Posts tagged with "Zahner":

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Amherst's New Science Center outperforms with a facade material quintet

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In October 2018, Amherst College opened the New Science Center on its historic Massachusetts campus. The new academic building, which replaced an aging science center that was failing to keep up with its contemporary academic needs, is a six-story structure offering a home for six different science departments. Designed by the Boston-based architectural practice Payette with aggressive energy targets in mind, the enclosure is wrapped in a quintet of materials; glass, brick, concrete, weathered steel, and metal composite.
  • Facade Manufacturer Vitro Zahner TAKTL Alcotex Petersen
  • Architect Payette
  • Facade Installer Novum Structures R&R Window Zahner Manganaro Costa Brothers Masonry
  • Facade Consultant Studio NYL Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Structural Engineer LeMessurier
  • Location Amherst, MA
  • Date of Completion October 2018
  • System Novum Structures Custom-Fabricated Curtain Wall Schüco FW 60+.SI Kawneer System 2000
  • Products Vitro Solarban 72 & 60 Vitro Starphire TAKTL Rough 1 Finish. Custom Graphite Alcotex 4mm Panel Solanum Preweathered Weathering Steel Petersen Tegl Kolumba K96
During the design process, Payette paid particular focus on how to minimize thermal bridging between the myriad facade components. "The brick masonry angles are held off the face of the building wall to permit insulation to run continuous," said the design team, "and Teflon spacers were utilized in the support of exterior weathering steel screen. The structure of the roof overhang and canopies are thermally broken to minimize heat transfer at those locations as well." The 251,000-square-foot project is located on the eastern border of the Amherst campus, its form primarily consisting of a large rectangular volume running on a north-south axis, with three fingers protruding to the west. This main rectangular volume is home to the structure's primary gathering space, The Commons. From the west, the circulation paths and spaces within The Commons possess near-complete visibility due to a colossal structural triple-glazed silicone curtainwall. To reduce UV exposure, the insulated glass units were treated with two different low-E coatings, Vitro Solarban 60 & 72, to achieve a system U-Value of .25 while maintaining a visible light transmittance of 56 percent. A series of sawtooth skylights is located atop the primary rectangular volume and serves two functions: further illumination of the interior and structural support for the glass curtainwall. The steel roof structure is cantilevered from the concrete core, and in turn, hangs the glass curtain wall. According to the design team, "the columns supporting the glass wall are nearly 40 feet removed from the curtain wall, supporting a load of nearly 10,000 pounds per mullion in addition to the dead, snow, wind and seismic loads." For the eastern elevation of the structure, which faces the campus boundary on East Drive and is visible from town, the envelope switches over to a more traditional brick facade. The bricks produced by Danish-manufacturer Petersen Tegl are long and flat in dimension, approximately measuring 20.8 inches by 4.3 inches by 1.5 inches. Their finish is irregular and resembles grayish rough ashlar. The three protruding wings of the New Science Center are all three stories in height and clad in a screen of weathered steel produced by Zahner. Along the complex's forecourts, the perforated weathered steel panels face narrow side out, while the western elevations are fully shrouded. The weathered steel is backed by narrow glass-and-composite-metal panels. The project, which has received numerous accolades for its environmental performance, will be presented by Payette Principal and Director of Building Science Andrea Love at Facades+ Minneapolis on July 24.  
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Facades+ will spotlight Minneapolis's experts and innovators

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On July 24, The Architect's Newspaper is bringing Facades+ to Minneapolis for the first time to discuss facade trends within the city and beyond. Panels for the conference will highlight the recently completed Allianz Field stadium, perspectives on curtainwall systems by leading contractors and manufacturers in the region, and the challenges of high-performance design for northern building enclosures. Architectural practice Alliiance, and structural engineering and facade design firm Studio NYL, are co-chairing the conference. Participants for the conference's symposium include Populous, Mortenson GC, Walter P Moore, Pfeifer-FabriTec, Permasteelisa, Enclos, MG McGrath, Harmon, Morrison Hershfield, Payette, and HGA. In this interview with The Architect's Newspaper, Alliiance Senior Associate Joe Simma and Studio NYL Facade Design Director Will Babbington, the conference co-chairs, discuss the conference's panels and their respective bodies of work. The Architect's Newspaper: Both Alliiance and StudioNYL have completed or are involved in significant civic and or stadium-related projects. What do you perceive to be the most exciting material or technological developments within this typology? Is there a particular detail of the first panel, "Stadium Rising: The Complexities of Allianz Field’s Woven PTFE Facade," that you are interested in? Joe Simma: In terms of technological development I think the design process itself for stadia is very exciting in that it has become an early applications ground for the use of computational design techniques. The stadium typology lends itself nicely to generating a rules-based parametric design process for the general elements, including the facade and it’s (relatively) simpler set of demands. That freedom for experimentation in data and performance-driven form-finding is then able to become a useful reference for the design processes for different building types beyond stadia. From a material standpoint, I'm intrigued by fabric membranes and their continued growth towards becoming an accessible material for facade design. In particular, at the Allianz Field project, I'm excited to hear more about the process of achieving the translucent and metallic quality of the material, which has resulted in a such a dynamic effect across different lighting conditions. Will Babbington: We have worked with a variety of materials in our stadium work. Fabrics such as PTFE and metal meshes are attractive for this building type due to their light weight and potential to be front and back-lit, as well as manipulated geometrically in a variety of compelling manners.

Regardless of materiality, we have had great success—and fun—in our exploration of computational design and digital fabrication methodologies. For the ongoing LA Rams stadium, we worked with Zahner to develop the metal cladding system. Our team was able to optimize the structural performance and detailing of the perforated metal skin by leveraging parametric design tools and fabrication technologies. In the end, the design of a custom perforation pattern was able to be realized by a digital workflow that exported analytical models directly into fabrication files for over 150,000 panels.

AN: Minneapolis is experiencing a period of tremendous growth. A factor in this growth is the concentration of manufacturing and facade management firms. In your opinion, how does this proximity between design practices and manufacturers influence the execution of projects in the area? JS: We are somewhat spoiled by access to world-class glazing, sheet metal, and curtain wall fabricators right in our backyard. In many ways, one of the biggest benefits is easily facilitated collaboration between makers and designers, especially at those early "what if" design stages when fabricator expertise can help give an innovative concept legs. I think one of the biggest areas for untapped collaborative potential is the very unique brain trust that exists in the local region in terms of custom curtain wall engineering. I'm especially looking forward to this panel to see representatives from some of these influential players together in the same room to discuss the current climate and what the future holds for Minneapolis and beyond. WB: The most dynamic and successful designs attain prominence only by close cooperation and understanding between the design, manufacturing, fabrication, and installation teams. This is true in facade design perhaps more so than in any other subset of the building industry. With the importance of the building enclosure being far from lost on a design community in such a climate, combined with the fact that Minneapolis is a national hub for the production of cutting-edge systems; this design and construction community is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on this collaborative potential. As the desires and needs for high performance, increased quality, and more formally demanding skins continue to evolve; it’s exciting to see what creativity and innovation, whether in the form of panelization, various fabrication technologies, or other, will permeate into local works and how. AN: Increasing regulation coupled with the growing demand for sustainable design is fueling the proliferation of high-performance enclosure systems. How are Alliiance and StudioNYL addressing this challenge and what lessons can be learned from Minneapolis? JS: To start with, we're trying to set our goals on every project well beyond the minimal baseline of code regulation and treat performance and sustainability as integral components to the design process. Our office is a signatory to the 2030 Commitment which means we're also doing as much measuring as we can so that we can build a living data set to analyze and track trends as we go. The surge in the accessibility of analytical tools is having an impact across the profession, and we're incorporating these tools more frequently and earlier in the process to predict performance and even feedback into the process as a design-driver. Being located in Minneapolis, our frame of reference, of course, is cold climates and all the challenges they bring—so that means we often come to a project with a critical eye towards envelope performance. Marrying these technical demands of thermal performance, durability, and occupant comfort with early design concepts can make for a very rich approach to facade design—an approach that can be a valuable reference outside the region as all buildings become more closely scrutinized for performance. WB: As a firm, we’ve been pursuing sustainable initiatives in our enclosure, as well as in our structural, projects for years. Fortunately, this has become a prevailing sentiment found in not only my ASHRAE committee work where widespread thermal bridging code provisions are near, but also on the job site where the application of thermal break technologies is no longer viewed as a “specialty item."

As a result, “high performance” is being pushed even higher. Our work with Payette on Amherst College’s new Science Center, a 2019 COTE Top Ten award winner, is one shining example of this; while the recladding of the Social Security Administration’s half-century-old HQ we have underway with Snow Kreilich and HGA in Maryland is another.

One of the most compelling byproducts of such works is how quickly these tenets are reaching the mainstream, where I’ve even witnessed firsthand how net-zero and developer-driven goals can align on a mixed-use project. Another collaboration with Pyatt Studio on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation is seeing 21 net zero, low-income homes being built.

More information regarding Facades+ Minneapolis can be found here.
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Miami’s latest garage project is inspired by surrealist games

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Miami is perhaps the epicenter of architectural parking garage design, hosting work from Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry, Enrique Norten, OMA, Arquitectonica, IwamotoScott, Leong Leong, John Baldessari, a scrapped Zaha Hadid proposal, and more. Adding to the mix is a seven-story mixed-use structure integrating retail with an 800-car capacity garage.
  • Facade Manufacturer Zahner (fabrication); Entech Innovative Engineering (molding and casting)
  • Architects WORKac; J.MAYER.H; Nicolas Buffe; Clavel Arquitectos; K/R (Keenen/Riley); Tim Haahs (architect of record)
  • Facade Installer KVC; Zahner
  • Facade Consultants Zahner (Design Assist, Engineering)
  • Location Miami, FL
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System parking garage facade
  • Products ZEPPS technology, Drop and Lock systems, and custom fabricated HDPE panels by Zahner
Coined "Museum Garage," this project brings together five architectural teams to celebrate the Miami Design District’s inspired art, design and architecture scene, with a unique collaborative garage screening project. “The key was selecting architects who I believed actually could use their technical knowledge and experience in a very non-traditional way,” said Terrance Riley, a Miami-based architect and curator of the project. “It was key to select artists who could translate between working in 2-D to 3-D.” Riley worked with WORKac, J. MAYER H., Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe, and his own Keenen/Riley (K/R). Each architect submitted a developed design, then worked with the owner’s consultants and fabricators thereafter. There were no set budgets given to the designers at the outset. The owner obtained their own estimates as the project progressed. Museum Garage is inspired by the “exquisite corpse” method, a Surrealist artist game which is a shared system of production. Riley said the only rule the five teams knew was that their facade had to go edge-to-edge with another. “In the concept phase, they were only given height restrictions and a depth requirement (not more than 4-feet).”  After the concepts were selected from three requested schemes, actual dimensions and locations were assigned and designs naturally evolved through dialog with the architects. Terrance Riley said the project offers a new model of development. “I remember a couple of instances here, developers hired different architects to design facades for the same building, as in Frankfurt on the Saalgasse. The goal was to achieve a picturesque townhouse row.” Riley added, “That was not our goal for Museum Garage. This was more like the La Strada Novissima at the Venice Biennale.” From the architects:
  • "Ant Farm" by WORKac celebrates social interaction, sustainability, art, music and landscape. In an ant colony-inspired structure, the public spaces and connecting circulation appear and disappear behind a perforated metal screen, resembling an ant farm of public activity while providing visual contrast, shade, and protection.
  • "XOX (Hugs and Kisses)" by J.MAYER.H.: appears as gigantic interlocking puzzle pieces that nestle at the corner with the forms of WORKac's façade. "XOX"'s enigmatic forms, emblazoned with striping and bright colors, recall the aerodynamic forms of automotive design and appear to float above the sidewalk below. Smaller volumes, covered in metal screens project outward and are activated with embedded light at night.
  • "Serious Play" by Nicolas Buffe: serves as the entrance and exit to the garage. It is constructed with a dark perforated metal backdrop. The façade features a variety of diverse 2D and 3D elements crafted from laser-cut metals and fiber resin plastic.
  • "Urban Jam" by Clavel Arquitectos: draws from the rebirth of urban life in the Miami Design District - where old structures and discarded spaces have been revived by architectural and urban designs. Urban Jam suggests a similar "repurposing" of very familiar elements, using 45 gravity-defying car bodies rendered in metallic gold and silver.
  • "Barricades" by K/R: inspired by Miami's automotive landscape; particularly it's ubiquitous orange- and white-striped traffic barriers. In this case, the faux-barriers are turned right side up and form a brightly colored screen. The façade has fifteen "windows" framed in mirror stainless steel, through which concrete planters pop out above the sidewalk.
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Morphosis-designed Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech celebrates opening

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

Amid a park in the Baltimore suburbs lies a new outdoor theater by MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY that's as green as the new leaf. The New York design studio's Chrysalis Amphitheater, a sinuous shingled pavilion whose form follows its name, features two stages for semi-outdoor performances and events. Stage A, the larger of the two, is equipped for larger performances and is kitted out for musical equipment and lighting rigs. Stage B, with its platform stage and steps that double as seating, is meant for smaller events. Other arches double as apertures for a staircase, balconies with city views, and a loading dock. The project broke ground in Columbia, Maryland's Symphony Woods Park in October 2015. Commissioned by park stewards Inner Arbor Trust, its shape references the curvy roots of the Swamp Cypress, a native tree. To achieve its curvature without adding too much weight the structure, Fornes, in collaboration with engineers at Arup, drew a flat digital mesh and transformed its segments into differentiated spring systems. Constraints for pleating were added to the system during inflation to give the structure extra depth, while ARUP engineered a steel-tubed exoskeleton and created 70-point loads that can each hold up to 2,000 pounds. Zahner fabricated the Chrysalis's 7,700 shingles, which are painted four different shades of electric green. “We want to provide not just a destination, but an experience for the morning jogger, the Sunday walker, the afternoon stroller, as well as anyone who is actually there for a show,” said Marc Fornes, principal of THEVERYMANY, in a prepared statement. “It is an amphitheater, yet it is first a pavilion in the park, an architectural folly, a tree house and a public artwork, ready to be engaged and activated at any given moment.”

THEVERYMANY first developed its idea with a similar, but smaller, installation in France. That project, Pleated Inflation, was installed at a school in Argeles, near the border with Spain.

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Specsheet>Standout building envelopes and facade panels

Highly customizable facade panels offer a variety of aesthetics limited only by an architect’s imagination, while high-performance stone and terra-cotta systems raise the bar for invisible building envelopes. Escale Golden Anodized GKD Metal Fabrics An anodized aluminum product that can be used in facade design as well as solar management, this 37-percent open-weave metal mesh is suitable for new and retrofit projects and is easily applied over existing facades to create a fresh look. ALPHATON Terracotta Rainscreen Facade System Shildan This envelope system is made from natural clay, making it an eco-friendly option that comes in 18 standard and unlimited custom colors, as well as a range of shapes and finishes, all of which are customizable (or all of which can be customized to suit a project’s unique design intent). Panels, which contain a chain of internal i-beam supports, can be incorporated horizontally or vertically. The system’s ventilation is on the outside of an air or vapor barrier, which enhances insulation and cuts energy consumption by up to one-third.  Selective Polish Zahner Zahner works closely with clients
 to create surfaces that combine texture and shine by blasting or brushing stainless steel, a stunning yet subtle technique to make metal facades stand out. The brand uses acid etching to create custom finishes, including perforation, which can allow a project to come to life when backlit. Virgola, Le Pietre Incise Collection by Lithos Design Part of Lithos Design’s original line, the Incise Collection now includes an array of undulating graphic patterns that create subtle optical illusions. The designs are available on a variety of different stone slabs, which are machined flat. The Virgola pattern was inspired by the comma and creates a repeating design that can be interpreted in many ways. Trespa Pura NFC Decors Trespa At this year’s IBS, Trespa released ten new colors and two new wood patterns to their Décor line. Each panel is made of 70 percent natural fibers saturated with thermosetting resins with a closed surface to offer supreme weather resistance. Pura NFC can be applied both horizontally and vertically, whether side by side or in a lap pattern. Carbon Pro-Fit® Modera™Ledgestone Cultured Stone by Boral Comprised of 58 percent pre-consumer recycled content, Carbon Pro-Fit Modera is a high-quality manufactured stone product that is available in three natural color options. This product is easy to install and GREENGUARD Gold certified. Mockett-ArchNews-Digital-04-17-v1

Solid Brass Grommets offer a luxurious wire management solution for executive work desks and conference tables. MM Series - 4 sizes, 7 finishes.

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Product>First Impressions

Achieve a classic look with natural wood paneling, or an ultramodern, futuristic style with innovative metal cladding. 3D Perforated Metal Zahner

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

Fabrik Shildan for Flexbrick

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

Hudson Cambridge Architectural

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

Simple Modern Pure + Freeform

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

Prodex Prodema

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

Pura NFC Trespa Pura NFC (natural fiber core) is a sustainable exterior cladding made from up to 70 percent natural fibers infused with thermosetting resins. Pura resembles real wood, is easy to clean, and comes in six natural wood tones. It is also certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
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Facades+NYC lab workshops offer hands-on exposure to new technology

It is hard to imagine a better introduction to new digital design and fabrication software than the "Advanced Parametric Modeling: Design to Fabrication" lab workshop at next month's Facades+NYC  conference. Dassault's Jonathan Asher and Zahner's Kyle Watson will co-lead a tutorial in the application of Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE to building envelopes, combining the perspectives of software developer (Asher) and early adopter (Watson). "First we'll be giving a walkthrough of how to use the software," explained Watson. "Then we'll demonstrate some new features available in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, as well as how it's different" from other automation programs. Rather than passive observers, workshop attendees will be active participants, working through a full facade Asher and Watson will create especially for Facades+NYC. "Our intention is to develop this workshop facade system so it includes everything a typical engineer would be creating for a real facade: fully unfoldable panels, documentation created automatically," said Watson. By the end of the session, attendees will better understand how to leverage automation to generate complex systems. "Since it's our speciality, the focus will be on automation—creating complicated forms and then automating the creation and visualization of multiple panels going into this form." In addition, Asher and Watson will highlight the collaborative potential of Dassault's new platform. "Given that 3DEXPERIENCE is a relatively new software, and we [at Zahner] are among the early adopters, we're getting a lot of chances to experience the collaborative side of the software," said Watson, pointing out that his cooperation with Asher (Asher works from France; Watson, Missouri) exemplifies the easy back-and-forth facilitated by 3DEXPERIENCE. Other lab workshops on offer at Facades+NYC include "Curtain Wall Systems: From Sketch to Completion," taught by Bart Harrington and Richard Braunstein, both of YKK-AP America; "Advanced Facade Analysis, Rationalization, and Production (Grasshopper + Dynamo)," with Thornton Tomasetti CORE Studio's Daniel Segraves; and "Seamless Exchange of Geometry and Data (Grasshopper, Revit, Excel)." For more information and to reserve your space in a lab or dialog workshop, visit the Facades+NYC website.
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Morphosis Computes a Facade for Cornell

The facade's stainless steel panels form a wave pattern, cutting down on glare and heat loads while representing the contribution computing has made to design.

The recently completed Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, combines the schools’ Computing Science and Information Science departments under one roof. Designed by Morphosis, the facility encourages spontaneous interactions between these two disciplines with common spaces for comingling and transparent partitions that allow views, and daylight, to pass from space to space. The building envelope, a unitized glass curtain wall system, is wrapped in a band of perforated stainless steel panels that forms a dynamic, angular wave pattern across the surface. In addition to creating a sense of movement across the exterior, it serves as a fitting symbol of the contribution that computing has had on the arts and sciences: The architects used advanced digital modeling tools to design the geometry, pattern, and details of this additive layer, and made it to function both as an aesthetic gesture as well as a performance enhancing element of the architecture. “The goal was to establish a consistent level of daylighting throughout the interior,” said Cory Brugger, director of design technology at Morphosis. “We maximized the exterior glazing to get the light coming through. The design of the screen reduces the amount of glare and heat gain and starts to help with the performance of the facade system itself.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Zahner (perforated stainless steel panels), YKK AP (unitized curtain wall), W&W Glass (exterior cladding systems), Erie AP (curtain wall engineering and fabrication), Viracon (glazing), Wasco Products Inc. (skylights)
  • Architect Morphosis
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass
  • Location Ithaca, NY
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System Unitized double-glazed and spandrel curtain wall with exterior perforated stainless steel panels
  • Products YKK YUW 750XT 4 sided SSG Unitized Curtain Wall system, perforated stainless steel panels from Zahner, Viracon VNE 24-63
Located between Cornell’s historic Barton Hall and Hoy Field, Gates Hall fits 100,000 square feet of program in fives stories on a site roughly 150 feet long by 80 feet wide. “It’s a fairly squat building with a large foot print,” said Brugger. “So what we wanted to do was find a way to give some break on the facade.” The metal screen forms a band that covers the second through fourth floors. The first and fifth floors are fully glazed. At the main entrance on the building’s west side there is a large cantilever covering an entry court with some indigenous plantings and sculptural precast concrete “rocks.” Here, the facade becomes an integral part the overall massing of building, breaking down proportions of footprint and creating a sense of motion, giving the sense that structure is coiled to pounce across the road. Morphosis specified a YKK YUW 750XT 4 sided SSG unitized curtain wall system outfitted with a Viracon VNE 24-63 double glazed insulated glass unit. Ithaca does have a heavy winter, and heating days predominate over cooling days for the facility. To optimize the daylight/insulation ratio, the architects intermixed fully glazed panels with insulated spandrel panels. “There’s an alternation between full glazing and spandrel panels that helped us balance the environment and meet our efficiency target,” said Brugger. “It’s not fully glazed everywhere.” The curtain wall’s aluminum mullions are reinforced with steel, giving them the necessary stiffness to support the screen system. Morphosis designed the screen system in its own proprietary software program and used Rhino with Grasshopper to do the visualization. To coordinate fabrication of the panels with Zahner in Kansas City, the architects worked with CATIA and Digital Project. Zahner fabricated the screen panels out of 316 stainless steel. There are 457 panels total, in 13 different types, that bolt back to the vertical mullions at one of three elevations. The perforated panels have an angel hair finish. “It’s a non-directional finish takes away most of the gloss of stainless steel and gives it a little more depth in reflectivity, kind of a clean, matte finish,” said Brugger. “It still has a certain luster and gloss, but it cuts down on glare.” W&W Glass installed the facade, first putting up the YKK curtain wall and then erecting the screen system in a second pass. “We couldn’t unitize the two systems because they’re quite large and differently sized,” said Brugger. “Each stainless panel takes up two curtain wall modules.” The curtain wall modules are 5 feet 9 inches wide, whereas the stainless panels are 10 to 12 feet wide. The panels are set at different angles across the facade depending on solar orientation, with those on the south face at the most obtuse angle to create the deepest ledge for shading. This variation around the building envelope creates visual interest and expresses the computational nature of the design.
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Product> Get Appy: Eight Digital Design Tools

As all architects—particularly those of the belly bar and T-square generations—will agree, technology should be a design tool, not an end to itself. Building product manufacturers are among those on board with this point of view, and are developing apps that help users visualize possibilities, rather than dictate pro forma solutions. Like digital design consultants, these programs supply specific expertise, and leave the creative control in the architect's hands. Here's a few noteworthy examples. Board Morpholio This digital mood board allows electronic design concepts to be populated with real-life architectural and interiors products from such sources as 3form, Herman Miller, Knoll, and more. SketchUp Pro 2015 Trimble This popular software is now offered in a 64-bit version for Windows and Mac users, with IFC import capabilities allowing back-and-forth sharing of IFC files with any other application. Glass Visualizer Guardian Glass A web-based tool that can be accessed from desktop computer or mobile device, it allows architects to visualize standard SunGuard glass make-ups or custom make-ups. Choose the glass, select the appropriate building type, and see what the glass will look like under varying sky conditions. YouCreate 3form Working with seven material platforms and thousands of color combinations, this proprietary tool allows users to select an interlayer, play with color, and refine the translucency of the manufacturer's panels. ImageWall Zahner Using ImageWall, designers upload an image and it instantly translates into a panelized array of holes with varying sizes. In addition to uploading images, users can also drag-and-drop attractor points to control perforations by hand. Users see the price update continuously while making adjustments to their design. Transparent pricing means that designers can quickly test ideas within a budget, use their design to approach clients, and bring their projects to fruition. Light-a-Home OSRAM An interative, room-by-room comparison of existing and proposed lamping schemes, this software also provides rates of power consumption, CO2 emissions, and costs. Paving Calculator Unilock Once basic information such as product, layout pattern, area, and other details are plugged in, the calculator quickly and accurately provides recommended quantities for joint sand or compound and base and bedding materials. My Thermal Assistant YKK AP This interactive application uses independent laboratory test results to calculate overall system thermal performance using a specific YKK AP product and glass package. It can also work inversely: Input target thermal data, and the program will generate YKK AP material solutions.
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Tex-Fab’s Rigidized Metal SKIN

A structural, textured metal system wins first place in a competition and the chance to develop a façade with Zahner.

Reinforcing the idea that time fosters wisdom, Nicholas Bruscia and Christopher Romano’s third iteration of a structural architectural screen was awarded first place in Tex-Fab’s digital fabrication competition, SKIN. According to Tex-Fab’s co-director, Andrew Vrana, the team’s 3xLP project was selected for its innovative façade system, which uses parametric design and digital fabrication. The 3xLP designers’ exploration of the relationship between academia and manufacturing merged at the University at Buffalo’s (UB) Department of Architecture. Starting their collaborative research with a digital model, Bruscia and Romano solicited the help of local manufacturer Rigidized Metals, (RM), who helped realize the second stage of the project’s evolution with two thin gauge metals featuring proprietary patterns. “The project is important because we’ve partnered so closely with Rigidized Metals,” Roman told AN. “We’ve brought digital and computational expertise, and they’ve provided material knowledge for textured metal—it’s a reciprocal team.”
  • Fabricator Rigidized Metals
  • Designers Nicholas Bruscia and Christopher Romano with Phil Gusmano and Dan Vrana
  • Location Buffalo, New York
  • Date of Completion October 2013
  • Material 1RL+4LB textured stainless steel, 16-20GA, steel bolts
  • Process Grasshopper, Lunchbox, Karamba, Rhino, AutoCAD, CNC Turret Punching, Hydraulic Press Brake humping, Tab/Bolt Connecting
Bruscia said the computational models were heavily informed by material parameters. Working with various patterns in RM’s product library, the team started to see various textures performing differently in structural applications, though the company’s metals are typically used in cladding or decorative applications. “Rigidized Metals’ patterns are stronger than flat metals,” Romano said. “That informed how we selected textures and which became a part of the computational conversation.” Drawn to the geometry of the embossed 4LB sheet, they found the low relief pattern to perform comparably to a deeply stamped-style, and that it complemented other chosen patterns nicely. Structural loading was tested in Karamba, an architect-friendly finite element method analysis plugin for Rhino that was developed recently in Austria. Designed primarily in Rhino 5 and Grasshopper, the team also wrote many of their own scripts. For the SKIN competition, the team adjusted porosity of the screen to increase transparency for façade applications. The screen’s pattern is articulated from all perspectives, creating a dynamic quality that is achieved by a slight twist through the entire structure. “The twist in the system is a result of us getting the geometry on the screen for the system to perform structurally, and to make it possible to fabricate,” Romano said. “Some geometric moves on the screen can be difficult to fabricate, so to remove those you get subtle twisting in the elevation.” At RM’s Buffalo facility, profiles of the system’s components were turret-punched on a CNC, and folded on a press break to achieve a diamond shape. A tabbing system was also milled so the shapes could be fastened with stainless bolts to form a seamless, continuous cell structure. As part of the SKIN competition, Bruscia and Romano will continue working with RM, as well as A. Zahner Company, to fabricate a façade system with a glazing component. The 3xLP team will exhibit their results at the Tex-Fab 5 event in Austin, Texas on February 19.
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Cory Brugger of Morphosis Redefines Performance at Facades+ Chicago

Anticipation is growing for AN and Enclos’ eagerly awaited Facades + PERFORMANCE conference, touching down in Chicago from October 24th to 25th. Leading innovators from the architecture, engineering, and construction industries will share their insights on the latest in cutting-edge facade technologies that are redefining what performance means for 21st Century architecture. Don’t miss your chance to join Cory Brugger, Director of Technology for Morphosis Architects, as he is joined by a group of industry specialists to lead an in-depth dialog workshop on expanding the idea of performance in the design, engineering, and fabrication of innovative building systems. "Traditionally, performance has been defined in singular terms," Brugger told AN, "but when it comes to delivering architecture, it can encompass everything from energy usage to fabrication technique. For us, performance is multifaceted and interdisciplinary. We have found that technology provides a platform for incorporating a variety of performance criteria in our design process, allowing us to create innovative architecture, like the Cornell NYC Tech project on Roosevelt Island." Set to open its doors in 2017, Morphosis’ winning design for the highly publicized Cornell Tech campus will be breaking ground on Roosevelt Island in the coming year. As part of this ambitious, 2.1 million square foot development, Brugger and his colleagues at Morphosis hope to earn LEED-Platinum certification by with their 150,000 square foot academic building by utilizing cutting-edge modeling techniques and an array of sustainable technologies. "In general, we are designing for extremely high EUI (energy use intensity) goals, which are being accomplished through the use of comprehensive models that integrate mechanical systems, day-lighting analysis, and architectural assemblies," said Brugger. "This effort is being supported by a 140,000+ square foot PV array that is integral to both the performance and aesthetics of the design. Other technologies include high performance facade systems, smart building technology, and geo-thermal wells." In conjunction with master-planners SOM and landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, Morphosis are working to create a new model for high-tech education in the information age by extending the definition of performance beyond traditional notions to incorporate far-sighted social and technological considerations. Reserve your space at Facades+ PERFORMANCE now to take part in an intimate discussion. Brugger will be joined my Paul Martin (Zahner), Tyler Goss (CASE), Matt Herman (Burro Happold), and Marty Doscher (Dassault Systèmes ) on Friday, October 25th at the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus in Chicago. Don’t forget to check out our other exciting key-notes, symposia, and workshops on the complete Facades+ PERFORMANCE schedule.