AEC Tech News #18617 Jan, 2007 By: Heather Livingston
Courthouse with a Sense of Style
Morphosis uses BIM to buck convention and design a federal building that invigorates the landscape
Thanks to the dedication of the GSA (General Services Administration) to providing public buildings that are examples of design excellence, the citizens of Eugene, Oregon, now boast one of the most architecturally important civic structures in the United States. Designed by architecture firm Morphosis of Santa Monica, California, the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse was officially dedicated on December 1, 2006.
The new courthouse is located on land that was once occupied by a vegetable-processing plant and was chock-full of industrial contaminants. GSA cleaned up the brownfield for Eugene's new brushed-steel, curvilinear, 270,000 square-foot justice facility that includes six courtrooms, associated chambers and ancillary spaces.
Morphosis designed the courthouse to visually connect America's citizens and its government. Where once civic architecture was synonymous with proud, beautiful and awe-inspiring buildings, in the past century it has been defined more by lowest design and construction costs regardless of performance, design homogeneity and increasing security protocols. GSA's Design Excellence program has steadily begun to reinstitute civic architecture that the American people can embrace with pride. By focusing on concepts of integrity, vitality, dignity and substance, Morphosis principal Thom Mayne, FAIA, infused the building with imagery that beckons citizens to reclaim their proprietary relationship to government and the justice system. Read more>>
A Few Things You Might Not Know About ADT
By H. Edward Goldberg, AIA
Despite all the interest today in Autodesk Revit, Architectural Desktop (ADT), the application built on AutoCAD, is still Autodesk's best-selling software for architects. One reason is Architectural Desktop's open programming interface. Also, ADT styles allow more program flexibility than Revit can. I'm not condemning Revit -- I use and enjoy that program. Rather, I'd like to simply put forth that ADT is still one of the best building modeling and documentation choices for those architects who prefer an AutoCAD-based solution -- in particular when it comes to making subtle changes to designs.
Two companies contributing to ADT's longevity by pushing that software to its limits are Ameri-CAD and ARCHIdigm. ARCHIdigm is a consulting and training firm that produces tutorials and automated content for ADT users. Ameri-CAD, via its VisionREZ software, has radically customized ADT specifically for the residential market. Read more>>
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