Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
Based on the work of the Stanford University d.school and its Environments Collaborative Initiative, Make Space is packed with techniques for altering space to enhance creativity and collaboration. Highlighting details that matter the most when designing spaces to support creative teams, it's a book you'll turn to again and again.
Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower (1972) in Tokyo, Japan, is the classic poster child of the Metabolist movement. Photo: Wikipedia user Wiiii
Anatomy of Metabolism
by C.B. Liddell
The exhibit "Metabolism, the City of the Future" at the
Mori Art Museum in Tokyo is a major retrospective
looking at Japan's most widely known and perhaps least
understood modern architecture movement.
Subtitled "Dreams and Visions of Reconstruction in
Postwar and Present-Day Japan," the exhibit throws up
images depicting a sci-fi world of floating cities,
metropolises in the sky, and soaring geometric shapes
and patterns repeated over and over with little apparent
corrsepondence to the psychological needs of humans.
All in all, at least in its broad visuals, the
exhibition fits in very well with a certain Blade
Runner-esque geek image of Japan that is very popular at
the moment, a vision of something more suitable for
manga and anime than real architecture. Unless, maybe,
you're in one of a handful of special places in Asia,
like Singapore, or one of the sprouting Chinese
While the geek eye-candy is plentiful, this exhibition
also has a serious tale to tell, and one that ultimately
tells us a lot about a certain Japanese mentality and
about the country's conflicted relationship with
modernism. Some of the things here simply wouldn't have
made sense anywhere else, but they did make sense in
The Metabolists were a group of young architects who
were united in 1960 behind a manifesto, at a time when
manifestos had gone out of fashion. These men were
inspired by Kenzo Tange, who, by that stage of his
career, was already too elevated to be a mere group
member. They included the architectural critic Noboru
Kawazoe, the architects Masato Otaka, Fumihiko Maki,
Kiyonori Kikutake, and Kisho Kurokawa, the graphic
designer Kiyoshi Awazu, and the industrial designer
Kenji Ekuan. While not a direct member of the group,
architect Arata Isozaki was a "fellow traveler" and
peripheral participant in the movement.
As the biologically evocative name suggests, the
Metabolists believed that buildings and cities should be
designed to continually grow and change in the same way
as organic life. In practice this meant moving away from
the disorderly pattern of piecemeal construction and
demolition then very common in Tokyo, towards the idea
of architectural megastructures that could serve as an
orderly framework for flexible, replaceable
The Autodesk University 2011 conference was held in Las Vegas at the end of November. Photo: Kenneth Wong/ ArchitectureWeek
Autodesk University - "Software Everywhere"
by Kenneth Wong
On a chilly November morning in Las Vegas, Nevada, Carl
Bass, president and CEO of Autodesk, stepped up to the
stage at the Autodesk University (AU) 2011 conference to
hail the emergence of a new approach in data management,
powered by cloud computing.
"One big idea [in collaboration] is to move from a file-based system to a data-centric approach, where the information is automatically indexed and easily searched," Bass said. "It could be overwhelming to manually manage this data by passing an individual file around. It's more about empowering access to the information you really need."
"Today," he continued, "we're introducing a PLM [product life-cycle management] system that decreases complexity in managing project information. The interface is clean, is flexible. It's easy to deploy, manage, it's easy to configure."
The punchline came a few minutes later, when Bass revealed, "The big news is, none of the things I just showed you are just desktop products. What I've just shown you is software running in the cloud, running on smartphones and tablets, in iOS and Android OS, on Mac. It's even running in browsers."
Glued to the Browser for Project Collaboration
For years, Autodesk has advocated a model-based approach to building design and construction, known among practitioners as BIM (building information modeling) and IPD (integrated project delivery). The company believes the use of a single, shared digital model throughout the life cycle of a building — from initial design, simulation, and construction to maintenance — is the best way to minimize costly conflicts.
But facilitating a shared workflow among architects, mechanical/ electrical/ plumbing engineers, construction crews, and owner-operators has been a challenge, to say the least. Different software used by these disciplines sometimes causes data-exchange problems. And team members' office locations, often spread out across international time zones in different regions, add to the headache.
Scanning the horizon for promising BIM collaboration models, Autodesk set its sights on New York City-based Horizontal Systems, whose primary offering is cloud-hosted BIM, made possible through web-streaming of shared 3D content.
Rush University Medical Center of Chicago has dedicated a new hospital tower designed by Perkins + Will. The bulding opens to patients on January 9, 2012. Photo: Courtesy Perkins + Will
People and Places
by Nancy Novitski
Perkins + Will in Chicago, Illinois
UNStudio with Ong&Ong in Singapore, Singapore
Gensler in Santa Ana, California
BDP with EPIG in Izmir, Turkey
10 Design in Pingtan Island, China...
Rush University Medical Center of Chicago, Illinois, has dedicated a new hospital building designed by Perkins + Will. With input from doctors and nurses, and patients and their families, the architects developed a butterfly-shaped floor plan for the 14-story, $654 million new building, called the Tower.
The ground floor will house the McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response, with 60 treatment bays and a surge capacity of 133 percent, designed to accommodate large-scale health emergencies. The tower's third floor houses an imaging center, and the three consecutive floors above that are devoted to the interventional platform, which also extends into the adjacent building. Containing 42 procedure rooms with enlarged operating rooms, this area locates diagnostic testing, surgical and interventional services, and recovery within a short distance of each other.
The top floor of the building base houses women's services and neonatal intensive care, and the building's top five floors comprise the Herb Family Acute and Critical Care Tower, which contains 304 beds.
Rush is seeking LEED certification for the new building, targeting a LEED Gold rating. The Tower will connect to Rush's existing main hospital building, the Atrium, via the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion, a three-story reception area with circular skylights and a giant four-season terrarium. The Atrium building will be renovated following the January 9, 2012, opening of the new building.
The construction manager is Power/Jacobs Joint Venture. The building is the major component of Rush's ten-year, $1 billion campus redevelopment project.
Hardware and Systems for Architecture by FSB
The FSB acronym is a global byword for good looks and phenomenal functionality. Wherever hardware solutions for outstanding building projects are required, the world of architecture defers to our 130 years of experience as well as to our holistic view of the demands made by ambitious public projects.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Tools and Downloads
BIM Collaboration Software
Tekla BIMsight is a free software tool for collaboration on BIM-based construction projects. Professionals in different AEC disciplines can combine their BIM models, check for clashes, markup, and share information in the same easy-to-use 3D environment. New features in Version 3.1 make it even easier to find information and communicate.
ANSI/BHMA Standard for Materials and Finishes
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) is
offering a free download of ANSI/BHMA A156.18-2006, useful when
specifying hardware on a wide range of project applications. The
standard establishes finish test methods and code numbers for
finishes on various base materials.
Autodesk University 2011 - "Software Everywhere" - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.1214
A Click Away - Architect's Newspaper, 2011.1214
Autodesk University 2011: General Session and Innovation Forums - AECbytes, 2011.1212
Autodesk University 2011, Part 2: The Promise of the Cloud - Cadalyst, 2011.1208
The AR LAB: A Vision - AECbytes, 2011.1206
Product News - Double-Hung Wood Windows
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See our comprehensive new visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!
— MT, Astoria, New York
What is the fundamental difference between a Japanese
handsaw and a typical American handsaw?
What do you know about lightning? True or False:
The Empire State Building is struck
about seven times a year.
On average, a commercial airliner is struck once during
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Roughly 2,000 thunderstorms are in progress over the
earth's surface at any given time, producing as many as
100 cloud-to-ground discharges every second.
The Midwestern states experience the most lightning
activity in the United States.
A lightning channel is about 8 inches (20 centimeters)
A lightning flash could light a 100-watt bulb for three
Classic Home 028 — Dutch Colonial house by J. T. Pomeroy
"This Dutch Colonial house can be placed very comfortably on a thirty-foot lot, and can be used on a twenty-five-foot lot without crowding.
"Three features save this house from having a pinched look: First, it is built close to the ground; second, it has lawn on both sides, and third, the skillful handling of the red cement shingle roof, particularly the broad expanse over the front entrance and sun parlor....
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