Product> Data for Designers: Six Amazing Apps

Spec Sheet  
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(Courtesy Autodesk)

Communicating information—both the visual and verbal varieties—in an accurate, timely fashion comprises the heart of any construction project. There are myriad programs and apps on the market that offer to streamline design problems, decision making, and materials selection. Here are some new tech tools that we think really make a difference.

Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit
Autodesk

Overcoming the barriers of corporate firewalls and physical location, A360 Collaboration for Revit enables true centralized access to Revit models by team members in all disciplines from multiple firms or sites. It also replaces work-arounds for sharing models such as use of FTP sites, sharing software, or inefficient use of email with PDF attachments. As a cloud-based service, the software does not require costly or complex IT setup and maintenance.

More after the jump.

Page Floats a Cedar Sunshade in Albuquerque

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Page designed a simple cedar and steel-wire screen to shade the courtyard of the new GSA building in New Mexico. (Patrick Coulie)

Page designed a simple cedar and steel-wire screen to shade the courtyard of the new GSA building in New Mexico. (Patrick Coulie)

Minimalist catenary canopy lends warmth and lightness to office courtyard.

When Page design principal Larry Speck suggested a catenary sunshade for the courtyard of the new GSA building in Albuquerque, his colleagues set about identifying precedents. “There were some really great devices that we looked at, but a lot were done in the 1960s out of heavy, monumental materials,” said principal Talmadge Smith. “We wondered if there was a way to do it in a lighter, more delicate way that would also introduce some warmth to the space.” The architects elected to build the structure out of western red cedar, which performs particularly well in arid climates. Comprising 4-, 8-, and 12-foot boards suspended on steel cables, the sunshade appears as a wave of blonde wood floating in mid-air, casting slatted shadows on the glass walls of the courtyard.
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LMN Architects Materialize a Metaphor in Cleveland

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Wrapped in textured precast concrete, LMN Architects' Global Center for Health Innovation is a high-tech addition to Cleveland's civic core. (Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography)

Wrapped in textured precast concrete, LMN Architects’ Global Center for Health Innovation is a high-tech addition to Cleveland’s civic core. (Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography)

A digitally-designed medical products showroom plays well with its City Beautiful neighbors.

The Global Center for Health Innovation, designed by LMN Architects along with the attached Cleveland Convention Center, is more than a showroom for medical products and services. Located adjacent to the Burnham Malls, the open space at the heart of Daniel Burnham’s Group Plan of 1903, the building is part of Cleveland’s civic core. “One of the things about the Global Center is that it has a unique expression and in particular the facade treatment,” said design partner Mark Reddington. “But it’s also a really integrated piece of a bigger idea and a bigger composition.” A dynamic combination of textured concrete panels and irregular slashes of glazing, the Global Center’s facade, which won honorable mention in AN’s 2014 Best of Design Awards, deftly negotiates the gap between the building’s historic context and its function as a high-tech marketplace. Read More

Act Fast! Early Bird Rates For Facades+ PERFORMANCE Chicago Ends Today

National
Friday, September 27, 2013
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Calling architects, engineers, fabricators, consultants, and other design professionals: don’t miss your opportunity to join the industry’s leading innovators in our series of hands-on technology workshops and in-depth dialog workshops, only at the premiere conference for high-performance building envelopes – Facades+ PERFORMANCE Chicago, October 24th-25th!

Register today to take advantage of our Early Bird Special and be ready to get your hands dirty with the latest tools and techniques that are changing the face of contemporary architecture. Join Jonathan Schumacher and Mostapha Roudsari of Thornton Tomasetti, Nathan Miller of CASE Design, Ronnie Parsons of Mode Lab, and other industry professionals for our full-day tech workshops, and gain the valuable skills necessary to deliver cutting-edge facades in today’s dynamic architectural landscape. Registered architects can earn 8 AIA LU credits as they catch up on the ever-evolving tools of the trade in the Mies van der Rohe-designed Illinois Institute of Technology’s Main Campus in Chicago, so don’t miss out!

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Ceilings Plus Soars in Texas

Fabrikator
Friday, August 23, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
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280 custom-fabricated ceilings panels are installed across 18 planes at the University of Houston's Quiet Hall. (Ryan Gobuty/Gensler)

At the University of Houston’s Quiet Hall, 280 custom-fabricated ceiling panels are installed across 18 planes. (Ryan Gobuty/Gensler)

Gensler’s design at the University of Houston is realized in a cloud-inspired, sound-absorptive ceiling solution.

Gensler and Ceilings Plus have brought a touch of the Big Apple to the University of Houston’s recently completed Quiet Hall in the Classroom and Business Building. Gensler drew its design inspiration for a ceiling in the new building from the New York Central Library’s Rose Reading Room. The firm hired the California-based Ceilings Plus to translate its interpretation of this classical interior, which includes perforations and geometric folds, into an affordable, buildable, and installable ceiling solution.

Ceilings Plus used digital software to marry the design architect’s vision with a workable model that offered minimal joint tolerances and maintained compatibility with HVAC systems. “Since the architect was interested in doing something completely new, it was important to realize that process together,” said Michael Chusid, who works in marketing and business development for Ceilings Plus. Gensler produced three conceptual renderings in Revit, then turned them over to project engineer Robert Wochner, who developed sound-absorptive perforations and a suspension system that could support the various angles of the Quiet Hall’s multi-planar ceiling. Read More

PROFILE> Alphonso Peluso puts Revit into Parametric Overdrive

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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Museo Soumaya by FREE to be a case study in Revit Parametric Facades workshop.

Museo Soumaya by FREE to be a case study in Revit Parametric Facades workshop.

Alphonso Peluso, Director of Digital Architecture + Fabrication at the Illinois Institute of Technology, is on a mission to max out Revit. His workshop, “Revit Parametric Facade Design,” on October 12 offers participants a hands-on lab for exploring how the program can help produce the most complex building skins. “It’s a unique opportunity to experiment in one session with all the different tools Revit has for creating parametric facades,” said Peluso. The event is part of Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, the Chicago edition of the Architect’s Newspaper‘s conference taking place October 11 and 12.

Using a series of tutorials Peluso will begin by looking at basic curtain wall creation through deploying system families and also making custom parametric families. Next up: mining the Conceptual Massing interface that yields complex parametric facade forms. Then on to pattern, from basic to advanced and responsive. Finally, Revit’s Adaptive Component families will be explored for the creation of  “one off ” building components. “The participant will walk away with the knowledge of which tool is most appropriate for the different types of facades they are designing,” said Peluso.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Profile> David Fano Explores the Digital Possibilities of Revit

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Friday, January 27, 2012
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David Fano will lead a special Revit workshop on February 17.

David Fano will lead a special Revit workshop on February 17.

On February 17, David Fano will lead Revit Design, a workshop exploring the possibilities of the digital design program Revit, as part of DAY 2 of COLLABORATION, a conference on fabrication and facades sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper.

In 2008, David Fano established CASE Design, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) consultancy in New York. Prior to CASE, Fano was Director of Technology Research at SHoP Architects, where he managed technology R&D initiatives, worked with project teams to ensure the successful implementation of BIM, and developed “direct to fabrication” initiatives with software manufacturers and fabricators through the use of BIM. He contributed technology expertise on numerous projects, including for a 41-story rental tower in New York City and for The New Seaport, an 860,000-square-feet multi-use development in New York City’s Historic Seaport District.

Since 2006, David has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation where he teaches seminars and workshops focusing on the impact of technology on design processes. David received his Master of Architecture with honors from Columbia University where he was the recipient of the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize and the Computer Aided Design Honor Award.

On February 17, David will present the day-long workshop, Revit Design, building from fundamental Revit design concepts to advanced techniques concentrating on how the formal and organizational potentials emerge from informational modeling. Register here.

Morphosis’ Museum of Nature & Science Facade: Gate Precast

Fabrikator
Friday, September 30, 2011
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Striated precast panels clad the facade (Bob Borson)

A new cultural focal point takes shape in Dallas

When the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science was created from the 2006 merger of three city museums—the Museum of Natural History, The Science Place, and the Dallas Children’s Museum—the new institution set its sites on expanding programming with a new facility in the city’s Victory Park neighborhood. Now, the 180,000-square-foot Morphosis-designed Perot Museum of Nature & Science is slated for completion in 2013. Located at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Field Street, it marks the future crossroads of the city’s Trinity River Corridor Project and the city’s cultural districts. Floating atop an irregularly shaped plinth that will be the base for a one-acre rooftop ecosystem, the museum’s striated concrete facade offers a first glimpse at the dynamic transformation of the site.

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QUICK CLICKS> Revitart, Public Heliport, Marketing Transit, Tony Tenants

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
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Pretty pictures in Revit are possible. (Courtesy Black Spectacles)

A Little Help from Friends. You can generate beautiful images in Revit. Marc Teer of Black Spectacles says that with a little patience and help from other programs, pretty pictures are possible. Teer advises that certain elements, such as line weight, take a little legwork, but other elements, such as the level of detail, can be managed within the program. Finally, take it over to Illustrator and InDesign to clean up overlaps and polish your drawing off with a wider array of fancy font choices.

Public Transit. Who says Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey doesn’t endorse alternative transportation? The Star Ledger reports that the governor rode a spanking new State Police helicopter to his son’s baseball game yesterday.

Branding Transit. If all of us had a state funded helicopter at our disposal, we wouldn’t have to be convinced to take public transportation, but, alas… A new report from EMBARQ says that if public transport wants to compete with General Motors, then it had better go toe to toe with GM’s $21 billion advertising budget. The World Resources Institute gives an overview of the report. (Via Planetizen.)

Fill ‘er up. The World Trade Center is doing just swell, thank you very much. With Anna Wintour and Graydon Carter planning to pull up in their big black Town Cars, Crain’s reports that now UBS may pluck their staff from their Stamford, CT locale and put them up in one of  the downtown towers.

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