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Jackie Craven

Jackie's Architecture Blog


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These Roofs Will Grow on You

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Proving they're Always Ready, the U.S. Coast Guard is going green all the way to the top. Green organic roofing of the Coast Guard Headquarters near Washington, DC in June 2013 Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard began packing up and moving to a new location—a campus with 5.6 acres of green, living, organic roofs (see larger image).

Why would the federal government spend tax dollars to go green? Obama can't take the credit (or blame) for this one—Perkins + Will drew up the plans during the G.W. Bush administration. Does GREEN transcend politics?

Learn more about the architecture of living roofs: Green Roof Basics.

Other Earth Day Stories:

Photo: Coast Guard Headquarters near Washington, DC in June 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley

Architecture Updates: April 6 - 19, 2014

Saturday April 19, 2014
Got hammers? Got dreams? We've added lots of new content to our remodeling pages. Room interior piled with sheetrock scraps from remodeling and reconstruction Maybe we'll give you some inspiration. Or maybe the thought itself is just too exhausting. Whatever house projects you decide to do, let us know how it goes. And if you just want to take a nice, long vacation instead, that's fine, too. Until next year.

Selected Updates to Architecture Pages:

New Architecture Articles:

Photo by Dana Neely / Collection: Taxi / Getty Images (cropped/sized)

World's Most Creative Architects

Saturday April 19, 2014
Who's designing the most most interesting and unusual buildings today?Architect Jacques Herzog in 2013 Fast Company raised the question back in 2009, and the architects they selected have continued to win accolades. The top picks are:

Today we celebrate the birth of one of these designers. Happy Birthday, Jacques Herzog, born in Basel, Switzerland on April 19, 1950.

But here's another question: Does architecture have to be unusual before it can be considered great?

Full Story: The 10 Most Creative People in Architecture by By Cliff Kuang, June 9, 2009, Fast Company & Inc

Photo of Jacques Herzog in 2013 by Sergi Alexander ©2013 Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Old House, Energy Hog?

Monday April 14, 2014

Why do the front doors in many older homes open into a vestibule hallway with stairs? Preserve energy-efficient original designs, like this entrance foyer Could be to save energy.

We took a look at the U.S. National Park Service's Preservation Brief 3, Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings, and summarized the results in our article, Make Your Home More Energy Efficient. The authors of this Brief give us a lot of pointers and suggest many actions that may improve energy consumption. They also tell us to look at the architecture of old buildings and try to determine the reasoning behind the designs.

Breezy porches in the south and thick adobe walls in the southwest helped deflect the heat. It could be that entryways like the one shown here compartmentalized cold air in the winter and transferred cooling breezes to upper floors in the summer. Everyone who has an older house knows that they rarely come with instructions, so improving energy efficiency requires analysis, thought, and patience.

So, I really want to hear from you. This past winter was terrible. How did you save energy at your house? What do you plan to do to prepare for the summer heat and next winter's unpredictabilities? Let us know.

Photo of traditional, energy-efficient foyer by Lived In Images / Collection: The Image Bank / Getty Images

Mr. Jefferson, the Architect

Sunday April 13, 2014
Wa-hoo-wa, Mr. Jefferson! The Founding Father may not have scored a touchdown, but his architecture gives the Wahoos plenty to cheer about. Columns and dome, Rotunda, Lawn, University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Taking inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome, Thomas Jefferson designed the pride of UVA, the Rotunda (shown here). His own home, Monticello, follows the same circular plan, and became a model for the twentieth century architects who designed the circular, domed Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.

Mr. Jefferson was born on this day, April 13, in 1743. What other architects were born in April?

The Many Lives of Thomas Jefferson:

Photo of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia ©2008 Patrick Morrissey/Flickr.

Don't Miss Architecture Week

Thursday April 10, 2014
Want to win a $100 gift card just by loving architecture? Victorian house in Louisville, Kentucky Now's the time to give your best shot to the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

During National Architecture Week, April 6-12, snap a photo of "your favorite or most inspirational local architectural site." Then upload one or more of your masterpieces to Instagram or Twitter (tag it #archweek14) and you'll be entered in the AIA's Architecture Is Awesome Contest. Three winners will be announced April 16.

"From churches, hospitals, and libraries to homes, stores, and mixed-use areas, from windows and doors to stairs, we want to see what inspires you," says the AIA. See It. Snap It. Share it. But you'll have to hurry—the contest ends Saturday, April 12.

Architecture Week in the USA made its debut on Facebook in 2009, and now they're all a-Twitter. While you're on these Social Media sites, look me up!

Photograph of Victorian house © by Cecilia Xi Zhang, local louisville on flickr.com, a group of students exploring local architectural culture in Louisville, Kentucky, Spring 2010, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

April Birthdays

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Who are the famous architects born in April? Detail of Abele's Duke University Chapel Tower, looking up The prominent Philadelphian Julian Abele is one.

"The shadows are all mine," Julian Francis Abele proclaimed when discussing his architectural drawings for the new Duke University campus. Construction began on the Duke Chapel in 1930 —a time when educated African Americans rarely received the recognition for their accomplishments. Working in the Philadelphia firm run by Horace Trumbauer, Abele stayed in the background.

Abele was born on April 30 in 1881. In 1902 he was the first African-American to receive a B.A. in Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Duke University is proud to celebrate Abele as the chief designer for many of their campus buildings.

What other important architects celebrate April birthdays? Find out! Architects Born in April

Photo of Duke Chapel ©Don Klumpp / Collection: The Image Bank / Getty Images

Architecture Updates: March 23 - April 5, 2014

Saturday April 5, 2014
One week left to see forty years of homes by Pritzker Laureate Glenn Murcutt!Modern house by Glenn Murcutt on exhibit in 2014, Montreal, Canada

Curator Börkur Bergmann has chosen drawings and photos of Murcutt-designed private residences for an exhibit at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Centre de Design in Canada. The images—rarely seen by the public—take the viewer from sketch to reality, showing the Australian architect's "concern for harmony between building and nature."

Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place closes April 13, 2014. Learn more.

New Architecture Articles:

Selected Updates to Architecture Pages:

Press photo from the exhibit Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place ©photos Anthony Browell, Courtesy of the Architecture Foundation Australia

From Disaster, New Approches to Design

Saturday March 29, 2014
What does paper tube architecture look like?Shigeru Ban assembling a Paper Tubed Emergency Shelter for Haiti, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti You may have seen photos of the 2014 Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban, assembling paper tube emergency shelters in Haiti. But this Japanese architect has also used paper tube framing in designs for larger structures designed to last for many years.

Our new article, Paper Tube Construction, Hualin Elementary School (2008), illustrates Ban's pragmatic approach to disaster relief.

Natural disasters call for innovation. Many engineers and architects are exploring "manufactured" or "prefab" construction for emergency housing. Add paper-tube architecture to our list of promising alternatives.

Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects courtesy Pritzkerprize.com

And the winner is...

Monday March 24, 2014
Shigeru Ban! Who would've guessed? Once again the Pritzker Prize goes to an architect who is not a celebrity. Photo of 2014 Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban

The Tokyo-born 56-year-old has undertaken a variety of projects from his offices in Tokyo, Paris, and New York. He may be best known, however, for his ingenious use of common, recyclable materials, like cardboard paper tubes for columns, to quickly construct dignified shelters for victims of disasters.

Like last year's Pritzker Laureate, Toyo Ito, Ban has been an architect of healing, designing sustainable housing for Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims. He has also provided relief after natural disasters in Rwanda, Turkey, India, China, Italy, and Haiti.

"His sense of responsibility and positive action to create architecture of quality to serve society ́s needs," cites the Pritzker Jury, "combined with his original approach to these humanitarian challenges, make this year ́s winner an exemplary professional."

Being named a Pritzker Prize Laureate establishes Shigeru Ban in history as one of the most influential architects of modern times. The award ceremony will at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on June 13, 2014 .

Photo by Shigeru Ban Architects courtesy Pritzkerprize.com

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