Friday, May 27, 2011

New Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital Project


Today’s Environment of the Week will be the New Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital Project

Name project: Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital Project
Managed By: Army Corp of Engineers.
Architects:HDR of Alexandria VA & Dewberry 
General contractor:Turner Construction & Gilbane Building Co.
Cost: Beginning of a new $747 million medical treatment facilityTotal Height: 495 Ft.
Floor count:1.2 Million SF. 7 Story builing.
Population: 140 total patient beds
Date of completion: Summer 2010 

National Capitol Area active and retired military and their families will be the beneficiaries of a new community hospital being built on Fort Belvoir, Va., just south of Washington, D.C. Groundbreaking for the new state-of-the-art health care facility was held on Nov. 8, 2007, marking the beginning phase of a new era in military health care in the National Capital area and the start of on-ground work on the new $747 million medical treatment facility, part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program.
The hospital’s construction phase, managed by the Corps of Engineers' Norfolk District, is expected to be completed in late summer 2010. The facility will then be turned over to the U.S Army Medical Command to staff and equip for subsequent operation.
Once opened, the hospital will be part of an integrated health care network providing world-class medical services to the nation's wounded soldiers and families. The hospital is one piece of a realignment designed to increase hospital and outpatient care to all service members and veterans under BRAC 2005. Other elements of the health care network include the realignment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Naval National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

State-of-the-art features

The hospital’s conceptual design calls for a 1.2 million square foot, seven-level community hospital, including medical administration areas. The design includes 120 in-patient beds, a 10-bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed behavioral health inpatient unit, a cancer center, an emergency department, a pharmacy, an operative services center with 10 operating rooms, diagnostic centers such as pathology and radiology, and modular clinic space dedicated to outpatient services. Additional space is planned for future outpatient expansion. In addition to the square footage of the facility itself, the project includes two parking garages and surface parking for 2,600 parking spaces, a helipad, ambulance shelter and dedicated central energy plant.
Designs also include logistics and administrative services, food services, a chapel and other amenities. Supporting facilities include utilities (water, sewer, gas, HVAC, steam and electric services), paving, walks, fencing, storm drainage, site improvements, communication and information systems, fire protection and alarm systems, site improvements that include parking spaces, landscaping buffers and additional site amenities and public access space.

An innovative design & construction project

The new community hospital is being designed and constructed through an Integrated/Design/Bid/Build (IDBB) procurement. This is an innovative process that uses coordination between the hospital design firm and the actual construction contractor to increase constructability, and provide accurate cost/schedule impacts of design decisions and resulting in fewer design omissions and errors. The process enabled the Corps of Engineers to establish a construction contract on the hospital long before traditional processes would have allowed, meeting the accelerated construction timelines dictated by BRAC.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Rincon Hill


Today’s Environment of the Week will be One Rincon Hill, San Francisco,

Name project: One Rincon Hill
Architects:Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates
Consultants: Urban West Associates
General contractor: Bovis Lend Lease
Cost: $300 Million
Total Height: 495 Ft.
Floor count: 106 Total between two towers.
Date of completion: 2009

One Rincon Hill is a residential complex on the apex of Ricon Hill in San Francisco, California.  
Click on link below to see their site.

The complex consists of two buildings joined together at the base by a row of townhomes. The South Tower and North Tower rise 641 ft (195 m) and 495 ft (151 m) above the corner of Fremont and Harrison streets, respectively.[A][B] The North Tower contains 45 floors, while the South Tower contains 60.[A][B][10] However, because of the sloped nature of the Rincon Hill site, the South Tower's lobby floor or the First Street entrance is located on the sixth floor, and the first floor is five levels underground from the First Street entrance.[18] The skyscraper is one of the most significant additions to the San Francisco skyline in over 30 years.[3][19] It is also one of the tallest all-residential towers west of the Mississippi River, towering 697 feet (212 m) above San Francisco Bay.[12][20][21]

One Rincon Hill South Tower towering over the San Francisco Bay
Both the north tower and the south tower of the Rincon Hill complex bear a resemblance to The Heritage at Millennium Park in Chicago, a building of a similar height to the south tower designed also by Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates.[22] The architectural style for both buildings of the Rincon Hill complex are late-modernist.[3][10] As for the South Tower, the three sides of the building facing southeast, northeast, and northwest consists of a linear glass curtainwall.[3][19] The side that faces southwest is curved and cladd in white aluminum panels and glass in a pattern resembling Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze, leading to the nickname "Ionic Breeze Tower".[23] The North Tower has a similar design, except it is shorter and the curved aluminum and glass side faces northeast.[10][19] Both skyscrapers of the Rincon Hill project contain an oval-shaped crown housing mechanical equipment.[9][19][24] 

The crown of the South Tower contains a band of 25 LED floodlights that remain lit all night. Each LED light consumes little energy and has a lifetime of 40,000 hours. These lights are used to signal the weather, just like the lights on the John Hancock Tower in Boston. The crown glows red if warmer weather is in the forecast. A blue crown signifies that cold weather is expected soon. Green means that there is at least a 50 percent chance of rain. Amber indicates that the weather will remain unchanged. This is the San Francisco Bay Area's first weather beacon. The crown began lighting up on December 8, 2008.[25] 

Earthquake engineering

In order to support the 60 story condo tower, One Rincon Hill South Tower will have a 12 foot (4 m) thick massive foundation embedded deep into serpentine rock. Although some engineers view serpentine rock with suspicion, there are massive structures, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, that have foundations on rock that is largely serpentine.[26] Rising out of the foundation are the concrete core and large, tall columns of steel-reinforced concrete called outriggers. The core is attached to large outrigger columns by steel-buckling restrained braces that are designed to transfer building loads in an earthquake. These V-shaped restraining braces are said to act like a shock-absorber during earthquakes. The braces are also encased in a concrete and steel casing in order to prevent the braces from buckling and losing their strength. Many of these engineering technologies used in One Rincon Hill South Tower are new to the United States.[26][27]

Water tanks

At the top of the building is a large tank, capable of holding up to 50,000 gallons (189,250 litres) of water, which will weigh 416,500 pounds (185,440 kg).[21][27] A similar 50,000 gallon (189,250 liter) tank is located in the basement for firefighting purposes.[21] There are two liquid damper screens in each tank to control the flow of the water in order to counter the sway from the powerful Pacific winds, which can sometimes reach hurricane-force.[26]

Interested in reading more? Go here for the continuation of the article:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nest by UID Architects

(Unfortunately, the blog was down this morning and I wasn’t able to get in…)
For today’s Your Environment of the Week (Y.E.O.W), we will take a look at the NEST by UID Architects. [PIC HEAVY!]

Today’s Environment of the Week will be Nest by UID Architects Onomichi-city, Hiroshima, apan.Thank you Hannah for today’s YEOW suggestion! 
[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx J]
Project description
Name project: Nest
Architects: UID architects – Keisuke Maeda and Toru Shigehiro
Consultants: Konishi
Structural Engineers: Yasutaka Konishi, Takeshi Kaneko
Structural: K-style – Kouso Katayama
Mechanical: Toshiya Ogino
Environment Design Office: Toshiya Ogino
Masaru Kitamura, landscape
General contractor: Home Co., Ltd.
Masafumi Ichikawa and Akihiro Hosoya
Structural system: reinforced concrete, timber
Used materials: cedar, exterior; concrete, structural plywood, interior
Site area: 362.00

Built area:81.22

Total floor area : 121.45

Date of completion: November, 2010

Japanese studio UID Architects have completed this timber house
at the foot of a mountain in Japan that has wide openings
in the walls and roof, as well as between the ground and first floors.

The entrance to Nest is located on the ground floor
and visitors pass through a planted garden that can grow
up through the full height of the house.

This time we sought a single space that comprehends
the surroundings and the house by rethinking elements
such as floors and walls that make up architecture.
Specifically, in the ground layer some spaces are connected
to each other by a tunnel that becomes a concrete anthill
nest attached with a small entrance on the ground.
Above the ground a floating wooden nest box composed
of things like branches and fallen leaves cover the nest on
the ground’s surface. Although non-sequence composition
of the floors and the walls make the architectural elements
look separated, they will become essentials that link
architecture and the surrounding in succession, when viewing
the environment on the whole.

The house will offer spaces that is similar to the forest’s
comfortable sunshine and shade,
which reside with natural climate. The house will be a nest in a
forest that its territory will not be regulated.

Nest by UID Architects
Onomichi-city, Hiroshima, Japan
This is a small house planned in a forest surrounded by rich nature. The site is located in the foot of a mountain with scarce neighbouring houses in Onomichi City. The family is consisted of two daughters, their mother and their loving cat.
Since there are only three women, we thought it would be appropriate to gently connect a boundary of the place’s environment and architecture, allowing close distance between the family members. It is to seize the environment as non-dividable, similar to creatures that generate their nest under elements that cover forest’s ground. It is like a principle that expands from a nest in a forest, to a forest , then to the earth, and ultimately to the universe.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels

Happy Friday!

Today’s Environment of the Week will be the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, Monte Tamaro, Ticino, by Mario Botta. Thank you Mark Vanderlyn for today’s YEOW suggestion!

[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx J]

Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, Monte Tamaro, Ticino 1990 -1996
Project: 1990-1992
Realization: 1992-1996
Location: Alpe Foppa, Monte Tamaro (Rivera),  Ticino, Switzerland
Commissioned by: Egidio Cattaneo
Surface area: chapel 184 m²,
Exterior walkway: 150 m²


The chapel, commissioned by Egidio Cattaneo in memory of his wife, was built from 1990-1996, with the design being based on a project by architect Mario Botta, on the Monte Tamaro, or more precisely, the Foppa Alp (1567m). It can be accessed via a 60-metre long footbridge, at the end of which is a lookout terrace with a view of the surrounding mountains. A sense of the sublimity of the mountains inspired the building of the chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli on Monte Tamaro, high over the Ticino lakes. In this striking location, Mario Botta has created an overall work of art that must be reckoned as one of the most successful examples of contemporary church architecture. Botta says a great deal with minimal means. His work is characterised by beautiful design, perfect execution, sustainability and permanence. Ticino architect Botta designs buildings all over the world and also contributes to the training of young architects in Switzerland at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio.

Conceptual Scketch

                                                    Looks like Heaven!

                                   View overlooking the mountains

                                                 View under Walk way bridge 

                                                          Interior View

                                       Interior View (different angle)


                                                         Exterior View

You  can find more pics and info. about this building here (EYE CANDY!):