Team 7 Week 10 01

This week we brainstormed our building programming and started conceptualizing our program layout.

Team 7 will be looking at a structural reuse of the Morton Salt site, which is a former industrial site on the near northwest side of the city that’s roughly bordered by Elston Ave to the west, the Chicago River and Goose Island to the east, North Ave to the north, and Division St to the south. See below.

Team 7 Week 10 02

The Morton Salt Site

This site will give us a number of unique features to play with, including access to the site from the River or from Goose Island, and several buildings with large open space on the inside and tall ceilings.

After brainstorming some potential building programming in small groups, we moved into bubble diagrams. This is an exercise often used by architects to conceptualize programming spaces within a building or site, without limiting their thinking to physical shapes or sizes. For instance, in a building like a gym or athletic facility, you’ll probably want bathrooms within the locker room facilities and both of those should be near the pool. For that situation, a bubble representing the bathroom would probably be fully within the locker room bubble, and then the locker room bubble may overlap a little with the pool area. This activity helped us visualize what spaces should be adjacent and what spaces don’t necessarily depend on other parts of the building or site.

Below is an example of a bubble diagram for a mixed-use complex.

Next week, groups will present their bubble diagrams, and then we will be splitting up into discipline groups (finally!).

Example of a bubble diagram for a mixed-use site.

Example of a bubble diagram for a mixed-use site.

 

Team 7 Week 10 01

One of the small groups works on their own bubble diagram.

Another group looked at nearby land uses and identified the other schools and churches in the area.

We’ve had an exciting two weeks! We are finally determining the details of our project.

Week 8 started off with a structural plan scavenger hunt. In small groups, students searched through a couple full-size prints of structural engineering sheets from a building project. They had a list of things to find, and they were able to learn about how much detail goes into a typical set of construction plans.

The students were presented with 3 options for the project.

The students were presented with 3 options for the project.

After the scavenger hunt, we broke up into groups to discuss 3 project options: a presidential library/museum, a structural building reuse, and an open space project. After discussing the pros and cons of each project, the students voted on their favorite… and the winner was….

Structural Reuse!

So in Week 9, we began looking at 2 site options for a reuse of an abandoned building. Our two options were the Morton Salt factory site located between Elston Ave and the Chicago River, and the St. Boniface Church in the Noble Square neighborhood. Students broke up into a few groups to do various site analysis tasks. We looked at nearby land uses, access to transit, unique site characteristics, and more.

One of the group shows their transit access analysis for one of the site options.

One of the group shows their transit access analysis for one of the site options.

 

Another group looked at nearby land uses and identified the other schools and churches in the area.

Another group looked at nearby land uses and identified the other schools and churches in the area.

Team 7 Week 7 - 1

To catch you up on weeks 5 and 6: Week 5 was college night, and the mentors shared their experiences with college, what types of degrees are best for the different professions, and their personal life paths via collages. Week 6 was a relaxed week since a lot of the students had exams. We watched an episode from a TV series that followed the rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center building, and this particular episode (#5) was focused on the new transportation hub designed by famous architect Santiago Calatrava.


Week 7 started with a review of last year’s project. We wanted to share with the students the presentation from last year so they have a sense of what all we’ll be learning about and presenting. After going through some specifics of each discipline, we moved on to an activity.

The activity we did this week is one of the favorites among Team 7 mentors and alumni and mimics a lot of situations that occur in the construction industry.

We broke up into teams and received our (detailed) instructions. We were to build a house of sorts, that could fit a 4″x4″x4″ cube inside, with at least one solid wall and a solid roof. Materials were limited to typical household supplies, and they all cost something. We had a budget to work with and had to factor in the purchasing of bulk supplies. For instance, if a team decided they needed 4 skewers, the first one was $10, but then the next 3 were each $5, which mimics a common scheme in material procurement in the real world.

Team 7 Week 7 - 1

Teams had a few minutes to decide exactly what materials they think they needed, knowing this was there only time to place an order. As the designing and building got underway, a few other hurdles were thrown into the mix. At one point the “owner” decided they didn’t want a solid roof anymore, but instead wanted a small sky light. A few minutes later, there was a labor strike, and only females were allowed to use the tape.

We had a lot of fun building, and learning more about procurement of materials and construction budgeting and scheduling! Next week we will be discussing several options for our Team 7 project!

Team 7 Week 7 - 2

 

The front of the new Viceroy Hotel, as viewed from State St.

This week is one of everyone’s favorite weeks – the construction site visit! Team 7 headed up to the Gold Coast neighborhood to check out a Chicago landmark undergoing a major change, the Viceroy Hotel.

The mentors and students first met at the Lou Malnati’s next to the site to enjoy some deep dish and learn about the project. The team from Power walked us through the details of the project, including budget and schedule. The Viceroy is an international, high-end hotel group, and for this particular location, they purchased the old Cedar Hotel and decided to give it a face lift (or really, the exact opposite of a face lift, since the original facade had to be restored back to its original condition).

The front of the new Viceroy Hotel, as viewed from State St.

The front of the new Viceroy Hotel, as viewed from State St.

The gorgeous glass tower now coming out of the original brick and terra cotta facade will be LEED certified, stand 220 feet tall, contain roughly 167,000 square feet of space, and cost about $70 million.

After learning about these details, we got to throw some hard hats on and walk through the building. In a few smaller groups, the students and mentors headed up the construction elevator to the top to get a sense of what the new roof deck will look like. Since it was pretty chilly, we quickly moved in doors. Making our way slowly down the building, we saw hotel rooms that were progressively more complete – at the top, we saw rooms that were still just metal studs, then down a few floors there were rooms with bare drywall, and then down a few more and there were rooms with bright paint on the walls.

With hard hats on, the groups were ready to head to the top of the building.

With hard hats on, the groups were ready to head to the top of the building.

Team 7 Week 4 - 3

It was an exciting job to see, and it really makes you appreciate the complexity of a building project. Not only do you need to plan for all the materials to get to the site, but there’s also a lot of coordination required to get everything to fit where it needs to go.

Next week, we will be back in the warm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill.

For Week 3, we focused in on each discipline individually. After dinner, each of the three mentor companies presented on some of their recent projects.

First up was Jacobs, the engineering mentor firm. They shared a presentation that detailed what the Jacobs Chicago office does and had photos of recent projects, including examples of streetscapes, bike lanes, and airport runway contracts all within the city of Chicago.

Next up was Power, the construction mentor firm on Team 7. They walked the students through a breakfast scheduling activity to  show a simple example of scheduling, and how certain activities can overlap (toasting bread and making coffee) but others cannot (showering and getting dressed).

The scheduling activity used common tasks people do as part of their morning routine.

The scheduling activity used common tasks people do as part of their morning routine.

Last up was Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, the architecture mentor firm. Several mentors walked the group through recent projects, including one in China and one in Kazakhstan. They also had some VR headsets loaded up with 360 degree views of their proposed projects (these were super cool!). And they had an Oculus Rift virtual reality system where students took turns “walking” through proposed apartments.

Students tried out the VR headsets during the presentation.

Students tried out the VR headsets during the presentation.

Students also got to test out ASGGs Oculus Rift system and walk through virtual apartments.

Students also got to test out ASGGs Oculus Rift system and walk through virtual apartments.

Week 4: We will be doing our site visit!! The meeting location will be Lou Malnati’s at 1120 N State St. It’s a short walk from the Clark/Division red line. Please bring your signed permission slip! 

Permission slip: visitor-release-and-indemnification-viceroy-ace-mentor

Team 7 Week 2 - 3

Week 2 kicked off the series of weeks where the mentors share more details of their various career paths, and the students learn more and more about what the mentors do on their day-to-day jobs. We did two activities following dinner.

Team 7 Week 2 - 1

The 3 mentor “suspects” in the murder mystery game.

The first activity was a “murder mystery” game. Three mentors, one each from the 3 disciplines of ACE, were considered suspects. The students were divided into small groups, and the goal of the game was to figure out which suspect was which profession by asking certain questions and considering a few pieces of “evidence” (clues). The students asked the 3 suspects hypothetical questions like:

  • How often do you wear work boots?
  • What kind of software do you use at work?
  • What kind of professional registrations do you need for your job?

After asking dozens of questions, most of the groups were able to figure out who was the architect, who was the engineer, and who was the construction manager. Then with that information they were able to solve the “mystery.”

Team 7 Week 2 - 2

The second activity was a spaghetti marshmallow tower competition. In the same small groups, the students were challenged to build the tallest stable tower given one box of spaghetti and one bag of marshmallows. One team won the initial height competition, prior to an “earthquake” hitting. Not all towers survived the earthquake though!

Team 7 Week 2 - 3

Our first week, we met at the offices of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, the usual meeting spot for Team 7. We played some Blockus over dinner and then got into some introduction activities.

First, we did an icebreaker to relax and start to get to know one another. Everyone grabbed a handful of M&M’s, and based on the color of what was in their hand, shared a tidbit about themselves with the group. Given that it was the night after the election, a lot of students and mentors mentioned watching that, but otherwise, we learned about what types of music people like, something about their childhood, and various other info.

Second, we walked around the ASGG office to learn about the various groups they have in Chicago, see the models and renderings from their projects from around the world, and understand the resources they have in their office (including a shop where people create the physical 3D models!).

 

For the past few weeks, we have continued to work on our group project – a sports museum on Northerly Island. We had to skip a week due to severe weather, but we picked up right where we left off the next week.

The two architecture groups have developed floor plans for the entire building and discussed the exterior shape and material of the museum. This week the architecture groups teamed up to learn Revit Architecture, a powerful software program that can model 3D buildings and spaces.

The architecture team gets hands-on learning with Revit Architecture.

The architecture team gets hands-on learning with Revit Architecture.

The engineering group has spent two weeks covering structural engineering topics. We divided in half in order to get more details on our two areas of structural design – the building column layout and the bridge deck design.

The engineering group uses push pins and rubber bands to represent the column and beam layout for the building.

The engineering group uses push pins and rubber bands to represent the column and beam layout for the building.

The construction group talked about scheduling this week after completing a site logistics plan in previous weeks. They also got a quick tour of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s in-house model shop.

The construction group discusses a schedule by representing various construction tasks with sticky notes.

The construction group discusses a schedule by representing various construction tasks with sticky notes.

This week we started with a few “brain teasers” to get everyone thinking about multiple ways to solve one problem. Good discussion came out of that, including considering different perspectives of a problem and taking into account all user needs.

After recapping our week 9 activities, we then gave abbreviated presentations that covered what each of our 4 project discipline groups would be working on over the remainder of the ACE program.

Our 4 groups moving forward are:

  1. Architecture – Interiors
  2. Architecture – Exterior Wall/”Skin”
  3. Construction – Scheduling, Logistics, and Physical Model
  4. Engineering – Structures, Site Design, Building Systems

Students voted on which group they wanted to be in, and the mentors split them into 4 even teams. While the students will spend a lot of time on details within their discipline area, we will also be doing a lot of coordination between groups!

…only 8 days until scholarship applications are due! …15 days until the annual fundraiser luncheon!

Team 7 Week 9 3

Week 8 was dedicated mostly to starting the online ACE scholarship application. This is the application for all ACE students to apply for college scholarships, summer internships, and the design-build summer program. This is extremely important for all students to do – the likelihood of getting at least one of the three is very high!

More info on the scholarship and a sample application: http://acementorchicago.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-ACE-Chicago-Scholarship-App_Student-Instructions_FINAL_01_15_16.pdf

Team 7 Week 8 1

On Week 9, we started to look at the siting for our sports museum! We have officially begun work on our group project. During this first week, we took a big-picture look at the museum and the site.

Our site for the museum is on Northerly Island, which is that big peninsula of land that juts out south from Museum Campus in downtown Chicago. The island used to be home to an airport until about 10 years ago, and our site is in the location of the old airport terminal building and parking lot.

Team 7 Week 9 2

Team 7 Week 9 1

We discussed site attributes – how visitors might get to and from the museum and what views would be most desirable. Then we discussed what we want in the museum and began to build a “program.” This refers to all of the pieces that need to go within a building, like 2000 Sq Ft of lobby space or 300 Sq Ft of bathrooms.

We drew bubble diagrams to depict how we would like our spaces to overlap. These are general and broad, and are good during the brainstorming phase to begin to think about how the various spaces will interact with one another.

Team 7 Week 9 3