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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 556
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 556 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


    The Saltzman Farmhouse by Margaret McCurry exemplifies her compelling approach to blending high culture with architectural neo-vernacular. Photo: Johansen Krause/Courtesy ORO editions

    Distilled Farmhouse
    by Margaret McCurry and Stanley Tigerman

    Compelled by sentimentality and the knowledge that the former owners (a farm family) would be retained to work the land, a Chicago couple commissioned architect Margaret McCurry to convert a 26-acre (11-hectare) farm in Galien, Michigan, into an expanded family compound while preserving as much as was practical of the original farmhouse.

    Compelled by sentimentality and the knowledge that the former owners (a farm family) would be retained to work the land, a Chicago couple commissioned architect Margaret McCurry to convert a 26-acre (11-hectare) farm in Galien, Michigan, into an expanded family compound while preserving as much as was practical of the original farmhouse.

    This modest one-and-a-half-story structure was crudely constructed. Metal clapboard covered the original simulated-brick asphalt shingles, and the eight-foot (2.4-meter) ceilings on the first floor were oppressive.

    The land rose at the rear of the house, where assorted outbuildings in varying stages of disrepair peppered the landscape. The most disreputable crowded close to the farmhouse, blocking expansion to the rear. After serious soul-searching, it was agreed that these crumbling structures would be taken down and the most reusable, which were aligned along an east-west axis, would be saved.

    The most reasonable reuse of the low-ceilinged existing farmhouse was as a bedroom wing. The old house was stripped down to its original two-by-four wood frame and new, symmetrically disposed window openings were created. Two guest bedrooms with baths were designed to fill the first floor, as lofts with accompanying baths for grandchildren were constructed in the attic.

    A new master bedroom was "hyphened" from the main house by a flat-roofed section that gave one loft a deck and access to a playhouse in the bedroom attic. A variance permitted the four-foot (1.2-meter) extension of a porch into the front yard, engaging the existing gable.   >>>


    Tumbled slate, custom accent tiles, and a built-in shower seat can add up to a stylish open bath that's also wheelchair-accessible. Photo: Roe A. Osborn/ Courtesy Fine Homebuilding

    How to Tile a Eurobath
    by Tom Meehan

    One aspect of civilization that the Romans got right was the tiled bath. Since then, Europeans have built tiled bathrooms that present no distinction between the shower and the rest of the room.

    This success of this design depends on lots of tile and a mortar substrate that slopes to a strategically placed floor drain. A lack of thresholds also makes this kind of bathroom perfect for wheelchair access.

    On this side of the pond, so-called Eurobaths have found their way into the mainstream of American bathroom design, even when accessibility is not a factor. I recently completed such a bathroom for a homeowner who needed an accessible, elegant design.

    Reframing the Floor Around the Drain Gets You Ahead of the Game

    The key to a successful Eurobath is pitching the floor to a single drain in or near the shower area. The best way to create this pitched floor is with a full mortar bed, also called a mud job. The process is similar to what is done for a shower-stall floor, only now the mud job covers the entire room.

    Before taking on a bathroom of this type, I check the existing floor for level. A floor pitched strongly away from the drain is usually enough for me to pass on the job. I also make sure the floor is good and strong without any bounce.

    To keep the finished floor from ending too high at doorways, I had the carpenters on this job frame a 1.5-inch recess in the shower area, replacing the two-by-ten joists with narrower two-by-sixes that then were tripled for added strength.   >>>

    P&P Image

    At Cal State Northridge, construction is complete on the new Student Recreation Center, designed by LPA, Inc. Photo: © Costeo Photography

    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    LPA, Inc. in Northridge, Californiagmp in Changzhou, ChinaGonzalez Goodale Architects in Sun Valley, CaliforniaGene Kaufman, Architect and Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman in New York, New YorkPopulous in Miami, FloridaRTKL in Baltimore, MarylandKCCT in Ezulwini, Swazilandgmp in Hangzhou, ChinaDavid M. Schwarz Architects with HKS in Las Vegas, Nevada...

    Northridge • 2012.0403
    Construction of the new Student Recreation Center at California State University, Northridge, located in Northridge, California, has been completed. The $62.3 million, 138,000-square-foot (12,800-square-meter) facility was designed by Irvine-based architecture firm LPA, Inc. Located on the outer fringe of campus, the building rises 58 feet (18 meters) and delineates a new campus edge. The east facade is mostly glass, revealing indoor activity to passersby. The facility contains two outdoor pools; basketball, volleyball, and badminton courts; a weight-training and fitness zone; a jogging track; and a 40-foot (12-meter) rock climbing wall.

    The LEED Gold-targeting building includes many sustainable design features, such as displacement ventilation, recycled-content and low-emitting materials, water-efficient native landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, a rooftop photovoltaic array, rainwater harvesting, and FSC-certified wood products.

    Ninety percent of usable spaces are daylit, thanks in part to daylighting tubes. Louvers shade the east-facing glass, yet allow for views of playing fields and the mountains beyond. The use of a repetitive structural model for the building's exterior, along with a cost-effective corrugated metal skin, offset the costs of other, more expensive materials. Vertical perforated aluminum fins control direct sunlight during morning hours, while the gently sloped roof drives the removal of hot air.

    C.W. Driver of Southern California served as construction manager at risk for the facility, which opened earlier this year.   >>>

    Native Trails offers artisan-crafted, eco-conscious furnishings and fixtures for kitchen and bath design. Rooted in the traditions of centuries-old artisan craftsmanship, we take every opportunity to use recycled, reclaimed, or sustainably certified materials to bring eclectic sophistication to luxury living.
    It's fast, easy, private, and secure.

     Technology Update

    Sponsor this ArchWeek special section and build your brand:
    Blueprints on the iPad
    PlanGrid is a free iPad app for contractors that lets you take project plans and drawings into the field. The app is easy to set up and use, with a fast proprietary graphics engine. The cloud service makes versioning easy.  
    PassivHaus Design Primer
    Download a basic guide to PassivHaus design, an ultra-low-energy construction standard used in the U.S. and Europe. Through insulation, airtightness, and heat-recovery ventilation, buildings can be designed and built to reduce heating energy needs up to 90 percent compared to the existing building stock, while maintaining high indoor air quality.

    TurboCAD Pro 19 - UpFront Ezine, 2012.0410

    Gehry Technologies Awarded BIM Award by AIA - Gehry Technologies Press Release, 2012.0410

    AutoCAD Tip - Fix Gaps and Off-Angled Lines with AutoConstrain - Cadalyst, 2012.0410

    Synchronize Views with Layer State Manager, Including Sheet Set Manager - Cadalyst, 2012.0409

    Review of the HP Z1 Workstation - Desktop Engineering, 2012.0409

    Open BIM Aims to Overcome Collaboration Challenges of Modern AEC Workflows - Cadalyst, 2012.0405

    New Product


    Product News - LED Track Lighting

    Nora Lighting introduces Cori, an LED track lighting fixture that uses multiple LEDs to produce higher lumens and beam spreads without creating forward heat. The fixture includes an integral driver unit with a die-cast aluminum head. Styled fins dissipate heat to extend the unit's performance life. With a slim, low-profile design, the fixture is well suited for commercial, retail, art, and jewelry applications. Available in 12 watts or 23 watts, with color temperatures of 3000K (warm white) or 4200K (cool white). ...


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    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    The ratio of span to thickness in a thin-shell concrete dome is so high that these concrete shells have often been compared to eggshells. How similar are the actual ratios for concrete shells and eggshells?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    Between 1505 and 1605, the replacement for the Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was built. During that 100-year period, nearly every notable Roman architect was involved. Which two famous architects were most influential?



    Classic Home 044 — Brick-face bungalow by George W. Repp

    "An attractive face brick bungalow containing five rooms and bath. The roof of this house should be of masonry- or slate-surfaced shingles. Interesting features of this plan include a fireplace with large inglenook arranged as an extension of the living room. The living quarters of the house are well separated from sleeping rooms. An enclosed entry porch adds to the convenience of the kitchen. Bedrooms have ample closet space with a window in each closet. "


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