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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 532
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 532 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


    Daylit stairs and balconies animate a multistory connecting space between the old and new portions of the VCU Brandcenter. Photo: Allen T. Jones/ © Virginia Commonwealth University

    by Clive Wilkinson Architects, with Casey C.M. Mathewson and Ann Videriksen

    The VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia — part of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Mass Communications — is one of the foremost advertising programs in North America.

    In an effort to expand and broaden the educational prospectus, a new facility designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects was assembled.

    A vacant historic two-story brick carriage house from 1890 provides the main school teaching space, and this is supplemented with a new 12,000-square-foot (1,100-square-meter), two-story "service structure" located alongside, which provides modern facilities and additional space on several levels, including seismic bracing of the old building.

    Together, the structures house a school pioneering an advertising curriculum offering not only real-world business fundamentals and strategic branding, but hands-on understanding of the creative process and the experience of working with creative teams of students, teachers, and professionals.

    The building project was an exercise in "interlacing" — a term describing the display of imagery on a computer screen in a non-contiguous manner.

    The interlace effect results in a low-resolution, pixelated version of a graphic in the foreground offering graphic massing while hinting at a more fine-grain image, with higher resolution beyond.   >>>


    The Arkiboat, by Drew Heath, was designed as a simple, two-bedroom houseboat for two couples to use in an estuary near Sydney, Australia. Photo: © Brett Boardman Photography

    Postcard from an Estuary
    by Phyllis Richardson

    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    Houseboats, by and large, do their best to recreate the quotidian comforts of the standard dwelling in compact, waterborne form. Any greater sea-living aspirations are often left to the overreaching desires, and budgets, of the yachting set.

    For architect Drew Heath, the design of a house for the water near Sydney, Australia, deserved a new approach. "The typical model of a houseboat in this region of Australia," he explains, "is an extruded box from a pontoon. It has little interaction with the surrounds."

    As for outdoor space, something for which modern Australian houses are the envy of those confined to cooler climes, a houseboat's deck space is usually kept to the functional minimum at best.

    In his own words, Heath wanted to "provide a verandah-type deck around a series of vertical planes to be able to open up the interior to the surrounding seascape." What this amounts to is a clean-lined, modernist pavilion that floats.   >>>

    P&P Image

    The Ocean Financial Centre office tower in Singapore, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Photo: Courtesy Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in Singapore, Singapore - BKSK Architects in New York, New York - Guy Hollaway Architects in Folkestone, England, United Kingdom - GWWO Architects in Columbia, Maryland - EwingCole in Hialeah, Florida - RSC Architects in Union City, New Jersey - GWWO Architects in Towson, Maryland - Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in Bath, England, United Kingdom

    Singapore — 2011.0831
    Ocean Financial Centre has opened adjacent to the Marina Bay waterfront in Singapore. The 43-story office tower was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, based in New Haven, Connecticut. According to the firm, this is the first office building in Southeast Asia to achieve a LEED Platinum rating for its core and shell, and the first to receive the Platinum Green Mark Award from the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.

    Located in the historic financial district of Raffles Place, and adjacent to the newer financial district at Marina Bay, the tower contains 82,200 square meters (885,000 square feet) of grade-A office space. Recalling the maritime heritage of Singapore, the tower is reminiscent of a ship's sail, its bowed form curving along the street.

    The glass-and-metal exterior wall incorporates 120,000 LEDs, which light up the tower at night. The building also features a 25-meter- (82-foot-) high sky garden and 400 square meters (4,300 square feet) of photovoltaic panels to help power lighting in common areas. The developer is Keppel Land.   >>>


    One of 6,514 high-performance windows, each rebuilt using its original glass, is installed on an upper floor of the Empire State Building. Photo: Courtesy Empire State Building

    Press Release: Empire State Building Gets LEED-EB Gold
    by Phyllis Richardson

    Empire State Building Company, Jones Lang LaSalle and U.S. Green Building Council announce milestone achievement for World's Most Famous Office Building

    The Empire State Building has been awarded LEED® Gold for Existing Buildings certification as further recognition from the $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program. The Empire State Building is the tallest and most well known building in the U.S. to receive LEED certification.

    The 2.85 million-square-foot building is celebrating its 80th anniversary while nearing completion of its renewal and repurposing to meet the needs of 21st Century businesses. It is one of a small number of National Historic Landmarks to earn the designation, which was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).   >>>

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

    Press Release - Trane High Performance Buildings to Help Owners Realize Significant Financial and Operational Benefits


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    Shapeways Offers Brighter Full-Color 3D Printing - Shapeways Press Release, 2011.0915

    Bentley 2012 Student Design Contest Call for Nominations - TenLinks, 2011.0914

    New Product


    Product News - Thermal Additive for Insulation Coatings

    Cabot Corporation introduces Enova™ aerogel, a thermal additive for insulation coatings. Designed for use in paints applied to exposed hot and cold metal surfaces, the additive is well-suited for hard-to-reach and expansive areas where the use of traditional insulation is difficult. Each aerogel particle consists of over 90 percent air trapped within a network of amorphous silica. With its exceptionally low thermal conductivity, the additive can provide a safe-touch surface to protect employees from heat, and can also help keep pipe contents at a desired temperature. Can be added during coating formulation onsite; does not adversely affect viscosity. Cradle to Cradle Silver-certified.


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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Weathered unfinished plain-sawn planks with vertical undressed timbers on rubble foundation (WA-044)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    If you were going to plaster a wall, would you:

    a) Start at top of wall and work down?
    b) Start at middle and work both ways?
    c) Start at bottom and work up?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    Titanium dioxide is a pigment used in stains. What color is it? What properties does it bring to stains?



    Classic Home 011 — Six-room Colonial by Whitman S. Wick

    "Another carefully planned six-room Colonial frame house. No little attractiveness is added to this design by the long roof slope broken by a dormer section. Here again a small amount of space is used for the entrance hall and the stairs become an architectural feature of the living room... "


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