Thursday, June 11, 2015

Engineering without Engines...

"The International Style of Modernism came with the advent of building services. In the end, the architecture became like a container space, essentially like a boring box with a basement full of machinery to make it inhabitable," he said. "As a result, buildings literally started to look identical all over the planet." 
"Today we have sophisticated building technology, we can calculate and simulate the environments and performance of the building, the thermal exposure of envelop, or the air flow through an urban space or structure." 
"Rather than 'Architecture without Architects', it actually allows us to do 'Engineering without Engines'," he explained. "We can engineer a building and design a building with least reliance on active machinery to make it inhabitable." 
--Bjarke Ingels, BIG (article)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Archi Detail

To say it is impossible to control the vast quantities of details that occur in the late modern building is understandable, but one can just as easily argue that poetry is impossible given the plethora of printed text in the modern world.  This type of non-detail is merely the bad detail, and we might thus add two categories to the list of detail types--the incompetent and the indifferent.  The architect cannot control all details of the building, but the architect must control the important ones.
-- Edward R. Ford; The Architectural Detail

Hand sketch framing detail for The Lightbox by BCJ 

Built condition of The Lightbox by BCJ

Hand sketch roof details for Castelvecchio Museum by Carlo Scarpa

Hand sketch detail of Chicken Point Cabin operable glass wall by Tom Kundig

Details of Chicken Point Cabin operable glass wall by Tom Kundig
Chicken Point Cabin by Tom Kundig

Window Details of Usonian House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Building Section Perspective by Paul Rudolph

Light slot detail at Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor (via nm)

Light slots at Therme Vals

Friday, May 08, 2015

On Common Sense...

"Our 'Common Sense' is not derived from what is true in Nature but from the limits on how our senses interact with Nature." -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Doors Open Denver

As some of you might already know, April is Architecture month in Denver.  This weekend (April 25th-26th) is the main event, and many of the city's architectural landmarks, design firm offices and downtown businesses are featuring guided public tours and open house events.  

Head on over to the website at to see more info, but the printable guide and map are available below.  Some the highlights that are worth mentioning here:

Clyfford Still Museum

Historic Union Station & Plaza

Denver Art Museum

TAXI development


Sugarcube building

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ideas and Vocabulary

"Your thoughts are constructed by the vocabulary available to you..."
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson

So, if you want to be a great thinker, learn all the words and languages you can...

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Remembering Ghost Lab 8

A fellow Ghostie alumnus, Steve, has recently posted some photos of our "immersion into the material culture" in Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia with Brian MacKay-Lyons Ghost Lab.

Check out the full post here:

Arch Record online also has a great article about Charles Moore and Sea Ranch, the grey haired predecessor [and inspiration] of Ghost Lab:

While we're at it, here are some more old photos of the same Ghost 8, taken from the Summer 2006 photo archive:

Monday, March 23, 2015

MoD: A Discussion on Housing

Modern In Denver | Colorado’s Magazine for Modern Living – Inside and Out


Join Modern In Denver and Architectural Record magazines for the presentation of “Design & Innovation in Multi-Unit Housing.” It’s part of the Architectural Record on the Road series and features a CEU session, panel discussion, and networking opportunities. Check out the details below, and we'll see you there! 

Design & Innovation in Multi-Unit Housing 

March 24
History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway, Denver
Vacancy rates for apartments were below 5 percent in the metro area in 2014. To alleviate the squeeze on rentals, the inventory of apartments—unlike single-family homes—is expected to surge as thousands of new units are being completed. But many of those target the higher end of the market, leaving a shrinking supply of homes and apartments affordable to low and middle-income families. In this symposium, Architectural Record takes a look at Denver’s particular housing needs, and the latest multi-unit buildings going up in the Mile-High City.
5-6 p.m.
Zip System Sheathing CEU session

Air, Water & Moisture Management in Light Commercial Building Envelopes
A study of how air leakage affects thermal performance and how moisture is managed in typical light commercial construction. Study focuses on roof and wall applications. Also includes discussion about some of the shortcomings of traditional methods and introduces alternative solutions of protecting the structure from air and moisture intrusion.
6-7:15 pm.
Multi-Unit Panel Discussion, Featuring Local Leaders

Moderated by Beth Broome, Managing Editor, Architectural Record
Jesse Adkins, AIA, Principal, Shears Adkins Rockmore
Joseph Poli, AIA, Founding Principal, Humphries Poli Architects
Brad Tomecek, AIA, Founding Principal, Tomecek Studio
7:15 p.m.
Cocktail Reception