Larry Scarpa on Los Angeles and the Building Envelope

Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Metalsa CIDeVeC in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, designed by Brooks + Scarpa. (Courtesy Brooks + Scarpa)

Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Metalsa CIDeVeC in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, designed by Brooks + Scarpa. (Courtesy Brooks + Scarpa)

With its combination of warm temperatures, low humidity, bright sun, and vulnerability to earthquakes and fires, Southern California presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges to facade designers and builders. “It’s way more forgiving here than in most places,” said Larry Scarpa, principal at Los Angeles-based Brooks + Scarpa. “I’ve been on design reviews in various parts of the country where you have to do things much differently with the building envelope. In Southern California you have a lot of freedom to explore things that you don’t in other parts of the world.” Scarpa and other AEC industry movers and shakers will gather in early February at Facades+ LA to discuss possibilities and trends in building envelope design, both in Los Angeles and beyond.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> My Tech: Insightful Apps for Engineers and Architects

National, Product, Spec Sheet, Technology
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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Spec Sheet  
Lead-penetron

(Courtesy Penetron)

So much to know, and so little time…. Here’s a pocketful of design and construction apps that will put you in control of the facts on concrete calcs and lighting schemes to entry systems and steel data.

Penetron App
Penetron

For Android and iOS mobile devices, this app offers numerous advantages for on-site work. It features instant access to product data sheets (for application instructions) and a solutions guide for a vast number of technical issues. Additional functions include a product overview, a technology summary, a QR scanner for Penetron codes, and a calculator to estimate product quantities needed for a job.

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Custom Fit: 4D Printed Dress Goes to MoMA

Design, Product, Technology
Monday, December 15, 2014
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IMGP3052-Edit,medium.crop.1417364042

(Courtesy Nervous System)

Congratulations to Nervous System, whose Kinematics Dress was just acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (a prescient, pre-emptive move that might keep the curators of the Metropolitan Museum‘s Costume Institute awake for nights to come). While the physical product is certainly a head-turner, it’s the underlying technology that’s the true wonder—and maybe of greater interest and implication to architects.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> The AIA “looks up”

Some of Safdie's work seen in the "I Look Up" film. (Screengrab from AIA)

Some of Safdie’s work seen in the “I Look Up” film. (Screengrab from AIA)

Today, December 12th, the architectural world changed forever. Is that an overstatement? Entirely, but the AIA did launch a new social media campaign that it’s really excited about. It’s called “Look Up” and the AIA said it marks the next phase of its “multi-year repositioning initiative” to increase the public’s awareness about the importance of design.

Continue reading after the jump.

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If these five architecture teams get their way, the library of the future will look a lot different than today

An public library outpost by L+. (Courtesy SITU Studio)

An public library outpost by L+. (Courtesy SITU Studio)

New York City’s public libraries need cash—and they need it fast. Over the years, the city’s three library systems—the New York Public Library (serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island), the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library—have racked up over one billion dollars in capital needs. And that’s not money needed for new educational tech tools, like iPads and laptops, but for renovations just to keep the old buildings in a state of good repair.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Meet ARTIC, California’s newest intermodal transit station

Inside ARTIC for the Grand Opening (City of Anaheim)

Inside ARTIC for the Grand Opening (City of Anaheim)

On Monday, the city of Anaheim cut the ribbon on one of the most important transit stations in California history: ARTIC, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Buildings Institute catalogues the nation’s net-zero buildings

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation's headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The Vancouver-based New Buildings Institute (NBI) tracks energy efficient built work, and their 2014 update, “Getting to Zero”, provides a snapshot of the emerging U.S. market for net-zero buildings—those are structures that use no more energy than they can gather on site.

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Video> Frank Gehry on his eccentric Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum

Gehry and his Guggenheim model. (Screengrab via NYTimes)

Gehry and his Guggenheim Abu Dhabi model. (Screengrab via the New York Times)

Up-and-coming architect Frank Gehry recently sat down with the New York Times to discuss his  Guggenheim museum under construction on Saadiyat Island near Abu Dhabi. The eccentric or idiosyncratic or whimsical structure totals 450,000 square feet, making it 12 times larger than the Guggenheim in New York. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi  is defined by multiple cones that Gehry says were influenced by teepees because of how they remove hot air. The design is also supposed to evoke the domes of mosques around the Middle East. Although that’s a bit harder to discern.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Pringle-shaped velodrome proposed for Philadelphia

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

When we talk about cities boosting bike infrastructure, we’re typically talking about adding bike lanes and launching, or expanding, bike share. Building a multi-million dollar velodrome for high-speed, Olympic-style, indoor track racing isn’t typically part of that equation. But it now is in Philadelphia.

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Bjarke Ingels joins Foster and Gehry for Battersea Power Station redevelopment

Malaysia Square. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group via Battersea Power Station)

Malaysia Square. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group via Battersea Power Station)

Bjarke Ingels is slated to join elder architectural statesmen Norman Foster and Frank Gehry at the Battersea Power Station in London. The multi-billion dollar, mixed-use redevelopment was originally master planned by, yes, another starchitect, Rafael Viñoly. Ingels’ firm, BIG, joins the bunch after winning a competition to design a public space for the project called Malaysia Square. Why is it called Malaysia Square? Because, lest the Brits forget, the project is backed by a Malaysian development consortium.

Continue reading after the jump.

Passive House Laboratory by GO Logic

Brought to you with support from:
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The University of Chicago's Warren Woods Ecology Field Station is the first Passive House-certified laboratory in North America. (Trent Bell Photography)

The University of Chicago’s Warren Woods Ecology Field Station is the first Passive House-certified laboratory in North America. (Trent Bell Photography)

Architects deliver a North American first with Warren Woods Ecology Field Station.

When Belfast, Maine–based architecture firm GO Logic presented the University of Chicago‘s Department of Ecology and Evolution with three schematic designs for the new Warren Woods Ecology Field Station, the academics decided to go for broke. Despite being new to Passive House building, the university was attracted to the sustainability standard given the laboratory’s remote location in Berrien County, Michigan. “We presented them with three design options: one more compact, one more aggressive formally,” recalled project architect Timothy Lock. The third option had an even more complicated form, one that would make Passive House certification difficult. “They said: ‘We want the third one—and we want you to get it certified,'” said Lock. “We had our work cut out for us.” Thanks in no small part to an envelope comprising a cedar rain screen, fully integrated insulation system, and high performance glazing, GO Logic succeeded in meeting the aesthetic and environmental goals set down by the university, with the result that the Warren Woods facility is the first Passive House–certified laboratory in North America.

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In Construction> New York City’s East Side Access tunnel dons a yellow raincoat deep underground

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

Every so often, New York City’s MTA shares a batch of construction photos to remind New Yorkers that one of its long-delayed projects is still chugging along beneath their feet. The latest photo set takes us underneath Manhattan where the MTA is busy borrowing tunnels that will one day connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central. The whole project is expected to cost nearly $11 billion and won’t be wrapped up until 2023, so no need to rush through the gallery.

Check out a gallery after the jump.

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