June 27, 2018

Neighborhood Community Center Pavilion Opens

The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) recently celebrated the opening of its new Pavilion designed by KieranTimberlake's Community Involvement group and funded through a grant from the Penn Treaty Special Services District. Located just a few blocks from our studio, the NLNA Pavilion provides a permanent landscaped space for the community to host many types of events.  
 
The Pavilion's main feature is a large folded roof that hovers above the landscape, providing shade and shelter while also directing rainwater into a planting bed and rain garden. The roof's ceiling is clad with mirrored, stainless steel tiles that playfully reflect the activities below. Concrete planters surrounding the pavilion double as benches for additional seating when necessary.  
 
The former site was plagued by hard surfaces and a bare landscape that offered little privacy or shade. The new Pavilion landscape, designed by Studio Bryan Hanes, now features low-maintenance native plantings that support the local ecosystem and help mitigate stormwater runoff while also creating a private gathering space that is visually distinct from the Community Center's adjacent playground.  
 
As an inviting, flexible, and engaging new amenity, the new NLNA Pavilion represents sustainable development in a neighborhood experiencing rapid growth. 

June 14, 2018

Engineering Research Center Dedicated at Brown University

The new Engineering Research Center at Brown University unifies the School of Engineering and encourages connections with other departments on campus. ©Peter Aaron/OTTO

KieranTimberlake recently joined Brown University to celebrate the official dedication of a new Engineering Research Center. The state-of-the-art research facility, which broke ground in October 2015, establishes a unified identify for the School of Engineering while also expanding the University's capacity for multidisciplinary collaboration. This project also marks Brown's first new building executed with a multi-party integrated project delivery agreement.  

“This building is a statement about the importance of engineering at Brown and also the world at large,” University President Christina Paxson said during the dedication ceremony, adding that the University's goal is “to blend engineering with a keen appreciation and understanding of the humanities, ethics, and social sciences.”

 
The new Engineering Research Center joins together three existing buildings, creating a welcoming convening point for the School of Engineering and the greater campus complete with a configurable common space and lawn that accommodates study groups, poster sessions, receptions, meetings, events, art shows, and more. The building, which is tracking LEED Gold certification, hosts specialized research facilities for nanomaterials, photonics, and environmental science, and is designed to expand research in renewable energy, advanced materials, and other areas. 
 
The project team included Shawmut Design and Construction as Contractor, Research Facilities Design for Laboratory Planning, BuroHappold for Structural and MEP Engineering, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. for Civil Engineering, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol for Landscape, and Vidaris for Sustainability Consulting. 
 
To read more about the Engineering Research Center, click here.  

May 24, 2018

Watch: Materials as Probes

Earlier this month, KieranTimberlake researchers Billie Faircloth, Christopher Connock, and Ryan Welch attended the Smartgeometry conference in Toronto and conducted a week-long workshop called "Materials as Probes." The workshop was an outgrowth of an ongoing research collaboration between KieranTimberlake and the Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) in Denmark about the design potential of thermodynamic modeling. 
 
Watch the video above and read more about the workshop on the Smartgeometry website.

May 01, 2018

KieranTimberlake Studio Receives COTE Top Ten Plus Honors

Staff enjoy lunch in the naturally lit kitchen at 841 North American Street ©Michael Moran

The AIA has selected KieranTimberlake's studio at 841 North American Street as a 2018 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Plus awardee. The COTE Top Ten honors projects that integrate environmental performance with design excellence, with a Plus designation reserved for projects with exemplary building performance metrics and occupant feedback. In their decision statement, the jury applauded our studio renovation for “emphasizing occupant comfort rather than prescribed metrics” and highlighted the way our firm “actively monitors, learns from, and improves the building's performance over time.”

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March 20, 2018

Tech Preview: Roast

Roast is a web-based comfort survey app that lets architects, owners, and building managers create, administer, and analyze occupant comfort surveys.

Three months after architecture writer Witold Rybczynski outlined our journey to achieve passive comfort amidst Philadelphia's hot, muggy summers, we are proud to announce that Roast, the latest software application development project from KT Innovations, has been officially released for external beta testing.  
 
Designed to ease the process of conducting post-occupancy evaluations, Roast is a web-based survey app that captures how people experience their space. Created with ASHRAE standards in mind, Roast measures comfort using a range of factors including temperature, humidity, personal activity level, air quality and movement, and visual and auditory stimulation. Survey administrators can include any or all of these questions in customized surveys and can filter and analyze results directly in the app. Since responses are tied to each participant's location, Roast also helps identify trends and pinpoint improvements.

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February 27, 2018

Announcing New Roles

KieranTimberlake is proud to announce the elevation of 17 Principals, 19 Associates, four Directors, four Managers, and three Specialists. These new roles reflect the firm's steady expansion over the past 35 years as our team has grown to include 120 interdisciplinary professionals with backgrounds ranging from architecture and design to computation, urban planning, research, and visualization. Joining a leadership group that includes seven Partners, these individuals will continue to push our practice forward as they bring confidence, experience, and creativity to each of our projects.

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February 21, 2018

Printed Tensile Cladding at Rice University

A new parking structure at Rice University has a paneled façade printed with a fig vine pattern.
©G. Lyon Photography

In 2015, Rice University commissioned KieranTimberlake to design a combined administrative building and parking structure for a newly activated campus entrance in an area defined by live oaks, an alee of cedar elms, and longstanding campus buildings. “We needed to find a way to carefully situate this tall structure within the existing campus context,” Associate David Hincher said. 
 
Its position alongside the President's Office and the Cohen House, a popular indoor/outdoor event space, meant that the garage needed to do more than just blend in. It had to function within a distinctive landscape and extend a legacy of thoughtful planning at Rice.  
 
Our solution took the form of a paneled facade of woven, permeable polymer material. Cost effective, tensile, and incredibly strong, the material is stretched between trapezoidal paneled frames that are angled to break up the garage's scale, maintain visual interest, and create strategic breaks in the facade that allow light and natural air into the garage while reducing the glare that can be seen from its neighboring spaces. “Angling the panels away from the outer structure was our way of providing balance,” Hincher offered. “It helps enliven the facade as light and shadow pass across it, but it also helps to break down the scale of the building while ventilating the garage's interior to avoid the cost and emissions associated with mechanical ventilation.”

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January 09, 2018

"A Radiant Beacon" Previewed in London

The transparent, open, and welcoming U.S. Embassy in London marks a new era for embassy design. ©Richard Bryant

The US Embassy in London opened its doors to the media for the first time last month, nearly nine years after the Department of State's Overseas Building Operations first announced a design competition for the project. Having outgrown the current, Eero Saarinen-designed embassy in Grosvenor Square, the Department of State selected KieranTimberlake to build a new home for diplomacy that was open, transparent, and welcoming while still being secure and environmentally responsible. “In the form and expression of the new Embassy, we envisioned a holistic fusion of urbanism with site, of building and urban form with landscape,” said James Timberlake in his remarks to the press. “We wanted to create a new embassy that is both evocative and that performs, one that represents our democracy and our relationship with the United Kingdom beautifully but at the same time conserves and produces energy.”

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December 13, 2017

Mapping Jefferson Hospital's Emergency Department

Medical students shadow ER nurses to log their movement, activity, interactions, and locations throughout a shift.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Bon Ku

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.

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December 11, 2017

Calculated Randomness in Concrete

Pendleton West’s board-formed concrete facade creates a textured, tree bark-like exterior that connects the building to its beautiful, wooded site.
©Michael Moran/OTTO

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.”

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