Cornell University’s Department of Architecture has a new chair effective this month: architect, author, and associate professor Andrea Simitch. She succeeded Mark Cruvellier, who served as chair for four terms, totaling 12 of the last 19 years. Highly respected by students and colleagues, Simitch received her bachelor of architecture from Cornell in 1979 and has been a faculty member since 1986. She teaches classes in architectural design, architectural representation, and furniture design, and was appointed department chair following an international search. "Andrea is an essential part of the department's rock-solid reputation as one of the best programs in the country," said Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning, in a statement. "Few if any individuals are more familiar with the many important dimensions of the architecture program than Andrea, and the department will be in excellent hands in the coming years." Simitch served as director of the bachelor of architecture program from 2011–2014, as director of undergraduate studies from 2007–08, and as associate dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning from 2002–03. She was recently awarded the Stephan H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship, the highest award for undergraduate teaching excellence at Cornell. In 2015, she received a residency award for the Baer Art Center in Hofsós, Iceland, and was an Outstanding Educator for the Merrill Presidential Scholar Program in 1995, 2000, and 2013. Simitch has taught extensively for Cornell in numerous countries, including in regions such as Europe and Central and South America. She is regularly invited to lecture and participate in diploma juries and symposia at peer institutions, most recently in Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. She is on the advisory board of ARCHITECTEM, an architectural platform that serves the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African architectural communities. Simitch has been a panelist on the New York State Council on the Arts, a department representative for the Cornell Council for the Arts, and a faculty collaborator with the Andy Goldsworthy workshop at Storm King Art Center. Student work from her furniture design class has been exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City. Along with associate professor Val Warke, Simitch is the author of a 2014 book, The Language of Architecture: 26 Principles Every Architect Should Know, which is available in six languages. Warke and Simitch are partners in an architectural practice, Simitch and Warke Architecture. Recent projects include the Seneca House in Lodi, New York; Nalati National Park Resort and the Eco-Tourism Strategic Planning Proposal, both for Nalati, China; and design competition entries for sites in Switzerland, the Republic of Serbia, Teheran, and Stockholm. In addition to receiving her B.Arch. from Cornell, Simitch attended Occidental College and L'École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. Cruvellier, the previous chair and Nathaniel and Margaret Owings Professor of Architecture, stepped down as chair on June 30. He is on leave starting this summer and will then return to teaching.
Posts tagged with "Cornell University":
On Roosevelt Island, Cornell Tech (in collaboration with the Hudson Companies) is going through the motions of realizing a brand new 2.1-million-square-foot technology campus—one that will come complete with the world's tallest building made to Passivhaus standards. The building in question is a 270-foot-tall (26-story) residential tower that will house roughly 350 units for students and save 882 tons of CO2 per year relative to standard construction—the same as planting 5,300 new trees. Construction began in 2015 and the building is due to open this year. New York practices Handel Architects and Steven Winter Associates, along with engineers Buro Happold, worked on the project and made use of numerous "sustainability-focused design elements" to achieve Passivhaus certification. One of these includes a facade that comprises a prefabricated metal panel system. The screen, according to Handel, acts a "thermally insulated blanket." On the southwest side, which looks onto Manhattan, a louver system has been designed to be the structure's "gills." This feature provides an enclosed exterior space where the building's services (such as heating and cooling equipment) lie with sufficient ventilation. In addition to this, low VOC paint caps gassing and improves the air quality inside. “High-rise multifamily housing is a vital part of the solution to the challenges we are facing with increasing world populations and a changing climate,” said Blake Middleton, FAIA, of Handel Architects. “The Cornell Tech commitment to innovation was the impetus to rethink how these buildings are designed and built, and we expect this project to be a game-changer, creating a new paradigm for affordable, high-performance buildings to meet this challenge.” “Constructing the first Passivhaus residential high-rise in the world is the latest and most exciting example of our effort to set new benchmarks in sustainability and innovation,” said Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher. “We hope this will serve as a model for how Passivhaus standards can be brought to scale in the United States and create a new template for green design here in New York City.” The building will open later this year. Blake Middleton will be speaking at the next Facades+ conference in New York April 6 and 7. There he and Lois Arena of Steven Winter Associates will discuss the Passivhaus building in further detail. Seating is limited. To register, go to facadesplus.com.
A new pavilion has been constructed on the Cornell University Arts Quad as part of the Cornell Council for the Arts' 2016 biennial. Titled URCHIN Impossible Circus and designed by Ithaca, New York and Brooklyn-based CODA, the recyclable installation is built from 500 borrowed plastic chairs and will be on display until late December. With URCHIN, CODA seeks to question the role of the everyday object—the chair—and its usefulness. Although from up-close, the pavilion is easily understood as a concentrated and focused exercise in repetition, the arrangement appears as a singular, spiky entity when viewed from afar. According to CODA’s website, the “object’s features are no longer understood in terms of their use (legs, arms, seat), but in terms of their form (spikes, curves, voids) as, due to their rotation from the ground, they lose their relationship with the human body.” CODA is known for its innovative use of materials, its approach to sustainability, as well as for sparking dynamic interactions between the architecture and its inhabitants over time. As CODA states on their website, “no chairs were harmed during the production of URCHIN Impossible Circus,” stating that they will be “returned to circulation afterward.”
Note: The Architect's Newspaper received this obituary from John Shaw's son, Lytle Shaw, who's also the author. With his permission, we've posted the obituary below. John Preston Shaw passed away on June 9, 2016 in Issaquah, Washington. Shaw had a long and prestigious career as an architectural educator and architect. He was born July 7, 1928 in Abilene, Texas, and graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Texas in 1950. The next four years he spent in the Air Force, first in North Dakota and Nebraska, designing demountable housing for the Strategic Air Command directly under the famous Cold Warrior Curtis LeMay. In 1953-54 Shaw was sent to Europe: first, by accident, to Paris; later, once the Air Force learned of their mistake, to Wiesbaden, West Germany. In 1955 Shaw returned to Austin where he worked in the office of Fehr and Granger (1955-1956) and taught at the University of Texas in the architecture department (1955-1958). It was here Shaw met Bernhard Hoesli, Colin Rowe, Lee Hodgden, Werner Seligmann, and John Hejduk, and formed the group of educators known as the Texas Rangers, many of whom (Hodgden, Rowe, Seligman, and Shaw) later taught at Cornell. Shaw had the distinction of being the only Texas Ranger actually from Texas. This group’s contribution to architecture education in the United States is the topic of Alex Caragonne’s 1995 The Texas Rangers: Notes from an Architectural Underground. John Shaw met Betsy Gidley in Austin, Texas in 1957 and the two were married in 1958. They shared, among other things, a strong interest in music, especially opera. The two moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts during the summer of 1958, where Shaw attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA, 1960), studying with Eduardo Catalano, and taking classes with Lewis Mumford, and with Siegfried Giedion at Harvard. During the summer of 1959 Shaw won a Skidmore Owings and Merrill travelling fellowship that took him and Betsy to Europe. That fall he was offered an assistant professorship at North Carolina State University, where he taught until 1962, when he was offered a job at Cornell University, where he remained until his retirement in 1995. At Cornell, the ideas explored initially at the University of Texas were developed into a more robust, expansive pedagogy. While Shaw’s examples still centered around modernist architects (including Le Corbusier, Wright, Mies, Aalto, and Kahn) he tended to understand them less as makers of iconic, self-enclosed buildings than as architects whose program and site-specific vocabularies had not been sufficiently acknowledged. His lectures and seminars often focused on the buried contextualism latent within high modernism, and to this end stressed on-site investigation. It was on such investigations that he generated a formidable slide archive. And yet the slides that remained at the center of his lectures were not only those of the high modernists. Shaw was equally interested in Swiss barns, Dutch polders, the mosque at Cordoba, medieval urbanism in Spain and France, small town Texas courthouses, Italian villas, palazzi and town planning, cubist and Renaissance painting, and Commedia dell’Arte (about which he published an article in the Cornell Journal of Architecture). He was also an enthusiastic watercolorist and collagist. Among his many interlocutors at Cornell were not only the Texas Rangers, and many younger colleagues, but also European architects including Martin Dominguez and Oswald Mathias Ungers (who Shaw recruited to Cornell). Shaw was a strong advocate of his students, and a much-loved professor. He trained and mentored several generations of architects including Musfafa Abadan, Bruce Abbey, Ed Bakos, Larry Borins, Jason Chandler, Peter Choi, Steven Fong, Dan Kaplan, Blake Middleton, Burton Miller, Richard Olcott, Chad Oppenheim, Andrea Simitch, Todd Schliemann, Aaron Schwartz, and Val Warke, amongst many others. In 1986, Shaw was the first professor to teach in Cornell’s new program in Rome, to which he returned several times. Other foreign teaching included summer schools in Switzerland, Mexico, Greece, the Aegean, and Germany. Shaw was also a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, Rice University, University of Texas, and University of Tennessee. Shaw retired from Cornell in 1995 to an earth-ship hacienda he designed and built in Taos, New Mexico. Among his other built works are the Tompkins Trust Company Bank in Ithaca, New York, the Divi Hotel in Aruba, and the Clark/Shaw house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. In retirement, Shaw published a catalog on the collages of his close friend Bernhard Hoesli in 2001, and wrote up his lecture notes into an as yet unpublished manuscript. John is survived by his children David Shaw, with whom he lived his last years, Anna Studebaker, and Lytle Shaw, and by his grand children Dalton Studebaker, Alexandra Studebaker, Julia Shaw, Amilia Shaw, Cosmo Clark-Shaw, and Luca Clark-Shaw. A memorial service will be held at Robert H Treman park in Ithaca at noon on Saturday, August 27th (upper enclosure). In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations for a “Professor John Shaw Memorial Lecture” Fund at College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell. Donations to the fund can be made by check (Cornell University PO Box 25842) or via this website.
Residential towers are rising on the banks of the East River in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. It's easy to forget that, in the middle of the river, development at Cornell University's New York City campus on Roosevelt Island is speeding ahead. The Bridge at Cornell Tech, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, topped off Monday. That building will have a partial green roof and a photovoltaic array to produce energy for campus. Stepped lawns leading up to the entrance encourage the building's program of spontaneous social interaction to spill out onto the street. https://youtu.be/PFRIKri9Y_c Along with Cornell Tech phase one buildings, the Bridge is set to open summer 2017. When complete, the 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island will be the home of hundreds of Cornell faculty and staff, and around 2,000 students. The master plan, executed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with James Corner Field Operations, calls for a "river-to-river" campus with 2.5 acres of public space and ten buildings that perform to a high environmental standard. The video above gives a sense of scale and layout of the development. Phase one buildings include the Bloomberg Center, an open-plan academic facility designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. The Center, which aims to be one of the largest net-zero energy buildings in the U.S., takes its design cues from the collaborative workspaces of Silicon Valley. Handel Architects designed a student, faculty, and staff residence with an ambition to become the world's first residential Passive House high-rise.
As designers and builders around the world have, in recent years, embraced Passive House standards, one question has remained: will it scale? Is the Passive House approach to sustainable design suited only to small-scale ("house") projects, or might it be applied to other, larger, building types? Handel Architects has answered the latter question with a resounding yes in its Cornell University Residences, a 26-story tower for the institution's new Roosevelt Island Campus. When complete, the project will be the tallest and largest residential building in the world built to the strict Passive House code. Handel Architects' Gary Handel will deliver a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities represented by the Cornell University Residences at the Facades+AM DC symposium March 10. The building's prefabricated metal-panel building envelope is a key contributor to its overall energy-saving strategy. "The facade design is the 'passive driver' of the thermal performance of the building," explained Handel. "Higher thermal performance of the enclosure means less energy used to heat and cool the interior. This in turn means smaller, more efficient equipment to deliver the heat or cooling, which means lower energy input overall and thus a lower 'carbon footprint' than a conventionally enclosed building." The high performance facade, in other words, is the metaphorical substructure upon which the project's "active" systems are built. As with any cutting-edge endeavor, the project has not been without hiccups. "Implementation of the details has probably been the biggest challenge, as some of these details have never been implemented in a building of this size," said Handel. As an example, he cited the difficulty of installing sealing tape along portions of the facade interior that are obstructed by the building structure. In addition, explained Handel, "having the entire team—designers, suppliers, contractors—buy into the concept of a world class sustainable building and be committed to the goal has been a constant challenge." The overall experience has nonetheless been rewarding. "Designing solutions to challenges . . . has been part of the learning process we've undergone," concluded Handel. Hear more from Handel and other key players in the world of facade design and fabrication next month at Facades+ AM DC. See a complete symposium schedule and register today on the event website.
Google has awarded an endowment worth half a million dollars to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to build a “living lab” for the search engine giant’s Open Web of Things (OWT) expedition. OWT envisions a world in which access to networked technology is mediated through internet-connected buildings and everyday objects—beyond the screen of a smartphone or computer device.
“A future where we work seamlessly with connected systems, services, devices, and ‘things’ to support work practices, education and daily interactions.” -in a statement by Google’s Open Web of Things.Carnegie Mellon’s enviable task is to become a testing ground for the cheap, ubiquitous sensors, integrated apps, and user-developed tools which Google sees as the key to an integrated machine future. If that sounds like mystical marketing copy, a recent project by CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute sheds light on what a sensor-saturated “smart” city is capable of. The team headed by Anind K. Dey has created apps like Snap2It, which lets users connect to printers and other shared resources by taking photos of the device. Another application, Impromptu, offers relevant, temporary shared apps. For instance, if a sensor detects that you are waiting at a bus stop, you’ll likely be referred to a scheduling app. “The goal of our project will be nothing less than to radically enhance human-to-human and human-to-computer interaction through a large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) that ensures privacy, accommodates new features over time, and enables people to readily design applications for their own use,” said Dey, lead investigator of the expedition and director of HCII. To create the living lab, the expedition will saturate the CMU campus with sensors and infrastructure, and recruit students and other campus members to create and use novel IoT apps. Dey plans on building tools that allow users to easily create their own IoT scripts. “An early milestone will include the development of our IoT app store, where any campus member and the larger research community will be able to develop and share an IoT script, action, multiple-sensor feed, or application easily and widely,” Dey said. “Because many novel IoT applications require a critical mass of sensors, CMU will use inexpensive sensors to add IoT capability to ‘dumb’ appliances and environments across the campus.” Researchers at CMU will work with Cornell, Stanford, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop the project, code-named GIoTTo. The premise is that embedded sensors in buildings and everyday objects can be interwoven to create “smart” environments controlled and experienced through interoperable technologies.
The facade's stainless steel panels form a wave pattern, cutting down on glare and heat loads while representing the contribution computing has made to design.The recently completed Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, combines the schools’ Computing Science and Information Science departments under one roof. Designed by Morphosis, the facility encourages spontaneous interactions between these two disciplines with common spaces for comingling and transparent partitions that allow views, and daylight, to pass from space to space. The building envelope, a unitized glass curtain wall system, is wrapped in a band of perforated stainless steel panels that forms a dynamic, angular wave pattern across the surface. In addition to creating a sense of movement across the exterior, it serves as a fitting symbol of the contribution that computing has had on the arts and sciences: The architects used advanced digital modeling tools to design the geometry, pattern, and details of this additive layer, and made it to function both as an aesthetic gesture as well as a performance enhancing element of the architecture. “The goal was to establish a consistent level of daylighting throughout the interior,” said Cory Brugger, director of design technology at Morphosis. “We maximized the exterior glazing to get the light coming through. The design of the screen reduces the amount of glare and heat gain and starts to help with the performance of the facade system itself.” Located between Cornell’s historic Barton Hall and Hoy Field, Gates Hall fits 100,000 square feet of program in fives stories on a site roughly 150 feet long by 80 feet wide. “It’s a fairly squat building with a large foot print,” said Brugger. “So what we wanted to do was find a way to give some break on the facade.” The metal screen forms a band that covers the second through fourth floors. The first and fifth floors are fully glazed. At the main entrance on the building’s west side there is a large cantilever covering an entry court with some indigenous plantings and sculptural precast concrete “rocks.” Here, the facade becomes an integral part the overall massing of building, breaking down proportions of footprint and creating a sense of motion, giving the sense that structure is coiled to pounce across the road. Morphosis specified a YKK YUW 750XT 4 sided SSG unitized curtain wall system outfitted with a Viracon VNE 24-63 double glazed insulated glass unit. Ithaca does have a heavy winter, and heating days predominate over cooling days for the facility. To optimize the daylight/insulation ratio, the architects intermixed fully glazed panels with insulated spandrel panels. “There’s an alternation between full glazing and spandrel panels that helped us balance the environment and meet our efficiency target,” said Brugger. “It’s not fully glazed everywhere.” The curtain wall’s aluminum mullions are reinforced with steel, giving them the necessary stiffness to support the screen system. Morphosis designed the screen system in its own proprietary software program and used Rhino with Grasshopper to do the visualization. To coordinate fabrication of the panels with Zahner in Kansas City, the architects worked with CATIA and Digital Project. Zahner fabricated the screen panels out of 316 stainless steel. There are 457 panels total, in 13 different types, that bolt back to the vertical mullions at one of three elevations. The perforated panels have an angel hair finish. “It’s a non-directional finish takes away most of the gloss of stainless steel and gives it a little more depth in reflectivity, kind of a clean, matte finish,” said Brugger. “It still has a certain luster and gloss, but it cuts down on glare.” W&W Glass installed the facade, first putting up the YKK curtain wall and then erecting the screen system in a second pass. “We couldn’t unitize the two systems because they’re quite large and differently sized,” said Brugger. “Each stainless panel takes up two curtain wall modules.” The curtain wall modules are 5 feet 9 inches wide, whereas the stainless panels are 10 to 12 feet wide. The panels are set at different angles across the facade depending on solar orientation, with those on the south face at the most obtuse angle to create the deepest ledge for shading. This variation around the building envelope creates visual interest and expresses the computational nature of the design.
[ Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a recent Eavesdrop article, “OMA Gosh, What a Disaster!” It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN02_02.12.2014. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. ] The Architect’s Newspaper’s gossip column recently mentioned Cornell University’s Milstein Hall, quoting an online interview with Cornell Professor Jonathan Ochshorn. The column repeats a few shocking claims regarding our new addition, Milstein Hall. Readers of AN are no doubt wondering just how Cornell University managed to receive a building permit and a certificate of occupancy for Milstein Hall, what with its alleged monstrous conditions: an auditorium with only one means of egress, no properly rated area separations between connecting buildings, neglect of ADA requirements, and gross indifference to energy consumption. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that Cornell does not possess a secret formula for achieving any such gross violations of building safety or design integrity. Instead, I’m happy to report, the auditorium, fire separations, and accessibility were built in compliance with ADA and other codes and to the highest professional standards. Even a cursory review would show that we have not one but four exits from our auditorium; adequate fire barriers between fire areas as required by code; an ADA-compliant design as determined by City of Ithaca building officials and by ADA consultants; and innovative heating, cooling, and daylighting systems that conserve energy. The so-called fire safety issues were appealed by Professor Ochshorn to the state code review board last spring. The review board ruled against Ochshorn and upheld the code official’s interpretation in six of them. Of the two issues for which Ochshorn’s appeal was sustained, one has since been granted a variance. For the other, Cornell is still reviewing its options while using the space in the interim for a less demanding occupancy that is satisfactory to the code official. The opinion of one individual not withstanding, we are exceedingly proud of the exemplary architectural work that Rem Koolhaas and OMA have created for our students and faculty. Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean College of Architecture, Art and Planning Cornell University
Cornell architecture professor Jonathan Oschorn has taken Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall—an expansion of the university’s architecture school—to task in a critique, calling it “by virtually any conceivable objective criterion, a disaster.” While Oschorn admitted that the building possesses great aesthetic interest, his quibbles lie in the project’s functionality. He calls out no less than seven fire safety issues, including that the auditorium only has a single means of egress and that there are no fire walls separating it from the existing buildings that it connects—Sibley and Rand halls. He takes the LEED system to task, wondering how in the world a building that makes nearly every no-no conceivable in terms of sustainability—such as terrible issues with thermal bridging and a form that maximizes envelope surface area for the floor area—could be awarded a Gold rating. He points out “non structural failure” items, such as a leaking curtain wall and roof, cracked concrete floors, and protruding objects that could be problematic for the visually impaired. Finally, he blasts the building’s lack of flexibility to adapt to future uses. Oschorn’s review, which is available online, makes for a scintillating read, but it hasn’t won him many friends in Ithaca. In an interview with Enoch Sears of thebusinessofarchitecture.com, he admitted, “The architects at Cornell who supervised the construction no longer talk to me.”
Anticipation is growing for AN and Enclos’ eagerly awaited Facades + PERFORMANCE conference, touching down in Chicago from October 24th to 25th. Leading innovators from the architecture, engineering, and construction industries will share their insights on the latest in cutting-edge facade technologies that are redefining what performance means for 21st Century architecture. Don’t miss your chance to join Cory Brugger, Director of Technology for Morphosis Architects, as he is joined by a group of industry specialists to lead an in-depth dialog workshop on expanding the idea of performance in the design, engineering, and fabrication of innovative building systems. "Traditionally, performance has been defined in singular terms," Brugger told AN, "but when it comes to delivering architecture, it can encompass everything from energy usage to fabrication technique. For us, performance is multifaceted and interdisciplinary. We have found that technology provides a platform for incorporating a variety of performance criteria in our design process, allowing us to create innovative architecture, like the Cornell NYC Tech project on Roosevelt Island." Set to open its doors in 2017, Morphosis’ winning design for the highly publicized Cornell Tech campus will be breaking ground on Roosevelt Island in the coming year. As part of this ambitious, 2.1 million square foot development, Brugger and his colleagues at Morphosis hope to earn LEED-Platinum certification by with their 150,000 square foot academic building by utilizing cutting-edge modeling techniques and an array of sustainable technologies. "In general, we are designing for extremely high EUI (energy use intensity) goals, which are being accomplished through the use of comprehensive models that integrate mechanical systems, day-lighting analysis, and architectural assemblies," said Brugger. "This effort is being supported by a 140,000+ square foot PV array that is integral to both the performance and aesthetics of the design. Other technologies include high performance facade systems, smart building technology, and geo-thermal wells." In conjunction with master-planners SOM and landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, Morphosis are working to create a new model for high-tech education in the information age by extending the definition of performance beyond traditional notions to incorporate far-sighted social and technological considerations. Reserve your space at Facades+ PERFORMANCE now to take part in an intimate discussion. Brugger will be joined my Paul Martin (Zahner), Tyler Goss (CASE), Matt Herman (Burro Happold), and Marty Doscher (Dassault Systèmes ) on Friday, October 25th at the Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus in Chicago. Don’t forget to check out our other exciting key-notes, symposia, and workshops on the complete Facades+ PERFORMANCE schedule.
The stars are aligning for Cornell’s proposed technology campus on Roosevelt Island. The Morphosis-designed proposal has successfully made its way through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedures (ULURP), and recently won the support of Manhattan Community Board 8 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Two remaining review processes are left, and if all goes well, Cornell will have the green light to start construction by 2014.