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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 502
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 502 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more...

    Tips for Understanding the Basics of Autodesk Revit and BIM

    This free screencast presentation focuses on going back to the basics by exploring the foundation of a BIM model and answering the question "Why Revit Architecture?" Learn about features in Revit that enhance productivity, how a BIM model keeps design data connected and how objects are the same in every view. View now:

    Click for Screencast


    by Michael J. Crosbie

    Your first reaction to seeing Aqua Tower as it commands the Chicago skyline might be, "What happened to that skyscraper?" It looks as if some of its concrete floor fins might have been worn away over years of exposure. Or perhaps some kind of pervasive organism has taken over a sleek glass tower, crawling all over its facade - the Blob meets Howard Roark's Enright Building.

    Of course, Aqua Tower was designed this way, by the Chicago firm Studio Gang Architects, with Loewenberg Architects as architect of record. And the result is stunning.

    The tower might at first appear to simply be a marriage of two schools of design that have ridden architecture's media wave over the past decade: parametric design and Retro Modernism.

    The former is a product of new and continually evolving design software, such as Revit and Rhinoceros, that makes it possible to generate, through algorithms, a vast array of architectural forms - including the complex organic shapes that have earned this genre the derisive moniker of "blobitecture."

    Retro Modernism, on the other hand, is the style that the early Modernists claimed Modernism would never be. By the early 1970s, Modernism as an architectural movement, complete with its social agenda, was running dry - co-opted, watered-down, overdone, and exhausted.

    It nearly disappeared within the clamor of post-Modernism, only to rise again, this time as an intact style, distinguished by sharp, orthogonal white planes and sleek curtain walls with thin frame profiles. Retro Modern continues to enjoy a wide embrace by architects and the public alike.

    Aqua's plan is a sleek modern rectangle, with a wavy line of balconies surrounding it like a crazy bubble. But is a union of parametric design and Retro Modernism the essence of Aqua? Only if you view the tower as a stylistic exercise... >>>



    Autodesk Aims for the Cloud
    by Kenneth Wong

    You didn't actually have to be at Mandalay Bay, the site of Autodesk University (AU) 2010, to discover Autodesk's big gamble. Away from the Las Vegas strip, away from the casinos and hotels, Autodesk is setting up shop in the cloud.

    Autodesk Labs, a public portal where the company previews many of its R&D initiatives, provides a window into the company's strategy... >>>



    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Gensler in Los Angeles, California ...

    Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and architect Elizabeth Diller have revealed the design for The Broad Art Foundation, a contemporary art museum planned for downtown Los Angeles, California. Diller Scofidio + Renfro of New York City designed the three-story, 120,000-square-foot (11,000-square-meter) museum, merging the two key components of the building: public exhibit space, and the archive and storage space that will support the foundation's worldwide art lending library... >>>


    100% Recycled-Content Glass

    Bio-Glass® from Coverings Etc is made of 100% recycled glass, without colorants or other additives. It's also 100% recyclable, and can be placed in the same recycling container as drink bottles. Post-consumer recycled content may contribute to LEED credits. Cradle to Cradle silver-certified and GreenSpec listed. Available in six colors.

    See Bio-Glass® in ArchWeek

    It's fast, easy, private, and secure.

     Tools and Downloads

    Sponsor this ArchWeek special section and build your brand:
    Decentralized Ecological Wastewater Treatment
    A free white paper is available from Worrell Water Technologies on "Creating a Sustainable Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century." The paper recommends a transition to a decentralized, ecological water-treatment system, using constructed wetlands and other technologies to reduce downstream water treatment loads, offset potential water load growth, and create a sustainable, renewable water resource cycle.
    How 3D Printing Works
    Z Corporation offers a white paper that discusses the inception and evolution of 3D printing, explores in depth how a 3D printer produces a physical model, and examines the defining attributes of a Z Corporation 3D printer and the technology decisions that produced them. 

    Tesla Wants Some Engineering Cred - Wired, 2011.0106

    Bertrand Sicot Appointed CEO of SolidWorks - TenLinks, 2011.0105

    Autodesk Aims for the Cloud - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0105

    NVIDIA Unveils First Online 3D Vision Community - NVIDIA Press Release, 2011.0104

    Flying Machines, Amazing at Any Angle - New York Times, 2011.0104

    10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology - New York Times, 2010.1229

    Optimization of Buildings with Scia Engineer - AECbytes, 2010.1225

    ArchitectureWeek Blog Center - latest postings from across the web
    ArchitectureWeek Jobs Board - List your job openings for free...
    ArchitectureWeek Book Center - 87 architecture-related categories!
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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Cornice on console, with anthemion cyma recta, left-and-dart cyma reversa, modillion band, egg-and-dart ovolo molding, dentil band (OM-065)


    What is the difference between oak and oakum?

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

    How do you determine the floor area ratio (FAR) of a building?

    Classic Home 022 - Five-room bungalow by Frederick L. Ackerman
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