Oculus - Fall 2011 - (Page 24)

feature Redesigned Practice A sluggish economy and a spirit of entrepreneurship prompt many architects to diversify their services and develop new business models BY LISA DELGADO A growing number of NYC architects and designers are applying their design skills to a new challenge: remaking their own practices. Fresh business approaches and partnerships are the order of the day, sometimes spurred by the pressures of the recession, sometimes by a passion for exploring related fi elds. Long known for its forays into development, SHoP Architects recently has been gaining traction in construction management and giving it a hightech update. In 2007, SHoP Construction Services launched, which is a separate business entity but shares SHoP Architects’ offi ce space. T e new business manages a mix of building projects, including some designed by SHoP Architects, such as the Barclays Center, and some by other fi rms. Over the past dozen years, SHoP has focused strongly “on how to use modeling soſt ware to not only improve the way we design, but how we execute our projects in the fi eld,” says Christopher Sharples, AIA, a principal of SHoP Architects and SHoP Construction. Increasingly, the role of an architect is “not just to make great designs and then hand them off to the builder, but to work with the builder in realizing those projects,” he adds. “T at’s really at the core of where we think the role of the architect is going.” In its construction management approach, SHoP Construction is distinguished by its enthusiastic embrace of technology to streamline the design-to-construction process and boost collaboration between architects, builders, and clients. T e company’s services include developing building information models and leading the virtual design and construction process. In addition to using common soſt ware such as Revit and Navisworks, SHoP has been developing some of its own technologies, including a VDC portal. “T is is a Web-based interface that project stakeholders use to engage an information model live on their own website and interact with that model,” says Jonathan L. Mallie, AIA, a principal/managing director of SHoP Construction and a principal of SHoP Architects. “So they wouldn’t necessarily see the model only in a project meeting; they could be at their desk and research information.” 24 Oculus Fall 2011 “Increasingly, the role of an architect is not just to make great designs and then hand them off to the builder, but to work with the builder in realizing those projects. That’s really at the core of where we think the role of the architect is going.” —Christopher Sharples, AIA (top left) SHoP Architects used CATIA to create this design model of the weathering steel latticework that wraps around the Barclays Center. (bottom left) SHoP Construction used SigmaNEST software to fl atten the curved geometries in the design model and to nest the panels effi ciently within larger steel sheets. Here, four panels are nested within a single sheet. Altogether, 12,000 uniquelysized steel panels make up the latticework. (right) SHoP Construction uses a custom barcodescanning iPhone app to track each panel as it is waterjet cut, bent, preweathered, assembled, and installed. SHoP is also developing iPhone and iPad apps to allow users to access building models. One of its iPhone apps is tracking the steel panels in the Barclays Center project, for example. “As the panels are being fabricated, pre-weathered, assembled, and shipped, they’re tracked through an automated iPhone application that updates a database,” Mallie explains. Despite the recession (or perhaps because of it), the construction management company has grown from seven members to 27. T e tight economy is boosting the building industry’s interest in the effi ciencies of a virtual design and construction process, according to Mallie. “T ere’s a huge learning curve going on,” he says. “Not everyone is ready for it or willing, but there’s a strong need, so people are far more open to it.” Developing a different direction For Jared Della Valle, AIA, LEED AP, branching out into real-estate development has paradoxically helped bring him deeper into the world of architectural design. He rose to fame in the local architecture community as co-founder of Della Valle Bernheimer (DVB), and in 2006 he co-founded Alloy Development, a design-oriented development and consulting company that has oſt en served as the developer for DVB’s designs. Last summer, Della Valle resigned from DVB (now named Bernheimer Architecture and headed by Andrew Bernheimer, AIA) to focus exclusively on his work at Alloy. T e Interior Motives: Activity & Growth ©SHoP Architects/SHoP Construction http://www.naylornetwork.com/arc-nxt

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2011

First Words
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The New Office Space
Small Spaces, Transforming Results
Redesigned Practice
The Lure of Pop-ups
A Giant, Hardly Sleeping: Pro Bono Sector
In Print
57-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Fall 2011