2014 “Piran Days of Architecture” Explores the Complexities of Vision

Courtesy of PIDA

“What is the role of the architect as a visionary; can the architect (or should the architect) assume the position of social or urban orchestrator? Can architecture’s presence in a technocracy promote a vision outside of its intentions?” – Professor Paul Robinson

The thirty-second Piran Days of Architecture international conference will take place on November 22, organized around the central theme of Vision. The conference will explore a contemporary methodology for interpreting the myriad facets of an architect’s vision in the context of “increasing technological, sociopolitical, sociocultural and environmental demands.” 

Aesthetic Fillup: Gas Stations

© www.flickr.com / Brandon Baunach

The design of gas stations is mostly stripped down to that required for bare function. The inextricable relationship of the aesthetics of modernism to that of the automobile begs a different approach, one that fulfills the traditional function of a gas station but also reflects shifting movements within design. Just like the cars that have driven up to utilize them, these gas stations represent design principles contemporary to the time in which they were constructed.

MIT’s Festival for Art Science and Technology ‘FAST Light’

Liquid Archive, Courtesy of NADAA

MIT’s Festival for Art Science and Technology will culminate this weekend May 7th and 8th with FAST Light, a series of innovative site specific installations around the MIT campus and along the Charles River. Installations by MIT Department of Architecture Head, Nader Tehrani (founder and principal of and of the newly formed NADAAA), Professor Sheila Kennedy (Principal of Kennedy & Violich Architecture), and Professor Meejin Yoon (Principal of Höweler + Yoon Architecture and ) are among the final river front projects that will light up the night along the river this Saturday and Sunday in front of Killian Court at MIT.

More information, photographs, and videos following the break

Hinman Research Building / office dA and Lord, Aeck & Sargent

Courtesy of Tech

The Hinman Research Building, originally designed by P.M Heffernan in 1939 who later served as director of Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture from 1956-1976, recently has undergone a $9.5 million restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse. Office dA in collaboration with Lord, Aeck & Sargent adapted the freestanding research facility to include graduate level architecture studios, computer labs and interdisciplinary research labs among others.

Events will be held today to mark the grand opening of the Hinman Research Building starting at 4pm in the Reinsh-Pierce Auditorium with a lecture from the architects, Nader Tehrani of office dA and Atlanta based Lord, Aeck & Sargent‘s Jack Pyburn, FAIA. Following the lecture a ceremony and reception will be held from 5-7pm at the Hinman Research Building.

Architects: office dA and Lord, Aech & Sargent
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Construction Manager: The Beck Group
Project Area: 35,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Georgia Tech COA

Georgia Tech’s Hinman Research Building Grand Opening

March 30th will mark the grand opening for the Hinman Research Building, Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture (COA) $9.5 million restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the historic building.

Events being at 4pm in the Reinsh-Pierce Auditorium with a lecture from the architects, Nader Tehrani of office dA and based Lord, Aeck & Sargent‘s Jack Pyburn, FAIA. Following the lecture a ceremony and reception will be held from 5-7pm at the Hinman Research Building.

Designed in 1939 by P.M. Heffernan, architect and later director of Tech’s School of Architecture (1956-1976), the 35,000 sqf building has been artfully preserved and revitalized in collaboration between Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s Historic Preservation Studio and office dA as the architects and The Beck Group as construction manager.

This can’t miss event is free and open to the public!  Guests will have a chance to attend the lecture, tour the building, meet the architectural and construction team, and view an exhibition detailing the advanced technology used in the design and construction process. RSVP is required by TODAY, Friday March 25th.

THE BI BLOG on Control

Courtesy of THE BI BLOG

One topic with two points of view, THE BI BLOG recently proposed a discussion on the topic of control. Featuring two distinctly different buildings, Tech’s recently renovated Hinman Research Building by Office dA in association with Lord, Aeck & Sargent, and ’s London Zoo Penguin Pool, the contributors share their points of view on an architect’s ability to control or not control their buildings, from conduit to how a penguin uses a space.

THE BI BLOG‘s full article on Control can be found here.

The BI BLOG presents a new form of collaborative design writing. Eschewing the single author, each thematic exchange presents, in tandem, two unique points of view on a single architectural topic, opening up a dialog between an ever expanding pool of designers, theorists, critics and curators (comments from readers are also encouraged).

Office dA coming to an end?

Office dA: and Monica Ponce de León

Office disputes happen all the time, it’s in our architect’s DNA.

You might have heard about office dA’s ongoing dispute. Sad, as office dA has done such great buildings, such as the awarded Macallan Building, the BanQ restaurant and Helios House, among a long list of projects of which innovation in terms of materials and fabrication are a common thread. I won’t get into much detail, as it’s all covered in the Boston Globe (and Monica Ponce de Leon´s reply on Archinect), and this is not a gossip blog. However, I wanted to share this quote from Nader Tehrani, which highlights the collaboration and fluidity a practice can have:

“Monica and I made presentations to the public that were like Sonny and Cher. When you are able to finish each other’s sentences, there is clearly a collaborative spirit there.”

I recommend you to watch our interview with Nader Tehrani (now head of the architecture department at MIT) to know more about the (soon to disappear?) firm.

3rd Prize at Taipei Pop Music Center Competition / office dA

Office dA (design architect) with Y. Lin Architect (joint tenderer) and CAZA (design consultant)  received third prize at the Pop Music Center Competition.

Located in the Nangang District, the principal space design comprises of an indoor performing hall with 4500-6000 seats, an outdoor performing space with 15000 standing seats, exhibition space for reputed musicians, a digital library, a medium and small indoor exhibition and performing live house, industrial communities and incubation space, etc.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

BanQ / Office dA

© John Horner
© John Horner

Architects: Office dA
Location: , MA, USA
Project Design: , Monica Ponce de Leon
Principal in Charge: Nader Tehrani
Project Architect: Dan Gallagher
Project Coordinators: Catie Newell, Brandon Clifford
Project Team: Harry Lowd, Richard Lee, Lisa Huang, Remon Alberts, Janghwan Cheon, Jumanah Jamal, Aishah Al Sager
Contractor: Homeland Builders
Structural Consulting Engineer: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
MEP Consulting Engineer: Wozny/Barbar & Associates, Inc.
Lighting Consultant: Collaborative Lighting
Acoustical Consultant: Acentech
Kitchen Consultant: TriMark USA, Inc.
Building Code Consultant: Hal Cutler
Project Area: 446 sqm
Proyect Year: 2006-2008
Photographs: John Horner

AD Interviews: Nader Tehrani, Office dA

During the 2009 AIA Convention I had the chance to attend a lecture by , after which I conducted this interview. He is one of the founders of the Boston based practice Office dA, with Monica Ponce de Leon.

Nader, who is also a professor at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning, has done an interesting research on the logic of materials, producing contemporary forms that are the result of new interpretations and building techniques, rather than just simple formal explorations.

I really like the “thinking” behind Office dA, which has allowed them to move from furniture up to the urban scale, resolving the specific issues of each scale with a similar logic.

I think that good examples of this are the Helios House for BP and the MacAllen building recently featured at AD.

From what I saw on Nader’s presentation, it looks like we are going to see more from Office dA in the near future.

Interview available in High Definition at Vimeo.

Macallen Building Condominiums / office dA

© John Horner Photography
© John Horner Photography

Architects: office dA
Location: South , Massachusetts, USA
Architect of Record: Burt Hill
Principals in Charge: Monica Ponce de Leon,
Project Architect: Dan Gallagher
Project Manager: Lisa Huang
Project Team: Ghazal Abassy, Remon Alberts, Hansy Luz Better, Scott Ewart, Katja Gischas, Anna Goodman, David Jeffries, Krists Karklins, Ethan Kushner, Christine Mueller, Julian Palacio, Penn Ruderman, Ahmad Reza Schricker, Harry Lowd
Project Area: 32,516 sqm
Project year: 2002-2007
Photographs: John Horner Photography

© John Horner Photography © John Horner Photography © John Horner Photography © John Horner Photography

University of Melbourne Announces Winners / John Wardle Architects + Office dA


A few months ago, we shared the ’s six short-listed finalists for their new Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning building (short list can be read here).  Of the six finalists, the team of Melbourne-based John Wardle Architects and -based Office dA have been named the winners.  Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, stated, “The winning design showed a detailed understanding of the teaching and research activities of the Faculty and the potential for contribution to research across the campus.”

More images and more about the winning project after the break.