October 20, 2014

Investigating Site Geology

The site for Pound Ridge House presented an opportunity to design a home within the rocky terrain created by glacial activity across the ages.

In 2010, a property in Pound Ridge, New York, presented a unique building site—with steep, uneven terrain defined by forest, exposed rock, and a ridge rising more than a hundred feet from the nearest road. As we began design on a home for this site, our design goals included allowing the geologic history to inform the house's conceptual design, anchoring the house to the site, and seeking out interior and exterior materials that would have contextual relevance in this rich setting. A research query was undertaken to allow us to better understand the geologic context and history. 


The town of Pound Ridge is representative of a unique and complex regional geologic history that extends back to some of the earliest rock formations on the East Coast (approximately 1 billion years ago) up to the most recent glacial event (approximately 15,000 years ago). Pound Ridge is one of the northernmost areas of the Manhattan Prong, the primary bedrock formation of Manhattan Island. As such, it contains the same granite gneiss formations that can be found in Manhattan's Central Park and throughout the larger Highlands Province region that covers parts of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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October 15, 2014

A Historic Brewery Transforms

Bottling lines of the original bottling house. An article in American Brewer magazine reported, "Line No. 1 is used for 12 ounce steinie, export and non-returnables as well as 7 ounce splits. Line No. 2 is used mainly for 32 ounce bottles though it also takes 12 ounce bottles and cans." Courtesy of the Ortlieb family

The historic building that will soon house KieranTimberlake's new architecture studio was once part of a complex of properties belonging to Ortlieb’s Brewing Company in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia.

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October 13, 2014

Datapalooza at Greenbuild 2014

Researchers Roderick Bates and Ryan Welch are heading to Greenbuild this month to take part in several events tied to the Tally application for Revit, including a special USGBC Master Series session, “Transforming Markets through Data Collaboration.” This two-hour session will celebrate innovative tools and information technologies that can accelerate market transformation and achieve impact at scale. It will feature commentary from a panel of leading data experts and a set of ten “lightning demos” featuring transformative new tools and services—including the Tally app. 
This “datapalooza” is the second of two events on data that USGBC has convened as part of its LEED, Materials, and Health Initiative. It builds on the Building Materials Data Jam held in Chicago in June in conjunction with the 2014 AIA National Convention. The Data Jam brought together representatives from 40 organizations specializing in data, tools, and services related to human health and environmental attributes of materials. The group discussed data-related challenges facing the building industry and identified opportunities to drive large-scale data transformation.  
Now, USGBC’s "Transforming Markets through Data Collaboration" session at Greenbuild will follow up on the success of the June Data Jam and celebrate the latest developments in tools and services. The industry leaders featured at this event are driving positive change in the green building industry and realizing the vision of accessible, actionable building materials data.

October 03, 2014

Architects Live: Fall Lectures in Full Swing

KieranTimberlake has a busy season of lectures and other appearances on the East Coast and overseas this fall. Matt Krissel kicked off the month of September in London as a speaker at the Big Cities, Big Ideas conference presented by the AIA Committee on Design, followed by a panel discussion by David Riz at a workshop on the Future of Design and Construction Management, and a keynote by Billie Faircloth at the Wood Urbanism conference at Harvard Graduate School of Design. 
Topics for upcoming talks run the gamut from live demonstrations of our Tally LCA application, to an education session and tour of Dilworth Park, to a "power talk" by James Timberlake at AJ Footprint Live, a conference focusing on sustainability in cities. 
Highlights include: 

  • Oct 11 - Richard Maimon, Saratoga Design Conference, AIA New York State, Keynote Address: Research Culture, Saratoga, NY
  • Oct 14 - Billie Faircloth, Reinvention 2015, Presented by Architect and Residential Architect, Washington, DC
  • Oct 23 - Roderick Bates and Jonathan Rowe, Greenbuild 2014, Autodesk Education Session, New Orleans, LA
  • Nov 13 - Marilia Rodrigues and Christopher Boskey, Design on the Delaware, Education Session: Re-visioning Infrastructure in Center City, Philadelphia, PA
  • Nov 20 - James Timberlake, Architects' Journal Footprint Live, Power Talk: refabricating Architecture, London, UK

Click here for the full list of upcoming talks.

September 30, 2014

Stone Hall Achieves LEED Platinum

The renovation work at Stone Hall updates an 80 year-old building for the 21st century. A new feature is a terrace designed to create an outdoor gathering space for students beyond the new common room and social corridor on the building's lower level, which was previously under-utilized space.

The renewed Stone Hall, a student residence that forms part of Harvard University's Quincy House, recently received a LEED Platinum rating, the highest level of sustainable building certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. As the first in a series of House renewal projects at Harvard, Stone Hall sets an important benchmark for the 2.5 million square feet of renovations that will follow. In addition to meeting ambitious sustainability goals, the renewal preserves Stone Hall's historic architectural character and the "House culture" of the 80 year-old residence.

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September 15, 2014

Harvard Students Praise Renovations

A new light court replaces an under-utilized alleyway between the dining hall and new common spaces at McKinlock Hall.

At Harvard University, McKinlock Hall (part of Leverett House) reopened to the student community in August following significant renovations. The Harvard Crimson reports that the 165-bed residence hall, the second Harvard House to be renovated under the House renewal program, has been drawing praise from students for its modernized bedrooms and social spaces, including the lower-level spaces dubbed "the Rabbit Hole" (the house mascot is the rabbit). 
The renewal pilot project, Stone Hall (Quincy House), was completed in 2013.  
Read "McKinlock Renovations Draw Praise from Leverett Community" and "McKinlock Hall, Rejuvenated."

September 12, 2014

Dilworth Park Opens

Glowing glass pavilions at Dilworth Park welcome commuters to underground transit in Center City Philadelphia.

Dilworth Park had its ceremonial opening last week, with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Michael Nutter, who called the renovation “one of the most exciting things to happen in Philadelphia in the past 50 years.” Now, two-thirds of the site adjacent to Philadelphia’s City Hall is complete, and the remaining elements will be completed in about six weeks. KieranTimberlake worked on the project in partnership with Urban Engineers and Olin.

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September 08, 2014

Designing Recording Methods for Archaeology

This GIS image shows the Morgantina excavation site in central Sicily. Morgantina reached its peak in the third century BCE thanks to its fertile, grain-producing territory and its likely association with the wealthy empire based in Syracuse—the setting of Archimedes’ famous bathtub discovery of density. With no modern city standing above Morgantina, the site provides one of the better records of the prosperity and the elaborate urban infrastructure achieved in its time. Remains include a large agora, Greek theater, large courtyard houses with early mosaics, and one of the earliest bath complexes, with an elaborate hypocaust system for underfloor heating.

For the past eight years, KieranTimberlake architect James Huemoeller has spent part of each year supporting the archaeological excavations for the Contrada Agnese Project (CAP), directed by Alex Walthall (University of Texas), at the ancient site of Morgantina in central Sicily. James’ work developing and implementing data recording and management methods for the excavation continues a tradition started by the Renaissance architect Raphael, who advocated for the systematic recording of ancient ruins to preserve knowledge for future generations in a letter to Pope Leo X.

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August 08, 2014

BIM of Virtual Mars Base Now Complete

The layout of the Building Information Model (BIM) represents an ideal configuration of a theoretical Mars base designed by Dr. Kerry Joels, president of the non-profit Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) and a former NASA scientist. The 3D digital representation of the facility will be used to generate facilities management challenges for students.

A team from KieranTimberlake, along with partners Gilbane Building Company and Travis Alderson Associates, recently completed a Building Information Model (BIM) of a virtual base on the planet Mars. The model will be an integral part of the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge: a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program designed to engage high school and community college students with building sciences and spark their interest in careers in the field. Participating students will act as facility managers responsible for maintaining the base and will develop their teamwork skills as they handle building systems issues that arise.

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