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ArchitectureWeek No. 552 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Wiley:
Originally built starting in 1868, opened in glory then slowly faded into disrepair and near-demolition, the grand hotel at St. Pancras Station in London is now restored and reopened as the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Photo: Hufton + Crow
St. Pancras Resurrection
by Jo Baker
Sir Gilbert Scott's confection of a masterpiece, which has not
made its way lightly through the years, rises none the less
regally from the front of London's historic St. Pancras railway
When built in the late 1800s as the Midland Grand Hotel, the building was a hallmark of high Victorian sumptuousness,
designed to prove that the gothic style could suit commercial
architecture. Yet as a large hotel with just a handful bathrooms
on the cusp of the en-suite revolution, it was doomed to fall
quickly out of fashion.
The hotel closed in the 1930s, revived only to serve as offices
for British Rail. In the 1960s, fans of the hotel and train
station, which was by then also underused, fought hard to keep
the complex from being demolished, and also succeeded in
hoisting its National Heritage listing from Grade III to a
better-protected Grade I. But after being abandoned by British
Rail in 1985, the hotel, then known as the St. Pancras Chambers,
fell into disrepair.
The two buildings' fates changed a decade later with the
selection of St. Pancras as the terminus for Eurostar, the new
high-speed passenger rail service to France.
The Manhattan Loft Corporation of London was part of the winning
consortium for the hotel's revival as a railway hotel, and later
took over the role of developer of the entire project, with
Marriott as operator and the British firm RHWL Architects
leading the design. And after the obligatory green light was
given by English Heritage - the government-sponsored body that
manages England's historic built environment - the St. Pancras
Chambers was given a new lease on life.
The objective of the whole project team was to resuscitate the
gothic beauty of the seven-story building while producing a
profitable, functional hotel in line with modern design and
technology standards. Success has followed in most of these
The 245-room St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London was thrown
open in May 2011 to high acclaim, having cost the Manhattan Loft
Corporation over £200 million - more than £50 million over
budget. The refurbishment saga had taken eight years, pitted the
demands of English Heritage against those of UK legislation on
health and safety and the hospitality market, and involved
dozens of different contractors and specialists.
Much of the reconfiguration needed to make the hotel work, both
functionally and financially, skirted the building's historical
The architects and developer worked with conservation architect
Richard Griffiths Architects, under the strict eye of English
Heritage, to build a new 120,000-square-foot
(11,000-square-meter) wing of modern, executive-style box rooms
adjacent to the train shed (which underwent its own separate
restoration and expansion).
The Richard-Berg House in Madison, Wisconsin, is a Platinum-certified LEED for Homes project that was designed by Richard Wittschiebe Hand using BIM modeling software.
Photo: Courtesy Carol Richard/ Richard Wittschiebe Hand
Sustainable by BIM: Two Case Studies
by Carol Richard and James Anwyl
This pair of case studies explores the use of building
information modeling (BIM) in small-scale sustainable
design projects. — Editor
Ross Street House
by Carol Richard
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Design firm: Richard Wittschiebe Hand
Client: Carol Richard and Fred Berg
The goal of the owners was to design and build a modern, affordable, and sustainable single-family home that would last the couple throughout their retirement years. The owners, an architect and her husband, an engineer, took an integrated design approach to the project. This allowed them to work on the project together, which was another key project goal.
The Ross Street House achieved LEED for Homes Platinum-level certification — the first project to do so in the state of Wisconsin.
The 50-foot- (15-meter-) wide, 130-foot- (40-meter-) deep city lot faces due south and falls off gradually to the rear. It is located on the near-west side of Madison in a modest neighborhood. The undeveloped, infill site was chosen because of its proximity to essential services, parks, and bike paths, and because it is only one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the University of Wisconsin.
The concept of the design is that of a carefully controlled light box, and BIM (ArchiCAD) was extensively used in developing the home from its inception.
Several sun studies informed the development of the brise-soleil on the southern elevation of the home, and guided the form of the building. The louvers are designed to allow the sun to penetrate deep into the house between October and February, while shading the windows from May to August.
Prepping Your BIM Model for Construction Scheduling and Logistics - Screencast
Watch this free screencast hosted by Autodesk® Technical Marketing Manager Anthony Governanti, and see how to modify your BIM model in Revit® format and modify it for the construction process. You'll learn how to:
• Schedule with the Navisworks timeliner
• Organize the model by construction phase or zone
• Maximize amounts of BIM data from the models received from the design team
Chinese architect Wang Shu, recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Photo: Zhu Chenzhou
Wang Shu Gallery
The Pritzker Architecture Prize has usually been given to an
internationally well-known architect. In contrast, with the
announcement of the 2012 Pritzker Prize award to Wang Shu last
week, many architectural observers confronted a Pritzker-winning
oeuvre being seen for almost the first time.
With significantly less critical review of Wang Shu's creations
having occurred previous to his Pritzker Prize than usual, at
least in English - and standing among the ranks of newcomers to
Wang Shu - the editors of ArchitectureWeek will not move quickly
in expressing interpretation and evaluation of his body of work.
Not only is there the challenge of accurate interpretation
through translation of technical and architectural theory
terminology, and in robust fact-checking back to sources in
China, but in addition Wang Shu has built in an impressively
wide variety of building types and styles. A fair and lasting
assessment of such a range of designs as we see from his office
is not likely to be reached overnight.
At the same time - overnight as it were - Wang Shu is now in
fact an important international architect.
This gallery is offered, therefore, so that Wang Shu's work may
speak for itself - as all architecture ultimately must.
We hope you can join us in taking a long and thoughtful look.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Software for Sizing Wood Framing Members
Forte™ software from Weyerhaeuser is a powerful tool for
sizing wood framing members, including joists, headers, beams,
wall studs, and columns. Users can size dimension lumber and
engineered wood products, accounting for seismic and wind loads.
This easy-to-use software allows quick comparisons of
Vectorworks Architect 2012
With Vectorworks® Architect 2012 software, you can create
building information models without giving up the ease of design
you're used to. Whether you're looking to streamline costs,
analyze materials, increase your energy efficiency, or just
create world-class designs, with the Vectorworks Architect
solution, BIM just works. Enjoy the robust and flexible
capabilities of BIM with the ease of design, great
documentation, and intelligent tools that the software is known
for - right from the start.
A significant Apple iPad announcement is expected on March 7, 2012
3dboxx 3970 Xtreme - Cadalyst, 2012.0301
Role of BIM in Infrastructure Seismic Retrofits - Structure, 2012.0301
A Review of the Lytro Camera - New York Times, 2012.0229
Sustainable by BIM: Two Case Studies - ArchitectureWeek, 2012.0229
Trimble's Ruggedized Juno Takes GIS on a Field Trip - Cadalyst, 2012.0229
Product News - Green Roof for Steep Slopes
American Hydrotech, Inc. offers the Garden Roof®
Assembly for extensive and intensive green roofs. An
extensive green roof can be installed on flat or steeply
sloped roofs, with pitches up to 12:12 (45 degrees),
using special engineering to accommodate shear forces
and ensure soil retention. Pitches greater than 3:12
require the GardNet® soil confinement system
(pictured), made of polyethylene strips connected by
offset ultrasonic-welded seams. Its ability to conform
to irregular surfaces also makes it well-suited for
undulating and complex roofs.
See our comprehensive new visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!
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Although "caryatid" sounds like a species of shellfish,
it is a special form of column used to support the
corners of some ancient buildings, such as the
Erechtheum. How would you describe these columns? By the
way, where is the Erechtheum?
In the metric system, the values of live and dead loads
on floors, and wind loads on walls, are expressed in
Classic Home 040 — Cary House, by Joseph Esherick
"It...is a fairly simple box, elaborated by the eyelashes and eyebrows of overhangs which soften the transition from the simple box to the bright light of the outside. There, I think, for the first time in several centuries, the windows came clearly to be seen not just as walls of glass as in earlier houses, nor as holes in solid walls, as in still earlier ones, but rather variously as chances to pick up light along a wall or floor or to look at a view through an opening shaded by trellises, each window responding to the special aspects of what lay beyond or the quality of entering light."
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