Thorsten Helbig on Engineering Cutting-Edge Facades

Knippers Helbig provided custom parametric modeling, full facade engineering service, and structural design for Massimiliano Fuskas' Shenzhen International Airport. (Courtesy Massimiliano Fuksas)

Knippers Helbig provided custom parametric modeling, full facade engineering service, and structural design for Massimiliano Fuskas’ Shenzhen International Airport. (Courtesy Massimiliano Fuksas)

As an engineer, Thorsten Helbig, co-founder of Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, has a unique perspective on facade design. “We conceptualize a facade as an integral part of a whole, as part of a larger system,” he explained. Helbig, who will deliver the morning keynote address at next month’s Facades+ NYC conference, identified two focal points. The first is the relationship of the building envelope to structure. The second is performance: “What can the facade offer back to the building?” Halbig asked

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Chicago’s Willis Tower reportedly up for sale

Chicago's Willis Tower in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

Chicago’s Willis Tower in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

Chicago’s tallest building may be on the market, and it might even have a buyer. Read More

Eavesdrop> Breakfast in Peril: This enormous mirror comes crashing down on the Soho brunch set

East, Eavesdroplet, Interiors
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

 

One doesn’t expect to be in danger when noshing on a croissant and sipping some coffee at a swanky Soho Brasserie—maybe a spilt Bloody Mary at worst. But, one morning in February, at Keith McNally’s Balthazar, the preeminent power breakfast spot in Soho, customers got quite the fright when an enormous mirror, mounted to a wall, came crashing down on them.

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MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Top online reads from the pages of AN’s print edition

Architecture, National, News
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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(VINCENT LAFORET/FINEST.LAFORETVISUALS.COM)

(VINCENT LAFORET/FINEST.LAFORETVISUALS.COM)

February’s top news stories covered a variety of topics from resiliency to city data to what an architect needs to know. Take a look at the top five stories as voted by our readers’ clicks that kept you coming back last month.

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Crumbling temples, South Side landmarks, neon signs top list of Chicago’s “most threatened” buildings

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. (Chris Bentley)

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. The Uptown building is among Preservation Chicago’s most threatened buildings. (Chris Bentley)

Preservation Chicago Wednesday named the seven Chicago structures on their annual list of the city’s most threatened historic buildings, calling attention to vacant or blighted buildings from Englewood to Uptown that include a crumbling masonic temple, defunct factories, and even a South Side city landmark. Read More

San Francisco developer nixes BIG-designed Arts Center, plans smaller project

Architecture, News, West
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

A mixed-use complex designed by New York- and Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is going to be, well, not quite as big. The San Francisco Mid-Market neighborhood has been quickly revitalizing since 2011, but the largest development in the area, located at 950–974 Market Street, has just been downsized.

Continue reading after the jump.

This reformed industrial garage in Sydney now serves industrial-strength coffee

(Courtesy of The Reformatory Caffeine LAB)

(Courtesy of The Reformatory Caffeine LAB)

Veteran coffee farmer Simon Jaramillo hightailed it to the land Down Under to serve his piquant Colombian brew in a former industrial garage turned hip-and-happening watering hole located close to Sydney’s Central Station.

Read More

Imma let you finish, but Kanye West had the best minimalist Manhattan bachelor pad of all time

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

The utilitarian Manhattan loft formerly owned by rap mogul Kanye West bespeaks deep pockets and a distaste for cluttering decor. The 1,585 square foot bachelor pad, which West sold in 2013 for $4.5 million, is an ultra-minimalist expanse of French limestone and pear wood—and not much else.

Read More

Here’s your first look at all 17 teams competing in the 2015 Solar Decathlon

(Courtesy Yale University)

(Courtesy Yale University)

The United States Department of Energy has named the 10 teams that will compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon. The biennial program was launched in 2002 and “challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.” The teams are then judged on affordability, consumer ability, and overall design excellence. The Decathlon will be held October 8–18 in Irvine, California, but you can preview all of the teams’ work right now.

Continue reading after the jump.

Renovations underway to help MASS MoCA become the nation’s largest contemporary art museum

Architecture, Art, East, Interiors, Other
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Interior of MASS MoCA's Building 6. (Courtesy Bruner/Cott)

Interior of MASS MoCA’s Building 6. (Courtesy Bruner/Cott)

MASS MoCA’s rambling campus in the former factory town of North Adams, Massachusetts, has been 25 years in the making, and is now entering its third phase of development, starting with the rehabilitation of Building Six, a 120,000-square-foot space that’s able to be flexibly programmed to create “Museums within the Museum.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles transformed this alley in North Hollywood into a polka dotted pedestrian plaza

NoHo Plaza, the day of its ribbon cutting. (LADOT)

NoHo Plaza, the day of its ribbon cutting. (LADOT)

The first project in LADOT’s People Street program has opened in a former alley near corner of Magnolia and Lankershim Boulevards in North Hollywood. The project, called NoHo Plaza, has been repurposed with cafe tables, chairs, umbrellas, a colorful surface treatment (which looks almost exactly like the dotted green and gold surface of Silverlake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza), and perimeter planters.

Continue reading after the jump.

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