Friday, February 27, 2009

KU studio 804: 3716 Springfield

those jayhawker kids are at it again with this year's pre-fab prototype over at dan rockhill's studio 804 in lawrence, ks. last year's design/build project focused on a re-building effort of the tornado devastated town of greensburg, ks and the construction of a new arts center [pictured above].

the progress and construction photos of last year's arts center can be found on-line along with the progress photos of this year's project weekly updates. so far, the 2009 "schemata" is at week 7, with foundations ready for pouring. here are some 3d renderings of the current project: 3716 Springfield

this year's structure is a slight departure from the previous models, as the focus is directed towards salvaging used materials. it seems to be less pre-fab, and more in-situ based construction. the most obvious noticeable departure is the incorporation of a gabled roof, wrapped with a full body rain-screen. the past pre-fab prototypes have typically been a flat-roof combination of 4 or 5 modules, fit together on-site. and of course there is the goal of achieving the first LEED platinum rated house in kansas when it is complete:

We plan for active systems to be integrated throughout the building, including grey water recycling, solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal heating and cooling...

the wooden slats being shown on the 3d model will be recycled from the cladding of a decommissioned magazine warehouse. even though the labor required to get the wood back to it's original properties will be laborious, the idea of having an old building be fitted for a new life would give some satisfaction for sustainability on many levels [not going to the landfill for one].

keep track of the studio's progress here.


Friday, February 20, 2009

blogosphere radar

...bouncing back the radar signals, here is a fantastic new blog discovered at this address:


fed with tons of incredible info by andrew and kevin and the rest of the BUILD LLC crew, it has some of the best posts on practicing architecture we have seen in a long time. take a few of these for example:

corten architectural siding

legos: re-thinking construction documents
[a personal favorite]

board & batten detailing

rainscreen detailing

architecture and discipline

the authors of the site are not only practicing architects, but partners in a thriving and influential firm within the seattle area called BUILD LLC.

one of the more intriguing aspects about this firm is the design/build project delivery focus. BUILD LLC is not only an architecture/construction combination, but they specialize in crafting furniture, custom millwork, and they even manufacture their own materials with an in-house veneer press!

their project portfolio and these other things could easily get this crew "firm of year" in our book, but the best part about what is coming out of BUILD LLC is the willingness to share their own professional experiences with everyone. this transparency of process is an extremely radical approach in a profession usually perceived as a "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" when trying to explain architectural work to the public. the section on their website about their staff and design process is almost larger than the portfolio pages, including an open letter to the client with their own 9-step process.

BUILD LLC's manifesto

there is plenty of inspirational material there for entrepreneurial minded architects. and thanks to andrew for the shout out on the latest "on the radar" post.