Seattle’s Facades+ AM Morning Forum captivates facade designers with details of Amazon domes, more

After a whirlwind round of conferences and forums this year—from New York, to Chicago to Miami—The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos made the last stop of the year in Seattle for Facades+ AM.  Over 150 attended our December 4th event at the Motif Seattle hotel.

Nine speakers brought in diverse perspectives and engaging ideas, with room for productive Q & A. Here’s a recap in case you missed it.

A rendering of the planned Amazon spheres at 2101 7th Ave, in South Lake Union, Seattle. (NBBJ/Amazon)

Session 3 Q+A at the Seattle Facades+ AM forum. (Ariel Rosenstock)

After opening remarks by co-chairs Carsten Stinn, designer at Perkins+Will, and Mic Patterson, Enclos’ VP of strategic development, the first session united three presenters under the theme of complex digital facade collaborations. Speakers included Jeffrey Vaglio, director of Enclos’ Advanced Technology Studio, and Joshua Zabel, vice president of business development at Kreysler & Associates. David Sandinsky, senior associate at NBBJ co-presented with Marne Zahner, design engineer at Magnusson Klemencic Associates. They talked about the Amazon domes—more specifically, the conjoined Catalan spheres and their structural steel modules.

A rendering of the planned Amazon spheres at 2101 7th Ave, in South Lake Union, Seattle. (NBBJ/Amazon via

Session two focused on models, methods, and materials for optimizing facade performance. Energy strategist and consultant Sangeetha Divakar at Perkins+Will presented workplan models for integrating engineers’ and architects’ work in energy and envelope modeling. Stéphane Hoffman, building specialist at Morrison Hershfield, discussed parametric visualization tools for mapping building energy performance and why architects and engineers should track thermal bridging. Richard Green, Principal at Front, Inc talked about custom fabrication and digital manufacturing.

In the final session, Devin Kleiner, Perkins+Will architect, Peter Alspach, principal of environmental and building physics at Arup, and Daniel Brindisi, associate at ZGF Architects, spoke to the real-world effects of facade technology. Kleiner discussed post occupancy lighting evaluations, Alspach presented data on the cost benefits of the carbon life cycle, and Brindisi talked about his firms efforts to maximize daylighting.

In the L.A. area or planning a trip to Southern California at the end of January? Catch the latest building envelope developments at the Facades+ Symposium and Workshops in Los Angeles, January 28th and 29th.

600450 Seattle’s Facades+ AM Morning Forum captivates facade designers with details of Amazon domes, more
Date: 21 December 2015

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