March 2017

From Past to Present

Once a metaphor for economic and political turmoil in the area, the venerable “Unfinished Theatre” in Lublin, Poland, needed to bring itself into the 21st century. Two rooms especially benefited from a seating upgrade that leaves visitors in step with modern aesthetics and comfort. The “Unfinished Theatre” is the name that the inhabitants of Lublin nicknamed the old building that has occupied the city center for more than 40 years. With construction starting in 1960, it was set to be Europe’s largest opera palace. Funding problems at the start, together with the economic crisis of the 1980s and political changes at the end, left the unfinished building as a metaphor for a society that went d

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Cherishing the Night Landscape

A recent project in Friesland, Netherlands, proves that preserving public safety simultaneously with darkness may be successfully achieved. Here are some of the main aspects of a design that tastefully melds the roadscape into the landscape during the daylight hours and preserves the feeling of night after dark. NEXT and Arup’s lighting design not only minimizes ecological impact, it resulted in lower energy expenditure and material for the cables and the overall cost of the new infrastructure: Motorists are guests in the landscape and light their own way after dark. The design provides safety through visual cues such as refl ection and low light where necessary; for instance, a trafficc cir

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UNStudios on its Toes with Structural Composites

Ben Van Berkel and the crew at UNStudio achieved something of a building ballet for Alpolic’s booth at BAU 2017, a construction tradeshow in Munich, Germany. The geometries of the structural composite material exhibit grace and drama in a three-dimensional edifice. The firm’s research on the ultra-light, yet resilient, façade material from Mitsubishi plastics stands as symphony of design. UNStudios transformed the composite material into a multi-compartment design with distinctly shaped chambers for different activities. The design is based on one single structural element; beyond that, UNStudio made use of parametric design techniques and smart fabrication methods to orient and combine that

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The new Whitney Museum of American Art designed by Renzo Piano, in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, presents art

Museum Façade a Calling Card to Patrons

Architect Cooper Robertson has embarked on a five-part series of white papers that examines the use of the façade of a museum and cultural institutions as an extension of a facility’s galleries. It is somewhat of a juxtaposition of art, as museum interiors typically maintain a set of tightly controlled lighting and humidity parameters in order to preserve artifacts. Shown here is the exterior terrace of the Whitney Museum by Renzo Piano Workshop that acts as an outdoor experience for parents and their young children to explore in the elements. Robertson explains the careful planning and detail that allows the façade to act as an outdoor gallery.

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Dining Center Mimics Northern Lights

The Wood Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks expanded its dining facility, creating a campus destination through visually interesting elements, which included a glazing system that mimicked the Aurora Borealis. The Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks planned a 34,000-sq.-ft. addition to, and renovation of, the Wood Center to expand the dining facility and create a campus destination. Architect Perkins+Will wanted to create a building that was visually interesting and inviting to passersby while so comfortable, occupants were happy to stay put, regardless of the season. The original building did little of either. Mentioning its few small, punched windows, Devin Kleiner, project architect, asso

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The architectural details, made with the finest materials and finishes, are appropriate for a Park Avenue home.

Bronze Makes Park Avenue Shine

A new luxury, boutique condo building in New York’s Upper East Side features opulent residences with elegant architectural details, which include bronze doors that make a Park Avenue statement. There is something special when you visit 1110 Park Ave.—a new luxury, boutique condo building in New York City’s Upper East Side. The 16-story building’s façade is Indiana limestone, a recognizable calling card for distinctive properties throughout New York City and elsewhere, including the World Trade Center Towers along with Oculus and Transportation Hub, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Columbia University, J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles, George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas

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LEDS highlight and shade the angles of the metallic exterior panels.

Science Center Goes for Industrial Look

The $15 million Applied Science Center at Ventura College in Ventura, Calif., brings needed technology-centered learning to the community. The center was looking to create the desired industrial feel with its exterior wall panels. Trying to mimic the tech theme of the Applied Science Center, exterior wall panels created the desired industrial feel look while adding excitement to the campus. Metal panels are the ideal choice when technology is the driving force of a building’s purpose and design. For the community college, the dimension of the panels—along with the color selection— speak to the high-tech work going on inside.

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