Posts tagged with "retrofit":

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Dynamic Glass makes appearance in overhaul of Swiss hotel

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Electrochromic glass by SageGlass allows for facade shading without impeding views. This technology is perhaps most beneficial in a place like downtown Geneva, Switzerland, where mid-rise housing and office blocks frame distant views to snow-capped mountains and Lake Geneva. Recently, the Warwick Geneva Hotel became the first hotel in the world to be fitted with SageGlass’s dynamic glass products. The building, which first opened in 1972, is a collection of 167 rooms and suites as well as seven meeting rooms, in the center of the city. With this spectacular setting, the hotel owner sought a solar control solution that would block harsh UV rays while affording views to the city and beyond.  
  • Facade Manufacturer SageGlass
  • Architects dl-c, designlab-construction
  • Facade Installer SVS SA (facade specialist)
  • Facade Consultants SVS SA (facade specialist)
  • Location Geneva, Switzerland
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Retrofit with dynamic glazing units
  • Products SageGlass Climatop Classic with LightZone
The solution was to retrofit over 10,000 square feet of glazing with a new dynamic glass material that automatically tints when exposed to the sun. The material is incorporated into SageGlass’s thermally calibrated units via three zones within a single pane of glass to help establish a more balanced distribribution of daylight. Similar to eyeglasses that passively tint when exposed to daylight, dynamic glass is an electrochromic glazing that is integrated with a building management system. The units have the the ability to automatically tint, and also tint “on demand” when requested by room occupants. For instance, in Warwick Geneva, meeting rooms will often use this function during video projection presentations. The facade intelligence allows the building envelope to maximize daylighting while reducing heat and glare, and maintaining views outward.
Alfonso-Agustín González García, architect at dl-c, designlab-construction, a Swiss-based firm, said dynamic glass was a material familiar to the office but was introduced to the project from the client. The architects worked around existing precast concrete “portal” shaped panels, detailing the replacement windows. This process led to a more vertically oriented proportioning system. The installation process was celebrated as an “efficient and flexible” process by Alain Rigazzi, director of the hotel, “Thanks to the new SageGlass facade, our guests benefit from a very effective thermal and acoustic insulation. The efficient and flexible installation process allowed us to complete the renovation without ever closing the hotel.” The thermal performance of the replacement window units is expected to allow the building to meet Switzerland's contemporary energy regulations. The retrofit has contributing to reduced heating and cooling costs, while satisfying owner desire to re-establish a visual connection to the surrounding context.  
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Over 900 chairs adorn the facade of this furniture gallery

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CHYBIK + KRISTOF, a young Czech Republic–based firm led by two founding partners who have both been included on Forbes' “30 under 30” list, has recently completed a renovation of an existing car showroom to a furniture gallery for MY DVA, a company focusing on the development, production, and sale of office, school, and metal furniture.
  • Facade Manufacturer MY DVA group a.s., Stavitelstvi Kroutil s.r.o.
  • Architects CHYBIK+KRISTOF
  • Facade Installer Stavitelstvi Kroutil s.r.o.
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Brno-Vinohrady, Czech Republic
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System steel frame, plastic seats
  • Products Vicenza Chair by MY DVA group a.s.
The firm was tasked with making the conversion in the quickest and most affordable manner possible. “Do it cheap, ideally for free,ˮ the architects recounted. Ondrej Chybik, a founding partner of CHYBIK + KRISTOF, said: “When we introduced the chair skin for the first time, the client was afraid of extra costs. But in comparison with traditional facade systems, the price of the chair facade was much lower.” This was due in large part to the sourcing of chairs from the client directly, and the simplicity of the steel subframe employed. Chybik said the project team produced iterative options looking at tiling densities and color variation; the design process landed on simplest option. This option was to load the facade with over 900 black plastic Vicenza seats—as dense as possible—packing individual seats into a running bond pattern. The assembly acts as a three-dimensional rain screen cladding, doubly-functioning as a solar screen and literal advertisement for the furniture showroom. Beyond this assembly, the original building envelope was able to remain nearly untouched, saving the cost of major building shell modifications. The seats are finished in a black granulated paint and exterior based clear coat for UV protection. A new entry portal projects beyond the depth of the chair facade and is composed of thick gauge sheet metal finished in a similar black coloration. Beyond the facade, the interior organizes the furniture company’s three major product types (school, office, and design) into corresponding circular zones demarcated by varied floor finishes and floor to ceiling curtains. Carefully composed surface-mounted electrical conduits flow obliquely across the ceiling, finished in a black paint that references the facade shell. Chybik said the project team arrived at this concept after thinking about the facade as a functional banner: “The functionality of the facade is not just in terms of aesthetic and solar protection. The facade represents what the building contains inside—the showroom of a furniture producing company.” He said the project was about making purposefully simple design decisions. “There was nothing extremely complicated because we wanted to create a very expressive but in the same hand very simple solution. That is probably the strongest feature of the design.”
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Gould Evans transforms Brutalist library into community hub

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With declining public interest in an outdated 1970s exposed concrete library in Lawrence, Kansas, Gould Evans worked closely with residents, downtown neighborhood groups, and the library to establish primary goals for a renovation that sought to cover a broad base of community interests. Out of this extensive dialogue, the project team identified a design concept that promoted better contextual awareness between the library and the city through a new main entryway, a more functional threshold between the library and the surrounding community, and improved energy performance. After an extensive energy modeling and analysis on the existing structure by Syska Hennessy Group, it was discovered that the building lost significant energy and lacked adequate levels of daylight due to the arrangement of exposed concrete fins that acted like a giant radiator during hot days. In response, the architects addressed performative issues and community desires with a “re-skinning” strategy that wrapped a continuous reading room around the original structure. The facade, clad with a continuous insulation barrier and a terra-cotta rainscreen system, was envisioned as a highly contextual element interfacing directly with the city. The new addition opens up to a park on the north side, while providing a new community plaza along the south elevation. Along the west facade, access to an aquatic center across the street allows the library to be easily accessed by children before and after swim meets. The main entrance is located along the east of the building, which fronts a pedestrian-oriented urban context.
  • Facade Manufacturer NBK Architectural Terracotta
  • Architects Gould Evans, (original in 1972 by Robertson, Peters Ericson, Williams P.A.)
  • Facade Installer Drewco
  • Facade Consultants Bob D. Campbell and Co., Inc. (structural engineering); Syska Hennessey Group, Inc (sustainable design); Professional Engineering Consultants, PA (mechanical engineering)
  • Location Lawrence, Kansas
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System terra-cotta rainscreen
  • Products NBK (terra-cotta rain screen): Terrart-Mid, smooth and sawtooth profiles; EFCO (storefront and curtain wall glazing): S433 Storefront, S5600 Curtain Wall; Solatube (solar daylighting system): 750 DS
Formal bends, folds, and apertures of the facade assembly facilitate the structure. Terra-cotta was employed as the predominant exterior finish material by the project team to provide a modern update to adjacent historic red brick facades of Lawrence dating back to the late 1800s. The one-by-five-foot terra-cotta rainscreen panels are hung off an aluminum clip system in front of a continuous insulation barrier and trimmed cleanly at the perimeter with one-fourth-inch aluminum plate. Contrary to the imperfections of brick modules, terra-cotta is engineered with a high tolerance through controlled machining processes. Gould Evans showcases this precision through its facade design, which specifies panels in two textures: smooth and grooved. A sense of variation and depth is produced from shadow lines generated by the textured panel, which appears slightly darker than the smooth panel despite their precisely similar coloration. Windows fit compositionally into the panelization of the facade, and include terra-cotta baguettes that perform as solar louvers. Particularly notable is how the new addition interfaces with the existing structure. Utilizing the mass of the concrete building, the new addition literally hangs off of the old library along the west facade where a new column-free book deposit drive through window is located. A primary steel framework sits above the existing roof plane, creating a continuous row of clerestory windows opposite the primary exterior facade. Opening up opposing walls to natural daylight minimizes glare—essential to the reading function of the space—by creating an even distribution of light. The original facade, a series of concrete fins now along the interior of the building, is codified with a cladding of a tongue and groove ash wood. Where the public interfaces with library services, such as account assistance, stacks, children's cubbies, private meeting spaces, and the central sorting machine, the ash is selectively removed to expose an underlying concrete structure. The project is currently undergoing LEED certification. After expanding the library by 50 percent, the design team reduced energy loads on the building by nearly half. This achievement is all the more impressive when considering the original systems of the building were left in place to reduce the embodied energy of a full replacement. The building has recently been recognized with a Landmark Libraries Award by Library Journal, as well as the Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture by AIA Kansas.
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A modern classic transformed for 21st century Los Angeles

Originally designed by William Pereira in 1961, the 8-story, 120,000 sq. ft. building sat vacant for nearly 20 years prior to renovations.

After sitting vacant for nearly 20 years, the eight-story Metropolitan Water District office tower in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood has been converted by David Lawrence Gray Architects from an office building to a luxury residential tower. The original building was designed in two phases by famed modernist William Pereira – a low-rise podium, and high-rise tower – through a process that spanned 12 years, from 1961-1973. Pereira’s design was structurally expressive concrete frame building, with cantilevered exposed concrete slabs establishing a wrap around balcony on each level. The primary bays of the building along the longitudinal axis are expressed at the ends with infrastructurally-scaled white concrete columns, while perforated concrete panels formed an iconic modernist brise soleil along the podium. Named after an ancient Greek conception of heaven, The Elysian blends architectural modernism with contemporary luxury living to produce 120,000 sq. ft. building with 96 Live/Work Units. Pereira’s original building was, at times, carefully and respectfully restored by the project team. This is evident in the clean-up of Pereira’s concrete columns, which contained – under decades-worth of grime – a high quality quartz aggregate cast (much to the surprise of the team). Another preservation marvel is the restoration of the existing mullions on the building. Metal panels from the lower third of the opening were removed along with original glass panes. The steel mullions were grinded down and repainted. The openings were replaced with new double-paned coated glass and micro shades to produce a new building envelope. The architects worked with CRL-U.S. Aluminum to integrate an operable window unit and patio doors within Pereira’s mullion layout. Also notable is the detailing of the new steel railing which translates an original post spacing cast into the slab with a new horizontal assembly providing technical precision of steel without visually overpowering the building envelope.
  • Facade Manufacturer CRL-U.S. Aluminum
  • Architects David Lawrence Gray Architects ( Principal: David Lawrence Gray, FAIA )
  • Facade Installer Linear City Development (CM)
  • Facade Consultants KMN Structural Engineers, Davidovitch & Associates (MEP), Ilan Dei Studio (Patio Design)
  • Location Los Angeles, CA
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System Concrete frame with curtainwall glazing
  • Products Series 3250 Curtain Wall, Series 550 Wide Stile Doors, AWS Aluminum Windscreen System (all from CRL-U.S. Aluminum)
While this renovation project makes historical acknowledgements to Pereira’s modernism, the new work to the building tends to give way to necessary market demands of luxury residential living: amenities like floor-to-ceiling windows and a two-story penthouse addition subtly transform the modernist building into something more “transitional.” The penthouse addition is carefully designed, but produces the most deleterious effect on Pereira’s proportioning system. His primary columns, once soaring optimistically beyond the body of the building towards the heavens have now been capped by a stealthy new addition which the project team has skillfully blended into the aesthetics of the original structure. Here, the curtainwall system, thermally improved by a continuous thermal spacer that is interlocked within pressure plates, is a sophisticated update to Pereira’s steel mullions. The system picks up where Pereira’s mullions left off, set in alignment with the mullion spacing throughout the building, and color matched with the rest of the building envelope. However, the 20-foot penthouse heights require an unfortunate and unavoidable heavier thickness. There is something interesting about juxtaposing a thermally sophisticated modern curtainwall system against steel profiles of the 1970’s. The two-story penthouse addition works to creatively conceal a rooftop mechanical space housing condenser units and a photovoltaic array for solar hot water heating. Also, the existing building was design with a generous floor-to-floor dimension of approximately 13 feet, allowing for an adaptive reuse of the building with minor modifications to the slabs required. New residential units were efficiently stacked by the project team, allowing for an economy in utility distribution, and limiting slab penetrations between floors to simply a new shaft and stairwell. Historians might argue for removal of the penthouse entirely, while environmentalists might argue for a full replacement of the original mullion system. Regardless, occupants of the building – especially those in the upper floors – will surely take delight in the 360 degree views of Los Angeles’ distant hills and sprawling low-rise cityscape that Pereira, and now David Lawrence Gray Architects, have provided.
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DaeWha Kang Design integrates aesthetics and building performance with workplace retrofit

"Every time we build or renovate a building, we make a public act." - DaeWha Kang

By combining contemporary material processes with organic principles, DaeWha Kang Design has transformed a 1980’s-era office building into a new dynamic headquarters for Communique, a public relations firm in Seoul Korea. With a very limited budget, the project team focused on four key points throughout the design process: the production of a human-oriented design, an environmentally responsive facade, a collaborative working environment, and evaluation of design through simulation and measurement. The renovation scope includes retrofitting a ground level parking area into an indoor/outdoor café, re-programming of the office area to maximize daylight for employee desk locations, and a rooftop terrace inspired by traditional Korean hoerang, or circumambulatory walkways. One of the most eyecatching elements of the project is an existing column, on the ground level, clad with a tessellation of silver leaves. The mirror finish stainless steel panels reflect the activity of the street while also visually doubling the height of a relatively low existing space (less than 9 feet). A curved surface between the column and the soffit is realized with singly folded diamond shaped panels, producing a triangulated effect. The pattern expands beyond the intensity of the column, into larger flat shaped panels. This geometry wraps up the facade, producing a primary grid which further warps in response to sightlines of the building from the surrounding urban context. The architects incorporated new high-performance double-glazed units and provided insulation at the exterior walls to combat significant thermal and condensation issues in the existing building. MaCheon grey granite panels regionally sourced provide a strong gray coloration to the facade. DaeWha Kang, Principal of DaeWha Kang Design, says the panels are attached to the facade with a simple bracket and pin anchoring detail allowing for future removal for maintenance if necessary: “That means that even if the building facade needs to be maintained in thirty or forty years time, it will be possible to remove each of the panels from the brackets without damaging them.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Chowon Partners (Kim Deuk Yong)
  • Architects DaeWha Kang Design (design architect); Chowon Partners (local architect)
  • Facade Installer Chowon Partners (Kim Deuk Yong)
  • Facade Consultants Michal Wojtkiewicz (innovation benchmarking); Younha Rhee (sustainability consultant)
  • Location Seoul, Korea
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System sealed granite panels on subframe over reinforced concrete structure; stainless steel panels on ground level
  • Products fully custom MaCheon grey granite and stainless steel panel assembly, window assembly from custom profiles
Digital analysis tools were employed during the design process to correct existing glare and daylighting issues in the existing space. Solar radiation analysis helped to determine the optimum quantity and location of windows in the office floors, while various window opening directions were tested in a fluid dynamics simulation. The team ended up with a series of casement windows that produce gill-like openings in the building envelope. These openings are paired with louvered blinds on the interior for further glare reduction without blocking air circulation. One of the significant findings from the analysis was that the lower floors required larger openings than the upper floors. Establishing an optimum window opening size allowed the panelization of the facade to geometrically integrate with the openings, creating what Kang calls “a completely organic integration of aesthetics and building performance.” The patterning of the facade was further influenced by standard block lengths from the quarry where the stone was sourced, constructability factors such as the maximum weight for a one-person installation, and the reduction in quantity of more costly curved panel geometry. These constraints produced secondary panelization geometry. A hierarchy between the two grids was visually reinforced by a chamfered corner cut all at primary grid lines, producing a shadow gap along the panel edge. Kang says this architectural process has produced a project that “has content and character, not just branding and image,” and is aligned with broader community ideals: “Projects like this are crucial in Seoul. We must move beyond the city as an accumulation of isolated buildings that do nothing for their surrounding neighborhood, and instead support clients who have a vision to do something more with their ambitions.”
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Quick Clicks> Icelandic Sculptures, Painted Trees, Carnegie, and Parklets

Icelandic Borders. Today at 5PM, "the largest temporary public art exhibition... in New York City Parks history," titled BORDERS, will be unveiled at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. The UN-conscious installation is a collaboration between the Parks Commissioner, an Icelandic Ambassador, and Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir, consisting of 26 androgynous, life-size sculptures. Painted Trees. Gerry Mak of Lost at E Minor adoringly shares the curious images of the vibrantly painted trees around Colorado by artist Curtis Killorn. Because of the unexpected colorings, these trees do not look like they came from land, but from the sea. Green Carnegie. We were worried when gbNYC reported that the good ol' Carnegie Hall is planning to undergo a massively ambitious, full-spectrum retrofit this year. But don't worry, the architecture firm Iu + Bibliowicz, which is in charge of all this, swears to preserve "the building’s distinctive 19th-century architectural grace notes" while making dramatic green building improvements. Parking to parkletting. The SF Examiner reports that more temporary public spaces, called 'parklets,' are exploding throughout San Francisco parking spots. The public battle between those who want to park cars and those who want to seat customers out on the sidewalk seems to have a clear winner-- the Department of Public Works is stamping out countless approvals for businesses to have their own parklets despite complaints.