The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.
However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:
http://www.archdaily.com/798252/these-are-the-worlds-most-innovative-architecture-firmsLidija Grozdanic for Archipreneur.com
The award is given in four categories: Category A: Built, Less than $25 million in construction cost; Category B: Built, More than $25 million in construction cost; Category C: Unbuilt, Must be commissioned for compensation by a client with the authority and intention to build (No projects were selected in this category this year); and Category D: Innovations in Planning and Design Research, Built and Unbuilt.
Seattle-based architecture and design firm NBBJ has formed a new business partnership with startup Visual Vocal to develop an innovative virtual reality (VR) productivity platform. Using this new tool, distributed project stakeholders will be able to immerse themselves into unbuilt environments and provide instantaneous feedback.
As opposed to traditional methods of communication such as email, a new VR platform, combined with mobile and cloud-based communications, could help expedite and facilitate the sharing of designs with clients, in a way that has "the potential to transform workflows within the field of architecture and beyond," state NBBJ in a press release.
Construction has begun on the Quadram Institute, a new innovation hub for the advancement of food and heath research in Norfolk, in the United Kingdom. Designed by the London office of NBBJ, the 13,900 square meter center will bring scientists, clinical researchers, and a healthcare clinic together under one roof.
The winning projects of the Boston Living with Water competition have been announced. The competition “sought design solutions envisioning a beautiful, vibrant, and resilient Boston that is prepared for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.” Out of 50 teams, three were selected, each for separate sites—one for a building, one for a neighborhood, and one for a significant piece of city infrastructure—in addition to one honorable mention. Each of the winners will receive a $13,000 prize funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation.
The Boston Living with Water competition was organized by the City of Boston, The Boston Harbor Association, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Society of Architects. As Mayor Martin J. Walsh honored the winners, he noted that “competition ideas and strategies are already informing Boston’s future, including revisions to building plans and zoning codes, and influencing ‘Imagine Boston 2030.’” Winning projects will be on display at BSA Space through June 2015. Learn more about the winners, after the break.
Fast Company has announced who they believe to be the most innovative practices in architecture for 2015. Topping this list is the online remodeling community Houzz, the BIG powerhouse and David Benjamin’s The Living. See the complete list, after the break, and let us know who you believe is the world’s most innovative firms in the comment section below.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital has selected NBBJ to design their $85 million Livingston Ambulatory Center in Columbus, Ohio. The six-story, 200,000-square-foot center will serve more than 100,000 patients annually. It will feature modular and flexible units centered around shared employee workspaces. Construction will begin in February.
With the number of officially “tall” buildings — at least 656 feet (200 meters) — doubling over the next ten years, and the number of “megatall” buildings — at least 1,969 feet (600 meters) — expected to jump from two to 10 by 2020, building construction around the world is literally reaching new heights.
Indeed, next year alone 10 new skyscrapers of at least 1,110 feet (338 meters) will be completed. They are 2015's tallest buildings…
Of all the changes in architectural typologies in recent years, one of the most dramatic - and the most documented - is the transition from corporate to more casual, 'fun' office buildings. This change has infiltrated companies from tiny 5-person start-ups to Silicon Valley giants, and while it has been pioneered by tech and media companies it has certainly not been limited to them.
Most analysis of this change focuses on work patterns created by new technology or the demands of the 'millennial' worker, but this post originally published on Means the World - the blog of NBBJ - examines the shift away from the corporate office as a product of not just what these building are but what they represent about us as a society, arguing that "when today's workers look at the midcentury office, they see a symbol of exclusion."
International architecture firm NBBJ has created Sunbreak, a new prototype for user-controlled sunshades that will not only lower energy costs, but also give buildings a dynamic appearance throughout the day.
Technology currently exists for automatically regulating solar gains in buildings, but the downside to these systems is that they often lack manual controls, and one of the most common complaints heard from workers in modern office buildings is that they do not have enough control over their environment. Automatic sunshades go up or down based on the time of day but if it happens to be cloudy outside or if users want natural light in a room when the shades are down there may be nothing they can do.
NBBJ, together with EOP Architects, has unveiled a massive renovation plan for Lexington’s famous collegiate basketball arena, Rupp Arena. An attempt to upgrade the 38-year-old arena’s facilities and strengthen its connection to the surrounding urban realm, the 23,500-seat stadium will be separated from the adjoining convention center, which is also undergoing renovation, while its enclosed facade is re-clad in glass and site sculpts a vibrant new public square within the heart of the city.
This two-minute video with NBBJ’s Andrew Heumann highlights a valuable capability of parametric design; whereby the architect can optimize the shape and orientation of a building to appropriate a variety of viewing conditions at the client’s request.
NBBJ has unveiled a 250-meter-high, two-tower campus that will become Tencent’s main headquarters at the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park upon completion in 2016. As the world’s third-largest internet corporation, and 2013’s most innovative Chinese company according to FastCo, Tencent hopes the new campus will serve as a vibrant workplace for an expanding workforce of 12,000 employees.
The City Design Review Board has approved NBBJ’s tri-sphere biodome planned for Amazon’s downtown Seattle headquarters. Reaching up to 95 feet, the glass cluster of “Spheres” was designed to create an alternative work environment within the 3.3 million-square-foot office and retail campus that is currently under construction.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital just broke ground last week on the Brigham Building for the Future, a 620,000 square-foot translational research and clinical facility designed by NBBJ. Located on the hospital’s Longwood campus, the 11-story project will house eight floors of research laboratories, three floors of clinics, a state-of-the-art imaging facility, social spaces, and a 400-car garage, along with associated site improvements. More images and architects' description after the break.
NBBJ's design for the new Samsung Headquarters in Silicon Valley will become one of the new buildings to relieve the the city of its dull, nondescript two-story office architecture that dominates the landscape and introduce a new culture of office environments with a little push from the architecture itself. According to the LA Times by Chris O'Brien this architectural endeavor is just one move to establish ground in the rivalry between Samsung and Apple, whose highly anticipated spaceship-like Foster + Partners-designed Cupertino Campus has made waves in the design community. Technologically innovative and influential companies like Samsung, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Nvidia have engaged in a cultural shift of the work environment to create a hospitable and creative community for its employees. The architecture of the campuses and offices introduced by each of these companies reflect the goals of an innovative business model that engages its employees in an innovative work environment that fosters collaboration and creativity.