Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
This quintessential glass pavilion crowns the penthouse level of Espace Jacqmotte, a derelict coffee plant in Brussels that has been redesigned and redeveloped into a stunning mixed-use complex. Photo: Courtesy Jaspers-Eyers & Partners
Espace Jacqmotte - Mixed-Use in Brussels
When architect Michel Jaspers discovered this full city block,
left vacant for decades and fallen into disrepair, he conceived
to transform it into what the Espace Jacqmotte is today:
probably first large-scale mixed-use complex in the heart of
Brussels. The aim was to provide a mix of functions, thereby
fulfilling the needs of various different occupants and
Within the constraints of the existing urban block in the
historic centre of a major European capital, the project
involved the careful preservation and restoration of its most
authentic elements and classified facades, combined with
contemporary additions designed in the spirit of the historic
industrial fabric of the area.
Inside the Espace Jacqmotte complex, the more recently added
central part of the industrial block was demolished in order to
restore the original, open inner courtyard. In addition to
providing natural lighting and ventilation to the surrounding
compounds, it has now become a landscaped inner garden equipped
with a pond - a peaceful and quiet place in which to escape from
busy city life.
Espace Jacqmotte takes its name from the initial owner and
occupant of the site, the well-known Belgian coffee brand
Jacqmotte. Both the 'Maison Jacqmotte' and the production plant
were located in the same building, which dates back to 1828.
Jacqmotte left the building in the mid-1980s and the entire
block was left abandoned for several years. In the early 1990s,
architect Michel Jaspers took a special interest in this urban
city block and envisioned both its renovation and revival.
The renovated Espace Jacqmotte has been transformed into a
mixed-use complex including retail units along the famous Rue
Haute, an art gallery, coffee shop, office spaces and a series
of luxury apartments, with the penthouse apartment and glass
pavilion on top.
Ada Louise Huxtable wrote pungently and appreciatively about Lever House in 1957.
Photo: Courtesy Library of Congress
Ada Louise Huxtable
by Michael J. Crosbie
When she died on January 7, Ada Louise Huxtable,
America's first full-time architecture critic to write
for a newspaper, went out the way she came in. She
joined the New York Times in 1963 and a half-century
later she continued to write intelligent and at times
lacerating architectural criticism for the Wall Street
Journal. In her last published piece, she heaped scorn
upon architect Norman Foster's scheme to gut the stacks
of the landmark New York Public Library. It was
published three weeks before her death at the age of 91.
Huxtable made architecture a household word. While earlier writers had written about architecture on an occasional basis in newspapers and in elite outlets such as the New Yorker, Huxtable made it part of daily conversation.
In the decade following her arrival at the Times, newspapers around the country began to hire their own full-time architecture critics—such as Paul Gapp at the Chicago Tribune. In 1970, Huxtable won the first Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, and went on to win a MacArthur "genius" Fellowship in 1981.
Huxtable viewed architecture not just in terms of style and aesthetics, but as a living, breathing manifestation of what a culture valued. No single building really mattered to Huxtable — she was interested in how groups of buildings, urban spaces, street life, neighborhoods, sunlight, air, and materials came together to create a place. She wrote about how politics and money shaped architecture. Huxtable approached architecture not as a refined art above the fray of the everyday, but as the spice that gave the built environment its flavor.
The global fossil fuel industry continues to project business-as-usual for decades to come, as shown in these recent long-term projections from BP. Science, however, tells us that about 80% of known reserves need to stay in the ground to preserve civilization. Image: BP
2013 - Year of Climate Decision
by Kevin Matthews
Either by action, or by inaction, it's most likely that
the climate decision will be made this year.
The decision, simply put, is whether to step aside from
business-as-usual, and fully mobilize, or to generally
continue business as usual, and condem humanity to a
thousand years of torture.
The decisiveness of this particular historical moment is highlighted by an important new paper in Nature (with the classically obscure name, Probabilistic Cost Estimates for Climate Change Mitigation) which finds first, that when we start serious change is the most important factor in limiting the damage from climate change, and second, that we have to start serious change now, with policy shifts comparable to an international carbon price of $60 a tonne by 2015, to, essentially, save the day.
The study further finds that if we wait until 2020 to make our pivot to serious change, the effort would have to be equivalent to an international carbon price of $150 per tonne.
If we wait until 2025, then there's no realistic level of effort modeled by the researchers that would have a reasonable likelihood of preventing devastating (and multiplying) impacts.
In this graph of U.S. average temperature projections from the new Draft U.S. National Climate Assessment, the solid red line represents temperatures increasing by more than 10°F within current lifetimes, following a "high emissions scenario" pathway — which current business-as-usual is exceeding.
Image: Draft U.S. National Climate Assessment
A section of floor was removed between the main living level and the finished attic, and a new window array was installed at the peak of the vaulted space. Photo: Mick Hales
Staying Put in Style: Baring All
by Duo Dickinson
Most American suburban homes have more walls than people
want. There are two types of walls in most homes: those
that carry weight (bearing walls) and those that don't
Removing walls that carry weight means that you have to have beams and columns to carry that load down through the home to the ground. Walls that act only as curtains can simply be pulled back and removed.
In this typical small suburban Cape, there were a few walls too many, so those were removed to fully connect the living spaces.
In the living room where an existing column had to be pulled back to accommodate a new entry path, the end of the existing beam was left to cantilever to carry the load above but its underside was cut to a gentle curve to make a potentially awkward element a visual feature.
Similarly, a staircase that divided the two social areas of the house had been enclosed by two walls and those two areas were further separated by a door.
By leaving the stairs in place, removing all the walls above the stringers (the diagonal trim on either side of the steps themselves) and the door, and adding an open railing, maximum visual connection was achieved
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Flexible LED Module
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.
Software for Sizing Wood Framing Members
Forte™ software from Weyerhaeuser is a powerful tool for sizing wood framing members, including joists, headers, beams, wall studs, and columns. Easy to use, it offers the ability to quickly compare alternatives, and provides exporting capabilities that facilitate information sharing.
NASA, Autodesk Partner for Sustainable Building Monitoring - TenLinks, 2013.0123
Dutch Architect to Build House with 3D Printer - Physorg, 2013.0123
Combine Multiple AutoCAD Layers into One - Cadalyst, 2013.0122
AEC Project Presentations from Bentley's "Be Inspired" Awards - AECbytes, 2013.0117
Mapping Technology Saves $3 Million for Australian Tunnel Project - Cadalyst, 2013.0116
IRIS Produces Full-Color 3D Models from Printer Paper - Cadalyst, 2013.0116
Product News - Jaga Vertiga Convector
The Vertiga convector by Jaga is made entirely of renewable components. In this product, Jaga unites Low-H20 low-temperature and dynamic boost effect (DBE) technologies with good design. The radiator is equipped with two air heat exchangers with copper tubes and aluminum fins aquifers. It can be used with low-temperature energy systems such as condensing boilers and heat pumps.
See our comprehensive visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!
"It's a fantastic resource."
— RCA, Athens, Greece
If your contractor told you that he had to install "Gringo
Blocks" at each opening, what type of construction would you
be involved with? What would the blocks be made of?
What would you tell your client if you were asked how decorative
thin-film intumescent fireproofing worked?
Classic Home 061 — J. Ford House, by Marcel Breuer
"This house in Lincoln, Massachusetts was built on a site near the Gropius House and the Breuer II House. The design originally accommodated two adults, a daughter, and a maid on a sloping site at the edge of the woods. The house is oriented for sunlight and views to a small pond to the south. The house is wood frame with vertical siding and steel casement windows. A flagstone terrace with trellis is adjacent to a small dining room along the southeast corner. A sun screen composed of redwood boards and specially designed brackets runs the entire length of the south wall at the upper floor windows....
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