March 9, 2010
by Linda G. Miller

In this issue:

· Pritzker Prize-Winning Team Debuts at the Met
· ESB to Become an Icon in Sustainability
· Long Island Homes Go Prefab
· New Quad Enhances Student Life
· Gagosian Takes to the Hills
· Taiwan Plans a Palace for Pop

Pritzker Prize-Winning Team Debuts at the Met


The set of Atilla.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Herzog & de Meuron have designed the sets for the current production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila at the Metropolitan Opera House. Verdi’s ninth opera takes place in the mid-fifth century as the remnants of the Western Roman Empire crumble before the barbarian invasions and the attempts to spare Italy from Attila the Hun’s hordes. Herzog & de Meuron share production credits with designer Miuccia Prada, who previously collaborated to create the Prada Aoyama Epicenter in Tokyo. The architectural team made its theatrical design debut with a production of Tristan und Isolde for the Berlin State Opera in 2006. Performances of Attila run through March 27.

ESB to Become an Icon in Sustainability


Empire State Building.

Michael Slonecker

The Empire State Building (ESB) is set to become energy efficient. Johnson Controls, a provider of energy efficient and sustainable products and services has selected Sunnyvale, California-based Serious Materials to super-insulate more than 6,500 windows for the ESB’s retrofit project, which could reduce energy costs by more than $400,000 per year. In a first-of-its-kind process, Serious Materials will re-use all existing glass to create super-insulating glass units (IGUs). The thermal performance of the windows is expected to be up to four times as efficient and solar heat gain will be reduced by more than 50%. Johnson Controls is overseeing the full Empire State Building retrofit project, with a team including the Clinton Climate Initiative, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Rocky Mountain Institute. The window upgrades is one of eight measures expected to reduce energy use by 38%, save $4.4 million per year in energy costs, and save 105,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 15 years. The more than $550 million rebuilding program will make the skyscraper eligible for a LEED Gold certification.

Long Island Homes Go Prefab


Lido Beach (left); Long Beach.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Resolution: 4 Architecture is busy on the South Shore of Long Island with one prefab house completed in Lido Beach, and a second in pre-construction in Long Beach. The 2,735-square-foot, three-bedroom house in Lido is sited on the edge of the sand dunes and is composed of five modules. It features an upside-down spatial organization, which allows the main living space to be located on the second floor, affording views of the ocean. This floor contains a guest bedroom, bath, and playroom opposite from the open living, dining, and kitchen areas, while the downstairs contains the private spaces. Two cuts in the in the second floor mass open to private decks while inversely, a solid bulkhead element allows for roof access. Contained within the bulkhead is an office opening to a roof deck on both sides. The 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom, oceanfront prefab in Long Beach is located on a compact site with little space between neighbors. Composed of three modules, the two-story house features a roof bulkhead that provides storage and access to the roof deck; a photovoltaic solar canopy stretches across half of the roof deck and doubles as a covered exterior space to escape the sun.

New Quad Enhances Student Life


Delaware State University Student Life Quad.

Photo by Christopher Lovi

The new 156,000-square-foot Delaware State University Student Life Quad in Dover, designed by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA), was recently dedicated. Composed of three separate buildings — a student center, an athletic strength and conditioning center, and a wellness center — that are tied together by an exterior intramural courtyard, the complex was designed to help the school shed its image as a commuter school. Each building incorporates locally manufactured brick featured throughout the campus, while a collective identity is established by the use of stone, blue horizontal metal siding, large entry canopies, and oversized columns. The $45.4 million project includes a waste management program for demolition of the original student center, use of regional and natural materials, a natural ventilation system for lounge and dining areas, large overhangs at the south and west sides to reduce heat gain, efficient circulation, and light-colored roofs to reduce solar gain.

Gagosian Takes to the Hills


Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.

Photo by Joshua White

The expansion of the Beverly Hills branch of Gagosian Gallery recently celebrated its official opening. The expansion, designed by Richard Meier & Partners, which also designed the original gallery space in 1995, nearly doubles its size by adding 5,000 square feet to the existing building. The addition is anchored by a new 3,000-square-foot, street-level exhibition space. This adaptive reuse of adjoining retail space with its existing wood barrel vault ceiling, trusses, and steel beam, offer a distinctive counterpoint to the airfoil wing that scoops daylight into the existing gallery. Skylights balance daylight from the north and south sky to support a diversity of installations. A single, 225-square-foot glass-and-aluminum sliding door at the street allows oversized artwork to be unloaded directly into the gallery. New second level offices and a private skylit viewing gallery address the growing gallery’s administrative and exhibition needs. A sculpture terrace on the roof offers views of the city and the surrounding Hollywood Hills.

Taiwan Plans a Palace for Pop


Taipei Pop Music Center.

Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture

Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture has won a competition sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, to design the Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC) in Taiwan. The TPMC will be a cultural hub dedicated to the production and performance of Taiwanese pop music, and will include shops, markets, cafés, and restaurants. An elevated pedestrian zone will bridge the complex’s two buildings containing three major zones. The indoor 3,000-seat Main Concert Hall features an approximately 20-story tower for support spaces, an audio/video recording studio, and offices. The Outdoor Amphitheater features a mobile stage that has four docking positions for events for audiences of up to 16,000 people. The Hall of Fame contains the main exhibition space, a digital media center, two lecture halls, and a Sky View Lounge. The New York office of ARUP is responsible for structural engineering, MEP, sustainability, theater acoustics, lighting, and façade. The complex is expected to be completed in 2014.


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