April 06, 2015

Spring Lectures

Architects and researchers from KieranTimberlake are speaking across the country this spring at a range of venues on themes related to environmental responsibility in architecture.  
Earlier this month, Stephen Kieran spoke with Harvard GSD students on the strategies, tools, and tactics for integrated practice. On April 14, Stephanie Carlisle presents to the Society for College and University Planning on strengthening sustainability action plans through expanding the scope of carbon assessments, along with Steven Baumgartner, Energy and Environmental Planner at BuroHappold Engineering, and Bret Pasinella, Senior Manager of Innovative Services at Second Nature. That same day, David Riz takes part in a plenary session at the BEST4 Conference with Steve Kemp, Manager of Sustainable Building at MMM Group Limited, and John Straube, Building Scientist at the University of Waterloo. 
Matthew Krissel discusses high-performance envelopes before a sold-out crowd at the Facades+ workshop on April 17. At the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta on May 14, Efrie Friedlander and Jason Smith reveal how our Revit plug-in called Tally® can make Life Cycle Assessment one of many influencing factors in developing a sustainable building design.  
View all upcoming appearances

April 06, 2015

Pound Ridge a Record House for 2015

Architectural Record recently featured Pound Ridge House on its list of Record Houses for 2015. The list includes eight residential projects that "push the limits of spatial concepts and materiality or refine the existing vocabulary in imaginative ways"—including examples from Los Angeles, Tokyo, Marbella, and elsewhere. 
Pound Ridge House is a 5,000 square-foot single-family home located on a wooded, boulder-strewn site in the town of Pound Ridge, New York. The home exists in unique harmony with its natural surroundings, its exterior walls creating a visual display that varies with time of day, season, and quality of light. As the author writes, "The cladding performs almost as camouflage, especially at the corners, where the use of the mirrorlike stainless-steel panels makes the building's edges practically disappear." 
On the Rocks: A house wrapped in a sophisticated skin makes the most of a site with challenging topography. 
By Joann Gonchar, AIA 

In spite of high-profile projects like the U.S. embassy now under construction in London, Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake still sometimes accepts commissions for challenging single-family houses. “They are an opportunity to try out things that would be tougher on a larger project,” says design partner Stephen Kieran.

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March 27, 2015

A Workspace That Inspires

The new KieranTimberlake studio within the historic building that once housed a bottling plant for a popular local brewery in Philadelphia.
© Michael Moran

Susan Richardson of NewsWorks/WHYY recently visited KieranTimberlake's new workspace inside the former bottling plant of the Henry F. Ortlieb brewery in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. In her blog titled Human at Work, she discusses the ways in which the renovated plant adapts to the needs of workers, rather than asking workers to adapt to it.  
Calling the open-plan studio a "cathedral-like space," Richardson says that her favorite part is the abundant natural light spilling in at the top and the edges. She quotes founding partner Stephen Kieran as saying, "Time happens in this space...The sun moves through the space and arcs through it, beginning with the east side with a beam that moves across the floor. It's truly a spiritual experience—that abundance of natural light—that's so absent from corporate office spaces." 
The blog includes a video (after the jump) that offers a look inside the workspace and commentary from employees.

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March 02, 2015

Creating a Comfort Benchmark at Tulane

Richardson Memorial Hall, Tulane University's School of Architecture, is in the design development phase of a renovation and addition.

Last winter, KieranTimberlake team members installed 150 temperature sensors at Richardson Memorial Hall, Tulane University’s School of Architecture. Over the summer, the sensor platform was reactivated and augmented with the addition of relative humidity sensors. We initiated the summer monitoring to answer two primary questions: How comfortable is a historic building on Tulane’s campus in the thick of the summer cooling season? And, can monitoring be used to reveal deficiencies in the existing envelope and HVAC system?  
The summer monitoring results were quite striking when contrasted to the winter results. During the winter, significant temperature stratification and asymmetries in mean radiant temperature (MRT) were found within the building, while in the summer, data pointed to conditions that were both comfortable and consistent.

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February 20, 2015

Investing in Research

Architect magazine recently featured KieranTimberlake in an article about the fusion of design and research at select top firms—including the embedding of new specialized roles like computational designers and materials and sustainability experts among designers. KieranTimberlake, Perkins+Will, and The Living are three firms profiled for integrating research into design processes and services. The author spoke with Billie Faircloth about KieranTimberlake's research ethic, which she says is "intrinsic to what we do."

Three Top Firms That are Pursuing Design Research

Perkins+Will, The Living, and KieranTimberlake are among a new class of architectural practices investing in research. 
By Daniel Davis  
In architecture, it can be difficult to determine where research ends and practice begins. In sectors such as medicine and aerospace, research is distinct from the rest of the business. But architectural research tends to mix with practice. Some argue that design and research are intertwined—that architects are conducting research as their design process leads them to better understand the site and other peculiarities of the project. In this guise, all design is a form of research. 
While design may be considered as a form of research, not all research is a form of design. Ajla Aksamija, leader of Perkins+Will’s Tech Lab and co-organizer for this year’s Architectural Research Centers Consortium, says that differentiating between actual research and mere marketing is essential. Firms may claim to do research as part of their design initiatives, but historically, few firms have actually invested in research. 
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February 02, 2015

Quaker Meeting House Achieves LEED Platinum

The Meeting Room is the metaphorical heart of the Sidwell Friends School campus.
© Michael Moran/OTTO

The Quaker Meeting House and Arts Center at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has been rated LEED® Platinum—the highest level of environmental certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  
The building represents a maximum reuse of existing resources, transforming a large former gymnasium built in the 1950s into a space of filtered light and silent contemplation. As a retrofit, it does not add additional embodied energy nor create a greater footprint that would impact stormwater flows. The project also makes use of reclaimed materials wherever possible. To eliminate the need for harvesting standing timber, the oak flooring and paneling of the meeting room were made from reclaimed wood sourced from barns in West Virginia and Maryland. New pervious paving in the front courtyard makes use of concrete removed during the renovation to create a porous infill that minimizes stormwater runoff, which causes flooding, erosion, and pollution of local waterways.

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January 21, 2015

Announcing Five New Partners

From left to right, Matthew Krissel, James Timberlake, Jason E. Smith, Billie Faircloth, Richard Maimon, Stephen Kieran, and David Mark Riz. © Ed Wheeler

KieranTimberlake is delighted to announce the elevation of five new partners at the firm. We celebrate this pivotal moment in our design practice, which has steadily grown to nearly 100 people over the thirty years since our founding in 1984. The new partners—Billie Faircloth, Matthew Krissel, Richard Maimon, David Mark Riz, and Jason E. Smith—have collectively realized dozens of award-winning projects across the country and around the world.  
Founding partners Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake are excited about continuing to develop the firm’s design and research efforts with the contributions and guidance of these new partners, each of whom brings unique perspective and experience to help grow, evolve, and move the practice forward. 
"These five talented individuals who span three generations have been so instrumental to the ongoing development of the firm," remarks James Timberlake. "They bring truly exciting possibilities to broadening and expanding our thinking about design, research, and the advancement of architecture." 
Stephen Kieran comments, "The new partners have demonstrated their capacity to extend our firm and its culture of innovation into an ever-growing realm of inquiry and influence. They are leaders that are committed to asking and resolving the hard questions that move architecture forward."

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January 21, 2015

Careers at KieranTimberlake

Our Philadelphia-based firm of nearly 100 professionals is growing. We are currently seeking qualified candidates for a diversity of roles, including Architect, Digital Resources Librarian, Environmental Researcher, and Building Performance Specialist. Please see our Employment page for more information about these positions and details on submitting your application.  
As a firm, we strive to create an atmosphere of highly imaginative problem solving and idea generation within a collaborative, open office environment in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. Learn more about KieranTimberlake.

January 16, 2015

Reactivating Vacant Schools

Designers and community members collaborate on adaptive reuse proposals for shuttered schools in Philadelphia.
© Community Design Collaborative

By Lea Oxenhandler 
In 2013, Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission announced the closure of 23 public schools. As part of an initiative to offer community-focused pro bono architectural services, KieranTimberlake worked with the Community Design Collaborative, a local nonprofit, to address the pressing issue of these newly vacant school buildings in the City of Philadelphia. In an intensive full-day design charrette during the November Design on the Delaware conference, the KieranTimberlake team worked with community members, private and nonprofit developers, city agencies, and local designers to propose both short- and long-term solutions for two of Philadelphia’s closed schools. 
The overarching purpose of the charrette was to answer the question: How can we create feasible, community-oriented reuse proposals to encourage the redevelopment of buildings that currently have no interested buyers?  

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January 09, 2015

Rice Physics Lab Wins AIA Honor Award

On the north façade, a fritted glass curtainwall displays a pattern inspired by English physicist Sir Roger Penrose and suggests the scientific activities inside the building.
© Peter Aaron/OTTO

We are delighted to announce that the Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University has won an Institute Honor Award for 2015 from the American Institute of Architects. The award is the design profession's highest recognition of excellence, and this year, 23 recipients were selected from a pool of 500 submissions from across the globe. 

Project Description from Architect Magazine

According to [James] Timberlake, Brockman Hall represents “one of the more perfect examples” of his firm’s holistic strategy of design. KieranTimberlake “seemed to find inspiration in the overwhelming technical constraints and resonance in the building’s important research mission,” Rice’s [Barbara] Bryson says, noting that other firms might have been daunted by the building’s litany of programmatic demands. “The result is a building that works brilliantly while providing an … elegant home for some of the best physicists in the world.” 
See the full description.

Jury Comments

This project is a total knockout in every way—from the incredible planning to the spectacular detailing—yet it is extremely simple and very flexible. 
Gorgeous ceilings—pipe, conduits, everything is so neatly coordinated! Even the mechanical room is beautiful! The palette of neutral colors is very warm and beautiful. 
This is a very tight building in the way it fits the site, but it’s very comfortable on all sides. The photos do not do it justice.

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