Brought to you with support fromOn June 25, Facades+ is returning to Boston for the fourth year in a row. The conference, organized by The Architect's Newspaper, is a full-day event split between a morning symposium and an afternoon of workshops led by top AEC practitioners. Leers Weinzapfel Associates (LWA), a Boston-based firm with projects nationwide, is co-chairing the conference. Panels for the conference will focus on the changes underway in Boston, ranging from new educational structures, the city's new tallest residential building, and historic preservation projects. Participants for the conference's symposium and workshops include Behnisch Architekten, Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Bruner / Cott, Arrowstreet, Consigli Construction, Walter P. Moore, Autodesk, Atelier Ten, Harvard GSD, the Wyss Institute, and Okalux. In this interview with The Architect's Newspaper, LWA's designer and business development representative Zhanina Boyadzhieva and associate Kevin Bell, the conference co-chairs, discuss their firm's growing body of work and the developmental trends within the city of Boston. The Architect's Newspaper: Boston is known as a relatively quiet city with a predominantly low-slung skyline. How is current development reshaping that identity and what does it mean for the future? Zhanina Boyadzhieva: Boston is indeed a “quiet” city, but it is also a hub of innovation and creative thinking. In the past few years, we have observed dynamic design work, largely by local firms, on several fronts: 1) creative re-envisioning of historical landmarks through readaptations and additions such as Smith Center at Harvard University and Congress Square in downtown Boston 2) careful insertions of new landmarks in the skyline such as One Dalton 3) fast development and growth of existing or new resilient neighborhoods such as Harvard’s Allston campus. Each design solution addresses unique urban conditions and entails holistic thinking about city planning, resilience, and sustainability, coupled with a sense of function, form, materiality, and human experience. Naturally, facades combine all of these considerations and become dominant players in the reshaping of cities. The diversity of approaches we observe—controlled material juxtapositions of old and new, sculptural form-making, and playful screening strategies—are testaments to ongoing design experimentations here. There is a search for new methods to address creative reuse, high performance, material fabrication, and user experience. AN: The city possesses one of America's largest concentrations of brutalist buildings, as well as large historic districts. How can Boston embrace its heritage while moving forward? Kevin Bell: The rich building history of Boston, including modern landmarks like City Hall, and its brutalist companions make for wonderful urban fabric for intervention and a great place for an architect to practice. This history should serve to elevate our expectations for new buildings and major renovations in the city. The recent warming to Boston’s brutalism, its strong geometry and bare materials, is welcome, encouraging designers to consider rather ignore these local icons. It presents the opportunity to consider adaptation and re-envisioning through sustainability’s lenses, the human experience, and materiality. If we can dramatically improve the energy efficiency and human use in these sensitive historic buildings, we can achieve the same in new construction and create a model for continued improvement. AN: What innovative enclosure practices is LWA currently executing? KB: As a firm, we have a legacy of designing efficiently in an urban context. Often, our site is an existing historic building or a tightly constrained sliver of land, or sometimes, there's no site at all. This fosters a sensibility within the studio toward compact volumes, materially efficient, with taut fitted skins, a practice that serves us well as we work to make evermore energy efficient and sustainable buildings. We're also redefining our performance expectations around our clients' commitments to energy efficiency, many of whom have established operational carbon neutrality as their aim by mid-century. The enclosures we design today will be part of that efficiency equation. They must be considered to be part of a carbon neutral organizational environment as a performance baseline above simple compliance with today's codes or target certifications. Envelope performance, especially the use of innovative glazing materials, is a logical extension of the way we think about reactive, efficient space and energy efficiency targets in building enclosure design. Our Dartmouth Dana Hall renovation and addition, under construction now, is an example of this process and practice. We worked closely with the college to define a program for building reuse around its energy use reduction targets that dramatically improved envelope efficiency. Through the design process, we worked with our design and construction partners to continually refine the design while holding to incremental improvement in energy efficiency at each step; our modeled efficiency improved even as we moved through cost reduction exercises. The result is a highly insulated building, triple glazed throughout, with a thermally improved, south-facing glass curtainwall system combining vacuum insulated high-performance glass modules with integrally solar shaded, triple glazed vision glass as part of a building with a predicted energy use index (pEUI) in the middle twenties before the introduction of site renewables. AN: Which materials do you believe are reshaping facade practices? ZB: Materials are the agents of larger design strategies shaping the practice such as resilience, sustainability, and human experience. The aim to rethink and cherish historical buildings, for example, leads to a careful layering of existing and new materials that contrast and simultaneously enhance each other. Heavy textured concrete at the Smith Center is supplemented by light and open transparent glass, green walls and warm wood. Traditional brick block at Congress Square is juxtaposed with a floating glass box on top of sculptural fiber-reinforced plastic panels. On the other hand, the vision to create new landmarks that celebrate and reshape the Boston skyline result in the careful sculpting of distinctive volumes as in One Dalton, a tall glass skyscraper with careful incisions of exterior carved spaces for human use. Finally, the goal to produce energy efficient but playful envelopes leads to a game of patterns composed of an inner insulated layer with an outer wrapper of perforated metal screens or angled aluminum fins. Each choice of material and its manipulation reflects a larger vision to create a unique experience in the city. Further information regarding Facades+ Boston can be found here.
Posts tagged with "Harvard GSD":
We have heard from multiple sources that the search to replace Mohsen Mostafavi as dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design has narrowed to a short, short list. The Cambridge school, like the other Ivies, seems determined to finally have a female leader. We have been told that the list includes a Midwest-based professional, a current Texas-based dean, and the serving head of another Ivy League architecture school.
post-digital turn in architecture. The book glimpses a generation paradoxically invested in using obscure methods to make charismatic forms. Unlike other postmodern camps (pomo, deconstructivism, parametricism), this generation eschews stylistic cohesion, instead claiming diversity and eclecticism as its hallmark. Inspired by philosopher Michel Foucault’s reading of a fictional Chinese encyclopedia in The Order of Things (the incoherence of which undermines Western epistemology itself), Possible Mediums’ preface essay, “Notes from the Middle,” relishes pluralism and how “the delightfully weird work of…colleagues challenged preconceived notions of order.” However, by deliberately withholding a theoretical framework, the editors leave their uninitiated readers to wonder whether the volume marks a new architectural movement or is simply a yearbook filled with the signatures of well-wishing friends. Whether Possible Mediums is a yearbook or Oriental arcana, the book’s format is infectious and invites casual, nonlinear, and occasional reading. In the same spirit of the volume’s meandering musings, this review will proceed as a loose collection of entries. #71 Arguing for strength in numbers, this volume is full of them. The editors treat their own numbers as a conceptual argument, noting, “We began as a group of four, but quickly grew to 16, then to 25, and now have over 40 project contributors…” They could go on: John McMorrough’s six examples of architectural mediums explicitly numbered, 71 total projects, 16 jam-packed guest essays, 16 mediums [sic], 18 paper stocks, etc. The editors claim, “Possible Mediums is not a systematic theory, a manifesto, or banal survey—it is a projection of architecture and knowledge to come.” And in the absence of knowledge per se, quantity becomes quality. A slow reading might go something like this: The book contains 71 projects, a number sufficiently large, indicating something historic underfoot. Moreover, 71 seems sufficiently precise, an irreducible prime number, the inelegance of which also suggests that there can neither be more nor less, neither 70 nor 72. In sum, 71 is an architectural movement, at once historical, irreducible, and singular. Listicle Beginning with the editors’ reference to Foucault’s Chinese encyclopedia, this book continues to make happy use of lists throughout. Along with lists of paper stocks, architectural media, and guest essays, there are lists of influential UCLA faculty, supply stores, types of sandwiches, questions for readers to ask themselves, etc. The explicit use of lists by both the editors and contributors is reminiscent of the proliferation of useless content on the internet, necessitating the novel curation of listicles as a new literary genre. We now revel in the veneration of tiny, insignificant yet common phenomena. In the post-internet age, architecture defers to everyday non-architectural objects, high and low, from CAD Blocks to Google’s 3-D Warehouse. These things are all worthy of appropriation in the process of making new forms. Debris Flipping through the book, there’s a lot of debris. Some of it is more like piles, rubble, clutter, junk, or ruins, depending on which page you land on. The volume’s insistence on including so many different types of debris makes one think that there is something important about this seemingly unimportant form. In fact, these architects are much more interested in architecture as things rather than forms. Most of their projects look like they are in disuse—things that are falling apart, recycled, decomposing, and on their backsides. Perhaps in reaction to the pageantry of elegant and hyper-engineered surfaces of the digital age, debris ushers in a new cycle of decomposition to architectural discourse. However, unlike the previous antagonism and violence of deconstructivism, debris is more casual, informal, and nonchalant. According to the architects, debris has a purpose: It disrupts part-to-whole relations, celebrates ambiguity, and elevates the ordinary. Inconclusive Like their digital predecessors, this group is invested in formal complex exuberance. Unlike their precursors, this crew is invested in the misappropriation of citations and readymades to such a degree that disciplinary norms and hierarchies are overturned. Such preoccupations, however, are never explicitly acknowledged, and adopt a thinglike quality. Once noted, this degree of thingness becomes an index of contemporaneity: The 2000s are malleable, diagrammatic, and morphological, while the mid-to-late 2010s are full of referential things in semi-disarray. To an outsider, this shift may feel solipsistic and inconsequential—but make no mistake, this generation is distrustful of formal mastery, and instead agnostically embraces the detritus of what’s left of meaning. Nothing is taken for granted, and every thing is worked on as a medium of inquiry. For architecture, this novelty is not only formal, but also etymological in an intriguing, almost imperceptible, way. Max Kuo designs with ALLTHATISSOLID and teaches at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
From January 10 to March 30, visitors to New York's Center for Architecture can check out an exhibition that explores how urban communities can be empowered to create more resilient and sustainable futures. Design and the Just City raises awareness about urban inequality by exploring generations of flawed policy and systematic injustices, and the psychological effects of undesirable architecture and weak urban design. The exhibition was curated by the Just City Lab of the Harvard Graduate School of Design under the leadership of its director, Professor Toni L. Griffin. The first encounter visitors have with the exhibition is a labeled map of New York City. To the right of the map are rolls of stickers with words like "Aspiration," "Fairness," "Power," "Identity," and "Resilience." The piece asks visitors to take a single sticker that references the most significant attribute of their neighborhood and put it on the map. From a step back, the conglomeration of multi-colored stickers could be interpreted as a pointillism piece, but the experience is meant to reveal what residents actually value about their environs. The exhibition focuses on five videos that each look at one of the many challenges combatted by the Just City Lab. The first focuses on the uncomfortable spaces made by transportation infrastructure, particularly subway overpasses common to neighborhoods in Harlem, the Bronx, and Queens. The video shows the many ways in which landscape architecture, lighting design, and low-cost public structures can encourage these once-unsafe areas to become places where people meet or engage with wildlife. Another project also discusses transportation, but as a remedy instead of a malady. To combat the severe racial and class-based segregation among Brooklyn's 15 intermediate-level schools, the video proposes free family and student transportation, community workshops to encourage a stronger integration between parents and students, easier access to information and technology, and equitable admissions. The final product is a well-produced piece describing the difficulties and challenges faced by constituents and designers, and the subsequent final designs and approaches. Griffin founded the Just City Lab in 2011 and has established herself as one of the most influential explorers of the relationships between spatial and racial justice in urban environments. Throughout her two decades in the urban design field, she has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, and the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City University of New York.
Travis Scott announced on Twitter that he is applying to Harvard this week.
Someone from the rapper's team confirmed to Page Six that he is applying to the GSD. While the chart-topping performer does not have a background in design, he does have experience with the Ivy League university where he recently appeared for a question-and-answer session titled “A Master Class on Creativity." He is also not the only rapper to embrace the GSD. Years before he launched Yeezy Architecture, Kanye West famously appeared at the school in 2013 where he told a crowd that he spends a lot of time with architects and respects the profession. West went on to say at the school, "I believe that utopia is actually possible—but we’re led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political. So in no way am I a politician—I’m usually at my best politically incorrect and very direct." The two rappers are close to being family; Scott has a child with Kylie Jenner, younger sibling to Kim Kardashian West, who is married to Kanye West. The two collaborated on a single earlier this year but have not worked together on designs—yet.
Im applying to Harvard In a couple days. And I really am excited. !— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) December 3, 2018
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) have completed the conversion of their 1920s-built home into a live-in living lab that offers a perpetual post-occupancy evaluation. Designed by Snøhetta and energy engineers Skanska Teknikk Norway, HouseZero, as the building is now known, requires zero energy for climate control, zero energy for daytime lighting, and zero carbon emissions. And in addition to generating more energy than it will ever use, it will also generate extensive data about its own performance. HouseZero is the ultimate tool for the CGBC researchers to tackle the building crisis in America. No that crisis, the other one. No, the other-other one: the inefficiency of the country’s existing building stock. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s energy consumption. The CGBC is dedicated to using design and technology to create a more sustainable built environment, and HouseZero will help them develop new designs and systems for retrofitting existing buildings to significantly reduce America’s architectural carbon footprint. The renovation combines low-tech changes like larger windows to let in more light, concrete slabs to store thermal energy, and a solar vent that looks like a glass chimney, with high-tech solutions like hundreds of embedded sensors and computer-controlled actuators that automatically open and close the aforementioned larger windows to maintain the optimal internal temperature. Manual operation is also available for those times when individual comfort levels don't fall within computer-controlled optimum, and a combination of geothermal and solar heating will ensure the house stays warm during even the coldest days of a Cambridge winter. HouseZero's sensors aren’t just being used to adjust internal temperature; they’re collecting millions of points of data on the building's performance—daily—and will be used to analyze the effectiveness of its energy-saving features. The valuable data collected by HouseZero will inform “further research that demystifies building behavior,” said CGBC director Ali Malkawi. Because the building is located in the Mid-Cambridge Conservation District, the designers were limited in how they could impact the exterior of the building. This limitation ultimately benefits the project, not only by because it just makes the design more innately interesting, but also because it invites people to imagine how they could transform their own home into an energy efficient version of itself. Like Coke Zero, which promises the same great taste, with zero sugar, HouseZero promises the same great place, with zero energy. While average homeowners probably aren't going to add hundreds of sensors and a basement supercomputer to their 1923 Sears Roebuck and Co. mail-order bungalow anytime soon, they might consider adding on some larger thermal windows and maybe even some custom-designed sunscreens if they’re feeling inspired. As the CGBC aims to prove, these changes are good for the pocketbook and the environment. HouseZero is about challenging building conventions and finding new solutions to old problems. In time, the research collected by this smart house may help us building smarter towns and smarter cities across the country.
Mohsen Mostafavi announced that he will leave his post as dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Design (GSD) at the end of this academic year. "I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to serve the Graduate School of Design and Harvard as dean for the past decade, and am now writing to let you know of my intention to conclude my term at the end of this academic year and to return to teaching and research after a sabbatical," Mostafavi said in a statement. The Iranian-American architect began his tenure at the helm of the GSD in 2008, taking over from Alan Altshuler. Mostafavi had previously served as the head of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London (AA) from 1995 to 2004. He directed the GSD's master’s program in architecture from 1992 to 1995. He received his diploma in architecture from the AA. The GSD is currently in the midst of a renovation led by Herzog and de Meuron that promises to update its historic Gund Hall home. Larry Bacow, president of Harvard University, said in a statement that a search for a new dean will begin shortly. Mostafavi has not commented on his reasons for leaving, but this article will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
William S. Saunders, educator, founding editor of Harvard Design Magazine, and author, has passed away at 72. Saunders regularly contributed to Architectural Record and served as the book review editor for Landscape Architecture Magazine after stepping down from Harvard Design Magazine in 2012. He also offered his consulting services to various design firms. In his books and publications, he was a thoughtful commentator on architecture and landscape architecture, particularly as it evolved in the 1990s and early 2000s. Saunders was a fixture at Harvard, having conducted his postdoctoral studies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 1980, where he taught until 1982. Saunders then held various communications and advisory posts at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) until his retirement in 2012. In 1997, Saunders founded Harvard Design Magazine, a biannual, critical examination of urban and landscape issues and theory meant to help design school graduates stay “in the know.” The magazine relaunched in 2014, helmed by Saunders's successor Jennifer Sigler, and issue 45, Into the Woods, was released earlier this spring.
From now until October 14, visitors to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) can enjoy the fruits of urban research from four cities: Berlin, Istanbul, Mumbai, and Boston. Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative is the product of four years of research, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and compares and contrasts the history and growth of each city to find commonalities and differences. That four-year project was spearheaded by the GSD’s Eve Blau, who curated the show with Robert Pietrusko, as part of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative. The exhibition is a culmination of the team’s research but is also intended to spur discussion and gather feedback on the future direction of the project. Höweler + Yoon Architecture handled the installation design of Urban Intermedia in the school's Druker Design Gallery, centered around four concrete stations, one for each city, where narratives are projected. These narratives are a combination of spatial and historical information and present open-ended stories that are meant to encourage viewers to dig deeper. These narratives delve into the three key themes that guided the research in each city: the planned and unplanned, a look into formal and informal placemaking; migration and mobility, how the residents and others move through each city; and nature and technology, examinations of each city’s infrastructure and urban ecology. Urban Intermedia has previously been on display in Istanbul and Berlin this past year, and the GSD’s Stephen Gray has added a Boston-centric supplement to the show’s Harvard homecoming. The new section in the current exhibition adds archival materials that contextualize the role of race, space, and power in Boston’s development and covers three eras of the city’s growth. Gray solicited Boston-based collections for “race and space” materials and received contributions from institutions such as the Boston Globe, Boston Public Library, Northeastern University, and Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center. A 33-foot-long, wooden meeting table has also been installed as a place to exchange ideas. Lectures, classes, and discussions will be hosted at the table, which will serve as a site of “active research” until the exhibition’s closing in October.
With summer coming to a close, it’s back to school for many architecture students. The start of the semester also marks the beginning of the fall lecture circuit, a highlight of architectural education in the U.S. and a chance for young designers to learn from the field's most influential people. This season's crop yields an array of thinkers and designers from a variety of fields, from cinematography to tech, and tackles questions about how architecture and architects can take on the challenges of today's turbulent political climate. Traditional bold-faced names are often eschewed in favor of younger provocative talents reshaping the profession. But lectures aren't only for academics. Many are free and open to the public, so we’re surveying the schedules of several schools on the East Coast and hand selecting certain events you won’t want to miss—even if your student days are long gone. Put these nights on your calendars now before the season ends. Yale University YSOA Anab Jain, co-founder and director of Superflux "Other Worlds Are Possible" Thursday, September 6 Georgeen Theodore and Tobias Armborst, Interboro Partners "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" Thursday, September 20 Omar Gandhi "Defining a Process" Thursday, September 27 Columbia University GSAAP Evan Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest Friday, September 7 Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, co-founders of Neri&Hu Monday, October 8 Elizabeth Timme and Helen Leung, co-founders of LA-Más November 8 Cornell University AAP Virginia San Fratello: Printing Architecture Wednesday, September 26 Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Counter Investigations Wednesday, October 10 Dorte Mandrup: Conditions Wednesday, November 7 University of Pennsylvania School of Design Designing the Political Landscape: Activism + Design in the Trump Era Thursday, August 30 Jennifer Newsom & Tom Carruthers, Dream the Combine Wednesday, September 12 Donna Graves: Learning from LGBTQ Places: Thoughts on Heritage and Preservation Tuesday, September 25 Harvard University GSD Hannah Beachler, Black Panther production designer, with Jacqueline Stewart Thursday, October 4 Christopher Hawthorne, L.A. Chief Design Officer Tuesday, October 9 Sou Fujimoto Wednesday, October 11 A few universities haven’t publicly posted their fall lecture series yet so stay tuned as we update this page. Also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Architect’s Newspaper in print for our September calendar of events and lectures to check out throughout the country.
The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced that Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have been selected to design a “transformative” expansion of Gund Hall, the GSD’s main building on the Harvard campus. New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) will serve as executive architect on the project. Gund Hall, designed by Australia architect and GSD alumnus John Andrews, opened in 1972. The building has a distinct presence, as the brutalist hall’s exposed concrete, dramatic slope, and multi-story overhangs set it apart from the other buildings on Harvard’s campus. The new expansion is expected to create an intersection for the administrative rooms, classrooms, studio space (called “the trays”), research library, and social gathering spaces currently within Gund Hall. In a statement, the GSD mentioned that the expansion will have a minimal footprint and won’t require reclaiming any of the campus’s greenspace. When the project is complete, it should completely reorganize the programmatic flow of Gund Hall and create a more space-efficient building. “The GSD’s groundbreaking collaborations with theoretical and applied disciplines, and other professional schools at Harvard, bring collective expertise to bear in addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our time through design innovation,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Harvard GSD, in a statement sent to AN. “Herzog & de Meuron and BBB have carefully studied and observed the School’s many qualities and characteristics, and they have a bold design vision for the GSD and its engagement with other disciplines and professional schools across Harvard, and for its impact on the world. We are excited to collaborate with both firms on the creation of an important and dynamic center for design innovation here at the GSD.” Both Herzog & de Meuron and BBB have extensive histories with Harvard. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been teaching and conducting research projects with the school since the 1980’s, and BBB has completed several projects on the campus over the last 14 years. Their most recent work includes renovations to the historically sensitive Winthrop and Adams Houses. No completion date or cost estimates have been released yet. AN will follow this story up once design details and renderings of the expansion are released.
Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (Cornell AAP) has just announced its new dean, J. Meejin Yoon, AIA, who will be the first woman to take the post and will succeed Kieran Donaghy, currently the Interim Dean of the school. Yoon is currently a professor and the first female head of the department of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yoon co-founded Boston-based practice Höweler + Yoon Architecture LLP with partner Eric Howeler. "I am very excited about my new role as Dean at Cornell and look forward to amplifying the agendas already at Cornell AAP that I can contribute to," Yoon said in a statement. "Cornell has excellent programs in architecture, art, and city and regional planning. As a designer, I have always tried to work in ways that cut across or sit at the intersection between disciplinary boundaries and I find the eco-system of disciplines and expertise at Cornell extremely substantive. I also see tremendous potential for expanding the role of technology within the culture of design at Cornell, from computational design and digital fabrication to data-driven processes in planning to new forms of media in the arts." Yoon has been widely recognized for her teaching and practice. She was the winner of the New Generation Design Leadership Award by Architectural Record in 2015, the United States Artist Award in Architecture and Design in 2008, the Rome Prize in Design in 2005, and a Fulbright Scholarship in 1998, with which she completed a trip to Korea. She received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard University in 1997, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 1995, where she attained the AIA Henry Adams Medal. She was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in the states. Höweler + Yoon will maintain its office in Boston where it is working on both local and global projects. "Now more than ever, we need design to address complex challenges across multiple scales," Yoon said. "From climate change to rapid urbanization and social strife, design plays an instrumental role in the transformation of cities and cultures. There is an urgency to design to address these critical challenges, and there is an agency to design in enabling instrumental change." Yoon will commence her role in the next academic year. Cornell AAP is one of the oldest and most respected schools of architecture in the United States and is the only department in the Ivy League to offer a NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree.