-Net, an artist/architect/engineer collaboration between James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA), Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, is an integrated work created for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit and Urban Design and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction (MTACC). It is the largest such work that the MTA has ever commissioned. Sky Reflector-Net seamlessly incorporates both functional and aesthetic goals. The piece was recently installed within the transit center building designed by Grimshaw Architects and Arup. Arup is leading the 15-member sub-consultant team, which includes building design architect Grimshaw Architects, architect and historic preservationist Page Ayres Cowley Architects, architects HDR | Daniel Frankfurt. The general contractor for the Transit Center construction package (one of nine construction packages) is the Plaza Schiavone Joint Venture. Prismatic glass blades hanging at the top of the dome that cause the 8,500-square-foot surface to continually change by dispersing light rays throughout the station. Sky Reflector-Net consists of a stainless-steel lattice made of slender cables tensioned between two sizeable rings. The 53-foot-wide upper ring slants at a 23-degree angle. The 74-foot-wide lower ring sits at a 12-degree angle. The 952 perforated diamond-shaped and triangular aluminum panels each reflect approximately 95 percent of the light that strikes it. The largest reflective pane is just over eight feet tall.

Composed of 112 tensioned cables, 224 high-strength rods and nearly 10,000 individual stainless steel components, the design of the steel cable net sculpture emphasizes simplicity of construction and optimal performance in all environmental conditions. Arup developed 815 unique scenarios based on the possible permutations of air pressure, indoor temperature, and building movement within the Fulton Center dome. Each scenario produced a slightly different cable net shape. The net will assume these shapes over the course of its lifetime as the environmental conditions within the space change. Sky Reflector-Net is a powerful example of the capacity of a large tensile structure to define a landmark public space.

The Fulton Center serves the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, R, and Z subway lines and accommodates 275,000 passengers per day. The project is currently expected to cost a total of $1.4 billion, nearly twice the budget that was expected when the project began in 2003.
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Arching Out
The scheme will improve pedestrian access to the arch.
Courtesy MVVA


Flip between
current & proposed
views of the
St. Louis Arch Grounds
on the AN Blog

St. Louis has unveiled an updated and expanded design of its City Arch River 2015 project, which is moving forward more rapidly than a galloping team of Clydesdales.

The project now includes more than a reimagining of the Dan Kiley–designed landscape surrounding the 630-foot-high Gateway Arch by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA). City planners have added a new riverfront esplanade, a park at the north end of the site, and a renovation of the Museum of Western Expansion. The project’s chief urban design gesture is the creation of an unbroken pedestrian connection spanning the I-70 highway trench that currently separates downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch grounds.

Site plan (left). A new landscape replaces a parking deck near the Eads Bridge (right).

Funded by a partnership between more than 30 public agencies, including Historic Preservation boards, the Army Corp of Engineers and the Coast Guard, and private organizations like the Great Rivers Greenway, and individual donors, the $380 million project is an exercise in coordination. While a roster as deep as this could quickly spin out of control, the team has yet to bog down the project with the infighting that often occurs when so many cooks are in the kitchen. “It has been a beautiful thing to watch these partnerships work,” said Arch City River 2015 communications director Ryan McClure.

One key factor has lead to the expansion of the project. The Missouri Department of Transportation recently determined that the retaining walls of the sunken sections of I-70 are structurally sound and can be reused, instead of replaced. That discovery saved the project roughly $11 million dollars. The savings have been re-appropriated and put toward what is now a fully funded riverfront esplanade, which will define the eastern edge of the site along the banks of the Mississippi River.

The Museum of Western Expansion will add 50,000 square feet.

At the north end of the site, the improved river walk will now end in a four-acre park. The park will replace an aging parking garage with gardens that will have as a backdrop the massive brick piers of historic Eads Bridge.

The project team for the renovation of the Museum of Western Expansion includes James Carpenter Design Associates, Cooper, Robertson and Partners, and Haley Sharpe Design. The entrance to the underground museum will be reoriented to the west, creating a visible link to the adjacent downtown streets. Further, the building will add 50,000 square feet in the form of exhibition space and a visitor’s center. Local design firm Trivers Associates will also restore the nearby historic courthouse and incorporate ADA accessibility into the building.

McClure said that this undertaking is “a historic opportunity” and will “transform the experience at the Arch Grounds for all visitors.” Some of the components of this project have been discussed for decades, since the Arch Grounds were first opened in 1965.

Current design efforts are nearing the completion of the schematic phase and, McClure said, all work under the broad City Arch River 2015 umbrella will be complete by the end of October 2015 to coincide with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial grounds’ 50th anniversary.

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April 12: NEW Dialog Workshops at Facades + PERFORMANCE Conference
Many conferences leave audiences sitting in a dark theater while speakers and panelists perform on stage. At Facades + PERFORMANCE, April 11-12 in NYC, attendees have the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with architects, fabricators, developers, and engineers. Day 2 Dialog workshops, a new feature at this year's conference, offer participants an opportunity to interact with some of the industry's top experts in an intimate, seminar-style setting with a goal of encouraging inquiry and problem-solving. Participants can select one workshop each from morning and afternoon sessions to create a customized daylong schedule that best suits their professional goals. For those interested in the renovation of large commercial facades in the urban environment and the use of contemporary curtainwall technology to renovate old masonry buildings, a special full-day session, "The Challenge and Opportunity Presented by an Aging Building Stock" is being led by Mic Patterson, director of strategic development at the facade technology firm Enclos. The workshop meets at Enclos' Advanced Technology Studio, but to discuss retrofitting there's no better classroom than the city of Manhattan itself—the group will conclude the day with a visit the Javits Center for a tour of the recently reclad building. As part of the program, case studies will be presented by Robert Golda of Heintges; William Paxson & Mayin Yu from Davis Brody Bond, and Hamid Vossoughi of Halsall Associates. Up to 8 AIA/CES  LU or LU/HSW credits available. Register here. Check out the full Dialogue Workshops menu after the jump. DIALOG WORKSHOPS MENU MORNING SESSIONS (choose 1 from the following 3) A.  DESIGNING & BUILDING PERFORMING FACADES: No Performance – Poor Performance – High Performance? 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Markus Schulte, Arup, Coordinator; Panel: Scott Bondi, Mark Mathey, Tali Mejicovsky & Jonathan Wilson, Arup This workshop will present a holistic view of the design and construction of high performance façade systems utilizing a first principles approach. The discussion will be divided into 3 main topics: - The Ten Commandments of Building Physics – a guide to understanding the basic principles of thermal performance in facades, - Unitized Systems:  The good, the bad, and the ugly – an overview of different unitized façade systems in today’s market and how they compare, - Re-clad and Restore – a look into the process or refurbishing existing facade systems. B. DEVELOPMENT OF FACADE SYSTEMS FOR SUPER-TALL BUILDINGS 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Juan Betancur, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Coordinator; Panel: Anthony Viola & Mostapha Roudsari, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill This workshop focuses on the methodologies employed at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in developing high-performance facades systems for tall buildings. Two areas of focus that will be discussed are the curtain wall panelization for super-tall buildings with complex geometries and the investigation of overall building form as well as facade systems based on site specific environmental performance. C. IMPLEMENTING EMERGING MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES 4 LU AIA CE CREDITS Jeff Vaglio, Enclos; Bill Kreysler, Kreysler & Associates, Coordinators; Panel: Michael Ludvik, M.Ludvik Consulting Engineers; Valerie Block, DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions; Javier Torner, Onyx Solar Bringing together an array of material technology experts, this session will explore both the unique advantages associated with each material, as well as the challenges of introducing innovative façade technologies into architectural applications.  The discussion will include an emphasis on performance metrics for each technology and case study applications of successful implementation. The topics covered will include: - Composites and Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP), Bill Kreysler, Kreysler Associates - Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), Javier Torner, Onyx Solar USA - Green Façade Technology, Dean Hill, greenscreen - Ionoplast Interlayers, Valerie Block, DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions - Bent Splice Plates in Glass Beams, Michael Ludvik, M. Ludvik & Co. — PLUS — AFTERNOON SESSIONS (choose 1 from the following 3) D. THE CHALLENGES OF GLASS ARCHITECTURE: Controlling the Appearance and Performance of Glass in the Building Facade 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Philip Vourvoulis, Vourvoulis Architectural Glass Consulting/Triview Glass Industries, Coordinator; Panel:Christoph Timm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill;Bruce Milley, Guardian Industries;Nick Bagatelos, BISEM No building material has evolved as quickly or dramatically as glass. It has become a ubiquitous architectural material in the process, with a huge impact on the built environment. Yet the proliferation of architectural glass products presents a challenge to the facade designer. Satisfying both performance and appearance goals through glass selection gets increasingly complex as the available options proliferate. This workshop explores the latest in architectural glass materials and processes, including art glass, new printing processes, electrochromic products, and other high-performance glazings. An expert panel, led by Philip Vourvoulis, will discuss these products and processes, the challenges they present, and strategies to optimize performance while maintaining aesthetic control. Exemplary case studies will be included. E. THERMAL/ENERGY/DAYLIGHTING 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Chris Stutzki & Matt Kuba, Stutzki Engineering, Coordinators. Panel: James Carpenter & Reid Freeman AIA, JCDA& Architecture Operations D.P.C; Robert Matthew Noblett, Behnisch Architekten; Brandon Coates & Frank Fralick, The Beck Group – Dallas; Erik Olsen, Transsolar Climate Engineering The three keywords THERMAL, ENERGY, DAYLIGHTING describe the expectation that a new façade directly utilizes the effects of the sun for the goal of an energy efficient building and, simultaneously, use light as an active part of the architecture. Architects and building technology experts will present and discuss their paragon buildings and methodologies of this emerging field of architecture and technology. F. MULTILAYERED FACADES 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Areta Pawlynsky, Heintges & Associates & Jessica Zofchak, Atelier Ten, Coordinators. Panel: Pavel Getov, Studio Antares A + E; Peter Simmonds, IBE Consulting Engineers; Leanora Paniccia, Atelier Ten. Architects are increasingly exploring the possibilities of different materials in the context of multi-layered facades. Projects are now incorporating layers of perforated, translucent, and opaque elements to enhance the building envelope. What are the drivers behind these projects and what is the measurable impact of an additional layer? What strategies have been used successfully to reduce energy use and create balanced daylit environments?  What analysis tools are available to mitigate glare and improve visual comfort? This workshop will investigate these topics in detail by focusing on the layers of several facade case studies. Daylong Special Session + On-site Visit NOTE: Meets at Advanced Technology Studio of Enclos, then travels to Javits Center G. FACADE RETROFIT: The Challenge and Opportunity Presented by an Aging Building Stock 4 LU/HSW AIA CE CREDITS Mic Patterson, Enclos, Coordinator; Robert Golda, Heintges; William Paxson & Mayin Yu, Davis Brody Bond; Hamid Vossoughi, Halsall Associates What better place to explore this topic than Manhattan, surrounded by aging buildings badly in need of facade renovation both to improve performance and appearance. But these buildings and their facades present unique challenges. This full-day workshop will delve deeply into the various issues comprising the renovation of large commercial facades in the urban environment, particularly the retrofit of old curtainwall facades, and also the use of contemporary curtainwall technology to renovate old masonry buildings. A team of local experts will first establish context by defining the scope of the problem, then follow with a discussion of design strategies, and means and methods for implementing facade retrofit projects. A series of exemplary case studies will be presented, among them will be the recently completed recladding of the Javits Convention Center. The workshop program will conclude with a mid afternoon tour of the Convention Center. Workshops A – F McGraw Hill Conference Center 1221 Sixth Avenue – entrance on 49th Street bet. 6th & 7th Avenues 2nd floor – via escalator NY, NY 10020 map Workshop G - meets at: Advanced Technology Studio of Enclos 511 W. 25th Street , Suite 301 - bet. 10th & 11th Avenues, NY, NY 10001 - travels to on site visit at Javits Center ATS/Enclos map DIALOG WORKSHOPS SCHEDULE 8:30 AM  Registration and coffee 9:00 AM  Workshops begin promptly 11:00 AM  Refreshment break 12:30 – 1:30 PM  Complimentary lunch 3:30 PM  Refreshment break 5:00 PM  Workshops end Register here.
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Fulton Street Transit Center Oculus
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

An in-progress look at the new transit hub's massive skylight

After funding cuts and subsequent delays since construction started in 2005, the much-anticipated Fulton Street Transit Center is finally taking shape in Lower Manhattan. The $1.4 billion project will connect eleven subway lines with the PATH train, the World Trade Center, and ferries at the World Financial Center. In collaboration with artist James Carpenter, Grimshaw Architects designed the project’s hallmark—a 60-foot-tall glass oculus that will deliver daylight to the center’s concourse level. The hyperbolic parabaloid cable net skylight supports an inner skin of filigree metal panels that reflect light to the spaces below. AN took a look at the design’s progress with Radius Track, the curved and cold-formed steel framing experts who recently completed installation of the project’s custom steel panels:
  • Fabricator Radius Track
  • Architect Grimshaw Architects
  • Location New York, New York
  • Status Under construction
  • Materials Steel framing and decking, DensGlass sheathing, waterproof membrane, drainage mat, insulation, curved metal girts, Tyvek wrap
  • Process BIM, offsite fabrication
Metal framing was an ideal choice for the skylight’s large structure, whose 90-foot diameter required a high strength-to-weight ratio that couldn’t have been achieved with a heavier material like concrete. Cold-formed steel (CFS) could also be manipulated into the complex shapes necessary to achieve the skylight’s irregular shape. Though the project was originally designed as a stick-built structure, the design would have required workers to complete the construction of the complicated, sloping oculus walls while working five stories above ground. Proximity to the water raised concerns about severe storms that would have further compromised working conditions. The oculus also had to meet security standards surrounding the World Trade Center memorial sites, so the design team abandoned the stick-built approach and began to consult with Radius Track on an alternative construction method. The structure’s total surface area is approximately 8,294 square feet, comprised of 44 panels arranged in two tiers. Panel width is a constant 8 feet, while length ranges from 19 to 33 ½ feet excluding two smaller end panels measuring 4 feet by 14 feet. The knife-edge element at the top of the parapet is 167 feet long, with a profile that changes continuously along the diameter. Using BIM, Radius Track customized designs for the seven-layer panels that complete the walls of the oculus. The modeling software allowed the team to detect potential clashes within the panels and with other design elements early on, and also facilitated the rapid, offsite fabrication necessary for the project’s tight timeline. The custom panels are designed not only for performance but also for geometric precision. The seven layers include framing (studs, track, blocking, and knife-edge panels where applicable), steel decking, DensGlass sheathing (a drywall material used in exterior applications), waterproof membrane, drainage mat, insulation and curved metal girts to which exterior cladding is attached, and Tyvek wrap. While the materials used in the project are traditional, the methods to connect the layers are not. Each layer has its own particular pattern, making attachment details between the layers critical. (For example, the CFS layer is a grid, the decking consists of linear ridges aligned with one panel edge, and metal girts span across the panel.) Each layer required its own design and subsequent coordination to ensure the finished installation was as precise as possible. Several types of metal are used to create the oculus. The walls’ structural framing is 14 gauge (68-mil) cold-formed steel, a “beefier” design than Radius Track would typically employ because of high wind speeds and enhanced safety and security requirements that are now standard for government structures in New York City. Designers used 16-gauge CFS for the track that is wrapped horizontally around the oculus walls. Decking is VulCraft 3-inch steel decking and horizontal metal girts secure the insulation layers. At the parapet, Radius Track designed customized 16-gauge, laser-cut steel sheets to form the ever-changing slope that circles around the top of the structure. Some sections are opening to the public ahead of the anticipated mid-2014 completion, and the complex is eventually expected to serve 300,000 passengers each day with 26,000 square feet of new space that will also include new retail stores and restaurants.
Placeholder Alt Text

The Inner Circle
Milstein Hall, Cornell University by OMA.
Philippe Ruault

AN’s annual resource list may be published every year but it is never the same. Painstakingly drawn from extensive interviews by our editors with the architects and builders of the best architecture of 2011, these names are the too-often unacknowledged cornerstones that guarantee the quality and excellence of today’s architecture. We both herald and share them with you.

General Contractor / Project Manager


Arroyo Contracting Corp.
12 Desbrosses St.,
New York;

Balfour Beatty/Barnhill
2311 North Main St.,
Tarboro, NC;

Barr & Barr
460 West 34th St.,
New York;

Bernsohn & Fetner
625 West 51st St.,
New York;

F.J. Sciame Construction Co.
14 Wall St.,
New York;

18-73 43rd St.,
Astoria, NY;

2 Penn Plaza, Ste. 0603,
New York;

Keating Building Corporation
1600 Arch St.,

Kreisler Borg Florman
97 Montgomery St.,
Scarsdale, NJ;

L.F. Driscoll
9 Presidential Blvd.,
Bala Cynwyd, PA;


499 Van Brunt St.,
New York;

Lettire Construction Corporation
336 East 110th St.,
New York;

MG & Co
230 West 17th St.,
New York;

Mascaro Construction Company
1720 Metropolitan St.,
Pittsburgh, PA;

MJE Contracting
109-10 34th Ave.,
Corona, NY;

Noble Construction
675 Garfield Ave.,
Jersey City, NJ;

Plaza Construction

Procida Realty & Construction
456 East 173rd St.,
Bronx, NY;

RC Dolner Construction
15-17 East 16th St.,
New York;

Saunders Construction
6950 South Jordan Rd.,
Centennial, CO;


650 Danbury Rd.,
Ridgefield, CT;

SoHo Restoration
104 Calyer St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Structure Tone
770 Broadway,
New York;

Tishman Construction
666 5th Ave.,
New York;

United American Builders
205 Arch St.,

VCD Construction
35 Carroll St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

250 North Genesee St.,
Montour Falls, NY;

Yorke Construction Corp.
140 West 31st St.,
New York;

Penn Medicine / L.F. Driscoll / Rafael Viñoly (left); Film Society / Yorke Construction / Rockwell Group (right).
Brad Feinkopf (left) AND Albert Vecerka/Esto (right)

Arroyo Contracting did a good job on the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator. It was a complicated project with many angled walls and corners. They looked into new ways of working, moving from their background in traditional design to contemporary design.”

Harel Edery

Graciano has experienced masons that know how to work with terracotta and its reinstallation, using pieces that were reconditioned and some that were brand new.”

Joe Coppola
Dattner Architects

“We were fortunate to have RC Dolner build the Atrium. They had just finished the Greek and Roman galleries at the Met; we were confident they could make elegant and refined traditional detailing. At the Atrium they were able to apply their same high standards in a modern setting.”

Tod Williams
Tod Williams + Billie Tsien Architects

Yorke’s level of service was outstanding. The site superintendent in particular was exemplary and always in contact with us about how the construction was affecting the design. That attitude then filtered down to the contractor and subcontractors.”

Michael Fischer
Rockwell Group at Metropark / DeSimone / KPF.
Michael Moran




Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
360 West 31st St.,
New York;

Leonard J. Strandberg and Associates
One Edgewater Plz.,
Staten Island;

Pennoni Associates
3001 Market St.,


224 West 35th St.,
New York;

Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
225 West 34th St.,
New York;

P.W. Grosser Consulting
630 Johnson Ave.,
Bohemia, NY;

Pillori Associates
71 Route 35,
Laurence Harbor, NJ;


1501 Broadway,
New York;

31 Knight St.,
Norwalk, CT;

AMA Consulting Engineers
250 West 39th St.,
New York;

Ambrosino, DePinto & Schmieder
275 7th Ave.,
New York;

833 Chestnut St.,

Ettinger Engineering ASSOCIATES
505 8th Ave.,
New York;


Fiskaa Engineering
589 8th Ave.,
New York;

ICOR Associates
256 West 38th St.,
New York;

Jaros Baum & Bolles
80 Pine St.,
New York;

Joseph R. Loring and Associates
360 West 31st St.,
New York;

P.A. Collins
15 West 26th St.,
New York;

Rubiano Associates
64 Fulton St.,
New York;


155 6th AVE.,
New York;

Birdsall Services Group
2100 Highway 35,
Sea Girt, NJ;

Buro Happold
100 Broadway,
New York;

18 West 18th St.,
New York;

500 7th Ave.,
New York;

ME Engineers
29 West 38th St.,
New York;

Rosini Engineering
142 West 36th St.,
New York;

Thornton Tomasetti
51 Madison Ave.,
New York;

Watts Engineering
95 Perry St.,
Buffalo, NY;


Weidlinger Associates
375 Hudson St.,
New York;

WSP Flack + Kurtz
512 7th Ave.,
New York;


Eipel Barbieri Marschhausen
224 West 35th St.,
New York;

Gilsanz Murray Steficek
129 West 27th St.,
New York;

Hage Engineering
560 Broadway,
New York;

180 Varick St.,
New York;

Macintosh Engineering
21133 Sterling Ave.,
Georgetown, DE;

Mulhern Kulp
20 South Maple St.,
Ambler, PA;

Murray Engineering
307 7th Ave.,
New York;

Office of Structural Design
9 Revere Rd.,
Belle Mead, NJ;

Robert Silman Associates
88 University Pl.,
New York;

Severud Associates
469 7th Ave.,
New York;

WSP Cantor Seinuk
228 East 45th St.,
New York;

Milstein Hall, Cornell University / Robert Silman Associates / OMA.
Philippe Ruault

“John Riner of PW Grosser is one of the handful of consultants in this area who has substantial experience with open loop wells.”

Michael Tucker
Beyer Blinder BellE


“We have worked on several historic buildings in New York, but when they are as high profile or popular as the Puck Building, you need a consultant who understands these types of spaces. EBM Structural Engineers is one of the preeminent firms in New York with vast experience in adaptive reuse in a historic context. We worked with Ken Eipel and Rich Grabowski on the REI Soho project and their expertise as historians on New York architecture made them valuable partners for Callison.”

David Curtis

Joseph R. Loring and Associates anticipated issues at NYU SCPS and worked creatively with the design team to insert contemporary mechanical systems into an existing building with a complex new program.”

Carol Loewenson
Mitchell/Giurgola Architects


Cantor Seinuk developed a core outrigger wall design that eliminated a lot of sheer walls, which helped a lot with the very complicated unit layouts at 8 Spruce. We just find them to be the best when it comes to structural engineers.”

Joe Recchichi
Forest City Ratner Companies

“Edward Messina at Severud Associates is known as ‘Fast Eddie’ around our business because you call him up and he’s right over.”

Henry Smith-Miller
Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects


DeSimone designed the tree column and the big spans for Centra. It was a big effort to make that happen. They’re a really great engineering firm, and one thing that they’re great at is keeping the design team and client comfortable with very complicated things and also working with the construction team, while keeping everything on schedule.”

Lloyd Sigal and Hugh Trumbull

“The North Carolina Museum of Art is really all about daylight, and Arup did an extraordinary job calculating the amount of natural and artificial light and how it combined throughout the space.”

Thomas Phifer
Thomas Phifer and Partners


“At Clyfford Still, everything you see is structure. So KPFF's role was very key, especially in translating the structural design so it would be read in the perforated ceilings where the tolerances were very tricky, combined with reinforcing with rebar to maintain a crack-free finish.”

Chris Bixby
Allied Works Architecture

Facade & curtain wall



Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners
45 East 20th St.,
New York;

186 Varick St.,
New York;

Gordon H. Smith Corporation
200 Madison Ave.,
New York;

Heitmann & Associates
14500 South Outer Forty Rd.,
Chesterfield, MO;

R.A. Heintges & Associates
126 5th Ave.,
New York;

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
19 West 34th St.,
New York;


Manufacturers/ Installers

937 Conklin St.,
Farmingdale, NY;

APG International
70 Sewell St.,
Glassboro, NJ;

Architectural Metal Fabricators
314 48th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

ASI Limited
4485 South Perry Worth Rd.,
Whitestown, IN;

Cladding Corp.
215 South Hwy. 101,
Solana Beach, CA;

1000 County Rd.,
Monett, MO;

GKD Metal Fabrics
825 Chesapeake Dr.,
Cambridge, MD;

1743 South La Cienega Blvd.,
Los Angeles;


Island International Exterior Fabricators
101 Scott Ave.,
Calverton, NY;

Jakob/MMA Architectural Systems
Westfield Industrial Estate,
Midsomer Norton,
Somerset, United Kingdom;

Jordan Panel Systems
196 Laurel Rd.,
East Northport, NY;

500 East 12th St.,
Bloomsburg, PA;

123 Day Hill Rd.,
Windsor, CT;

240 Pane Rd.,
Newington, CT;

W&W Glass
300 Airport Executive Park,
Nanuet, NY;

Buffalo Courthouse / Dewhurst Macfarlane / KPF (left); Via Verde / FRONT / Grimshaw/Dattner Architects (right).
david seide (left) AND Robert Garneau (right)

Gordon Smith is a tried and true Manhattan curtain wall consultant. He kept us out of trouble and found good value for the wall at Centra. We could barely afford a curtain wall for this building and he helped us sneak it in and detail it really well so we can sleep at night.”

Lloyd Sigal and Hugh Trumbull

“There’s a learning curve on installing a European curtain wall system. Architectural Metal Fabricators took a real interest in jumping in and getting a technical understanding of the system.”

Henry Smith-Miller
Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects


Front was the key to unlocking the prefab facade at Via Verde. It cost a bit more, but it was faster to put together on site. They helped us translate that.”

Robert Garneau
Grimshaw Architects

“They protected me! At 8 Spruce, the extremely unique wall was largely aesthetically driven but it's just as advanced in performance and Heitmann took care of everything behind the wall in terms of feasibility, budget and schedule.”

Joe Recchichi
Forest City Ratner Companies


Island Fabrications knows how to bring all the components together; they ordered material globally and fabricated them locally.”

Bill Stein
Dattner Architects

Fittings & Furniture


Carpet & Textile

Bentley Prince Street
91 5th Ave.,
New York;

156 Wooster St.,
New York;

Gallery Seventeen Interiors
PO Box 549,
Nanuet, NY;

404 Park Ave. South,
New York;

251 Park Ave. South,
New York;

Re:Source of New Jersey
66 Ford Rd.,
Denville, NJ;

Rose Brand East
4 Emerson Ln.,
Secaucus, NJ;

Custom Fixtures & Signage

Artitalia Group
11755 Rodolphe Forget,
Montreal, QC,

225 Peach St.,
Leesport, PA;

REEVE Store Equipment
9131 Bermudez St.,
Pico Rivera, CA;

Doors & Frames

Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors
30440 Progressive Way,
Abbotsford, BC,

Goldbrecht USA
1512 11th St.,
Santa Monica, CA;


PK-30 System
3607 Atwood Rd.,
Stone Ridge, NY;


Figueras International Seating

250 Saint Marks Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Greystone Seating
7900 Logistic Dr.,
Zeeland, MI;

125 Park Ave.,
New York;

Irwin Telescopic Seating Company
610 East Cumberland Rd.,
Altamont, IL;

384 Forest Ave.,
Laguna Beach, CA;

146 Greene St.,
New York;

Resource Furniture
969 Third Ave., New York;

Series Seating
20900 NE 30th Ave.,
Miami, FL;

Tomas Osinski Design
4240 Glenmuir Ave.,
Los Angeles;


Assa Abloy
110 Sargent Dr.,
New Haven, CT;

25 East 26th St.,
New York;


Kitchen & Bath

AF Supply
22 West 21st St.,
New York;

Axor Hansgrohe
29 9th Ave.,
New York;

Davis and Warshow
57-22 49th St.,
Maspeth, NY;

1700 Executive Dr. South,
Duluth, MN;

1608 Coney Island Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

66 North 11th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

SieMatic New York
150 East 58th St.,
New York;

66 Crosby St.,
New York;

Zucchetti Rubinetteria
Via Molini di Resiga, 29,
Gozzano, Italy;

Laboratory Casework

Thermo Fisher Scientific
1316 18th St.,
Two Rivers, WI;

Vintage Furniture

68 Washington Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Louise Nevelson Plaza / John Lewis Glass / Smith-miller + Hawkinson Architects (left); 8 Spruce / Gehry Partners (right).
Michael Moran (left) AND Courtesy Forest City Ratner (right)



520 8th Ave.,
New York;

A-Val Architectural Metal Corp.
240 Washington St.,
Mount Vernon, NY;

CBO Glass
13595 Broadway,
Alden, NY;

Colory Metal & Glass
2522 State Rd.,
Bensalem, PA

1000 County Rd.,
Monett, MO;

Galaxy Glass & Stone
277 Fairfield Rd.,
Fairfield, NJ;

J.E. Berkowitz

John Lewis Glass
10229 Pearmain St.,
Oakland, CA;


Pelechov 17,
elezný Brod,
Czech Republic;

Moduline Window Systems
930 Single Ave.,
Wausau, WI;

National Glass & Metal Company
1424 Easton Rd.,
Horsham, PA;

Oldcastle Glass
1350 6th Ave.,
New York;

PPG Industries
One PPG Pl.,
Pittsburgh, PA;

94 Blvd. Cartier,
Rivière-du-Loup Québec;


Skyline Sky-Lites
2925 Delta Dr.,
Colorado Springs, CO;

800 Park Dr.,
Owatonna, MN;

Vitrocsa USA
5741 Buckingham Pkwy.,
Culver City, CA;

Walch Windows
Zementwerkstraße 42,
Ludesch, Austria;

78 Joes Hill Rd.,
Brewster, NY

Zecca Mirror & Glass
1829 Boone Ave.,
Bronx, NY;

“Interior glass subcontractor A-Val worked creatively to ensure design intent in extremely complex conditions including the three-story open elliptical stair at the NYU SCPS.”

Carol Loewenson
Mitchell/Giurgola Architects

“You can get good window R-value in the United States but you can’t get the quality of high solar heat gain as you can with Walch. The combination is unmatched.”

Sam Bargetz
Loadingdock 5

CBO out of Buffalo did the glass veil and other curtain wall systems for the Buffalo Courthouse. The most difficult part was printing the Constitution on the glass with ceramic fritting. It took a lot of editing and laying it out and a very long time on our side and theirs.”

Bill Pedersen

John Lewis Glass would work closely with Tony Dominski at West Edge Metal. Even though it was a custom bench, it was even more custom because of the collaboration of the two firms.”

Scot Teti
Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects



Airside Solutions

39 Chapel St.,
Newton, MA;

Brownfield Consultant

473 West Broadway,
New York;


183 West Main St.,
Kutztown, PA;

Association for Energy Affordability
505 Eighth Ave.,
New York;

Atelier Ten
45 East 20th St.,
New York;

Bright Power
11 Hanover Sq.,
New York;


BVM Engineering
834 Inman Village Pkwy.,
Atlanta, GA;

Crescent Consulting
80 Broad St.,
New York;

Natural Logic
1250 Addison St.,
Berkeley, CA;

Steven Winter Associates
307 7th Ave.,
New York;

TRC Environmental Corp.
1430 Broadway,
New York;

21 West 38th St.,
New York;


Green Roofs

Emery Knoll Farms
3410 Ady Rd.,
Street, MD;

ZinCo Green Roofs
Grabenstraße 33,
Unterensingen, Germany;


Namasté Solar
4571 Broadway St.,
Boulder, CO;



Mechoshade Systems, Inc.
42-03 35th St.,
Long Island City, NY;

David Rubenstein Atrium / steven winter associates / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

Aircuity did the recovery wheels and air handlers at Penn Medicine. Their system helped the owner meet their energy goals. It monitors the occupancy and the amount of CO2 in a space and optimizes the number of air changes so you wind up saving energy and money.”

Jim Herr
Rafael Viñoly Architects

Crescent was good in assisting the contractor in LEED complience during construction and helped focus the team on elements that really mattered.”

Michael Tucker
Beyer Blinder Bell


Bright Power did a great job of administering and coordinating the LEED application and they were responsible for designing the photovotaic system which was an important part of the building's design.”

Bill Stein
Dattner Architects

“We used Veridian as the sustainability consultant on Centra. Originally, we were just aiming for LEED certification. Now the numbers are coming in and they're very good. It looks like we're going to get Platinum.”

Lloyd Sigal and Hugh Trumbull

“Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T.’s knowledge of brown fields, Navy Yards, and their detritus, was a really nice fit.”

Matt Berman



232 Cherry St.,
Ithaca, NY;

50 Industrial Blvd.,
Eastman, GA;

Armstrong World Industries
2500 Columbia Ave.,
Lancaster, PA

Belzona New York
79 Hazel St.,
Glen Cove, NY;

Canatal Industries
2885, Boul. Frontenac Est.,
Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada;

CCR Sheet Metal
513 Porter Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

5919 West 118th St.,
Alsip, IL;

19 Frost St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Ferra Design
63 Flushing Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;


1001 Lund Blvd.,
Anoka, MN;

803 South Black River St.,
Sparta, WI;

KC Fabrications
39 Steves Ln.,
Gardiner, NY;

80 Montana Dr.,
Plattsburgh, NY;

Lecapife Corp.
283 Liberty Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Maloya Laser
65A Mall Dr.,
Commack, NY;

110 Troutman St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Millenium Steel
344 West 38th St.,
New York;

Nelson Industrial
1155 Squires Beach Rd.,
Pickering, ON, Canada;


Paul C. Steck
25 Brown Ave.,
Springfield NJ;

Precision Shape Solutions
243 East Blackwell St.,
Dover, NJ;

Robinson Iron
1856 Robinson Rd.,
Alexandra City, AL;

Veyko Design
216 Fairmount Ave.,

West Edge Metal
25064 Viking St.,
Hayward, CA;

NItehawk cinema / Maloya Laser / Caliper Studio (left); Brooklyn Navy Yard / Ferra Design / workshop/APD and Beyer Blinder Belle (right).
Ty Cole / OTTO (left) AND Robert Garneau (right)

Armstrong worked closely with us in providing customized, perforated metal ceiling panels that met the design intent of the Frick Chemistry Laboratory. Additionally, they did a excellent job field coordinating the installation of those panels with adjacent elements.”

Chris Stansfield
Payette Architects

“The project involved finishing hundreds of custom fabricated steel elements—KC Fabrications was extremely flexible with the schedule and was able to turn around material on short notice. They are always willing to do what is necessary to achieve the highest quality finish work.”

Charles Wolf
Dean/Wolf Architects

“For custom metal work that requires demanding precision and meticulous crafting, Metalman is an invaluable resource. If you can't find the right piece of hardware from a manufacturer, he will design and fabricate a custom piece to fit the requirement.”

Charles Wolf
Dean/Wolf Architects


“Mani from Millenium Steel is very accurate, and very budget-oriented. We worked with him before. He was able to make big steel pivot pieces.”

Jeremy Edmiston

“We sent our drawings of pleated metal panels to a few people and got the impression that something custom would be too expensive. But a rep introduced us to Gage, who worked with our contractors to make our designs for the panels in a cost competitive way.”

Michael Fischer
Rockwell Group

Americano / Propylaea Millwork / ten arquitectos.
courtesy ten arquitectos



Custom Fabrication/ Carpentry

B & V Contracting Enterprises
590 Tuckahoe Rd.,
Yonkers, NY;

Bauerschmidt & Sons
119-120 Merrick Blvd.,
Jamaica, NY

Benchcraft Concepts
A-427, Ghitorni, MG Rd.,
New Delhi, India;

1021 Meyerside Rd.,
Mississaugua, ON, Canada;

George Nakashima Woodworker
1847 Aquetong Rd.,
New Hope, PA;


Ivory Build
67 35th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

JB Millworks
383 Bandy Ln.,
Ringgold, GA;

Minzner & Co.
2100 Liberty St.,
Easton, PA;

Monarch Industries
99 Main St.,
Warren, RI;

Propylaea Millwork
795 East 135th St.,
Bronx, NY;

Seetin Design
57 Grand St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

ShoreTech Manufacturing


Tom Kozlowski


Armstrong World Industries
2500 Columbia Ave.,
Lancaster, PA

243 Parkhurst St.,
Newark, NJ;

Siberian Floors
145 Hudson St.,
New York;

Terra Mai
205 North Mt. Shasta Blvd.,
Shasta, CA;

aA Shelter / ShoreTech Manufacturing/Tom Kozlowski / SYSTEMarchitects.
systemarchitects/tony jin

“The careful execution of the FSC certified teak screens and planters at Carnegie Hill House resulted from the close collaboration between our design team and Ivory Build. Their skill and rigorous approach to craft enabled us to unify this sequence of outdoor spaces through the meticulous stacking and subtle articulation of teak slats.”

Thomas Woltz
Nelson, Byrd and Woltz

Bob Seetin is irrepressible and has a 'bring it on' attitude. He created the metal tables, wine racks, and counters we needed for the Film Society cafe quickly and even joyfully, turning everything around within a few weeks.”

Michael Fischer
Rockwell Group

Tom Kozlowski is an exceptional carpenter. He was able to think around unpredicted problems. He comes up with very straightforward and quick solutions. It no longer looks like construction work, it starts to resemble millwork.”

Jeremy Edmiston

“A pivotal design goal for REI Soho was the adaptive reuse of the materials from the existing historic Puck Building and its subsequent transformation into a retail space. Callison’s vision from the outset was to bring the space back to its original context, from the wood cladding that was repurposed from the interior brick piers to the timber from the ceiling above the ground floor that was remilled and reused for the monumental staircase treads. Terra Mai was a collaborative partner through the entire reuse process providing expert guidance and advice.”

David Curtis




Amber Lite Electric Corporation
443 Wild Ave.,
Staten Island, NY;

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
266 West 37th St.,
New York;

Claude R. Engle, Lighting Consultant
2 Wisconsin Cir.,
Chevy Chase, MD;

Clinard Design Studio
228 Park Ave.,
New York;

Davis Mackiernan Lighting
180 Varick St.,
New York;

Fisher Marantz Stone
22 West 19th St.,
New York;

George Sexton Associates
242 West 30th St.,
New York;

Grenald Waldron
260 Haverford Ave.,
Narberth, PA;


Kugler Ning
48 West 38th St.,
New York;

L'Observatoire International
414 West 14th St.,
New York;

Leni Schwendinger Light Projects
336 West 37th St.,
New York;

Lumen Arch
214 West 29th St.,
New York;

Peridot Lighting
419 Lafayette St.,
New York;

Tillett Lighting Design
172 North 11th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Tillotson Design Associates
40 Worth St.,
New York;


23 Daniel Rd. East,
Fairfield, NJ;

46 Greene St.,
New York;


1000 BEGA Way,
Carpinteria, CA;

152 Greene St.,
New York;

Holly Solar
1340-D Industrial Ave.,
Petaluma, CA;

Lighting By Gregory
158 Bowery, New York;

Lithonia Lighting
Conyers, GA;

7200 Suter Rd.,
Coopersburg, PA;

160 Cornelison Ave.,
Jersey City, NJ;

5 Lumen Ln.,
Highland, NY;

5455 de Gaspé,
Montréal, Quebec, Canada;

Zumtobel Lighting
44 West 18th St., New York;

North Carolina Museum of Art / Fisher Marantz stone / Thomas Phifer and Partners/Pierce Brinkley Cease + Lee (left); Buffalo Courthouse / Tillotson / KPF (center); Sunshine Incubator / Lighting by Gregory / Studio Mosza (right).
Iwan Baan (left); david seide (center); AND Ori Dubow (right)

Paul Marantz's lighting design is one of the most mesmerizing aspects of the 9/11 Memorial and plaza.”

Matthew Donham
PWP Landscape Architecture


“A company in California called Holly Solar fabricated the LED lights in the facade of the Nitehawk Cinema. It’s a small little company, but they do custom light fixtures. They’re good.”

Stephen Lynch
Caliper Studio

Kugler Ning is on board with understanding the world architects work in—working with tectonics—to create the right effect. Sometimes lighting designers can be more interested in the fixtures than the final effect. Kugler Ning helped to make the lighting fixtures disappear.”

Scot Teti
Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects

“We worked with Lumen Arch on the lighting design of Penn Medicine. They just did a fabulous job. We implemented a lot of lighting controls, occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, and things of that nature in the labs to bring down the energy usage and Lumen really knew their way around those systems.”

Jim Herr
Rafael Viñoly Architects

“We worked with Lighting By Gregory who helped us get the most energy efficient fixtures for the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator. We as architects know what’s out there, but Lighting By Gregory opened our eyes to more LED opportunities.”

Harel Edery

Inverted Warehouse Townhouse / Paul Warchol Photography / Dean/Wolf Architects (left); Museum of the Moving Image / Peter Aaron/Esto / Leeser Architecture (right).
Paul Warchol Photography (left) AND peter aaron/esto (right)



Esto Photographics
222 Valley Pl.,
Mamaroneck, NY;

Halkin Architectural Photography
915 Spring Garden St.,

Iwan Baan
Schippersgracht 7-1,

Jock Pottle Photography
259 West 30th St.,
New York;


JoPo Photography
504 East 12th St.,
New York;

Michael Moran Photography
98 4th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Nic Lehoux

Paul Warchol Photography
224 Centre St.,
New York;


Scott Frances
79 Broadway,
New York;

T.G. Olcott Photography
2 Greglen Ave.,
Nantucket, MA;

Ty Cole Photography
332 Bleeker St.,
New York;

City Center Facade Restoation / Boston Valley / Terra Cotta  / dattner architects (left); Tashan / Stone Source / Archi-tectonics (right).
Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects (left) AND don pearse photopgraphers (right)

Concrete, Masonry, Stone, & Tile


ADM Concrete Construction
9726 99th St.,
Ozone Park, NY;

American Orlean

American Precast Concrete
PO Box 328,
Floresville, TX;

Art In Construction
55 Washington St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Blenko Glass Company
P.O. Box 67, Milton, WV;

Boston Valley Terra Cotta
6860 South Abbott Rd.,
Orchard Park, NY;

Cathedral Stone Products
7266 Park Circle Dr.,
Hanover, MD;

230 South 5th Ave.,
Mt. Vernon, NY;

Extech Industries
87 Bowne St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Fusion Floors
Buford, GA;

Get Real Surfaces
143 West 29th St.,
New York;


Helical Line Products
659 Miller Rd.,
Avon Lake, OH;

James J. Totaro & Associates
95-1047 Ala'oki St.,
Mililani, HI;

Kings County Waterproofing and Masonry
1200 Utica Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;

L&L Stone & Tile
900 South Oyster Bay Rd.,
Hicksville, NY;

Masonry Solutions
PO Box 1036,
Sparks, MD;

Modern Mosaic
8620 Oakwood Dr.,
Niagara Falls, ON, Canada;

North Carolina Granite Corporation
P.O. Box 151,
Mount Airy, NC;

18 Cowan Dr.,
Middleboro, MA;

600 Route 17 North,
Ramsey, NJ;

Port Morris Tile & Marble
1285 Oakpoint Ave.,
Bronx, New York;


Reginald D. Hough Concrete Construction
115 Montgomery St.,
Rhinebeck, NY;

RNC Industries

Roman Mosaic and Tile Company
1105 Saunders Ct.,
West Chester, PA;

Via Aurelia 24-55045,
Pietrasanta, Italy;

Sheldon Slate
143 Fox Rd.,
Middle Granville, NY;

Speranza Brickwork
15 High St.,
Whitehouse Station, NJ;


Stone Source
215 Park Ave. South,
New York;

The Pike Company
One Circle St.,
Rochester, NY;

Vermont Structural Slate Company
3 Prospect St.,
Fair Haven, VT;

Via Longobarda 19,
Massa, Italy;

Milstein Hall / Reginald Hough/The Pike Company / OMA.
Philippe Ruault

“Peter Dagostino at ADM Concrete made it possible to get the building up. He coordinated everything. ADM is a very smart company and did a quick job.”

Werner Morath
Loadingdock 5

Boston Valley is one of the premier companies to go to for very careful matching of terracotta.”

Joe Coppola
Dattner Architects

“The excellent stone work by Port Morris Tile & Marble helped us make this a place of permanence and beauty. They worked with our vision and found the spectacular green marble for the benches.”

Tod Williams
Tod Williams Billie Tsien


“The slate siding from Vermont Structural Slate was naturally resistant to spray paint.”

Amy Yang
Toshiko Mori

“We used Reginald Hough as a concrete consultant for Milstein Hall. They came in during construction process to facilitate the subcontractor, Pike, and help us to decide on some of the materials to test and techniques to use. The lower levels have a smooth concrete dome ceiling with integrated lighting. Because it is both architecture and structure, it required a very precise installation method. Hough was invaluable in achieving that.”

Ziad Shehab

DiMenna Center for Classical Music / Akustiks / H3/Hardy Collaboration Architecture.
francis dzikowski/esto



A/V & Acoustics

33 Moulton St.,
Cambridge, MA;

Acoustic Dimensions
145 Huguenot St.,
New Rochelle, NY;

93 North Main St.,
South Norwalk, CT;

Clarity Custom
1792 West 11th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Laan 1914 no 35, 3818 EX
Amersfoort, The Netherlands;

318 West 39th St.,
New York;

Jaffe Holden Acoustics
114–A Washington St.,
Norwalk, CT;

Kirkegaard Associates
801 W. Adams St.,

405 Belle Air Ln.,
Warrenton, VA;

36-36 33rd St.,
Long Island City, NY;

Blast Consultant

RSA Protective Technologies
1573 Mimosa Ct.,
Upland, CA;


Strategic Building Solutions
708 3rd Ave., New York;

Cost Estimator

VJ Associates
100 Duffy Ave.,
Hicksville, NY;

Fire Protection/ Code Consulting

Code Consultants Professional Engineers
215 West 40th St.,
New York;

JAM Consultants
104 West 29th St.,
New York;


Montroy Andersen DeMarco
99 Madison Ave.,
New York;

Property Intervention Consultants
72 Reade St.,
New York;

Food Facility Planning

JGL Foodservice Consultants
224 Cleveland Ln.,
Princeton NJ;

Green Wall

Vertical Garden Technology
954 Lexington Ave.,
New York;

Historic Preservation

Building Conservation Associates
44 East 32nd St.,
New York;

Office for Metropolitan History
11 West 20th St.,
New York;

Powers and Company
211 North 13th St.,

PreCon LogStrat
PO Box 417,
Mastic Beach, NY;


115 Metro Park,
Rochester, NY;

TM Technology Partners
250 West 39th St.,
New York;

Laboratory Planning

Jacobs Consultancy
70 Wood Ave., Iselin, NJ;


Higgins Quasebarth & Partners
11 Hanover Sq.,
New York;


Owners Representative

Levien & Company
570 Lexington Ave.,
New York;

Radiant Consulting Services

The Stone House
1111 Route 9,
Garrison, NY;


Ducibella Venter & Santore
250 State St.,
North Haven, CT;

The Clarient Group
630 9th Ave.,
New York;

Tritech Communications
28-30 West 36th St.,
New York;


Heller & Metzger
11 Dupont Cr. NW,
Washington, DC;


Fischer Dachs Associates
22 West 19th St.,
New York;

North American Theatrix
60 Industrial Dr.,
Southington, CT;

Turf and Sports Regulations

1735 Market St.,

Vertical Transportation

Van Deusen & Associates
7 Penn Plz.,
New York;

Wind Analysis

1415 Blue Spruce Dr.,
Fort Collins, CO;

Penn Park / Stantec / michael van valkenburgh associates.
Courtesy UPenn

Acoustic Dimensions was great. They were really hands on, heavily involved in the Nitehawk. We have apartments above the movie theater so acoustic isolation is a big part of this project. They designed the second floor’s ceiling to hang on springs. They also tested the sound transmission when it was all done and you can’t hear a thing.”

Stephen Lynch
Caliper Studio


Richard Demarco is the most informed architect in New York City about building code and law. This guy is a joy to work with.”

Henry Smith-Miller
Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects

Clarity Custom is a terrific 'full system' provider and installer who took the lead on specifying A/V equipment and lighting control systems. There was an excellent interface with the general contractor and architect to minimize coordination issues. Clarity did a great job of integrating hardware, wiring and controls in a project where every detail matters.”

Charles Wolf
Dean/Wolf Architects


Building Conservation Associates have areas of expertise that bring refinement and an ability to find the resources.”

Joe Coppola
Dattner Architects

“At the Museum of the Moving Image, Scharff/ Weisberg and Jaffe Holden had a real hand in setting the stage to accommodate different uses in terms of all the data and audio visual systems that allow the museum to be a plug + play environment.”

Simon Arnold
Leeser Architecture


Bob Powers is very keen in navigating the historic restoration tax break. He's tech savvy and politically savvy, which helps get city, state, and federal approvals.”

Frank Grauman
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

“Laurent Corradi of Vertical Garden Technology has created two grand and beautiful green walls that are loved by all. His knowledge of the botany and technical aspects of plant walls will insure that these features will thrive for generations to come.”

Tod Williams
Tod Williams + Billie Tsien


“The Musuem of the Moving Image faced a lot of challenges not to mention being a publicly-funded project in hard economic times. Levien took it all in stride and helped us meet the extra demands on budget cutting without sacrificing quality.”

Simon Arnold
Leeser Architecture

Other Services & Suppliers



Paul Cowie Associates
11 Beverwyck Rd.,
Lake Hiawatha, NJ;

Art Restoration

Rustin Levenson Art Conservation


Michael Singer


Lab Crafters
2085 5th Ave.,
Ronkonkoma, NY;

Curtain Design

Inside Outside Petra Blaisse
Erste Nassaustraat 5, 1052 BD
Amsterdam, The Netherlands;

Custom Fabrication

Associated Fabrication
72 North 15th St.,
Brooklyn, NY;

Custom Materials

5835 Adams Blvd.,
Culver City, CA;


Arthur Metzler and Associates
47 Hillside Ave.,
Manhasset, NY;

Graphic Design/Signage & Wayfinding

2 X 4
180 Varick St.,
New York;

Amuneal Manufacturing Corp.
4737 Darrah St.,

C & G Partners
116 East 16th St.,
New York;

29 West 23rd St.,
New York;

Entro Communications
122 Parliament St.,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada;

36 6th Ave.,
New York;

Pentagram Design
204 Fifth Ave.,
New York;

Enclosure Testing / Facade Maintenance

Architectural Testing
130 Derry Ct.,
York, PA;


Entek Engineering
166 Ames St.,
Hackensack, NJ;

Epoxy Specialists and Supply

Aspen Supply Corp.

Felt artist

Claudy Jongstra

Finishes and Coatings

Creative Finishes
27 West 20th St.,
New York;

Fountain Consultant

Dan Euser Waterarchitecture
58 Major Mackenize Dr. West,
Richmond Hill, ON, Canada;

Heat Recovery Ventilator

540 Portsmouth Ave.,
Greenland, NH;

Interior Decoration

Pamela Banker Associates
136 East 57th St.,
New York;

Irrigation Distributor

Storr Tacktor
175 13th Ave.,
Ronkonkoma, NY;


Capri Landscaping
4005 Victory Blvd.,
Staten Island, NY;

Plant Specialists
42-45 Vernon Blvd.,

Light Fixture Restoration

Robert True Ogden
3311 Broadway St. NE,
Minneapolis, MN;

Modular Units

63 Flushing Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY;


Stingray Studios
2144 Citygate Dr.,
Columbus, OH;



Shemin Nurseries
42 Old Ridgebury Rd.,
Danbury, CT;

Painting & Epoxy Installation

Anton Berisaj

Plastic Lumber

Tangent Technologies
1001 Sullivan Rd.,
Aurora, IL


E&T Plastics
45-45 37th St.,
Long Island City, NY;

Radiant Systems

115 Hurley Rd.,
Oxford, CT;
203-262 9900

Riggers to the Arts

1561 Southern Blvd.,
Bronx, NY;


S.O.S. Advanced Security
197 7th Ave.,
New York;

Security Bollards/ Traffic Barriers

Delta Scientific
40355 Delta La.,
Palmdale, CA;

Moli Metal
8380 Rue Lafrenaie
Montreal, QC;

Theatrical Equipment

Gerriets International
130 Winterwood Ave.,
Ewing, NJ;

Vertical Transportation

Persohn / Hahn Associates
908 Town & Country Blvd.,
Houston, TX;

Waterproofing Systems

Sika Sarnafil
100 Dan Rd.,
Canton, MA;

museum of the moving image / karlssonwilker / leeser architecture (left); Metrotech / Delta Scientific / WXY (right).
peter aaron/esto (left) AND courtesy wxy (right)

“At Queens Plaza, we collaborated with Michael Singer, an artist whose commitment to the public realm complements Margie Ruddick's environmental sensibility for landscape. He designed and produced special pre-cast components integrated into the architecture of new social spaces that withstand the site's powerful infrastructural presence.”

Linda Pollak
Marpillero Pollak Architects

Claudy Jongtstra’s artistry is present in two monumental tapestries that cover both long walls of the Atrium. These extraordinary artworks were made possible by her artistic vision as much as her involvement in the technical aspect, managing all from Europe.”

Tod Williams
Tod Williams + Billie Tsien Architects


“Fountain consultant Dan Euser is really familiar with the potentials and limits of water dynamics. He's visionary in terms of creating things of beauty and simplicity.”

Matthew Donham
PWP Landscape Architecture

“When the graphic designers Karlssonwilker joined the team, the design of the Museum of the Moving Image was fairly well resolved, but they were able to complement and add to its strength in a way that carried through the branding of the entire institution”

Simon Arnold
Leeser Architecture


“The reception desk at the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator is custom designed and Panelite made it easy for me because they built a model on site for approval and I was able to see our 3-D computer drawings in real life before the desk was fabricated.”

Harel Edery
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Cass Calder Smith
Rammed Earth House in Palo Alto.
Joe Fletcher

The headquarters of architect Cass Calder Smith could easily fit the description of “generic architectural office.” It’s located in a former warehouse in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Skylights and a wall of windows flood the open interiors with natural light. Renderings and photos hang on a pin-up wall.

Smith, by contrast, is far from generic. In fact his penchant for unexpected choices has helped make him one of the region’s most influential designers. In 1993, at San Francisco’s Restaurant Lulu, he warmed up a cavernous space with residential elements like integral colored plaster walls, upholstered booths, and wooden tabletops. Fifteen years later, at the Tesla showroom, Smith added one of his signature restaurant touches—the communal table—to the commercial space.

Such unconventional moves stem from a background that is equally unorthodox. Smith spent most of his childhood in communes, including Woodside’s Starhill Academy, with its tree houses, underground homes and domes. He even took three years off from school to build houses, including one for his family. Then, at the University of California in Berkeley, Smith worked as a carpenter while earning his architectural degrees. Many of his projects reflect a carpenter’s affinity for wood, which he combines with the streamlined simplicity of his mentors, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. “I think people like being around wood as much as carpenters do,” he said of its appeal.

Smith founded the firm that bears his name in 1990. Since Lulu he has become known as a designer of restaurants—he’s done more than 75—including RM Seafood in Las Vegas, La Toque in Napa, and Townline BBQ and Giorgione 508 in New York, though homes are still in his portfolio. He opened a New York office in 2005, which has come to handle projects outside the Bay Area.

Paul Dyer


San Francisco

This 35,000-square-foot restaurant, tucked into a corner of the Westfield Center in downtown San Francisco, takes its cues from what is one of the most fashionable malls in the country. Take the red-lacquered tables that run down the center of the restaurant—they’re meant to recall a runway—and are complete with stairs at one end. The giant white graphic wallpaper, designed by CCS with Lark Creek Restaurant Group’s graphic designer, are in the shape of a flattened dome, which happens to be in the form of a pizza, a staple of the menu and the interiors (those runway tables lead straight to the pizza oven). More richness comes from the use of walnut walls and tables that surround the restaurant’s edges.

Eric Rorer


San Francisco

In the same 1912 building as Perbacco, the Italian restaurant Smith designed a few years ago, Barbacco is a casual trattoria that becomes a wine bar at night. The 2,650 square-foot eatery has quickly become a Financial District favorite.

Unlike its sister restaurant, where the use of marble connotes classical Italianate interiors, Barbacco takes its influence from modern Italy—“the cars, the motorcycles, the fashion,” Smith explained. That feeling is conveyed through the use of Ferrari yellow, stainless steel, polished chrome and walnut-and-chrome that evokes the interiors of a luxury car. The feeling of movement is reflected in a lengthy mirror interspersed with blurred Italian lifestyle images. It’s as if you’re glimpsing Italy from the seat of a rapidly moving car (a Ferrari, of course).

Joe Fletcher


Palo Alto

This recently completed rammed earth house is the architect’s second—his first was built in the Lovall Valley, in 1998, with the same interior expert, David Easton. Rammed earth walls—an ancient and sustainable technique using on-site soil combined with gravel, clay and sand—are known for being strong, durable, thermally massive and noncombustible. Because of their heft, Smith used such walls only in the lower portion of the house, which contains the living areas. The upper floor, framed in wood and steel and clad in wood siding and aluminum, contains a library, three bedrooms and two baths. Although the home’s close to 6,000 square feet do not make it particularly P.C., its many other sustainable attributes seem to make up for its size. A 1930s home torn down to make way for the new house was recycled by The Reuse People. Roof-mounted photovoltaics generate electricity and heat the water. Landscaping consists of a meadow of drought tolerant native grasses and a yard of synthetic turf.

Paul Dyer


San Francisco

On Lusk Alley in the South of Market district, the swanky interiors in this year-old restaurant demonstrate Smith’s expertise at creative reuse and dramatic counterpoint. A former smokehouse and former meat-processing facility, the 1917 building consisted of intimate single-height areas and dramatic vertical spaces. Smith made good use of that contrast: suspended, stainless steel fire orbs act as focal points for seating areas, and connect the lower spaces with the taller ones, where ceilings rise 20 feet.

Sleek Macassar ebony tables run right through a balcony wall, echoing the rough-hewn beams that run through the space and disappear into the ceiling or walls. Another use of counterpoint is in the materials: new polished stainless steel, glass, white plaster, leather, mirror, faux fur, and slate against the existing brick, concrete and rough sawn timber. Rooms formerly devoted to smoking meats are now semi-private brick and concrete chambers appointed with sumptuous sofas. Old and new are celebrated right at the door, where the faded name of the old plant remains over a new glass entry.

Courtesy CCS


San Francisco

One of the greenest restaurants in the country, the organic eatery takes its sustainable design as seriously as its menu. The cafe’s one of a few in the country with its own photovoltaic system that powers most of the kitchen and an electrolyzed water machine that converts tap water into acid and alkaline water, the latter used to clean produce, countertops, and floors.

Because the restaurant is part of an early 20th century warehouse that is landmarked, “you couldn’t really do anything to it,” said Smith. So he re-used timber beams and weathered steel from the original structure. To that he added reclaimed hickory as ceiling paneling and tabletops, recycled-content tiles, zinc, cold-rolled steel and stainless components that added textural interest. Massive windows reduce the need for lights and soak up the gorgeous waterfront views.

Eric Laignel


Los Angeles

When Smith received the commission from luxury electric sports car maker Tesla, he promised “it was not going to be like typical car showrooms,” with cars crowded into a nondescript space. Instead, he created a gallery-like area using concrete floors, plenty of glass and white walls to show off the car’s sculptural qualities. He preserved the 6,000-square-foot building’s original wooden trusses to act as a counterpoint to all the sleekness.

The dealership is also unique in that its service process is fully transparent to guests and to passersby on Santa Monica Boulevard. Smith tucked away all the workings of the business (offices, meeting rooms, retail space and restrooms) in a red walled area that separates the two spaces. The cars also cooperated: only electric vehicles (that don’t have emissions) could be repaired in such an environment.

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Cabinets of Dr. Cushing
A ramp leads to the sub-basement museum where some 600 carefully preserved brain specimens are on display.
Terry Degradi

It may have been a coincidence of proximity that landed New Haven architect and Yale professor Turner Brooks the job of designing a final resting place for the collection and archive of legendary brain man, Dr. Harry Cushing, but it was also highly serendipitous.

Few architects currently in practice have the imaginative flair and game interest in challenges that Brooks has demonstrated with a small but impressive output, from his days as a design-build architect in Vermont construing idiosyncratically-shaped homes of storybook resonance, to the inspired sensitivity he brought to the ecological and psychological nuances of a campus design for autistic children in Upstate New York, championed by Temple Grandin.

The story of the recently completed Cushing Center begins with 600 perfectly preserved brains lost and then found deep-sixed somewhere beneath the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Cushing basically created the field of brain surgery, along with many of the techniques and even the instruments still in use today. A Yale man through and through, he bequeathed his incredible collection of tumorous brains, journals, photographs, and rare books to Yale on his deathbed in 1939. Then they disappeared, resurfacing only a few years ago.

Inside the Brain Museum

Clockwise from top: Brain specimens on display in the museum; a ramp leads into the center of the museum space; glass and wood cabinets; and a model of the museum space.

Brooks, who teaches in the core curriculum at the Yale School of Architecture, wanted to translate Cushing’s own determined questing into a design conveying a sense of the mystery of inquiry and discovery. The site was not only tight—at 1,650 square feet—but underground beneath the medical school library, disadvantages for a museum that Brooks happily manipulated to the service of his subject. And so, visitors enter at the head of a staircase leading downward and marked only by a periscopic column of glass, a vitrine announcing  current exhibitions while giving subtle notice of what’s doing below. From the stair, one steps onto a ramp that spirals even lower but now flanked by LED backlit brain specimens in display jars. “Sounds ghoulish,” Brooks said, “but it’s cheery and quite beautiful, like a chorus line in the glow of the footlights.”

The convoluted path—rather appropriate given the brain’s own infinite folds—ends in a wide display area where the collection is offered up in a rich multiplicity of ways, inspired according to Brooks, by John Soane’s famous house in London. Drawers open to reveal instruments; cabinets pull out into layers and layers of displays; even the counters are vitrines for presenting books, journals, and photographs. An elongated counter extension turns into a research desk while an “archivist’s nest” signals the entrance to the seminar room with space-saving and elegantly carpentered efficiency. A small seminar room devoted to furthering Cushing’s own enlightened approach to neurosurgery is off to one side.

Here architecture is a cabinet of curiosity where the subject contained and the container itself are inseparably joined, and, as Brooks said, “ready to be mined.”

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South Side Story
The Todd Williams Billie Tsien-designed Locan Center will be a beacon on the Woodlawn side of the Midway.
Courtesy TWBTA

In early January, the University of Chicago announced that the long-empty Harper Theater and its neighboring office buildings will be ready for a Five Guys burger joint in the fall, along with other retail and commercial tenants. The Harper Theater, acquired by the university in 2003, is just one of many local properties it purchased that is slated to become part of a new commercial corridor along 53rd Street.

The adaptive re-use of Harper Theater is an example of the university’s plans to develop Hyde Park and expand into neighboring Woodlawn in unprecedented ways. Traditionally, the university has kept its dorms and facilities close to the chest; now, its real-estate purchasing record shows how the university is developing commercial properties in Hyde Park while expanding traditional projects like residence halls and classrooms to the north-edge of Woodlawn.

The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn.   The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn.
The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn.
Views of The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, which has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn. [Click to enlarge.]
Anton Grassl/Esto

“Obviously, the University of Chicago’s primary mission is not real estate development,” said Steve Kloehn, the associate vice president for news and public affairs. “But it is crucial that we help create and sustain what will attract the very best students and faculty members and staff we can.”

The University of Chicago has never had a simple relationship with its neighbors in the hundred years since its founding. Today, university projects in Hyde Park and Woodlawn garner both local criticism and support.

“There’s a perception that the university is an 800-pound gorilla coming in and doing things,” said Jane Ciacci, the president of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, a neighborhood organization. “It’s divided between people who think: ‘Yeah, we want development. We need a better grocery store,’ and other people who say, ‘What they’ve got is too expensive for us.’ So there’s a real division between whether gentrifying the neighborhood is a great thing or is ruining it.”

The university hopes the Midway will function as a new campus green.

Harper Court, a planned mixed use project, will activate Hyde Park.   The Midway Crossings are meant to connect the campus across the park.
Clockwise from top: The university hopes the Midway will function as a new campus green; The Midway Crossings are meant to connect the campus across the park; Harper Court, a planned mixed use project, will activate Hyde Park. [Click to enlarge.]
Courtesy US, James Carpenter Design Associates, Hartshorne Plunkard Architects respectively

Harper Court, a partnership between the university and the City of Chicago, is a 1.1 million-square-foot commercial hotel and retail facility, anchored by university administrative offices, that will be built in the first phase. The project, by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects, represents what Kloehn calls “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” for commercial growth after other piecemeal efforts failed to develop a retail-based district in Hyde Park. Commercial development by big-name schools like the University of Pennsylvania has been a recent trend, as many universities look to attract top students and staff. In Hyde Park, however, community leaders have had mixed responses to the university’s acquisition of vacant or recently vacated commercial properties in the 53rd Street area.

“The neighborhood is always ambivalent about the university,” said Jane Comiskey, a member of the 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Advisory Council, which is responsible for advising on the use of TIF property tax money in the area where the university intends to develop a commercial corridor. “They do good things, and then they do other things.”

In late 2009, the university acquired the site of a Mobil gas station at 53rd Street and Kenwood Avenue, three blocks down from the Harper Court site. The Mobil location marks a mid-point in the 53rd Street retail corridor, which developers see as ripe for commercial or residential use. Efforts to build so far, however, have been countered with concerns from local residents about the height of the proposed schemes and the cost of the condominiums.

The university is also using its purchasing power to bring nightlife to the area, acquiring the 5201 South Harper Avenue building where the Checkerboard Jazz Club reopened in 2005, and 53rd Street Hollywood Video rental store location in January 2009.

The old Shoreland Hotel in Hyde Park is being renovated into luxury rentals by Studio Gang.
Studio Gang is renovating the old Shoreland Hotel.
The old Shoreland Hotel in Hyde Park is being renovated into luxury rentals by Studio Gang. [Click to enlarge.]
Courtesy Studio Gang

Debate surrounds the latter property as well: According to reporting by The Chicago Maroon, the district manager of Hollywood Video claimed that the branch shut down because the university purchased the building.

“There’s a great concern in the neighborhood: What kind of development will this be?” said Ciacci. “Will there be affordable housing? Will the people who have always lived here still be able to live here?”

According to Kloehn, the commercial development is a product of “visioning workshops” with the neighborhood and university representatives that have gone on for many years. “From our point of view,” said Kloehn, “the key will be the mix: We’re all in this together, and the 53rd Street corridor should reflect that.”

The university has also sold properties in Hyde Park that are now being privately developed, such as the old Shoreland Hotel. Once a fashionable hotel, the university later acquired it for a dorm space, but according to a university spokesman, it was always too detached from campus. The university eventually sold the building, opting to build new dormitories elsewhere. Studio Gang is now converting the building into some 350 rental apartments for Antheus Capital.

Parallel to the university’s move into commercial real estate, the focus for traditional development projects like libraries, dorms, and administrative centers has moved south below the Midway. Standing by a Civil Rights–era agreement with Woodlawn community leaders not to build below 61st Street, the University of Chicago is developing the thin strip of land below the park. In the last few years, the university has built south of the Midway, a new residence hall, parking, and office facilities, renovated Eero Saarinen’s Law School, and planned on a new home for the Chicago Theological Seminary. It is in the process of constructing the Logan Center for the Arts by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

Extending the campus south below the Midway poses a few challenges, however, including questions of safety and the distance of new buildings from the main campus. Two years before the completion of the South Campus Residence Hall, a massive new dorm designed by Goody Clancy, a Senegalese chemistry student was shot on Ellis Avenue near 61st Street, prompting concerns about safety in the neighborhood.

“In terms of the relationship to the original quadrangles,” said Steve Wiesenthal, the university architect, “the center of gravity is north of the Midway, so the south campus schools are feeling quite isolated from each other—and from the rest of campus. We have this great challenge. How do we change the perception and the reality of distance to the land on the south end, so that the Midway itself can become this great intersection—the world’s largest college green?”

The Todd Williams Billie Tsien-designed Locan Center.   A new parking garage is wrapped with a thin perimeter office building.
The Locan Center by Todd Williams Billie Tsien on the the Midway (left) and a new parking garage by Ross Barney Architects is wrapped with a thin perimeter office building (right). [Click to enlarge.]
Courtesy TWBTA and Kate Joyce/Hedrich Blessing

Architects working on the projects south of the Midway have developed different means of addressing the unique site, from a tower at the Logan Center for the Arts symbolizing a signal to the rest of campus, to visually accessible gardens at the residence halls that make the building feel less closed-off from the community.

It is unclear how commercial development in Hyde Park juxtaposed with traditional building in Woodlawn will affect the existing contrast between the already divided north and south sides of the campus. However, both the Harper Court development, with its adjacent commercial corridor, and the new projects south of the Midway promise to keep redefining the relationship between the University of Chicago and its neighbors.

“We have a very lively debate on campus about architecture,” said Wiesenthal. “The way that we’ve looked at these new projects is less about style and more about guiding design principles, not just spatially, but creating places and spaces where people can interchange ideas.”

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Carpenter Bridging Olmsted
Earlier this year AN looked at Midway Crossings, designed by James Carpenter with lighting designers Schuler Shook and landscape architects BauerLatoza Studio, a project that uses light and urban design to create a visual connection across Frederick Law Olmsted's Midway Plaisance. The project, formerly known as the Light Bridges, is now nearing completion, and the result seems to accomplish the goal of better joining the main campus of the University of Chicago with its expanding facilities across the park. Tall light poles and wider sidewalks with planted, raised easements create an inviting place for pedestrians, and the University hopes the two crossings, at 59th and 60th Streets, will create focused centers of foot traffic, improving safety.  Purists may feel that the University has co-opted public park space, but the design team's use of light as the main element shows a light hand in the landscape.