Showing posts from category: architects
It’s hard to miss the chatter these days about creative thinking and it’s importance going forward in the new ideas based, connected economy.
Richard Florida says creativity drives theeconomy (http://zite.to/11HzQyZ). Peter Arvai calls it the “Frictionless Economy (http://zite.to/11Wsa2b) where he states;
“Companies that are succeeding rely on creative thinking to consistently produce new ideas”
“Creativity is becoming the single most defining characteristic of an organization’s ability to survive. We’ve moved into an idea economy where success can be very profitable and short at the same time. To be a contender, companies have to be built around idea production and guided by an actual purpose for existing.”
Hey, I get it. The business world is constantly in flux and adaptability and innovation are the keys to success. So who is better suited to guide business through innovation and idea production than the original creative thinkers?
You guessed it, architects and designers. We ARE the original creative (design) thinkers. It’s what we’ve been trained to do. Trained to dissect problems, assimilate information, connect dots and see patterns before anyone else sees them. Trained to innovate as we strive to create a better built environment. Trained to ask why and find a better way. We think, creatively all the time. So my question is:
What took the business world so long to catch up?
Architects and designers have always know there is only one way to think.
So if you see a forlorn businessperson muttering to themselves about how to compete in today’s business world throw an arm over their shoulder, smile and say it’s going to be okay.
The thinkers are here.
Robert Vecchione is an original thinker. Architect/designer, principal at Cobrooke Creative, a multidisciplinary firm generating ideas for business to help them sharpen and define their purpose. www.cobrooke.com
My head spins these days as I read the pablum being spewed forth about technological or practice methodologies revolutionizing the practice of architecture. BIM, REVIT, IPD, open-sourcing, architect as chief-collaborator, blah, blah, blah.
None of that stuff matters unless we have work. And these days there just isn’t enough to go around. Or maybe there is and we just aren’t getting our share. Lord knows we’ve done a good job of bastardizing this profession over the last 30 years, giving away much of the mantel we once claimed as ours. So maybe we need to put the horse back in front of the cart and figure out how to GET more work before we figure out how to DO it.
Nah, that makes too much sense.
Robert Vecchione is an architect/designer and principal of the multidisciplinary firm Cobrooke Ideas-Architecture-Design (www.cobrooke.com).
As you are climbing uphill; what seems like a continuous climb throughout the many hills of Parc Guell, you bravely steel a glance or two downwards and think that this is it. This must be one of the more beautiful experiences of your life. Gingerly you take each step with your camera in hand, careful not to drop the camera or anything else as you find yourself looking at, well, everything. It’s an overwhelming experience, and in a good way. Earlier in the year, my dad passed away, thereby making this my first vacation in a decade where I did not suffer from any family distractions. No worries, but did I ever miss him! I still do. But it was one less thing to ponder as I was transversing uneven stone steps with nary a handrail in sight. But I was just starting to speak of the beauty about this park, a must-see for anyone who travels to Barcelona, when I hit a few detours. Count Guell was a prominent businessman in Barcelona at the early part of the last century. He engaged a prominent architect, Antoni Gaudi, to design a garden city with sixty houses on a hill called Montana Pelada. The venture was not successful and only two houses were built. But an unsuccessful venture led way to one of the more beautiful parks you will ever see. At the entrance, you will find the main staircase with a dragon fountain made of broken bits of glazed ceramic tile, a signature style for Gaudi. This leads to the Salon of a Hundred Columns which really number eighty-four, but who cares? The ceiling of the salon has more tiled mosaics. In fact, they’re everywhere in sight. The on-site museum contains splendid furniture that Gaudi designed. And so it goes; you’ve walked for three hours, and have a big smile on your face. You can’t wait to tell the story to all you know.
You’ve planned a week in Barcelona because you are wise and know that you will not be bored for a second. You will want to come back. As you continue drinking in the various Gaudi shrines throughout this beautiful city, you get to understand a bit more about the architect with each building. Casa Batllo is truly amazing and I would suggest to go early in the day to avoid crowds. The details on the doorknobs and locks; the center court and other means of ventilation were ahead of their time. The rooftop dragon is not to be believed. Next up is Casa Mila, his iconic monument to the Modernist movement. It does not seem very livable, but once again, it’s all in the details. The Sagrada Familia is no problem for anyone familiar with waiting on lines at Disney. Wear comfortable shoes! If you are able to go to the top of the towers, then you are lucky for you will view this beautiful city in the most unique way and it is breathtaking.
Okay, I lied. It’s not all about Gaudi. It’s also about the food. As I’m re-reading my diary, the secondary descriptions that do constant battle with architecture are of the fantastic food. As I read about the various meals of fish, meats and risotto, my mouth waters and I desire to savor them all over again. Since we are incapable of dining at 10:00 PM, we chose instead to have our main meals of the day at lunch and have a more casual al fresco experience in the evening.
I lied some more. It’s all about the walk. Ever since I was twenty and I traveled to San Francisco with friends, I have always made note of how compatible I am with the place I am visiting. San Francisco was fine but I quickly realized I couldn’t live with Californians. In Barcelona, at some point we stopped and thought, “could I live here?” Yes was the answer. It is walkable; it is friendly; it is safe and clean; it is modern; it is old. Barcelona is ideal. The week was brimming over with a travelogue of lists consisting of everywhere we ambled and places we didn’t quite get to at this time. Maybe, next time? Because there was so much good stuff that really good architects had the sense to design and get built all in walking distance of each other. More Gaudi, so much to see in the Gothic Quarter as you walk past what is left of a Roman aqueduct, the Picasso Museum and the Palau de la Musica Catalana (a music hall with a gorgeous stained glass ceiling). And then there’s Gehry’s Fish. Barcelona’s golden fish sculpture sits in Port Olimpic at the base of one of the tallest buildings in the city. Frank Gehry was commissioned to build the piece for the 1992 Summer Olympics and brought the city to the attention of the world! Wow!
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, Art, buildings, built environment, Design, Engineering, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, Sculpture
architects, architecture, Barcelona, Disney, Frank Gehry, Gaudi, Gehry, Palau de la Musica Catalana, Parc Guell, Picasso Museum, Spain
A fictional tale about an architect and his career
The end came for William some 1,800 miles and 26 years from where it all began. It’s an all too familiar scene. The partners gather, you’re “invited” to join them in the conference room. Eschewing eye contact, you’re told what a great employee you are, how valuable your contributions have been but, alas, they have to let you go. Can we please have your keys?
Changing the world
I think all of us believe, as architectural undergrads, that we will be the next Frank Lloyd Wright, Corbusier, or, heaven forbid, Daniel Liebskind. The heroic image of the architect (Howard Roark?) resonates loudly as we work night and day developing architectural concepts that not only are going to one day save the world but more importantly land us a job at one of the “starchitect” firms who’s work pollutes the architectural press. From there it’s on to private practice, publication, national acclaim and turning down commissions that are not worthy of our talents. You want me to do what! Don’t you know who I am? Reality? There’s no time for that! Like an architectural ponzi scheme the monster must be fed, illusions must be maintained and the next generation of architects must be trained on the ashes of those that have come before.
The first taste of the real world for William, the newly minted apprentice, comes during the job search. That is when the disconnect to the real world makes its first appearance. What the architectural press does not report (or want anyone to know) is that the “starchitect” firms are built on what is essentially slave labor. “We do not pay as much as other firms and we do ask that you work day and night but when you leave here you will have the name or our great firm on your resume!” Think of what that will do for you career! Or you can work for a second-tier firm, one that actually has work built, where you may actually learn how buildings go together who will pay you a living wage but whose name you dare not mention at architectural seminars or cocktail parties. Aah, a crossroads. Didn’t Williams’ architectural education prepare him for this?
After many sleepless nights and endless coffee house discussions with friends about pursuing your craft versus earning a living William makes his decision. He splits the difference. He takes a position with a respected second-tier firm. They do good work, their drawings all look nice, they will pay him a decent salary and he could tell his friends who he work for.. I’ll cut my teeth here says Williams, than jump to the A list with my next move!
The caste system
Excitement builds, William is on his way now! This is when the disconnect to the real world makes its second appearance. He never believed it when he heard others say that it matters where you went to school. With my talent, it won’t matter! Aah, but it does!
There are three distinct education classes in the architectural profession; Ivy League (the perceived gold standard) private universities or, heaven forbid, state or city universities. (I know, I know, there are some good state schools out there, I just haven’t met any of those grads yet. Anybody out there a K-State grad?). In the mid-eighties William was an apprentice at a mid-size, nationally recognized firm in New York City. Not a “starchitect” firm but rather a trend follower that produced middle-of the road work. As a private university grad he thought he stacked up pretty well amongst his peers except for one small thing; his lack of an Ivy League degree.
That precluded William from ever landing a coveted “designer” position, (which would have allowed him to walk around the office with a black sweater on his shoulders and Corbu styled glasses hanging around his neck discussing the tenets of post modernism). Or from designing a three-story nursing home addition that neglected to consider that the existing buildings structural system may impact the design until a column showed up (pointed out by a state university grad) in the middle of the door entering the addition (on all three floors and the entire building had to be shifted to the right). From a Yale trained architect.
Instead, he was relegated to “project architect” status, producing construction documents while directing a team of drafters (again, state university grads). It takes a while before what is happening to you sinks in. You convince yourself its good experience, you’ll have your opportunity to design your own projects at your next job. So you jump ship, looking for the Holy Grail.
The next job is always going to be different. After three or four jobs come and go the little voice in Williams head grows louder. I can do this! Look at all the idiots I’ve worked for! None of them were as talented as me. Maybe I should open my own practice. How hard could it be? Then I’ll be free to design what I want when I want it. I’ll show them! So he takes the plunge and starts his own practice.
The excitement is palpable. What’s so hard about this? He sets up his “studio”, hangs his licenses and private university diplomas on the wall and waits for the phone to ring. You convince yourself that you are different from the thousands of other firms providing the same services as you. Why is your firm better?
Because it’s yours!
The work starts to trickle in, run-of-the mill stuff but yours none the less. It won’t be long now! This may last or year or so, and the glow of the start-up is still burning. William pretends not to hear that little voice in his head. After a year or two, he’s still not doing the work he wants to do, still compromising, but hey, he’s got to put food on the table. This goes on for several years with varying degrees of success. Smaller projects are published, prestigious institutional clients are added to the firm roster and William becomes an “expert” in a project type that he didn’t even know existed prior to starting his practice. But the signature projects aren’t there, the ones that will land him on the pages of Architectural Record, and no matter how hard he tries the engine just won’t turn over. And there’s that voice again…
Reality Disconnect three
It starts to dawn on William that making a living working at architecture and creating works of architecture (or being able to look yourself in the mirror) are two separate things. “I’m not sure if it is the same in other professions but there is no correlation in architecture between talent and success” says William. Some of the more successful architects (in financial terms) that he has been associated with couldn’t even draw or think three-dimensionally. One would think that those attributes would be prerequisites for an architect, but a well trained low paid intern, tracing paper and a copy machine are adequate substitutions.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian responsible for the “You might be a redneck if….” comedy routines and joke books. You can do the same thing with architects says William. “You can make a living as an architect if….
-You are willing to compromise any values you may possess
-You have no problem with clients coming to you to “execute” their ideas (here’s a photo of another project we like, can you do this?)
-You recycle your designs (but change the corner roof hats to something “contemporary”)
-You have no problem undercutting your competitor’s 3-4% fee just to get the job
The architect hangs his hat on the adage ‘architecture is an old mans profession”. So we toil for years working for others or in our own practice waiting for the opportunity to show that we are not like the rest. We have talent damn it! It’s what keeps us going. And you would be surprised how long one can fool themselves thinking that the next one is going to be the one.
After several years in private practice, the little voice in Williams head starts to bellow. Is this all there is? Can I do this for another 25 years? He starts to think that private practice may not offer access to the once-in-a-lifetime commission he craves. Maybe it’s time to join one of those A-list firms? After all, look at all of the experience I have running my own practice? Who wouldn’t this expertise on their team? Well, as it turns out, pretty much nobody.
In the world of architecture leaving a private practice to once again become an employee is seen as an act of failure. Partners and principals distrust your motives, and staff can’t understand why anyone would want to give up working on their own to work for someone else. (I can understand that thinks William, it is a sentiment he shared as a young intern.) But he decides to give it a shot. “What else am I doing”, he thinks to himself? And then he realizes that after all these years nothing has changed. Architects are still being slotted based an educational bias, the people in charge don’t really have as much talent as him (if any at all) and the young generation of designers and architects leaves much to be desired.
William believes the profession has collectively suffered a death by a thousand cuts. Piece by piece our role of master builder has been dismantled. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. First it was construction management. What do we know about construction? We can’t possibly be committed to designing a project with constructability in mind, or seek creative ways to reduce a project’s cost without sacrificing functionality. Instead, we opened the door to having an intermediary injected into the architect-client relationship. What about energy efficient buildings? After all, before the “green movement” architects had been designing energy efficient buildings for thousands of years. As architects, what could we possibly know about the planning and design of “green buildings?. Obviously not much, as the profession sat idly by and lets LEED accreditation get fostered on ANYONE who can pass the exam. Need a green building designed? Call your neighborhood LEED accredited plumber!
William comes to realize that clients view architects as nothing more than a commodity, a means to an end. There is no holy grail out there, no Fallingwater, Guggenheim Museum or clients with vision. Just the same get it done and get it out of here mentality. The fire in William is extinguished as he realizes that it is nothing more than what it is.
“Sometimes you get little opportunities to make a difference, over time maybe they add up to something. But you don’t see those projects as opportunities until they’re in the rear view mirror. That’s the problem with looking for the next best thing; you can’t always tell when it’s right in front of you. Maybe it’s just learning something about yourself, about what makes you tick. I don’t know, but I’ve got another 25 years or so to figure it out. I’ll get back to you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m wanted in the conference room.”
Don’t laugh this could happen to you….
This article was first published in 2009. It’s still relevant.
Robert Vecchione is an architect/designer and principal of the multidisciplinary firm Cobrooke Ideas-Architecture-Design (www.cobrooke.com).
And he is not William.
Does being an architect imply you’re creative?
I had someone remark recently that using the phrase “creative thinking” in my firm description was redundant because being an architect implies creativity.
Is that true?
We’ve all been in and seen our share of uninspired buildings that don’t deserve to be called architecture. A majority of the built environment is comprised of buildings. How can we all be so creative and wind up with the built environment we do? Isn’t there a distinction among architectural firms, those who fall in the more creative side of the spectrum (think Gehry, Hadid) and nuts and bolts production firms?
Doesn’t a market exist for both buildings and architecture?
If so, are there creative and non-creative architects?
Can creativity and creative thinking be quantified and marketed as a service?
Or is being an architect enough?
Robert Vecchione is an architect/designer and principal of the multidisciplinary firm Cobrooke Ideas-Architecture-Design (www.cobrooke.com)
architect, architects, architecture, Uncategorized
Architect, Architectural firm, Built environment, business, Creativity, design, Frank Gehry, Gehry
More interns are employed and getting licensed than during the throes of the recession. Read article http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB098254
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture jobs, Hiring trends, jobs, recession, unemployed architects
architecture, Architecture billings index, David McFadden, design, jobs, recession, unemployed architects
After Sandy, the lifeguard stations on New York’s beaches were destroyed. But these new versions are built to withstand a storm–and might be a model for how to think about building better for the future.
Garrison Architects has created a plan to introduce net-zero energy, flood-resistant, modular structures along the beaches of Coney Island, Staten Island, and Rockaway Beach
Jim Garrison is a busy man. Just before Christmas, his architecture firm got a call from New York City officials asking if he could design and build nearly 50 lifeguard stations and other beach structures to replace the ones wiped out by Sandy. The one catch: The new units needed to open to the public in five months, on Memorial Day weekend, the symbolic start to summer.
The new structures will be constructed in a factory offsite, and later installed into site-specific support structures and access ramps on the beaches. Relying on quick-to-install modular structures in the future might serve as the foundation for the reconstruction of whole neighborhoods (as opposed to throwaway, temporary trailers).
When Garrison Architects needed shop drawings done so the contractor could begin fabrication, they called Consulting For Architects (CFA) to find them an architect to execute the drawings. “Within 24-hours, we closed the deal with Garrison Architects and a talented CFA Consultant who started this week.” stated CFA owner David McFadden.
Since then, “it’s been a wild ride,” Garrison told me over the phone on Tuesday. After 40 days worth of 16-hour planning sessions, Garrison Architects emerged with a plan to introduce net-zero energy, flood-resistant, modular structures along the beaches of Coney Island, Staten Island, and Rockaway Beach. He says his designs are not only economical and aesthetically interesting– but could help lay new groundwork for the way that cities respond to climate change-related disasters in the future, by relying on quick-to-install modular structures that serve as the foundation for the reconstruction of whole neighborhoods (as opposed to throwaway, temporary trailers).
Better lifeguard stations are nice, but their design could also help lay new groundwork for the way that cities respond to climate change-related disasters in the future
He says the initiative is the first time he can think of that any American city is “confronting the reality of starting to build infrastructure that can deal with these enormous storms and can live beyond them.”
Garrison’s designs for new lifeguard stations, comfort stations, and beach offices include a number of features that make them both flood-resistant and sustainable: they’re elevated above the new FEMA storm surge numbers, and they rely on photovoltaics, solar hot water heating, and skylight ventilators as part of a net-zero energy system. The wood siding was salvaged from boardwalks wiped out by Sandy.
The project also involves relandscaping the beaches, reintroducing dunes in certain places to help protect the shore, and eliminating boardwalks. “The waves basically just roll under [boardwalks] and sometimes take them away with them,” Garrison says.
The new structures will be constructed in a factory offsite, and later installed into site-specific support structures and access ramps on the beaches. According to a briefing by Garrison’s firm, “New York has only a handful of modular buildings, such as low-income trailer housing or modular classrooms, most of which essentially qualify as manufactured boxes on chassis, not unique designs. Our modules are a premier example of cutting edge modular building practices and sustainable design solutions for the future.”
The new buildings are elevated above the new FEMA storm surge numbers, and they rely on photovoltaics, solar hot water heating, and skylight ventilators as part of a net-zero energy system. The wood siding was salvaged from boardwalks wiped out by Sandy
What’s perhaps more impressive than the speed of the design is the way the city’s bureaucracy got out of the way to let the project unfold under tight deadlines. “I’ve never seen anything like it on [the city’s] part,” Garrison says (and he’s been designing buildings in New York for more than three decades).
Garrison hopes that the project serves as a model for disaster rebuilding efforts in the future, when it’s possible that Sandy-strength storms will be the norm. “Next time it hits, can we mobilize [modular design] as disaster housing? And I mean good stuff–not FEMA trailers that make people sick, stuff people can really live in for the long term?” Garrison wonders. “This is a way to build in an era of congestion, ecological challenges, and the need for permanence.”
Credit Zak Stone
Zak Stone is a staff writer at Co.Exist and a co-founder of Tomorrow Magazine.
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, architecture jobs, built environment, construction, Consulting For Architects, Design, Engineering, Green Architecture, Green Built Environment, Landscape Architecture, Sculpture
beach offices, Co.Exist, comfort stations, Coney Island Beaches, David McFadden, flood-resistant, Garrion Architects, Hurricane Sandy, lifeguard stations, Modular, modular structures, net-zero energy, new york city, photovoltaics, Rockaway Beaches, Solar, Solor Technology, Staten Island Beaches, sustainable design, Tomorrow Magazine, Zak Stone
The City Council has unanimously approved plans to redevelop the historic Pier 57 at 15th Street and the Hudson River, turning the eyesore into an urban, cultural and retail hub.
The approval clears the way for construction to begin at the pier, which has served as a dock for ocean liners, a former MTA bus depot and a holding pen for rowdy protesters arrested at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
WITHOUT ‘PIER’: An artist’s rendering of Pier 57 after a City Council-approved restoration that will create 425,000 feet of retail space.
Calling it “a major victory for Manhattan’s West Side community,” Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn said the pier will provide “a new, sorely needed source of revenue” for the Hudson River Trust, which oversees the pier.
“Soon they will transform Pier 57 from an unused waterfront space into an innovative hub, a culture of recreation and public market activity, all located within a restored historic structure,” said Quinn, whose district encompasses the pier.
The plan calls for creating roughly 425,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space built from re-purposed shipping containers, designed by Young Woo & Associates — the same firm that designed Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, also built from old shipping containers.
It will be an “incubator for cutting-edge local and international brands and merchants,” the company said.
It will also feature an amphitheater and a marketplace area made from old airplane fuselages and 160-square-foot “incuboxes” — small spaces for local merchants, artists and start-up companies.
There will also be educational components, such as cooking schools, art galleries, photography labs and music-recording studios. The Tribeca Film Festival will use the 100,000 square feet of outdoor space as a permanent venue.
A 141-slip marina and water-taxi landing space will surround the pier. Construction will begin in October, the company said.
The approval comes after years of wrangling by developers and community activists and after a more elaborate design — a $330 million proposal from real-estate developer Douglas Durst — was killed in favor of the less expensive plan offered by Woo’s company.
The now rusted pier was built in 1952 from three concrete slaps floated down the Hudson River.
“Today’s approval brings us one step closer to transforming Pier 57 into a recreational, cultural and retail center that will provide yet another great destination for the Hudson River Park community,” Hudson River Park Trust President and CEO Madelyn Wils.
Via NY Post [email protected]
architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, architecture jobs, construction, Consulting For Architects, Engineering, Sculpture
architecture, Christine Quinn, City Council, David McFadden, Dekalb Market, design, Douglas Durst, Hudson River Trust, jobs, Madelyn Wils, MTA, Pier 58, recession, Republican National Convention, shipping containers, tribeca film festival, unemployed architects, Woo’s company, Young Woo & Associates
Online job ads for architects up 20% over year
Online job advertisements for architects rose 20 percent during the last 90 days compared to the same time period in 2012, according to Wanted Analytics, a firm that tracks online job ads. There were a total of more than 16,000 architect jobs advertised in the past 90 days.
New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Houston topped the list of metropolitan areas with the most job ads for architects.
“Autodesk AutoCAD” was the most commonly required skill in architect jobs. In the past 90 days, 5,500 jobs required CAD skills, representing about 35 percent of all hiring demand.
The most commonly required skills in architecture jobs include:
Autodesk REVIT Architecture
Oral and written communication skills
Watch a new CCTV America video from the AIA.org website that highlights 7 consecutive months of gains in the industry
Temporary hiring takes center stage
U.S. temporary employment jumped by 20,300 jobs in March, compared with the previous month, and the year-over-year growth rate ticked up, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the number of temp jobs added in February was revised upward by 22,000 jobs.
Year-over-year growth in temp jobs had been decelerating since November. However, the number of temp jobs rose by 6.4 percent year over year in March, up from the 5.3 percent increase in February.
Further, the U.S. temp penetration rate rose to 1.94 percent in March from 1.93 percent in February.
However, the U.S. added fewer jobs overall in March than February. Total non-farm employment rose by 88,000 jobs in March compared with an increase of 218,000 in February – Sending a clear signal that firms are exercising caution, temporary hires outpaced permanent hires for the same period.
The U.S. unemployment rate still fell to 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was unchanged from February at 3.8 percent.
In other industries, construction added 18,000 jobs in March. The BLS reported construction has added 169,000 jobs since September.
Click on the chart below to enlarge.
Click on the chart below to enlarge.
This post is a composite of articles from Staffing Industry Analysts and AIA.org websites
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture jobs, construction, David McFadden, Hiring trends, recession, starting a business, Uncategorized, unemployed architects
architecture, Architecture billings index, AutoCAD, Autodesk, bentley microstation, BLS, business, construction industry, construction spending, design, Houston, jobs, Los Angeles, New York, recession, Revit Architecture, San Francisco, unemployed architects, Washington D.C.
north eastern corner overlooking the northern forecourt. images courtesy lyons, dianna snape, michael evans, nils koenning
the la trobe institute for molecular science (LIMS) by australian lyons architecture is a major new building on university’s bundoora campus, which will meet the school’s long-term needs in terms of student learning and research in the science disciplines. the project seeks a‘transformative’ identity of the campus, which had previously been built within the strict guidelines for materials and heights.
the lower levels of the building accommodate first to third year undergraduate learning spaces – with large open flexible labs (accommodating teaching cohorts for 160 students) connected with ‘dry’ learning spaces. this allows people to move between laboratory based project work, to digital and collaborative learning activities within the adjacent spaces. at ground level, these learning areas breakout to new landscaped interior environments, extending the idea of placing students at the centre of outside social and learning hubs.
the upper three levels of the building are research focused and based around a highly collaborative model. all laboratories are large open flexible spaces where teams are able to work together, or expand and contract according to research funds. these large ‘super labs’ are located immediately adjacent to write-up spaces, allowing a very direct physical and visual connection between all research work sections. the plan includes a major conference room, staff ‘college’ lounge and informal meeting spaces, are also located on the research levels. the design is fully integrated with the adjacent existing structure, which accommodates a number of other lims research staff and laboratories.
a major stairway rises through the centre of the building, connecting the student and research levels – as a form of representation of the ‘pathway’. the cellular exterior of the building is derived from ideas about expressing the molecular research that is being undertaken within the building, and is adjusted via the materiality of the building itself. the walls are primarily precast concrete, with the cells providing a ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ window into the various spaces, aiding the penetration of daylight. the cellular concept also creates a framework for a number of distinctive spaces for students to occupy or for research staff to meet and collaborate.
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architect, architects, architecture, architecture critic, Art, buildings, Consulting For Architects, Design, modern architecture, modern buildings, Sculpture
bundoora campus, climate, designboom, interior environments, la trobe institute for molecular science, lyons architects, research, science, science disciplines