Posts tagged with "aluminum":

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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.
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YKK’s LEED Platinum Tokyo Headquarters

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Tokyo-based YKK Fudosan Co, Ltd, part of YKK Group's global network, has obtained LEED-BD+C (Core and Shell) Platinum certification for its YKK80 Building. It was the first such certification for a new office building in Japan. The goal of the project team was to reduce energy consumption by 60% when compared to typical office buildings. To achieve this, the design prioritized water and energy efficiency along with a healthy indoor environment. Open space within the seismically isolated structure was utilized as a heat sink for the geothermal heating system of the building. Other features include sensors for day-lighting and motion-activated operability, outdoor air cooling and mist facilities for the exterior shaft, radiant panels, desiccant air cooling, and high-performance electrical outlets.
  • Facade Manufacturer YKK AP (metal screen, windows)
  • Architects Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
  • Facade Installer Kajima Corporation, Toda Corporation and Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. joint venture
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Tokyo, Japan
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System Steel reinforced concrete; seismically isolated structure; double-skin facade with integrated blinds
  • Products custom YKK metal screen and glazing assembly
The architects, Nikken Sekkei Ltd, say the site of the building posed the biggest challenge for the project. Located in a busy area of the city along an elevated expressway with a primary west-facing exposure, the project team relied heavily on the building envelope to provide necessary acoustical and solar protection. The facade design, engineered in-house by Nikken Sekkei, employs a double-skin curtain wall which includes automatic blinds within the cavity and a custom exterior aluminum screen. Set outboard of this facade, a custom metal screen manufactured by YKK was incorporated to provide further solar protection. Covering the roughly 25,000-square-foot primary facade, the mesh-like appearance of the screen is comprised of two layers of delicate extruded aluminum “Y” sections. Beyond the facade, a “forest dining room” features bright and simple design scheme, using plain wood as the base color for both the interior finishing and furnishings. The cafe, which roasts its own beans on the premises, serves as a PR activity and is directly managed by YKK, is located on the first floor. The theme color of the cafe was used for the eaves and walls. Furthermore, the shape of the lighting box was cut into Y, the image design was taken from YKK. For workstations on the standard floor, the emphasis was placed on smooth operations, with our original design used for desk systems. The architects say the facade system at YKK80 creates a varied expression while maintaining a uniform appearance. “From a practical standpoint, the metal screen was incorporated to help reduce the strong west sunlight and filter the view of the busy neighborhood from the interior. The details joining sections of the metal screen were carefully designed so that the screen would appear seamless, or in other words, a single fabric. We felt it was important for the 'screen' to appear like a single fabric that wraps the building.”
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Playful screens connect Swedish housing project to nature

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Located approximately halfway between Stockholm and Copenhagen, the city of Jönköping is situated at the southern end of Sweden's second largest lake, Vättern. Swedish architects Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designed two urban housing blocks that aim to balance private domestic interiors and a vast landscape with a screened balcony threshold. Titled Västra Kajen, which literally translates to West Quay, the waterfront project is the result of an invited competition from nearly 10 years ago.
  • Facade Manufacturer Tham & Videgård Arkitekter (aluminum screen)Architects Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
  • Facade Installer Tham & Videgård Arkitekter (aluminum screen)
  • Clients Vätterhem and Riksbyggen
  • Location Jönköping, Sweden
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System reinforced concrete with aluminum screen
  • Products custom anodized aluminum screen in dark and light bronze finish
Rather than a row of standard housing “slabs,” the apartment units were assembled into two compact volumes. The architects say these buildings urbanistically help to establish a “solid position” that is proportionally acceptable both to the city as well as the adjacent lake, while minimizing the building envelope area for their ambitions to minimize building energy usage. An outer layer of terraces surrounds the perimeter of both buildings, providing every unit with a generous portion of outdoor space. These balconies are contained within a transparent screen of anodized aluminum that diffuses daylight. The system is composed of arched shapes that create alternating open and filtered views, offering a buffer zone between the intimate domestic interior of the apartments and the vast scale of the landscape outside. By shifting the voids in the screen every second level, a characteristic pattern emerges that unites the six floors into one distinct cubical volume. Both apartments are organized around a large vertical atrium with a top-lit stairwell to delineate a central social space that doubles as a circulation stairwell for the units. This atrium hall naturally preheats fresh air, contributing to overall energy efficiency of the building. Notably, the majority of the apartments are located at corners of the building, benefiting from good views and light. The two buildings are set at an offset angle to one another, to deliberately open up the inward facing sides to further prioritize daylight and views. The angle is determined by the geometry of the property, which accommodates a road that follows the edge of Lake Munksjön, a smaller body of water that taps into Lake Vättern by means of a harbor canal. While both six-story buildings are detailed similarly, subtle differences add variation to the project. This begins with the orientation to the siting of the building but extends to the interior geometry of their atria—a square cube volume in one building and a cylindrical volume in the second building. The aluminum screen and trim details further delineate the two buildings, finished in a dark and light anodized bronze color scheme.
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Payette integrates building physics research with design at Northeastern University

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Scheduled to open later this year, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) on Northeastern’s campus is a 220,000-square-foot research complex that provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, fosters collaboration across disciplines, and increases the university’s capacity to hire top faculty and academic leaders. Prominently sited along an axial pedestrian approach within the private Boston-based research university, the design features a curvilinear translucent facade. The project is a showcase for Payette’s Building Science group, which integrates building physics thinking into the design process. The program was initiated over 5 years ago by Andrea Love, Associate Principal at Payette, and has grown to a specialized three-person team. In addition to overseeing all projects produced by the 140-person firm, the group takes on research initiatives. In 2012, Love, who recently spoke at Facades+ Boston, was awarded the AIA Upjohn Grant on “Thermal Performance of Facades,” a research project studying the effects of thermal bridging in 15 recently completed in-house projects. Love told AN that developing an “energy literacy” in the firm is their goal: the outset of all projects begin with “an intelligent starting point, derived from previous research and studies that have been performed.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Permasteelisa
  • Architects Payette
  • Facade Installer Permasteelisa
  • Facade Consultants Arup
  • Location Boston, MA
  • Date of Completion 2016 (projected)
  • System curtainwall with custom extruded aluminum fins
  • Products custom Permasteelisa system
For ISEC, the role of Love’s Building Science group was to first inform what kind of facade system was appropriate for the complex: Both performatively and aesthetically to maintain the design vision that had won them the project. The team initially thought a double-skin facade would perform best in the cold New England climate, but quickly determined that solar gain from the southwest facing glass facades would need to be managed. A high performance sun shading system was developed through an iterative process between the Building Science group and Payette’s project team, optimizing fin geometry to balance construction and budget constraints with digital analysis tools like Ladybug + Honeybee for Grasshopper. This method of working translated from the formal composition of the fins—their various curvatures, dimensional limits, and on-center spacing—to construction details which acknowledged a desire to simplify the installation process with a high performance agenda that resulted in minimal thermal breaks and the introduction of rubber pads to minimize thermal transfer. Love said the aluminum fins saved cost on multiple fronts, reducing energy usage by over half of what it would have been without the shading devices, and allowing for a more standard building envelope. “This allowed us to have a traditional curtain wall that is straight in the back, then produce curvature with the fin assembly, achieving a complex doubly curved geometry at a relatively affordable cost.” During value engineering, half of the aluminum fins were proposed to be eliminated to save cost. Through energy model analysis, the Building Science group determined proposed fin reductions would actually increase the cost of the project by requiring greater cooling loads. Love says an integrated design process is critical to proving the value of the firm’s work: “If you don't have that integrated design from the beginning, essential design components often get removed because you cannot prove their impact. this was very helpful to maintain the performative aspects of the design, but also the design vision throughout the design process.” Payette worked closely with ARUP and Permasteelisa Group on the development of the custom aluminum fin system. While a few key sections were produced for construction documents, the construction of facade components was largely referenced digitally by sharing Rhino geometry with fabricators who produced construction model geometry. With shell construction complete, the project is scheduled to open in November.
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Ball-Nogues Studio taps into baseball mythology with custom aluminum enclosure

A custom architectural enclosure composed of 200 CNC-milled custom aluminum extrusions.

Forming a porous perimeter to a new ballpark at Southwest University Park in El Paso (home to the minor league El Paso Chihuahuas), Ball-Nogues Studio's “Not Whole Fence” project taps into a tradition of monumentally over-scaled public art with an attention to craft and detailing. Capping off the Populous-designed ballpark, the fence installation turns the corner along a busy pedestrian intersection. The public art commission involved design, engineering, and installation in a rapid timeframe – the architects were given less than a year from conceptualization through fabrication. Benjamin Ball, principal in charge at Ball-Nogues Studio, said there was a desire to address the history of the game with the installation. “There’s a mythical history to baseball about kids using knotholes in the fence to sneak views into the game if they didn’t have tickets.” The fence adopts a large scale wood grain patterning, scaling up the dimensions of a picket to form one massive bending surface. Strategically placed “knotholes” in the surface composition allow pedestrians an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the action on the field. “The structural quality of the fence creates a sense of mystery. By allowing mostly partial views of the action inside the ballpark, it calls for the imagination to conjure up the rest of the picture, creating a sense of fantasy and infinite possibilities.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Sapa Extrusions; Neal Feay Co (Specialty Fabrication); Ball-Nogues Studio (Fabrication Supervisor)
  • Architects Ball-Nogues Studio
  • Facade Installer Industrial Stainless International; Ball-Nogues Studio (Installation Supervisor)
  • Facade Consultants Buro Happold Los Angeles (Engineering Consultant)
  • Location El Paso, TX
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System CNC-milled custom aluminum extrusions
  • Products n/a
While the design concept evokes a literal image of a wood plank, the detailing of the facade components produce a sophisticated, robust assembly. The architects designed the fence as a system of extrusions serving as both the skin and the structure. Working with Sapa Extrusions, the team designed and produced a custom dye for production of a unique aluminum extrusion for the project, ultimately yielding around 200 repeatable components that bolt together on site. Ball said a lot of design and engineering that went into the individual extrusion. The team designed in fins on the front side, with larger struts on the back side, producing enough structural rigidity to withstand a subtractive CNC milling process. A wood grain patterning is registered in the surface by milling out selective areas of the panels. When viewed frontally, glimpses of the ballpark can be seen, however when viewed obliquely, large struts block openings while providing surface area to reflect a soft glow of daylight. Ball notes interesting similarities to the tectonic assembly of some segments of the US/Mexico border fence, only a quarter mile from the site. "You can't blow anything up to a colossal scale without thinking about Claus Oldenberg," said Ball regarding the literal reading of a picket fence in their fence facade. "We've never used that as a strategy before in our work. This still has to function as a fence, and we still value things like detailing, tectonics, connections. In contrast to Oldenberg's work, we occupy an "unusual gray zone" between architecture and public art.” Ball says his studio is ultimately is interested in craft of building regardless of typology. “We're looking for the right challenges, and the right people to work with. Are they willing to take chances? Do they believe in our process? That could apply to buildings or public art.” CORRECTION: Neal Feay Company was originally omitted from our list of Project Credits. The studio played a significant role in the machining process, providing specialty fabrication and consultation for the “Not Whole Fence” project.
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Sculptural infrastructure and carefully crafted facade strengthen an Australian campus community

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

"It has never looked the same on any two times I have been to site."

JCY Architects and Urban Designers have created a student services building on the Australian campus of Edith Cowan University that acknowledges the cultural identity of local Aboriginal community while providing sculptural infrastructure linking the campus community through a series of landscaped environments. The major elements of the building are an elevated concrete podium helping to negotiate a steep grade change, and a perforated aluminum solar shade. The project acts as a web with a central internal vertical spine atrium linked to various programs with a set of interconnected timber clad stairways. An elevated concrete podium navigating a significant grade change is formally derived from fluid dynamics studies of the flow of water through Australian billabong waterways. The podium's folded and sculpted white concrete soffit and faceted columns create their own seductive landscape, 'eroded' and opened up as would be found in nature when stone is sculpted by water. The architects designed the building in a way that makes future conversion to classroom space possible. This was achieved by incorporating “bubbledeck” concrete floor plates. This voided-slab forming system reduces the weight of the slab, increasing efficiency and reducing overall cost. The long span system allows for more slender columns, a generous structural grid spacing of around 30 feet by 30 feet, and a reduction of the shear walls required within the open plan layout. The architects also accounted for the maximum future utility spaces that would be required with a future change of use, which they say required over 30 percent redundant floor area.
  • Facade Manufacturer Penguin International Pty Ltd
  • Architects JCY Architects and Urban Designers
  • Facade Installer PACT Constructions (Contractor); Penguin International (Sub-Contractor); CR Steel (Structural Steel)
  • Facade Consultants ARUP (Facades); BG&E (Structural Steel)
  • Location Joondalup, Western Australia
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System faceted concrete podium and a gold perforated aluminum sun-shading skin, ceramic frit glazing
  • Products Alucobond Spectra; gold anodized perforated aluminum by Penguin International, Fielders TL-5 (roofing); Darley Skywall 150mm Unitized Curtain Wall Double Glazed System (Supplied/Installed by Penguin International)
Embedded within the fabric of the interior and exterior skins are a number of themes which were developed through a collaboration between the architects and ECU’s Cultural Liason Officer from Kurrongkurl Katitjin and the local Noongar community.  One outcome is a gold anodized perforated aluminum screen that folds around three upper levels of the building. Patterning is derived from curved, overlapping patterns of the chest feathers of a Carnarby Cockatoo, and creates a layered undulating effect. The perforation of the panels derived from manipulations to photographs of chest feathers from a black cockatoo. Hole diameters correspond to light values on the photograph – the darker the pixels, the larger the openings. Data from the open percentage of each panel was used in shading calculations to comply with Building Code Glazing Performance Criteria. Will Thomson, Principal at JCY, says the major constraints with this shading system were related to costs: “We could have no more than 8 different hole punch diameters to fit the project budget, and once these had been determined they were carefully set-out at 1:1 shop drawing over the panel drawings. They varied between 20-40% open area to meet the ESD requirements.” This aesthetic is introduced to the interior glazing system through a custom ceramic frit pattern and textile design of the carpeting. The fabrication and assembly process included several full size prototypes, which helped to resolve panel geometry. Thomson says the mockups resulted in many fabrication changes to allow for tolerance, movement of dissimilar metals, panel assembly details, material selections, and structural connection details. The anodized finish of the aluminum skin is inspired by the shimmering scales of a butterfly wing. Thomson says the anodized finish consists of a range of colors: “This has created an amazing patina of differing gold panels across large swatches of elevation and added a texture to the facade that would otherwise be lacking. The way the building changes color during the day, across the seasons is always a welcome delight. It has never looked the same on any two times I have been to site since the cladding works have been completed.”
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Construction underway on SO-IL–designed UC Davis Art Museum

UC Davis is set to open the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art to the public on November 13. After choosing SO-IL to design its on-campus museum in 2013, the school has been hard at work constructing what it envisions as a "hub of creative practice." Working alongside San Francisco-based firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Whiting Turner, the museum features a 50,000-square-foot canopy made from aluminum triangular beams. The canopy is supported by straight and curved glass walls interweaving both open and closed spaces. Its shape, according to SO-IL, represents a "new symbol" for the campus with its natural surroundings of long, green plains making up the sensory landscape of UC Davis. In its designs, SO-IL emphasized the importance of capturing the essence of the California Central Valley. Changes in season and lighting will be reflected from within the museum which will play host to a variety of activities and programs both informal and formal. The inaugural show will feature work from artists Arneson, William T. Wiley, Manuel Neri, Wayne Thiebaud and Ruth Horsting among others. And with the date for its grand opening months away, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum looks set to become a site of interactive and cutting edge learning.
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Stealthy Parisian development blends city life with garden courtyards

VIB Architecture has constructed a mixed-use program of student housing and a nursery along a narrow site in a busy neighborhood in Paris.

In a Parisian neighborhood known for its pedestrian-scale passages and small alleys, VIB Architecture has constructed a mixed-use project skillfully incorporating student housing and a nursery program into a complex of several new construction and renovated properties. The project is located in Belleville, a historically working class neighborhood with strong arts community and a heterogeneous mix of architectural scales arranged along a hilly topography. This latest addition to the neighborhood adds to the mix by combining contextual strategies with a bold contemporary material palette and massing scheme. The project is generally organized around two 8-story buildings that are bisected by an exterior passageway that leads to a courtyard space. Apartments are located along the active street front, protecting a rear sunny courtyard, lined with smaller scale buildings, for use by the nursery. An existing building links the two programs.
  • Facade Manufacturer Tolartois (panel fabrication); Francano (anodized finish)
  • Architects VIB Architecture (Franck Vialet and Bettina Ballus)
  • Facade Installer BECS (engineering consultants) / Lainé Delau (facade installation)
  • Facade Consultants Igrec Ingénierie (engineering)
  • Location Paris 20e
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System rainscreen (perforated, stamped, arched, boards over a galvanized steel framing)
  • Products 2mm aluminum panels (Tolartois); bronze anodizing (Francano); marble granulate coated facades (Zolgranit); Lacquered aluminum frames with integrated acoustic ventilation slits (Kawneer), Laminated and coated flat glass & metal mesh (Jakob)
The most recognizable building is wrapped in a custom-designed perforated aluminum skin, with a massing composed of slightly staggered floor plates with rounded corners. The skin of the building becomes panelized into operable shutters at window locations, allowing for users to control desired levels of shading, privacy and ventilation. The horizontal patterning of the perforations tracks downward into the courtyard, aesthetically integrating the housing and nursery programs, says Franck Vialet, Partner of VIB Architecture. “The perforations give depth and the horizontal stripes vibrate and link the street to the inner gardens.” The building interestingly was originally designed with a wooden rainscreen system, but was dropped early in the design process due to strict fire regulations. Vialet says the resulting aluminum facade became a natural choice due to its material qualities and design flexibility with fabrication processes. “We looked for a skin that could be unique and could be textured or machined into both large scale and smaller pieces. Anodized aluminum was the ideal solution because of its great ability to reflect light and to be perforated easily.” Positioned next to an historic garden, the bronze anodized building acts as a landmark, providing a sense of depth to the urban fabric of Belleville. Immediately adjacent to this building sits a second which is designed to be compatible with existing context, clad in a white plastic coating, the massing of the building is more ubiquitous than the first, while strategically stepping down at the rear facade to gently meet the courtyard. By altering the tectonics of the two buildings, the overall impact of the scale of the project is reduced while reinforcing a central circulation “spine” through the length of the plot, linking two successive courtyards. Vialet says the most successful part of the project is the urbanism it fosters: “its ability to naturally blend into the city and to bring together people from the street, the park, and the courtyards.”
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Synthesis Design + Architecture’s sophisticated addition to one of the world’s largest malls

The facade and roof serve as a the graphic identity for the 20,000 sq. ft. building while acting as a veil which reveals and conceals views.

The Groove provides an extension to CentralWorld, the third largest mall in the world. At 6,000,000 sq. ft., the mall is comprised of three towers: an office tower, a lifestyle tower (including a gym, dentist and doctors offices, schools, etc.), and a hotel tower. The main shopping center includes four department stores and a convention center. Sited at an existing entry plaza to the office tower, which feeds an underground parking garage, the project came to Synthesis’ office with several structural design constraints. The weight of the addition was limited, causing the design team to incorporate a specific steel frame with a grid coordinated to the bay spacing of the parking garage immediately below grade. Alvin Huang, Founder and Design Principal of Synthesis Design, says this helped save time at the start of the design process. At 20,000 sq. ft., the project, jokes Huang, is “the punctuation on the paragraph.” The design team approached the project with a concept aimed at providing an intermediary space – an “intimate atmosphere” – within Bangkok’s predominant shopping district. Their strategy was to depart from a traditional single monolithic building (more of the same), developing instead an indoor/outdoor atrium space to link a series of buildings inspired by the Bangkok "soi" (Thai for side-streets) for their comfortable café-like pedestrian atmosphere.
  • Facade Manufacturer Reynobond
  • Architects Synthesis Design + Architecture; A49 Architects (Thailand); Foundry of Space (Thailand)
  • Facade Installer Qbic Engineers & Architects Co.,Ltd., KYS Company Limited
  • Facade Consultants Doctor Kulsiri Chandrangsu - Ferrand (structural engineer)
  • Location Bangkok, Thailand
  • Date of Completion 2013
  • System custom rainscreen with integrated lighting
  • Products CNC-milled aluminum composite panels & timber soffits, LED backlighting system
The building envelope of the Groove peels open to organically reveal openings rather than incorporating typical punched openings. An aluminum composite panel rainscreen system incorporates gradient patterning and integrated lighting to produce an exterior that is “intense, active, and slick” according to Huang. “The skin replicates the intensity of a specular effect of continually pulsating lights along Ponchet Road.” A warm interior spills out to the exterior via CNC-milled timber soffits, whose geometry peels outward, overlapping openings as a sort of exaggerated detailing found in an airplane window trim. The rainscreen panels were CNC milled by a local fabricator who utilized geometry from Huang’s office to produce a custom perforation pattern. “We didn’t want the architecture and the identity to be two different things,” says Huang. “The signage appears and disappears – a gradient that pulses and draws your eye toward openings.” Huang says as an office, Synthesis is generally interested in the relationship between the digital and the hand made. “We are highly digital in our design process. but in Thailand, most construction components are hand made and ultimately assembled by a labor force of limited experience, requiring simplification, not complexity.” Synthesis’ design office focuses on "digital craft" with a body of work that is driven by the relationship between fabrication and the act of making as part of the design process, says Huang. “What we are not interested in is designing, and then figuring out how you are going to make it.” The Groove is one of 37 projects currently nominated for "Building of the Year 2015," a poll open to the public through the end of January, 2016.
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Thomas Phifer and Partners’ elegantly functional box saturated in daylight

The 10-story courthouse includes ten courtrooms for the District Court of Utah, fourteen judges’ chamber suites,  administrative Clerk of the Court offices, the United States Marshal Service, United States Probation, and other federal agencies.

Thomas Phifer and Partners recently completed a United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City for the General Services Administration (GSA). The 400,000 sq. ft. project consists of a blast resistant shell clad with a custom designed anodized aluminum sun screen. The screen is arranged in four configurations dependent on solar orientation, performing as a direct heat gain blocker on the south facades, while subtly changing to a louvered fin configuration on the east and west facades. The architects won the project in a national competition in the late nineties, however it was just recently completed. Thomas Phifer, Director of Thomas Phifer and Partners, says that during the duration of the project various site changes occurred, and the building design naturally evolved into a particular focus: “We began to think about a building that embodied light as a metaphor for the enlightenment of the courts. It began to fill these spaces inside the courtrooms, the judges chambers. The design came from a sense of light.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Benson Global (curtain wall)
  • Architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects (executive architect)
  • Facade Installer Okland Construction
  • Facade Consultants Reaveley Engineers + Associates (structural engineering), Weidlinger Associates (blast engineering)
  • Location Salt Lake City, UT
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System Aluminum and Glass Unitized Curtain Wall, Insulating Glass with Ceramic Frit Screen, Anodized Extruded and Milled Aluminum Sun Screen, Mirror Polished Stainless Steel Plate, Thermal Finish White Granite
  • Products Benson Global (Anodized Aluminum Curtain Wall), Southwest Architectural Metals (Metal Specialties), Beehive Glass Inc. (Glass Specialties), Viracon, St. Gobain (Glass), Sierra White Granite (Cold Spring Granite Stone)
Phifer said a precedent for the project is Donald Judd’s 100 untitled works in mill aluminum (1982-1986). In Judd’s project, each of the boxes he crafted have the same outer dimensions, with a unique interior offering up a variety of tectonic conditions. Some of the boxes are transected, while others have recesses and partitions. Phifer says the project inspired an interest in detailing of the aluminum sun screen: “What’s interesting about his [Judd’s] boxes is their extreme simplicity: it’s important how the plates come together…the beautiful screws. You see the thickness of the aluminum, and the construction honors the material,” says Phifer. “The boxes begin to honor the light surrounding it.” The architects worked with the curtain wall contractor to develop a custom designed louver system from extruded and milled aluminum components to manage daylight. Everything had to be designed with calculations and technical documentation, including plenty of mock-ups. Phifer says this level of detailing is at the heart of their office’s production: “the facade system developed here was completely new.” This system is punctured in selective places on the facade with a polished stainless steel portal celebrating very specific spaces within the interior such as the judge’s chambers. “It has the character of receiving light and being a real part of the environment,” says Phifer on the outcomes of the decade-long project. The project could be considered a super-scaled descendant of one of Judd’s well-crafted boxes, but also should be a sophisticated addition to Thomas Phifer and Partners’ repertoire of working with light (a portfolio that includes a 2011 AIA Honor Award for the North Carolina Museum of Art). The results are a robust box, with a beautifully simple, passive performative agenda.
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Koning Eizenberg blends old and new

In 2006, the 28th St. YMCA was added to the City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments List, and in 2009 it was added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

In 1926, just three years after becoming the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Paul R. Williams designed a landmark YMCA building on 28th Street in Los Angeles. Nearly ninety years later, the building has been restored, and transformed, into a modern multi-family housing complex. Koning Eizenberg Architects (KEA) worked on the project for Jim Bonner, FAIA, architect and executive director of the nonprofit affordable housing organization Clifford Beers Housing. The architects restored the historic 52-unit building, reorganizing the layout into 24 studio apartments, and constructed a new 5-story, 25 studio apartment building next door.  The project features a perforated metal screen scrim wall, an integrated photovoltaic panel wall, restored historic stone work. and a shared roof deck that programmatically connects the historic building with it’s modern neighbor. There were two very different projects involved: a substantial restoration and a 5-story new infill construction building. Brian Lane, Managing Principal at KEA says these two projects were “married at the hip”: “We were digitally analyzing Paul Williams’ work on top of crafting our own work.” The architects carefully looked at shadow lines to understand the restored, cast-stone balcony and other components, generating drawings from a careful analysis from historic photographs, looking at shadow lines to understand profiled depths of the historic work. This commitment to digital analysis is most noticeably exploited on a new perforated metal scrim wall, visually buffering the apartment buildings’ circulation system from the sidewalk. The patterning and tabbing of the aluminum metal panels are derived from digitally-controlled abstractions of historic ornamentation found on Williams’ building. In addition to the two-dimensional surface treatment of the aluminum, the panels are assembled on a sub-frame that incrementally rotates outward to provide views of nearby downtown Los Angeles. Julie Eizenberg, Founding Principal of KEA, says that this move creates an effect that is “less rigid,” and “loosens where things begin and end.”
  • Facade Manufacturer C.R. Laurence
  • Architects Koning Eizenberg Architecture
  • Facade Installer Alpha Construction Co., Inc.
  • Facade Consultants C.R. Laurence, Parker Resnick Structural Engineers
  • Location Los Angeles, CA
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System lightweight perforated metal screens with aluminum substructure framing, wall-mounted photovoltaic array, stucco cladding
  • Products Tinco Sheet Metal (metal panels), Sunpower (photovoltaic system), Sun Earth (solar hotwater), Series DPS200C Deluxe Perforated Panel System, Shamrock Stucco applied by Ken Harges Plastering Co.
The wall system is the result of a collaborative and iterative design process with LA-based C.R. Laurence who, among other things, fabricated the panels.  KEA exploited design opportunities of die-cut metal fabrication after discovering a significant cost savings over newer water jet-cutting technology.  This included experimentation with the perforation process: various radii were tested, and they developed a “hanging chad” perforation style that cuts and bends the metal at a controlled 37.5 degree angle.  The architect’s iterative process during the design phase of the metal screen wall included studies of numerous digitally abstracted patterns, laser-cut study models in chipboard, and mock-ups of the panels. By selectively controlling which perforations remain connected to the panel, a secondary pattern becomes visible in the panel. Lane says there was significant value brought to the project through this low cost fabrication method: “We got a real richness and depth to the panel in a very affordable way.” One of the successes of the screen is the dynamic visual quality of the screen through various lighting conditions. Sunlight is reflected off of the perforated screen during the day, while a soft backlit glow is emitted through perforations during the evenings. On the south facade of the building, a “rainscreen” made of jet black photovoltaic panels is set one foot off of the stark white stucco building facade. While some efficiency was lost by orienting the panels in a vertical array, locating the panels on the facade was done out of necessity. With the rooftop area taken up by various building systems, the south facade became an opportunity to integrate renewable energy features. In the spirit of this “low-tech/high-value” type of project, the PV array helps to block direct gain, while promoting air circulation behind the assembly. Architecturally, the project has been celebrated for it’s novel organization of building systems, its “low-tech” approach to adding value to standard building components, and its dialog between old and new (namely its registering of a digitally manipulated image of historic architectural ornamentation prominently on a primary facade). Outweighing the architectural innovations are the social and cultural benefits to the design, which re-establishes this building’s role as an important cultural community resource by bringing living quarters in compliance with contemporary standards and offers a sense of dignity to low income housing residents and staff.