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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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High performance facade design is on the rise in Houston, says Jorge Muñoz

HOK's Sysco headquarters building in Houston. (Hequals2henry / Wikimedia Commons)

HOK’s Sysco headquarters building in Houston. (Whisper To Me / Wikimedia Commons)

As founding principal of Muñoz Albin, Jorge Muñoz has a unique global perspective on high performance facade design. Based in Houston, the firm’s earliest projects were located overseas. “In the last 20 plus years, we have worked and continue to work on projects in Western Europe, where there is a tradition of more generous budgets on building envelopes as well as more flexible user and developer demands on efficiency,” said Muñoz.

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High-Design Parking Garage by IwamotoScott

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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)

Digitally-fabricated folded aluminum screen animates a utilitarian structure.

In the Miami Design District, even the parking garages are works of art. The recently completed City View Garage is no exception, thanks in part to a folded aluminum facade designed by IwamotoScott.
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Glass and Concrete Arts Center by Machado and Silvetti

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Machado and Silvetti crafted a new theater and studio arts center for Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. (Anton Grassl/Esto)

Hamilton College, Kennedy Center, Location: Clinton NY, Architect: Machado Silvetti Architects

Curved curtain wall and textured composite rain screen create a new focal point on the Hamilton College campus.

When a team of architects from Boston-based Machado and Silvetti Associates first visited Hamilton College several years ago, they thought they were interviewing for a single project—an art museum. But they soon found themselves talking campus officials into a second commission, for the Kennedy Center for Theatre and Studio Arts (KCTSA).

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Sanjeev Tankha explains the intracacies of engineering facades for hot, humid Houston

Houston's sunny climate presents a special set of challenges to facade designers and fabricators. (Theodore Scott / Flickr)

Houston’s sunny climate presents a special set of challenges to facade designers and fabricators. (Theodore Scott / Flickr)

Thanks to the city’s humid subtropical climate, facade designers and fabricators face a special set of challenges in Houston. Unchecked, steady sunshine and high temperatures can permeate the building envelope, leading to a heavy reliance on mechanical cooling systems. Meanwhile, Houston’s Gulf Coast location makes it vulnerable to tropical storms.

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Joseph Wong to design mixed-use, high-rise development in downtown San Diego

Joseph Wong is lead architect for The Block, a mixed-use, high-rise development in downtown San Diego. (Courtesy Zephyr/JWDA)

Joseph Wong is lead architect for The Block, a mixed-use, high-rise development in downtown San Diego. (Courtesy Zephyr)

Local real estate and investment company Zephyr has named Joseph Wong of Joseph Wong Design Associates (JWDA) lead architect of their 60,000-square-foot mixed-use development planned for downtown San Diego. The Block, as it is currently known (the developer has yet to select a final name), will be the first high-rise, mixed-use project in the city since the recession. With an estimated cost exceeding $250 million, the development promises to be a major player in the demographic and architectural transformation of San Diego’s urban core.

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