In September, Josh will speak at The Facades+ Conference hosted by New York based Architect’s Newspaper here in Kansas City. The two-day conference is intended to “cover issues unique to the region including innovative building skins, high performance facades, and the future face of Kansas City.” The event covers three main topics: Materials + Surfaces: Crafting a Façade; (Re)Designing Downtown; and Parametric Facade Optimization at All Scales. Josh will be speaking in the Materials + Surfaces symposium along with Bill Zahner of A.Zahner Company and Paul Neidlein of JE Dunn Construction.
The conference is the 21st event in an ongoing series that has unfolded in cities across the nation, including New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Past participants include Arup, Cal Poly University, Columbia University, Gensler, HGA, Kieran Timberlake, NBBJ, Parsons School of Design, Perkins+Will, SOM, YKK and Zaha Hadid.
Research and development is deeply embedded in el dorado’s DNA, spurred on by a foundational interest in the craft of building. el dorado was founded on the premise that design and fabrication are a unified act. Over the past 20 years, we have put our fabrication shop to work towards innovative facade design. Our shop has performed building envelope and building skin mock-ups for many projects, allowing our designers and clients to better understand the tectonic aspects of detailing and materiality. The result has yielded building facades that are at once high craft and high performance.
Currently, we are designing a city block in the LODO district of downtown Denver. Celebrating Denver’s storied history in brick manufacturing, and working within a rich historic urban context of masonry buildings, el dorado has proposed a series of contemporary brick facade strategies that respond sensitively to the surround historic fabric. Utilizing computational design methods, we are introducing gradient shifts in color and texture that underscore the rhythm of structural bays and fenestration patterns. The proposed design rejects brick as a generic thin veneer, electing instead to engage bricklaying as the artisan craft so instrumental to the development of LODO over century ago.
In Kansas City, we’re studying façade design through pre-fabricated modular housing construction in urbanized areas. The first of its kind in the region, 34+ Main in midtown Kansas City is based on a highly rational design, with the program defined by the constraints of modular pre-fab construction. Subtle shifts in the placement of modular units within the building section activate the building elevation, creating dynamic movement across the building’s facade.
We are thrilled that The Architect’s Newspaper has selected Kansas City as its next stop, and even more thrilled to be part of the conversation. We are confident that this particular national spotlight will reveal a design and craft culture in Kansas City that is alive and well.
Read more about our participation in the Facades+ Conference here.