Public & Cultural

Hancher, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Hancher

As the premier presenter of performing arts state- wide, the University of Iowa’s Hancher has been dubbed “the largest classroom on campus.” With sweeping horizontal forms that echo the nearby Iowa River, the building’s design draws from its natural surroundings. Forms cantilever at the south end of the building to create ribbon overhangs for the lobby and second-level terrace’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls, offering shaded sunlight during the day and views of the campus and river. “The shape of the building was very much influenced by the site and the river. We felt it needed to be a panoramic building with the main focus addressing the university at larg

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Wall Springs Park, Pinellas County, Fla.

Pinellas County Chooses Composite Decking

Realizing that the boardwalks surrounding the tower and fishing pier were worn, park engineers chose to replace the decking for both the boardwalks and piers at the scenic Wall Springs Park in Pinellas County, Fla. The 35-ft. tall observation tower at Wall Springs Park in Pinellas County, Florida, offers stunning views of the park and the Gulf of Mexico beyond. A regional gem, the tower and about 30-ft. of ramp leading to it were destroyed by arson in 2013. In the midst of an arduous five-year reconstruction project, park engineers realized the boardwalks surrounding the tower and the fishing pier were worn and rotting. They chose to replace the decking with composite decking for those

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Albion Library, Toronto, Ontario

A ‘Welcome Mat’ for the Community

New libraries aren’t built every day, especially when there’s one already serving the community. But the influx of new immigrants into Toronto’s post-war Rexdale suburb prompted the city’s progressive, neighborhood-focused public library authority to replace it with a more enticing, comprehensive, and service-minded version. “Providing services to immigrants was a design and program priority, a ‘welcome mat’ for the community,” explains Andrew Frontini, Principal of Perkins + Will Toronto and architect of the project.The main challenge for the local office of Perkins+Will was to bring natural light into the tight, square form dictated by t

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Treehouse Glazing

For Mexico’s library at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Sasaki Associates’ endeavored to create a treehouse in the middle of the campus forest. The floor-to-ceiling windows, fabricated with Solarban 90 Vitro glass, deliver a light-to-solar gain ratio of 2.22 and a corresponding reduction in demand for artificial lighting and AC.

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Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv, Israel

Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

Housed inside a symbolic wooden treasure chest, that doubles as the cladding for the museum’s collection, Tel Aviv University’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History—with more than 5 million specimens collected over the past century—is the largest, most active center for biodiversity research in the Middle East. Making a splash with its Noah’s Ark-looking façade, Kimmel Eshkolot Architects’ concept was two-fold: beckon museum patrons and passersby to come inside and explore, while also providing a climate-controlled space for the archeological specimens.“The collections are the heart of the building and we wanted it to be exposed to the city and

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Austin Central Library

Panels Ensure Durability for Library Exterior

The city of Austin built a new central library to serve its citizens, and in designing the building, chose perforated anodized aluminum as a central façade design element. Opened to the public in October 2017, the new 200,000-sq.-ft. Austin Central Library makes full use of the functional and aesthetic benefits of the perforated anodized aluminum panels. Many panels provide shade for the building and its entrances, while one large panel incorporates literary quotations that are visible on the building’s floor as light shines through the metal, and all of the panels add to the overall building aesthetic.The library was designed by architects from Lake Flato Architects and Shepley Bulfin

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Visitors at Texas Library 'Sitting in Tree House'

When the City of Seguin, Texas, decided to tear down its old library and build a new one, the priority was to leverage the natural beauty of its site along the banks of Walnut Creek. In Nov. 2017, the Seguin Public Library earned LEED Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Bringing the outdoors inside of this two-story facility, a curtainwall frames these natural views and leverages natural light. In addition, cantilevered decks overlook the creek and a popular walking and biking trail. Designed by PGAL of Los Angeles and 720 Design of Dallas, the 43,000-sq.-ft. library is three times the size of the original building, providing more area for books, technology and spaces

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Channel Glass Shines at New D.C. Museum

The Museum of the Bible features channel glass, which not only defines the museum’s entrance, but also brings daylight in and establishes a sense of privacy. Washington, D.C.’s new Museum of the Bible features a brilliant, 22.5-ft. towering channel glass wall-cladding, which defines the museum’s entrance and Arcade. The glass conveys a crystalline appearance, symbolic of the original building’s function as a cold storage warehouse. In other areas throughout the museum, translucent channel glass façade elements bring daylight in, while establishing a sense of privacy. Channel glass creates virtually uninterrupted walls of glass, limitless in length and up to 23-ft

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Aquarium 'Sheds' Water Usage

With nearly two million guests each year, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago needed a commercial restroom upgrade to match its water efficiency objectives. challenge: Welcoming nearly two million guests each year, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is not only home to 32,000 animals, but also a popular location for local business meetings and events. So when the Chicago institution required an upgrade to its commercial restrooms, its goal of water efficiency and saving were top of mind. Devoted to its vision of a world thriving with aquatic life, sustained by people who love, understand and protect it, Shedd is a leader in the rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic wildlife across the world. Not o

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Theater Achieves Open and Unique Aesthetic

The new Writers Theater, located in Glencoe, Ill., designed by Studio Gang Architects, creates a space that brings energy to the town while maintaining an essence of transparency and fluidity. In 2016, Writers Theater packed up and moved to a new location in Glencoe, Ill., in order to perform in a larger space and attract additional followers.  Decked with floor-length windows and open social spaces, collaboration is encouraged with the hope of better uniting people through theater. Located in the downtown area, the building reflects the theater company’s objective to maintain intimacy and audience involvement. The main theater seats 250 patrons with a second performance venu

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