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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 579
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 579 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more.


    An Illustrated Guide to ADAAG Requirements

    Applying the ADA explains how to apply the American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines across a wide range of building types — both new construction and renovations — including healthcare, educational, office, retail, mixed-use, and senior living facilities.

    Learn more


    Hopkins Architects designed Refectory and Hostry buildings on the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, in Norwich, England. Photo: Paul Tyagi

    Hopkins at Norwich
    by Rob Gregory, Paul Finch, and Michael Hopkins

    In the fourteen years between 1995 and 2009, Hopkins Architects were responsible for the design and realization of the largest building project that Norwich Cathedral had seen since the Middle Ages.

    Commissioned by the Dean and Chapter to cater to ever-increasing numbers of visitors, a new Refectory and Hostry were required. A site was identified beyond the cloister within Cathedral Close, away from a maze of existing medieval archaeology that included the foundations and porch of the original Hostry and the original Refectory wall.

    Hopkins, however, proposed a strategy based on the formal and functional recreation of the buildings in their original locations, not as replicas but as new spaces that could carry forward the memories of the originals and extend the Benedictine traditions of hospitality and education.

    Through this, a masterplan was proposed that would use the integration of these newly revived functions to restore the coherence of the Cathedral cloister as the heart of the entire Cathedral precinct.

    Building Among the Ruins

    Initially an elaborate and technically sophisticated solution was proposed to bridge over the original foundations, but detailed archaeological studies showed that a more low-tech solution was possible, with carefully positioned pad foundations and embedded steel reinforcement that would enable the reconstruction of the Hostry wall in its original location.

    The choice of stone was key, since the architects wanted to communicate the public nature of these new buildings with a grain of masonry that would sit somewhere between the fine ashlar of the Cathedral and the flint more commonly associated with local domestic architecture.   >>>

    full story online (16 images, nine free)

    Glass balustrades, as used at the stepback balconies on this building, are a dangerous trend for birds, especially when they front vegetation. Photo: Michael Moran

    Bird-Friendly Design - Part Two: Problems with Glass
    by Christine Sheppard

    Glass can be perceived differently depending on a number of factors, including how it is fabricated, the angle at which it is viewed, and the difference between exterior and interior light levels.

    Combinations of these factors can cause it to look like a mirror or dark passageway, or to be completely invisible. Humans do not actually "see" most glass, but are cued by context such as mullions, roofs or doors.

    Birds, however, do not perceive right angles and other architectural signals as indicators of obstacles or artificial environments.

    Viewed from outside, transparent glass on buildings is often highly reflective. Almost every type of architectural glass, under the right conditions, reflects the sky, clouds, or nearby habitat familiar and attractive to birds. When birds try to fly to the reflected habitat, they hit the glass.

    Reflected vegetation is the most dangerous, but birds also attempt to fly past reflected buildings or through reflected passageways.

    Birds also strike transparent windows as they attempt to access potential perches, plants, food or water sources, and other lures seen through the glass.   >>>

    full story online (10 images, five free)

    The Creative Playthings cardboard playhouse was available starting circa 1970. Photo: Courtesy University of Minnesota Press

    Designing the Creative Child
    by Amy F. Ogata

    At the same time that middle-class children gained space in the general living areas of the family house and their bedrooms were decorated to enhance self-esteem and creativity, they also acquired their own miniature dwellings.

    A profusion of designs for indoor and backyard playhouses transformed a formerly elite amusement into a middle-class toy that parents could assemble or make themselves, reinforcing the image of the dwelling and its attendant ideal of "creative living" as an emblem of postwar family life.

    Although children have probably always sought out spaces removed from adults, the wherewithal to present them with their own separate houses for play was once the exclusive pleasure of the rich.

    Victorian Beginnings

    In the nineteenth century, diminutive playhouses erected for children, such as Queen Victoria's 1854 Swiss Cottage, built for her children at Osborne House, and the Peabody and Stearns structure that Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned for his children, especially his daughters Gertrude and Gladys, in Newport, Rhode Island, were princely additions to large estates.

    These examples, which had working kitchens, their own china and glassware, and seating for guests, taught practical skills — which these children would probably never need to use — as a form of play. Emulating the practices of the aristocracy, wealthy British children also enjoyed their own private domestic spaces, especially in the garden.

    The Arts and Crafts garden designer Gertrude Jekyll recommended a separate, two-room playhouse with a working stove and surrounding gardens, claiming children would "look back on its lessons of play-work with thankfulness, both for joyful memories and for the abiding usefulness of all that it had taught them." In Jekyll's descriptions, the child's house and garden were physically removed from the adult sphere, but their practical lessons in the arts of domesticity were training for adulthood.

    Just before and after World War I, wealthy Americans began building or buying playhouses for their children, but, unlike those with working appliances, these dwellings were uniquely for pretend. Under the banner heading "To Develop Creativeness," playhouses and educational toys were recommended to readers of Vogue magazine in 1915, and a prefabricated playhouse was available through House and Garden the following year. By the late 1930s, playhouses for middle-class children were described as educational amusements, especially for summer months.

    Post-war Boom

    It was after World War II, however, that the playhouse became thoroughly middle-class, and its construction or assembly a family hobby. In addition to Sunset, magazines such as American Home, Women's Home Companion, Ladies' Home Journal, Popular Science, and Parents' Magazine published plans and hints for do-it-yourself playhouses and championed the playhouse's potential for stimulating imagination.   >>>

    full story online (16 images, nine free)
    P&P Image

    Rapson's second-place design for a National Association of Homebuilders competition in 1950. Image: Ralph Rapson

    People and Places
    by ArchitectureWeek

    Ralph Rapson - Small House Competition DesignRDH Architects near Mississauga, OntarioAIA Housing Design AwardsRalph Rapson in Otaniemi, Paimio, & MyyrmakiTony Fretton Architects - Housing in Den HelderRalph Rapson in IstanbulRobert M. Gurney Architect - House in Lewes, DelawareThomas Phifer and Partners at Clemson UniversityWilmotte & Associates at St. Pancras SquareRalph Rapson in Quito, Ecuador

    Ralph Rapson - Small House Competition Design
    In 1950, the National Association of Home Builders held a nationwide housing competition for a small 1,000-square-foot house plan tailored to a particular region of the country. Amazingly, the competition drew some seven thousand entries, making it the largest competition in its day.

    The rules permitted only one entry per person, but since I had worked out two designs, I decided to enter one in Mary's name. At the last moment. I flipped a coin to decide how to credit the designs.The entry submitted under my name received second national overall prize and first prize for homes designed for the southeast region.

    The other entry won nothing. What would have happened if the coin flip had resulted in Mary's name on the winning award?   >>>

    postings continue online
    It's fast, easy, private, and secure.

    Log exports at North Bend, Oregon, at the International Port of Coos Bay. Richard Chasm reports that, "These ships line up and as soon as one is filled, another moves up." Photo: Richard Chasm

    Letters to the Editor - Do the Owls Overharvest Timber?

    To the Editor,
    I agree that there are many myths circulating today about the U.S. timber system.

    Here in Douglas County, in western Oregon, the top saw log producing area in the nation, our county budget is broken and things are tough for rural residents. Some people still blame the owls.

    The spotted owl did not bring about Douglas County's current financial difficulties — over-harvesting public timber did.

    As hundreds of log trucks a day rolled to the mills, national environmental groups lodged a NEPA suit over the Spotted Owl. A Federal judge took one look and shut down the harvest levels because laws were being broken. The BLM and Forest Service sold too much timber in order to appease the big mills and county commissioners. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) signed into law by President Nixon was well known and clearly violated. Breaking the law caused these problems, not the spotted owl. ...   >>>

    full story online (three images, three free)

    Press Release - GSA Green Building Advisory Committee Recommends LEED for All GSA Buildings


     Technology Update

    Sponsor this ArchWeek special section and build your brand:
    Glass Specification Tool
    Walker Glass is proud to introduce the first three-part specifications on acid-etched glass, mirror, and anti-slip glass. These editable documents provide a great tool for specifying acid-etched products in a more elaborate way, helping architects to consider all relevant information, including performance, aesthetics, and quality. 
    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.

    Clean Machines More Quickly with System Mechanic - Cadalyst, 2013.0522

    Approach Disruptive Technologies with Caution - Cadalyst, 2013.0522

    Working with Raw Input from a User with AutoLISP - Hyperpics, 2013.0521

    Autodesk ReCap Point Cloud Review and Processing - Ideate Solutions, 2013.0521

    Controlling Plot Thickness in Revit - CAD Notes, 2013.0521

    Is Revit 2014 Muli-Threaded - The Mad CADder, 2013.0521

    A Level of Development Specification for BIM Processes - AECbytes, 2013.0516

    New Product

    Product News - Hubbell Introduces Laredo® LNC2-18LU LED WallPack

    Hubbell Lighting Inc. is proud to announce an expansion of the Laredo® LNC2 Series with the introduction of another low wattage high performance configuration. The Laredo® LNC2-18LU is a 45-watt configuration that delivers a lumen output of up to 3306 lumens and efficiency of 74 lumens per watt. The LEDs deliver 60,000 hours of life at an L96 lumen maintenance rating...

    See our comprehensive visual catalog of architectural products, powered by DesignGuide!

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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Rustic wood-plank door with single brace, wrought-iron hardware, and two-paneled transom window; cambered arch door frame, from 16th or 17th century England (DW-036)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    At the time the Dirigible Dock building was first built (1929), it was considered by some to enclose the largest unobstructed space in the world. Each end of the building had two doors measuring 202 feet (62 meters) high. Each door pivoted on a single pin at the top. Guess how these doors were designed to be pulled open. By teams of horses, a system of weights and pulleys, or with a locomotive?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    Glass takes 13 to 25 gigajoules of energy per ton to produce while copper takes 70 to 170. About how much energy would you guess is required to produce a ton of steel? Aluminum?



    Classic Home 069 — Eames House, by Charles and Ray Eames

    "Also known as Case Study House No. 8, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Pacific Palisades, California served as both residence and studio for Charles and Ray Eames. The house sits at the edge of a clearing, partially set into a hillside to minimize site disturbance.

    "Stretching more than 200 feet (60 meters) in length but little over 20 feet (6 meters) wide, this house is split into two narrow parts with a paved courtyard in between. The main living quarters are contained within the larger of the two parts, which includes a double-height living room, kitchen, and dining area on the ground floor. A small spiral staircase leads to bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor. The smaller building contains a studio with darkroom and a mezzanine storage area... "


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