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Critical Places Internships

Critical Places seeks graduate/undergraduate students or recent graduates in landscape architecture, urban design or architecture for assistance with several community development projects in rural India.

PERIOD: Internships will begin by May-end of 2018 and will be 10 to 12 weeks in length. Internships can be extended for a longer period of 6 to 12 months. Please state desired length of internship in your application (beginning-end dates).

PREREQUISITES: Applicants must have completed a minimum of 3 years of study in an undergraduate program or 1 year of study in a graduate program in the fields of landscape architecture, urban design or architecture. Interns must bring their own laptops with the following applications: Adobe Suite, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Rhino/SketchUp and GIS. Proficiency in these software applications is expected.

STIPEND: Interns should expect to pay for their return air-fare to India. All local travel arrangements in India will be provided free-of-cost. A stipend to cover basic out-of-pocket expenses in India will be provided.

MEALS & HOUSING: All team members will be provided 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) free-of-cost during the project work. Accommodations (double occupancy) will be provided free-of-cost for all the interns.

REQUIREMENTS: Please send a letter of interest, resume, portfolio of works not exceeding 10 pages and contact of 3 references to criticalplaces@gmail.com

DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and no later than April 15, 2018. Late applicants will be considered if there are positions available.

WORK: Interns will participate in field and studio-based work such as site study, community engagement activities, surveys, project design and development, research, diagramming and rendering, material research, and design/management of the construction of a small design-build public play-space.

KEY CONTACT: For questions, contact Alpa Nawre: alpa.nawre@ufl.edu

Alpa Nawre is Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Florida, and one of the Founders of Critical Places. Alpa holds a Masters in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design, a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelors degree in Architecture from NIT, Raipur, India. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and on the Alumni Advisory Council of Harvard GSD. Alpa is a licensed landscape architect in Kansas, a licensed architect in India, and a LEED AP.

ABOUT: Critical Places is a group of landscape architects, urbanists, architects, and engineers dedicated to working with under-served communities in India to design and develop places critical to human well-being. The positive impact and transformation in people and communities is at the heart of all our efforts. We work closely with all stakeholders to address critical rural issues such as water scarcity and waste-management through design strategies, engaging in physical transformation through small projects, and in the process creating a stronger, more cohesive and forward-looking community. Designs are collectively developed with stakeholders and each project includes a participatory design-build component.

Please see https://criticalplaces.org/ for more information.

UBuffalo architect creates Light/Station installation

(via University of Buffalo News Center)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the day, light pours in from two sides through the more than 72,000 holes laser-precision drilled into the stainless steel panels that veil the building’s façade.

At night, an inversion occurs and light glows from within, identifying the structure’s presence in the surrounding neighborhood.

For his newest project, University at Buffalo architect Christopher Romano embarked upon a two-year journey through the manipulation of light and metal as design materials. The result is a signature architectural structure nestled in the shadows of three iconic buildings on Buffalo’s historic East Side.

It’s called Light/Station, and the recently completed project has transformed an abandoned gas mart into a striking 1,545-square-foot design studio, green room and conference facility for Buffalo-based Torn Space, a critically acclaimed, avant-garde theater company.

Light and history were core components of Romano’s design concept from the beginning.

“Light serves as the connective tissue for all the components of the façade. It’s a material. It’s a central element to the multi-layered façade, where the lighting is a layer behind the steel panels, which typically isn’t done because it’s risky,” says Romano, who designed the façade through his firm Studio NORTH Architecture.

Romano is also a research assistant professor in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. A small team of UB architecture students also worked on the project.

Some of the smaller prototypes were developed and tested using the school’s digital fabrication equipment under the direction of Daniel Vrana, a staff member in the Fabrication Workshop and current employee at Studio NORTH Architecture.

A LOOK AT LIGHT/STATION (PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS LEVERE)

 

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UK Professors Design Sculpture for the Louisville International Airport

(via Kentucky Kernel)

UK School of Architecture professors Mike McKay and Liz Swanson designed the sculpture called “The Intertwining,” which will be permanently installed in the Louisville International Airport. McKay said he and Swanson put a lot of energy into their most recent accolade. The pair submitted an RFQ, or request for quotation, which is essentially a bidding proposal for a certain project or idea– in this case, it was Louisville Airport rotunda. McKay and Swanson’s RFQ was selected. The pair also worked with UK alumnus Thompson Burry, School of Architecture instructor Peyman Jahed of Buell Fryer McReynolds Jahed Inc. Structural Consultants and fabrication facility MakeTime of Lexington, according to UKNow.

McKay and Swanson first designed it, Jahed then engineered it, and, finally, MakeTime fabricated it. McKay said the project was built here in Lexington.

“We looked around Louisville with the question, what represents the commonwealth well?” McKay said.

Inspired by bourbon stills placed all around Louisville and Lexington, the project is meant to be more of an experience, rather than just a piece of art.

“This is significant, the amount of people that will see it is extraordinary,” McKay said. “This is something people can take away from their travel journey.”

Travelers’ view of the sculpture depends on where they are located in the airport, because every angle is a different type of viewing experience. As viewers move closer to the sculpture, they will see a moiré effect, which creates an illusion of movement of birds in flight or moving clouds.

McKay said he and Swanson each brought something to the collaboration.

“We come at it with different strengths. We do work collaborative and the outcome will be super exciting,” McKay said. “Essentially we researched the same thing, two different paths coming together in one.”

McKay said it was easy to work with Swanson and Burry.

McKay said this sculpture was definitely one of the pinnacles of his career, along with some of his art being placed in the UK Art Museum.

The project should be installed in the Louisville International Airport in the summer of 2018. For more information visit http://www.mikemckay.net/the-intertwining.html.

Real World Ready by Creating Real World Design Solutions

University of Arizona’s Bachelor or Architecture students test their designs by building homes for low income Tucsonans

The University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture’s (CAPLA) architecture students are faced with many of the same educational chores that other school of architecture students are faced with: they toil solving many theoretical design problems, they work long hours in their studio spaces looking to their classmates for inspiration and they dream of just how and when they’ll get to see their projects come to life. While theory and research are necessary parts of the curriculum, students at CAPLA also have the unique opportunity to work on real world design solutions through experiential education. One such way is through the Drachman Design-Build Coalition (DDBC), a 501 c3 non-profit housing provider organization.

The DDBC is the product of Professor Mary Hardin’s desire to ensure that her architecture students were able to have an experience that allowed them to see their designs come to life and to help an underserved population of low income Tucsonans achieve home ownership. Recently, the DDBC, through the design-build studios and hard work of 33 students across three semesters, completed its ninth residence, “The Sentinel House.”

“My involvement in DDBC has allowed me to bring the excitement of designing and building real projects into the studio experience with students. I get vicarious pleasure from seeing them enthused about building their own project designs. I also have been touched by how much extra work my students put into these projects, knowing they are building a home for a family who would not otherwise benefit from the talents of architectural designers. Seeing my students put so much into each project has constantly revived my own sense of commitment and enthusiasm,” states Mary.

Mary and her students were fortunate to receive a grant from the UA Office of Student Engagement (OSE) as this project meets the requirements of the UA’s 100% Engagement Initiative. The initiative works to provide students with experiences beyond the classroom, helping to enrich their professional and personal growth. Even with the generous grant from the OSE, the residence has been designed under a very strict budget so that it can be sold to a Tucson family earning below 80% of the Area Median Income.

The home has been built with several sustainability practices to help keep utility bills and lifetime maintenance costs lower for the future homeowners. For example, they’ve used scoria, a thermal mass material, for the exterior walls of the home. This dense material holds onto temperature for a long period of time, meaning it works hard to prevent outdoor heat from traveling indoors. Additionally, they placed a layer of rigid foam in the center of these walls to help hinder the heat transfer.

The team also built two water harvesting cisterns to collect rainwater from the roof for use on the landscaping. The landscaping is xeriscape, low water use desert plants that are located to help shade the home. The A/C system is four mini-splits rather than one central unit so that each room can be programmed for thermal comfort separately from the others. This will allow homeowners to fine tune their use of air conditioning to keep bills down, and the mini-split units are much more efficient (SEER 21) than the typical central unit (SEER 14).

Educational experiences like these help CAPLA students succeed beyond the classroom and well into their professions. They’ve had the opportunity to face real world challenges and then find the most efficient solutions to those problems. “These opportunities simply aren’t found elsewhere,” states Mary.


For more information on University of Arizona’s Architecture Program, visit their profile on StudyArchitecture.

 

 

 

 

Yale Architecture Students Build "Vlock House" for Homeless

(via New Haven Independent)

A homeless family will be able to look out onto Adeline Street while cooking dinner and also find privacy in a rock garden, thanks to the design of the latest house Yale architecture students built in New Haven.

Some 200 people came out Monday night to tour and celebrate the new house, the 28th annual home that Yale School of Architecture students have built as part of the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project. This is the first year that a home was designed specifically for the homeless.

The distinctive, many-windowed, pitched-roof modernist house is at 54 Adeline St. in the Hill.

Into it one homeless family and one individual will move next month, sharing a common modernist building with the adjoining units separated by an elegant breeze-way and fronted by a flower-lined path gracing the narrow street.

“Imagine if you were sleeping on a bench last week, and someone gave you keys to your own place [like this],” said Columbus House Chief Executive Officer Alison Cunningham.

54 Adeline, unveiled Monday night. (Photo credit: Allan Appel Photos)

School of Architecture Dean Deborah Burke said when she arrived she had wanted to “deepen” the Vlock Project. That took the form of a partnership with Columbus House, the city’s lead organization in the struggle to end homelessness.

The Valentine Macri Court houses, 17 units of affordable housing also managed by Columbus House, are adjacent to what was an empty lot, and on which 54 Adeline now rises.

Cunningham interacted with the students, brought them to the neighborhood, had them talk with homeless people, all to inform what they were going to build.

Then 53 students in six teams competed for a winning design. When it was chosen, all 53 learned teamwork by helping to fashion most of the components of the house not on site but as prefabricated elements put together in a warehouse on Yale’s West Campus. That was in June and July.

Read more…


Learn more about the Yale School of architecture, here.

Parsons’ Design-Build Project Transforms the Entrance Hall of Children’s Museum of the Arts

(via The New School News)

When you consider the function of a lobby, ideas like “entrance,” “waiting area,” or maybe “the way to get from the door to the elevator” probably come to mind.

But a lobby is more than just a way to get from point A to point B: It’s also meant to convey a lasting image of the institution or business.

That’s the kind of thinking that motivated students and faculty members at The New School’s Parsons School of Design in the transformation of the 1,200-square-foot entrance hall of the Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) in TriBeCa.

Led by Design Workshop, an innovative design-build studio comprising graduate architecture students, the project highlights Parsons’ commitment to design-led civic engagement and its real-world educational approach.

“The ‘learning by doing’ model, which is the backbone of the Parsons Design Workshop, affords our students the opportunity to fully realize their designs in built form,” says Joel Stoehr, director of Design Build Projects at Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments. “Student designers learn how an idea evolves from concept sketch to construction document to building permit and how these ideas are realized in the transformation of raw material into constructed artifact.”

The renovation was created to meet several of CMA’s design needs, including stroller storage, acoustics, branding, and increasing visibility of the visitor services desk. (Photo/Diego Ledezma-Perez)

Designed during the spring 2017 semester and constructed over the summer, the renovation was created to meet several of CMA’s design needs, including stroller storage, acoustics, branding, and increasing visibility of the visitor services desk. The centerpiece of the renovation is a new wall made up of two layers of perforated plastic illuminated by colored lights. The wall divides the lobby space into a “functional side,” which includes a new stroller parking area and storage space, and a “fun side,” a gathering space “where visitors of all ages are delighted by the light and pattern,” according to Angela DeGeorges, MArch ’18, a Design Workshop student who worked on the renovation.

Interactive Light Wall (Photo/Diego Ledezma-Perez)

“The CMA renovation is a spatial reorganization that accommodates the diverse and changing needs of the museum,” she adds. “Our strategy was to address each of CMA’s challenges with an architectural intervention that solves a problem but also brings visual delight to the space.”

Additionally, a series of dichroic acrylic panels suspended from the ceiling in front of the large south-facing windows allow light of different colors to be simultaneously reflected and transmitted. When parents check in to CMA, “the open lobby allows children to play in the colorful light projecting on the floor from the windows, be intrigued by a chase of color along the wall, or dance in front of an interactive art piece by Danny Rosen,” according to the students who worked on the project.

A series of dichroic acrylic panels suspended from the ceiling in front of the large south-facing windows allow light of different colors to be simultaneously reflected and transmitted. (Photo/Diego Ledezma-Perez)

A challenge faced by those working on the project was making sure that the materials used were both environmentally friendly and safe for children visiting CMA. That’s where Parsons’ Healthy Materials Lab (HML) came in. Jack Dinning, head researcher at HML, conducted workshops and consulted with Design Workshop students throughout the design, product evaluation, fabrication, and installation processes.

“Kids are particularly vulnerable to the effects that toxic materials can have on their health,” Dinning said. “Exposures during this stage of life can disrupt their early developmental processes, both physical and cognitive, leading to disorders ranging from asthma to learning disabilities to life-threatening illnesses like childhood brain cancers.”

With this concern in mind, Dinning and the students incorporated safer rubber flooring, sustainably forested plywood, and acoustic treatments made of recycled plastic.

Design Workshop echoes the real-world experience of collaborating with a real client. With guidance from Parsons faculty members Sharon Sutton, Nick Brinen, Mark Gardner, and Stoehr and assistance from West Chin Architects and Conto and Sons contractors, students participated in focus groups with museum visitors and conducted research before creating a proposal. During construction, they made decisions about which materials and hardware to use and generated shop drawings outlining their proposed design. By collaborating with a client, they had a chance to get their hands dirty and familiarize themselves with all aspects of the design and building of a commissioned project.

Parsons’ Design Workshop (Photo/Diego Ledezma-Perez)

The CMA lobby renovation is the latest project highlighting Parsons’ and Design Workshop’s commitment to design-led civic engagement. Past collaborations include the creation of a seating area at El Sitio Feliz, a popular community garden in Harlem; and changing room pavilions at the Sunset Park Recreation Center pool in Brooklyn and the Highbridge Recreation Center in Washington Heights.

In the renovation of the CMA lobby the Parsons students had a very satisfied client.

“The new lobby strengthens our ability to welcome all children and their families to make art at CMA,” says Barbara Hunt McLanahan, executive director of the museum. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with students from The New School to create an innovative and inviting entry to the museum. We look forward to welcoming visitors into our new lobby and lounge.”

Design Workshop Children’s Museum of the Arts Renovation (Photo/Diego Ledezma-Perez)

 

Learn more about Parson’s School of Design here.

CU Denver Students Build Pop-up Installation at Denver Park

CU Denver’s Maymester class designs and builds entryways for Square on 21st, a collaboration with the City of Denver.

(via CU Denver Today)

CU Denver students got to ditch the classroom in favor of turning soil, pounding nails and solving in-the-field design problems during a Maymester Design Build class. They put their creative stamp on an entire city block, installing archways that grace the entrances to a new City of Denver concept – a summer pop-up park, featuring food trucks, a dog park and music – in the Ballpark neighborhood.

“For me, it’s incredible to have the city say, ‘Yes, we trust you with $10,000,’” said student Genevieve Hampton. That was the budget that students and their instructors – Maria Delgado and Jo VandenBurg from the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) and Monica Wittig from Inworks – received from the city to design and install the eye-catching entryways.

In late spring, the city closed the one-block section and began covering the pavement with turf, 60 trees, a music stage and the artful, student-designed entrances at Lawrence and Larimer streets. It’s fitting that 21 students enrolled in the Maymester course as the the verdant and shady block is now dubbed “The Square on 21st.”

Architecture student Tyler Ellis said the tangible nature of the project has been rewarding. “We’re mostly focused on the page when we’re in design studio,” he said, “so being able to see it manifested in physical form has been great.”

Maria Delgado, a doctoral Design and Planning student at CU Denver, was so inspired by the new CU in the City marketing campaign that she scoured the internet for design projects that would integrate student learning with downtown’s urban environment. “I was researching possible content for my spring class. I was inspired by Chancellor Horrell and our campus leadership’s whole concept of CU Denver being ‘CU in the City,’” Delgado said. “This project is a result of that movement.” Jo VandenBurg, another instructor in the class, added, “This is what you get when you say ‘CU in the City:’ You get cool stuff in the city.”

Delgado, a doctoral student in the Design and Planning Program in CAP, reached out to the city’s office of Community Planning and Development last winter when she saw the project posted online. Her initial suggestion was for city officials to critique a few student-created renderings. “From that meeting they said, ‘Well, actually we have $10,000 budgeted (for the entryways) and we’d love for your students to design and build something,’” Delgado said.

With a tight deadline approaching – the park opened June 15, with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other dignitaries in attendance (photo at top) – Delgado wondered how she and her students would be able to get all the work done in time. The solution was a CAP-Inworks cross-listed Maymester course that literally put students in hardhats out on the street.

Hampton said Design Build students are usually limited to creating small-sized models in the studio. “To walk through this design on this scale is something we’re not used to – it’s exciting,” she said. “It’s a design project with real-world constraints that we’ve had to adjust to, like the curve of the street.”

In spring, CAP and Inworks students met several times with city representatives to explain their idea and receive feedback. The designs were nearly ready when the Maymester Design Build class started on May 15.

Although the class runs three weeks, students only had 11 days to complete everything for The Square on 21st project. That’s how quickly they moved from a computer rendering, to figuring out how to build the entrances, to ordering the materials, to cutting the wood sheets, to installing and painting them. “It was crazy,” VandenBurg said of of the process, noting that students worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day over that span.

Delgado, a doctoral student in the Design and Planning Program in CAP, reached out to the city’s office of Community Planning and Development last winter when she saw the project posted online. Her initial suggestion was for city officials to critique a few student-created renderings. “From that meeting they said, ‘Well, actually we have $10,000 budgeted (for the entryways) and we’d love for your students to design and build something,’” Delgado said.

With a tight deadline approaching – the park opened June 15, with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other dignitaries in attendance (photo at top) – Delgado wondered how she and her students would be able to get all the work done in time. The solution was a CAP-Inworks cross-listed Maymester course that literally put students in hardhats out on the street.

Hampton said Design Build students are usually limited to creating small-sized models in the studio. “To walk through this design on this scale is something we’re not used to – it’s exciting,” she said. “It’s a design project with real-world constraints that we’ve had to adjust to, like the curve of the street.”

In spring, CAP and Inworks students met several times with city representatives to explain their idea and receive feedback. The designs were nearly ready when the Maymester Design Build class started on May 15.

Although the class runs three weeks, students only had 11 days to complete everything for The Square on 21st project. That’s how quickly they moved from a computer rendering, to figuring out how to build the entrances, to ordering the materials, to cutting the wood sheets, to installing and painting them. “It was crazy,” VandenBurg said of of the process, noting that students worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day over that span.

While CAP graduate students in Design Build have created projects across the state and in the metro area, the Ballpark effort marks the first time a Design Build undergraduate class has installed a local project. “It’s really cool because it’s just a few blocks away from school,” Delgado said. “It’s been a real collaboration for CAP, Inworks and the City to be able to visit the site daily and see the project grow.”

Grand way to make an entrance

The collaboration included access to cutting-edge technology available through both CAP and Inworks. CAP recently acquired a computer numerical control (CNC) router that replicates a machine already available at Inworks. The two CNCs allowed students to cut 83 sheets of plywood for the arches – set in accordion-like fashion at the Larimer entrance, where 14 are installed, and the Lawrence entry (seven more) – in quick and precise fashion.

The pop-up park will host food trucks, summer concerts and serve as a pleasant gathering spot for folks strolling or cycling just east of Coors Field.  The Square on 21st acts as a trial run for a potential permanent “activated block” to be installed in a pocket of town lacking green space, said Delgado, who founded the CU Denver Design Build Institute of America student chapter club.

The entrances play a key role in the park. They guide walking and bicycling visitors into the green space, encouraging them to meander through the park.

For Delgado, the best part of Maymester has been seeing students’ faces light up with pride as the entrances gained dimension and flair. “It’s neat because other people will be able to experience what our students have designed and built,” she said. “They’ve left a mark.”


Check out CU Denver’s Architecture Program!

Tulane's Annual URBANBuild Program

Every year, students of Tulane University’s School of Architecture have the opportunity to take a course called “URBANBuild” where they design and construct a home for a family in New Orleans.

(via Tulane SoA News)

“The house at 1924 Toledano St. in Central City is a striking gray residence with a sharply angled roofline and louvered shutters over the front windows. Inside, every inch of its 975 square feet has been painstakingly pondered, debated and studied.

The house, which recently listed on the market for $220,000 and is now under contract, is the 12th project of the Tulane University School of Architecture’s URBANbuild program.

Fifteen students — a mixture of undergrads and grad students — designed the house in a class last fall, then submitted plans to the city and secured building permits. During the spring semester, they built it from the ground up on a vacant 30-foot-by-70-foot lot owned by Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, the nonprofit group which partners with Tulane on the program.

For some of the students, it was the first time they’d ever lifted a hammer or fired up a power tool, much less climbed around a roof.

The class operates like a full-time job, with students expected to spend six days a week on the job site, said Tulane architecture professor and URBANbuild director Byron Mouton. Licensed general contractor Anthony Christiana serves as lead contractor.

In the fall, the students create various architectural design schemes for an affordable residence; at midterm, they vote on the one that will be built. “Then they all work together as a group on the development,” Mouton said. Full Article HERE


Learn more about Tulane’s School of Architecture!

KU Students Build Passive Solar House

For around $250,000, KU students designed and built a passive solar house while participating in Studio 804 program within the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

(via CJ Online)

Abi Davis knew she wanted to be an architect at an early age. It was a field in which she could combine her love of math, science and art. She already had her sights set on studying at the University of Kansas, but once she was on campus, she learned about Studio 804, a hands-on approached to learning architectural skills.

Davis was among the 10 graduate students who designed and recently finished building a 1,300-square-foot passive solar house in East Lawrence as part of KU’s Department of Architecture’s Studio 804 program. The students worked under the supervision of Dan Rockhill, a KU architecture professor who directs the program.

Davis, who earned a master’s degree in architecture in mid-May and whose specialty is architectural acoustics, said she learned to hang drywall and build steel screens and gained confidence in her physical ability to do other tasks. She and the other students also had to learn to communicate with each other, blend their ideas and come to a consensus.

“I saw things larger than life go up in front of my eyes,” said Davis, who will begin working this month as a consultant in Santa Monica, Calif. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Construction started in August and was completed in early May. The house maintains Studio 804’s high level of sustainable design, while remaining contextually sensitive to the neighborhood.

“This is all sustainable,” Rockhill said at a recent viewing of the passive solar house. “We have an obligation to the world to (move toward) sustainability.”

The Studio 804 structure’s steel exterior is reminiscent of the steel Lustron houses developed in the United States after World War II in response to the lack of housing for returning veterans. The insulated metal panels used to build the house were left over from the construction of the tennis center at Rock Chalk Park, on the west edge of Lawrence.

The house uses passive strategies for lighting and sun shading. The bedrooms, kitchen and living room are arranged along the south wall to take advantage of natural lighting. A steel screening system on the south and west sides of the home enhances natural lighting.

The home’s open plan creates flex-spaces that can be reconfigured based on the owner’s needs. For example, the glass-enclosed area at the southwest corner of the house, which adjoins the kitchen, can be used as a dining room, solarium or reading room.

“The kitchen is the only permanent thing in the house,” said John Coughlin, a Studio 804 participant who earned his master’s degree in architecture in mid-May.

Other features include 9-foot-high ceilings, imported WaterSense-rated plumbing and Energy Star-compliant, Italian-made kitchen appliances. The kitchen’s red-oak European cabinets are topped with cold-rolled steel countertops. The floors are polished concrete, and the recessed lighting fixtures are fitted LEDs.

A hanging pendant in the dining room is an original Louis Paulsen fixture, crafted in Denmark and purchased for reuse in the project.

Because there is no attic or basement, Coughlin said, storage areas are built into the north side of the home’s hallway.

Insulation includes both rigid and blown-in cellulose that exceeds U.S. Green Building Council LEED-rating standards, which allows the house to have all-electric climate control, appliances and lighting. A net-metered photovoltaic solar array, consisting of 16 panels, is capable of providing 4.8 kilowatt-hours of power.

The price of the passive solar house, which sits on a 40-by-132-foot lot at 1330 Brook St., is $249,000. The adjacent lot north of the house can be purchased for $30,000. The additional lot could be used for a garage, studio, garden, orchard or another structure.

“That’s a bargain price,” Rockhill said. “If sold on the market, it would be twice that.”

The house, which is close to downtown Lawrence and is handicap-accessible, may be particularly attractive to those who are downsizing, he said.

If the adjacent lot isn’t sold, Rockhill said, the Studio 804 program may build a sustainable structure there next year.

Learn more about the architecture program at KU.

STUDIO 804

Studio 804 Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation devoted to the research and development of sustainable, affordable and inventive building solutions.

The University of Kansas’ Department of Architecture offers the program to graduate students entering the final year of their master’s degree program, transfer students and professionals.

All aspects of the design and construction — securing construction documents and estimates, working with zoning and code officials, site layout, placing concrete, framing, roofing, siding, setting solar panels and landscaping — are done by the students over the 9-month academic year.

Studio 804 produces one project per year and to date has completed 10 LEED Platinum projects and three Passive House-certified projects. Studio 804 is the only firm in Kansas to have completed 10 LEED Platinum structures.

For more information about the program, visit studio804.com.

University of Utah Students DesignBuildBluff Program

“DesignBuildBLUFF is a graduate architecture program at the University of Utah focused on immersing students in hands-on cross-cultural experiences. We work in partnership with the Navajo community of San Juan County in the Utah Four Corners.” – DesignBuildBLUFF.org

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(via Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah’s school of architecture graduate program has launched another year of DesignBuildBLUFF.  The program gives students the opportunity to be involved in hands-on cross-cultural experiences.  They work in partnership with San Juan County’s Navajo community.

“We offer students an opportunity to design and build a full-scale work of architecture in collaboration with the Navajo people,” said program director Jose Galarza. “We emphasize sustainability and a respect for the unique social, cultural and environmental needs of the region.”

The program’s focus on sustainability can be seen in a recent project called Cedar Hall.  The building is an 850-square-foot structure and has white walls. Features of the building include rain water collection and a soon-to-be-installed solar energy system.  The framework is comprised of approximately 70 percent recycled material taken from a demolished house in Park City.

In the past, projects have been small, single-family homes that were assigned by tribal chapters.  Recently, however, projects have been designed to develop the community.  The last 12 years have been spent renovating historic buildings and now the group is working on constructing modern community buildings.

One of the residencies that architecture students constructed, affectionately named ‘Badger Springs’ after a nearby water source, is made primarily from recycled materials. It relies on natural cooling and ventilation and uses a wood-burning stove for heat in the winter. The home is outfitted with solar panels for maximum energy efficiency. The students cooperated with the family living in the home throughout the process to ensure their needs were met.

The goal of the program is to tie community building with better living conditions in order to enhance the health of the community.

“Our hope is for this space to be a teaching tool and a gathering center for the community,” said architecture student Max Wood in reference to Cedar Hall.  “While we were there, the local elementary students came to tour the property each month to learn about the materials we were using and how we recycled old lumber.”

Wood noted that the vision is for the community to use the space as a dynamic, multi-purpose center with activities ranging from elementary school art galleries to voting poll locations in the future.


Visit University of Utah’s Architecture Program Profile!