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.
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.
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.
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.
One thing Google has become known for is their spectacular work environments. From playful employee lounges to environmentally sensitive design, the multifaceted internet giant has successfully transformed hundreds of existing spaces from around the globe into casual work environments that spawn innovation, optimizes efficiency, and boasts employee satisfaction. Much like many other California-based corporations, Google has been toying with the idea of building their own office space from scratch. Well, this dream will soon be realized, as the company has teamed up with Seattle-based NBBJ to expand their current, 65-building “Googleplex” in Mountain View, California, by adding a 1.1-million-square-foot complex known as “Bay View” on a neighboring 42-acre site.
With a 3-2 vote, Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board has voted in favor of Amazon’s plans for a three-block, high-rise complex in the Denny Triangle. The board voted after conducting five, comprehensive meetings over the last six months to review Amazon’s evolving NBBJ-designed proposal. Although this design review approval is simply a recommendation to the city’s Department of Planning and Development, it is still a milestone for the ambitious project.
The five acre site, roughly located between Sixth Avenue, Blanchard Street and Westlake Avenue, is currently occupied by expansive parking lots, the Sixth Avenue Inn and the King Cat Theater. Continue after the break to learn more.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) has announced four recipients of the AIA National Healthcare Design Awards program. The awards program highlights the “best of healthcare building design and healthcare design-oriented research” that exhibit “conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital”.
The AIA National Healthcare Design Award recipients are:
NBBJ’s design for the Amazon’s new headquarters in downtown Seattle, Washington, promises to consolidate the companies currently scattered buildings into a 3-block development that includes high-rise towers, a variety of open spaces, and landscaped plazas. The 3.3 million square foot design was presented to the city’s Design Review Board (DRB) in great detail outlining the division of the each of the buildings, their integration into the downtown urban fabric and the synthesis of the currently underdeveloped Denny’s Triangle.