Sturgess and RJC Soar with Glass Skywalk

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Sturgess Architecture, RJC, and PCL Construction Management crafted a gravity-defying walkway for Jasper National Park. (Courtesy Sturgess Architecture)

Sturgess Architecture, RJC, and PCL Construction Management crafted a gravity-defying walkway for Jasper National Park. (Robert Lemermeyer)

Parabola cantilever walkway delivers park visitors to the brink.

Concerned that visitors to Canada‘s national parks were becoming increasingly disengaged from both the experience of the outdoors and the reality of climate change, Parks Canada launched a search for private-sector initiatives to reverse the trend toward drive-through tourism. Brewster Travel Canada answered the call with a limited design competition for a walkable structure in Jasper National Park‘s Sunwapta Valley. “One of the bus drivers suggested that we do something over this particular gorge, Trickle Creek Canyon—something that could be suspended off the side of the mountain that brought visitors into a more intimate relationship with the Athabasca Glacier and its melting,” explained Sturgess Architecture principal Jeremy Sturgess. With design-build team lead PCL Construction Management and structural engineer Read Jones Christoffersen (RJC), Sturgess’ firm crafted a cantilevered walkway that, clad in weathering steel and glass, defers to its natural surroundings while providing breathtaking views of the glacier and valley floor. Though not a facade itself, Glacier Skywalk warrants discussion within the context of high-performance building envelopes for its innovative structure and streamlined approach to materials—the “+” in Facades+.

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In Construction> Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

It’s impossible to look at renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard and not immediately think of Jenga, the game guaranteed to shame one unlucky partygoer for pulling the wrong piece and ruining everyone’s fun. Good times! Anyway, back to 56 Leonard in New York City—the 60-story, glassy version of that nerve-wracking game.

Continue reading after the jump.

Shields back on Milwaukee Art Museum overhaul, new designs unveiled

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The Milwaukee Art Museum revamp’s previous design and current iteration. (Courtesy HGA Architects & Engineers)

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s long-planned expansion and renovation has become somewhat of a saga.

Plans for a new addition with an entrance along Lake Michigan were announced in 2012, but hit a snag when HGA Architects and Engineers’ Jim Shields walked off the job in February. In April Urban Milwaukee first broke news that Shields, somewhat of a local design celebrity, had left the project amid quibbling over the design. Read More

Here’s Rem Koolhaas’ “Floating” Runner-Up Proposal for Los Angeles’ Broad Museum

Architecture, Newsletter, West
Monday, May 12, 2014
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OMA's proposal for the Broad Museum. (Courtesy OMA)

OMA’s proposal for the Broad Museum. (Courtesy OMA)

With Eli Broad hyping his DSR-designed Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, we thought it would be appropriate to share The Broad that never was: OMA’s runner up proposal. As featured in this author’s book, Never Built Los Angeles, Rem Koolhaas’s firm proposed a “floating” box covered in a lacy-patterned metal screen and cantilevered via steel brace frames above Grand Avenue.

More images after the jump.

Unveiled> SOM Designs Mashreq Bank Tower in Dubai

International
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
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(Courtesy SOM)

(Courtesy SOM)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) announced last week it would design a new headquarters for Dubai-based Mashreq Bank. The 32-story tower is “a quiet sculptural form within Dubai’s skyline,” SOM Design Director Ross Wimer said in a statement. Its L-shaped floor plate is cantilevered around an empty volume between the building’s eight-story podium and its top levels.

The building’s massing shields that courtyard from solar gain, while opening up views to Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Khalifa to the east. Executive offices occupy the top two floors, where the square floorplate resumes, with Mashreq’s Board Room suspended from an interior opening at the middle.

Herzog & de Meuron Again Ready to Rise in Manhattan.  Herzog & de Meuron Again Ready to Rise in Manhattan  Long delayed, Herzog & de Meuron’s 830-foot-tall stacked tower planned for Tribeca in Manhattan is set to resume construction imminently after a three-year hiatus, reports the Tribeca Tribune. The 57-story residential building at the corner of Leonard and Church streets has been nicknamed the “Jenga Building” for its distinctive massing that varies on each floor. The tower is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016.

 

Students in Buffalo Reimagine the Structural Potential of Paper

Dean's List, East
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
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Troy Barnes, Stephen Olson, Scott Selin, and Adrian Solecki stand on the Paper Lever over the Buffalo River. (Courtesy Buffalo Rising)

Troy Barnes, Stephen Olson, Scott Selin, and Adrian Solecki stand on the Paper Lever over the Buffalo River. (Courtesy Buffalo Rising)

For most architecture students, a model malfunction won’t land you in the middle of a river, but one group of Buffalonian risk takers at the University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, under the direction of Associate Professor Jean La Marche were up for the challenge. Students Troy Barnes, Stephen Olson, Scott Selin, and Adrian Solecki designed and installed half of a bridge—made of cardboard—cantilevered over the Buffalo River, and invited people to step out over the water. The frightening experiment worked, challenging conventional notions of material constraints.

Continue reading after the jump.

LEAPfactory’s Gervasutti Refuge

Fabrikator
Friday, December 23, 2011
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Installation of the Gervasutti Bivouac on the Mont Blanc range's Freboudze Glacier (LEAPfactory)

Built to withstand extreme weather conditions, the alpine pod explores new frontiers for prefabricated architecture

Climbers on the Freboudze glacier can now take refuge from the punishing terrain of the Italian Alps thanks to a new prefabricated shelter commissioned by Italian alpine club CAI Torino. The New Gervasutti Refuge, which cantilevers from the rocky landscape in front of the east face of the Mont Blanc Range’s Grandes Jorasses, was designed and fabricated by LEAPfactory, an Italian firm specializing in modular structures with low environmental impact.

Continue reading after the jump.

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