Posts tagged with "Morphosis":

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California’s Orange County Museum of Art to open satellite location while Morphosis builds

The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in Santa Ana, California, is planning to open a new temporary gallery space in the South Coast Plaza Village on November 3 as work on a new 52,000-square-foot facility by Morphosis gets underway. The temporary facility—dubbed OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA—will be located in a former retail space in the Victor Gruen–designed shopping mall and will host five seasons’ worth of exhibitions between this fall and 2021 when the new museum opens. This year’s inaugural season will feature exhibitions by the artists Kathryn Garcia, Valentina Jager, Alan Nakagawa, Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, Rodrigo Valenzuela, and Ni Youyu and will be on view through March 17, 2019. Todd D. Smith, director of OCMA, said in a statement, “As we build our new home at Segerstrom Center, we have a unique opportunity to broaden our programs and our reach—OCMAEXPAND is a guiding principle, an umbrella term, for the museum during the transition.” Smith went on to characterize the pop-up museum and its new name as “a call to action for the organization. It’s meant to push us to think differently and more creatively about how we engage audiences today and into the future.” Cassandra Coblentz, senior curator and director of public engagement for OCMA, explained further, “Our goal is to create a dynamic space for artistic innovation, experimentation, and dialog.” The museum plans to do this by focusing exhibition on artists and topics relevant to California and the Pacific Rim, a major initiative the institution has undertaken in recent years. The Morphosis-designed complex will begin to rise nearby at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts—a cultural complex that includes an existing concert hall and reperatory—starting in 2019. Morphosis’s plans call for 25,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, 10,000 square feet of multipurpose, educational, and performances spaces, and a sculpture terrace with capacity for 1,000 occupants. The striated, wind-swept complex is being designed in virtual reality and will ultimately leave close to 70 percent of the surrounding site open for public use. 
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Morphosis founder Thom Mayne on the future of facades

From October 25 to October 26, The Architect's Newspaper is hosting its Facades+ conference in Los Angeles for the fourth year in a row. The conference features leading architects based in Los Angeles including Heather Roberge, principal and founder of Murmur Architects; Tammy Jow, associate director of AC Martin; Thom Mayne, founding principal of Morphosis Architects; and Stan Su, director of enclosure design at Morphosis Architects. To learn more about emerging facade technology, wider industry trends, and what's on the boards at Morphosis, AN sat down with Thom Mayne in the firm's New York office. The Architect's Newspaper: When did you start getting interested in facade innovation, and what do you find most interesting about it today? Thom Mayne: It started in the early 2000s; we were working on a project in Seoul, on the Sun Tower. We were investigating the possibility of a second skin, an artifact that was much more connected to an aesthetic formal exercise because it freed us of the norm of a window curtain wall and the whole notion of facade. We had a continuous surface and that allowed us a lot of freedom in a completely different direction. After that, we were working on the Caltrans project in Los Angeles and the General Services Administration (GSA) project in San Francisco. Both were very distinct projects that required real thinking on performance, using facade openings and scrim walls to take advantage of natural light and exterior temperature conditions. The whole thing became a huge exercise in environmental performance. We saw it as part of our responsibility to represent architecture within a state-of-the-art context in terms of its use of energy. It is not something we're focused on, but there's nothing that comes out of the office that doesn't require some level of environmental facade performance. When we opened the GSA building, Nancy Pelosi was there and she didn't like it. She likes Victorian architecture, and I said, “Nancy, actually this is how it works, and you have to understand its performance,” knowing that she’d agree that our values are parallel. In fact, that’s interesting too, that the average person relates to a building just in terms of its appearance. It's fairly straightforward. In reality, the skins had to do with weight and their ability to move and their technological performances. It wasn't about the metal; we didn't start it by wanting to do a metal building. It's a result. In terms of the metals, I think the Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech was quite successful. We're experimenting with textures and imprints on metal, and in that case, it resulted in a set of random pieces and it looks like it's dynamic, in a perpetual state of movement based on the reflection of the sun. The facade’s 500,000 perforations are stationary, but if it looks like its moving, it’s moving. We used metal skins at Cornell Tech, but we are sort of done with the whole metal thing; we want to move on since people link us with metal buildings. What are you working on and what do you think we'll see in five years? TM: We are pursuing a couple other projects making the skin active and literally dynamic, which presents another set of possibilities. It just keeps changing the whole notion of facade. A large segment of the profession today is recognizing completely new opportunities. We really pushed environmental performance with our recent work, the Kolon One & Only Tower [in South Korea]. It's a state-of-the-art research and development center with a sophisticated west-facing fiber screen wall. We found much more aggressive subcontractors in Korea and China. Here [in the United States] they just think, “Haven't done it, can't do it.” Outside of the United States, contractors and clients are more willing to experiment with new materials and techniques? TM: It is really weird as we're still the wealthiest economy in the world; we're in a place that’s affecting architects for sure, but creating very timid architecture. You're staying competitive if you are creating intellectual capital. We couldn't have done it in the States or for an American client; it would’ve been too aggressive or too risky on their end. [The Kolon tower] was very much moving the ball forward just advancing kind of this notion. Again, it's this one single element, the exterior wrapper that you see in the work. Unlike other projects, we never set out to make a stainless steel building, even though it withstands weather and it'll be around in 100 years. The response [for Kolon] was to various performance demands. What it does is allow a completely different reading of the work because you get singularity of the surface. What facade and construction innovations do you think we’ll see in the forthcoming years? TM: Without question, there'll be a continuation of technologies that produce more efficient envelopes. New materials and increased performance characteristics will drive a lot of it. Design becomes less of a focus of your work. I would also question the question. I think today, there isn't a lot of attention to the future since it's hard enough to grasp the present. The whole idea of the future is also that it is kind of unknown. And the answer is, I don't know. At Cornell Tech’s Bloomberg Center, we were discussing where they are going with the program, and they responded, “We don’t know; we are going to put a biologist, a poet, and a mathematician together and invent projects.” And you go and talk to Google’s design group and ask what they are doing? Same thing, “I don’t know.” We are going to put certain people together and find something interesting. There's more of that process going on and it makes sense; continued thinking and progressions in material and integration. Construction techniques and the ways we build other large complex objects, such as automobiles, are open to significant investigation. Advances in prefabrication allow for the efficient mass production of “handmade” pieces and the continual reworking of materials. For certain contemporary projects, like Kolon One & Only Tower, to get the desired form, shaping, and performance of the facade components, metal is no longer as useful due to its heavy weight. That [investigation beyond metal cladding] is definitely going to continue as we expand our material language. As you work on certain projects within the studio, they take on their own life. So I already know we're interested in pursuing that again with a similar material and technology because it's going someplace that we couldn't in other work. It's giving us a very different look and a different direction at the same time. It's opening up coloration and a different palette, because we wore out metal. We have to say, “After number six or seven, let's move forward.” We're doing it differently because we have to do it differently. It's not that we couldn’t continue to do it in perpetuity, they're actually operational. It's more a desire for something new. You founded Morphosis in 1972 as an interdisciplinary practice. How have the firm’s artistic tangents informed your design projects? TM: As part of the visual culture, drawings, paintings, sculptures, objects of all types, including furniture, all share many types of connections in the design world and in their formal structures, and they're, to me, singular. The artistic tangents are dealing with organizational ideas, compositional ideas that feed directly into the work. If you can look at a lot of [our tangent projects], you're going to be able to see absolute connections between organizational strategy and material connections. It's all part of a visual world that interconnects—the drawings and the abstract work become precursors to the work itself, that is, the architecture. The different mediums allow you to explore different formal ideas free of contingency. It's free of the pragmatic forces whether it be functionalities or economics. It allows you to explore it as a pure idea, which is useful mentally. You need the freedom to explore ideas in a much purer kind of framework outside of contingency, because if there's anything difficult in architecture, it's the limits that restrain a certain amount of freedom necessary to explore an idea. But I would say on the other hand, those same limits are what architecture is about and are useful. It’s a balance between constraint that gives you clear focus on a problem and other constraints which are just annoying or which are just limiting. Going back to our earlier discussion of where certain things can take place, like we discussed with Kolon in Korea, I just need an environment that’s a little freer and open to just explore ideas. It's a constraint I need to remove. This other artistic work is just to think freely, but those ideas absolutely find their way into the work. They're absolutely interconnected. When I come back to my office this artwork is abstract urban design and the strategies of urban thinking. Further information regarding Facades+ LA can be found here.
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Facades+ Los Angeles will scale the heights of Southern California design

From October 25 to 26, Facades+ will bring local and national leaders of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry to Los Angeles for the fourth year in a row. The first day of the conference features keynotes by Thom Mayne, founding principal of Morphosis Architects; and Heather Roberge, principal of Murmur.

Founded in 1972, Morphosis has spread its distinctive presence internationally. In recent years, the firm has completed the Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University, 41 Cooper  Square in New York City, and Kolon One & Only Tower in Korea. Opening in late August, the 123,000-square-foot Kolon One & Only Tower features a sweeping primary facade built of high-tech fiber manufactured by the client. Each fiber appendage is latched to the curtain wall with traditional stainless steel brackets that knife through exterior joints to steel mullions that ring the structure.

Heather Roberge founded Murmur in 2008. The firm’s work is characterized by its experimentation with a broad range of materials to create projects unique in layout and form. In 2015, Murmur unveiled En Pointe, a group of conjoined, aluminum-paneled columns standing atop razor-like fulcrums. According to the architect, “to achieve a balanced state, the mass and silhouette of each column are eccentrically distributed to stabilize its adjacent columns.” Other realized projects, such as the pentagonal Vortex House and a multi-sided addition to a Beverly Hills Residence, highlight Murmur’s unique approach to facade fabrication and design.

Over the last decade, Downtown Los Angeles has experienced an upswell of high-rise development. At Facades+, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and century-old Los Angeles–based firm AC Martin Partners will discuss the immense change underway. SOM’s Olympia complex is one of the boldest being undertaken in the area, composed of three towers of stacked terraces clad in translucent and clear glass wrapping visible concrete piers. AC Martin, with its long Angeleno history, has continually left its imprint in the downtown area with projects such as the twin-towered City National Plaza built in 1972 and the contemporary 73-story Wilshire Grand Center.

Representatives from Walter P. Moore, CO Architects, HKS Architects, and Renzo Piano Building Workshop, will also be on hand to discuss the assembly of complex facades at ever-rising heights as well as significant projects shaping the cultural scene of Los Angeles, such as The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Further information Facades+ Los Angeles can be found here.

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In Buffalo, fired-clay terra-cotta facade systems take a leap forward

For the third year in a row, manufacturer Boston Valley Terra Cotta (BVTC) and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (UB/a+p) in upstate New York hosted the Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop (ACAW). The weeklong event is a gathering of architects, engineers, and artists and offers a fast-paced opportunity for attendees to get their hands dirty physically testing the capabilities of terra-cotta design. Other sponsors of the gathering include Western New York’s Alfred University, an institution with expertise in glass and ceramics, and Rigidized Metals Corporation, a producer of deep-textured metal for exterior and interior cladding, among other products. “Architects designing with industrially produced ceramic components may have little material understanding of clay for large-scale production, while most artists trained in ceramics may have few opportunities to explore the medium at a scale beyond the individual object,” said Bill Pottle, BVTC’s Director of Business Development and organizer of the gathering. “At ACAW, architects, engineers, and educators collaborate with designers and manufacturers in order to deepen their understanding of designing with architectural terra-cotta.” BVTC was founded in 1889 as Boston Valley Pottery, a brick and clay pot manufacturing facility located on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York. The Krouse family purchased the facility in 1981 and transformed it into a cutting-edge architectural terra-cotta factory with a global footprint. Currently, projects range from the restoration of New York’s Woolworth Building to the cladding of Morris Adjmi Architect’s 363 Broadway and Kohn Peterson Fox’s One Vanderbilt. Keynote speakers, many of them workshop attendees, included Anne Currier, a clay sculptor and professor; Dr. William M. Carty, a ceramics professor at Alfred University; Christine Jetten, a ceramics and glazing consultant; Gerd Hoenicke, Director of Pre-Construction Services at Schüco; Matthew Krissel, partner at KieranTimberlake; Craig Copeland, associate partner at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; and Christopher Sharples, principal at SHoP Architects. This year, over 60 attendees participated in the workshop, which emphasized the role of pre-design and research at the early stages of a design project. Both the number of attendees and the overarching objectives of the workshop have evolved since its 2016 inauguration. The first event was largely a sandbox tutorial, featuring 20 attendees learning the basics of terra-cotta production. In its second year, ACAW and its 40 attendees focused on the bioclimatic function of terra-cotta in contemporary design and the retrofitting of structures. This year, building upon their experience at previous workshops, the attendees, divided into six teams, began researching and developing their prototypes in March. Designs were submitted to BVTC prior to the conference for prefabrication. Throughout the week, the teams received technical support from both BVTC and UB/a+p.
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Morphosis Architects created a cloud-like facade using reinforced fiber modules

  • Architects Morphosis
  • Facade Contractors/Suppliers POSCO (Steel Curtain Wall), ALU EnC (Aluminum Curtain Wall), Korea Carbon (GFRP), Korea Tech-Wall (GFRC), Han Glass (Glass), Steel Life (Interior Liner)
  • Facade Consultants Arup, FACO
  • Location Seoul, South Korea
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System Brise-soleil system on the main, west-facing facade
  • Products Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) using one of Kolon’s own high-tech fabrics, Aramid
Magok is an emerging techno-industrial hub located on the outskirts of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. In 2013, The Kolon Group—a multinational corporation and leading Korean textile manufacturer—approached Morphosis Architects for a new consolidated headquarters within the district. The goal? A wholly unique design capable of housing the conglomerate’s diverse divisions while showcasing its array of manufactured products.

After half a decade of design and construction, the 820,000-square-foot Kolon One & Only Tower opened on August 23, 2018.

The project follows Founding Principal Thom Mayne’s preference for hyper-engineered, non-traditional forms. Sloped planes and yawning fissures wave across the facade and interior.

Carbon fiber–reinforced concrete piers, rising at acute and obtuse angles, are the primary compressive support for the structure.

The atrium is a vast space measuring approximately 140 feet tall and 330 feet long and provides inward and outward views. Dubbed “The Grand Stair” by the design team, the centrally-placed path of movement is meant to serve as a quasi-public space and a facilitator of vertical and horizontal circulation. Morphosis has lined the entire height of the atrium with 400 fiber-reinforced translucent polymer panels measuring 30 feet wide. Produced by Kolon, the panels are fastened to the interior structure by stainless steel armatures.

The west-facing facade has a dramatic inflection that defines the structure’s exterior. Morphosis describes the main facade as “an interconnected array of sunshades that form a monolithic outer skin, analogous to woven fabric.” The woven embellishment—featuring the Kolon-produced Aramid, a reinforced fiber with a greater tensile strength than iron—was designed parametrically to balance the interior’s need for outward vistas and shading requirements. Stan Su, director of enclosure design at Morphosis, views the sprawling sunscreen as carrying a “cloud-like plasticity in form while maintaining a remarkably high tensile strength.”

Each knot of “woven fabric” is fastened to the curtainwall with traditional stainless steel brackets that cut through exterior joints to the steel mullions that ring the structure.

While the western elevation is the primary face of the development, the facility was designed holistically. Stan Su states that “the pared-back embellishment of the three other elevations is a response to their interior functions; lab and office blocks comprise what can be considered the rear of the building.” The curtain wall wrapping these elevations largely consists of Han Glass’s low-iron glass and ALU EnC produced aluminum cladding, a measure to match the clear view and visibility requirements of the client.

In a bid to secure LEED Gold Certification, Morphosis added a number of sustainable and environmentally-friendly interventions; Kolon One & Only Tower is decked with a green roof, solar photovoltaic panels, and geothermal heating and cooling mechanisms. Additionally, Morphosis reduced concrete use by 30 percent through a bubble deck slab system which uses plastic balls as a form of reinforcement. Further projects by Morphosis Architects will be discussed during Facades+ LA October 25-26.
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Texas Tech taps Morphosis to design museum expansion

Morphosis has announced that it is developing a design and masterplan for a 150,000 square-foot expansion of the Museum of Texas Tech University. Established in 1929, the museum moved to its current 238,000 square-foot facility in 1970 and is cited as the largest and most diverse university museum in the nation. In its main building, it houses a massive collection of 8 million objects representing the range of subjects taught at Texas Tech and provides students and community members with relevant programming. Also part of the museum’s facilities are the Lubbock Lake Landmark, the Natural Science Research Laboratory, and the Moody Planetarium. According to a press release, the new Morphosis-designed masterplan will expand the focus of the museum beyond its permanent collections and will reflect the breadth of innovation happening at the university. The design of the “Universiteum of Texas Tech” will be led by firm founder Thom Mayne and principal Arne Emerson and will add 40,000 square-feet of flexible gallery space, a community engagement center, more laboratories, work areas, and a collection of storage facilities to the existing museum on the university’s campus in Lubbock, Texas. “We envision our design to act as a connector that knits together the existing museum and cultural buildings with the larger Texas Tech campus,” Emerson told The Architect’s Newspaper, “while providing a new gateway that engages the existing building and planetarium in a dialogue.” The architects will draw upon the rich history and ecology of the Western High Plains to develop a masterplan that highlights the school’s leadership in research and creativity across its various disciplines including STEM, health sciences, humanities, and the arts. The project is expected to also showcase a new model for university-community engagement. The new Universiteum will add additional research space for students within the university's Museum Science and Heritage Management programs, and it will also act as a gathering place for the public to further engage in special exhibitions and programming. In addition, it will feature the first large traveling exhibition gallery capable of housing major blockbuster shows in West Texas. The Museum of Texas Tech University is Morphosis’s second museum project in Texas. Their design for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened in Dallas in 2012.
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Morphosis unveils striated, sculptural design for Orange County Museum of Art

Morphosis has unveiled renderings for a new 52,000-square-foot facility for the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in Newport Beach, California.

The new museum complex has been in the making for decades under various designs by several architecture firms; the current proposal represents the third design put forth by the Culver City-based architects. The Morphosis-designed proposal, once built, will increase exhibition space at OCMA by 50 percent, compared with the museum’s current location, according to the Los Angeles Times. Plans call for the complex to include: 25,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, 10,000 square feet of multipurpose, educational, and performances spaces, and a sculpture terrace with capacity for 1,000 occupants.  The proposal aims to stitch together an existing cultural campus in the Pacific Ocean-adjacent enclave that already contains a concert hall and repertory among other uses by activating and extending a grand pedestrian plaza located on the site with a monumental staircase inspired by the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, according to Thom Mayne, principal and founder of Morphosis.  The museum, tucked into a hillside beside the staircase, would connect a lower plaza marked by a vertically oriented, Richard Serra-designed sculpture with the new sculpture plaza located atop the stairs. The upper plaza will hold another large sculptural element, according to the renderings. A linear tree promenade will extend horizontally from the upper plaza over the southern edge of the site, cantilevering over ground floor areas. Under the current proposal, roughly 70 percent of the site will be left open or contain public outdoor spaces.  Inside the complex, a variety of multi-functional public spaces like a public amphitheater and flexible gallery spaces will invite the public into the building. Renderings of these spaces depict multi-story volumes framed in glass and striated paneling, with sky-bridges and monumental stairs carving through many of the spaces.  The striated, shape-shifting structure will among be the final components of the arts complex in the city and is being planned with a future 10,000-square-foot expansion in mind. As such, its design will reflect the urban nature of the complex site, according to the designers. Plans call for OCMA to vacate its existing facilities this fall, with temporary facilities opening in 2019 nearby. Construction on the new museum is slated to begin in 2019 with the complex expected to be complete by 2021. 
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Morphosis reveals another winning design for China’s Unicorn Island

Morphosis Architects is one of the four winning design firms in the running to design Chengdu’s Unicorn Island in China’s Sichuan province, competing with Foster + Partners, a team of Arata Isozaki & Associates and Jun Aoki & Associates, and OMA. As China transitions towards a technology-oriented service economy, Unicorn Island was imagined as a centralized location where start-ups and established companies would be given the resources to grow. Whereas OMA’s plan for the island involved a crosshatch of different buildings for start-ups ringed by headquarters for the Unicorn companies (worth $1 billion or more), Morphosis has designed a series of curvilinear facilities that wrap around the island’s edge. While the island in Chengdu is small, Morphosis took the opportunity to bring big ideas, designing a campus that would be walkable, sustainable, and accessible via mass transit while also building up the city’s skyline. The firm broke the 165-acre island up into four quadrants, with each representing a stage of a Unicorn company’s growth. Flexible office space can be found in all four sections, as well as shared community amenities and a central park and hub for each. The northwestern quadrant has been set aside for education and will contain offshoots of the universities found in Chengdu proper, while the convention and showcase quadrant to the southwest will allow companies to demonstrate their wares. The eastern half of the island would be broken into north and south innovation quadrants, holding accelerator spaces, labs, and administrative support services. At the island’s core would be a massive “Unicorn Tower,” which would serve as the headquarters for the campus’s most successful companies. Other than the central tower, Morphosis chose to keep the other buildings low-slung and accessible from the ground level. Pedestrian access across the island was prioritized, and park-to-park walkways were overlain across the entire site. A proposed metro station near the Unicorn Tower would put most of the island within walking distance from mass transit. For their scheme, Morphosis worked with engineers Buro Happold. No estimated completion or start date has been announced yet.
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OMA wins competition to design tech-focused “Unicorn Island” in China

Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, is rapidly transitioning towards a service-based economy and has enlisted OMA’s help in growing its local tech companies. Following an international design competition sponsored by the Chengdu government, OMA and three other high-profile studios have been chosen to master plan a Unicorn Island for startups and more established tech companies alike. OMA has designed a campus that weaves over the entire island, with skyways that overlap and interconnect, which they call a weave. At the island’s core is the Living Lab, a domed complex with working labs that will be open to the public. Branching out from the Living Lab will be the weave, which will hold startups and “Gazelles” (tech companies worth $1 million or more). The weave has been envisioned as a community space, and OMA has described the area as “village-like” in its project description; this interior section will contain residential housing for employees, a mix of office typologies, and amenity spaces meant to foster mingling between different companies. Along the island’s edge will be headquarters for the "Unicorns" (technology companies worth $1 billion or more), with room for expansion as the companies in the weave increase in value and relocate outwards. From the renderings, it appears that the complex will be massive and extend all the way across Unicorn Island. Interestingly, everything except the waterfront headquarters will be elevated; roads will pass below the floating weave, with four courtyards set aside, one on each block.  OMA has also revealed some of the tower typologies that will be present in the weave, including a circulation tower, sports tower, education tower, and relaxation tower for the 16 cores. With such a tightly-condensed campus, parking had to be moved underground. From the site plans, it seems that parking will run under nearly the entire island, with the exception of the area below the Living Lab, which will become an underground plaza. The design of Unicorn Island was led by Chris van Duijn, OMA Partner and Director of OMA Asia. Mobility in Chain provided the traffic consultation and Transsolar acted as the climate engineer. No estimated completion date or project cost has been revealed at the time of writing. The other three winners of the design competition include Morphosis, Foster + Partners, and a team composed of Arata Isozaki & Associates and Jun Aoki & Associates.
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Thom Mayne’s mentoring program is featured in showcase at Pratt

The educational mentorship program spearheaded by Morphosis principal and co-founder Thom Mayne headed into its third semester this year. For sixth graders at Hall Elementary School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Thom Mayne Young Architects program was a chance to receive an architectural education and access to design software via after-school classes led by Pratt Institute architecture students. Tonight, Mayne himself will host a closing reception of their final projects from last semester at Pratt Institute's Higgins Hall, beginning at 6pm. Founded in 2017, the Thom Mayne Young Architects program was spurred by Mayne's participation in President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Mayne partnered with TurnAround Arts, a 2012 program launched by Michelle Obama and the president's committee to bring arts education to the bottom five percent performing public schools, which includes Hall Elementary. The sixth grade students have been working on a site close to home–their own classrooms. Their design prompt is to create a "beautification proposal" for their classrooms. In the course of the 12-week program, students learn about design thinking, architectural design fundamentals and computer design, aided by the donation of Pixelbook laptops loaded with design software by Google. Beyond design skills, the program also includes lessons about photo editing, branding, marketing, and budgeting. The exhibit, which opened on February 12, closes on Saturday, February 17.  
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Morphosis-designed Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech celebrates opening

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With the goal of becoming a net zero building, The Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis, forms the heart of the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, bridging academia and industry while pioneering new standards in environmental sustainability through state-of-the-art design.
  • Facade Manufacturer Island Exterior Fabricators
  • Architects Morphosis
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass, LLC (unitized curtain wall); Island Exterior Fabricators; Barr & Barr (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants ARUP (facade, structural, MEP/FP engineering, sustainability; lighting; acoustical; av/it/smart building)
  • Location Roosevelt Island, New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System unitized continuously insulated rainscreen; photo voltaic solar canopy
  • Products Louvered ZIRA system from A. Zahner Company;  Custom Unitized Curtain Wall; Custom Curved Glass Enclosure
Spearheaded by Morphosis’ Pritzker Prize-winning founder Thom Mayne and principal Ung-Joo Scott Lee, The Bloomberg Center is the intellectual nerve center of the campus, reflecting the school’s joint goals of creativity and excellence by providing academic spaces that foster collective enterprise and collaboration. “The aim of Cornell Tech to create an urban center for interdisciplinary research and innovation is very much in line with our vision at Morphosis, where we are constantly developing new ways to achieve ever-more-sustainable buildings and to spark greater connections among the people who use our buildings. With the Bloomberg Center, we’ve pushed the boundaries of current energy efficiency practices and set a new standard for building development in New York City,” said Morphosis founder and design director Thom Mayne in a press release. The four-story, 160,000-square-foot academic building is named in honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg in recognition of a $100-million gift from Michael Bloomberg, who was responsible for bringing Cornell Tech to New York City while serving as the city’s 108th Mayor. A major feature of the building is an expansive photovoltaic canopy, with a low and narrow profile that frames views across the island. One of the building’s most distinctive features is its facade, optimized to balance transparency—maximizing daylighting and exterior views, and opacity—maximizing insulation and reducing thermal bridging. Designed as a rain screen system, the outermost layer of the facade is composed of aluminum panels surfaced in an iridescent, PPG polymer coating. Viewed from afar, the aluminum panels register a continuous image that merges the river-view scenery from Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island location and Cornell University’s idyllic campus in Ithaca, New York. Facing the city, the Bloomberg Center’s west facade registers the image of the Manhattan skyline as it is viewed directly across the East River. Along the campus’ main entry and central circulation spine (the “Tech Walk”), the east facade registers an image of Ithaca’s famous gorges. Designed in collaboration with A. Zahner Company, an architectural metal fabricator, the facade utilizes Zahner’s Louvered ZIRA system to create the image patterning. Each pixel of the image is translated into the specific turn-and-tilt of a two-inch circular tab punched into the aluminum paneling; the depth and rotation of each tab determine the amount of light reflected. This pixel map was fed into a repurposed welding robot, which processed the digital information into the mechanical turning-and-tilting of the facade’s 337,500 tabs. The algorithm controlling the robot was developed in collaboration with Cornell and MIT students. “Our collaboration with the Cornell and MIT students to develop the building’s facade is an example of the type of connections that Cornell Tech will foster between academia and tech industries,” said Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Principal at Morphosis and Project Principal of the Bloomberg Center. “We were ultimately interested in demonstrating that designing for net-zero creates not only a more energy efficient building but, in fact, a healthier and more comfortable environment for its occupants. The very systems that provide our path to high building performance are the same systems that provide better control to its users while giving the building its distinct identity. Cornell University’s leadership in sustainability is central to their mission; we look to continue that leadership in both upstate as well as downstate campuses.”
Morphosis will be participating in the upcoming Facades+ Los Angeles conference on October 19 to 20, 2017. Stan Su, who contributed to Bloomberg Center as a member of Morphosis’ Advanced Technology team, will be co-presenting a morning workshop along with Brad Prestbo (Director of Technical Resources, Sasaki Associates), Chris O'Hara (Founding Principal, Facades Director, Studio NYL). The workshop will be divided up into three parts: a group discussion on fundamental detailing principals, case study examples of how those principles are employed, and a hands-on session where the group will reverse-engineer details from notable projects.
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Cornell Tech campus opens with three high-tech buildings

Yesterday Cornell Tech's campus opened on Roosevelt Island, a strip of land between Manhattan and Queens perhaps best known for housing medical institutions and mental hospitals. This development definitively stakes a new identity for the island. Created through an academic partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the project is the winner of a New York City competition for an applied-sciences campus initiated by the Bloomberg administration. The campus spans 12 acres and houses three new buildings by Morphosis, Weiss/Manfredi and Handel Architects. So far, what makes the buildings stand out is their aim to be among the most sustainable and energy efficient structures in the world. The four-story, 160,000-square-foot Bloomberg Center, designed by Morphosis Architects, serves as the heart of Cornell Tech. With its primary power source on-site, it is one of the largest net-zero energy academic buildings in the world. Smart building technology developed in collaboration with engineering firm Arup includes a roof canopy supporting 1,465 photovoltaic panels designed to generate energy and shade the building to reduce heat gain, a closed-loop geothermal well system for interior cooling and heating, a rainwater harvesting system to feed the non-potable water demand and irrigate the campus, and a power system conserving energy when the building is not in use. Another striking element is The Bloomberg Center’s facade, which is comprised of a series of metal panels designed to decrease the building's overall energy demand. The Bridge, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, is a seven-story “co-location” building intended to link academia to entrepreneurship. It houses a range of companies from diverse industries that have the opportunity to work alongside Cornell academic teams. The loft-like design of the building encourages dialogue between the University's academic hubs and tech companies. The building orientation frames full river views and brings maximum daylight into its interior. At the ground level, the entrance atrium opens onto the center of campus extending into the surrounding environment through a series of landscaped terraces. The House, designed by Handel Architects, is a 26-story, 350-unit dormitory for students, staff, and faculty. It is the tallest and largest residential passive house in the world, meaning it follows a strict international building standard to reduce energy consumption and costs. The House is clad with a super-sealed exterior facade created from 9-by-36-foot metal panels with 8 to 13 inches of insulation which are projected to save 882 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Yesterday’s opening comprises just the first phase of the campus development project at Cornell Tech.