Page 1

volume ON issue ON

savvy designers


In practice


WE'RE CALLING YOU OUT, GEHRY we're only human


his is a little strange, I'll be the first to admit. ARCHILEPSY isn't exactly a magazine. It's not really a website either. And so help me...if I catch anyone calling this a blog, I'll use every cyber-stalking/ photoshopping/internet-publishing skill I have to extract my fiery vengeance. No one even really knows what the word "webzine" means. Or is it an "archi-zine"? Semantics schmemantics....

KEVIN FRANK editor in chief

One thing is for certain though, the times they are a changin'. Print media is desperately dog-paddling to stay afloat in the sea of relevancy. Meanwhile, anyone with a PC and a pulse can stream their every thought live via RSS. All the cool kids are downloading apps like their complete-lackof-productivity depends on it. What does all this mean for our beloved discourse on architecture and design? If I can make an analogy with the music world (I do this a lot...forgive me), I'd say we're beginning to treat designed

this is not a blog objects in the same way that we treat the content of our iPods. Aside from a few mindless sugarcoated pop tunes that may or may not be in my "recent plays" list, I've got thousands of expertly crafted songs by hard-working musicians at my fingertips. Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Brand New. On some days I can scroll through my entire collection without finding a single song that I want to listen to. Those musicians poured their lives into their creations, and I've just dismissed every one of them with a flick of my thumb. Here's where the analogy comes in. And don't get me wrong...I've got nothing against ArchDaily. In fact, I think it serves a vital role in our industry. But I've definitely caught myself breezing through that entire email with a single flick of the scroll wheel...and it feels eerily familiar. What happened to the album? What happened to rushing home from Tower Records, ripping open the plastic wrap, popping in that new Smashing Pumpkins CD, and completely immersing yourself in Billy Corgan's masterful orchestrations? There were no ring tones involved. There were no associated Twitter promotions. Just a kid in his room, glued to his stereo, reading every word of the liner notes, devouring every second of a wellcrafted, precisely choreographed album.

Here at ARCHILEPSY, we're hoping to provide you with a new means of consumption. We want to bring back the to speak. Instead of presenting a few carefully selected, overly photoshopped money shots each month, we've chosen an extensive mix of images, diagrams, and drawings to give you a better understanding we're beginning to treat designed objects in the same way that we treat the content of our ipods. those musicians poured their lives into their creations, and i've just dismissed every one of them .

with a flick of my thumb

of our featured designs. Instead of spotlighting a single project by each designer, we're exhibiting a broad range of projects to give you a comprehensive impression of their entire portfolio. We speak to a generation of acute thinkers who feel limited by the extent of critical online content. So even if you can't read through the entire Issue before that 10am conference call or between classes, we'll be here waiting for you, with arms wide open, encouraging you to reverse the pesky symptoms of that dwindling attention-span. Viva la album. Thanks, we hope you enjoy IssueONE...





If you're reading this, you've flipped too far. Make a U-turn, stat.

editor in chief kevin frank chicago

associate editors bryan finnegan chicago dominick gallegos chicago breeze glazer new york alexi karavokiris los angeles jenny pelc new orleans



From the snowy port city of Copenhagen, BIG has been making a splash in the building world with design concepts worthy of their maker's moniker.


These Danes prove that international corporate firms can consistently produce compelling designs with a sustainable bent. Greenwashing MegaFirms: you're on notice!

want to become a contributor? send a resume + work samples to



ny ka o c i cl et y icl l art irect d p fli to it!

An open letter to Frank Gehry. Our attorneys are on standby.

this is What’s inside




Birthplace of the skyscraper, stomping grounds of Mies and FLW, this city was made by architects, for architects.




How developers hijacked your jetpack by redefining succe$$.



How a group of dedicated designers overcame adversity to rebuild the New Orleans Mission Shelter.
















the shit list! Dear Frank Gehry, Okay, we admit it. You absolutely blew us away with the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa. Most of us even made a special trip out there just to see it while we were partying in Madrid. But since then, you just keep making the same building. It's like listening to a broken record Frank! I mean...I get it. I really do. Titanium is awesome. But don't you think it's time to move on? Some of your recent designs have hinted at a new direction. Hell, your IAC Building in New York was even made of glass! See? Glass isn't that bad. Neither is concrete. Ask Zaha Hadid...she loves that stuff. I guess what we're trying to say is that it's time for you to put your thinkin' cap back on. Until then, you're on our Shit List, sir. So stop wasting time entertaining Brad Pitt's internship requests, and go design something amazing again. We know you can do it. We'll be here, practicing our Pritzker Prize acceptance speech in the mirror, preparing to be blown away again. Hugs and kisses, -A.



4 3 6


5 8



building is which?!

to win a custom titanium-clad iPad send your answers to


there's more to life than buildings WHAT CAN'T BJARKE INGELS DO?

From the industrial design studio KiBiSi (Founded by Lars Holme Larsen of Kilo Design, Bjarke Ingels of BIG, and Jens Martin Skibsted of Skibsted Ideation) comes your iPod's new best friend. TRACKS HEADPHONES were inspired by the iconic Walkman. Remember? The one that ate your Vanilla Ice tape? This sleek design can be yours in a variety of contemporary color options. ($75)


Every designer owns at least one piece of furniture from IKEA. At least half of you pulled your skivvies out of a Malm dresser this morning. I don't even wear underwear and I own two of them. Now, thanks to these sweet vinyl stickers from MYKEA, there's no better way to spruce up all your Swissmade particle-board furniture. With designs for most popular IKEA lines, this clever company is sure to add some pizzazz to your pad. ($30-$200)


How were we the last people on Earth to find out about this company? I mean, I've speculated that my genetic code was breathtakingly beautifully for years.....but now I can finally prove it! Short of a shaving accident, these DNA PORTRAITS by dna11 are the best way to display the near flawless amino acid sequences running through your veins. Despite the gimmicky concept, the results are strikingly sophisticated. Minimalistic vertical striations are punctuated by bright horizontal ingots...all the to rhythm of your deoxyribonucleic acid! ($390-$1310)


We really dig the new MOVADO BOLD collection. These murdered-out timepieces feature a sleek black leather band, Movado's classic black museum face, a black casing, and neon-colored accents. The subtly-colored inner rim of the bezel is a nice touch. And at a price point that doesn't make us wish we would have gone to law school, you can have class and sass at the same time. ($350)


TOP 10 Start up a Send me Insist that Brag loudly conversation one more asking me about your in the goddamn to print recent bathroom. email with the something vacation From a stall. entire message for you is in Puerto in the subject "collaborating Vallarta on line. I dare you. with a team speakerphone. member". Newsflash Mr. VP, your door is open.

Ask me what's wrong with the printer. Seriously, I sit kinda near the printer, so it's only reasonable to assume that I know how to fix it every time you send a 900MB document.

ways to piss me off

at work this week

FedEx empty In-N-Out Burger wrappers to me while I'm working 24/7 in Shanghai. ps, we're not friends anymore.

Go ahead I swear to Pretend to and heat up God...if you inspect a those old fish take the last glass sample leftovers in the cup of coffee while actually microwave. I again without staring directly love when the brewing a new through it entire office pot, I'm going towards my smells like an to explode all breasts. Asian market. your Xrefs.

Make me explain what "social media" is. Again.


savvy designers

great danes Featuring Bjarke Ingels Group & Schmidt Hammer Lassen

DENMARK Population: 5.5 million Capital: Copenhagen Area: 16,640 sq mi

A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Danish Architecture:

Peter Thule Kristensen

Associate Professor, Architect MAA, PhD Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture Institute for Theory and History of Architecture


rior to the economic crisis, contemporary Danish architecture was the benificiary of an otherwise unseen growth in the economy. In the Danish capital of Copenhagen, the growth was, among other things, manifested in a brand new subway system, a new town development called Oerstad and a conversion of the former industrial harbor into housing and office buildings. At the same time, major Danish architectural offices have also had an increasing ability to export their architecture abroad. This economic growth and development lead to spectacular object-like projects designed by architects such as Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Henning Larsen Architects and Bjarke Ingels Group. However, a range of other offices have produced a fine, although less spectacular, architecture: Dorte Mandrup Architects often works with conversions of existing buildings in an imaginative way; Lundgaard & Tranberg seems to reinterpret the Danish modernist tradition by merging it with a both contemporary and almost picturesque touch; an older “hippie� office like Vandkunsten has maintained a focus on the social implications of architecture, especially in the design of housing projects.


NOTORIOUS big Bjarke Ingels Group

> 8 House

savvy designers

Article By:

Dominick Gallegos Photographs and Illustrations By:

Bjarke Ingels Group



t is hard to deny the rapid ascension of Bjarke Ingels Group to architectural relevance and international notoriety. It almost seems as if this young, energetic design group, led by Bjarke Ingels simply woke up one day out of nowhere and found itself among the grown ups of the architecture world while still retaining that youthful spirit that makes their work so enjoyable. Simply known as BIG, the Copenhagen based design firm has used the intellect of architects, builders, designers, thinkers and researchers to establish an identity of creativity and innovation. With the publication of their first monograph, Yes is More, in 2009 Bjarke Ingels and company declared their manifesto to the world. Based on the Darwinian idea that “creation is the process of excess and selection,” Bjarke Ingels” proposes to "let the forces of society (and) the interests of everyone decide which of (the) ideas can live, and which must die. The surviving ideas evolve through mutation and crossbreeding into an entirely new species of architecture.” In the spirit that defines BIG, they released this manifesto so aptly subtitled An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution. 8 HOUSE > Copenhagen : Denmark

While doing high profile international work, BIG remains very involved in their native Denmark. They have made their biggest footprint in Orestad, a new development on the edge of Copenhagen, which has drawn international attention with designs by Foster + Partners, C.F. Moller Architects, Jean Nouvel, and Steven Holl.

savvy designers

> 8 House


“The 8 House creates two intimate interior courtyards, separated by the centre of the cross. At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a passage that allows people to easily move from the park area on its western edge to the water filled canals to the east “

savvy designers

> 8 House

With the intention of breaking free from the rigidity of the perimeter block and courtyard which makes up a majority of Cophagen’s urban fabric, BIG designed the first built residential project on Oresdad, the VM houses. The houses took the idea of a traditional housing block and inserted pivot points, allowing the linear nature of the plan to be broken into a series of angles. While exploiting the rules and boundaries of the original master plan for the new development, BIG followed the VM houses with award winning mixeduse project “The Mountain,” a project which Bjarke actually developed while still attending the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Six years later, the concept was reincarnated into a new projects which sought to create a sense of topography in an otherwise, very flat context. Through careful manipulation of program, what was originally slated to be two buildings was arranged in a way that integrated a zig-zag ramp of parking structure beneath a series of terraced residential units. Often times, it is hard to tell which projects of BIG are the most ambitious. At some point you realize that every project has an idea, an identity, and an ambition that is full of the life and energy you sense when Bjarke Ingels presents them. In BIG’s third architectural installment at Orestad, the group set out to manipulate the urban perimeter block in a way that originated with the traditional urban patterns of Copenhagen and evolved through a series of manipulations into what is now known as 8-house. > 8 House


> 8 House

savvy designers

“8-house makes for one architectural idea which results in an orgy of various spatialities: plazas, courtyards, stepped streets and mountain paths. Where the public life traditionally is tied to the ground, flat as a pancake with everything upward privatized, 8-house allows the city’s social life to invade the higher altitudes.�

> Bjarke Ingels


> 8 House

> 8 House

savvy designers

The project is best presented as a live video of Bjarke Ingels at the BIG office in which the diagrammatic 3D model is superimposed and animated to explain the of the evolution of the project. The video can be found on you tube (http:// Beginning with the traditional urban typology of row houses, Bjarke arranges the program in a layer cake of functions, each placed on a level more suited to use. It is simple moves like this that are by no means groundbreaking that BIG often begins with. It is the series of moves that follow in which BIG differentiates their work from others. They usually make a move or two after the point at which many design firms choose to quit pushing.


savvy designers

> 8 House

Once the block was composed in layers, the building was criss-crossed in the middle giving the project the identity, 8-house. Then, by pushing various parts of the building massing down in elevation, daylight and views are made more prevalent as a method to define form. The designers at BIG have a knack for defining the “big” idea in any project. This is something that those familiar with the work of BIG have come to know all too well in their presentation of diagrams and ideas. While BIG’s portfolio of built work is relatively small in comparison the their reputation, one thing that stands out about 8-house is the aesthetic quality of the

building construction. Though this is not the traditional design of an architecture of the past, guided by mathematical tenants of proportion and symmetry, it is clear that the lines, joints, and patterns throughout the project all seem to have an intentional and well thought out relationship. In order to accomplish this, it takes a high level or rigor in construction and detailing. What’s more, it also takes a certain level of downright pragmatism to achieve this result, especially on a project as dynamic and complex as 8-House.


PUBLIC VILLAGE > Tallinn : Estonia

“There is a saying that success has many fathers. That is especially true when designing such a crucial public building and public space as a town hall. The design needs to be shaped by input from neighbors’ and users, citizens and politicians. Paradoxically we architects often find ourselves isolated from this crucial dialogue at the moment of conception, due to the anonymity of the architectural competition. Since this was a 2 stage competition, we already had our first feedback from the jury – causing us to dramatically rearrange our design to fit the citizens’ needs. As a result we have envisioned a very elastic structure – capable of adapting to unexpected demands. We see it as the first conversation in a design dialogue we look forward to continue.”

>Bjarke Ingels




Compact organization and efficient layout at the expense of daylight and views

Hinged complex retains compactness and efficiency while maximizing daylight and view.

The large openings offer views of the entire city fro within the offices in the Town Hall.

> architectural model

savvy designers

> Public Village



Programmatic specificity transforms generic diagram, i.e. City Planning Dept. and Cultural Heritage Dept.

Specific organization of the Public Village.

DEPARTMENTS Education Environment City Enterprise Municipal Police Housing Economy City Planning Cultural Heritage Land Issues Municipal Engineering Social Welfare and Health Transport Council

> roofscape

Main circulation


The site offers the possibility to connect the greenbelt to the waterfront

Not far from Denmark, BIG won the competition to design the new town hall for Tallin, the capitol and largest city of Estonia. In an ideas competition in which 81 designs were submitted, BIG’s concept came away the winner. Located to the north of the medieval city center, BIG sought to “create a new urban typology that combines the human scale and intimate experience of the medieval townscape, with the public space and municipal symbolism of the modern extension.” The ideas is to “create an open and permeable public institution, extending both town centre and public park all the way to the water’s edge.”

By submerging the ring road, heavy traffic will dissappear leaving easy access for bikes and pedestrians.

Traffic currently acts as a barrier separating the medievil city from the waterfront

Starting from a programmatic diagram, the various components of the town hall were arranged in a way to make the architecture more transparent, not simply by cladding a traditional building in a relentless glass curtain wall, but by twisting, rotating and pulling apart various building components to increase the level of porosity within the building. Each square of program is hinged to create a village of public departments, each housed in a basic square layout for adaptability, yet rotated and connected in such a way to maximize daylight and views for much of the department perimeter, a strategy that is not typically associated with the standard rectangular box that houses much of our built environment. By restructuring traffic, the green ring will connect the medievil city with the new town hall

savvy designers

> Public Village


> Public Village

savvy designers

Being in a predominantly cool climate, the building fenestration is strategically placed to take advantage of passive solar heating. Through solar access analysis, the team was able to calculate the amount of solar exposure that each face of the building would receive dependent on its orientation. Most of the glazing is oriented to the south, east, and west with very little oriented to the north in order to reduce the amount of heat loss.

Sustainability is an important part of the design process at BIG. Bjarke Ingels is very adamant in pointing out that “sustainability has been seen as a general question of how much of our existing quality of life are we prepared to sacrifice in order to become sustainable…Sustainability is a design challenge. It’s a question of making sure we design our cities and buildings in ways where we actually allow people to maintain and even improve their quality of life.”


savvy designers

The seven grand lightwells allow daylight to enter the market place at the ground floor.

> Public Village

Inherent in the Public Village is the courtyard. A traditional European typology, the courtyard building allows the natural flow of light and air. In a traditional sense, this usually meant rectangular buildings with a monolithic building mass surrounding the perimeter of the courtyard, resulting in a very stark relationship between solid and void, inside and out. Rather than focusing on designing the building around a courtyard, BIG seems to play with the building massing, freeing the designer from the constraints of the traditional courtyard and allowing the concept to evolve as a symbiotic resultant of the manipulation of

building massing. In the Tallin Town Hall, this meant a series of courtyards, each of a different shape, orientation, and depth. This dynamic form lends itself to an diversity of spaces creating interest and identity in the various building parts, rather than a system of sameness that often fills the spaces between building mass.


> Public Village

savvy designers

The conceptual theme of the Public Village is to manifest the democratic spirit of the city and to make more transparent the activities and processes which occur within the town hall. At the level of building massing, the breaking down of the components into a cluster of elevated blocks, housing the municipality’s program, creates a more pedestrian sense of scale. The plaza permeates below the elevated building in which light wells penetrate. This stands in contrast to the authoritarian, closed -off buildings and plazas which characterize many European cities.

“The Town hall is not only surrounded by public space - but literally invaded by the citizens in the form of the public service market place beneath the canopy of the public offices, where the citizens of Tallinn can meet their public servants.” > Jakob Lange Similar in concept to the Reichstag building dome in Berlin (designed by Norman Foster), BIG’s design for Tallinn Town Hall will have a reflective ceiling. This ceiling acts as a periscope in which politicians are able to look up to the townscape beyond. At the same time, the mirror allows citizens to peer into the tower and watch the political workings of the council members as they sit in circular formation.



savvy designers

TEK > Taipei : Taiwan

Located in Taipei, the Technology Entertainment & Design Center known as TEK serves several programs in one dense urban block, in a series of spaces dedicated to contemporary media and technology. The building mass is designed as a 57m x 57m x 57m, cube. Within the cube is a continuous spiral of public space connecting the various activities of the building including exhibition spaces, showrooms, retail space, a market place and hotel, offices and conference rooms all related to media. Acting as an extension of the street level, the void permeates throughout the building ultimately ending at a rooftop garden.



From the street level, pedestrians can access the spiraling public space. One can literally scale the building through a series of lamellas, or plate-like concrete structures which compose much of the building facade and act as a staircase. The depth of the lamellas and proportions of space between also serve as passive solar control integrated within the building facade.

In addition to creating a dynamic public space, the spiraling void is proportioned to take advantage of the evaporative cooling created by the roofop vegetation. Working with Arup, the void allows cool air to flow down through the public space, passively cooling the building.

savvy designers

STREET EDGE Towards the XinSheng Road and ShiMin Blvd intersection and the pedestrian street the lamellas are lifted to create open storefronts and uninhibited access to the hotel lobby and the ground floor flagship stores

PROGRAM The Cube is composed of two main organizational diagrams. An L-shaped hotel with two wings facing west and north, and a square stack of generic floors of retail and showrooms sandwiched around a central auditorium for launches and lectures

CIRCULATION Circulation happens in parallel inside and outside the building. Exterior circulation is created by the spiral trajectory while an interior path of escalators optimizes the underside of the spiral.

ROOF GROVE A roof grove of trees form a cooling canopy on the roof exploiting natural shade and evaporative cooling to create a local drop of exterior temperature by a couple of degrees C.

THERMAL MASS Passive cooling from the louvers can be enhanced by the addition of a thermal mass (water tank or concrete) underneath the building.



The void which spirals throughout the building forms a network of connections from interior to exterior and from street to roof terrace. The intersection of the void with the plates creates the visual effect of soft curves and at some angles even gives the effect of a moire pattern. > TEK

savvy designers


5TH FLOOR +16.2m

會議展演聽 : 399.4 / 1481 平方米 AUDITORIUM : 399.4 / 1481 SQM 主題餐廳 : 538.2 / 1104.4 平方米 THEME RESTAURANT : 538.2 / 1104.4 SQM 3C產品體驗館 : 1667.9 / 1943.2 平方米 EXHIBITION : 1057.8 SQM

4TH FLOOR +10.8m

旗艦店 : 1541 / 7651.4 平方米 FLAGSHIP STORES : 1541 / 7651.4 SQM 旅館 : 619.2 / 8389.8 平方米 BOUTIQUE HOTEL : 619.2 / 8389.8 SQM

savvy designers

6TH FLOOR +21.6m

會議展演聽 : 1081.6 / 1481 平方米 AUDITORIUM : 1081.6 / 1481 SQM 旅館 : 702.5 / 8389.8 平方米 BOUTIQUE HOTEL : 702.5 / 8389.8 SQM 3C產品體驗館 : 275.3 / 1943.2 平方米 3C PRODUCTS : 275.3 / 1943.2 SQM



savvy designers


look familiar? this rendering was the basis for last month's issue zero cover... for This project, big was inspired by the futurist and prolific inventor Ray Kurzweil, who predicts that we are approaching a true revolution in information technology... The Singularity. well, big thought it would be fun to apply Kurzweil’s exponential model to predict the evolution of the car!

want to know more? pick up ray kurzweil's book, the age of spiritual machines, or downlaod our lady peace's 2001 album of the same name!


now we're having fun...

As designers, we are often confronted with client demands to produce highly developed plans, drawings, renderings, and models such short notice that we have little time to think through a cohesive set of ideas. We are also under constant pressure from construction teams and the adversarial relationships that are now the norm in the building industry. I sometimes wonder why we spend so much time and effort for so little reward. We get so caught up in the stressful aspects of the job that we forget what brought many of us into the world of architecture in the first place. I can not speak for everyone, but I would imagine almost all of us began with a curiosity and an enthusiasm to create compelling designs that would excite people and improve their experience in the built environment. Bear with me here for a seccond. Do you remember the movie Big from 1988? If you recall, it's about a young boy who wishes himself to be bigger and wakes up the next morning to find himself in an adult body

(played by Tom Hanks). And although he was an adult in appearance, he still embodied the enthusiasm and curiosity of a kid. Bjarke Ingels is living that script right now in the world of architecture. Yes, we all have to be adults from time to time, using an advanced level of discipline and experience; but when did that mean we had to stop using our imaginations? BIG has tapped into both worlds. It’s clear that they still embody the curiosity and imagination that we all had at some point in our lives. It’s also clear that they are "grown up" enough to handle complex challenges and execute innovative design solutions. I think we should all take a cue from Mr. Ingels. If we can loosen up a little, and learn to use our imaginations again, our profession would be much better off. And maybe a little more fun. dominick gallegos []

savvy designers



this is aarhus Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Article By:

Kevin Frank Photographs By:

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

ANDERSEN GARDEN > Beijing : China



hen you think of the typical international corporate firm, a few key words usually come to mind: bland, generic, safe. Those words must not translate well into Danish. Founded in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1986 by architects Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John F. Lassen, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects boasts 140 employees across five offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, and Shanghai. Despite a strong presence in Denmark and a rich Scandinavian heritage, over half of their billings come from international projects. In fact, it was in the Czech Republic that I was first introduced to Schmidt Hammer Lassen. While in Prague on a traveling fellowship, I was able to tour the Amazon Court Building, from basement to rooftop. The

savvy designers

quality of the spaces, the highlycrafted details, and the innovative sustainable strategies converted me into an instant admirer. The practice is deeply rooted in the Scandinavian architectural traditions based on democracy, welfare, aesthetics, light, sustainability and social responsibility. Like Alvar Aalto and Eiliel & Eero Saarinen before them, Schmidt Hammer Lassen display a particular sensitivity to the climate, culture, and historical context of each environment in which they intervene. They take sustainability quite seriously, utilizing software such as Ecotect and Green Building

Studio to perform environmental analysis and simulations during the earliest phases of design. Interestingly enough, the firm leadership is split in two. Creative management is led by Creative Director Bjarne Hammer while the professional board of directors is led by CEO Bente Damgaard. I suspect that this division of leadership is one of the primary reasons for their continued success. Far too many architects are promoted into business management positions that they are not equipped to handle. [I don’t know about you, but I didn’t attend many business classes in architecture school]


> Andersen Garden

savvy designers

We recently took the opportunity to ask Schmidt Hammer Lassen a few questions about their studio culture, their design process, and their heritage. Here’s what they had to say:

enables the practice to set the best team—tailored for each project, in any part of the world. The everyday diversity continuously develops and refines the architecture of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. The How would you describe the studio manifold cultures support the culture at Schmidt Hammer Lassen process of pushing boundaries and Architects? Are there any significant allowing experiments in the design of nuances from office to office? innovative architecture." "With an architectural practice stretching over five offices, it is only natural that sub-cultures exist from office to office. Differences have to do both with the local culture and with the size of the office. We consider this diversity to be an asset and work on a daily basis with cross-national teams across the five offices.The international profile of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been considerably strengthened over the last five years. The reason is a dedicated ambition to seek global challenges and to take on a responsibility by designing innovative, sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible solutions all over the world. 140 employees, representing more than 20 nationalities and speaking 15 different languages, are part of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Therefore the corporate language is English. The diversity— both professionally and culturally—is in every sense the back bone of the practice. Being a culturally diverse workplace has a considerable advantage in meeting the high standards of the global market. The multi-cultural staff

> Andersen Garden


You have described your design approach as "democratic" with "ethical considerations". These are uncommon terms with most large design firms. Can you explain further?...perhaps commenting on the Scandinavian traditions upon which your practice is based? "The overall concept which makes the practice of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects stand out is the democratic approach to designing architecture. This means that the practice cultivates and develops the democratic idea in order to substantiate modern thinking, lifestyle, culture and behavior through the genesis of architecture. But what is “democratic architecture� and how does it interact with the surroundings? A building revolves around people and is not merely an architectonic shape or a static creation of form; the architect must pay particular attention to the intimate connection between buildings and their context. Architecture should always be closely

integrated with its surroundings, with conscious consideration of function, the social context, and the spatial effect it leaves behind. That is why the architecture we design essentially reflects a democratic gesture—and appears open to the outside world. We create modern, open, light and multi-functional spaces that correspond with the distinguished Scandinavian design tradition. The Scandinavian open urban signature also appears in their many projects with a sustainable agenda; office buildings, hotels and conference centers, master planning city districts and developing mixed-use neighborhoods. The essence of Scandinavian design heritage is democracy, social welfare, aesthetics, light, functionality, sustainability and social responsibility. The unique tradition is not only an architectural approach but also a way of defining modern life and culture. The materialization of this approach can be seen in the significant atrium spaces of the cultural buildings we design, and in the various uses of

> Andersen Garden

savvy designers

> Andersen Garden


transparency in our elegant and artistic facades, which allow the nearby surroundings to become an integrated part of the building interior. Is your design process and approach typical at the beginning of each project, or does it vary depending upon client and project? "Our methodological approach is best described as a sort of pingpong of ideas. The time required for this exchanging of ideas needs to be extended in order for the participants to fully reflect on the distinct establishment of the project idea— which is very important to do—before creating a form. On the practical level, these ping-pong sessions run as team workshops with the goal of obtaining a common understanding of the project. Ideally, a workshop draws on diversity in viewpoints as well as mutual understanding and buyin. Although the core values of the practice are the basis for a workshop, the goal is to identify the specific essence of the particular project." You have discussed the vital relationship between art, design, and architecture. Can you discuss how these considerations affect your work? "Great things can happen when artists and architects have the opportunity to collaborate from

the outset on a project. At Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects we have always tried to ensure that each project enshrines the possibility for a real collaborative effort. One project which is particularly significant within the evolving work of the practice illustrates this idea of creative collaboration: At the ARoS Museum of Art in Aarhus, Denmark, this dialogue between architect and artist has been a continuous process. ARoS is a vivid example of what can be achieved when the levels of trust between client, artist and architect allow for the opportunity to fully explore and develop their collective ideas. The result is something far more significant than merely a symbiotic relationship between art and architecture – it creates the possibility of completely reinventing the basic notion of civic experience." ANDERSEN GARDEN Inspired by the prestigious residential towers surrounding Central Park in New York, Andersen Garden represents a significant contribution to the collection of utopian visions for vertical housing. More elegant than Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City and more humane than Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine, Andersen Garden features sequence of six slender housing blocks clad in white Chinese granite marching along a sculpted green plinth containing retail areas and connections to local infrastructure and parking. The

savvy designers

> Andersen Garden

individual apartment units follow the classic style of Chinese courtyard houses, where living spaces are arranged around a central inner court. The tectonic relation between base and tower in the Andersen Garden complex could not be clearer. Horizontality is explicitly expressed in the former, while verticality rules the composition of the latter. The infamous “wrap” technique is used to break down the scale of the wider towers, but is used sparingly in an ensemble with a series of smaller rectangular/tubular accent wraps that

appear almost randomly across the façade. The overall composition is balanced and sufficiently variegated, avoiding the relentless monotony seen in many of China’s housing projects. The limited material palette also lends sophistication to an otherwise simple design. At a smaller scale, there are several striking details that give the building a richness, further mitigating the scale. The guardrails, for example, are fashioned like screens of crooked reeds, no doubt responding to the local context while providing an organic balance to the rigid structure.


savvy designers

AMAZON COURT > Prague : Czech Republic


> Amazon Court

AMAZON COURT Amazon Court is a flexible mixeduse office building with a central atrium which also acts as an internal public square– featuring hanging terraces, evaporative cooling reflecting pools, and vegetation. The giant atrium connects the Karlinska Nam Park to the south of the building to the leafy river promenade to the north, inviting people to walk directly through the building. The building’s façade consists of a geometric pattern of glazed and white granite panels. Each of these repetitive panels subtly alternates between a flamed and polished finish, with the polished sections reflecting the sky. This dichromatic

veneer covers nearly every inch of the building’s skin, masking the scale of the building at some points and emphasizing it at others. Overall, a very sophisticated effect is created with only a few standard panel sizes. Formally, the building The scheme incorporates a range of sustainable solutions to achieve approximately 50 percent lower energy consumption than a standard office and approximately 65 percent lower maintenance cost. The dimensions of the office floors and the position of the connecting bridges were actually calculated to maximize the available sunlight. The office spaces were designed with high ceilings of exposed concrete, allowing them to

savvy designers

> Amazon Court


savvy designers

> Amazon Court


savvy designers

> Amazon Court

act as a thermal mass. The building also utilizes a combination of both natural and mechanical ventilation, using a sophisticated yet simple heat recovery system. Incoming air is introduced partly through openings in the façades and partly from a fresh air vent taking air from an adjacent rural location on the River Vltava. This green air is extracted via underground tubes where borehole water reservoirs combined with heat exchangers pre-heat or cool the air before it is distributed to the office floors. I got the chance to walk down into one of these underground tubes, and it blew me away. [Literally, I almost fell over] The incoming air from the banks of the river was noticeably cooler by several degrees. What’s more, once this air has circulated through the office spaces, it’s sent through the underground parking garage before being exhausted at the roof. I’ve never seen such an orchestrated and efficient use of air like this, from intake to exhaust. The atrium roof is constructed with Foiltech, a transparent lightweight material supported by slender rafters. The mullion-free sheeting gives the illusion of being outdoors while insulating the atrium from the rain,

snow, wind, and noise beyond. At the roof line, the entire atrium is vented with fully-automated louvers. These glass panels open in the summer allowing excess heat to escape and close in the winter to create a warm greenhouse effect inside. Inside the grand atrium, the internal facades of the office spaces are completely lined with automated

> Amazon Court

sun screens, designed by Danish artist Anne Marie Plough. When deployed, the screens provide shade to the office spaces beyond. However, when direct solar gain is not problematic, the screens retract horizontally via cable system and rest in a stacked position. This radically alters the color saturation of the atrium space in a constant, real-time response to the sun’s movement across the sky.


savvy designers

ROYAL LIBRARY > Copenhagen, Denmark


THE ROYAL LIBRARY The Royal Library is one of the most significant architectural landmarks on the Copenhagen waterfront. Clad in black granite, the extension is known locally as The Black Diamond. Situated in the historic heart of Copenhagen, the extension marks a radical shift from traditional library structure and accommodates a range of cultural facilities. Open and essentially democratic, the building includes scientific and literary institutions, exhibition rooms, a bookshop, a café and a restaurant, as well as a roof terrace and a hall with 600 seats for concerts, theatrical performances and conferences. The extension effectively doubled the library’s overall size.

The basic form of the building uses a strategy that we’ve seen before with Rafael Moneo’s Kursaal in San Sebastián, Spain and Peter Zumthor’s Kunsthaus in Bregenz, Austria. By removing many of the support spaces into a nearby auxiliary building, the remaining program can be optimized into a singular minimalist form. In this case, the massive solid black cube is violently split by an expansive glazed atrium. This grand hall houses the majority of the building’s public functions, affording panoramic views over the waterfront, and serving as a significant source of natural daylight which is dispersed throughout the building.

Section aa 1:750

Section aa 1:750 1. Foyer 2. Entrance

Section aa 1:750 1. Foyer 2. Entrance 3. Service bridge 4. Loan bridge 5. Christians Brygge 6. Footbridge 7. Escalator 8. Hall

3. Service bridge 4. Loan bridge 5. Christians Brygge

1. Foyer 2. Entrance 3. Service bridge 4. Loan bridge 5. Christians Brygge 6. Footbridge 7. Escalator 8. Hall 9. Exhibition hall 10. Workshop & store 11. Photo museum

6. Footbridge 7. Escalator 8. Hall

12. Plant room 13. Office 14. Passage

9. Exhibition hall 10. Workshop & store 11. Photo museum

15. Open to below 16. Research room

12. Plant room 13. Office 14. Passage

savvy designers

17. Workshop 18. Storage

> Royal Library

> Royal Library


savvy designers

> Royal Library


savvy designers

> Halifax Central Library

HALIFAX CENTRAL LIBRARY The new Halifax Central Library is to be sited on a prominent position in the downtown area, and will become a multifunctional cultural hub, with direct access to the vibrant surrounding urban context. The aggressive cantilevers will certainly ensure that the library will stand out from the existing context. As the most significant new public building in Halifax in a generation, the library will represent the diverse communities,

talents, and creativity of the residents of Halifax. The façade of the building is intended to reflect the local history of the site which was once a central local garden and significant green space within the heart of the city. Much like Herzog & de Meuron’s work for Ricola in Switzerland and France, an abstracted 'leaf ' motif of varying densities is used to create a façade that ranges from solid to fully open.




savvy designers

CONCERT, CONGRESS AND HOTEL Beating out the likes of Snøhetta and Daniel Libeskind, Schmidt Hammer Lassen recently won the competition to design a large concert, congress and hotel complex in Malmö, Sweden. The new building complex consists of a composition of cubic volumes that are mutually twisted and scaled in conversation with the surrounding buildings. Punctuated by expansive multi-level picture windows, the façades are designed with a relatively homogeneous expression, making the composition appear as one architectonic sculpture. The ground floor is open to the public and offers residents the option to stroll through the building if they are going to a concert, a conference, to the café or just want to make a

> Congress, Concert, Hotel

shortcut. The lobby becomes a street that runs through the whole ground floor plan, tying everything together. So there you have it. Who said international corporate firms had to be soulless sweatshops pumping out boring buildings and marketing brochures? These Great Danes have found a way to boost creativity and profit margins at the same time. I have a feeling that it has something to do with the Creative Directors being smart enough to join forces with a savvy CEO to manage the business aspects of the firm, while they direct the practice. Whatever it is they're doing differently, it's working. With more high-profile projects on the books, we'll be seeing much more of these guys. kevin frank []



CHICAGO second to none

we built this city

Article By:

Emil Mastandrea III Kevin Frank Photographs By:

Lauren A. Thomas


If you're thinking of moving to city of Chicago, there are a few things you should probably know in advance: 1 > Chicago is well known for its moniker “The City That Works” which references A) a time when the city operated relatively smoothly and B) the hardworking nature or its citizens...that is, of course, unless you work for the city, in which case it's more like “The City That Works (When It’s Convenient for Me)" 2 > Don’t bring your glove to the softball game. Bring beer. 3 > A “real” pizza weighs at least one metric ton. 4 > Don’t fall asleep on the Purple Line unless you plan on visiting Wisconsin after work. 5 > You will get heckled if you do not rush up/down the escalator during rush hour. 6 > If you don’t keep your head on a swivel while on the bike trail, you will probably need to be carried off via stretcher. 7 > Enjoy every second of summer; believe me, you will miss the humidity and 95° days when there is 9’ of snow on the ground.

we built this city

Fact: Chicago earned the nickname "The Windy City" because of its blowhard politicians, not because of the actual wind.

It is really friggin windy here though.


Now that we have the bases covered, it's time for you to find out where to live. If you're an architect who is lucky enough to be working in this economy (I hear McDonald’s is hiring) then the next important decision to make when re-locating to Chicago is finding out which neighborhood to call home. Chicago has huge variety of distinct, clearly-defined neighborhoods – 77 recognized “Community Areas” in fact.


Your neighborhood says a lot about you here. If you live in Wicker Park you have already received your complimentary pair of skinny jeans and full sleeve of tattoos...congratulations. If you live in Lakeview, even your closest friends don’t know what your head looks like underneath that tattered, backwards Cubs hat. If you live in the West Loop, all of your possessions smell like chocolate because of the Blommer factory. If you live in Wrigleyville, please don’t talk to me. So where do you belong? Glad you asked. The following is a simple guide to help you find out which Chicago neighborhood suits you best. You can start by answering a relatively simple, but hugely important question: HOW DO YOU WANT TO GET TO WORK?

I want to take the bus

I want to ride the “L”


This sandwich I just sat on

what’s that smell?

the guy next to me

we built this city


River North / Gold Coast

Lincoln Park / Old town

it does!


if only this place had retail

Lakeview / Wrigleyville

Wicker Park / Bucktown

West Loop / UK Village



are my teeth red?

does nothis jukebox have any Journey?

deep V any good bars around here? okay, maybe not that close

check out the view check out my abs

no stand clear, the doors are closing


? ?









Maybe I’ll just ride my bike

just a little

are my jeans too tight?

sup, brah

Why Do You Need A Job Again?

Pilsen/ Chinatown



I want to live close to the beach

is there a park close by?

i'm stuffed

sake bombs!



can we get something to eat?


I always said how nice it would be to walk to work

highrise building I can afford a unit on the 2nd floor

Urbs in Horto


well, I can just drive, right? parking downtown


$$$$ I’m soooo Modern


febreeze really wish my office had a shower

neighbors with barking dog

how about a loft?

walk-up building

no a/c?!? WTF!








we built this city







in practice

Article and Architectural Designs By:

Alexi Karavokiris

Illustrations By:

Alexi Karavokiris Marina Pulliam Elena Searcy Matt Searcy



ooo... chalk up another big win for Chinese developers! As some of you may have already seen, the most recent contribution to the world of architecture coming from these cookie-cutting bajillionaires is this sweet gem: The Ark Hotel in Hainan, China. Back in early November, a timelapse video was posted on YouTube showing a fast-track construction process unlike anything we've ever seen before. Five mobile cranes, six days, a few hundred pre-cast columns and a few hundred workers was all it took for the China-based Broad Group to erect a 15-story hotel high-rise. Not only was this “sustainable” project erected overnight, it was even built to withstand a level 9 earthquake! But who cares? The building looks like it was modeled with Legos! Save for the few people who financially prospered from its rapid erection, I'd be surprised if anyone even notices the Ark Hotel for the rest of its dismal existence. Speaking of finances, I would be extremely interested to see the record books on this one, to see if it was really a worthwhile endeavor or little more than a publicity stunt. Regardless, the fact of the matter remains that the Ark Hotel and countless other terrible buildings on this planet are all driven by one thing: worthless developers and

in practice

their unending mission to make as much money as possible, at any cost. Unfortunately this outlook on architecture and urban design is quite contrary to the beautiful worlds typically envisioned by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier. While we picture dynamic, energetic, innovative building solutions which build upon and advance technology, developers seem only to care about the bottom line. They cut more corners than Mario Andretti to maximize their profits, which leads to plateau-ing technologies instead of progress. It's not the worst thing in the world when examined through the eyes of business; however, it's absolutely detrimental to the world of architecture. It’s really no surprise that someone thought it was a good idea to set this “land speed” record. I can picture a conference room full of executives, tapping their fingers together a la Mr. Burns and petting hairless cats. But an effort of this kind has the potential to become a tempting slippery slope. This kind of nonsense must not be encouraged. Looking back on mankind's most significant works of architecture, we are clearly reminded that real masterpieces take incredible amounts of time. There is no instant gratification in the world of architecture...and the illustrious Ark Hotel is a shining example of that. This is not to say that the ability to

day 1

vomit a 16 story high rise in less than a week has absolutely no inherent value. Our industry is undoubtedly moving toward this model, and it will become important for us to recognize this moving forward. Which brings me to my real point... Where are the cities of the future? Where are the sky cities, water cities, and space cites? Where is the dystopian metropolis that we've seen in Blade Runner, Brazil, The Fifth Element, Minority Report? Why are all the past efforts and building blocks of modern man being used to plateau progress

day 3

is our future being hijacked by developers? Maybe it's just easier, or cheaper...or perhaps we're just much than our forefathers.


rather than build upon it? Is our future being hijacked by developers? Maybe it's just easier, or cheaper...or perhaps we’re just much lazier than our forefathers. Either way, there is no excuse. We must carry on the torch. Take transportation for example. When I was a child, I could have sworn that by 2011, we would be darting around hyper-cities with rocket packs capable of getting us from point A to point B in a flash. Where’s my flux compacitor? Where's my hover board? Is anyone even working on this?! Actually, the only thing that's even come close to embracing true “future”

day 4

day 6










C =S

in practice








G! ! W DA E R E T W E TH A H E’R W

status seems to be the iPod. Yeah, the iPod: compact, efficient, simple, abundant, affordable, intelligent, and virtually incapable of improvement. And why does this little luxury item earn such an elite status in my book? Well, as I see it, the iPod represents the culmination of a journey that began long that 20 years ago, people could only dream about..... Think back to some time around 1989, as you’re walking down the street listening to the latest N.K.O.T.B album with a backpack full of cassette tapes, some extra AA batteries and a bright yellow Sony Walkman. At that moment in time, I think we were all pretty impressed with the evolution of music portability. But I don’t doubt for one second that we were all probably thinking the same thing: “If only I could have it all...every song, every artist, all in my pocket.” And from this simple idea came one of the most successful products known to man. [thanks Steve Jobs] Other aspects of our modern world are also making sufficient progress, but we still have a long way to go. The leap in communication technology, for example, has had a profound impact on the last 100 years. I can’t imagine what it must have been like a hundred years ago, when the ability to write a letter on one side of the planet and have it be read by some other random scientist on the opposite side of the planet (four months later) was considered serious progress for mankind. Now we go crazy when our cell phones have anything less than five bars. [thanks AT&T] Another example of the radical

impact that technology has had on an industry can be seen in the world of video games. But even with better graphics and more life-like gameplay each year, the game developers themselves insist that there is still much progress to be made. In fact, they have made a practice of celebrating each minor new technological advancement as a key part of their marketing program...a proven strategy for generating huge profit margins. And with greater revenues being generated each year, it's obvious that these companies are going to continue to be major contributors to the world of computer technology and virtual reality. Which means we can all continue to hone our skills infiltrating enemy base camps, drafting gocarts, and stealing Lincoln Navigators from innocent passersby. [thanks Nintendo] Speaking of reality, we all know that the world of cosmetic enhancements has r e a l l y come a long way in the last few decades. Take breast augmentation for example; flimsy bags of saline solution have given way to elastomercoated, high-cohesion, form-stable silicon implants. But even with all of the recent advancements, very few enhancements can actually pass for "au natural" upon closer inspection. However, the next generation of implants are projected to be so realistic that they will fool even the keenest of breast enthusiasts. I can't wait! [thanks plastic surgeons] Beyond the cosmetic realm, the world of robotics and automation are the calling cards of the future.


Imagine a world in which nearly every routine, chore, and process is fully automated. Dry cleaning, fast food, bartending, traffic. Some fear that this will lead to even lazier societies; and honestly, it may. However I believe that being able to automate the redundant chores and mundane tasks of today will allow individuals to pursue more meaningful ways to use the hours in the day (higher education, family time, exercise, social services, research, etc.) tomorrow. Further, when such technologies are perfected the world could potentially become much a much safer place to live. One such example of safety derived from technology resides in the automotive industry. If our cars drove themselves (at unprecedented speed) all thanks to a series of advanced sensors and networks, the streets would be filled with far fewer accidents and potentially fewer emissions from inefficient driving. As per usual, our friend Bjarke Ingels is already a step ahead of us on this one...check out his submission for the Audi Urban Future Award on page 44! However, anyone who has experienced the unique frustration of the “self check out” lane at the grocery store knows all too well that a fully-automated society is still decades away. These early models of automation are merely a glance at what the world has in store for us. Although alternate jobs will need to be created for us hard-working humanoids, these automated replacements will be the perfect

in practice

employees for business owners. They never call in sick, they are never late, they don’t steal, they don’t need to take breaks, and they are never paid for the long hours they perform. [thanks R2D2] Even with all of the incredible advancements that mankind has made in the past 100 years, it still seems as though we are not yet living in the future. Why? I think it comes down to one critical checkpoint that we have not yet reached as a society... POWER. We are still reliant on primitive fossil fuels, inadequate solar cells, disruptive dams, and wind turbines that have yet to produce truly infinite energy. The future will arrive when we are capable of deriving incredible amounts of power from the sunlight that falls on the surface of our planet each day. That day will come. And when it does, it will reshape our world in ways we have never imagined. The Singularity. Every facet of life will be impacted, and the “unbelievable” will become totally real. Personal flight, nano technology, synthesized immortality, virtual communication, and an almost pollution-free existence will all become "normal". In order for these future projections to succeed (ie, in order for me to get my hover board) we must continue to push young students to new scholastic heights, as they will be an essential catalyst for the next technological revolution. As the future citizens of a fantastic new world, we will all need to be well-equipped to handle the next round of society's problems. Basically, we all need to get a lot smarter. [author included] alexi karavokiris []



Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice USA Edited by : Elite Kedan, Jon Dreyfous, and Craig Mutter Published by : Princeton Architectural Press, NY 8x10 inches paperback 288 pages, 355 color illustrations, 65 b/w illustrations

Provisional: Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice USA follows the work of nine design practices who are challenging the traditional bounds of the architectural profession through technology and building (Chris Hoxie, Front, Gehry Technologies, George Yu Architects, Lewis.Tsurmaki.Lewis, MY Studio/Meejin Yoon, nARCHITECTS, Servo, and ShOP). These practices are part of an emerging generation of designers who are foregoing traditional tendencies toward either avant-garde theory or unimaginative pragmatism. They are applying knowledge in a much more performative manner that is at the same time highly creative yet still pragmatic, containing elements of both theory and craft. The book covers the work of these firms through a series of interviews, essays, diagrams, construction documents, renderings, and photographs. On the concept of process, documentation and craft, the book follows suite by dividing its components by category rather than by firm, allowing an “acute comparison of the featured practices’ methodologies.” At the same time, a system of referencing tags allows the user to freely navigate from section to section. Provisional is a great book for anyone wanting an inside look at some of today’s most innovative design firms. dominick gallegos []

in your typeface! Jeremy and Aimée are the graphic dynamos behind JAM Creative, a full service graphic design studio based out of New Orleans. They also run Shultzilla, a Nola inspired clothing company that features rad tees, hip bags, and cool accessories.>

Column By:

Jeremy Miller & Aimée Shultz TYPEFACE YOU MUST KNOW

CODE will be one of the top typefaces in 2011. This san serif typeface is very clean and modern, with true circles in the rounded characters. The family only comes in uppercase. But we think that limitation will keep it from becoming too trendy, because as with any typeface that only comes in uppercase, CODE should be used sparingly. To download this font, visit:

TYPEFACE WE LOVE TO HATE You would think that Tekton Pro would be a

good typeface simply because of its cool name. But, don’t be fooled. The letters in this little diddy are very reminiscent of our favorite font to hate on–Comic Sans. The name Tekton Pro leads one to believe it should be a technical or mechanical typeface; however, we are left with a comic book-worthy imposter that will definitely solicit snickers from the design snobs.


The word “font” refers to a single style in a family of fonts. However, the word “typeface” refers to several fonts, designed with unity of style in mind.

> CODE in Light and Bold

The letter “L” was created by the Romans by turning the gamma upside down. Silly Romans...


PRO BONO IN THE BIG EASY A Personal Story of Teamwork, Tragedy & Triumph: The New Orleans Mission Family Center


we're only human

Article By:

Breeze Glazer Photographs By:

Rodney Dionisio, Stephen Verderber, Breeze Glazer, Kevin Frank 95


he New Orleans Mission Family Center is a model for the positive impact architectural schools can have on their surrounding communities while simultaneously engaging students in career informing experiences. The project first started in January 2005 as Dr Stephen Verderber – studio professor at the Tulane School of Architecture led a design build studio of 3rd , 4th year and graduate students for a transitional homeless shelter for women and children in New Orleans. As a 4th year student at the time, I was immediately engaged in the project, as it offered a drastic shift from the typical architectural studio project for a design that would always just remain an idea on paper. The opportunity to see the realization of one’s design is incredible for a student, and particularly so for a project with a strong social purpose. Dr. Verderber had previously formed the Tulane Rapid Response Studio several years prior, to address problems local to New Orleans through architectural studio generated solutions such as portable emergency housing after times of catastrophe. As a professor at TSA for twenty years, Verderber provided an innovative approach to architectural education – with an expertise in healthcare design. Fundamental to this approach is the belief that architecture must serve the greater needs of society, and one’s immediate community, and has the ability to be the driver for positive change. This ethos has influenced a generation of architecture students at Tulane School of Architecture, including myself as I currently serve as the Research Knowledge Manager for Healthcare Sustainability at Perkins+Will, an interdisciplinary global design firm. My desire to work in the healthcare sector originated during the studio, as it provides the greatest ability to see the positive impact of the physical environment on occupants.

we're only human


Fundamental to this approach is the belief that architecture must serve the greater needs of society... 97


Tulane Rapid Response Studio Tulane School of Architecture Project Lead > Dr. Stephen Verderber, AIA Project Coordinator > Breeze Glazer, LEED AP Supervising Architect > Rodney Dionisio, AIA

we're only human

Funder > HomeAid Coordinator > Diane Dempcy Architect of Record > Perez, APC MEP Engineer > David Kanter Engineering / Thompson Consulting Engineers Structural Engineer > Schrenk & Peterson Owner > The New Orleans Mission Executive Director > Ron Gonzalez


we're only human


Homelessness has long been an epidemic in New Orleans. The current rate of 4% is almost four times greater than the average city in the United States.


Dr. Verderber connected with the New Orleans Mission, the largest provider of shelter for the homeless in the city, for the first Rapid Response Studio project to be realized through funding provided by a private donor. Homelessness has long been an epidemic in New Orleans; the current rate of 4% is almost four times greater than the average city in the United States, and has doubled since before Hurricane Katrina. The current poverty rate is 23.8%, and drastically higher in the African American and Female populations. The New Orleans Mission had an existing men’s homeless shelter, and single women’s residence on an urban campus in downtown New Orleans to serve address the growing population, providing overnight emergency shelter and all ancillary services required for restoration including showers, meals, clothing, healthcare, rehabilitation for men, day services, and case management for employment support and housing referrals. Single female households account for a jarring 71% of families living under the poverty line in New Orleans, with homelessness often a continued concern for those even with housing. The New Orleans Mission Family Center serves these families, offering a transition from homelessness to independent living through rehabilitation and support. TEAM + PROCESS For the first several weeks of the studio, students developed schemes for a site adjacent to the existing New Orleans Mission building in downtown New Orleans, several blocks away from the Superdome. After a brief competition, two schemes were selected and the students worked on a unified design solution. Professor Verderber transformed the 12 person studio


a > living e > playroom i > emergency bedroom f > office j > bedroom b > dining c > kitchen g > ADA bedroom d > laundry h > house mother's room



e a



g > Ground Floor

group into a near professional practice, with students assigned to various components of the design process – structural drawings, landscape design, sustainability, codes and standards among others. Project meetings were held at the New Orleans Mission, with the students engaged in user group meetings with staff and occupants to better under the unique condition experienced by the homeless population. A local architect and Tulane School of Architecture alumnus Rodney Dionisio, AIA was brought in to help manage the design documentation process and provide general oversight. Verderber reached out to consultants and retained them for reduced fees as well as significant pro bono services. David Kanter Engineering provided MEP services MEP while Schrenk & Peterson provided structural engineering services. The New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity offered to provide additional funding and construct the project with help from local volunteers and the students during the following Fall semester.

The hybrid design build solution presented a model for design build programs to address more complex projects than the typical single family residence of similar academic studio programs. The project utilized an existing historic building on site, a two story structure with a heavily damaged rear addition that was demolished by students with the help of Habitat for Humanity, during the Spring semester. The program required a 3000 square foot addition to the existing 1500 square foot structure – a 4500 sq foot residence to house 32 homeless women and children for up to 90 days, their first step to independent living. DESIGN The unified design solution reflected a dichotomy between the existing and the new, a difficult but common tactic in a city like New Orleans whose housing stock is predominately historic structures rooted in place. This is realized through an interplay of the vernacular, against more modern forms and materials. A two story rectilinear volume with a sharply pitched shed roof

we're only human



h > 2nd Floor

was added to the rear of the existing front structure, offset slightly in plan and section to become visible in the front elevation. The move also supports a shading strategy which allows maximum transparency on the ground floor to the exterior, via a storefront glazing system while protecting the interiors from maximum solar gain. On the north west façade protected by the overhang above, the glazing is clear vision glass, allowing views to the adjacent healing garden. On the south façade, a colorful pattern of blue, green and yellow low E coated glass with a raindrop texture animates the elevation and connects to the ecclesiastical origins of the New Orleans Mission. The overall program provides areas of privacy for individual families, in addition to open public areas where residents can congregate during the day. To help code the new addition as distinct from the wood clad existing structure, the second floor of the rear volume is wrapped in corrugated metal, a low-cost solution which also created affinity with the similarly sheathed

existing New Orleans Mission men’s shelter next door. The addition provided 6 bedrooms with private baths on the second floor, with an open floor plan area below consisting of the kitchen, dining room, living space and children’s playroom. The existing structure in front contained an ADA accessible bedroom, along with the house mother’s office and bedroom. As the semester came to an end, the project had made substantial progress however the design was not yet fully resolved, and construction documents not complete. I was hired directly by the New Orleans Mission to work under Verderber and Dionisio and finalize the project, ready to commence with construction in the Fall. KATRINA On Monday, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina forever changed the physical and social landscape of New Orleans, along with much of the Gulf Coast. The city lost over 1,300 inhabitants and caused massive destruction that is still a visible presence in the city today. The New Orleans


Mission site suffered heavy flooding, with the existing Family Center structure destroyed. All of the project files and documents were located on the second floor of my heavily damaged house, missing a roof and exposed to the elements. The project team scattered to all corners of the United States and along with the entire city, assessed the damage from afar. In October inhabitants were allowed to enter New Orleans for several hours at a time to salvage any goods or property from their homes. Remarkably, a heavily damaged personal computer still functioned and I was able to retrieve backed up files of the project. Over the next several months the project team got in contact with each other, and the New Orleans Mission and planed for the rebirth of the project, along with that of the city. Habitat for Humanity dropped out of the project to focus on rebuilding New Orleans on a massive scale, in addition the private donor pulled out and the construction budget eliminated. Almost immediately, a leading architecture firm in the city, Perez APC, stepped in and offered to help restart the project as the official architect of record and supervise the design and construction process. I joined Perez as assistant project manager to maintain the connection to the original studio, and completed the design with Verderber and Dionisio. All consultants remained committed to the project after the storm and worked for reduced fees and substantial pro bono services. HomeAid, a leading national non-profit provider of housing for today’s homeless, offered to completely fund the project and provide a project liaison, Diane Dempcey to help guide the process. The New Orleans Mission appointed a new executive director, Ron

we're only human


Hurricane Katrina forever changed the physical and social landscape of New Orleans, along with much of the Gulf Coast.



Gonzalez; who quickly became a strong champion for the project and a primary reason for its ultimate success. CONSTRUCTION Although the existing structure had been destroyed, the team decided to rebuild it from the ground up concurrently with the new addition to ensure the most time effective redesign process. Over the next several months, the construction documentation process was completed and a contractor brought on board; construction began in the Fall of 2006. The project faced further hardships during construction over the next year, with setbacks due to further inclement weather, an inconsistent contractor team and the passing of David Kanter, owner of the engineering firm providing MEP and commissioning services for the project. The firm closed, however another company, Thompson Engineers quickly stepped and provided pro bono services for the duration of the project.

The New Orleans Mission Family Center reached substantial completion in November 2007, with the first occupants moving in early Spring the following year. Over the next year and half, the project went through the LEED certification process and ultimately achieved Silver certification in August 2010. From the early stages in design, students decided the project must be sustainably designed and provide previously homeless occupants with the highest standards of living. In addition, the team understood that an energy and water efficient would result in reduced operating costs for the owner over time, and important consideration for a nonprofit fully reliant on private donation to remain operational The team decided to pursue LEED-NCv2.2 Certification for the project, hoping the certification would allow the New Orleans Mission greater recognition upon completion of the Family Center.

we're only human

SUSTAINABILITY Highly efficient, and innovative mechanical systems result in a 28% energy efficiency against an ASHRAE 90.1 2004 baseline. A ground source heat pump system is utilized for heating and cooling needs and informs heavily reduced energy bills throughout the year, in addition to free heating of domestic water. The system was first introduced to the team by Kanter Engineering who had experience with it on past projects – the soft soil and extremely low water table in New Orleans is optimum for ground source heat pump systems. Although not considered renewable energy due to the small amount of energy needed to circulate water through the wells, it greatly reduces the project’s carbon footprint. Paramount to the success of the project was the construction materials and building products donated by charitable organizations across the county. The team reached out to vendors

to ensure a higher design standard could be realized without significant impact to the budget. During the semester, students reached out to manufacturers personally, contacting local product representatives for the New Orleans area, often finding a receptive audience – such as 3-Form who provided eco resin panels at cost. After Hurricane Katrina, opportunities were amplified by the outpouring of support for New Orleans and the introduction of HomeAid to the process. The organization was able to formally reach out to large manufacturers and procure donated and reduced cost building materials at a larger scale, including insulation from Knauf, fiber cement siding from James Hardie, windows from Pella, high end appliances from GE and high end steel cable railing from Forms+Surfaces. The project utilized substantial recycled and renewable materials including bamboo in most public areas and cork flooring in the bedrooms. Low VOC paints,


we're only human


women’s center

family center

we're only human

men’s center

sealants and adhesives were used to maintain the highest levels of indoor air quality. An important consideration for the project was resilience after future flooding events; ensuring the building’s structure and finishing would last. After Hurricane Katrina many homes experienced toxic mold growth due to paper lined gypsum board, so the project specifying waterproof gypsum product, with DensArmor donated by Georgia Pacific. A local non-profit focused on improving greenspaces in the city, Parkway Partners, donated plant materials and a gazebo for the garden. The landscaping design utilized existing plants and vegetation on the site, along with additional native and adapted vegetation that do not require any permanent irrigation. Several firms offered pro-bono landscaping services, creating a healing garden that provides occupants with a strongly needed place of respite and connection to nature. This is particularly important at the Family Center, as families are often required to stay on the campus under supervision unless leaving for employment during the day. This is often due to the need for protection from abusive domestic partners, and to ensure residents do not rescind to potential past drug and alcohol abuse. At the New Orleans Mission Family Center, occupants are provided with a

strong social and emotional program, coupled with a physical environment to aid in their rehabilitation.


n experience that started in a studio at the Tulane School of architecture over five years prior finally came to a close in 2010, weathering the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States. The New Orleans Mission Family Center is the second LEED certified project in New Orleans and one of the first LEED certified homeless shelters in the country. Only through the dedication of all of the involved team members was the project made possible; providing vitally needed transitional housing for women and children in New Orleans. The project is a testament to the positive impact an architectural school can support through pro bono design, and should serve as a model for future design build academic programs. For this author, the project served as the defining experience for my young career, impressing upon me the responsibility of architects in social engagement, and the power of architecture to make a positive difference in our world. breeze glazer []


spacebook WANNA BE FAMOUS?! Well, perhaps "famous" is a bit strong....let's try again. Wanna be momentarily revered by modest pockets of counter-culture designers around the globe?! It's easy! Just SEND US YOUR PROJECTS! This page is dedicated to you, and the awesome projects you're designing. If you've got something compelling to share, send it our way and we'll put the best submissions right here on this very page. ps, we're completely susceptible to bribery. We like cupcakes. And Bulls tickets.

warming huts: an art & architecture competition on ice 2011

“..The hard snow held me, save where now and then One foot went down. The view was all in straight up and down of tall slim trees... And then there was a pile of wood ... It was a cord of maple, cut and split... To warm the frozen swamp as best it could With the slow smokeless burning of decay.” -from “The Wood Pile” by Robert Frost

this month's spacebook project is...

THE CLEARING which follows the winter river-trail, a temporary respite found within the urban and suburban context of Winnipeg. Within the clearing, the “hearth” structure sits at the threshold of the city grid and the path of the river, between the static routine of the city and the continuous, cathartic celebration of the found ice trail. Through hyper-density, texture, and color, the “hearth” reveals and clarifies the serenity of the open and snow-blanketed river banks. This matrix of tightly packed wooden verticals contains and protects the visitor from cold northerly winds through variation of its density, while the absence of traditional walls allows for unique vertical views that rhythmically scale the horizontal snowy plain. The low winter sunlight forces an erosion of wooden verticals along the southern sides, admitting precious natural warmth for the occupant and exposing a “smoldering” cascade of color and shadow. Passersby will thereby perceive a color-dynamic depth in the milled precision of the simple, abstract box form, signifying a rich interior that welcomes trail goers who choose to rest. designers: alan barker blaise durio ' aimee stern


alexi loves china.

dominick's car gets swallowed by a squall!

k-frank and collaborator eJ are all business...

meanwhile, somewhere in shanghai...

bryan, kevin, and alexi discuss the finer points of haggling.

jenny hangs out in caves. true story.

breeze leads a hiighline tour!

Kevin Frank


Architect, graphic designer, makebelieve rockstar.

Dominick Gallegos


Urbane and open-minded, in love with the culture of urbanism.

Bryan Finnegan

this is Who We are


Logical and rational, a gadget freak and avid outdoorsman.

Jenny Pelc


Virtual cheerleader for the profession, fervent fiber artist.

Alexi Karavokiris


Artist by training, designer by profession, badass by nature.

Breeze Glazer


Sustainability champion, living and breathing the City.


roll credits PHOTO CREDITS: cover photo > Schmidt Hammer Lassen, shit list gehry project images > Bryan Finnegan, Kevin Frank tracks headphones image > KiBiSi, thistsmykea image > Mykea, dna portraits image > dna11, movado timepiece images > Movado, notorious BIG images diagrams and renderings > Bjarke Ingels Group, this is aarhus project images and renderings > Schmidt Hammer Lassen, chicago images > Lauren A. Thomas, in practice illustrations > Alexi Karavokiris, Marina Pulliam, Elena Searcy, Matt Searcy in your typeface mage > Jeremy Miller and Aimée Shultz, new orleans image > Kevin Frank new orleans mission images > Rodney Dionizio, Stephen Verderber, Breeze Glazer spacebook illustrations > Alan Barker, Blaise Durio, Aimée Stern loop station > Jeffry Gugick, Pixel and Poly, LLC,

THANK YOUS: Daria Pahota > Bjarke Ingels Group Ida Relsted Kærup > Schmidt Hammer Lassen Peter Thule Kristensen > Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts EJ Mastandrea > Chicago correspondent and collaborator Lauren A. Thomas > Chicago photographs Liz Grube, Brett Nelson, Jeff Cuppy > Top10 List Help Alan Barker, Blaise Durio, Aimée Stern > Spacebook Frank Gehry > Please don't sue us

stay in touch INTERESTED IN CONTRIBUTING? Just send your resume and a few work samples to WANT TO BE FEATURED IN OUR SAVVY DESIGNERS SECTION? Send a link to your website and brief message to SEND US SOME SNAIL MAIL ARCHILEPSYmagazine P.O. Box 902 Chicago, IL 60690 Care of: Mies Van der Rohe

ADVERTISE IN ARCHILPESY We will glady send you our Media Kit and Rate Card. Just click the "advertise" link over on the left and fill out the brief form. Or just send an email with your information to Be sure to ask about our special introductory rate packages!


COVER This month's cover image is a tightly cropped photograph of the west facade of the Amazon Court office building in Prague, designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen. The alternating windows and stone panels create a unique field condition, as hundreds of individual shapes come together as a singular cohesive texture. (yes, there's a metaphor need to spoon feed anybody) TYPEFACES The ARCHILEPSY masthead and logo uses a custom designed font by Kevin Frank. Our standard serif paragraph text is Adobe Caslon Pro. We use Myriad Pro (made famous by Apple) for typical san-serif paragraph text. ITC Avante Garde Gothic is our go-to headline font. All other fonts are used with permission. We respect and <3 typographers. LAYOUT This magazine was designed in Adobe InDesign and hosted in its online format by ISSUU. The website was designed by Kevin Frank.


ARCHILEPSY February 2011 Volume One, Issue One Suggested Retail Price $0.00 P.O. Box 902 Chicago, IL 60690 © Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about printing this WEBzine, you dirty tree killer.

ARCHILEPSY Magazine IssueONE  

Volume One Issue One Featuring Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Schmidt Hammer Lassen, an Open Letter to Frank Gehry, Top 10 Way to Piss Me Off Th...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you