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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 525
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 525 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.

    TXI ES&C

    Get Started with BIM Using the Autodesk Building Design Suite

    Have all the advantages of BIM without giving up your AutoCAD workflow. Learn how to leverage your existing AutoCAD data while getting up to speed with Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium, an economical and convenient software suite containing AutoCAD products for building plus Autodesk Revit software.

    Learn how


    The apartments at 1247 Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C., by McInturff Architects, are built on a site created by connecting and encompassing the roofs of two existing buildings. Photo: Julie Heine

    by Jeremiah Eck

    More than half of all the single-family homes in the United States were built in the last three decades of the 20th century, and it is estimated that half again of the current total number of dwellings — about 80 million — will need to be built in the next three decades of the 21st century.

    Unfortunately, most houses built in the last 50 years were merely plopped down on a piece of land, adhering to zoning laws, and occasionally conservation commissions and planning boards, and forced to face the street like so many soldiers in a row.

    The harsh reality is that these sites are often stripped of any existing natural vegetation, provided with roads that are much too wide, and given lot configurations that have little to do with the land they are carved from.

    There is seldom any real integration of house and site. It is one of the byproducts of sprawl; we all know it when we see it, and it's a recipe for disaster for the foreseeable future because of its harm to the environment.

    Rooftop as Urban Site

    When thinking of sustainable site design, most people probably imagine a low-density rural or suburban site somewhere far afield, not a high-density urban one in the heart of a large city.

    The new apartments at 1247 Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C., sit on a more unusual site: the rooftop of two existing buildings.   >>>

    P&P Image

    The Metal Shutter Houses condominiums in Manhattan, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect with Montroy Andersen DeMarco, have been completed. Photo: Michael Moran Photography

    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    Shigeru Ban Architects and Dean Maltz Architect, with Montroy Andersen DeMarco in New York, New YorkThe Architectural Team in Fort Myer, VirginiaBenthem Crouwel Architects in Amsterdam, NetherlandsNiles Bolton Associates in Silver Spring, MarylandC.F. Møller Architects in London, England, United KingdomFinegold Alexander + Associates in Methuen, MassachusettsDominique Perrault in Madrid, SpainSuperblock in Vienna, Austria

    New York, New York — 2011.0720
    The Metal Shutter Houses building in the Chelsea district of Manhattan has been completed. Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, based in Tokyo, Japan, and the firm's U.S. partner, Dean Maltz Architect of New York City, the 11-story building contains eight high-end condominium units, plus a ground-floor lobby and art gallery. New York City firm Montroy Andersen DeMarco served as the architect of record.

    The multifamily residential building takes its name from the motorized perforated metal shutters on its north facade. Echoing the after-hours shutters of neighboring galleries, the metal shutters form a uniform facade when closed, and create a changing composition as residents retract them. Behind the shutters, 20-foot- (six-meter-) high bi-fold glass doors can be opened to the outdoors, providing continuity between the unit interiors and decks. For this application, an off-the-shelf operable industrial door commonly used in airplane hangars was adapted with an integrated curtain wall.

    Each unit has direct access from the lobby through a single elevator, and each apartment is a floor-through unit, allowing daylight to enter from both the north and south facades. Shigeru Ban and Dean Maltz also designed the building interiors, including the residential units, which feature cantilevering islands for the kitchens, curved countertops for the bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling white lacquer with matte finish cabinetry, custom-designed hardware, and sliding glass doors instead of regular walls separating rooms.

    The developer is HEEA Development LLC. Located just west of the High Line, in the west Chelsea arts district, the building stands next to Frank Gehry's IAC Headquarters and across the street from Jean Nouvel's 100 11th building.   >>>


    As-built facility models like this can be used to document business process information as well as the physical properties of a facility. Image: Courtesy Finith E. Jernigan

    Thinking About BIM
    by Finith E. Jernigan

    Have you ever dreamed about a time when you could call up the site details for a new project — in real time? Without hiring a surveyor? Without visiting the site? Have you ever dreamed about a time when you could open a file and have all the as-built and as-operated details for the remodeling project that you just won? Have you ever wished that you could really understand how your new client's company works, without doing weeks of diagnostics and fact-finding? Well, now you can.

    Building Information Modeling is, as a concept, so universal and so wide reaching that it can (and probably does) include nearly anything that you can think of. If it touches on the built environment, BIM processes can make it better and more efficient.

    This complexity has led many of the pioneers to be bogged down in an endless loop of adding detail upon detail. They have a lofty goal — to develop fully functional and user-friendly systems that everyone in the building world can use to interact with each other. They work to capture all of the information that our world revolves around.

    You cannot wait for them to finish. If you do, you will be left behind.   >>>

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

     Tools and Downloads

    Sponsor this ArchWeek special section and build your brand:
    Elevator Energy Calculator
    ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has launched the 2.0 version of its Energy Calculator, a free online tool for predicting the energy consumption of elevators. Of interest to architects, elevator consultants, facility managers, and building owners involved in new construction and building modernization projects.  
    Vectorworks Architect 2011
    With Vectorworks(R) Architect 2011 software, you can create building information models without giving up the ease of design you're used to. Whether looking to streamline costs, analyze materials, increase energy efficiency, or just create world-class designs, you can enjoy the capabilities of BIM with great documentation and intelligent tools.

    AutoCAD for Mac 2011 Update Beta for OS X Lion - Between the Lines, 2011.0728

    CAD It Yourself - Cadalyst, 2011.0728

    HP Designjet T2300 eMFP - Cadalyst, 2011.0728

    Thinking about BIM - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0727

    Updated Shape Extraction for AutoCAD Now Available - Autodesk Labs Blog, 2011.0727

    Recommended Reading for Better Presentations - Cadalyst, 2011.0727

    Crowd-Simulating Software Could Improve Building Design - The Engineer (UK), 2011.0726

    New Product


    Product News - Modular Living Wall

    DIRTT Environmental Solutions introduces Breathe™, a modular system that incorporates plants into office walls. The modules can be mounted on any flat vertical building surface, including gypsum, concrete, stone, or the company's own walls. The design accommodates three sizes of plant pots that integrate into a modular slat wall surface. Scalable and easily expanded from one panel to a wall of plants, these installations effectively separate the watering system from the plant pots and peat-based growing medium. Patent pending. The use of plants to improve indoor air quality in LEED-targeting projects has helped secure LEED Innovation Credit 1.2.


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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Curved corner banded with courses of stretcher bricks and sculpted brick or architectural terracotta (WA-190)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    You are designing a house near a creek and are concerned about flooding. An expert tells you that the site is unlikely to suffer from headwater flooding but that you might want to raise the building or set it back from the creek because of the possibility of a backwater flood. What is the difference between these two types of flood?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    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?



    Classic Home 057 — William Beard house, by Richard Neutra

    "This steel-built house of 1200 square feet (110 square meters), was built for William Beard in Altadena, California. Full-height, sliding glass and steel partitions communicate with a side and a rear patio and to the breakfast nook and kitchen, both of which have a broad view to the Sierra Madre mountains.

    "Built-in furniture saves considerable floor area and keeps much of the livable area free from obstruction. In spite of the apparently large window area, the amount of direct radiation permitted to enter the interior is limited by roof projections, other overhangs, and curtains that move in a continuous track. A steel stairway leads up to a roof garden... "


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