Showing posts from category: Consulting For 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.
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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]
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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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When it comes to sourcing the right interview candidates, I’ve never been keen to use recruiters. But I recently changed my mind.
My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it.
But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even get the screening process started.
Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates–I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential applicants–it always takes me a long time to find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.
I’ve tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like Monster.com, to smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to local university boards where I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months to find the right kind of hire in the past. So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the new year, I was not optimistic.
For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. They’re also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening would cost me nothing.
The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring process, and by my calculations, when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only charge me if she found someone I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire–all in a month. The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, she said “because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion.”
If most people these days are thinking like my new hire, the recruiters will clearly have the best selection of candidates every time. Looks like I’ve got an essential new hiring strategy.
Vanessa Merit Nornberg: In 2004, Vanessa opened Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company that sells to more than 5,000 specialty shops and retail chains in 23 countries. Metal Mafia was an Inc. 500 company in 2009. @vanessanornberg
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The American Institute of Architects Latest from The Business Journals Architecture index back in black, reverse surprises economistArchitecture index back in black, reverse surprises economist Ripken bringing his baseball ‘Experience’ to local youth Follow this company ’ Architecture Billings Index rose in August after four straight monthly declines.
The national index was 51.4 in August, following a very weak score of 45.1 in July. Any number above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index, which represents the number of inquiries from clients about new projects, was 56.9, a sharp increase over the 53.7 posted in July.
“Based on the poor economic conditions over the last several months, this turnaround in demand for design services is a surprise,” said the AIA’s chief economist, Kermit Baker, in a news release. “Many firms are still struggling and continue to report that clients are having difficulty getting financing for viable projects, but it’s possible we’ve reached the bottom of the down cycle.”
The regional billings indexes for August were 49.0 in the Midwest, 47.4 in the South, 47.4 in the West and 46.5 in the Northeast.
Karen Thomas worked for more than 20 years at architecture firms in New York, including Costas Kondylis and Beyer Blinder Belle, after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1988. But she eventually realized she would rather manage the construction of complex buildings than draw their blueprints. In 2007 she established her own firm, Karen Thomas Associates, an owner’s representative for high-end residential projects. Ms. Thomas, 45, lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, Ralph Gillis, an architect and former employer of hers, and their 9-year-old son, Henry.
Design gene: My family is from California, but I grew up in State College, Pa., where my dad was a college professor. It wasn’t an area rich in architectural examples; my schools were nondescript. Our house was modern and mostly designed by my mother. She went to school to be a costume designer and wound up becoming one of the first women to be an Episcopal priest.
Art plus math equals… My high school art teacher said I should be an architect because I loved math and art, and architecture combined them. Not exactly true. At my college there was a great emphasis on architectural philosophy and the idea that all design came out of philosophic notions.
Platonic Architecture 101? No Plato, more like Dante and Umberto Eco. But Penn State had a premier lighting design program, so I took a course in that, and also architectural engineering.
aren Thomas with another architect, Ted Klingensmith, at the work site for the educational center at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan.
New York or bust: I came to New York City basically with not a penny in my pockets; I stayed on Long Island for a week with a friend’s parents while I looked for a job, and I found one at LCP, a firm that failed in the ’90s. They did commercial interiors.
Mixing it up: I worked for my future husband for five years on a nice mix of commercial and residential projects. Then I was with Costas Kondylis for two crazy years. He had a busy office and high-profile clients like Trump. An incredible opportunity, but at the time, it was like, “Here’s a 26-story building project, go do it,” and “Hey Karen, I know you’re working on two high-rises, but can you take on another?”
Sweating the details: Part of being with an architectural firm is having a lot of arguments with your respected colleagues about aesthetics. It got to where I didn’t enjoy it. Also, I didn’t like it that as an architect there were so many things you couldn’t control. You’ve got the zoning board, building codes, economics, permits and 88 community board meetings to worry about, but what I found out was I loved dealing with all that stuff, even the controversy.
Making it happen: I guess I’m totally a control freak. The work we do here, we let the architects and interior designers focus on the aesthetics and we do all the things they don’t want to; it provokes in me, frankly, more creativity than before. The architect designs the project and we make it happen. Everything has to be beautiful, but everything has to work perfectly. On a single house, there could be 20 consultants; it’s highly technical.
Personal projects: We gutted our apartment on 11th Street. I was up every night until 2 worrying over details. I’d call the aesthetic modern with a use of organic materials. Now we’re planning to tear down our little 1970s house in East Hampton Village and do something modern, low-maintenance and very, very sustainably designed. As an architect, you try to achieve perfection but never really can.
When: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26
Where: At The Center
AIA New York Chapter
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012
This panel discussion will take a look at what architects might expect in terms of employment and workforce trends this year.
Speakers: David C. McFadden, Founder/CEO of Consulting for Architects, Inc. and Daniel A. Cloke, President, Parade A|E|C Staffing
The economy has changed radically throughout the world and the impact has been strongly felt in the design community in New York City. The NBAU program focuses on what design professionals need to do now for themselves and their firms.
Please RSVP as a light lunch will be served. Check local weather report for snow forecast.
Events in this series are provided at no cost thanks to our sponsors: Chief Manufacturing, Lutron Electronics and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP
aia, architects, architecture, CFA Freelancer Community, Consulting For Architects, David McFadden, Hiring trends, jobs, unemployed architects
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