2018 Best of Design Award for Public: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Designer: Marble Fairbanks Location: New York As a division of the New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading research facilities that focuses exclusively on the history and culture of people of African descent. Marble Fairbanks’s project covered the center’s three interconnected buildings, the Schomburg Building, the Langston Hughes Building, and the Landmark Building. Restoration work on the Landmark Building—originally designed by McKim, Mead & White—was joined by a new addition to the Schomburg Building, which houses a gift shop and a conference room. Extensive interior renovations were made to research divisions, reading rooms, archival storage units, and new gallery spaces. The design enhances how the center interfaces with the Harlem community and the greater public by displaying portions of its vast collection on street-facing screens. Features of this design include LED display systems, interactive information panels, and a new streetscape. Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates Mep Engineer: Plus Group Consulting Engineering Civil Engineer: Leonard J. Strandberg and Associates Lighting Design: Richard Shaver Architectural Lighting Historic Preservation: Li/Saltzman Architects Landscape Architect: SCAPE Honorable Mentions Project Name: Banc of California Stadium Designer: Gensler Location: Los Angeles Project Name: River’s Edge Pavilion Designer: Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Posts tagged with "Marble Fairbanks":
Georgia Tech announced this week that Scott Marble, adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia University and founding partner of Marble Fairbanks, will take the helm as the new chair of the university's School of Architecture starting July 1. Known for his expertise in digital design, Marble is an apt choice for the position whose interest in and study of new technologies in the field of architecture has been demonstrated both in his work as an academic and practitioner, which he further explored in his 2013 book, Digital Workflows in Architecture: Design, Assembly, Industry. During his forthcoming tenure at Georgia Tech, Marble will address the changing role of the architect and the necessity for a "common digital language." “It’s typical that an architect is known as a leader of big teams,” Marble said in a statement. “That’s still important to maintain, but I think the next generation is going to be less about the more historical model of the ‘master builder’ and more about what I would refer to as the ‘master collaborator.’” He will also tap his own professional network and experience "to establish a strategic and strong connection to industry that will create graduates who can become thought leaders in industry," according to the university's press release. In addition to "bridging the industry gap," he will make diversity a priority, seeking to make the program more inclusive and culturally engaged, not only in the academic setting but in thinking about the profession beyond the educational realm, where the gender divide is most apparent and troubling. Marble received a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University in 1983 and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University in 1986. His work has been recognized by the AIA and the Chicago Athenaeum.
Archtober Building of the Day #11 Glen Oaks Branch Library 256-04 Union Turnpike, Queens Marble Fairbanks The goal of libraries is to provide communities with access to resources, said Karen Fairbanks, founding partner of Marble Fairbanks. Before Fairbanks and a large team of fellow architects, landscape architects, and engineers designed the new Glen Oaks Branch Library, community members were yearning for a facility that could provide more resources that better serve their needs. Throughout the design process, the design team continued to return to the word “search”—it is projected across the facade of the building, changing its appearance based on time of day and season. Even in the age of digital resources, libraries remain hubs for people of all ages to search for answers and information. In their design, libraries today must achieve the proper balance of flexible space for programming and digital research as well as storage for printed materials. The brick library that previously stood on the site was small, uninviting, and lacked sufficient natural light. Overall, the building was not civic, said Fairbanks. The design team set out to design a new structure that appeals to library goers, and adequately represents the area’s diverse community of 30,000 people speaking 30 different languages. The intricate design on the building’s glass exterior skin, developed by a complex algorithm, spells out the word “search” in 30 different languages to signify the community’s diverse demographic makeup. Each translation is accompanied by a series of lines representing the population size of each language represented. From a distance, it looks like rows of books. Each of the building’s three levels serves a distinct group—adults, teenagers, and children. Teens primarily use the main floor and the rear garden, or outdoor reading room. After school, this area is flooded with students. They can choose from a range of furniture types and feel comfortable doing homework or socializing. An open stairway with transparent glass railings leads to the basement level where adults, the largest group of library patrons, congregate. The stairwell creates an atrium allowing light to enter the lower level. Skylights embedded in the landscaping outside, over which visitors must walk to enter the library, also bring light in to the grand basement space. The perimeter of the basement reading room is wrapped in books for easy accessibility, with intimate reading areas arranged throughout. One of two community rooms is tucked in the back of this level. The top floor, reserved for children, is the quietest floor. Fairbanks noted that the carpeting and perforated ceiling absorb sound. Smaller chairs and tables and shorter bookshelves clearly indicate the target audience. Children can access materials and librarians can monitor the whole room. An LED art piece by Janet Zweig, commissioned by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as part of the Percent for Art program, hangs from the ceiling. On it, unanswerable philosophical questions scroll overhead. The stimulating installation is meant to inspire children and engage their sense of wonder and desire to “search.” The Glen Oaks Branch Library opened to the public in September 2013. Five days a week, visitors flow naturally from the bus stop on Union Turnpike, to the sitting area outside the entrance made possible by the building’s setback on the site, and into the library. Emma Pattiz is Policy Coordinator for the AIA New York Chapter.