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Jeff Chiu/AP
Controversial new research has kicked off a war of words among urban scholars over the push for upzoning to increase cities’ housing supply.

For a long time, I thought gentrification was the hottest of urbanism’s hot-button issues. That may still be true. But it has a new (and related) challenger—upzoning, or changing the zoning of an area to allow for higher density.

For years, some urban economists and market urbanists have been making the case that the key challenge facing cities—especially pricey superstar cities and tech hubs—is a lack of housing supply. There are many culprits in this shortage. They include strict land-use regulations and building codes, politically connected NIMBYs, and other factors, but the end result is the same. A lack of housing supply results not only in higher housing prices, but in increased sorting and displacement, which sharpens inequality and segregation. It even limits innovation and productivity—not just in the affected cities, but across the U.S. economy as a whole.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a new paper by two economic geographers, Michael Storper and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, who question some of the theoretical and empirical claims made from this YIMBY perspective (or what they call the “housing as opportunity” school of thought). Specifically, Storper and Rodríguez-Pose argue that simply increasing the supply of housing through upzoning is likely to add more housing for high earners with no evidence that it would “filter” down as cheaper housing for less advantaged residents. That in turn would only exacerbate the ongoing sorting process that draws more educated and advantaged people to affluent cities and pushes the less advantaged out of them. The ultimate result would be even worse spatial inequality between leading and lagging places.

My article on Rodríguez-Pose and Storper’s paper resulted in a near-immediate barrage of critiques on the internet. David Schleicher of Yale Law School and many others laid into the paper on Twitter. Over at City Observatory, Joe Cortright questioned both the theory and the evidence underlying Storper and Rodríguez-Pose’s findings (and, in a side shot, my decision to write about them):

Rodríguez-Pose and Storper sidestep these nuts and bolts issues of how to fix zoning so that it isn’t exclusionary, in favor of a knocking down a straw man claim that upzoning is somehow a cure for inequality, (an argument that no one seems to be making). In the process, they (and by extension, Florida) lend credence to the NIMBY-denialism about the central need to build more housing in our nation’s cities if we’re to do anything to meaningfully address affordability.

(For the record, I have long been a critic of restrictive zoning and building regulations and NIMBYism, going so far as to dub the latter “the New Urban Luddism.”)

On Friday evening, I received an email from three of Storper’s colleagues at UCLA, Michael Manville, Michael Lens, and Paavo Monkkonen. They wrote a detailed essay replying to key claims in the Storper–Rodríguez-Pose paper, and they shared it with numerous scholars and journalists, which sparked another round of discussion online.

Their response begins by saying that although Storper and Rodríguez-Pose are esteemed geographers, their paper “badly misses the mark.” Furthermore: “It ignores much of the research on the topic, misstates or misunderstands the research it does cite, presents misleading and oversimplified analyses, and advances an argument that is internally inconsistent.” Like Cortright, the authors accuse Storper and Rodríguez-Pose of setting up a strawman argument:

For the record, we agree with [Storper and Rodríguez-Pose] that building market rate housing will not by itself eradicate inequality, or revive declining regions. We also agree that building market rate housing will not, by itself, get everyone in expensive regions properly sheltered. But as far as we can tell everyone agrees with that. Many people (us included) think that more housing in expensive places in necessary for fighting inequality and increasing affordability, but no one we are aware of thinks it is sufficient, i.e. that all we need to do is build more housing.

Manville, Lens, and Monkkonen light into the data and methodology that Storper and Rodríguez-Pose used to make their argument. For example, they used the percent change in developed land area in a region as a proxy for regulatory stringency. But Manville, Lens, and Monkkonen note that
Iwan Baan
Fishtail, Montana, is a very small place—its population is listed as 478—but everything else about it is immense: the snow-capped Beartooth Mountain range in the distance and that legendary big sky, a bright blue bowl stretching from horizon to horizon. The panoramic views in every direction somehow feel greater than 360 degrees. Within this extraordinary setting, a surprisingly intimate new structure by Francis Kéré offers a vantage point from which to connect with the great western landscape.

On a 12,000-acre working sheep and cattle ranch just outside of Fishtail, Cathy and Peter Halstead, through their family’s Sidney E. Frank Foundation, established the music and visual arts center Tippet Rise against the dramatic natural backdrop. The property is home to large-scale works by Ensamble Studio, Mark di Suvero, Alexander Calder, Isabelle Johnson, and others. Now, Kéré’s pavilion Xylem represents the first site-specific commission at Tippet Rise since its opening in 2016.

The 2,100-square-foot circular structure of wood and steel is a serene place of respite for visitors. “I started to think about how I could create a space where you can retire, be yourself, and begin to dream,” says the Berlin-based architect of his first permanent work in North America. Situated near the main performance space, Olivier Music Barn, and close to the open-air Tiara Acoustic Shell, Xylem will host programming such as small concerts or poetry readings from time to time. “We think of poetry as the underpinning of architecture and of music,” says Peter Halstead. “So we look forward to doing those things there, too.”

Kéré, who has worked extensively in his native Burkino Faso, first explored a similar idea for a structure in the 2015 exhibition, “AFRICA: Architecture, Culture and Identity,” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. The Halsteads had seen photographs of Kéré’s Louisiana Canopy, and were taken with his installation of upright logs, suspended overhead and gathered up from the floor to form seating. “From there, we started to think about how to formally connect that idea with the site,” the architect recalls.

Kéré and his collaborators developed the design for a modular honeycomb canopy of 34 steel hexagons supported by seven Y-columns of 1-inch-thick CorTen. Ten vertical bundles of ponderosa and lodgepole pine logs fill each 9-foot hexagonal frame, stepping down into the space at different elevations and allowing dappled light to filter through. Additional partial bundles, sawed smooth along their outer faces, fill in the partial hexagons at the edges of the canopy to form a perfect circle. More vertical logs cover each column, rising up from the curving, built-in benches. Kéré says his inspiration for the seating design came from a painting Cathy Halstead made decades ago that evokes a single-celled organism, the paramecium. (The pavilion’s name also has organic roots; “xylem” refers to the vascular system of plants). “Her piece of art just pushed my design forward,” he says. Some 40,000 linear feet of logs were used in construction, says Laura Viklund of Gunnstock Timber Frames, the architect of record, who designed several other buildings at Tippet Rise.

The pavilion’s floor of exposed concrete poured into a metal deck sits atop a base of steel beams, secured to the site by helical piers. “It has to withstand extreme elements,” says Kéré, “so we were happy to have visionary engineers.” (London-based AECOM, his firm’s frequent partner, and DCI Engineers in Bozeman, Montana, were the structural engineers on the project.)

A gurgling creek cuts through the tall grasses surrounding the pavilion, which still carries the fresh smell of just-cut pine. The space seems to amplify the sound of the moving water and the constant chittering of birds and insects. Beams of sunlight pierce through gaps in the structure overhead, dancing across the floor as the angle of the sun progresses. And although the dining hall and other buildings are just a short walk away, sitting inside Xylem imparts a strong sense of being alone in, and embraced by, the spectacular landscape of Tippet Rise.

With time, the wood will turn gray, and the weathering steel will oxidize, leaving rusty streaks on the materials. “We wanted to make something that will blend in and age with its surroundings,” says Nina Tescari, the pr
James Farrar
Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

Over two years of driving for Uber, James Farrar logged thousands of miles on the app. Many weeks, he’d work more than 80 hours behind the wheel of his Ford Mondeo, crisscrossing the streets of London deep into the night. Along with passengers, Farrar was collecting data.

During his time in the car, Uber’s app recorded where he went, how long he stayed, how much money he made, and how many stars he was given by his passengers. It noted how many rides he accepted and how many he cancelled, mapped where trips started and ended, and how long it took him to wind through traffic to get there as he followed the algorithmic cues nudging him around the city.

Being an Uber driver, Farrar found, did not agree with him: “[L]ife behind the wheel,” as he wrote in a recent op-ed for the U.K. Independent, “can become a blur of endless traffic, crushing loneliness, enduring fatigue and relationships strained by absence.” And he grew frustrated by the way the app always seemed to be pushing him to accept more rides, while his earnings kept declining. In 2016, he and another London Uber driver, Yaseen Aslam, brought a worker’s rights claim against the company, arguing that drivers aren’t true independent contractors and should instead be classified under the U.K.’s third employment category of “worker”—entitling them to minimum wage and paid vacation days. Farrar’s team won the classification case.

But during the trials, Uber was able to use Farrar’s personal data as legal ammunition against him, he said; the company argued that the reason he made under minimum wage some days was because he’d declined several rides, not because he was being fleeced by the app. “I decided then that I needed to see all my data,” Farrar told CityLab in an email. “[S]o I could properly assert my rights and eliminate the asymmetry in information power between me and Uber.”

Uber appealed, arguing, as it long has, that it merely connects independent entrepreneurs with riders, and that a change in classification would impede drivers’ freedom. (A judge said that the wording of Uber’s contract, which makes the same claim, contained a “high degree of fiction.”) Still, one judge out of three backed the company, and Uber was given permission to bump the trial up to the U.K.’s Supreme Court.

With the support of Ravi Naik, the lawyer who is also representing plaintiffs in data privacy cases against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, Farrar and three other drivers have bundled their data requests, eking out more information with each challenge. This March, they filed a lawsuit against Uber for withholding some data, which they say is in breach of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This law gives E.U. citizens the right to request any and all personal data that a platform retains about them.

Though he says he’s not “anti-Uber,” Farrar’s labor rights activism has accelerated: In 2017, he helped found and became the chairman of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union, which represents more than a thousand workers for private hire companies. And as of this summer, he has pushed more than 60 other drivers to file similar data claims. Now he’s pooling their information online as part of an organization he founded and directs called the Worker Info Exchange. Since Uber arbitrates cases from all its worldwide markets besides North America in Amsterdam, an E.U. country, these GDPR-based claims could be replicated in dozens of countries.

With that aggregate, he wants to determine definitively how much (or little) drivers make for their time—and how an over-supply of temporary drivers has saturated the market with idling cars. “The negative effects of these apps are congestion and poverty, and we need the data to show that,” Farrar said.

This tension isn’t an entirely new one. Mounting evidence suggests that all kinds of apps, from the Weather Channel to the selfie-filtering Perfect365, have habitually scraped location data from phones and used it to better predict consumer buying habits. And Uber’s tight grip on information is part of a long pattern for the ride-hailing titan, which has often tangled with local regulators over its vast trove of trip data. But Farrar believes that whoever gains access to Uber’s complete data caches will find something bigger than just tools for better traffic
JESCE WALZ, PERKINS AND WILL
It has been a banner year for Kate Simonen and her burgeoning band of embodied carbon busters, bent on reducing the negative environmental impacts of building production. On Nov. 19, Simonen and her EC-reduction champions debuted the first free-to-use digital tool to calculate EC in materials. The same day, Marin County, Calif., approved the nation’s first low-carbon concrete building code. And after a slow start in 2017, the free-to-join Embodied Carbon Network finally gained traction.

As founding director of the decade-old Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) at the University of Washington, Simonen has been stirring all three pots. “Kate is our figurehead,” says Wil V. Srubar, a professor of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and an ECN co-chair with Simonen and Erin McDade, senior program director of Architecture 2030. “It’s been a wild ride the last 12 months, and Kate has been a great driver,” he adds.

EC, the sum total of greenhouse gases emitted from material extraction to the jobsite, “is an entry point to acknowledge that we need to completely decarbonize” the buildings sector—not just operational carbon, says engineer-architect-researcher Simonen, also a professor in the university’s department of architecture.

Perhaps Simonen’s biggest EC-reduction coup is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator. “EC3 is transformative,” says Ari Frankel, assistant vice president at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, one of six developers piloting EC3.

CLF incubated EC3 through a $713,000 grant from the Charles Pankow Foundation and other sponsors. Simonen is lead investigator, with teammates Phil Northcott, Change Labs CEO; Stacy Smedley, a director of sustainability for Skanska USA; and Don Davies, president of Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

While incubating EC3, Simonen also helped create Marin County’s low-carbon concrete code—spearheaded by Top 25 Newsmaker Bruce King—by leading its steering committee. She was “instrumental” in creating consensus among diverse stakeholders, says Alice Zanmiller, a planner for Marin County’s sustainability team.

In 2017, CLF created ECN to scale up the movement. A global and virtual communication platform for practitioners, educators, government officials and material producers, ECN is driving grass-roots change, including local policy initiatives.

Last year, the group grew from 600 to 1,800 members, located in 166 cities in 22 nations. Local chapters that hold in-person workshops sprang up in Seattle, the Bay Area, New York City, Boston and Vancouver, B.C. Chapter discussions are underway in Austin, Atlanta, Toronto and the Denver-Boulder area.

A native of Livermore, Calif., Simonen studied architectural engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and then received two master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley—one in structural engineering and the mechanics of materials in 1991, and the other in architecture the following year.

While in practice, Simonen learned about using fly ash to lower concrete’s cement content. Later, she tried calculating the carbon footprint of green prefab homes imported from China. Eventually, she realized she was interested in research. In 2009, she landed at the university. Soon she had mastered environmental-impact life-cycle analyses for buildings.

Funded by its 42 member firms, CLF is “informing, inspiring and enabling” buildings professionals to reduce and ultimately eliminate EC. Currently, CLF is rallying green-building groups to collaborate and reduce duplicate efforts.

Even with EC-reduction progress, Simonen doesn’t expect to see any meaningful impact on the environment for at least 10 years. Still, she soldiers on, saying, “we have to try to make a difference.”
MIT
Blaine Brownell explores emergent teleoperation and telerobotics technologies that could revolutionize the built environment.

Design practitioners have become familiar with an array of evolving technologies such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), building information modeling (BIM), and robotics. What we contemplate less often, however, is what happens when these technologies are combined.

Enter the world of teleoperation, which is the control of a machine or system from a physical distance. The concept of a remote-controlled machine is nothing new, but advances in AR and communication technologies are making teleoperability more sophisticated and commonplace. One ultimate goal of teleoperability is telepresence, which is commonly used to describe to videoconferencing, a passive audiovisual experience. But increasingly, it also pertains to remote manipulation. Telerobotics refers specifically to the remote operation of semi-autonomous robots. These approaches all involve a human–machine interface (HMI), which consists of “hardware and software that allow user inputs to be translated as signals for machines that, in turn, provide the required result to the user,” according to Techopedia. As one might guess, advances in HMI technology represent significant potential transformations in building design and construction.

Tokyo-based company SE4 has created a similar telerobotics system that overcomes network lag by using AI to accelerate robotic control. Combining VR and computer vision with AI and robotics, SE4's Semantic Control system can anticipate user choices relative to the robot’s environment. “We’ve created a framework for creating physical understanding of the world around the machines,” said SE4 CEO Lochlainn Wilson in a July interview with The Robot Report. “With semantic-style understanding, a robot in the environment can use its own sensors and interpret human instructions through VR.”

Developed for construction applications, the system can anticipate potential collisions between physical objects, or between objects and the site, as well as how to move objects precisely into place (like the “snap” function in drawing software). Semantic Control can also accommodate collaborative robots, or “cobots,” to build in a coordinated fashion. “With Semantic Control, we’re making an ecosystem where robots can coordinate together,” SE4 chief technology officer Pavel Savkin said in the same article. “The human says what to do, and the robot decides how.”

Eventually, machines may be let loose to construct buildings alongside humans. Despite the significant challenges robotics manufacturers have faced in creating machines that the mobility and agility of the human body, Waltham, Mass.–based BostonDynamics has made tremendous advances. Its Atlas humanoid robot, made of 3D-printed components for lightness, employs a compact hydraulic system with 28 independently powered joints. It can move up to a speed of 4.9 feet per second. Referring to BostonDynamics’ impressive feat, Phil Rader, University of Minnesota VR research fellow, tells ARCHITECT that “the day will come when robots can move freely around and using AI will be able to discern the real world conditions and make real-time decisions.” Rader, an architectural designer who researches VR and telerobotics technologies, imagines that future job sites will likely be populated by humans as well as humanoids, one working alongside the other. The construction robots might be fully autonomous, says Rader, or “it's possible that the robot worker is just being operated by a human from a remote location.”

Interior Design Media
Playful graphics in bold colors cross disciplines to become striking art and custom furniture pieces by Emily Alston. “I really like the idea of functional art—which is basically furniture,” laughs the British designer, who draws from a background in graphic design and illustration. With the unforgettable moniker of Emily Forgot, also the name of her design studio, she has collected a diverse roster of clients since graduating from the Liverpool School of Art & Design in 2004. Notable among them: prestigious London cultural institutions the Victoria & Albert Museum and Somerset House, hotel chains Mondrian Suites and CitizenM, retailer Selfridges, and furniture manufacturer Herman Miller.

This fall, at The Interior Design Show (IDS) in Vancouver, running September 26-29, Forgot will debut “A Sense of Place,” an installation based on the shapes and architecture of Canadian Modernism. In parallel, 13 of her pieces will be for sale with 50 percent of proceeds benefiting education program Out in Schools. Interior Design sat down with Forgot to learn more about her boldly colored wooden relief pieces, the favorite pastime she indulges all around the world, and why little has changed in some areas of her life since the age of six.

Interior Design: We understand you recently wrapped up a residency program.

Emily Forgot: That’s right, with de Bijenkorf, a department store chain in the Netherlands. I created a series of furniture and domestic objects inspired by the de Bijenkorf stores and the Bauhaus movement—so a table, chair, rug based on a Marcel Breuer staircase, and a set of three mobiles. The program, called Room on the Roof, is organized to coincide with the centennial of the Bauhaus movement and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eindhoven de Bijenkorf store, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti. The pieces will be used in window displays.

ID: Can you share a little more about the IDS installation and what else is upcoming for you?

EF: For IDS, I'm making some colorful wooden relief pieces for “A Sense of Place,” an installation and entrance hall feature. Similar to others I have made, these reliefs will be based on architectural or interior spaces that I quite like, with relevancy to location. Therefore, I've been researching a lot of Canadian architects and architecture and visiting some Vancouver-based spaces. I then reinterpret and abstract them for the relief pieces.

I am also working on a maze for the hotel chain CitizenM that will be open to the public during the London Design Festival, also in September, and a series of assemblage pieces and prints which will be exclusively for the Victoria & Albert Museum shop.

ID: What gets your creative mind energized?

EF: Travel is really important. As an example, this past February I did a project for Stay One Degree, a vetted-member-only holiday home rental website. They sent me out to the Canary Islands in Spain, to Tenerife, to be inspired by one of the villas they have there and then also by Tenerife itself. For them, I also created a unique series of colorful wooden pieces. A film was made to document the trip and the making of the pieces It was a really nice project and made me think a little bit differently about my work, which always has inspiration coming from a sense of place. Travel doesn’t have to be about getting on a plane and going somewhere, it's also about going to the library and picking up some old archive magazines.

ID: How do you believe the British design culture helps enable your vision?

EF: With social media and the internet being so much a part of our creative lives, things feel a lot broader. You can uncover an amazing restaurant in Australia or a new kind of furniture brand in New York. I gain inspiration from all around the world and don't think my work necessarily has a particularly British feel. But then again, I do really like a lot of British design; it's quite playful and there is a little bit of humor.

ID: In what kind of home do you live?

EF: I've recently moved with my partner into a 1960s home with quite a lot of original features. It’s near the sea, about an hour outside London, and is a huge ongoing project. My partner, Von, is an illustrator and artist as well, and we have a studio in the house that we share. Although some people just think that’s crazy, it
Jonathan Hillyer
To generate at least as much energy as it uses, a building may need more photovoltaic panels than its roof can accommodate. One solution is to extend the roof, as Seattle’s Miller Hull Partnership did when it designed that city’s Bullitt Center, a six-story building with a PV panel-laden trellis cantilevering beyond its exterior walls.

Miller Hull has repeated the strategy in Atlanta, where it and Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra company, have just completed the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech. The new, 37,000-square-foot, three-story building has a large steel and aluminum trellis that reaches beyond the roof in three directions with the help of thin, cable-tensioned steel columns. About 40 feet off the ground, the trellis shelters gardens that serve as gathering places for students. The main shaded area resembles a kind of front porch, a play on the southern vernacular, says Brian Court, partner at Miller Hull and that firm’s design lead for the building. The porch opens into an atrium surrounded on three levels by classrooms, laboratories, and mechanical spaces. A lower, brick-clad extension houses a 175-seat lecture hall. The facilities are “not just for those students interested in sustainability as a career,” says Michael Gamble, director of graduate studies in the School of Architecture. Instead, Georgia Tech students from a range of departments will have “access to a building that actually teaches us something.”

The lesson is that it’s possible to build a “regenerative” building even in the hot, humid southeast. That was a goal of the Kendeda Fund (created by philanthropist Diana Latow Blank, the former wife of Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank). Kendeda paid for the $18.6 million building and provided millions more for programming.

While the building is expected to receive a LEED Platinum rating, it was designed to meet the more stringent standards of the Living Building Challenge. To be certified, a building must produce more water and more electricity than it consumes. Net-positive water will be achieved by collecting an estimated 460,000 gallons of rainwater each year (runoff from the PVs is collected in channels and fed into a cistern and filtered to potable standards). As for electricity, the building’s 900 photovoltaic panels are expected to generate 455,000 kilowatt hours annually, 40 percent more than it is projected to use. To make the building energy-efficient, its designers focused on occupant comfort rather than fixed temperature goals and made extensive use of ceiling fans, radiant heating and cooling, and a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), combined with a super-efficient envelope. The building met other Living Building Challenge standards; for example, products were eliminated or reformulated to avoid chemicals on the program’s “red list.”

The building will not receive its final certification until it has demonstrated that it is energy- and water-positive for a year, notes Chris Hellstern, Living Building Challenge Services Director at Miller Hull. To achieve that, says Joshua Gassman, Lord Aeck Sargent’s sustainable design director, “Everything has to work together—it’s almost like building a Swiss watch.”

Not only will Kendeda be operationally efficient, Hellstern says, but it was designed to reduce embodied energy—the energy consumed in fabrication and construction—as well. Among other strategies, sustainably harvested wood was used for the main structural elements, reclaimed wood was used for decking, and 100-percent-recycled-content brick was incorporated into the cladding. “We used excess chunks of decking to build internal stairs, both to avoid creating landfill and to show that something that would have been wasted can contribute to both the beauty and the function of the project,” Gassman says. Speaking for the entire industry, Hellstern points out, “Unless we address embodied energy, we won’t meet climate targets.”
Smiley N. Pool
Let’s celebrate some of the highlights and lament the misfires.

Here’s a look at big moments in architecture as we celebrate the highs, lows and uh-ohs of the departing decade in Dallas culture, 2010-2019.

Growing pains in the Arts District

It’s easy to take the Arts District for granted — easy, because even after a decade of building it still has a tendency to feel, well, kind of dead. It’s not for a shortage of big-name architects. Additions to the district over the last 10 years have included Norman Foster’s AT&T Performing Arts Center, OMA’s Wyly Theatre, SOM’s Moody Performance Hall, and Allied Works’ expansion of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A bevy of less-impressive towers are filling in around these signature projects, with the ill-conceived Museum Tower being the most notorious. While all this building has gone on, a master plan for the district has sat on a shelf, waiting for implementation. Most cities, one should note, make the urban plan, and then allow for the building. Here, we do it in reverse and pay the price, which is empty streets. Still, we have some really nice buildings, and with the new development, there is potential for new life.

The decade’s best new buildings in Dallas

Rather than a single champion, we spread the accolades among a group of projects that collectively make Dallas a better place: Test Pavilion at the Dallas Arboretum (Buchanan Architecture), the St. Michael and All Angels Columbarium (Max Levy), the Temple Emanu-El expansion (Cunningham Architects), College Park Pavilion (Snøhetta), the Cottages at Hickory Crossing (BC Workshop), Webb Chapel Park Pavilion (Cooper Joseph Studio), the Wyly Theatre (OMA), the Booker T. Washington expansion (Allied Works), the Warehouse (Droese Raney), Pacific Plaza Pavilion (HKS), the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at the Greenhill School (Weiss/Manfredi), the Science Building at the Lamplighter School (Marlon Blackwell), Bullion Restaurant (Gensler), 1217 Main St. (5G Studio), Rolex Building (Kengo Kuma), and Fire Station 27 (Perkins & Will).

Signature spans

In a fit of skyline-altering extravagance that we will probably never see again, Dallas managed to open not one but two bridges designed by Spanish shape-wizard Santiago Calatrava, each named for a beloved matriarch named Margaret. Like most everything built by Calatrava, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge were massively expensive, dogged by construction problems, needlessly grandiose, uniformly white and — arguably — beautiful. At least, with the former, there was a purpose in the ostentation: the creation of a signal gateway to West Dallas, which has rapidly gentrified since the bridge’s inauguration. Of course, despite the big price tag, the bridge made no accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists, a fact only partially ameliorated by the transformation of the erstwhile Continental Avenue Bridge into a car-free elevated park. Call that a victory.

The fall of sprawl’s thrall?

Yes, the cookie-cutter developments continued to sprout in the hinterlands, but the younger set returned to the city, and even those who remained out in the burbs clamored for reform. In Plano, in McKinney, in Frisco, and points beyond, suburban centers began emphasizing walkability and rail connection to the city, even as they remained principally automotive in nature. (They also became a lot more diverse.) Even Jerry Jones, always with a keen eye for opportunity, noticed the trend, the result being his own mini-city devoted to football: the Star, an antiseptic paradise for Cowboys fans.

The eternal quest for a Fair Park plan

Did you have a plan to save Fair Park? It seemed like everyone did during the 2010s. There were plans, and then more plans, and more plans after that. Every year, we heard lamentations about the state of affairs at the city’s crown jewel — too much concrete, no connection with the neighbors, underuse, decaying landmarks, flooding — and every year there was another plan to save the place that went exactly nowhere. It looked like we might just get through the entire decade with zero progress until, late in 2018, the city finally — finally — signed a 20-year deal with a private management firm with a solid history of running parks. Will this be the answer? The problems are still real, but there’s hope. And a $15 million
Sylvie Rosokoff / Sylvie the Camera
The founder of Madame Architect speaks with RECORD about the value of mentorship.

Julia Gamolina, who works in business development for FXCollaborative, founded the website Madame Architect in May 2018, after having published interviews with women in the profession on SubteXXt, the digital journal of gender-equity organization ArchiteXX, beginning in 2015. Since then, she has interviewed some 150 women in the profession, with more than 50,000 unique visitors to the site. The 28-year-old graduate of Cornell’s architecture program spoke with RECORD about her goals for Madame Architect and the value of mentorship in work and life.

You were born in Russia, immigrated to Canada at age 8, then moved to the U.S. when you were 14. How has mentorship—and specifically working with and looking up to other women—played a role in your life and career?

It’s been huge. When we immigrated, my mom told me, “I will offer you the guidance that I can, but I’m also new here—there are some things that I won’t know.” So as a young kid, then throughout high school and college, I felt very comfortable asking my teachers for advice. I’ve always had different mother figures in my life, and advisors in my professional world, and I think immigration is really what triggered it.

So was Madame Architect a natural extension of seeking out guidance?

Yes. I found that, after graduation, that built-in system of mentorship no longer exists. I started to look for my own advisors. Writing about them wasn’t originally part of the plan at all, but once I found women who were so generous and energizing to me, I thought, I have to share this. I pitched ArchiteXX, and it published my first Q&A, with Vivian Lee, a principal at Richard Meier & Partners.

How do you identify your interviewees?

One of the biggest goals of Madame Architect is variety—the full gamut of age, focus, background, location, everything—but it started with women who had leadership roles at firms, purely for guidance on how to get there. After the first few, I thought, I’m talking to women at the peaks of their careers; what is it like to speak to someone in the trenches?

What common themes have emerged?

People talk about being open and nimble, and saying yes when unexpected opportunities arise. While I was working on my thesis and about to start looking for jobs, I watched all these commencement speeches by people like Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey, who send the message to find what you want to do and just do it. I had started my career with that mentality, and it was extremely frustrating, because things took longer or didn’t work out as I expected. I thought I was doing something wrong. But having interviewed more than a hundred women now, no one has ever said, “Set your eyes on the prize and go for it.” And, in fact, everyone has said, “Be open, you don’t know what’s coming, but surprises are good, and you’ll learn a lot by trying different things.”

What has surprised you?

Almost every single woman I have talked to who has her own firm founded it when she had her first baby. That’s really mind-blowing to me. Seeing who my followers are has also been surprising. A lot are younger women and new mothers, but I also have men writing to me all the time. I didn’t think I would hear from men at all when I started, and while it’s still more women, it’s more balanced than I expected.

What misconceptions do you think people have about women working in architecture?

So many women are so tired of being asked what it’s like to be a woman in the field. They deal with the same challenges that come with different stages of life, for everyone, in every field. They no longer want to be thought of as “women architects”—they just want to be thought of as architects. That has probably been the most consistent feedback from the interviews.

You publish a lot of content—around 10 stories each month. Do you see this becoming a fulltime job?

I actually really like having my feet in practice. I don’t design at the moment, but I like being on the ground in the collaborative environment of a firm. So for now, at least, it’s good for me to do both. But monetizing something like this, having a business plan and all that—oh my God [laughs] . . . Not my skill set.
Interior Design Media
Nearly two years ago, commercial real estate company, CBRE, embarked on a yearlong journey to uncomplicate the process behind furniture buying. The question was simple: What can we do better? In November 2017, the CBRE Furniture Forum released a list of 15 recommendations designed to unravel the complicated web of the furniture-buying process. The high-level, process-improvement ideas include, among others, bringing a dealer designer in as a sub to the A&D firm and increasing process efficiency.

Fast-forward to spring 2018, when the owners of a Los Angeles furniture company read the results and recommendations of the CBRE study with great interest. The report’s results prompted husband-and-wife team Jeffrey and Lindsay Braun to make a dramatic decision: sell their 17-year-old company, Jeffrey Braun Furniture, to pioneer something new.

Enter Platform, an in-house furniture design and manufacturing division of Unisource Solutions, and Emblem, a company that breaks the mold of contract furniture acquisition.

Lindsay Braun, founder and CEO of Emblem, explains what provoked the pivot: “There were problems and inefficiencies in the old model that drove Jeffrey and me nuts. We were frustrated with the multiple layers between our company and the end user. There were so many opportunities for incorrect interpretations and faulty assumptions,” she says. “It felt good to see the problems we were experiencing addressed in black and white by the Furniture Forum. Jeffrey and I were fully worn down by the current sales process, and we thought, Do we still want to do this? Is this solving the end users’ problem? How could we expand on this model?”

Addressing the Need for Enhanced Dealer-Designer Relationships

At the time, Lindsay and Jeffrey thought perhaps they could be a dedicated vendor for one of their strongest dealer clients, Unisource Solutions. But instead, Jeffrey was recruited by Unisource Solutions and now serves as executive vice president of Platform, its new, in-house design and manufacturing division—a direct result of the dealer-designer prediction from the Furniture Forum.

“We approached Unisource’s leadership with an idea and a feeling that we could all be doing a better job servicing customers,” Jeffrey explains. “I had designed furniture for several of Unisource’s clients over the years and worked with their team as a vendor. Rick and I started talking about the possibilities of doing away with the vendor layer altogether.”

Rick Bartlett, president of Unisource Solutions, says his team had already been discussing the best way to innovate new solutions and create greater efficiency for their clients. “The timing was perfect,” Bartlett says. “We knew that our clients and the A&D community were actively searching for residential-inspired, ancillary furniture for their workspaces. The demand for this type of furniture was increasing, and we needed a new approach. Jeffrey’s knowledge of furniture design and manufacturing enabled us to innovate an entirely different solution.”

As part of Platform, Jeffrey is now designing custom furniture for clients at Unisource Solutions. In less than a year, Jeffrey and his team have installed furniture for Google, Warner Brothers’ Music, and Aftershock Games, helping each of these companies reflect its brand, culture, and vision in its spaces with bespoke furniture solutions. By integrating the designer into the dealer model earlier in the process, the company can condense the timeline and provide an open line of communication between the designer and the account manager/dealer.

And Jeffrey’s not stopping there.

“We’ve designed an exclusive line of furniture available only from Unisource Solutions,” he says. “These are workhorse seating designs that every office environment needs, but because I’m working closely with local manufacturers, we also offer easy custom adjustments. Our goal is to give our clients more control, better design, and greater efficiency with every project.”

Streamlining Delivery Time Through Process Integration

While Jeffrey Braun was eliminating frustrations and boosting creativity at the dealership level, Lindsay Braun was working on an entirely different set of pain points. In the past several years, she had noticed more of her designer and dealership clients specifying and buying res
Westfalia Technologies
This is the first “palletless” system that Westfalia Technologies has installed.

500 Walnut is a 26-story luxury condo building with 35 residences whose selling prices average $5 million, the highest in Philadelphia to date, according to the building’s developer Scannapieco Development Corporation (SDC).

The tower—designed by Cecil Baker + Partners and built by Intech Construction—includes all of the high-end amenities one might expect, such as a heated pool, fitness center, dog grooming, massage room and sauna, and “outdoor retreat.” And then there’s something entirely different: an automated palletless parking system with 86 parking slots, far more than this building could have accommodated had it gone instead with a more conventional alternative.

“This amenity adds a level of convenience that no other building can,” says Tom Scannapieco, SDC’s owner.

HOW THE AUTOMATED PARKING SYSTEM WORKS
The system, installed by Westfalia Technologies of Charleston, S.C., works like this: The resident drives into the building through a street-level bay door that he or she opens electronically via a transponder attached to the car’s grill or bumper. The driver enters a covered auto court—a kind of lobby, says Scannapieco—and then places the car into a transfer “cabin.” Drivers and passengers get out, and proceed to a kiosk into which the resident scans a key fob to answer a few safety questions on a touch screen—are the car doors shut, is the parking brake engaged, is the engine turned off, etc.—that the parking control system evaluates prior to storage.

A lift within the cabin lowers the car to the basement level, where the vehicle is then positioned onto a palletless transfer platform, which Westfalia’s Satellite technology adjusts for the length of the car’s wheelbase. That platform rotates the vehicle 180 degrees so it can be easily driven out when retrieved, and then moves the car into the nearest parking slot.

When drivers need their vehicles, they can scan their fob either in the building’s elevator or at the kiosk, and the system automatically brings the car back to the transfer cabin. (The lobby kiosk notes the car’s position and expected retrieval time.)

500 Walnut has two transfer areas and two transfer platforms. Residents have 24/7 access to this system. There’s negligible risk of vehicle damage, theft, or break-in because there’s no reason for humans to be in the actual parking area.

How much does all this cost? Scannapieco and Ian Todd, Westfalia’s director of Automated Parking Systems, didn’t answer that question directly. On a per-sf basis, 500 Walnut’s 50,840-sf garage with state-of-the-art technology and mechanicals cost double a conventional parking garage, Scannapieco estimates.

But he’s quick to note that on a per-car basis, “there’s no premium,” basing that assessment on the fact that a conventional parking ramp system, with fire protection and ventilation included, would have been impossible to pull off within a building this size, to say nothing of the number of parking slots that Westfalia’s solution provided.

“By having this technology, we’re doubling our parking yield,” says Scannapieco. Todd adds that the developer saved money on excavation, and increased the value of its residential units by enhancing the user’s experience. (Scannapieco says the parking garage has become the most popular amenity in the building.)

500 Walnut opened in early 2018. Westfalia is currently installing its second palletless parking system, with 160 parking slots, in another building about a mile from 500 Walnut. That building is scheduled to open next year. Westfalia also installs palleted systems, but Todd is convinced that the newer technology will catch on as more developers and prospective owners become aware of it.

He adds, parenthetically, that while an automated palletless parking system could be installed in an existing building, there are far greater efficiencies when that system is part of a building’s original design.
AI SpaceFactory/Plomp
Using concrete and giant printers, home building may one day be much faster and cheaper.

In a forested patch of Garrison, N.Y., on the Hudson River, a giant robotic arm looms over a platform. Later this month, the platform will start to rotate while the arm pumps out a gooey concoction of basalt and biopolymers. Round it will go, receiving layer upon layer, until the arm, like a demonic pastry chef, has extruded an entire egg-shaped house.

This 24-foot-high, 500-square-foot, two-story construction will have a sleeping pod, a bathroom with a shower, a study area and other amenities you might expect from a cool short-term rental. In fact, it will be a cool short-term rental, as well as a demonstration of the future of home building.

The project, called TERA, is one of the latest experiments in 3D-printed houses. Innovators in this arena are seeking to reduce the expense, environmental impact and hazards of construction methods that have remained fundamentally unchanged for more than a thousand years. They are adapting a now-commonplace manufacturing technique in which a computer-controlled dispenser spews a malleable material that hardens into the shape of a pipe fitting, a chair or an internal organ — or, one day, a whole inhabitable building, with its myriad components and systems robotically extruded.

Architects and engineers are edging closer to this goal, by printing portions of houses and assembling or finishing them conventionally. (In TERA’s case the exterior shell will be printed on site and a separate birch plywood interior inserted.) They are testing different structural, surface and insulation materials and struggling to clear one of the highest bars in this technological obstacle course: the 3D-printed roof. (It’s a problem of weight. For TERA, the 3D-printed roof is an easily supported half-inch-thick dome.)

And many of these pioneers have their heads in the clouds.

TERA, which was designed by AI SpaceFactory, a Manhattan architectural studio, evolved from a prototype Martian habitat called MARSHA that won a NASA competition in May. (You can see details at the exhibition “Moving to Mars,” through Feb. 23 at the Design Museum in London.) MARSHA was destroyed as a final test of its stability — NASA wanted to see how much force it would take to crush it. AI SpaceFactory is recycling the crushed material in TERA to demonstrate its commitment to zero waste.

Mars’s atmosphere, about 100 times thinner than Earth’s, determined the habitat’s tubby shape: As pressure within the structure is equalized, the building envelope bulges. Because the cost of shipping construction materials more than 30 million miles is prohibitive, the design makes use of volcanic basalt rock, which exists on Mars, below a layer of dust. The vision is of an autonomous robot that collects, processes and prints what it finds.

Designing for extreme conditions in space helps solve terrestrial problems, noted David Malott, AI SpaceFactory’s co-founder and chief executive. The strategy of building homes on site with hyperlocal materials could have tremendous environmental benefits for our own planet. “It’s a high-tech way of going back to the Stone Age,” he said.

Last year, in a widely publicized collaboration with the San Francisco-based housing nonprofit New Story, ICON introduced a 350-square-foot house in East Austin that has a conventional flat roof with standard framing lumber. The structure was printed with a machine called Vulcan I using a proprietary concrete-like material called Lavacrete. Construction took a total of 47 hours over several days and cost $10,000 for the printed elements.

In May, ICON and New Story again made news with their plans for a village of about 50 printed houses for a poor community in an undisclosed location in semirural Latin America. (An ICON representative recently declined to identify the site out of concern for the privacy of the families who will be chosen to occupy the houses, which are still awaiting construction.)

Now ICON is working with the nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes on Phase 2 of Community First! Village, a 51-acre development that accommodates former members of Austin’s chronically homeless population in RVs, tiny houses and, soon, several 3D-printed cottages. In September, ICON produced the first printed building for the complex, a 500-square-foot welcome center, in a total of 27 hours over several days. The job was done with a Vulcan II, ICON’s next-generatio
Interior Design Media
Bright yellow—the color of Easter "Peeps" and spring daffodils—adds a touch of sunshine to any room. Cheerful pops of this vibrant hue create visual focal points, while bolder, more saturated applications give plain spaces a wow factor, as seen in these 20 yellow interiors.

1. BT Arquitectos Creates Dynamic Tensions in a Beachfront Panama City Apartment

From the moment you step out of the elevator into this home, polarities begin. The living and dining areas, which segue seamlessly into one another, are mainly white, disrupted by luscious hits of color. Dining chairs upholstered in canary yellow sing out, and wingback armchairs covered in a faux-marble-print fabric make a tongue-in-cheek nod to the stone’s current popularity.

2. Miami Beach Apartment by SheltonMindel Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Large Apartment

Interior Design Hall of Fame member Lee F. Mindel, the founding principal of SheltonMindel, combined two residences for a family of six. The sweeping water views afforded by the apartment’s floor-to-ceiling glazing and wraparound terraces inspired his décor scheme. “It conjures the feeling of vacation, of joy and beach balls and umbrellas,” Mindel says. Here, wire jellyfish sculptures by Benedetta Mori Ubaldini appear to drift against the curved sunny yellow doors of a hallway storage unit. Read more

3. Wutopia Lab Conceives a Fantastical Kids' Amenity Space at a Coastal China Resort

Although Wutopia Lab is no foe of bright, youthful hues, having used them to transformative effect, for the Aranya Kids’ Restaurant, they shifted into neutrals, with a few well-placed strokes of yellow and red. Trippy funhouse mirrors, gravity-defying vertical gardens, giant “soap bubbles,” and a balloon-strewn ceiling help spark the imagination. Read more

4. Sanchez + Coleman Refreshes a Tired Manhattan Apartment With Tropical Vibes

Tasked with refreshing this four-bedroom pied-à-terre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Christopher Coleman combined his new chromatic restraint with a touch of his old flamboyance, creating a predominantly white shell to which he added feverish electric-blue and lemon-yellow accents. The project is the first for Sanchez + Coleman studio, a new venture that formalizes Coleman’s longtime collaboration with Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez. Read more

5. HBA Designs Spa Hotel Artyzen Sifang Nanjing Recreation Centre in Ettore Sottsass Building

The host building for Hirsch Bedner Associates' interior was conceived by Sottsass Associati a few years before the death of Ettore Sottsass himself. The prolific architect was known for geometric shapes, primary colors, and black-and-white motifs. And the Sifang building is pure Sottsass: splashy and colorful, rendered in outsize geometric forms. Here, polished textured stucco lines the walls around the pool. Read more

Kim Westerman
Today marks a historic moment for The Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, as the Presidio Tunnel Tops project was formally launched this morning with a “groundmaking” ceremony to kick off the construction phase of this highly anticipated phase of the development of The Presidio.

Set to open in 2021, the ambitious Tunnel Tops project, designed by James Corner Field Operations (the firm behind New York’s High Line), will create an entirely new 14-acre park atop two freeway tunnels just east of Crissy Field. The new multi-use public park will have unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge and, more importantly, it will re-connect the San Francisco waterfront to the Presidio Main Post, a passage that was broken some 80 years ago when Doyle Drive was built to create access to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Corner says, “This has been an extraordinary experience to create a new green centerpiece for the Presidio in the context of the larger Bay Area and the world-class city of San Francisco. The iconic setting is perfect for transforming highway infrastructure into a vibrant new public space.” The final design was informed by the input of more than 10,000 community members to ensure that residents would be happy about the ways in which their neighborhood would be transformed.

Funding efforts have been led by campaign co-chairs Lynne Benioff, Mark Buell, and Randi Fisher, along with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

When Tunnel Tops opens in 2021, it will include gardens with native vegetation, walking pathways, scenic overlooks, a campfire circle, picnic areas, and a three-acre interactive play area designed to connect urban kids with nature. The hope is that this “Youth Campus” will encourage environmental stewardship among the city’s youth population, setting in motion education and awareness about the state of our immediate environment and our planet, in general.

Younger kids will have access to “The Outpost,” a multi-sensory, inquiry-driven space for place-based learning and adventure. Geared toward toddlers up to age 13, The Outpost will also offer activities for teens involved in the youth mentorship programs run by the Crissy Field Center.

The Presidio is one of San Francisco’s most exciting neighborhoods right now. It has always been rich in history and a compelling area for hiking and other outdoor activities, but now it’s a full-blown destination for both day-trippers and visitors from afar, with excellent restaurants, museums, a new visitor center, a free shuttle, a brand-new theatre, and some of the most exciting programming in any U.S. city. Tunnel Tops will also be an impressive green space in the heart of urban San Francisco.

The park has 12 trails for hiking and biking, from wooded paths to coastal cliffside walks, each offering a different ambiance, length, and level of difficulty.

Two hotels — The Inn at the Presidio and The Lodge at the Presidio — are affordable and comfortable, a rarity in San Francisco these days.

To learn more about Tunnel Tops or to contribute during its construction phase, visit the project’s website.

LAVA
Laboratory for Vision Architecture (LAVA) and Australian design practice Aspect Studios have won an international competition to design the new Central Park for Ho Chi Minh City. Located on the site where southeast Asia’s first train station was located, the 16-hectare linear park will pay homage to its industrial heritage with walkways overlaid atop 19th-century railway tracks. In addition to historical references, the visionary public space will also integrate sustainable and futuristic “tree” structures engineered to provide shelter, harvest water and generate solar energy.

Located in District 1, the central urban district of Ho Chi Minh City, the proposed Central Park will replace and expand the existing September 23 Park. The new design will retain its predecessor’s lush appearance while adding greater functionality to include sculpture gardens, outdoor art galleries, water features, music and theater performance pavilions, a skate park, sport zones and playgrounds.

”The site has always been about transportation,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “It was the first train station in southeast Asia, it’s currently a bus terminal and in the near future it will be Vietnam’s first metro station. Our design references this history and future mobility. Known locally as ‘September 23 Park’, it also hosts the important annual spring festival.”

The designers plan to link the redesigned park to the new Ben Thanh Metro Station and memorialize the transport history with a dramatic twisting steel sculpture at one end of the park.

To improve the energy efficiency of Central Park, three types of eco-friendly structures will be installed, and each one will be created in the image of “artificial plants” and “trees.” The “water purification trees” will collect rainwater for reuse for irrigation, drinking fountains and fire hydrants. “Ventilation trees” will reduce the urban heat island effect and generate fresh air, and the “solar trees” feature angled solar panels to generate renewable energy used for powering the charging docks, information screens and the park’s Wi-Fi system. Construction on Central Park is slated to begin in 2020.

Trent Bell
American firm Supernormal has created a nursery and preschool in the Boston area that features sculptural volumes wrapped in vibrant wallpaper and open play areas illuminated by speckled daylight.

Opened in 2019, the SolBe Learning Center is a nursery and preschool for children aged six months to five years. The 550-square-metre facility is located in a strip mall in Chestnut Hill, a community in the Boston area.

Supernormal – a multidisciplinary firm based in the nearby town of Somerville – sought to create a new type of daycare and learning environment. Working in collaboration with SolBe's founders, the architects conceived a model that pairs each classroom, called a Dwelling, with an open space, called a Yard.

"The SolBe Learning Center questions the traditional definition of the classroom, commonly interpreted from early education code as a room bounded by four walls with an area of 35 square feet of space per child," the studio said in a description.

"Instead, the classroom is re-imagined as distinct zones of activity with specific spatial characteristics that better match the quality and level of activity within them."

For the classrooms, the team created sculptural volumes wrapped in colourful, patterned wallpaper. The interiors are fitted with oak flooring, creamy walls and wooden decor. Up above, a billowing ceiling was constructed using light-gauge metal framing with an acoustical plaster finish.

"The ceiling geometry allows for, and amplifies the effect of, indirect light in the dwellings," firm principal Elizabeth Bowie Christoforetti told Dezeen.

"The soft classroom lighting and dynamic ceiling contribute to a sense of calm and wonder in the learning spaces."

Acting as "islands" within an open-floor plan, the Dwellings provide space for focused, quiet learning. In contrast, the Yards are meant for lively play, dining and group activities.

"This oscillation between focused learning and free-play territory reflects the innovative curriculum, creating space that is sensitive to the needs of children as they transition through growth stages and times of the day," the studio said.

In the open areas, activities take place under a 4.5-metre-high (15-foot-high) ceiling punctured with skylights and covered with a screen made of white, acoustic baffles. Dappled, natural light moves across the interior, enabling kids to feel and observe how light and weather change throughout the day.

When school is not in session, the facility acts a community centre, offering opportunities for weekend play, music lessons and continuing education courses for adults.

"The space is an embodiment of SolBe's distinct, open and inclusive approach to early childhood education and life in community," the studio said.

"The space and the concept that drove it hold an enormous amount of potential to push at the edges of the existing status quo toward a redefinition of our experience of young family life in America, in whatever traditional or untraditional form it exists."

The SolBe Learning Center is longlisted for the Dezeen Awards 2019.

Other innovative schools and daycare facilities within the US include Big and Tiny in the Los Angeles area, which has a co-working space for parents and a wooden play area for kids, and WeWork's first school in New York City, which features lily-pad-shaped cushions and sculptural wooden enclosures.
Michael Moran
When a husband and wife purchased five acres of bluff top property overlooking the Peconic Bay in the Hamptons, they knew from the beginning that landscape preservation would be a major focus of their future home. To bring their vision of an environmentally sensitive residence to life, the couple turned to Mapos, a New York-based architectural studio that they had worked with previously. By treading lightly on the site, the architects crafted a modernist multigenerational family retreat—the Peconic House—that blends into its meadow setting with a lush green roof, Corten steel exterior and timber interior.

Designed in part as a reaction against the “insensitive residential development…and reputation for showing off” that has characterized recent real estate development in the Hamptons, the Peconic House is a callback to the modernist legacy of Long Island’s South Fork. Featuring simple and low-slung proportions, the rectangular 4,000-square-foot shuns ostentatious displays and instead uses a roof of native meadow grasses to camouflage its appearance and minimize its impact on the watershed. The residence also embraces indoor/outdoor living with a 2,000-square-foot terrace that faces the Peconic Bay and culminates in a 75-foot-long infinity-edge lap pool.

In positioning the building, the architects were careful to preserve the property’s existing vegetation—particularly a 70-foot-tall sycamore located at the center of the meadow. To relate the architecture to the old-growth forest, the architects relied on a predominately timber palette that includes cedar and reclaimed ipe wood that are complemented by concrete and Corten steel. All materials are left unfinished and will develop a natural patina over time.

Inside the open-plan living area “further abstracts the bluff-top landscape, with unfinished cedar and reclaimed white oak,” note the architects. The blurring of indoors and out are also achieved with 100-foot-long walls of glass that slide open and seamlessly unite the indoor living spaces with the outdoor terrace. The cantilevered roof helps block unwanted solar gain and supports a thriving green roof of native grasses that promote biodiversity.

Interior Design Media
Stadium seating adds playfulness and versatility to office projects big and small.

1. Tsao & McKown Lets History Shine at Sunbrella’s North Carolina Headquarters

Naturally Tsao & McKown was among the talented mix-masters that members of the Gant family wanted to meet when they were planning headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina, for their growing Sunbrella brand. The Gants had their eye on converting the early 20th–century former mill they owned across the street from a building Sunbrella shared with its parent company, Glen Raven. Beyond the new glass-and-steel curtain wall, a 46-foot-wide swath of pine stadium seating fills the lobby. Cushions covers rotate a selection of Sunbrella fabrics. Read more about the headquarters

2. Nike Ups Its Street Cred in NYC With a New Office by Studios Architecture

Few things are more city-gritty than chain link, and Nike is intent on burnishing its street cred, which Studios Architecture principal David Burns and associate principal Frank Gesualdi were amped to do in collaboration with Nike’s workplace design team. For Nike, the wide-open expanses offered the promise of a “freestyle” work environment. For Studios, the unfinished features were appealingly reflective of the character of New York. Read more about the office

3. Rottet Studio Makes Design the Star at the Los Angeles Office of Paradigm

“Light and movement.” That’s what Sam Gores said he wanted to see upon entering his office in Los Angeles. And when the chairman and CEO of Paradigm Talent Agency asks for something, that is precisely what he gets—particularly when the project is designed by Rottet Studio. The greatest challenge was reimagining the 30-year-old building. The device that encouraged community was the insertion of a central stair atrium. Pictured above, the stairs rising from reception’s sitting area offer additional seating on vinyl-covered cushions. Read more about the office

4. Rapt Studio Makes TV Studio Turner’s Atlanta Campus a Must-See

“It was all just cubes and walkways,” Rapt CEO and chief creative officer David Galullo recalls of initial visits to the Turner campus. At first, Rapt considered a standard program for each building: office floors, a café, and a coffee shop. But that plan was scrapped. “We instead decided to entirely re-imagine the site,” Galullo states. “It became about making place.” The team focused its work on 100,000 of the project’s 1 million square feet: in two of the buildings, the seven-story garage, and two courtyards, the purview extending to graphics, art direction, and food service. Read more about the campus

5. Roar's Pallavi Dean Uses Color Psychology to Define Work Spaces at Edelman's Dubai Offices

While the 11,000-square-foot floor plan of Edelman’s office is open to encourage collaboration, Roar created a concept of “cultural villages” to serve a range of functions, inserting phone booths and small meeting rooms for quiet, heads-down work. There are playful environments for the millennial employees, and more refined spaces for senior managers and important clients. The workplace is further delineated by color: The royal blue of Edelman’s logo defines reception, IT is marked by a calming green, the creative team by an energizing yellow. Read more about the office

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Autodesk
Building on its launch last year of Autodesk BIM 360 Design, Autodesk announced Oct. 30 the addition of Civil 3D to the cloud solution platform. Users say the enhanced collaborative abilities with BIM 360 and Revit will streamline design of projects that include both civil and vertical components, such as airports and rail stations.

Collaboration for Civil 3D, now included with a BIM 360 Design subscription, allows subscribers of both to work collaboratively with project partners anytime and from anywhere, regardless of team locations and disciplines, says Theo Agelopoulos, senior director with Autodesk.

Customers can now collaborate using streamlined workflows on a unified platform and also perform their day-to-day data management activities in the same place, he says.

While Collaboration for Civil 3D on the BIM 360 Design platform does not yet offer the same worksharing capabilities as Revit, beta users say the ability to access, iterate, and mark up Civil 3D models in real-time in the cloud constitute a game-changer.

Stacey Morykin, design technology manager for Pennoni, says Autodesk gathered client feedback and brainstorming ideas before developing a beta for clients to test. “We’ve been waiting for this for a really long time,” she says. “We do have some projects that have a vertical infrastructure as well as horizontal. Before, when collaborating on a project, we felt like an outsider. Now we have a chance to be an insider.”

In the past, project partners had to export civil 3D files for Pennoni to import into its drawings. “By the time I hung up phone, there would be another change, so I’m still behind,” says Morykin. “If the architect changes a building footprint or door location, now with this integration we can see it.”

Russ Dalton, AECOM BIM director for the Americas, says the enhanced collaboration can improve production efficiency by 32%. “We work on surveying, preconstruction, predesign, all through turnover and operations. We needed a single data source. When we looked at the total picture of delivering a product that looks the same inside the computer screen and physically, it had to come into play,” he says. Historically, there would be a delay in coordination between architect, mechanical engineering and civil design, he says. “Layouts change all the time. The HVAC and architectural teams are working at a fast clip.”

The development also improves collaboration with other programs, such as ProjectWise from Bentley, he adds. “We’re using Civil 3D on top of ProjectWise and that had never worked well. With the new Civil3D collaboration tool, we can add BIM 360 to the workflow, as BIM360 and ProjectWise do collaborate well.”
Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images
Elon Musk frames his company’s aggressive push into driverless car technology as a moral imperative. Along with sustainable electric transportation, he views autonomy as a core element of Tesla Inc.'s “fundamental goodness.”

Humans will be freed of the tedium of driving, he told Wall Street last year. Millions of lives will be saved.

There is another incentive for Musk to put driverless cars on the road, though. The day he does that, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of stored-up revenue become eligible for a trip straight to Tesla’s perpetually stressed bottom line.

All Tesla cars built since late 2016 are equipped with sensors and other hardware that allow them to function without a human driver at the wheel, according to the company. Since then, buyers of Tesla Models S, X, and 3 have been able to pay $3,000 to $6,000 to eventually get what Musk calls Full Self-Driving technology, or FSD. (The price will soon rise to $7,000.)

Tesla has sold approximately 500,000 cars over that period. The electric-vehicle website Electrek has estimated that 40% of customers choose the FSD option. Owners who haven’t can buy it when available, albeit at a higher price.

Tesla cars will just need new lines of computer code beamed into the car to go full robot when the software is ready, the company says. Musk is aiming to make that happen by the end of the year.

But is Tesla anywhere close to ready with fully driverless technology? And what would that even mean?

The answers concern many in the auto industry, and not just for reasons of competitiveness. Auto executives worry that premature deployment of driverless technology would result in crashes, injuries and deaths and rile up politicians and regulators. It could also damage public trust in the technology — which surveys show is already low — and set the field back by years, they fear.

On Tesla’s website, where FSD is offered for sale, the company says that automatic driving will be available on city streets by the end of the year. FSD will recognize stop signs and traffic lights, it says. And Musk is aiming to release a self-parking feature by the end of the year. The technology, originally scheduled for a May release, would allow a car to drive itself around a parking lot, find an empty spot and park.

Tesla does not say how a car equipped with FSD might respond to a child crossing the street chasing a ball, or whether it would swerve over a double yellow line to avoid a bicyclist. It is “edge cases” such as these that Waymo — the autonomous-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, and the acknowledged industry leader — and others say are taking them so much time to perfect.

Asked to provide a timeline for Tesla’s transition to totally driverless cars, a Tesla spokeswoman pointed to the Autopilot section of its website where the company discusses future use of Tesla cars without driver supervision. As for what Tesla means by “full” self-driving, she offered the following quote from a recent presentation by Musk:

“There’s three steps to self-driving. There’s being feature complete, then there’s being feature complete to the degree where we think that the person in the car does not need to pay attention. And then there’s being, at a reliability level, where we also convince regulators that that is true.”

The lack of clarity on FSD’s capabilities and timeline concerns the National Safety Council, a nonprofit health and safety advocacy group. “Most people don’t understand the technology that’s already in their cars,” said council Vice President Kelly Nantel. “It’s confusing to drivers. When you call something Full Self-Driving or Autopilot (Tesla’s driver-assist technology) you give the impression that the vehicle has capabilities it doesn’t have.”

Moving the millions collected from FSD customers onto Tesla’s bottom line could be enough to ensure a profit in the fourth quarter, which Musk told stock analysts last month he’s “pretty confident” Tesla can do. That would be huge for a company that is struggling to prove it’s not a perpetual money loser. Tesla hasn’t produced an annual profit since its founding in 2003. In the second quarter of this year, Tesla sold a record 95,000 cars but lost $389 million.

As of the second quarter, Tesla listed $1.18 billion in deferred revenue. The c
Derek Swalwell
Victorian practice Austin Maynard Architects has clinched the top honour at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2019 ACT Architecture Awards.

The project, Empire house, was presented with the Canberra Medallion by ACT planning and land management minster Mick Gentleman. It also received the Gene Willsford Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions).

Jury chair Sarah Truscott said, “Empire is located on a road that forms a key part of Burley Griffin’s masterplan. The architects have shown respect for Canberra’s built heritage by preserving the best of this home and creating smart additional living spaces inside and out for all seasons.”

The 2019 ACT Architecture Awards attracted 37 entries with 30 receiving awards or commendations. “Each year our awards showcase the extraordinary talent of the architecture profession and the outstanding buildings it produces and this year is no exception,” said ACT chapter president Philip Leeson. “The architects and their projects recognized by this year’s jury will enter the canon of great architecture that has contributed to the city of Canberra that we love.”

The winners of awards and named awards will now advance to the National Architecture Awards, to be announced on 7 November.

The winners are:

Canberra Medallion
Empire – Austin Maynard Architects

Public Architecture

Commendation
Cricket ACT – Clarke Keller

Educational Architecture

The Enrico Taglietti Award
ANU Hanna Neumann Building – Clarke Keller and DWP Design Worldwide Partnership

Award
CGGS Early Learning Centre – Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn

Commercial Architecture

Commendation
Manuka Oval Media and Function Centre – Populous

Interior Architecture

The W. Hayward Morris Award
ANU Hanna Neumann Building – Clarke Keller and DWP Design Worldwide Partnership

Commendation
Denman Village Shops – AMC Architecture

Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

The Gene Willsford Award
Empire – Austin Maynard Architects

Award
Yarralumla Shed – Gerard O’Connell

Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

The Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award
Concrete House – Rob Henry Architects

Awards
Red Hill House – Mathieson Architects
Courtyard House – Rob Henry Architects

Commendation
Carwoola House – de Rome Architects

Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

The Sydney Ancher Award
Edgeworth Apartments – Cox Architecture

Commendations
Shophouse – Judd Studio
Warehouse – Judd Studio

Small Project Architecture

The Cynthia Breheny Award
Charly_Demonstrator – Stack Space

Sustainable Architecture

The Derek Wrigley Award
CGGS Early Learning Centre – Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn

Award
Courtyard House – Rob Henry Architects

Enduring Architecture

The Sir Roy Grounds Award
Wybalena Grove (1974) – Michael Dysart
Sean Airhart
NBBJ returns to a 1989 Seattle project and creates a wow moment using parametric design and cardboard models. gn and cardboard models.

Parametric design and the geologic processes that formed the rock bluffs of the Puget Sound region may seem unrelated, but Seattle-based NBBJ senior associates Sarah Steen and Daniel Cockrell believe the processes share a—relative—independence from human hands. In creating a feature wall that abstracts the bluffs for the third-floor lobby renovation of the 56-story Two Union Square, also in Seattle, Steen says the designers aimed “to use technology in an unpredictable manner,” similar to the way tectonic activity is uncontrollable by humans.

The office tower, designed originally by NBBJ in 1989, features a curving reinforced concrete building core, which had been finished in a faceted wood veneer. NBBJ wrapped the core on the building's third floor in approximately 1,650 curved panels of pale travertine—selected due to its lightness in both color and weight—which were quarried and custom fabricated by the Poggi Brothers in Tivoli, Italy.

Because of the lobby’s prominence as the pinnacle of a grand staircase leading from the building’s first- and second-floor entrances, the architects saw a need for a focal point. “It just begs for something cool to be happening,” Steen says.

Instead of a surface treatment, the design team “started experimenting with something that could be part of the wall,” Steen says. They envisioned a sculptural element inspired by the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest, “sharp and angular with peaks and valleys.”

Using Grasshopper and Rhino, the NBBJ team established a set of parameters that would maximize the number of triangular sizes and shapes in order to keep them as irregular as possible. Next, they “allowed the script to connect the dots and create this network of angles,” Steen says. “That’s how we arrived at the patterning.”

The result is a nearly 20-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide 3D sculptural ribbon of 415 fractal panels that cuts diagonally across the wall plane like a mountain range. (A smaller tectonic wall feature arises near the elevator bank.) The angular stone panels emerge seamlessly from the more conventional coursing of the rectilinear wall panels, creating a monolithic central element that simultaneously feels divorced from its heft, floating above the floor. This juxtaposition is amplified by the natural banding in the stone, which was preserved meticulously by NBBJ working with the Poggi Brothers and local stonemason Synergism Stone. “It’s laid up on the wall as it [appeared coming] out of the Earth,” Steen says.

Ranging in thickness from 1¼ inches to 3¼ inches, the fractal panels are effectively pinned into place through pre-drilled holes in their top and bottom edges. The holes accommodate steel dowels welded to bent steel plates that are screwed into horizontal strapping, which, in turn, is secured to an 8-inch-wide stud wall covered with gypsum wallboard.

Though the concept of an abstracted cliff face came early, the final design required much refinement. “We did a lot of lighting experiments to make sure that we weren’t protruding from the wall too far and creating too many shadows,” Steen says. “And we did a lot of cardboard mock-ups [following the modeling]. We went analog.”

The light tests, conducted by NBBJ’s internal lighting studio, revealed that the panels, when positioned under overhead illumination from a recessed light cove, only needed to rise a maximum of 2 inches outboard to achieve the desired relief. This was fortuitous since the existing structure had to bear the additional dead load of the travertine panels.

Other design considerations came from the material restraints of the stone. The most significant deviation from NBBJ's 3D model followed the construction of a full-scale mock-up in Italy, working with the Poggi Brothers and Synergism Stone. Some triangular stone panel vertices chipped during installation. “We realized some of our acute angles were a little too fragile,” Steen says, “so we applied another parameter or two to control those acute angles.” Vertices had to be greater than 25 degrees and NBBJ specified filled travertine for panels with the most acute angles.


NBBJ ran a final mock-up with the stone on-site in Seattle, testing every aspect of the process, from fabrication to shipping to installation. Because the firm planned to preserve the natural coursing in the travertine, sp
P. Ravikumar/Reuters
A new WRI report on 15 cities across the Global South reveals that access to safe drinking water is often underestimated—and the challenge will only get worse.

The United Nations has long made access to safe drinking water a global priority. First, the UN began tracking each country’s progress as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—a set of eight targets aimed at improving the quality of life for the world’s poorest. Later, water access became part of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which replaced the MDGs when they expired in 2015. While some nations have reported improvements over the last few decades, a report published Tuesday by the World Resource Institute finds that such national-level measurements underestimate the reality of water access inside cities.

“The issues of continuous service, affordability, and how people move water in the urban built environment are not apparent from just looking at progress on SDGs,” says Victoria Beard, a fellow at the WRI Ross Center For Sustainable Cities who co-authored the report. “You need to go beyond it.” Just saying that a nation provides piped water, for example, doesn’t tell you how reliable the service is, or how safe the water is. If the population depends on privatized water sources, like local water vendors or tanker trucks, the costs may not be accounted for—especially among those living in informal settlements.

So researchers at WRI took a deeper dive into the urban water crisis by analyzing water access in 15 “emerging” or “struggling” cities across Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa—regions often referred to as the Global South. They looked particularly at informal settlements, which may not always be included in the data. “A lot of times informal settlements are not represented in public city data because they are considered illegal or they’re outside formal planning or regulatory frameworks,” Beard says. Yet in sprawling megacities like Lagos, Nairobi, or Karachi, more than half of households are inside informal settlements, according to the report.

The good news: Nearly two-third of households, on average, across all 15 of the Global South cities studied have access to piped water, according to the report. A deeper dive into each city, though, reveals that availability is uneven. In Mumbai, more than 80 percent of households get piped water, but water is available for only seven hours each day. Similarly, water is available only three hours a day for roughly 70 percent of households in nearby Bangalore, and only for three days a week. The authors also report that in 12 cities, the government struggled to provide continuous water service—often a result of water and energy shortages, infrastructure failures, or “municipal rationing.” That, in turn, affects quality and safety, as water is more likely to be contaminated when water pressure is low.

Access to piped water is even more infrequent and inconsistent for those living in informal settlements. Of the nine cities that reported medium to high piped-water access, five also reported intermittent water supply.

When piped water is absent or unreliable, residents turn to privatized water delivery services, which are not uncommon. State agencies turned to private companies in the 1980s after struggling to provide basic services to lower-income households. In the 2000s, when private companies also struggled to make a profit, cities began corporatizing water utilities, operating on an incentives model. As a result, Beard says, affordability often gets ignored.
Architect Magazine
From 89 submissions, the jury picked eight entries that prove architects can be at the helm of innovation, technology, and craft.

Do we control technology or does technology control us? Never has that question seemed more apt than now. The use of computational design, digital manufacturing, and artificial intelligence, if mismanaged, can have frightening consequences, the implications of which society is just beginning to comprehend. But the jury for ARCHITECT’s 13th annual R+D Awards was determined to accentuate the positive side of these advancements, seeking the best examples that “melded technology, craft, and problem-solving,” says Craig Curtis, FAIA.

The eight winners selected by Curtis and fellow jurors James Garrett Jr., AIA, and Carrie Strickland, FAIA, prove that designers can remain solidly in the driver’s seat despite the frenetic pace of technological developments in the building industry and beyond. “Architects are anticipating the future, helping to shape it, and giving it form,” Garrett says. “Moving forward, we are not going to be left behind. We are going to be a part of the conversation.”

JURY

Craig Curtis, FAIA, is head of architecture and interior design at Katerra, where he helped launch the now 300-plus-person design division of the Menlo Park, Calif.–based technology company and oversees the development of its configurable, prefabricated building platforms. Previously, he was a senior design partner at the Miller Hull Partnership, in Seattle.

James Garrett Jr., AIA, is founding partner of 4RM+ULA, a full-service practice based in St. Paul, Minn., that focuses on transit design and transit-oriented development. A recipient of AIA’s 2019 Young Architects Award, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, a visual artist, a writer, and an advocate for increasing diversity in architecture.

Carrie Strickland, FAIA, is founding principal of Works Progress Architecture, in Portland, Ore., where she is an expert in the design of adaptive reuse and new construction projects and works predominantly in private development. She has also taught at Portland State University and the University of Oregon, and served on AIA Portland’s board of directors.
Trent Bell
In Englishman Bay, where his relatives have summered since the 19th century, a musician builds an idyllic hideaway for his family and their three parrots.

"When I was growing up, we went to a little log cabin in Maine," says a musician now based in Colorado. "It sounds romantic, but it really was three boys stuck in a one-room cabin with a loft. Maine can be rainy, foggy, and dreary. We’d go a little stir crazy." Like many childhood summers, his was a mix of boredom and adventure. Part of the romance was his family’s deep roots in the isolated area of Englishman Bay, a two-hour drive east of the bustling seaside community of Bar Harbor. His father had been born in the cabin, and relatives had been summering in the region since the 1880s. And, on sunny days, Maine was fun. He and his brothers played in the woods and clambered over the rocks by the ocean. All the same, he and his brothers were ready to go home at summer’s end.

Englishman Bay Retreat resides on a plot of land next door to the homeowner’s parents’ property; he remembers traversing it as a child to get to the pebbled beach. Clad in hardy local hemlock and raised on galvanized steel piers with board-formed concrete wrapping the ground floor’s mechanical systems, the residence is designed to endure through the ages.

Now he, his wife, and their two daughters still visit Englishman Bay, but their vacation home is decidedly more stylish. In late 2015, they asked Whitten Architects and Nate Holyoke Builders (in Portland and Holden, respectively) for a durable, minimalist home, simultaneously rustic and Scandinavian, that would sit lightly on the land and make use of local materials whenever possible. (They knew Whitten and Holyoke’s work because the team had built a nearby Norwegian-inspired home for the musician’s cousin.) Principal architect Russ Tyson translated the family’s request into a striking, partially transparent house with simple geometries. The U-shaped dwelling comprises three primary forms: a three-story entry tower with a roof deck, a rectangular bedroom wing, and a dramatic, three-season glassed-in porch—organized around a double-sided concrete chimney—that serves as a great room.

creatAR images
wutopia lab has recently completed the design of duoyun books’ flagship store on the 52nd floor of shanghai‘s tallest building, shanghai tower. titled ‘books above clouds’, the project was commissioned by shanghai century publishing and includes a variety of functions including a bookstore, a lecture room, exhibition space and a cafe. providing more than just books, the new public place intends to become a cultural landmark within the busy city.

the design covers a huge area of 24,315.67 ft2 (2259 m2), providing space for 60,000 books. the scheme by wutopia lab centers around translucent bookshelves stacked in layers, or what the design team describe as a ‘white abstract mountain’. the curved entrances invite visitors inside to explore the books on offer, while at the end of the ‘mountain’, large windows gain impressive views over the city below.

the bookstore also includes a black study room, which denotes a quieter space for serious readers. circles of books wrap around visitors, while a movable bookshelf is used as a partition to separate different areas of the room. this bookshelf has been prefabricated in a factory and later installed on site. in addition to the areas for books, the store also includes a multi-purpose space that can be used for exhibitions or talks, or simply as a social gathering place.

wutopia’s design also comprises of two places to enjoy a cup of coffee on the 52nd floor. firstly, a ‘tiffany-blue’ cafe is embedded amid the white translucent bookshelves. meanwhile, a pink dessert house lies at the end of the store as a surprise to visitors. developed as a high quality bookstore, books above clouds results in a calm, beautiful space to spark readers’ imagination.




Neeson Murcutt Architects and Sue Barnsley Design
The theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day – a day with radical roots that has become an annual rallying point for women across the world – is “Balance for Better.” Responding to that theme, which organizers hope will “guide and galvanize continuous collective action,” ArchitectureAU has asked a number of women architects about their collaborations and partnerships with other women.

Rachel Neeson and Sue Barnsley – Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell masterplan

Neeson Murcutt and Sue Barnsley Design have a long history of collaboration, having shared a studio space together with Joseph Grech and Durbach Block Jaggers. Their first major project together was the highly successful Prince Alfred Park and Pool upgrade, which won a host of awards in 2014, including the NSW Sulman Medal for Public Architecture, the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design, and a National Landscape Architecture Award for Design. “It was an intense project over an extended period where we found our voices at scale together,” said Sue Barnsley and Rachel Neeson.

“We see the world through shared eyes and so our working together is like a conversation - we talk, we draw and we write iteratively, energized by the contribution of the other - the architecture ‘shaping’ the landscape, the landscape ‘shaping’ the architecture.”

The Kurnell peninsula of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park in Sydney is the site of first contact between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of Captain Cook’s Endeavour in 1770. The site is national heritage-listed and, in 2008, the first masterplan was produced for the “Meeting Place” - a place that marks the meeting of two cultures and acknowledges both conflict and reconciliation. The original masterplan has now been substantially implemented in the lead up to the 250th anniversary of first contact in 2020. Neeson Murcutt and Sue Barnsley Design and interpretation consultants were engaged to conduct a review to explore the new opportunities at the site. The project will include a new visitor building, the reconstruction of the ferry wharves at La Perouse and Kurnell and upgrading the existing barbecue and picnic area.
HELEN H. RICHARDSON/MEDIANEWS GROUP/THE DENVER POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
In a move that stunned transportation planners around the country, Denver International Airport terminated the contractor team working on a $650-million terminal renovation. The move also ended the airport’s $1.8-billion public-private partnership with Great Hall Partners, a consortium led by Ferrovial Airports, with partners Saunders/JLC Infrastructure.

The contractors released documents showing that the renovation, had GHP stayed on the job, would have cost more than $1 billion. That’s $288 million more than the contract, plus a $120-million contingency. Airport officials insist the project can be done for the original budget.

“This was not a decision arrived at lightly,” said DEN CEO Kim Day in an Aug. 13 news conference announcing the firing. “We are very far apart in cost and schedule and our values.” The termination is effective Nov. 12.

The decision also will cost the airport millions in termination fees and create substantial delays in completing the work. The project is only in the first of three phases, with most of the demolition done, after 13 months of work. The scope includes relocating TSA security positions to the north end of the terminal, consolidating unused ticket counters and adding more food and retail concessions, among other upgrades.

The two sides reached an impasse after months of squabbling. GHP cites multiple change orders, micromanagement by airport officials, and a delay to test concerns about existing weak concrete in the terminal (ENR 3/4-11 p. 5). After three months of testing last winter, the concrete was declared strong enough for construction to proceed. Meanwhile, airport officials allege multiple safety violations and contend that the contracting team was slow to respond to requests for information about cost and schedule. “GHP didn’t secure all of their permits, and we didn’t know how far behind on permits they were,” airport spokesperson Stacey Stegman told ENR. “So we said, ‘If this is happening now in phase one, what would phases two and three be like?’ ”

GHP, which has declined all requests for interviews, responded to the firing in a statement: “We are disappointed with DEN’s decision and strongly disagree with their characterizations of how we have arrived at this point. …The reality is that the project’s time and cost overruns are a direct result of the discovery of weak concrete in some areas of the terminal, which DEN did not disclose to GHP at the outset of the project, and more than 20 large-scale, badly timed and unnecessary change directives issued by DEN to the design they had previously approved.”

The P3 contract, the largest in Denver history, would have extended for 34 years, including four years of construction and 30 years of operations, with GHP building and paying for all improvements and managing the terminal’s concessions after completion. Revenue from concessions would have been split, with 20% going to GHP and 80% to DEN.

P3s Under Scrutiny
“This [contract termination] may launch a period of introspection among airport professionals,” says Robert Alfert, a partner with consultant Nelson Mullins. “It opens up a Pandora’s box. You will see a lot of re-evaluation all over the country where airport P3s are concerned.”

Some insiders fault a cumbersome contract—more than 15,000 pages long—and incompatible teams. “A P3 was not the right way to go from the beginning,” says a former airport employee, who requested anonymity. “In a P3, you need to get out of the way, and airport management insisted on being involved in every detail. Plus, GHP said they could complete the first phase in only 11 months. That was totally unrealistic.”

“It wasn’t the P3,” Stegman insists. “They just weren’t the right partner for us.”

Still, the airport says it plans to finish the project—now with an unspecified completion date—using traditional contracting methods and direct airport oversight, perhaps turning to firms already under contract to complete phase one next spring, and then use a procurement process for the remaining work. Officials say terminal project delays will not affect a concurrent $1.6-billion gate expansion project. The P3 exit negotiations could take months, and cost “a minimum of $200 million,” Stegman says. That price could go even higher, since the airport opted to terminate the c
Tremend
The Polish city of Lublin will soon be home to an environmentally friendly bus station that not only offers a new and attractive public space, but also combats urban air pollution. Designed by Polish architectural firm Tremend, the Integrated Intermodal Metropolitan Station in Lublin will be built near the train station and aims to revitalize the area around the railway station. The contemporary design, combined with its environmental focus and green features, earned the project a spot on World Architecture Festival’s World Building of the Year shortlist.

Located close to Folk Park, the Integrated Intermodal Metropolitan Station was designed as a visual extension of the neighboring green space with a lush roof garden and large green wall that wraps the northern facade. Greenery is also referenced in the series of sculptural tree-like pillars that support a massive flat roof with large overhanging eaves. Walls of glass create an inviting and safe atmosphere, while the administration rooms will be provided with tinted windows for privacy.

To reduce energy demands, the building will be heated with geothermal energy and outfitted with energy-efficient LEDs. Meanwhile, motion detectors will be used to activate the lighting to ensure energy savings. A rainwater collection and treatment system will also be used to irrigate the plants that create a cooling microclimate and improved air quality. Air quality is further improved with the use of “anti-smog blocks,” a modern photocatalytic material containing titanium dioxide that breaks down toxic fumes.

“Architecture of public places is evolving in my opinion in a very good direction,” says Magdalena Federowicz-Boule, President of the Tremend Board. “Combining different spaces, open shared zones favors establishing contacts. The communication center, which is to be built in Lublin, is to revive it for revitalization district and become a meeting place where people will be able to meet and spend together time in an attractive environment with green areas. The project is also a response to problems, related to environmental protection and city life, such as smog, water and energy consumption, noise. It is an image of how we perceive the role of ecology in architecture.”


MVRDV
MVRDV has unveiled designs for the Green Villa, a striking mixed-use building draped in greenery for the Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgestel. Created in collaboration with Van Boven Architecten, the four-story Green Villa will be located on the town’s southern edge and will use a grid “rack” system to host a wide variety of potted plants, bushes and trees, including the likes of forsythia, jasmine, pine and birch. The project will be a landmark project for the village and will promote sustainability with improved biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Located on a corner lot next to the Dommel River, the 1,400-square-meter Green Villa will house a new ground-floor office space for real estate developer and client, Stein, as well as five apartments on the three floors above in addition to underground parking. The building shape relates to the existing urban fabric with its adoption of the mansard roof shape used on the neighboring buildings. A new architectural typology is also put forth with the use of a strikingly lush facade that will help the structure blend in with the nearby river, fields and trees.

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

The Green Villa will be defined by a square grid four bays wide and three bays deep, in which modules for bedrooms and living spaces will slot inside. The facade will be made up of a “rack” of shelves of varying depths to support a “three-dimensional arboretum,” and each plant will have its own nameplate with additional information. The plants will be watered year-round with a sensor-controlled irrigation system that uses recycled rainwater. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020.

Upofloor
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
Christopher Barrett.
Here’s a bold statement that we all need to be reminded of. Pinterest has altered the design world—but it hasn’t replaced the need for a designer.

In a fascinating report on Evidence-Based Design (EBD) from The Center for Health Design, the company defines EBD as “the deliberate attempt to base building decisions on the best available research evidence with the goal of improving outcomes and of continuing to monitor the success or failure for subsequent decision-making.” In short, purposeful design isn’t just a compilation of pretty pictures, but it’s backed by results, best practices, experience, trial and error, and years of research all curated into an expertly planned space centered around the end user's functionality and with inspiration in mind.

Mark Hirons FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, design principal for CannonDesign, explained it best: “Informed design at the onset of a project leverages baseline comparisons to offer the client context and an enriched design consultancy experience. Design should be behavioral-focused and use relevant data as a means to explore ideas. Each project is unique. Ultimately, it’s a fine-tuned process that, while working with the client over time, results in a meaningful environment and often a portfolio of thoughtfully designed spaces.”

Understanding the Value of Design

The value of design exists in its ability to support two of the client’s most valuable resources: people and place. “While oftentimes clients initially may have preconceived notions, we seek to listen to their vision, understand their culture and explore new ideas that will best position them for the future. We look at behaviors and focus on efficiency and, even more importantly, effectiveness. While everyone wants a space that works well and is budget-friendly, the most important question is how do we purposefully design our client’s second-most-expensive asset in their portfolio (real estate) to make their first-most-expensive asset (people) more effective.”

By overlaying well-being, collaboration, privacy, and meaningful interaction, Hirons explains, great design can do both.

Want vs. Reality

Hirons notes that often the first endeavor is deciphering the difference between a client’s wants and needs within a space to best achieve their goals. “Our job is to take a step back and analyze how best to translate ideas and choices, authentically, to our client,” he says. “They may express an impact, characteristic, or mood desired for their space and our goal is to translate that with their brand and story to craft the environment for which they are aspiring.”

He continues, “Design is taking the desired behaviors and matching them with an array of purposeful settings that support concentration, collaboration, comprehension, and social connection and creating them to express each client’s mission and culture. We come back with a list of design choices that offer both the feel they want and the functional environment we know they need. For example, we’ll provide a list of things to consider—perhaps multi-functional spaces, art, gardens, enhanced technology, etc.—then the client can decide to pull different levers or accentuate certain choices to make the space more engaging and experiential.”

Design as a Catalyst, Space as an Innovator

As a well-illustrated example of this EBD principle, Hirons shared a recent client experience where a leading biopharmaceutical company in Korea wanted an environment that spoke to its brand reputation of being a global leader. After meeting with the client, CannonDesign realized the company needed to provide a space that supported its employees throughout their entire day.

“They wanted a work environment that infused the elements of collaboration, innovation, reflection, and a holistic perspective,” explained Hirons. “We delivered more than 50 different settings—from a living forest and micro-kitchens to seminar rooms and sleeping pods—that spoke to the idea of being the only one. We looked at each experience a person could have throughout the day and how the spaces could support productivity and infuse innovation. Ultimately, design was the catalyst to create a completely unique environment to enrich their staff members’ lives everyday.”

To clarify, Pinterest and the use of imagery has a place in the conte
Marcos Guiponi
Designed to welcome the outdoors in, two modular and minimalist houses provide a blissful escape in the Uruguayan countryside.

A few years after VivoTripodi completed a prefabricated weekend home for a family in rural Uruguay, the clients called on the Montevideo-based architects once more to create two new residences for visiting friends and family. Like the main house, the minimalist dwellings keep the focus on the landscape.

The architects drew design inspiration from the main home’s boxy form and all-timber palette to create two modular additions strategically placed to maintain sight lines and minimize landscape impact. As with the main house, prefabricated construction provided numerous advantages given the remote location and the desire to minimize waste.

"The main design goal was to create complete immersion in nature," explain architects Bernardo Vivo and Guzmán Trípodi of VivoTripodi. "The interior feels as if you were outside. To wake up in the freezing winter and see the sun come out of the horizon, the fog dissipating in the cold grass, but to do it all in great comfort inside the shelter while drinking a hot coffee…it’s definitely a unique experience."

Each guest house spans 518 square feet and comprises three main spaces with an open-plan layout: a combined living/dining/kitchen area, a bathroom to the side, and two bedrooms on either end of the building.

"The ground had some variation, and we wanted that to remain," note the architects of their site-sensitive approach. "We didn’t touch the ground’s natural curve, to emphasize the fact that we like to respect the natural state of things."

The interiors are lined with pine planks, each of which is 13 centimeters wide—a measurement that determined the interior dimensions. "We had to give specific details so that when the carpenters started working on the interiors, the wood would barely have any modifications to its sizing," explain the architects. "Our precision determined the exact amount of wood needed to minimize waste and unused cuts."

"To create a project with nature as its main factor is amazing," say Vivo and Trípodi. The architects developed their site-specific designs over multiple visits to the site to study how the landscape changed throughout the seasons and time of day. "We hope to get more chances to show our outdoor fanaticism."





Arion Doerr via TRI-LOX
A giant NEST has landed on the roof of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) — and it’s not for the birds. Brooklyn-based design and fabrication practice TRI-LOX created NEST, the museum’s new interactive playscape built out of reclaimed timber from the city’s rooftop water towers. Designed with parametric tools, the sustainable installation takes inspiration from the unique nests of the baya weaver birds — their nests are featured in the museum’s educational collection — and comprises an organic woven landscape with 1,800 square feet of space for open and creative play.

Opened just in time for summer, the NEST playscape at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) in Crown Heights caters to children ages 2 to 8. The woven wooden landscape is set on artificial turf and includes a climbable exterior and a series of ribbed tunnels and rooms that make up a permeable interior with entrances marked by bright blue paint. The reclaimed cedar slats not only make the structure easy to climb, but also partially obscure views for added playfulness. The top of the structure is crowned with a circular hammock area that directs views up toward the sky.

“In exploring the museum’s educational collection, we came upon a series of incredible bird nests and let them inspire our design,” said ​Alexander Bender​, co-founder and managing partner of TRI-LOX, which was commissioned by BCM through a request for proposals in mid-2017. “One nest in particular, made by the baya weaver bird, offers an intricately woven form with rooms, tunnels and multiple entries. This concept was then transformed into a climbable playscape that retains the natural materiality of the nest and tells a story of an iconic design within our vertical urban habitat — the NYC rooftop wood water tower. We quite literally brought the water tower back to the rooftop with this project … it just had to be turned into a giant nest first.”

NEST playscape is the newest focal point for the BCM, which consists of a series of architecturally significant designs befitting its title as the world’s first children’s museum. Rafael Viñoly designed the museum’s eye-catching yellow building in 2008. Seven years later, Toshiko Mori added a pavilion on the 20,000-square-foot rooftop that was complemented with lush planting plan and a boardwalk by Future Green Studio in 2017.



Koto
From stylish backyard dwellings to a sleek floating home

Whether it’s Kanye’s dome prototypes or Ikea’s plan to design residences for people with dementia, prefab housing of all stripes continued to make headlines in 2019. For our year-end roundup of the best prefabs, however, we’re highlighting the most impressive designs that are available to order.

You’ll notice that a few of these picks are intended as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which have had quite a year, especially in California, where new laws are making it easier for single-family homes to add a backyard unit. As prefab construction is particularly well-suited for the job, we’ll surely be looking out for more sophisticated, ADU-friendly prefabs heading into 2020 and beyond.

A city-approved modern ADU

In an effort to incentivize more housing stock, the city of San Jose, California, recently pre-approved a backyard dwelling from Bay Area housing startup Abodu so that residents can buy and install one in as little as two weeks. The 500-square-foot house, designed by U.K. studio Koto, costs $199,000 and offers Scandinavian modern style with stark white walls, pale wood floors, and the option to add a curated furniture package.

A full-size algorithm-designed backyard dwelling

LA startup Cover first unveiled its tiny box of a prefab studio/office in 2017 with algorithm-driven design as its claim to fame. This year, the company made its offering more ADU-friendly by unveiling a full-on one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. The 436-square-foot, L-shaped design features an open-plan living and dining area, and a bedroom tucked into the back. The cost of design and build is $193,000.



Greentech Media
Developers of the 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts, set to be the first commercial scale renewable energy venture in the U.S., say they are committed to push through on its $2.8 billion in construction despite a sudden Trump Administration permitting setback.

The project, originally set to gain its critical environmental impact statement this summer so it could start construction by year-end to enable use of a federal tax incentive, now must do extensive additional studies before work can start, based on new mandates from the U.S. Interior Dept.

The department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which leads the federal government project review, told the developer—a joint venture of Copenhagen Investment Partners and Avengrid Renewables—on Aug. 9 that it was expanding its analysis of Vineyard Wind to take into account the cumulative effects of other offshore wind projects that have been awarded power purchase agreements as well as state procurements of offshore wind generation that are expected to be awarded.

The agency said it expects a greater buildout of offshore wind capacity than was analyzed in the draft EIS for the project.

BOEM said stakeholders and cooperating agencies requested a more robust cumulative analysis.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service said it does not concur with BOEM's decisions related to distance between its 84 planned turbines and their alignment because of claimed hazard to commercial fishing, said Michael Pentony, NOAA’s regional administrator. They currently are to spaced 0.75 nautical miles apart and aligned in a northwest-southeast orientatio. NOAA wants them further apart and aligned in an east-west direction “to minimize impacts to fishing operations.”

Lobbyists for the commercial fishing industry asked for a more comprehensive study that would show how the buildout of various proposed wind farms in the region—including New England, New York and New Jersey—would affect its operations.

“We are disappointed not to deliver the project on the timeline we had anticipated,” Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind said in a statement.

More than 50 design, construction and other companies have either been awarded project development contracts or were bidding on them.

Vineyard has not received any specific requirements for the expanded analysis from BOEM, but the company said the timing of such a study could not be completed within its timeline to begin construction before 2020.

Incentive credits for renewable energy projects, which have provided a 30% federal tax break for the last several years and factor in Vineyard Wind's financial framework, are set to expire this year.

Three bills now are pending in Congress to extend the credit for from five to eight years, with some observers speculating that the extension could be included in tax extenders legislatlon that passed the House Ways and Means Committee but whose passage this year depends on an uncertain level of bipartisan cooperation, says an Aug. 1 GreenTech Media report.
PAD Studio
The Lane End House by PAD studio incorporates natural building material and sustainable solutions to increase energy-efficiency. The resulting design creates a passive home with a smaller environmental footprint and a focus on sustainability.

The exterior of the house contains balcony areas that act as solar shading for the property, complete with thoughtfully-placed openings to create a greater distribution of natural ventilation to rid the home of intense heat during the hot Summer months.

Landscape-wise, the clients wanted to incorporate a natural feel as often as possible, with large windows to connect the inhabitants with the outdoors and a functioning herb garden located on the first floor balcony. The placement of the grand windows creates natural sunlight to light the home during the day while incorporating more profound landscape views.

According to the client, “we wanted a house that was big enough to comfortably accommodate the two of us and our lifestyle – and no bigger. For us that meant carefully considered, flexible, multipurpose spaces that created a sense of space whilst retaining a modest footprint.”

High quality, insulated timber wood used to create the frame both reduces the need for artificial cooling and heating in the home, and provides an eco-friendly alternative to traditional (and heavy carbon emission-inducing) building materials. Additionally, the timber is locally-produced from renewable sources and the brick used to make the fireplace is hand-made by local vendors. On the ground floor, concrete was inserted to make the structure even more air-tight and regulate interior temperatures even further.

The builders installed a MVHR system designed to recycle heat produced from the kitchen and bathroom and mix it with clean air circulated through the ventilation and naturally colder areas of the house.

In addition to completing the standard methods such as SAP calculations and EPS ratings, the impressive home was also built to Passive House ideology.