Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
ArchitectureWeek No. 524 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:
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ENDANGERED AMERICAN PLACES
The Chicago building that formerly housed Prentice
Women's Hospital is proudly unorthodox. Above a
steel-and-glass base, in a sea of more-conventional
rectilinear neighbors, the building's quatrefoil
concrete tower rises banded with oval-shaped windows.
Designed by Bauhaus-trained Chicago architect Bertrand
Goldberg — best known for the twin cylindrical
towers of the nearby Marina City development (1964) he
designed — the Prentice tower's cloverleaf design
was far from being simply contrarian. Goldberg sought to
create a modernist architecture more organic than the
International style's straight lines and boxes, which he
came to consider dehumanizing. In hospital design, he
intended to improve patient experience, which at
Prentice translated into a bed tower with seven small
patient floors, each divided into four lobes.
Designed for maximum flexibility, the 1974 hospital
building was also structurally innovative. The tower is
cantilevered from a central core, allowing for
column-free, open-plan floor plates. The load-bearing
concrete shell transfers loads diagonally back to the
core via four large arches.
Despite its significance, this building is at risk of
demolition. To bring attention to its plight, the
National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the
former Prentice Women's Hospital building to the 2011
list of America's Most Endangered Historic Places.
Chipperfield's Anchorage Museum
by Kevin Matthews
In downtown Anchorage, a little farther off the beaten path than his museums and galleries in London and Berlin, David Chipperfield has constructed another architectural gem, exhibiting his signature clear modernism that manages to be at once bold and quiet.
The scheme turns the museum around, visually, as Chipperfield's Anchorage Museum addition creates an entirely new and gorgeous face and image for the museum, and functionally, as the main facade and entry are shifted from the south side — where the old versions enfronted a hum-drum street — to the west — where the bright new presence faces on a landscaped urban square, toward the core of downtown and the water beyond, while taking the ever-present Alaskan mountains behind the city as the building's own sweeping backdrop.
The elegant skinning of custom glass, striped with mirroring and layered both for thermal performance and to modulate transparency for interior spaces, at times has the building reflecting its surroundings, and at times disappearing with a shimmer against the sky.
It's a block of ice, a mountain glacier, a pinstripe suit, a scrim, a mirage and optical illusion, a candy store for the brain, a magic box. Truly, a gift to the city.
Inside, bold blocks of color mixed with simple natural wood and dyed smooth concrete are deployed with sublimely clean detailing, so the walls, ceilings, grand atrium stair, and ultimately the museum exhibition spaces, all coordinate and move the visitor with grace and drama that are strangely transparent in their directness — while always stretching to bask in natural light that filters in.
Through this artifice, daylight seems to fill much of the building, while its living force is held safely away from thousands of remarkably special objects.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Tools and Downloads
Update to AutoCAD Web and Mobile Access
Autodesk recently released an update to AutoCAD WS, which
enables users to view, edit, and share their AutoCAD designs and
DWG files through web browsers and mobile devices. The AutoCAD
WS 1.1 plugin and mobile app are currently available for free
(subject to terms and conditions):
Free CAD Software
DoubleCAD(tm) XT works like AutoCAD LT, but is free. Contains
many new, innovative features, such as transparent fills, draw
order by layer, hide objects regardless of layer, snap
prioritization, self-healing walls, exploded viewports, and
strong .DWG and .SKP compatibility. Awarded highest five-star
rating from the review editors at CNET. Free download:
The 11-inch MacBook Air is the Best Laptop I've Ever Owned - ZDNet, 2011.0721
Earthmine Extension Brings New Perspective to AutoCAD Map 3D - Cadalyst, 2011.0720
Dell Precision T1600 Workstation - Cadalyst, 2011.0720
BQE Software Releases ArchiOffice 2011 - AECCafe.com, 2011.0720
Abvent Releases Revit 2012 Export Plug-in for Artlantis - TenLinks, 2011.0719
Autodesk Expands SketchBook Pro App with Copic Markers - TenLinks, 2011.0719
ArchiCAD 15 - AECbytes, 2011.0714
Product News - Small Wind Turbine
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See our comprehensive new visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!
-- * --
"Always enjoy this... Keep up the good work!"
— MSM, Atlanta, Georgia
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Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week
Courtyard wall, top to bottom:
rowlock and header brick coping, cast concrete (left), running-bond
brick pilaster, roughly squared fieldstone base (WA-264)
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1871-76) and the
Provident Life and Trust Company Building (1876-79, now
demolished), both built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
and both highly textured and boldly scaled, were
designed by which famous American architect?
Which is the best temperature for concrete to cure at:
90, 73, or 55 degrees Fahrenheit (32, 23, or 13 degrees
Classic Home 053 — Breuer House I, by Marcel Breuer
"This house in Lincoln, Massachusetts, built by the architect for his own family, is on a site that is level in front and slopes down in the back. The house is wood frame, with steel sash casement windows and vertical tongue-and-groove redwood exterior siding, without gutters or conductors. A stone-floored entry leads to a two-story, south-facing living room...
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Daily Building, Directory of Architects, Architecture Books,
Building of the Week, Free Classifieds, Great Buildings, the
ArchitectureWeek Online Library, Web Directory, Archiplanet,
Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Sustainable Housing Prototypes, by ArchitectureWeek
Ten years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Roofs of Dubrovnik, by Steven Allan
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