Susan Richardson of NewsWorks/WHYY recently visited KieranTimberlake's new workspace inside the former bottling plant of the Henry F. Ortlieb brewery in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. In her blog titled Human at Work, she discusses the ways in which the renovated plant adapts to the needs of workers, rather than asking workers to adapt to it.
Calling the open-plan studio a "cathedral-like space," Richardson says that her favorite part is the abundant natural light spilling in at the top and the edges. She quotes founding partner Stephen Kieran as saying, "Time happens in this space...The sun moves through the space and arcs through it, beginning with the east side with a beam that moves across the floor. It's truly a spiritual experience—that abundance of natural light—that's so absent from corporate office spaces."
Last winter, KieranTimberlake team members installed 150 temperature sensors at Richardson Memorial Hall, Tulane University's School of Architecture. Over the summer, the sensor platform was reactivated and augmented with the addition of relative humidity sensors. We initiated the summer monitoring to answer two primary questions: How comfortable is a historic building on Tulane's campus in the thick of the summer cooling season? And, can monitoring be used to reveal deficiencies in the existing envelope and HVAC system?
The summer monitoring results were quite striking when contrasted to the winter results. During the winter, significant temperature stratification and asymmetries in mean radiant temperature (MRT) were found within the building, while in the summer, data pointed to conditions that were both comfortable and consistent.