Not many practitioners today can say they’ve collaborated with Henry Van Brunt, the 19th century architect famous for designing Harvard’s Memorial Hall, or Boston architect Guy Lowell, who designed the original 1903 master plan for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. But Ann Beha, who once said she specializes in “finding a contemporary voice within a historic center,” is a bit of a time-traveler. Her Boston-based firm is acclaimed for creating elegant links between the past and present. A keynote speaker at Facades + PERFORMANCE, an upcoming conference about high-performance building envelopes, Beha notes that some of the older buildings she works with already have highly efficient envelopes thanks to excellent construction and high quality materials. Her lecture, “Interventions: History and Innovation,” will review three case studies at varying scales, telling the stories of how she restored landmarked buildings while simultaneously developing new expansion plans that were rooted in the original architecture but also clear expressions of their own time. Focusing on campus architecture in her talk, Beha notes that many universities are growing interested how improvements to their existing buildings can reflect a commitment to sustainability. Creating a symbiotic relationship between the architecture and the engineering is key, said Beha—a collaboration made closer and more precise thanks to modeling software. But more than anything Beha emphasizes “fit to function,” or renovation without excessive demolition. “We ask to what extent we can use the building in a natural way,” she said.
Posts tagged with "Ann Beha":
Update (4/21/10): Three more firms have been confirmed: Snohetta, Rafael Viñoly, and L.A.'s Frederick Fisher. This is shaping up to be a pretty diverse crew. The SF Chronicle reports that the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive has sent out letters to ten architecture firms, asking them to submit qualifications to design their new home. Adding to the three that have already been sussed out (Bernard Tschumi, Tod Williams Billie Tsien, and Will Bruder), we have confirmed a fourth: Ann Beha, whose Currier Museum of Art in New Hampshire has been well-received. If that partial list is any indication, the museum is looking at a more diverse group than SFMOMA is considering for its addition, though (as in SFMOMA's case) no local names have surfaced yet. It is going to be an interesting adaptive reuse project: the old printing plant on the site will be renovated, and a 50,000 square-foot addition incorporated into the whole.