Oculus - Spring 2015 - (Page 24)

feature: RESEARCH (left) The Public Safety Answering Center II in the Bronx, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will incorporate CASE's Active Modular Phytoremediation System (AMPS), an interior green wall that filters circulating air. (below) Rendering of an AMPS application in a building lobby. (opposite page, left) An AMPS testing chamber. (opposite page, top right) Detail of AMPS unit. ©DBOX (opposite page, below right) As air passes over the plants installed in the AMPS unit, the root structures absorb volatile organic compounds and other pollutants. The filtered air passes through the AMP unit and circulates back to the indoor environment. Mars in the Bronx CASE gets new environmental technologies out of labs and into buildings at (relative) warp speed B Y J o n At H An Lern er f necessity, the Public Safety Answering Center II, New York City's backup emergency call facility now under construction at the intersection of Pelham and Hutchinson River Parkways, is a bit like a spacecraft. To maintain functionality during crises one is loath to imagine - say, toxic gas clouds - it must be able to shut down fresh air intake from the outside, yet remain habitable within. To achieve this, the building's architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have specified an Active Modular Phytoremediation System (AMPS). AMPS is an interior green wall tied right into the HVAC. Air is cleaned as it is drawn through the plants' roots, and then recirculated through the building. The technology was developed by the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), a collaboration between SOM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). "Our microbiologist cut her chops by looking at the relationship between microbes in space capsules and astronauts' health and well-being.," says CASE Director Anna Dyson. Adapting knowledge from extraterrestrial living to buildings here on Earth? SOM's Ken Lewis, AIA, a CASE principal, quips, "We're going to Mars in the Bronx." CASE, launched in 2008, brings architects from SOM together with RPI architecture faculty and researchers in biochemistry, computer and cognitive sciences; economics; and structural, environmental, and aerospace engineering. The purpose, says Dyson, is to leverage insights derived from long-term research in fields like nanotechnology and biotechnology "into transformative 24 Oculus Spring 2015 Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ©CASE O new technologies for buildings, and accelerate the times of deployment to actual test beds." That acceleration is pivotal. Typically, she says, a concept may spend 30 years under development in the lab before being translated into an applicable product; meanwhile, the environmental challenges architecDialogues from the Edge of Practice

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2015

First Words Letter from the President Repositioning All Around By Tomas Rossant, AIA
Letter from the Editor The Edge of New By Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA
Center for Architecture Center Highlights
One Block Over Rough Waters: Squalls continue over the redevelopment of South Street Seaport By Claire Wilson
Opener: Thinking Into Other Boxes By David Zach
Mars in the Bronx CASE gets new environmental technologies out of labs and into buildings at (relative) warp speed By Jonathan Lerner
Spinning Research Into Practice Intense experimentation with digital technologies is yielding remarkable designs and products by ARO By Lisa Delgado
A Results-Oriented Think Tank Defining architectural practice broadly enough to include research, theory, and public discourse, Grimshaw’s Urban Research Unit is a full-circle activity leading to a richer built environment By Bill Millard
The Resilience Factor Perkins+Will is making resilience design and planning a growing area of practice and income By Richard Staub
Socrates at the Drafting Table REX champions a slow thinktank architecture of methodical problem-solving By Janet Adams Strong
Architecture in the Social Data Era Transforming our practice to engage new data sources and design intents By Melissa Marsh
Museum as Incubator The New Museum hatches a multidisciplinary workspace to nurture creative entrepreneurs By Julia van den Hout
When Bottom-up Meets Top-down The benefits of community engagement in post-disaster rebuilding plans By Deborah Gans, FAIA
In Print Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made By Tom Wilkinson Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Birth of the Modern City By Jonathan Conlin Visionaries in Urban Development: 15 Years of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize Winners By Trisha Riggs, et al. American Urban Form: A Representative History By Sam Bass Warner and Andrew H. Whittemore Preservation is Overtaking Us By Rem Koolhaas, with a supplement by Jorge Otero-Pailos Reviews by Stanley Stark, FAIA
31-Year Watch Architectural practice once embraced dinner plates and candlesticks produced by Swid Powell By John Morris Dixon, FAIA
Last Words Eve of Construction By Rick Bell, FAIA
Index to Advertisers Alphabetical & Categorical Index

Oculus - Spring 2015