Letter to the Editor> Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

(Ian Freimuth / Flickr)

(Ian Freimuth / Flickr)

[Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

Ready for some tough love, some bitter medicine? Looking back, we architects got our profession into some bad places with some serious mistakes. We were often so eager for fame and celebrity that we sometimes behaved irresponsibly. We did not use design in its best sense; we gave away our treasure. We were not always reliable regarding time and money. We handed over the leadership role in building to others who lacked the necessary skills and training, and who held no responsibility or liability. Left with less authority and control, architects instilled fear and distrust in our clients. We aided and abetted clients with unrealistic and unworthy ambitions. Specifically, when clients proposed projects where the scope, budget, and schedule didn’t fit together, we were so eager for the assignments that we did not blow the whistle, but jumped in feet first.

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RPBW’s active double skin facade kick starts a “new generation” of campus design at Columbia University

Architecture, East, Envelope
Friday, November 13, 2015
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Brought to you with support from:
facadeplus_logo1
Air in the cavity cycles at a rate of 6 air changes per minute, managing heat gain and condensation build up in the cavity. (© RPBW)

Air in the cavity cycles at a rate of 6 air changes per minute, managing heat gain and condensation build up in the cavity. (© RPBW)

Columbia University’s expansion has been selected by LEED for their Neighborhood Design pilot program, which calls for the integration of smart growth principles and urbanism at a neighborhood scale.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) is designing four buildings to be built over the upcoming years as a first phase of Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus expansion. The first of these four projects to break ground is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, a research facility used by scientists working on mind, brain, and behavior research. The facility is ten stories wrapped in nearly 176,000 square feet of building envelope, consisting of transparent floor-to-ceiling glazing.
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Archtober Building of the Day 12> LTL Architects’ Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Architecture, East, Interiors
Monday, October 12, 2015
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(Camila Schaulsohn)

(Camila Schaulsohn)

The David & Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation is a busy hub of technology housed within a building from McKim, Mead & White’s late 19th-century campus plan for Columbia University. In subsequent years, the space, which occupies part of the eastern wing of the Pulitzer Building, was broken up into small offices.

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Columbia University receives grant to start Center for Spatial Research

Architecture, Dean's List, East, News
Monday, October 5, 2015
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clumbia grant

(Courtesy Mellon Foundation Grant to Establish Center for Spatial Research via Columbia GSAPP)

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation (GSAPP) has announced the creation of a new Center for Spatial Research (CSR) that will act as a focal point linking humanities, architecture, and data science departments as well as sponsoring a series of curricular initiatives built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization and data collection. The Center will be directed by GSAPP Associate Professor Laura Kurgan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Could evaporating water be the newest renewable energy source? Columbia researchers harnesses the power of bacterial spores

(Courtesy ExtremeBio)

The Moisture Mill (Courtesy ExtremeBio)

A biophysicist at Columbia University has discovered how to tap evaporating water as an electrical energy source using a simple device made from bacterial spores, glue, and LEGO bricks. Ozgur Sahin’s findings operate at the cellular level, based around his research on the Bacillus bacteria, a microorganism commonly found in soil—and its implications could potentially be far reaching.

More after the jump.

Read all about it: Obama Presidential Library reportedly headed for Chicago

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

The Associated Press has reported that Barack Obama‘s presidential library will be in his adopted hometown of Chicago. After months of speculation that the 44th President of the United States might site his legacy project in New York City—where he attended Columbia University—or his birth city of Honolulu, Hawaii, multiple unnamed sources cited by the AP and other publications say Obama and his nonprofit foundation have settled on Chicago, where he forged his political career.

Continue reading after the jump.

Columbia’s Scott Marble named new chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture

Scott Marble, the new chair of Georgia Tech's School of Architecture. (Courtesy Georgia Tech/Scott Marble)

Scott Marble, the new chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture. (Courtesy Georgia Tech/Scott Marble)

Georgia Tech announced this week that Scott Marble, adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia University and founding partner of Marble Fairbanks, will take the helm as the new chair of the university’s School of Architecture starting July 1.

Continue reading after the jump.

SCAPE’s Kate Orff to take over GSAPP’s Urban Design Program

Kate Orff. (Courtesy SCAPE)

Kate Orff. (Courtesy SCAPE)

Kate Orff, the founder of SCAPE Landscape Architecture, will head up the Urban Design Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

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Friday> Columbia University panel to discuss the intersection of politics and the printed page

Design, East, On View
Thursday, March 26, 2015
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Print-Politics-Poster

Political action and its relationship to the printed page is the subject of an afternoon event at Columbia University on Friday, March 27, at 12:00 p.m. Three young architecture historians—Samuel Johnson, Simon Sadler, Meredith TenHoor—will present their research on artists, architects, and other creatives who use the printed page as a platform to advance positions in both thought and design. Felicity Scott of Columbia will respond and discuss how print becomes a site of spatial politics. The event will take place in GSAPP’s Ware Lounge. More info here.

In Construction> Columbia’s Renzo Piano–designed Science Center and Center for the Arts

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center. (Courtesy Field Condition)

Just six miles north of Renzo Piano’s highly-anticipated, High Line–adjacent, Whitney Museum, two other projects birthed from the same Italian brain are moving forward: Columbia University’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Speaking of brains, the nine-story, glass-encased Science Center is the future home of the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Initiative.

More photos after the jump.

A new website from Columbia traces the intersection of real estate and architecture

buell-website

Architects, perhaps more than any other professional group, understand property and real estate and the role it plays in the construction of buildings. But it’s not often talked about it in their monographs or symposia where they prefer to speak about their designs as internally generated or part of a closed history of architecture. A new website, House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate, from Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, hopes to help foreground the importance of real estate in the design, development, and construction of buildings.

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Under Construction> Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building

diller scofidio + renfro's under-construction COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL & GRADUATE EDUCATION BUILDING. (Courtesy Field Condiiton)

diller scofidio + renfro’s under-construction COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL & GRADUATE EDUCATION BUILDING. (Courtesy Field Ccondition

When an under-construction project is just a skeleton of its future self, its nearly impossible to gauge the impact of the finished product. Sure, you’ve got renderings, but as AN has covered before, those are usually chock full of visual embellishments like dramatic sunsets, hot air balloons, and so. many. kayaks. So while it’s probably best to reserve judgment on Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building until it opens in 2016, let’s just call a spade a spade right now: this thing is going to be a very dramatic, very zigzag-y addition to Washington Heights.

COntinue reading after the jump.

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