Table of Contents August 2010



  • Friends in High Places

    The AIA's next chief executive needs to be a politically savvy leader with the skills, and the mandate, to effect changes that will benefit the profession.


R+D Awards

  • Fourth Annual R+D Awards

    This year's jury selected 11 winners—ranging from sustainable housing to steam-bending and rubber sinks—based on a combination of performance, aesthetics, and progressive thinking.

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    Award: Digital Steam-Bending: Developing a Parametrically Adaptable Wishbone Structural System

    A University of Michigan research group has revisited the 19th century technique of bending wood through steam with 21st century tools.

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    Award: R-House

    Designed by two New York architecture firms, the compact R-House offers a prototype for low-energy housing that’s also affordable and adaptable.

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    Award: RUBBiSH (Recycled Rubber Sinks)

    In the world of green, worth is usually measured in acronyms—VOCs, IAQ, FSC, etc. Minarc's rubber sink, however, has a pedigree so pure, no acronyms are necessary.

  • The team compiled a database of information that helped determine carbon emissions for buildings in the Chicago Loop. These emissions can now be visualized on a color spectrum from red (very high emissions) to dark green (low emissions).

    Award: Chicago Central Area Decarbonization Plan

    Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, known for net-zero and positive-energy designs, is helping its hometown of Chicago meet carbon-reduction goals.

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    Award: North House: Responsive Envelope Prototyping

    Designed for the 2009 Solar Decathlon, RVTR/Team North's 800-square-foot prototype house is tailor-made for northern climates.

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    Award: Green-Zip Tape

    It’s hard to get simpler in conception and execution than Green-Zip Tape, a substitute for the joint-compound tape that's been used between gypsum board panels since the 1930s.

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    Award: Shadow Pavilion

    The surface of PLY Architecture's Shadow Pavilion consists of 100-plus laser-cut cones that test the limits of sheet aluminum while funneling in light, moisture, and sound.

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    Citation: Community Rowing Boathouse

    When the only public-access rowing club on the Charles River required a new facility, Anmahian Winton Architects saw a chance to update the vocabulary of local rowing structures.

  • To help visualize the three-dimensional quality of the surface, the team went through a prototyping process that involved popping bubble wrap over a pattern of planned raised, flat, and depressed dots.

    Citation: Bitmaps

    Wallpaper isn't everyone's cup of tea. In response to a client’s interest in 3D wall paneling, PROJECTiONE set out to invent a system of ornamental tiles.

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    Citation: New York Stock Exchange Security and Streetscape

    Street security is omnipresent in urban centers. Finding existing options for New York's financial district lacking, Rogers Marvel Architects developed the Turntable Vehicle Barrier.

  • HelioTrace is composed of three systems: exterior shading (both shades that are perpendicular to the building, far left, and shades parallel to the façade, second from left); a high-performance curtain wall; and complementary M/E/P and building systems.

    Citation: HelioTrace Façade System

    SOM combines kinetic shades, the building envelope, and internal mechanicals into an adaptive façade that minimizes energy use while maximizing user comfort.



Best Practices

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    The Career Reboot

    Starting a company is one thing. Making it successful takes the right combination of timing, industry savvy, and business connections.


Local Market

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    Charleston, W.Va.

    Charleston has benefited from nonprofit and government development projects, but it could use an infusion from the private sector.



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    Self-Inflicted Losses

    The second installment of our series on architectural fees finds that increased competition for even the smallest of projects is leading firms to slash rates. But have things gone too far?




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    Repeating Structural Node

    Gosdorf, Austria's Mur Nature Observation Tower shows off the digital fabrication chops of the young architecture firm Terrain:loenhart&mayr.



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    What’s in a Name

    For architects to discuss green as though it's confined to construction alone hampers their ability to find the broadest avenues to innovation.



Other Articles

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    2010 Pro AV Spotlight Awards

    Take a pair of 21st century arts schools, mix in a casino's giant LED screens, add a sprinkle of Army distance learning with hospital telemedicine, and you've got a taste of what the pro AV industry's best have to offer.

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    In the Clouds

    You've probably seen or heard references to "cloud computing." What is it? How can it affect architectural practice? We offer a primer.




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    Hat Trick

    The new Centre Pompidou-Metz museum embodies Shigeru Ban's particular brand of low-tech innovation.


Exhibits Books Etc.

Screen Grab

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    Although Archigram is best known for whimsy, the Archigram Archival Project reveals just how serious its six members were about architecture.


Past P/A

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    Shadowy Surrealism

    Two Arquitectonica-designed residential buildings along Biscayne Bay, the Babylon and the Atlantis, have suffered from the overcrowding that accompanied Miami’s housing boom.