The Architecture of Harry Weese

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Harry Weese & Associates built constantly from 1948 to 2000 but never reached the high profile of contemporaries like I.M. Pei and Philip Johnson. Weese’s architecture is highly original and often stunning, but has not been elevated into the late-modern canon alongside the less prolific work of Louis Kahn or Paul Rudolph (unlike them, Weese never taught at Yale). Yet Weese’s hundreds of built projects, unrelenting urban boosterism, and deep commitment to public life and preservation made him arguably more influential than any of his contemporaries.

Weese’s most poetic work includes a pair of churches built in the early 1960s: First Baptist of Columbus, Indiana, and St. Thomas in Neenah, Wisconsin. The latter is disappointingly undocumented in the book, save for a striking photograph that shows the church’s raw concrete and timber interior, as Weese described it, “Devoid of pomp, yet bold in belief; material luxuriousness, no; richness of space and light and sound, yes.”  It seems to match the best work of Marcel Breuer, who at the same time was also building spare, dramatic beton-brut churches in the upper Midwest. And slightly later, the Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, resolved the constraints of an awkward triangular site on Wacker Drive by turning the rear of its large auditorium into a travertine-clad curve that holds its own against the backdrop of the Loop’s most famous skyscrapers.

Weese challenges Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in steel and glass as featured  here…. Shadowcliff, a corporate president’s vacation office: a glass box jutting out from a sheer rock cliff above Lake Michigan, hanging from castellated Corten beams anchored into the rock face. A horizontal porthole cut into the floor looks straight down. The other,Chicago’s Time-Life building, looks at first glance like a humorless corporate box, Weese’s own contribution to what he termed “the hard edge bar-graph of downtown.”

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The Architecture of Harry Weese: Chicago modernist: Places: Design Observer.

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ILMA of the Week: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886 – August 19, 1969) was a German-American Architect commonly referred to, and was addressed, as Mies, his surname. He served as the last director of Berlin’s Bauhaus, and then headed the department of architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he developed the Second Chicago School. Along with Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern Architecture.

Mies, like many of his post-World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential twentieth century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design, but he was always concerned with expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his quotation of the aphorisms, “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

Furniture

Mies designed modern furniture pieces using new industrial technologies that have become popular classics, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His furniture is known for fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional luxurious fabrics like leather combined with modern chrome frames, and a distinct separation of the supporting structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames. During this period, he collaborated closely with interior designer and companion Lilly Reich.

Educator

Mies played a significant role as an educator, believing his architectural language could be learned, then applied to design any type of modern building. He set up a new education at the department of architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago replacing the traditional Ecole des Beaux-Art curriculum by a three-step-education beginning with crafts of drawing and construction leading to planning skills and finishing with theory of architecture (compare Vitruvius: firmitas, utilitas, venustas). He worked personally and intensively on prototype solutions, and then allowed his students, both in school and his office, to develop derivative solutions for specific projects under his guidance.

Architecture

A master of minimalism, he sought to define a new modernist architectural style after World War I and pioneered the use of modern materials such as glass and steel. His style was rejected by the Nazis as un-German and he emigrated to the United States in 1937, where he was appointed the head of an Architecture school in Chicago.

The Barcelona Pavilion (Spanish: Pabellón alemán; Catalan: Pavelló alemany; “German Pavilion”), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition, It is an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine. The same features of minimalism and spectacular can be applied to the prestigious furniture specifically designed for the building, among which the iconic Barcelona chair.

Villa Tugendhat is a historical building in Brno, Czech Republic. It is one of the pioneering prototypes of modern architecture in Europe, and was designed by the German Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Built of reinforced concrete between 1928-1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta, the villa soon became an icon of modernism.

Widely regarded as Mies van Der Rohe’s masterpiece, Crown Hall in Chicago is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe’s tenure as director of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the central facility of the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL). Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the 400,000 square foot (37,000 m²) steel, brick, and glass structure, and it is a rare example of modern architecture in Washington, D.C.

The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago’s downtown on a 60-acre estate site, adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago nephrologist, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies.

In 1958, Mies van der Rohe designed what is often regarded as the pinnacle of the modernist high-rise architecture, the Seagram Building in New York City. Mies was chosen by the daughter of the client, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, who has become a noted architectural figure and patron in her own right. The Seagram Building has become an icon of the growing power of the corporation, that defining institution of the twentieth century. In a bold and innovative move, the architect chose to set the tower back from the property line to create a forecourt plaza and fountain on Park Avenue.

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ILMA of the Week: Oscar Niemeyer

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Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is considered to be a pioneer in creating new possibilities for using the reinforced concrete just for aesthetical reasons. He started with designing the first state-sponsored skyscraper in the world, for the Brazilian government. It was completed in 1943 and after decades it was recognized as the first example of Brazilian modernism.

He was part of the international team that designed the UN headquarters in New York and his conceptual plan was the main source of inspiration for the constructors. His membership in the Brazilian Communist Party limited his chances of working in the United States and got him exiled up until 1985. By the time the exile ended, he designed the main administration buildings in Brasilia, the country’s new capital city.

While in Europe, he created several buildings, including the headquarters of the French Communist Party and the Mondadori Publishing House office near Milan. After returning to his home-country, Niemeyer continued to design impressive structures around Brazil such as: Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, the Catedral Militar Igreja de N. S. da Paz, the Memorial dos Povos Indigenas and many others. At his age (103), he continues to work at his office in Rio de Janiero.

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ILMA of the Week: Frank L. Wright

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Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American Architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 532 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935) featured in the photo above, which has been called “the best all-time work of American Architecture“. Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.

Wright’s portfolio includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.”

Wright’s most famous private residences —Fallingwater— was built from 1934 to 1937 for Mr. and Mrs. Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., at Mill Run, Pennsylvania, not too far from Pittsburgh. It was designed according to Wright’s desire to place the occupants close to the natural surroundings, with a stream and waterfall running under part of the building. Wright wanted the new residences to live with the waterfalls, to make them part of their everyday lives. He didn’t want them to just look at them every now and again. Constructed over a 30-foot waterfall, the house may look very big on the outside but on the inside it is quite small, which surprises some visitors. It was made with three bedrooms, a massive living room and a dining room. The house was more of a design for a family getaway not for a live-in family. The construction is a series of cantilevered balconies and terraces, using limestone for all verticals and concrete for the horizontals. The house cost $155,000, including the architect’s fee of $8,000. It was one of Wright’s most expensive pieces. Kaufmann’s own engineers argued that the design was not sound. They were overruled by Wright, but the contractor secretly added extra steel to the horizontal concrete elements. In 1994, Robert Silman and Associates examined the building and developed a plan to restore the structure. In the late 1990s, steel supports were added under the lowest cantilever until a detailed structural analysis could be done. In March 2002, post-tensioning of the lowest terrace was completed.

The iconic “Guggenheim Museum” (also featured in the photo above) is located in New York City. This project kept Wright occupied for 16 years (1943–1959) and is probably his most recognized masterpiece. The building rises as a warm beige spiral from its site on Fifth Avenue; its interior is similar to the inside of a seashell. Its unique central geometry was meant to allow visitors to easily experience Guggenheim’s collection of nonobjective geometric paintings by taking an elevator to the top level and then viewing artworks by walking down the slowly descending, central spiral ramp, the floor of which is embedded with circular shapes and triangular light fixtures to complement the geometric nature of the structure. However, when the museum was completed, a number of details of Wright’s design were ignored, such as his desire for the interior to be painted off-white. Further, the Museum currently designs exhibits to be viewed by walking up the curved walkway rather than walking down from the top level.

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Exclusive ILMA Interview with Aspiring Architect, Ian Siegel

About Ian Siegel

Ian Siegel, a recent graduate of NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, is featured in an interview on the Student Showcase section of the website for Autodesk, an American multinational corporation that focuses on design software for use in the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media and entertainment industries.  Learn more about Ian by clicking here.

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Lavaflow 7 Residence, Big Island, Hawaii by Craig Steely Architecture

About the Architecture

Located on five acres of dense Ohia forest, this cast-in-place concrete house (Lavaflow 7) frames indoor and outdoor living spaces along with views of the forest, the sky, and the coastline. It continues our exploration of a reductive architecture that enhances the experience of living in this compelling environment.

The main feature of the house is a concrete beam, 140 foot long, 48 inch tall x 12 inch wide running the length of the building with only three short concrete walls supporting it along its massive span. The concrete beam allows for sizable spans of uninterrupted glass and covered outdoor space, creating a permeable edge between the man-made and nature, amplify the sensation of living in the Ohia forest.

About the Architect

Craig Steely Architecture is a San Francisco and Hawaii based Architect. He received his Architecture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While there, he was awarded a scholarship for international study and spent his thesis year in Florence, Italy studying with Cristiano Toraldo di Francia formerly of SUPERSTUDIO. After returning to California, he opened his architecture studio in 1995.  Craig has been a guest lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley and at Cal Poly and at many conferences including the Monterey Design Conference. His work has been awarded recognition by the American Institute of Architects and published widely in books and periodicals, among them DwellSunset,Architectural Record, California Home and Design, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. In 2009 he was selected as an “Emerging Talent” by the AIA California Council.  Click here for more information about Craig Steely.

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Photo Credit: Craig Steely Architecture

Photo Credit: Craig Steely Architecture

Photo Credit: Craig Steely Architecture

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Modern Retreat in Argentina, “Casa BB” by BAK Arquitectos

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The design of this house is a continuation of a ‘building in the forest’ research done by BAK arquitectos, which started in 2004 with the design of their first house in Mar Azul. The architects examine the possibility of building without losing the environmental quality of the site, proposing alternatives to ensure the survival of natural environments. This involves a Minimal Architecture in terms of not only of form but in materials and particularly minimum site intervention. This is achieved by ‘listening to the forest’ and what the site tries to communicate, along with practicing ‘seeing for the first time’ on behalf of the architects.

The low budget along with the no maintenance requirement set the aesthetic and construction limitations of the project. High compact, waterproof, fair faced concrete provided the necessary insulation and covered the no maintenance factor. The use of glass captures natural light and allows views of the landscape in all directions.

Casa JD has two bedrooms with the flexibility to transform part of the large living/dining space into a third one, a kitchen as well as generous outdoor spaces. The design concept is based on two intersecting prisms situated on a naturally inclined site within the trees, in this way hiding part of its volume. The trees seem to penetrate the house as wood, along with concrete, is a predominant feature of its interior. Wooden steps and a deck lead to the living room. Wooden sliding panels provide a seamless continuation of the exterior and the interior. This level of access is a unique space where different uses are defined by height differences caused by the intersection of prisms and cross sections of concrete walls. Except for the beds, couches and chairs the rest of the equipment of this housing is concrete cast.

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Simple and Pure, “A House for All Seasons” by Architect John Lin

This 4,100-square-foot, one-story house located in Shijia village, a province of Shaanxi, China, was completed in March 2012. Its concrete-column structure and mud-brick walls are surrounded by a perforated brick screen for daylight and ventilation.  The kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathroom are interspersed with four courtyards for pigs and an underground biogas system that produces energy for cooking. “The house becomes an example of self-reliance,” writes Architect John Lin.

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Frank Cunha III
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Forget Blueprints, Now You Can Print the Building

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCzS2FZoB-I

Architect to build home using 3-D printer

By Doug Gross, CNN
"Landscape House" will be built from blocks made with a 3-D printer, says its creator, Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars.
“Landscape House” will be built from blocks made with a 3-D printer, says its creator, Dutch Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars.

(CNN) — A Dutch architect is thinking a little bigger about 3-D printing than the tiny-to-midsize trinkets we’ve seen so far.

He wants to print a house. And a pretty offbeat and innovative one at that.

“Landscape House” is the brainchild of architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars. He describes it as “one surface folded in an endless Mobius band,” or sort of a giant figure 8. According to its creator, walking through its continuous looping design will seamlessly merge indoors and outdoors in an effort to model nature itself.

The house would cost between $5 million and $6 million, according to the BBC, and there’s already been interest expressed by museums, private individuals and others, according to Ruijssenaars. He told the network that someone in Brazil plans to buy one to display native art he’s found in a nearby national park.

All that would be innovative enough on its own. But to take it a step further, the architect plans to build “Landscape House” using the emerging technology of 3-D printing.

The woman who wants to ‘print’ buildings

Commercially available models like the MakerBot aren’t exactly up to the task. This requires a printer of enormous size. And Ruijssenaars found one in the D-Shape.

Described as a “mega-scale free form printer” by its makers, the massive aluminum structure uses sand, which it forms back into a material that’s like marble.

For “Landscape House,” it will be used to print out blocks that are about 20 feet by 30 feet. Those, along with some fiberglass and concrete reinforcements, will be used to create the building.

“3D printing is amazing,” Ruijssenaars told the BBC. “For me as an architect it’s been a nice way to construct this specific design — it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3-D printer we can make it look like that.”

He says his first “Landscape House” is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

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Are you ready to buy yours? Click Here And Click Here

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Exclusive ILMA Interview with Aspiring Architect, John Fernandes

About John Fernandes

I grew up in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ. Coming from a Portuguese family made it quite easy to live and socialize with people in the area. I’ve gone to Portugal pretty much every summer of my life. Being that I live in the country side of Portugal, I get the two different sides of the spectrum of living. After I graduated the 8 th grade from Ann St. School, I moved to Summit, NJ where I attended high school. I took many different electives that somewhat related to architecture and the construction industry.

My pursuit for a career in Architecture didn’t occur until I started to take architecture classes in my junior year. The pursuit also came from an architect who now happens to be a friend and colleague of mine, Frank Cunha. He designed the house I live in now and every time he came over to talk about his work, you can see he was very happy with his job. So deciding to take up architecture, I enrolled at NJIT, and soon saw why Frank had so much passion for his work. I easily fell in love with the idea of architecture and design. I am now in my last semester at NJIT and will be graduating in May 2013. I have also been working at a firm as an intern since November of 2011 and have worked on residential as well as commercial projects.

Johh NJIT

Johh at NJIT School of Architecture

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Significant Architecture : 2012

Significant Architecture : 2012
By Frank Cunha III, AIA

There is so much going on in the world of Architecture around us today and so many interesting projects that to only select 10 significant projects proves difficult if not impossible.  I hope that the following offers a glimpse to what I have been exposed to recently. I also want to apologize in advance for the scores of projects I missed but I hope are immortalized here with their counterparts.

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Architectural Revival – United Nations Headquarters

Whenever we as Architects think of our projects we seldom think of them as “temporary.”  Afterall, one of the things we strive for as Architects is immortality.  Our desire is that our souls live on in the buildings and spaces that we create.  That is why I wanted to select recent project that incorporated the revitalization of a masterful work of architecture.  Here is an example of what is possible when a project is revisited and enhanced to meet the needs of its occupants.  I also wanted to show case this building because of what is stands for and as an example of how far Architecture is able to reach people across the globe and able to unite us as a family of human beings.

International Style – Revival of an Icon: The United Nations renovation team brings back the long-faded luster of the Secretariat while satisfying ambitious performance goals.

The following was originally published in an Observer article “U.N. Architects Back to the Drawing Board; Pritzker Winner Still on Board” by Matt Chaban:

“The United Nations has a long tradition of employing the world’s finest architects.

The original Secretariat complex was the work of Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, two of the most revered designers ever to pick up a T-square. DC-1 and DC-2, the 1976 expansion of the campus better known as U.N. Plaza, was designed by Kevin Roche, builder of many New York towers and heir to the throne of Eero Saarinen.

In 2002, when it came time to plan for a new tower to house this globetrotting workforce, the United Nations Development Corporation, the city agency that handles all U.N. property, held a competition. It was open only to Pritzker Prize winners, and Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki was selected in 2004. Not long after, the project ran into political hurdles and was put on hold, but earlier this month Albany, the city and the U.N. reached a deal so the project can move forward. Almost as soon as the ink had dried on the land swap, Mr. Maki and his local partners, FXFowle, unrolled their blueprints and got back to work.”

The following was originally published in the September 2012 issue of the Architectural Record:

“The original design-team members were not oblivious to the problems associated with their orientation choice, however, Le Corbusier argued for an envelope solution that included external shading devices, such as the brise-soleil that had been installed on his 1933 Salvation Army project in Paris several years after its completion. Harrison, meanwhile, advocated the use of insulated glazing, a new technology consisting of two layers of glass with a sealed air space in between. The U.N. originally chose insulated glazing based on a cost study by the mechanical-engineering firm Syska Hennessy (which, coincidentally, is also the mechanical engineer for the U.N. renovation). The study showed that the new glazing technology would be less expensive and easier to maintain than the combination of conventional glazing and an external shading system. However, the insulated glass was also eventually eliminated from the specifications, not only due to its cost premium over single glazing but also because the layered glass was too heavy for the double-hung sashes. Its international design team notwithstanding, the Secretariat “fell victim to that uniquely American practice affectionately known as ‘value engineering,’ ” says Heintges.

Architecture Under Construction – One World Trade Center

Probably one of the most significant projects currently under construction is the new tower located at One WTC.  Apart from exemplifying that un-built Architecture (as one of my college professor put it) is merely masturbation which is part of the reason it was selected.  More importantly One WTC was picked because it shows how the forces of a people come together to construct a symbolic structure that radiates meaning to everyone who sees it.  Both as an object and as a place to be occupied One WTC, once completed, will serve as a symbol of the city it inhabits.

Gross square footage: 3,500,000 square feet
Total construction cost: $3.19 billion
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

The following was originally published in the September 2011 issue of the Architectural Record:

There is no denying that One World Trade Center (WTC), the 104-story tower now rising at the northern end of the Ground Zero site, is a tremendously ambitious commercial real estate venture. The building, owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with the developer Durst Organization holding a 10 percent stake, will contain 3.1 million square feet of office space when completed in late 2013. Below grade, connected to the WTC site’s vast underground transportation infrastructure, there will be 55,000 square feet of retail, and near the top, the tower will include a two-level observation deck and a restaurant. But when the designers of the $3.19 billion project describe the building, they generally focus first on its potential as a symbol: “It will serve as the marker of the 9/11 memorial on the skyline,” says David Childs, consulting design partner to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

A Return to “Modern” – The Barnes Foundation

This “Retro” project is an example of how Architects study the Architecture that came before them and build on it accumulated knowledge.  All Architecture, no matter how innovating, stands on the shoulders of the ones who came before it.  In this example, the Architects draw clues from a few of the greats: Louis Kahn, Carlo Scarpa, and Edward Larrabee Barnes—masters of the late-Modern museum to create their very own masterpiece.

Completion Date: May 2012
Gross square footage: 93,000 GSF
Total Project cost: $150M
Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

The following was originally published in the June 2012 issue of the Architectural Record:

“Taking cues from the designs of Louis Kahn, Carlo Scarpa, and Edward Larrabee Barnes—masters of the late-Modern museum—the new Barnes shows its architects (who are best known for their modestly sized, now closed American Folk Art Museum in New York City) working at a high level. Most impressive of all is the thoughtful sense of procession that carries visitors through the $150 million complex, first from the outside in and then from the museum’s airy common spaces almost inexorably toward the smaller-scaled galleries.”

Curvalicious Architecture – Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center

Love or hate ‘em—the Starkitects also define the direction of Architecture.  Ever since I first laid my eyes on Zaha’s sketches back in Architecture School I have been a sucker of her work.  The trends of post-modernism culled with a dash of the post-PM millennium design prevalent in Rem Koolhaus, Morphosis, Peter Eisenman, and Zaha Hadid’s work is one that will shape our landscape forever. This kind of design shows how Architects are able to reshape nature, albeit on a temporary basis, to alter the surfaces, forms, and materials that we are able to enjoy as we move through the spaces – inside and outside.

From Wiki:

The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center is a cultural complex in BakuAzerbaijan, named after former president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. The complex is designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid

The Cultural Center houses a conference hall with three auditoriums, a library and a museum. The project is intended to play an integral role in the intellectual life of the city. Located close to the city center, the site plays a pivotal role in the redevelopment of Baku. The site neighbouring the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center is designated for residential, offices, a hotel and commercial center, whilst the land between the Cultural Center and the city’s main thoroughfare will become the Cultural Plaza – an outdoor piazza for the Cultural Center as well as a welcoming space for the visitors.

The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center represents a fluid form which emerges by the folding of the landscape’s natural topography and by the wrapping of individual functions of the Center. All functions of the Center, together with entrances, are represented by folds in a single continuous surface. This fluid form gives an opportunity to connect the various cultural spaces whilst, at the same time, providing each element of the Center with its own identity and privacy. As it folds inside, the skin erodes away to become an element of the interior landscape of the Cultural Center.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center had an official soft-opening ceremony on 10 May 2012 held by current president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. As of today, works on the interiors are still ongoing and the building is not open to the public yet.

Religious –   St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church

Architecture, for me, is spiritual.  It is a divine connection between the creator, the occupant, and the spiritual world.  This simple church demonstrates how function can follow form.  It is simple and economically feasible for the patrons.  It is sleek and modern and addresses the needs of the client and the occupants.  The bright red cross offers a clear symbol indicating the use of the building.

Gross square footage: 3,600 sq.ft.
Cost: $405,000
Completion date: December 2009
Architect Marlon Blackwell Architect

The following was originally published in the November 2011 issue of the Architectural Record:

“The congregation couldn’t afford to build a brand new church. They may in about seven years, when the current mortgage is paid off and membership grows from 120 to a projected 200 parishioners. In the meantime, Jonathan Boelkins, project manager, says he and his team thought about tearing down the shed. “But it had structure and it had a roof, and so we thought, well, we’ll see what we can do with it,” he says. Boelkins and Blackwell wanted to give the building a presence from the road and, as Blackwell says, “give spirit form in the present.” They studied the history of Orthodox churches and found that their designs vary widely in the world: Each takes on a regional identity, rooted in its time, and St. Nicholas would be no different.

Blackwell and his team kept the roof, the structure, and the original skin on all but the western elevation and other, select areas. But they wrapped the building in new box-ribbed metal panels, keeping the western elevation white and the rest a dark bronze. “The panels are just exquisite,” says Blackwell. “They turn the building into corduroy.”

The shed’s long axis ran north-south, but the Orthodox like to pray facing east. The architects added a narrow addition to the western elevation to create the narthex. They moved the front entrance to the western elevation and marked the interior entry to the sanctuary with a steeple. Focus in the sanctuary is on the iconostasis in front of the altar, where Father John Atchison, parish priest, performs the rituals of the service under a slot window that allows morning light to filter in.”

Architecture as Sculpture – Wendy at MoMA PS1

All Architecture has the ability to function as art in some capacity.  In this case Architecture can be displayed, looked at, and occupied.  It is also important to think about Architecture as something that can transform, be put up, taken down, and reinstalled someplace else.  Various applications and variations on this theme exist. What is also exciting about this project is that the Architects gave this object a name, which makes the Architecture itself a personified character with it’s own personality.

The following was originally published on MoMA PS1’s website:

“The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, New York) as the winner of th annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York. Now in its 13th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. HWKN, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the 2012 Warm Up summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.”

Architecture Fun – Playing with Barcodes

Architecture can be playful.  There are many examples of this throughout history.  This project incorporates emerging technology with playfulness.

The following was originally published by the Curators of the Russian Pavilion by Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov of SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov

“Every surface inside the top floor of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale is covered in QR codes, which visitors decode using tablet computers to explore ideas for a new Russian city dedicated to science.

In our pavilion we have tried to find an architecture metaphor for connecting the real and the virtual. People today live at the intersection of on- and off-line; ‘our common ground’ is becoming a cipher for infinite mental spaces.”

Transportation Architecture – Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center

Architecture plays an important role as a connector.  One example where Architecture engages a site and its occupants is this waterfront terminal. The building’s occupants are surrounded by fluid forms, shapes and materials.

The following was originally published on ArchDaily’s website on December 14, 2010:

“Check out Reiser + Umemoto’s latest win for the Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center in southern Taiwan. Working with Taipei-based Fei and Cheng and Associates, New York-based Ysrael A. Seinuk, PC and Hong-Kong based Arup, the new development exploits its waterfront placement as tumbling organic wave-like volumes cascade out toward the waves.

The port terminal is an experiment of “dynamic 3-dimensional urbanism” which amplifies the flow of pedestrian traffic through an elevated and activated boardwalk which runs continuously along the water. Meanwhile, beneath this level of public promenade, cruise and ferry functions are located just below. In this way, the layers create a dense range of programs, yet separating the cruises and ferries help maintain secure areas for departing/arriving passengers.

Structurally, the building’s skin is a system of nested, long-span shells.  The shells are composed of an underlying steel pipe space frame which is sandwiched by cladding panels to create a useable cavity space. “Overall an experience of directed yet funactionally separated flows will lend an aura of energy to the point terminal space,” explained the architects.

The project is scheduled for construction in 2012 and expected to be in operation by 2014, with a construction budget of approximately $85,000,000 USD. The competition is sponsored by the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Taiwan, ROC.”

Architecture as Public Space

We look to Architecture for meaning.  On this project an Artist and Architect team up to create this fantastic object in the landscape.  Architecture can exist without a roof or walls.

Completion Date: June 2012

Artist: James Turrell

Technical Architect:
Thomas Phifer and Partners
180 Varick Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10014

The following was originally published in the July 2012 issue of the Architectural Record:

Anchoring the western end of Rice University’s main quad in Houston, James Turrell’s new 118-foot-square Skyspace emerges from the earth (or lands from the heavens, depending on how you see it) in front of the monolithic Shepherd School of Music. “This is architecture that light and space makes,” explains the artist. When the sun illuminates the atmosphere, you can’t see through it to view the stars that are there, he points out. “Light not only reveals, it also obscures—so you can actually build a space with it. I use light and architecture in that way: to limit space and to reveal it, either way.”

Turrell started his series of Skyspaces—enclosed rooms with an aperture open to the sky—in the 1970s, and to date he has created 73 across the world. In the early days, he would often make his works by cutting through existing buildings, such as his Meeting at New York’s MoMA PS1. But, to avoid irritating architects, as he says (and perhaps being irritated by them as well), he graduated to creating autonomous structures: buildings with holes designed in them, and no real function, much like a folly or gazebo.

Dubbed Twilight Epiphany, Turrell’s piece at Rice is composed of a 12-foot-8-inch-high grass berm that rises against the backdrop of the campus’s neo-Byzantine brick academic quads. The truncated pyramid form, which employs a concrete structure below and steel columns above, is topped with a 72-foot-square conventional membrane roof with a steel-plate knife-edge and a 14-foot-square aperture at its center. A lower-level seating area accommodates 44 people and features the artist’s trademark benches, made of Texas pink granite. Precast-concrete seating for 76 occupies the upper viewing area, where LEDs are installed for the two daily light shows programmed to correspond with sunrise and sunset. Made possible by a gift from Rice trustee and alumna Suzanne Deal Booth, who suggested the university work with Turrell, the Skyspace is the artist’s first engineered for sound (he worked with the music school to develop the concept), and it will host a variety of performances, some specially created for the space.

“We took James’s drawings and we turned them into something,” says Phifer, who has worked with numerous artists over the years and was happy to add Turrell to the roster. Not surprisingly, Turrell was very particular about the dimensions and scale of the room, the height the roof rose above the berm, the exact size of the opening, and the precision of the knife-edge, says the architect. “All of those details he’s been doing for most of his life—it’s a huge part of this work. The result is hypnotic. You’re taken to another place.”

“Though my work may not inform architecture, it can inform an architect about how we perceive,” says Turrell. “My interest is working in this space that we inhabit, which is not always the physical space that we have built.”

During the day, Twilight Epiphany gleams, a beautiful object offering an intriguing pause against the columned facade of the aggressively Postmodern Ricardo Bofill music school. As night falls, the colors projected on the levitating white canopy shift in juxtaposition to those in the sky. The frame brings passing objects into surreal focus—a cloud, a plane, a bug—and the walls dissipate, leaving you to consider the multitude of possibilities beyond.

The Architecture of Giving – Designing With a Purpose

Last but not least is this place holder for the Architecture of giving.  There are so many exciting and interesting projects taking place around the world around us.  Architects (like Doctors Without Borders) give back to the communities they serve and the global community.  After disasters Architects and their counterparts (Engineers, designers, contractors, etc), help in the cleanup and rebuilding process.  It is important to remember that all these projects make a difference in the lives of the people that they impact.  Although they do not always wind up in a book or magazine, these projects are still examples of what it means to be a great Architect by providing design expertise in adverse conditions.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


The Peak Leisure Club — A Design Concept by Zaha Hadid

I was first introduced to Zaha Hadid while in Architecture School when I was asked by a professor to study and reproduce a rendering by a famous Architect.  I was fascinated and enamored with Zaha’s unique rendering style and architectural representation of her design and the surrounding contextual elements so I picked her for my project.  The sharp angles, contrasting colors, and her unique boldness intrigued me.  Other famous architectural rendering styles include Carlos Calatrava’s ink drawings (which I had the pleasure of seeing in person while at an AIA convention when he was honored with the AIA Gold Medal) and of course Steven Holl’s famous watercolor renderings which are all brilliant! Hope you enjoy this post as much as me…

THE PEAK LEISURE CLUB
Hong Kong, 1982
Description of The Project

“The winning architect describes her design as Suprematist Geology. First, she proposes that the ground be leveled to the site’s lowest point and then rebuilt from the excavated rock as a polished granite mountain. The building itself is composed of four beams , stacked atop one another in a splayed arrangement. Partially embeded, the two lowest layers contain 15 studio units and 20 apartments, forming a podium for the club facilities. A void approximately 42 feet high separates these strata from the two uppermost levels, which house the larger apartments and the developer’s penthouse. Suspended within the void like hovering spaceships are the club elements,  which extend back into the man-made mountain. The series of floating ramps and platforms that articulate this space are supported by two vertical members, an elevator, and a steel truss containing services. Two elevators linking the clubs to the upper residential zone provide additional support and a vertical counterpoint to the horizontal composition. Stress cables stabilize any other movement among the floating horizontal members of the void. The swimming pool rests in the roof of the second residential layer. Lateral changing rooms are hollow square beams in section, and act to stiffen the structure. The enire complex is constructed of steel and reinforced concrete. All volumes suspended in the club area are framed in lightweight alloys with aluminum or stone cladding. Although the jurors faulted the winning design for a ”certain lack of resolution in its details,” they praised its concentration ”on the exploration” of ideas… The sculptural nature of this solution,” they averred ”promises to extend the imagination and symbolize the essence of a new building type in a unique location.” *excerpt from Architectural Record, Sept 1983

Learn more here: Click here

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Architect Artist Le Corbusier

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Le Corbusier – The man best known in black and white finally finds some colour. First published in Paris Match 1953, photographer Willy Rizzo captured the legend in Medium Format colour, the photos somehow not published since. Now, an exhibition at Corbusier’s own Maison La Roche, presented by Fondation Le Corbusier and Mr Rizzo, uncovers these beautiful shots laying out the full palette used in both his architectural drawings and his artwork.

Le Corbusier by Willy Rizzo Sept 19th to Dec 20th, Maison La Roche, 10 square du Docteur Blanche, 75016 Paris – France

 

Le Corbusier was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in Switzerland on October 6, 1887. In 1917, he moved to Paris and assumed the pseudonym Le Corbusier. In his architecture, he chiefly built with steel and reinforced concrete and worked with elemental geometric forms. Le Corbusier’s painting emphasized clear forms and structures, which corresponded to his architecture.

Click here to see one of his most prominent projects which embodies his 5 Points of Architecture.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


What is BIM?

What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. It is not a technology but a culmination of different concepts and technologies that come together in one central package.

Architects & Designers:
“Either upgrade from 2-D drawing to BIM now or get left behind.”

How is BIM different than CAD? 

Many people who first see the concept of BIM may just shrug it off as nothing more than a different version of CAD software. BIM is to CAD is what CAD was to hand drafting.  Because both BIM and CAD are computer based the difference on first glance is not easily recognizable.

In using CAD, we are essentially drawing the same way we did on paper – in two dimensions.  The only difference is that now the drawings are electronic and easier to manipulate and reproduce.  We can move entire walls with a few clicks of the mouse where as on paper the entire sheet had to be redrawn.  This drastically speeds up the process but also creates some challenges as well.

For example:

In CAD, as easy as it is to move a wall, it is also just as easy to move it to the wrong spot – creating its own set of coordination issues.

With BIM, the design team does not draw in 2D and we do not need to draw traditional floor plans, sections, elevations.  Instead, you create a full 3D model of your entire building, complete with walls, floors, doors, concrete, steel, etc exactly how you want it to be built in the real world.  Then you tell the computer what drawings you want generated from this central Building Information Model.  If you want a section, simply draw a section line and the program will understand that you want a section cut at that point.  The beauty of this is that when you move walls or change floor to floor dimensions that particular aspect of the building model is automatically updated.  If your client wants to know updated square footage totals, you don’t need to add up anything manually – this information is built into the model and is simple to extract.  Instead of the contractor estimating how much concrete the building contains you can tell him how much.

How much does BIM cost?

This depends on how your firm decides to implement Building Information Modeling.  We actually already have BIM – it is built into Autocad Architecture that we are currently using and have many licenses of.  Unfortunately, we are not using the program anywhere near its full capacity, only bits and pieces of BIM functionality.  Although we have CAD standards, we don’t have all of the standards put in place for BIM.

Where do we start?

There are a few different ways to implement BIM into our current practices.  Many companies have begun to do so with various methods and levels of success.

Method 1 – Software Training.  
This would involve people from a consulting company coming in and giving us presentations on how to use the software.  In addition, we would have people go through exercises on their own computers.

Recommendation: Because of the nature of BIM, with the multitude of options it provides, this is not the best solution.  It is simply too much to take in a few training sessions.

Method 2 – Project Based. 

Method two would involve using our current software but picking a project to use it on and make an effort from the start to specifically make that project a complete BIM.  There would have to a member of the team that was more adept at the software that would assist in implementing it throughout the process.  This person could be a trained employee or an outside consultant.

Recommendation:

Method 3 – New Software.

Ultimately, Autocad Architecture will be phased out over the next few years.  Replacing it with true BIM software packages such as Autodesk REVITArchiCADVectorworks or Digital Project (CATIA) will be the next logical step.  The choice to move to one of these packages should be analyzed based on the type of work we are doing, the monetary investment we are willing to make, and how we go about phasing in the software.  Once one of these software packages are chosen, we can then use a new project as the basis for learning the software similar to Method 2.

Recommendation:

The Firm Model – Doing what is good for the Client, Company, Office, and Employees. 

Client

BIM helps the client by producing a more accurate set of construction documents.  Estimating is far more accurate and fewer change orders will occur.

Company and Office
BIM has been shown to produce documents that have far less coordination issues than standard CAD drawings, projects have faster turn around time, and design changes are easy to implement at any stage.

Employees 
If we want to attract the best people and create effective project teams, having the right tools for the job is important.

Conclusion:

Either upgrade from 2-D drawing to BIM now or get left behind.

Download a free sample by clicking on the links below:

REVIT

ArchiCAD

Vectorworks

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


What is BIM? Should Your Firm Upgrade? by @FrankCunhaIII

What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. It is not a technology but a culmination of different concepts and technologies that come together in one central package.

Architects & Designers:
“Either upgrade from 2-D drawing to BIM now or get left behind.”

How is BIM different than CAD? 

Many people who first see the concept of BIM may just shrug it off as nothing more than a different version of CAD software. BIM is to CAD is what CAD was to hand drafting.  Because both BIM and CAD are computer based the difference on first glance is not easily recognizable.

In using CAD, we are essentially drawing the same way we did on paper – in two dimensions.  The only difference is that now the drawings are electronic and easier to manipulate and reproduce.  We can move entire walls with a few clicks of the mouse where as on paper the entire sheet had to be redrawn.  This drastically speeds up the process but also creates some challenges as well.

For example:

In CAD, as easy as it is to move a wall, it is also just as easy to move it to the wrong spot – creating its own set of coordination issues.

With BIM, the design team does not draw in 2D and we do not need to draw traditional floor plans, sections, elevations.  Instead, you create a full 3D model of your entire building, complete with walls, floors, doors, concrete, steel, etc exactly how you want it to be built in the real world.  Then you tell the computer what drawings you want generated from this central Building Information Model.  If you want a section, simply draw a section line and the program will understand that you want a section cut at that point.  The beauty of this is that when you move walls or change floor to floor dimensions that particular aspect of the building model is automatically updated.  If your client wants to know updated square footage totals, you don’t need to add up anything manually – this information is built into the model and is simple to extract.  Instead of the contractor estimating how much concrete the building contains you can tell him how much.

How much does BIM cost?

This depends on how your firm decides to implement Building Information Modeling.  We actually already have BIM – it is built into Autocad Architecture that we are currently using and have many licenses of.  Unfortunately, we are not using the program anywhere near its full capacity, only bits and pieces of BIM functionality.  Although we have CAD standards, we don’t have all of the standards put in place for BIM.

Where do we start?

There are a few different ways to implement BIM into our current practices.  Many companies have begun to do so with various methods and levels of success.

Method 1 – Software Training. 
This would involve people from a consulting company coming in and giving us presentations on how to use the software.  In addition, we would have people go through exercises on their own computers.

Recommendation: Because of the nature of BIM, with the multitude of options it provides, this is not the best solution.  It is simply too much to take in a few training sessions.

Method 2 – Project Based. 

Method two would involve using our current software but picking a project to use it on and make an effort from the start to specifically make that project a complete BIM.  There would have to a member of the team that was more adept at the software that would assist in implementing it throughout the process.  This person could be a trained employee or an outside consultant.

Recommendation:

Method 3 – New Software.

Ultimately, Autocad Architecture will be phased out over the next few years.  Replacing it with true BIM software packages such as Autodesk REVIT, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks or Digital Project (CATIA) will be the next logical step.  The choice to move to one of these packages should be analyzed based on the type of work we are doing, the monetary investment we are willing to make, and how we go about phasing in the software.  Once one of these software packages are chosen, we can then use a new project as the basis for learning the software similar to Method 2.

Recommendation:

The Firm Model – Doing what is good for the Client, Company, Office, and Employees. 

Client

BIM helps the client by producing a more accurate set of construction documents.  Estimating is far more accurate and fewer change orders will occur.

Company and Office
BIM has been shown to produce documents that have far less coordination issues than standard CAD drawings, projects have faster turn around time, and design changes are easy to implement at any stage.

Employees
If we want to attract the best people and create effective project teams, having the right tools for the job is important.

Conclusion:

Either upgrade from 2-D drawing to BIM now or get left behind.

Download a free sample by clicking on the links below:

REVIT

ArchiCAD

Vectorworks

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.