theCharrette tulane school of architecture
A Moment with Ken
Faculty Advisor | Graham Owen
Why Professional Development?
LEED: How Does it Stand?
Faculty Profile | Irene Keil
RMH Sustainable Strategies
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Firm Profile | Trivers Associates
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AIA National Convention - New Orleans, LA
ARE Study Session #3 Structural Systems
ARE Study Session #4 Structural Systems
After Hours Social with AIA New Orleans
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ARE Study Session #5 Structural Systems
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12 13 14 15 16 17 18 front cover photo. kevin muni logs information during rmh sustainable strategies. image courtesy of david armentor.
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Letter from the Editor | Kevin Michniok This issue is the culmination of a year with a new image for theCharrette. As Editor in Chief, I’ve been able to witness the growth of this publication and the growth and maturation of our writers - students who like me have a passion for journalism. Our focus as writers centers around an integrated team approach bringing to the forefront important pieces of architecture in New Orleans and elsewhere, sharing the successes of our alumni and giving students a sense of the interdisciplinary elements architecture shares with other realms. We hope the stories we tell reflect the diversity of our school ethnically, religiously and geographically (as we come from just about everywhere). And although this publication has evolved physically and graphically, our image is still changing as we pinpoint the exact equilibrium that gives us our great impetus.
In this issue, among other content, please read Dean Schwartz’s reflections on three very successful years at Tulane School of Architecture. He gives potent verbiage regarding our curriculum and projects into the school’s future. Please also take time to study Cassandra Howard’s words on Professional Development. An M.Arch graduate from 2009 and Master of Preservation Studies in 2010, Cassandra has been a phenomenal resource to me in my development through architecture school. Special thanks this year to Dean Schwartz, Dean Gamard and Professors Harmon and Owen. Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Moment with Ken | CULMINATION OF THREE YEARS AT TSA Dean, Tulane School of Architecture
KM: What motivating factor eventually made your decision to leave UVa and become Dean at TSA? KS: I knew about the excellent design reputation of the Tulane School of Architecture long before this opportunity came up. What I didn’t realize was the extent to which Tulane students and faculty were engaged with the community. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became about the possibility of joining this amazing school and university. KM: Approaching the end of three years at TSA, what do you believe to be your biggest accomplishment? KS: I am very pleased with the way students and faculty have taken a few of the opportunities that I’ve been able to bring to this institution and run with them. I think the thing that gives me the greatest satisfaction and pride is the accomplishments of students and faculty using these additional resources to create some new opportunities and in a sense facilitate the good work that was already well underway. KM: What is the biggest strength of New Orleans as a laboratory to study architecture in? KS: There just is a fundamental appreciation for design and for the importance of architecture in the public realm, whether that’s in relation to historic structures and preservation or in our tradition, if you will, of innovation over various points of time throughout the history of architecture in New Orleans. As an example, the mid-century modernism of the city is really among the best in the United States. Some of it is threatened; actually a lot of it is threatened. But the point is that there is a really fantastic balance between tradition and innovation and I think those are extremely important elements in any great architectural education as well. So we have a setting in New Orleans that is literally a laboratory and a place for us to explore, research and engage. But we also have the individual creativity of students and faculty exploring their own ideas, thinking for example about the emerging interest in digital fabrication and sustainability as elements that are crucial to the future of how we position graduates in the profession for the next five to fifteen year window of time. 4
KM: Having been in architectural education for 30 years, what qualities of design and research make TSA an attractive option for prospective students? KS: The combination of a rigorous core curriculum, which is essential to any great school of architecture with the other dimensions of community engagement, really distinguishes us in many ways from virtually any other school in the country. But more specific than that, there are intangible qualities perhaps of collaboration, humility and through a combination of engaging diverse and different groups within the community that students acquire a range of skills that ultimately position you very well for leadership roles in the future. So within the context of your experiences here in the classroom, in the studio and out throughout the community you have the groundwork for an extraordinary and successful career ahead as you engage many of these same issues in your professional lives. So to me that’s one of the key ingredients that happening right now and is working extremely well. I see it playing out on a weekly basis in the work, the comments that I get from people in the community and the sense of pride and accomplishment that people realize in their own individual experiences. KM: What skills or experience in your background have you most utilized in your position as Dean? What has been a surprising use of talent? KS: Before coming here I was in private practice in addition to full-time teaching since I graduated from college but with my own practice since essentially 1983. First with Schwartz-Kinnard Architects in partnership with Judith Kinnard and really for the previous eight years before coming here in my own practice called Community Planning and Design. That was an urban design community planning practice in collaboration with other partners across the country, particularly a firm that I worked with in Orlando called Renaissance Planning Group. I have a pretty diverse array of practice experiences both at a small scale and at a very large scale of a 2500 acre master plan for example which won national awards, was published and so on.
Having that kind of experience in combination with a real commitment to education over the course of my entire career has really helped me a lot in the work that I do as Dean. I really appreciate the diversity of experience the faculty have in their own work. I value faculty members who work hard in the pursuit of their own creative agendas. From a purely management side, it’s very useful to understand how to run a business and how to run an organization, with both a financial set of issues you have to pay attention to but more importantly people issues that you have to support. KM: How is sustainability manifested at TSA versus your previous institutions? KS: Sustainability is a very loose term. The good news and bad new is that sustainability has become widely recognized as an important ethical imperative. The bad news is that it’s so loosely defined that it can either mean everything or nothing. We suffer from this. I suffer from this because I use it all the time and its not always precisely defined, maybe is difficult to define precisely. To answer your question, sustainability has been and was a very important topic at my prior institution for at least the last twenty years and in a different way than we’re pursuing it here- in a way that makes sense in the context of that academic institution with multiple departments including landscape architecture and planning in particular that have a somewhat different approach to the issue of sustainability than does architecture. So I’d say its been important there and a number of places for a long time. There have been people here who have been teaching in the area of environmental design and sustainability for longer than twenty years. They may call it something else, either environmental ethics, environmental systems or environmental sensitivity. But ultimately it’s about how you address issues of human comfort in the context of building design. We have several people who teach in that area very well. The work that we’re doing right now is very site-specific having to do with what we accomplish with our own building that can resonate and spill over into our curriculum, and how it can evolve the curriculum in ways that reflect some of the values that are playing out here in the commission that is just getting started with Richardson Memorial Hall and the collaboration with IBM.
KM: Fifteen years down the line, where do you see TSA? KS: Fifteen years from now, you will be in your mid-thirties. You’ll be a well-established practitioner. You’ll be licensed. You may even be an associate partner or even a principal at a firm. I’m using you as an example because one of the things I see fifteen years from now is a much greater involvement on the part of the alumni back into the life of the school. We have a lot of very loyal and vary generous alumni but I want to see more. I’d like everyone who comes out of this school from three years ago through fifteen years from now to be thinking about Tulane and your legacy individually and collectively. One thing I envision is a school that becomes much more connected relative to the people who are here, students, faculty and our alumni. That is very important for the long-term health of this institution. Number two, I think this whole idea of leadership is likely to take on new forms. I don’t know what those forms will be but with the groundwork and foundation that is very well in place right now - and has been developing and in place since Katrina and arguably in some cases well before Katrina - with that momentum I imagine there will be several phases of evolution in regards to community engagement and social entrepreneurship. Your role as leaders, architects as leaders, will produce an impression of Tulane School of Architecture as one of the extraordinary programs of architecture in all of the world. I believe that. ...I was told when I first came here that New Orleans is a unique place. It’s infused with its own identity and culture, it’s a place that takes some time to get to know [and] it’s an extraordinarily welcoming place. And I’ve found all of those things to be true but I was also told that it’s a fun place to be. It’s been a process of discovery but I must say it’s been an absolute joy. This is really an amazing city. Students figure this out. By the time you complete four or five years at Tulane, you feel like you’re a part of the city. I’ve been told by many alumni that the city never leaves you and you never leave the city. That’s been one of my biggest impressions just on a personal level, that its been both fun and extremely rewarding to begin to understand a place; a place that really is unique in the world and has a really special role in North America - a place somehow in between: in between the country in which New Orleans resides and the rest of the world, particularly Latin America, the Caribbean, the West Indies, Africa, all of the different cultures that have come to mix on our soil. April 2011
GRAHAM OWEN QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH FACULTY ADVISOR KEVIN MICHNIOK KM: Would you say the average architecture student is exposed to a significant amount of architectural theory? What do you believe to be the current trend in architectural education to expose such ideas but in holistic terms? GO: It really depends on which school you’re talking about, and the makeup of the faculty there. In some schools there’s a more lively conversation about theory than at others. Theory deals with how and why we value what we value in our field. Without exposure to theory, students run the risk of being at best believers rather than critical thinkers, designing on faith rather than with ideas. In the past few years there’s been a technocratic trend, but you can’t design on faith for long without establishing a new orthodoxy; and orthodoxy sooner or later breeds rebels. So there are signs of a re-emerging awareness among students of the need for theory as something that can deal with the overlooked or suppressed areas. But there has to be a renewed respect for theory within the studio, and that involves many faculty.
famously pointed out, led Rem to take on some highly questionable commissions. China or Dubai, for example, has offered to Koolhaas -and to Steven Holl, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, and many others – the possibility of getting things built that would not have been possible in the developed world, and at a pace that would not have been possible in the West, but under social conditions that would have been unacceptable in their home countries. In so doing, they run the very great risk of legitimizing those social conditions, of becoming the window-dressers of oppressive regimes. Current and future generations of designers are certainly susceptible to the lure of this “freedom”. Until recently, for instance, a very attractive new market for elaborate projects by Western architects was Libya. Similarly, the Russia of Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs, or Central Asian republics under oil-rich dictatorships, have attracted some of our leading practitioners. There, they are offered the opportunity to achieve the spectacular, but our disciplines need to be able to identify the true costs of that “freedom”.
KM: As architecture schools become more inter-disciplinary in their approach to educating future design professionals, how important are student-run journals as vehicles for thinking critically about theory and important architectural doctrine? GO: Student-run journals are certainly important, but need to be able to ask the right questions. Student authors need to identify the issues that aren’t being tackled but should be. Interdisciplinary enquiry has the capacity to shake up orthodoxies, but student journals need the ability to identify those orthodoxies in order for that to happen. It’s important for student journals to accommodate the broadest range of voices in what they publish. Otherwise they run the very real risk of becoming an advertorial publication, tacitly confirming orthodoxies by accepting them as given and as the “natural order of things”. KM: As a student, what qualities of design and writing drew you to the realm of journalism and editorial roles which you have amassed over the years? GO: Just that capacity: the capacity of architectural writing to identify what isn’t being said or done, and why. Design is very subject to trends, and while these provide a certain amount of energy in the field, it also means that a significant number of designers become fashion victims. The rush to follow a trend can leave many important things behind, while counter-movements towards “fundamentals” can sometimes end up in fundamentalism. Architectural writing has the capacity to reveal those tendencies, to make their costs and benefits evident. KM: In the Introduction of “Architecture, Ethics and Globalization”, you quote Rem Koolhaas’ on “uncamouflaged freedom.” What does this mean for the next generation of designers and how heavily do current designsavvy architects embrace this ideal of freedom? GO: Koolhaas was writing about a freedom that he saw offered by globalization: a freedom from the expectations of one’s customary national or cultural community. But this freedom, as Ian Buruma once image courtesy of graham owen.
WHY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT? CASSANDRA J. HOWARD, ASSOC. AIA AIA NEW ORLEANS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
image courtesy of cassandra howard.
Understanding the importance of professional development as a student is the best way to make the most of your architectural experiences and ensure a successful path to licensure. The goal for most students after graduating from a NAAB accredited architecture program is to continue to fulfill experience requirements through the Internship Development Program (IDP) and then begin taking the seven sections of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Although this may be the common route for many, there are several alternate paths that can be taken. Ultimately, the pursuit of licensure should be the end goal whether architectural practice is, or isn’t, the answer for you. In order to follow the most suitable path, it is necessary to have not only the enthusiasm to learn, but also have the resources and support readily available to make the best choices for your career. Transitioning from your education, to experience and then to examination can be an exhausting and tedious process. Utilizing the resources in ones academic institution, such as your school’s IDP coordinator, can be a tremendous resource for getting the answers you need and getting them early. Students should take advantage of the three types of IDP coordinators available through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). These coordinators can be found in academia, at the state level and amongst volunteers who act as auxiliary coordinators and can be important points of contact for students and interns pursuing licensure. Starting your NCARB record as soon as possible is the best way to keep track of your training, document your education and make the transition from your education, to examination, registration and lastly NCARB certification. One of the best ways for students to understand the path to licensure is to join the American Institute of Architects (AIA) community. Students can initially get acclimated with the AIA by taking part in a complimentary membership for up to eighteen months after graduation. Associate members make up an important part of the architecture community that include interns, recent graduates, persons enrolled in IDP, faculty in an architecture departments and individuals who have earned a professional architecture degree. The National Associates Committee (NAC) represents the Associates of the American Institute of Architects. The NAC in conjunction with the AIA have several programs and initiatives that need the input of
associate members to strengthen the voice and better the future of our profession. There are several publications which lend a hand to strengthen the communication amongst interns both locally and across the country. The semi-monthly online publication titled AssociateNews is compiled by committee members of the National Associates Committee and highlights currents events relevant to architecture from around the country. Also, the Emerging Professionals Companion is one of the best free guides that AIA and NCARB provides to associate members. It serves as a guide through the licensure process. There are several firms cutting back on education for its employees which means that interns need to take education into their own hands. Just because your employer won’t pay, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend your own time to grow and invest in your professional career. Getting involved is the best answer to start your career and the easiest method of meeting professionals in the industry and related disciplines. Starting with your local chapter, whether it is AIA New Orleans or a different component in your area, can open doors to new opportunities to collaborative efforts within the design profession. AIA New Orleans is celebrating it 100 year anniversary this year as we prepare to host the National AIA Convention on May 12th- 14th. The convention is an excellent way to network with design professionals and Architecture students. Participants can attend Keynote speaker presentations, a product expo, listen to discussions about the path of architecture and related disciplines and fulfill IDP experience requirements by earning Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits. AIA National is hosting several educational seminars to assist students and young Interns in their early stages of professional development. These NCARB presentations include an IDP Coordinators Workshop and seminars titled “The New Face of Internship: Beyond What You Think you Know” and “Determining Your Footprint on The Profession.” The role of AIA along with NCARB is to demonstrate support through a broad based collaboration for the sake of the young professionals within the architectural profession. It is important to utilize these resources as well as those in your institution during your education in order to grasp a better understanding of the industry and practice.
URBANbuild UPDATE Byron Mouton and students finish URBANbuild build06 house at 1821 Toledano. images courtesy of emile lejeune and drew mazur.
entire team in front of final product
applying final painting finishes
THESIS REVIEWS images courtesy of jill stoll.
Thesis Reviews during Thursday April 28 through Saturday April 30. Guest critics included: Tracie Ashe Mac Ball Gerry Billes Aron Chang Ramiro Diaz Kristi Dykema Jori Erdman Tom Holloman Stephen Jacobs David Keiffer Robert Larsen
Lee Ledbetter Wes Michaels Marsden Moran Angela Morton Rainier Simoneaux Z Smith Tom Sofranko Jim Sullivan Wayne Troyer Tom Varisco John Wettermark
THESIS REVIEWS images courtesy of jill stoll.
LEED: HOW DOES IT STAND? A CRITIQUE ON THE LEED SYSTEM SANAA SHAIKH
Being the premier internationally recognized green building system in place today, the LEED certification system has been the topic of much debate and controversy in the never-ending dialogue of green building and sustainability. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was launched in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council as a system providing “third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved environmental quality” and a concise framework for implementing practical green building construction, design and maintenance solutions. For a rather young system, this is an extremely lofty goal, which will undoubtedly take time to fully realize. LEED essentially works through a rating system where points can be earned by accomplishing a certain design or construction initiative. By achieving certain number of points, different levels of LEED certification can be received: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The actual process for certification seems fairly simple: registration, prepare application, submit application, application review and certification. Though the actual process of gaining points for a building for the level of certification needed can be extremely daunting and even confusing, the LEED website has all of the information needed to successfully determine how to get points and which rating system is best for your project in particular. The very idea of having a certification system for green building has become extremely well received. Sustainability and green have become almost like catchphrases in current cultural context and though people do not always understand what exactly green building is, green building sells. There exists a certain allure to the idea of an energy efficient building, the idea of living or working in a place that will not put its inhabitant’s health in decline. In addition to the cultural context of green building, sustainability has become a prevalent movement in the design community because it is a smarter solution for building in terms of being environmentally friendly and health conscious. 14
image courtesy of USGBC.
Vdara Hotel & Spa, RV Architecture, LLC., in Las Vegas, NV, the state with the most LEED projects per capita
On the other hand, a point system will always have its faults in terms of being fair, not to mention LEED being a consensus based system that will only evolve as far as the industry will allow it to. The core of the LEED debate lies at this delicate balance of determining the rigor of its rating system in a practical matter, but how exactly can points be allocated fairly? Why is it that a walk off mat can be worth a certain number of points while other more important energy related opportunities are worth the same, if not, more. Also in question has been LEED’s ability to successfully provide follow up for buildings that have received certification. Buildings will not sustain themselves forever and the idea that a building must be loved and taken care of even after its inception is crucial. These are questions the LEED system is addressing and accounting for. While the system is not perfect, it provides a precedent and foundation for future revisions and establishes a stand in favor of leadership, energy and environmental design that no other organization has devised today. Acting as a pioneer system for sustainability today, it is important to return to the true importance of LEED: the health of the environment and the building’s inhabitants. LEED’s website states, “Think of it like the nutrition label on a box of crackers: LEED provides the same kind of important detail about the green aspects of a building that, taken together, deliver higher performance.” The same way the FDA requires a box of crackers, a can of pineapple and a granola bar to present its ingredients and expiration date on a label, buildings should note their components and characteristics which will allow their inhabitants to better understand the quality of life within that building. Andrew Liles, LEED AP Adjunct Professor, recounted that when visiting the job site for one of his first LEED projects in Mississippi, he observed that their decision to vacuum sand the dry wall and use low VOC paint resulted in “a job site like no other.” The environment of the entire job site had been changed. The workers, who have labored in environments where fumes of paint and particulates of the sanding process accumulate in the air that are in no way beneficial to their health, were finally in a work space that did not prove detrimental to their health. Healthy building practices and sustainability are two aspects of LEED that definitely provide for its strong consensus. LEED is not a perfect system, but perhaps that is what will always keep it moving forward in the interest of all it stands for: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. image courtesy of RV Architecture, LLC.
Faculty Profile |
Irene Keil was born in a small German town called Muennerstadt, in the state of Bavaria. Although it was not a rural area, Muennerstadt had a small population of only 4,000 people and was located near the East German border, therefore somewhat isolated from the rest of Germany. As a teenager in a town, she attended a local Gymnasium (high school) run by Augustine monks. Instead of modern languages and science, she was trained in the classical languages of Greek and Latin necessary for the seminary students of the linked boarding school. Growing up, she always dreamed of escape and couldn’t wait to finish school. After high school, Irene was left without any further plans and decided to spend a summer with her sister in Austin, Texas. At the end of summer when time came to apply to a university in Germany, she had to consult university department listings to get inspired. “I was one of those people who was equally good at everything, nothing really stood out as an obvious suggestion for a future profession,” explains Irene. Not getting very far in the alphabet, she chose Archeology and Architecture and applied to various universities in Germany. The Numerus Clausus, an acceptance system based on grades earned in high school, put her on the waiting list for architecture but allowed her to study archeology at the University in Cologne. During her studies in Cologne, Irene really fell in love with architecture because she worked extensively on documenting and preserving the excavations of the ancient Roman city of Colonia Agrippinensis buried under the modern Cologne. Constructing work platforms, shoring up the digs, plotting the layers of excavations and copying artifacts in drawings became highly satisfying to her. A year later she was admitted to the architecture program at the Technical University of Munich, which was modeled after the Bauhaus. After two years, she transferred to the architecture program at the University of Aachen, which had a more liberal approach and
almost complete freedom in choosing a curriculum. While attending the University, Irene took a year off to work in the office of Oswald Ungers, a very influential German architect and theoretician whose design rigor and methodology she deeply admired. Back in school, Irene completed her studies with a thesis project under the guidance of Gottfried Böhm. Whereas Ungers had taught her to think clearly, Böhm stood for experiential architecture and material sensibility. The one worshipped the square and cube, the other the angle and curve. After graduation, Irene returned to Ungers’s office for another six months. “It was hard work,” says Irene, “there were really no nights or weekends, just work.” Irene explained that you had to learn to think like Ungers so that you could transform and develop the sketches he often left before departing for several weeks. He expected upon his return that the drawings were exactly as he had imagined, and the standard question in the office always was - What would OMU do? Deciding that it was time for a change from the stressful office, Irene was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of California at Los Angeles, which was at the time run by Charles Moore, whose projects such as Piazza d’Italia in New Orleans and the houses at Sea Ranch in Northern California had been widely published and influenced students all over the world. Recruited by one of her thesis reviewers, an architect with the firm of Perez Associates in New Orleans, Irene along with many young architects at the time moved to New Orleans to work on projects for the World’s Fair staged in New Orleans that year. “It was an exciting time”, Irene recalls. “We designed things that were built right away, and we felt like “real architects” although the structures were all temporary and lacked the scrutiny of a true building.” The World’s Fair declared bankruptcy even before opening and after a year in New Orleans, the city’s economic situation combined with a bit of Heimweh (homesickness) encouraged Irene to move back to Germany. st. joseph condominiums in new orleans. images courtesy of irene keil.
moabiter werder in berlin
In Germany, Irene worked in various architecture offices while evenings and weekends were spent doing competitions on her own or with friends. “Competitions were a way to ‘practice’ one’s own architecture, to have a discourse about architecture and to eventually start one’s own practice with a winning entry,” Irene says. While starting her own firm with a friend Jörg Pampe, Irene never really gave up the connections and friendships she had made in New Orleans; she kept returning to the city to join forces with her friend and partner David Gregor in a variety of projects. In 1992, they taught a design studio at SCIARC together and later that year directed a summer program for SCIARC students at Vico Morcote, Switzerland and in Berlin. Teaching was a new experience for Irene; she loved it and made sure that from now on it became part of her work. Irene worked for a while but soon wanted to try something new. She applied from the Rome Prize, and won. “In Germany,” explains Irene, “the Rome Prize is different; it is non-proposal and is based on the applicant’s prior achievements.” In Rome, Irene had her first encounter with the TSA community as she met Michael Stanley, who at the time was a professor at Tulane. “He loved teaching,” Irene praises, “he was one of the few teachers who was in it just for teaching and not any other motives.” Following a year spent at the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome, Irene moved back to New Orleans in 1994 to join forces with her partner David Gregor in his wood and metal shop. There, she expanded her skills as an architect and worked on smaller scale furniture and interiors. Projects now were not only designed but also fabricated, delivered and installed. That same year she started teaching design studios at TSA as an Adjunct Professor. In 1998, a year Irene considers “a low point at TSA” with lack of energy and engagement on student and faculty side, she turned her back on Tulane and teaching and went back into architectural
practice with Wayne Troyer, a local architect and friend. Until Hurricane Katrina hit, she worked on many projects with Troyer. Comparing her experience of working in offices in Germany with the US, Irene says, “It was different working in an office where things were actually getting built so quickly.” They had just completed work on the Wall Residential Hall on Tulane Campus - Irene remembers finishing the punch list the day before move-in and the contractor’s remark about the approaching Hurricane and the need to secure the site - when Katrina struck and changed people’s lives forever. A month before, she had accepted a teaching position at TSA and was looking forward to the change. However, Tulane quickly laid off adjunct hires a week after the storm and Irene, as so many others during that time, was trying to figure out what to do next. What seemed like an eternity was actually only a few months of a nomadic lifestyle with a Katrina lecture tour through the American West using images taken during a brief stay in the flooded city. Tulane re-opened for the Spring 2006 semester and Irene was re-hired and has been here ever since. She now combines her architectural, design-build and teaching work instead of favoring one over the other. Whenever possible she seeks collaborations with David Gregor and Wayne Troyer “We are not only partners and colleagues but also good friends and love to work together”, she says. Her collaborative projects around Tulane include Wall Residential College, PJ’s Coffee under Percival Stern and various furniture pieces in the LBC. “I am selective in what I do; I have to enjoy it,” explains Irene. She especially highlights her life philosophy of blending work and leisure, claiming that she does what she wants and so her job never gets dull. “If I were to do it again,” says Irene, “architecture would still be on the top of my list; maybe slight changes in direction, but definitely still within the field of architecture. What I do is my life and I love it.” April 2011
ARCHITECTURE 2030 APPROACHING TEN YEARS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP KEVIN MICHNIOK
all images including above copyright Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved.
Source Copyright 2010 2030, Inc. / Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved. *Using no fossil fuel GHG-emitting energy to operate.
What do we as a society value most as a long-term goal? For architects it is a fundamental loyalty to good and responsible design– bearing in mind the identity of place and people and the resulting complexity it creates. Our world operates because of the creations design firms and individuals have made– contributions to the grand stage of architecture. As part of this process, designers have a civic and innate duty to be leaders, but not just in the ordinary sense. Architects must lead the movement for responsible energy use, the reduction of fossil fuel emissions and the continuous education of the profession’s future designers. The difficulty in doing this results from the enormity of the situation– and more specifically the Building Sector. How can we affect change in this specific vast economy given its depth? Architecture 2030, the innovative and research-driven non-profit organization founded by Edward Mazria, gives us hope for the future of new building strategies and long-term global serenity. Architecture 2030 grew out of a response to the climate change crisis and the built environment’s greenhouse gas emissions. By the year 2030, energy usage has been projected to increase by 34% in the United States. Global warming is currently .7 °C above pre-industrial levels. Scientists and researchers have stated that we as a society have a great chance on reaching 2 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2050 to which we should be below. If in fact we reach 3 °C (projected for 2100), the potential for catastrophic climate change is eminent. Edward Mazria has a potent agenda for dramatically reducing these emissions in the Building Sector. His 2030 Challenge provides architects with the necessary framework to affect change on all new building projects and major renovations to achieve a fossil fuel greenhouse gas emitting energy consumption performance standard of 60% or half the regional average. This just represents the short-term goal. Long term, all buildings should achieve carbon neutral status by the year 2030 by meeting incremental reduction targets. But as previously stated, how do you change the mindset of an industry as large as the Building Sector? A series of leverage points pinpointing the greatest potential for change include the Investment Sector, building codes, U.S. Conference of Mayors and the educational system among others. For students, this means having in their arsenal the knowledge of real world dilemma influencing their studio projects. As the next generation of designers, current students must be influenced by an academia stringent on adhering to Mazria’s goals. Design schools need to embrace the 2030 Challenge by educating not only their students but also their faculty to the crisis ahead.
I stumbled upon Architecture 2030 during the summer of 2009, having tied the knot on one year of architecture school at Tulane. PBS’s design e2 narrated by Brad Pitt did a feature on Mazria’s Architecture 2030 brainchild and I immediately understood, contextually, these micro and macro issues my professors had mentioned. Mazria’s Passive Solar Energy Book was vaguely familiar to me but certainly a visible piece of literature to my professors. Very sobering facts and numbers raced through my head: The building sector consumes nearly half of all energy produced in the U.S.; 77% of electricity produced is used just to operate buildings but globally the percentage is higher. For attempting to be energy conscious, the Building Sector has netted large numbers in terms of energy consumption. This fact was simply staggering. But when design e 2 addressed architecture students’ role in the process, I knew progress in the educational sector had much promise.
Mazria has been influential in education for a long time. His phrase in reference to design studio projects “That the project be designed to engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels” came up during my initial research that summer and I knew entering second year I would find said phrase in at least one of my projects. Sure enough, Michael Crosby’s Technology Systems class had the phrase imbedded in the design prompt of our first assignment, dealing with passive strategies of new building technology. Crosby wasn’t alone. John Klingman, Richard Koch Chair of Architecture, who has embraced Mazria’s work, chaired the 2nd Annual Continuing Education Conference: Issues and Case Studies in Sustainable Design. He brought together three tremendous architects in a thoughtful response to today’s rising energy consumption problems, one of which was Mazria. Klingman’s sensibility to these global issues make him well-positioned to educate future graduates of Tulane School of Architecture, who will learn from his extensive background focusing on environmental stewardess. But not all architects know of Mazria’s work. Some architects I have met since beginning architecture school three years ago are unaware of Architecture 2030 and, given the global climate effects which stand ready to happen if we don’t change the way we view buildings and their construction, there is no excuse not to know. 2 In design e , Metropolis Editor in Chief Susan Szenasy further commented on architecture in academia, noting that when designers stop 20
labeling their work green and start calling it architecture or really good design, then a major leap forward will result. Architecture does not need a label– it should naturally respond to its environment. There is no difference between sustainable design and what most of us know of as architecture; they are one and the same. Bearing this in mind, Mazria believes there is “tremendous hope” for future building technology. By 2035, 75% of the world’s current building stock will either be new or renovated. Based on building patterns, Architecture 2030 estimates that of the 275-300 billion square feet of building stock in the future, the building sector will tear down 52 billion, renovate 150 billion and add to that stockpile another 150 billion of new building projects. This great magnitude presents an opening for designers to step in and formulate an architecture parallel with the tenets of the 2030 Challenge. This research is the big impact and focus for Mazria’s work through Architecture 2030, to educate and inform entire sectors of people involved. The Federal Government must act on energy consumption as a national priority by creating incentive systems, tax cuts and by working closely with researchers, scientists and designers who can leverage their great power. The focus of much of this work is directed at urbanization. Today across the world, more people than not live in urban environments where the city is their backyard, viability and dependence. Urban environments are particularly attractive living options. The opportunity to
share resources, live close to where one works with short commutes and acknowledge the future of what it means to dwell in the city aligns with a global trend, reinvigorating the urban livelihood of a place bustling and brimming with those who cling to it. 80% of the world’s energy is consumed in these cities, which are mega-centers of production. The trend of living and embracing the urban lifestyle demands a precise language and approach to city planning. Cities like New York see this in small and large-scale scenarios like with NYU’s Expansion, NYU 2031: NYU in NYC. As academic institutions, federal agencies and business campuses attempt to position themselves amongst citywide infrastructure, why not all collectively embrace the 2030 Challenge to create new waves of progress, thereby establishing the resulting economies of scale? In 2007, the House of Representatives and Senate passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, Section 433 of which states all new federal building and major renovations must meet the energy performance standards of the 2030 Challenge in 2010. It’s obvious how the federal government feels about the energy crisis. The private sector must also embrace the magnitude of these ideas due to the highly diversified range of businesses that operate independently from federal rule. Among architecture firms, as of July 2010, 73% of the thirty largest U.S. Architecture and Engineering firms have adopted the 2030 Challenge and in total 40% of all U.S. Architecture firms have embraced the message as well.
It is a comforting fact there exists a motivating factor like Architecture 2030 to guide architects and designs during the early part of the millennia onward. Approaching nearly ten years of existence, Architecture 2030 remains a pivotal piece in the puzzle of social and environmental consciousness. How we approach the technological changes taking place, how architects interact with clients and how cities grow and expand can all be influenced by Mazria’s research. Universities are instrumental in this process. The new Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program starting at TSA this summer addresses an entirely separate but adjacent sector of development– how architects can act as developers. It will be interesting to monitor the way in which the real estate market responds to Mazria’s projected new and renovated building stock. In addition, the Richardson Memorial Hall renovation creates a scenario of a historical building with a modern outlook on sustainability with the design expertise of FXFOWLE and el dorado alongside the energy maintenance and monitoring of the IBM Smart Building technology incorporated within the building. Creating a movement to become stewards of the environment is no new idea but through the dedicated research of Architecture 2030 entire sectors can change how they do business and how they design, view and operate their buildings. You can learn more about Architecture 2030 at www. architecture2030.org .
SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES FUTURE RICHARDSON MEMORIAL HALL RENOVATIONS
Tulane School of Architecture (TSA) was abuzz last month during the Richardson Memorial Hall (RMH) Sustainable Strategies Charrette held March 22-23. The event examined RMH’s current state and built a vision for future renovations. The Charrette served as part of an ongoing dialogue on the future of the historic building and publicly showcased the pre-design stage now underway. After receiving statements of interest from a pool of successful architecture firms over the winter, TSA selected FXFOWLE and el dorado inc for the new project. FXFOWLE, a prestigious design and planning firm based in New York City, was a standout for its award-winning projects and sustainable initiatives. El Dorado Inc, based in Kansas City, brings a second design angle established by Dan Maginn TSA ’89, AIA Kansas 2010 Architect of the Year. This younger firm has an ever-growing list of accomplishments. Over the past semester the RMH building committee, FXFOWLE and el dorado, have been collaborating on the new TSA project, encouraging student and faculty input. The Sustainability Strategies Charrette continued and increased this collaboration, broadening the ability of students and faculty to interact with FXFOWLE and el dorado in shaping TSA’s future. Sustainability is a priority at Tulane, where buildings create roughly 64% of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions. Tulane has made improvements post-Katrina through the university’s green buildings initiatives. Last year for example, Tulane implemented a new recycling program;
FXFOWLE new york, ny
el dorado kansas city, mo
Richardson Memorial’s next-door neighbor Dinwiddle Hall completed construction and before Guy Geier’s lecture on March 23 the Office of the University Architect announced that Dinwiddie Hall had been awarded LEED Gold certification. The Sustainability Strategies Charrette demonstrated TSA intends to do more: to serve as an example for sustainable design on campus, in New Orleans and to other architecture schools. Progress over the past year, the Charrette and growing student and faculty participation has indicated strong interest and support for the RMH renovation. With help from Tulane alumnus Randall Dalia, an IBM executive, TSA has partnered with IBM’s Smart Building Solutions and is currently installing the new technology, which will provide daily energy use data and help design a more efficient building. In two densely programmed days, the Charrette covered extensive ground. The agenda included presentations by representatives from the school, FXFOWLE and el dorado in addition to design and sustainability experts from Alteiri Sebor Weiber LLC, Andropogan Associates Ltd, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, and Transsolar. Topics ranged from Tulane’s environmental initiatives to the results of the TSA occupancy and student survey sent to TSA earlier in the semester. Survey data provided valuable information for the Charrette sessions and synthesized attitudes on the present state of TSA. For example, 70% of survey respondents felt that environmental conditions, and in particular thermal comfort, interfered with productivity in the building. Survey data also pointed to a much greater need for common space and better computer facilities. Another survey aspect that Charrette participants agreed the renovation should celebrate was respondents’ widespread appreciation of the building’s natural lighting. all photos courtesy of david armentor.
These and other survey findings spearheaded constructive debate over renovation options and informed the workshop design. Break-out discussion groups brainstormed four main topics: climate and envelope, systems, interior organization and function and site and campus relationships. A focus on preserving the integrity of the century-old RMH building while incorporating new design technologies was particularly evident while brainstorming thermal control and natural ventilation. Every breakout team struggled with the importance of remaining true to the original RMH envelope and designing more effective windows. On the second day, the Charrette concluded with group presentations of their final reports and a TSA town hall meeting. The resulting discussions emphasized the need for more effective use of studio space, which generated ideas for communal work space, increased storage and up-to-date individual desks and furniture, improved faculty office space and program organization of Richardsonâ€™s ground floor and computer facilities. Participants also discussed Library space and usage and greater access to the Drawing Board cafe. The RMH building committeeâ€™s commitment to encouraging TSA involvement demonstrates the projectâ€™s holistic approach. The renovations and TSA addition will further establish Tulane School of Architecture as a leading institution of architectural education, sustainability and involvement in New Orleans. Richardson Memorial Hall will become a teaching tool in itself for those studying, working or visiting the building. In addition to advancing the renovation pre-design process, the Sustainable Strategies Charrette was effective in widening TSA knowledge of the project. Feedback from students who participated in the Charrette was positive, with repeated thanks for the opportunity to observe this predesign stage of a project and to brainstorm with design professionals and peers. Questions posed by students in studio who did not participate in the Charrette still indicated strong interest and desire to make their work environment more friendly, sustainable, efficient and beautiful. The RMH building committee will hold its next meeting on May 13. Building upon the Sustainable Strategies Charrette, planning and design will continue, as will fundraising for the project.
all images courtesy of RMH building committee.
all photos courtesy of david armentor.
TUTORIAL MAN l Maelstrom Command
Is your 3d model too plain? Use Maelstrom to spice things up! Ok so it’s the twenty-first century and everyone knows that if your project doesn’t have curves in it you’re not trying hard enough. But what if you already have an orthogonal design? Well, you could just use a ridiculous lens length in rhino...... Get any part of your model in view, go to view > set camera > adjust lens length, then click and pull down on that bad boy until your building looks like a spaceship aaaaand blastoff! (if your reviewers say anything about it, just keep yelling ZAHA HADID until they change the subject)......... OR You can use Maelstrom! I don’t know why the people at McNeel included this command. On their website they use it to make what I can only describe as ‘starfish rims’, but you can use it to instantly make your project more interesting. The command works by defining a donut-shaped area around the model and spinning everything within it by a defined degree amount while keeping everything in the ‘donut hole’ and outside the donut orthogonal. First, type maelstrom. You will then be asked to draw two circles, the first and second radii. The area within these two circles is your DANGER ZONE (we love you Kenny Loggins). Everything in your model that is in the DANGER ZONE will twist according to the coil angle you specify next by moving the cursor. NOTE: if you keep moving the cursor in a circle around the model you will get a coil angle over 360 degrees. The curves will become too complex (too awesome) for your computer to calculate and you may freeze Rhino, so don’t get crazy! If you caught the note above and made a manageable maelstrom, then congratulations to you! Your project is now at least twice as interesting. If your reviewers ask you what the building is made of or how it would actually get built, just keep yelling FRANK GEHRY until they change the subject. COMMAND LIST type: MAELSTROM draw first boundary of the DANGER ZONE draw second boundary of the DANGER ZONE move cursor to specify coil angle (it is not advised to create a coil angle greater than 360 degrees) marvel at your model’s new awesome curviness
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE GRADUATE GOVERNMENT TSA ESTABLISHES VOICE FOR GRADUATE STUDENT BODY ALEXANDRA BOJARSKI-STAUFFER The graduate students in the Tulane School of Architecture have formed the SAGG, (School of Architecture Graduate Government) this year and are making moves. SAGG’s primary objective is to represent the graduate student body in the school of architecture by voicing the student opinion as well as organizing events that create opportunities for students to develop their understanding of the profession. SAGG dedicated funds to this year’s Graduate Colloquium, which featured lectures and round-table talks with architects from up-and-coming design firms from around the country. SAGG also funds architecture related symposiums, conferences and other events that expand a student’s understanding of architecture. SAGG recognizes the importance of social interaction after certain lectures, funding an occasional Friday night reception at the Column’s Hotel. This year, SAGG helped finance the pilot publication of Recto Verso, which showcases the work of graduate students throughout the
school. The first issue will be published before the end of the semester. Next year, the SAGG will host a series of “Lunch-and-Learns” where a group of students will meet with a firm, manufacturer or subcontractor to learn more about the processes involved in architecture while satiating their stomachs with green salads and turkey sandwiches. The SAGG serves as the voice of the graduate student body working in affiliation with the other organizations present in the Tulane School of Architecture as well as the campus wide Graduate and Professional Student Association, GAPSA. All graduate students in the Tulane School of Architecture are considered members of the SAGG. There are no hidden costs or fees. In fact, students automatically pay for the government organization via their “student activity fee.” The SAGG consists of an elected board of officers as well a group of eight elected senators who represent tiers of graduate programs offered at the Tulane School of Architecture.
THE INVISIBLE MONSTER The prisoner walks through the early evening light, smiling as he is led by invisible shackles towards his apparent doom. Although his captors are not visible, the reality of their presence is palpable. They pull him unwilling towards their sweatshop, the icy voice of dedication resounds within the prisoner’s empty heart. As the drunk and happy stumble passed en route to mindless pleasure, the prisoner feels a mixture of exhaustion and jealousy with a splash of pride. For although forever shackled to a miserable basement stretch of cheap blue carpet by the steely hands of competition and self-expression, the prisoner holds his head high as he enters the dungeon. Within the sterile white washed basement dripping with the sweat and tears of artists, the prisoner walks boldly towards his cell. Trudging down a vacant corridor lined with examples of the few who finished their sentence, the prisoner draws both courage and inspiration from his surroundings. Although he can hear the screams in the distance he continues, deeper into the machine. Within the absolute entrails of the beast he arrives at the heart of the evil. Within a single desolate room a community of prisoners sit possessed before blank screens sucking away the very fire of their lives, the fire they came here to protect. The prisoner enters, immediately blanketed in the stench of unwashed bodies; the workers are tired, hungry and scared. As he scouts for a place to sit, he is utterly ignored, just cog in the machine. The drones gaze silently in their submission, a subtle appreciation for their stake, claimed through improbable tactics, false renderings and alliances as volatile as the common mental state. They push through insurmountable deadlines, eyes melting into the backs of their heads while they pursue a nameless, sightless goal. A race with no finish, they provoke and relinquish all hope of the pursuit of
happiness to instead drive with unparalleled courage into the depths of the inferno. Plagued by the constant habits of the sick and the weary and pushed further into the grasps of lunacy, each one is trapped and caged into the production machine. But this machine isn’t all bad, with the cheery trip of a three-night joust, the minions now subjected to the hallucinogenic properties of sleep deprivation reawaken instant blissful banter. Memories fade within minutes and a strange form of humor emerges built upon the misery, the pain and the turmoil. Night and day become one incessant invisible monster pulling away precious moments through tiny blank screens, harkening its arrival with error messages and the dreaded blue screen of death. Like batteries they push their bodies until pure exhaustion only to plug into the masochistic flow of stimulants. They watch as their skin pales, their eyes sink and shrivel and their bodies mold into the form of the decrepitude that is their work. Hours pass in seconds as the prisoners feel insanity creep up their spine, watch their peers succumb to it and drop like flies one by one. Trapped in an accelerating intensity, they slave away, never finishing, only reviewing. Their projects are unending. They exist as futile components in the device that is design, institutionalized through devotion to expression beyond any form of requiem. The prisoner’s sentence will end on the day of review, but his anguish will prevail. Even as he presents his unfinished work to a panel of weary souls, pained as well by their own design, he knows he will return to his cell again only to continue treading water, the constant struggle for survival within the tempest of art. -Do It Right April 2011
DUTCH DIALOGUES DUTCH INNOVATION IN NEW ORLEANS CAMERON CONKLIN
At the turn of the 20th century, New Orleans was on the cutting edge of water drainage and prevention. The Sewage and Water Board was founded to drain out swampland in preparation for population expansion. Working with this Board, A. Baldwin Wood invented a number of improvements in pumps and the plumbing process, which were utilized all over the world. At this time, Dutch engineers used these technologies to tackle similar problems prevalent in the Netherlands. Recently, the Dutch have continued to commit time and thought into advancing water control within their nation. Now, a century later, Dutch architects and engineers are using their new ideas to reform the outdated water systems within New Orleans. This exchange, over the last century, has enabled advanced development in both of these regions. Using teamwork to tackle water utilization has proven beneficial, both today and in the past. Hurricane Katrina exposed the problem of water management in New Orleans that has been brewing for years. This event has sparked an ongoing investigation by professionals in Louisiana and around the world, taking shape as a series of workshops called the Dutch Dialogues. They focus on using Dutch innovations to embrace, control and utilize
water in New Orleans. David Waggonner of Waggonner and Ball Architects initiated this charrette with Dale Morris of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the American Planning Association in 2008. The dialogues between engineers, urban designers, landscape architects and city planners have developed interconnectivity between these urban delta environments. They have also increased educational opportunities in water utilization and raised awareness throughout the United States of new flood management techniques. Three Dialogues have now been completed, the last being held in the spring of 2010. The group has continued to expand on its previous discussions, and this latest charrette was organized into four investigations focusing on the most crucial areas in the city. â€œLiving with the waterâ€? has become a driving force for the investigation and a basic principle of Dutch policy. This phrase has been applied to post-Katrina discussion in hopes to create safety without compromising amenities. The Netherlands considers water management a top priority, seeing half of their landmass under sea level. These dialogues have inspired similar concern to be generated in New Orleans.
Along with the local architecture firm Waggonner and Ball, a member of the TSA community became very involved with this project. John Klingman, Richard Koch Chair of Architecture, participated in the second and third workshops of the Dutch Dialogues and also conducted a studio in Fall 2009 based on many of the key issues discussed. He realized that a studio would be valuable asset along with the four-day charrette. Although the Dialogues are able to map out the effects of certain ideas, a semester’s work of research and study would produce much more in-depth information. His studio was based on two projects. The first was an investigation of radio canals that allow for surface water as well as ground water recharge. This study was conduced along Felicity St. where each group was given a four-block span to renew. The students designed urban space around the canal as well as a water storage building within their site. The second project dealt with the pumping station located at the Claiborne triangle. This area is particularly low and students were challenged to consider a new way to pump water out or into the area as needed, as if the site almost functioned as a lake. All of the work from this studio is posted on the Dutch Dialogues website and continues to be used in discussions regarding these areas. Klingman also hopes to offer a studio this coming Fall 2011 based on continued analysis of this growing concern. Tulane School of Architecture students were also involved in the latest Dutch Dialogues workshop. Thesis student Garrett Jacobs, along with ten to fifteen others, attended the charrette. These students served as connections to the city and helping hands for the Dutch visitors. Garrett worked with the team of professionals discussing the Lafayette corridor, which is near his current home. His first hand knowledge of the
neighborhood benefited design schemes to more fluidly mesh with the current cultural landscape. The importance of varying points of view is very prevalent within these designs and proposals. Outside of TSA, Washington University Professor Derek Hoeferlin TSA ’97 is also working with his students on this issue as well as Jane Wolf, Director of the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Toronto. Together they teach a studio called Gutter to Gulf, a collaborative ongoing research and design initiative, which advocates for a better-integrated water planning system. It is interesting to see the thought process of students who have indirect contact with these conditions. Once again, this problem is benefiting from the combination of both inside and outside perception. The discussions and hard work of Dutch Dialogues participants has been voluntary. Dedication and concern have been the sole motives inspiring these designs. The architects and engineers who feel this is an important issue have produced amazing results. Fortunately, on March 21 Greater New Orleans, Inc. awarded Waggonner and Ball Architects the contract to develop the “Comprehensive, Sustainable Integrated Water Management Strategy”. This project, within the St. Bernard Parish and the east banks of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, is putting many of these ideas into concrete use. This project focuses on storm water, wastewater, ground water, flood control, water infrastructure, public rights of way and other public properties. It is an exciting opportunity for the work of the Dutch Dialogues to be implemented in the parishes of New Orleans. Although this project only focuses on a small portion of the city, it is a groundbreaking start to using Dutch concepts to enhance the development of New Orleans. Hopefully this project will be a success and jumpstart future implementation of the Dutch Dialogue discoveries. April 2011
images courtesy of dutchdialogues.com, Washington University in St. Louis Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Joseph Keppel + Christian Rodriguez.
joseph keppel + christian rodriquezâ€™s hoffman triangle + claiborne avenue. klingmanâ€™s dutch dialogues studio
dutch dialogues charrette held in thompson hall at TSA. images courtesy of dutchdialogues.com.
Thirty-six years ago, an ambitious Tulane School of Architecture graduate started a one-man firm in an eight by ten foot room in the Central West End of St. Louis. By 1976, just one short year later, Andrew Trivers had created a firm of five employees. With continued success, the firm reorganized itself as Trivers Associates in 1983 and its size has grown to thirty-four employees. Since its beginning, Trivers Associates has been “committed to rebuilding cities and focusing on projects which improve the urban environment,” according to the founder himself. In every project the firm takes on, a collaborative philosophy is high priority; activating owners and users involvement in the design process helps to ensure a successful output. Ultimately, Andrew Trivers explains, the firm strives to come up with innovative designs that “have the power to transform places, excite people and enhance lives.”
Firm Profile |
TRIVERS ASSOCIATES CHRISTINE FOLEY
Trivers Associates has worked on a range of projects throughout the years, from schools and affordable and mixed income housing to historic preservation and adaptive reuse. At the present time, the firm is seeing a few projects under construction. The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas and the North Carolina Federal Post Office and Courthouse are underway, as well as the twenty-five-storey Roberts Tower in downtown St. Louis. Currently in the design phase is a renovation and addition to the Art & Design School at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. With every project, Trivers Associates looks toward the future. Projects are not defined by the year in which they were designed, but created for sustainability, blending the new with the old and enhancing the human experience. To the firm, the specific date of creation is unimportant because the expectation is that the work will remain relevant for an extended period of time. Many of the projects that Trivers Associates takes on are renovation, for which their approach is very important. Andrew Trivers took on the role of Lead Designer and Historic Architect for the renovation of the St. Louis Old Post Office, which is the project he is most proud to have worked on. Alfred Mullet designed the original building in 1872.
old post office skylight. image courtesy of Trivers Associates.
Trivers challenge was to “incorporate new technologies and spaces within the context of a major Second Empire Office Building,” a building ranked sixth in most important historic buildings in the inventory of General Services Administration’s owned buildings. The renovation was not just a single design success or a personal feat for Trivers, but evoked attention in the surrounding area. Ultimately the project led to the renovation of over two million square feet in downtown St. Louis, improving the urban environment, Trivers Associates’ expertise. The project won numerous awards, including the 2008 AIA St. Louis Merit Award for Architecture. Like many firms, Trivers Associates has adopted Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for all of their work. Working in Autodesk Revit allows them to develop feasible projects efficiently and collaboratively. Trivers, who learned by hand with pen and drafting board, finds it vital that the firm is up-to-date with the latest technology. “We seek to use technology that focuses our attention on design and constructability, while providing the most complete service to our clients.”
Andrew Trivers credits the major contribution of his design education and growth as an architect to Tulane School of Architecture. His time here is remembered in dedicated faculty, generous creativity and a learned appreciation for design. He also asserts that the city of New Orleans attributed to his architectural development. The environment has had “a lasting effect” on his interest in city development and educated him on “the relation of design and its impact on our lives.” He further explains, “New Orleans is a great laboratory for historic preservation and urban design and is a great setting to address the multiple issues that are facing the long-term viability of urban environments across America.” Please note that Andrew Trivers is receiving his FAIA status in New Orleans at Touro Synagogue during the AIA National Convention. You can learn more about Trivers Assoiciates at http://www.trivers.com/
art & design building at southern illinois university edwardsville. image courtesy of Trivers Associates.
kevin michniok, eic hannah ambrose katherine delacey
alexandra bojarski-stauffer contributors annelise haskell cameron conklin christine foley frank xiong john coyle jenny oâ€™leary sanaa shaikh tyler guidroz
faculty graham owen advisor
theCharrette's May 2011 publication