Using the right energy modeling tools at the right time in the design process is especially important in historic preservation, no matter what type of preservation is being undertaken.
Living in your hospital while rebuilding it is one challenge. Transforming it from adult and pediatric care to a dedicated children’s hospital is another. See how we helped CHOSA accomplish both in Healthcare Design.
A primary challenge of restoring Midcentury Modern buildings – an architectural style associated with technology and materials experimentation – is adapting these often outmoded structures to meet current and future requirements. As featured in Architectural Record, EYP Historic Preservation and Design Expert David Fixler, FAIA, explores modernizing Louis Kahn’s Richards Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania as an example of a successful renovation that remains true to the designer’s original architectural vision.
Gone are the days when new construction was held to a higher standard than renovation. Fully modernized buildings are now expected to rival or surpass new construction in energy performance, functionality, and comfort. Meeting this challenge requires the architect and the entire team to go on a journey of exploration within an existing building. They must be part detective, part historian, part diplomat, soothsayers, and master communicators – all closely collaborating with one another to realize the full potential of the building renovation while fully respecting the spirit and intent of the original designers. A modernization project today challenges not only the architect but the entire design team in a way that no other project does.
Renewing Modernism: Notes on the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) Principles for Practice
The dialogue that began in the late 1980s concerning how we can best shepherd the legacy of modernism into a durable and sustainable future raises many issues that are fundamentally changing the way in which preservation professionals approach the rehabilitation of a large segment of the built environment. While we may philosophically debate when and how modernism devolves into the polyglot architectural expressions that have proliferated since the 1970s, technically we are dealing with many of the same issues – thin construction, ephemeral materials, naïve detailing and rapidly changing uses that render buildings tailored to a bespoke program now functionally obsolete – that we have been tackling with mid-century structures. Solutions to these problems require a robust, creative approach that fortuitously is bringing more design to preservation and vice versa. One area in particular that has been questionable, if not taboo in the traditional preservation charters, is acknowledging the necessity of intervention that is sufficiently robust to change and improve user perception and ultimately acceptance in order to keep a resource relevant and economically viable.
Architecture Critic Inga Saffron explains how the renovation of this iconic building brought Kahn's original vision to life.
University Architect at the University of Pennsylvania, David Hollenberg, shares the intricacies and opportunities of renovating Louis Kahn's Richard Laboratories, a National Historic Landmark.