Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Rapson's second-place design for a National Association of Homebuilders competition in 1950. Image: Ralph Rapson
People and Places
Ralph Rapson - Small House Competition Design —
RDH Architects near Mississauga, Ontario —
AIA Housing Design Awards —
Ralph Rapson in Otaniemi, Paimio, & Myyrmaki —
Tony Fretton Architects - Housing in Den Helder —
Ralph Rapson in Istanbul —
Robert M. Gurney Architect - House in Lewes, Delaware —
Thomas Phifer and Partners at Clemson University —
Wilmotte & Associates at St. Pancras Square —
Ralph 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?
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. ...
Press Release - GSA Green Building Advisory Committee Recommends LEED for All GSA Buildings
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
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...
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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)
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?
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
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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