The emerging aesthetic and performance demands on the building facade represent a step change in what is expected of this building system. Complex facade designs and surface geometry, thermal and acoustical performance, daylighting and glare control, energy efficiency and carbon emissions, building integrated photovoltaics, new materials, increasingly challenging means and methods considerations, and facade integration with other building systems are among the considerations that increasingly accompany today’s building projects.
Recognizing this, Enclos launched an initiative in 2009 to assemble a skunk works; a small multidisciplinary dream team of designers and engineers with the mission of exploring — and ultimately defining — the future of the building skin. A small studio space was leased in downtown Los Angeles to house the team and their work, with the firm calling it the Advanced Technology Studio. The mission was supported by a two-pronged strategy: one, a robust R&D agenda of facade related issues independent of construction project work, and two, the provision of a highly technical design-assist capability as a service to our clients with innovative projects involving advanced facade technology. The results of the former are published periodically in the Studio’s Insight publication. The latter has resulted in the involvement of Enclos with leading design teams on landmark projects incorporating unprecedented facade design and technology.
Building on the successes of the Studio concept, Enclos was determined to launch an east coast counterpart. After all, where better to locate an entity like the Advanced Technology Studio than Manhattan, arguably the center of the universe for architectural firms?
“The intent,” says Mic Patterson, director of strategic development, who works from the Advanced Technology Studio, “is to weave the Studio into the fabric of the Manhattan design community, thereby providing a top level technical resource devoted to the building skin for our many clients located out east. The Los Angeles Studio has experienced a revolving door of visitors since opening in 2009, and we expect a great many more at the Manhattan Studio.”
Glass Magazine recently paid a visit to the Los Angeles facility. Their October publication features a report of their visit to the “facade think tank,” where they discovered a “glass-centric, creative universe where a team of diverse professionals address the top concerns of the rapidly changing glass industry.” The article discusses R&D initiatives, cutting edge project contributions, and the diverse abilities and backgrounds of the ATS staff.
Enclos has already assembled the core East Coast Studio team, which is currently operating from temporary quarters in Midtown Manhattan. Meanwhile, build-out is underway on a new Chelsea loft space on 25th Street, immediately adjacent to the High Line with a bank of south-facing windows looking down the length of the park. The 4,000 square foot facility will act as an open-door resource providing design-assist facade services to project design teams in the local community. The Studio also intends to promote collaborative R&D and product development initiatives involving members of the industry, the profession, and the academy. The firm expects to occupy the new loft space shortly after the first of the year.
- View the Glass Magazine article in its entirety here.
- Read more about the Advanced Technology Studio.
- Download a pdf of the latest Insight publication.
To request a free consult with either Studio, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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