Last month, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored KieranTimberlake Associate Joanne Aitken, FAIA, with the John Frederick Harbeson Award. The award, presented annually at the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards celebration, recognizes longtime members of the architectural community and their significant lifetime contributions to AIA Philadelphia, the architectural community as a whole, and the greater Philadelphia community.
Over the course of her career, Aitken has been involved in numerous initiatives that have contributed to the Philadelphia's architectural landscape. During her time as president of the AIA Philadelphia, she helped plan the 2000 AIA National Convention, part of which included establishing the first Charter High School for Architecture and Design. As a founding member and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia, Aitken has also encouraged a discourse on planning and high quality design in the Philadelphia region. In West Philadelphia, Aitken initiated the Calvary Methodist Church's conversion into the Calvary Center for Culture and Community and helped establish the West Philadelphia Streetcar Suburb National Register Historic District.
As part of KieranTimberlake's commitment to dedicate 1% of its time to community service and engagement, the Community Involvement group collaborates with nonprofit organizations on pro-bono projects of various scales. Community Involvement members Fatima Olivieri, Megan Suau, and Laura Willwerth discuss their most recent pro-bono project created in partnership with Philabundance.
The Boston Society of Architects recently honored Harvard University River Houses Stone Hall, McKinlock Hall, and Dunster House with the William D. Smith Memorial Award. These residence halls, the first three of Harvard's House Renewal program, were recognized for their successful integration of accessibility and historical preservation.
Architect magazine recently announced that Tally®, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) application developed by KT Innovations, has won a 2016 R+D Award. The Autodesk® Revit® plugin is one of only five recipients of this year's award, which is given annually to specific projects that bring together innovative research and technology in the field of architecture.
The software, created in partnership with Autodesk and thinkstep, garnered praise from the jury because of its ability to conduct LCA throughout the design process. Unlike the traditional method of performing a life-cycle assessment after a building is constructed, Tally provides on demand feedback about a material's environmental impact, allowing architects to make decisions that reduce a building's carbon footprint in the same time frame, pace, and modeling environment in which designs are generated.
Imagine you are able to gain quick insights about the environmental impact of building materials. How might it guide your design decisions? With Tally®, a Revit® plugin developed by KieranTimberlake's affiliate KT Innovations, designers can interact with and summarize life cycle data based on the materials in a Revit model, making rapid assessments not only possible, but a new best practice.
Having taught at several universities, Kieran and Timberlake shared the observation that typical architectural studios focused too much on design outcomes and not enough on developing research skills and critical reflection on research findings. Rather than assign an isolated design problem and give students a few weeks to solve it, the two architects wanted to engage their students in deeper and more complex ways. This desire led them to abandon the traditional structure of a design studio in 2008 in order to place students' emphasis on research-based design in one of the most unique, dense, and challenging urban environments: Dhaka, Bangladesh. As Popp explains, Kieran and Timberlake "would challenge their students to do research – to focus intensely on an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar possibilities and constraints, and figure out what the real challenges were."
Pound Ridge House, a private residence located north of New York City in Westchester County, New York, was recently featured in the Spring 2016 edition of Dwell magazine. The article, written by Aileen Kwun, draws attention to the care KieranTimberlake took in ensuring that the residence's signature reflective exterior would not pose a threat to local birds.
During the design process, the team sought to create a home with an exterior that blended in with the wooded site and an interior that brought the beauty of the natural landscape indoors. Designers knew they could create this desired effect with a glass facade, but also understood that the home's reflective surface could pose a threat to birds that frequent the wooded site. The question then became how to harness the beauty and function of a glass exterior without impacting birds and wildlife.
In earlier studies completed in partnership with the manager of the American Bird Conservancy's Bird Collisions Campaign, KieranTimberlake learned that bird strikes happen most frequently with large, continuous reflective surfaces. By using smaller panels with different levels of reflectivity, bird strikes could be reduced significantly. Using this information, designers created a facade composed of multiple rectangular tiles made of glass, brushed stainless steel, polished stainless steel, and tin zinc-coated copper. The different sizes and reflectivity of these panels not only greatly reduce bird strikes. As Kwun writes, "the benefits are also aesthetic: With its unique facade, the home is both attuned to the landscape and private, filled with 'curated views.'"
Pointelist™, KieranTimberlake's wireless sensor network, was recently featured in Architect magazine. The article, written by Wanda Lau, is part of a series following up on past winners of the magazine's R+D Awards, which recognize research, materials, and technologies that have advanced the field of architecture.
The AIA Convention comes to Philadelphia on May 19. Not sure what to do in your downtime? Click the link below to check out our guide to food, neighborhoods, and nightlife in the City of Brotherly Love.
Partner James Timberlake was honored as a distinguished alumnus this past week at his alma mater, the University of Detroit Mercy. Timberlake was the recipient of the Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Award, an honor given by the university to recognize outstanding graduates who have excelled in their chosen field and have demonstrated leadership both in their careers as well as in their greater community.
During a celebration weekend honoring award recipients, Timberlake credited the university with his early professional development. "These folks, and the university at large, helped to transform me and guide me to a dream that I've had since I was five," Timberlake said in his acceptance speech, "and that was to become an architect."