Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ground Breaking of Phoenix College Fine Arts

Ground Breaking of Phoenix College Fine Arts

Phoenix College Fine Arts Building
28,000 GSF | Phoenix, AZ

The Fine Arts Building at Phoenix College manifests the desire to create a “landmark facility” at the northern end of the campus. The building celebrates and reinforces the Art curriculum. A state-of-the art facility will enable the College to attract visiting artists to exhibit, lecture and teach within the building.

The Fine Arts Building incorporates three art departments: Photography, Graphic Arts, and Media Arts all arranged to ensure interaction and interdependence between the programs and the surrounding Valley community. As a result, the design concept ensures interaction, visibility and synergy between the users.

The two-story facility defines a landscape courtyard or enclave for the art students with a private interior courtyard for contemplative thought and inspiration. The facility’s public façade is highly visible and with open space for exhibits held within the gallery.

The ground floor houses classrooms for ceramics, glass and sculpture students, with drawing, painting, computer graphics and photography classrooms on the second floor. In addition to an auditorium and exhibition gallery, a rooftop terrace above the gallery provides an open-air gathering space for after-exhibit celebrations. Floor openings for many of the classrooms promote faculty and student interaction.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Civil Courts of Justice in Madrid by Zaha Hadid
Here is a full set of model photos, renderings and drawings of El Juzgado de lo Civil (Civil Courts of Justice) in Madrid, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

The following text is from the architects: – CIVIL COURTS OF JUSTICE, MADRID, SPAINZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS
Due to the high demand for office space within the new masterplan that contains the Civil Courts of Justice, public space within the development has shifted from being a potential destination to becoming residual, fragmented and dispersed.
In desperate need for refocusing, so as to create a better collective experience, the design for the Civil Courts of Justice inserts public space in its core - integrating it by connecting it with the campus’s public circulation. As a result, the Civil Court of Justice design shifts from being a mere component of the overall system to becoming its pivoting point, serving as a reference that provides structure and organizes the entire urban masterplan complex.
The formal language and architectural articulation of the design aims to break the static configuration of the surrounding buildings. The design’s soft and dynamic tectonic turns it into an immediate reference for the masterplan, without the need to exhaust maximum building heights. By way of horizontal shifts of its mass, a sense of elasticity is introduced into the design allowing the building to be grounded at its elevation to the masterplan campus. This elasticity draws visitors into its interior, and permits the building to ‘float ‘above the ground plain.The envelope of the Civil Court of Justice is composed of a double-ventilated façade. The exterior layer of the facade is composed of metallic panels which respond to environmental and program conditions. These panels shift from open to closed and from flat to extended depending on the circumstances affecting them. It is also envisaged for the metallic panels on the rooftop incorporates photovoltaic cells.
Inside the building, a spiralling semi-circular atrium is developed around the courtyard where all public space evolves.The atrium overlooks the courtyard, which serves as instant reference point for visitors to move around the building, and extends to the lower ground floor, providing natural light to enter the court rooms at that level.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jane Weinzapfel, FAIA

On November 9, 2007, I was able to attend a lecture and a conversation with Jane Weinzapfel. What an amazing lady. Truly inspirational. Below is a little biography of her. I will upload the lecture in the days to come.

Jane Weinzapfel was raised in Tucson, Arizona. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona's School of Architecture. After graduating, she moved to the Boston area where she developed her career as an architect. In 1994, she was elected to the College of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In 2002 she was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.
After many years working with a large architecture and planning group, Jane began independent practice in 1980, and in 1982 she and Andrea Leers founded Leers Weinzapfel Associates in Boston, Massachusetts. Work of the firm has received national and regional awards including the Gateway Building/Chiller Plant at the University of Pennsylvania, and the MBTA Operations Control Center of Boston.
She taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Architecture and Planning from 1974 to 1976. She taught as a Visiting Critic at the University of Arizona School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1996 and 1999 and serves on the School's Advisory Board. She has been a juror and speaker at numerous universities in the United States and abroad. She is on the Board of Overseers for the Boston Architectural Center.
Jane has special expertise in transportation, and urban infrastructure. She has been an active member of the Women's Transportation Seminar for many years and served as a former Director. She served on the Mayor's Transportation Advisory Commission for the City of Boston, and the Mayor's Task Force on Government Center Plaza. She was twice a Director and was on the Executive Committee of the Boston Society of Architects and is the current Vice President/President Elect for the Chapter. She serves as speaker and juror for the American Institute of Architects' international, national and regional Design Awards Programs. She served on the Editorial Board of Architecture Boston Magazine and an Advisory Board for the Harvard Design Magazine. -

Most recently her firm received the National AIA Firm of the Year. It is the FIRST WOMEN FIRM that has received this honor. Yes, "we" still have a long ways to go until we break this "glass ceiling."