Monday, February 27, 2012

Living in the Brownfield - Industrial Architecture Part 2

This is a continuation of the Industrial Architecture series, I've developed some images to try and begin to explain the scale of the endeavor as it relates to being there.  Keep in mind that over the weekend we had some high winds, they resulted in something unusual, as shown in the images.

this image shows about 25 SF of the layout that occurs for the tilt up constructions - the entire project is 1.2 million square feet - so that's a lot of layout!

from wikipedia:
"In this method concrete elements (i.e. walls, columns, structural supports, etc.) are formed on a concrete slab; usually the building floor, but sometimes a temporary concrete casting surface near the building footprint. After the concrete has cured, the elements are tilted from horizontal to vertical with a crane and braced into position until the remaining building structural components (roofs, intermediate floors and walls) are secured."

the layout for the wall panels contines along all side of the steel frame structure that is completed from the inside out to allow for the panels to be formed on site and, literally, in place.

from wikipedia:
"Tilt-up construction is a dominant method of construction throughout North America, several Caribbean nations, Australia, and New Zealand. It is not significantly used in Europe or the northern two thirds of Asia. It is gaining popularity in southern Asia, the Middle East, parts of Africa, Central and South America.
Concrete elements can also be formed at factories away from the building site Tilt-up differs from prefabrication, or plant cast construction, in that all elements are constructed on the job site. This eliminates the size limitation imposed by transporting elements from a factory to the project site."

when shooting these images I was trying to convey scale, but also capture a sort of "craig ellwood modern", "case study california" feeling out of the utilitarian structure. 

 In the book, "Big Shed", Will Pryce  opens his discussion about the orgins of the typology with the following story:
"In 1994 Norman Foster delivered a lecture at Hong Kong University.  Describing his new airport at Stansted he talked almost entriely about the building's cheapness and efficiency.  At the end of the lecture a student asked why Foster had talked so much about economics and so little about aesthetics - to which Foster replied that if the student did not understand that he had been talking about aesthetics then that there was nothing more to be said."

I close with this image of the windswept debris that I've run through a glitch producing software called Decim8.  All of the images were taken and fully edited on the iphone and will be uploaded daily through out the week on instagram - you can find me at "fac_610" if you want to see more iphoneography.

once agian - the site plan to add something to the overall understanding of the scale.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Living in the Brownfield - Industrial Architecture Part 1

Our office is located on a 1000-acre site that was the former home the to Bethlehem Steel Corporation.  The site still contains many of the iconic structures that define the architecture of the industrial revolution in America.  Over the next few days we'll be sharing some imagery of those buildings, but today we wanted to explore industrial scale and the current condition of the site.

Spillman Farmer Architects is currently working "one of the largest speculative industrial projects under way in the U.S."  for Liberty Property Trust as noted in the Wall Street Journal's Deal of the Week | by Maura Webber Sadovi .  Her article, titled "A Steel Site is Recycled", explained the scale of the project in numbers as "1.2 million square feet" of space.  Our project, item #1 above, can be viewed in context
of the overall site.  Some interesting facts below to help set the scale of the structure :

1.  You could fit 62 offices the size of our own within the structure - see item #2.
2.  If the project was an open office space you could have 26,530 people in cubicles.
3.  If you wanted to host an indoor soccer tournament you could play 60 games at the same time, thats    
     a lot of soccer!

More next week on the exisitng structures that surround our office and are still in use today by Lehigh Heavy Forge.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SFA News - Archdaily Building of the Year 2011

We got two in the running for nominations this year!  Go check them out...and vote!

cultural building nominee - ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
Paul Warchol Photography

industrial building nominee - Central Energy Plant at Dickinson College
Steve Wolfe Photography

vote early and vote often (once a day at least!) - much appreciated!

SFA News - American-Architects Review: Building of the Week

We're really proud to have our project featured by the american-architects website, the quality of architecture they publish is world class and we're honored to have our project included!

We want to thank all of those involved with making this project happen, the donors, the clients, the people in the field, and all those who continue to visit the Sigal Museum after the grand opening!  This building of the week article is dedicated to all of you helping to keep culture and history alive in progressive fashion!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Material Process Product - REFLECT

Here is some progress on Spillman Farmer's latest fun, The Partnership for Innovation on the City of Bethlehem's Southside. We have taken a non-descript former silk mill building nested within gritty alley vernacular and gave it an interesting daytime and nightime prescence.



Call it environmental art, or marquis, we call it vibrant with a traffic calming effect to boot! Stay tuned for more-we intend to submit this project to the VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.

Many thanks to our co-conspirators over at Boyle Construction for all their great efforts to realize the design intent throughout the entire project.  Picture below are Jeff Utsch & Bill Gambler after completing the reflector installation, not pictured but every bit as important are Shane Follweiler, Ed Flowerdew, Ken Duerholz, & Sean Boyle.