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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 572
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 572 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Autodesk:

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    Korab Photo

    Balthazar Korab's gorgeous modern photography of Eero Saarinen projects like the John Deere Headquarters (1963) is a cornerstone of his wide-ranging body of work. Photo: Balthazar Korab

    Balthazar Korab - Architect of Photography
    by John Comazzi

    Talk with Balthazar Korab long enough, and a consistent narrative emerges — one of a life and career replete with intriguing contradictions. A photographer with no formal training, he first aspired to be a painter but instead studied architecture, and prefers to be known as “an architect who makes pictures rather than a photographer who is knowledgeable about architecture.”

    He has practiced in a field of photography dominated by large- and medium-format devices but often favors the quickness and agility afforded by handheld 35 mm cameras. And though he will maintain that his training and practice in architecture provided him with the “necessary skills to more completely understand how a building works,” on location he will often wander with an almost childlike fascination, as if he is searching for something elusive.

    His photography demonstrates many of these contradictions as well. His professional images of architecture are recognized for displaying a precision befitting their Modernist subjects, but they are often layered with the idiosyncrasies of atmosphere, weathering, and activity that confound an otherwise “disciplined” picture.

    He has been widely celebrated for his images of iconic Modern architecture, though he often prefers to photograph vernacular buildings, industrial sites, and anonymous structures found in small villages and nameless towns. And when asked to characterize his work in a single sentence, he simply describes it as “softspoken with a bite.”

    When examined across the arc of his life and career, Korab’s oeuvre defies clear categories, or rather, it encompasses many — a fact that makes it quite difficult to identify any consistent or signature style.

    For while Korab is most lauded for his professional photography of midcentury Modern architecture, his archive is equally punctuated by a remarkably diverse compilation of other, lesser-known (though no less significant) portfolios that yield significant insights into his overall approach to photography.   >>>

     
    Washington, D.C. street facade

    Height restrictions contribute to the urban ensemble in Washington, D.C., where buildings work together, despite diverse ages and styles, in forming positive street space. Photo: Kevin Matthews

    On Washington, D.C. Building Height Restrictions
    by Kaid Benfield

    I've been procrastinating this one for a long time. I generally avoid taking stands on controversial local issues in Washington, where I have lived for over four decades, and I am especially uncomfortable being at odds with people I respect and consider friends.

    That said, I can't sit on this any longer: the law that restricts the height of buildings in DC is under attack from all sorts of sources (many of them out-of-towners or relative newcomers to the city, probably not a coincidence). Some of the critics are indeed friends, but I disagree with them on this particular issue.

    I'm here to say that, although there are pros and cons to the height restrictions, the city and its residents are better off with them than without them. In my opinion, the restrictions should stay, pretty much as they are.   >>>

     
    Kitchen plans

    Before and after plan drawings show how a claustrophobic kitchen became more spacious and useful. Image: Courtesy Taunton Press

    Staying Put in Style: Connection by Subtraction
    by Duo Dickinson

    In the original plan for this 1970s contemporary house, half the floor space was chopped up to create a kitchen, laundry, three-quarter bath, and back door.

    The removal of virtually all the non-bearing walls in that part of the plan allowed a tight U kitchen to expand into one that has a full island with pantry closets layered onto the remaining bearing wall.

    The powder room and laundry room were relocated to an existing rear shed pop-out that was previously unheated. Sink and stove locations were maintained to keep costs down, and new cabinetry respected the existing window locations, again saving money.

    The lack of structural and exterior work kept this major redo cost-effective. Demolition is cheap, and, if structurally viable, renovating unfinished unheated space is far less expensive than adding on.   >>>

     
    Federal Center South Building 1202

    Energy-efficient buildings like the Federal Center South Building 1202, located on a brownfield site in Seattle, designed by ZGF Architects for the Army Corps of Engineers, can play a key part in a comprehensive, fact-based approach to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: Courtesy ZGF Architects

    What's Up with U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
    by Kevin Matthews

    A person — or a public figure, member of the media, maybe even an international climate negotiator — could be confused.

    In August, 2012, the Associated Press reported:

    AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

    "PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal."

    The Washington Post picked up the AP story, and added a bit to it:

    AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low; some experts optimistic on global warming

    Since August, the mythical meme of shrinking U.S. greenhouse gas emissions has been picked up and carried forward even by respected sources like Climate Central:

    Can U.S. Carbon Emissions Keep Falling?

    And as recently as November 26, for instance, a climate story in the Guardian said:

    Doha 2012: US Claims 'Enormous' Efforts to Cut Carbon Emissions

    "Greenhouse gas emissions from the US have fallen sharply in
    recent years, owing to the replacement of coal-fired power
    generation by gas in the US, following its widespread adoption
    of shale gas."

    In the same Guardian story, U.S. senior climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing is quoted saying, "Those who don't know what the US is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it's enormous."

    You'd think that there was solid information that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped.

    But the real story is somewhat different.   >>>

     
    P&P Image

    Construction has begun on the South Tower (right), designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), of the Hudson Yards development in New York City. Image: Courtesy visualhouse

    ArchitectureWeek People and Places
    — the blog

    MAD Architects in Mississauga, OntarioConstruction begins on Hudson Yards in New York CityKSG in Ulm, GermanyAIA Gold Medal 2013 to Thom MayneRenowned architect Oscar Niemeyer has died at age 104Herzog and de Meuron in Water Mill, New YorkEPA Smart Growth Awards

    Construction begins on Hudson Yards in New York City
    Ground has broken on the first tower in the Hudson Yards project, on a 26-acre site near the Javits Convention Center on the western edge of Manhattan. The South Tower, one of two office towers designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) will comprise 47 floors and 1.7 million square feet (158,000 square meters).

    Located on the northwest corner of 10th Avenue and 30th Street, the building will house the headquarters of Coach, Inc. and will target LEED Gold certification upon its completion in 2015.

    The South Tower will be joined to its North Tower counterpart by a low-rise retail structure, called the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, that will run along 10th avenue between 30th and 33rd Streets.

    This building cluster will anchor the eastern edge of the development. To the west, a public plaza and park will extend as far as Manhattan's West Side Highway, flanked by a series of high-rise and mid-rise mixed use towers.   >>>

     
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    Computer Engineering: Feeling the Heat - Nature (registration required), 2012.1212

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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Double casement window in stucco wall (WI-036)

     

    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    What would you tell your client if you were asked how decorative thin-film intumescent fireproofing worked?

     
    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    If your client asks you to accommodate three lowerators in the servery, what are you designing?


     
    thumbnail

     

    Classic Home 060 — "Attractive little house" by Richard M. Powers

    "This attractive little four-room house was one of the prize-winning designs in a competition. The architect suggests that the roof covering be of nonfading green slate, that the front wall in the lower story and the walls of the entry be covered with narrow clapboards, and that the remaining walls be covered with wide clapboards, all painted pearl gray. ... "

     

     
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    5 Years Ago
     

    Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:

        Platinum B-Side, by ArchitectureWeek

    5 Years Ago
     

        Public Architecture of Curitiba, by Kevin Matthews

    5 Years Ago
     

        Climate Findings Update, by ArchitectureWeek

       "The world is changing today in a way that has never happened before in the history of architecture."


    10 years Ago
     

    Ten years ago in ArchitectureWeek:

        Saving Modern Moments, by Christian Horn

    10 years Ago
     

        Solar Houses Shine - Solar Decathlon 2002, by Kim A. O'Connell


     
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