Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal at REX, has a bone to pick with modernism and its legacy. “For the last 100 years, architecture’s been involved in a silly tension between form and function,” he said. While high modernism privileged function over form, some of today’s top designers argue that architecture is about aesthetics and not much else. REX has a different take: architecture, the firm claims, is both function and form. “We really believe that architecture can do things. It’s not just a representational art form,” said Prince-Ramus. “We talk about performance. Aesthetics are part of performance [as is function.]” Prince-Ramus, who will deliver the afternoon keynote address at next week’s facades+PERFORMANCE New York conference, approaches facade design as an integral part of the design process as a whole. That process, in turn, revolves around a concept he calls agenda. “We set out in our projects to figure out what the project’s agenda should be, then we set out to delimit the constraints,” he said. “Then we try to find the embodiment of the agenda that will fit seamlessly within those constraints.” REX’s current projects include a pair of headquarters buildings for sister media companies in the Middle East. The stone-clad towers are covered in retractable sunshades that reference a traditional Arab Mashrabiya pattern. As an example of how constraints can influence facade design, Prince-Ramus cited the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas. REX (with OMA) slashed the project’s envelope budget in order to build a theater that changes shape to suit different arts events. The money they were left with, said Prince-Ramus, was about what standard aluminum siding would cost—so they started there. “We made a dummy design where we spent a lot of effort trying to not design something aesthetically, but that we’d put it out to the market and uncover what in the market drove costs,” he said. In Dallas that turned out to be weight, since frequent hail storms require thick siding. REX/OMA developed a facade system of extruded tubes that would protect against hailstones while minimizing the amount of aluminum required. “We made something that was very beautiful and very unique,” said Prince-Ramus. “Certainly if we’d come back to the client with flat aluminum siding they would have said, ‘Put the money back into the facade.'...The success of the facade is why we were able to build a building that’s renowned for its ability to transform.” While the Wyly Theatre facade was shaped by financial constraints, the client’s particular vision informed the envelope for the Mercedes Benz Future Center in Stuttgart. “Part of the collective agenda was that the building should be very transparent, as opposed to museums, which tend to be very cloistered,” said Prince-Ramus. But the automaker also wanted the Future Center, which will display its vision for the future of automobile technology, to be “a beacon for sustainability.” REX’s current solution (which may change as the design develops) is to create a curtain-like sunshade that wraps around the all-glass building. The shade is opaque on one side of the building and nearly transparent on the other, and rotates with the sun’s movements. The curtain is a metaphor for the unknowability of the future: Prince-Ramus recalled the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which says that it is impossible to simultaneously determine the value of certain variables. “The more you know of one, the less you know of others,” he said. “In discussions about the future, that idea seemed really inherent in what they’re doing [at Mercedes Benz].” Whatever the origin of a particular facade design, for Prince-Ramus it always comes back to performance, the standard that for him encapsulates both function and aesthetics. “The more we’ve used the word performance, the more I’m convinced it does have that dual meaning,” he said. “When [they] talk about a high-performance auto, they don’t just mean it goes from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. They mean it’s sexy, too.” To hear Joshua Prince-Ramus speak next week, visit the facades+PERFORMANCE New York conference website.
Posts tagged with "Facades+Performance":
So much of design work today is solitary. It involves sitting in front of a computer—crunching data, building renderings, and running evaluations on digital models. But that’s not the full picture. AEC professionals rely on personal connections to identify projects, connect with clients, and learn new skills. Whether a business meeting or a chat over cocktails, face-to-face interactions still matter. The upcoming facades+PERFORMANCE New York conference offers plenty of opportunities for informal networking in addition to scheduled presentations and workshops. Attendees will have a chance to connect one-on-one with fellow designers, including many of the movers and shakers in the world of facade design and fabrication, during multiple networking breaks. Day one features both morning and afternoon networking breaks sponsored by W&W Glass and a complimentary lunch sponsored by KEPCO+. The day concludes with a cocktail reception sponsored by Autodesk. Symposium keynote speakers and presenters—including Gordon Gill (Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill), Joshua Prince-Ramus (REX), Doris Sung (dO/Su Studio), James O’Callaghan (Eckersley O’Callaghan), Ana Bertuna (Related), and William Logan (Israel Berger & Associates)—will be on hand throughout. Day 2 similarly allows for morning and afternoon networking and refreshment breaks and an hour-long complimentary networking lunch. Participants in the day-long tech and dialog workshops can use these breaks to connect with other workshop attendees, get to know their instructors, and visit with colleagues enrolled in different programs. To register for facades+PERFORMANCE New York, visit the conference website. A full schedule, including networking breaks, is available here.
As most AEC professionals know, technology can be either a help or a hindrance when it comes to the design of high-performance building envelopes. Software programs like Grasshopper and Autodesk Vasari offer powerful tools for generating, modeling, and analyzing facades. But there’s a catch. Without a firm grasp of the programs’ capabilities, users can lose data, overlook important features, or otherwise negate the advantages inherent to digital design. Attendees at this month’s facades+PERFORMANCE New York conference will have access to hands-on instruction in a variety of digital design environments through a series of all-day tech workshops. In “Enhanced Parametric Design with Dynamo,” led by Gil Akos of Mode Lab, participants will learn the basics of parametric design within Vasari using Dynamo. Dynamo extends Vasari with additional generative and performance-driven design capabilities, and automates many design tasks. Workshop attendees will see how to use Dynamo throughout the design process, and will also get a sneak peak of work-in-progress versions of the software. “Environmental Analysis and Facade Optimization Strategies,” with Matt Jezyk, Ian Keough, and David Scheer of Autodesk, will also explore the application of Dynamo to facade design. Participants will practice using Dynamo to evaluate solar radiation on the exterior of a building and set up a recursive optimization strategy. Keough, who created Dynamo while working as a consulting engineer, will discuss the program’s unique parametric feature set. Workshop attendees will have a chance to use a soon-to-be-released milestone update to the software. Daniel Davis and Tim Dumatrait of CASE will lead “Parametric Dashboards.” This workshop will tackle the problem of data loss between design iterations, and outline strategies for capturing analysis data and using it to create visualizations and evaluate outcomes. Participants will use Grasshopper to analyze facade design options, then will export their data into external software and develop dashboards to graph and chart the outcomes. The fourth tech workshop, “Advanced Facade Panelization and Optimization Techniques” with Thornton Thomasetti’s Matthew Naugle, is already sold out. Participants will learn the basics of facade panelization and optimization using Grasshopper. The workshop will also explore three Grasshopper plugins: Galapagos, for facade optimization, Kangaroo, for advanced panelization techniques, and TT Toolbox, which allows users to track design iterations in Excel. To register for a tech workshop, see the event page. There you can also view pre-requisites and recommended software downloads.
Innovations in building envelope design typically take one of two forms. The first concerns the materials themselves, and the application of developments in the science of glass, metal, concrete, wood, and plastics to architecture. The second has to do with how the facade mediates between the building interior and the environment. In a world of extreme weather events and rapid sociological change, architects must invent new ways to marry flexibility, resilience, and sustainability in facade design. The six Dialog Workshops at April’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York offer opportunities to explore these themes in depth. Participants choose one morning and one afternoon session, during which they will have a chance to learn from and interact with industry leaders in an intimate setting. The three morning sessions include “Broad-side,” led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Kevin Rice, with Peter Arbour (Seele) and Matthew Ostrow (Diller Scofidio + Renfro). Using DS+R’s Broad Museum as a case study, the panelists will discuss the processes and techniques of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) facade design. Richard Green of Front, Inc. will coordinate “An ASTM Structural Glass Standard: The Need, the Philosophy, and the Direction” with Michael Ludvik (M. Ludvik Engineering), Louis Moreau (Agnora), and Keith Boswell (SOM). This workshop will explore the history of architectural glass and its resistance to use beyond window applications, and will provide an overview of efforts by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to develop structural glass standards. In the final morning Dialog Workshop, “Facade Health(care): Extended Building Envelope Lifespans through Permanence, Adaptability, and De-Generation,” presenters Kevin Kavanagh and Alex Korter of CO Architects will look at examples of successful healthcare facade designs and how their lessons might be applied to envelope design more generally. The afternoon Dialog Workshops include “Facade Metrics and Resilience: Real Life Difference During Times of Crisis,” coordinated by SOM’s Christoph Timm with panelists Nico Kinzi (Atelier Ten), Teresa Rainey (SOM), Daniel Vos (Heintges), Michel Michno (CH Holding), Markus Shulte (Arup), and John Lee (NYC Dept. of Buildings). The panelists will outline if-then design scenarios relating to today’s top environmental challenges, including extreme weather, man-made disasters, migration, and sociological changes. Mic Patterson (Enclos) and Bruce Milley (Guardian Industries) will co-coordinate “Reflections on Glass: The Aesthetics of Reflected Light” with panelist Tim Singel (Guardian Industries). The workshop will examine the visual behavior of architectural glass, including reflectivity and color, and will offer a first look at a new glass visualization tool developed by Guardian Industries. The third afternoon workshop, “Energy and the Envelope,” will by coordinated by Dr. Forrest Meggers (Princeton University) with panelists Cecil Scheib (Urban Green Council), Alejandro Zaera-Polo (AZPML & Princeton SoA), Erik Olsen (Transsolar), and Anna Dyson (CASE). The panelists will discuss facade design for environmental performance, asking how we might move beyond thick, insulated, stand-alone facades and toward building systems that treat the facade as an integral part of an overall environmental strategy. For more information on facades+PERFORMANCE Dialog Workshops, visit the event page. To register, click here.
Architect Gordon Gill has one simple rule for facade design: seek performance first, and beauty will follow. Gill, who will give the opening keynote address at next month’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York, is a founding partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a firm known for pushing the boundaries of what architecture is and does. Gill and his team start by “establishing a language of architecture that’s based in the performance of a building,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the role of the building in the environment it’s being built in, then shape the building in order to benefit it the best way. Once we take that approach, the facades play a pretty rich role in either absorbing or reflecting the environment.” Gill titled his keynote talk “Skin Deep” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to what facade design ought not to be. “A lot of times facades are treated that way, as just a wrapper to make the building look good, when in fact we find their roles to be much deeper,” said Gill. “The role of the facade is really an amazing opportunity to change perceptions of space, to change thermal compositions of space, to change experiences of space on either side of that fence.” Gill has plenty of experience designing high-performance facades for challenging climates, from the heat of Dubai to the cold of Kazakhstan, where, he said, the air was so frigid and dry that he saw ice on the floor of the car that picked him up from the airport. “It’s amazing the environments that we have decided to occupy, and in doing so then we turn to these envelopes to protect us, everything from our coat to our building,” he observed. Gill embraces technology as a means to the end of high performance. “I’m a big fan of trying to get the most out of everything, and the technology plays a pretty big role in that for me,” he said. “When you’re dealing with a whole host of factors, including massive wind loads, movements of buildings, safety and protection in something that’s one kilometer tall, you’ve stretched the boundaries of conventionalism, you’ve gone beyond the normal expectations of materials. So now it becomes this combination of things you have to do to solve the problems.” Balancing performance and sensitivity in a facade, said Gill, is “like conflict resolution at the threshold of the built environment”—and technology can be an important mediator. “I would just put out a little call to arms for everyone who’s out there in this business, because we do have a responsibility to improve the environments that we design and work in,” concluded Gill. “I think beauty [has] a pivotal role and [is] a quality we all want to pursue, however, it shouldn’t be at the cost of intelligence, performance, and all the other things that make our environments valuable to us. I look forward to seeing more of that in the architecture that’s being produced—from us, too.”
BIM continues to transform the process of design and building. Dynamo for Autodesk Vasari is a leading open source visual programming environment that extends the parametric capabilities of Revit and Vasari. April’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York includes two conference tech workshops focusing on Dynamo. Gil Akos of Mode Lab will lead Enhanced Parametric Design with Dynamo (4 AIA CES LU credits). Participants will learn the fundamentals of parametric design within Dynamo, with attention to how the application can be used during every stage of the design process. The workshop will also feature a preview of work-in-progress versions of the open-source software.Workshop attendees will receive a one-month complimentary subscription to Mode Lab, a source for in-person and online education in digital design tools. Mode Lab and Autodesk are also hosting a live Q&A on Dynamo on March 21, 2014. Learn more here. For conference-goers interested in how Dynamo can be used to design for better environmental performance, there’s Solar Radiation and Daylighting Analysis with Dynamo (8 AIA CES LU credits). Mett Jezyk and Ian Keough, both of Autodesk, will lead the workshop. In the morning session, participants will learn how to use Dynamo to evaluate solar radiation on a building exterior and set up a recursive optimization strategy. After lunch, the workshop will focus on using Dynamo as a cloud service to access daylighting analysis capabilities. Both workshops take place on April 25. Register for a facades+PERFORMANCE tech workshop today on the event registration page.
We just wrapped up the latest installment of our Facades+ conference series. It was our most successful event yet! The response was overwhelmingly positive as hundreds of eager professionals converged on Chicago to discuss the most exciting breakthroughs in facade technologies. With sold-out workshops, standing-room-only panels, and sponsors already signing up for next year, Facades+ PERFORMANCE surpassed our greatest expectations! "The Facades+ conference hits the sweet spot between design, engineering, the industry, and the academy, so there's really something for everyone," said AN executive editor Alan G. Brake. "The Chicago conference, at the beautiful IIT campus ablaze with fall color, was one of the most successful to date. It was two days full of inspiring, behind the scenes stories of how great buildings are made and the important technical knowledge that is advancing the profession.” Facades+ PERFORMANCE, presented by AN and Enclos, marked the sixth event in our expanding legacy of conferences. Focusing on the most pressing issues in design, construction, and fabrication of cutting-edge facades, Facades+ has traversed the nation to bring critical dialogs on the building skin to the innovative processionals at the heart of the AEC industry. This year, the crowds went wild as keynote speakers Stefan Behnisch (Behnisch Architekten) and Gerardo Salinas (Rojkind Arquitectos) discussed the rapidly evolving role of the building skin amidst emerging technologies, and the architects’ struggle to maintain sustainability while making the most of these radical innovations. As the theme of the conference changes with each season, a few familiar faces continue to return for more. Repeat attendees tell us that they keep coming back to Facades+ because it continues to bring the fresh perspectives, exciting case studies, and breakthrough ideas that allow them to push their professional practices forward. If you missed this one, don’t worry – we are already gearing up for the next electrifying installment of the Facades+ conference series, returning to New York City this April! And stay tuned, Dallas, because Facades+ will be breaking ground in your city next fall! Be prepared for more fascinating speakers, hands-on workshops, and more of the unparallel networking experience that you have come to expect from our signature events. For a taste of the action to come, check out the full Facades+ site for event photos, past lineups, and our stimulating Facades+ video series. See you in New York!
AN and Enclos' Facades+ PERFORMANCE is only one week away! Register today to join hundreds of like-minded professionals from across the AEC industry as they converge on Chicago from October 24th-25th to discuss the most exciting breakthroughs in high-performance building enclosures. The response has been overwhelming and there are just a few seats remaining, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this groundbreaking event! Be there for hands-on technology workshops and in-depth discussions of the tools and techniques that are forcing a paradigm shift in the way high-performance architecture is conceived and constructed. Form lasting professional connections with leading innovators from across the industry through our unbeatable networking opportunities. Set new standards for performance in your professional practice. The future of architecture begins at Facades+, so sign up today before the clock runs out!
At AN and Enclos’ Facades+ PERFORMANCE, the most anticipated conference on high-performance building enclosures, we not only provide you with the educational experiences that enable you to push your professional practice into emerging architectural frontiers, but we facilitate the networking opportunities that provide you with connections you need to excel in today’s dynamic professional environment. Be there as hundreds of leading specialists from across the AEC industries gather to share and discuss the latest methods and technologies that are revolutionizing the built landscape. Whether you are an architect, engineer, fabricator, contractor, materials supplier, developer, educator or student, Facades+ PERFORMANCE is the destination for those interested in the latest breakthroughs in all aspects of high-performance facades. There are only nine days left before the conference touches down on Mies van der Rohe’s IIT Campus in Chicago, so register today to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Sign up now and mark it down on your calendar: Facades+ PERFORMANCE, Chicago, October 24th-25th! With networking breaks every two hours, complementary lunches, our jam-packed sponsors gallery, and, to top it all off, a cocktail reception at Rem Koolhaas’ IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center, the Facades+ agenda was crafted to maximize your ability to form crucial professional connections. Be exposed to new technologies, new methods, new materials, and new ideas as you meet and mingle with representatives from today’s most exciting firms. The clock is ticking, so reserve your space today to begin the next stage in your career.
Facades+ PERFORMANCE is only ten days away! Space is filling up fast, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this groundbreaking, two-day convergence of the industry’s leading innovators. Register today to take advantage of our exclusive educational opportunities, including a day-long symposium examining new perspectives on building skins and sustainable practices, and hands-on technical workshops in the latest design and analysis technologies that are revolutionizing contemporary architecture. And don’t forget about our in-depth, seminar-style dialog workshops, in which leading professionals from across the AEC industry sit down with you to discuss their most innovative recent projects. Space is limited, and some sessions are already SOLD OUT, so sign up today to reserve you seat! Join the movement that is changing the face of the built environment, only at Facades+ PERFORMANCE – Chicago, Oct. 24-25th! The conference kicks off next Thursday morning with a keynote address from founding principal of Behnisch Architekten, Stefan Behnisch, as he discusses the evolving role of building enclosures amidst ever-advancing technologies. The symposium will continue throughout the day as representatives from SOM, Thornton Tomasetti, Rojkind Arquitectos, and other leading firms will discuss the most pressing issues in sustainable, high-performance facades. Registered architects can earn 8 AIA LU/HSW credits. The following day, attendees can customize their schedules to best suit their professional goals. Sign up for two, half-day dialog workshops to join representatives from SHoP Construction, Gehry Technologies, Morphosis, and other industry leaders for intimate discussions of exciting, real-world case studies. Or register for our cutting-edge technology workshops, and join the experts for full-day, project-based instruction in the most relevant applications of breakthrough technologies, like environmental analysis with Grasshopper and Ladybug, and parametric facade design with Dynnamo for Revit—another exciting opportunity to score your AIA credits! For a complete schedule of events, check out the full Facades+ PERFORMANCE site.
Join Leading Industry Professionals at Rem Koolhaas' Chicago IIT Campus Center for Facades+PERFORMANCE!
Facades+ PERFORMANCE, presented by The Architect's Newspaper and Enclos, is the latest in our breakthrough series of conferences which seek to address the most pressing issues in the design, fabrication, and construction of cutting-edge, sustainable building enclosures. Join us in Chicago from October 24th-25th as leading professionals from across the AEC industries converge for two days of symposia, panels, and workshops to explore the latest strategies for delivering innovative facades amidst increasing standards of geometric complexity and environmental performance. Architects, engineers, developers, consultants, and other industry professionals are invited to take part in this exciting event. Be there as German architect Stefan Behnisch, founding partner of Behnisch Architekten, delivers his featured keynote address on the shifting role of the building skin in the wake of emerging technologies. Network with fellow professionals and join in the dialog with representatives from SOM, Gehry Technologies, Morphosis, SHoP, Thornton Tomasetti, and other industry-leading firms. From cocktails in Rem Koolhaas–designed IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center, to hands-on workshops in the latest design technologies and intimate discussions of some of today's most exciting projects, this is one event you cannot afford to miss. Register today to join the revolution that is changing the face of our built environment. “With the challenges we face in the built environment, facades are becoming more and more an integral element of architectural design and engineering,” said Behnisch in a statement. “It is not only the visual appearance but also the performance of a building that depend on the facade.” With dozens of completed projects across Europe and the United States, Behnisch has made a name for himself through the dynamic forms, state-of-the-art facades, and the socially and environmentally sustainable focus of his work. As our featured keynote speaker, Behnisch will draw from his professional experience discuss the evolving functions of facades and the architect’s role within this changing landscape. “In the search for a more sustainable built environment, we, the architects have to assess the conditions under which our buildings have to be built and the conditions under which they have to perform. Whilst in the second half of the 20th century, the International Style allowed us to build similar buildings within many different climates, we cannot afford to do this anymore. …Today, we have to analyze the climatic, the cultural, the geopolitical, the social, the geographical and the topographical conditions of our potential buildings.” The seats are filling up fast, so reserve your space today to hear more from Behnisch and the rest of the exciting lineup of presenters at Facades+ PERFORMANCE! For the full schedule of events, check out the complete Facades+ site.
In an environment of escalating demands and expectations for high-performance building envelopes, the need for innovative responses from AEC professionals is ever increasing. But as new building materials, fabrication techniques, and design technologies ceaselessly emerge into the marketplace, the architectural possibilities become dizzying. At Facades+ PERFORMANCE, the nation's premiere conference for high-performance facades, we strive to keep you up to date with the latest strategies and tools that are revolutionizing the built environment. Join us for two days of cutting edge workshops, panels, and symposia presented by the industry’s leading innovators, and become part of the movement that is transforming the built environment. Be there as Mic Patterson of Enclos is joined by Keith Boswell and Anwar Hakim of SOM to discuss the process of innovation and the application of emerging building technologies in their afternoon dialog-workshop, “Innovation and The Building Skin.” Space is limited, so reserve your seat today to take part in this and other exciting programs at AN and Enclos’ Facades+ PERFORMANCE, coming to Chicago, October 24th-25th! "Innovation is no accident," said Patterson in a statement, "it is a creative act requiring discipline, deliberation, and strategic planning; the key is learning to implement and manage the process of innovation." With decades' worth of experience in the study and promotion of the design, fabrication and instillation of advanced facade technologies and structural glass facades, Patterson has dedicated his career to realizing the future of the building skin. After founding ASI Advanced Structures in 1991 and pioneering the use advanced facade technologies in the US, Patterson joined up with Enclos in 2007 when they acquired ASI. He has since worked to establish the Advanced Technology Studio of Enclos in Los Angeles, a think-tank tasked with developing innovative technical and structural solutions to match the ever expanding geometric complexity and performative demands placed upon today's most dynamic facades. "Today's building programs involve unprecedented demands on the building skin, demands that are driving step-change in facade systems and technology. Innovation is the necessary industry response to these drivers of change. When I consider the current crop of projects we are involved with I am struck by how different they are from the work we were doing five, or even three years ago. Recognizing these differences highlights the trends that are shaping the future of our industry." Join Mic Patterson has he discusses his experience delivering elegant, economic, high-performance facades amidst the revolution of formal complexity and material diversity that is transforming the AEC industries, and learn the tools to necessary to compete on the crest of innovation. Register today to take part in this and other exciting workshops, panels, and symposia, offered only at Facades+ PERFORMANCE!