Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pediatric Urgent Care Proposal

By Meghan Shanahan

Welcome back! We just had fall break at SIU but I wish I could say I enjoyed it. I was not able to enjoy break because this week is midterm week in studio, so all of fall break when the rest of SIU were relaxing architecture graduate school was preparing! So Wednesday and Friday of this week are for presenting. My group presented this week; I am lucky to have a hard working and very collaborative group so we really had a good presentation. But I am also very glad to say its over and continue to design my residential buildings for the site. This week we also created a poster that helped explain what we are working on for our thesis. I am going to be working on a Pediatric Urgent Care Center in Chicago. The image attached explains that. It has defiantly been a long week and I cannot wait till Friday to get some well-deserved sleep! In Carbondale all the students are preparing because this weekend is Carbondale’s unofficial Halloween! The next two weekends here will defiantly be very interesting. But I have to say overall I have really been enjoying Carbondale. It puts me out of my comfort zone of Chicago and into a rural area where life is defiantly different. I also do have to admit I miss Chicago very much. It is weird not being able to just hope on the L train to go somewhere really fast. I also really miss my family but hopefully I will be able to go home soon and see them. Thanks for reading , see you in two weeks.

Thesis [Poster & Project Description]

By Sean Williamson

This is the poster representing my thesis project I will be developing throughout my time here at SIU. The poster contains an abstract image of a hurricane with the city of Miami’s skyline.

I have many ideas for the actual building design itself. I decided to develop this building in an area surrounded by high-rise structures because that is the building type I would like to design. There is two building forms I am leaning towards.

The first form is a single tower design. This single tower would contain commercial retail along the 1st level, with a parking garage located from the 2nd through the 5th level. The footprint of the 1st-5th level would be larger than the footprint of the actual building, allowing for a community space on top of the parking garage for the residents of the tower to use.

The second building would be a two tower design. Again, with commercial located on the 1st level, with parking located on the 2nd through 5th floor. The building form would also contain a community space on top of the parking garage for residents of the two towers to use.

This community area mentioned within the two building forms provides an area for the residents of the tower[s] that they can call their own. This area would most likely contain a pool, along with a green area, and various other amenities for the residents to take advantage of.

Regardless of which building form I chose, the views from this structure will be breathtaking. Orientating views towards the views of the ocean will be a key concept in driving decisions, along with optimal and passive & solar design strategies.


By Robert Musial

Two years ago I signed up for the externship program through the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association. In order to sign up for the externship program you had to be a third year in your program, have a 2.75 G.P.A., and an adequate resume. Which follows up with an interview with one of the faculty members and then being placed with an externship over spring break. With that being said, I had to accomplish a lot of things that I had never done before. For example, I had to write a resume for the first time, which was quite difficult for me. When you start a resume with no professional experience in the architecture field and I also wanted to make my resume a bit more artistry than your typical business resume that is made in Microsoft Word with Times New Roman point 12 font.  Next, was my first formal interview. I had learned a lot just from that interview and I am thankful for it because now I enjoy interviews rather than being nervous and stressed out about them. One thing I have learned is that going into an interview you cannot go in with a humble mind set. You will have to talk yourself up which I was not very used to. I still remember the first question, “tell me a bit about yourself?” and I have learned that it didn’t have to be an autobiography about you, but rather what are you currently doing and something interesting that you have done in the past year that is related to the professional world. Lastly, was my first ever externship. I was placed in an externship with Legat Architects at their Oakbrook, IL office. At my externship I had done actual work rather than just job shadow, make coffee, and make copies. The first project I worked on was taking an AutoCAD plan of a jewelry store and making a 3D Revit file.  The next project I had was to make a 3D Sketchup file of Ohio University’s new library for an interior design project. This was the first time I was tested because they needed the model done in the next couple hours and I got show that I was capable of the job. The last task was going on a job visit. I went on a job visit to the College of DuPage recreation center. They were doing renovation work on the indoor pool and the gymnasium along with some other tasks. I got to see how a construction meeting was run and I got to see how the architect inspected the site after the meeting. After my externship I had ask if they had any positions open for summer interns. That summer I had my first internship at Legat Architects. I am very grateful for Legat Architects and the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association for allowing me to take advantage of this opportunity and it has help to blossom me to the architectural student I am today.  

Proposing A New Stadium

By Patrick Londrigan

Before designing a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams I need to gain ideas and further ones knowledge of stadium design one has to research and accomplish successful case studies.  For the next few blog post’s I will be researching other professional football venues, to find out what works and doesn’t work for them.

Levi’s Stadium is the newest stadium to the NFL world. Its home to the San Francisco 49ers and opened its doors to the public at the start of this season, August 2014.  Levis’ Stadium was designed by HNTB and is predominantly open and airy, taking advantage of its location and the Silicon Valley climate.  The stadium was also designed to be environmentally friendly, generating a lot of great ideas to be taken away from this project.
The stadium will be the first United States professional football stadium to receive LEED Gold certification.  Inside, between the 49ers Museum and the Team Store, visitors and guest are able to view a live dashboard display that features the current energy measurements, water and air monitors, and other dynamic green features as the building operates daily.
To achieve LEED Gold certification you are required to hit 39 points.  As of February 2014, Levi’s Stadium had earned 44 points granting them their Gold certification.  To lower greenhouse gases, the stadium is located on a sustainable site with accessible public transportation and bike paths.  Also is will self-consume PV-electricity generated from its three NRG Energy solar paneled pedestrian bridges and its one solar paneled roof deck, the NRG Solar Terrace.  In the Citrix Owners Suites you will find that 100% of the wood used is reclaimed wood from a local airplane hangar.  The stadium is using recycled and reclaimed building products where it is possible, also adding a 27,000 square foot “Green Roof” on top of its suite tower.  Then the stadium will use reclaimed water for both potable and non-potable uses such as the playing field irrigation water.  Finally the stadium’s concessionaire will be working with local suppliers to fulfill its farm-to-table menus, and composting and recycling to the greatest extent possible.  Levi’s Stadium went the extra mile for their visitors and guest, setting the bar for great venues to come. 

Low-Rise High-Density Urban Community

By Brittney Mount

Over the last few months I have had it set in my mind that I would be spending the next two semesters designing a hotel casino as a part of my thesis proposal. However, when it came down to the purpose of the design, it hit me that what I was trying to do was not enough. I decided I wanted to take this opportunity to study a topic that has actual relevance in the world of architecture. I have opted to research the effects of a low-rise high-density community within a city. After referencing a few pieces of literature on the subject of residential issues, I found the same topics being repeated:  the suburban sprawl, increase in pollution, and the comparison of the United States’ energy consumption with other countries.
With this research I came across the concept of high-density living as a solution. The suburban sprawl is the migration of city residents from the urban lifestyle to the single family housing suburban lifestyle. The issues with the suburbs have really built up. One of the big issues is the move away from the city now requires people to drive their cars to work, wasting money, time, and adding air pollution. The second issue is the isolation that comes with the sprawl. The sprawl does not just reference the leaving of the city life, the divisions of houses is a huge waste in land, and typically requires the destruction of habitat. This aspect also affects the social lives of people living in a suburbia, being so spread apart, requiring a lot of travel time to anywhere they need to go, the boundary of a person’s yard keeping people away. We need to burst the suburban bubble and bring people back to the city.
Therefore, my proposal for the low-rise high density residential community will aim to promote a different style of living compared to both suburban and urban lifestyles. When people think of cities they think skyscraper so I wanted to study the effects of low-rise in the urban setting as an attempt to create a suburban feel. I plan to reference other countries and their cities residential solutions because the fact is we are growing in population and we have spread far enough. The living spaces created will be smaller than what the U.S. resident is used to making them more efficient in spacial aspects and environmental.
Below is my thesis proposal poster from my Architecture Research Methods course.

The diagram to the right is meant to simply represent the benefits of bringing a high density community into a city: bringing people back together (density), having a shorter commute to work/not having to drive (health/sustainability), and giving the city an income (economy).
I plan to begin my research with the comparison of the urban life fifty years ago in the U.S. and other countries to today.

An Excerpt From Karla Britton

By Michael Young

 The influence of regionalism and topography has a large impact on todays’ architecture. The article A Regionalist Panorama for Architecture and Beyond by Karla Britton reviews Liane Lefaivre and Alexander Tzonis’ book Architecture of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization. Many comparisons are made in this article to Kenneth Frampton’s Six Points for Architecture of Resistance.
The question we are all wondering is what social and environmental challenges do we face to help architecture preserve cultural identities in a changing world. An essay by Paul Ricoeur, Universal Civilization and National Cultures, which was published in 1955 foreshadows to what we are experiencing today. He explains that humankind is close to becoming a single world civilization due in large part to immense progress and an overwhelming challenge to accept cultural heritage to a globalizing world.
In the book by Lefaivre and Tzonis’ they touched on how to fight the “flattening of the world’s natural and cultural diversity.” The book explains how regionalism is not only a concept but has turned into a worldview and architectural movement that opposes global forces. I feel there is a strong relation between these points and the six points by Kenneth Frampton. There use to be a regionally based allegiance to the landscape and topography but throughout globalization and history we have lost those characteristics. As  Britton explains, globalization has transformed the natural barriers of the world into a “flat world.”  Regionalism however, “supports the singularity, autonomy and distinct identity of regions, enhancing differences between them, nurturing diversity, and contributing to a world of peaks and valleys.” I agree we have strayed away from our cultural diversity. Everyone is conforming to the modern development of freestanding high-rises and freeways. For example, we are building 100-story all glass skyscrapers out in the middle of the desert because technology and globalization has forced us down that path.  
As Architects we need to get back using the cultural benefits and topography to generate buildings that can only be seen in that area of the world. That’s what makes for great architecture. One main reason people travel the world is to admire the architecture and interact with other societies. But soon, if we conform to globalization, there will be no need to explore the world because everything will become similar. Then as architects we know we are not doing our job correctly.

Frampton, K. Towards a Critical Regionalism. Six Points for an Architecture of Resistence, 18, 29.
 Karla Britton, A Regionalist Panorama for Architecture and Beyond. 1-4

My Digitally Fabricated World

Issue 4- The 3D Printed Canal House

By Donald Olsen

In the last year there has been much to do about the possibilities that 3D printing could bring to both the building/ designing profession. Most people don’t hold the idea of the 3D printed house in much high regard (especially those in the building industry). For most people there was the argument of whether it was even possible to design and 3D print an entire house in a relatively decent time line. Most of these worries were due to the size of printer’s available right now and their limitations. To fit into the same suit as some of my previous posted people breaking ground into new territory within the 3D printed realm, Dus Architects out of Amsterdam went and designed their own 3d printer. This massive machine can be loaded on a semi and be dropped off at any site to begin 3D printing elements of a house or structure. Dus Architects is currently embarking on what looks like a fruitful endeavor, they are attempting to 3d Print the first canal house in Amsterdam. The building is still under construction but strives to test the waters of the 3D printed house. They have said that they aren’t trying to create a fully functional home but are more making an attempt to test material longevity and structural capabilities. The Canal house is being printed out of PLA plastic.
The pieces are design to clip together like large LEGO pieces, and the void spaces within the blocks will later be filled with a spray foam for insulation purposes. There are pieces, both exterior and exterior, that are designed to accommodate things like plumbing, wiring, and other building elements within in most homes. Again these things are the true purpose of this project, to test the capabilities of the predesign, testing the need for onsite changes, and the ease in which all these systems can be added to the printed structure.  If the Canal House building works in terms of structural stability and materiality, they will also succeed in other ways. All the interior walls will be clipped in a way that they can be easily removed and the entire house can be disassembled and completely relocated without much expected issues. They will have created the first 3D printed home with integrated amenities. As of right now there are other companies developing 3D printed homes. The one making major news these days is a Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering that was able to create ten 3D printed structures in one day at the cost of $5,000 each.

The 3D printer that WinSun has developed uses a concrete mixture as its medium. Despite these house probably already having some intrinsic materiality perks they are very simple structures that really only consist of two walls, a floor, and a roof made of concrete, and two window walls which would include the doors. WinSun has also said that they are hoping that these could be a start to larger structures even skyscrapers, which I’m sure eventually could be possible, but as of now they are still fairly simple buildings that have no plumbing, or power.  There are all in all great value in both projects, one offers opportunities at future large structures, the other offers possibilities at a smaller scale. I think at this point its still early in the 3D structures game but there are great strides being made towards open source homes. For a moment, imagine a world where you can go to a hardware store conglomerate and rent two large printers, have them dropped off at your plot of land, and plug in a design that you found online of a home you liked. There would be nothing left to do, but make sure the machines ran without issue. Once finished either assemble or  call out trades to add your plumbing, insulation, and wiring. It’s crazy to think that this could be a future we are slowly headed towards. Of course you need to crawl before you can run, but I will for sure enjoy watching the progress. Next time I will bring together what I’ve talked about in the previous issues and how they all tie together with the thesis I’m proposing to do here at SIU. Till next time keep fabricating.      

Canal House Information and Pictures credit:
WinSun Information Pictures Credit: