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TURKEY

LOUISIANA SPORTS HALL OF FAME

RIOS CLEMENTI HALE


CONTENTS

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A Moment with Ken

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Danaus - A Polymorphic Installation

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URBANbuild Update

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Faculty Profile : Tiffany Lin

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The Architecture of Drawing

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Turkish Delight

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Architecture in Education

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AIA National Convention

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Product of the Digital Age

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Building Critique : Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

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Tutorial Man

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Missed Connections | Sketches

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Firm Profile : Rios Clementi Hale Studios

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graduate open house preservation re-engineering | pitot house preservation matters 2

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5th annual AIA new orleans crawfish boil

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sustainable design series - LEEDigation

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front cover photo. Leland, WIll, and Pat at the Bergama

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Letter from the Editor | Kevin Michniok I find interviewing with firms for prospective internship positions a very dynamic procedure; from what I’ve heard from friends engaged in the process as well, your resume is often just as important as a portfolio and design works. Exhibiting design production using widely accepted software (Autodesk 3ds Max, Grasshopper, Revit and so on) shows an employer the ability to apply proficiency tools of one program translated onto another. Imagine also having these skills but using them in collaboration with your fellow students - group studio projects, combining your best skills for design competitions or design-build projects. One point of consistency in interviews - employers love hearing about student to student partnerships forged to produce a final product. This is how the professional sector works: managing many different people who collectively represent the holistic endeavors of a firm’s project. This and the ability to find a deeply-rooted passion to supplement your design work is the key to success. For me, this pas-

sion is manifested through writing. I encourage you all to find something you love before graduating - and market that skill. Firms will appreciate the depth to which you’ve diversified yourself. During May 12-14, New Orleans will explode with design professionals pouring into the city from many of different firms and locations for the AIA National Convention. If you haven’t already, SIGN UP online. With a tremendous influx of designers in one central location, a city already brimming at the edges with character becomes a nexus for sharing enthusiasm for design. Tulane School of Architecture will have a major presence, evident in el dorado inc of Kansas City’s design of the Convention Center Avenue. The editors and I love our Midwestern firms here at theCharrette; Hannah and Katherine are both from Chicago and I’m from St. Louis (the city with the better National League Central Division team).

Give us your opinions at thecharrette@gmail.com.

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A Moment with Ken | Charrette, LEED, AIA Convention & Job Market Dean, Tulane School of Architecture

Q. What specific aspects of the RMH Sustainability Charrette did you find particularly striking and applicable to the current state of our building? A. I thought the insights by the faculty and students who participated about some of the key environmental systems issues were especially important. I also observed some excellent ideas about the program and how various aspects of the school’s operation could be better accommodated through the project that we envisioned for Richardson Memorial Hall.

Q. Given Dinwiddie Hall just received LEED Gold Certification, how can university administration ensure that this is a trend for new buildings and not just a singular occurrence? A. LEED Silver is the minimum expectation for all projects at Tulane University going forward. Dinwiddie aimed for LEED Silver but accomplished the higher level of LEED Gold through terrific collaboration between the Office of the University Architect, Facilities and the architects involved in that project – Waggonner and Ball. The assurances serve as a matter of policy but also I would say that the ambition is moving upward and should evolve from that over the next several years that the standard may actually increase to LEED Gold at some point in the foreseeable future. So I don’t see any signs of the university retreating from this important step that we’ve taken. It’s also important to note that President Cowen signed the socalled Presidents Climate Change Declaration, which commits the university to accomplish more in the range of energy reduction/carbon reduction as an institution.

Q. Looking forward to the AIA National Convention, how important of an event is this for further exposure of TSA and the New Orleans design community? A. This is very important on a number of levels. The New Orleans chapter of the AIA has a very prominent role and that features all of the architects who are members of the AIA within this community. The local chair for the convention is Creed Brierre who is an alumnus of our school as well. He has a major prominent role in the convention. Secondly, we have numerous events that are being presented or conducted by Tulane School of Architecture faculty and alumni so the national and the international audience of the AIA convention will see many of us front and

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center in events over the course of those three days. Thirdly, Dan Maggin of el dorado is the architect of the “Avenue” which is an installation throughout the expo and his work as an alumnus of the school of architecture will be featured and seen by everyone, the roughly 20,000 people who attend the convention. That installation and all the materials associated with [it] are being donated to URBANbuild for reuse within the community through the work of Byron Mouton and all the students in the months and years to come. And finally, simply having the AIA convention in town is a major exposure for design excellence throughout the community and a terrific boost.

Q. What advice do you have for current and graduating students who are searching for work? What aspects of their design work or experience will become vital for employers? A. Tulane School of Architecture students have unique experiences in teamwork, collaboration, community engagement and bringing design to bear on real issues within the community. I think these our fundamental qualities for self-starters and many companies are looking for those kinds of qualities. I also think that our graduates have been more in-depth than many in other schools of architecture at creating opportunities whereas the jobs may not be as readily available in traditional practice settings given the economy. Many of our graduates our utilizing their skills to branch out beyond traditional practice whether it’s in the realm of non-profit work within communities or design-build work or even in starting their business of various kinds. So my advice to the graduates would be to tap into your creativity, network with colleagues, Tulane alumni and others that can help you to position yourself for success in whatever format that may take and be confident going forward.


DANAUS : A POYMORPHIC INSTALLATION A PROJECT FROM AMMAR ELOUEINI’s DIGITAL FABRICATION Danaus needs your support to get realized. Go to kickstarter.com and search ‘tulane’; you will find the project right at the top.

Danaus is a polymorphic installation that is being created by Tulane architecture students, set to be completed in April. Back in January we started with the simple idea of anamorphic graphics, where we created the illusion of a complete shape from one perspective despite the fact that the form is actually fragmented. This idea has evolved into a complex transitional form. After entering the building the viewer is confronted with the complete perspective of a cube, represented as a two-dimensional hexagon. After continuing, the person realizes that the shape is actually projected on multiple surfaces. When on the stairs, the viewer can look up and see the installation morph. The voids transition from 4-sided polygons to 5, and then 6-sided polygons. The voids also grow in size, with the space between them diminishing as they push together. This creates a more porous surface. The third transformation is in the depth of the structure. The project is paper thin at the bottom and grows to approximately 10” deep. At the top a place is created to store flyers and papers outside of the administrative offices, which adds a function to the artistic piece. Motion sensors detect when someone is reaching in for one of the flyers or books, and triggers LED bulbs to light up. This transformational process realizes the idea of creating space out of two-dimensional drawings, something architects do everyday.

Top. Danaus model; Bottom. rendering

The installation will be made out of foam that is routed on a CNC machine. After being routed, the foam will be sealed and strengthened with epoxy. Finally, it will be primed and painted. Our target goal of $1,000 accounts for sensors, LED lights, epoxy, primer, paint and rigid foam insulation. Currently, we are speculating that we will use a material that can be purchased from a home improvement store so that we can remain in budget. However, there are higher density foams that can increase the precision of the cuts. If we raise more than our target goal we will increase the quality of foam and end up with a cleaner final product. To watch a video which further explains the project and to find out how you can help make this project a reality, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/ projects/878394321/danaus-a-polymorphic-installation. March 2011

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URBANbuild Update

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Progression of URBANbuild prototype during month of March at 1821 Toledano. Many interior surfaces, building systems and components have been installed.

Images courtesy of Emile LeJeune

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painting entrance

students taking break after painting

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Faculty Profile |

TIFFANY LIN

frank xiong

Despite her short time at Tulane, Tiffany Lin has already become a widely recognized name around the TSA community for her upbeat attitude, loquacious personality and widespread involvement in projects for the school and local design installations. Lin was educated in two different Ivy League programs, has worked for top name architecture firms around the country and has taught at a variety of architecture institutions. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Tiffany Lin moved to Manhattan, Kansas at the age of seven because her father was pursuing his Masters Degree in Computer Science at Kansas State University. At the age of nine, Lin moved to Miami, Florida where her father was offered a job. She attended the New World School of the Arts High School, a program school specializing in fine art, music, dance and theatre. Lin majored in fine arts and was deeply committed to drawing, painting and visual media. With graduation approaching, she had prepared her applications to arts schools when she encountered a huge obstacle: her traditional Chinese parents. “I wanted to become a painter,” explains Lin, “but my parents were very against it.” Chuckling, she tells that her father had actually ripped up all her applications to art schools saying, “Smart girls don’t make paintings; smart girls make money…and buy paintings,” a quote forever inscribed in her memories which she now laughs about. Pressured into attending an Ivy League school, Lin gave architecture a chance. She saw architecture as a middle ground which involved drawing and satisfied her parents’ expectations. At the age of 8

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seventeen, she enrolled in Cornell University’s 5-year undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture program. During her first year, Tiffany disliked the program and even considered switching majors. “I just didn’t understand what the critics were talking about!” said Lin, “I would cry after every review because I knew what they were saying was negative, but I didn’t understand the specifics of architectural jargon.” At the beginning of her sophomore year, Lin’s spirits finally rose. Similar to TSA’s fall “opener” this year, Cornell started all academic years with an all-school design competition. As a sophomore, she designed a house based on a Palladio Plan that was reinterpreted through the lens of Adolf Loos. This Project earned her second place in the competition as well as a cash prize and some much needed confidence in further pursuing architecture. After graduation, Lin started exploring career options in the vast fields of architecture. Immediately after graduation, she taught in Cornell’s summer program for prospective architecture students. Thoroughly loving the experience, she knew that teaching would be somewhere in her future. Lin next entered the world of corporate architecture. At the age of twenty-two, she joined the office of Michael Graves and Associates. Rolling her eyes now, she said, “After graduation, I was just excited to be offered a job from a big name architect, not knowing that it would make much difference.” She moved to Princeton, New Jersey and spent the majority of her time procuring and detailing high-end furniture for very wealthy clients. “I remember


Tiffany Lin and Judith Kinnard’s Sunshower SSIP House. Images courtesy Lin and Kinnard

detailing a bronze table that cost nearly twice my annual salary,” sighed Tiffany. After eleven months, she knew it was time for a new job. After her stint with Graves, Lin became a Teaching Associate for Cornell’s Rome Program with her former thesis advisors for one semester. At the age of twenty-eight, Lin returned to school and enrolled in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design to earn her M.Arch II where she thoroughly loved their approach to design. Upon graduation, Lin received the Faculty Design Award and the Clifford Wong Prize for Housing Design from the GSD. She worked for Machado and Silvetti Associates for three years and then Leer Weinzapfel Associates thereafter. Within these two offices, Lin shares two very different attitudes and experiences. While working with Machado and Silvetti, the experience was very similar to a design studio at Harvard. Projects were approached aggressively with provocative design goals and lofty budgets. Loving the pace and intensity, Lin thrived working on international projects including a public plaza in Beirut and even a parochial complex for the Vatican in Rome. Lin next worked for Leer Weinzapfel Associates. “The transition from working for two gay Argentinean men to two feminist women was very interesting,” remarks Lin. Coming from an office of free-flowing ideas and endless design charrettes, Lin now worked for an ultra-structured and ultra-humane office. As a matter of fact, Leers Weizapfel was so “by-the-books” that they would ask their employees to stop designing when they were running low on the billable design fee, a radically uncommon architectural approach.

Since her job at Leers was at a much easier pace, Lin was able to teach at Northeastern University on the side. After teaching for another four years, Lin began to receive invitations to interview at different architecture programs around the country, including Tulane’s. “What really brought me to Tulane was the vibe of change and the supportive, nurturing faculty,” says Lin. She especially highlights her interview with Errol Barron and Judith Kinnard who were benevolent and welcoming, unlike many of her other interview experiences which sometimes felt like hostile interrogations. Professionally, Tiffany Lin is very accomplished and has earned a variety of accolades. At the age of twenty-six, she started a firm that won a Progressive Architecture Award and the Architecture League of New York’s Young Architects Award. Lin was even able to fund her own graduate education through a myriad of scholarships and fellowships including the National Association of University Women Fellowship, the Kate Neil Kinley Fellowship, the National Alliance for Excellence Award, the Faculty Design Award and the Clifford Wong Prize for Housing. Even during her short career at Tulane, she has recently won a sustainable house competition with Judith Kinnard. Their project, the Sunshower SSIP (Steel Structural Insulated Panel) House, was recently recognized for an AIA New Orleans Award of Merit and will be construction in the Lakeview New Orleans area. It is expected to be completed in October 2011. On a more personal level, Lin believes visual forms such as paintings and patterns in nature are her inspirations because they embody the principles of design but do not bare the pressures and burdens of a full architectural project. When asked what her favorite buildings are, she warned that her answers would be rather cliché, but honest. Her favorite is Ronchamp by Le Corbusier. “It was the first work of Architecture I experienced where I truly understood that the designer was having fun. My second favorite is the Casa Del Fascio by Terragni” explained Tiffany. “I admire its subtlety, restraint and rigor, especially in contrast to the unbridled creativity at Ronchamp.” Tiffany currently coordinates the first year studios where she has made it a goal to connect with the students and “dispel the architectural jargon” that almost scared her away from the discipline fifteen years ago. She will be participating in TSA’s Beijing Program this summer as well as directing the Rome Program this coming fall. Heading into her third year, we are fortunate to have her as a part of our faculty and look forward to all the future accomplishments and contributions she will bring to TSA.

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THE ARCHITECTURE OF DRAWING TWO TSA ALUMNI OPEN EXHIBIT IN MIAMI christine foley

ArtCenter/South Florida recently opened an exhibit featuring two of TSA’s own: Errol Barron, FAIA, TSA ’64, Yale University ‘67 and Jacob Brillhart, AIA, TSA ’99, Columbia University ‘04. The pair collaborated on the exhibit, The Architecture of Drawing, which is meant to emphasize the importance of hand drawing and painting in the modern technologically savvy design world. The pair, though from two different generations, came together on solid common ground: their love of drawing. Gathering drawings dating from up to ten years previous, collecting more than one hundred sketchbooks and collaborating for six months, the exhibit came together impeccably. The ArtCenter/South Florida opened the exhibit to the public on Friday, February 25 attracting many visitors, keeping the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall busy with foot traffic. Both Brillhart and Barron remain closely tied with Tulane University. Brillhart, who is currently a full-time lecturer at University of Miami School of Architecture, served as the Favrot Visiting Professor at Tulane in the Spring of 2010. Barron is a senior member and Favrot Professor of Architecture at the Tulane School of Architecture. He has taught a range of courses from Theory, Professional Concerns, Introduction to Architecture for Non-Majors, Drawing and is currently a third-year studio professor.

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“Vertebrae Chair” by Jacob Brillhart.

Tulane School of Architecture brought these creative and gifted professionals together; Brillhart was a student of Barron’s and Barron consequently became his thesis advisor. They have since worked together on a couple of projects at Barron’s office, Barron/Toups Architects. When approached by the University of Miami to lecture at the school and produce an exhibit, Barron suggested to Brillhart that they team up, knowing his shared interest in the art of hand-drawings and painting. Barron explained that his University of Miami exhibit then led to Brillhart organizing another exhibit at the ArtCenter/ South Florida gallery. Though the two were educated at different times and with varying modes of technology, their drawing style is rather similar according to Barron. Differences between shade, contrast, line weight and colors occur, but he recognizes that they have similar styles despite the age difference. Barron jokes that since he was Brillhart’s professor, “I like to say that I taught him everything he knows, but not everything I know.” Regardless of specific style, both artists use their drawings, paintings and models as brainstorming tools and process tracking of their design work. Digital drawings and hand drafting are not limited to their own, but are complementary with each other. According to the ArtCenter/South Florida’s Executive Director Jeremy Chestler, he feels “The Architecture of Drawing is an important show because it gives viewers the opportunity to see how traditional fine art skills can enhance and complement the use of today’s cutting-edge technology. With great architecture and design happening around us, this show offers a window into the creative processes that often take place behind the scene when developing concepts.” Digital technology is implemented in the realm of design now more than ever. Errol Barron’s third-year studio group is currently learning how to use Autodesk Revit. The program is viewed as a vital piece of software to have proficiency in, given its popularity among many design firms. Though he recognizes the importance in new technology, Barron reminds his students to take a step back and return to the basics: “If you cannot draw,” he tells his students, “you will spend all your time on the computer drawing things imagined by people who can.” The exhibit will stay on view until April 3, 2011.

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Left to Right. “The Rivergate, New Orleans, La” by Errol Barron. “Oil Rig” by Errol Barron, “The Living Room” by Jacob Brillhart. All images Courtesy Errol Barron Jacob Brillhart

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Exhibitors :

Errol Barron, FAIA TSA ’64, Yale ‘67

Jacob Brillhart, AIA TSA ’99, Columbia ‘04

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TURKISH DELIGHT STUDYING AT ISTANBUL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY leland berman, patrick franke, william trackas

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“Why Istanbul?” This question was for a time the most common thing said to me, possibly even more common than hello. I thought surely it would stop once we arrived in the city, but the Turks asked the question with an even greater diligence. Why Istanbul? Why come here? To be in Istanbul is to be inside a living, breathing thing. Never are you alone on the streets and never is it truly quiet. Small stores line the streets, each one equipped with a man or woman ready to sell you anything. People hurrying in all directions, some wearing headscarves, others wearing “Superman” t-shirts. Delivery boys on scooters weaving through the (always) terrible traffic, which itself is given a voice in the constant drone of car horns. The frenzy that is normalcy is punctured by the call to prayer issuing from the minarets. The imams used to climb to the tops of the spires- five times a day- to call the faithful to prayer; today they use loudspeakers. Amidst the McDonald’s neon signs, and luxury hotels, you still cannot deny the feeling that you are standing in a place that is very old. There are signs of the city’s rich history everywhere. Bullet holes speckle the columns of the Istanbul Technical University’s Architecture building, the remnants of an attempted coup at the beginning of the 20th Century (a coup which our Turkish friend, Sina, was proud to say his grandfather participated in). The earliest historical side of the city dates back to the 7th Millennium BC with written history dating as early as 660 BC. The only city to be located on two continents, Istanbul has played home to the capital of three major empires over the years: Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. The storied

history of countless centuries of occupation by such different cultures has led to a beautiful melding of the urban fabric that makes up the city. Modern high rises sit within eyeshot of Byzantine palaces remodeled to house the Sultan’s Harem and now contain some of the most beautiful and oldest museum artifacts I have ever seen. Former basilicas have been turned into Mosques all the while a new state of the art underground transportation system is constructed near enough to shake the foundations. Istanbul is a city filled with history but also a city that is embracing modernization and moving towards a future in global politics. As for school it was … different, but different in a good way. Our building housed all of the design related fields that Istanbul Technical University had to offer. That meant we had the opportunity to take classes in urban design, industrial, interior, landscape, and of course architectural design. Being the only three American students at an over 95% Turkish University was challenging to say the least. But thanks to the warmth of Turkish hospitality and our Erasmus (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) friends we were able to experience the life and energy of many new cultures and a fascinating new city. So why Istanbul? To be honest I don’t think I can put into words why I ended up traveling to Turkey and spending almost a year there. But it was an experience that added to my education and changed my outlook on the world and how I interact with the people in it. From England, to Albania, to Russia and from cheap dancing toys to the finest oriental rugs, you can find anyone or anything in Istanbul.

Dolmabahçe Camii in Istanbul. All images courtesy of Team Turkey : Leland Berman, William Trackas, Patrick Franke

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Left to right. William at National Archaeological Museum, Istanbul; Troy in the Trojan Horse; Bergama, Dolmabahรงe Camii; background image - Istanbul model from exhibition Istanbul 1910-2010: The City, Built Environment and Architectural Culture Exhibition

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Hagia Sophia, “Holy Wisdom�, completed in 537 AD. It is currently a museum, though formally an Imperial Mosque, Roman Catholic Cathedral and Eastern Orthodox Cathedral.

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ARCHITECTURE IN EDUCATION COWEN INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION INITIATIVES cameron conklin

Following the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Tulane University vowed to make the rebuilding of New Orleans a main priority. Through the dedicated work of President Scott Cowen, the University has participated in this effort through supporting the reforms taking place in the K-12 public school system. The Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives opened its doors in 2007 and is improving the public school sector through research, public policy and programming. Pre-Katrina, the utilization of funds within public schools was characterized by corruption and inefficiency. These practices led to a steady decline in the quality of teachers, facilities and student achievement. The hurricane provided an opening to reorganize this systems’ administration. As an engaged observer of the new administrative order, the Cowen Institute uses innovative programs and high-impact policies to help ensure that the financial misallocations of the past do not happen again. Each year, the institute publishes a series of reports on specific public school reforms and monitors their progress. These allow the community to see how and where money is being spent, providing oversight of its distribution. The State of Louisiana took control over the majority of schools within the Parish after Katrina and transferred them to the Recovery School District. The Orleans Parish School Board continued to run specific schools that showed success before the hurricane. This division, though helpful in eliminating the isolated power that controlled public schools, has created strained relations between these two groups. The Cowen Institute advocates for policies and reforms that improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students, regardless of the district in which their schools are placed. The reforms in education are not only improving test scores and teacher salaries, but are also implementing a larger development throughout the city. In August 2010, FEMA awarded the Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board $1.8 billion for facility damage due to Katrina. This settlement provides a distinct opportunity for schools in New Orleans to invigorate their built environment and image. In November and December 2008 the School Facilities Master Plan (SFMP) was created to organize the implementation of FEMA funding. The plan includes six phases spanning over ten years. The Master Plan Oversight Committee was created in 2009 to ensure that the SFMP proceeds on time and on budget. This committee was

designed to give a strong voice to the building sector of New Orleans. A representative nominated by the Association of Builders and Contractors is on the committee, along with an individual experienced in construction management and value engineering. The addition of these prominent members from the construction society of New Orleans is helping to merge new building ideas with local knowledge and influence. The joint firm of Jacobs/CSRS is acting as the project manager/construction manager for the SFMP. Many local firms in New Orleans have bid on individual projects under the plan, which brings school development to the forefront of many architectural minds within the city. All renovations and new projects are being built with LEED Silver certification. This shows a commitment to sustainable design that is new in school construction throughout New Orleans. Although long strides have been taken to improve public education, some issues warrant continued attention. Many schools, such

Warron Easton High School. photo courtesy of Cowen Institute.

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200 broadway street

as Audubon Charter School, are in need of renovations. These children are less then five minutes from Tulane, yet suffer from overheated classrooms and outdated equipment. The split in administration can cause difficulty in accessing the needed swing space for these students. This problem affects not only education but also the development of neighborhoods surrounding these schools. Buildings that are undermaintained cause the property surrounding them to be of less value affecting the market of building and architectural services as well. The opportunity for participation by various firms is expanding the building sector in New Orleans. However, one project manager/construction manager oversees them all. Involving numerous firms in management could create a larger think tank to produce less expensive ideas. One example of this issue is the use of large atriums built within schools such as Langston Hughes Charter School. These have significant aesthetic quality but are expensive to build, heat and

cool. Creating a competing market between firms could drive down expenses for the RSD and OPSB. This would also expand the opportunities for more businesses in New Orleans. LEED Certification of new schools is an important aspect of sustainability yet the ability of occupants to operate these systems must also be considered. Schools that have not trained their employees to correctly control new technological advances are occupying many of these buildings. Individual schools are now being put in the position of having to find more money and train employees, or run the risk of damaging new products if they break down. This problem is one example of a huge maintenance issue facing New Orleans schools. The lack of state funding for school maintenance within Louisiana forces local school systems to maintain their buildings on their own. Taxes in local neighborhoods are directed into a general fund and will not necessarily be used to maintain school buildings. Yet, the School Facilities Master Plan does not budget maintenance costs for any new project. This causes New Orleans schools, like schools throughout the state, to have very little money left over for maintenance after paying operative costs. A plan to maintain these new investments is a huge concern for long-term development of the city. Within the last four years, many substantial improvements have been made. The influence of the Cowen Institute is helping to advance reform and lead the public school system in the right direction. Continued perseverance and passion is key in having an effective outcome. The revitalization of education within this city affects every aspect of development, including the impact of architects and builders. As a School of Architecture surrounded by this monumental reform, we have the opportunity to positively affect its outcome. Our students, professors and staff are constantly working to create and learn within a variety of situations. Why not use our skills and contribute to a muchneeded local cause? By working on any aspect, from maintenance to design, we are utilizing our position as students to learn and improve the educational experience of others. The ability for TSA to become involved in this process may be impossible. However, I feel this is a very important venture and something applicable to each of our futures. The work that the Cowen Institute has already done for this project inspired me to relay this idea to the members of TSA. Perhaps we too can become a part of our city’s important development. March 2011

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“REVOLUTION: ECOLOGY MATTERS” AIA NATION CONVENTION | NEW ORLEANS, LA sanaa shaikh With the theme Regional Design REVOLUTION: Ecology Matters, the 2011 AIA National Convention is proving to be an extremely valuable upcoming event for the New Orleans design community and the thousands of architects who will flood into the city. Each year the AIA sponsors different continuing education experiences allowing architects to maintain their licensure. The AIA National Convention and Design Exposition is the premiere event helping showcase revolutionary ideas, new technologies and leading resources to help inform and inspire architects’ current and future design projects. The Convention itself is an extremely complex and multifaceted event and continues to be an extensive planning exercise. Local chapters plan and conduct all of the tours for the convention, three architecture exhibitions, large scale and VIP parties, thirteen Dining + Design events, outreach volunteer opportunities for all attendees, a store featuring local products and books and the Legacy Project. This project will commission seventeen public design pieces to not only beautify the neighborhoods that house the pick-up points for the Convention, but to also serve as visuallystriking and memorable cultural landmarks. The design for these pieces is led by AIA New Orleans members through a charrette process). To ensure a successful Convention, AIA New Orleans has also been learning from other cities conventions. Melissa Urcan, Executive Director of AIA New Orleans, said, “I have personally attended the last few conventions to identify what seemed to work and what didn’t and of course we have a great committee of member volunteers that have been planning for over a year.” A primary focus when organizing the convention was to keep the cost of additional activities, tours and dinners low to encourage a higher attendance and with a direct rebate offered to local members of AIA a, strong local presence is ensured. The Convention will be held from May 12 to May 14 and boasts a plethora of continuing education sessions, keynote presentations, design salons and guest tours; it will be a more experiential and participatory event than before. “Design knowledge is power” and with more than 200 education sessions, attendees can customize their experience to suit the skills they need and are perhaps interested bringing back to their office environment. Daily keynotes will explore how innovative approaches to design, planning, construction, collaboration and partnerships can create 22

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more resilient ecosystems where cities of every scale can contribute to a region’s sustainability; these keynote presentations are given by Thomas Friendman (Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times), Jeb Brugmann (founding partner of The Next Practice) and the last composed of a group of people: Mayor Jeremy Harris, Ret., Hon. AIA; Mayor Mitch Landrieu; Mayor Dave Bing; and Jessica Zimbabwe who will serve as moderator. Along with ample opportunities to participate and experience keynote presentations and education sessions, the Convention provides opportunities to experience educational tours, networking and business events and even volunteer opportunities. By making the convention more hands-on and participatory, the range of issues that will be explored in the design realm are endless. Tours include a wide range of destinations including the Garden District, swamp and bayou tours, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species and a self-guided tour visiting the historic courtyards in the Vieux Carré. Undoubtedly, one of the most important draws to any AIA convention is the opportunity to network with other AIA members. New Orleans has also become a great place to volunteer. The convention will revolutionize and will give people a chance to join the “volunteer revolution” taking place right around us. TSA alumnus Dan Maggin and his firm el dorado are designing the Main Street of the Convention which as the dominant “Avenue” will feature gathering spots along its length. Materials will then be donated to URBANbuild for future use. Members and delegates of AIA will elect future leaders. Delegate accreditation and voting will take place on Thursday and Friday. Fellow status will also be officially recognized at Touro Synagogue off of St. Charles, just minutes from Tulane . TSA and Washington University alumnus Andrew Trivers is receiving his FAIA stature at the conference for his contributions to Preservation through his design work and practice, Trivers Associates, in St. Louis, MO. The AIA National Convention and Design Exposition is going to be a highly engaging and richly captivating event that will help address the conversation of regional design and ecology that any member or nonmember of the AIA should take advantage of. Join the revolution.


900 Convention Center Blvd

The built components, overhead signs, easel modules, carpet and other materials will be donated to URBANbuild by el dorado inc.

images courtesy of el dorado and URBANbuild

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PRODUCT OF THE DIGITAL AGE HIROSHI JACOBS alexandra bojarski-stauffer

One might say that Hiroshi Jacobs is a product of the digital age, where information is transferred freely over the internet. He is the founder and creator of RevitCity.com, allowing individuals to have instant access to Revit knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously. Jacobs was one such pioneer of the digital revolution, carrying the ramifications of a shift from the traditional industry  that the  industrial revolution  brought forth, to an  economy  based on the manipulation of information. Technology, as a medium for design, will change the way people practice architecture. Jacobs graduated from the Tulane School of Architecture with an M.Arch I in May 2003. He is currently pursuing his postprofessional Master of Design Studies at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Jacobs is flown in to New Orleans from Boston every Tuesday in order to teach two digital media classes at Tulane, ADGM6800: Advanced 3D Modeling and APFC 4200-01 Professional Concerns II: BIM, co-taught with David Merlin. Advanced 3D modeling focuses on parametric 3D modeling and scripting using the Grasshopper plug-in for Rhino. Professional Concerns exposes students to Revit especially in terms of parametric design. Jacobs started RevitCity.com while he was in his fifth year at Tulane. He had used Revit at a summer internship at St. Louis firm Oculus Inc. in the summers of 2001 and 2002. Jacobs foresaw that Revit was going to become a staple design tool in the architecture world. He responded to the need for an online community repository for Revit technical info and content by creating a conversation for designers engaged in BIM. Over the last four years the website has grown into a large hub for Revit collaboration amongst industry users. It is still the only website specific to Revit content. Volunteers, practicing architects

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and Revit fanatics alike, keep the website running. Jacobs’ current thesis project at Harvard involves designing a theoretical plug-in for Revit in an attempt to bring more computational, parametric design to Revit. The design is a suggestion as to how a feature like this might be implemented within Revit. Jacobs describes it as “a new strategy for computational design within an architecture program.” Jacobs explains, such design tools all operate using the same basic logic. Once you know how the logical systems work, it is easy to pick up another software. It’s like a “new syntax for the same language.” Jacobs believes that it is important to think about new ways to build the tools we use in order to “free architecture.” When Jacobs graduates from Harvard he would like to continue to teach digital modeling as well as practice architecture in the professional sector. He is interested in working for a mid-size design firm in Washington DC that specializes in small scale cultural projects, museums, offices and libraries.


Arts First 2010 exhibition produced by Office for the Arts at Harvard during first week of May. Project done with Jon Scelsa and Ben Lehrer. Images courtesy of Harvard and Hiroshi Jacobs.

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an architectural review john coyle

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LA State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum Trahan Architects

The new Louisiana State Sports Hall of Fame and Regional History Museum in Natchitoches celebrates its varied context in an unprecedented way, while showcasing the important cultural significance of the collection. The design, by Trahan Architects, has begun construction and is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of 2012. Principal Trey Trahan, FAIA, describes the project as “an incredible opportunity to create a place that will celebrate the deep history of North Louisiana, as well as the indelible influence sports have had on our state’s culture.” The building mass integrates the two seemingly disconnected museum programs in an organic composition which is contained inside a rectilinear form that respects the urban context. The museum will house an assortment of sports memorabilia donated from over 250 outstanding figures in sports history from the state of Louisiana as well as a collection which is currently featured on the ground floor of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse. Natchitoches is the oldest settlement from the Louisiana Purchase, founded in 1714. Aspects of the design were informed by the history and materials of the region. The exterior façade is clad in cypress planks which have been forested from the surrounding rivers and swamps. Not only is this a nod to the rich timber legacy of the region, this move was a successful sustainable decision-making use of locally available materials. Inspired by the cladding at nearby Oakland Plantation, the planks are oriented in vertical strips to control light and air. This also serves to frame views and give the building a sense of porosity while reducing the scale. The spacing of the planks is also successful in continuing the datum created by the wrought iron balconies of the street’s elevation. Blake Fisher, Emma Chammah and David Merlin were the TSA alumni who collaborated on the project. According to Merlin, Revit was used as a depository which gathered work produced using Rhino, Grasshopper, Maya, AutoCAD and the Adobe Suite. 26

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The main interior focus for Trahan is the atrium designated for special events and gatherings. This moment aims to create a sense of calm and reflection as natural light penetrates the space from all sides, washing over the cast-stone panels. Visitors who enter the museum will be surprised by the formal difference of the interior of the building in relation to its exterior. While the façade is contained within the parameters of the urban context, the interior of the building is overflowing with natural influence. The site of the museum overlooks the historic Cane River Lake at the boundary of the Red River Valley and the design was inspired by the “area’s distinctive geomorphology and aspects of the river’s hydromorphology.” The interior arrangement and circulation was derived from the idea of “the braided corridors of river channels” between “interstitial masses of land”. The fluid circulation of the natural river flow encourages a seamless transition between the two programmatic elements. Although visitors may be mislead by the outer appearance in relation to the interior form, both features of this project draw from historical context, natural and man made.


All images courtesy of Trahan Architects

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Tutorial Man l Use V-ray’s Depth of Field Settings to Create Accurate Focal Blur tyler guidroz While it is possible to blur images in photoshop, the most accurate blurring of a rendering can be achieved directly through V-ray. In the V-ray menu, select V-ray options. Select the Camera drop down menu and check the “on” box under Depth of Field. The next step in the process is to set up the camera. Unlike basic rendering, using depth of field requires a specific camera positioning and the selection of a focal point. The focal point will be the part of the scene that is the most clear, and everything will blur around it. The best method for setting up the camera is by drawing lines or placing points. One point should be placed at the focal point, and another at the position you want the camera to be placed. Then, in the View menu, select Set Camera, Place Camera and Target. The process is not specified, but first click on your position point, then the focal point. Your current view will then change to that camera setting. Use this method to find the correct angle for your rendering Once you have found your camera position, use test renders and tweak the settings to achieve the desired effect. One variable, the degree of blurriness of the image, depends on the aperture size setting. Aperture size effectively increases the size of the camera in relation to the object. A small object with a big aperture will have a small region that is in focus, and a large object with a small aperture will have a large focus region. Use this process to go about testing the Depth of Field settings. Like with anything related to rendering, it will take multiple iterations to achieve the desired effect. Command List V-ray Menu > Options > Camera > Depth of Field > ON Aperture size: Small aperture = less blur Large aperture = more blur View > Set Camera > Place Camera and Target FIRST click = camera position SECOND click = focal point

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Missed Connections El Capitan You’re the skipper; we all know that - or at least those who have heard your jaw-dropping speeches. You can round up the crew, hoist the sails and navigate through professional matters close to our heart; Do battle with the first floor pirate who lives amongst the wood. Steer us to oceans of pure imagination like the studio projects to which we dabble. We envy this great knowledge of yours though not the extent to which it travels from your lips. El Capitan, the encouragements to your sailors may be legendary but the volume to which you conduct said verbiage is not. SPEAK LOUDER, perhaps from atop the mast and yell to oblivion that which seems not to penetrate thin air five feet in front of you.

reminds me of a something from a cartoon - childish. Keep on smiling though, your work is great. One last thing before I go. Remember that time you randomly stood up in class during a presentation and hurriedly rushed over to the window to closed the blinds, all in about four easy seconds? If you can use that same speed to realize that the white speck went out of fashion millennia ago, all will be good.

Slender & Silly You walk around with wide-brimmed glasses sometimes too fast for me to keep up with. Where are you off to? The middle of no-where to ponder the placement of graphics on the pages to which you cling to. Or perhaps to microwave a tasty morsel from the fridge. I saw a spill of sorts awhile back; nasty occurrence but at the same time a grand spectacle. WATCH OUT, this building does many things to us. When you walk, the tips of your shoes point slight inward and your smile, when it comes my way,

sketch by andrew graham March 2011

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Firm Profile |

annelise haskell

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RIOS CLEMENTI HALE STUDIOS


Civic Park models. Images courtesy Rios Clementi Hale It is always exciting to hear about the success of Tulane Architecture School alumni and even more inspiring when we get the opportunity to see their work or hear them speak. This evokes a sense of pride in our school and in members of our alumni base. Robert Hale, FAIA, TSA ’77, is a prime example. In October 2009 Hale came to lecture at the Tulane School of Architecture for Architect’s Week and his presentation was truly uplifting. His career in architecture has carried him from a principal at Frank O. Gehry Associates, to Vice President of Design and Planning at Universal Studios, to his current work as a principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles, California. Recent design awards for Rios Clementi Hale Studios have included recognition as one of two finalists in the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award’s Landscape Design category (2009), in addition to many other awards such as “Firm of the Year Award” in 2007 by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects. In 2001, Hale joined what is now Rios Clementi Hale, originally founded in 1985 after several years of collaborating with the firm. Hale makes up part of a diverse team of designers. The firm celebrates this interdisciplinary approach which has allowed for a “cross fertilization” of design disciplines and recognition across the board. Architecture, exhibition, landscape, graphic and product design are all focuses of this well-rounded and quickly growing office. These many different angles of the design perspective have created a melting pot which allows for the production of unique work with a definitive end result. In order to house their evolving firm, Rios Clementi Hale Studios redesigned a mundane mainstream mini mall into a mixed-use building to house their offices and NotNeutral store, in addition to other retail shops on the ground floor. In doing this, they have furthered their efforts to positively affect an interactive urban environment in the city of

Los Angeles. NotNeutral, their interior furnishings company, was spun off from Rios Clementi Hale’s product design department in 2001 and has continued to produce eye catching home accessories. Reflective of the firms bright color pallet, the tableware, pillows, garden items and others accessories are vibrant and bold. NotNeutral’s retail line is an example of collaboration across disciplines. A growing collection of plates by notNeutral depict a series of famous cities and highlight Rios Clementi Hale’s integration of landscape design, interiors and product design. New Orleans is featured on one of the collection’s plates, which displays a white gridded system of streets, the bright blue curving Mississippi and green park space on a black background. This liveliness is visible in Rios Clementi Hale’s large array of projects, in particular their civic spaces. Rios Clementi Hale’s Civic Park project broke ground this past July in Los Angeles. The park will span from the Music Center to City Hall. The four blocks will form terraced zones and will foster different types of outdoor recreational activities. This expansive urban green space will encourage people from the city and from different backgrounds to gather together outdoors. Public involvement was important in the design process. A performance stage, cafe, sheltered spaces and park furniture will be designed by the firm as well. The Hollywood and Vine Metro Portal and Plaza completed in 2010 is a prominent metro projection onto Hollywood Boulevard which engages the Art Deco theatre across the street. Commuters are met with a visually dynamic streetscape after emerging from their public transit. This and other methods are what give Rios Clementi Hale their great reputation of forging architecture that creates dominant spatial experiences. March 2011

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Civic Center Park benches; New Orleans plate. Images courtesy of Rios Clementi Hale

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Hollywood and Vine Metro Portal and Plaza. Images courtesy of Tom Bonner.

Main Plaza, which won IFAI 2010 Award of Excellence. Image courtesy of Debra J. Dockery.

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editors

c

kevin michniok, eic hannah ambrose katherine delacey

staff

alexandra bojarski-stauffer contributors annelise haskell cameron conklin christine foley frank xiong john coyle jenny o’leary sanaa shaikh tyler guidroz

leland berman william trackas patrick franke

faculty graham owen advisor

Profile for thecharrette

theCharrette March 2011 issue  

theCharrette March 2011 publication

theCharrette March 2011 issue  

theCharrette March 2011 publication

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