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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 558
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 558 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


    Nikken Sekkei designed the Hoki Museum of realist art, in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan. Photo with enhancement: Harunori-Noda/ Gankohsha

    Hoki Museum by Nikken Sekkei
    by C.B. Liddell

    When we are astonished by a building, it is often because we don't fully understand it. In such a case, we strive to close the gap between what we see and what we already know of architecture.

    As we do this, we may arrive at the truth of the design — or we may simply fill the gap with plausible-sounding explanations that turn out to be wrong. Sometimes, it is only a conversation with the architect who created the building that can perhaps clear things up.

    This was my experience with the Hoki Museum, one of the most daring designs for a museum building that I have seen in Japan, and the winner of the 2011 grand prize from the Japan Institute of Architects.

    The building, which houses the realist art collection of business tycoon Masao Hoki, essentially consists of a rather long corridor that is folded over on itself, providing a total floor area of 3,722 square meters (40,060 square feet) in a 1,602-square-meter (17,240-square-foot) building footprint on a 3,862-square-meter (41,570-square-foot) site.

    When I first saw the Hoki, shortly before its opening in August 2010, I was struck by the tubular quality of the design. It channels visitors through what is, in effect, a single gently curved linear space, folded onto three levels. This contrasts with the more conventional art museum layout composed of interlinked rooms on each level, which essentially mimics the European "grand house" of the past.

    Even though most Japanese museums follow the "grand house" layout, the points of interconnection are often closed off during exhibitions to create a single processional route through the rooms, rather like a maze with no junctions.   >>>


    Perkins + Will adapted an existing office building at 1315 Peachtree Street to house its Atlanta offices. Photo: Michelle Litvin

    Design with Enterprise
    by James P. Cramer

    I wasn't always fascinated with architecture and design. I'm not an architect, but I have come to realize how important good design is as an ingredient to better human health and well-being. And how important business skills are to successful practice.

    Design is not as well understood as we would like it to be. It's quite common to encounter people who say that design is a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, with each passing month, it becomes more apparent to me that good design is not only advisable but crucial to both competitive advantage and a better quality of life. Good design is a key to ensuring economic viability and business leadership. Indeed, good design is good business.

    Design, however, needs more advocates. More soul mates. More sellers and persuaders. Good design needs leaders who are positioned to be listened to and who can deliver the message with clarity and conviction.

    In a presentation of the Presidential Design Awards, eight benefits of good design were offered:

    • Good design can improve the quality of our lives.
    • Good design can enhance American competitiveness.
    • Good design can save time and money.
    • Good design can improve performance.
    • Good design can simplify use, manufacture, and maintenance.
    • Good design can improve safety.
    • Good design can enhance communications.
    • Good design can preserve historic and natural resources.

    I come from experiences where I see good design not as a luxury but as a necessity. However, the delivery systems for good design are currently far too weak. There is much to be done.

    My research has led me to a new understanding not only about the importance of good design but about the positioning and principles necessary for success. For I believe there is a map of expanding opportunity for architects and new competitive advantages through design.   >>>


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    P&P Image

    The new Collections Wing at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, features open storage of the Cranbrook collection. Photo: Courtesy SmithGroupJJR

    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    SmithGroupJJR in Bloomfield Hills, MichiganLee, Burkhart, Liu in Santa Barbara, CaliforniaHarley Ellis Devereaux in San Diego, CaliforniaLord, Aeck & Sargent with Francis Cauffman in Augusta, GeorgiaBIG in Vancouver, CanadaKCCT in Valletta, MaltaDavid Chipperfield Architects in Berlin, GermanyCBT Architects in Boston, MassachusettsBJAC in Raleigh, North Carolina...

    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan — 2012.0417
    The Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, recently reopened after a $22 million renovation and expansion designed by the Detroit office of multidisciplinary firm SmithGroupJJR. The project included restoration of the original 1942 structure, designed by Eliel Saarinen, along with construction of the museum's new Collections Wing, which allows for open display of Cranbrook's collected works comprising 6,000 pieces relating to art, architecture, and design in handsome storage vaults accessible to students, academics, and artists.

    The existing museum received substantial upgrades, most of which are hidden from view. The main mechanical plant was redesigned to regulate temperature and humidity at a constant level, and the main entrance was reconfigured slightly on the inside to create an air lock. Also, Saarinen's innovative coffered ceiling lights were restored. Exterior plazas and stairs were renovated and equipped with underground heaters to avoid the need for corrosive salt.

    The new three-story, 31,200-square-foot (2,900-square-meter) Collections Wing consists of three rectangular volumes decreasing in height and width as the building progresses northward, away from the museum. The new building's west facade is a modest brick wall that steps down as the volumes recede. Void of fenestration, its deep-brown bricks are clear-coated and trimmed with fine stainless-steel blades, providing a crisp, understated complement to Saarinen's original design.

    The zinc-clad steel panels enclosing the service court provide a counterpoint to the masonry. Completing the exterior composition is an east facade of light-red brick and a large, square projecting window clad in stainless steel.

    The building interior features utilitarian concrete block construction. Joints of standard gray block have been raked and the concrete's soft coating retained. Accents include stainless-steel plate surrounds and mahogany-plank doors.   >>>

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     Technology Update

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    Getting a BIM Rap: Why Implementations Fail, and What You Can Do about It - AECbytes, 2012.0430

    Trimble Acquires SketchUp from Google - Denver Post, 2012.0427

    Will Intelligent Templates Make Simulation More Accessible? - CAD/CAM Performance, 2012.0425

    Danish University Communicates Professionally in 3D - Utopian City Scape Press Release, 2012.0425

    AutoCAD WS Hearts Google Drive - WorldCAD Access, 2012.0424

    Managing Revit Drawing Revisions in Newforma Project Center - AECbytes, 2012.0424

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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Weathered wood casement window and wood grate in a stuccoed brick wall (WI-177)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    The biobrick was patented by Englishman Thomas Shaw in 1889. How does its manufacture differ from that of a regular clay brick?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    How tall is the Empire State Building? In what year did King Kong climb to its top?



    Classic Home 046 — Chamberlain Cottage, by Marcel Breuer

    "Breuer's understanding of American timber balloon frame constructed on a masonry base is intelligently exaggerated in this house, designed soon after his leaving Europe. The balloon frame is constructed as a truss, allowing cantilevering of the kitchen and 'inglenook' over the lower ground floor entrance, as well as the glazed porch at right angles to the kitchen." — David Dunster, Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: Houses 1900-1944, p98.


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