Entrevista a Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa (SOM)Miércoles 28 de septiembre, 2016 por Martina Rossi
PLOT entrevistó a Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa, planificadora académica y jefa de proyecto dedicada a la promoción de experiencias interactivas de aprendizaje e investigación en espacios multidisciplinarios para clientes académicos en Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).
John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Fotografía cortesía de Eduard Hueber Archphoto
Meredith is an academic planner and project manager dedicated to promoting interactive learning experiences and advancing research goals for interdisciplinary science spaces and campuses for academic clients at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). Her current work is focused on a diverse palette of projects for academic science clients and strategic master planning for institutional/industry partnerships. She strives to plan and execute a large-scale vision while enhancing synergy and accommodating diversity at a programmatic level. She is the ‘glue’ within the project team and the facilitator with the academic clients –supporting the advancement of the institutional mission while coordinating the needs of all stakeholders. She integrates the strategic vision, the program vision, the implementation vision and the design vision to bring together a holistic plan with clear project priorities.
Her current work includes projects for Barnard College’s Teaching and Learning Center; University of Connecticut’s Tech Park Master Plan and Innovation Partnership Building; and the Campus Framework Plan, Campus Site Development and Central Utility Plant (CUP) at Cornell NYC Tech’s campus at Roosevelt Island. Meredith focuses on how planning and design can promote collaborative, experiential learning — and how architects and planners can plan a process for innovation with academic clients. Meredith is a member of the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP), and has facilitated Learning Space Collaboratory workshops and most recently a 2016 LSC Roundtable. She has been published in “BITE Recipes for Remarkable Research” by Sense Publishers (2014) – a collaborative academic white paper entitled: “The Spatial and Social Constructs of Creative Situations”. She has been published in R&D Magazine’s 2012 issue, and Laboratory Design Newsletter’s April 2013 issue – “Expanding Science Research and Teaching in a Single City Block.” Meredith is a Registered Architect in New York and a LEED® Accredited Professional. She received her B.S. with Honors in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology and her M.A. in Architecture from Princeton University.
PLOT: Tell us a little about your job as Project Manager and as Academic Science Laboratory Designer at SOM.
Meredith Bostwick: When I first joined SOM in 2011, a lot of my previous experience was primarily geared towards working with academic science clients, including several universities in higher education to merge science education and research disciplines. My role within SOM’s integrated education and science practice in New York, is a facilitator of the planning and project process in close collaboration with multiple constituents on the academic side, and in close dialogue with the design, technical, and various consulting disciplines on the architectural side. As a process manager, my focus is to assist academic clients in the translation of their goals and objectives and often competing priorities from an academic and curricular perspective into a holistic and informed design of physical spaces that respond to curricular needs and academic vision. As a project manager, my goal is to lead a highly collaborative and communicative process with our academic clients and the project team that is holistically informed and thoughtfully coordinated in all phases of the design process. At SOM, each project team is structured within three iterative and informative parts: design, management and technical. I’m very interested in the management process of the architectural discipline – to facilitate communication between our internal team at SOM and also extending a transparent, highly collaborative dialogue to our clients and making sure that throughout the project we are fully aligned with our client’s goals and objectives. It’s important to make sure that we are answering our client’s needs and at the same time managing expectation across all constituents.
PLOT: What specific parts of the design process are you in charge of? What scale of projects does this include?
MB: As the project manager I act as the confluence of all communication between the SOM project team and the client. I build a consensus around the vision in a program and help clients involve all constituencies across the university including students, faculty, and donors. We then look at all of the diverse interests of the project and take that input and information to synthesize those parameters into clear goals. It’s very important to do this at the very start of the project, because ultimately if you can synthesize those goals and objectives into something that’s very clear, that everyone can get behind and understand, those goals then become what you can leverage as fundamental criteria to evaluate the design at every step in the design process. My role and responsibility within the project team is to make sure that every step of the design, the development and the construction documents are guided by these initial goals established very early on.
One of the projects that I was involved in at the very late stages of construction was the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which had over ten years of development. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a part of the City University of New York, trains students in emergency response, forensic psychology, and cyber security in heart of New York City. After September 11, there was a significant increase in enrollment at the College due to a greater interest in criminal justice, motivating the school to create more and diverse spaces to answer this influx of interest in this unique area of scientific research and education. Through the course of the project, goals that were established very early on became the framework to evaluate decisions as they relate to the program and the design. My involvement at the very end of the project was helping the college think of ways that they could proactively fundraise and campaign for unique physical spaces that were under construction. John Jay was specifically interested in how to encourage a synergistic collaboration with the community of New York City. Through a series of renderings and marketing materials we were able to convey this idea, which allowed the College to proactively fundraising for new venues that catered to their unique curriculum and the community at large. The typology of the project is quite unique, as an urban campus. Within the span of an entire city block, the expansion project contains an internal social cascade, essentially 500 feet of a cascading or stepped internal city street that brings together all of the common spaces including: classrooms, the black-box theatre, large lecture halls, and student services, through a network of lounges and informal collaboration space. This social cascade becomes the heart of the institution, and allows for a green roof structure above that creates a ‘campus quad’ within an urban campus environment. The campus quad then refers back to several internal quads or double-height lounges which the scientific areas of research, office, administration are organized throughout the upper building stack.
One of the most exciting and transformative projects in New York City today is Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island. Our role on the project was to work with Cornell to define a framework or a master plan for their initial phase one campus, with a set of guidelines or flexible criteria that will allow the campus to grow and develop over time. Initially, Cornell engaged SOM to assist the University with an appropriate framework plan to guide campus development on Roosevelt Island, and further enlisted our team’s help to coordinate the technical requirements of a comprehensive site works and campus utility plan which will provide resilient power and electrical distribution to all of the buildings on campus. We’ve had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate very closely with Cornell and James Corner Field Operations for a vision for the outdoor spaces that are also unique learning opportunities, carefully tailoring the site as it relates with several Phase I campus buildings. We in turn lead the process with Cornell to coordinate with each of the third party Phase I building architects and developer teams to reconcile the needs of each building and with a holistic approach to the site works, utilities, campus signage, lighting and landscape. It’s a really exciting project. When the campus opens in 2017, there will be 2.5 acres of new open space, and buildings comprising almost 800,000 square feet and an academic community of nearly 600 people. It will be a new type of urban campus that provides space to think, but one that is also intimately integrated — in both mission and design — with the city.
PLOT: How does SOM maintain such a close relationship with academic work and partnerships with universities on topics related to technology?
MB: The integration of technology is transforming the approach to spaces for scholarship and research in different ways – so the ways in which we approach the process to design these spaces must shift accordingly. The library of the future is increasingly becoming a resource for teaching, learning and scholarship. It is a dynamic place that bridges access to information and technology resources; links classrooms and research experiences, and while offering fresh, inspiring, thoughtfully designed spaces for individual reflection, group learning, scholarship and research, and collaboration. Its contribution to its campuses is to function as a dynamic hub for the campus, linking departments and disciplines, both physically, technologically and philosophically. At SOM, we help our academic clients navigate the changing nature of the library – shifting from a single traditional model to respond to the diverse needs of a ‘millennial’ campus. With the onset increasingly mobile technologies – the library today is met with the challenge of how to ‘harness’ the mobile learner who has a seemingly infinite access to all of the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. The Library of the Future will introduce more empirical analysis, working with big data, offering students what they need and where students can receive assistance with basic software, interpret information or help in finding the right information needed for analyses. At Barnard, faculty helped us envision how the new library will now represent a dramatic expansion of the scope of what can be done beyond the walls of the classroom and the research lab. Libraries have traditionally served as repositories of books and other physical collections for centuries; what is the right balance of books to other forms of information? How does the definition of the library expand to incorporate different types of user spaces including meeting space, social space, food service, while providing access to all types of digital media? And what does this mean for the collections? Are high density storage or 24-hr retrieval viable solutions? Our team at SOM helps clients navigate these issues to arrive at a solution that best reflects their institution. SOM’s work on the Barnard College Teaching and Learning Center, The New School and central library in the New School University Center are examples our work with each institution to define a tailored, unique library of the 21st century for each campus.
PLOT: What’s SOM´s relationship with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute? Can you tell us how the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) works? What’s the architects’ role in this partnership?
MB: The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) program is located within SOM’s New York office and in multiple university labs. The CASE program creates an intersection between research and architecture, combining the design and engineering expertise of SOM and the research capabilities of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since 2008, some of the areas of research that CASE has been studying have become active building technologies that we, SOM, are willing to take on and test in terms of research and development. We research ideas that can then be incorporated into building technologies that we are considering with our clients. One example, is our high performance green wall system, AMPS.
PLOT: What´s SOM stance on sustainability and LEED certification?
MB: At SOM, it is our responsibility and accountability as architects to proactively address the practice of architecture and planning within a world that is confronting a historic crisis of climate change, resource depletion and as well as expanding population growth is expanding. Therefore, we need to think of more sustainable patterns of what we do as architects. Everything we do must be environmentally sustainable and must be focused towards creating livable urban environments and emphasizing social equity all while being creative and innovative in what we do as architects.
A good example of our practice’s recent commitment to sustainability is The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Research Center, one of the first large-scale urban laboratory buildings to have achieved LEED certification in the United States. The new research tower incorporates a rectory at its base and cantilevers over the existing research building. The development of the exterior of the building is the result of careful study of environmental and factors. The development of each façade is a study in transparency and translucency. A careful and strategic use of interior glazing combined with exterior glazing of insulated, Low-E units and both ceramic-frit coatings and exterior sunscreens for passive shading create working environments that minimize glare while optimizing natural daylighting and views. Enclosing the laboratories are transparent, translucent and opaque scrims of glass with graduated densities of ceramic frit. The precise “tuning” of the pattern and density of layered frit glass controls daylighting. The office, conference, and interaction spaces aligned on the opposite side of the tower are enclosed in floor-to-ceiling transparent glass. The integrated exterior sun-control devices minimize glare and direct solar gain. Marking the threshold between the laboratory tower and the office, conference, and interaction areas is an innovative terra-cotta wall. An open-jointed masonry screen, this wall stretches continuously through the length and height of the project connecting inside and outside, linking various glass membranes and, as it wraps portions of the project’s base, bonds the project to its context.
In addition, since 2008, SOM has collaborated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in an exciting partnership to further scientific scholarship and the practice of sustainably responsible building technologies. The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) unites the design and engineering expertise of SOM and the research capabilities of RPI to create radically new building systems, structures, and ecologies that respond the natural world. The program is co-located in our office in New York and multiple university labs on RPI’s campus in Troy. With a focus on sustainability, CASE blends private sector practicality, academic exploration, and scientific rigor to seek emergent technologies and develop them for practical applications in buildings.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center. Fotografía cortesía de David Sundberg
Situado en el corazón del campus, el nuevo centro de enseñanza y aprendizaje de la Universidad de Barnard se propone convertirse en un centro de la vida académica e intelectual. El edificio multidisciplinario reúne a estudiantes y profesores facilitando colaboraciones y promoviendo el diálogo.
Superficie total del terreno/ 17.558 m²
Superficie total construida/ 11.892 m²
Cantidad de niveles/ 11
Ubicación/ New York, Estados Unidos
Año de finalización/ 2018
En colaboración con la Universidad de Cornell, el Instituto de Tecnología Technion Israel y la ciudad de Nueva York, SOM dirige la planificación y la construcción de Cornell Tech, una nueva Universidad de Ciencia aplicada. Sin departamentos académicos, la escuela contará con una comunidad abierta y colaborativa de diseñadores, ingenieros, empresarios y científicos que están difuminando la frontera entre el mundo académico y comercial.
Superficie total del terreno/ 5 km²
Ubicación/ New York, Estados Unidos
Año de finalización/ 2017
Imágenes/ SOM | Kilograph
Haciendo parte de la City University de Nueva York desde 1964, el John Jay College of Criminal Justice capacita a los estudiantes en la respuesta a emergencias, psicología forense, y seguridad cibernética. Las inscripciones aumentaron dramáticamente luego de los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001, lo que provocó la necesidad de crear más espacio y ampliar la oferta.
Superficie del sitio/ 9290 m²
Superficie total del proyecto/ 58.064 m²
Cantidad de niveles/ 14
Ubicación/ New York, Estados Unidos
Fotos/ Eduard Hueber Archphoto
El Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Building proporciona un ambiente inspirador y eficaz para la investigación sobre el cáncer, y una identidad cívica distinguida para el Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MSK) Centro de Cáncer. Situado en una zona urbana densa, el edificio ofrece espacios de laboratorio para los investigadores del programa MSK y al mismo tiempo responde a un diseño urbano estricto, a la zonificación y las restricciones de la construcción en etapas. Con sus 128 metros de altura, representa un nuevo paradigma para edificios de laboratorios urbanos.
Superficie total del terreno/ 24.281 m²
Superficie total construida/ 64849 m²
Cantidad de niveles/ 23
Ubicación/ New York, Estados Unidos
Fotos/ David Sundberg
Ubicado en la intersección de la calle 14 y la 5ta Avenida en Manhattan, esta nueva instalación de usos múltiples es el “corazón” de la New School. El edificio LEED® Gold ofrece espacio para todos los aspectos de un campus tradicional, con 18.580 metros cuadrados de espacio académico en los primeros siete pisos y 13.934 metros cuadrados para un dormitorio de 600 camas en los niveles superiores.
Superficie total del terreno/ 34.374 m²
Cantidad de niveles/ 16
Ubicación/ New York, Estados Unidos
Fotos/ James Ewing | OTTO