Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
ArchitectureWeek No. 554 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Autodesk:
Lead the Way - Autodesk Virtual Event
Lead the way with the latest Autodesk® software releases. Our solutions for Building Information Modeling (BIM), Digital Prototyping, and Digital Entertainment Creation can help you gain greater production efficiencies, save time, stay within budget, and solve even the most complex production challenges. Join us on March 29, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. PT.
Urban Design Associates created a master plan for the new Faubourg Lafitte housing development in New Orleans, Louisiana, with the active participation of Lafitte residents. The original 1940s-era Lafitte housing project was demolished in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Image: Urban Design Associates
New Urbanism Now
In terms of ecological and cultural sustainability, only a rarified echelon matches the spectrum of excellence in a recent mixed-use redevelopment project in downtown Berkeley, California.
The project replaced a surface parking lot in a core urban area with two curvilinear buildings: a 97-unit affordable-apartment building and a LEED Platinum-certified office and conference facility for environmental and social-justice organizations, with retail shops at street level and public parking underground — sited together across the street from the University of California, Berkeley campus and within walking distance of numerous transit connections.
Architect Daniel Solomon led the design team for the LEED Platinum-certified David Brower Center, an office building that, together with the adjacent Oxford Plaza mixed-use apartment building, occupies a one-acre (0.4-hectare) site across from UC Berkeley campus in Berkeley, California. Photo: © Tim Griffith
The David Brower Center and Oxford Plaza apartments have just been recognized by the Congress for the New Urbanism in its 2012 Charter Awards.
The awards program honors architecture, landscape, and urban design projects that demonstrate "excellence in fulfilling and advancing the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, which defines the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places from the scale of the region down to the block and building."
The significance of evaluating the quality of placemaking across this range of scales can hardly be overstated. As we discussed in On Travel and the Built Environment, even a sterling carbon-neutral building, erected in a high-VMT location away from the metropolitan core, can induce a significant increase in the overall carbon footprint related to its use. The human health implications of walkable versus auto-centered environments are comparably important.
The Congress for the New Urbanism has been taking these issues head-on since 1993. Guided by the CNU charter, engaged design professionals work to address problems such as sprawl, demographic separations, loss of community, and environmental degradation, through restoration of existing urban centers, reconfiguration of suburbs into true neighborhoods, and preservation of both natural environments and built heritage.
David Brower Center, Berkeley, Calfornia —
Safeway No. 2912, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. —
Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts —
SCAD Museum of Art, Savanna, Georgia |
Lafitte Housing, New Orleans, Louisiana —
Wyvernwood Mixed-Use, Los Angeles, California —
Verkykerskop Farming Town, South Africa —
Vision for Berrien Springs, Michigan |
Town Center, Mount Rainier, Maryland —
Byoung Soo Cho Architects designed the two-story Hanil Visitors Center and Guest House in Yeongju, South Korea, a building intended to showcase uses of recycled concrete.
by Michael Cockram
When we think of sustainability, images of solar panels, thick insulation, and rainwater cisterns might come to mind. But Canadian architect and researcher Mark West is rethinking the bones of concrete structures to find ways to make them as efficient as possible.
West is director of the University of Manitoba's Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST), where the research revolves around fabric-formed concrete. The process uses pliable fabric to make innovative, efficient structural shapes.
Researchers from around the world join architecture students in a 5,500-square-foot (510-square-meter) hands-on laboratory that looks more like a precast plant than an educational space. Out of this marriage of art, architecture, engineering, and construction comes a unique vocabulary of organic, sensual, efficient structural form.
Breaking the Mold
West's premise is that fabric forming can free us from the "uniform section," meaning the consistent shape from end to end of an element such as a beam or column. "Concrete is unlike most other building materials because it's not produced from a milling operation," West says. "Just about everything else we use comes out of a mill in sticks and sheets."
He points out that in many situations, the uniform section is the perfect solution, since it adapts well to different loading conditions. But the fundamental reason that concrete beams are rectangular is because the mold material comes in rectilinear shapes. "Anything besides a box becomes expensive and difficult," he says.
West is bucking this paradigm by using flexible fabric molds, and by using three principles to guide his research: simplicity, sustainability, and accessibility to people with limited skills and resources.
In making the molds, CAST often incorporates geotextile fabric, a tough material that's used in everything from landscaping weed barriers to underlayment for roadways. To make a mold, the fabric is usually held in place by a wood support structure.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
4D Modeling of Industrial Projects
Synchro Ltd. has issued a white paper on the emerging technology
of four-dimensional modeling and planning of industrial
projects: "4D Modeling of Large Industrial Projects Using
Spatio-Temporal Decomposition," by V.A. Seminov and Tom
How 3D Printing Works
Z Corporation offers a white paper that discusses the inception
and evolution of 3D printing, explores in depth how a 3D printer
produces a physical model, and examines the defining attributes
of a Z Corporation 3D printer and the technology decisions that
Share and Sync 3D Models and Other Assets with Buzzsaw for Android - Plain Dealer, 2012.0326
Taking Another Look at 3D - Cadalyst, 2012.0322
iTech Uses BIM Bang-Whizzery at Al Mafraq Hospital - ConstructionWeek Online, 2012.0322
SolidWorks Software Inventor Creates CAD Innovations - Boston Globe, 2012.0320
How Much RAM Should You Buy for a CAD Workstation? - CAD Speed, 2012.0320
Projectmates Project Management Software Named Constructech Top Product - Systemates Press Release, 2012.0320
Project LOD for BIM - Applying Technology to Architecture, 2012.0319
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How many square meters in a hectare? Too easy? How many
square feet in an acre?
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Classic Home 042 — Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21, by Pierre Koenig
"e house is a 30-foot by 44-foot (9-meter by 13-meter) rectangle, and the roof structural system extends another 30 feet (9 meters) to encompass the entry and carport. By compressing the plan, Koenig was able to establish a linear progression from the carport and main entry at the northern end of the site, through a transition zone into the living room area and out to the garden at the southern end of the axis. In the living room area is a deep pile carpet with furniture grouped to define a conversation area. ...
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