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Uncharted territory

SFMOMA celebrates moon landing with a Far Out space-inspired exhibit

In celebration of the semicentennial of the moon landing,  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is holding an exhibition on space-related design that promises to be out-of-this-world. Far Out: Suits, Habs, and Labs for Outer Space opened on July 20th, 50 years to the day after Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface, and contains a variety of space suits, hypothetical space habitats, and moon-based laboratory designs.

The objects on display range in practicality from the tried-and-true to the downright quixotic. There are NASA spacesuits designed for real-life astronauts, as well as examples of Neri Oxman’s organically-grown, biomimetic work. Working with the Mediated Matter research group at MIT, she created a wearable that uses a photosynthetic membrane to convert sunlight into usable microbial material for its user. While the device has yet to be taken into outer space, its potential implications for the feasibility of long-term space travel earned it a spot in the exhibit.

Much of the work on display at SFMOMA is decidedly architectural. Architectural illustrator Rick Guidice's renderings of his Bernal Spheres and Toroidal Colonies, originally produced for NASA, depict suburban housing developments and agricultural landscapes as they might one day exist in free-floating space colonies. The exhibition also includes Mars Ice House, a collaborative project by Clouds Architecture Office (Clouds AO) and Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch) for NASA’s Centennial Challenge Mars Habitat Competition. In its design for a four-person habitat to be placed on the surface of Mars, the team proposed a 3-D printed structure that would be covered in a layer of ice to shield it from the planet’s harsh weather conditions. Visualizations of the design can be viewed in the exhibit, which will be on display through January 20, 2020.

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A Garden of Earthly Delights

Dutch design duo OS ∆ OOS outfits its third Ace & Tate store with nods to Hieronymus Bosch
The sleepy Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch, might not be on your radar. But during the early 15th-century, this former ducal capital played host to a fury of artistic activity. Inspired by the humanist ideals cropping-up in Italy and other parts of Southern Europe, the Northern Renaissance saw the emergence of many influential talents, hailing from the different mid-sized urban centers, that help define the Low Countries' prominence during the Early Modern era. Among the long list of masters was Dutch/Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch; posthumously named for his native town Den Bosch. Championing the fantastic illustration of religious concepts and narratives, Bosch is perhaps most recognized for his seminal The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych altarpiece (1490 and 1510). Much like the similar Last Judgment (1482) and The Haywain Triptych (1516) works, this iconic piece explores the duality of heaven and hell, with the depiction of perilous earthly-temptations in between. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
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East and West

The West Bank is getting its first contemporary design school

For aspiring designers in the Palestinian Territories, educational opportunities are relatively few and far between. Some universities in the area offer traditional design courses for students, but the region’s continuing state of conflict has limited available resources for designers, including access to global markets and networks. The founders of the Palestine-based collective Disarming Design From Palestine are establishing a school to fill the void.

Located in the town of Birzeit in the West Bank, the Disarming Design School is the first contemporary design school in the Palestinian Territories. It offers peer-to-peer learning programs for Palestinian students, as well as residencies for foreign students looking to acquire knowledge of local design and craft techniques. The school is also meant to serve as an important resource for local artisans and designers. Professional workshops, movie screenings, and lectures will be supplemented by a design library and a creative lab. As cofounder Annelys De Vet told Dezeen, the long-term goal is to form an academy that cultivates a critical design curriculum that is “inclusive, community-based and focused on resilience, emancipation, and self-empowerment through acts of design.”

De Vet and her co-founders, Raed Hamouri and Ghaleed Dajani, are already well-established in the Palestinian design world. In 2012, they set up a label to sell Palestinian-designed items on international platforms. Through the sale of useful goods, Disarming Design From Palestine aims to present “alternative narratives about contemporary Palestine” and, more broadly, to explore the role of creative practices under conditions of conflict. Members of the label’s team will serve as tutors for students participating in this summer’s workshops, teaching alongside curators from the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit and academics from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, the Lucerne School of Art and Design, and Sint Lucas School of the Arts in Antwerp.

In a part of the world where international travel can be difficult, Disarming Design is fostering a program that is decidedly global. The next step for the young institution is to collaborate with the Sandberg Instituut to set up a temporary masters program in Amsterdam focusing primarily on design in conflict zones. A predetermined portion of the master's students will be Palestinian and will be expected to return to the school in Birzeit as instructors. Similar to the specialized lecturers and tutors leading the Disarming Design School’s first workshops in the West Bank, they will bring global and local design perspectives to a region of the world in need of both.

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Not your parent's Roche Dinkeloo

A modernist Cummins corporate campus receives a facelift with reflective glass
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Originally built in 1985 in the modernist Mecca of Columbus, Indiana, the Cummins Corporate Office Building was designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates (KRJDA). The 480,000-square-foot building featured an intricate facade of alternating precast concrete and glass panels in a sawtooth plan overlooking a parklike campus designed by landscape architect Jack Curtis. As part of a recent renovation and retrofit, a new curtain-wall system was installed to improve the building’s performance and bring in more natural light while respecting the architectural integrity of the original building.
  • Facade Manufacturer YKK Viracon
  • Architect RATIO Architects
  • Original Architect Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates
  • Facade Installer YKK AP
  • Location Columbus, IN
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System YKK YCW 750 OG
  • Products Viracon VS-14
Working with RATIO Architects, YKK AP designed and built a new curtain wall using its YCW 750 OG Outside Glazed Curtain Wall System. The glazing system was developed to accommodate larger spans and higher pressure while improving a building’s thermal performance. For this project, though, the system’s design flexibility was its most significant characteristic. Of primary importance to the design team was ensuring the new curtain wall could maintain the same lines and depth as KRJDA’s original concrete and glass system—not an easy task considering the original north-facing windows featured multiple glass panels and concrete spandrels within a single framing system. This posed a particular challenge to YKK. Not only did it have to set multiple panes of glass within the same mullion system, it also had to ensure that all panes could be replaced without removing the entire system. Of course, the designers had to maintain the interior appearance as well, adding interior glass panes without any visible offsets or notable seams. The design of the new system succeeds in preserving the composition, projections, and setbacks of KRJDA’s original facade.
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Around the Bends

Rand Elliott-designed Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center set to open in 2020

The Oklahoma Contemporary Center for the Arts will relaunch in January 2020, housed in a brand new facility just east of downtown Oklahoma City. Designed by local firm Rand Elliott Architects, the building is part of the city’s Innovation District, which plays host to many of the area’s top employers and industries. Oklahoma Contemporary’s new location will offer significantly expanded space for exhibitions, performances, and educational programming.

The design of the new campus is inspired by the state’s distinctive landscape. The flagship building’s semi-reflective, aluminum facade undulates gently to evoke the changing light patterns characteristic of Oklahoma’s prairie climate. There has also been a concerted effort to connect the space to its surroundings. According to architect Rand Elliott, “Special attention has been given to creating the north-facing outdoor terrace with views of the Oklahoma State Capitol dome.” While the building itself will boast almost 54,000 square feet in floor space spread across four stories, there will also be a sculpture garden with rotating works adjacent to the building. The outdoor display area is supplemented by the Campbell Art Park next door, which hosts year-round exhibitions of large-scale sculptural work.

Visitors to the Oklahoma Contemporary will be greeted by a sculptural port-cochère, followed by a bright and airy lobby replete with amenities, including a cafe and retail store. In addition to the 8,000 square feet of gallery space for visual art, a dance studio, and a 200-seat theater, a lounge space on the ground floor of the centerpiece building will also be open for public use. The campus will include an additional historic warehouse building, which will host close to 10,000 square feet of studios for ceramics, fiber, metalwork, and wood sculpture.

Oklahoma Contemporary artistic director Jeremiah Davis sees the new building as an opportunity for the institution to serve as “an important catalyst for Oklahoma City’s ongoing cultural and economic renaissance.” With a dedicated stop on the city’s downtown streetcar line, the campus will serve as a recognizable landmark for locals and visitors alike, complete with a design element known as The Lantern—a tower that will extend above the roofline of the main building and remain illuminated through the night. The new design also gives Oklahoma Contemporary the opportunity to more effectively fulfill its own mission of providing Oklahomans with uninhibited access to world-class cultural resources.

Established in 1989 as a community-oriented arts center, the institution has spent much of its existence in a smaller, less central facility at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Park. With the new building due in January, directors and curators at Oklahoma Contemporary aim to expand the center’s bandwidth for both exhibits and programs. In the first year alone, nine exhibitions and dozens of events will welcome 100,000 guests to the facility. As has always been the case, all of the center’s exhibitions and programming will be free to members of the public.

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Get the Lead Out

Widespread lead contamination stops work at Notre-Dame Cathedral
When Notre-Dame Cathedral burned on April 15, mourners elegized a wonderous building while French officials, world leaders, and architects proposed schemes—and pledged major funding—for its reconstruction. While chatter on the future of the near-ruined structure dominated media coverage, fumes from the conflagration quietly blanketed the area surrounding the cathedral with dangerous levels of lead. Now, because of that lead, construction on the site has stopped. During the fire, 450 tons of lead layered onto the cathedral's roof and spire melted, spewing particulates into the atmosphere of Paris. According to a leak that appeared on the French site Mediapart, the lead levels near Notre-Dame were a whopping 500-to-800 times over the safe level of lead, a known neurotoxin that's especially dangerous to young children. Lead levels in two area schools were on average ten times over the 70 micrograms-per-square-meter threshold that officials consider safe for the inside of educational facilities. The news has sparked outrage among residents and watchdog groups, who are dismayed by officials' seemingly blasé reaction to the possibility of lead contamination after the fire. About a month after the fire, Paris officials told school principals that their students and staff were not at risk from the fumes and resulting dust. A regional health agency, meanwhile, told residents to wipe away dust with a wet cloth (lead abatement is best left to professionals). Although no amount of lead is considered safe, health officials usually designate a safe exposure threshold. In Paris, officials adhere to a threshold of 1,000 micrograms per 10.8 square feet (one square meter) for most indoor spaces. At the schools, advocates contend that while now, the average of lead contamination across the building might fall under the 70 micrograms per square meter threshold, the contaminants in some (outdoor) schoolyards are over the 1,000 microgram safe limit, leaving young people potentially vulnerable to lead exposure.
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Posthumous Collaborations

Adam Yarinsky reflects on ARO’s work in spaces originally shaped by Donald Judd and Mark Rothko
Actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface. Donald Judd I have made a place. Mark Rothko Architects often say that the best clients are those who are most collaborative, but what if your client died decades ago? I think of our restorations of 101 Spring Street, Donald Judd’s home in New York City, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston as case studies in posthumous collaboration. At these remarkable sites, Judd and Rothko expanded the physical boundaries of sculpture and painting by creating carefully calibrated spatial relationships between art and its context. When we experience these places, we gain greater awareness of ourselves, of our connection to other people and the world around us. Yet the passage of time diminished their qualities, as the conditions needed to appreciate them changed. Sensitively engaging these sites required untangling a web of aesthetic, philosophical, administrative, technical, and constructional questions. Through our research-based methodology, we gathered and analyzed information (including archival documentation), conducted interviews, analyzed historical and existing conditions, and synthesized the work of specialists. This established the basis of a rigorous, iterative design process that aimed to yield a holistic strategy. Ultimately, our challenge as architects was to reconcile the artists’ original intentions with the ongoing missions of the cultural organizations that perpetuate their legacies. Preservation and access The space surrounding my work is crucial to it: As much thought has gone into the installation as into a piece itself. —Donald Judd We first encountered this unusual design problem when we were responsible for the restoration of 101 Spring Street, the five-story 1870 mercantile building that Judd occupied from 1968 to 1994. Here, he made what came to be known as his permanently installed spaces: site-specific installations of his art and that of his peers. He modified the cast-iron building and added new elements to create an unprecedented interaction between art and daily life. In the years following his untimely death, the deterioration of the building compromised Judd’s work and the Judd Foundation’s mission—on top of the fact that the building did not have a certificate of occupancy. Working closely over eight years with representatives of the foundation, we preserved the authentic experience Judd intended. Paradoxically, this required extensive modern technical infrastructure, such as fire suppression and life-safety systems, without which public access would not be possible. Completed in 2013, the painstaking effort touched nearly every part of the building, but the project’s success is measured by the extent to which our presence disappears in service of Judd’s vision. Contemplation and action We have here both a chapel and a monument; a place for worship and a memorial to a great leader. The association of these two remarkable sites should tell us over and over again that spiritual life and active life should remain united. —Dominique de Menil A current project, presently in construction, is the restoration of the Rothko Chapel and new architecture that supports the chapel’s expanded public programming. The Rothko Chapel is both a place and a program, comprising the union of patrons John and Dominique de Menil’s ecumenism and egalitarianism with Mark Rothko’s aspiration to create deep emotional connections through the immersive experience of his art. The chapel building, completed in 1971, is a locus for spiritual enlightenment through meditation in a space Rothko defined through the integration of 14 monumental painted panels with their architectural context. The adjacent reflecting pool and Barnett Newman’s sculpture Broken Obelisk, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., symbolize the chapel’s mission to act as a platform for social justice through its programming, which promotes dialogue between people. The dialectic between contemplation and action, which is integral to the chapel’s institutional and architectural identity, is the basis of our design strategy. In this sense, we engage the de Menils as collaborators, too. Restoring the sense of awe A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. —Mark Rothko Our goal for the chapel restoration is to reinstate a sense of awe in each guest along with a recognition of self, which is the basis of the chapel’s social mission. This self-recognition is constituted from the experience of Rothko’s interior, an octagonal space formed by his paintings, which are portals into voids of fluctuating opacity, color, and reflectivity illuminated by a central skylight. Although he determined all the key attributes of the chapel (prevailing over the wishes of Philip Johnson, who designed the building with Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry), Rothko never visited Houston and died before it was completed. Choosing daylight as the primary source of illumination, he did not anticipate the harsh Texas sun, which immediately began to damage the paintings and weaken the qualities that he had so rigorously studied in his New York studio. During the decades following the opening of the chapel, three attempts to block and filter daylight with baffles did not successfully address the need to control glare and brightness. The most significant element of the restoration is an innovative lighting strategy developed by George Sexton, which opens the interior space as it was originally conceived. This includes a new skylight with an array of angled louvers, each precisely oriented to distribute daylight more evenly to Rothko’s panels. When daylight is lower than needed to see the paintings, such as on a very cloudy day or at dusk, eight digital projectors concealed in a ring around the skylight provide subtle additional illumination. Other changes, including a redesigned entry sequence, will greatly improve the quality of the experience. Mediating between the chapel and the neighborhood …a reconciliation between the ordinary and the extraordinary in a dialectical relationship… —Stephen Fox The new architecture for the chapel is grounded in both the singular power of its building and the unique character of the surrounding early-20th-century residential neighborhood, but does not overwhelm either of these contexts. This maintains the de Menils’ vision—the essence of the chapel’s identity as a program—to situate the sacred within daily life. A new landscape precinct, designed in collaboration with Nelson Byrd Woltz, is created by the removal of adjacent houses occupied by the chapel and the addition of new planting, paths, and plaza pavement. This affirms the chapel’s presence as a freestanding element within the larger open space shared with adjacent Menil Park on a block framed by a necklace of bungalows. Across Sul Ross Street, a new north campus comprises a welcome house, program center, and an administration and archive building that together define a public courtyard, which opens to the street. The scale and massing of these elements echo those of the adjacent residences, further bridging the neighborhood and the chapel. With glass walls shaded by a generous wood trellis, the porchlike welcome house is a resting place along the journey to and from the chapel. The program center, which includes a two-hundred-person meeting room, is pushed to the back of the courtyard to establish a buffer against larger development to the north. The administration and archive building aligns with the width and height of the chapel, which also sets the height of the program center. The architectural expression of the north campus extends the site strategy. The simple building forms echo the chapel’s mass and are clad in gray wood siding that relates to the existing bungalows, which are all painted gray. This vertical and horizontal board-and-batten detailing provides a play of shadows, which integrates the architecture with the dappled light that passes through the tree canopy. A large, shaded glass wall visually connects the program center’s meeting room to the courtyard and the chapel across the street. The meeting room, whose outward-looking public orientation contrasts with the chapel’s inward focus, is defined by simply spanning laminated wood beams, gray plaster walls (which match the chapel), and a wood floor. It is equipped with concealed technical infrastructure to support a variety of events, including lectures, symposia, banquets, and workshops. The north wall of the meeting room is illuminated by a continuous skylight, which brightens the interior and enables views into the space from outside. Unity …one person is a unity, and somehow, after the long complex process, a work of art is a similar unity. —Donald Judd I have created a new kind of unity, a new method of achieving unity. —Mark Rothko The restoration of 101 Spring Street and the restoration and expansion of the Rothko Chapel are deeply informed by our engagement with both posthumous and living collaborators (including the artists’ children). Sometimes our work is invisible; often there are prominent new elements. Ultimately, everything is shaped by our judgment. We seek a reciprocity between existing and new architecture, a complex layering that balances deference and distinction. These projects inform our other current work, including the design of a new visitor center for Olana, the painter Fredric Church’s property in upstate New York, and the Dia Art Foundation’s spaces in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Judd and Rothko used the word “unity” in describing their aspirations for art that encompasses the fullness of humanity’s relationship to the world. Dominique de Menil expressed her conviction that “spiritual life and active life should remain united.” Through these projects, we learned that inquiry and invention, grounded in empathy and humility, unite architecture with its past, present, and future cultural contexts. Adam Yarinsky is a principal at ARO.
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Wright On Time

$50 million restoration of Buffalo estate designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is finally complete
On July 22, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a two-decade, $50 million restoration of a significant Frank Lloyd Wright urban estate in Buffalo is finally complete, including the Martin House. Wright completed the complex for Darwin D. Martin, the head of the Larkin Soap Company, in 1905. The buildings on-site include the Martin House, which is connected to a glass conservancy via a 100-foot-long glass pergola, as well as the Barton House, a residence for Martin's sister and her family. A carriage house and a gardener's house (added in 1908) are integrated into the estate via formal English gardens that merge with more naturalistic landscape elements. While work on the homes wrapped last year, the restoration of the one-and-a-half–acre grounds was completed just this month. Bayer Landscape Architecture, a firm based in Honeoye Falls, near Rochester, led the project. Its most significant undertaking was the remake of the floricycle, an intricate scheme of 20,000 plantings that radiated out from the Martin House in a series of nesting hyperbolas. Originally, the bulbs, trees, and shrubs were spaced to provide visual interest from March through November as they grew and bloomed in a rhythm. The firm also redid the formal decorative border around the pergola and beefed up the grounds' plantings to revive the outdoor "rooms" and the wild-by-design clumps of shrubs and trees that had faded over the years. Bayer worked with the City of Buffalo to coordinate street tree planting along Jewett Parkway and Summit Avenue, the two roads that abut the property. Wayfinding, lighting, and a new cafe area rounded out the landscape improvements. The project is part of New York State's Buffalo Billion, an economic development initiative that targets the metro area. "The Darwin Martin House is one of Western New York's most iconic attractions," Cuomo said in a press release. "The restoration of the historic landscape is an outstanding addition to this important piece of Buffalo's growing architectural tourism industry." In the same release, Kevin R. Malchoff, president of the Martin House board, noted that the property is the first work of 20th-century architecture among the state's 36 historic sites. Overall, the preservation effort was funded by the National Historic Landmark Program and New York State Historic Site, with New York State kicking in $29 million, a little over half of the total project cost.
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Voting Vanguard

Can a more accessible voting machine also bolster U.S. election security?

With questions over the integrity of American elections swirling across the country, designers are stepping up to ensure that necessary improvements are made to critical voting infrastructure before 2020. Making use of ElectionGuard technology developed by Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, industrial designer Tucker Viemeister has teamed up with fabrication studio Radii, Inc. to create a more accessible, easy-to-use voting machine for polling stations. While the software components of the machine make it more difficult to hack and less confusing for users, Viemeister’s hardware design attempts to accommodate a diverse array of American voters.

The prototype of the proposed machine has three main components: a touch-screen tablet, an auxiliary control device with multiple inputs for other assistive implements, and a dedicated printer for backup paper ballots. The auxiliary device is an Xbox Adaptive Controller, which was originally developed for gamers with limited mobility. Its oversized, black pads make it easier to navigate information presented on the screen, a particularly important feature for voters who are unable to use touch screens. Those who need additional assistance, including voters who use sip and puff machines, can have their devices plugged into one of six jacks along the edge of the voting machine.

The attached printer produces a hard copy of every ballot filled out on the screen—a measure that is widely recognized as an important safety net in the event of technological failure. The designers argue that their specially developed hardware integrates and optimizes the effectiveness of Microsoft's secure voting software. While it is unclear where, when, or if the voting machine will ever be fully implemented, the design takes critical steps in imagining how future American elections might become more transparent, accessible, and safe.

According to Radii, "Working collaboratively with Radii Principal Ed Wood and his team, the fundamental working parts (the electronic 'guts') of the design were combined with Radii’s extensive fabrication knowledge to execute Viemeister’s vision for the minimalist 'box,' tablet support and printer housings. The goals were simple: Make something that works dependably, fabricated in 2 weeks and looks good without looking overdesigned. After an intense few days of working design sessions with Viemeister, and a few rounds of chipboard mock-ups, testing appearance, and functionality; the design was finalized and ready for production. All visible components and housings (other than the retrofitted shelf tablet bezel) were scratch built around Viemeister's initial concept sketches and a logical assemblage of working parts to minimize depth of 'pizza box' housings."
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Business Amphitheater

BIG's copper-and-glass-clad Isenberg School Expansion falls into place
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Located on the outskirts of Amherst, Massachusetts is a new expansion for the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Isenberg School of Management. The building, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in collaboration with architect-of-record Goody Clancy, adds a new 70,000-square-foot study and social space for approximately 150 faculty members and 5,000 students. The massing of the extension resembles the imposing circular layout of an ancient amphitheater, swapping out the Roman arch or Greek pillar for facade-height strips of copper cladding and glass curtain. For the bulk of the enclosure, the copper-clad concrete piers rise perpendicular to the ground level, but ultimately stagger and fall atop each other in a domino-like effect.
  • Facade Manufacturer National Enclosure Company Alucoil Viracon
  • Architect BIG Goody Clancy (architect-of-record)
  • Facade Installer National Enclosure Company
  • Facade Consultant Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Location Amherst, MA
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System EVO by Ace Panel Worx
  • Products Alucoil Larson copper composite panels Viracon VNE-53 & 24-53
UMass Amherst is the flagship campus of Massachusett's state university system, and as a result, possesses a broad range of architectural styles and building scales. The Isenberg School of Management moved to its current site in 1964, a rectilinear three-story building defined by concrete and red brick. An extension was added to the southern elevation of the original building in 2003, and BIG's design effectively continues this trend of growth along the north elevation. According to BIG project leaders Yu Inamoto and Hung Kai Liao, "the conceptual move to create the building massing and space inside the Isenberg Business Innovation Hub was actually a rather simple one—a loop originating from, and connecting to, the existing building then stretching one point of that volume to create a multi-story space." Across the facade, each individual copper module is two-feet in width and the glass curtain three-and-a-half feet wide. In comparison to the rest of the extension where the copper panels are placed one atop the other, the far more visible eastern elevation is laid out in a diagonally pitched stretcher bond format. The panels themselves are clipped to aluminum rails fastened to a sheathing clad cold-formed framing structure produced by Ace Panel Worx. The primary stylistic flourish of the project is the domino-like effect found at the entrance of the building, a remarkably complex structural feature that remains visually consistent. "Even before they start to pitch, the depth of the pillars from the glass gradually increases," said Goody Clancy Senior Associate George Perkins. "The first few pitched pillars are framed with steel studs, but then structural steel tubes are introduced, and eventually steel trusses. The metal panels and joint locations had to negotiate this changing structural condition." For Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, who collaborated as facade consultant for the project, a detail of particular importance were the many of transitions present in the envelope. The copper, which only functions as cladding, is backed by an air and water barrier that is integrated into the glass system.
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Curved, not Ponti

The Denver Art Museum announces itself with scalloped glass panels
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The Denver Art Museum is undergoing a significant expansion and overhaul led by design architect Machado Silvetti and architect-of-record Fentress Architects. The project includes the restoration of Gio Ponti’s glass tile-clad North Building and the construction of an entirely new, elliptical-shaped welcome center defined by a scalloped structural glass curtainwall. The site of the welcome center is not lacking in significant neighbors: Studio Libeskind’s expansion to the Denver Art Museum is located to the south, Michael Graves' addition to the Denver Central Library lies to the east, and Gio Ponti’s North Building to the northwest.
  • Facade Manufacturer Sentech Architectural Systems Oldcastle Building Envelope Vitro Guardian Northglass
  • Architect Machado Silvetti (Design Architect) Fentress Architects (Architect-of-Record)
  • Facade Installer Harmon Inc Saunders Construction (General Contractor)
  • Building Envelope Consultant Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Location Denver, CO
  • Date of Completion 2020
  • System Custom Sentech System OBE HTC Reliance System
  • Products Vitro Solarban 60/72 Guardian SN 70/35
According to Andrea Kalivas Fulton, Deputy Director of the Denver Art Museum, "the primary objectives of the Denver Art Museum welcome center included creating a structure and spaces that would bring two very distinct, but disparate, buildings together to function as a true campus; to act as a counterbalance to the opaque, dense buildings we had built to house the artwork; and to serve as a beacon within the city that felt inviting and welcoming to all." A challenge for the design team was translating the civic ambitions of the client, and the cultural role of the museum within the region, into a facade strategy with a distinct identity that highlighted its surroundings without the visual hinderance of exposed fasteners and vertical mullions. For Machado Silvetti Principal Jeffry Burchard, “once this design concept was in place, the design team then went through many rounds of conversations with fabricators and installers in the process of realizing that full height curved IGUs, supported off of triple laminated glass fins connected to the second-floor cantilever was not only possible but the best and most efficient way to implement the concept.” In total, 52 glass panels enclose the welcome center. The panels have a universal width of 8 feet and a curve radius of 10 feet. Panel heights differ according to location; approximately two-thirds of the panels are 25-feet tall while those located along the clerestory are 5-feet tall.  To install the panels—the majority of which weigh 3,200 pounds—the installation team relied on a suction cup lifter with articulated mounts that conformed to the curved surfaces of the panels. The panels were hoisted by a team of eight and mounted onto the custom-fabricated facade system. “Each curved glass unit is supported at the top and bottom by a curved stainless-steel angle. These angles are supported by custom stainless-steel fittings that attach to triple-laminated, low-iron glass fins using stainless-steel bolts through holes drilled in the glass fins,” said Fentress Architects Principal and Director of Technical Design Ned Kirschbaum. “The glass fins are in turn point‑supported top and bottom with stainless steel bolts through drilled holes in the glass fins and connected back to the building’s primary steel structure through custom stainless-steel fittings.” The $150-million project includes a significant overhaul of Gio Ponti's castellated North Building, also led by Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti. A significant component of the museum's overhaul is the repair of the building's facade, which is comprised of approximately one million glass tiles placed atop a concrete structure. Additionally, the design team will complete a roof terrace originally planed by Ponti but left incomplete due to budgetary constraints. Interior work includes a revamp of exhibition spaces as well as a new entrance. Denver Art Museum Deputy Director Andrea Kalivas Fulton, Machado Silvetti Principal Stephanie Randazzo Dwyer, and Fentress Architects Technical Design Director Ned Kirschbaum, will be joining the panel "Facade Strategies for Curatorial Institutions" at The Architect's Newspaper's upcoming Facades+ Denver conference on September 12.
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I Qiddiya not

Arquitectonica, Morphosis, HOK, Snøhetta, and more in running for massive Qiddiya giga-project in Saudi Arabia
Saudia Arabia is thinking big. A $500 billion project unveiled last year known as "NEOM" was dubbed a megacity and now, increasing by a factor of 1,000, Qiddiya, a new entertainment, sports, and arts venue, is being marketed as a "giga-project." Twenty-one architects have been tapped to work on the project so far, including nine US firms: H.O.K., Populous, Arquitectonica, Morphosis, Asymptote, 5+, CallisonRTKL, Rossetti Architects and Rockwell Group. The London office of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is master planning the site, meanwhile, other practices will contribute to projects within the 130 square mile site, a third of which will be developed on. WilkinsonEyre, Mangera Yvars Architects, Steve Chilton Architects, from London; Coop Himmelb(l)au from Germany; 10 Design from Hong Kong and local studios Dar Al Omran and X Architects comprise the remaining architects involved. Securing that many architects of reputable caliber will be considered a scoop considering the news last year that Sir Norman FosterCarlo Ratti, and other leading design professionals withdrew their support for the NEOM project in the wake alleged killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Qiddiya Investment Company is backing the project, which will be located 28 miles outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital. In a press release, the firm said BIG's plans were "constructed with careful consideration to the natural patterns that have been etched on the site throughout history, giving rise to a green-belt network carrying visitors throughout the property on roads, bike paths, and walkways built within an enhanced landscape environment."
Speaking to AN, Qiddiya's chief executive Michael Reininger said the area "will become Saudi’s capital for entertainment, sports, and the arts." The average summer daytime temperature is 113 degrees Fahrenheit. “The climate in Riyadh remains quite hot for four to five months, and our master plan was designed accordingly," Reininger said in response. "Buildings and spaces will be created ensuring there are sufficient shaded areas for the comfort of our visitors. We will introduce water and air movement to create micro-climates where temperatures can be controlled." Within BIG's proposals, five "zones" have been planned: The "resort core" will boast a car racing circuit, a Six Flags amusement park, an ice arena, and retail and dining facilities; A golf residential and community zone will offer two golf courses, equestrian facilities, a hotel, and 20 villas; An "eco zone" will offer luxury tents, the chance to spot wildlife and go hiking, and zip-lining among other outdoor activities (of which golf is included again); a "motion zone" will basically let visitors drive cars very fast, as the area will supply another racing track, this time part of a private racing resort, along with a high-speed loop for cars where "customers can discover their own cars’ max speeds," and an off-road area. Finally, Qiddiya's "City Center" will boast an aquatic center, multiplex cinema, two stadiums a bicycle velodrome, sports school, mosque, and performing arts center. All the aforementioned amenities and more will be designed by the architects involved, though who will design what has yet to be finalized. It is hoped that by 2030, the resort will attract 17 million visitors annually. According to the Architects' Journal, $30 million is spent every year by Saudis outside Saudi Arabia, something Qiddiya aims to cash in on.