January 29, 2011

reOrder - Brooklyn Museum's Great Hall Transformed

reOrder: An Architectural Environment by Situ Studio inaugurates the first phase of the Brooklyn Museum's renovation of its first-floor 10,000-square-foot colonnaded hall. On view March 4, 2011, through January 15, 2012, the space-altering, site-specific architectural installation was created by Situ Studio, a Brooklyn-based creative practice specializing in design and fabrication. The installation reimagines the classically ordered space to serve as a hub, a place for all Museum visitors to meet and relax.

Situ Studio's design, which engages the existing monumental columns, consists of a series of suspended fabric canopies utilizing some 2,200 yards of fabric and furnishings that swell, expand, and augment the profiles of the columns, transforming them from base to capital. Adopting the century-old columns as central elements in the design, Situ Studio's installation will engage the unique scale and details of McKim, Mead & White's iconic late nineteenth-century structure with the goal of transforming the hall, creating a series of spaces that alternate between the colossal and the intimate.

Each canopy will be covered in Sunbrella® fabric in the style Canvas-Natural, donated by Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. The fabric will be folded and then stretched over suspended bent steel tubing and plywood rings, each with a unique radius that will give each column a different form. The fabric used in reOrder will either be returned to the manufacturing facility for recycling or reused for future projects by SITU Studio once the installation is complete.

The installation will also feature benches and tables around each column composed of sheets of LG Hausys HI-MACS solid surfacing which were donated by LG Hausys America. The sheets will be transformed into three-dimensional benches and tables using a sophisticated and controlled heat process known as thermoforming.

This project will be the first installation in the newly renovated Great Hall, which has been completely redesigned by Ennead Architects, formerly known as the Polshek Partnership. The new installation will celebrate a remarkable, double-height space that has evolved through many designs from its creation. For several years the hall was used to display pre-Columbian and Native American material. When the Situ installation closes in 2012, the central gallery space will be used as an introduction to the Museum's comprehensive collections, which range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary works.

Situ Studio was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, while its five partners were studying architecture at the Cooper Union. Concentrating on research, design, and fabrication, the firm works at the intersection of architecture and a variety of other disciplines to engage a wide range of spatial projects. Recent work includes the design and fabrication of six models for the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward at the Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum and the Solar Pavilion series-three temporary structures created for the green arts and energy organization Solar One.

reOrder: An Architectural Environment by Situ Studio is organized by Lance Singletary, Associate Exhibition Designer, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Managing Curator of Exhibitions, BrooklynMuseum.

- Bloomberg is presenting sponsor of reOrder. Bloomberg is the world's most trusted source of information for financial professionals and businesses. Bloomberg combines innovative technology with unmatched analytic, data, news, display and distribution capabilities, to deliver critical information via the Bloomberg Professional service and multimedia platforms, which span television, radio, digital and print.
- Sunbrella® fabric has been generously donated by Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. HI-MACS solid surfacing material is generously donated by LG Hausys America.

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn NY 11238-6052

Video: Kamal Meattle on how to grow fresh air

Natural air purification and production relying on zero fossil fuels is an amazing concept. Amazing in that we need to be convinced of it when it is happening every day in the natural world around us. This is exactly the type of information designers need to start incorporating into their work. Using biological systems to solve the issues up to now we have overcome using the brute force of mechanics is the only way we can manage to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining our current lifestyles. The genius of this particular solution is that it can be achieved with common household plants, without any heavy investment. This idea also could save society an incredible amount of time and money by preserving people's health.


Video: Eco-friendly Drywall

Not enough press is given to the industries behind the glitz and glamor of today's architecture. Especially in a world with an ever increasing focus on sustainable or green design, you don't hear much about the materials and products being developed to give us designers the means to create innovative designs. This short video highlights one new material, Ecorock - a replacement for drywall. Using waste materials from other industrial processes, the concept of this material is to reduce the amount of CO2 needed to make one of America's most common building materials - gypsum board. Check out the Serious Materials company website for more information and specifications, and to see if it is the right choice your projects. Also check out their other products as they strive to green our building industry.


January 26, 2011

BIG Wins The International Competition To Design a New Waste-To-Energy Plant

BIG + realities:united + AKT + Topotek 1 & Man Made Land has been selected to design the new Waste-to-Energy Plant that doubles as a ski slope for Copenhagen’s citizens and its many visitors. Construction is planned to be completed by 2016.

Located in an industrial area near the city center the new Waste-to-Energy plant will be an exemplary model in the field of waste management and energy production, as well as an architectural landmark in the cityscape of Copenhagen. The project is the single largest environmental initiative in Denmark with a budget of 3,5 Billion DKK, and replaces the adjacent 40 year old Amagerforbraending plant, integrating the latest technologies in waste treatment and environmental performance. The shortlisted offices included Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, 3xN, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects & Gottlieb Paludan Architects who were selected to compete out of 36 international proposals in Fall 2010. The winning team was announced by an unanimous judge panel.

”BIG’s proposal contributes to the city with something useful and beautiful. We see this creating a lot of opportunities and with this unique building, we can brand the Danish knowledge and technology to show the world our abilities within environmental and energy issues”
- Ulla Röttger, Director of Amagerforbraending.

Instead of considering the new Amagerforbraending as an isolated architectural object, the building is conceived as a destination in itself, reflecting the progressive vision of a new type of waste treatment facility. The roof of the new Amagerforbraending is turned into a 31.000 m2 ski slope of varying skill levels for the citizens of Copenhagen, its neighboring municipalities and visitors, mobilizing the architecture and redefining the relationship between the waste plant and the city by expanding the existing recreational activities in the surrounding area into a new breed of waste-to-energy plant.

“The new plant is an example of what we at BIG call Hedonistic Sustainability – the idea that sustainability is not a burden, but that a sustainable city in fact can improve our quality of life. The Waste-to-Energy plant with a ski slope is the best example of a city and a building which is both ecologically, economically and socially sustainable”, Bjarke Ingels Founder and Partner, BIG.

The slope is ecological using a recycled synthetic granular, upending the convention of the energy intensive indoor ski resort. Access to the slopes is via an elevator along the plant’s smokestack providing views into the plant, giving glimpses of its internal workings finally reaching an observation platform 100m above giving sightseers an unobstructed view from one of the tallest structures in Copenhagen. All of this while the smokestack is modified to puff smoke rings of 30m in diameter whenever 1 ton of fossil CO2 is released. These smoke rings which are the brainchild of Germany-based art studio realities:united will form due to the condensation of water in the flue gases as they as they slowly rise and cool, serving as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp the CO2 emission in a straightforward way - turning the smokestack traditionally the symbol of the industrial era into a symbol for the future. At night, heat tracking lights are used to position lasers on the smoke rings into glowing artworks.

“Designing a façade for a building is like wrapping a gift without having to consider its content. Instead of concentrating on the wrapping paper we have instead invested our energy on creating a gift for the citizens of Copenhagen & its visitors no matter if they are adults or children, professionals or beginners. I can’t wait to ski on a base of clean and green energy with a view over the city in 2016”, David Zahle, Partner & Project Leader, BIG.

From a distance, the entire building is wrapped in a vertical green façade formed by planter modules stacked like bricks turning it into a mountain from afar. The surrounding topography is sculpted by Topotek 1 & Man Made Land to form a park which offers informal sport activities in summer and winter. Along its western border a field of hills will mimic a mogul piste. A path system throughout the park interconnects the whole site and creates good connections to the neighboring residential area.

Project: Waste-to-Energy Plant
Client: Amagerforbraending
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Budget: 3,5 BL DKK; 650 MIO USD, 460 MIO EUR
Status: 1. Prize
Architect: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Collaborators: Realities:United (Smoke Ring Generator), AKT (Façade & Structural Consulting), Topotek 1/Man Made Land (Landscape)
Building: 95,000 m2
Landscape: 90,000 m2
Roof + ski slope: 32,000 m2
Façade area: 74,000 m2
Administrative + Visitor center floor area: 6,500 m2

Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Project Leader: Brian Yang
Team: Jelena Vucic, Alina Tamosiunaite, Armor Gutierrez, Maciej Zawadzki, Jakob Lange, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Daniel Selensky, Gül
Ertekin, Xing Xiong, Sunming Lee, Long Zuo

If you have Google Earth you can see the proposal via: www.big.dk/projects/amf/AMF.kmz
A slideshow: http://www.big.dk/projects/amf/

Video: Nathaniel Kahn on "My Architect"

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January 12, 2011

Video: Social Life in Urban Spaces

An interesting, if not dated, analysis of public spaces and how they are used and ways we can better design them.

January 3, 2011

Slideshow: Mountain Villas - by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) - Copenhagen, Denmark

Located a short train ride from the city center, the Mountain Villas is a wonderful piece of architecture bridging the gap between suburban housing equipped with private yards, and higher density urban developments.

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