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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 562
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 562 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


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    Spillman Farmer Architects designed the new ArtQuest Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Warchol

    Steel Theatrics
    by Brian Libby

    Next to the defunct blast furnaces of the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — a poignant symbol of changing times — stands a growing arts complex with industrial heritage at center stage.

    Those massive furnaces (and their smaller predecessors) once helped produce steel for such iconic structures as the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, and Hoover Dam, along with armaments for World Wars I and II. Located on the Lehigh River, in the middle of Bethlehem, the plant employed generations of workers and forged the town's industrial identity.

    "We all grew up here and it was within eyeshot of our homes," says Joseph Biondo, a principal at ArtQuest Center designers Spillman Farmer Architects. "We remember the furnaces with their flames and smoke and sounds. I always thought of it as an incredible pipe organ. It was a source of great reverence."


    Theatrics are performed in steel inside as well. Photo: Paul Warchol

    Founded as an iron works in the mid-1800s, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation grew to become one of the largest steel producers in the United States. But it suffered against foreign competition in the 1970s and '80s, leading to extensive layoffs and then to closure of the main plant in 1995. The company ultimately declared bankruptcy in 2001.

    For about a decade, the gigantic site of around 1,800 acres (730 hectares) stood empty, its structures deteriorating. The National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the plant as one of country's most endangered historic places in 2004.

    Since then, several commercial and industrial developments have occurred on various portions of the site. Some of these projects have been architecturally generic, such as the new Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and its accompanying hotel and shopping mall.

    The story is different at the new SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, about a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the west. Its centerpiece, located directly opposite the plant's towering blast furnaces, is the ArtsQuest Center designed by Spillman Farmer Architects.   >>>


    Glass artist Sarah Hall designed the Lux Nova installation for a new wind tower at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, part of a library addition designed by Clive Grout Architects and Walter Francl Architecture. Photo: Michael Elkan

    Art Watts
    by Michael Cockram

    In harnessing solar energy, the usual approach is to bolt an array of panels onto the roof of a building and plug it in. But recent advances such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) allow designers to incorporate solar cells seamlessly into a building's exterior.

    Canadian glass artist Sarah Hall is taking this idea in a novel direction by using solar technology to create a striking contemporary version of stained glass that illuminates the aesthetic potential of PV.

    Hall's Lux Nova installation (2007) at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, was the first permanent installation in North America to integrate stained glass and solar cells, according to the artist.

    Two Vancouver firms, Clive Grout Architects and Walter Francl Architecture, were working to create a new library building that accommodated the school's desire to preserve a park on the site. Their design places the library facility underground, with an iconic "wind tower" above that acts as a stack ventilation shaft.

    The tower is 40 feet (12 meters) tall and triangular in plan. For the south face, Hall was commissioned to create a six-by-24-foot (1.8-by-7.3-meter) vertical collage befitting this graduate school of theology.

    Within each of the 12 constituent panels she designed, solar cells are arranged on an open grid, defining a series of stained-glass cross shapes.   >>>


    Deep-blue silicon-crystal solar cells are woven into the stained-glass composition on the south face of the wind tower, generating power for LED lights that illuminate the Lux Nova tower at night. Photo: Michael Elkan


    VMZINC: The Versatile Choice for Roofs and Walls

    The VMZINC Standing Seam Panel System is a versatile, economical technique applied to roofs and walls. It can be machine- or hand-produced, depending on the design. Available in five colors, it accommodates lines and shadows and is particularly suitable for very large surfaces and for structures located in harsh climates.

    It's fast, easy, private, and secure.

    At our Facebook page on June 8 — Happy Birthday Frank Lloyd Wright!

    Press Release - 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2012 Announced


     Technology Update

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    The new GE Infusion™ LED module offers a flexible, long-lasting, energy-saving lighting solution for commercial environments. Available in a range of lumen packages with high CRI and color temperature options, the modules provide consistent, stable, dimmable white light. Easily maintained and upgraded, with a simple twist-and-lock fit.
    Mobile App on Brick Cladding
    Hanson Brick introduces the "My Hanson Brick" iPad app. Users can view the Hanson Brick catalog, access brick sizing and coursing information, prepare and share project ideas, create customized showcase rooms, and find existing buildings that use specific brick products. 

    Rethinking Workstation Design - AEC Magazine, 2012.0604

    Tips and Tricks Learned During Chamfer Fillet for Revit PIOTM Development - AEC DevBlog, 2012.0601

    AutoCAD 2013 Review - Desktop Engineering, 2012.0601

    3D Printers: Go Pro for Less Dough - Desktop Engineering, 2012.0601

    Changing the LineSpacingFactor for an Aligned Dimension - AutoCAD DevBlog, 2012.0601

    HP Unveils Its New Z-Series Workstations - Desktop Engineering, 2012.0601

    New Product


    Product News - Translucent Concrete Panels

    LUCEM translucent concrete panels incorporate ultra-thin optical fibers with a fine concrete admixture to form high-quality light-transmitting panels for interior and exterior wall-finish, furniture, and decorative applications. The polished panels are offered in standard white, grey, and anthracite color options. Lucem panels are available in thicknesses of either 15 or 30 millimeters, and with a standard panel size of 1250 x 650 millimeters. Custom sizing, with thicknesses up to 1000 millimeters (40 inches) and special detailing options, is also available.


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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Louvered shutters (WI-186)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    Match the project and architect:

    Paimio Sanatorium — Trinity Church, Boston — Boston Public Library — Unité D'Habitation — Farnsworth House — Richards Medical Labs — U.S. Air Force Academy — Larkin Building — Yale Architecture Building — St. Louis Arch — Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco — East Wing, National Gallery of Art — Palau Güell

    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe — H.H. Richardson — Alvar Aalto — Antoni Gaudí — McKim, Mead & White — Louis Kahn — Frank Lloyd Wright — Le Corbusier — Bernard Maybeck — Skidmore, Owings & Merrill — I.M. Pei — Paul Rudolph — Eero Saarinen

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    The slopes of Egyptian pyramids mimic the slopes of mountains in that the main force acting on both is the "dead load" of their own weight. What is the angle of the typical sloping face of the pyramids? Care to guess how much the pyramid at Giza weighs?



    Classic Home 050 — Artists' House in North Sydney, by Glenn Murcutt

    "The house is a long, low, single-story column and beam platform house entirely constructed in steel with a corrugated curved roof and timber terraces. It sits poised above the undulating ground level on its six I-section columns protected from bush fires with complete coverage from an external sprinkler system. The house was designed, according to the architect, to provide the minimum interference with nature and the existing site.... "


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        Steel Design Awards 2002, by ArchitectureWeek

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