Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
ArchitectureWeek No. 563 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Autodesk:
On-Demand Webinar - Why Autodesk BIM for MEP and Structural
Created to address the unique challenges of MEP and structural engineering professionals, this on-demand webinar shows you how Autodesk® BIM solutions in Autodesk® Building Design Suite can help you create better buildings, gain project insight, and collaborate more effectively in order to support more informed design and construction decisions.
Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates designed the Lafayette Tower office building with glass-clad south and west facades organized around a series of stepped elements. Photo: Courtesy Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates
801 17th Street in Washington, D.C.
by William Lebovich
Developer Louis Dreyfus Property Group, now Property Group Partners (PGP), had high goals for its 801 17th Street building, strategically located a block from the White House and Lafayette Park.
Designed by Kevin Roche, the building at 801 17th Street was the first in Washington, D.C. certified as LEED Platinum for Core and Shell, and in May, 2009, one of only 63 buildings worldwide with that status, among 731 total LEED Platinum certified projects, and 11,961 LEED certified projects of all types and levels.
All three of Roche's glass buildings in Washington are startling, as he has participated in challenging the conservative, corporate tastes of Washington. His buildings are not about winning popularity by applying classical motifs or stone spandrels and glass architectural themes popular in NYC between 1920 and 1980.
Given the architecturally sedate surroundings 801 17th Street and the new glass building by Gensler under construction across the street from 801, Mr. Roche's all glass building with its projecting and receding bays of stepped and inverted corbeling and pyramids is startling.
When asked if he had trouble selling his client on such an unusual facade design, startling replied no, "lawyers like corner offices," — and lawyers/lobbyists must be the largest tenant group in Washington.
PGP had bought a bland 1960's office building occupying the northeast corner of H and 17 Streets, with the major facade along 17th St. Once it decided to demolish the existing building, PGP interviewed a prominent local architect and two national firms. This is the third project Kevin Roche has done for PGP in Washington, DC.
According to PGP's Cahill, 801 17th Street is one of only six private buildings with a view of the White House. The others are closer to Lafayette Park and the White House, either along 15th Street, a block east of the White House or along the north side of H Street facing Lafayette Park.
Built in a southern neovernacular style, the Lofts at Habersham flexhouses include ground-floor retail spaces that occupy each unit's full street frontage. Photo: Jonathan Herron
The Amazing Flexhouse
by Thomas Dolan, Lauri Volk, and Todd Zimmerman
The flexhouse is a live-work type that does not match the narrow range of housing types that American builders are comfortable producing. While a range of variations on the shop house, including versions of the flexhouse, have been produced by small specialized builders — typically in greenfield traditional neighborhood developments — it is by far the least common live-work type.
As the flexhouse becomes better understood, and as American neighborhoods evolve to be more accommodating of pedestrian-oriented building types, flexhouse production should increase.
Despite significant housing industry consolidation over the past two decades, large housing producers still account for a minority of new unit production in the United States. In 2009, the top 100 house builders in a Builder Magazine survey accounted for less than 37 percent of all closings, down from a peak of approximately 44 percent in 2006.
Likewise in commercial real estate, the aggregate annual production of commercial and industrial space by small producers outweighs the annual production of large developers. Most of the United States is built by conservative, semiprofessional entities, shunning innovation, building with as low a risk as possible, often with as-of-right zoning.
In addition to the specialized builders comfortable working in urban infill and new traditional neighborhoods, it is possible that America's legions of semiprofessional builder/investors will discover the potential of flexhouse development.
In the appropriate locations, these small developer/investors, precisely because they are risk-averse, make an excellent market for flexhouse locations.
With a group of flexhouses developed and owned by a variety of entities, the risk of reestablishing or creating a walkable mixed-use street, block, or neighborhood can be spread among many investors.
Just as the risk is shared by all, so is the success. Unlike the single-use concentration that tends to be optimized in auto-oriented locations, in places where housing, workplaces, and retail are mixed within walking distance of each other, the diversity itself can enhance the attractiveness and value of all uses and building types.
The metal-clad Z-Bank (1979), in Vienna, Austria, was designed by Austrian Architect Günther Domenig. Photo: Courtesy Wikipedia user Ninanuri
People and Places
Günther Domenig (1934-2012) at Vienna, Austria —
2012 RIBA Awards in London —
Grimshaw at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina —
National Stadium by gmp in Warsaw, Poland
Vienna, Asutria 2011.0615
Austrian deconstructivist architect Günther Domenig died on June 15, 2012 at the age of 77. Wolf D. Prix, director of the Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, issued the following reflection on Domenig. —Editor
Domenig and the Austrian Architecture, by Wolf D. Prix
On YouTube, the famous American rapper "Ice Cube" can be viewed while he is explaining the Eames House, in Los Angeles, California, in a competent way. I am questioning myself, whether a similar scene would be possible in Austria: DJ Ötzi or the Trackshittaz explaining Günther Domenig's Steinhaus.
The word "important" as preliminary stage to being a star is used in an inflationary way today. Nevertheless I insist that Günther Domenig was one of the most important Austrian architects. Important in terms of being weighty.
In my opinion the former Z-Bank branch in the Favoritenstraße in Vienna was one of his best buildings. Long before the convoluted computer architects started using parametric tools to give their lame design a boost, Domenig had not only designed the first three- dimensional facade, but actually built it, too.
Himself, he has never differed from architecture and art, has been able to achieve a building that is uncompromising – located in the baroque thought - creating expressive space sequences and therefore connotes an important contribution to the Austrian Architecture. ...
Press Release — Earn Continuing Education Hours with IgCC Online Course
Green Code Pro has launched a comprehensive new online course covering the 2012 International Green Construction Code. Targeted to architects, contractors, engineers, landscape architects, and other industry professionals, the course provides a detailed learning experience of the code.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
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.
Nail Gun Safety for Builders
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this free guide about preventing nail gun injuries.
Gigapixel Camera Catches the Smallest Details - Nature, 2012.0620
Autodesk Brings Cloud-Based BIM to AEC, Civil Engineering Workflows - Cadalyst, 2012.0619
ZWCAD+ Beta Now Available - ZWCAD Press Release, 2012.0618
Frame Miter Cuts in BOM and Parts List - Autodesk Inventor Blog, 2012.0618
Benchmarking Rendering: Desktop Vs Cloud - UpFront Ezine, 2012.0618
Sharing Autodesk Materials Throughout an Organization - AEC TechTalk, 2012.0615
Product News - Six New Acid-Etched Glass Patterns
Walker Glass is proud to announce the addition of six
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of patterned acid-etched glass and mirror products. The
new designs are a good cross section of our Nuance
capabilities and include patterns on both sides of the
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See our comprehensive visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!
— JW, Consolacion, Philippines
What is autogenous healing?
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
Classic Home 051 — Cozy cottage with dormers, by Albert Harkness
"There is a comfortable cottage-like character to this house that would make it especially desirable for a country or small town home. Its simple gable roof broken by dormers would be very attractive and it has good wall space for vines to ramble over. The plan of both floors is direct and simple; the living room is of pleasing proportions and opens directly on the porch. Weathered timber work in the dormers is suggested, filled in with brick.
The latest architectural headlines, linking across the Web:
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Daily Building, Directory of Architects, Architecture Books,
Building of the Week, Free Classifieds, Great Buildings, the
ArchitectureWeek Online Library, Web Directory, Archiplanet,
Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
House Recycling, by Bob Falk and Brad Guy
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