Architect Chad Oppenheim on Getting Back in Touch With Nature

Cor, Miami, Florida. (Courtesy Oppenheim Architecture + Design)

Cor, Miami, Florida. (Courtesy Oppenheim Architecture + Design)

Asked about the pros and cons of practicing architecture in South Florida, Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture + Design principal and lead designer Chad Oppenheim said, “It’s always wonderful to design buildings in a beautiful environment such as Miami.”

More after the jump.

Facades+ makes its Miami debut this September

IwamotoScott crafted a digitally-fabricated aluminum skin for a Miami Design District parking garage. (Courtesy IwamotoScott)

IwamotoScott crafted a digitally-fabricated aluminum skin for a Miami Design District parking garage. (Courtesy IwamotoScott)

Miami is hot right now—and not just because it’s midsummer. The city, which is in the midst of a building boom, is of necessity a model of sustainable building practices and extreme-weather preparedness.

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Gruen Associates Clad Utility Plant in Flowing Steel

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Gruen Associates wrapped the new LAX Central Utility Plant in a sleek envelope of stainless steel and corrugated aluminum. (Courtesy Gruen Associates)

Gruen Associates wrapped the new LAX Central Utility Plant in a sleek envelope of stainless steel and corrugated aluminum. (Courtesy Gruen Associates)

Curved metal facade embodies spirit of mobility at LAX.

The commission to design a new Central Utility Plant (CUP) for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) came with a major caveat: the original 1960s-era CUP would remain online throughout construction, providing heating and cooling to adjacent passenger terminals until the new plant was ready to take over. Read More

Rising sea levels bring challenges, opportunities to South Florida

Miami's low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Miami’s low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

When it comes to the urban impacts of climate change, said FIU College of Architecture’s Marilys Nepomechie, Miami is “the canary in the coal mine.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Muñoz & Company Quilt with Glass and Masonry

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Multicolored glass curtain walls embody the quilt metaphor at the heart of Muñoz & Company's Billy Dade Middle School. (Courtesy Muñoz & Company)

Multicolored glass curtain walls embody the quilt metaphor at the heart of Muñoz & Company’s Billy Dade Middle School. (Courtesy Muñoz & Company)

Envelope inspired by history of Dallas’ African-American community.

For the past 20 years, San Antonio–based Muñoz & Company (formerly Kell Muñoz Architects) has focused primarily on what president and CEO Henry Muñoz III calls “the architecture of identity.” The bulk of that work, in turn, has been concentrated on the United States–Mexico border, where the architects collaborated with clients in majority-Latino communities. Read More

Facades pro Michel Rojkind on value-added building envelopes

Rojkind Arquitectos and Zahner crafted a new stainless steel facade for Liverpool department store in Mexico City. (Jaime Navarro)

Rojkind Arquitectos’ Liverpool Insurgentes department store. (Jaime Navarro)

Known for their playful, cutting-edge facades, Rojkind Arquitectos are adept at transforming obstacles into opportunity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Witness Miami’s building boom at Facades+ this September

Downtown Miami is in the midst of a resurgence. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Downtown Miami is in the midst of a resurgence. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Miami is on the rise—literally. The local AEC industry is booming, with dozens upon dozens of projects, including 79 towers, currently under construction and 92 projects in pre-construction. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [pdf], 105,600 Miami-area workers were employed in the construction trades as of April 2015, a 6.7 percent increase from the previous year.

Continue reading after the jump.

VDTA’s Taut-Skinned Godfrey Hotel

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VDTA's Godfrey Hotel features a slick skin of insulated metal panels and glass. (Steve Hall)

VDTA’s Godfrey Hotel features a slick skin of insulated metal panels and glass. (Steve Hall)

Metal and glass accentuate Chicago high-rise’s iconic form.

Given the odds stacked against it, Godfrey Hotel’s 2014 opening in Chicago counts as a major victory—even if it took more than a decade to get there. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (VDTA) signed on to the project in 2003, after being approached by a developer affiliated with a mid-market hospitality chain.

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VernerJohnson Sets Museum Ablaze with Dichroic Glass

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VernerJohnson's Museum at Prairiefire features a multi-colored envelope in dichroic glass, iridescent steel, and Kansas limestone. (Sam Fentress)

VernerJohnson’s Museum at Prairiefire features a multi-colored envelope in dichroic glass, iridescent steel, and Kansas limestone. (Sam Fentress)

Faceted facade evokes regenerative prairie burns.

For most projects, admits VernerJohnson‘s Jonathan Kharfen, architects steer clear of evoking a potentially destructive force like fire. But Museum at Prairiefire, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) outpost in Overland Park, Kansas, proved an exception to the rule. Read More

TEX-FAB explores new frontiers in high performance facade design

Plasticity Pavilion. (Courtesy Andrew Vrana)

Plasticity Pavilion. (Courtesy Andrew Vrana)

The motto of Houston architecture, civic art, and product design firm METALAB is “finding new and better ways to build things.” In addition to forming the core of his professional practice, this mission aptly describes principal Andrew Vrana’s work with the Texas digital design and production network TEX-FAB.

Continue reading after the jump.

Mecanoo Brings Dutch Craftsmanship to Boston

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Mecanoo and Sasaki's Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building features a curved brick and glass envelope. (Courtesy Mecanoo)

Mecanoo and Sasaki’s Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building features a curved brick and glass envelope. (Courtesy Mecanoo)

Curving brick and glass facade heralds Roxbury’s resurgence.

By locating their new administrative building in beleaguered Roxbury, Boston Public Schools [BPS] made a powerful statement of faith in the area’s resurgence. Read More

Kirksey’s Julie Hendricks on closing the gap between designed, actual performance

Kirksey's Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. (Jilleann77 via Wikipedia)

Kirksey’s Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. (Jilleann77 via Wikipedia)

As EcoServices team leader for Kirksey Architecture, Julie Hendricks spends her days thinking about how to build sustainably without busting a project’s budget.

Continue reading after the jump.

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