Posts tagged with "Washington D.C.":

Memorials for the Future

The National Park Service (NPS), the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and Van Alen Institute are collaborating on Memorials for the Future, an ideas competition to reimagine how we think about, feel, and experience memorials. Memorials for the Future calls for designers, artists, and social scientists to develop new ways to commemorate people and events that are more inclusive and flexible, and that enrich Washington’s landscape while responding to the limitations of traditional commemoration. As the NPS celebrates its centennial in 2016, Memorials for the Future creates new ideas for honoring our diverse histories, heritage, and culture. Three teams will be selected to participate in a research and design process, working closely with the competition partners to develop site-specific designs for memorials in Washington, DC that are adaptive, ephemeral, virtual, event-focused, or interactive. The teams’ proposals will advance a framework for the design of 21st-century memorials and provide future memorial sponsors with fresh approaches to commemorating their subject matter. THE COMPETITION
Memorials enshrine what we as a society want to remember. But the places, people, and stories that we memorialize, and the audiences who engage with them, are in fact constantly changing. A memorial tells its story through subject matter and design. This story is often complex and multi-dimensional as a memorial’s interpretive elements embody ideas of identity, culture, and heritage, and each have intensely personal interpretations for every individual. As a national capital, Washington is a place of collective memory. The wealth of monuments sited throughout the city take on heightened significance as they reflect relationships among nations, of national remembrance, and of many important events and figures in our history. Often the traditional and fixed nature of memorial design does not allow for adaptation and redefinition over time, or encourage more than one interpretation of a given narrative. The traditional approach to developing memorials in Washington has resulted in a commemorative landscape that is thematically similar and increasingly land-intensive, which poses challenges for Washington’s urban park system, and has long-term implications for the potential uses of a memorial's surrounding park setting. The planning and design process is often costly and time consuming, which limits opportunities to groups or individuals with significant resources. Current trends raise a number of questions about the future of Washington’s memorial landscape and the ability to provide space and resources for future commemorative works. Location The competition proposals should be based on specific places or areas in Washington, DC. Proposals may take a physical form or may be virtual. Preference will be given to teams that propose a site or sites outside of the National Mall. The following locations are suggestions reflecting typical opportunity sites for new memorials in Washington: Near the monumental core: The Belvedere Within a residential area: Randle Circle or Tenley Circle Around a natural setting: Hains Point For more information on the types of sites in Washington, DC, and these sites specifically, please visit the project website -http://future.ncpc.gov Provocations The following provocations are meant to fuel and direct the competition submissions. Concepts that address several of these provocations are more likely to meet the competition's goals. Memory • How can we commemorate events or acts with long time frames that are still occurring today? • How can memorials be adaptive or temporal rather than permanent? • How can a memorial’s narrative continue to evolve as new generations evaluate its significance within the larger context of our ongoing national history? Identity • How can memorials advance dialogue around contemporary social, economic, health, or ecological problems that have historical roots? • How can memorials look forward while acknowledging a historical event or person? • How can memorials contribute to a more inclusive and more representative national narrative? • How can memorial designs encourage more, rather than fewer, sponsors? Placemaking • How can we memorialize, while also balancing the need for active public space? • How can memorials engage more diverse audiences, in more flexible and interactive ways around a given narrative? • What unconventional physical or digital forms could memorials take? • How can memorials respond to various neighborhood contexts and scales while also commemorating national events or serving the national interest? The competition partners invite participants to propose additional questions. The goals of the competition are to create new approaches to and forms of memorializing: • That advance a framework for the planning and design of commemorative works in the 21st century. • That demonstrate how temporary, mobile, interactive or adaptive displays can provide powerful and memorable experiences that are cost-efficient. • That develop ways to commemorate that are inclusive of multiple narratives and have the potential to be flexible as perspectives change. • That honor the scale, context and national significance of Washington, DC. The competition results will be displayed online and at an exhibition in Washington, DC, published in an illustrated report, and inform NCPC, NPS, and their partners on future design and policy opportunities.
The deadline for registration and electronic submission of the request for concepts is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2016 at the competition website.
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OMA unveils ideas for transforming RFK stadium property to an urban playground for the nation’s Capital

RFK Memorial Stadium would be torn down to create an urban playground along the Anacostia Riverfront for residents of Washington, D.C. and beyond, under plans by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) that were unveiled at a citywide meeting last night. OMA partner Jason Long and associate Laura Baird of OMA’s New York office outlined two design proposals—"The Stitch" and a "North-South axis"—for a 190-acre stretch of riverfront known as the RFK Stadium-Armory campus. Currently, it's covered mostly with the 55-year-old stadium, the armory, and surrounding parking lots. The Dutch firm OMA, founded in 1975 by Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, was hired last year by Events DC to explore ideas for the RFK stadium property after consultants concluded that there is no economically feasible way to renovate the building for continued use as a sports facility. Events DC is the District’s sports and conventional authority. The 75-year old armory would remain. Ideas in both proposals included a 20,000-square-foot arena for the Washington Wizards and Capitals, to replace the Verizon Center in Chinatown, or a 65,000-seat stadium for Washington’s NFL team, which has hired the Bjarke Ingels Group as its lead designer but has not settled on a site. There was also an option for no stadium or arena at all but other sorts of sports-and recreational facilities. Other ideas included playing fields, a field house, a water park, an aquatic center, art pavilions, a science center, a new home for the National Aquarium, and a sports complex comparable to Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Also, hiking and biking trails, community gardens, a floating pool, a picnic area, a skatepark, an ice rink, an ecology lab, and an exercise park. There were short term and long range ideas. Two manmade islands just off the shoreline, Kingman and Heritage islands, could be made more accessible by a series of pedestrian bridges. OMA’s Long said that since the property is owned by the National Park Service and leased on a long term basis to the District of Columbia, the design team explored recreational uses consistent with the Park Service’s mission. But Long said OMA also wanted to use the planning effort to introduce a wider range of recreational, cultural, and entertainment offerings. OMA wants to show the potential for creating a new gateway to the nation’s Capitol, including taking advantage of efforts to clean up the Anacostia River and providing more public access to the water’s edge. He noted that the RFK property is just about as long as New York’s High Line and just about as wide as Central Park, two of the most popular and heavily-used urban recreational areas in the country. However, it has essentially been devoted to a single use for decades. “We wanted to be much more diverse, in terms of programming,” he said. “This site has the scale to be an amazing place in which the city could connect to the riverfront.” The design team did not provide construction cost estimates. The cost of an NFL stadium or basketball arena alone, experts say, could approach $1 billion. The difference between OMA’s two design options was the way buildings were set along the waterfront and how open space was used to connect them with the waterfront and the rest of the city. One option, called “North-South axis,” would use the site’s sloping topography to conceal a linear “plinth” that spans the length of the site and provides underground parking. On top of this plinth would be a multi-structure sports complex, with a retail promenade at street level. The linear sports complex could contain either the arena, the stadium, or no large sports anchor at all. A series of stairs and ramps would draw visitors down to the waterfront, which would be transformed with parks, fields and possibly an “urban beach.” The existing road network would be restructured to accommodate traffic while providing multiple access points to the plinth so parking is evenly distributed along the site. The second option, called “The Stitch,” builds on the site’s existing “funnel-shaped” road network by adding two pedestrian boulevards and weaving circulation access routes through an urban campus. The plan “stitches” together elements of culture, sports and recreation into three zones.  To the north, amenities include a sports complex, aquatic center, and farmers’ market. The central zone lines up with the National Mall and features a “grand plaza” for outdoor events. To the south would be a marketplace and retail-lined parking structures. Again, this option could accommodate the arena, the NFL stadium or no large sports anchor. Long said the OMA team was aware that the Bjarke Ingels Group has been designing a football stadium, but the two design teams have not meet to discuss how BIG’s design might fit onto the RFK site. One of the features of the BIG design, unveiled last month, was a moat around the stadium that could be used for kayaking and other activities. The football team is considering sites in D. C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. Nearly 400 people came to the two hour presentation at the Washington Convention Center and expressed a variety of opinions. There seemed to be no clear preference for one option or another, or whether a football stadium should go on the site. Audience members asked questions about a number of issues. They wanted to know whether the plan could be modified to include housing; how traffic flow and access from the Metro could be improved; how to make the site more walkable, and whether a beach would make sense with Washington’s  mosquito-infested summers and cold winters. One man suggested moving the National Zoo to the site and selling the zoo property in Woodley Park to help pay for construction. Long said OMA designers will take the comments into consideration as they refine their plans and analyze costs in preparation for a follow-up community meeting in a few months. He said he was impressed by the turnout and the “high level of discussion” about the preliminary design concepts. “It’s good that people want to hear more,” he said.  “It’s great that they want to push it to the next stage.”
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Re-Ball! winner Hou de Souse reuses 650,000 plastic balls for interactive installation in abandoned D.C. trolley station

It has been a little over two and a half weeks since the last submissions rolled in March 4 for Re-Ball!, an international competition hosted by Dupont Underground. Raise/Raze, the winning design by New York City-based architecture firm Hou de Sousa, emphasizes interactivity and social interaction, inviting users to make their own mark on the building (and destruction) process. Re-Ball! is an organization seeking to bring life to a defunct trolley station under Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. The station opened in 1949 and was abandoned in 1962, when the city stopped its streetcar service. (Though in the 1960s parts were used as a fallout shelter and later a food court.) Dupont Underground signed a five-year lease with the city in 2014, and hopes to create a Low Line-like experience, yet with a more cultural bend, hosting art and design exhibitions, community and educational events. They also want to host pop up restaurants and retail, creative incubators, and more, both temporary and permanent. To start activating the Dupont space and get those creative juices flowing, the competition asked entrants to create a site-specific installation repurposing over 650,000 translucent white plastic balls used in a former National Building Museum installation last summer. They asked entrants to create a design to help fill the 14,000 square foot east platform, now mostly raw concrete and subway tile, beneath Dupont Circle. “The winning entry should be thoughtful, provocative, witty, safe, and executable on a limited budget, in a limited time frame, and within the confines of the site,” Dupont Underground wrote in their competition brief. “Raise/Raze is like sand in a massive sandbox; it allows its users to alter their surroundings with ease,” said the designers in a statement. To see the installation when it opens April 30, you’ll need to make a reservation. Advanced admission tickets are available via the Indiegogo campaign. The installation will run through June 1. Check out the finalists here and a gallery of all proposals over here.
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Plans for D.C.’s Pershing Park mired in debate over protection and progress

Adored by some who consider it a neatly sculpted Modern landscape worthy of protection, and loathed by others who see it as an alienating 1980s byproduct that perpetually falls short in its public duties, Pershing Park conjures up some polarizing perspectives. Located in Northwest D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue, the park's condition is shopworn, but its redevelopment continues to divide opinions. Home to the WWI General John Pershing memorial (a protected monument) Pershing Park was designed in 1981 by landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg. At the time it was a tranquil environment, a welcome contrast to the hectic urban surrounding. Its layout is ordered, and clean lines run through the park, maintaining a harmonious and symmetrical relationship with the water and greenery—at least, that was what was meant to be. Once upon a time, the park promised to be a place to ice-skate in the winter and relax in the summer. The fountain and ice-skating framework however, have been defunct for years. The water's serenity and sense of calm is easily disrupted when upkeep is ignored as litter fills the pool and steps become dirty. Paving slabs are riddled with cracks and are uneven, the slick lines now lost. It's no coincidence that that idyllic images shown on the American Society of Landscape Architects's website (via The Cultural Landscape Foundation, TCLF) are clearly dated (though the date of the photographs is unknown). Now, the World War I Memorial Centennial Commission is eager for change. A competition which the commission ran in 2015 resulted in architect Joseph Weishaar, landscape architect Phoebe McCormick Lickwar and sculptor Sabin Howard winning with their proposal: The Weight of Sacrifice. The design does away with the water. A problematic feature, seen as a catalyst to the park's downfall, it is replaced by a lawn that is partially surrounded by 10-foot-high walls that hug the perimeter, using bas-reliefs to inform visitors about WWI.
  The aim is to provide more space to relax, but it also sees a change in the park's role, becoming a place for historical education too. Costs are estimated at $38 million by the commission who has currently raised $6 million in their bid to bring about change. Change however, may not come so easily. On the other side, those who fight for the parks protection are attempting to place the park on the National Register of Historic Places. If successful, any changes, regardless of money raised, would be significantly curtailed. It's not hard to see both sides of the argument. On one hand, to maintain the current style and layout of the park pays respect to the WWI General John Pershing memorial of which it was designed to do. On that note, any change would disrupt the relationship between the park and the memorial. Conversely, the space's decline surely implies that it is unsuccessful, so much so that none bother to maintain it. For this to be fixed, more need to be welcomed in and more space is needed to facilitate this. Joe Weishaar argues that the dropped water feature is a “blind spot” and is hence ignored. Sculptor Sabin Howard envisions an “uplifting story of transformation, showing how noble the human race can be.” While the campaign for change gathers steam, the fight for protection does have some weight in the form of Charles Birnbaum, president and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)  and Darwina Neal, former president of ASLA among others. Here, Birnbaum argues for “making some changes, but keeping the signature and character-defining features intact.” From a withdrawn perspective, one cries out for collaboration between the two parties. Jared Green of The Dirt points out: "Whatever the outcome, one long-term question is: can this park be well-maintained moving forward? If not, we may be back to where we are now 30 years in the future."
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Stay Cool: ICEBERGS ahead at the National Building Museum

The National Building Museum, in Washington D.C., will open a radical new exhibition, ICEBERGS, on July 2 of this year. Designed by New York–based landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, the exhibition will feature stunning underwater glacial ice fields that stretch across the Museum's Great Hall. The one-of-a-kind installation will focus on three recurring themes of construction, geometry, and landscape representation. Part of the museum's Summer Block Party series, Corner's ICEBERGS includes glacial-style landscaping throughout the Great Hall, all coming in a various sizes comprising reusable construction materials like scaffolding and polycarbonate paneling—often found in greenhouses. Hanging 20 feet from the ceiling, a "water line" divides the space which subsequently facilitates panoramic views from both the supposed ocean surface plane and down below by the icebergs. The "bergs" however, aren't exactly small. Designed to appear imposing and at times ominous, the tallest artificial iceberg area will rise to 56 feet, soaring above the waterline up to the third-story balcony. A viewing area has also been incorporated into the inside the largest iceberg, allowing visitors to step inside, walk along an undersea bridge, chill out in icy seabed grottos, choose from a selection of "shaved-ice snacks," and engage in educational programs on landscape architecture and the environment. Corner said in a press release,“ICEBERGS invokes the surreal underwater-world of glacial ice fields. Such a world is both beautiful and ominous given our current epoch of climate change, ice-melt, and rising seas. The installation creates an ambient field of texture, movement, and interaction, as in an unfolding landscape of multiples, distinct from a static, single object." All in all, ICEBERGS will take up 12,540 square feet within the museum. The exhibit runs through September 5, 2016.   “ICEBERGS symbolizes an extreme counterpoint to the sweltering heat of the Washington, D.C. summer,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. “We hope that James Corner Field Operations’ striking design will provoke both serious public conversation about the complex relationship between design and landscape, while also eliciting a sense of wonder and play among visitors of all ages.”
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Bjarke Ingels’s design concept for moat-lined Redskins Stadium unveiled on 60 Minutes

In a segment on 60 Minutes this weekend, architect Bjarke Ingels provided a glimpse of the football stadium he is designing for the Washington Redskins. A scale model displayed on the CBS news program showed a curvaceous, open-air seating bowl enveloped in some sort of fabric or mesh—and surrounded by a moat. The model depicts the stadium as a semi-transparent, wave-like structure. The moat is depicted as a space for kayakers, with parks and pedestrian bridges for tailgaters and fans. “The one thing that everybody is…excited about is that the stadium is designed as much for the tailgating, like the pre-game, as for the game itself,” Ingels told 60 Minutes interviewer Morley Safer in a statement released by CBS News and partially aired during the program. “Tailgating literally becomes a picnic in a park. It can actually make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game." On Friday, the NFL team confirmed that it had hired Ingels’ firm, BIG, of Copenhagen and New York, to design its new stadium. The team has not disclosed a location for the project. It is reportedly considering sites in Prince George’s County, Maryland; Loudoun County, Virginia; and the District of Columbia. The team currently plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, but has its headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia. The stadium is one of many BIG projects featured in the 60 Minutes profile of Ingels, who was described as “the architect of the moment.” Safer referred to him as a starchitect, putting a heavy emphasis on the c-h in starch. Other BIG projects shown on the program included the Google headquarters in California, the LEGO headquarters in Denmark, Two World Trade Center in New York, and Via 57 West,  the “courtscraper” project in Manhattan that is a combination of a skyscraper and a courtyard building. Safer, 84, expressed admiration that Ingels, 41, is getting such large commissions even though he is relatively young. “A lot of people are willing to lay down millions of dollars for this kid,” he said. Ingels told Safer he originally wanted to be a cartoonist but ended up studying architecture and became “smitten.” He said he is aware of the irony of his firm’s name, which stands for Bjarke Ingels Group. “Denmark,” where he was born and started his firm, “is one of the smallest countries on the planet,” Ingels said. “There was something funny about calling a company BIG. If I started in America, I don’t think I would ever have named it BIG.” Ingels said he was touched when he learned that a firefighter in New York thought of his stepped-tower design for Two World Trade Center as a “stairway to heaven,” evoking the staircases where first responders lost their lives in the 9/11 terror attacks. “It’s probably the most watched skyline in the world,” he said of Manhattan. “So it’s a place where you better get it right.”
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Gensler’s Duncan Lyons shows how today’s facades reflect changing trends in the workplace

As an architectural typology, the contemporary office building sits at the intersection of a number of social, economic, and environmental trends: the changing nature of the workplace; the expanding reach of communications and other technologies; and an increasing focus on sustainability and resilience. Three AEC industry professionals at the forefront of office building design and construction will be on hand at this week's Facades+AM DC symposium to discuss the new materials and technologies (including coatings, fritting, curved, and formed glass) that can be brought to bear on the challenges and opportunities associated with private- and public-sector office projects. Bob Schofield, Senior Vice President of Development and Director of Design and Construction at Akridge; Front Inc. Founding Partner Marc Simmons; and Gensler's Firmwide Commercial Office Building Developers Practice Area Leader, Duncan Lyons together bring years of experience in high performance design and construction to the conversation. Asked about the factors influencing the design of an office building's facade, Gensler's Lyons cited, "How the office building contributes to place-making, energy performance, and user experience; creating a healthy and inspiring workplace; [and] connecting building users to daylight, outside air, and a unique sense of place." That the worker experience is a key consideration in office building design reflects a broader transformation in American work culture, one in which a focus on fostering employee potential has replaced the traditional emphasis on products and processes. Just as employer–employee relationships have changed, so, too, has the technology available to tackle other pressing issues, including environmental performance. Lyons sees a future for dynamic building facades that utilizes new glass technologies, operable facades, and user adaptation—developments that promise to boost both worker satisfaction and sustainability. Hear more from Lyons, Schofield, and Simmons, as well as other movers and shakers in the facades world at Facades+AM DC. Register today and earn CEU credits at the event March 10.
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After years of delay and $200 million, Washington D.C.’s 2.2-mile-long streetcar route opened to the public this weekend

After years of delay, Washington, D.C.'s $200 million dollar streetcar opened to the public this Saturday. Initially, the D.C. Streetcar was intended to be a modern-day streetcar network that would make other cities' streetcars bow down. The first segment was supposed to open ten years ago, and the planned route was to run 20 to 40 miles. Today, though, the streetcar scales a modest 2.2 miles, with a route that begins from behind Union Station and runs along H and Benning streets to end at the RFK Stadium parking lot. As expected by the public and feared by public officials, opening day was full of excitements and fraught with delays. Some riders were incredulous: https://twitter.com/ShortFormErnie/status/704311908585881601 Others, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, right, selfied on a packed ride... https://twitter.com/MurielBowser/status/703615386445443072 ...while The Washingtonian captured a video that reminds viewers that this streetcar has average speeds of 12 to 15 miles per hour. https://twitter.com/washingtonian/status/703604307615158272 Despite a fare of $0 for the first six months, the streetcar has limitations. Trains run every quarter hour, only run until 2 a.m., and not at all on Sundays due to limited capacity. (DDOT officials, The Washington Post reports, left three cars outside, unprotected from the weather, for a few years, damaging one so badly that it was not put into service.) For those with more burning questions about the streetcar, the paper produced a handy streetcar FAQ for the grand opening.
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Engineer Nora Wang on the benefits of performance-based design

The increased focus on environmental performance in building design and construction is changing the AEC industry for the better, says Nora Wang, senior engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "Performance-based design encourages designers to consider buildings as integrated systems rather than separating the look/function of a building from its energy/environmental performance," she observed. The potential impact on facades is particularly significant. "New buildings with poor envelope design—which may look nice—make it difficult to reduce energy use and expensive to retrofit in the future, even with advanced lighting and HVAC systems installed," said Wang, who will join co-presenters Robert Moje (VMDO Architects) and Roger Flechette III (Interface Engineering) in a session on "Facades and the Environment" at the upcoming Facades+AM DC symposium. As the technical lead of Pacific Northwest's Buildings of the Future initiative, Wang has a front-row seat to the latest developments in "very interesting design strategies and technologies that take passive designs to the next level." She is particularly intrigued by biomimicry and biophilia, in which designers and fabricators look to nature for clues to creating better built environments. "This is extremely important to design resilient buildings and communities," said Wang. Wang is looking forward to Facades+AM DC in part because it provides a venue to discuss the implementation of high performance building envelopes with professionals from multiple disciplines. "I have an architectural background, so I understand the gap between design practice and technology development and the challenges of adopting new strategies/technologies in design," she explained. "I am interested in learning how cutting-edge technologies can be incorporated into design in an innovative way that will drive positive changes without sacrificing other aspects of design needs. Catch up with Wang and earn CEU credits at Facades+AM DC March 10. Register today on the event website.
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Architect Gary Handel on designing the world’s tallest Passive House residential project

As designers and builders around the world have, in recent years, embraced Passive House standards, one question has remained: will it scale? Is the Passive House approach to sustainable design suited only to small-scale ("house") projects, or might it be applied to other, larger, building types? Handel Architects has answered the latter question with a resounding yes in its Cornell University Residences, a 26-story tower for the institution's new Roosevelt Island Campus. When complete, the project will be the tallest and largest residential building in the world built to the strict Passive House code. Handel Architects' Gary Handel will deliver a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities represented by the Cornell University Residences at the Facades+AM DC symposium March 10. The building's prefabricated metal-panel building envelope is a key contributor to its overall energy-saving strategy. "The facade design is the 'passive driver' of the thermal performance of the building," explained Handel. "Higher thermal performance of the enclosure means less energy used to heat and cool the interior. This in turn means smaller, more efficient equipment to deliver the heat or cooling, which means lower energy input overall and thus a lower 'carbon footprint' than a conventionally enclosed building." The high performance facade, in other words, is the metaphorical substructure upon which the project's "active" systems are built. As with any cutting-edge endeavor, the project has not been without hiccups. "Implementation of the details has probably been the biggest challenge, as some of these details have never been implemented in a building of this size," said Handel. As an example, he cited the difficulty of installing sealing tape along portions of the facade interior that are obstructed by the building structure. In addition, explained Handel, "having the entire team—designers, suppliers, contractors—buy into the concept of a world class sustainable building and be committed to the goal has been a constant challenge." The overall experience has nonetheless been rewarding. "Designing solutions to challenges . . . has been part of the learning process we've undergone," concluded Handel. Hear more from Handel and other key players in the world of facade design and fabrication next month at Facades+ AM DC. See a complete symposium schedule and register today on the event website.
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Facades+AM DC to focus on environmental concerns and the building envelope

On March 10, Facades+AM, the half-day spin-off of the popular Facades+ conference series, returns to the nation's capital. The symposium is co-chaired by FXFOWLE senior partner Mark Strauss and FXFOWLE principal Kevin Cannon. "One of the things we noticed over the last year is that there's a lot of emphasis on expanding the envelope not just in terms of ideas in Washington, but also responding to environmental concerns," said Strauss. "There's an interest in sustainability from the public side, but also from the development side." Facades+AM DC will comprise one keynote address and two closely-related panel discussions. After registration, breakfast, and opening remarks from Strauss and Cannon, Handel Architects president Gary Handel will deliver a talk on his firm's new residential tower for Cornell University's New York City Tech Campus. The tower's facade is a key contributor to its status as the world's largest and tallest building designed to Passive House standards. "One aspect we haven't seen very much in Washington, but thought we could use this even to push, is to explore the idea of Passive House and its impact," said Strauss. "It will be interesting to hear about the challenges" Handel has encountered in scaling up, added Cannon. Handel's keynote address sets the stage for the morning's first panel, "Facades and the Environment." Presenters include Roger Frechette III (Interface Engineering), Robert Moje (VMDO Architects), and Nora Wang (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). The discussion will center on how changes in environmental design, including the rise of net zero, have influenced architecture and building performance. In addition to hearing from Moje, whose firm actively explores the intersection between sustainability theory and practice in school design, "We're going to talk to engineers who are looking at how you begin to quantify and measure these things," said Cannon. The final panel, on "The Future of the Office Building," brings together Akridge's Bob Schofield, Duncan Lyons (Gensler), and Marc Simmons, of Front, Inc. "There's been a revolution around office buildings," observed Strauss. "We're re-thinking the face of the office building, but the panel is also going to explore how the work environment is changing, and how that influences facades." In reference to FXFOWLE's own portfolio, including a contemporary project in Turkey and the New York Times building (Renzo Piano), Cannon said, "We've been doing a lot of work lately on seeing how the inside of the building influences the facade. We want to see how those influences will land in DC." Join Strauss, Cannon, and other movers and shakers in the world of building envelope design and fabrication March 10 at Facades+AM DC. Learn more and register today on the conference website.
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Breaking: World War I Centennial Commission names winner in memorial competition

The World War I Centennial Commission in Washington D.C. has announced Chicago–based designer Joe Weishaar and New York–based sculptor Sabin Howard as the winners of the World War I Memorial Competition. The-Weight-Of-Sacrifice-presspacket-aerial The two stage competition solicited proposals to design a national WWI memorial for the Pershing Park, which currently contains a memorial to WWI General John J. Pershing. The park was designated a National WWI memorial by the federal government in late 2014, but the park was not been redeveloped to reflect this new designation. Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard’s design entitled "The Weight of Sacrifice", was picked from five shortlisted finalists after an open competition in 2015. The winning design is comprised of a 137’ long gradually slopping wall which surrounds a grass lawn and singular sculpture. The wall, constructed of darkened bronze is animated with reliefs depicting the various roles of soldiers throughout the war. The cubic space encapsulated by the wall is also equal to that of the number of U.S. Soldiers lost in the war – one cubic foot for each of the 116,516 lost. At the heart of the project is an intent to keep the site as a public park space. The project narrative reads, “The allegorical idea that public space and public freedom are hard won through the great sacrifices of countless individuals in the pursuit of liberty provides the original design concept for this project.” The four other shortlisted offices included proposals ranging from contemporary rectilinear concepts to a neo-classical design reminiscent of a triumphal arch design. Each of the designs was guided by 10 design goals set forth by the World War I Centennial Commission. These included guidelines addressing enclosure, access, contextual considerations, and sustainability. The negotiation of what to do with the current park amenities and memorial was left up to the participants to address. The winning design proposes to keep the current General Pershing monument as it stands. Though the park has already been designated as the National WWI Memorial, the park itself has also recently been named as being eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. If the park achieves this designation, there would be a foreseeable conflict of redevelopment as the project attempts to move forward. The parks current configuration was designed by landscape architects M. Paul Friedberg and Oehme van Sweden.