Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two Weeks Till the Day

April 30th is the big day - only two weeks from now - when we have to present our final scheme to everybody (its in the lobby of the building and trustees and university people and all sorts of folks are supposed to come by - plus the rest of the M.Arch dept). Yikes! We're ok though - we are focusing on getting our full-scale mock ups planned out right now. We need to start ordering material tomorrow for them and then probably at least a week of construction. We need to get our filing set together by the end of next week as well and then we can focus on a new model and renderings. That god there are 14 of us!

I can't believe its been a week since the last time I wrote. Busy week - moving the steel forward and detailing on the greenhouse as well. Yesterday we went on a visit to the office of James Carpenter Design Assoc. / Carpenter Norris Consulting. Such a cool office!

The JCDA/CNC Office, wow - those are some clean windows.

There were really fantastic models all over the place and the whole office was covered with crazy materials and fun mock-ups. Very impressive. Jamie (I'm told his friends call him Jamie ;) was really nice - he and took us to see the base of World Trade Center 7 which his office designed, as well as a heliostat installation in Battery Park city. We were supposed to be able to get on the roof and see the actual units but we weren't able too so that was a little disapointing. But it was great to hear them talk about their attitude towards installations like this.

James Carpenter, taking us to see the heliostats in Tear Drop Park.

Heliostats up on top. This is right next door to the Solair Building which we toured with Anthony a couple of weeks ago. Apparently they are mandated to use 40% red-brick on all facades in Battery Park City. super.

WTC 7 - I had never gone up close to see the base - just seen the building from afar - so I was pleasantly surprised .

"Umm - yeah - hello . . . I'd like to order 6 stories of stainless steel grating please."

Johnson screens. Whoa.

The base was actually really nice once you got up close - it is made of Johnson Screen stainless steel grates, There are two layers of prismatic slats - I'm told they reflect the light from down the streets because of the way they are oriented and in that way even the north side is reflecting light all day. The colors when you get up close are amazing and the effect is really bright and alive. From more than a couple of blocks away though it becomes really monolithic - so - i dunno, mixed for me. Beautiful up close though.

Our meeting last Sunday was great, we made a lot of decisions and cut some major pieces back. Its not that I didn't like the South array, but it was just to hard to make it work. So - see ya south PV! replaced with an as-yet-to-be-designed trellis. Sounds good.

Group meeting on Sunday, we all explained our changes and where our sections are at. And we made some important group-wide decisions about the overall form.

Pizza, Beer and Models. What more do you need?

Star and I trying to figure out how to use this stupid transit to shoot grades. We eventually gave up and convinced the school to buy us a rotating laser level. I mean really - should it take an engineer and an architect three hours to figure out how to use one stupid tool? I didn't think so either.

Today we met with David again who is back from Mongolia, err, excuse me . . . Inner Mongolia. And not a single souvenir for any of us. I thought he'd be good for at least some saltwater taffy or something. Sigh.

He seemed ok with the changes we made on Sunday night (removing the south PV array, pulling the planters away from the wall, eliminating the guardrail in almost everywhere, pulling the greenhouse into the main structure, etc.) and really just wanted to make sure we were on track with filing stuff and money and materials and what not. The Steel is out at 2 different people for pricing and our structural-engineer is still reviewing everything, so until we get some info back there isn't much we can do on structure right now. I got a message from Harriet that she wouldn't be getting back to us until next week with any of the real steel numbers - so I went ahead and recalculated everything myself just to get a little better idea of pricing for right now. We'll get the real numbers once we get more info from her - but this is good for now. Gives us an idea at least.

So, I'm off to work on more steel calcs for a bit and then work on greenhouse detailing. If you had ever told me that I would spend months of my life calculating steel deflection I probly would have slapped you right across the face - who knew it was so much fun though! Certainly not this guy.

It is so beautiful here this week. God I love New York.

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