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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 496
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 496 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.  This Notes edition is sponsored by TXI Expanded Shale & Clay:

    TXI Expanded Shale & Clay Announces a New Name for Internal Curing

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        by Achim Menges

    Foster + Partners won an invited international architecture competition in 2004 to design a new courtyard enclosure for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, housed in the Old Patent Office building in Washington, D.C. Early in the project, the firm's Specialist Modelling Group was brought in to advise the project team on modeling techniques, to develop new digital tools, and help solve the complex geometric issues involved.

    Norman Foster's early sketch shows a diagonal grid of structural elements gently flowing over the central courtyard. The undulating roof structure is supported by eight columns arranged in three domes, the central peak being the highest and having the greatest span.

    Instead of simply translating a sketch, capturing design intent involves the development of a digital schematic that can be easily used by the designers to control and manipulate the complex geometry. Design constraints are encoded within a system of associated geometries. Three surfaces, column markers and a computer script control the entire roof geometry.

    Constraints such as edge beam location, dome heights and drainage locations are informed by the design surface, which is created from a series of simple control lines. The parameterization of the grid surface sets out the plan locations of the design nodes, while the height location is given by the design surface.

    The relationship between these surfaces and a third surface controls the beam twist. The set-out geometry performs as a mechanism to control the parameters of a generative script.

        by Kathleen Murphy Skolnik

    The Washington, D.C., Metro project established Harry Weese & Associates as the country's foremost architectural designer of rail transit systems, and led to the firm's involvement in the planning and conceptual design of systems in cities in North America and overseas, including Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Buffalo, Toronto, and Singapore. Jack Hartray characterized the Metro as the "greatest architectural opportunity" of the 20th century, and Stanley Allan called it the "crown jewel" in the history of the Weese firm's commissions.

        by Nancy Novitski

    BKSK Architects in Brooklyn, New York & Integral Group in Oakland, California & BJAC in New Bern, North Carolina & Foster + Partners in Hanoi, Vietnam & PZS Architects in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & Lee H. Skolnick with RB+B Architects Inc. in Casper, Wyoming & Andrew Maynard Architects in Melbourne, Australia & ZGF Architects in Emeryville, California & BIG in Copenhagen, Denmark & EHDD in San Francisco, California & GBD Architects in Portland, Oregon & Fisher Koppenhafer in Jacksonville, Florida & Mahlum in Seattle, Washington & Ennead Architects in Brooklyn, New York & Gwathmey Siegel in Cleveland, Ohio...


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    Sustainable, Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
    The nonprofit organization Reconnecting America has issued a white paper: "Realizing the Potential for Sustainable, Equitable TOD: Recommendations to the Interagency Partnership on Sustainable Communities." It includes an extensive list of recommendations for each of the three agencies in the new interagency partnership: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  
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    Designing a Smithsonian Roof - ArchitectureWeek, 2010.1027
    Responsible Recycling: My E-Waste Odyssey - New York Times, 2010.1024

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    A. A nine-sided, domed steel structure, this place of worship is clad in white quartz-embedded precast concrete, and is located just north of Chicago.

    B. Now called the Willis Tower, this very tall downtown Chicago building was originally called what?

    C. What gothic-revival building was the winner of a famous 1922 competition?

    Architecture Answer - for last issue's quiz...

    You're at a construction site and about to climb the builder's extension ladder to the parapet 20 feet (6.1 meters) above. You notice the base of the ladder is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the wall. Do you leave it there or do you ask the builder to move it out from the wall another 18 inches (46 centimeters) or so?

    Classic Home 064 - Cary House by Joseph Esherick
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