Gray Organschi Architecture awarded AIA Connecticut 2022 Project of the Year!

We are honored to announce that Timber City has won the project of the year at the AIA Connecticut 2022 design awards.

Timber city also won an excellence award in the Architecture: Encompassing art Category. The jury comments were, “Important research and in service of the profession and its future. Well-composed arguments and graphics on the potentials of buildings as carbon sinks and, specifically, what considerations carry most weight to that end.”

The design awards recognize design excellence of built and unbuilt work in Connecticut or in other locations by Connecticut-based firms.

Lisa Gray Featured on Madame Architect

Lisa believes that Gray Organschi’s wide range of project types – from single family homes to institutional projects and bridges, all based in principles of regenerative building – is the foundation for the creative and productive cross-pollination of design and construction knowledge within the practice. In her interview with Amy Stone, she talks about her mission and focus on the environment, advising those just starting their careers to find mentorship. Read the full interview here.

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"Mass is More" featured in Architectural Record

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, built for that city’s 1929 International Exhibition, has been celebrated for its elegant use of stainless steel, marble and glass. But what were the environmental consequences of Mies’s material choices? For the next 10 days, visitors to the pavilion (which was dismantled in 1930 and recreated in the 1980s) will be encouraged to consider that question, thanks to an installation built within Mies’s masterwork and made entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT) from Galician forests.

Alan worked with Vicente Guallart and Daniel Ibañez of Institute for Advanced Architecture in Catalonia (IAAC) on the design of the pavilion. Alan, whose goal is to promote “the use of buildings as a global carbon sink,” also worked with a team from Bauhaus Earth to perform a life cycle analysis for each component of Mies’s building and for equivalent components made of timber.

You can read more about the installation in this Architectural Record article

"Mass is More" installation opens at the Barcelona Pavilion

We're excited to announce the opening of “Mass is More," a project created by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Bauhaus Earth, on October 4, 2022 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

The installation explores the use of regenerative and decarbonizing architectural materials in contemporary buildings. By reconsidering the materials being used in the original pavilion, this new installation reflects on how to regenerate our cities through the use of low-emission practices in order to achieve the EU's environmental targets for 2050.

"Mass is More" is funded by Built by Nature and will host the launch of the Spanish mass timber building network Mass Madera. It is part of the events of the European Forest City 2022 in Barcelona, organized by the European Forest Institute, with the support of the Metropolitan Area and the Barcelona City Council.

The project “Mass is More” will be open to the public until October 9, 2022, at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7, 08038 Barcelona, Spain.

Carbon: A Field Manual for Building Designers, now in bookstores

Carbon: A Field Manual for Building Designers is a comprehensive approach to design that integrates sustainable principles and design strategies for decarbonized construction

Representing an international collaboration between academics and architects in the United States and Europe, Carbon: A Field Manual for Designers and Builders offers professionals in the field an approach to sustainable design that embraces building science principles, life-cycle analysis, and design strategies in carbon neutral construction. The book also contains background information on carbon in construction materials and in the building design process.

This book is filled with illustrative diagrams and drawings that help evaluate the potential impact of design decisions for creating carbon emissions. Written by and for designers and builders, the book includes a compelling pair of case studies that explore carbon-reducing strategies, suggests steps for assessing a building's carbon footprint, and reviews carbon storages and circulation of materials. The guidelines detailed in the book can be adopted, replicated, and deployed to reduce carbon emissions and create more sustainable buildings.

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Acme CLT installation begins

ACME Timber Lofts has received its first shipments of CLT from SmartLam North America’s Dothan Alabama plant this past week. The first shipment contains the elevator and stair cores for the project.  We will see CLT arriving daily for the next two weeks and are excited to see the overbuild take shape shortly after.

Through the adaptation of a historic masonry building and an innovative expansion with mass timber construction technologies, ACME Lofts will integrate contemporary architectural design and environmentally sensitive building practices into the historic, industrial fabric of New Haven’s city center.

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Acme Timber Lofts Elevator Preservation

Gray Organschi is happy to be taking part in the preservation of New Haven's rich industrial history at our ACME Timber Lofts project. The 1877 elevator mechanism, possibly the oldest of its kind, and the 1916 elevator mechanism built by Eastern Machinery have been removed from the building and are on their way to the Lost in New Haven museum. See a feature piece about the elevator presevation in the New Haven Register and a story about uncovering 9th Square history in the New Haven Independent.

In the coming months the 150-year-old building will be expanded by two floors using a CLT structural system while preserving the original masonry façade and walls. 

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Beulah breaks ground on affordable apartments

We are happy to announce that the affordable housing project at 340 Dixwell Avenue has broken ground! The project - a collaboration between GOA, Schadler Selnau Associates, HELP USA, and Spiritos Properties - features mass timber and meets passive house energy efficiency standards. See this link to read the article in the New Haven Independent.

Gray Organschi Architecture awarded 2022 US Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant

The project represents a three-year collaboration between Gray Organschi Architecture through its research and fabrication subsidiary JIG Design Build, the Yale Forests, and Odeh Engineers to develop experimental, laminated structural timber components using wood drawn from northeastern forests for potential future application in low to mid rise urban construction assemblies (IBC Types IV HT and IV C.) The project seeks to analyze anticipated yields and species distributions of regional forests that have been managed and harvested for a range of regenerative silvicultural objectives, such as disease mitigation, soil restoration, biodiversity, water quality, and carbon storage. From that bio-material flow analysis, a proto-typology of mixed-species layups will test the potential of the construction sector—through its adoption and commercial development of these experimental structural components, along with the regional forest management models that inform their configuration— to absorb the diversity of wood fiber drawn from a range of timber stands in the US Northeast. The immediate goal of this experimental process is to demonstrate the range of intrinsic qualities of the many species that populate our northeastern woods and to test their varying capacities to participate in a surging urban bio-building economy.

The project team is committed to this research and experimentation as fundamental to the preservation and expansion of healthy forests in a resource-constrained future in which conventional structural timber components engineered from single species may be supplemented by new hybrid assemblies in order to meet burgeoning regional and potentially global demand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail pedestrian bridge receives $20m in state funding

The Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail recently received $20 million in funding as part of New York State’s Parks Capital Budget. The new funding was reported by several local news outlets - you can read more about it here, here, here, here, and here.

Alan is co-author of newly-released "Horizon Europe and new European Bauhaus NEXUS report"

The newly-released "Horizon Europe - New European Bauhaus Nexus Report" is a set of guiding principles for the New Bauhaus Initiative. The recommendations aim to support the core values of sustainability, inclusion, and aesthetics.See this link for the full report as well as a list of Alan's collaborators and co-authors on this exciting work.

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We are pleased to announce the formation of four new design directorships at Gray Organschi Architecture

Parker Lee, Building Performance Director

Karen Scott, Professional Practice Director

Andrew Ruff, Research Director

Dan Kazer, Fabrication Director

Their formal elevation to these new positions is both celebration of the design leadership that Parker, Karen, Andy, and Dan have each brought to the practice and acknowledgement of their special contributions to the breadth, depth, and capacities of our team.

We also wish to congratulate Brittany Olivari, Andrew Padron, Sonya Ursell, and Jack Wolfe who will now take on new responsibilities as our firm’s Senior Associates.

Alan is appointed to the US Department of State's OBO Industry Advisory Group

Alan has recently been appointed to the US Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations' (OBO) Industry Advisory Group for a two-year term. This group of experts ensures that the OBO adopts the building industry's latest concepts, methods, best practices, and ideas in providing facilities for the US government. Click here for the press release and access to the complete list of advisors.

Alan joins Bauhaus der Erde as Director of Innovation Lab

Principal Alan Organschi has been appointed Director of the Innovation Lab at the newly formed Bauhaus der Erde (Bauhaus Earth) in Berlin, Germany. Launched in April 2021, 100 years after the founding of the original Bauhaus in Dessau, Bauhaus der Erde is a global interdisciplinary initiative. Its aim is the transformation of the building sector from an extractive economy with significant terrestrial impact to an ecologically regenerative metabolism that seeks to rebalance material and energy consumption and social inequity in the built environment.

More information about the Bauhaus der Erde can be found on its website here.

Image: Beginning of study trip by architecture students of the Bauhaus, 1932

Stiftung Bauhaus, photo Albert Hennig © Editha Hennig

Alan to deliver keynote address for TimberCon 2021

TimberCon 2021 will begin on March 18 with Alan's keynote address, "Building a Global Carbon Sink." The Architect's Newspaper recently spoke with Alan about his ongoing research on mass timber and the potential of bio-based building in new cityscapes. Read the full article here.

Breakneck Bridge

Spanning 7.5 miles between Cold Spring and Beacon, NY, the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail is a new multi-modal linear park created by Scenic Hudson along the Hudson River. The trail, with landscape architecture by Scape and buildings and structures by Gray Organschi, will provide visitors with expansive views across the river, as well as access to the region's complex system of waterways, wetlands, highlands and forests. 

The Breakneck Bridge, designed by Gray Organschi in collaboration with structural engineering firm Fast + Epp, serves as a critical point of connection along the Fjord Trail, crossing over the Metro North Railroad tracks and sloping gently toward the riverbank, where it joins the southerly reach of the river's edge trail. Conceived primarily as a pedestrian path, the bridge also provides previously unavailable emergency vehicular access to the riverside stretch of the trail.

In keeping with the broader project goals of cultivating the ecological sublime and foregrounding the region’s landscape, the Breakneck Bridge strives to be visually quiet and elegant, modulating its form along its length to meet various clearance and performance requirements. Its primary structure consists of a slender arched weathering steel box girder, which recalls both the region’s industrial past and the railroad directly below. The bridge deck, a series of glulam timber panels cantilevered beyond the weathering steel arches, is bracketed by a visually minimal stainless steel mesh enclosure, keeping walkers and bikers safe from the railroad, but making way for spectacular views toward Storm King, across the Hudson river. With an emphasis on sustainability and durability, these elements coalesce as part of a prefabricated kit of components, allowing for easy maintenance with minimal disruption to the trail’s visitors and operation. This philosophy is emblematic of our design approach within the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail as a whole, which aims to avoid excessively extractive industrial processes in favor of a regenerative material palette drawn from local sources, and uses tools and techniques that minimize the disturbance of this irreplaceable landscape and invaluable environmental resource.

Lisa honored by Architectural Record's 2020 Women in Architecture Awards

Lisa is one of five recipients of this year's Women in Architecture Awards by Architectural Record. According to the award's organizers, "the program recognizes and promotes women who demonstrate a commitment to excellence both in their work and in the world." Read the full press release here.

Alan and Andy collaborate on article published in Nature Sustainability

The article "Buildings as a Global Carbon Sink" has recently been published in Nature Sustainability. A collaboration between Alan Organschi, Andrew Ruff, and researchers at Yale University, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Tsinghua University, the paper discusses the potential of using bio-based building materials to mitigate the effects of climate change. See this link to a blog post about the article, which is also mentioned in this CBC article. The original paper can be accessed on Nature Sustainabiliy here.

WT/GO Architecture presents concept design for University of Arkansas design competition

WT/GO Architecture has recently presented its concept design for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas. The building will serve as the epicentre for the Fay Jones School of Architecture's multiple timber and wood initiatives as well as house the school's design-build program and digital fabrication laboratories. See the project page for more images and information about WT/GO's proposal. The final result of the competition will be announced in May 2020. 

Alan presents at mass timber roundtable

Alan will join an international panel of architects to discuss the emerging role of mass timber in architectural design. See this link for more information on the event.

Lisa shares her experience creating the Ecological Living Module

On this Hive RE:think podcast, Lisa discusses the Ecological Living Module as a model for affordable, secure, comfortable, and sustainable housing.

WT/GO selected as one of six finalists in University of Arkansas design competition

In a newly established partnership with Waugh Thistleton Architects, WT/GO was selected as one of six finalists to design the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas. WT/GO is thrilled that our combined commitment to sustainability as well as material and fabrication innovation was recognized by the campus review committee among almost 70 submissions. See the official press release here.

Image courtesy of Bryan Nash Gill

Alan to lecture at The Architectural League of New York

Alan will present on using mass timber and bio-based building assemblies in the construction of new cityscapes, turning the future city from a source of carbon emissions into a carbon storage system. See this link for more information on the event - we hope to see you on November 26.

Lisa and Alan in conversation, hosted by the Liljestrand Foundation

Lisa and Alan will present and discuss the office's work at the Liljestrand House as part of the Foundation's Design Conversation Series. See this link for more information on the November 6 event.

Grand opening of South Shore Little League stadium

The South Shore Little League community recently celebrated the opening of the Joseph A. Verdino Jr. Grandstand in Staten Island, NY. The new stadium, named in honor and memory of a young player in the league, now allows the SSLL to host tournaments in an inspiring and functional new setting. Visit the project page for more information and images.

Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail

Gray Organschi Architecture was recently selected to join the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail design team. This linear park will connect Cold Spring to Beacon, NY and feature recreational and educational structures that encourage public engagement with and stewardship of this beautiful landscape.

Painting by Jasper Francis Cropsey, Autumn - On the Hudson River (1860)

Image courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington

GOA at the United Nations

Gray Organschi Architecture collaborated with the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture to design, fabricate, and install the Ecological Living Module (ELM) for the United Nations Environment Programme

The 22-square meter home is constructed from renewable bio-based building materials and fully self-sufficient in terms of energy and water. The first demonstration unit, located in the UN Plaza in New York City, from July 9–August 23, contains features relevant to the local climate and context of New York. Future iterations of the module—including one in Kenya, the home of UN Environment—will respond specifically to local climatic and cultural contexts.

GOA and partners awarded three US Forest Service grants

The 2018 USDA Forest Service Wood Innovation Grants have allocated $8 million to 34 projects brought forward by business, university, nonprofit, and tribal organizations in 20 states to stimulate the growth of wood-based technologies and markets. In addition to  increasing the health, efficiency, and resilience of US forests, projects were also selected for the use of wood products in innovative ways and promoting economic development in rural communities.

GOA and its partners have received three of these grants.

"Northern Forests to Timber Cities: Linking Urban Construction Demand to Northern Forest Mass Timber and Harvested Wood Products" works with the Northern Forest Center to develop new supply chains and material flows that connect the underutilized supply of New England softwood forests and rural workforce to the region's insatiable demand for dense sustainable urban construction.

"Overbuilds with Mass Timber—Building Preservation, Restoration and Growth" is centered around the Acme Lofts project with Spiritos Development and Acme Timber, LLC, which restores a historic downtaown masonry and increases its intensity of use with a circulation core and two additional storeys made of mass timber.

"Affordable Housing Opportunities with Mass Timber" uses the 340+ Dixwell project with Spirtos Development and Beulah Land Development Corporation as a precedent and catalyst for the use of mass timber structural systems as a way to create high-quality, healthy affordable housing stock in urban centers while empowering a new regional workforce.

Alan Organschi to serve as Portman Visiting Critic

Principal Alan Organschi has been named as the 2019 Portman Visiting Critic at Georgia Institute of Technology School of Architecture. As Portman Critic, Alan will participate in the academic life of Georgia Tech as a visiting design studio critic and guest lecturer, as well as chair the jury for the Portman Prize, which recognizes student achievements in integrating technical detail considerations into the larger concepts and process of design. He will also contribute to the curriculum of the School's comprehensive building design workshop, sharing his experience at the intersections of architecture, site, detail, and building technology.