Launched in 2005, the Architectural Training and Research Programs are a response to the need for the practice of architecture to return more of what is learned through designing and constructing buildings to the field itself. Each program creates a space in which architectural knowledge can be developed free of the constraints of particular projects, sites, budgets, or programs – yet informed at every step by the realities of practice.
The research program awards grants to individual researchers with ideas and the passion to explore them. In the first two rounds, the only requirements were that the ideas should have the potential to improve the craft or practice of architecture, and that they should benefit from being carried out within the context of a busy architectural office. Researchers have worked as resident fellows in close association with architects, engineers, graphic designers, and model makers at Rafael Viñoly Architects, and with non-profit and industry partners.
To mark its twenty-fifth anniversary, the firm for the first time awarded multiple research grants, with an emphasis on international themes. Research teams have worked in Europe, China, Latin America, Australia, and Indonesia.
The training program was established to provide a tuition-free, fourteen-week fall course that develops the operational and intellectual instruments that form the basis of practice. The program, which is not to be considered a substitute for a formal architectural education, was created for advanced students and practicing architects who find a significant gap between their formative instruction and the challenges they face as professionals, presenting architectural expertise not as an intuitive ability that comes only with experience, but as a body of knowledge that can be taught. Classes have been offered by Rafael Viñoly and his colleagues.
In 2008, the course’s faculty and other interested architects in the firm redesigned the program, evaluating the curriculum from the standpoint of the firm's own experiene in training young architects. The new curriculum was organized around a few central questions: How do architects learn to make good decisions within the context of a project, a schedule, and a budget? How do they learn what they need to know to make decisions? How do they learn what questions to ask? In 2009-2010, with the help of a workforce training grant from New York State's Department of Labor, the program underwent further modifications. Participation was limited to employees of Rafael Viñoly Architects.
In 2010, the training program focused on publishing and disseminating the work produced by the latest round of research fellows. The 2012-2013 training program is currently under development.
LEED for New Construction 2009
Topics covered: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation and Design, and Regionaly Priority. Pactices for incorporating green strategies into building design. Process for obtaining LEED certification.Instructors: Michael Gresty (Altanova LLC)
International Green Building Rating Systems
Overview of different green building rating systems: UK BREEAM, Abu Dhabi Estidama Pearl, Australia Green Star, South Africa Green Star. How to adapt sustainable thinking to different environmental contexts.Instructors: Michael Gresty (Altanova LLC)
Planning and Infrastructure: From Macro to Micro
Regional and environmental factors that influence master planning. Market drivers for infrastructure, planning, and design strategies of projects in the U.S. and abroad.Instructors: Andrea Lamberti
Building for the Arts (I): Theaters
Case studies: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Curve (theatre). Programmatic criteria. Local examples of theaters. Project delivery and construction of theaters.Instructors: Harold Park
Building for the Arts (II): Galleries
Case studies: Cleveland Museum of Art, firstsite:newsite, Duke University Nasher Museum of Art. Unique mechanical and engineering features and opportunities for sustainable design initiatives. Project delivery and construction of galleries and museums.Instructors: David Rolland
Approvals and Zoning
Planning procedures of large mixed-use projects in different jurisdictions such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Abu Dhabi. Approvals and zoning issues and their effect on project schedules.Instructors: Jim Herr, Martin Hopp, Andrea Lamberti
Alternative methods for complying with planning and zoning regulations. How to compute typical zoning and variance calculations.Instructors: Jim Herr, Martin Hopp
Structures, Technology, and Documentation
Case studies: Brooklyn Children's Museum, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation at Bard College, UPenn Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, and others.Instructors: Martin Hopp, David Rolland
Challenges of a Global Practice
Case studies: Carrasco International Airport (Montevideo, Uruguay), Edificio Acqua (Punta del Este, Uruguay). Comparison of building construction practices in North and South America.Instructors: Rolando Goldstein, David Rolland, Carlos Soubiè
Façade Engineering: Waterproofing and Roofing
Overview of waterproofing and roofing technologies. Quality control in construction documentation.Instructors: Charles Blomberg, David J. von Stappenbeck
Week 11 & 12
Façade Engineering: General Exterior Wall Systems and Specialist Walls
Overview of wall systems and their application to a variety of project types.Instructors: Charles Blomberg, Carlos Soubiè, David J. von Stappenbeck
Case studies: UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building, UCSF Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Vdara Hotel & Spa at CityCenter, the New Stanford Hospital. Planning, budgeting, and implementing projects. Alternative delivery methods.Instructors: Chan-li Lin
Competition submissions and the use of video for presentation: examples from recent entries to competitions in Germany, China, Brazil, and Argentina. Round table discussion and critique of 2009-2010 training program.Instructors: Charles Blomberg, Ned Kaufman, Andrea Lamberti, and Carlos Soubiè
Tools of an ArchitectInstructors: Rafael Viñoly
The Stages of a Project From Commission to Completion: Site Visit
The Stages of a Project From Commission to Completion: Site VisitInstructors: Charles Blomberg, Andrea Lamberti
Princeton University Stadium and Carl Icahn Laboratory, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics
Establishing the Building Concept and Organization
Establishing the concept. Basic premises for the building's organization. Circulation. Fixed elements vs. changeable spaces. Aligning a winning scheme to new constraints.Instructors: Andrea Lamberti, Chan-li Lin, Teal Usher
Re-thinking the Brief
Site. Budget. Role of competitions.Instructors: Andrea Lamberti, Alison Macdougal-Weil, Teal Usher
Managing and Tracking Projects (I)
Putting together proposals. Fast-track bid packages. Managing the early design stages. Tracking the actual project.Instructors: Andrea Lamberti, David Rolland, Jim Herr, Harold Park, Herb Jesswein
Defining Building Systems (I): Architectural
Enclosure. Materials. Finishes and color (interior and exterior). Atria and large spaces vs. cellular spaces. Specific materials and finishes vs. material qualities.Instructors: Charles Blomberg, David von Stappenbeck
Defining Building Systems (II): Engineering
Development of structure in relation to building concept. Innovations to meet or exceed project conditions. Cable walls, self-shading systems, skylights.Instructors: Carlos Soubie, Chan-li Lin, Yoshinori Nito
The Why and How of Collaboration
When and when not to collaborate. Collaboration with your team (scaling and dispersing responsibility across offices); with consultants (information gathering and research); with builders and fabricators; and with engineers. Collaboration versus design direction (UK vs. US subcontract models).Instructors: Jay Bargmann, Charles Blomberg, Harold Park, David Rolland, Carlos Soubié
Defining Building Systems (III): Craftsmanship
Mechanical systems. Filigree systems. Modularity. Role of craftsmanship and custom design in innovative solutions.Instructors: Jay Bargmann, David Rolland
Managing and Tracking Projects (II)
Documentation, coordination, liability. Construction document: why do them. Limits of the of architect's responsibilities. Coordinating consultant documents. Role of non-architectural disciplines.Instructors: Jay Bargmann, Charles Blomberg, Charlie Clements, Mariana Kolova, Ron Papaleo
Building Your Own Ideology and Career
Knowing what you like and what you want. Positioning yourself in relation to the craft and its history.Instructors: Rafael Viñoly
Future Directions: BIM and Integrated Project Delivery
Collaboration and multi-disciplinary work. International contexts (e.g. South American, Middle Eastern). Discussion of how BIM and other systems for project delivery are changing practice.Instructors: Charles Blomberg, Carlos Soubié
Andrea chairs the steering committee for the training program.
In previous years, her classes have explored the art and politics of entering and winning competitions. During her thirteen-year career with Rafael Viñoly Architects, Andrea Lamberti has developed wide expertise in building projects, master plans, and design competitions. More recently, Andrea was the project director for Phase II construction of the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was completed in late 2009. She also oversees new business development and publications for the firm.
Andrea chairs the training program steering committee, is a regular participant in the classroom, and sits on the research program steering committee. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Arts and Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a Master of Architecture degree
from Harvard University, Andrea received a Starr Fellowship for work and study in Japan from 1991-1993. In 2007 she was named one of Building Design+Construction magazine’s “40 Under 40.”
Profiles are being updated, please check back soon.
The training program for 2012-2013 is currently under development. Please check back later for further information.
2008 Site Visit: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Carl Icahn Laboratory of the Lewis-Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics
Housing in China, Exploring Steps Toward a Solution
Researchers: Ida Assefa, David O'Brien
With some of the world’s largest cities, China faces an intense demand for new urban housing. While the government and developers have taken major strides towards housing the wealthy, attention is now shifting to the majority of city dwellers. One result is that China’s urban villages, offering the last available center-city development sites, are being increasingly targeted for redevelopment. But what forms of housing will best meet the needs of ordinary Chinese city-dwellers? Zhang, Baumler, and Feng will bring the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and documentary photography to the problem. They will investigate both urban villages and new development projects in Shenzhen, as well as an emerging housing form in Shanghai, the group rental, in order to gain insight into the needs and desires of residents. To supplement the statistical information which already exists, they will live alongside and interview residents. They will
also organize public meetings in order to initiate dialogue among residents, local officials, designers, and developers.
New Horizons for Composite Fiber Structures: Technology Transfer From Aeronautics to Long-Span Structures
Architect Michael Silver loves to make things. He is also fascinated by the patterns which computers can generate. And he is intrigued by the extraordinary structural and aesthetic properties of carbon and other composite fibers. He approached Rafael Viñoly Architects in the fall of 2006 with a proposal: to explore the potential for transferring what fiber manufacturers have already achieved in aeronautics and other high-performance engineering fields to the design of buildings. Though composite fibers remain expensive, he believed that their superior strength and lightness offered advantages over more traditional structures. His intuition also told him that the technology of computer-driven fiber placement could reveal new aesthetic solutions which transcend the old opposition between structural frame and infill panel. The research quickly evolved into a close three-way partnership among Silver, designers and engineers at Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Automated Dynamics Corporation, an advanced composite manufacturer in Schenectady, New York.
Composites are termed as such because they represent a composite of two very different materials: a fiber made of carbon, glass, or other material, and a matrix made of resin or a high strength epoxy. They were introduced in the late 1950s and have been widely used in contexts in which a premium is placed on the combination of strength and lightness and where high cost can be partially offset by the production of multiple parts from a single design. The construction of airplanes provides an important example. While there are many fabrication processes, Mike’s research focuses on a relatively new one called “computer automated fiber placement,” a technique which Automated Dynamics uses to make oil pipeline fittings and a variety of other high-tech industrial parts, and which aeronautics manufacturers like Raytheon apply to airplane fuselages. In this technique, a computer-controlled machine lays down strips of fiber tape on a mold or mandrel and heat-seals them in
epoxy or resin. Computerization allows the machine to execute remarkably complex patterns with great precision, and this in turn allows designers to use the material very efficiently by placing it exactly where and in the quantities required by the structure. While the machines can produce continuous cylinders or even solids built up of numerous overlapping layers, they can also be used to generate complex three-dimensional patterns resembling basketwork. It was these patterns, and their potential for mimicking the lines of force found in an engineering diagram, that fascinated Mike. The question was what they could do for architecture.
Research Questions and Answers
Mike launched his residency at Rafael Viñoly Architects by meeting with senior architects and engineers, led by Jay Bargmann, to develop an approach. Everyone agreed that composites can successfully be used to build furniture, decorative components, small-scale architectural elements, and panels: designing and building an architectural application of
composite elements might produce an aesthetically interesting result but would prove little beyond what was already known. The group wanted to push the limits. They agreed on a more daring strategy: to see if computer automated fiber placement could produce a long-span roof structure. The immediate goal of the research project was to design and produce a scale model of such a structure, using the actual machinery and processes of computer automated fiber placement. This required not only developing a successful structural design but also understanding the precise capabilities and limitations of the manufacturing process and programming the movements of the taping head and mandrel. This might well be a year’s work, but the ultimate goal of the experiment was to determine whether composites could equal the structural performance of steel and glass and even out-perform it in terms of cost. To provide a basis for comparison, an actual project was chosen as a benchmark: the atrium of the addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which was already in design.
At a minimum, therefore, the composite structure would have to meet all of the constraints of the Cleveland design. It would have to span a space of 338 by 114 feet with no internal supports. The depth of the composite structure could not exceed four feet. And the composite roof would have to admit daylight comparable in quantity and quality to the glass skylights specified in the actual design.
Before setting to work, Mike arranged for the Rafael Viñoly Architects team to visit the Automated Dynamics and Raytheon plants and the National Institute for Aviation Research to gain first-hand exposure to the manufacturing process and materials. The Rafael Viñoly Architects team included technical director Charles Blomberg, structural engineer Carlos Soubié, and research director Ned Kaufman, later joined by consulting engineer Phil Khalil. The design proceeded through numerous iterations in which drawings and models were reviewed, tested, and refined. Meanwhile,
Mike was also consulting regularly with Rob Langone, Automated Dynamics vice president for composite structures, and with master programmer Chipp Jansen. The basic concept was a 100-foot-long composite member that looked somewhat like a triangular truss. The challenge was to design a three-dimensional pattern of fibers which would efficiently place material where it was structurally needed and not elsewhere, create aesthetically satisfying patterns when replicated across the entire roof, and admit an appropriate amount of daylight. Most of all, the pattern had to be one that the machine could efficiently follow. And it had to be designed for easy and safe removal from the mandrel when it was complete.
After more than a year of work, all were satisfied that they had a workable design. Rafael Viñoly Architects contracted with Milgo/Bufkin Metal Fabrication, a well-known metalworking firm, to build a custom stainless steel mandrel. The drawings, mandrel, and computer algorithms were taken to
Automated Dynamics, which contributed materials, expertise, and the use of its machines. A few days later – with the help of some dry ice – two twelve-foot-long models were successfully removed from the mandrel. One is made of carbon fiber, the other of glass fiber. Both are remarkably light and strong.
The experiment to design and build a long-span composite truss has successfully demonstrated several points. First, it is possible, using computer automated fiber placement, to design and manufacture a composite structure over one hundred feet long that performs successfully from an engineering perspective. Second, such a structure is less deep than a steel truss and a fraction of the weight. Third, composite structures used in this way offer aesthetic possibilities, in terms of pattern, light, and color, which are distinctively different from those available with steel and glass.
Other questions remain as yet unanswered. For example, although the engineering analysis carried out by Phil Khalil and Carlos Soubié took wind and snow loads into account, as well as the impacts of maintenance, the structure’s response to ultraviolet light was not considered, nor was its performance in a fire. Also, no cost comparison was attempted. Such a comparison would have to consider not only the cost of fabrication but also of shipping and assembly. Conversely, it would have to account for savings in the supporting structure due to the greatly reduced weight of the roof. These and other questions await further research. Meanwhile, Mike’s work with Rafael Viñoly Architects and Automated Dynamics has opened up promising avenues for exploration.
- Jay Bargmann
- K. Iftekhar Ahmed
- Ida Assefa
- Ricardo Atienza
- Marcel Baumler
- Charles Bloomberg
- Camilo Cifuentes
- Richard De Pirro
- Guochuan Feng
- Mayra Gamboa
- Ana Rita García Lascuráin
- Joseph Hagerman
- Martin Hopp
- Ned Kaufman
- Philip Khalil
- Andrea Lamberti
- Robert Langone
- Chan-li Lin
- David O'Brien
- David Rolland
- Celine Rouchy
- Michael Silver
- Carlos Soubié
- Nicolas Tixier
- Fred Wilmers
- Juan Carlos Zavala
- Hai Zhang
Jay Bargmann, Vice President of Rafael Viñoly Architects PC, has held a leadership position with Rafael Viñoly since the firm's founding in 1983. Prior to that, Mr. Bargmann had his own practice and, before becoming an architect, worked in concrete bridge construction.
Under his administration, Rafael Viñoly Architects PC has grown from an office of ten to its current 220+ employees. At the same time, the firm has expanded from its single location in New York City to include affiliate offices in London and Los Angeles, as well as various project offices throughout the United States. During this period of growth the firm added specialists in facade design, building waterproofing, laboratory design, performing arts planning, structural engineering, interior design, component prototyping, and computer visualization. In its current configuration, the firm has the size and expertise to undertake projects of considerable complexity and breadth. In addition to managing the growth of the firm,
he is responsible for project staffing, office standards, and capital acquisitions. He has negotiated fees, assembled consultant teams, and administered the contract for every building commission undertaken in the firm's history.
Mr. Bargmann's area of expertise is the management of large-scale projects, which are designed and procured through a fast-track or multiple bid package methodology. He developed and implemented a unique project delivery system which seamlessly weds the construction process to design and documentation: engineers and builders are integrated into the core architectural team, facilitating the development of innovative designs within the context of realizable building technologies and the pre-established budget. Utilizing this methodology, the office has delivered complex projects in 40 percent less time than traditional procurement methods. Team members maintain continuity with building systems through all phases of design and
construction, ensuring continuity of design intent, focused and responsive decision-making, and the avoidance of conflict between design and submittal review.
Included in Mr. Bargmann's large-scale project experience are several master plans in which he played a major role and personally directed all aspects of the design process, as in the campus plan for the William Paterson College of New Jersey. Under his careful guidance, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System's Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine became fast-track construction projects with a significant master-plan component, which evolved in conjunction with the building design.
Other standout projects in which he was significantly involved include large structures for the Van Andel Institute, a medical research institute built in multiple phases in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the
Bronx County Hall of Justice, on a sensitive New York City site between a commercial and a residential district in the Bronx; and the University of Chicago Medical Center, New Hospital Pavilion, which includes a master-plan component to guide the future growth of the medical center.
University of Pennsylvania, Master of Architecture, 1975
University of Iowa, Bachelor of Architecture, 1970
Stanford University, 1966-1969
American Institute of Architects
Society of College and University Planning
New York AIA Finance Committee
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Registered in Architect 19 states and the District of Columbia; New York (1982)
Honors and Awards
US Patent Holder, Van Andel Laboratory Bench
General Service Administration, Design Excellence Peer Review
AIA Design Jury, Houston, Texas
The Gaia Institute
This Bronx-based non-profit is a leader in the movement towards environmental restoration and the integration of human communities in natural systems. The Gaia Institute is a partner in the Stevenson Green Roof project.
Representing the culmination of a 3-year research process, we are please to announce our book, Pressures and Distortions: City Dwellers as Builders and Critics. More information at: www.rvatr.com
4 teams of researchers analyze how residents are designing, building, and interpreting cities in the face of wrenching transformations. More info at: www.rvatr.com