Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tut’s Advice I | “I architecture.”

By Stephen Tutka

We all know architecture is about time management. For instance, this blog was a little tardy. Life catches up to people pretty quick and it likes to stack like Rubbermaid containers, just one thing inside of the next. This doesn’t change in the classroom or in an office.
Architecture is always moving forward. Architecture is, in itself, a process and it is always building upon itself. As I have gone through architecture school I have learned more and more about what exactly an architect does… and truthfully, the only way I can describe it is that they architecture. Architecture is full of all kinds of different fields and there are so many jobs that make up a firm and so many more that apply to the field of architecture. You experience architecture every day of your life whether you think you do or not. Everything from structure, materials, context, scale, program, site, presentation, representation, sensation, and composition can have an impact on a design decision.
Your education is architecture too, starting with a foundation and working toward a complete understanding of everything you have learned. When I look back at my undergrad I have a better understanding of what I learned from my projects than I did when I was doing them. Every opportunity was a learning opportunity. Everything has built up to preparing me for where I am now and where I am headed. And when people ask me what I go to school for or what I do I look at them and I say, “I architecture.”

Wait. I can design a casino?!

By: Brittney Mount

The main reason I chose to attend SIUC’s architecture graduate program was to have the opportunity to do a design thesis of my choosing. However when it came down to actually choosing, I quickly realized how difficult it was to choose a single topic for nine whole months. How is it that when the opportunities are endless we struggle to even come up with one topic to cover? The only advice I have received about surviving a graduate thesis is to choose something you love. But what do I love? Oh I know, gambling. A casino! Within minutes I realized it might be slightly difficult to convince my professors that designing a casino could actually be a design thesis. A few minutes later it struck me, casinos are designed to manipulate the gamblers, as an avid gambler I am aware of a few of the tactics that are typically used in all casinos. To name a few: the absence of windows (to cause the gambler to lose their sense of time and also due to the glare on the playing cards), very cold room temperature (to keep the gambler awake and avoid heat discomfort), and extreme noises (also to keep the gambler awake and to give off the sense that other gamblers are winning a whole bunch). I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to look into the behind the scenes of my home away from home, well second home away from home. I suppose good old Quigley would come in first, I mean I have been here for 24 hours straight at this very moment. Anyways. I will be looking into the design tactics stated previously and hope to create some design alternatives that will make for a more sustainable and comfortable casino, while still maintaining those nasty, but sometimes great outcomes from playing a few too many hands of blackjack.
Oh. And I’ll also be placing the hotel casino on a vacant, money pit lot in Chicago. That part’s not nearly as flashy, but I suppose still important. I’ll be researching how to develop a vacant inner city lot in a way that will revitalize the surrounding community with the emphasis on the addition of the casino, along with park space and residential developments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ARC 551 Design Studio| Field Trip Part Two

By Robert Musial

Back from the break…
On Friday, August 29th we had a firm tour at TVS Design.  TVS Design does a lot of work in the hospitality, convention centers, cultural arts, and commercial and corporate office market. To continue they had presented us with their latest work. One of the project that was unique, was a house for the prince and extended family. The house was actually a 35 story building with three penthouse. They have said that they treated the program space as a hotel while still trying to making that comfortable home feeling. Another interesting project that they were currently working in the office was the new Atlanta Stadium. The retractable roof of the new stadium was one of a kind. The retractable roof closed like a camera lens, when the lens closes while taking a photo. Lastly, the Atlanta office actually own a couple maker bots, 3D printers. It was remarkable to actually see an office that is starting to use 3D printer directly in the office rather than having them 3D models out sourced.
Next, we have head over to SouthFace. SouthFace is a building that promotes sustainability to the general public. The building has a commercial aspect and residential aspect. Each aspect of the building indefinites the sustainable products used in the building. On the commercial roof they had a green roof with a PV array canopy that was donated from a BP gas station. I have included a picture of the green roof along with the Atlanta city sky line. The SouthFace reminders me very much of the Chicago Center for Green Technology which also promotes sustainability to the general public.
On Saturday, August 30th, we have headed to Centennial Olympic Park. The Centennial Olympic Park is a public parked located in downtown Atlanta. The downtown park was created because of the 1996 Summer Olympics Games. Before the Olympic Games the park was a rundown warehouse district. Throughout the park there are brick pavers that have the name of all people that donated to the 1996 Summer Olympics Games. I believe they have made a great buffer zone from the city to actual park. The buffer zones consisted of organized trees, bushes, and water features. I have include a picture of Centennial Olympic Park with the Atlanta Skyline in the background.
While being at park we have noticed that there was a lot of people wear Alabama and West Virginia jerseys. We found out later that day that Alabama was playing West Virginia at the Georgia Dome. We were able to scout tickets for pretty cheap and ended up going to the game. The game ended with Alabama winning 33-23 and there was over 70,000 people attending the game. I have also included pictures from the game.
Sunday, August 31st was our last day in Atlanta. That morning we had went on a class walking tour leaded by Professor Gonzalez and McDonald. On the walking tour we have learned how Atlanta became a city, the convention city.  We spoke on how the hotels and parking garages work and didn’t work for the city. We had also explored different squares and buildings. I have also include a picture from the tour as well. Lastly we have arrival to Carbondale safely with no car trouble this time around. 

Historical city: Bhaktapur – Part I

By Sabin Chakradhar

Bhaktapur is one of the oldest and well preserved cities of Nepal and also one of the most beautiful and mystical. As I have spent more than half of my life in this city, I decided to give you a glimpse of the city and city dwellers in this blog. Bhaktapur city is based on the grid iron pattern with series of row housings and mostly narrow streets: so narrow that the single car can hardly pass through. Each of these narrow streets lead to an open courtyard where you can see people engaged in their daily activities like drying the rice, making pottery, carving the wooden windows etc. ‘Newars’ the natives of the city are very creative people, their skill in wood carving and pottery are famous throughout the country (and yes I am a ‘Newar’ too). Moreover, the traditional Newari architecture has some unique styles and identity which is able to attract the tourists from all around the world. Besides the famous ‘Nyatapola temple’ and ‘Pachpanna jhyale durbar’ (55-windowed palace), city possess the rich culture, traditional rituals and customs, textures and so much more that you will just fall in love at first sight.
Few decades back, along with other historic cities, Bhaktapur was losing its historic fabric due to urban expansion and modernization. But with the help of German organization and the local municipality, the city went through major conservational interventions and was able to revive its values once again. Currently, the city has a separate byelaws and building codes that encourages the locals towards the conservation of the old structures as well as to consider the architectural languages when the build the new structures.
In next blog, I will explain some more about the public places, durbar squares and the temples of the city. Stay tuned.

Image 1: Nyatapola temple and square

Image 2: Bhaktapur durbar square and 55 window palace
Image 3: typical street of Bhaktapur with the curio shops

Thesis Background

By Sean Williamson

For my second blog, I will explain the thesis I will be proposing at the end of my
Master’s degree here at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The topic of natural disasters was something I became interested in within my first summer semester here in the graduate program. We were asked to design an Open-Air museum and select a certain building type to serve as exhibits within the museum. As a result, I decided to explore the term natural disaster resistance within architecture.

Within the year 2012, four hurricanes made contact with American soil (see figure 2). Hurricane Sandy, one of these four hurricanes, was responsible for more than 50 billion dollars in damage and took more than 253 lives (accuweather). Research within this field of hurricane resistance within the United States is vital in order to reduce the damage felt by hurricanes to the community (see figure 1). My proposed thesis will incorporate the design of a mixed-use structure with a LEED building rating that is resistant to hurricanes.

The design techniques used within this hurricane resistant mixed-use structure could be taken and manipulated to be used in different areas of the world that are also affected by hurricanes or cyclones. There are multiple factors included when designed a hurricane resistant structure. High wind speeds, flooding, and flying debris are all factors that need to be taken into account when designing against hurricane resistance. Incorporating resistance to these factors, would, in return, decrease both the fatalities and damage costs dealt by hurricanes, along with provide a sustainable piece of architecture. 

Campus Lake

By Michael Young

 I decided to do a small study here at SIU on Campus Lake and how it is utilized. While conducting my research I first began gathering information about Campus Lake through students and facility. I quickly came to the conclusion that the recreation pier at Campus Lake was not a very popular area amongst other students. A common answer I got was, “There is a pier or boat dock at Campus Lake?” This next stat was very shocking to me, I began to look back at my at the results and answers, and found out not even 15 of the 50 people I asked even knew there was a recreation pier located out there.
The most appealing features I found that were used by students the most were the pavilion and fishing pier. The few people, who utilized Campus Lake, explained they would go out there to eat lunch, do homework at the pavilion, or just enjoy the nice Carbondale weather.  Others told me they enjoy fishing out there because there’s a pier, which allows them to reach, further into the middle of the lake. Another common answer I received was people would utilize the kayak or canoe rentals on Campus Lake if the water was not filled with so much bacteria. One of the most used features out at Campus Lake is the walking trail the surrounds the lake. Many students and teachers use the trail to get exercise and fresh air.
Many of the people that I have interviewed said somewhat of the same thing; the place is pretty run down. Other comments I got were that many people just don’t think about it or just forget its there. Some improvements at the pier and pavilion could add different activities, such as the renting of small jet boats or something smaller than a jet ski to create an attraction for all ages and genders. The first step to cleaning up Campus Lake is finding a way to purify the water. If I were to design the spaces out there I would propose a face-lift to the existing pavilion. By rehabbing the pavilion and creating more activities or events out at the lake will create awareness around campus. Creating something that looks appealing to students may create a buzz around the school and would make students want to come out there and check it out. I think by adding different visual elements and activities could create a very popular attraction for students and facility.

Fake or Reborn? - Atlanta Station

By Li Haoyang

Atlanta Station is located in Atlanta, Georgia. As a best practice in brownfield revitalization, Atlantic Station is exemplar of sustainable post-industrial redevelopment. The master-planned transformation of an under-utilized steel mill into a mixed-use, transit-oriented community offers a great example of brownfield redevelopment to manage growth sustainably.
Atlanta Station is a “City” built on the top of three-level high garage. The garage is not only garage, but also the foundation. The area is 138 acres. By the high foundation, the material is hard to choose. The developers choose brick façade, which is lighter weight and easy to make a different look of surface, to mimic the real brick. And use ton of expansion joints to connect the different parts of station. Station is built on the garage. The height of soil have limited by the floor layer. Leading to the trees could not have a high type.

The station has two main areas. One is shopping area, anther is residential area. Obviously, it is very successful as a shopping center. It has well known stores, have enough cheap parking space. People like to shop here. They can get the things they want. But talk about the live environment here it has lots of discussion. The wall is fake, the “ground” is fake, and if people need tall trees, they should also fake. If I live there I will also worried about maybe some day the building will fall off to the ground.
Maybe the design makes people feel they live in a fake city. But it is still a try to decrease the density problem of the big city. We do not have enough space on the ground, so we need to use underground and upper level. If it not comfortable to make wall mimic the brick, how about use a new style about the surface? As the result, the shopping mall has become a well-known place in Atlanta. Make a abandoned factory become a center of a area

The End of a Beginning

By Anthony Michael

Hey guys I am sure that you have been anxious to hear from me since the last time that I have posted on here.  These last few weeks have been a blur.  School has really started to pick up between all the different classes, projects, and work there has hardly been any amount of time to think.
            I guess I will start by letting you know what is going on in my studio class.  During these first few weeks we have been doing research on Rio da Janeiro.  During the course of the semester I will be working on a master plan for the post Olympic Games.  The problems that I am trying to answer are combining residential living spaces within a touristy area, and commercial areas that can serve both the public and the residents of the site. This has proven to be a challenge so far and I assume that it will continue to be as the culture and area are completely different from anything that I have ever experienced thus far. 
            In my favorite class Systems and Environments we are learning how to apply building codes to the actual structures that I am going to be designing.  Problems that are presented to me are parking amounts per building user, how tall can the building be built according to how big the site is and what kind of building typology it is.  Learning how to translate and decipher these types of codes and applying them to a conceptual and eventually a final design is what I believe the biggest take away from this class will be.
            The other major class I am enrolled in is called Research Methods.  This class is educating us on how to start researching our thesis topic as well as how to begin writing and describing the problem that we are trying to solve throughout the next year. 
            I hope to keep you posted as to what is going on throughout the year.  I will try and fill you in on things other than school.  Well that is if I ever make it out of studio.  I hope you have fun reading what not just me but all my classmates as well are up to throughout the year.
            Thanks for tuning in.  

Olympic Legacy Park 2016

By Patrick Londrigan

Currently in our second semester, of the Masters in Architecture program at SIU, we are working on a new addition to the 2016 Olympic Legacy Park in Rio de Janeiro.  The park is currently designed but we are changing 37 acres to the most southern tip of the existing peninsula. We are currently finishing up the research portion of the project and starting to move on to the master planning of the site.
Our master plan is a major portion of the project. It consists of many square meters of different types of buildings to be included in the plan.  Those buildings needing to be included are: multiple residential units, a hotel, child care, health clinic, a school, multiple small retail and restaurant spaces, a community recreation center, and a police substation.  Also to be included will be multiple parks and the correct amount of parking.  We will be working in groups to create the most efficient layout of these buildings and to design the overall best master plan.
The individual portion of the project is to design one of two types of buildings: a hotel of one of three types a residential buildings, a high rise, garden apartments, or live work apartments.  Having never designed either of these types of buildings in any of my past studios I was having a hard time trying to decide which building I wanted to design.  Looking to my future, I believe that I would enjoy designing live work apartment buildings.  The idea of designing a building where you can do everything in one place seems to be the future of our society in larger urban areas.  They are efficient and a space saver in a larger cities.
The idea for the apartment at this time will be a live work apartment complex.  Included will be a parking garage at the base of the building, from there will be the retail area for restaurants and stores, and then above all of these spaces will be multiple housing units for residents.  Those housing units will include single room units, two-room units, and three-room units, with the possibility of a four-room unit for larger housing.  Keeping green design in mind I would also like to include a green roof a top of the building.  The roof will be accessible to all of its occupants, so they can get outside and enjoy the Brazil weather.

My Digitally Fabricated World

By Don Olsen

Issue 2- The Solar Sinter 

While exploring the digitally fabricated world news I stumbled upon the work of Markus Kayser, an industrial designer from Germany. Kayser gained his masters in product design from the Royal College of Art in London in 2011. As part of his graduate studies he visited Egypt with one of his first machines in a briefcase. The first of his creations was something he’s called a “Solar Cutter”, essentially a solar laser cutter, designed to use a series of ball lenses to focus the suns light while using a CAM driven base to cut pre- designed objects. This was a very simple machine designed to cut ¼” plywood and paper cardstock.

While spending time in the Egyptian desert working out his Solar Cutter, Kayser started to contemplate the other opportunities that the desert provided. The two things that the desert offered in droves were heavy sunlight and endless amounts of silica in the form of sand.  Kayser immediately began working on the development of what he called the “Solar Sinter”. The Solar Sinter is a machine that fully utilizes the offerings of any desert. Similar to the Solar Sinter solar panels are responsible for powering all the CAM moving parts on the machine however  it uses a series of Fresnel lenses to focus the sunlight to super  heat the sand into glass. Unlike most 3D printers the printed material ,in this case the sand, needs to be added on top of the previous layers before moving onto the next layer. in the image below you can see Markus with a trowel  of sorts that will be used  to smooth the sand down to a uniformed layer. These days Kayser is working with Norman Foster Architects who are developing a way to turn his Solar Sinter into a moon dust printer. Their ultimate goal is to launch a rocket to the moon housing their  moon printing machine. They will then use the printer to create an inhabitable moon base. The intention of this "moon base" is to use it as a model to be applied to other planets and moons as a means of exploration of our solar system.  The technology being used here is very simple and yet the possibilities of application are seemingly endless

The Blog

By Drew  Baldwin

I will take some time this week to delve into one of my greatest passions/ hobbies outside of architecture, cars/car culture. From the time I could remember, I have always loved looking at cars and listening to how they sound as they would pass by. As a kid, I really knew nothing about them outside of the fact that I thought they generally looked pretty cool. My passion really started to take off in my high school years; the time when teenagers start driving and actually begin having different experiences with cars. Around this time is when I began working on the car my parents were going to give me once I started driving, a 1987 El Camino. It was in rough shape, but I knew I could make it a pretty nice car with a little TLC. Through my high school years I worked on several cars performing a laundry list of services. If there was ever anything I didn’t know, I would always want to read on it so the next time an issue would come up, I would know how to approach it properly. My group of friends were also all into cars and car culture, so often times we would sit around just talking about anything cars, sometimes for hours on end; talking about what we knew, learning things from each other. For just sitting around talking, it was often a productive time.  We often attended car shows/meets which were great places to get out and see some really nice pieces of machinery/art and, some that weren’t so great. Through everything I saw and did, participated in, or watched I grew to have the utmost respect for anyone who deals with cars for a living, in any way shape or form.
In a way, cars are like buildings, they are both systems made up of thousands of parts working together to achieve a desired look and performance all while being comfortable and accommodating for the user. Like an automobile (from what I’ve seen), there are a large number of people that don’t quite know how a building works or stays together, though it may be their daily workplace. The process of designing cars and buildings is very rigorous, often times stressful and time consuming, with a need for trials and tests of the “product” being produced, but all in the name of creating the best result possible for the client(s). Once a building is completed, people will look at it and praise it or bash it, claim it’s a piece of art or a detriment to the practice as well as industry standards keeping a watchful eye over it; the same goes for any automobile to roll off the line. Whether it rolls off the assembly lines in Detroit or out of somebody’s garage or whether it’s a high rise built in the heart of downtown Chicago or a small development in in Southern California, I can appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into both cars and architecture alike. 

Atlanta Adventures

By Meghan Shanahan

Welcome back, we are now in week five of graduate school and starting to get into the master planning part of our studio. I will talk about what is going on in studio in my next blog. I also want to thank my three newest followers my Aunt Betty, Aunt Kate and my grandma! Hope you are enjoying my blog!
            As I promised before I wanted to tell you about my trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Week two of school my studio went on a trip to Atlanta to look at their Olympic Legacy project, which is similar to what we will be designing for out Brazil legacy project. But while we were in Atlanta we saw much more then this, we also went and visited two big architectural firms, TVS, and Perkins & Will. The firm visits were amazing and we learned about the ongoing projects at the firm. We even learned about the new and upcoming Beltline. The Beltline is a 22-mile loop around the city that makes is possible for pedestrians to move around the outskirts of the city, walking, biking, rollerblading, and more. The beltline really is a magnificent way to help the city of Atlanta become more eco friendly. Across the street from Perkins & Will firm was the High Museum of Art.
The High Museum is all white building that is stands out making you wonder what is going on it. The High museum is made up of three buildings the first by Richard Meier[1], this building is paneled with white square enamel paneling. Where as the other two buildings were by Renzo Piano[2], these were covered with a white rectangular aluminum paneling that gave the building a vertical feel, where as the Meier building was more cubic feel. The Meier building also had a grand gathering space[3] with a glass ceiling that brought light from the roof to the ground level, and also let light in to that gallery spaces.

[1] Image of Richard Meier High Museum. (Image_1)

[2] Image of Renzo Piano High Museum. (Image_2)

[3] Image of Richard Meier Gathering space ceiling. (Image_3)
The Piano building has beautiful ceiling[1], when you look at the roof you see white scopes, these scopes were individually placed to catch the best north light. Overall the entire High Museum was beautiful full or art and architectural beauty.One of my other favorite things that we visited in Atlanta was the Centennial Olympic Park.[2] This gorgeous park had many interesting features, such as different monuments honoring the people who helped create, were in, or just were important people in helping the Olympics to Atlanta. We visited the park on a busy day, there was a college football game taking place later that day. It was very nice seeing the park being used to it’s fullest extent, people playing football in the fields, families having picnics, children playing in the playground, but my favorite was the Olympic ring fountain[3], which on a hot day is perfect for cooling off. I would love to be able to go back and enjoy this park longer.

Overall the trip was amazing, we had a lot of fun. Enjoyed great Brazilian food from Fogo de Chao. We got a back of the house tour in the amazing Atlanta Marriott Marquis by John Portman[4]. I defiantly felt as though the downtown Atlanta Area was more for convention goes, but I would love to explore it again. 

Remember Blogs are every two weeks, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. -Meg

Image of the Renzo Piano High Museum ceiling. (Image_4)
[1] Image of sign to Centennial Olympic Park (Image_5)
 Image of Olympic Ring Fountain (Image_6)
Image of the interior of John Portman’s Marriott Marquis (Image_7)