Posts tagged with "Glass":

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High-performance glass with innovative technology

Thanks to new technological innovations, glass facades not only assist in LEED certification but also offer a wide range of variety, from glass panels to dynamic options.

LightZone SageGlass

With the ability to create up to three variable tint zones within a single pane, Lightzone controls sunlight to optimize daylight, maintain views, and prevent glare. It also provides a lot of design freedom for building envelopes because it is available in myriad geometric shapes, sizes, colors, and zoning patterns. It also reduces overall energy loads by up to 20 percent and peak energy demand by up to 26 percent.

Lamberts Glass Bendheim

The first channel glass to receive bird-smart certification, Lamberts glass has been scientifically proven to be visible to birds. Not only is bird strike jarring to occupants, but it is also estimated that up to a billion birds a year are killed in the U.S. alone due to collisions with glass buildings.

CrystalBlue Guardian Industries

CrystalBlue can be combined with many SunGuard low-E products to provide a range of energy performances along with high visible light transmission, now with a blue color. It is available coated and uncoated at 6 millimeter thickness in a variety of sizes.

Oversize Format Low-E Glass sedak

As a pioneer for glass in oversize formats up to 10.5 by 49 feet, sedak’s new insulating glass line automates the production process completely, leading to high-quality fabrication that can easily be reproduced. Additionally, large scale translucent units can be printed fully covered with the roller coater technique or with a digital flat bed printer, allowing for complex, colorful designs.

Low-E Coated Acid-etched Glass Walker Glass and PPG

PPG’s Solarban low-E glass is paired with Walker’s collection of acid-etched finishes, including bird-safe AviProtek glass, to expand the range of aesthetic and performance options available for energy efficient, environmentally progressive glass.

SolarSmart Innovative Glass Corp

A heat-blocking, self-tinting smart glass that darkens in response to solar heat gain to keep interiors cool, lowering energy usage and costs. The hotter the glass gets, the darker the glass will tint—it is 100 percent solar activated, requiring no power, wires, or user involvement.

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CertainTeed

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Daniel Buren’s “Observatory of Light” set to open at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Starting on May 11 this year, Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton building in Paris is set to host a dazzling glass installation by French conceptual artist, Daniel Buren. Titled L’Observatoire de la lumière (or Observatory of Light) the installation will see some 3,600 tiles of glass alongside a series of colored filters, broken up at regular intervals by alternating vertical white and blank stripes. The articulation of light and interplay of color spans across the building's twelve classic Gehry-style volumes, known as "sails," working in sync with the Gehry's design which, until now, employed a colorless paneled facade. Making use of thirteen different colors, arranged to create the illusion of forms disappearing at different times during the day, light entering the building through these filters will enhance the interior spaces, changing their spatial qualities. Bernard Arnault, President of the Fondation Louis Vuitton said “Daniel Buren has designed a grandiose project, pertinent and enchanting, the result of a real dialogue with Frank Gehry and his building.” "The transparency and quality of a colour projected by means of a coloured filter, as I see it, make it much more alive than painted colour covering a surface” said Buren in a Press Release. “There is a quantity of mirror effects here at the Fondation that actually don’t come from mirrors but from the windows. Almost everywhere something is reflected (...) through the coloring of the sails, all those reflections will become more and more present and will awake those sleeping mirrors that are everywhere. I think that this will enable visitors to further understand and enjoy the singularity of this architecture,” continued Buren. To commemorate the installation opening, a catalogue, designed in collaboration with Buren, will amalgamate works touching on color, transparency, light, translucency, and projection all created since the 1970s. Alongside L’Observatoire de la lumière, a theatrical piece will be shown from June 2 to 4. BurenCirque: 3 times another Hut revolves around three fairground inspired huts. Again using light as a key theme, the huts will become "translucent and mysterious lanterns at night." The piece was conceived in the early 2000's by Buren working with brothers Dan and Fabien Demuynck. Children visiting the Fondation Louis Vuitton will also be able to appreciate and engage in Buren's light spectacle. Aimed at children aged six to ten, The Light Trap lets the projections and reflections of color within the building form a giant kaleidoscope. A workshop will then allow the children to explore different opacities and discover how light can alter space perception. The Light Trap will run from May 28 to August 28, every Saturday and Sunday, from 2:30–5pm.
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Trend Spotting at Salone del Mobile in Milan: Chromatic Glass

There have been plenty of color and style trends occurring in Milan but the one that really took us by surprise was rainbow spectrum glass.
This collection of mirrors, side tables, and dining tables is a collaboration between Glas Italia and Patricia Urquiola (who herself seemed to be trending at the fair, with products designed for multiple brands).
At SuperDesign Show 3M, the maker of post-its collaborated with Stefano Boeri Architetti on an installation that uses films, nonwovens, and adhesives to create a kaleidoscopic tree that reflects light in colorful patterns and allows guests to recharge.
Eli5e designer Elise Luttik debuted a pair of chairs (at Salone Satellite) that really stood out—one stationary and another that swivels. The pair reflects geometric shapes on the wall and would liven up any office or home.
AGC Glass, a Japanese company that's a leading manufacturer of glass, chemicals, and high-tech materials, crafted an art installation at SuperDesign Show entitled Amorphous. It was inspired by amorphous molecular structures that don't have a definite shape. The installationis made with 5,000 pieces of thin, chemically-strengthened glass that fracture the light and creates a stunning display.
Also showing in the Satellite was Ini Archibong, who had been commissioned by design label Amen&Amen to create a collection inspired by literature and fantasy called The Secret Garden.
 The COG installation at Spazio Orlandi was designed by Moritz Waldemeyer for watch brand Panerai.
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Construction underway on SO-IL–designed UC Davis Art Museum

UC Davis is set to open the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art to the public on November 13. After choosing SO-IL to design its on-campus museum in 2013, the school has been hard at work constructing what it envisions as a "hub of creative practice." Working alongside San Francisco-based firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Whiting Turner, the museum features a 50,000-square-foot canopy made from aluminum triangular beams. The canopy is supported by straight and curved glass walls interweaving both open and closed spaces. Its shape, according to SO-IL, represents a "new symbol" for the campus with its natural surroundings of long, green plains making up the sensory landscape of UC Davis. In its designs, SO-IL emphasized the importance of capturing the essence of the California Central Valley. Changes in season and lighting will be reflected from within the museum which will play host to a variety of activities and programs both informal and formal. The inaugural show will feature work from artists Arneson, William T. Wiley, Manuel Neri, Wayne Thiebaud and Ruth Horsting among others. And with the date for its grand opening months away, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum looks set to become a site of interactive and cutting edge learning.
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Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter shares lessons learned through teaching architecture

For Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, associate dean at Woodbury University School of Architecture, director of  WUHO Gallery, and co-founder of [WROAD], architectural practice and education are inextricably intertwined. Wahlroos-Ritter, who joins moderator Alexander Korter (CO Architects) and co-presenters Michael Fox (Cal Poly Pomona), Quinyun Ma (USC), and Neil Denari (UCLA) in a panel on "Facade Education: Preparing Future Practitioners for True Performance" at next month's Facades+ LA conference, first taught at Cornell University after her work as project architect on the Corning Museum of Glass attracted the school's attention. That initial seminar, on the innovative use of glass in building envelopes, helped her carve out a professional niche in the field and also led to an appointment at Yale. At the time, recalled Wahlroos-Ritter, Yale did not offer courses like hers—neither classes on glass, specifically, nor on the intersection of architecture and engineering more generally. "That has changed a lot, [especially] when I think back on when I went to school," she said. The contemporary accreditation process, for one thing, "has elevated the need for systems integration," explained Wahlroos-Ritter. While in the past it had not been unusual for students and faculty from other disciplines to consult on student work, she said, "to rely on engineers to complete a project is new." Her students' relationship to technology like the performance simulation platform Autodesk Ecotect Analysis has also evolved since Wahlroos-Ritter began teaching. "Students are conversant with Ecotect as part of learning BIM," said Wahlroos-Ritter. "That's something I'm seeing more and more in curricula." Meanwhile, students gain hands-on experience in fabrication by building mock-ups of building envelope components. "I think in some ways the academy is leading that part of the conversation," said Wahlroos-Ritter. "Students are learning tools that aren't necessarily part of the trade. Many senior architects don't have the skills these students do." Wahlroos-Ritter relishes her job molding young minds. "For me, one of the exciting moments is the epiphany where students begin to see systems as an intrinsic part of design" rather than something to consider as a postscript, she said. "I talk about Louis Sullivan a lot. He considered the building a living, breathing organism—then everybody forgot about it, of course. I think there's a renewed appreciation for the role building systems can have in the perceptual narrative of a building." Catch up with Wahlroos-Ritter and other facade educators, designers, fabricators, builders, and researchers at Facades+ LA January 28–29. Register today on the conference website.
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Product> Dynamic and Modern Architectural Glass Products

Architectural glass is making a big splash in the A&D industry. Featuring bold colors, creative design patterns, and crystal-clear views, architectural glass is quickly becoming an extremely versatile design material. Willow Glass Corning

This super thin, flexible glass can be rolled onto a traditional flat building material, such as MDF, to create a durable laminate that can be easily cut on-site.

SunGuard SNX 51/23 Guardian  

Designed to offer the most light with the lowest heat, triple silver SunGuard SNX 51/23 is a commercial low-e glass product with visible light transmission at 51 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient at .23 on clear float glass.

View Intelligence 2.0 View Dynamic Glass

The algorithm that controls the tinting process of this dynamic glass system works with advanced weather inputs, enabling it to predict not only the sun’s movement, but also short-term and long-term weather conditions.

Glascene Asahi Glass Company

A combination of glass and screen, this material allows images to be projected onto clear glass without blocking the view beyond. Available in a range of thicknesses and screen sizes of 100-inches and larger, the product can accommodate front- and rear-projection designs.

LightWise Pittsburgh Corning

These glass block units install like traditional windows with built-in nailing fins, so there is no additional assembly required. They provide privacy, security, and light-control while meeting Energy Star requirements.

Corning Med-X McGrory Glass

Architects can design medical X-ray viewing windows with a wider field of vision and improved comfort, thanks to the large 108- by 54-inch size of this glass. Other applications include screens for medical diagnostics, protection windows in laboratories, and airport security X-ray screens.

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Product> Glass as Art: Five Decorative Glass Masterpieces

Designers can enhance the look of any interior environment by incorporating expressive and unique decorative glass into the mix. From printed patterns to colorful and bold layers, decorative glass helps transform interior spaces into well-outfitted works of art. Cipher, Overlay, Check Skyline Design The three patterns in this collection are characterized by repeating, layered motifs in colors printed on both sides of the glass. The images can be executed in a variety of techniques, in opaque, translucent, and transparent options, allowing for different degrees of translucency and privacy. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Alice General Glass Using direct-to-glass printing technology, patterns can be scaled and colored to spec for interior and exterior applications. Alight Pulp Studio Alight is not just a bas-relief glass product, but can be specified as a fully engineered wall system, inclusive of structural steel and other components. Created by Amses Cosma Studio. Expressions Collection Pittsburgh Corning The Expressions Collection enhances the cosmetic appeal of traditional glass block without compromising its functional benefits of security, privacy, light transmission, and fire ratings. A variety of stock images and murals are printed on eight- by eight-inch by four-inch nominal size glass block in the Decora pattern; custom design services are also offered. Wire In Glass Rudy Art Glass A variety of metal meshes are laminated into a range of textured and tinted glass, resulting in an unusually expressive collection.
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Product> Rose-Colored Glasses: Innovative Glass Comes in New Colors and Textures

Decorative glass is making a comeback in a big way thanks to new technologies that take patterns, textures, and colors to the next level. From watercolor prints to trippy, LED illuminated panels and graphic etchings; there are updated options for every room. Painterly Collection 3form Original hand-painted compositions are photographed and encapsulated into the Infinite Glass material. The collection comprises five designs in five complementary colorways. C1 Collection Carvart Taking hand-drawn lines as inspiration, these 12 geometric patterns are available in small and large scales, positive and negative designs, and single- and double-sided etched formats. Designed by Ferreira Design Company. Sizzle Stix Bullseye Glass Thin strips of dichroic glass form an eye-catching accent when set into a field of plain material. Available in two widths. Willow Nathan Allan Glass Studios A kiln-formed patterned glass that is texture-free, Willow is equally sinuous and structured. It is available tempered or laminated, and comes in several tints and colors. Illuminated Art Glass liquidoranges STUDIO These panels are created using two layers of low-iron PPG Starphire glass laminated with a high-resolution artwork interlayer. The edges are polished and the panels are face-mounted to aluminum frames and backlit with dimmable Fawoo Lumisheet LED panels. Isola Murano Glass Soli The rich colors and intricate patterns of authentic, handmade Murano glass can be combined into one-of-a-kind architectural installations.
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Are glass skyscrapers still the way forward?

In the wake of a slew of criticisms on numerous glass skyscrapers' over-reflective properties, some architects and critics are asking if it's time to reassess our view on using glass facades in the future. Contemporary architecture today is at a crossroads: Do we continue to enamor the structures that reach up into the sky in a display of corporate might with reflective sheaths of glass? Take advantage of the new technology that is allowing the sun to power these buildings? Or do we take a step back and re-evaluate our position on the all-glass facade altogether? Fred A. Bernstein of the Architectural Record laments that today the "relentless repetition of glass facades leads to a numbing sameness." "Is that a building?" said a designer to Bernstein , "I thought it was a pavilion for a plexiglass convention." It's no surprise that the person, who was passing by Fumihiko Maki's creation at 51 Astor Place, feels disillusioned. At one end of the spectrum, you have cities like Bath in England where such glass behemoths are nowhere to be found. You are surrounded by the Georgian works of John Palmer, who's Lansdown Crescent, despite its scale, is not overwhelming. At the other end, you have cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai, which are filled with an unprecedented amount of glass high-rise structures, their facades lost in the sky with light bouncing off one another. Where then, do we draw the line? With modern skyscrapers being the architectural product of an ever changing, neo-liberalist, globalization obsessed corporate society, such a line may even be impossible to draw. The case for glass—to pardon the pun—is clear. For companies, having floor to ceiling windows helps break down the stratified hierarchy that was once commonplace in such office buildings by giving all employees, not just the boss, a panoramic view. When used effectively, an elegant glass facade can convey honesty and open-mindedness and even perhaps financial transparency. This may be why the style is so popular amongst financial firms, despite the fact this isn't always the case. Developers are also under pressure to maximize space. Having a thin skin such as glass is an easy solution that enables the architect to sell the building's space as good value for money. Plus, the advancement of photovoltaic cells now means that they can be installed as windows, further advocating the facade style as an economically viable asset. PV company SolarWindow, which specializes in PV-based window solutions claims that when installed on four sides of a 50-story building, 1.3 gigawatt-hours of energy can be generated. Architect Ken Shuttleworth however, has different ideas. Despite being part of the team behind the glass clad Swiss Rae building in London, he has since done a U-turn by stating that he is "rethinking" everything he as done in the last 40 years. Shuttleworth's voice is echoed by many in what is an emerging discourse on the glass structures that run the risk of becoming the scourge of the skyline. "We need to be much more responsible in terms of the way we shade our buildings and the way we thermally think about our buildings," he told the BBC last year. The only thing that appears to be halting the perpetual rise of the glass facade in the United States is a shortage in the material. Failure of the market to produce however, has not stopped developers, who according to WSJ’s Robbie Whelan, have now delved into the glass manufacturing industry. Developer, Related Cos has even gone so far as to take production methods into its own hands—building its own glass factory to create the largest private development in American history. Bruce Beal Jr., Related’s president chose to embark on the endeavor for a handful of skyscrapers and apartments on Manhattan’s West Side as part of the Hudson Yards scheme. Across the Atlantic, the trade association "Glass for Europe" is understandably keen to dismiss the growing concern about the once ubiquitous glass facade and advocate the fact that glass is fully recyclable. Pressure from trade unions isn't enough it seems to sway architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff who, like Shuttleworth, isn't a fan of the glass skyscraper. Speaking to the BBC he said, "as someone who spends their entire life staring at buildings, I am a bit bored by the glass box. They were radical in the 1920s and now they are just cliches, expensive ones at that," he said. "Now we are having to be more thoughtful about how and where we use glass. Maybe architects will become more inventive in how they use windows, instead of plastering them across whole facades." Technological advancements may be the only way this question will truly be answered, but for now, money talks and that appears to be what governs the modern architectural style today.
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Who needs Paris? Chinese copycat culture strikes again with I.M. Pei’s Louvre

China is no stranger to unashamedly ripping off landmark Western structures—the country has replicas of the Eiffel Tower and several renditions of the White House. However, this time they have copied one of their own architects, I. M. Pei, with a 1:1 duplicate of the Louvre in a Shijiazhuang theme park. The latest addition to the country's collection of replica Parisian architecture lies among overgrown shrubs and unkempt grass in an obscure amusement park in Hebei province. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it sits adjacent to an ancient Egyptian Sphynx. China has already created "Little Paris" in Yuhang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (East China), which features more mock-Parisian style architecture replete with Tower de Eiffel (though not the real one, obviously). Is this latest piece of "mockitecture" a tipping point or a simply one of more to come?
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NBBJ’s New Orleans hospital embodies resilience

High performance and cultural relevance meet in concrete, metal, and steel mesh envelope.

For the stakeholders involved in building the new Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital (also known as University Medical Center, or UMC) in downtown New Orleans, the project was about much more than replacing facilities damaged during Hurricane Katrina. "The grander story is the effort to rebuild New Orleans," recalled NBBJ principal Jose Sama. "There was a lot of emotional attachment to the original hospital, Charity Hospital, and also—rightly so—the pride the community has for the character of the city. Everyone wanted to make sure the project was going to be something that was of New Orleans." In a joint venture with Blitch Knevel Architects, NBBJ rose to the challenge with a design that subtly reflects the city's cultural heritage. The building envelope, a combination of precast concrete, metal panels, high performance glazing, and stainless steel mesh, contributed significantly to both the project's aesthetic aspirations and its performance goals. The overarching concept for UMC, explained Sama, was to "create a performance in place." For the architects, "performance" holds a double meaning. "Performance is embedded in [New Orleans] culture, but this is a more high-level sense of performance," said Sama. "Place," in turn, draws on the city's climate and character. "We looked at various clues in the urban environment and how those could affect the design," said Sama, recalling visits to the hospital's Canal Street neighborhood and the French Quarter. Then, of course, there are the environmental threats made all too clear by the Katrina experience. "We completed [the design] with the understanding that we had to create an envelope that could withstand hurricane-force winds and missile impact," said Sama. "That was an important piece of selecting the glass and the curtain wall system." In fact, most of the damage sustained by Charity Hospital was the result of flooding rather than high winds. As a result, the architects faced a mandate to elevate all critical hospital functions above 22 feet. "We envisioned this as a floating hospital," said Sama. "The notion was that the more public zones, the softer spaces like dining, registration, and the lobbies, would occur at the ground level. Then you move up to an elevated plane of critical services. That way they could function regardless of flooding." The building envelope reflects this programmatic move: The first floor of the central campus structure—the diagnostic and treatment center—is wrapped in a transparent curtain wall with a strong emphasis on the horizontal while the upper, critical floors feature a precast concrete facade. The two other project components, the medical office building and the inpatient towers, offer variations on the theme. The former is clad in an insulated metal panel system, the latter in precast concrete, glass, and stainless steel mesh.
  • Facade Manufacturer Harmon (window walls), Centria (metal panels), Cambridge Architectural (metal mesh)
  • Architects NBBJ, Blitch Knevel Architects
  • Facade Installer F.L. Crane & Sons (metal panels, diagnostic building), Crown Corr (metal panels, clinic), Harmon (glazing), River City Erectors (metal mesh)
  • Facade Consultants IBA Consultants
  • Location New Orleans, LA
  • Date of Completion August 2015
  • System precast concrete and metal panels with high performance curtain walls and stainless steel mesh accents
  • Products Harmon window wall systems, Centria insulated metal panels, Cambridge Architectural mesh in Mid-Balance, Scale, and Shade
A number of subtle gestures connect the hospital exterior to New Orleans' history and culture. One thing Sama noticed on his site visits was that "the notion of the garden is important, and the notion of getting outdoors." With that in mind, the architects created a central entry pavilion "designed such that you have a very pronounced sense of entry created by a porch, or a projecting eave—it almost has the effect of a trellis," said Sama. They also created informal gardens wherever possible. The signature garden, nestled between the towers and the diagnostic center, is water-based, and imagines the seating areas as lily pads floating on a pond. "The idea that here in the middle of New Orleans you find a water-intensive garden was really critical," said Sama. The patient towers, too, embody a strong connection to the outdoors via balconies for patients and staff. Metal scrims in Cambridge Architectural's Mid-Balance architectural mesh simultaneously provide aesthetic interest and fall protection. "We studied what we could do with the scrim," said Sama. "We think we picked just the right scale. It's appropriate for someone sitting on the balcony, but also for someone walking by." The mesh panels produce a "soft veil effect," he observed. "In the morning light, it glistens. The intent was to create a memory of Mardi Gras beads, in terms of color and glistening. People will pick up on that different times of day." Cambridge Architectural contributed to several other elements of the project. Mesh fins in the Scale pattern are attached with a custom cable tensioning system to the upper levels of the patient towers, to provide solar shading. On the parking garage portion, designed by Blitz Knevel Architects, 86 panels of Scale mesh again add both visual impact and fall protection without compromising ventilation. On the south elevation of the garage leading to the UMC helipad, a custom-built shade mesh fin system cuts solar gain and glare. Many of the references embedded in the new UMC hospital—the way in which the towers' orientations recall traditional New Orleans shotgun houses, or the connection between the stainless steel mesh and Mardi Gras beads—are so understated as to operate on almost a subliminal level. But like the city itself, the building comes alive at night, finally, and literally, revealing its true colors. "The building from the outside is very neutral," explained Sama. But thanks to accent colors on the inpatient tower stairs, revealed through translucent glass, plus accent lighting on the bulkheads above, after dark the towers shine, he explained. "The whole point was that at night they would glow with color from within."
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KVA Brings Digital Brick to Harvard

Old and new technologies combine in renovated anthropology building.

Tasked with transforming Harvard's 1971 Tozzer Library into a new home for the university's Anthropology Department, Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA) faced a unique set of challenges. In addition to balancing the desire for a distinct architectural identity with the building's literal and metaphorical connection to adjacent structures including Peabody Museum, the architects had to accommodate an expanded program within the old library's footprint and structure. As for Tozzer Library's facade, a mold problem and poor environmental performance meant that preserving the brick exterior was never an option. "It's a generic problem of envelopes from buildings that aren't that old, yet can't stand up to contemporary needs," said principal Sheila Kennedy. "What are you going to do with those buildings? The bold approach here was, 'we're going to build on [the existing] value." By stripping Tozzer Library down to its steel and concrete-slab bones, adding space under a two-story copper roof, and wrapping the exterior in a parametrically-designed brick skin, KVA seamlessly negotiated between Harvard's storied past and the mandates of a 21st-century curriculum. Both Kennedy and founding principal J. Frano Violich are quick to dismiss the notion that the problems with the 1971 building, designed by Boston firm Johnson, Hotvedt and Associates, were anything other than a product of their times. "Attitudes toward energy consumption were very different at the time," said Violich. "[Tozzer Library] was built by intelligent people, but everyone's understanding was different from today." In contrast, he said, for the new Tozzer Anthropology Building, "everyone was on top of every [LEED] point." (The project achieved LEED Gold.) KVA began by substituting 6-inch wall studs for the original 2 1/2-inch studs, making way for improved air circulation and insulation. In addition, they eliminated the potential for mold growth by increasing the air gap between the outside sheeting and the back of the brick veneer from 3/4 inches to 2 inches. With the mechanics of the exterior walls in place, "the challenge, aesthetically, was how do we get a sense of both thickness and thinness in the veneer?" said Violich. Luckily, the question of how to breathe new life into flat surfaces was nothing new for the architects. "At KVA we've been very interested in how one designs with contemporary wall systems, with materials that are thin," explained Kennedy. "How do we express their thinness, but by architectural means and devices give them an architectural thickness, manipulate them formally so there can be a game of thin and thick?" In the case of Tozzer Anthropology Building, the answer was a new entrance pavilion with a three-dimensional brick pattern meant to "seem like carved thick brick—like an archeological find," said Kennedy. Drawing upon their early experiments with digital brick, including those at the University of Pennsylvania Law School building, the designers used parametric design software to tie each brick unit to the building's overall form. "As we manipulated the physical form in 3D, we could see various brick patterns that could develop," explained Kennedy. "It was a hybrid of low-tech and high-tech," she said of the process of zeroing in on corbeling, a brick-stacking technique that allows for overhanging layers. The digitally-derived corbeled texture complemented the depth of ornament found elsewhere around Harvard's campus. "We didn't want to make something that was arbitrary and ornamental, but something that was authentic to our time," said Kennedy. To arrive at a final design for the multi-story entrance wall, the architects again combined cutting-edge technology with traditional expertise. "The actual pattern was achieved through physical experimentation," explained Kennedy. "We did a lot of dry stack work with local masons: We would take the designs out of the computer, then pass them to the masons to test. That was a really fun part of the process." KVA then took what they learned from their real-life experiments back into the virtual world, adjusting the digital design accordingly.
  • Facade Manufacturer Kansas Brick (brick), Wasau (glazing)
  • Architects Kennedy & Violich Architecture
  • Facade Installer Consigli (masonry), Gilbert & Becker Roofing (copper)
  • Facade Consultants BuroHappold Engineering
  • Location Cambridge, MA
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System brick walls, including parametrically-designed corbeled entry pavilion, with high performance glazing and custom copper roof
  • Products 500 Harvard brick from Kansas Brick, Wausau 4250-Z Zero Sightline insert windows, Wasau 6250 S-Series SuperWall curtain wall system
Even the flat facades appear unlike typical brick walls, thanks largely to an unusual window arrangement. "When you're looking at the windows, you're not looking at traditional punch windows, or a strip window with a long relieving angle," said Violich. Rather, the windows are shifted to conceal the vertical control joints in the brick. "That helps defuse the veneer quality that brick sometimes brings on," he explained. The floor-to-floor windows further confound expectations by concealing the plenum and—because they are frameless, and punch out rather than in—appearing as much like light monitors as the actual skylights cut into the building's roofline. Tozzer Anthropology Building's recycled-content copper roof completes the dialogue between thick and thin established on the brick facades. "We worked hard in the massing of the design to give a twist to the building," said Kennedy. "That could really only happen in the two new floors." KVA textured the copper roof with vertical standing seams, again using parametric software to arrange different panel types in a corduroy-like pattern. "A lot of times people think advanced facades are super technical, but we can get lost in the technology and why we're using it," observed Kennedy. "[This project] is a good combination of an aesthetic agenda, an architectural agenda, and a technical agenda." For KVA, Tozzer Anthropology Building represents more than just a repurposed campus building. Rather, it offers a provocative answer to one of today's most pressing questions: how to rectify an inherited aesthetic preference for glass with the current push for improved energy efficiency. "Everybody loves glass—we love transparency in architecture," said Kennedy. "But as we move on in our energy transition, we're going to have to develop new ideas about mass and opacity. How can we go back to a pre-modern time, but create something that is contemporary?"