Aaron Seward of the ‘Architect’s Newspaper’ discusses our design of Rescue Company 1 as the first among a new generation of firehouses for elite FDNY companies. Read the post here.
Entry Ramp Takes Shape:
Central to the entry redesign is the reconstruction of the original ground floor entrance. In addition to the salvaged schist stone wall, concrete retaining walls form the stair opening leading down to the original lower level stone arch entry. Earth and gravel fill are compacted to serve as a supporting base for the new concrete stair slab.
Facade Reconstruction Underway:
Scaffolding has been erected and selective demolition and removals have begun on the main building. The first step of the facade reconstruction is the selective removal of existing terra cotta sculpture to serve as models for new Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) replicas.
A rigorously tested thin-shell GFRC, strong, light weight and durable, has been the material for all the terra cotta reconstruction. The entire reconstruction, totaling over 65,000 pieces, is currently the largest GFRC reconstruction project in the world.
Following careful removal of the representative sculptural pieces, demolition of the remaining terra cotta will begin.
Steel lintel Investigation:
Meanwhile, the demolition of the existing terra cotta window surrounds exposes the original steel lintels that support the window openings. Each steel lintel is inspected to determine its structural viability. Where possible, salvaging the original steel is preferred.
Schist Stone Sounding:
Local Manhattan Schist stone is the primary façade material of Shepard Hall as well as the other campus buildings originally designed by George Post. Through a process called “sounding,” each stone on the building is struck with a mallet and the sound produced is an indicator of the stone’s integrity. Stones that sound “hollow” or are visibly damaged or deteriorated are marked by the design team for replacement.
Stay tuned for continued updates from the field.
Carl Stein’s article in Renewable Energy World North America ‘Defining Renewable’ segment is available in print and for download now. As Carl concludes: “With remarkable shortsightedness, we have come to believe that the petroleum-era paradigm which was made possible by the availability of plentiful, cheap energy represents the natural order. In fact, it is not sustainable and is tending toward catastrophic results. The shift to renewable energies as our primary resources will reconnect us to the cultural/ethical continuum of humankind; a new paradigm.”
As construction continues, efforts to utilize the original schist stone entry ramp wall that was recently unearthed continue to make progress. Concrete underpinning (for an explanation of underpinning, click here) along with new steel reinforcement, will allow the original schist stone wall to be incorporated into the new entry design. Meanwhile, as the entry ramp work continues, Elemental Architecture and the team are preparing to commence full scale reconstruction efforts on portions of the main building itself. Stay tuned for continued updates from the field.
Principal founder of elemental, Carl Stein, FAIA, addressed a gathering of local activists, artists, designers, educators, environmentalists, and planners at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University last Friday, October 9th. The event sparked an effective and engaging dialogue about the sustainable future of the SUNY campus.
In addition to his curation with Marc Fasanella of the visual exhibition held in the Avram Lobby Gallery, Carl addressed the symposium with the following statement on sustainability:
“In order to discuss options for sustainability, one must first decide what is being sustained. Much of the consideration of global sustainability might actually better be called survivability. Issues of climate change, food production, availability of clean water and air threaten the continued viability of the human species.
Local efforts toward sustainability will influence the global outlook but are often, appropriately, focused on the impact of actions, whether planned or not, on the special characteristics that are seen to be the essential definers of place. These characteristics may include cultural, historical and natural aspects.
Increasingly, we are finding that there are resonances between maintenance of place, of genius loci, and global ecological survival. These result from at least two fundamental conditions. First, much of what is valued is the result of a long, evolutionary process in which the growth and development of humankind’s habitation of the planet has been informed by interaction with context. Second, understanding the intrinsic value of what currently exists will produce attitudes which will be far more likely to adapt and reuse rather than demolish and replace – a new paradigm.
A corollary to this new paradigm is that new interventions which are found to be necessary will be more carefully considered and more highly valued.
The forum and exhibition becomes a stepping off point for a program (a) to define those characteristics of eastern Long Island which must be maintained (or which are worthy of maintenance); (b) to identify the ways that maintenance of these characteristics supports ecological sustainability on local, regional and global bases; and (c) to create an action plan to realize specific measure designed to strengthen the characteristics identified in (a).”
– Carl Stein, FAIA
According to a NYT article, as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlanNYC, a proposal seeks to employ mandatory energy audits of existing structures of 50,000 square feet or more and requires owners to make certain improvements to make the buildings more energy efficient. James F. Gennaro, chairman of the council’s environmental protection committee and a sponsor of the measures, says “Eighty-five percent of the buildings that we have in 2009 are going to be here in 2030.”
Last night, the AIA New York help me write my essay Chapter / Center for Architecture took over the West 4th Street subway station for the opening of their New York Now architecture showcase. Elemental Architecture’s historic reconstruction of New York City Landmark Gothic Revival building, Shepard Hall at the City College of New York, is among the work featured in the exhibit.
New York Now includes work of all type and scale – small, large, commercial, residential, public, private, interiors, historic preservation, engineering, landscape and urban design – presenting the scope and quality of projects by Chapter members in New York City today. This high-visibility exhibition offers a snapshot of where we are at this moment and celebrates the diversity of the Chapter’s membership.
The exhibit runs through the end of October. For additional information and online slideshow of work featured, click here.
Join us for a Conversation with the Community
Friday, October 9th 2009, 7:30pm-9:00pm
Avram Gallery at Stony Brook, Southampton SUNY
Curated by Carl Stein, FAIA & Marc Fasanella
Followed by a reception in the Avram Lobby Gallery introducing the exhibit:
Seeing Southampton Visually Investigating Issues that Affect the Environment of Southampton
As we close the first decade of the 21st Century, we should take stock of how we dwell upon our Earth. In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, a group of colleagues are initiating a dialog with Activists, Architects, Artists, Citizens, Designers, Educators, Environmentalists and Planners who shape the township of Southampton.
The future of Stony Brook Southampton is inextricably linked to the fabric of Southampton Township, the East End of Long Island, and the global dialogue on the environment. On the evening of October 9th we will host a symposium that brings together a diverse group of concerned individuals to canvas their notions of elements essential to the evolution of the town. Our goal is to provoke, record, define and present a holistic set of interconnected guiding principles for evolving our community in the 21st century. On December 13th, we will present an interim summation of this discourse. During the years to come, we will widen our conversation to an international level.
Contribute your thoughts at this public event! Please RSVP to (631) 632-5161
From New York City
Take I-495 (Long Island Expressway) east to Exit 70, then turn right on County Road 111: follow the signs to State Route 27 East/Montauk (Sunrise Highway). Take Route 27 East (which becomes County Road 39) and proceed 19 miles to Southampton Campus. Make right at the traffic light onto Tuckahoe Road. Go past the first entrance on Tuckahoe Road. Turn right at the next entrance.
From the South Shore
Take the Belt Parkway east, keep left to Exit 25A toward Eastern Long Island. The Belt Parkway becomes Southern State Parkway. At Exit 40, take Robert Moses Causeway south toward ocean beaches. Take Exist RMI toward Route 27 East (Sunrise Highway). Follow directions from Sunrise Highway (above).
For More Information Contact:
Director of long-term planning and sustainability for the Bloomberg Administration Rohit Aggarwala tells an audience at The Urban Green Council (the newly renamed NY Chapter of the USGBC) that the building community now needs to address questions that go beyond a property’s design and construction.
Aggarwala cites an important example to consider how a property can be truly green if there are no leasing requirements in place to ensure it’s operated in an eco-friendly manner. At present, there is no standard in place to determine the owner’s or tenant’s responsibilities for sustainable operation. While the general perception of sustainable buildings is new construction, “if we’re going to make our big cities greener we have to focus on our existing buildings,” Aggarwala said.
Elemental has actively engaged its commercial clients, particularly building Owners and managers, to offer leasing structures which allow ‘green’ tenants to benefit directly from the economic savings of resource conservation. Suggested measures include individually metering electricity, heating, cooling and water use – and allowing the data of their use to be analyzed/displayed in real-time – as well as energy and resource efficient upgrades for windows and plumbing fixtures which further reduce energy use for heating, cooling, domestic hot water and circulation. Individual tenant metering means that each tenant can reap the dollar savings resulting from those energy upgrades. In short, energy conservation by Owners can translate into economic benefits for every tenant.
Read more on Aggarwala’s address here:
Along with the recently unearthed entry stairs, a major portion of the original entry wall has been unearthed. Following inspection, the team is now evaluating how this remnant of the original entry can be incorporated into the reconstruction. The wall, constructed of Manhattan schist likely from the building site, was buried under fill during a mid-twentieth century alteration. As part of the reconstruction efforts to the entire building, a new entry in keeping with George Post’s original entry is being created. Stay tuned for continued updates from the field.