Posts tagged with "Ennead":

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The University of Michigan’s Biological Science Building establishes place with corrugated terra-cotta

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Located in the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, the Biological Science Building is a dual-purpose building housing both a biological science program and a museum of natural history. The nearly 300,000-square-foot building, designed by Ennead Architects, was constructed in two phases—the academic spaces opened in 2018 and the museum in 2019—and enclosed with a corrugated terra-cotta rain screen and brise-soleil. The core of the Ann Arbor campus is composed of a dozen halls and auditoriums designed by the renowned Detroit-based industrial and commercial style architect Albert Kahn. His work on the campus, exemplified by buildings such as Hill Auditorium and the Harlan Hatcher Library, is primarily Renaissance Revival and built of reddish-brown brick and terra-cotta with slight ornament found at the cornice and string course.
  • Facade Manufacturer Shildan/Moeding Viracon
  • Architect Ennead Architects SmithGroup (architect-of-record)
  • Facade Installer National Enclosure Company Barton Mallow (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultant Heintges
  • Location Ann Arbor, MI
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Custom unitized and stick curtain wall system
  • Products Custom Shildan/Moeding terra-cotta tiles 1” VRE24-46 Insulating unit with a CrystalGray inboard lite
For Ennead Architects, the setting was a point of reference to be respected and, to some degree, emulated by any contemporary intervention. “We used deep corrugations and textures of the terra-cotta facade to break down the sale of the laboratory building to relate it to the campus environment,” said Ennead design partner Todd Schliemann and associate partner Jarrett Pelletier. “We were interested in using the depth of the corrugations, in a play of light and shadow, to create a facade that was variegated, reinterpreting the Albert Kahn historic brick buildings on campus which are rich in variegations of color and texture." The three box-like volumes of the Biological Sciences Building cantilever off of a one-story podium and are linked at the hips by full building height atriums with oversized glazing bays. Produced by manufacturer Shildan Group, the terra-cotta tiles are treated with a standard matte finish and arranged in three formats; flat, combed and honed. Through the terra-cotta tiles shifting orientations—all are five-and-a-half inches deep—the facade is cast in an ever-changing condition of light and shadow which suggests the illusion of varied finishes for the panels. Considering the varied internal functions across the project, the design "The patterns of glazing and opaque elements was designed to maximize daylight in spaces where people spend much of their time and temper it in spaces that house research equipment," continued Schliemann and Pelletier. "Our design-team utilized parametric modeling to create a facade that looks infinitely custom yet is actually made of repetitive modules. Curtain wall modules span between 16 and 20 feet from floor to floor, and are held by aluminum framing supporting the weight of both glazing and terra-cotta. Throughout the facade, the terra-cotta tiles also function as screening elements at several points. Offset from the glazing, the tiles are threaded to the unitized curtain wall’s stack joints with a series of steel tubes, and, for extra-tall units, steel tie-back elements handle the increased lateral loads.  
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Ennead and Bora Architects’s Knight Campus takes shape with a double-glass facade

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The University of Oregon’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is one of the most significant expansions to the Eugene campus following the construction of OFFICE 52’s Tykeson Hall and Hacker Architect’s Berwick Hall. The project is a collaboration between design architect Ennead Architects and architect-of-record Bora Architects, with Thornton Tomasetti acting as facade consultant, and will enclose state-of-the-art research facilities with a double-skin of fritted glass and an Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) membrane. The campus expansion began in March 2018 with the groundbreaking of the 160,000-square-foot first phase structure (which came with a $225-million price tag); the total budget for the campaign is approximately $1 billion. This initial phase consists of two, four-story L-shaped towers centered around a shared courtyard, which is connected to the rest of the campus to the south by a pedestrian bridge spanning over Franklin Boulevard.
  • Facade Manufacturer Ferguson Neudorf Glass / Nupress Group Dow Corning Interpane Shanghai North Glass PPG
  • Architect Ennead Architects Bora Architects (architect-of-record)
  • Facade Installer Ferguson Neudorf Glass
  • Facade Consultant Thornton Tomasetti
  • Location Eugene, OR
  • Date of Completion Fall 2020
  • System Custom unitized aluminum and glass curtain wall with a custom patch supported laminated glass rain screen
  • Products Interpane Ipasol Ultraselect 62/29 on low-iron monolithic glass substrate with varying frit densities
Unitized glass curtain walls are the primary facade element for the complex, a feature allowing for significant outward views but proving less than ideal conditions of research work within. To mitigate issues with solar gain and thermal performance, the design team introduced a double-skin consisting of folded and fritted glass, which they cite as being inspired by water cascading over rock formations. “The cascading glass facade provides shading for the building’s double-height research spaces, which were designed to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange,” said Ennead Architects associate principal Jarrett Pelletier. “This fritted glass screen is intended to help improve the energy performance of the facade and thermal comfort of the interior spaces by reducing solar heat gain as well as reducing glare.” There are two typical sizes for the triangular single-pane glass panels: 7' x 13'6" and 7' x 10'6" which respectively weigh just over 800 and 600 pounds each. The glass screen is hung off of steel outriggers which are dead loaded from the roof slab with tension rods—they are in turn laterally braced to the unitized curtain wall by stainless steel wind struts tied to anchor brackets embedded within vertical interlock of the mullions. Construction of the project has proceeded at a rapid pace since 2018 and required a detailed program of installation sequencing for the facade. The system of outriggers ensures that each panel of the cascading glass screen can be easily set following the full installation of the unitized rain screen. Additionally, according to Thornton Tomasetti senior project director Morgan Reynolds, “this system also presented a major challenge in developing the load path to properly distribute and transfer the forces from the laminated glass rain screen through the curtain wall system and back to the base building structure during a seismic event.” The first phase of the Knight Campus expansion is scheduled to be complete in Fall 2020. Ennead associate principal Jarrett Pelletier and Thornton Tomasetti senior project director Moran Reynolds will co-present the Knight Campus expansion at Facades+ Portland on July 21 as part of the “Futuristic Skins: Complex Secondary Skins” panel.  
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Indiana University reopens I.M. Pei-designed Eskenazi Museum

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has officially reopened its I.M. Pei-designed home at Indiana University. After a two-and-a-half-year, $30 million renovation by Ennead Architects, the 38-year-old structure now features a more intuitive wayfinding system and enhanced lighting design throughout the different galleries, while increasing the museum’s capacity for education and conservation opportunities.  The Eskenazi Museum totals 112,000-square-feet, and with its concrete facade and Pei’s signature light-filled atrium, has been referenced as one of the late architect’s most striking works. While the design may seem like it features zero right angles, Pei, in fact, stitched the structure together using two triangular massings linked by a triangular atrium and its glass ceiling grid. Ennead’s upgrade to the museum, which was led by Susan T. Rodriguez (formerly of the firm) as well as Indianapolis-based Browing Day Mullins Dierdorf, was announced in 2016 after Sidney and Lois Eskenazi donated a $15 million gift to the project, along with several works from their personal art collection.  Originally named the Indiana University Art Museum, the rebrand reflects the institution’s efforts to expand its status as one of the most esteemed teaching museums in the United States. It now hosts 11,000 college and graduate school students while providing learning programming for up to 5,000 local K-12 students.  During the renovation, the team added room for the museum to display its more than 45,000 objects while also establishing space for its own centers for education, conservation, curatorial studies, and the study and display of prints, drawings, and photographs. They additionally designed a glass wall partition in the Asian and Islamic gallery that allows visitors to see into the Center for Conservation. The museum’s administrative offices were updated as well, and a sky bridge was built to connect the building’s east and west wings.
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Shortlist announced for the National Medal of Honor Museum

The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor a U.S. citizen can receive, and the organization that supports it, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, sent out a call for submissions last year for the creation of a museum that would highlight the award's values. The foundation outlined a vision for a museum to put the achievements of the medal's 3,500 recipients and history and values as they’ve stood since the Civil War in the foreground. Arlington, Texas, was selected in August as a fitting setting for the new National Medal of Honor Museum, and on October 16, the foundation announced a shortlist of four high-profile teams comprised of both architects and landscape architects with distinct visions for the project. The list includes: Davis Brody Bond, LLP and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Landscape Architect) Ennead Architects, LLP and Hargreaves Jones (Landscape Architect) Fentress Architects, Ltd. and Civitas, Inc. (Landscape Architect) Rafael Viñoly Architects and MPFP (Landscape Architect) The master plan calls for not just a new building to be placed on the site but extensive landscaping as well, with the intent creating a unique surrounding context for the space. The museum will be a part of a larger Entertainment District plan for the city of Arlington, which will include other urban attractions like retail and sport stadiums, so the museum grounds will need to be tailored specifically to the history of the award: Situated to serve the needs of urban visitors, while also creating a unique sense of place.  All of the shortlisted teams have extensive experience designing large-scale public works as well as museum commissions, from the Denver International Airport to the September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York.  "Working with the City of Arlington and these world-class architects," said Joe Daniels, the foundation’s president and CEO, "we are confident that we are on our way to creating a truly iconic museum that reflects well upon the recipients of the Medal of Honor and all those who have given of themselves for our nation." The winning design team is expected to be announced in January 2020. 
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Ennead to transform its Newseum building for Johns Hopkins University

Ennead Architects, the New York-based firm formerly known as Polshek Partnership, will team up with SmithGroup to redevelop the Newseum building in Washington, D.C. for Johns Hopkins University. The Baltimore-based university announced its plans to purchase the building from the nonprofit Freedom Forum earlier this year for $372.5 million. Johns Hopkins will consolidate its existing real estate holdings in the city at the new offshoot building on Pennsylvania Avenue, which will host various academic and administrative initiatives.

Ennead is an appropriate choice to head the project for obvious reasons. Led by architect James Polshek, the firm designed the current Newseum building before changing its name from Polshek Partnership in 2010. Opened in 2008, the building has several distinct features, including a 75-foot-tall marble slab engraved with an excerpt from the First Amendment. A so-called “window on the world” also occupies the structure’s Pennsylvania Avenue frontage, allowing for views between the street, the National Mall, and visitors inside the museum. Ennead has handled multiple high-profile museum projects around the world, such as the Rose Center for Earth and Space at New York’s American Museum of Natural History and the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ennead submitted initial drawings for the major remodeling to the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts (CFA) on July 3. Before construction can begin, the commission must provide informal feedback and officially approve of the final design. The filing sent to the CFA indicates that certain aspects of the building’s facade will change. The marble tablet with the excerpt from the Constitution, as well as the newspaper headlines that line the avenue, will be removed. The entrance will be reimagined as more transparent and open. Due to boundary line regulations on Pennsylvania Avenue, though, much of the structure’s original massing will remain in place.

The interior will undergo a significant transformation as well. The university has announced plans to reconfigure floor slabs and circulation within the building—currently, much of the museum is positioned around a large, multistory central void. With more than 400,000 square feet of floor space available inside, the facility will house classrooms, offices, and event spaces that will be open to the public. No plans for alterations to the 135-unit Newseum Residences have been released.

As for the Newseum itself, administrators at Freedom Forum have not yet announced where the museum will move. After years of serious budget deficits, the institution will close temporarily at the end of 2019. Employees will work out of a provisional office in Washington until a new home is found. Hopkins has suggested that construction on its facility could begin as early as 2020, and as late as 2023, with no estimated completion date.

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Ennead puts structure on display at the UT Austin School of Engineering

“Working by calculation, engineers employ geometrical forms, satisfying our eyes by their geometry…their work is on the direct line of good art,” Le Corbusier described the engineer’s aesthetic. This kind of engineering expressionism is employed to interesting ends by Ennead Architects at the Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. The building features a dramatic glass-enclosed atrium that connects disciplines on a monumental staircase and provides sightlines into working laboratories, arranged like a page of comic book panels. A glass ceiling spans the 80-foot-wide space, and two towers on either side contain multidisciplinary research labs and electrical and computer engineering research spaces, respectively. The unification of disciplines in the atrium is expressed through a series of expressive parts: A truss-like bridge, a bespoke waterjet-cut spiral staircase, and slanted columns below the mezzanine level all show off the aesthetic of an engineer rather than one seamless whole. This honesty is a direct appeal to the students and engineering community who will inevitably congregate in the atrium.

Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) Architect: Ennead Architects 2501 Speedway, Austin, Texas 512-232-2147

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Here are the winners of the 2018 AIA Gold Medal and Architecture Firm Award

James Stewart Polshek has won the 2018 AIA Gold Medal and Minneapolis's Snow Kreilich Architects has received the 2018 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The Gold Medal recognizes an individual or pair of architects whose work has influenced the profession. A former dean of Columbia GSAPP and founding partner of James Stewart Polshek Architect (now Ennead Architects), he led the restoration of Carnegie Hall in 1987, as well as the design of the Newseum/Freedom Forum Headquarters, completed in 2008, and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, pictured at top. Snow Kreilich Architects earned this year's AIA Architecture Firm Award, the top award the organization gives to practices in the United States. Known for its work in and around the Twin Cities, the firm is perhaps best known for designing humanistic ports of entry for the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection in Maine and Minnesota. "This is an architecture of use and convenience, permanence, and beauty, deeply rooted to its place, and constructed of materials choreographed in an emotive way, with poetic qualities that move us deeply,” architect Marlon Blackwell said in a letter supporting the firm's award nomination. "Their body of work is distinguished by a restrained formal elegance and a refined minimal tectonic sensibility while avoiding the nostalgic and technological excesses of our discipline. Indeed, they see architecture as a material practice and a cultural act born of a sensual pragmatism." Snow Kreilich and Polshek, the 74th recipient of the medal, will be fêted at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City. Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams and San Francisco–based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects took home honors in their respective categories last year.    
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2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southwest

2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southwest: Arizona State University Beus Center for Law and Society Architect: Ennead Architects Location: Phoenix, Arizona The Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS), the new home to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, reimagines the traditional law school as a public building. Located at the heart of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the design embodies the law school’s transformative pedagogical approach to legal education, which stems from a deeply rooted commitment to educating students and citizens on the importance of the law in shaping society. The building’s permeable courtyard massing, with a north-south pedestrian slice through its social core, invites all into the heart of the institution, exposing the public to its three grand double-height communal spaces: the Great Hall, the Law Library and the Law Courtyard. The purposefully blurred line between public and private creates a unique urban environment aimed at encouraging vibrant connections between the College of Law, the network of downtown legal professionals, and the larger Phoenix community. “The Beus Center appears solid and grounded while expressing a lightness and translucency through its innovative facade treatment and bold structural moves. Simultaneously, it acts as an icon for the city and a beacon that welcomes the community inside.”Nathaniel Stanton, Principal, Craft Engineer Studio (Juror)
Associate Architect: Jones Studio Structural, MEP/FP, Lighting, Sustainable Design: BuroHappold Engineering Landscape: Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture Acoustics / Audiovisual / Telecommunications / Data: JBA Consulting Engineers Construction Manager: DPR Construction
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Archtober Building of the Day #15: Staten Island Courthouse, St. George

This story is part of a monthlong series of guests posts by AIA New York that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours. See the full 2017 schedule here. Yesterday’s Archtober group was treated to an in-depth exploration of the new Staten Island Courthouse in St. George, with a number of tour guides led by Susan Rodriguez, FAIA, Partner at Ennead Architects, and Chris Halloran, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate at Ennead Architects. We were lucky enough to also have representatives from court planning consultants RicciGreene Associates and structural engineers LERA to share their insights, as well as a number of court employees who showed us around and provided fascinating takes on the building’s use. The project was intended to unify the New York State Supreme Civil and Criminal Courts for Staten Island, as well as the lower Criminal Courts and offices for various other agencies, such as the Richmond County District Attorney and the NYPD. It is, accordingly, an extremely complex program, especially given the security requirements of a criminal courthouse. With defendants, attorneys, witnesses, members of the jury, judges, family members, reporters, and the general public needing to access the courtroom, each one of these groups has to have a clearly choreographed path through the space of the courthouse. Programmatic complexity is only one aspect of the Courthouse’s design. The site’s urban context forces it to be a major player in city-making. To the east, the courthouse faces toward the St. George waterfront, where it is visible from the Staten Island Ferry. It is also situated to the north of Memorial Green, the former site of a quarantine station for immigrants, designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; across the green are Borough Hall, the New York Public Library, and the Staten Island Theater. To the west is a residential neighborhood. The south of the courthouse faces a parking garage, built as part of the project, since the courthouse site used to be a municipal parking lot. Moreover, the site dictated long east and west façades and short north and south ends. On the outside, then, the building had to be a transitional zone from arrival to community, from civic to private. The design, accordingly, pushes the public spaces toward the east and the more restricted ones to the west, with courtrooms making up the core. Our tour started on the fifth floor, which houses the judges’ chambers. There, we took in the view from the judges’ lobby to Manhattan on the northeast and out the Verrazano Narrows on the southeast. The second, third and fourth floors are very similar in plan, housing courtrooms, hearing rooms, holding cells for prisoners on the criminal end, robing rooms, and jury deliberation rooms. In the courtrooms, the designers described the complicated process of designing such an important space. Once the preliminary design was made, a full-scale mockup was built, and every judge sat behind the bench to make sure that they could see the faces of witnesses, defendants, and attorneys. This led to adjustments in the lighting so that eye contact could be established. At the same time, while the judge must be able to see everyone, the design needed to ensure the privacy of the documents available to judges and attorneys. The ground floor, which houses the jury assembly room and other receiving functions, extends beyond the rest of the building. Our tour guides led us to the ground floor's green roof, from where we could admire the façade rising above us; a remarkably smooth glass façade on floors two through four and four copper towers – the building’s visual signature – which house the fifth floor and mechanical services. At the end of the tour, we viewed the jury assembly room – eerily large when empty, but filled every day with 200 potential jurors – and, on the lower level, the arraignment courtroom. The courtrooms have a subtle blue and orange color scheme, echoing the colors of New York State and the Staten Island Ferry’s graphic identity. By the end of the tour, we had come to appreciate the subtle interweaving of spaces that allows for the success of this complex building. Join us tomorrow at the Lenfest Center for the Arts!
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A self-shading protective skin for the desert

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The Sandra Day O'Connor Law School, at Arizona State University (ASU), is a new six-story, 260,000-square-foot state-of-the-art law school, designed by New York-based Ennead Architects in collaboration with Jones Studio. The architecture of the building is inspired by the school’s progressive legal scholarship and outreach to the community through services like a public interest law clinic and the nation’s first not-for-profit teaching law firm. Ennead Architects say the Phoenix-based school is designed to act as an institutional agent of change dedicated to educating students and citizens on the importance of the law in shaping civil society.
  • Facade Manufacturer Kovach
  • Architects Ennead Architects; Jones Studio (Local Architect)
  • Facade Installer DPR Construction (construction manager)
  • Facade Consultants Buro Happold Engineering (Strutural, MEP/FP, Lighting Design, Sustainability)
  • Location Phoenix, Arizona
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System unitized prefabricated panels on steel frame construction
  • Products Kovach (unitized facade and storefronts); GKD (fall protection and media mesh); Cornerstone (Arizona sandstone); Fabri-Tech Structures (Courtyard sails); Performance Solutions (retractable seating system); Barrett-Homes (Hunter Douglas Ceilings & ACGI); ISEC (custom millwork)
In response to this initiative, the building design encourages vibrant connections between ASU, the College of Law, and the local downtown Phoenix community. A north-south “slice” through the courtyard massing creates an inviting and active public space with a pedestrian pathway that brings individuals directly into the central core of the law school, exposing them to the main lobby and three double-height spaces located at the heart of the building. Here, an expansive bi-folding glass door at the front of the school's Great Hall blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space, providing flexibility while offering a unique civic space to the downtown Phoenix community. Brian Masuda, associate partner at Ennead Architects, said this massing strategy paired environmental responsiveness with the desire to expose the core functions of the building to the public. The courtyard allows views into the building while self-shading large glazed areas of the facade. Sustainability was a key design driver throughout the process. A "hard-shell," which the design team considered a "protective skin" that performs as a shading device, wraps all of the exterior surfaces of the building. Ennead collaborated with Buro Happold to develop an articulated facade of Arizona sandstone with aluminum and glass windows. Masuda said internal programming and solar orientation prompted undulation in the window openings of the facade: "The aesthetic was driven by the program and environmental analysis. We wanted to make the stone facade modulate and calibrate in a way that when the windows got wider, fin elements got deeper." The facade is unitized and factory assembled, both to assure quality and to achieve a higher standard of thermal performance. The decision to work with a unitized system also helped with an aggressive one-year design and documentation schedule, said Masuda: "A unitized prefab facade system came into play because of the efficiency of the construction." Heavily insulated walls and roof also contribute to the efficiency of the shell. Mechanically, the building incorporates energy-efficient technologies, including chilled beams and under-floor displacement cooling. The project team said that because of the integration of these passive systems, they relied more heavily on the performance of the building envelope. "Hot spots" discovered through energy modeling were managed by the fine tuning of glazing types, the specification of high solar heat gain coefficients, and fritting in specific areas of the facade. The building is expected to reduce energy consumption by 37% compared to a baseline building, per ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Desert-adaptive planting and water features activate the landscape, helping to minimize on-site irrigation demands. The building taps into a campus-wide system of tracking energy usage, which is publicly accessible online through ASU’s “campus metabolism” website.
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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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I.M. Pei–designed art museum to get major renovation

The Indiana University Art Museum has received a $15 million gift which will be used for the renovation of the museum’s current 1982 I.M. Pei building. The gift was bestowed by the Indianapolis-based philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. In honor of their gift, the museum has been renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Art Museum. The updates to the 34-year-old museum building, due to be completed in 2020, will be designed by the New York-based Ennead Architects and Indianapolis-based Browing Day Mullins Dierdorf. Along with the $15 million gift, the university will also be spending an additional $20 million on the project as part of their current gift-matching program. Along with the monetary gift, the Eskenazi’s have donated a nearly 100 works of their personal collection to the museum. The collection includes pieces by Miró, Picasso, Calder, Chigall, Dali and others. These pieces will be added to the museums already 45,000 piece collection, which ranges from ancient to modern art of a diverse range of cultures. The current I.M. Pei-designed museum is often cited as having no right angles. Though this is not accurate, the building is defined by two large triangular forms connected by a large triangular glass atrium.