CONTEXT - Connecting Continents

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connecting continents FALL 2013

Painting, Landscape, and Roberto Burle Marx Planning for Sustainability and the Rio Olympics Brutalism and Indeterminacy in the S達o Paulo School SISTER CITIES PARK THE NEW WORLD

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contents connecting continents in this issue of CONTEXT, we expand the concept of American design by exploring South America, where immense

COVER Photo: Leonardo Filotti

8 Painting, Landscape, and Roberto Burle Marx Conrad Hamerman and OLIN Partner Dennis McGlade discuss Roberto Burle Marx, who defined a unique and personal South American identity in the fields of landscape architecture, urbanism, art and horticulture. by AMY MAGIDA

12 Planning for Sustainability and the Rio Olympics

initiatives such as the 2016

AECOM’s plan for the 2016 Olympics seeks to leave Rio de Janeiro more sustainable while tackling the city’s extensive aspirations for

Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

the games, embracing its inherent potentials, and resolving its complexities by Petar Vrcibradic

provide thematic corollaries that resonate throughout the entire “fourth continent.”

5 EL editor’s letter




18 Brutalism and Indeterminacy in the São Paulo School With its bold structural forms and rough reinforced concrete, the São Paulo School makes strong connections between Modernism and continental occupation. by Guilherme WisniK


ON THE COVER São Paulo’s Praça das Artes, designed by Brasil Arquitetos. For more on the São Paulo School, see page 18.

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CONTEXT The Journal of AIA Philadelphia CONTEXT Staff Managing Editor Dominic Mercier Circulation Gary Yetter Art Director Dominic Mercier Layout and Design Dominic Mercier Publisher AIA Philadelphia CONTEXT Editorial Board Harris M. Steinberg, FAIA – Chair Penn Praxis Todd Woodward, AIA - Chair SMP Architects David Brownlee, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania Steven Conn, Ph.D. Ohio State University Susan Miller Davis, AIA Sally Harrison, AIA Temple University Timothy Kerner, AIA Terra Studio Stephen P. Mullin Econsult Corporation Rashida Ng Temple University Rachel Simmons Schade, AIA Drexel University Anthony P. Sorrentino University of Pennsylvania David Zaiser, AIA KSS Architects AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors Robert Hsu, AIA President Antonio Fiol-Silva, FAIA President-Elect Jim Rowe, AIA Treasurer Keith C. H. Mock, AIA Past President

Nancy Bastian, AIA Director Nicole Morris Dress, AIA Director Robert J. Hotes, AIA Director Carol A. Hermann, AIA Director James Scott O’Barr, AIA Director

From the President In







AIA the out


best 22

in de-

sign awards – including the cov-

Francesca Oliveira, AIA Director

eted gold medal – among 15 different

Denise E. Thompson, AIA Director

the annual Awards for Design Excel-

Todd K. Woodward, AIA Director Jules Dingle, AIA AIA Pennsylvania Director Robert C. Kelly, AIA AIA Pennsylvania Director Elizabeth C. Masters, AIA AIA Pennsylvania Director

Member Firms. A fantastic evening, lence also joined a slate of workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and talks as part of DesignPhiladelphia, now a signature event of AIA Philadelphia’s sister organization, the Center for Architecture. In addition to the many Design Awards, the Chapter also recognized Denise Thompson, AIA, and Brian Szymanik, AIA, as the newest winners of the Young Architect Award, presented annually by the Fellows Committee. Denise and Brian join a list of previous winners who have

Michael Skolnick, AIA AIA Pennsylvania Director

had a tremendous impact on our design community. The chair of the

Erike De Veyra, Assoc. AIA Associate Director

her longtime contributions to the profession with the John Harbeson

Alan Urek Public Member John Claypool, FAIA Executive Director The opinions expressed in this - or the representations made by advertisers, including copyrights and warranties, are not those of the editorial staff, publisher, AIA Philadelphia, or AIA Philadelphia’s Board of Directors. Copyright 2013 AIA Philadelphia. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission is strictly prohibited. Postmaster: send change of address to AIA Philadelphia, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Fellows Committee, Mary Werner DeNadai, FAIA, was also honored for Award for Service. The Chapter’s leadership wished to celebrate members of our community who, while not architects, have had an impact on the excellence of Greater Philadelphia’s built environment. To recognize those efforts, the Board of Directors created the Paul Philippe Cret Award. I’m happy to report that Aileen Roberts, a member of the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees who led the museum’s building committee in selecting Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and help shepherd its execution resulting in the stunning new home on the Parkway. Through a grant from William Penn Foundation, the Chapter was able to continue - for a second year – the affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Members were invited to submit a onepage proposal for a six-week fellowship at the academy. We are certain that Associate Member Hillary Nicholson will benefit greatly from this experience and share that with the AIA community. It is a desire that the Chapter can continue to offer this incredible opportunity to its Members. The Design Awards are our yearly reminder of the significant achievements made by AIA Philadelphia’s member firms. The winning projects always include a diverse range of projects that remind us of the great strides our members are making in creating more valuable, healthy, and sustainable communities, both at home and across the world.

Robert Hsu, AIA 2013 AIA Philadelphia President context | FA2013 | 4

editor’s letter


Rethinking American Design It is a common mistake to limit the term American Architecture to that which occurs within the boundaries of the United States. But if we are concerned with creating architecture that is appropriate to its place, we must recognize the meaning of the terms we use. And since 1507, when the name was first inscribed upon a map of the world, America has referred to the entirety of what the European explorers had come to realize was a “fourth continent.” In broadening our understanding of the term, we can expand the area of inspiration and discovery of what it means to build in our part of the globe. And despite the many cultural differences that can be found across the Americas, there are profound thematic commonalities that connect all forms of construction upon these lands. The concept of the expansion of “civilization” into the open frontier has strongly influenced the history of both North and South America. The themes and challenges entwined with this concept the relation between humans and nature, experimentation with forms of settlement, the interactions of diverse cultures, as well as the exploitation of both resources and peoples - connect the various acts of occupation within the American landscape and differentiate it from other parts of the world. The three feature articles within this issue of CONTEXT relate three different stories of crosscontinent connection. The first focuses on a personal connection with the extraordinary landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx; the second article describes AECOM’s efforts to plan the 2016 Olympics and contribute to a more sustainable Rio de Janeiro; and the third explores the theoretical connections between modernism and continental occupation embodied within the work of Pritzker Prize winner Paulo Mendes de Rocha along with several key architecture firms in South America’s largest city. We hope this issue contributes to a broader understanding of what it means to design in America.

Timothy Kerner, AIA Guest Editor

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Eduardo Glandt the Dean of PENN’S School of Engineering should have been an Architect. Instead, he’s become a good Client

By JoAnn Greco “I’m an architect manque,” happily declares Eduardo Glandt, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). “I’m someone who should’ve been an architect - but instead I’ve become a very good client.” If Penn has made a priority of pursuing new architecture as a legacy - partly in acknowledgement of past mistakes, partly as a promise to continue commissioning signature buildings like those from Kahn and Furness - then Glandt, 68, is singlehandedly helping the university achieve its goal. Under his watch, in just the last decade, three very striking, and very different, buildings have been dedicated. The latest, the Weiss/ Manfredi-designed Krishna B. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, unveiled in February, sports the largest pricetag ($92 million) and the most ambitious brief yet: to house the vibration-free, state-of-the-art labs and cutting-edge microscopes used in researching nanotech. But for Glandt, the functionality of this much-needed space, which will be shared with the School of Arts and Science, is only the first consideration.

Photo: Dominic Mercier

up close

“There’s also what I call the ‘spillage’ to the rest of the school, what it offers the entire campus and how it connects to it,” he says. “And the third factor is external - its access from the street, the community, and the city.” The scientists who will use the building may weigh in on the first consideration, and there’s an entire consortium of university personnel who have input on the second. “But, the overall messaging of the building - that I own,” he says. Not bad for an Argentine-born chemical engineer whose only previous experience with architecture was to discover, as a teenager, that it was the field that most suited him. “I took a bunch of tests in high school to determine my ‘vocational orientation,’” he says, already beginning to laugh. “And architecture kept coming up! But my dad was a pharmacist and my brother and I always had chemistry kits at home. So, we both ended up being chemical engineers. There was pressure from home! I was never exposed to architecture, and I went with the familiar thing.” Slim, with clipped gray hair and a dashing wisp of a mustache, Glandt appears relaxed, sitting at a marble-top table in his spacious office and surrounded by the ephemera of academia - degrees, awards, books. A model of the Escher-like staircase of the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Skirkanich Hall holds pride of place and photos of KieranTimberlake’s Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall adorn the walls. His crammed bookshelves are accented with toy robots - created by SEAS students - and a handful of some of the 18,000 vacuum tubes that once comprised ENIAC, the world’s first electronic computer, constructed at Penn in 1946. He considers his career path. “Chemical engineering has certainly been very good to me,” he says, reflecting on his 40 years at Penn and a progression from grad student to associate professor to department chair. “But when I became dean in 1999, I saw that I could become an ‘architect,’ after all,” he chuckles. “It was a very dangerous thing.” He had much to learn, though. “I was mentored by the School of Design deans,” he recalls. “First, Gary Hack and then Marilyn Jordan Taylor. They taught me what I call the ‘three dogmas’ for working with architects.” He enumerates them: Do your research. Once you pick one, charge her with everything you can think of. Then, shut up. “I have had such luck with each of our choices, that it hasn’t been a sacrifice to shut up,” he laughs. In all three cases, he emphasizes, he had a strong preference among the rival architects. “Even though there were many amazing presentations, I’ve found


that I really like the notion of an architect being your soulmate,” he says. “You can usually spot the right one pretty quickly.” When Williams and Tsien gave him a tour of their American Folk Art Museum in New York, for example, he was “blown away,” especially when they

“I’ve found that I really like the notion of an architect being your soulmate.” showed him a granite wall that looked like it was embedded with the signatures of the top donors. It turned out to be the names of everyone who had worked on the building. “ I loved them instantly for that grace and ethos,” he enthuses. “The thing for me is, always, the element of surprise,” he continues, citing as an example the time James Timberlake brought him to Italy to visit a glass manufacturer who had designed an energy efficient curtain wall that had not yet been used anywhere in America. “We’re probably the only guys who went to Venice to buy Venetian blinds,” the dean jokes. “But I loved that about KieranTimberlake, they’re so techy and original.” For the latest building, Glandt traveled around the world - to Tokyo to talk with Toyo Ito, to Basel to meet with Herzog & DeMeuron - but ended up with another New York-based team, Marion Weiss, who is a professor at Penn, and her husband, Michael Manfredi. They won him over by “very thoroughly doing their homework” in mapping out the technical requirements of the complex project. But this effort also had a different kind of surprise in store: a strikingly cantilevered auditorium that’s destined to become its signature feature. “The university named the forum after me!” Glandt says. “They did it behind my back because I was supposed to be retiring.” The powers that be wound up asking him to stick around until 2015, but the honor is still there - for all to see and enjoy. As the dean enters the glass cube of the Glandt Forum, a lone student sits amidst the sea of white Vitra chairs, reading James Gleick’s “Chaos: Making a New Science.” The student looks up and smiles. “It’s perfect,” he says of the room. “This the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in.” JoAnn Greco is a regular contributor to Her writing on the built environment has also appeared in The Washington Post, Planning, Metropolis, The Atlantic Cities, ArchitectureBoston, and Urban Land. context | FA2013 | 7

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INTRODUCTIONS CH: He lived at one end of Copacabana beach and I lived right on the other end. It was hot and I walked down that sidewalk. It was a big, old Brazilian house with a walled garden. I found the door, it was half open and the shutters were all kind of closed because it was noon time. When Roberto (Burle Marx) came he was so informal, he showed

more in college. I was debating going into either ornamental horticulture or art.... I had this job working for what was called a cutting bureau and I saw Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Art in America magazines… Landscape Architecture Magazine in the early 60’s, was a lot different from now…It was kind of removed and scholarly and above it all. One cover had a picture of Burle (Marx)’s checker board lots and I had never seen anything like that before. I opened the magazine and there were all black and white photos. He was working in a tropical landscape, but the power of that imagery in black and white…(I) said, “That’s what I want to do. I want to design checker board lawns with big, full foliage.” While all his books now are in color and the color… I wouldn’t say diminishes it, but for me, personally, I’m so glad I saw them in black and white. I keep thinking about OLIN’s old work. I think we should be taking a look at some of our old work and we should be putting some of that work into black and white for the right client and the right presentation. It really would be powerful. CH: This was the Kronsfoth Residence in Teresopolis. It was a private garden and he used it sometimes. The whole place is in a beautiful setting, it’s in the valley. His gardens are really for reflection and relaxation. His urban work is simply mosaic, you simply just walk over it. DM: The Copacabana pavements are very active with people. When you see his gardens

me all his paintings, and I was amazed that this guy was taking his time to do all this. Later, I was working in New York and got a call- it was MoMA. They said, “We have this guy from Brazil coming. We know he arrived here but we don’t know where he is. Can you find him?” I found out where he was and from that time on anything to do with Burle Marx went through my office. It was never an official thing it just grew. DM: Well, I would have been a sopho-

though, there are no walls. They’re bounded in by topography or horizons. He didn’t appear to use walls to enclose things, he’s much more expansive. CH: The walls would be for cities…Rio was, in a sense, more advanced than America. Corbusier had gone to Rio and he had a great influence. When I came from São Paolo to Rio I was amazed with this modern business like the Ministry of Education. They had a bunch of excellent architects.

For 70 years Roberto Burle Marx defined a unique and personal South American identity in the fields of landscape architecture, urbanism, art and horticulture. His position in the societal and cultural elite of Brazil provided a degree of freedom to express his abstract forms and build a signature tropic landscape and garden style of the modernist movement. The following dialogue brings Dennis McGlade, partner at OLIN, and Conrad Hamerman, an associate and friend of Roberto Burle Marx, together to discuss the nuts and bolts of working with Marx, the imagery that drew them to his work, as well as observations about Marx’s working methods versus contemporary practices. Edited by Amy Magida

OPPOSITE PAGE: from left, Walter Burle Marx, Roberto Burle Marx, and Conrad Hammerman at the Garden for the Brazilian Festival of Arts, 1964.

We begin in the early 1940s. Conrad was sketching in Nova Friburgo, a Swiss summer resort when he had a chance encounter with a friend of Roberto Burle Marx who arranged for them to meet in Rio de Janerio.

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ABOVE: a view of the Copacabana promenade and park areas designed by Roberto Burle Marx. LEFT: the Marx-designed Cascade Garden at Kennet Square’s Longwood Gardens. PROCESS AND PAINTING DM: He designed on the land like a painting or a drawing but it became three dimensional with plants and ground cover beds. It was also animated because the plants were alive. There was a dynamism that a painting can’t have… When people talk about his gardens they don’t talk about necessarily things of functionality like how he screened the parking. CH: I don’t work the way he does. I go out on site and the first thing I say, “OK, this tree here is shading and blocking out the neighbor, let’s leave it there – or add a few more to this to make the group.” That’s the way I do (it), but Roberto doesn’t. It all sort of comes from inside out… He has (a) fantastic memory and he puts it on paper. I remember seeing him starting a design. I’d watch an assistant put tracing paper over a survey and he’d call Roberto, “Roberto, we’re ready for you here!” And Roberto came to the table and he started designing... It was very intuitive… When you approach an empty canvas... he does the same thing when he approaches a project. There is no hesitation; he just goes right through it. DM: I think Roberto’s earliest gardens were almost curvi-linear, later he started superimposing the curvi-linear with the geometric. Sort of like Tommy Church in California, at a similar period they were thinking about the same thing. His were special curves. They weren’t sinuous like the 19th century England romantics; they were kind of kinky and quirky. The other thing is the juxtaposition of the curves with the orthogonal, almost collage like, and collage is more like modernism…this idea of a collage of geometry… He spent a lot of time in Germany at a very interesting time, in touch with modern art which was all planar- Picasso, Matisse… CH: It was a short time in Germany, maybe two years, but he really soaked it up. It was tremendously important for him… context | FA2013 | 10

“He didn’t suffer so much as we do trying to get the right composition. It came so easy. A lot of it was in his mind as he drew.” HORTICULTURE DM: The plants he would use seemed to be integral with the design, it seemed like the perfect place for that plant… When he was working on a plan was he thinking about the horticultural dimensions of the line he was making or did he come back to it later with regards to what types of plants he would use? CH: I think he did it while he was drawing. He knew what plant was going to be used where…Despite the fact that he kept lecturing about using more plants he had a very few number of plants, usually similar plants. He would know as he made the drawing, as if the whole thing came from inside out. He didn’t suffer so much as we do trying to get the right composition- it came so easy. I remember in school I had to do a lot of sketches and I would do this, and I see this should be a little larger, this a little smaller. But it was from doing and redoing. A lot of it was in his mind as he drew. DM: I think it’s interesting that while Roberto was so interested in plants he disciplined himself… I like lots of plants too, but most places don’t need one of everything. In spite of the fact that his gardens may look extravagant… he used remarkable restraint. He was contemporary, spontaneous, he was always thinking in the third and fourth dimension with these things growing. CH: He was an avid plant collector. He wouldn’t use plants unless they fit the composition and gave the color he wanted. So when he was a landscape architect he was much more of a painter than he was a collector. He was a champion of native plants but he was doing an artistic composition… I never thought about it but there is a huge difference between his designing and his collecting plants. COLLABORATION and PRACTICE CH: The first time Marx and I collaborated was when I moved to Philadelphia in 1964. It was for the Commercial Museum at 34th and South Streets. It doesn’t exist anymore. They had a celebration for Brazil and asked Marx to make an interior garden. It was built and kept much longer than the exhibit because they liked it so much. We worked on that together and I started working on my own. DM: You worked on the Longwood Gardens and the Greenhouse? CH: I was fighting very hard for him to get the new greenhouse. I saw that this was something he should be doing and they finally agreed to interview him. He didn’t get that but as a consolation prize when they cleaned out the Cactus Garden they asked him to design the Cascade Garden. I was sure he would say no, but he said yes and I knew that I was going to do that because he had other things to do. He was getting huge projects all over. Roberto drew the planting plan, but it was really crazy, the number of plants was crazy. The guy down at Longwood was working very hard to get all the plants and he was so anxious to do the right thing. Roberto came up for three days

and he picked up the little plants laid out in the parking lot and he said “This, this, this, and this.” DM: In our practice, we have to be much more reason driven or logical about doing things. We just can’t put a line down and say it should be this way since we’re caught with all different kinds of constraints. I think people now expect more of an explanation for why you’re doing things, particularly when working in the public realm or for a real estate developer. It’s more bottom line driven, function driven, sociologically driven- maintenance driven for sure. Certainly for public clients they de- ABOVE: Marx’s Garden Design for mand a different kind of Beach House for Mr. and Mrs. Burton rigor. Though I can’t be- Tremaine, project, Santa Barbara, Calilieve Roberto didn’t have fornia, Site Plan. issues with clients saying he’s taking too much money or taking too long. CH: I only think of one or two. It is amazing. Roberto didn’t really provide working drawings. All those architects or engineers did. DM: That wasn’t all that uncommon in the middle of the 19th and early 20th century. People delegated a lot more because you had craftsman in the field. People like Jens Jenson and Frederick Law Olmsted, they didn’t do a lot of detailing, they sort of had people who knew their craft and they had big long lists. Things have gotten more detailed as time goes on. CH: In Brazil, they’re all much more personal... You don’t have to do all these working drawings, you do it right there. Interview has been condensed and edited. Amy Magida is a landscape architect at OLIN in Philadelphia. She holds a master of landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of architecture from Pratt Institute. Her interests lie in researching urban environments and the social aspect of public spaces and art. context | FA2013 | 11



In very simple terms, the process of planning and delivering the Olympic & Paralympic Games needs to respond to demands that are, in essence, either intensive or extensive.

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A nighttime view of AECOM’s plan for Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Park. The full planning cycle - from host city selection to the closing ceremonies - takes roughly seven years.

AND THE RIO OLYMPICS The intensive character of the games stems from the concentrated nature of the event: its size and sheer quantity of athletic events in contrast with its short duration; the vast media coverage; and the substantial front-end investments made by the host city and other stakeholders. Respectively, the assessments of its successes and failures - from a strict sporting event point of view - are made while the competition is underway and concluded soon after. Regardless

of the perceived degree of success, the games grow in size and popularity with every Olympiad. The full planning cycle takes about seven years, beginning with the selection of the host city and ending with the games’ closing ceremony. The focus then shifts to the next city, which by that time, will be into its third year of preparations. The realization of the Olympic Games follows a complex set of requirements established context | FA2013 | 13

by a variety of organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, the international sports federations, the Olympic Broadcasting Services and so on. However, fulfilling these intensive demands is just part of the host city’s mission. At the other end of the spectrum are the extensive aspirations of a given society, with its inherent potentials, challenges, and complexities. One of the recurring major ideas behind the games is to take advantage of the momentum brought on by an event of this scale and extend it to long-term gains for the citizens and taxpayers. From an urban planning perspective, this requires both knowledge of the unique characteristics of a given city and a deep understanding of the games’ technical requirements. The key to a successful planning process is to work carefully with the decision makers and stakeholders to achieve a degree of synergy between the intensive and extensive demands. In doing so, it is possible to shape investments and initiatives to serve a broader urban strategy specific to the host city. Some infrastructural and development investments may only reach a measurable degree of completeness decades after the games. AECOM´s involvement with the Rio 2016 Olympic & Paralympic

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Games resulted from a winning submission to the international competition for the design of the Olympic Park held by the City of Rio de Janeiro in 2011. The competition required each team to provide three versions of the site master plan: a games’ master plan; a transition plan timed for three to five years after the event; and a fully consolidated legacy plan to be developed over a period of 30 years. The aspects which proved essential to winning the project included the strategies for access and circulation, the plan for the Olympic Training Center, the landscaping ideas as well as the specifics of the legacy plan. The approach to resolving the access and circulation in Rio was quite different from what was used in the Olympic site in London, which was also planned by AECOM. The Park in Stratford was located in an urban area with points of connection to transport and urban infrastructure at all sides. In contrast, the site in Rio is a triangular shaped peninsula that projects into the Lagoa de Jacarepaguá with only one road access along the northern edge. The peninsula is an artificially formed landfill that was used as a racetrack since the 1970s. The site is located in Rio´s rapidly developing suburb of Barra da Tijuca on the southwest side of the city, which is separated from

ABOVE: a rendering provides a common view of the Olympic Park. RIGHT: the “swiggle” shape of the Olympic Way pays homage to Brazilian landscape architect Burle Marx and his designs for Rio’s beaches. OPPOSITE PAGE: the legacy plan, to be developed over 30 years, for the Olympic Park. The site is located in Rio’s rapidly developing suburb of Barra da Tijuca, separated from the city’s center by a mountain and national park. the center of Rio by a mountain and a national park. The primary internal circulation solution is a central north/south public promenade which defines the front-of-house and spectator realm. The access for athletes, staff, and other special admissions is distributed along a loop road which connects to the back-of-house areas of each venue. The clear separation between front-of-house and back-of-house is a key element of the scheme. Another important aspect of the master plan was the approach to the OTC (Olympic Training Center) halls - a set of four permanent venues which will host a variety of competitions during the Games. These include judo, basketball, wrestling, fencing and tae-kwon-do, among others. The OTC is a key piece of Brazil’s legacy strategy to developing its sports capabilities. The venues will be converted into top training facilities for athletes from all over the country. With a few upgrades after the Games, such as lodging, a sports medicine center and track and field facilities, it will become the country’s main reference for high-performance training. The project team’s design intent was to make the OTC as compact, efficient, and cost-effective to operate as possible. We managed to design a suitable training complex which covered about 25 percent of the site, as opposed to the 40 percent estimated in the competition brief. The remaining 15 percent of the land can now be used for other public facilities or negotiated into added value as future real estate development. All permanent venues in the park are being targeted for LEED Gold accreditation while the temporary facilities will incorporate sustainable strategies such as rainwater reuse and energy co-generation. The landscape concept and the design of the public realm take

inspiration from the way the inhabitants of Rio (known as cariocas) embrace its nature and street life. The year-round sunshine affords a compelling mix of outdoor activities ranging from jogging around the central Lagoa, to beach futvolley and mingling along the crowded streets of Lapa. The carioca enjoys being outside like few others and this joyous and gregarious lifestyle was beautifully captured in Burle Marx’s iconic landscape designs for the beaches of Rio. The sinuous shape of the Olympic Way pays homage to the Brazilian master landscape architect to create an Olympic promenade unlike any other. The “swiggle,” as it became known within the design team, defines a series of negative spaces that are designed as thematic green areas, each with its own set of plant species characteristic of Brazil’s seven biomes. The landscaping includes the use of species adapted to the high salinity environment of the Rio coast. The edges of the park facing the lagoon will be regenerated to their original state of indigenous mangroves. Lastly, the legacy plan developed for the competition proposes a configuration with focus on a pedestrian friendly district with localized mixed-use development. This was presented as a more sustainable alternative to the low-density suburban model still prevalent in the west side of Rio. Subsequent to the competition, the park master plan and the schematic designs of some of its venues (velodrome, tennis center, context | FA2013 | 15

ABOVE: a map of Rio shows the four areas where the games will take place and the proposed connecting transit lines. The Olympic Park planned by AECOM is in the Barra area. The map was produced by the Committee for the Rio 16 Candidacy as part the proposal to the International Olympic Committee.

“The long-term influence of the 2016 games on Rio should be understood against a criteria and a timeline of its own: one that relates more intimately to the long process of building an infrastructure which reflects Brazil’s growing economic status and one that recognizes the less-assisted members of the population as integral parts of society.”

aquatic center, IBC, and OTC Halls) were developed over the course of one year. The effort involved a 100-member team of architects, engineers, landscape architects, cost analysts, crowd modeling specialists, urban planners and project controllers split between London and Rio. After the schematic phase, a public tendering process took place to commission the detailed design for the park infrastructure, landscape and individual venues. AECOM continues to be involved in the design and development process as a strategic advisor to the City of Rio. During the planning process, a number of useful experiences were drawn from AECOM’s involvement with the London Olympics. One such aspect relates to the dimensioning of the infrastructure and holding areas required to operate the event at its peak level, when over 150,000 people are expected in the park. The team also drew on their experience in London when it came to the subject of temporary versus permanent venues. As in London, venues which do not have the potential for legacy use will be approached as temporary structures. The cost benefits of not needing to maintain and operate under-utilized facilities largely offsets the relatively high cost of building and disassembling temporary stadia. The aquatic center, handball stadium and two of the main tennis courts will be temporary venues. AECOM has been assisting the City of Rio and Brazil’s Ministry of Sports in taking the approach to temporary structures one step further. Some of these venues will be designed in such a way that their components can be re-assembled in a different location and put to a community-oriented use. This concept of ‘nomadic architecture’ is well advanced for the handball stadium whose components will be reused in the construction of four public schools in various locations in the city. Although the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca will be the largest and busiest of the Olympic sites, and AECOM’s direct involvement in the games is contained within its boundaries, it is pertinent to highlight how this particular site relates to the city’s larger urban ambitions. The network of Olympic sites will include the area of Deodoro, Engenhão Stadium, Maracanã Stadium, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Praia de Copacabana, Marina da Glória, Rio Centro and Itanhangá. The success of the games will depend on a well-managed transportation network that links these various sites. Access to the Olympic Park will be facilitated through the extension of the city’s main subway line and a new rapid bus system simi-

lar to the one successfully implemented in Curitiba in the 1970s. The circuit to be implemented in Rio will have three main distribution rapid bus lines known as Transcarioca, Transolímpica and Transoeste. Besides connecting the Olympic sites, these lines are also part of Rio’s larger transportation masterplan, which includes improvements to both the transit lines and the expressways, with the intention of reducing commuting times by up to 50 percent. Another relevant aspect of Rio’s Olympic planning is the city’s declared commitment to improve, in a sustained way, the quality of life of the inhabitants of the favelas. Approximately 1.4 million people, or 22 percent of the total population, live in the slums of Rio today. The long term issues such as lack of basic sanitation, deficient public services and criminality associated with drug trafficking in these areas have only recently started to be dealt with in a systematic way. The general plan contains a strategy to free these communities from organized crime, to build basic urban infrastructure and provide social services, such as day care units and community clinics. It may take a few generations until all of Rio’s informal settlements are fully regularized and become safe places to live; or until the city’s exuberant geography no longer poses a challenge to an efficient and affordable commute. Nevertheless, the unfolding of a strategic plan for the city, of which the Olympics & Paralympic Games are one part, signals a shift to a type of planning that is more connected with long term solutions and more engaged with the citizens of the city. The Beijing Games in 2008 successfully represented China as a dynamic and contemporary economic power, while London 2012 served to jumpstart a wholesale urban regeneration plan destined to revitalize a dilapidated area of the city. The long-term influence of the 2016 games on Rio, on the other hand, should be understood against a criteria and a timeline of its own: one that relates more intimately to the long process of building an infrastructure which reflects Brazil’s growing economic status and one that recognizes the less-assisted members of the population as integral parts of society. Petar Vrcibradic is the coordinator of architecture in AECOM’s Rio de Janeiro office. He has been working on the Olympic Park project since its competition stage and is now involved in the coordination and advisory of the project’s implementation. He has also worked for Gehry Partners and Morphosis Architects, both in Los Angeles, and at Chango-Jo Architects in Seoul. context | FA2013 | 17

The São Paulo School, or Paulista Brutalism, are two terms that have been used to describe the work of a group of architects based in São Paulo, under the leadership of Vilanova Artigas and Paulo Mendes da Rocha (2006 Pritzker Prize winner), from the end of 1950s through the next two decades, and now continuing, in modified form, with the contemporary work of a younger generation. context | FA2013 | 18

The primary characteristics are the use of bold structural forms, roughly formed reinforced concrete, compact volumes illuminated from above, the obstruction of direct connections between the interior and the exterior, and an emphasis on creating a continuous internal spatiality. Plazas, gardens, and open spaces located within the building emphasize this spatiality and transfer a sense of exterior “landscape” to the interior. The most influential example of this movement is the building for the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU) at the University of São Paulo (USP), designed by Artigas in 1961. The building not only expresses a particular view of architecture, it also promotes a conception of the architectural education as an interdisciplinary sharing of knowledge. Having been a founder of FAU-USP in 1948, Artigas divided his time between his professional practice and university life, and was intensely concerned with issues related to the architectural curriculum.

By Guilherme Wisnik Translation by Timothy Kerner, AIA

ABOVE: Museum of Brazilian Sculpture, São Paulo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1988. OPPOSITE PAGE: Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo, Vilanova Artigas, 1969.

The São Paulo School developed in a city devoid of obvious natural beauty, which grew extremely rapidly under the force of twentieth-century predatory speculation. The buildings designed in accordance with this movement turn inward from the surroundings in the attempt to create internal spaces that support a new sociability, both more collectivist and more austere. The city is a laboratory for these architects and a primary mission is the search for a new urbanity, in radical opposition to the production of valueless architectural “ornaments” for bourgeois culture. It is worth noting that Artigas was one of the most prominent members of the Communist Party of Brazil in São Paulo.

Consistent with these intentions is the forced material roughness of these buildings - purposely detached from fine artisan craft - as well as the use of homogeneous forms. Dwellings, schools, recreation clubs and transport stations are all treated as major public facilities: with large span structural systems, generic ramps as opposed to decorative stairways, internal walls held back from the ceiling - to avoid dividing rooms into separate environments - and, in many cases, the absence of windows into the dorms and classrooms. When considering the obvious contrast between these buildings and the airy lightness of earlier modern work originating from Rio de Janeiro (most notably, the designs of Oscar Niemeyer) it is impossible not to note a shift in the country’s architecture from the turn of the 1950s to the 60s. The background to this transformation includes the construction and inauguration of Brasília (1957-60), and the profound change in the work of Le

Corbusier during the post-war period towards what has become known as Brutalism. However, a large part of the explanation for the origins of Paulista Brutalism lies with the specific history and geographic characteristics of the city itself. Never having been the capital of the colony or the Brazilian empire, São Paulo developed independently from major European political and cultural influences. Situated on a high plateau that extends from the mountains lining the Atlantic coast, the city is crossed by the Tietê River, which, unlike most rivers, runs inland towards the interior, facilitating the exploration and conquest of the lands within. Having grown very rapidly from the early 20th century, through the cultivation of coffee and industrial development, the state of São Paulo built the railway network that connected to the interior, supporting an awareness of the vastness of the continent and the role of large-scale construction to transform nature through technology. The architectural ideas of Paulo Mendes da Rocha are strongly aligned with this vision of the extensive Brazilian territories and the creative potential of technological transformation. Born in the city of Vitória, then moving south to Rio de Janeiro and finally settling context | FA2013 | 19

further south in São Paulo, he developed an understanding of cities as places that can allow us to experience an “active life”, rather than bind us with a fixed notion of origin or identity. Describing his childhood and youth lived between the open lands of the interior, the cocoa farms and heavy engineering works at sea, he has stated: “I became used to relying on the processing power of technical transformation, and, through planning and vision, useful and desirable strategies that could realize hopes and promises, despite the misery of my country.” That is to say that the technical, or “técnica,” for him, is the engine of a world in constant transformation, which subsumes nature as an integral part of the ongoing construction projects. Paulo Mendes da Rocha works with a phenomenological sense of nature, as opposed to a bucolic view of the natural world. To him, nature is a phenomenon, and architecture is a thing, in a similar way that language is a thing. And rather than just building isolated objects, the architect should focus on the design of works that consolidate the aspects of a place: territorial works that contrast with nature, and, by doing so, strengthen it. This stance resonates with the “geographical view” that Le Corbusier advocated in his 1929 series of lectures Précisions on the Present State of Architecture and City Planning after his first encounter with the landscape of South America. The construction of “artificial ground” in the projects of Paulo Mendes da Rocha, gains significance in relation to the elevated structures of Le Corbusier. It engenders a critical review - under the light of the science and technology available today - of the historical wrongs of colonialism, and the question arises if an alternate occupation of American territory could have been possible. Could this occupation be reconceived in an absolutely artificial manner, with structures that minimally touch the ground allowing the field to remain intact and natural, without the need for cutting, dredging, retaining walls, etc.? Or, a corollary question, what society would we have today if we had

ABOVE: Intermodal Station in Coimbra, Portugal, MMBB, 2003. RIGHT: Praça das Artes, São Paulo, Brasil Arquitetos, 2012.

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kept the rivers clean, and built cities linked by fluvial travel to the continent within? These architectural questions are equivalent to the cultural/historical question: how would America be today if we had not massacred the indigenous populations and enslaved the people brought from Africa? Questions aimed, ultimately, at prospective investigations into what other America could still be possible in the future. In the case of the São Paulo School, architectural scale is not designed quantitatively with the intention of generating monumentality. Rather, it originates from a rationale that denies the exaggerated partitioning of the program, and advocates the concentration of core areas so as not to interrupt the continuity of space, and to avoid confining environments. This approach seeks to express not only the elements of construction (materials and systems) but also the apparent measurement of indivisible space: the unobstructed extension from façade to façade with a clearly expressed structure. In this manner, the building becomes a measuring instrument, reading perceptual space, and on a larger scale, the landscape. This gives rise to the recurrence of such expressions as “ruler” or “urban marker” in many of the descriptions of recent projects in São Paulo. These characteristics can be experienced at the Praça das Artes, a recently completed music and dance practice and performance facility in the center of São Paulo by Brasil Arquitetos. It is not necessary here to refer to the relationship between these principles of spatial continuity and the principles of the Miesian plan, nor to insist on the survival of the modern legacy in contemporary Brazilian architecture. However, we can move forward in this discussion of measurement as we expand the range of observation to the urban scale, the designs of the São Paulo School are linked to the city’s infrastructure and impose a discipline on the urban networks (rivers, transport routes, public spaces) revealing the architectural po-

“These architectural questions are equivalent to the cultural/historical question: how would America be today if we had not massacred the indigenous populations and enslaved the people brought from Africa? ” extension of the train platform - a technical convention that informs the habitual use of space: the convenience of crossing the river by foot. The architects of the Paulista School focus on the design of public infrastructure (roads, public parks, canals, bridges, walkways, water treatment plants, etc.), refusing rigid models to determine the portion of the city intended for private occupancy, in other words, the real estate market. Distant from both the nostalgic revival of historicist models as well as universal and abstract modern urbanism, this strategy of “realism” is what guided the work of UNA Arquitetos in their 2006 study for the redevelopment of the Mooca-Ipiranga Neighborhood. Contracted by the city administration as part of a modernization plan for the transportation system, the project operates on a truly metropolitan scale. It reconsiders the locations of the regional train and subway stations and their connections to a new bus corridor, along with the fate of a considerable stock of abandoned industrial warehouses that line the railway line, and reintegrates the adjacent neighborhoods historically separated by transportation barriers. Reasoning analogously to Koolhaas and Mendes da Rocha, and ABOVE: Mooca-Ipiranga Rehabilitation Project, São Paulo, UNA Ar- assuming guidelines established by the city Master Plan, the architects quitetos, 2006. provide a pivotal role to empty land, turning abandonment into an urban “recovery machine.” tential of these systems. The resulting linear park weaves the two districts together, and With this position - which has been renewed by the younger genmediates between the railway line and the elevated roadway of the eration - it is possible to recognize a parallel with the Rem Koolhaas’s Avenida do Estado. Overcoming the transit obstacles, the crossings acceptance of the impossibility of exercising absolute determination are linked to the adjacent buildings in a manner that improves these on the design of the city. I refer, for example, to his project for the typically sterile locations. The project includes the creation of an arcity of Melun-Sénart (1987), in France, whose parti is defined by “systificial waterway – by bringing groundwater to the surface – which tematic eliminations”, with a priority given to the “construction” of works as an open retention basin, serving as both landscape and insomewhat arbitrary open spaces articulated with public areas and frastructure. structured pathways. Equally, when referring to “programmatic arThrough this innovative approach to bringing the abandoned rangements” or “spatial dispositions” rather than seeking to specifilands and industrial warehouses into use while preserving the visual cally configure “urban form,” recent projects in São Paulo illustrate a reading of the floodplain and the surrounding hills, the project allows systemic vision of urbanism as strategic actions, which sustain indefor a greater experience than is possible from primarily functionally terminacy, or, in accordance with the expression of Paulo Mendes da driven plan. Rocha, support the “unpredictability of life.” The scheme manages to reveal the formative processes of the city This logic, more of an operative manner than an architectural lanitself, in which history and geography earn central roles, providing guage, can be recognized in a recent series of urban interventions resistance to the productive efficiency with which architecture tends made by São Paulo architects. A clear example is the design of an to convert empty spaces into buildings. Acting directly on the strucintermodal station in Coimbra, Portugal, made by the MMBB office turing elements that effectively build the city – its water networks, for a seminar organized by the local University. It is a building that roadways, transport and public spaces – the project’s revealing of urarticulates the entire system of urban movement (surface metro, bus, ban permanency and voids contributes towards the “dis-alienation” road and pedestrian crossings of the Mondego River), stimulating, of the area’s inhabitants and stimulates a greater awareness of the because of its location, the development of a new area of the city: the significance of urban space. west bank of the river in front of the historic core. Taking as a premise the analysis of urban morphology, the archiGuilherme Wisnik is a professor at the School of Architecture tects created their own site by proposing a bridge over the river as and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo and author of mono“ground” for the station, linking the two sides of the city. With this graphs on the work of Lucio Costa and Paulo Mendes de Rocha and solution, what could have just been a shipment terminal at the northEstado Crítico: À Deriva nas Cidades (Critical State: Adrift in the ern limit of Coimbra, became a device of urban integration as well as Cities). He is currently curating the 2013 biennale of Architecture in a gateway. The design of the station reveals unforeseen scales and São Paulo. spatiality, such as the width of the river in relation to the horizontal context | FA2013 | 21



ABOVE: Jodius Hondius. “America.” Gerardi Mercatoris Atlas. Amsterdam, 1606. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: Sebastian Münster. “Die Nüw Welt.” Cosmographia. Basel, 1540. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Abraham Ortelius. “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio.” Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Antwerp, 1575.

The New World By Timothy Kerner, AIA The survey of the American lands by Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and (eventually) American explorers and the subsequent documentation was an extraordinarily complex and costly undertaking that took well over three hundred years to complete. The adjacent series of maps illustrates the progression of geographic knowledge which began with Columbus’s accidental landing on the islands of the “West Indies” and was followed by explorations of the east coast of South America, the southern and eastern coast of North America, the west coast of South America, and, eventually, the west coast of North America. What is perhaps more interesting than the evolving accuracy of the maps are the elements of inaccuracy that were slowly abandoned by the map makers. For instance, the inscription “Regio Gigantum” (Region of Giants) on the 1540 map in South America did not stand up to further scrutiny, however, the illustration of “Canibali” on the same map was likely based on observation of the practice. Also of interest on this map is the location of Japan (Zipangri) – just a short ride from future Mexico.

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The enormity of the hypothetical continent known as “Terra Australis” depicted along the southern edge of the 1575 and 1606 maps was based on “scientific” theory rather than observation. The idea, consistently documented by cartographers, was that an enormously large land mass at the bottom of the world was necessary to balance out the predominance of land on the upper half. For this reason, when the north coast of New Guinea was first explored, it was determined - and documented in the 1575 map – to be a northern extension of this great, unexplored land area. Cartographic accuracy did not consistently progress with the passage of time. The Baja California Peninsula seemed to be a well-established entity up until the mid-1600s when the entire area of California broke away from the mainland, as can be seen in both the 1717 and the 1730 maps. This historic episode demonstrates the extremely political nature of map making. The Spanish monarchy was intent on maintaining California as an island because it strengthened their claim for the land. However, the island status was eventually disproved by further exploration and, until today, California remains connected to the mainland. Sources: Martin W. Lewis and Karen E. Wigen. The Myth of Continents, A Critique of Metageography. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997. Paulo Micelli. O Tesouro dos Mapas. São Paulo: Instituto Cultural Banco Santos, 2002. Hans Wolff. America - Early Maps of the New World. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1992.

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Joan Blaeu. “Americae Nova Tabula.” Atlas Novus. Amsterdam, 1642. ABOVE: Nicolas de Fer. “L’Amerique Meridionale et Septentrionale.” Introduction à la Géographie. Paris, 1717. LEFT: George Mattäus Seutter. “Novus Orbis Sive America Meridionalis et Tentrionalis.” Augsburg, 1730.

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design profile


Sister Cities Park Sister Cities Park:


The Benjamin Franklin Parkway was conceived during the City Beautiful movement as a ceremonial boulevard that would extend Fairmount Park, one of the country’s largest urban parks, into the heart of Center City. The re-development of Sister Cities Park, led by the Center City District (CCD), was part of a larger civic effort to fulfill the original promise of that vision by transforming the Parkway into an animated, pedestrian-friendly cultural campus In 2008, the CCD first commissioned Studio Bryan Hanes and DIGSAU to collaborate in the rehabilitation of the underutilized two acre plot of land on the east side of Logan Circle across 18th Street from the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. Deep shade and underutilization contributed to a sense of isolation that obscured the potential of the site. The goal was to revitalize a prominent landscape while attracting a diversity of users including visitors, business people, and a growing

population of Center City families. The CCD programmed the land in an effort to increase the functionality and perception of this important public space. The design evolved into three primary programmatic elements: the southern end is developed as the more “civic” zone, containing a new fountain dedicated to the Philadelphia’s ten “Sister Cities”; the northern end is anchored by a protected “Children’s Discovery Garden” which provides a naturalistic setting for children’s free play; and the center is occupied by the pavilion which provides a café and visitor center with indoor and outdoor seating areas. The pavilion draws literally from the landscape and historic structures of the Fairmount Park while navigating the transition from the urban context surrounding it. The substantial cantilever of the Pavilion’s vegetated roof abstracts the rock outcroppings found throughout the Wissahickon. The varying height of the roof plane transitions from the monumental vertical scale of the city on one side of the park down to the naturalistic landscape and intimate scale of the children’s garden on the other side of the park. The Pavilion’s transparent structural glass fins promote a panoramic view that frames the connection between Philadelphia’s urban core and the cultural institutions

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“The pavilion draws literally from the landscape and historic structures of Fairmount Park while navigating the transition from the urban context surrounding it.�

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LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA CLIENT: Center City District that line the Parkway and eventually form the gateway to Fairmount Park beyond. Borrowing from the material palette of Fairmount Park’s historic park pavilions, the pavilion incorporates natural materials that evoke the geology of the Wissahickon Valley and compliment the brownstone exterior of the Basilica. The wood ceiling and exposed aggregate concrete floor extend outward from the building’s interior into the plaza beyond. The massive green roof is punctured to bring direct sunlight onto the covered plaza and into the cafe. As an interesting historical element that adds to the layered history of the site, archaeologists uncovered approximately 60 remnants of graves while preparing for the renovation of the park. The graves are thought to be from the early 19th century when the area was known as “Northwest Square” and served as a potter’s field and graveyard. Studio Bryan Hanes led the site planning and design and was responsible for the el-

egant detailing of the fountains, hardscape and comprehensive planting scheme. The Discovery Garden engages children in a natural play environment inspired by the Wissahickon Valley ecosystem. Thickets of trees, a stream, boulders and “fallen” tree trunks line an ascending path to a hilltop overlooking the boat pond, pavilion, and the city beyond. As described by the CCD, Sister Cities fountain is “a unique representation of the world with Philadelphia at its center. Jets of water playfully leap from 10 spouts, representing our 10 sister cities, globally positioned in relation to their distance from Philadelphia.” Funding for the project was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts; William Penn Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program; and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.


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design profile

Moorhead Environmental Complex:

M2 Architecture

Stroud Water Research Center is world-renowned for groundbreaking research into freshwater streams and rivers in Pennsylvania and around the globe. When they needed to expand their facilities, they looked for a design team to provide them with the world-class building that reflects their mission and stature. M2 Architecture led the integrated design team for this new 13,000-square-foot education center, that received LEED Platinum certification in 2013. Stroud, a nonprofit research organization, initially had little experience or knowledge of green design, but knew that their scientific mission - to understand the ecology of streams, rivers, and their watersheds – required them to demonstrate environmentally sensitive development at their headquarters. Achieving Platinum certification does not necessarily indicate an exemplary project, however, there are only a handful of Platinum LEED New Construction projects in the Philadelphia area. What makes this one exemplary is how it integrates the building and site design together to achieve the client’s goals. The project’s innovative features mostly deal with water, since this is Stroud’s focus. During the preliminary design charrette, the phrase “getting the water right” became one of the key guiding principles for the project. Significantly, the site design encompasses more than just the area around the new structure. The existing site had significant rainwater runoff issues that needed repair. Therefore, the landscape program was to restore the hydrological balance on the entire property to pre-development conditions. This was achieved through careful site interventions including rain gardens, green roofs, infiltration beds, and other similar strategies. Native plantings will also help restore the site to a more natural state. Note that many of these water-related site design strategies also allowed the project to achieve a high score in LEED’s sustainable sites category. The team also addressed bicycle accomodations, parking for hybrid vehicles, heat island effect, and light pollution reduction. context | FA2013 | 30

Water efficiency is achieved by rainwater collection for research and non-potable uses, composting toilets, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Wastewater is treated using an innovative constructed wetlands system prominently located in the courtyard. One of the first such systems in Pennsylvania, it was awarded a substantial Growing Greener

grant from the commonwealth to provide ongoing performance testing. Stroud scientists will be documenting the water quality of the treated wastwater – combining their research mission with their facility management. It should be noted that due to these strategies, the project achieved 100 percent of the water efficiency points, plus two addi-

tional innovation and design process points. Energy efficiency was also an important goal for this non-profit organization that relies on grant funding and philanthropy to run its 90-person operation. The new building expanded the ground-source heat pump system by adding additional wells and reworking the plumbing to allow the entire complex to work more efficiently. The design team spent a lot of time exploring sunshading and daylighting for the new spaces, to help keep the energy costs low. Finally, the project was able to negotiate a favorable price for highperformance, triple-glazed windows that will also save energy. The design team was able to locate several major building materials from the region, including natural stone for building veneer, site walls and pavers; salvaged furniture; landscaping materials; and miscellaneous finishes. More than 75 percent of demolition debris was diverted from landfills by the waste hauler. To help insure good indoor air quality, low-emitting indoor finishes were selected, and design and construction team members worked together to achieve 12 indoor environmental quality points. While a lot of effort was undertaken to achieve a Platinum LEED certification, much more effort went into making the building a

LOCATION: Avondale, PA CLIENT: Stroudt Water Research Center ARCHITECTURE: M2 Architecture STORMWATER ENGINEER: Meliora Environmental Design LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Andropogon MEP ENGINEER: Bruce E. Brooks & Associates STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Ann Rothman Structural Engineering WASTE WATER WETLAND DESIGN: Biohabits, Inc./Natural Systems International great place to work. Clear connections to the outdoors through views and doors were very important to the Stroud staff. Colorful paint accents and room on the walls for the art collection were stated criteria. The building’s roof and downspouts were also designed to make it clear where and how the water was flowing. Steel and wood sunshades on the exterior windows provide shading as needed to the offices, meeting rooms and classrooms.

LIGHTING DESIGN: David Nelson & Associates GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Nason Construction OWNER’S REPRESENTATIVE: Consillience, LLC PHOTOGRAPHY: Halkin Mason Photography

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design profile

Urban Garden:

Otto Architects

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After completing an office interior for his internationally-renowned branding agency, 1 Trick Pony, Keith Pizer turned again to Otto Architects to breathe life into the drab yard of his new construction townhouse. After completing an office interior for his internationally-renowned branding agency, 1 Trick Pony, Keith Pizer turned again to Otto Architects to breathe life into the drab yard of his new construction townhouse. Presented with a dirt ground plane enclosed by pressure-treated plywood fencing, the design team set out to create an urban oasis, serving as a respite to the grittiness of the surrounding Northern Liberties neighborhood. Layers of fine detail and material interest were deployed throughout the garden. Partially hidden by native and drought tolerant plantings, they are noticed while guests relax within the space. Rich materials were used throughout, creating visual texture and interest. A low bench installed along two sides of the garden is covered with graffiti-tagged cedar cladding, reclaimed from a dismantled Philadelphia water tower. To screen an existing mechanical unit, an angled bar was in-

stalled with a custom metal top. Fabricated of salvaged pieces of Central-Pennsylvania farm machinery, it offers a colorful counterpoint to the greenery, while matching the vibrant orange blossoms of the trumpet creeper vines that cover the walls. Compensating for the lack of an outdoor water connection, a 75-gallon stainless steel rainwater collection tank was installed to irrigate the plantings. These are contained within built-in laser cut, stainless steel planters. Each is etched with a quote or saying meaningful to the client. The first that a visitor encounters upon entry is an appropriate reflection on the relaxed design, “I’LL GET THERE WHEN I GET THERE”. Designed for maximum impact on a small budget, the urban garden includes a carefully designed take on many strategies that a typical Philadelphia townhouse owner can employ to create their own outdoor refuge.

LOCATION: Philadelphia CLIENT: Keith Pizer ARCHITECTURE: Otto Architects GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Buckminster Green FABRICATION: Shift_Design METALWORK: Gatski Metal PHOTOGRAPHY: Sam Oberter context | FA2013 | 33


design profile



Environetics completed a 55,000square-foot state-of-the-art ambulatory care center for one of Southern New Jersey’s leading healthcare providers, Lourdes Health System.

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The adaptive reuse of a vacant supermarket to LourdesCare was completed in March 2013 after a rapid design/build exercise that took a remarkable 11 months from the start of design through completion of construction. The facility is located in the heart of Lourdes’ service area at One Brace Road in Cherry Hill, N.J. Environetics provided architecture, interior design, structural engineering, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services to the project. The outpatient care center was designed to support Lourdes Health System in achieving its overarching goals of improving patients’ access to health servic-

es, reducing the cost of care and delivering seamless and integrated healthcare. “LourdesCare gives patients access to a broad spectrum of healthcare services in a comfortable and convenient setting,” said Alexander J. Hatala, President and CEO at Lourdes Health System. “The building was designed with the knowledge that patients may require treatment from multiple specialties in order to manage their health and wellness. Additionally, treatment that is able to be provided in an outpatient setting is ultimately less expensive and allows us to achieve our affordability goals.” The facility is home to Lourdes Cardiology

Services and other nationally recognized physician specialists, including: cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, bariatric surgeons, physical medicine rehabilitation specialists, podiatrists, rheumatologists, sports medicine specialists and vascular surgeons. Other services include cardiac testing, cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure care, lab services, physical therapy, wellness services and general radiology. “Healthcare environments designed today must be able to evolve with the changes in healthcare delivery and be able to facilitate the management of patients’ wellness through coordinated continuum of care,” said Fletcher H. MacNeill, AIA, principal in the healthcare practice at Environetics. “The LourdesCare facility is a model of efficient, convenient one-stop shopping for healthcare services, and we expect this type of healthcare facility to become increasingly more effective as healthcare reform takes shape.” The total cost of the project was $14 million. The project was financed and led by Rosewood Real Estate Enterprises and completed with a design-build approach with services from Environetics, consulting architects Alberto & Associates and contractors The Norwood Company. The design/build model allowed for an effi-

cient and effective cost management process that involved daily collaboration between Environetics, Alberto & Associates and The Norwood Company from the start of planning through the completion of construction. “This public-private project allowed Lourdes Health System to focus on what we do best – healing patients,” said Hatala. “By leveraging a developer’s expertise in managing project costs and building design, we were able to complete the project in the most efficient manner.” LOCATION: Cherry Hill, NJ CLIENT: Lourdes Health Care ARCHITECTURE: Environetics INTERIOR DESIGN: Environetics STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Environetics MEP ENGINEER: Environetics DEVELOPER: Rosewood Real Estate Properties DIAGNOSTIC SPACE DESIGN: Alberto & Associates GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Norwood Company PHOTOGRAPHY: Steve Wolfe

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Oct. 29


Nov. 14

CHAPTER Holiday Party

Dec. 5

Procrastinator’s Pro Con

Dec. 12


Jan. 16

JKR Partners’ latest design involvement with the Diagnostic Imaging Suite entailed completely reconfiguring the reception area and nurse station. A new PET/CT scanning suite and Women’s Imaging suite were added. To make way for the new programs, JKR Partners also assisted in designing the new Patient Testing Lab, relocated to its new location.

Member News Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd. announced that its Natural Lands Trust conservation center has been honored by the Society of American Registered Architects, Pennsylvania Council. Located within the ChesLen Preserve of Chester County, Pennsylvania, the new Lenfest Center is a base of operations for Natural Lands Trust’s management of the preserve and a comfortable public space for visitors. Jeff DiRomaldo, AIA, CGP, has been promoted to Senior Project Manager at BartonPartners. In his new role, Jeff is involved in the management and coordination of projects with clients, consultants and office-staff alike. Jeff has been with BartonPartners since 2004 and brings a variety of project experience and talents to his new position, including: mid-rise and high-rise apartments, adaptive reuse, historic redevelopment, and infill, mixed-use development. Lauren Santee, in addition to her role as a Landscape Designer and Planner, is now also a Project Coordinator. As a Project Coordinator, Lauren assists project managers and facilitates communication between clients, consultants, and in-office team members. Lauren joined BartonPartners in 2011 and has experience in the planning of multi-building, multi-family projects, as well as landscape architecture design and documentation. Blackney Hayes Architects’ design of AIM Academy in Conshohocken was featured in School Business Affairs, the official journal of the Association of School Business Officials International. “Blending Arts and Academics with a Community Spirit” by Jennifer Crawford, AIA, principal at Blackney Hayes, and Patricia Roberts, executive director of AIM Academy, explores the universal and unique aspects of designing a school for students with learning differences. context | FA2013 | 36

BLT Architects announced the hiring of four design staff members and an administrative assistant: Lois S.K. Suh, Ryan Sison, Andrea Polaski, Fay Leff, and Ann Margaret Durfee. In June, the opening of the St. John Neumann Catholic Church Parish Life Center was celebrated with a dedication, including prayer and scripture in the church and a processional and blessings in the Life Center. Casaccio Yu Architects designed the $4.4 million expansion on Highland Lane in Bryn Mawr. The 21,000-square-foot Parish Life Center includes a combination social center, athletic facility, school addition, and new preschool. The comprehensive design project also included site improvements and expansion and modifications to the church. EwingCole, in association with FSA Inc. + J. Kokolakis Contracting, Inc. Joint Venture One, LLC, have been engaged by the United States Military Academy to renovate and modernize Scott Barracks on the West Point campus. Commenced in July 2013, the $53.8 million fast-track Design Build project is expected to be completed in August 2014. Built in 1938, the 147,755 square foot monumental barracks houses 477 cadets. Scott is one of nine existing cadet barracks at the US Military Academy, and was last renovated in 1988. The new renovation will be in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act, since the West Point campus is designated a National Historic Landmark District. The PA/NJ/DE Chapter of the International Interior Design Association presented Francis Cauffman with its Exemplary Element Award of 2013 for the new North American facility of global pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline. The project is located at 5 Crescent Drive at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This is the third consecutive year that IIDA has recognized the firm.

Preservation Design Partnership, LLC, received two individual awards for the preparation of the Design Guidelines for the City of Fort Lauderdale. The Design Guidelines were prepared for the City of Fort Lauderdale Historic Preservation Board and the Department of Sustainable Development. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation presented a Preservation Award in the Education/Media category to Managing Principal Dominique M. Hawkins, AIA, NCARB at the Annual Conference in St. Augustine on May 17, 2013. Schradergroup Architecture welcomed Kelly Ryan to its team as Project Designer. A recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University, she comes to Schradergroup with multiple years of internship experience working primarily with institutional project types. The Philadelphia opened KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center, designed by SMP Architects this spring. The zoo’s largest construction project to date, KidZooU is a year-round destination with a multitude of indoor and outdoor experiences for animals and guests alike. Designed to LEED Silver standards and scheduled to complete certification this year, it occupies a 2.5-acre site and repurposes the former Pachyderm House with interactive exhibits, conservation stations and robust programming aimed at teaching toddlers to tweens how to become stewards of wildlife and the environment. UCI Architects announced that the new Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center has earned LEED Silver certification. The PJJSC is a short-term residential detention center for youth ages 13 -19 located in West Philadelphia with social and educational programs that aim to assist preadjudicated youth in custody. A secure, ef-

ficient, modern facility for the adjudication of youth and for those City employees who work within the juvenile justice system, the two-story, 160,000 square-foot, multi-function facility is located at 48th St. and Haverford Ave. Although clad in Pennsylvania brick reminiscent of homes in the neighborhood, the vaulted roofs, metallic accents, color concrete block and horizontal stripes suggest a dynamic modern structure. UJMN Architects + Designers announced that it is joining Strada, a multi-disciplinary architecture firm based in Pittsburgh, over the summer. The alliance of Strada and UJMN forges a dynamic design firm with expanded resources and visionary leadership to assist a wide array of clients, from universities and cultural institutions to commercial developers, and everything in between. Dominic Lacivita an intern architect at Voith & Mactavish Architects was named one of two national recipients of the 2013 AIA Corporate Architects and Facility Management Scholarship Award.

AFFILIATE News Acentech Inc. announced that Michelle Westgate joined the corporate marketing team based in the firm’s Trevose office. In her new role, Michelle will be tasked with expanding the firm’s business contacts while fostering valuable client relationships in the Greater Philadelphia area. Baker, Ingram & Associates played a part in the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Built in 1832 for the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Schmucker Hall was the main campus building for much of the 19th century. The firm provided a structural assessment of the building to identify areas of distress and structural elements in need of repair and/ or replacement. The building was reopened during commemoration ceremonies for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in July. The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors recognized E. Allen Reeves, Inc. for results in their Safety Training and Evaluation Process Program by awarding the firm with a Diamond

Level STEP Award. These annual awards, which acknowledge those companies whose safety programs surpass industry standards, are multi-tiered, with Diamond being the highest achievable ranking. Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. was recognized by the Passive House Institute US as a PHIUS Certified Builder, and has a passive house under construction in West Chester. The PHIUS designation means the company understands passive house principles, has mastered craftsmanship techniques specific to passive houses, and can meet challenges specific to the North American climate. Building Design + Construction Magazine recognized IMC Construction and the project team of L2 Partridge and Trammell Crow Company for the recently completed the Endo Health Solutions Headquarters with the Gold 2013 Building Team Award. Now in its 16th year, the Building Team Awards program honors commercial building projects that set the standard of excellence in design and construction, while meeting the needs of the owner, the occupant, and the community. The Philadelphia office of Keast & Hood Co. opened on the 12th floor of the Continental Building at 400 Market Street in September. The move comes as part of the firm’s 60th anniversary year. The Lighting Practice congratulated Jered E. Widmer on his acceptance as a Professional Member of the International Association of Lighting Designers. McDonald Building Company was selected as construction manager for a complete renovation of the 88,000-squarefoot existing Health Center at Pine Run Retirement Community. Construction expected to begin late 2013 and is scheduled to open 2015. The Norwood Company commenced construction on a 677,000-square-foot warehouse distribution center in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, a 40-acre site that was previously part of Bethlehem Steel-s main manufacturing plant. Serving as Construction Manager, Norwood is working collaboratively with developer Trammell Crow Company, investor Clarion Partners

and designer KSS Architects. In response to the rise of activity in the construction sector, O’Donnell & Naccarato welcomed six new staff members, including Joe Anastasi, Alison DeBourke, Becky Sell, Vanessa Hejnas, Gregory Yanosh, and Kristin Wyka. Pennoni Associates announced that Craig Barbieri joined the firm as the design technology manager in the Information Technology division. Barbieri has more than 13 years of experience in the design technology field. Urban Engineers announced that The United States Green Building Council has recognized the firm’s Philadelphia Headquarters as LEED Silver under the 2009 Commercial Interiors rating system. The LEED Silver certification resulted from the collaborative efforts of Urban’s designers, architects from Meyer Design, Commercial Construction, Inc., and MBP. Wohlsen Construction Company announced that Carl V. Marenco joined the firm as Project Executive in Wohlsen’s Delaware office. Marenco has over 30 years of experience in construction, and brings a track record of success in managing large commercial construction projects. He has provided executive oversight for many award-winning projects for clients in the healthcare, higher education, and corporate markets. W.S. Cumby is constructing the final phase of restoration, revitalization and re-imagining of Bryn Mawr’s historic 1926 Seville Theater. The project will include a new, two-theater, 300-seat expansion which will double the programming opportunities and viewing choices for the Bryn Mawr Film Institute’s audiences. The existing theaters will also be upgraded as part of the project. Wu & Associates, Inc. was recently honored with an Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders & Contractors - New Jersey Chapter. This inaugural award was the first ever held by the New Jersey chapter, and is the beginning of a long-standing tradition in the construction industry.

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