After years of putting it off, I finally finished “The Paris Architect,” Charles Belfoure’s novel about a Modernist designer in occupied Paris in WWII, who creates hiding places for prominent Jews with clever architectural tweaks. The book introduced me to Walter Gropius’ Fagus Factory, which, ironically, proved the inspiration for manufacturing facilities the protagonist is commissioned to create for the NAZIs. Considered the first Modernist building, the ideas behind the sharp-edged glass and brick factory—radical at the time with its natural light and ventilation—got me thinking about details, and the struggle to change hearts and minds. One thing that’s changing here in the 21st century is the concept of what an office should be. Check out the JAN/FEB issue for more on that trend, but one of the more fascinating facets is nook creation—carving out small, quiet places for employees to escape to catch up on reading, or to think in peace. Such spaces tend to be “homey” with warm, earthen materials and colors. And on the subject of earthen materials, a pleasant surprise arrived in my mailbox—a copy of “FOLIO,” a great, detail-laden publication from brick manufacturer Glen-Gery, which offers a peek at some wonderful projects involving the company’s products. Now, I just need a nook to take it in…
New & Noteworthy
The University of Rochester, in Rochester, N.Y., began accepting students to its new Goergen Institute of Data Science program in fall 2015, and two years later the school opened the doors to an ambitious new facility to house the effort. The building features a creative façade design by Kennedy & Violich Architects (KVA) that plays with the theme of a data-centric mission, offering a “coded” indicator of the work going on within its walls.
During the company’s 10th anniversary celebration in Antwerp, acoustic furniture experts, BuzziSpace, introduced BuzziSpark, a cheeky name for a modern take on a traditional vis-à-vis settee. BuzziSpark’s final dimensions and details went through several iterations before the seasoned designer’s Alain Gilles creation was finalized.
The Beyond pavilion is a demountable partition system, featuring a rich set of materials and configurations that helps users reclaim unused vertical real estate in the open plan, creating environments from solo to collaborative, while supporting technology and power routing. The system supports marker boards, tackable materials and can be constructed with frameless glass, framed glass and solid panel options.
Interstyle’s latest innovation in sustainable glass is made with 100% recycled glass, blended with a mix of natural, regionally sourced clay and porcelain. Dubbed Earthenglass, the natural clay with a mix of glass possesses a mysterious beauty, strength and grit. The hand-crafted tiles are available in four standard shapes, including: square, octagon, rhombus and rectangle.
Are you looking to boost your façade? CUPACLAD is the product that everybody is talking about. The distinguishing touch texture and sober elegance of the natural slate rainscreen cladding system is making its way through the United States. More and more architects are embracing the sustainability and efficiency of natural materials, a trend that has only just begun. The urban landscape is changing for good, don’t fall behind.
The result is the slimmest, most energy efficient bi-fold door available (the intersection of two folding panels is a mere 3 7/8”). Panels are capable of heights up to 11’ 6”. A newly designed Gothic Arch roller system with only the sides of the roller touching the track. This allows for easy operation regardless of panel size or weight. The patented TwinX enables the system to meet higher wind loads but also conceals the hinges. Panels can move in stacks of 4 or 6, unattached to the side jamb and with the ability to stack to either side of the opening, enabling unlimited widths—something never achieved in a bi-fold door.