Skyscraper Curtain Wall ReplacementPhoto credit: AP Photo/Alan WelnerWhen Philippe Petit walked a high wire strung between the World Trade Center towers, the world was amazed by his grace and daring as he walked on air nearly a quarter-mile above the ground. Today a different kind of dare-devil can be seen hovering above the sidewalk: the crane operators and construction crews that replace curtain walls on skyscrapers in New York.A curtain wall system is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep the weather out and the occupants in. Typical curtain wall infills include stone veneer, metal panels, louvres, and glass windows.Several critical environmental and structural challenges come into play when replacing elements on skyscrapers. Wind is the primary natural force that affects both the structural specifics of the materials and the challenges that come with replacing curtain walls. While replacing windows, wind pressures can make the interior uncomfortable and noisy while the work is ongoing, and even dangerous for the construction crews performing the work. Glass elements must be designed with both wind and load limits in mind, and are often laminated and tempered as a result.Unusual shapes in buildings also cause areas of stress and increased pressure in the materials that must be taken into account when finding structurally appropriate replacements. The shape of the building can also create a wind tunnel, channeling outside air in dangerous ways along the building exterior. The taller the building, the greater the wind pressures affecting both the performance of the building materials and the safety of workers.To compete with increased natural forces at great heights, modern construction crews must have the reflexes of a trapeze performer while they skillfully work high above the city streets. Contact Scott Henson Architect for more information on curtain wall replacement for your building.Read more...
The Minimalist Interior
The minimalist interior balances simplicity with symmetry, and neutral colors with natural light. The ideas behind the design aesthetic are stillness, harmony, and balance. Spaces designed with minimalism are quiet, rather than energizing.
In many design plans, color is used to delineate, energize and enliven a space; they are to more approximate natural environments. Color schemes can include sand and shell, with a touch of sky, or the colors of a bird's nest, with tiny blue speckled eggs inside. Natural wood, with textured linen and cotton accents provide subtle detailing.
One of the hallmarks of a minimalist interior is warmth. While the popularity of the industrial loft concrete finishes is sometimes confused with minimalism, the true minimalist interior has a timeless warmth from the use of natural materials for flooring and materials. Subtle patterns and textures, such as wood grain, provides interest without being static or busy.
Another hallmark of minimalism is the lack of fussy accessories. Many minimalist interiors confine color and movement to art pieces, leaving the rest of the walls and table tops clean. Especially with small spaces and working spaces, clutter and too much pattern can raise the noise level of a room to shouting. With minimalist interiors, the rooms should whisper, or at the least, speak in a calm, quiet voice. This is especially critical for rooms with multiple purposes. It is easy to transform a minimalist space from office to boardroom to living room.
Minimalism is a design aesthetic with classic, timeless features. It works well for both personal and work interiors, and allows spaces to change function easily. It is design that works especially well with an art collection, as the art can take center-stage.Read more...