Group Title: Florida Caribbean architect
Title: FloridaCaribbean architect
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Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00004635/00002
 Material Information
Title: FloridaCaribbean architect
Alternate Title: Florida Caribbean architect
Physical Description: v. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: American Institute of Architects -- Florida Association
Publisher: Dawson Publications,
Dawson Publications
Place of Publication: Timonium Md
Publication Date: Summer 1997
Copyright Date: 1997
Frequency: quarterly
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Architecture -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 44, no. 1 (spring 1997)-
Issuing Body: Official journal of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Issues have also theme titles.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00004635
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA5904
ltuf - ACJ1464
oclc - 36846561
lccn - sn 97052000
 Related Items
Preceded by: Florida architect

Full Text



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CONTENTS

Sununer 1997
Vol. 44, No, 2
Cover: Omnge County LandfiU Operations Cente'r; Orlando Photograph: Kevin Haas
GREEN BY DESIGN
Features
Conserving Structures, Preserving Resources
Dan McGahey, AlA, describes how oppo?"tunities for" monetmy as well as envi?"onmental "savings" pr'esented themselves to Gom/McGahey Associates in c'reating a li b?"ary from an outdated bank center.
High Visibility for Low Impact Waste Management
Brilliant coloring draws attention to A?"chitects Design Gr'oup's myriad practical ideas f01' Orange County's model Landfill Operations Center:
Recycling Gives New Life to Old Structure
Anthony Abbate AlA employed inexpensive a,nd recycled materials in making this 1930s Hallandale bungalow larger, lighter; more comfortable, and affordable f01' the 1990s,
New University Sets an Example
Janet Schwartz writes that a team of w"chitects, led by Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville, worked to make Florida Gulf Coast Un'iveTSity a paradigm of sustainable design,
Capturing the Essence of a Rain Forest
Connections between the natural and built enviTOnments
enhance the e:1:pe'rience of visitor to El POTtal del Yunque,
Sier"ra Car'dona Fe?"'I"er-'s education center' in the
Cani bean National Forest,

Departments Editorial News Viewpoint
by Daniel Wi lliamts, AlA
Viewpoint
by Cooper' Abbott
Index to Advertisers
8
10
12
14
18
5 6 21
24
25
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to the chancellor of the Uruversity of Puelto Rico.
Culminating the week was the first Seminar on the ConselVation of Twentieth Century Architecture. Guest speakers included Dr. Arango and Gustavo More, architect, publisher, and head of the Dominican Republic's chapter of Documentation and ConselVation of the Architecture of the Modem Movement. The events were held in the majestic surroundings of Puerto Rico's Capitol and the nearby former YMCA building.
Interactive Software Program Offers Success Strategies
The American Institute of Architects has arulowlced that an interactive learning program, "Success Strategies for Design Professionals," is now available to members. Published on CD-ROM, the program includes strategies for successful negotiations, ideas for improving the scope and quality of service, tips on managing the small project, and inlproved time management.
TIle program meets all State Registration Board and AlA Guidelines for continuing education while allowing practitioners to learn at their own pace and in a setting of their choosing. The product also includes a special presentation of strategies forfinancial awareness and practices with the design firm. "Special Strategies for Design Professionals" can also be used as a reference manual and a teaching tool for in-firm learning programs.
For further information, contact Fathom Digital Media Design at 631 2nd Ave. South, Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37210;
(615) 244-01Ol.
Professional Cooperation Urged on International Level
Cooperation among architects from different countries has been

Eglin AFB Beach Recreation Facility
Elliott Marshall funes, P. A. of Tallahassee, was the only recipient of a Conceptual DesignAward in the U. S. AirForce's Design Excellence Program. The design, chosen from entries submitted by U. S. air force bas:es worldwide, is for the Eglin AFB Beach Recreation Facility.
urged by the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects (TTlA) in the wake of an airport design controversy involving a F10rida firm. Criticism centered around the design package, prepared by Birk Hillman Consultants, Inc., for Trinidad's Piarco Airport extension.
In a letter to AlA Florida, Geoffrey MacLean, TTlA president, said his country's Joint Consultant Council for the Construction Industry felt that local arclutectural consultants were excluded from participation by Birk Hillman, who were to provide project management and architectural services. The group's memberslup includes architects, engineers, contractors, quantity surveyors, appraisers, and real estate agents.
A national inquiry recommended the cancellation of two portions of the airport contract, including that involving Birk Hillman, according to MacLean's letter. When local concerns were expressed at the project's outset, a Birk Hillman representative seemed sympathetic but no concrete steps were taken to remedy the situation, MacLean wrote.
A company working in another country should take into account local practice and aesthetics, MacLean eA'Plained, adcLing that cooperation among professionals should be paramount.
Metal Construction Association Announces Architecture Awards
Architects are invited to participate in submitting outstanding examples of their work in the use of metal in construction in the 11th Annual Metal Construction Association (MCA) MeIitAwards Prograrn. Projects must have been completed since Januruy 1, 1996.
Enoy categories include commercial, industrial, institutional, reSidential, and historic restoration/preservation. Submittal deadline is July 15, 1997, and eacll subn1ission must be accompar1ied by a $75 fee. Enoies will bejudged by a jwy of five registered ru'clutects. Application fonus outlining the MCA Merit Awru'ds rules and procedures are available by writing to: 1997 MCA Merit Awru"ds Program, 11 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1400, Chicago, IL. 60603-1210, or calling (312) 201-0193.
Of Note
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Hurnar1ities selected images of the Church of the Epiphany, designed by the funl of Spillis Candela & Partners, Inc., Miami, to appear on the cover of its Cr-eativeAmerica rePOlt. The docunlent is ainled at promoting creativity and increasing public appreciation ofthe arts and hurnar1ities. The cover of CreativeArnerica depicts a high-tech computer rendering of the intIicate latti ework of wood and steel that comprise the Ch urch of the Epiphany ceiling. The project won a omputer delineation design award from Ar-chileclu1-al Recm'd magazine and nbuilt Design awards from the Miami chapter of the AlA and AlA F10Iida Hilario Candela, president of SpilLis Candela, selved on the President's Committee for three yeru-s.He said the goal of the project was to create a church design classical in spirit and, at the same time, open and tropical enough for its South F10rida setting.
SGA Architects, Inc., Palm Beach, has been honored with a "Best in American Living" Merit Award for design of The Creekside model home in Mira Lago at Bonita Bay. TIle 2,79S-sq. ft. luxwy villa has cafe au lait stucco walls, white oim, and a telTa cotta toned Spanish-style tile roof. There is an extraordinary golf course vista from the kitchen and family room of the 3-bedroom, 3-bath villa. SGA president Spencer Goliger accepted the awru"d from the National Association of Home Builders at its January convention in Houston.
The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Corrunission gave an Award of Excellence to FleishmanGarcia, Tampa, for the design of the Tampa Firefighters and Police Officers Pension Fund Building. The bungalow style structure wa designed to be in conte>..'t with the SurrOWlding residential neighborhood. FleishmanGarcia al 0 aI1I1owlced the lUring of Russell
L. Gat"cia as Project Manager/ Construction Adminiso"ator.
VOA Associates Incorporated designed ten gallelY spa e at the Orlando Museunl of Art for the Imperial Tomb of hina exhibition, which runs May 2 through September 14. VOA provided their services, in part, as a comnlWlity selvice to SUppOlt the ruts in Orlando.
rLORJDNCARJBBEAN AR I'IITE T Swruner 1997



Conserving Structures, Preserving Resources

By Dan McGahey, AlA
Regional Library Lee County, Florida GoralMcGabey Associates in Architecture
'lIThil reusing and remodel
IIing are not unusual in residential architecture, the idea of recycling a commercial structure is less common. As long as land was inexpensive and the regulatory environment somewhat relaxed, it was easier to build from the ground up than to work within the confines of an existing building.
In Southwest Florida and many other places, that picture i changing. Increasing land costs and a plethora of local, state, and federal regulations have made new construction more expensive than ever. So it is not surprising that reusing existing facilities is gaining popularity.
Adaptive reuse is more than simple remodeling; in its purest form it involves actual recycling of a facility. A recent example of this process can be seen in a decommissioned banking operations center which was purchased by Lee County to be used as a regional library.

Since this was a reuse, as many of the existing materials as possible were rehabilitated. The original buildlng was a squat rectangular structure, with heavy precast concrete panel walls, few windows, and little daylight. Several panels removed to make way for glass-covered reading pods were reused to form a screen wall between the front entry and selvice yard.
A number of opportlUlities for savings-immecllate and long-term as well as monetary and envil"Omnental-presented themselves. Some 35 existing doors were stripped and revarnlshed (about $100 each instead of $300-$400 for new replacements). Plumbing fixtures were cleaned up, refitted, and reused, and partition walls in the bathrooms were replaced with recycled plastic components.
Of course not all existing materials could be reused. Some were damaged during demolition, others were simply




outdated. But where materials could not be rehabilitated, many were recycled. Metal studs removed during demolition were recycled, along with electrical wire, glass, aluminum window frames, steel door frames, ductwork and pipes. Twelve extra-large dumpster loads of materials were taken for recycling, saving $6,000 in dump fees alone.
Keeping maintenance and operational costs down is an important consideration in public buildings. The perimeter of the wall received new insulation and a vapor barrier. Old air-conditioning units were recycled and a new ice them1al storage system was installed. This state-of-the-art air conditioning system not only is effective in removing water vapor from the moisturesensitive library but is reducing operating costs by $15,000 annually. Retrofitting fluorescent lights with high-efficiency electronic lamps and ballasts added another $8,000 in expected savings. These energy conservation efforts were rewarded with $55,000 in credits and rebates from the local power company.
A great deal of thought and effort also went into the design process. Marking the front entry is a brightly colored space frame, areas of which are covered to shade the sidewalk while other portions are left open, allowing the sun to play shadows across the pavement. Landscaping helps provide natural shade for the building, again reducing operating costs. Inside, a system of "streets" defines stack areas, with skylights bringing in additional light at each "intersection."
The entry screen wall is embellished with sandblasted images of footprints and palm fronds on the "Path to Knowledge" by mtist Jan Marmarelli. A stainless steel egret standing among Corten steel cattails designed by project architect Rob Andrys and executed by Michael Guthrie further reinforces the juxtaposition of the built environment with its natural surroundings.


Recycling old buildings is not a new idea. But in this era of increased regulation and environmental concern, the process of reusing rather than razing and rebuilding from the ground up preserves resources and makes good sense. .:.
Architect: Gora McGahey Associates in Architecture Principal in charge: Dan McGahey, AlA Landscape Architect: David M. Jones & Associates Structural Engineer: Jenkins and Charland Civil Engineer: Source, Inc. Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: Wadsworth Engineering General Contractor: Compass Construction, Inc. Owner: Lee County, Florida
FLORJDNCARJBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997



Cur"ving maintenance entry site wall "floats" in a reflective pond and sepw"ates passenger vehicles from maintenance equipment.
Va1ying mass, colo1'; and height create a dynamic entry experience. Photograph: Kevin Haas.
that have a useful life of one hundred years or more."
Using these guidelines, the team researched systems as well as materials that would serve their goal. A stl11ctural steel frame encloses this 52,000 sf slab-ongrade structure with spread footing. Flat insulated and conugated steel panel walls sustain a single-ply membrane roof system. Both siding and stl11ctural elements are fully recyclable. Even exterior planting areas reuse mulched tires.
On the interior, above a combination of gypswn board and metal panel CMU partitions, ceiling constl11ction is exposed. Resilient flooring throughout is made from flaxseed plants and linseed oil. Ceramic tile, furnitme, fabrics, and upholstery are manufactured from various recycled materials.
A state-of-the-art HVAC system gets high energyefficiency ratings. The vehicle wash operation uses recycled water, which is cleaned and filtered on-site. Indirect lighting differs in each ftmctional areafor example, a task/ambient system for adrninistrative areas, fluorescent parabolic downlighting with multiple switching capacity for operations areas, metal-halide combined with day lighting for maintenance areas, and dramatic accent lighting for the exterior.
It is obvious to even the most casual observer that color played an important role in the total design concept. In over 20 years of research on color, ADG (which has used similar vibrant color schemes in projects like the Florida Solar Energy Center) has learned a thing or two about how color can respond to natural SWTOundingS and affect the work environment.
Here the palette actually reflects the immediate environment; thus green is the primary building skin. Accents of blue, red, and yellow, seen in bales of recycled waste materials at the landfill, are used to define specific functional elements. .:.

Architect:
Architects Design
Group, Inc.
Principals in charge:
I.S.K. Reeves V, AlA,
Kevin Ratigan, AlA


Design Team:
Kevin Ratigan, AlA,
Steve Langston, AlA

Landscape Architect:
Bellamo-Herbert &
Company, Inc.
Structural Engineer:
Paul J. Ford & Company
Civil Engineer:
Brindley Pieters &
Associates Inc.

Mechanical/Electrical
Engineer:
I.M.D.C.
General Contractor:
G.H. Johnson

Ecological Consultant:
Lotspeich &
Associates, Inc.
Owner:
Orange County
F'LORlDNCARlBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997 Ll




during the same era, was used to refit the floors in the dining and kitchen area. As luck had it, the color and dimensions of the original living room flooring were a perfect match, creating a seamless transition.
Extending from the living area to the kitchen, a perinleter cabinet lines the long wall. An entertainment center at one end, it goes on to conceal a laundry and storage area, finally encasing the refrigerator and microwave center at the other. This unit and the kitchen cabinets are finished in plywood sealed in nontoxic "Hydrocote.
A kitchen backsplash, opened up to capture light from the adjacent garage, was fitted with glass block panels that originally had flanked the living room fueplace. In their place are glazed doors that open onto a new deck intended for entertaining in the north garden area.
All the windows were replaced with energy efficient units fitted with double-paned insulating glass. Adjustable wide interior louver blinds help control light and heat penetration. Energy-saving fluorescent lighting replaced old fixtures, and a radiant banier was installed in the attic where there had been no insulation. .:.
Architect:
Anthony Abbate AlA
PrinCipal in charge:
Anthony Abbate, AlA


Landscape Architect:
Peter Stelkow, ASLA
Electrical Consultant:
Glenn C. Blaise

General Contractor:
Carl Perkins,


Nu Concepts, Inc.

Owner:
Lorraine Sternberg
FLORlDNCARlBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997





Dark green stancling-seam metal TOofing was chosen to CT ate a "t1'ee canopy" effect. G1'ay stucco e:J.;tmio1"s are accen ted w ith Mown, cast stone wainscots at g?'ound level. Photogmph: Ga1Y Knight & Associates Photography.
Army Corps of Engineers and anlenities), and remove non removed tllou ands of water flows, restoring gras y
state permitting requirements, it native, invasive trees. MelaJuca and Brazilian Pepp r wetlands, and reintroducing
was necessary to restore and re The conceptuaJ master plan trees that had invaded the site, palms, pUles, oak palmettos,
create wetlands areas, create was don by Wallace Roberts & choking out indigenous and other indjg nous (and low
storm water management lakes Todd. To implement the plan, egetation. Site preparation maUltenanc ) species.
(which also selve as site PGAL created tlu'ee lakes and involv d re-creating originaJ on tinued onpag 16
I' LO RJDNCARl BBGAN AHCIIITGCT Summe r 1997 15



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Sited on a hill, the structure comprises 45,000 sf. on three levels. The lower level, shortened where it abuts the eruth barrier, houses administration, office, and operations ru-eas. Entering on level two, visitors stroll among the colunms, which refer to the forest topography visible outside, and then ascend to the courtyard. On level three visitors find themselves close to the roof structure, which feels like a treetop canopy. Acting as the main datum of the composition along the circulation axis is the skeletal, high-pitched roof~paque, translucent, orpel~ forated at various points.
Water is a dynrunic element along the periphery of the central courtyard. It flows through cascades that fall into a rock landscape that is formal in some areas, organic in others. These water and rock components exit either side of the structure, leading the water flow into existing natural swales.
Three exhibition pavilions that radiate from the central courtyard culminate the visitors' travel path. All three sit over rockclad pOdiWTIS. Pivot doors along their perimeters open completely, providing a total integration with the tropical forest beyond. .:.


Elevated pedes t1 ian b1'idge exemplifies meeting ofnatuml and bui lt environments. PhOtogTCtph: Ma:x; TOTO
Architect: Sierra Cardona Ferrer Principals in charge: Luis S. Sierra, AlA, Segundo
Cardona, AlA Project Architect: Luis Estevez, AlA Site Planners & Landscape Architects: Edward D. Stone, Jr.,
and Associates Structural Engineer: Jose Espinal Vazquez Civil Engineer: ESP Design Group Mechanical Engineer: Jorge Torres-L6pez and Associates Electrical Engineer: Leonardo Vidal, PE. General Contractor: Redondo Construction Corp. Construction Inspection: Diaz & Mayor Corp. Owner: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Caribbean National Forest, Southern Region


VIEWPOINT

Green by Design
Daniel Williams, AlA

Our society is living beyond its means. We aTe about to dispossess the earth ofcapital assets in the space ofa few lifetimes through patterns of exploitation. These patte1'ns a1"e devastating the nat'm"al environment upon which we dependfor our long-tmm sU11Jival.
Architects for Social Responsibility
I
f architectllie in the 20th century was about designing a "machine for living," then in the 21st centwy it may be about designing "organisms for living."
"Sustainable" was defined by the World Conunission on Environment and Development in 1987 as "meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." To design for the future we need to look at the processes of natllie and how our designs can fit and connect within that larger framework. An "organism for living" would act to supply, store, and renew resources and to clean and distribute waste products. It would provide a basis for creating better communities. As a nation we can ill afford to design buildings that last less than 20 years prior to their journey to the landfill.
Design is problem solving. While the Boyer Report regarded architectural education as superior for problem solving, it found other areas lacking. One central deficiency mentioned in particular was creating communities. In the truest sense of that term, the "communities," we need to create will sustain all creatllies as well as all resources.
In the design and conslJ11ction of communities, the process of designing must incorporate the simple understanding of the "free work" of natural systems. The basis of this approach would begin with an understanding of the bio.logical forces and workings within our home regions. By understanding the cycling within the hwnan and natural systems and creating designs that make connections within and/or an10ng those cycles, we can increase the urban efficiency and, consequently, increase sustainability, for future generations. Bioregionalism is just such an approach.
According to AlA Florida Committee on Environment and Energy, "Green Design is the act ofsolving pToblems in a manne?' that will minimally impact theTeSOUTce base bef01'e, during and afte?' the manufacturing/ constnLction pmcess. I n addition, the pmcess and mate1ials must be ~Lseful, have long te1m benefit, and be able to be beneficially TetuTned to the bi oTegional cycle.
There aTe efforts in the state that signal our futllie in the profession-the Green Materials Conference, the South Florida Sustainable Building Conference by tl1e Dade County Coalition, tl1e Green by Design Awards Program, are some examples. The FlOlida Design Initiative's online newsletter, e-online, produced at FlOlidaA&M University's School of Architecture, is a national model for environmental information-let's use it.
Bioregionalism entails the designing of region watersheds, transportation systems, sustainable farm co n1l11w1ities, liveable neighborhoods, and viable economies that support and are supported by sustainable natural energies. This means designing-or redesigning-urban and agricultural systems that run off less fossil fuel and have functional conne tions to the natural systems.
Water and energy are the defining resource ofdevelopment. Yet as development occurs we are paving over recharge while exponentially increasing the demand. Although we have ample rainfall, we have insufficient water. How do we design for watershed protection? It goes

The earth belongs to the living. No man may by natural right oblige the lands he owns or occupies, or those that succeed him in that occupation, to debts greater than those that may be paid during his own lifetime. Because if he could, then the world would belong to the dead and not to the living.
Thomas J efferson, Architect
without aying that the Sunshine State garners enough solar energy to be energy sufficient. How do we design to maximize the use of this sustainable energy?
We owe it to ours Ives, to our children, to our region, to be more efficient, more sustainable, more intelligent in our mission. By designing our buildings, our communities, and our regions to colle t and connect
uch vital natural resources, we can start taking control of their protection.
We are faced with an exceptional opportl.lluty. The vision and design of our region as part of a larger environment mu t start with a deep understanding of natllial forces and resources and how they work. Applying this knowledge, tl1en, is an in1POrtant
tep in establislUng responsive and responsible structmes. Yes, it will mean additional education: about green materials, photovoltaics, off gassing, performance
pecifications, building commissioning, passive heating and cooling systems, ecology, and climatic design plinciples.
Part of the challenging future is that virtually every existing building needs major design work to make it fl.ll1ction energetically and effiCiently for the next millennium. As architects and planners, it is our duty to learn the systems and to provide sustainable solutions. Contractors, engineers, and others are busily attending workshops and conferences on important green issues. Architects must not stay at home. It is time to expand our overworked nUnds in this direction. If not, in the next centlllY we will doubtless find ourselves griping about om denUse.
The rewards can b great. Ultimately, it will mean additional business and leadershjp oPPOltunities. Itis al 0 the call of architects. Who el e is better equipped? .:.
Archilect and plann r Daniel Wi lliam, AlA, chai l's AlA Fl01'ida 's Committee on Envi1'onment and En l'gy, as well as se?'ving on the Dade Green Coali tion Boa1'd and lh City of Miami UTban Development Review Boa1"d.

FLORJDNCARIBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997





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FLORlDNCARlBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997



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Building Products
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CADD
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Cisterns

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Construction Claims
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Construction Management
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Continuing Education
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Today's building methodology has become so complex and .~/sophisticated that it often far exceeds the job description of
Design Software
Intergraph Corp ....................... ................. 23 today's architect. Yet many owners are unwilling to take ..;, responsibility for promises not kept. As a result designers
Doors & WIndows
Window Classics Corp ........... ....... ......... 26 rlln the ri k of being held up for outrageous construction claims that could mire them in a swamp of red ink.
Drafting Supplies
Intergraph Corp ........... .... ......................... 23

We can help. Project Development International presents thegold standard forclaims Drapery Fabric prevention packages. Construction RisKontrol'"'maps out the risks and spell Ollt the
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FLO RJDNCARJBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997 25




INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
Buyers' Guide
Glass Blocks Hurricane Protection-Doors & Wmdows HVAC Glass Masonry .......................................... 23 Exeter Architectural Products ............... 26 Florida Natural Gas ............ .................... IFC
Healthcare Insurance Hurricane Shutters Insurance Prefen-ed Choice ........................................ 4 Exeter Architectural Products ............... 26 AlA Trust .......................... ......................... 27


MARVIN

WINDOWS & DOORS


Window Classics supplies beautiful, low maintenance wood
windows and doors from Marvin to Florida and the Caribbean.

WINDOW CLASSICS CORP.

HOLLYWOOD MIAMI W. PALM BEACH
Ph. 954/966-1148 Ph. 305/266-9800 Ph. 561/659-0600
Fax 954/983-7724 Fax 305/267-8197 Fax 561/659-1555


LONGWOOD BONITA SPRINGS TAMPA
Ph. 407/332-1352 Ph. 941/498-9141 Ph. 813/915-1414 Fax 407/332-1353 Fax 941/498-9142 Fax 813/933-0015
Collinsworth, Alter, Nielson, et al .... ...... 20 Sedgwick of Florida, Inc ............... .......... 23 Seitlin & Company Insurance ................... 2 Suncoast Insurance Associates, Inc ....... 2
Light ing & Bath FaHey's ........................................................ 1
Marvin-Windows & Door s Window Classics Corp ........... .... .............. 26
Natural Gas Florida Natural Gas ................................ IFC
Plumbing American Cistern ..................................... 26
Professional Lia bility
Collinsworth, Alter, Nielson, et al ........ .. 20
Sedgwick of Florida, Inc ........................ 23
Seitlin & Company Insurance .................. 2
Sun coast Insurance Associates, Inc ........ 2

Project Scheduling Associated Cost Engineers ..................... 20


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American Cisterns, Inc.
(~ Design & Installation
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FLORIDNCARJBBEAN ARCI-IITECT Summer 1997








EDITORIAL

FLORIDA/CARIBBEAN ARCHITECT
Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects 104 East Jefferson Street Tallahassee, Flolida 32301
Editorial Board John Totty, AlA, haitnlan John Howey, FAlA
Karl Thorne, AlA
President John R. Cochran, Jr., AlA
Vice PresidentlPresident-elect Roy Knight, FAlA
Secretarytrreasurer Vivian Salaga, AlA
Past President William Blizzard, AlA
Senior Regional Director Henry C. Alexander, Jr., AIA Coral Gables
Regional Director John P. 'Ike, Jr., AIA Pensacola
Vice President for Professional Excellence Ivan Johnson, AlA
Vice President for Political Effectiveness Debra Lupton, AlA
Vice President for Communications Keith Bailey, AIA
Executive Vice President George A. Allen, CAE, Hon. AIA
Editor Margaret Barlow
Published by Dawson Publications, Inc. 2236 Greenspring Drive Timonium, Maryland 21093
(410) 560-5600 (800) 322-3448 Fax: (410) 560-5601
Publisher Denise Rolph
Sales Manager Dave Patrick
Layout & Design Amy King
Flo1i dalCa'dbbeanArchi lect, Official JounlaJ of the Florida Association of the American Institute
of Architects, is owned by the Association, a
florida Corporation, not for profit. ISSN'()O 153907. It is published four times a year and distributed through the Executive Office of the Association, L04 East Jefferson St., Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Telephone 9041222-7590.
Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of AlA Florida. Editorial material may be reprinted only with the express pennission of FlO1i daJCu'l'ibbean Architect,
Single copies, $6.00; annual subSCription, $20.33. Third class postage


A
t this moment in time, Floriclians appear to be severely clivided conceming the environment. On the one hand are those for whom
econorrtic gain outweighs any environmental protection or preser
vation considerations. On the other are those trying to protect our paradise
of a state from further contamination and disintegration.
Itappears that a number ofarchitects in our region are standing firmly
in the second group. Sustainability, which has been defmed as "develop
ment that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their needs," is on their minds and is being
reflected in their work. Miamj architect Dan Williams, who chairs AIA
Florida's Corrunittee on Environment and Energy, talks about the need to create communities that "will sustain all creatures as well as all resources." Cautioning that Florida is heading toward future problems because of development that is destroying and wasting resources, he asks, "How do we design to maximize their use?"
Featured in this issue are several projects that do maximize resources, whether through the use of recycled materials or energy-saving systems. They run the gamut, too: recycled buildings and new construction, small and large, urban and rural, set in a landfill and a rain forest.
If, as Williams contends, "vittually every existing building needs major design work to make it function energetically and efficiently for the next millennium," two of the projects may serve as examples. The smallest is a remodeled 1930s bungalow for which architect Anthony Abbate, AIA, appropriated a variety of "pre-used" materials. For the second, a dark banking center turned into a bright regional library, Dan McGahey, AIA describes how recyclillg and energy-saving applications enhanced his adaptive reuse. (Perhaps because librarians are used to tight budgets, library projects often seem to present a creative challenge to architects.)
We are delighted to share with readers our first look at Florida's newest state university. From its wetlands site to its thermal storage and programmable maintenance systems, author Jan Schwartz describes Florida Gulf Coast University as "a model of sustainable design, energy conservation, and respect for the envit'onment."
Color and light are more than a facade at Architects Design Group's Landfill Operations Center. This exemplary work place, meant to harmonize with a variety of natural systems including high water table, serves environmental concerns in every aspect of its function and operation.
Tropical architecture offers unique possibilities, writes environmental planner/designer Cooper Abbott, for "a blending ofinte1ior and exterior space, afluiclity ofinterior volumes, [and] an openness to the surrounding landscape." A dramatic illustration is Sierra Cardona Ferrer's rain forest education center, designed to respect its fragile habitat. Here natural elements of the tropical forest unite with marunade forms and materials to impart the spirit as well as the science of this natural phenomenon.
Architects, planners, and others can hark back to one man, Thomas Jefferson, considered a model of many professions, who wrote:
The earth belongs to the living. No man may by natuml right oblige the lands he owns or occupies, or those that succeed him in that occupation, to debts greater than those that may be pai d during his own lifetime. Beca1/,Se ifhe could, Uum the w01"ld would belong to the dead and not to the living.
Jefferson's words, recalled for us by Dan Williams, offer a challenge for sustainability that stands as well in our day as in hi MB

FloridalCw-ibbean ATChi tect serves the profession by providing CWTent iniOlmation on design, practice management, teclmology, environment, energy, preselvation and development of conmlwljties, construction, fmance, e onomies, as weU as other political, socia!, and cultw'a! issues that impact the field.
FLORlDNCARlBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997





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NEWS

B:IJ Jim Bleyer
Florida ADA Law And Design/Build Modified by Legislature
Florida legislators finished their 1997 regular session on time this month, but not before passing major revisions to the state's accessibility laws and modifying its guidelines for local agencies to select design/build entities.
AIA Florida was at the forefront on both issues, and members of the Political Effectiveness Management Team, under the leadership of Vice President Debra Lupton of Orlando, provided continuous input to the statutory changes during the legislative session. Executive Vice President George Allen, and Legislative Consultants Mike Huey, Cluis Hansen, and Andy Bertron coordinated the profession's lobbying efforts.
State Senator Charlie Clary, AIA, of Destin, was very helpful to AIA FIOlida in his freshman session. Senate President Toni Jennings designated Senator
lary as the point person for matters dealing with educational facilities. He proved to be effective in situations where proposals and amendments were offered which would have dan1aged design professional selection procedures, or when the voice of reality was needed on other proposed construction techniques.
Codes and Standards Chair Lan)' Schneider provided a great deal of the expertise in language that was used in the revision to Florida's accessibility law,which were passed in HB 1707. Legislators passed revisions to tandards relating to the vertical accessibility requirements, moving Florida closer to Federal ADA guidelines; modified the rest room provisions, again moving them to ADAAG;and delayed ffective dates of the more string nt parking requirements regarding slopes and curb cuts that had been approved last year. (Copy of I-lB 1707 is available
through the AIA Florida FAX ON DEMAND program.)
Modification of the state's guidelines for local public agencies to use in selecting de ignl build entities was sought by the Haskell Corporation of Jacksonville and a coalition of local government facility managers. The bill, SB 1860, proposed that selections be based solely on qualifications rather than the cur~ rent two-step process in which a criteria package is first developed and then entities provide qualifications, solutions and prices in order to compete for the project.
AIA FlOlida took a strong interest in the legislation and proposed amendments to require that local agencies utilize the services of a licensed design professional appropliate to the project during the course of the selection process and dluing the subsequent design and construction activity once the design/build entity was selected. This recommendation first met with opposition from the League of Cities and the County Commissioners Association, but after several meetings, language acceptable to AIA was approved and the bill passed on the last day of the session.
Another issue in which AIA Florida was strongly involved was a provision to re-enforce the exemption architects and engineers have in the regulatory statute for licensing building officials. AIA Florida, in association with the Florida Engineering Society, supported and convinced the House to approve amendments to each professional practice act which spelled out their exemption from the building official licensing requirement. However, the proviSions were included in an omnibus bill which was left on the Senate consent calendar. Until this matter is rectified, architects are being advised that they should not provide building inspection services for building departments unless they also have a license from the Board of Building Code Administrator and Inspectors.
Court: Title III Covers Architects
The U. S. District COUlt for Florida's Southern District recently held that the American Disabilities Act (ADA) covers architects. The decision contradicts a 1996 ruling in a Washington,
D.C. district COUlt that architects are not covered by ADA.
Two minors sued Huizenga Holdings, Ellerbe Becket Architects, Broward County, and the City of SUluise, maintaining that a hockey arena under construction for the Florida Panthers hockey team does not meet ADA requirements. Although the decision did not describe the alleged violations, a letter from Thomas Contois, a U. S. Department of Justice attorney, to attorneys for Huizenga stated the case involved a dispute about sight lines and whether or not wheelchair users would be able to see the ice when spectators in front ofthem stood.
The court rejected Ellerbe Becket's argrunent that, based on AD~s plain language, architects are not covered. "Ifarchitects are not liable under the ADA, then it is conceivable that no entity would be liable for construction of a new commercial facility which violates the ADA," the court stated. The Department of Justice said it was not challenging whether or not the arena was in compliance. Its participation was only on the question of the architect's liability.
Celebration Observes Architectural Heritage of Puerto Rico
The Architecture and Construction Archives of the University of Puelto Rico (AACUPR) celebrated its tenth anniversary in February with week-long activities commemorating the contributions of three ar'chitects to the practice, education, and publication of architecture.
The honorees were Miguel Ferrer, FAIA, of the finn Toro y Fen'er; JesUs Amaral, FAIA, first director ofthe School ofArchitecture at the University of Puerto Rico; and Efrain Perez-Chanis, editor ofthe architectural journal Urbe. A decade ago, Dr. Enrique Vivoni-Farage, a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico's School of Architecture, fOlmded AACUPR, an organization that would rescue, preserve, enrich, and promotePuerto Rican architectural values. Up to that time, all of the island's rich architectural documentary heritage had been in private hands, making the task of historiaJ1S and researchers difficult
Today, after intense labor, AACUPR owns more than 70 collections of the works of architects such as Pedro A. De Castro, Antonin Nechodoma, Rafael Carlnoega, Toro y Ferrer, Henry K1wnb, and Amaral y Morales. The ar'chives also preserve collections of particular buildings such as the Capitol, EI Falensterio, and institutions or corporations such as the sugar mills atAguirre, Guaruca, and Fajar'do, and the University of Puerto Rico. AIA Puerto Rico has been helping in this endeavor since 1988, when it deposited the documents of the island's premiere Art Deco architect, Pedro Mendez, in AACUPR's custody.
The celebrations began with two lectures by renowned Colombiar1 architectural histOliar1 Dr. Silvia Arango, from the National University ofColombia atBogota Both lectures were cosponsored by AIA Puerto Rico. The first focused on the design of Latin An1etican Ul1iversity carnpuses; the second presented the work of Henry Klumb in the design of the Student Service Building at the University of Puerto Rico.
A charette was held at the School of Architecture concerning the recent proposal for a master plan by the Boston-based firm of ComUl1itas. Three groups ofstudents from the School ofA1~ chitecture at the University of Puelto Rico and one group from ti1e Polytechnic Universityparticipated in a review ofthe proposed plan. Conclusions were presented

FLORlDMCARlBBEAN ARCIIiTECT Summer 1997




GENESIS STUDIOS, INC.
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Broward County Civic Arena
Home of the Florida Panthers

The three views capture the anticipation of a fast-paced hockey game. The exterior rendering is gouache on airbrush enhanced photo-print. Interior renderings are computer/hand composites, incorporating a radiosity program (certain elements such as figures are hand-painted).
Client: Harris Drury Cohen/Ft. Lauderdale, FL Architects: Ellerbee Beckett/Kansas City, MO
4521


INDEX TO ADVERTISERS

Buyers' Guide

Risk Management Sedgwick of Florida, Inc ........................ 23
Roof-TIle Masterpiece Tile Company ...................... 20
Roofs/Artificial Thatch Tropic Top/Symbold ......... .................. 20, 26
Spiral Stairways Amelican Ornamental Corp .................... 25
Principal Suppliers for Featured Projects
Florida Gulf Coast University
Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville; Rosier!

Jones Associates, Inc.; Barany, Schmidt &
Weaver; Wallace Roberts & Todd Arch.

Principal Suppliers: Sunshine Masonry, Dixie Southern Industries, Enterprise Systems, Owens Ames Kimball, Guymann Constnlction of Florida, Dixie Southern, S.L. Page, R.J. Van's Plwllbing, Weiss & Woolrich Southern Enterprises, B & I Contractors, Aneco, Inc.
Sternberg Residence
Anthony Abbate AlA
Principal Suppliers:
Hastings Euclide Lavatory, High-Tech
Marketing; Carl Perkins, Nu Concepts, Inc.;
Marvin Wmdows; Florida Builders Appliances
Regional library
GoralMcGahey Associates in Architecture
Principal S uppliers:
Trinity ConStniction, Crowther Rooflllg,
Florida Aluminum & Steel, Unistnlt Florida,
Ken Bunting Carpentry, C & M Cabinets,
Southern Coastal Sealants, Farrey's
Wholesale Hardware, Ceramic Technics,
American Olean, S.L. Page Corp.
Orange County Landfill
Operations Center
Architects Design Group, Inc.
Principal Suppliers:
Centria, Tli-City Steel Fabricators, West
Tampa Glass Company, Inc., Tremec Corp.,
Reliable Hydraulics, Inc., Superior
Mechanical Systems, Industrial Roofing
Specialists, Inc., Hemphill Corp., Acoustic
Engineering Co., Innovations in Cabinetry &
Millwork, Gramong and Padgett Sales, Inc.
F'LORl DNCARIBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997
Stone William M. Wood Company ............. ..... IBC
Upholstery Fabric Carnegie Fabrics ...................................... 28
Wall Fabric Carnegie Fabrics ...................................... 28
WaterfallsIPonds & Rock Formation Tropic Top/Symbold ........................... 20, 26
45-10

Wmdow Protection Exeter Architectural Products ............... 26
Windows & Doors Ricketson Sash & Door Company Inc ............................................. 4 Window Classics Corp ............................. 26
Wood Wmdows & Doors Ricketson Sash & Door Company Inc ............................... .............. 4




ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO ADVERTISERS


AlA Trust ...................................................... ...... 27
Aluminum Selvices ............................. .............. 28
American Cistern .............................................. 26
American Ornamental Corp .......... ................... 25
Archltectural Photography Inc ........................ 25
Associated Cost Engineers .............................. 20
Carnegie Fabrics ......................... ...................... 28
Collinsworth, Alter, Nielson, et aI ................... 20
Exeter Archltectural Products ........................ 26
Farrey's ........ ......................................................... 1
Florida Natural Gas ......................................... IFC
Genesis Studios, Inc ...................................... OBC
Glass Masonry .................... .................... ........... 23
Intergraph Corp ................................................. 23
Masterpiece Tile Company .............................. 20
PrefelTed Choice ................................................. 4
Project Development International, Inc ......... 25
Ricketson Sash & Door Company Inc ............. 4
Sedgwick of Florida, Inc .................................. 23
Seidin & Company Insurance .......................... .. 2
Suncoast Insurance Associates, Inc ................. 2
Tropic Top/Symbold .................................... 20, 26
Trus Joist MacMillan ........................................... 4
Window Classics Corp ...................................... 26
Willianl M. Wood Company ............................ lBC

Fax-on-Demand
We want FlO?idaJCa1ibbean A1'chitect to be an effective resource for AlA members when making their purchasing decisions. As an additional benefit, Dawson Publications is offering a Fax-On-Demand service.
Pmticipating advertisers are assigned a four-digit code (located under each ad). To access additional information about the advertiser's product and/or service, you only need to dial (410) 252-9595 from your fax mach.ine and listen to the voice prompts for further instructions. PRESTO -you will receive additional inform ation about advertiser's products and/or services.

We were the first company to market fabrics specifically created for wallcovering. Our environmentally sound Xorel fabrics were the first textiles engineered for high traffic areas, included in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and specified for the EPA Headquarters. We are the first textile company to win IIDA and IDSA furniture design awards for our Xorel Chair. The first to bring to the US the extraordinary designs of Creation Baumann, Switzerland's prestigious weavers. Call us at (800) 727-6770.
4516
FLORlDMCARlBBEAN ARCH ITECT SllllUDer 1997




High Visibility for Low Impact Waste Management
Orange County Landfill Operations Center Orlando, Florida Architects Design Group, Inc.
T
his landfill demonstration site could become a poster image for sustainable design. From its blilliant coloring to its location in an envirOlmlentally sensitive site, its practical ideas embody a philosophy that deserves attention.
Funded by Orange County Public Utilities in association with E.P.A. this unique facility supports the operations of a landfill demonstration site. Designed for the study of altemate operating techniques in areas of high water table, the new facility sits in an area of indigenous uplands pine flatwoods bordered by wetlands that buffer the site from nearby residential development.
Most significant, perhaps, is the sponsors' acknowledgement of waste management as a critical societal issue. And by tuming to new teclmologies to protect tile local ecology, ADG architects demonstrated tile importance of looking ahead to solve growing problems.
The center accommodates numerous functions, including adnruITlistration, training, and supply and vehicle maintenance. Issues of circulation, natural light, security, and the creation of open-space work areas established principal criteria used in planning.
From the outset, the design team had as its goal to follow the premises of sustainable architecture, which they defined as "architecture that sustains human utilization and habitation for a variety of fwlCtiOns and uses with a minimal impact on the environment, that uses recycled and recyclable materials, that is energy-efficient, and that incorporates materials



Recycling Gives New Life to Old Structure

Sternberg Residence Hallandale, Florida Anthony Abbate AlA
t took a little extra thought
and effDlt, but this remodeled 1930s bungalow is larger and lighter, more comfortable, and just as affordable in the 1990s. A surprising array of inexpensive and recycled materials helped make the difference.
Built in 1938, the house is located on a comer lot, just a block from a major commercial street. The client, an artist, proposed three design challenges for architect Anthony Abbate: First was to utilize an extensive south side yard that was blocked by the garage and not accessible from the house. Second was to open the living, dining, and kitchen areas into a single space. Third was to adhere to a budget of $30,000 for design, construction, and contingencies.
Working closely toward their common goal, the owner, contractor, and architect succeeded in saving money and energy. Recycled materials-a combination of new and viDtage components-contributed to the energy efficiency and charm that earned this a 1993 Fort Lauderdale AIA Chapter design award.
The eastern eight feet of the garage were turned into a master bath, which connects to a private garden created from the side yard. A pine deck begins in the shower and continues into the garden to fon11 a long trapezoid. Bath and kitchen are finished with maintenance-free, recycled barn siding, recalling Hallandale's fon:ner dairy farnlS. (Other finishes are stucco and plaster.) Even a nearly new sliding glass door was recycled from another remodel.
Old pine, which had been inventoried by the fioDling installer from a house built
Neat 1930s exterior belies great changes within. Photogmph: Anthony Abbate, AlA
~8_.:-E~
.
I~
~r'
FLORIDNCARIBBEAN ARCHIT8CT Summer 1997


New University Sets an Example

By Janel chwaTlz
Florida Gulf Coast University Ft. Myers, Florida Pierce Goodwin Alexander &Linville; Rosier/Jones Associates, Inc.; Barany, Schmidt & Weaver; Wallace Roberts &Todd Arch.
F
lorida Gulf Coast University will open its doors in August. From its inception, the newest school in the State University System will be a model of sustainable design, energy conservation, and respect for the environment.
When the architectural design team at Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville (PGAL) began the process of creating F1Olida's tenth university canlpus out of 760 acres of undeveloped forest land and coastal hanmlOck in Southeastern Lee County, the goal was twofold.
"We wanted to give FGCU the stature due a significant institution of higher leaming," says PGAL principal Michael Managan, AIA. "At the sanle time, we wanted to produce a low-maintenance, sustainable design format that would complement, not compromise, the natural amenities of the site."
Phase One development includes a nine-building complex totaling 250,000 sf. All buildings are of masonry and concrete constI1Jction. Although budgetary restraints precluded use of extensive ornamentation and trin1, the campus is not a series of "dark boxes." Materials that are both functional and native to South FIOlida, and practical design elements drawn from indigenous styles such as Mediterranean Revival and Florida Cracker, maximize natural light in public areas and give the campus a warm, inviting feeling.
Dark green standing-seam metal roofs that create a "tree canopy" effect are also durable and flre resistant. Exterior flnishes are warm gray stucco with broW11 cast stone trin1. To reduce transfer of water vapor, which can corrode inside walls, the stucco was applied to expanded metal lathe that was held off the CMU backup wall to allow a damp-proof coating to the block. Windows and doors are glazed with a greentoned glass and franled in wru1l1 gray alununum. Most of the buildings have covered, ru'ched walkways at ground level that create visual interest while providing protection from the elements. Future plaJ1S call for connector walkways to link the buildings. Classroom and student services buildings face the Grruld Oval, a large, grassy courtyrud.
The three-building Student Services Cluster houses food service, a bookstore, meeting rooms, student adntinistration and admissions, and a wellness center, which meets hurricane shelter guidelines. The Central Acadenuc Mall includes a library and two academic buildings equipped with stateof-the-art communications technology (north-south siting mirtirnizes solar heat), ruld a lecture hall wired for distance learning. A broadcast facility, designed by Barany, Schnudt & Weaver, will house WGCU-TV and WGCU-FM. PGAL team member Rosier/Jones Associates designed a Family Resource Center and Central Energy Plant, which features a cost-saving thermal storage system and energy-saving progranmlable lighting, HVAC, and maintenance scheduling.
Natural lighting is used extensively-a broad clerestory in the library floods the hall and reading areas with

light, and open-stair, skylit heat than traditional clear
lobbies visually mute upper assemblies.
and lower floors. Components Since almost half the site is
were selected carefully: for jmisdictional wetlands,
exanlple translucent Kalwall environnlental issues were key
skylights, wluch conduct less plrulning concems. To meet U.S.

FLORJDNCARIBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997



New University
ontinuedJrom page 15.
a1I.
Phase One includes a nine-bui lding comple..'"C totali ng 250,000 gmss sf, on a 760-acre site that is almost halfjU1'isdictional wetlands. Photograph: Florida Am1,al 8m'vices
The site inigation system can stain buildings, will be FCGU may be the "new kid uses water primarily from the used only occasionally, during on the block." But it wants the created lakes (natural grolU1dvery dry periods.) distinction of being a model of water intrusion and rainwater) "In many ways, this site is sustainable design, and intends instead of from wells, which more naturally pristine now to use the site as an environcan deplete the aquifer. (Well than it was before the university mental laboratory and instrucwater, which also has heavy was built," says Managan. tional tool. .:. iron and mineral deposits and "We're really proud of that."

Principal Architect:
Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville
PGAL Principal in charge:
Michael Managan, AlA
PGAL Project Architect:
Rick Z. Smith, NCARB
Associate Architect:
Rosier Jones & Associates, Elton Jones, AlA
Architect, Broadcast Facility:
Barany, Schmidt & Weaver, Joseph Barany, AlA
Master Plan:
Wallace, Roberts & Todd, Alyn Pruett, AlA
Landscape Architect:
Kevin L. Erwin Consulting Ecologist, Inc.
Structural Engineers:
Martinez Kreh & Associates, Inc.;Tilden Lobnitz Cooper,Inc.
Civil Engineers:
Post Buckley Schuh & Jernigan
Mechanical/Electrical
Engineers:
Associated Consulting Engineers; Tilden Lobnitz Cooper, Inc.
General Contractor/ Construction Management:
Brown & Root Building Company
Owner:
State University System of Florida, Board of Regents
FLORlDMCARlBBEAN ARC IlITECT Summer 1997


Capturing the Essence of a Rain Forest

EI Portal del Yunque Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico Sierra Cardona Ferrer
E
ach year a million guests visit EI POItal del Yunque, gateway to the Caribbean National Forest. EI Yunque is the only tropical forest in the U.S.
ational Forest System, a zone of extremes whose rugged land climbs from 1,000 to 3,500 feet above sea level and is doused with up to 200 inches of rain each year. Its great diversity of plants and animals contributes generously to the ecological stability of our planet.
El Portal is a unique education center. It is a sanctuary for tourists, who come to gain a greater understanding of this important environment. Located in one of the world's best managed tropical forests, it is also a training center for visiting scientists and forest management professionals, who come to leam the needs and complexities of tropical forests and the practices required for their sound management.
The architectural concept of El Portal emphasizes a strong, positive, human-made mark in the natural environment. Instead of quoting from the spontaneous, organic asymmetry of its spectacular environs, architects Sierra Cardona FelTer looked to the formal tradition ofsymmetry to fOlmally unite the structure and site. Calli.ng to mind at once a fabticated forest and a sunny catheclral,it relies on both form and matetials to reinforce its contextual assinlilation.
An elevated wooden pedestlian btidge leads visitors from the Portalito, an entrance pavilion, toward the m~1 structure. Turning sharply, they enter El

Portal and start their procession along an ax:i. lined by graceful reinforced concrete columns. Curving stairs lead up to the cen
D01ninating the central axis is a d1-amatic 1"001 st,,'ucture that is at times opaque, t?--anslucent, pe?fo
tral courtyard, from which visi
mted, or skeletal. Photogmph: Max ToTO
tors enter the exhibition spaces.
F"LORJ DNCARIBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997


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45-15 45-30 20 rLORJDtVCARIBBEAN AR HITECT Summe r 1997



a 5TH ANN U ALe 0 N V E N TID N



VIEWPOINT

Tropical Design
By CoopeT Abbott
D
e ign in F10lida and the Caribbean hould make the most of the natural envirorullent, incorporating the tropics' unique chara ter and natural changing patterns in the creation ofquality spaces. The salublious climate, seasonal changes ofsun angle from summer to winter, daily breeze cycles ofthe coast, and ever-changing patterns of the sky can be used as dynamic raw matetials in the ru~ chitectW"e ofOllr region.
Tropical design offers unique opportunities: a blending ofinterior and exterior space, a fluiclity of interiorVOlunles, and openness to the landscape not possible to the sanle degree in otl1er climates. With these potentialities, however, come specific responsibilities: The downside of oW" sWHlrenched, breeze-filled tropical weatller is hurricanes and flooding. While the tropics is oneof the earth's most beautiful ecosystems, it is also one of the most fragile. From beach erosion to Red TIde to deforestation, the tropics is the earth's hot spot ofenvironnlental sensitivity.
Florida and Caribbean design is at a crossroads in its identity. Much of what is being built bears little relation to the environment of which it is a prut, opting instead for vague Disneyesque-historicist references; the unique natW"e of tropical life is not considered. Ever-inlproving technological systems have allowed this movement away from consideration of natural site factors with troubling results: Not only do many buildings beru' no relation to their site, but the technological systems themselves are putting increasing loads on the carrying capacity of these fragile environments.
Over time, different practical strategies for living in Floridaand the Caribbean have developed, each with its wlique solution to environmental factors. The methods employed have been diverse as have the physical appearances-the thatched roofed, open-air Seminole chikee; the thick-walled plantation house with many windows; the Caribbean house with deep porches ness the natural envirOlIDlent, with its constantly shifting patterns, to provide actively changing elements across daily ruld annual cycles in a space tllat would house suppOltive and educational programs.


Like the Plantation-era Gamble Mansion in Manatee County, this modem c1lild care center is oriented to the sun's southern declination. In the days before electric power, this was an important consideration; in these days of energy conservation, it still is. Extensive use of glass on tlle southern elevation opens the building to the SlUTOundingsite and play areas, minimizing the distinction between inside and outside while maximizing ease of observation throughout the building-a key safety feature.
The tall, bright form of the central room allows hot air to rise and ventilate, similar in function to the central stairwells in and a central staiTwel1. These three exanlples are all fornlally quite different in their ruticulation of space, their use of materials, and their appear'ance, yet all are intIinsically tied to the climate and environment. It is this relationship within the realities ofthe tropical environment that ties these diverse design approaches, not a preconceived formalism. If oW" present ru'c1litectW"e can focus on these roots rather than on facades and barrel-tile roofs, encouraging benefits in variety and improved operation could result.


A 1994 c1lild cru'e center project inSru-asotaby Carl AbbottArchitect FAlA serves as an exanlple of how some of these elemental environmental design factors can be applied. At the herut of the project was the need to create a space that would interest and challenge young cllildren. The solution was to harthe old island houses. Doors and windows open to allow crossventilation, and ceiling fans provide supplemental air moveme nt, whether fresh air or air-conditioning. The commercial kitchen takes the logical step of orienting its heat-generating functions away from the main inteIior spaces. And as anyone who has ever visited the Grunble Mansion's detached kitchen in the slunmer can attest, that can be quite a heat load.
Ftmctionally, too, the building is split into sections, each able to control its own interior environment by means of cross-ventilation, fans, or air conditioning. This arrangement also allows maximlUll control ofstudentactivities, focused learning, acoustic control, and privacy.
Extensive use ofoutside spaces is made possible using plasticized canvas shade-kites, which, chikeelike, give shelter from sun and rain witll maxirnlUll openness. These sheltered areas, exposed to the SW"rounding natW"al environment, provide healthful and comfortable teaching and play areas. The landscape is broUgllt in as a functional elementofthe design where a large oakand other trees offer shade and, tJUl)ugh their respiration processes, natural cooling-an old island trick applied in a modem context.
While these are just a few exrunples from a single project, it should be evident tllat practicing Florida and Cruibberul architects can find ways to improve their responses to the tropical environment. Through investigating practical designs of other tinles and other places, they can meet the needs oftociay and tomorrow by drawing on successful traditions of tlle past. .:.
Cooper Abbott is a planneT and designer with CaTl Abbott FAJA ATchitects/PlanneTs in Sarasota" specializing in environmental design and child-care envinmments. While a PulbTight Fellow in Western Samoa he was acconted the "Fiame" chiej title on the island ojManona.

R1DMCARIBBEAN ARCHITECT Summer 1997
FL





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