The Benefits of Modern Design

Under Pohutukawa / Herbst Architects. Image © Patrick Reynolds

This post was sponsored by BHI. Explore the benefits of a newly built home.

To become an architect is to learn to fall in love with clean lines, pure functionality, and minimal simplicity. Which is why it’s so hard for us to understand why the majority of clients remain so tied to their “traditional” homes. You must understand that, for the typical home-buyer, a modern home seems “cold” and “austere” – even “clinical.”

But nothing could be further from the truth. The Modern floor plan – which architects have faithfully incorporated ever since Frank Lloyd Wright first introduced it in the early 20th century – frees rooms from doorways, allowing the life of the house to merge into one, airy, vibrant space. Modern homes bring people together – what’s cold about that?

Still not sold? Here’s 5 reasons why architects love Modern design – and, if you’re thinking of starting fresh and buying a new home, why you’ll love it too.

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Troldtekt Acoustic Panels: Sustainable certification

Vestas Technology R&D Centre by aarhus arkitekterne a/s

Presented by

Sustainable building is about more than the environment. The three leading certification schemes in this sector – LEED, BREEAM and DGNB – embrace a wide variety of criteria ranging from indoor climate to waste management.

All three schemes are relevant: LEED is the American sustainability certification scheme for buildings, BREEAM is the British version and DGNB is German. However, multinational companies with foreign subsidiaries often stick to just one scheme (as it was the case of Danish based Vestas). Denmark has also launched a national adapted version of DGNB. 

So, having the right information for these standards can be very helpful when specifying and certifying buildings. With this mind, Troldtekt asked engineering consulting firm Ramboll  to analyse and document their acoustic panels, to have the precise data on how they contribute points for these three leading certifications within sustainable building: LEED, BREEAM and DGNB.

Vestas Technology R&D Centre by aarhus arkitekterne a/s

Since 1885, Troldtekt has been manufacturing acoustic panels  made of entirely natural materials, which have been used in the first Danish building to achieve Platinum LEED certification, the Vestas Technology R&D Centre in Lem in western Jutland. Designed by Danish firm aarhus arkitekterne a/s, the Vestas building features Troldtekt lighting that has been integrated in Troldtekt acoustic ceiling panels.

”Troldtekt is excellent for controlling the acoustics. The panels also contribute to the general sustainability of the building and to the overall aesthetics with their delicate wood wool structure which produces a warm Nordic look”
- Michael Green, project architect with aarhus arkitekterne.

Vestas Technology R&D Centre by aarhus arkitekterne a/s

Documentation for the contributions to the LEED, BREEAM and DGNB Denmark schemes is just one of Troldtekt’s sustainable initiatives in 2012. Earlier in the year, Troldtekt achieved Cradle to Cradle certification in the silver category for its acoustic natural panels. The Danish Technological Institute is currently preparing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for Troldtekt’s acoustic panels.

Facts: How Troldtekt contributes to Sustainability

The report states that Troldtekt contributes with points for LEED, BREEAM and DGNB Denmark within the following focus areas:

  •  Life cycle costs
  • Acoustic indoor climate
  • Atmospheric indoor climate and toxicity
  • Psychological indoor climate (art)
  • Materials, including:

- Life cycle assessment
- Regionality
- Renewability and reuse
- Recycled content
- Procurement of materials
- Fire safety
- Construction site waste management 

You can see examples of these products used in other buildings, and more technical details at the Troldtekt library.

Clients: Want to Know How to Get Your Dream Home?

© slavun – Fotolia.com

This post was sponsored by BHI. Explore the benefits of a newly built home.

Lawyers and Doctors have the utmost fortune that, no matter how much their patients/clients may think they know, their clients generally do not attempt to “go it alone.”

Architects are not so lucky. For whatever reason, many home buyers believe that designing the home of their dreams is something they can do on their own – by designing themselves, or, even worse, by just buying an old house and “fixing it up”.

We architects, on the other hand, know that the process is far more difficult than that – but also, so worth it in the end. Because designing a new home from scratch isn’t just more cost and energy efficient, but the only way to truly get the house of your dreams.

So why should potential clients forego buying an old home and trust you to design their new home? For these 5 undeniable reasons (make sure to always have them at hand) …

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Temple University’s Master of Architecture Program

Courtesy of

Temple University’s Master of Architecture program is now accepting applications for fall of 2013. Located in Philadelphia, a thriving cultural center with a vibrant community of architects and designers, the program connects students with leaders in the profession, including local practitioners and prominent national educators.

The Master of Architecture program of the Tyler School of Art is housed in the new architecture building within Temple University’s Center for the Arts, where students and faculty work alongside colleagues from Fine Arts, Music and Dance, Film and Media Arts, and Theater. The architecture building has state of the art equipment for digital fabrication and studios and labs for all of the department’s programs.

Sponsored by Temple University

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Save Time and Experience Greater Collaboration with Vectorworks 2013 Software

As processes evolve, architects and designers need superior tools to transition their designs from vision to reality. Answering that call is the ® 2013 product line from Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. This multi-dimensional software suite helps users implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) techniques and workflows and gain an edge in drawing, 3D modeling, integrated rendering, and high-quality presentations.

Sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.

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See Your Kitchen in a Whole New Light

Whether you’re looking to design a beautiful new kitchen or elevate your next dinner party, you’ll enjoy the Jenn-Air® Master Class Series of videos from Jenn-Air®. Featuring a panel of esteemed experts, including two designers and one chef, the series aims to give viewers who love to entertain or who are contemplating a kitchen renovation an in-depth look at some of the latest culinary, design and entertaining trends.

In each session, you’ll find insightful tips and expert advice to help elevate your kitchen –the centerpiece of your home. The video series features designers Mary Jo Peterson, an award-winning designer and president of her own Connecticut-based design firm, Loren Daye, owner of the Brooklyn-based studio, Love is Enough, and Brendan McHale, executive Chef of the Tasting Table Test Kitchen and Dining Room in New York. The most recent sessions, “Topping the Trends” and “Bring On the Entertainment,” discuss emerging trends in the kitchen space and how to create a dramatic environment for entertaining, respectively.

From insights on planning a distinctive kitchen space to recipe and entertaining ideas, the Jenn-Air Master Class Series offers inspiration to help you enhance your kitchen savvy.

Watch and learn as the Master Class experts help you start envisioning your kitchen in a new light: jennair.com/masterclass.

Sponsored by Jenn-Air

 

Disruptive Minds: Roman Mars, Host of 99% Invisible



The  series is in partnership with smartwater.
smartwater, simplicity is delicious. Click here to learn more.

A few months ago, in a little Bavarian town, far far away, an architect, by the name of Peter Zumthor (you may have heard of him), was asked to design a gate. Zumthor designed a transcendent, transparent structure, and unveiled it to the town. Upon seeing the marvel, the townspeople said it looked like a pair of “Glass Underpants.” And there our story ends.

Your first instinct may be to blame those uncouth Bavarians. But, like Jody Brown did in an excellent blog post, you could also fault Zumthor. Zumthor couldn’t “sell” his gate, because, like many an architect, he speaks “architect,” not “human.”

, on the other hand, is fluent in both. A population geneticist who went to college at age 15, Mars jumped off the science boat to follow his passion: radio. His show on architecture and design, 99% invisible, has become a sleeper hit, earning over $170,000 in a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign.

Its popularity comes down to its story-driven approach, which opens your eyes to the 99% of our reality that goes un-noticed: a building’s unknown history, a detail’s un-obvious purpose, a place’s hidden treasures. Through its stories, 99% invisible lives in the place where the “human” and the “architect” meet.

And, be you architect or nay, it hooks you from the start.

Read our exclusive interview with 99% invisible Producer, Roman Mars, after the break…

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A Gentlemen’s Call: In Pursuit of an Idea that Matters

Turning shipping containers into low rent apartments? As architects we have the ability to visualize bold ideas that can improve our cities and environments. Ideas with impact. One that is worth backing. And Ketel One has $100,000 to stake the one who’s got it.

“The idea of a gentleman is one of awareness, confidence and compassion. Helping to support an initiative that is based on those ideals is an honor and I look forward to seeing the evolution of this quest reach its full potential.”

- Ian Somerhalder, Actor and Philanthropist

Ketel One is offering today’s gentlemen the awesome opportunity to showcase their game-changing ideas with “A Gentleman’s Call: In Pursuit of an Idea that Matters.”

A Gentleman’s Call is a nationwide search to invest behind one original idea that champions the lifestyle of the modern gentleman. Ketel One is looking for substance and style within an idea, inspiration or endeavor that will raise society’s behavioral bar. You can get involved at www.AGentlemansCall.com, where the five projects best exemplifying a higher standard of thinking and living will be selected. The Grand Prize Winner chosen by consumers across the country.

Ketel One will then invest $100,000 to turn the winner’s idea into a reality.

Looking Ahead to Greener Driving Days

"I really feel like I am a part of an energy-efficient movement”, says Priya Geddis
Chevrolet Volt. Electric when you want it, gas when you need it.

The Chevrolet Volt is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric source – a battery – that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there’s also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too. Feeling all revved up? Check out what this current Volt driver has to say about her unique driving lifestyle…

Priya Geddis was thinking ahead when she decided to purchase a Chevy Volt. “It was important to me to purchase a car that in seven or eight years would still be relevant,” she says. “In my opinion, a gas engine car would not be.” That’s what being a Volt driver is all about, she says — being ahead of your time!

It’s also about changing to a “greener” mindset. “I like to think that I’m into being more efficient, saving money, and moving forward with technology,” says Geddis. “I am rarely using gas, and I really feel like I am a part of an energy-efficient movement.” Geddis is averaging about 270 mpg, which is a tough feat in a city like Los Angeles, but because she charges up her Volt right in her home’s garage every night, she makes it happen. “I love it because it takes two seconds to just plug it in, and in the morning I have a fully charged battery,” she says.

An added bonus for Geddis is her vehicle’s attention to stylish details. “I feel like the body style and the interior design are really unique, and it certainly is something I can show off to my friends,” she says. “Also, it’s completely silent when it’s turned on, and people seem to really be interested in that, too!” While she’s delighted that her ride has the ability to wow her friends, Geddis couldn’t be happier with how the Volt fits perfectly into her driving lifestyle. “The Volt has definitely met my expectations.”

The 2012 Chevy Volt offers an EPA-estimated 35 miles on a full charge based on 94 MPGe [electric] and an additional 340 miles with a full tank based on 35 city, 40 MPG highway [gas]. Actual range varies with conditions.

Volt is available to order at participating dealers. Quantities limited.

Has being a Volt driver made you feel you’re ahead of your time? Tell your amazing story here.

New Start, New Driving Technology

Chevrolet Volt.
Electric when you want it, gas when you need it.

The Chevrolet Volt is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric source – a battery – that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there’s also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too. Feeling all revved up? Check out what this current Volt driver has to say about her unique driving lifestyle…

A typical day for Kelly Hendricks involves running around town, meeting with clients, visiting jobsites, and shopping for materials. It’s no wonder why the car she drives is so important to her since she spends a good portion of her day sitting in it. After her 11-year-old SUV was rear-ended and totaled, she decided it was time for a new start. “Being an eco friendly interior designer in San Diego, I loved the thought of driving purely on electricity, but at the same time I wanted to feel at ease knowing I won’t get stranded because once I go beyond the battery range the car transitions to a gasoline power source,” she says. She found her ideal vehicle in the Chevy Volt.

Hendricks is pleased with her driving experience so far, but also with how much money she is saving on fueling costs.  “With as much driving as I do, I’m only having to purchase gas once a month and it averages out to be $27-$30. And my electricity bill has only gone up about $25 per month,” she reports. She does nearly all of her charging up from her own garage, and looks forward to the day when charging stations are more readily available. By charging regularly, Volt owners are averaging about a month between fill-ups.

In the meantime, Hendricks says she gets a kick out of the questions people ask her about her Volt. In fact, a recent trip to her Chevy dealership had her upstaging the sales team. “I stopped by the Chevy dealership to pick something up and there was this guy standing out front along with some sales people and he started asking me questions about my Volt. His first question was how much money am I spending on gas a week,” she says. “You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I only buy gas once a month, compared to the $50 per week my former SUV used to cost. He was so stunned and surprised — I love when that happens!”

As for a final fringe benefit, Hendricks says her decision to be a Volt owner makes her feel good about her role in helping the environment, as well as the country. “I like that I am helping to support jobs in America.”

The 2012 Chevy Volt offers an EPA-estimated 35 miles on a full charge based on 94 MPGe [electric] and an additional 340 miles with a full tank based on 35 city, 40 MPG highway [gas]. Actual range varies with conditions.

Volt is available to order at participating dealers.

Has your Volt ownership reinvented your driving experience? Tell your amazing story here.

Improve Your Kitchen IQ


You’ve always enjoyed watching cooking and home design shows, especially those that offer strategies and ideas you can apply in your own kitchen or during your next dinner party. To keep improving your kitchen IQ, now you can view the Master Class Series from Jenn-Air.

The six-part video series – four of which are currently online, with two more coming in the fall – features insights from experts in design, cooking, and entertaining. Viewers learn how to create a uniquely beautiful cooking space and add some spice to their dinner parties, as well as specific cooking techniques including roasting and searing.

The Jenn-AirMaster Class series is all about helping those who love to cook and entertain, or are planning a new kitchen. For design ideas, Mary Jo Peterson brings her award-winning expertise gleaned from her experience as president of her own Connecticut-based design firm and member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Hall of Fame. Loren Daye, a Brooklyn-based owner of the creative design studio, Love is Enough, and co-designer of Tasting Table Test Kitchen & Dining Room, also shares her knowledge. And aspiring chefs will learn a lot about getting the most out of their kitchen appliances from Brendan McHale, the executive chef of the New York-based Tasting Table Test Kitchen & Dining Room.

View sessions one through four of the Master Class Series videos at JennAir.com/masterclass.

Kitchen Makeover Tech Tool

If you want to update your kitchen with new appliances based on the price tags alone, you should resist the urge to make an impulse purchase. Not only can it be an expensive undertaking, but you’ll have to live with your decision for many years to come. Luckily, a new iPhone app launched by Jenn-Air called DesignVision provides you with the chance to visualize the kitchen of your dreams so you don’t leave the store stressing over whether you’ve made the right choice.

The app, introduced at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show this past March, lets you see how Jenn-Air® luxury refrigerators, ovens, and range tops look in the kitchen you have right now – in other words, your kitchen, not the fake kitchen setup in the showroom. It works by using your iPhone to position a Jenn-Air® appliance over your old one to see how the upgrade can turn your kitchen from merely functional to fabulous. You can share the photos, too, if you want to get your family and friends can to share their input about your potential purchase.

The app goes beyond just creating an image, however, by getting into the details. DesignVision lets you check out different finishes, get info about dimensions and specs, and even locate a showroom near you that carries the products of interest.

Download DesignVision at the Apple App Store to start creating your beautiful new kitchen.

A Driving Trendsetter

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet – It’s more car than electric.

Note: The 2012 Chevy Volt has an EPA-estimated 94 MPGe [electric]; 35 city, 40 MPG highway [gas]. Actual range varies with conditions.

The Chevy Volt* is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric source – a battery – that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there’s also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too. Hear what one proud Volt owner had to say about how the electric car has reinvented his driving experience.

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Any Chevrolet Volt Drivers Out There?

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet – It’s more car than electric.

The Volt is getting a lot of attention these days, and if you drive a Volt, you are, too! Volt drivers say they’re constantly getting stopped at grocery stores and cornered in parking lots by curious onlookers wanting to know how the Volt works. Surely, you can relate. What is your Volt story?

Maybe it’s about what it’s like to charge regularly and fill up rarely, the furthest you’ve driven on an electric charge, or perhaps how the Volt has made you competitive with maximizing your efficiency. Now it’s your turn to share how you have achieved these amazing feats and how the Volt has changed your life.

Please send your amazing stories to http://goo.gl/pa1Al and you may be profiled for a feature!

MBIArch – A new international architecture Master’s degree program in Barcelona

MBArch
The Barcelona Institute of Architecture (BIArch)
is a center for research, practice, and dissemination of contemporary architecture. BIArch is an open laboratory for professionals and researchers that promotes new ways of thinking and practicing architecture in face of technological, energy, and economic conditions in permanent change. Seeking to become an international referent for architecture, BIArch is launching its Post-professional Master’s in Architecture degree program, the MBIArch, in September.

With an up-to-date interdisciplinary curriculum that covers Architectural Design, Urban & Territorial Studies, Energy & Building Technologies, and Digital Media, as well as History, Theory, and Criticism, the MBIArch bridges professional training, critical analysis and design-based research and production. The program combines theory, case studies, on-site project development and studio work and is supported by an outstanding international faculty and industry leaders including Iñaki Ábalos, Josep Anton Acebillo, David Adjaye, Stan Allen and Pier Vittorio Aureli, among others.

The MBIArch program addresses crucial concerns for architecture as a field of study and practice: promoting reflection through design; realigning theory and criticism with practice; rethinking ; working within different productive, territorial and energy contexts; and pushing forward new environmental, social and aesthetic sensibilities.

As an architectural institute for the twenty-first century, BIArch is linked to a worldwide network of institutions, dissemination platforms, and architectural experts. Barcelona, a global meeting point and a city with a rich architectural tradition and action-based discourse of its own, offers an ideal setting for the program.

The MBIArch is directed at architects that want to develop higher levels of conceptual, design and practical skills. The program requires one year of full-time study and covers 60 ECTS credits, with a degree awarded by the and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. The MBIArch is offered entirely in English. Late applications will be received until July 15.

If you’re interested in receiving more information regarding next steps to applying, please fill out the following form, or  download our application form.