Posts tagged with "Germany":

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Nike’s new House of Innovation brings an undulating glass facade to Fifth Avenue

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On the corner of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, the Nike House of Innovation announces its presence on this stretch of largely historic masonry structures with a striking slumped-and-carved glass facade. The 68,000-square-foot recladding and interior design project replaces the avenue elevation of the concrete-and-glass Pahlavi Foundation Building (formerly owned by the Shah of Iran and recently seized by the Federal Government).
  • Facade Manufacturer Cricursa (glass), Seele GmbH
  • Architects Nike Global Retail Design, CallisonRTKL
  • Facade Installer Seele GmbH
  • Facade Consultants Heintges Consulting Architects & Engineers, Mode Lab
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion November 2018
  • System Curved and annealed glass curtain wall units
  • Products Curved Annealed - Crisunid, Low-E / Selective Coatings - Crislan
For the six-story structure’s recladding, the design team reached out to Spanish glass manufacturer Cricursa. Based in Barcelona, the company has specialized in curved glass since the early-20th century. To give the glass its shape, the modules are slowly heated to the softening point, around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, where the materials slumps into customized molds. Once the glass panels have achieved their desired geometry, they are slowly cooled in a process called annealing. Installed as a double-glazed curtain wall, a low emissivity coating was applied to each panel to reduce heat transfer on both sides of the glazing. The size of the glass modules is largely standardized, measuring approximately 8 by 14 feet. However, where the entrance tapers upward, Cricursa fabricated three variations of trapezoidal panels and a singular triangular panel. The glass manufacturer fabricated five full-scale mockups of the modules to allow for thermal and structural load testing prior to full production. After testing, approximately 100 windows were shipped to Seele GmbH's facility in Augsburg, Germany, for assembly. Novel in terms of architectural application, the slumped glass was also CNC-carved with a series of striations perched at a 23.5-degree angle in the style of Nike’s iconic Swoosh logo. Andy Thaemert, Nike senior creative director, described this effect as accomplishing the brand’s goal to “create static architecture that feels like it's in motion.” From street level and within the House of Innovation, views through the glass present constantly shifting refractions of adjacent buildings. As a re-cladding project, the facade’s assembly is relatively straightforward. According to Heintges, the facade consultants for the project, "the glass facade is hung from the existing roof level with a grid of custom shaped steel mullions and transoms, pinned back for lateral loads at the 5th, and 3rd floor, and just above the ground." In total, the exterior envelope went from steel to glass in roughly four months. The project follows the Nike House of Innovation 001 constructed in Shanghai in October 2018, while a third is planned for Paris in 2019
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This rope-free, sideways elevator may be coming to a building near you

Apparently, Star Trek had it right. Those familiar with the seminal sci-fi series will find the thyssenkrupp MULTI system eerily familiar. Like the ubiquitous turbolifts of the interstellar television show, MULTI is a rope-less, sideways-moving elevator system. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for the 22nd century to see them in action, because thyssenkrupp has a working prototype in the German countryside.

The nearly completed thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil, Germany, stands 800 feet above a rolling green landscape. Essentially a complex elevator core, the test tower will have a full working version of MULTI. At the same time thyssenkrupp puts the final touches on its testing facility, MULTI already has its first client. OVG Real Estate’s East Side Tower in Berlin will be the first to deploy the system.

Unlike nearly all elevators, MULTI functions on a system of rails rather than ropes or cables. This has a distinct number of advantages, especially when building supertalls. The simple weight and length of the cables is prohibitive, and they limit the directionality of the elevator car. In general, only one car is able to be in each shaft at a time—a problem for buildings with tens of thousands of people moving up and down every day. MULTI, on the other hand, circumvents many of these obstacles. With no cables, multiple cars can move in a single shaft. The track system can be used to move cars up and down, as well as side to side. Working in loops, MULTI has the potential to be faster, and more efficient, both spatially and environmentally.

Notably, while addressing many of the common issues facing current elevator technology, MULTI has one more advantage: There is no limit to the height or length of the system. While elevators are often cited as the invention that permitted the rise of skyscrapers, today supertall buildings are reaching the limits of that technology.

The real question now, though, is: How are the buttons going to work on an elevator that can go in so many directions?

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Six can’t-miss sculptures from the Münster Sculpture Project

Once every decade, the German city of Münster hosts a sculpture exhibit in its public spaces. The first exhibit was in 1977 and so in 2017 it’s time again for the experimental program in this Westphalian village. Münster is a thriving regional capital with a large university, thousands of bicycles, and town and regional leaders of great vision who have a desire to support art. It is hard to imagine an American city of Münster’s profile hosting an adventurous project—even if it would bring tourists to its hotels and restaurants. The curator of the exhibition, Kasper König, choose not to have a theme for the event: it’s better, he believes, to allow artists total authorship of their work and for them to exist in their own site-specific context. Participating artists are invited to Münster in advance to investigate the city before they propose a project. It allows the work to be site-specific while also enabling it to point “beyond its boundaries,” as the Project's catalogue says. Münster purchases several of the sculptures from each edition of the event so they remain permanently in place and there are several of these works visitors should not miss: a bus stop by Dennis Adams, Siah Armajani’s study garden, Dan Graham’s Octagon for Münster, Daniel Buren’s red stripe gate in a narrow alleyway, and Rachel Whiteread’s balcony of books in the LWL-Museum of Art and Culture. This strategy of purchasing works by the world’s best sculptors is such a smart way of bringing the world of forms and ideas into this provincial town and our city planners could learn a great deal about the role of culture in the city. In any event, here is my list of 2017 installed projects not to miss if you are lucky enough to be in Westphalia in the next three months. The most spectacular work in Münster this year is Pierre Huyghe’s After A life Ahead, an excavation of a large, shuttered ice rink on the city’s periphery. Huyghe ripped the concrete floor with saws and then piled the newly freed slabs around the site like ancient shards. He then excavated into the earth below the old floor and created a hilly, damp landscape accessible by visitors. In the middle of this landscape on a sand hill is a glass incubator that contains a HeLa cancer cell line, the growth of which triggers “the emergence of augment reality shapes,” according to the Münster Sculpture Project catalogue. These shapes are mirrored in the triangular forms of the slabs and window openings in the ceiling; this creates a sculpted landscape experience that Hugyhe calls “a time based bio-technical system.” Before I nervously focused on mold growing on the ceiling panels, the immersive experience of the installation was one of the most powerful interior spaces of recent memory. In the Westfälischer Kunstverein is the installation Surplus of Myself by American artist and architect Tom Burr; this piece investigates Paul Rudolph’s Yale Art and Architecture building as if it were a suit of clothes. Burr, who thinks all architecture is “a matter of participation of the human being,” asks us to “consider a room impersonating a body, an inverted volume with naked walls quivering in plain view of the town.” He concludes there are “moral codes: that are applicable to rooms” and, like few others, he able to take on this formidable building and its architect, whose image is included in the exhibit. He describes this tough architecture school interior as one with “swagger and sway” that asks to be “touched; asked to admired, but never fondled.” Is there a better description of this important building anywhere? The best participatory installation in Münster is Ayşe Erkmen’s On Water. She submerged a metal mesh bridge just below the level of a Danube Ems canal so that participants and viewers get the sensation of walking on water. They are able to traverse the narrow body of water from an area that has been totally gentrified with fancy flats to the other side of the canal that is still an industrial oasis and primed for gentrification. It's like walking across time as well as space from the present to the deindustrialized past and people seem to love it, though it's not the cleanest body of water. The most powerful pure sculpture/architecture project in Münster is Thomas Schutte’s Nuclear Temple, which is cast of Cor-ten steel. It has beautiful but odd proportions (like a large pencil eraser) and it's beautiful and horrifying at the same moment. It draws us in but is too small to actually enter and thus becomes a self-contained monument that questions the role of architecture in today’s world. Is architecture today meant for only gazing or branding and not use? No architect in Münster will miss artist John Knight’s beautifully machined and playful large metal water level attached to the side of the LWL-Museum of Art and Culture like a sign, branded with Knight’s initials, which brings the role of design and construction into the public sphere. It takes this beautiful object of construction and reminds us of architecture’s significance for culture and the ambitions of the city. Let’s hope it remains on the museum facade long after the 2017 sculpture project comes to an end later this year. Lastly, Jeremy Deller’s Speak to the Earth and It Will Tell Yyou started in 2007 and won’t leave the city. The artist is fascinated by popular, working class and bottom-up culture. The artwork started out in local allotment gardens in 2007 and asked the gardeners to keep a daily diary’s of their gardening efforts as a way of marking changes due to climate change and as a record of how local residents work in these spaces. They are a record of daily life and a plea for more environmental awareness. There are some who argue that international surveys like Münster no longer matter as powerful statements since curators have become the true stars, selecting work out of public view and then setting their own limits and themes over the combined display. Of course, at this exhibition, there is no theme, but the curators are still making choices and writing catalogue essays in a traditional survey format. But to have a chance to see Huyghe, Deller, Buren, Whiteread, etc., take on Münster and the world is still worth the time devoted to a special trip. In all, there are thirty-five sculptures and installations spread over Münster that are easily accessed by the rent-a-bikes parked all over the city so go and make your own decision. The Münster Sculpture Project runs through October 1, 2017. See its website for more details.
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Architectural works steal the show at Documenta 14

The art exhibition Documenta has been staged every five years in Kassel, Germany since 1955. The first Documenta was labeled “a museum for 100 days” and featured work from the famous 1937 degenerate art show staged by the Nazis. It was an example of Germany coming to terms with its troubled past and it created a reputation that Documenta would take risks and comment critically on contemporary issues in the art world and society. This year’s quinquennial event is staged in public spaces, museums, and squares all over the German city and for the first time in Athens, Greece. The joint Kassel/Athens staging is perhaps a German gesture of goodwill between the two European Union nations that have had a contentious political relationship since the 2016 Greek debt crises. But the curatorial team behind Documenta 14, lead by artistic director Adam Szymczyk, makes the case for Greece as the birthplace of democratic ideals and thus an important partner in 2017. This dual exhibition strategy was created (at the height of the Greek economic crises) so one can see “how problematic things are at the moment, and how much worse they may soon become—though not, naturally, to simply induce passive spectatorship,” said Szymczyk in the exhibition catalogue. The works in Kassel are installed all over the town; museums, cinemas, schools, parks, paths, clubs, and shops that its curator argues “comprises Kassel in its density, richness, particular hospitality, and beauty.” This strategy is meant to create an experience that is “non-exclusionary and defined by personal and collective encounters and decisions—a precise public realm in space and time.” But does this 60-year-old experiment still take chances and represent critical reflections on the world? It's decision to stage temporary artworks in abandoned underground train stations, parks and museums (interspersed between permanent displays) offers Kassel residents the chance to daily confront the work and the ideas they represent. However, I spent six hours walking up down and around Kassel and visiting scores of installations and the exhibit did not really come together as a compelling statement (I did not visit Athens) nor a theme (it seemingly has no title?) that could serve as a framework for the best artworks from the most important artists of the day. But surprisingly, many of the most powerful works in Documenta were architectural or urban in ways that one would find at an architecture biennale. Thus, I have five architecture or urban-themed projects that stand out and should not be missed by designers and urbanists visiting Documenta. The most obvious work—and impossible to avoid—is the full-scale reproduction of the Athenian Parthenon that has been constructed of wire in Kassel’s Friedrichsplatz square by the Argentinian artist Marta Minujin. The double-layered wire mesh is solidified by the inclusion of thousands of donated books, copies of those banned and burned during the Nazi era, on this exact site during the country’s infamous Kristallnacht. The books add color and texture to the structure and remind viewers of how fragile the values of democracy are even if we have buildings constructed in their memory. Near the wire Parthenon in Königsplatz is a stone obelisk, long a symbol of conquest but also urban planning from Rome through Bernini and Haussmann’s Paris. In Kassel, it is a public totem dedicated to the 60 million immigrants and refugees currently on the run. The artist, Nigerian-born and Connecticut-based Olu Oguibe, has inscribed on its four sides gold lettering (in Arabic, Turkish, and English) the words “I was a stranger and you have accommodated me” from Saint Matthew. Oguibe hopes the work will particularly provoke “those pious evangelicals in the USA who vehemently oppose the reception of refugees,” as he said in the Documenta catalogue. In fact, the pillar does work as urban design, giving this large amorphous square a center while focusing our attention not on political conquest but political failure and human responsibility. The other important architecture projects were installed in the classically designed Palais Bellevue which, despite its charming demeanor and beautiful view across the sprawling Auepark below, featured a work that all confronts issues of trauma rooted in the “various disasters of war.” In one room Israeli artist Roee Rosen screened a tightly scripted opera video The Dust Channel (2016) that—in addition to highlighting the sex rituals of a privileged middle class Israeli couple—also focuses on their “perverted” aversion to dust and dirt and obsession with home cleaning appliances, particularly their iconic design object Dyson 7 vacuum. In fact, the Dyson does a star turn as a constant centerpiece of the bourgeois domestic interior. Also in Palais Bellevue is Australian Bonita Ely’s provocative installation—featuring Sewing Machine Gun; Watchtower; Trench; and Call of Duty II—that creates a dystopia surely familiar to any fleeing immigrant. The center of the installation is a trench or maze system made of old furniture inherited by the artist that may not be architecture but is surely ‘design.’ Standing over this is a tower made of an old metal bedsprings and a model machine fabricated from an ancient Singer sewing machine. The installation (or the world it stands in for) is child-like, horrifying, and beautiful at the same time. Finally, a work by Christos Papoulias (who studied architecture in Venice with Rossi, Tafuri, and Scarpa) channeled his inner childhood dreams or nightmares to construct a series of fantasy houses of tramps, coal merchants, agriculturists, gossips and one of the most powerful and creepiest objects in Documenta, the house of a child molester that features a large sculpted hand entirely covering a building. Documenta 14, like all large international art exhibitions, always has several architecture projects than can inspire and provoke. But in Kassel, they stand out for the focus they bring to subjects when they are given an architectural and urban context.
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Take a drone tour of Herzog & de Meuron’s Hamburg concert hall before it opens

If you can't get to the grand opening of Herzog and de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic) concert hall in Hamburg on January 11, then fear not. A drone tour is on hand to whizz you through and around the building, showing off the Swiss firm's breathtaking interiors. The drones explore the wooden circulatory areas, as well as the main concert hall which is clad with acoustic gypsum fiberboard panels. The waterfront complex features three concert halls, a plaza for public viewing that provides sweeping views across Hamburg, and 45 private waterfront apartments. The largest concert hall—with a capacity of 2,100—floats within the main building on 362 spring assemblies for further sound-proofing. Drones also travel outside the building which features a shimmering glazed facade and a dramatic wave-like roofscape, mimicking the nearby river Elbe. Here, audiences can take in and fully appreciate the 1,100 glass panes that comprise the facade from close-up views. With each panel measuring a minimum of 13 feet across, many have been spotted with small dark gray reflective dots. Some panels are curved to distort the facade's reflection of the river, thus creating a shimmering effect. Each panel is unique and individually crafted. While creating an appealing aesthetic, the reflective glass facilitates temperature regulation by reducing heat gains. Structurally, the building relies on the support of roughly 1,700 reinforced concrete piles: It’s located where a waterfront warehouse stood until the project began (though its brick facade is still there) just under a decade ago. Click here for the drone tour!
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Francis Kéré to be focus of extensive exhibition in Germany

Aga Khan Award winner Francis Kéré will have an extensive exhibition—dubbed Francis Kéré. Radically Simple—dedicated to his work at The Architecture Museum for Munich Technical University at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Born in Burkina Faso, though based in Berlin since 2005, Kéré has established a strong pedigree for himself as an African architect practicing in his home continent. In 2004, Kéré won the Aga Khan Award for his first building, a primary school for the village of Gando—where he was born—in Burkina Faso. Since then, Kéré has become renowned for his socially engaging and ecologically sensitive design. The exhibition, arguably the most comprehensive to date on the Burkinabé architect, showcases a number of his projects in his home country. These include the Lycée Schorge secondary school in Koudougou, the Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale (Centre of Health and Social Promotion) in Laongo, and a primary school in Opera Village, also in Laongo. His work in Africa won't be the show's only subject. Kéré's projects—some yet to be complete—in China and Germany are also on display along with his exhibition activities, comprising contributions and competition entries in London, Humlebæk, Milan, Bordeaux, Chicago, Weil am Rhein, Philadelphia, and Venice. In addition to this, photographer and video artist Daniel Schwartz displays a wealth new images and videos of previously unpublished works. According to a musuem press release, Kéré "specifically created the exhibition design for... the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich in order to create a unique experience for the visitor." Francis Kéré. Radically Simple runs through February 26, 2017 with an opening at 7.00 p.m. on November 16 this year.
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Robots sewed together this plywood pavilion in Stuttgart

The University of Stuttgart in South West Germany has recently established a history of creating audacious technically-complex pavilions. In 2014, the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) used robots to weave carbon fiber into the shape of the beetle wings. This year, robotics are once again being used by the ICD and ITKE in a similar fashion, drawing on more forms found in nature. Sewing together 151 plywood shell segments, inspired by sea urchins, the pavilion is the "first of its kind" to make use the industrial sewing of wood at an "architectural scale," rising 29 feet and weighing just over 1,700 pounds. The pavilion was created under the stewardship of Jan Knippers of the ITKE and Achim Menges of the ICD. Menges is also working on a very similar project in London, leading the design for the pavilion at London’s V&A Museum which will be built by robots to resemble construction patterns of beetles. https://vimeo.com/165006724 As for Stuttgart's ICD and ITKE pavilion, the installation is "research pavilions" that will advertise what robotics, computational design, and digital fabrication can do with the realm of architecture. The design team for that pavilion comprised a range of experts including biologists, paleontologists, engineers, and architects. Biologists from Tubingen University had identified Echinoidea (sea urchins) and the order Clypeasteroida (sand dollars) as "promising" studies. Research into the physical properties of their shells, focusing on the "transfer of morphological principles as well as procedural principles of growth" were then later used in an "integrative design process." Inspired by "natural segmented plate structures," the team tested numerous "textile connection methods" but sewing was the best option. In the final design, robots sewed custom-laminated, specially-flexible beech plywood into double-layered segments. https://vimeo.com/98783849  
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Festo’s AutomationCenter outsmarts German energy standards with a high performance automated facade

"The German EnEV (Energy Efficiency Act) challenges the ideal of a transparent crystal-like glass high-rise." - Priedemann Buildings Envelope Consultants

Festo is one of the world’s most prominent engineering companies and a market leader in technical training. For their new AutomationCenter in Southern Germany, Festo along with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, developed an innovative single-skin building envelope which features an “air-exhaust facade principle.” Rather than applying louvers and fins to the glass building, this system employs the use of an automated interior solar shade. Festo has already made a name for itself, writing a new chapter in industrial architectural history by applying new pneumatic multi-layer foil roofs and lightweight glass-cable facades. A 67-metre-high, full glass, diamond-shaped office building is the first component of a new company campus. A reinforced concrete structure, consisting of 16 floors and two basements, is placed on five supports. Two shafts with glass lifts provide further stability in the pointed corners. The office spaces are located in the middle of the stories. Striking the balance between EnEV compliance and a user-friendly full glass facade was only possible with an intelligent new system. The cooling load of the building was prioritized early on in the design process due to heat from the interior along with solar radiation. The design team produced a concept to shield the sun using an inside glare-protection screen. Between this screen and the exterior envelope is a ventilation channel through which waste air is exhausted. The cavity is fed also through ceiling plenums where exhaust air from the offices is expelled. This space functions as an insulated buffer – heat from the sun is absorbed by the inside solar screen and routed up through the cavity. At the same time, the surface of the screen which faces the interior is virtually room temperature. The inner glare protection screen is rail-guided, and operates dependent upon the quantity of solar exposure in the space. The material is light and translucent, helping to provide filtered daylight with low glare. The whole system can also be custom-controlled. The result is a weatherproof envelope and a facade system with a dynamically adaptable solar energy transmittance.
  • Facade Manufacturer Schindler Fenster + Fassaden GmbH
  • Architects Architekturbüro Jaschek
  • Facade Installer Schindler Fenster + Fassaden GmbH
  • Facade Consultants priedemann fassadenberatung (building envelope consultants), Schlaich Bergermann and Partners (structural engineering), Pfeil & Koch (building service engineering), Facade-Lab, Fraunhofer IBP (Mock-Up, in-situ measuring)
  • Location Esslingen, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System high performance single-skin unitized façade on reinforced concrete structure
  • Products Schüco customized aluminum unitized façade system, EControl electrochromatic glass, WAREMA SecuTex blind, GEKKO Facade cleaning robot
Andreas Beccard, Senior Projects Manager for Priedemann Buildings Envelope Consultants, told AN the success of the project was possible due to an interdisciplinary team. “The commitment of the whole team becomes obvious when looking into the development process of the active blind air-exhaust façade. Only thanks to complex simulations and a façade mock-up and its detailed in-situ measuring the façade system became feasible.” Facade-Lab and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Holzkirchen carried out a series of mock-ups to experiment with material fabrics, air flow, and user comfort criteria. The findings produced a reduction in the energy required for cooling of 10-30% compared with a standard building, depending on its size and air-exchange rate. The construction of the facade is realized as a 3 inch thick two-part modular system. This design’s efficient use of space is far better than with double-skin and closed-cavity facades.. A layer of permanent glazing (2.7m x 4m), and a layer of slim operable windows 27 inches wide by 13 feet in height. These windows operate via electrochromic glass panels, which incorporate electric current to adjust their level of opacity. This feature immediately responded to several requests made by employees, who wanted custom-controlled ventilation and to be able to see outside at all times too. This aspect equally responded to the fire service’s smoke-extraction requirements. Beccard said the building’s diamond floor plate provides a key performative aspect helping to improve occupant comfort: “Due to the building orientation, only 2 of the 4 sides have to be “activated” at the same time. Thus you always have 2 sides open for best view and the other 2 sides activated for the exhaust air.” The system has been in operation for nearly one year (completed July, 2015). Even as exterior temperatures have reached over 100°F, the room temperature remains at a constant mid to upper 70’s, saving energy required for cooling the space, and providing a consistent environment for user comfort. Since completion, this “air-exhaust” facade technology has been adopted for a second project – a retrofit of the old ECB high-rise in Frankfurt.
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Architects Campaign to Rebuild a Pre-WWII Mies House In Germany

If a group of architects, designers, and planners get their way—and successfully raise $2.25 million—then an early Mies van der Rohe designed house could be rebuilt. The lost structure would be reborn as the first Mies museum in Europe. Built long before his famous American works like the Farnsworth House and IBM Plaza, the Wolf House stood for nearly two decades in Guben, a town in eastern Germany at the border near Poland. The town was divided after World War II between Germany (Guben) and Poland (Gubin) as the Soviet Army pressed in from the east. In 1945, the Wolf family—that commissioned the Mies house and lived in it—left. The house was demolished soon after. Some designers see the Wolf House and its flat roof as a pivotal part of Mies’ oeuvre: when his architecture turned more experimental and broke from the typical residential architectural language of the era (pitched roofs, porches, roaring 1920s opulence). Others worry a plan to reconstruct the Wolf House is unrealistic, that anything built would be an incomplete reconstruction. The New York Times reports that “the debate has particular resonance in Germany, where reconstruction of structures destroyed in World War II has been a contentious issue, with some critics characterizing reconstruction as an attempt to erase memories of Nazism.” This would not be the first plan for rebuilding a Mies project: the Barcelona Pavilion, built for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, was up for less than a year before it was dismantled. A group of Spanish architects rebuilt the pavilion in the mid-1980s.
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Daniel Libeskind on Acoustics, his Unexpected Architectural Process, and his Latest Venture One Day in Life

Little known fact: As a child, Daniel Libeskind was an accordion virtuoso. Until he was about 18, Libeskind toured the world playing concerts on his accordion and busting out works like Flight of the Bumblebee before he was in high school. “I think I probably made more money per hour than I do now,” he joked last night in Cosentino’s showroom where he revealed his latest venture: A 24-hour musical experience with over 75 consecutive concert events in Frankfurt May 21–22. The event, One Day in Life, was meant to capture what Libeskind defined as the “18 dimensions of existence,” such as body, will, memory, gravity, secret, work, and waiting. These “dimensions of existence” correspond with 18 different venues throughout Frankfurt, including Alte Oper, whose artistic and managing director, Dr. Stephan Pauly, coordinated the event with Libeskind. Other venues include a bunker, the Hospital zum heiligen Geist, the Commerzbank Arena, VGF Betriebshofand rail yard depot, a boxing gym, a pool, and a moving streetcar. Libeskind also selected the performers and ensembles to play the music, which includes a mix of classical and modern pieces. The music is meant to evoke its venue’s assigned dimension, for example, French composer Marin Marais’s Tableau de l’Opération de la Taille will be performed at the hospital. In a trifecta of Libeskind’s artistic talents, he created a drawing of the intersection of music, architecture, and the city entitled Musical Labyrinth. The drawing corresponds with the locations of One Day in Life and will be etched in white on a large, inky black platform of Cosentino Dekton tile in front of the Alte Oper Concert Hall. After the unveiling of One Day in Life AN’s managing editor Olivia Martin sat down with Libeskind to discuss how music, art, and architecture can work in concert. The Architect’s Newspaper: Has music always played this prominent role in your art and architecture? Libeskind: Drawing is like writing, like making music, like architecture. It’s an art that has to do with the mind, the hand, and your heart. That’s the connection in music and architecture. Did picking these locations and working out the music to be played in them inspire you to build anything in the future? It made me think about concert halls—there are not enough new concert halls and when they are built, it is not in a 21st-century way. They are more like the Viennese concert hall, more nostalgia about old acoustics, I think we need contemporary 21st-century ways for people to form a community around music, I thought of that a lot. I built not long ago the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin and I especially took care with acoustics. I thought, what if I were up on stage? What does it look like? What does it feel like for someone performing? Do you always take an acoustic-centric approach to your buildings? I think of acoustics first. I think we are too addicted to the visual world today. It is a great medium to promote visual work but the inner ear when you listen and your orientation is more prominent than seeing. I also directed an opera, Saint François d'Assise by Messiaen. At first they asked me to do everything, including conducting, but then I looked at the score and it would take a year just to do the score—I’d have to give up architecture. So I said no, I cannot conduct, but I did everything else. I did the direction, the costumes, the stage, the lighting, everything except conducting. I’ve also done a lot of set design for opera, but I am an architect, I don't have time for stage design. So would you say you’ve picked architecture over music? No, I believe architecture is an extension of music. For me music is not a metaphor, it’s not the analysis of notes. It’s not an applique of music to architecture. It is a condensation of emotional intelligence and the sense of orientation in the ear and that is what connects it to the field. We should analyze our cities acoustically. How beautiful would it be to not only decorate our city with green but also think about the sound of New York? Every city has its own sound and it would lead to greater joy if people thought about the sound of their cities and the spectrum between silence and noise… and maybe it would give us more perspective than the simulation on our devices.  
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A “New Blue House” in Germany brings together energy industry, science and public sector

"To make sure that all sustainability criteria are considered, we coordinate an integrated general planning team with clear communication structures and a customized working process from the first conception until the phase of use." - kadawittfeldarchitektur

Kadawittfeldarchitektur has built a modern energy efficiency center on the campus of Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The zero emission building is constructed to Passive House standards which require thermal bridge free design, superior windows, ventilation with heat recovery, quality insulation and airtight construction.  The driving idea behind the project was to unite the science and energy industry with the university in a collaborative effort to share innovative energy technologies with the public. The building accommodates an energy center for NEW, an energy and water utility company, along with an academic library, a startup center for new business ventures, and an energy laboratory for students. The building is designed to be an object in the landscape – a “solitaire” according to Mathias Garanin, Project Manager for kadawittfeldarchitektur.  “Due to its conception as a solitaire, it is a building without a rear elevation, a building that faces public space in all directions.” Garanin and the kadawittfeldarchitektur project team say the building volume was based on setback distances from neighboring buildings, creating a compact, five-sided volume clad with oppositely inclined blue tinted glass and photovoltaic panels coordinated with the orientation and incidence of solar radiation. “The NEW-Blauhaus building is kept at a distance in order to establish new relationships.” Benefits to the volumetric shape of the building include a favorable volume-to-surface ratio for energy efficiency and a relatively short interior travel distances to maximize collaboration.
  • Facade Manufacturer ertex solartechnik GmbH (photovoltaics), SUMMER facade systems (glazing)
  • Architects kadawittfeldarchitektur
  • Facade Installer SUMMER facade systems, A.Frauenrath BauConcept (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Rache Engineering GmbH (engineering)
  • Location Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System curtain wall system on five-story reinforced concrete structure
  • Products black aluminum profiles; floor-to-ceiling sashes with exterior soundproofing, fall-protection panes; dark-blue enameled panes; photovoltaic elements integrated in opaque panes; exterior solar shading device
While the architects have produced a formally engaging homogeneous skin, loaded with performative features acknowledging insulation requirements, acoustics, durability, and user comfort, perhaps the most important role of the building is to clearly communicate a high performance energy agenda. This is achieved in two ways: in the facade, which is clad with photovoltaic panels, and at the base of the building, where an energy center doubles as a showroom visible to onlookers from the exterior. Here, visitors can engage in displays showcasing sustainable energy, along with a specialized highly efficient reversible heat pump system involving an ice storage tank and chiller plant. kadawittfeldarchitektur says the facade is the building’s most exclusive means of expression. “As a significant part of the advanced energy concept, it communicates the approach to conserving resources to the outside and determines the identity of the architecture and its users in the urban environment.” A 4-foot structural grid establishes stacks of window and photovoltaic units that are variably rotated to most effective solar angles. Soundproofing panes located in front of the widow units work to compositionally complete the building envelopes patterned ornamentation. The window units are operable, providing individualized user comfort as required. The north facade receives enameled glass in place of the photovoltaic panels along the north facade were omitted from the design due to performative issues, and replaced with an enameled glass. The elegance of the envelope system inspired an interior design scheme of clarity and communication through “color blocking.” Based on the activity of the building as an energy generation system from dusk to dawn, the coloration of interior spaces combines hues of a defined color spectrum found in sunset and sunrise conditions.
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Lunch at a Landmark: Norman Foster explains the creative process behind his iconic structures

On October 7, the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation hosted its annual “Lunch at a Landmark” at the top of the Hearst Tower. Guests, New York’s elite architectural, design, and preservation cognoscenti, were offered a rare insight into the building—one from Norman Foster himself. To best explain his old-meets-new approach to the Hearst Tower, Foster revisited five of his past projects: the Reichstag in Berlin; the Millennium Bridge over the Thames; the Millau Viaduct in Millau, France; La Voile in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France; and the Château Margaux in Bordeaux. The original Art Deco Hearst building by Joseph Urban was always intended to have a tower rising from its base. However, due to complications like the Great Depression, it was nearly 80 years before that tower came to fruition. To build the 46-story-tall skyscraper, Foster scooped out the building’s interior to introduce light and create a kind of “town-square.” This move was initially contested on the grounds of “facadism” but Foster persisted. “When someone says I can’t do something, that is when I get really excited about it,” he said. Now, the dynamic lobby with its dramatic entrance that takes pedestrians over an indoor waterfall to enter is one of the building’s most iconic design moments. Of course, Foster could make an educated guess that this would be the case. He took a similar approach to Berlin’s Reichstag in 1999. In that instance, the hollowed-out core was a historically sensitive move that visually helped to give the building back to the people. Even as he preserved the Russian graffiti and other emblems of the building’s past, the clear dome in the tower physically placed the people above the government as a bright symbol of democracy. Although bridges are markedly different from buildings, Foster also connected past and present with the Millennium Bridge and the Millau Viaduct, quite literally. Taking cues from St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern in London, the Millennium Bridge’s thin, steel profile frames picturesque views of the city for the approximately 4 million people per year who walk across it. While France’s Millau Viaduct didn’t have to contend with any historic buildings, it presented a similar challenge in that its location, the Massif Central Region, is a National Heritage Site. Using tall piers to support the slender bridge, Foster and Michel Virlogeux (the lead engineer at Eiffage, the same company responsible for the Eiffel Tower), created a structure that only lightly touches the land and enhances the landscape for everyone driving across it. These three projects illustrate Foster’s concept of a design “marriage,” a relationship that he likens to a family, where there is a new generation that may have a distinct style, but it has very strong ties to the older generation. In two other projects he discussed, La Voile in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France, and the Château Margaux in Bordeaux, Foster opted for a different approach. For La Voile, Foster ran up against a well-intentioned law in the South of France that protected the coastline. Unfortunately, this meant that a nondescript house on his client’s property was also protected. But, by hollowing out an old stone tower from the center, Foster created a new “skin,” a design that totally swallows the original home—perfectly preserving it without compromising the new design. In fact, the fit was so perfect, that the local police raided the house once to make sure the original one was accessible underneath (it was). Along similar lines, but less dramatically, Foster integrated a new structure for making white wine at the Château Margaux winery with an 1815 building by Louis Combes. Pulling inspiration from trees and farm structures, the resulting building appears to grow both organically from the site and from its 19th Century counterpart. These five projects offer a survey of Foster’s innovative and varying approaches to melding old and new architecture in ways both familiar and unique to each site. It will be exciting to see how these approaches unfold as he turns to more radical projects such as the drone port in Rwanda and beyond.