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October 13, 2010
by Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: Preview of Innovate:Integrate — Building Better Together Location: Center for Architecture, 10.06.2010-01.15.2011
Exhibition Curator: Sara Hart
Exhibition Design: Urban A&O
Organizer: AIA New York Chapter; Center for Architecture Foundation; Innovate:Integrate Advisory Committee
Sponsors: Lead Sponsors: Coreslab Structures; Ductal by Lafarge; F. J. Sciame Construction Co.; Gensler; Georgia Institute of Technology, Digital Fabrication Laboratory; Lutron; Mancini·Duffy; MechoShade Systems; Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope; Peter Arbour / RFR Consulting Engineers; Permasteelisa North America; Plaza Construction; Structure Tone; Syska Hennessy Group; Turner; Zetlin & De Chiara; Sponsors: Francis Cauffman Architects; Polytek; HeliOptix; STUDIOS Architecture; Trespa North America

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The Liquid Wall.

Sam Lahoz

The exhibition “Innovate:Integrate — Building Better Together” recently opened at the Center for Architecture featuring six finalists from the AIANY Chapter’s Open Call for Innovative Curtain Wall Design. The highlight of the exhibition, visible from the sidewalk, is the full-scale, two-story mock-up of the winning design, Liquid Wall by Peter Arbour/RFR. His team included Prototype fabrication and construction: Aerotech Manufacturing; Competition Architectural Metals; Coreslab Structures; F.J. Sciame Construction Company; Digital Fabrication Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology; Kammmetal; Ductal® by Lafarge North America; Matthews Coatings; Oldcastle Building Envelope; and Polytek.

Peter Arbour, Assoc. AIA, explained that a benefit of curtain walls is their potential for economical prefabrication. His team “tailored the system to fit with that mode of building” by using low-tech materials in combination with high-tech software. Curtain walls are typically made from aluminum, but Liquid Wall features a frame of Ductal ® high-performance concrete, which can perform in tension. The exterior and interior frames are separated by a thermal break, and the system also features a built-in radiant heating system.

In the Center’s Hines Gallery, the “innovate” portion of the exhibition features renderings, videos, and models of the other five finalists’ designs, as well as notable projects that incorporate cutting-edge curtain wall technologies such as the Seeko’o Hotel by Atelier King Kong with its Corian façade. The “integrate” portion of the exhibition is on the Mezzanine, which provides a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse into integrated project delivery — including top-down construction management, mass customization, digital fabrication, 4-D visualization, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) — in the context of projects such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Burj Khalifa and the Cellophane House by KieranTimberlake. Visitors may also interact with a BIM model of Yankee Stadium.

Architects may find many of the concepts presented in the exhibition familiar, but they are intended to reach a public audience. AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA, who contributed to the development of the exhibition, explained that it is an opportunity to “show the public the complexity of the building process and that it is a team effort.” The exhibition will remain on view through 01.15.11.

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