In a recent profile in the RIBA Journal (Royal Institute of British Architects), James Timberlake reframes the discussion of the new London embassy in the British press. Timberlake discusses how the highly performative design sets a new paradigm for American embassies, integrating a host of environmentally responsible features and creating welcoming public spaces.
Defender of the faith
by Jan-Carlos Kucharek
In 2017 London's new $1bn US embassy complex will open. James Timberlake, of its architect Kieran Timberlake, feels a realistic appraisal of the design will vanquish its critics.
Kieran Timberlake partner James Timberlake, though silver-haired, remains a strapping fellow. Especially when his face is six inches from yours and he's hauling you up off your toes by your lapels. Maybe it's something I said. ‘It's not a moat,' he intones slowly, smiling, before resting me back down on my heels and smoothing my collar down, ‘It's a pond.' True, maybe the word ‘moat', suggesting at least defensiveness, is too loaded a meaning; but we are looking over the hole in the ground that'll be the new American Embassy in London, and what's the meaning of ‘pond' anyway? Something in your garden? A component of a SuDS strategy? The Atlantic? It turns out it's actually all three to Timberlake, hence his robust distinction.
"Defender of the Faith" is no longer available online. It can be found in the May 2014 issue of RIBA Journal, available by subscription.
A recently completed housing infill project adds four new residence halls to the Northwest Campus at University of California, Los Angeles. Conceived in partnership with Los Angeles-based Pfeiffer Partners Architects, the design brings additional density and population to an already dense area of campus with the conviction that a concentrated living-learning environment is a positive force in fostering collaboration and interaction among students.
By Lea Oxenhandler Created by the nonprofit Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI), Mars City is a program that uses a virtual base on the planet Mars as a means to engage high school students in novel science and engineering challenges and get them excited about careers in space and building sciences. Via a BIM model of the Mars City Virtual Base, which was designed by TLRI President Dr. Kerry Joels (a former Smithsonian and NASA scientist and educator), students learn the nuts and bolts of facilities management through simulations.
As part of this program, a team from KieranTimberlake is working with TLRI to build a detailed, realistic Revit model of the virtual Mars outpost that will help take simulations to the next level. The model includes small, private areas like sleeping pods and larger communal spaces dedicated to Mission Control, dining, recreation, and workshops—as well as a garage for the storage and deployment of Mars Rovers. Essential to the simulation is a robust COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) database built in conjunction with the model. Pulling from information embedded within the model, the database allows realistic simulations of pre-programmed facilities management scenarios. Our Revit model combined with the COBie data is translated to the user interface through a web-based maintenance management platform called WebTMA.