Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
BIG designed the award-winning 8 House, a 61,000-square-meter (660,000-square-foot) mixed-use residential development in Copenhagen, Denmark, named for its plan diagram. Photo: Jens Lindhe
AIA National Design Awards
Viewed at a distance, 8 House looks almost like a strange
landform: two vegetated roofs form a massive green "V" sloping
from the ground-floor roof up to the top of the building, nine
The parti of this mixed-use building is better understood from a
bird's-eye view. In concept, the plan is a 230-meter-
(750-foot-) long loop that has been twisted to form a giant,
angular figure eight.
The ten-story, 61,000-square-meter (660,000-square-foot)
building was designed by the architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels
Group with the intent of fostering a vibrant community on this
block in Ørestad, a developing area of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Arrayed around two large courtyards, the building combines 476
residential units with 10,000 square meters (110,000 square
feet) of office and retail space. BIG placed the commercial
spaces in the first three stories, with a layer of two-story
townhouses above, then three stories of apartments, topped by a
two-story layer of penthouses.
With a mixture of rental apartments and condominiums, the
housing units range from 65 to 140 square meters (700 to 1,550
square feet). Communal facilities for residents are clustered at
the crossing point of the eight, where passages through the
building also provide connections across the block.
The slope of the green roof partly reflects BIG's effort to
maximize daylighting and views of the surrounding open space:
the southwestern corner of the building is lowest, and the
northeastern corner is highest.
The continuation of vegetation from land to roof also hints at
one of the delightful aspects of this project: a public path
connecting from street level all the way to the penthouses,
providing both pedestrian and bicycle access...
Projects covered include...
8 House, Copenhagen —
The Standard, New York —
41 Cooper Square, New York —
Poetry Foundation, Chicago —
Pittman-Dowell House, La Crescenta —
Gates Center for Computer Science, Pittsburgh —
Rhode Island Hall, Providence —
Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, Indianapolis —
Integral House, Toronto —
Milton Miller House, Owings Mills —
In this kitchen, a wall was replaced with a dropped beam (upper left) and a blank exterior wall was replaced with windows, increasing connectivity to both the rest of the house and the landscape.
Photo: Mick Hales
Staying Put in Style
by Duo Dickinson
There are over 80 million single-family homes in the
United States, and it's estimated that 18 million of
these are "under water," meaning the mortgage is larger
than the value of the house. Millions of families feel
trapped, living a life sentence of domestic frustration
in homes that do not work for them while being unable to
move to solve the problems they confront on a daily
This series, like the book it is drawn from, offers tangible hope for getting the home you want from the house you have.
Families now have to focus on the homes they have rather than assume a lifelong leapfrog up a never-ending path of escalating home values. The newly imposed long-term commitment to our homes is closer to the historic norm than the distorted housing markets of recent years. Families are rediscovering the traditional tether to home sweet home as a specific fixed place rather than a movable stage set for our belongings.
Staying put is far closer to the American tradition of the family home as part of what a family really is.
Since World War II, people have never stopped spending on their homes. I have been an architect for 30 years, thriving through three economic cycles, from boom to bust and all the transitions in between. For every other housing bust, one or two sections of the United States escaped the general downturn: oil money saved much of the South in the early 1980s, the tech boom saved much of the West in the late 1980s.
But the present depressed state in housing value is truly national, just as the last decade's housing bubble was a national juggernaut of overvaluation and irrational exuberance. Because of its massive scale, this period of reduced expectations and great consumer fear is a longer, deeper, and more depressing malaise than any of the other building busts since World War II.
Having designed about 600 homes over these three decades (new, remodeled, or completely renovated), I know that housing consumers can be deeply depressed, but they are never hopeless. Our houses are just too important to us — personally, culturally, and economically — to have a general economic condition pull the rug out from acting on our fondest hopes.
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High-Reflectance Coatings Save Energy
A new white paper from PPG Industries summarizes an energy
modeling study showing that high-reflectance coatings on metal
walls, window frames, and roofs reduce energy use in high-rise
buildings, even in cold climates. An independent firm simulated
the energy performance of a prototype eight-story office
building in 12 North American cities.
Control 3D CAD with Your iPhone/iPod Touch - MAIDE, 2012.0216
IMAGINiT Technologies' Clarity Software Enhances BIM Collaboration - Cadalyst, 2012.0216
Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion - PCMag, 2012.0216
A Platform for BIM in Residential - Constructech Magazine, 2012.0213
Internet Poll Shows Distrust of Autodesk. - Blog Nauseam, 2012.0213
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Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week
Brick paving and inset step.
Top to bottom: Mexican paving tile, straight-joint installation;
mortared brick pavement and steps in running bond; soldier-course
brick curb, residential entry (FP-060)
Four nondestructive methods for examining welds are dye
penetrant, magnetic particle, radiographic, and
ultrasonic. What is the fifth and simplest
nondestructive way to examine welds?
Which of these three famous leading men of Hollywood
intended a career in architecture, starting his film
career almost by accident upon his graduation from
Princeton's architecture program: Cary Grant, Henry
Fonda, or Jimmy Stewart?
Classic Home 036 — Allewelt House, designed by William Turnbull
"The Allewelt House near Madera, California is a little-known California modern classic — neotraditional on the outside, unique on the inside, appropriate to its context both formally and technically, and boldly individual at the same time. The expansive wrap-around porches and the sculptural inner courtyard carved from the simple gable roof provide sensitive adaptations to the hot dry Central California climate."
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