Posts tagged with "Birds":

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Statue of Liberty Museum by FXCollaborative opens this week

How do you design a museum that makes the most of a small plot, honors the history and spirit of the Statue of Liberty, and can handle millions of visitors a year? The FXCollaborative-designed new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island, which opens to the public this Thursday, had to address all of these concerns. The materiality of the 26,000-square-foot museum is intrinsically linked to the Statue of Liberty it lies directly across from, and the pedestrian mall it connects to. When approaching the island by ferry, the museum’s prominent 14,000-square-foot green roof and vertically-striated exterior precast concrete firmly distinguished the building from anything else in its surroundings. The most striking feature is the 22-foot-tall wing dedicated solely to the Statue of Liberty’s original torch, which was replaced in the 1984 renovation. The glass walls provide a nearly 360-degree view of the island, the Manhattan skyline, and the statue itself from inside, but also make the torch highly visible from the exterior. To enter the museum and reach the green roof, visitors must first ascend a series of steps made from Stony Creek granite, the same stone used in the Statue of Liberty’s podium. The museum’s entrances and programming are designed to be highly permeable, as they are expected to accommodate up to 500 visitors an hour. As such, the museum offers several different branching “paths” once inside. Other than the aforementioned torch room, an immersive theater, broken into three discreet rooms, is stationed near the entrance and provides an immersive, 10-minute movie on the history and impact of the statue. After filing out, guests can either move to the “Engagement Gallery,” which dives deeper into the French workshop where sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi assembled the statue, or to the "Inspiration Gallery." In that space, visitors can snap a selfie and append a note about what liberty means to them; that photo will then be added to a collage called “Becoming Liberty.” The interactive exhibitions were all handled by ESI Design. On the roof, visitors are afforded unobstructed views of pretty much everything in the area, including Manhattan, Staten Island, and New York Harbor. Eagle-eyed patrons might notice that the roof flares both upwards and downwards in certain points, including a dramatic dip over the main entrance. FXCollaborative extended the green roof along the harsh incline by using a series of tray planters smoothed over to appear as if they’re one continuous slope, protecting against any potential runoff. Liberty Island is also a hotspot for migrating birds, and the team specified a fritted glass to cut down on the reflectiveness of the windows and mitigate bird strikes. The Statue of Liberty Museum will open to the public on May 16, and admission is included in the cost of a ferry ticket: $18.50 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $9 for children.
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Partnership announced to protect birds from death by architecture

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, between 365 million and 988 million birds die each year in the United States as a result of window collisions. To lower this horrifying statistic, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) recently announced a partnership with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA). Their first joint project is the construction of a testing tunnel to help develop innovative materials and other anti-collision design solutions. It’s tempting to blame bird deaths on the increasingly tall, increasingly banal glass skyscrapers that make up an increasing portion of U.S. cities. But birds crash into high-rises and low-rises alike, as well as glass barriers, balustrades, and bus stops. Birds just can’t see glass, and as the material plays a bigger role in human lives, it inevitably plays a bigger role in birds’ deaths. So designers and advocacy groups need to think bigger about how to tackle this problem. The tunnel developed by the ABC is based on an Austrian system designed for testing highway noise barriers. Modified to study architectural glass, the test works by introducing wild birds into a 30-foot long tunnel, in which they fly toward one of two exits: a perfectly clear pane of glass or the experimental glass (don't worry, a net protects the subjects—the test is very safe). Their movement and responses to the materials are watched, taped, and measured. In addition to not having windows or not washing windows, current bird-friendly design solutions include frosted, filmed, and fritted glass. The new partnership hopes to create new options. The ABC also hopes to expand a rating program it developed in 2009, which is referenced in LEED Pilot Credit #55 and in legislation across the country. Soon, in addition to being rated for insulation and strength, it may be common for glass products to be rated for bird deterrence. “Demand for testing and rating materials already exceeds ABC's capacity,” said Chris Sheppard, director of ABC's Glass Collisions program. “In recent years, interest in bird-friendly design has grown, as architects and others realize that bird safety does not mean depriving people of light, views, and attractive building design.” The IGMA is currently leading fundraising efforts and offering donors priority testing of new materials. To learn more about how you can help hashtag-save-the-birds without sacrificing aesthetic intent, visit the American Bird Conservancy for online resources.
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Congress may follow architects' lead in constructing bird-safe buildings

In recent years, many architects have taken the initiative to design buildings, specifically mid- to high-rise glass buildings, with materials that help reduce bird deaths. It’s a major problem in the United States and one that people are becoming more aware of as recent studies show that hundreds of millions of migratory birds die each year from fatal window strikes. Not only are firms like Studio Gang, KieranTimberlake, and Ennead keeping this top of mind, but Congress is too. This week Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA) reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would try to prevent bird collisions on new federal buildings. The Bird-Safe Buildings Act would require all public buildings under construction, as well as those acquired or altered by the General Services Administration, to feature bird-safe building materials and designs when at all possible. “Almost one-third of all bird species in the U.S. hold endangerment status, which gives us the responsibility to protect birds from preventable deaths,” said Rep. Quigly in a statement. “By using materials that conceal indoor lighting to the outside, we can dramatically reduce the frequency of birds colliding with glass buildings. With birding activities supporting 620,000 jobs and bringing in $6.2 billion in state tax revenues, this is both an environmental and economic issues with a relatively simple, cost-neutral, humanitarian fix.” The legislation would establish guidelines for public building projects and outline the types of materials most appropriate for glass-clad construction. Through the act, any use of plain glass would only be allowed on the first 40 feet of a building. Only 40 percent of plain glass could be integrated above that height. This isn’t the first time a bird-centric bill has come to Congress. Quigly first brought it up to the House of Representatives in 2010 and has since spread awareness on the topic and advocate for bird safety as vice chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC). In addition to Quigly’s efforts, Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-NJ) also reintroduced a version of the bill, the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2017, in the Senate earlier this month. Booker’s bill would require all new federal buildings or renovations be built with at least 60-to-90 percent of non-glass materials. Any glass used would need to be fritted, screened, shaded, or UV-reflective, according to Audubon Pennsylvania. Both bills are backed by animal rights organizations, leaders in sustainable design, and national environmental groups. FXCollaborative, the National Audubon Society, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Humane Society, and the U.S. Green Building Council, among others, support Quigley’s legislation.
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New Arts Club of Chicago show turns urban birding data into art

The Playhead of Dawn, an exhibition by Jenny Kendler and Brian Kirkbride now up at The Arts Club of Chicago, seeks to reproduce the “global song” of birds with an installation based on a crowd-sourced dataset of bird recordings from around the world. Kendler is an interdisciplinary ecological artist and activist who works with public spaces and natural areas, while Kirkbride is a sound artist and programmer who combines data with acoustics. Together, the duo has created a 24-hour experiential sound piece that occupies the garden of the Arts Club of Chicago along an important bird migration path. The sound loop corresponds with the rotation of the earth and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the soundscape of birdsong as it would occur around the world in real time. The Playhead of Dawn The Arts Club of Chicago 201 E. Ontario Street Chicago Through December 31
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Richard Olcott/Ennead Architects completes bird-friendly “Integrated Science Commons” for Vassar College

A “bird-friendly” laboratory building that doubles as a bridge over a campus ravine is the centerpiece of a multi-building “science commons” that Richard Olcott/Ennead Architects has completed for Vassar College. Earlier this month, college leaders held a dedication ceremony for the $125 million project, which consists of four technologically advanced facilities for teaching and research at the liberal arts college, founded in 1861 and located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The “Integrated Science Commons,” as it is officially called, includes the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, a gently curving, 82,000-square-foot structure that spans a ravine and stream called Fonteyn Kill, and three older buildings that have been renovated. The renovated buildings include the New England Building, Olmsted Hall of Biological Sciences, and the Sanders Physics Building. Together, the four buildings form a new campus precinct that’s intended to strengthen the college’s interdisciplinary approach to the sciences and help students and faculty keep up with the latest advances. “The completion of the Integrated Science Commons marks an exciting moment in the history of the sciences at Vassar, and will be a linchpin for the college as the sciences advance and evolve in the coming decades,” said college president Catharine Hill. “When the building designs were being developed, we…asked our faculty to anticipate changes in their fields and what they will mean for instruction and research. As a result, the facilities in the Integrated Science Commons are built to be flexible to needs that lie ahead.” At the center of Vassar’s 10-acre science precinct, the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences was designed to be a gathering spot for the campus as well as a teaching facility. By spanning a ravine where few ventured before, The Bridge provides the first accessible walking path at grade between the central campus and destinations to the south, such as the Skinner Hall of Music. Its atrium, with a café and ample seating, is a new Vassar destination. Its façade, clad in fiber cement and stone, was inspired by the wooded landscape and includes “bird-friendly” glass features designed to prevent birds from flying into it. “The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences is an experiential building,” said Ennead partner Richard Olcott, who led the design effort along with management partners Guy Maxwell and Timothy Hartung and project designer Kate Mann. “From the birch tree pattern of the building’s façade to the central corridor with panoramic views out to the natural landscape below, this is a true building in the trees. Its curvature withholds a full view of the entire building, prompting visitors to slowly experience each part of the building as it unfolds.” “As architects, we like to think about how people experience…our buildings,” Olcott said. “When you walk into a straight building and see a long passageway with a door at the end, there is no reveal, merely a sense of obligation. A sense of discovery is important to engage and propel you along on your journey. Walking through the curve of the Bridge, the ground suddenly falls out from below you and you are looking not towards the exit but out at treetops, experiencing the building as if you are in the trees.” “The curvilinear design also figuratively parallels the research that takes place daily in the Bridge,” said Mann, an associate partner with Ennead. “Every day there is a new discovery, a changing landscape, both inside and out.” With the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, planners say, Vassar and Ennead (pronounced any-ad) have produced a facility that meets multiple goals. As the new home of the chemistry department, the Bridge makes possible experiments using state-of-the-art instrumentation for molecular structure determination, spectroscopy, chromatography and other specialized techniques. In the Bridge’s role as a multidisciplinary site, chemistry faculty and students share the new Earth and Environment Lab with colleagues from biology, environmental studies and earth science in a space designed to serve their common scientific needs. Similarly, the college’s longstanding interdisciplinary robotics research laboratory now has a permanent home in the Bridge. Administrators say it’s a first-of-its-kind collaboration at a liberal arts college, bringing together biology, cognitive science and computer science professors and students. Identifying the right site for this large structure was a key to advancing the college’s goal of promoting collaboration across scientific disciplines. At the same time, planners say, Vassar wanted the “footprint” of the building to fit in well with the scale of adjoining buildings and with its wetland location. Built like a bridge, the new structure rests on two 20-foot-tall concrete piers to span nearly 400 feet across the campus ravine. These piers support a pair of curving trusses at the topmost level. In turn, the two floors below are hung from six-inch steel pipes, creating a structure that is very lightweight and open for its size, thereby minimizing the building’s impact on the ground and preserve the natural landscape underneath. The building’s curved form meanders through the woods, integrated with the natural landscape. Its interior passageway provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, while creating a central corridor for student activity. According to the architects, it is meant to be a conduit, drawing students through it and providing an efficient route between the campus core and remote parking. It also provides multi-disciplinary laboratories and suites designed to foster collaboration between  departments, researchers and students from different fields of study. “The Bridge Building invites movement, and in so doing reinforces the accessibility of the sciences to all of Vassar’s student body—a primary goal of the project,” Olcott said. Vassar and Ennead worked with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to establish a landscape plan that will help rehabilitate the wetland ecosystem surrounding the Bridge, improve the water quality of the wetland’s stream, and provide a storm water management system for the site. Because the Fonteyn Kill wetland is a haven for numerous bird species and on an avian flight path, the architects incorporated façade features to minimize bird collisions, an idea championed by Maxwell. Among these features on the southeast façade is the first major application in the U.S. of Ornilux Mikado glass, with a patterned ultraviolet reflective coating that is visible to birds but remains virtually transparent to the human eye. Glass on the northwest façade also has an innovative coating and custom frit pattern designed by Ennead. Frits in glass are also a tool for modulating solar glare and heat gain within a building and are among the elements used to improve energy performance throughout the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences. The other buildings provide an additional 75,000 square feet of renovated space for teaching and research. Vassar faculty began discussions about the need to bring the college’s facilities more in line with its vigorous science curriculum more than a decade ago. Among the benefits of the Integrated Science Commons, planners say, is access for faculty and students to a new array of resources. Design decisions throughout the Integrated Science Commons, they say, broke down the old divide between the classroom and the lab and resulted in integrated scientific spaces where instruction, experimentation and discovery can be accomplished “fluidly.” New “wet” and “dry” labs are equipped for faculty-led research in such subjects as ultra-thin materials, behavior genetics and health psychology. Other labs are designed to serve the needs that intersect among multiple disciplines. Improvements also make possible more extensive use of advanced experimental equipment, such as Phytotron growth chambers and an X-ray source diffractometer. Another key outcome of the project is centralization of most of the locations for the Vassar science curriculum, which were previously scattered across the campus. The departments of biology, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, physics, astronomy, and psychology as well as the biochemistry and the neuroscience and behavior programs, all reside now within the Integrated Science Commons. By bringing these departments and programs closer together, planners said, Vassar fosters greater collaboration among faculty and students. “These new and enhanced facilities ensure that Vassar students will continue to learn in a current and dynamic hands-on environment,” Hill said. “And they equip our outstanding faculty to teach and conduct research to the best of their abilities and to serve as the best possible mentors for our students.” Other Ennead design team members for the Integrated Science Commons included: project architects Todd Walbourn and Theresa O’Leary; Charmian Place for interiors and Kathleen Kulpa as technical director. Also on the design team were Christina Ciardullo, Edgar Jimenez, Hiroko Nakatani, Tom Offord, Yong Kyun Roh, Constance Vale, Hans Walter, and Desiree Wong. In designing the new science commons, the architects and college planners determined that one campus building from the early 1980s was “failing” and chose to demolish it. The Seeley G. Mudd Chemistry Building, a Postmodern structure by Perry Dean Rogers & Partners of Boston, was torn down earlier this year, and the land will be maintained as green space.
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Product> Exterior Glass: Eight options with special functions built in

The role of glass continues to expand in architecture as new performance properties and aesthetic qualities come to market in a steady flow. From photovoltaic glazing to printing technologies that address the issue of avian impacts, the material has become an active, dynamic force in buildings. SunGuard SNX 51/23 Guardian For commercial use, this high-performance, low-E glass has a VLT above 50 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient below .25. Solarban z75 PPG Featuring a neutral, cool-gray tint, this low-emissivity glass offers an intelligent combination of visible light transmittance, solar control, and light control. View Dynamic Glass View As the sun intensifies, a nanotech interlayer regulates an electric current that shifts ions in the glass, automatically darkening them. Offered in panels up to 5 feet by 10 feet. Ornilux Mikado Arnold Glas  This bird-protection glass features a patterned UV coating that is visible to birds, but virtually transparent to the human eye. i-Glass Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope  This screenless technology can print multiple colors and complex designs on exterior and interior glass. LightZone SageGlass  Variable tint zones within a single pane of electrochromic glass allows great flexibility for managing solar heat gain and glare. CLASS Sapphire Saint Gobain In sheets up to 9 inches by 26 inches and 12 inches by 24 inches, this transparent ballistic-resistant material achieves a 40 percent lighter and 40 percent thinner system than a glass-only design. DigitalDistinctions Etch Ink Viracon This ink simulates the look of acid-etched or colored-etched glass without high-pressure sand blasting or dangerous acids.
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New Research Shows Cities Take an Unexpected Toll on Songbirds

Researchers at Arizona State University have discovered yet another way urbanization contributes to noise pollution. In this case it is not so much what is being added to the aural environment, but rather what is being taken away. A new study establishes a direct link between degrees of urbanization and the prevalence of parasites that tend to fatally affect finches. Beyond prevalence, the research shows that the loss of natural habitat within more urbanized areas also amplifies the severity of the gastrointestinal infections that afflict the songbirds. My poor Swomee-Swans...
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LA's Natural History Museum Addition Not For The Birds

While it's received a warm reception, not everyone is excited about the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's new Otis Booth Pavilion.  The problem with the 67-foot-tall glass cube, said geographer Travis Longcore, is that it presents a fatal obstacle to the birds that the museum's new gardens are meant to attract. As Longcore, who is an associate professor at USC as well as science director of The Urban Wildlands Group, explains, birds don’t understand architecture the way humans do. We avoid glass by attending to architectural cues, including doorways and lintels. Birds mistake glass for open air or the habitat it reflects, and often try to fly through it. The pavilion is part of a broader problem in Los Angeles, Longcore said.  The city is behind the times when it comes to bird-friendly architecture. San Francisco, by contrast, adopted standards for bird safety in 2011. Oakland added bird safety measures to its building permit requirements this June.  Proponents of bird-friendly legislation hope that changes to design practices will substantially reduce bird deaths from building collisions, which today are estimated at between 100 million and 1 billion annually. What does a bird-friendly building look like? According to the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), which assists local groups in drafting legislation, bird-friendly design focuses on two elements in particular: glass and artificial lighting. Limiting the amount of exposed glass or fronting glass with grilles, external shades, or balconies and balustrades can significantly reduce bird impacts. Shielding outdoor lighting and reducing the amount of artificial light escaping from the interior will attract fewer birds.  Many of these interventions do double duty as energy-saving measures, Christine Sheppard writes in a report for the ABC. LEED pilot credit 55 incentivizes the inclusion of bird-friendly features in green construction. Morphosis’s San Francisco Federal Building, completed in 2007, is an  example of how a focus on sustainability can manifest in bird-friendly design.  The narrow glass tower is encased in a metal sunscreen, with automated panels that open and close to regulate the temperature within the non-air-conditioned interior. On the lighting front, Morphosis’s lighting strategy allows for the automatic adjustment of interior artificial light according to natural sunlight levels, and directs interior lights to be turned off when workers are not present.
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Archtober Building of the Day #7: IAC Headquarters

IAC Headquarters 550 West 18th Street New York, NY The IAC Headquarters is Frank Gehry’s first building in New York. Neither a symphony hall nor an art gallery clad in riveting titanium that creates its own economic system, it is rather a diminutive swell of faceted glass with a graded white frit. Compared to most big-name office buildings, the IAC is built at a much more personal scale. Built as-of-right and opened to little in the way of the usual starchitect fanfare, some might notice it’s hard to find the front door. What you may not know, however, is how bird friendly the building is. Glass buildings are responsible for 100 million to 1 billion bird deaths every year in the United States. New York City is on a major migratory route, and our tall glass buildings kill millions every migration season. The New York City Audubon Society has created a handbook for architects to help them avoid design decisions that prove deadly to our avian companions. One such design tactic is to include a frit pattern on a buildings windows so birds don't confuse the glass with the open sky. With a highly-fritted facade, the IAC is just fine for our feathered friends. (But with that hidden front door, you might see more humans walking into the glass building than birds!) Each “Building of the Day” has received a Design Award from the AIA New York Chapter. For the rest of the month—Archtober—we will write here a personal account about the architectural ideas, the urban contexts, programs, clients, technical innovations, and architects that make these buildings noteworthy. Daily posts will track highlights of New York’s new architecture. Read more at www.archtober.org/blog.
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Quick Clicks> Bird Troubles, Liters of Light, Road to Africa, Parc de Paris

Migration melee. Migratory birds continue to fall victim to the glass facades comprising invisible and impenetrable forest of buildings in New York City. Bird advocacy groups and planning and building commissions are beginning to take notice. The New York Times investigated this ecologically sensitive dichotomy. Let there be light. MIT students and the MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit aimed at creating sustainable communities, have joined forces to light up the Phillipines. This capable collaboration has created an innovative way to bring light to notoriously dark cities outside of Manila. The result? The Solar Bulb. Core77 explained this simple and ingenious amalgamation of water, sealant, bleach and a plastic bottle. Road to Africa. While perhaps not on the immediate horizon, urban thinkers and This Big City are looking at Africa and its potential for economic development. With all of our hindsight in the world of urban planning, is it any wonder that we do not know where to begin? The photo says it all. Parking Paris. French and Swiss architecture outfits AWP and HHF have collaborated to out-design competitors and take home the privilege of creating all of the infrastructure buildings at Paris' Parc des Bords de Seine. DesignBoom looked at this series of low-cost, modular structures that will bring new residents to the park to eat, play, and watch birds from a second-story platform.