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MORE ABOUT: Valencia City of Arts – Valencia, Spain

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Valencia City of Arts and Sciences

PROLONGACION PASEO ALAMEDA, 48, 46023 València, Spain

Built: 1994-2004

Architects:  Santiago Calatrava, Felix Candela

Structural Engineers: Calatrava

The Valencia City of Arts and Sceinces is located on the dried up river bed of Turia River.  It covers a 350,000 square meter area.

Calatrava designed most of the complex alone with the exception of Le Oceanografic which was designed by Felix Candela.  The complex is comprised of a Science Museum, Plantarium, Opera House, Promenade and Parking Structure.

The use of white concrete and fragments of shattered tiles throughout gives the entire complex a sense of continuity. Calatrava also designed two bridges which provide the prinicipal mode of transportation throughout the complex.

Original sketches done by Santiago Calatrava outline the layout of the Valenencia City of Arts and Sciences

L’Hemisferic derives its form from the human eye and functions as an Imax theatre and planetarium. Each side of the eye-shaped building opens and closes like the eyelids of an eye

Calatrava’s L’Umbracle is an exotic garden

Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe derives is form from the skeleton of a whale.

Construction on El Palau de las Artes Reina Sofia, the Opera house for Valencia, was complete in in 2004.

Case Study by:  Lauren Ramos

ARE 320K, Fall 2010

Other Sources (UT Library):


Sharp, Dennis. Santiago Calatrava. London, England: E & FN Spon, 1997.

Tzonis, Alexander. Santiago Calatrava’s Design Process.  Basel, Switzerland : Birkhäuser, 2001.


Written by Lauren Ramos

September 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

MORE ABOUT: Tod’s Omotesando – Tokyo, Japan

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Tod’s Omotesando
5-1-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Built: 2003-2004
Architect: Toyo Ito, Takeo Higashi, Akihisa Hirata, Kaori Shikichi, Leo Yokota, Takuji Aoshima, Yasuaki Mizunuma
Structural Engineer: OAK Structural Design Office
Mechanical Engineer: ES Associates
General Contractor: Takenaka Corporation

Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando is an Italian shoe and bag retailer located in Tokyo’s luxury brand shopping district.

This L-shaped building fits tightly between a cosmetics shop and a piano showroom with only 33 feet of prime street space.

The unique facade on Tod’s Omotesando resemble the zelkovas, elm-like trees lining the Omotesando boulevard. There are a total of 9 overlapping tree silhouettes surrounding the six exterior walls. According to Ito “trees are organisms that stand by themselves, so their shape has an inherent, structural rationality.” The branches of the facade “grow” thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom [1].

The concrete facade together provides for column free floors within the complex. The exterior walls are 12 inches thick and act as both load-bearing elements and surface treatments [1].

The Structural Design Office OAK used “soft concrete with a high slump factor and two layers of wooden formwork to realize all the precise and uniquely shaped pieces” [1]. Glass panes, and in some areas aluminum panels, are inlaid between the concrete branches [2].

Each floor in the interior of Tod’s Omotesando has a unique floor plan. The stairs are comprised of sculptural glass, steel, and travertine and are located in the front or the back of the store, close to the supports provided by the exterior. The sixth floor is an 18 foot high events room, and on the roof of the building sits a glass meeting room and a private dining room [1].

Tod’s Omotesando is an innovative building in Tokyo, Japan. The facade brings in customers from off the street, and the interior layout keeps these customers entertained inside. Ito’s building contributes to the success of the shopping district and in this case form definitely follow function.
Case study by: Kartik Sampath
ARE 320K Fall 2010
Other Sources (UT Library):
[1] “Tod’s Omotesando Building in Tokyo.” Architectural Record. Apr.-Jun. 2005 v.193: 79-85.
[2] “Tod’s Omotesando.” Japan Architect. Winter 2006. n.60. p.38-39.

Written by Kartik Sampath

September 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

MORE ABOUT: Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Burj Khalifa (Formerly Burj Dubai)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
AEWorldMap Entry

Completed: January, 2010
Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Adrian Smith)
Engineer: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Bill Baker)
Project Manager: Turner International
Main Contractor: Samsung Corporation (South Korea)
Developer: Emaar Properties

The Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower in Arabic) is currently the tallest building in the world and measures 2,717 feet from its base to the tip of its over 700 foot tall spire. It rises 1000 feet higher than the world’s now second tallest building, Taipei 101. Skidmore, Owens and Merrill was responsible for the architecture, most of the engineering, and the interior design of this building. (Source 1)

The 160-floor tower lies within a master planned 500 acre community; all of which didn’t exist 6 years ago. (Source 1)

Burj Khalifa houses hotel space on the lowest floors, residential space on the mid level floors, and office space on the highest inhabitable floors. The building’s triaxial geometry and y shaped plan make it ideal for residential/hotel use, because they give more surface area per unit (i.e. more windows), rather than larger interior spaces (which would be more ideal for office use). (Source 1)

It’s obvious that the office floors (below — typically around only 5,000 square feet of floor space each) were more of an afterthought, as the entire building was designed for residential use. (Source 2)

A hexagonal core surrounds the elevators, and since it would not have been big enough to span the necessary height on its own, it is buttressed by the three wings of the building. One wing at each tier “sets back” in a spiraling pattern. (Source 2)

Wind was of great concern to the designers of the Burj Khalifa, as it’s speed increases with height. The main influence in the structural design process was, therefore, wind force. In depth wind tunnel testing on models of the building actually led to it’s rotation by 120 degrees to allow for the highest wind loads to be located the noses of the building. Just as well, the building houses some of the fastest elevators in the world (57 to be exact), although none travel farther than around 1,600 feet. In case of fire, refuge areas on certain floors can safely house the building’s habitants to prevent any unnecessary walking down potentially hundreds of flights of stairs. (Source 2)

The interior spaces (above) were designed with regard to an organic subtlety and are meant to directly contrast much of the grandiose nature of the building’s exterior and the city at large.

(Taken from the observation level at the Burj Khalifa)

The developer, Emaar Properties, along with the Architect and Engineer (SOM) were more focused on the scale of this building, rather than it’s sustainability (this caused great criticism upon opening in 2010). In their defense, the concept of sustainability wasn’t nearly as commonplace in building design (or in any industry, really) during the first half of the decade as it is today. (Source 1) Overall, though, Burj Khalifa serves as an outstanding symbol of the advancement of building technology in the world, and furthers Dubai and the UAE’s position as an “international player on par with other major cities.” (Source 2)

Case Study by: Blake McGregor
ARE 320K, Fall 2010



Source 1

Renzi, J. “Product Focus: Burj Khalifa and Citycenter.” Architectural Record. 198.8 (2010): 47-49. Print.

Source 2

Minutillo, Josephine. “Architectural Technology the Burj Khalifa’s Designers Tackle Extreme Height and Climate to Create an Icon.” Architectural Record. (2010): 89. Print.

Source 3

Shapiro, G.F. “Detail: Burj Khalifa Curtain Wall.” Architect. 99.3 (2010): 23-24. Print.

Written by Blake McGregor

September 13, 2012 at 1:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

MORE ABOUT: Seattle Central Library – Seattle, Washington

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Seattle Central Library
1000 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Map of Location

Completed: 2004
Architect: OMA and LMN
Structural Engineer: ARUP/ Magusson Klemencic Associates
Awards: 2005 Honor Award for Outstanding Architecture, 2005 Outstanding Library Building Award, and 2005 Platinum Award for Innovation and Engineering

The Seattle Central Library is composed of five overlapping platforms with four clusters in between to fill the voids.

(Web Article)

Due to the complex geometry of the building “the architect of the facade evolved through several highly distinct iterations including several metal and glass cladding configurations”(1) Below are some sketches of the different iterations.

Here are some structural diagrams of the finalized plan. The facade ended up being made of steel and glass.

Here is a photo of the construction phase as well as a close up of the facade from the inside.

“To favor an organic approach the book spiral arranges the volumes on a continuous ribbon of shelves.”(2)

Below are some interior shots: specifically the greeting escalator and the 2nd floor. Both show the unique use of color in the spaces.

copyright: Fernando Herrera

copyright: Fernando Herrera

(Web article on sustainability of the space)
(Architects Website)

Case study by: Sarah Turner
ARE 320K, Fall 2010

Other Sources(UT Library)
(1) “OMA/LMN- Seattle Central Library.” A+U Journal. Jan. 2005 n.1, v. 412: 150-167

(2) “Genetic Algorithm.” Lotus International. 2006 n.127: 52-65

Written by Sarah Turner

September 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New Museum of Contemporary Art – New York City, New York

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Building: New Museum of Contemporary Art
Location: New York, New York

Design/Construction Team and Product Info

City of New York

Client Representative:
Zubatkin Owner Representation, New York City
Marty Zubatkin, President
Andy Bast

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
7-A, 2-2-35, Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
Tokyo, 140-0002
Tel: +81.33450.1780

Associate Architect:
Gensler, New York City
Madeline Burke-Vigeland, Principal
William Rice, Project Manager
Karen Pedrazzi, Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Kristian Gregerson
John Chow
Will Rohde
Sohee Moon
Christopher Duisberg
Edgar Papazian

Education Center Interiors 5th Floor:
Christoff: Finio Architecture
Martin Finio and Taryn Christoff, Principals




Executive Structural Engineer:
Simpson Gumperts & Heger Inc., New York City
James C. Parker, Principal
Kevin Poulin, Project Engineer
Fillipo Masetti

Structural Engineer:
Guy Nordenson and Associates, New York City
Guy Nordenson, Principal
Brett Schneider, Project Engineer
SAPS – Sasaki and Partners (competition)

Mechanical/Hvac Engineer:
Raymond Quinn, Principal
Camille Allocca


Fire Protection:
Victor Gomez

Electrical Systems:
Elizabeth Perez, Swan Foo

Code Consultant:
Jerome S. Gillman Consulting Architect, P.C.
Jerome Gillman,
Larry Gillman, Orlando Diaz, Jozef Vasko

Facade Consultants:
Simpson Gumperts & Heger Inc., New York City
James C. Parker, Principal
Sean O’Brien

Vertical Engineering:
Jenkins & Huntington, Inc.
Transportation Kevin Huntington, President
Tom Terhaar

Audio/ Visual And I.T. Consultant:
Peter Berry
Raj Patel, Chris Taylor, Adriana Sangeorzan

Security Consultant:
Ducibella Venter & Santore
Philip Santore, Principal
Brian Coulombe

Lighting Consultant:
Tillotson Design
Suzan Tillotson, Principal
David Buyra

Food Facilities Consultant:
Post & Grossbard
Henry Grossbard, Principal
Cody Hicks

Waterproofing/ Roofing Consultant:
Henshell & Buccellato
Justin Henshell
Paul Buccellato

Fire Alarm Consultant:
Acotech Services
Sid Aconsky

Geotechnical Engineer:
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Brian Ladd

Concrete Consultant:
Alan Bouknight

Cost Estimators:
Stuart-Lynn Company, Inc.
Breck Perkins, Principal


Project Management:
Plaza Construction Corporation, New York City
Richard Wood, President
Christopher Mills, John Nowak Sr.

Construction Management:
Sciame, New York City
Frank J. Sciame, Principal

Construction Team: Michael Porcelli, Mark Pankoff, Susan Ospina, Lou Silbert, Kyle Rolf, Anthony Turturro, Rich Bergen, Andrew Sciame, Charles Hsu, Ralph Thompson, Darrin McIntyre, Adam Giusti

Cord Contracting Company. Inc., NY

Structural steel stud framing: Marino Ware

Gypsum sheathing: DensGlass Gold, Georgia Pacific

Waterproofing: Henry Air-Block, Henry Company


Steel structure with concrete slab on composite steel deck. Concrete foundation walls and mat foundation.

Exterior Materials:
Expanded aluminum mesh (anodized) mounted with stainless steel clips on painted extruded aluminum liner panel, Structural stud exterior wall; Glass windows in painted aluminum frames;
Low iron glass storefront with anodized aluminum mullion system; Glass fritted skylights covered with aluminum grating

Interior Finishes:
Public Areas: Polished concrete floors, drywall, metal mesh ceilings

Galleries: Polished concrete floors, drywall, exposed ceilings

Offices: Carpeted floors, drywall, drywall Ceilings

Multi-purpose Room 7th floor: Poured epoxy floor, low iron glass storefront windows wrapping space to terrace, drywall, acoustical plaster Ceiling

Façade Cladding:
Contractor: McGrath Inc., Minneapolis, USA

Expanded aluminum mesh with anodized finish (custom):
Expanded Metal Company, UK

Stainless steel mesh clips (custom): James & Taylor, UK

Mesh and clip engineering / procurement: James & Taylor, UK

Extruded aluminum liner panel (custom): McGrath Inc.

Contractor: Competition Architectural Metals Inc., NY

Aluminum frame windows: Wausau Windows
Glass: Viracon

Contractor: Competition Architectural Metals Inc., NY

Curtain Wall:
Aluminum curtainwall mullion: US Aluminum

Glass: Starphire

Glass door pivot hardware: Rixson

Glass door handles: C.R. Laurence Co.

Loading dock doors (custom): Competition Architectural Metals Inc.

Interior Wall:
Contractor: Cord Contracting Company. Inc., NY

Gypsum board: USG

Stud framing: Marino Ware

Paint: Sherwin Williams

Contractor: Atlantech

Skylight system: Supersky

Glass: Solarban, PPG

Contractor: Dooley Electric, NY

Fluorescent lighting: Bartco Lighting

Gallery busway lighting: LSI

Downlights: Lucifer Lighting Company

Custom Millwork:
Miller Blaker Inc., NY
Lobby, Café
Museum Store


Epoxy Floor 7th Floor:
Tennant Flooring

Glass Tiles: Bathrooms

Acoustical Plaster Ceiling 7th Floor:
Star-Silent, Pyrok

Faucets: Vola

Toilets/urinals: Toto

Doors/Frames: Michbi Doors Inc., NY

Written by Gregory Brooks

February 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

MORE ABOUT: Synagogue – Munich, Germany

The Synagogue in Munich, built in 2007, features a special cube shaped atrium rising out of the sanctuary (figure 1). The atrium is a delicate combination of a steel cage structure supporting aluminum and glass, shrouded in a bronze mesh which helps filter the light coming in. To understand the details of the central atrium it helps to appreciate the symbolism and cultural significane behing it. The cube which rests atop the stone structure below it is is structural independent and sits on its 4 corners. With its self supporting structure, the cube is reminiscent the Temple of Soloman with its mobile, tabernacle tent.

Figure 1

In addition, the structure which is composed of tessalating steel triangles conveniently creates the image of the six-pointed star of david repeating on its facade (figure 2).

Figure 2

A more suble feature of symbolic significants is the use of 3 different metals to construct cube (Figure 3: Roof and Wall Contruction) The way the three metals interact with each other and the environment creates a dynamic similar to the story of conflicts  between various people of Europe. The steel structure attaches to the aluminum which holds the glass envelope. and also stainless steel posts which support the bronze skin. All three of these metals have the potencial to corrode each other over a long period of time if not in proper contact.

The structural independence of the cube atrium allows for a all four sides of it to be open so that worship can be practiced from three of those sides. This independence is also utilized to allow a sky light on the side of the sanctuary where the choir performs (Figure 4)

( Figure 4)


Written by Chris Reynolds

January 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

MORE ABOUT: Kielder Observatory- Northumberland, United Kingdom

Kielder Observatory is stationed in Kielder Forest, in what could be the darkest, least light-polluted location in all of England. Designed by Charles Barclay Architects, here the observatory can view the sky in an unadulterated view, free of the distraction of a functioning city. The structure was created with the sole intent of providing an unparalleled sky viewing expierence, boasting two powers of telescopes as well as an observation deck which allows for casual viewing and private telescopes. Two freely rotating turrets house the  telescopes and provide an uninturrupted view of the sky at inclinations as low as 5 degrees. The equiptment is powered by a 2.5-kW wind turbine, which is also insured by photovoltaic panels. The project manager for the observatory was Simon Pepper, while the structural engineering was headed by Michael Hadi Associates.

The structure of the Kielder Observatory is soley dedicated to the telescopes views and operations. A basic rectangular shape and muted wooden exterior masks the technology at work inside, where the central turrent controlling the more powerful telescope is controlled by computer in the adjoining space. The second telescope can be operated manually via a circular ramp which moves up the entirety of the tower. These towers are seperated from the rest of the structure via steel piers, which allow for the towers to rotate on top of the rest of the building freely. Hinged doors swing open on top of the towers when viewing through the telescope. The entire structure is diagonally braced by a number of steel tie rods between the piers supporting the building.

Almost the entire building is constructed out of various woods. The wall’s exteriors are made up of horizontal larch cladding on the lower portions, with vertical battens on the upper sections. Within this outermost layer is a small 25mm ventilated cavity, which acts as another layer of insulation as well as a moisture deterrent. Due to the proximity to a local river, the structure will be constantly bombarded by water by the sprays and inherent humidity of a riverside location. And since the exterior is in no way waterproofed or sealed, this cavity allows for any moisture that builds up to simply fall through the bottom of the wall, encouraged by the vapor barrier adjacent to the cavity. Waterproof plywood and 125 mm of thermal insulation make up the rest of the wall, which is fitted with a veneered plywood interior.

The roof continues the primary use of wood for construction, with the topmost layer 20 mm of asphalt roofing. The second layer of 90 mm of polyurethane rigid-foam thermal insulation is followed by a vapor barrier on top of waterproof plywood. The roof is then supported by 50/250 mm softwood joists, while the interior is once again finished with 12 mm veneered plywood. The roof also features a skylight of double glazed, toughed glass which allows for easy viewing of the sky’s conditions.

All pictures and relative information was found in Detail Magazine, 2008, Issue # 12.

Written by Will Clinton

January 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized