This fall, our research on occupant behavior and building design made the news. In 2013, after conducting spatial survey research that explored the relationship between occupant behavior and urban park design, we began working with Dr. Bon Ku, the Assistant Dean for Health and Design and Director of JeffDESIGN at Thomas Jefferson University, to determine if this type of analysis could also be applied to the field of healthcare. In September, our resulting collaborative research was covered by the Philadelphia Inquirer. “People ask me: ‘Are you just trying to make the E.R. look prettier or polished, with the walls a more soothing color?'” Dr. Ku told the paper. “No. You can design spaces to change the behaviors of people.”
Together with a team of Dr. Ku's doctors, nurses, medical students, and hospital administrators, we used spatial analytics to investigate how workspace layout affects communication and team interaction amongst nurses and doctors in the ER department. The primary goal of our research was to uncover opportunities to introduce design thinking and innovation to emergency departments.
In collaboration with Dr. Ku and JeffDESIGN's Dr. Robert Pugulsi, we developed an occupant mapping workflow for surveyors using iPads. Over the course of several weeks, a team of medical students shadowed Emergency Department nurses throughout their shifts and used the tool to log their movements, actions, interactions, and location. We then used the questionnaire results and spatial survey data to create a rich depiction of the experience, perception, and measured behavior of nurses in the hospital.
Using research that spanned two summers, our spatial analysis helped paint a picture of the many ways patients and healthcare providers inhabit Jefferson's Emergency Department, and gave us a better understanding of the relationships between hospital layout and the behavior, productivity, and delivery of care of its nurses. In particular, our surveys focused on communication between nurses and their patients, colleagues, and staff.
In designing a 10,000-square-foot addition for Pendleton West, Wellesley College's art and music facility, we wanted to highlight and reflect the building's idyllic woodland site by creating a facade that mimics the pattern and texture of tree bark. We selected board-formed concrete as the primary building material for the addition, a process that imprints the grain and texture of the wood casting forms onto the concrete. “With a lot of concrete, you can't tell how it's made,” said Tim Peters, the Associate in Charge of the project. “With board-formed concrete, the memory of the wood used in the casting remains in the finished product. That was important for this building, since we wanted it to feel more like a tree than a building, but we also wanted to reference some of the stone that's prevalent throughout Wellesley's campus.”
How will wood age over time? What might it look like in six months, a year, or even 80 years after construction? We confronted these questions while designing new residence halls for the University of Washington. During design, we developed a concept for a cedar rainscreen that complements the buildings' brick and concrete facades, pays homage to the Pacific Northwest, and remains beautiful in its unfinished state. But, before featuring this material on 215,000 square feet of building envelope, we wanted to be sure that untreated, lower-maintenance wood could weather artfully in Seattle's damp climate. “Wood ages very visibly,” researcher Efrie Escott noted. “It can turn silver and become even more beautiful over time, or it can blacken and warp.”
To better understand how the cedar rainscreen would change over time, KieranTimberlake developed a predictive modeling script that visualizes how wood ages in various locations. To do this, we gathered peer-reviewed research from laboratory weathering experiments and compiled the findings in a script that accounts for two principal factors influencing wood weathering: solar exposure and exposure to wind-driven rain. The first version of our Predictive Wood Weathering Tool included only those two variables because other factors, such as climate and airflow, were already accounted for. “There were some simplifications and assumptions that we were able to make because we knew the specific climate we were building in,” Escott said. “For example, we knew the rainscreen's exterior was likely to be saturated each day because we were building in a climate that reaches dew point every day.”
KieranTimberlake's work on Wellesley College's Pendleton West was recently featured in Architectural Record. Written by Beth Broome, the article heralds the renovation and 10,000-square-foot addition as a prominent and accessible new gateway to Wellesley's historic Academic Quad. Though surrounded by predominantly brick buildings, Broome calls out Pendleton's concrete facade as a way to “help the building assert itself as a portal through its distinctiveness while subtly nodding to the [neighboring Rudolph and Klauder-designed] buildings, with their recast and limestone copings and trims,” adding that the precast and cast-in-place concrete panels “give the exterior a rich tactility.”
This fall, the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored three KieranTimberlake projects with 2017 Design Awards.
Pendleton West at Wellesley College was named an AIA Philadelphia Honor Award winner and also awarded the AIA Pennsylvania's top prize, the Silver Medal. Comprised of a renovation and addition that consolidates Wellesley's arts program into one cohesive structure, Pendleton West helps establish the college's arts department as a prominent and unified fixture on campus. “There wasn't a moment where you didn't understand the building or the architects' intent,” said AIA Pennsylvania's Head Juror Reed Kroloff, AIA, adding that the building “communicates as a piece of architecture but communicates as an entry as well. Each time you return to it, you're going to get something new from it and it's going to continue to inform and enrich your life. That's the difference between buildings and architecture.”
Last week, Wellesley College celebrated the opening of the renovated Pendleton West building with a dedication ceremony and a series of performances. After two years of construction, the new interdisciplinary arts space reopens with an overhauled, open floor plan and a 10,000-square-foot addition that connects Pendleton West to the neighboring Jewett Art Center.
Designed as a cutting-edge contemporary arts space, both the addition and 48,000-square-foot renovation make room for Wellesley's evolving and interconnected arts curriculum, which include traditional arts, music, and digital media programs. The new Pendleton West houses a suite of flexible art making spaces including classrooms and studios alongside acoustically tuned rehearsal and performance spaces.
“The idea was to completely integrate a performative acoustical system into the architecture of the building so that you couldn't tell what was architecture and what was performance,” said Stephen Kieran.
Wellesley's week-long celebration, titled Transformations: Celebrating Pendleton West, featured a discussion with Stephen Kieran and Jesse Nicholson, landscape architect at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. The celebration also included performances from the pioneering vertical dance group BANDALOOP, the Wellesley College Chamber Singers, and the Wellesley College Theatre.
KieranTimberlake Partner and Research Director Billie Faircloth has been honored with a 2017 Women in Architecture Award from Architectural Record. The award, presented to an architect for outstanding work in “innovative design, materials or building type,” celebrates Faircloth's work in spearheading an inventive transdisciplinary approach in KieranTimberlake's Research Group and across the firm.
CANopy, an installation and app developed by KieranTimberlake's Community Involvement group, was recently unveiled at The Beneficial Bank's headquarters at 1818 Market Street in Philadelphia, where it will be on view through November 2017. The structure is designed to be assembled in various locations, expanding the idea of a food drive into an engaging, educational, and mobile piece of artwork.
The Architects Newspaper recently hosted Facades+ Philadelphia, a multi-city conference series that brings together architects, industry experts, academics, and building owners to discuss “all things building skin.” The event was co-chaired by Partner Matthew Krissel and moderated by KieranTimberlake staff Efrie Freidlander, Fátima Olivieri, and Jon McCandlish.
Last week, KieranTimberlake partnered with Metropolis Magazine to host a Think Tank discussion about new paradigms for planning and designing 21st century cities. The event, titled “Pedestrians, Bikes, and Cars: Designing a Balanced Multi-Modal 21st Century City,” was moderated by the magazine's Director of Design Innovation, Susan S. Szenasy.
Using Philadelphia as a case study, Szenasy led a panel of experts to explore how the city might re-balance its infrastructure as equitable for all modes of transportation. The panelists were KieranTimberlake partner James Timberlake, former Mayor's Office of Transportation Chief of Staff Andrew Stober, Sarah Clark Stuart, director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, safe streets advocate Dena Ferrara Driscoll, and Drexel University professor and department head Alan Greenberger.