Posts tagged with "Aluminum":

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At Arizona State University, pixelated aluminum louvers shade residence hall

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The newest residence hall at Arizona State University in Tempe, the Tooker House, creates an impactful addition to the campus while addressing the intense solar radiation in Arizona. Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s (SCB) design consists of two parallel masses running east to west and interlocking diagonally in the middle. While the building has an expansive south-facing facade, the project mitigates solar radiation through multiple approaches.
 
  • Facade Manufacturer Kovach Building Envelopes
  • Architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz
  • Facade Installer Kovach Building Envelopes (perforated aluminum louvers, perforated aluminum screen, aluminum window enclosure, sandstone panels), Diversified Interiors (exterior EIFS)
  • Facade Consultants Field Verified, Inc. (exterior wall consultant)
  • Location Tempe, AZ
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Perforated aluminum louvers with vertically suspended truss, perforated aluminum screen, sandstone panels
  • Products Custom fabricated perforated aluminum screen and louvers, custom fabricated sandstone panels with aluminum window surrounds, Kingspan metal panels, Dryvit exterior EIFS
There are two primary facade systems at work on the southern-facing portion of the residence hall. The first is a system of perforated aluminum vertical louvers. The second system is a sandstone panel facade with punched aluminum windows. The remaining portions of the building are clad with insulated metal panels and perforated aluminum screens that link the building’s massings together. SCB chose a material palette which was reflective of the surrounding desert context. Due to Tempe’s climate, the solar shading strategies were particularly important in the design approach. SCB conducted an intensive sun shading analysis on all facade exposures. The goal was to create a facade which achieved a 20-25% reduction of solar heat gain and offered visual transparency to the student rooms behind. The perforated aluminum louver system wraps one portion of the south facade in an intricately textured design. The louvers are spaced twenty-two-inches apart on center on the south facades, with a more generous spacing on the  southeast-facing side. The louvers are then attached to a vertically suspended steel truss anchored into steel plates embedded in the concrete structure. A drainable exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) is applied to the concrete as a backdrop to the aluminum louvers. Each louver has a unique rotation which results in an pixelated pattern stretching across the three continuous facades. Every louver’s angle of rotation is set with screws and required coordination with the subcontractor to achieve the specific angle. As seen in the diagrams, when viewed as a whole, the facade emulates the waves of sand dunes and other natural patterns contextual to the region. In coordination with the facade manufacturer, Kovach Building Enclosures, the project team analyzed different louver shapes and monitored overall effectiveness and design aesthetics but also worked to make sure the design was cost efficient. The louvers ended up with a unique “airfoil” shape which softens their visual profile, opening up the facade to increased daylighting and views of the campus. The material transitions to sandstone on the eastern portion of the south facade, and provides a change in scale in opposition to the louvers. It also delineates the dining hall program on the first level. The facade contains punched windows with aluminum surrounds extruded out, effectively creating external solar shading devices. Additionally, perforated aluminum cladding on stairs, bridges and terraces provides extra solar protection while maintaining ventilation in the open air spaces.
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Expanded screen filters light in Florentine company’s headquarters

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The newly completed VoipVoice headquarters, located in the Empoli region of the Florentine countryside in Italy, is part of a research program aimed at reactivating industrial areas which witnessed a decrease in construction due to the building industry crisis. The project, designed by Pisa-based LDM.iMdA architetti associati, breaks the boundary between private and public spaces through opening the front of the building to develop a new connection with the city.
 
  • Facade Manufacturer Pagano Carmine srl, Saverio srl
  • Architects LDA.iMdA architetti associati
  • Facade Installer Pagano Carmine srl, Saverio srl
  • Facade Consultants LDA.iMdA architetti associati
  • Location Montelupo Fiorentino, Italy
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System expanded metal screen
  • Products MARIANItech 200x64x20mm rhomboidal expanded aluminum mesh with gray powder-coat finish
The facade consists of a glass curtain wall on the ground floor and, on the upper floor, an expanded metal screen mounted to the concrete structure. This stratification is meant to open up the first level as a public space and transition to privacy in the second level office spaces while still providing light permeation. The metal screen is an aluminum expanded metal rhomboidal mesh where the size of each rhomboid is 200 by 64 by 20 millimeters (7.87 by 2.51 by 0.78 inches). The metal is given a gray powder-coat finish to reflect the sun off of the building and to protect it from weathering. The rhomboid apertures are fabricated at an angle to create a brise-soleil, blocking sunlight during the hottest days of the year and allowing the sun to penetrate the facade during the winter. The intent was to create the perception of a solid building within its urban context without ever sacrificing access to daylight and surrounding views. The screen continues over all windows in the facade above the first floor. On the interior, it makes itself present through the patterns it creates in the glass partitions’ reflections and the shadows projected onto the walls, floors and ceilings. The material is visually drawn through the building envelope toward the interior and extends the implied connection between the inside and the outside. The same aluminum screen, powder-coated with a darker color, is used on an adjacent fence, creating a visual layering effect which emphasizes the material and its inherent pattern. VoipVoice Headquarters (Courtesy Medulla Studio) LDA.iMdA said in a statement that the purpose of the metal facade is “to create views over the surrounding hills and landscape and, at the same time, curate a perfect link between light, material, and shadows so that it can produce feelings of wonder in people who use the workspace.”
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AIA speaks out against Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs

New tariffs on steel and aluminum proposed by President Donald Trump will have negative effects on the American design and construction industries, American Institute of Architects (AIA) leadership has said in a statement. The Trump administration's plan would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, something that experts say will have wide ranging effects on both trade and the domestic economy. And while the issue is being hotly debated on the national and international stage, the AIA is weighing in with a striking warning that a rise in material costs could mean major losses for the U.S. economy. "The Administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many building materials specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals," AIA President Carl Elefante, FAIA, and EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, said in a statement in response to the proposed tariffs. “As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building," they said. "By the same token, the Administration’s proposed infrastructure funding will not achieve the same value if critical materials become more expensive. Furthermore, the potential for a trade war risks other building materials and products. Any move that increases building costs will jeopardize domestic design and the construction industry, which is responsible for billions in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, economic growth, and job creation.”
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Printed metal panels clad new healthcare facility in Minneapolis

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Reorganizing nearly two million square feet to offer centralized and accessible care for people who need convenient access to a doctor, same-day surgery, or cancer treatment, Hennepin County Medical Center’s latest project is a new six-story building that consolidates over 40 primary and specialty clinics currently spread across nine buildings. The healthcare project, led by local architect BWBR, has resulted in Minneapolis/Saint Paul’s largest teaching hospital. The project prominently features corrosion-resistant metal panel cladding printed with a “corten” patterning.
  • Facade Manufacturer McGrath, Pure + FreeForm (provided finished flat sheets only)
  • Architects BWBR
  • Facade Installer McGrath
  • Facade Consultants Ericksen Roed & Associates (Structural), Dunham Associates (MEP/Energy)
  • Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System aluminum panels
  • Products Pure + Freeform Lumiflon (FEVE) off-set graveur direct paint system, AMA 2605 rated, Class A finish on 2mm thick Aluminum in custom finishes
BWBR’s design team said they worked closely with Pure + FreeForm from schematic design through construction administration to ensure the custom finish met aesthetic and budgetary criteria. “The early and constant collaboration was, in fact, what allowed BWBR to comfortably select and realistically defend a more radical solution to represent the character of the client and their facility.” The design team started out by creating a high-resolution mapping of rust steel and wood grains and manipulated them digitally to be suitable for an application massive in scale. The specific coloration, toning, and detailing of the imagery was finalized through an extensive process requiring several rounds of physical samples and on-site reviews. The collaborative design and manufacturing process allowed BWBR to control precisely the pattern and color that eventually was realized on the facade. Pure + FreeForm said the scale of the patterning and reflectivity of the samples played a role in final selections. “This process included examining the various conditions of natural light on the surface of the panels and how each condition would affect the perceived color, texture, or pattern. There is also a custom wood grain finish, for which we played with scale so that the pattern would be visible from the user’s point of view. By the end of our design process, we had completed five rounds of proofs and matching to arrive at the final design.”
The panels were “printed” using a Lumiflon ink, allowing for bright orange and red tones in the final finishes while offering corrosion-resistance, which would not be possible with other fluoropolymers. The refining of the panel configuration was a process of designer-contractor collaboration, which Pure + FreeForm’s custom finishes enabled: to blend patterns on a larger area in a way that was not visually repetitive. The team was able to downsize the metal panel to an economical dimension without sacrificing the perceived large pattern on the facade. This was achieved by combining three narrower panels with butt-joints and using the custom pattern to disguise the seam in between. Originally, the system was conceived as 3-millimeter plate panels, but moved to 2-millimeter flush panels, which more appropriately suited the budget. By varying the widths and locations of the panel joints, the team was able to create the appearance of larger panels. The 2-millimeter flush panels were attached to the building structure using #14 TEK 3 Long Life coated exterior fasteners. Coordination with the glazing manufacturer was required for the areas requiring flashing. There were two fabrication challenges, for which McGrath worked extensively with BWBR in the preconstruction and construction phases. First was the actual forming of the flush panels and creating the female pocket in 2-millimeter gauge. The second challenge was the panel layout and alignment with windows, in which BWBR required a layout for the panel reveals to align with the windows throughout. This meant panel sizes had to be carefully coordinated, adjusted both in fabrication design and in the field. The miscellaneous trims in the building did not use custom patterning, but rather a solid paint to match. This was achieved by working closely with McGrath and Mortenson to ensure the solid lines were not distracting from the primary jointing pattern and panel finishes.
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Designer Wonmin Park explores aluminum and resin in his first solo furniture show

Wonmin Park is known for his furniture, which is thoughtfully subdued and delicately intentional, much like the South Korean artist himself. His work takes patience, as his concept-driven design process involves creating works where the aesthetic notion is formed by combining all the material characteristics and particulars. Park was born in Seoul and had a brief encounter studying architecture in Korea until he moved to Europe—where he has spent nearly half of his life. At 35, he presents his first solo show, Plain Cuts, at The Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery in Manhattan. The exhibit highlights new iterations from his 2013 Haze resin series, characterized for being geometric, translucent, and textured. The collection was Park’s first exploration of a material that turned into a full-on collection of art objects and produced an anthology that expressed a material's elemental qualities. Plain Cuts is his survey of aluminum, a compilation of stoic metallic sheets in figure-ground-like compositions. AN spoke with Wonmin Park about how he works, materiality, and what is most important in his work. The Architect’s Newspaper: How do you feel about aluminum as a material, both conceptually and physically? Wonmin Park: Aluminum has an interesting history. This material was considered a luxury for awhile, and after new ways of invention and production, the price has dropped. Aluminum is considered an ordinary material today, but I found that there are still many things left undiscovered. It is has a strong strength but is also lightweight; therefore, I was able to create light forms and structures with it. The raw colors and textures are beautiful, but so is the color variation with patina and the raw color itself and texture. How is this collection different from what you have done in the past? What are you most proud of? The idea of my new collection Plain Cuts is cuts of plain aluminium sheets that are reconstructed. I’m known for my Haze series, which I worked on with resin. [Plain Cuts] is my first work with metal. I like resin because of its color, transparency, and texture, but it is not a strong material. Therefore, I needed to create a certain form of structure. I'm trying to create essential forms. For me, simple forms are more difficult because it has to be reasonable and still be interesting. I believe it brings the most powerful result. Plain Cuts aluminum patina series by Wonmin Park is on view at Carpenters Workshop Gallery through March 10th. You can learn more about the exhibit on the gallery website.
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Mecanoo interprets Moorish vernacular architecture for Spain’s Palace of Justice

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Constructed adjacent to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the new Palace of Justice in Córdoba, Spain delivers a contemporary take on the traditional courtyard typology and Moorish screening techniques found throughout the city. Led by Dutch firm Mecanoo and Spain's AYESA, the 51,000-square-foot super dense project was initially awarded after a competition in 2006, and after a long delay, it was designed and built from 2014–2017.
  • Facade Manufacturer Prehorquisa (GRC); Riventi (aluminum); Schüco (windows)
  • Architects Mecanoo Architecten; Ayesa
  • Facade Installer Ute Isolux Corsán-Copcisa (contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Ayesa Seville (Structural, mechanical and electrical engineer; fire safety, sustainability, lighting, acoustics; and roofs and facade consultation)
  • Location Córdoba, Spain
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System GRC panels; anodized aluminum screen
  • Products GRC sandwich panel by Prehorquisa, composed of approx. 3-1/2" expanded polystyrene insulation between 3/8" GRC sheets; custom bronze anodized aluminum screen system by Riventi
The exterior cladding is responsive to large massing blocks that accommodate deep courtyard recesses for daylight admittance. These voids in an otherwise imposing monolithic block doubly function as spatial dividers for various internal zones serving civic, judicial, administrative, and institutional spaces. The resulting semi-public patio spaces offer up an opportunity for admittance of natural light and ventilation deep into the core of the block, where a central circulation “spine” runs. The cladding strategy is precisely coordinated with the massing of the building, relying on 33 versions of white glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFC) panels, articulated with a loose grid of punched window openings and recesses in the facade for texture. The depth of this system offers solar shading at glazed openings to help buffer the building’s occupants from southern Spain’s subtropical climate. A large cantilevered entry, and numerous courtyards, assist in the self-shading strategies of the building massing. A bronze-anodized aluminum lattice composed of vertical plates and horizontal tie rods clads the courtyard walls. These screens sit outboard of various window configurations to accommodate the office program beyond. While the Córdoba city center is located south-east from the site, the building volume was condensed to create a generous ramping entrance square to the north which connects the Palace of Justice with the existing Huerta del Sordillo gardens. The building contains a courthouse with 26 courtrooms, a wedding room, a Forensic Institute, offices, a cafe, an archive, a prison, and a parking garage.
"One can say that the sustainability of the building is not achieved by expensive technological mechanisms but by an intelligent interpretation of the vernacular architecture," said Mecanoo, referring to the unique shaping of their building, in a press release. "The massing strategy creates urban integration through fragmentation. It follows a similar strategy to the spontaneous growth process of medieval cities resulting in a volume which is carefully sculpted to adapt to the surrounding context. This results in a puzzle-like structure which hints its process of formation and emulates the experience of the dense historical center of Córdoba." Francine Houben, a founder of Mecanoo, will be delivering a keynote presentation at The Architect's Newspaper's (AN) upcoming Facades+ New York conference, a two-day event in mid-April focused on the design and performance of the next generation of facades. More information on the conference, along with registration details, can be found at facadesplus.com.
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Snøhetta’s Norwegian campus building features seawater-durable aluminum panels

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Snøhetta’s design for the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD) consolidates six previously scattered academic buildings into one multi-use cross-disciplinary building. The cultural landmark offers new public space and symbolic connectivity between the university and its Norwegian town. The architects sought to produce a facility that offered an “ideal and malleable space for artistic expression." They utilized robust, durable materials to withstand harsh workshop-like interior environments and a climate that is notoriously rainy. “The objective is to free students and staff from limitations by surfaces and materials,” said Snøhetta in a recent press release.
  • Facade Manufacturer Metha (aluminum); Schuco (glazing)
  • Architects Snøhetta
  • Facade Installer Bolseth Glass
  • Facade Consultants Rambøll (structural engineering); Bolseth Glass (facade consultant)
  • Location Bergen, Norway
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Rainscreen wall assembly composed of approximately aluminum-clad 10-inch Rockwool sandwich panel, and 2-inch drywall cavity on interior side for electric infrastructure
  • Products Schuco glazing system delivered by Bolseth Glass; custom aluminum panels by Metha
KMD pairs two axes: an internal corridor dedicated to students and staff, and an external corridor open to the public. The two spaces intersect each other, forming what the architects call one of the most prominent features of the building: a 14,000-square-foot project hall. “It is here, in the transition zone between the public and the private sphere of the school, that the building offers exciting opportunities for students, professors, and visitors to connect, discover, and learn from one another.”  The building’s entrance is connected to a large outdoor public plaza, which together with the large glass wall of the project hall, makes KMD an inviting and open building in dialogue with the city center of Bergen. The building envelope features over 900 panels of pre-fabricated raw aluminum panels, specifically designed in variable dimensions and depths to produce a dynamic composition. The panels feature a custom patterning developed by Snøhetta and custom-made by local manufacturer Metha, based in the city of Røros just south of Trondheim.
The aluminum-folded rainscreen cladding panels offset approximately four, six, and eight inches from the insulation line. Each set folds at the same angle, creating variations in the sizing of the shadow gap between the cassettes. By varying the depth of the facade, the building offers unexpected shadows cast by dynamic atmospheric conditions along Norway’s west coast. The architects say durability and robustness were “keywords” that helped guide all decisions made throughout the facade design process. “The rainy and sometimes stormy coastal climate demands all exterior materials to not only withstand harsh conditions but to weather in a way that highlights their unique qualities over time. The crude aluminum surfaces will gradually age and naturally oxidize, heightening the variations in colors and textures.” This robust and playful expression gives great flexibility when planning for windows and lighting conditions. The windows of the building are set at different heights, slipping into Snøhetta’s intentionally varied compositional scheme. This seemingly haphazard positioning allows for opportunistic interior moments where usable wall space and daylighting considerations can be maximized based on programmatic necessities. Large delicately-detailed cantilevered glass volumes, the result of a successful collaboration with Bolseth Glass, interrupt the syncopation of aluminum at key moments in the building layout. Furthermore, a large glass roof aids in the distribution of daylight into the building. The building is currently in its inaugural academic year, having opened this past October 2017.
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Dancing geometry wraps new Brooks + Scarpa transit hub in Seattle

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The Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza is a seven-acre, 400,000-square-foot mixed-use complex for Sound Transit, a public transit agency serving the Seattle metropolitan area. The project was awarded to Los Angeles–based architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa after an international design-build competition was held. It was completed earlier this year. With over 4,000 people living within a one-half-mile radius of the station, the project offers community-focused exterior and interior spaces such as specially designed drop-off areas, retail spaces, bike storage facilities, and electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Facade Manufacturer APEL Extrusions and Intermountain Industrial Fab
  • Architects Brooks + Scarpa
  • Facade Installer Harbor Pacific/Graham
  • Facade Engineering Brooks + Scarpa, Lars Holte, P.E., Walter P. Moore
  • Location Seatac, WA
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System cast-in-place and post-tensioned concrete structure
  • Products custom-formed anodized aluminum panels
The transit hub is a seven-story, cast-in-place and post-tensioned concrete structure with an exterior facade that uses over 7,500 custom-formed blue anodized aluminum facade panels. Using ruled surface geometry, the undulating facade is formed by connecting two curves with a series of straight lines to form the surface of the facade. Each of the custom aluminum facade elements was designed and segmented into standardized sizes for the most efficient structural shape and material form, while maximizing production, fabrication and installation cost efficiency. This technique allowed the design team to work with complex curved forms and rationalize them into simple, cost-effective standardized components, making them easy to fabricate and efficient to install. The entire facade was installed in less than three weeks without the use of cranes or special equipment. The architects say the facade concept was inspired by William Forsythe’s improvisational piece, ‘Dance Geometry,’ where dancers connect their bodies by matching lines in space that could be bent, tossed or otherwise distorted. Translating this into construction, the architects explored how simple straight lines can be composed to produce implied curvature. “This idea lessens the need to think about the end result and focus more on discovering new ways of movement and transformations.” Ultimately, Brooks + Scarpa provided analysis, constructability, and digital documents for direct and automated fabrication. Working from the assumption that automated fabrication techniques would not be utilized in the project, one of the challenges of the project was to develop a workflow that would result in constructable, rationalized geometry. To achieve this, the project team worked closely with fabricators to translate digital ruled surfaces into segmented standardized sizes responsive to material requirements and fabrication efficiency. The bottom and top chords of the facade surface were segmented, which reduced their profile to measurable arcs for a pipe roller, or straight-line segments for standardized shapes. Beyond the facade, Brooks Scarpa’s plaza design caters both to transit users and the community at large by accommodating community events, such as festivals, farmers’ markets, art exhibits, and other outdoor public gatherings. Ornately designed seat walls, pathways, paving, native planting, and storm-water catchment features help to engage transit users as they move through the space, creating quiet places for social interaction while waiting for a transit connection. Beyond this plaza, the parking structure is designed to best practice standards for future adaptive reuse. These design features, along with specific energy-efficient materials and systems, allowed Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza to be an Envision-certified sustainable mixed-use facility. Envision is a rating system similar to LEED, administered by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for infrastructure projects.
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How aluminum can shape our world

Sapa Extrusion operates nearly two dozen locations with more than 65 presses strategically located throughout the U.S. and Canada. We offer unprecedented resources for the design, manufacturing, fabrication and finishing of common alloy aluminum extrusions. From raw aluminum to assembled products, we have everything you need to go from concept to completion. With the integration of our unique assets, competencies and capabilities, we serve customers more efficiently. Backed by the stability and strength of a global corporation, Sapa Extrusion North America provides full-step customer solutions to markets that include distribution, building & construction, industrial & consumer, thermal management, automotive, commercial & mass transportation, heavy-duty trucks, and renewable energy. Together, with you as our partner, we will shape a lighter future.

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New aluminum casting technique creates Governors Island pavilion

Update 7/17/17: This article has been updated to more clearly depict the pavilion's construction and disassembly. The seventh annual City of Dreams Pavilion, dubbed Cast & Place and designed by Team Aesop, is now open to the public on New York City’s Governors Island. The interdisciplinary team, made up of architect Josh Draper of New York–based PrePost, Lisa Ramsburg and Powell Draper of engineering consulting firm Schlaich Bergermann Partner, Edward M. Segal of Hofstra University, Max Dowd of the Cooper Union, Max Dowd of Grimshaw Architects and sculptors Scot W. Thompson and Bruce Lindsay, won the competition back in March with their design that reimagines metal waste as a resource for the future of the city. The competition is run by FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY). The brief asks designers to rethink the environmental impact of their designs and to promote sustainable design strategies in light of a future that faces the depletion of natural resources. Cast & Place’s winning design proposed using material entirely made from waste: five tons of excavated clay for the structure’s framework and 300,000 recycled aluminum cans (that would be melted and re-cast) for the structured itself. The team had previously built a small-scale prototype of the panel to test out potential challenges, as the method of fabricating crack-cast aluminum had never been done before, according to Josh Draper. The prototype proved useful, highlighting difficulties that would have been hard to anticipate otherwise. Despite the team’s expectation that they were going to use solely aluminum cans, the melted mix of food trays, foil, and cans produced an inconsistent alloy. Instead, for their final structure, standard aluminum ingots were used to ensure consistent quality and timeliness. “There were metallurgical and production issues that we couldn’t take on with our schedule and budget,” Draper said. However, he added that “this project prototyped a new method that has potential.” The original proposal also featured two side-by-side aluminum frame structures, however, only one was installed on Governors Island (which worked out well, as the site was smaller than anticipated). The fabrication of the pavilion required a new mold technique: wet clay was laid out to dry and crack in plywood frames, where it was then transferred to a steel mold and secured with sheetrock and cement. Steel straps bound the mold assembly to control escaping steam. Once the aluminum cooled and solidified, it formed one cohesive panel. When the pavilion is disassembled, it will be recycled and turned into benches and trellises for the people who backed the project on Kickstarter. “It’s the beginning of a long conversation and collaboration with the public on waste, structure, and light,” Draper said. “We wanted to create a space for contemplation, to provoke questions about what material and waste can be, to invite people to touch and wonder.” The City of Dreams Pavilion is located on the North Side of Governors Island (across from Castle Williams) and is running until October 17.
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4,672 ultrathin aluminum strips compose THEVERYMANY’s Orlando convention center installation

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

A 48-by-35-by-26-foot public artwork has been installed in the main concourse of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The work, titled Under Magnitude, is designed by New York architect Marc Fornes and his firm THEVERYMANY as a “curious signal and a place for visual wandering” meant to activate one of the convention center’s main social spaces.

The two-story sculpture—made up of 4,672 ultrathin aluminum strips and 103,723 rivets—is suspended above the concourse floor via steel wires and can be seen at eye level from the mezzanine. The structure follows the laws of what Fornes described as “tangential continuities,” a geometric phenomenon describing how micro-level linear components are utilized to describe macro-scaled, nonlinear geometries. The model dates back to the work of 20th century artist Frei Otto, whose Soap Bubble Model theory postulates the so-called “extensive curvatures” at the foundation of Fornes’ work. Frei was interested in the geometric and structural tension that occurs in surfaces that transfer stresses along their length. Fornes inverts that theory via his notion of “intensive curvatures,” in which digital modeling is used to “maximize double curvature across the project,” rendering dynamic and fully self-supporting forms. The result is a holistic structural system that is defined by a tightly curved and constantly changing surface that is also incredibly strong and composed of thin materials.

The project, developed using Rhino digital modeling software, opened in March 2017. In a video, Fornes said: “Some people start to project their own background onto it. If you come from the sea, some people will read coral. Some people will read flowers. It doesn’t matter [how the viewer interprets the form], but it matters that they engage and that they start to wonder about the structure.”

Under Magnitude Orange County Convention Center Orlando, Florida Tel: 407-685-9800 Architects: THEVERYMANY
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Historic Tribeca warehouse meets its match

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This new 33-unit condominium in New York’s historic Tribeca neighborhood is composed of two buildings, a restored and converted 1905 coffee and tea warehouse on Washington Street and a matching addition on Greenwich Street. The new building produces a “double negative” effect, with identical facade detailing rendered in a matte metallic finish.
  • Facade Manufacturer Ferra Designs (base); Stromberg Architectural Products (middle); LITSCO (top)
  • Architects Morris Adjmi Architects
  • Facade Installer Mistral Architectural Metal (base); GEM (middle); GEM/LITSCO (top)
  • Facade Consultants Frank Seta Associates
  • Location New York City, NY
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Rainscreen
  • Products custom CNC-milled aluminum panel in a plasma finish; modular cast GFRC panels; zinc
Wesley Wolfe, director of design at New York City–based Morris Adjmi Architects, said this concept of the direct copy was influenced by both contextual and cultural factors. "Warehouses in the district often were extended as their needs for more space grew. These additions would often mimic the style of the original warehouse." Wolfe said the use of analogous materials is not uncommon, citing the tendency of industrial-era cast iron to replicate stone or brick. The project was also inspired by art and the idea of duplication in the work of pop artists like Andy Warhol. The project team used a combination of laser scanning and hand measurement to capture details in the base, middle, and top of the historic masonry facade. The base of the facade mimics it's neighboring limestone masonry, employing a marine grade aluminum panel with CNC-milled patterns. The material is finished with a plasma flame spray involving a mixture of nickel and stainless steel powder. The cost of this premium material and finish limited its use to the ground floor of the building where it's exposure is maximized to passersby. The upper floors employ a glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panel with spray on coating with aluminum particles that mimics the look of the plasma finish of the metal panels. The custom cast panels are installed onto the facade as a rain screen assembly using a standard clip and Z-girt system backing up to a stud wall. The facade is panelized with a "modular rationality" coordinated with the composition of the punched windows of the facade. An overlapping tongue detail developed by the project team helps to minimize panel joints. Beyond the facade, a landscaped courtyard cut into the two buildings helps to connect the old with the new. The interior aesthetic parallels the two structures as well, offering rustic exposed finishes in the original warehouse and a more contemporary streamlined finish for the new addition.