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Clerkenwell Design Week
Clerkenwell Design Week—which took place in one of London’s most vibrant districts—celebrated its 10th anniversary from May 21-23. The United Kingdom’s leading independent design festival showcased seven exhibitions in different venues, each with a specific focus: Design Fields for international contemporary design; Platform for emerging talent; Project for a selection of contract furniture and surface brands; British Collection for UK designers; Detail for fine craftsmanship; Elements for ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories; and Light for international lighting brands.

Over three days, professionals and visitors had the opportunity to discover pop-ups and installations, and to attend workshops and talks. Around 100 showrooms were involved in the 2019 edition, including Arper, Bert Frank, Deadgood, Hitch Mylius, Mapei, Piemme Ce, Sedus, and Workstories, among many others. Here are our top 11 products from the show.

1. Bristol Light by Deadgood Studio

To celebrate its 15th birthday, British design brand Deadgood presented an installation of the Bristol Light, which is designed in house. Available in cobalt blue or clear crystal, the modern pendant lamp is created with the traditional free-blown glassmaking technique.

2. Rails by Gwendoline Porte

Inspired by the form of railway tracks, the Rails collection comprises a series of playful and ergonomic limited-edition functional sculptures. “We spend a lot of time working, while wireless technology enables us to move around more freely,” says Gwendoline Porte. “I wanted to match that flexibility with a collection of timeless modules that suit the way we live and work now, whether in contemporary office spaces, hotel lobbies, or home living areas.”

3. Dawn to Dusk by Haberdashery

For the first time on display in the UK, the timeless Dawn to Dusk lamp by London-based design studio Haberdashery—which won the Best of the Best Red Dot Award 2019—is available as a side light and standing floor lamp. With its different colors (red, orange, peach, and white), it evokes the memory of sunrise and sunset. “We want to bring a smile to your face and warmth into your space,” says creative director and co-founder Ben Rigby.

Interior Design Media
We’ve rounded up the hottest products from top flooring designers in 2019.

Designer: Julia Tonconogy of JT. Pfeiffer

Product: Amelia

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.

Designer: Ilse Crawford for Nanimarquina

Product: Wellbeing

Standout: Free of any bleaches or dyes, the plush rug by the Studioilse founder is hand-knotted of Afghan wool.

Designer: Kelly Wearstler for The Rug Company

Product: Bravado Graphite

Standout: Inspired by the custom runner in the designer’s own home, the rug’s high-energy bands in dark and light shades are Tibetan wool.

Designer: Raphael Navot for Roche Bobois

Product: Merge Dawn

Standout: Part of the multidisciplinary designer’s Nativ collection, the wool-blend rug interprets sunrise with the gestural approach of an abstract painter.

Designer: Rodger Stevens for Lindström Rugs

Product: Embrace

Standout: The Parsons School of Design–trained sculptor switches medi­ums from wire to hand-knotted Tibetan wool, but retains his artwork’s signa­ture loops and twists.

Designer: Martino Gamper for CC-Tapis

Product: Xequer

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.

Designer: Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen for Warp & Weft

Product: Tidal A

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.
From curvilinear marble washbasins to spa-inspired showerheads, these design elements will boost the look of any project.

Trends come and go, but timeless and functional elements usually won't go out of style. They can be seamlessly incorporated into different design typologies, from classic and traditional to eclectic and contemporary.

Trade shows in February, including the 2019 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), have introduced a whirlpool of trendsetting products to the kitchen and bath industry, from which ARCHITECT has selected eight items that will help transform your clients' bathroom into an elegant, personalized, and refined space.

Marbleous Bathrooms

Prime by Inbani
Inspired by antique rolled edge metal bathtubs and carved from a single block of marble, the Prime washbasin was designed by Danish architecture firm Norm Architects for Spanish bathroom manufacturer Inbani. Measuring 5.9" tall, this top- or undermounted sink features a smooth, curvilinear shape and comes in 13.7"- or 17.7"-diameter options. Available in three new marble finishes (pietra gray marble shown). inbani.com

Spa Features

Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 by Nebia and Moen
As part of a joint effort by Moen and Nebia to reduce water consumption by 1 billion gallons until 2021, the companies have produced a new showerhead that Nebia says can save 65% water compared to its conventional counterparts. Dubbed "Nebia Spa Shower 2.0," the new fixture is designed with Nebia’s patented technology that “atomizes water into millions of tint droplets that create 10-times more surface area of water.” The 2.0 version provides a warmer shower experience than its earlier edition (Nebia 1.0), has twice more coverage, and features three times more water pressure. Additionally, its revamped pressure regulator can now be installed in homes with below-average water pressure (as low as 20 psi). Nebia is currently raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign, and is expecting to launch mass production by June. Offered in matte black (shown) and matte silver. nebia.com
Seven standouts from the international conference and expo, held Nov. 14–16 in Chicago.

Nearly 18,000 architecture, engineering, and construction professionals from around the world attended this year's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held Nov. 14–16 in Chicago. Participants attended educational sessions, tours, workshops, and summits, and checked out the latest sustainable products and materials on the tradeshow floor, which hosted more than 550 manufacturers and exhibitors.

Here are seven highlights from the Greenbuild Expo:

Duet Living Partition by Sagegreenlife
Designed in a collaboration with Gensler, the Duet Living Partition is an eye-catching, modular living wall system that uses a patented hydroponic (soil-free), non-decaying technology. Chicago-based Sagegreenlife alleges that specifying this product, for use indoors, helps "people feel better, experience the advantages of cleaner air, and be more productive at work." Measuring 69" tall and 52" wide, this double-sided divider can fit 240 tropical foliage plants and comes with a self-contained, re-circulating irrigation system.

These plants are grown off site in tiles made from rockwool—layered basalt rock fiber that Sagegreenlife's horticulturist and lead plant designer Nathan Beckner says is inherently anti-microbial and mold-resistant. Available in three finishes (white shown), the divider comes with a 1.5W LED lighting system and low-friction casters. A related product called Productivity fits 120 plants on one side, and a dry-erase board on the other side. sagegreenlife.com

Pivot Point by Mohawk Group
At Mohawk's booth, ARCHITECT spotted three sustainable flooring products: the carbon-neutral Nutopia collection of carpet tiles; the Air.O collection of recyclable carpet with an integrated PET felt backing; and the International Living Future Institute's Red List–compliant Pivot Point collection of enhanced resilient tiles. Measuring 0.11" thick, the Pivot Point collection offers two sizes: The 7"-by-48" planks are offered in four wood-grain and four textile-inspired patterns, and the 36"-square tiles come in four different natural stone looks. The Pivot Point's carbon-neutral tiles come with a 0.78"-thick commercial wear layer and are finished with Mohawk's M-force 1 enhanced urethane coating. Holds the Living Product Challenge Petal certification. mohawkgroup.com

GreenScreen Nature by Mermet USA
In a new collaboration with Mermet USA, a Cowpens, S.C.–based manufacturer of solar screen fabrics, Draper, a manufacturer of window shades and coverings based in Spiceland, Ind., debuted a new sustainable shade fabric at this year's Greenbuild Expo. Titled GreenScreen Nature, this product is the latest addition to Mermet's collection of recycled fabric offerings and is made entirely of fiberglass, which is inherently nonflammable and does not require any additional flame-retardants or additives, Draper marketing manager Penn Sitler says. GreenScreen Nature is Greenguard– and Greenguard Gold–certified for indoor air quality, contains no heavy metals or halogens, and is 100% recyclable. The new collection features a mock-leno weave and reflects up to 61% of solar energy, with a 5% openness. Additionally, it can block ultraviolet radiation, heat, and visible light. Offered in a neutral, mineral-tinted palette of seven colors. draperinc.com
Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair
New Nordic, Old Nordic, Soft Nordic, and Nordic Minimalism were all given floor space at the biggest event celebrating Scandinavian design, the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, held February 5-10. More than 650 exhibitors filled the halls of Stockholmsmässan, with upwards of 80 percent of them based in region; this is, after all, a furniture show that still represents Scandinavian craftsmanship.

Interior Design Hall of Fame member Neri & Hu was this year’s guest of honor. The award-winning Chinese design and architecture studio created a site-specific installation, called The Unfolding Village, addressing the issue of the disappearing village culture in China. Inspired by the “alleyways and street life of clan-based villages,” the team created an impressive black-timber structure, which folded to create a maze of rows and dead ends that revealed Neri & Hu designs inside.

The enduring appeal of Nordic design is often attributed to its simplicity, minimalist approach, and the quality of its materials. However, the industry’s sustainable production methods—which are inherently part of the Scandinavian way of life—proved that protecting natural resources is a successful formula. Winner of the Best Stand Award, Baux, revealed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, called Baux Acoustic Pulp. The 100 percent bio-based product is a paper-like material developed with Swedish industrial design studio Form Us With Love in collaboration with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Product sustainability was championed in a quiet, unassuming Swedish way at BlĂĄ Station, which displayed its new Bob Home sofa. Meanwhile at Nordgrona, which makes sound absorbers from Reindeer Moss, the sustainably harvested product was gaining attention for its colorful display. Norwegian brand Flokk offered its latest chairs alongside the raw materials from which they are made, highlighting that it uses 95 percent post-consumer recycled materials in all of its aluminium parts. Green-minded international furniture manufacturers were not left out either, with Emeco, whose product range is made of post-industrial waste, presenting their collection on a minimal and ultimately reusable stand.

The annual Greenhouse exhibit attracted the participation of 37 designers and design groups showcasing up-and-coming talents and their prototypes.

This year also saw the unveiling of a new award: Born Classic. Given to a Scandinavian piece of furniture or lighting that has qualities that could make it a design classic of the future, the inaugural award went to a mirror produced by Swedese and designed by Front.

Outside the fair in the wider Stockholm Design week, which brings together a variety of spaces, exhibitions, and events, snowy conditions did not deter the design-hungry cognoscenti. Färg & Blanche’s installation “The Baker's House” showcased the designers’ works over two floors of a historical townhouse built in 1889. Across the city, the Danish design studio Frama presented its latest collections in the newly renovated offices of Andreas Martin-Löf, set in a modernist building overlooking the water.
As our understanding of wellness grows more complex, designers are thinking about the full life cycle of products they are specifying for the workplace.

While our understanding of what is attributed to wellness has changed, we have far to go in practice. When they specify products and materials, workplace designers are thinking beyond occupant health to that of everyone throughout the cycle of production. Similarly, we’re not just concerned with indoor air quality or toxins, but also movement and social interactions as daily rituals—in short, our happiness, not just our safety. Our environment must take center stage: What’s good for the planet is good for us.

We asked specifiers at COOKFOX and IA Interior Architects—two firms with reputations for supporting well-being and sustainability—for examples of what products they turn to in support of wellness at work.

Through their selections, one can see the wide range of concerns and corresponding standards or certifications that are shaping workplace design today. Red lists of toxic chemicals, standards for emissions levels, and new strategies for recycling materials—these and other tools are proving to be vital in building spaces that help people be happy and work safely.

The nine products below represent selections by Bethany Borel from COOKFOX and by Robert Atkinson, Tanya Davis, and Steven South from IA Interior Architects.

BAUX Acoustic Wood Wool Panels Responsibly sourced wood fibers make up the “wool” woven into these panels, which are moisture resistant, fire retardant, and recyclable. baux.se

BENTLEY MILLS Wanderlust This cradle to cradle silver carpet tile takes the hazards out of its fibers, backing, and adhesives to protect installers and occupants alike. bentleymills.com

GEIGER Brabo Lounge craftsmanship, material transparency, and sustainable practices elevate this collection above industry standards, attaining Indoor AdvantageTM gold certification. geigerfurniture.com

KVADRAT Divina The textile boasts six environmental achievements in material composition that include GREENGUARD Gold and LBC Red List compliance. maharam.com

INTERFACE Visual Code This collection is made with 100 percent recycled-content nylon, is treated with EPA-approved preservatives for longevity, and has achieved Green Label Plus status. interface.com

MUSHLUME Trumpet Pendant This biofabricated pendant light is grown from mushroom mycelium and is completely biodegradable. flowandchaos.com

STICKBULB Bough Elegance meets eco-minded design: Made in New York City, these lamps are built from reclaimed and sustainably sourced wood. stickbulb.com

WATSON FURNITURE Tia Part recycled, part recyclable, this office system marries environmental health with the ergonomics of a standing desk, pro- moting movement throughout the day. watsonfurniture.com

UPOFLOOR Upofloor Zero Enomer®, the material used in this flooring, is free from six common toxins affecting indoor air quality, helping it reach M1, the most stringent emissions class. upofloor.com
The market for large design firms right now may be the best that it has ever been. Many believe that the market growth, which has continued into its tenth year, cannot last. But people in the industry have been saying that for the past three to four years, and the growth has continued unabated.

The scope of the boom can be seen in the data collected from the 2019 participants on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list. Taken as a group, the firms had a record total design revenue of $101.16 billion in 2018—up an impressive 7.7%—from $93.90 billion in 2017. Market growth was strongest on the domestic side, rising 8.9%, to $80.55 billion in 2018 from $73.97 billion in 2017. And revenue from projects outside the U.S. rose as well, up 3.4% to $20.61 billion.

Virtually all market sectors measured by the Top 500 survey saw gains in 2018. On the domestic side, the gains were robust, other than for manufacturing, which was down 0.4%. Leading the gainers was telecommunications, which rose 20.7%, followed by industrial process (20.6%), water (14.9%), transportation (10.6%) and petroleum (10.2%).

As usual, acquisitions changed the Top 500 landscape. One of the largest deals was WSP’s purchase of Louis Berger, which ranked No. 21 on last year’s Top 500. “Our acquisition of Louis Berger … has brought additional capabilities and clients to WSP and positions us for a major growth opportunity in the federal market,” says Gregory A. Kelly, CEO of WSP USA.

Kelly says WSP also recently launched a program management and construction management organizational unit to serve clients with a broad range of services, including program/project management, program controls, project information management systems and construction management. He says the new unit will take advantage of renewed emphasis on PM/CM and will help WSP support clients at each stage of project delivery, from concept to completion.

One of the biggest acquisitions to complete in 2019 will be WorleyParsons’ pickup of Jacobs Engineering's energy, chemicals and resource division, for $3.3 billion. The deal, which was announced last October, is on track for approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. WorleyParsons announced on April 18 that it plans to change its name to Worley Ltd. once the purchase is complete.

For Jacobs, the spinoff alters its focus to higher-margin, noncyclical sectors, including technology, environment, infrastructure and buildings. “This is about thinking differently to address unprecedented, disruptive shifts in technology, urbanization, the environment and climate threats,” says CEO Steve Demetriou. The firm announced on April 22 an agreement to buy government security and high-tech engineer KeyW, in a deal estimated at $815 million.

Another major change is Stantec’s decision to sell its contracting group, MWH Constructors, to Los Angeles equity investor Oaktree Capital Management LP. “For Stantec, 2018 was a year of transition as we returned to our core business as a pure-play design consulting firm with the divestiture of our construction services business,” says Gord Johnston, Stantec CEO.

Also gaining from equity investment is Kleinfelder. The firm was acquired by members of its management team and Chicago-based equity investor Wind Point Partners last year. “It came down to us having a sustainable future,” says Louis Armstrong, Kleinfelder’s president. The purchase “secures our financial future and will allow us to expand in a growing market.”

Acquisitions have not just been confined to megafirms. Gannett Fleming has bought four firms in the last seven months. “Each acquisition brought new skills to the firm in geographies where we didn’t have a footprint,” says CEO Robert M. Scaer. He says the firm is not “growing for the sake of being bigger,” but to broaden client services.

TRC, which was purchased by equity investor New Mountain Capital two years ago, is on the lookout for acquisitions of its own, “provided the target firms are consistent with our market strategy,” says Chris Vincze, CEO of TRC, adding that it is looking at Canada for a possible purchase.

Some firms, however, worry that industry consolidation may have a negative impact on clients and employees. “Clients have fewer options and employees are presented with fewer choices, making it more difficult for them to see a clear career path,ď
British brand Established & Sons has launched four new furniture designs, which design director Sebastian Wrong describes as the "bread and butter" pieces for the future workplace.

Debuting at Clerkenwell Design Week in London this week, the range includes a modular seating system by French duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, two tables by German designer Konstantin Grcic and a lounge seat designed by Wrong.

All four pieces were developed around the idea that the line between home and office is blurring, with people seeking more comfort in the workplace, but also looking to create spaces for work within their homes.

"The working environment is becoming much more interesting," said Wrong, speaking to Dezeen at the launch.

"It's way more eclectic and more creative than it used to be, with co-working spaces popping up all over the place, becoming more and more like people's homes. They are demanding a level of quality and character, and this is a thing that Established & Sons can really fit into."

Wrong said that today's office furniture needs to be flexible, comfortable and informal, as well as functional.

"The working environment is no longer about meeting rooms, task chairs and desk systems," he said.

"I want to really move away from this compartmentalisation of products being for either residential or working."

The most striking piece in the range is Grid, a modular seating system based around an L-shaped or U-shaped module, comprising a powder-coated steel frame and larch wood shelves.

Designed by Erwan Bouroullec, Grid can be customised with a wide range of elements, including small and large upholstered seats, desks for standing or sitting at, and shelves.

The sides are metal grids, but could be replaced with wooden privacy screens or fabric acoustic panels.

"Erwan wanted something that was very raw, very elemental, which is what it is," said Wrong.

"There's a number of different elements that are coming into play with this piece which I think makes it really interesting and also very versatile," he continued. "With this idea of the grid, you can have rooms within rooms."

The first piece by Grcic, KD, is a very simple table with demountable steel legs and a tabletop in either high-pressure laminate or a scratch-resistant surface material called Fenix.

It is the evolution of a design that Grcic developed for Wrong's own brand Wrong Shop in 2011. "It's extremely simple, super useful," said Wrong.
Joe Fletcher
Albany, California

Mark Cavagnero readily admits that his personal relationship with Catholicism ended after he attended a parish school as a child in Connecticut. So, when he received a request to interview for a commission to design a student chapel for a Catholic high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, he wasn’t sure he was up to the task.

“My faith had wavered, to say the least,” Cavagnero recalls. But then he began to think about the intersection of spirituality and architecture in a broader way—as “idealized space that could offer empathy, with room for contemplation that may, or may not, include prayer.”

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That impulse is now embodied in a small structure of concrete and glass at the entrance to St. Mary’s College High School, in Albany, California. Unapologetically modern yet suffused with tranquil warmth, it serves as a symbolic portal to the campus, as well as an open refuge for students seeking inspiration or solitude, often at conflicted times in their lives.

Unlike other buildings on the 12.5-acre campus, most of which were built as needed during the past 30 years and have a vague air of Mission Revival style, the 4,400-square-foot chapel makes a striking first impression. Just inside the campus’s entry gate, off a shaded street of single-family homes, a rectangular concrete “ steeple” rises, its back pitched and its eastward face inset with glass that is divided into quarters by a thin metal cross. Around and behind the tower, like rectangular ridges beneath a mountain peak, the building’s lower sections hold the chapel and a small sacristy.

The religious imagery is obvious. But the steeple, a great, hollowed-out light shaft, also allows morning sunlight to slice into the sanctuary, illuminating the altar, where a priest addresses the pupils, who often gather for brief talks or services before classes begin. Later in the day, when a student might come on his or her own, the altar fades into the shadows while the chapel is lit from behind.

“It seemed important to break the room down into different scales,” explains Cavagnero, who in 2015 won the coveted Maybeck Award from the AIA California Council. “I was thinking about what it would be like if I was going through a moment of stress in my life. I’d want a space where I could think and brood and wonder.”

While the morning light is clean and direct, the afternoon sun—entering through floor-to-ceiling glass panels at the chapel’s southwest corner—fills the sanctuary with a diffused glow. A clerestory window of frosted glass, tucked along the north edge of the space, evens out the illumination without calling attention to itself.

The pews are white oak. So are the slats along the chapel’s southern wall—positioned not only to direct light toward the front of the chapel, but also to form a screen that blocks distracting outside views from the pews. The floor is smooth Alabama limestone. The vertical plane behind the altar is the same stone, but split-face, and the other walls are of white Portland cement. “The best way to make a space that’s visually and spiritually quiet,” suggests Cavagnero, “is to use as few elements as possible, and to keep them under control.”

The architect was less successful, however, in his quest to make the chapel feel like a sanctuary entirely apart from the hectic commotion of a high school with more than 600 students, and other challenging conditions. Though the site parallels a creek lined with tall redwood trees—hints of nature that filter into the chapel and its courtyard—it’s also bordered by a service road. The tower, meanwhile, faces a wide asphalt roadway and a utility building.

To counter these encroachments, the design moves the chapel entrance to the site’s rear, in a small courtyard, reached from the east by a pathway, flanked by Cavagnero’s building on one side and, on the other, by a concrete wall that drops from 8 to 4 feet high as it nears the courtyard. When the three Japanese maples that are part of Andrea Cochran’s landscape design grow in, the sense of passage should feel more natural. It’s an imaginative response to a challenging site, but a self-consciously choreographed one, as well.

Once inside the chapel, though, emotional resonance emerges in the way clean details are infused with higher purpose. The choic
SHoP Architects
Media, Pennsylvania

Questions concerning how students learn do not automatically suggest design solutions, but when the Benchmark School approached William and Chris Sharples, two of the founding principals of SHoP Architects, for help in the development of robotics as a teaching tool, they saw opportunity.

The architects, identical twins and the “SH” in the firm’s name, are alumni of the independent school, founded in 1970, by Irene W. Gaskins, to help students who learn differently. In a recent phone conversation they finished each other’s rapid-fire sentences, such was their enthusiasm for the school that changed their lives. “We had graduated sixth grade, but our reading comprehension was barely at third-grade level,” said William. Their parents, aware how challenged their apparently bright sons were, enrolled them in the then-new institution. “We were very upset after the first day,” the Sharples said. “Two weeks later, we were having a ball.”

The two were ultimately diagnosed with dyslexia, which the school is geared to address, along with such diagnoses as perceptual difficulties and attention-deficit disorders—by first building confidence and then helping children discover their own ways of learning, an approach that has been influential. “We meet the students where they are, not where their age says they are supposed to be,” explained Betsy Cunicelli, Benchmark’s director of special projects.

Located in Media, Pennsylvania, 13 miles west of Philadelphia, Benchmark is a five-building, 23-acre campus serving 185 first- through eighth-grade students. There’s a heavy focus on reading and math, with instructors applying a wide range of learning research to support students individually in such tasks as time management, persistence, working collaboratively, and thinking critically.

Many dyslexics use visualization and hands-on experiences to commit concepts to memory. Students who struggle to comprehend a verbal explanation of something may understand better by assembling it on their own. This “constructing knowledge through experience,” as Benchmark puts it, is one way students learn.

Benchmark’s leaders and students visited both SHoP’s Manhattan office and the firm’s lab in an industrial space in Brooklyn, where they saw a repurposed auto–assembly line robot and tools for model-making, comparing fabrication possibilities, and mocking up assemblies to assess their constructability and visual impact. The school’s staff was impressed not only by the students’ excitement over the lab, but by the iterative problem-solving common in architecture. SHoP and the educators together concluded that an innovation lab could give students new opportunities to choose their own approach for addressing open-ended problems, while collaborating with others to succeed.

The resulting lab is a diminutive 2,200-square-foot glass-and-metal-clad two-story structure tucked like a hinge into a gap between two existing buildings. The full-height glass entry wall puts the Innovation Lab’s activities on display, engaging passing students. The upper level houses three spaces for middle-school pupils: two open labs separated by a sliding-glass partition for maximum flexibility, and a small triangular space (for messier projects) wedged between them behind a glazed wall. A classroom for the youngest children is on the lower level. With butcher-block lab-style tables, and counters along the walls for computers, the rooms include sinks, adjustable track lighting, powercord outlets that drop down from the ceiling, and whiteboard wall surfaces.

Bowed wood strips suspended from the ceiling of the upper-level space demonstrate the assembly processes that students will use on their own; they were computer-designed and then CNC-milled in SHoP’s Brooklyn lab. Students learn how the ceiling was made by viewing the sequence of fabrication and assembly in a virtual-reality film; they can then apply a design-and-build process to their own work. Instructors also show off a similar design-to-fabrication process used for the exterior metal panels. The creases in the panels vary light reflections, designed according to a computer-generated algorithm.

The lab was completed in August 2018 but was fitted out over ensuing months. Pedagogically, it will remain a work in progress, with Benchmark director of innovation Emma Mattesky, who oversees the lab, helping instr
Iwan Baan
New York City

For years, Manhattanites have suffered Brooklyn envy as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and other institutions based in that borough have taken the baton of avant-gardism from Manhattan and run with it at uncatchable speeds. Manhattan was stuck. Many arts lovers hankered to be on the far side of the East River, living in other zip codes.

Now New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), in collaboration with Rockwell Group, has built a cure. Early this month, the Shed, a huge eight-level cultural venue in Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s new development on the far west side, opened to the jazzy syncopations of marching bands and drummers, led by Howard University’s Showtime band. Sousaphones swayed as the musicians snaked through the standing crowds in a 2,000-capacity mosh pit called the McCourt that sits within the extended retractable shell of the Shed—a voluminous, 115-foot high adaptable space with a steel armature resembling the skeletal bones of a “gigantosaurus.” Like the top of a convertible, the entire ballooning volume had been moved out—rolling on eight huge steel bogie wheels, 6 feet in diameter—from the structural-steel, glass, and concrete-base building of the Shed, which backs into a new 88-story residential tower, also designed by DS+R.

After the rousing opening, the concert continued on a temporary stage as musicians performed “The Soundtrack of America,” the first of a five-evening program of African American musical history produced by the British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, at the invitation of the Shed’s artistic director and CEO, Alex Poots.

While that series unfolded, other visual and performing works opened elsewhere in the Shed, showing off just how nimble the architecture is. A stack of four adaptable loftlike spaces, each about 12,500 square feet, make up the base building (which cleverly poaches on the infrastructure of its host, the residential tower, doubling up on plumbing, elevators, and fire stairs, and gaining back-of-house areas and offices). One major debut was a synesthetic program, combining a digitally animated mural by Gerhard Richter and music by Steve Reich composed to the same algorithms, in the 19-foot-high gallery on level two. Artist Trisha Donnelly’s enigmatic untitled installation commandeered level four, while in the Griffin Theater on level six—23 feet high and temporarily configured with a proscenium stage and raked seating—Renée Fleming sang in an original performance piece, Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, written by the poet Anne Carson. Fleming’s costar, Ben Whishaw, transformed himself into Marilyn Monroe in a play that ended, as it must, sadly.

The performances and art pieces—original, ambitious, daring works that tested the $475 million building for flexibility—provide a foretaste of the scope of Poots’s goal to present newly commissioned works that cross disciplines for diverse audiences, whose tastes may range from street art to the intellectually occult. The Shed is the platter on which art that is not yet imagined will be served; it’s a garage for creative start-ups. As Dan Doctoroff—deputy mayor in the Bloomberg administration who helped initiate the creation of Hudson Yards and is now board chairman of the Shed—explained, the institution got its name because it is “an open shelter for tools.”

Sheathed in inflatable ETFE, the Teflon-like material that looks like bubble wrap, the Shed has a charismatic urban presence, especially at night, when it glows like a Japanese lantern along the Hudson Yards’ southern edge, adjacent to the High Line. The main south entrance is at street level, below the High Line, while the north entrance is at the higher level off Hudson Yards’ plaza.

But the Shed is not so much an object as a performance. Leaving its position against the indented side of DS+R’s residential tower, the shell rides on tracks with elephantine slowness and grace, and, fully telescoped out, at 17,000 square feet, it doubles the footprint of the base building. Two rack-and-pinion systems on the roof, each with six 15-horsepower motors, drive the movement with a combined 180 horsepower (compared to a 134-horsepower Toyota Prius).

With state-of-the-art industrial parts taken from gantries and other portside structures, the design makes an unmistakable contextual reference to the wharves that once lined the Hudson River waterfront,
Jack Hobhouse
The Royal Institute of British Architects has named the 54 winners of its national awards, including the V&A Dundee by Kengo Kuma, Heatherwick's Coal Drops Yard and Peter Zumthor's Secular Retreat.

Presented since 1966, the RIBA National Awards is an annual architecture prize that celebrates the best buildings built in the UK.

Winning projects range from public buildings in the Britain's major cities, like the V&A Dundee by Kengo Kuma, through to small-scale private buildings in remote locations, like Peter Zumthor's Secular Retreat.

"Despite the political and economic challenges of recent years, our 2019 RIBA National Award winners show that UK architecture is highly adaptable, immensely talented and as community-focused as ever," said RIBA President Ben Derbyshire.

This year, Derbyshire praised the number of winning projects that involved the revival of historic structures, including John Puttick Associates and Cassidy+Ashton's refurbishment of a listed 1960s bus station and Haworth Tompkins overhaul of Bristol Old Vic.

The new tower at Westminster Abbey by Ptolemy Dean Architects was also acknowledged, alongside Collective Architecture's transformation of a former observatory in Edinburgh into a contemporary art centre.

"I am particularly heartened that more than one third of our winners have creatively adapted existing buildings," said Derbyshire. "Given the scale of the global environmental challenge, we must encourage sustainable development and investment in buildings of the highest quality – projects that will inspire and meet the needs of generations to come."

Sixteen of the winning projects this year were cultural buildings, which RIBA says is a clear demonstration of the current "ambition to create high quality cultural destinations".

Alongside the V&A Dundee, this included The Weston by Feilden Fowles at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and Jamie Fobert Architects' extension of a former house in Cambridge to create the Kettle's Yard art gallery.

RIBA also celebrated the inclusion of several sustainable housing schemes, including Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches, Metropolitan Workshop's Mapleton Crescent and Cambridge's first co-housing community, designed by Mole Architects."At a time when the country is crying out for innovative, high-quality affordable housing, I am pleased we have been able to recognise some exemplar schemes," said Derbyshire.

"I encourage all local authorities and developers to look to these projects for inspiration and rise to the challenge of building the homes people want and need."

Also among this year's winners was Hampshire House by Niall McLaughlin Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners's Scottish distillery that is characterised by an undulating wildflower roof.

In London, Heatherwick Studio's Coal Drop's Yard was another winner, alongside Amin Taha's distorted replica of 19th-century London terrace block and Grimshaw's refurbishment of London Bridge station.

"Our 2019 RIBA National Award-winning buildings are innovators and mould-breakers – congratulations to every client, architect and construction team for their combined talent and tenacity," concluded Derbyshire.

No matter the client or the budget, the awards aim to highlight the best that British architecture has to offer. It is from this list that the shortlist for the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize will be drawn and announced next month.

Scroll down for the full list of winners of the RIBA National Awards 2019:
James John Jetel
These days, workplaces often contain cafés, wellness rooms, and lounges galore. But a bar? Not as likely... let alone four of them. But such is the case at the North American headquarters of the Campari Group—the Milan-based company famous for its bright-red namesake aperitif—that now also counts more than 50 other beverage brands in its portfolio, some of them, including Wild Turkey and Skyy Vodka, Amer­ican. Mix them all together, and it makes Campari Group the sixth largest spirits company in the world—a feat worthy of celebrating. Gensler helped the group do so with its new two-story New York office.

But first, some background. When the U.S. became Campari’s biggest sales market, executives decided to move the company from its San Francisco headquarters east. New York would be closer to Milan and other parts of its empire and help recruit top talent. “It’s the center of the action,” Ugo Fiorenzo, Campari America managing director, says of the city. He and his team selected two upper floors in the landmarked W. R. Grace building, doubling work space to 65,000 square feet and affording views of neighboring Bryant Park. “We were looking for that wow effect,” Fiorenzo adds.

“Don’t think all anyone does is party around here—foremost, this is designed for work.”

To live up to the expectation, Gensler principal and design director Stefanie Shunk made a pilgrimage to Milan to steep herself in the company’s 159-year history and culture, which includes decades worth of art, among it posters commissioned in the early 1900s from Fortunato Depero and Leonetto Cappiello. Once back, she translated her inspirations into the design of the workplace, drawing on furnishings from such companies as Foscarini and Minotti and employing such luxe materials as Italian leather. “You gotta love it,” Shunk says as she trails her fingers over the hide covering the walls of the elevator lobby. She and her team specified it and much of the furniture upholstery in a deep blue similar to that in the Campari logo.

Further in, not a typical reception desk but an espresso bar—with barista—greets visitors, looking like it could have been spirited from Corso Magenta in Milan. In the shape of the letter C, its counter is topped in marble, Italian, of course, and features a brass footrest. Just behind it is another wow element: Gensler carved a double-height atrium through the two floors and inserted a 16-foot-tall cerused-oak wall assemblage inspired by a Depero brick artwork on a building facade in Italy. The installation here serves as a backdrop to a full-scale bar, also C-shape but in buffed brass, on the floor below. Dubbed the Fortunato bar, the environment has the look and feel of an urban five-star hotel.

The feeling changes to that of floating inside a bottle of Campari in the stairway connecting the floors. Walls, floor, and ceiling are drenched in carmine red, and LED strips along the coves and treads instill a nightlife vibe. A grid of steel-mesh lockers at the landing exhibits bottles of rare liquors produced by the Campari Group. Glimpsed through the lockers is an ornate crystal chandelier. Arrive there to find it suspended over yet another bar, this one inside a tall, slender jewel box. Intimate and hermetic, its walls are covered in an old-fashioned taupe damask pattern, and the bar proper is an elaborately carved mahogany antique. Inspired by a prohibition-era speakeasy, this Boulevardier Bar—named for the cocktail of sweet vermouth, bourbon, and, yes, Campari originating at Harry’s New York Bar in 1920’s Paris—is where top customers visiting the HQ are invited to sip special-edition whiskeys, rums, and liqueurs. It’s a wonder of a space.

Making sure the Campari bars not only look exceptional but also function extremely well “was the thing that kept me up at night,” says Shunk, who watched GoPro videos of bartenders at work to learn exactly where the sink, ice, and other components needed to be. That knowledge was essential to designing the office’s lablike academy, where master mixologists concoct cocktails and bartenders come for training. The café, which occupies a whole corner of a floor plate, functions as yet another bar, one that, with its brick wall, large windows, and Campari motto—”toasting life together,” rendered in neon—was intended to evoke and bring in the city.