A media-intensive, 16,000 square foot exhibition space for digital design and fabrication, this project was delivered under a fast track, design-build, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contract. The design and construction process took place entirely using collaborative Building Information Modeling (BIM). The project consists of exhibition galleries, artist-in-residence digital design studios, conference and education spaces, with advanced multimedia audio-visual, information technology, and digital fabrication systems integrated into the spatial design of the architecture.
The design process and design concept work together to emphasize four integrated points reinforcing the owner’s intended message: Parametric modeling in support of integrated practice, sustainability and design innovation. With these goals in mind—and the intention to draw upon the unique site and to distinguish a multi-industry software maker’s creative project from more static exhibitions of physical products—the architects introduced the intention to design a space of “creative immersion in an ever-refreshing, media-saturated, special-for-me experience blossom floating within San Francisco clouds.”
To accomplish these goals, the physical space consists of a very simple, rectilinear background structure of translucent fabric boxes suspended above a polished concrete floor. The palette of materials is limited to white drywall and steel, polished concrete, and translucent white fabric hung within the exposed brick and concrete frame of the existing historic building, the large round-topped windows of which open out onto the fog-shrouded downtown waterfront. The primary spatial experience of the project is not the physical structure, but is instead the image content projected onto the system of taut white fabric boxes flowing fog-like throughout the space, defining individual galleries and meeting spaces, yet tying the space together as a single experiential thread of immersion within floating film imagery. Utilizing a complex grid of 84 projectors and hundreds of focused speakers, a coordinated film can wander through the entire space of the project—perhaps tracking a swarm of butterflies floating above a field of time-lapse blossoming flowers, or tracing the flow of blood through an animated digital heart.
The projection screen boxes are themselves the lowest-hanging components of a field of similar fabric boxes suspended from the ceiling. Together this single background field of cloud-like, undulating rectilinear space serves as projection screens, space dividers, acoustical dampeners, and support enclosure for the dense array of projectors, speakers, computer boxes, mechanical equipment and lighting systems that would otherwise form the predominant and overwhelming image of the space. Within this undulating white cloud, the spatial experience focuses on the software exhibition of human creativity and technological results, rather than on the hardware experience of technological support. Local reclaimed Redwood millwork, Sierra granite, and black recycled steel complete the physical exhibition and furnishing support closest to the body.
As part of a larger, integrated office, conference and gallery complex of 35,000 square feet, the overall project was managed under an equal IPD partnership of two architecture firms (Anderson Anderson Architecture and HOK, designer of the adjacent office spaces); builder (DPR Construction); and owner (Autodesk). This new IPD contract method aligns the interests of all parties and equally incentivizes cost-savings, project speed, quality and design innovation. Together, the project team has delivered a LEED Platinum sustainable project, the highest rating for green construction. The project was delivered in an extremely tight design and construction timeframe, meeting target budget and time schedules, with substantial additional program added into the project during the course of construction, thanks to under-budget savings and the nimble and collaborative contract structure. With its design partner, McCall Design Group, Anderson Anderson Architecture subcontracted and managed a diverse team of engineers, consultants, and technology design collaborators. The project achieved a top, 100% quality and innovation rating in the IPD contract incentive evaluation provided by an independent peer review.
This portable event pavilion is designed as a self-contained, off-grid modular structure with planted roof sections showcasing an innovative green roof technology allowing native Texas prairie grasses, yucca, prickly pear cactus and several hundred additional species to survive in Southwest climates without irrigation. The pavilion is scheduled to travel to a series of PGA tournaments and NASCAR racing events, providing shade, two-story viewing platforms, refrigerated refreshments and environmental education. Jointly sponsored by a university environmental studies program; a dry land native living roof start-up firm; an international wind energy company; a modular building manufacturer; and the PGA and NASCAR organizations, the pavilion is intended to be fun, functional and educational for diverse public communities not ordinarily exposed to advanced green technology and environmental education.
The pavilion is constructed of re-used components and high-recycled content steel; with recycled content plastic shade cloth screens and planter boxes containing native plants. Protected within a limestone-composite thermal mass, native plants are able to survive harsh sun and drought conditions. While living roofs have become increasingly affordable and feasible in wetter, more northerly climates, this new planting design and composite product allows living roofs to become practical in hooter drier climates such as west Texas and the American Southwest without depleting water resources. Even more so than in northern climates, affordable and practical living roofs in hot, dry climates offer tremendous potential for energy savings while simultaneously supporting native plant species otherwise threatened by development. The wide reaching shade screens are operable to provide optimized shading in a wide range of site conditions, and fold flat into a compact box of standard ISO shipping container size for efficient transport. Power is provided by wind turbines and solar PV panels shipped within the box frame. As a modular system, multiple frame modules can be combined to create much larger exhibition structures in a range of configurations. The basic frame module is 8’ x 40’ X 9’-6” providing two stories of 320 s. ft. floor space, and unfolded the pavilion shades an area of 1508 square feet. The structure cost approximately $5000 in cash beyond donated design, materials and fabrication labor, and was fabricated and constructed in a tight three-week schedule.
Fort Worth Texas, and traveling
Anderson Anderson Architecture, San Francisco, with Cameron Schoepp, Fort Worth
Design Team: Peter Anderson, Mark Anderson, Cameron Schoepp, Karl Vavrek, Yevgeniy Ossipov, Jon Kinder, Dave Williams, Chris Powell, Johnson Tang, Chris Campbell, Brent Sumida
2009 AIA California Council Awards for Architecture, Honor Award in the Small Project Award category for Texas Prairie Hopper.