The K-12 team at TowerPinkster is aiming to physically slow down school shooters through its $48-million renovation and addition to Fruitport High School in Western Michigan. The 189,822-square-foot project recently garnered national headlines because of its push to enhance safety within the 64-year-old institution, which previously featured narrow corridors and cramped gathering spaces. TowerPinkster, an architecture, engineering, and interiors firm with expertise in educational spaces, worked with the National Institute of Crime Prevention to learn the most effective ways to secure the school’s campus, which is slated to reopen in 2021. By building on 143,879 square feet of new space that connects to the older structure, the design team was able to create a two-story, curved academic wing designed to reduce the sightlines of a potentially armed attacker. Each teaching space was conceived with “shadow zones” along the door-side walls where students and faculty can hide without being seen. Shatter-proof safety film was specified to cover the few windows that do look into the classrooms. In addition, cement block “wing walls” were added to stick out next to all doors and act as further barriers. Currently under construction, this build-out is the fourth attempt to update the school since its opening in 1963. TowerPinkster has envisioned a new set of offices, an auditorium, media center, woodshop, cafeteria, and common area for Fruitport HS as well. The entry experience is also changing. Located at the opposite end of the classroom corridors, and looking directly at the parking lot, a staff member at reception would be able to see anyone walking into the school at any given time. They would also have the ability to lock down all classrooms, the vestibule door to the office, and the office door to the school using a three-button system. At a time when some experts are saying the key to school safety is in the design of fully transparent and inclusive learning spaces or pushing for gun reform, TowerPinkster didn’t wholeheartedly embrace breaking down Fruitport’s mid-century brick structure and replacing it with a more contemporary school. Closer attention was paid to the security strategies and, according to Matt Slagle, director of K-12 design at the firm, it was all about striking a “balance between security and a welcoming presence.” He told The Washington Post his team wanted to make the school feel open, but not too open; secure, but not as secure as a prison. Along with adding ample barrier elements to the school’s many open spaces, the idea to include curved hallways was one of the biggest safety-increasing design moves. Fruitport’s academic wings will be crescent-shaped and short, even though they won’t appear to be so from the ground. But non-linear connection points aren’t always the smartest way to ensure protection in a highly populated environment. In 2003, it was reported that it took police over seven hours to capture a gunman that had entered a new business school building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. SWAT team members blamed the architect, Frank Gehry, for the hide-and-seek game that ensued and for not being able to get a clear shot. And, as critics are pointing out on social media, those shadow zones and wing walls could also be taken advantage of by the shooter to more easily hide.
Posts tagged with "Safety":
This May, designer Jou Doucet x Partners, working with the Times Square Design Lab (TSqDL), debuted a 3D-printed concrete alternative to the now-common heavy concrete planters, bollards, and more traditional “Jersey” barriers that surround public places and prominent buildings across the country. Anti-terror street furniture is the often ugly urban peripheral that plugs into our cities to add a new feature—specifically the capability to stop speeding vehicles and other terrorists attacks. Doucet’s design offers what he calls “a different, humanist approach to security.” The project was commissioned for the second annual TSqDL initiative, which was created to bring new design ideas to the public realm—specifically, New York's crossroads of the world that is visited by nearly half-a-million people daily. On display and in use since May, the Rely Bench comprises gently rounded, interconnected concrete platforms that each weigh over one ton. With its modular components connected with steel rods, the benches are designed to almost act like a net, catching a vehicle and absorbing its impact. The design is nice enough, but the real innovation is in the method used to make it. The Rely Bench is the first product to be manufactured through HyCoEx, a fully digital production method that street furniture company Urbastyle believes will “revolutionize the concrete furniture market”. Little information has been made available about the technology other than it uses an extrusion technique powered by a 3D printing robotic arm developed by Concrenetics and produced by UrbaStyle in partnership with Autodesk, ABB and Cementir Group. Though extrusion is common with plastics, HyCoEx is the first method to adopt it for concrete; other methods primarily use deposition, layering concrete to build the final form. The benefits of 3D printing over traditional concrete casting include lowering production costs resulting from reduced waste material and the lack of required mold. Indeed, Urbastyle believes that the HyCoEx method “may one day completely replace mold production.” Perhaps most significantly, HyCoEx empowers designers to efficiently create any form or surface pattern they can imagine. The company sees it as a type of “artisan” technology that removes the separation between design and fabrication. The Times Square installation was just a prototype of the design and technology, but prepare to see more of both soon. The Rely is currently being tested against international crash barrier standards.
Managing a property can be difficult, but these new smart building systems work to prevent damage and allow you to take action as soon as a problem is detected. Addressing everything from plumbing to Wi-Fi to air quality, here are the newest solutions in residential and commercial applications.
Duette LightLock Shades Hunter Douglas Can’t sleep without complete darkness? Hunter Douglas has a custom window treatment that lives up to its name. The honeycomb-shaped “Lightlock” shades feature overlapping front and back panels that block incoming light. The system can easily be lowered or lifted with the PowerView app and other voice-activated smart home systems.
Phyn Plus Phyn Make your home or office watertight with Phyn Plus. The patented water monitoring system uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor any plumbing system 240 times per second. The app allows users to monitor water usage, shut off the water, and send leak alerts.
Onelink Surround Wi-Fi First Alert Onelink Surround Wi-Fi provides full-speed internet connection around the house (even in “dark zones”) with the benefit of cyber security. The system is compatible with Onelink alarms, enabling connectivity between smart building systems and providing controls to monitor and react to emergency alerts via the app.
SiXCOMBO Honeywell Home In addition to detecting smoke and heat, Honeywell’s monitoring system detects carbon monoxide. The system uses infrared sensors to detect flames, while thermometers measure temperature. Using an encrypted two-way wireless platform, the system alerts all sensors across the home if a danger is detected with blinking lights and voice alerts announcing what action should be taken.
Radiant Furniture Power Center Legrand Providing electricity to both standard plugs and USB connections, Legrand’s power hub is a breeze to install in existing furniture and infrastructure. From a chair to a bookshelf, the power and charging solution fits easily on flat surfaces or can be mounted vertically to provide connectivity in convenient areas.
Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed its latest investigative findings related to the deadly collapse of the Florida International University (FIU) pedestrian bridge that killed six in Miami earlier this year. The bridge, which hovered over eight lanes of traffic at an already hazardous intersection at the university, was designed to minimize disruptions to the transportation below, and it featured an amenity deck and bicycle lane for students. Its March 15, 2018, collapse, which completely flattened the cars underneath, could have been the result of errors in its design, according to the NTSB. Within the framework of the NTSB investigation, authorities from the Federal Highway Administration assessed the 174-foot-long, 950-ton span’s construction and found crucial design errors in the north end of the structure, where two trusses were connected diagonally to the bridge deck. According to the reports, the bridge's designers overestimated the capacity of a major section of the bridge and underestimated the load that section would have to carry. Examiners also discovered that the cracks found in the northernmost nodal region prior to the collapse were related to the aforementioned design errors. On August 9, 2018, the NTSB tested the concrete and steel used for the bridge, finding that there were no flaws in either of the materials. The report also included detailed pictures of the cracks at the north end of the bridge, which were minor before the span’s installation but transformed into fissure-like gaps by the time the structure was placed over the busy highway. Investigators believe the gaps contributed significantly to the bridge’s failure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized safety violations on March 15, the day of the collapse, and hired five contractors to inspect the structure and implement repairs, including Munilla Construction Management. However, OSHA issued FIGG Bridge Engineers, a designer on the project, a serious violation with a fine of over $12,000 for putting employees in physical danger by permitting them to work on the bridge after the dangerous cracks were discovered. The NTSB report is preliminary, and investigators are still searching for other design and technical flaws that led to the bridge’s failure.
A recently completed school project by Brooks + Scarpa in Los Angeles aims to soften the severity of new school security measures by focusing on formal exuberance and textured materiality to create a series of perforated metal panel-covered learning sheds that also happen to be bulletproof. With the project, Animo South Los Angeles Charter High—a public charter school located in South L.A’s Westmont neighborhood—aims to bounce back from a devastating 2014 fire that wiped out half the campus. The school has not been directly been involved in a shooting, but violence plagues portions of the surrounding local community. Because the school is located near the sites of several gang-related shootings—the complex has been hit by unintended drive-by gunfire in the past—the new facilities are designed to higher security standards than might otherwise be the case. Four years after the blaze, Brooks + Scarpa have delivered a new 630-student structure that aims for “fresh air and daylight” in its public spaces as well as “a safe and secure environment for leaning and social engagement,” according to the architects. The C-shaped complex contains eleven classrooms in all, as well as two science labs, a faculty lounge, and new administrative and counseling offices that are all linked by exterior walkways wrapped in see-thru metal paneling. For the project, the architects aim to harness new safety-focused design considerations in a way that does not limit design possibilities or produce windowless, hardened spaces. Site requirements for the project demanded a perimeter security wall that was not only 20 feet tall, but could also repel bullets. By placing the bulk of the classrooms along this outermost edge of the site and wrapping those elements in solid walls and expanses of bulletproof curtain walls, the designers appealed to multiple requirements at once. Providing transparency and rigidity together, the perimeter walls—almost totally wrapped in reflective perforated yellow panels—appear solid during the day, when they catch the sunlight. But at night, the volumes glow from within, revealing the silhouettes of the building’s interiors. The perimeter wall maneuver also opened up the possibility of locating a generous courtyard within the complex, creating a plaza that could potentially unify and uplift the campus. Following a footprint derived from the intersecting mix of easements and setbacks the define the site’s buildable area, the single-story complex rises as a seemingly monolithic cluster of three buildings that sit just far enough apart from one another to leave exit corridors in between. These spare and rectilinear circulation spaces are bound by canted walls and connect to the large semi-circular courtyard along the edge of the site facing the existing school. Here, the circular plaza is inscribed with a rounded planter while a linear stone bench cuts across the expanse. Wynne Landscape Design was the landscape architect on the project. The yellow scrim creates a variable and permeable semi-circular edge around the courtyard, cutting into an internal walkway on one end and punctured by a large picture window looking into an administrative office on the other. The courtyard brings daylight into the complex and allows for views to stretch through the building, a boost to the eyes-on-the-street approach of contemporary school safety design. The steel truss-supported scrim is visible from inside the classroom and office spaces, some of which feature direct connections to the exterior spaces formed by the wall and the classroom. Larry Scarpa, principal of Brooks + Scarpa, said, “There are many issues to solve [in school design]—including safety—but without a vibrant learning environment, the kids are the only people who suffer.” Scarpa explained the project also featured high ceilings—the 13- to 20-foot ceilings in the classrooms—which the designers provided by leaving the structural ceilings exposed, with a layer of blue jean insulation left open for all to see. “Studies have shown that students score higher and score better with higher ceilings and ceilings that are painted blue,” Scarpa explained. The school is in the process of moving into the spaces and will come online later this fall in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
Outdoor lighting not only provides safety—it also changes the overall look of a space. These open-air fixtures create an atmospheric mise-en-scène. Solar Foscarini Designed by Jean-Marie Massaud for Foscarini, this outdoor light (pictured above) also acts as a surface to place drinks on or gather around. Made with a unique blend of durable polyethylene and porcelain stoneware, the base is fully illuminated, while the stoneware top shields light from below. Halley Vibia A radiating arch of light is illuminated by a slim array of LEDs nested in a frosted lens. The resulting effect is an elegantly diffused, chiaroscuro treatment of light and shadow. Halley is made in three variations: floor-to-floor, floor-to-wall, and floor-to-clamp. Bollards Sonneman Working as an interconnected system of lighting along paths or planted beds, these bollards create a balance of solid geometry and LED illumination. Rectilinear columns form single-sided and double-sided LED-illuminated fixtures that come with myriad options for lenses, caps, and heights. Poppy Northern Lighting Inspired by a field of tall poppies, these outdoor oil lamps by Northern Lighting were crafted in a shape that captures the flowers’ elegant stems and crowns. Poppy is available as a table lamp, a floor lamp, and a lawn light that attaches to the ground with a pin. Made in powder-coated steel, the series is a part of the Unplugged outdoor lighting collection. Oblique Artemide This outdoor collection is inspired by a plant: Like a growing bean sprout, the oblique light head rest on a vertical stem stretching out of the ground. Artemide offers floor- and wall-mounted versions. Ballad Lamp and Stand Fermob Designed by Tristan Lohner, this portable lantern comes in seven bold colors and can be mounted on a stand to become an outdoor floor lamp. With rechargeable LED technology, the light is solar powered.
With Bill de Blasio making traffic regulation a priority of his fledgling administration, new visualizations of traffic injuries across New York City illustrate what the new mayor is up against in attempting to make such incidents a thing of the past. Statistician and Pratt professor Ben Wellington has used open data documenting traffic fatalities and cyclist injuries to generate heat maps of where in the city such events tended to occur in 2013. The resulting images, published on Wellington's blog I Quant NY, paint a somewhat grim image. A map that simply locates each of last year's 3800 reported cyclist injuries is so swarmed as to be rendered largely uninformative when zoomed out. The heat map generated from this diagram points to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and its cross-river neighbor, Williamsburg, as accident hotbeds. Despite these clear visual trends, such developments do not necessarily indict these two areas as more explicitly dangerous for bikers and then other parts of the city as they do not incorporated ridership density. Thus it is possible that these neighborhoods appear swathed in red simply because their streets play host to a higher amount of two-wheeled traffic than other portions of the city. Williamsburg maintains its scarlet presence in a map depicting 2013 traffic deaths. The East Side makes a slightly less conspicuous appearance while northern parts of Manhattan and the Bronx also reveal a proclivity for such incidents. Wellington identifies Brooklyn's Broadway, Queens Boulevard, and Grand Concourse in the Bronx as particularly deadly roadways. If the mayor gets his wish, generating 2014's iterations of these maps will be a far easier task. Nonetheless the images only reinforce the idea that Vision Zero—and the heat-free maps it would create—appears to be quite a lofty goal.
Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau served an indictment against a dozen employees of a concrete inspection company, which the DA cited for improperly inspecting at least 102 buildings in the city in recent years. According to the Times' account, Testwell, of Ossinning, New York, was "the city's leading concrete-testing firm." AN picked up a copy of the indictment today, and how right the paper of record is. What is striking is the number and range of projects Testwell touched--or didn't, as the case may be. The Times notes three--the Freedom Tower, new Yankees Stadium, and the Gensler-designed Terminal 5 for Jet Blue--and adds that city officials believe all projects to be safe, though the quality of the concrete may be inferior and thus have a shorter lifespan. But the other 99 projects are not just faceless outer borough in-fill. 7 World Trade Center is there, as are a number of high profile projects, including Norman Foster's Hearst Building, Frank Gehry's Beekman Place tower, Polshek's Brooklyn Museum Expansion, FXFowle's One Bryant Park and 11 Times Square, KPF's Goldman Sachs HQ in Batter Park City, and the new Greek and Roman Gallery's at the Met by Beyer Blinder Belle. (The indictment [we've linked a PDF of the list below] lists the gallery as MoMA, but that can't be right. Not surprisingly, roughly half the projects are nondescript luxury condo projects--10 Barclay, 150 Lafeyette, 801 Amsterdam, Latitude Riverdale--not unlike the majority of construction work in the city during the recent boom. A number of government projects, big and small, local and federal, are listed, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, I.S. 303, Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse, as well as a number of collegiate buildings. Perhaps most unsettling, safe or otherwise, are the infrastructure projects the company worked on, such as the Second Avenue subway, New Rochelle MetroNorth station, and, scariest of all, the deck replacement of the Triborough Bridge. There are a few oddballs, too:the USS Intrepid's refurbished Pier 86, the Pier 90 cruise terminal, the massive Xanadu commercial complex at the Meadowlands. The Testwell 102