Page E3.1 . 07 March 2007                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
  • Environmental Center in Georgia
  • Remodeling Naturally
  • Building Potential

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Building Potential

    by Michael Cockram

    In the rolling hills just east of Austin, Texas, a small compound of experimental buildings makes up the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS). Here, Pliny Fisk III, his partner Gail Vittori, and a cadre of researchers and interns explore the depths of sustainable building.

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    A functional aesthetic greets the visitor to CMPBS, but the eclectic montage of structures makes a diverse choir rather than a dissonant jumble. Flanking the entry path is a progression of rebar trellises and large metal tanks garnering storm water.

    The work at CMPBS stretches to encompass a broad spectrum of natural and human systems. Trained at the University of Pennsylvania, in the school of visionary landscape architect Ian McHarg, Fisk takes a large view of the layering of the landscape overlaying variables and dividing maps into grids of various scales as a means to segment resources and problem areas.

    A conversation with Pliny Fisk is literally all over the map. While explaining one of his projects, he is likely to diverge to a sustainable village in China, expound on the strategies for relief housing in the Gulf of Mexico, explain a connector detail, and illuminate the potential for paint-on photovoltaics. But if the listener is patient, the elements in the matrix of his work begin to coalesce, much as the layers of his gridded ecological site maps fill in over time to form a larger picture of sustainability.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    The main building at CMPBS. The water tanks supply all of the water used in the buildings on site.
    Photo: Paul Bardagjy

    ArchWeek Image

    Using standard prefabricated components, Fisk and students experiment with the aesthetic potential of various materials.
    Photo: CMPBS


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH © 2007 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved