Situ Studio’s Maker Space

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Friday, June 8, 2012
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The 1,200-square-foot space is installed in the Hall of Science's Central Pavilion (SITU)

A new installation at the NY Hall of Science celebrates DIY culture

The recently opened Maker Space at the New York Hall of Science is just what its name implies—a place to make things. The initial installation is by Singer Sewing Company, which donated 18 sewing machines, a garment steamer, finishing iron, and other equipment that will teach children and families the basics of sewing and quilting. Programming will also include workshops about conductive fabrics and soft circuits that can be used in a range of applications. The space is a symbol of work that can come out of fostering a culture of scientific learning through hands-on projects. Designed and fabricated by Brooklyn-based Situ Studio, the Maker Space itself is contained within a plywood 3-pin arch structure based on themes of craft and assembly.

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PROFILE> Bill Kreysler Explores Composite Facades with Joshua Zabel

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Thursday, June 7, 2012
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Bill Kreysler of Kreysler and Associates. (Photo Jorgen Gulliksen)

Bill Kreysler of Kreysler and Associates. (Photo Jorgen Gulliksen)

Composite materials, a.k.a. “composites,” are the result of the two different materials being combined but remaining physically and chemically distinct. For over 40 years Bill Kreysler, founder of the Napa County-based Kreysler Associates, has been leading developments in molding and application of composites for architectural use. On July 27 Kreysler and his associate Joshua Zabel will lead a special workshop on how composites are used in facades today as part of the AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco.

After getting his start in manufacturing sailboats, Kreysler founded his own firm in 1982 and brought his knowledge of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) to bear on  architectural and industrial products as well as large scale sculpture (his workshop boasts three CNC-milling machines). Currently chair of the committee to write Guide Specifications and Recommended Practice for FRP Architectural Products and a founding member of the newly formed Digital Fabrication Alliance, Kreysler is also co-author of Composites, Surfaces, and Software High Performance Architecture with Greg Lynn.

Through lectures and a rare opportunity for hands-on learning, the upcoming July 27 workshop will provide participants with both the creative and technical knowledge to design and prototype composite based building components. Participants will also be eligible to compete in a limited competition to have a small component fabricated full-scale by Kreysler & Associates to be exhibited at ACADIA 2012, a conference on computer-aided design. To register for the Collaboration conference, click here.

 

South Korea’s Expo 2012 Pavilion: Active Facade Design

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Friday, June 1, 2012
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Elastic deformation of the pavilion's glass-fiber reinforced plastic lamellas gives its facade movement (Soma)

A 34,000-square-foot kinetic media facade represents the themes of Korea’s international exhibition

Opened last month in the coastal city of Yeosu, South Korea, the 2012 International Exhibition’s theme, “The Living Ocean and Coast,” is a way for attendees to examine challenges and solutions to development on oceans and coastlines. As the architect of the expo’s thematic pavilion, Vienna-based Soma Architecture designed a kinetic media facade to act as a counterpart to the show’s location by the water and to its multimedia presentations. Working with Stuttgart- and New York-based structural engineering firm Knippers Helbig as facade consultant, the team developed a constructible solution for building one of the largest adaptive structures in the world.

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Chicago Loop Alliance to Coat Sidewalks, Streets, & Buildings with Color

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The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

From May 29th through June 4th, sheets of vinyl will be layered over the intersection of State and Adams streets in Chicago’s Loop in a site specific installation entitled Color Jam. The public installation, commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance through their Art Loop public art program, is the work of multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder. The exhibit will be an ongoing piece of public art, covering sidewalks, buildings. and the intersection itself with contextually abstract shapes and colors. The work will be on display from its “official” completion on June 5th through September 30th of this year.

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Fulton Street Transit Center Oculus

East, Fabrikator
Friday, May 25, 2012
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Inside the transit center's atrium (MTA)

An in-progress look at the new transit hub’s massive skylight

After funding cuts and subsequent delays since construction started in 2005, the much-anticipated Fulton Street Transit Center is finally taking shape in Lower Manhattan. The $1.4 billion project will connect eleven subway lines with the PATH train, the World Trade Center, and ferries at the World Financial Center. In collaboration with artist James Carpenter, Grimshaw Architects designed the project’s hallmark—a 60-foot-tall glass oculus that will deliver daylight to the center’s concourse level. The hyperbolic parabaloid cable net skylight supports an inner skin of filigree metal panels that reflect light to the spaces below. AN took a look at the design’s progress with Radius Track, the curved and cold-formed steel framing experts who recently completed installation of the project’s custom steel panels:

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Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud City

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Friday, May 18, 2012
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One of 16 steel and acrylic modules is hoisted by crane to the Met's rooftop (Tomás Saraceno)

The artist’s first major U.S. commission lands at the Met

On Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a preview of the latest installation to take root in its Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Designed by Tomás Saraceno, the installation is the largest of the artist’s Cloud Cities/Airport Cities series, and his first major commission in the United States. Under overcast skies and a sprinkling of rain, the installation’s first visitors—or at least those wearing rubber-soled shoes—clamored through its 16 interconnected modules. Some paused to sit or lie in the structure’s uppermost areas, while others were content to view the constellation of mirrored acrylic forms and nylon webs from the ground. The experience of boarding the structure is disorienting, and the piece gives visitors the impression that it would float away from the rooftop and over Central Park if not tethered to the Met by steel cables.

Watch a video of the installation

Fabricating New Solar Skins

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Friday, May 11, 2012
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A rendering of Martin Ferrero's new BIPV concept

Research into flexible active skins opens up new BIPV possibilities

As building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology becomes more advanced, architects are getting involved in how new systems affect not only a building’s performance, but also its appearance. “The photovoltaic industry was until now largely developed by engineers,” said Daniel Martín Ferrero, a Madrid-based architect researching solar design. “The architect must enter the industry to develop their integration into the urban scene.” Ferrero has launched a new company named The New Solar Architecture with a goal of bringing a higher level of design to solar energy-producing facades.

Watch a video of the system

HygroScope: Meteorosensitive Morphology

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Friday, May 4, 2012
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HygroScope: Meteorosensitive Morphology

New climate-responsive architecture research makes structure the machine

A new project commissioned by the Centre Pompidou for its permanent collection explores responsive architecture based on the behavior of material during climate changes. Designed by architect Achim Menges in collaboration with Steffen Reichert, “HygroScope: Meteorosensitive Morphology” appears at first glance to be a wooden model suspended within a glass case. But when the humidity level within the case rises, the system begins to breathe, ventilating the moisture-saturated air without any sensory equipment or electricity.

Watch a video of the system

Npsag’s Grass-To-Grid Installation

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Friday, April 27, 2012
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The installation at night under blacklights (Npsag)

A wayfinding beacon for New Orleans’ electronic music festival

With a successful debut last month at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans last, the electronic music festival Buku Music and Art Project could become a mainstay of city’s lineup destination events. Envisioning what a success the event would be, Tulane architecture professors Nathan Petty and Sheena A. Garcia jumped at the opportunity to create a temporary installation for the event site at the edge of the Mississippi River. Petty and Garcia founded their design office, Npsag, in 2008 to work with radical architectural forms and emerging technology. While much of their work is speculative, the Buku installation had the practical purpose of being a wayfinding device at the event’s main entrance.

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Harvey Mudd College BubbleDeck Construction

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Friday, April 20, 2012
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Bubble deck installation (Boora Architects)

New learning center gives an in-progress look at lightweight structural design

Construction is underway on the first academic facility in almost two decades to be built on the Claremont, California, campus of Harvey Mudd College. Designed in 1956 by Edward Durrell Stone, the 39-acre school is a private engineering, science, and math institution, which is planning for growth in the coming decade.

“A lot of their current classrooms are underground so they were literally wanting to bring these into the light,” said Amy Donohue, a principal at Boora Architects. The Portland-based firm has designed a new 70,000-square-foot Teaching and Learning Center to create a bridge between academic facilities located to the west and dorms to the east. Though the design emphasizes transparency, energy efficiency, and a range of academic and social functions, a unique bi-axial hollow slab structural system concealed in the building’s concrete will have one of the greatest impacts on reducing material use as it targets LEED Platinum certification.

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Taylor Family Digital Library Sunscreen

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Friday, April 13, 2012
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The self-tensioning system has 52 percent open area (Cambridge)

LEED Gold-certified building protects old documents with a modern mesh design

The new Taylor Family Digital Library houses some of the University of Calgary’s prized documents—more than 800,000 architectural drawings, one million maps and aerial photographs, and thousands of print monographs are among the nine million items in the collection. The university built the library as part of its mission to become one of Canada’s top five research libraries by 2016, the year of its 50th anniversary. But the library also serves the practical goal of protecting the special documents and art collections that were relocated there from other facilities. To that end, architect Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning envisioned the 265,000-square-foot building enshrouded in a veil of mesh that would provide solar protection while creating a semi-transparent facade and day-lit interiors to be enjoyed by students and community members.

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Gehry Technologies Discusses Burj Khalifa Ceiling

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Friday, April 6, 2012
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The completed ceiling (SOM)

Members of the Gehry Technologies New York office outline a collaboration that spanned between four U.S. cities and Dubai

Editor’s Note: The following has been excerpted from Knowledge Engineering: The Capture and Reuse of Design and Fabrication Intelligence on the Burj Khalifa Office Ceiling by Neil Meredith and James Kotronis of Gehry Technologies:

Behind schedule and with the finish date of the building fast approaching, Gehry Technologies was presented with a unique problem. A complex, double-curved wood ceiling for one of the main entrances to the Burj Khalifa (then Burj Dubai) was under construction and it was becoming apparent that the proposed system would not work as designed. Instead of delaying the schedule or scrapping the design, an integrated team was quickly mobilized. This team was based in different design and fabrication domains, with all participants working toward the shared goals of redesign, fabrication, delivery, and installation of the new ceiling, all within a tight timeframe and construction site. Partners included Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), Imperial Woodworking Company (IWA), ICON Integrated Construction and Gehry Technologies/New York (GT). Working through the design issues, the new team developed a strategy to strip the design back down to essential geometry and redesign the system from the ground up, satisfying design intent and a host of fabrication and constructability constraints through a shared parametric model.

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