Table of Contents August 2009



  • The King Is Dead

    Remembering famed architecture photographer Julius Shulman


R+D Awards

  • Dry Joist & Dry Joist EZ

    Wahoo Decks creates a flexible, weather-resistant system of aluminum decking.

  • Green Wall Systems: Active Phytoremediation Wall System

    Green wall systems are a balm for cubicle-weary office workers as well as a great energy-saver. The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology creates a new modular green wall system that bares the plants roots and increases air-cleaning efficiency.

  • Pin-Fuse Joint

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designs a building frame that rolls with the impact of an earthquake and then returns to form when the aftershocks are finished.

  • 2009 R+D Awards

    Introducing the third annual ARCHITECT magazine R+D Awards.

  • Voussoir Cloud

    IwamotoScott Architecture creates a lightweight structure of compression arches out of wood laminate for SCI-Arc.

  • Rhinobond Roof Attachment System

    Sika Sarnafil create a mechanical attachment system to bond thermoplastic membranes to roofs without damaging them.

  • The model allowed the architects to create a series of visualizations that can help them consider the limitations on certain projects. This diagram shows the city's current height limits, and highlights both the number of buildings built before current limits were passed and the potential for other sites to increase vertical density.

    San Francisco Digital Context Analysis Model

    A 3D model of San Francisco developed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is being used to track old and new construction and determine the viability of future developments.

  • Solar tube density varies on the different faces of the tower. The highest concentration is on the south façade, in an effort to harness the maximum amount of solar energy to convert to steam power.

    Oasis Generator

    SOM's Chicago office engineers a desalinization tower that aims to make the seaside desert a bit more habitable.

  • Ecoworx backing for broadloom carpet was engineered as a cradle-to-cradle product, which can be reclaimed at the end of the product's life cycle, broken down into its component pieces, and completely recycled into new commercial-grade carpet.

    Ecoworx Backing for Broadloom Carpet

    Shaw Industries created a cradle-to-cradle solution for broadloom carpet backing.

  • Glass stringer beams rely on the support of load-bearing glass walls to hold the weight of the booth's glowing red staircase and the tourists lounging upon it. The glass pieces are connected with stainless steel brackets and pins, but there is no load-bearing metal in the structure.

    TKTS Booth

    Perkins Eastman's design for the new TKTS Booth in New York relies on a series of trusses and bearing walls made entirely from glass.

  • Trumpf Campus Gatehouse

    Barkow Leibinger Architects use 2D and 3D cutting and casting technology to create a huge cantilevered roof for the Gatehouse building on Trumpf's campus.

  • A mock-up of the SFIS with bundled plastic bottles. Most plastic water bottles are discarded with the caps on; capped, empty bottles are airtight and can be placed within a concrete structure to create a void. Hydrostatic pressure from wet concrete will only nominally reduce the air volume inside the bottles.

    Sustainable Form-Inclusion System

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design a prototype system that uses plastic bottles, bags, and other compressed waste to lighten and fill spaces in concrete slabs.

  • The design for the staircase is centered on folded stainless steel. Hung from a structural steel support on the top level of the townhouse, vertical folded pieces create a continuous screen that encloses the two above-grade flights of stairs. Tabs on the bent risers are fitted into slots on the vertical pieces, which created an easy setup for on-site construction and spot-welding.

    Dynamic Descent

    Dean/Wolf Architects designs a folded stainless steel staircase for a Manhattan townhouse.

  • Light is also directed by the curved shape of the fixture's housing, one of the object's distinctive aesthetic features.

    LED Streetlight

    The Office for Visual Interaction designed a prototype LED streetlight for New York to cut down on energy use.



Best Practices

  • Architects are good at taking complex problems and figuring out innovative solutions, says Marjanne Pearson, head of the eponymous design consulting and headhunting business. Apply that to the resume process.

    You Are the Brand

    The first article in a three-part series for job-seekers. The hunt for work starts with a pitch-perfect résumé, and design consultant-slash-headhunter Marjanne Pearson is the ultimate judge.


Local Market

  • Louisiana Superdome - Architects: Louisiana Superdome Renovation Joint Venture TeamEllerbe Becket (consultant), with New Orleans firms Trahan Architects, Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects, and Billes Architecture. - Completion: 2007 - Brief: $185 million renovation of sports landmark partially funded by $118 million from FEMA and $15 million from the NFL.

    New Orleans

    Four years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is slowly battling back, thanks to federal dollars, disaster relief block grants, and tax credits.


Other Articles




  • Earth Attacks!

    Hollywood sells tickets by showing cities as a source of environmental shame, but designers can envision a brighter dream in which cities are an integral part of nature.






  • Untitled, Bay Bridge, a photo by Alexis Tjian from Geoff Manaugh's The BLDGBLOG Book.

    Fantasy Lands

    How well does Geoff Manaugh's popular BLDGBLOG make the leap to book form?


Screen Grab


    An architecture firm known for its radical designs embraces a deceptively simple approach to its corporate website.



  • At a time when women had few options in architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright provided one, as a circa 1962 photo from Taliesin West attests.

    Leading Ladies

    The scores of women designers who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright have all but disappeared from history. A new documentary by Beverly Willis is the first step in giving them proper recognition.



Other Articles

Past P/A

  • Beach cottage, Quogue, Long Island, N.Y. (1966 citation)

    The Best Betts

    From 1966 to 1972, Hobart Betts' architectural designs won several P/A Awards. Then, his work disappeared from prominence.