Traditional Building Conference: Boscobel Full Schedule

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

8-9 am Breakfast and Registration

9-9:15 am Welcome and Introductions

9:15-10:15 am Resilience: Flood Mitigation at the Farnsworth House

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: Ashley Wilson, Graham Gund Architect, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, was built in 1951 at five feet above grade near the Fox River in Plano, Illinois. The house has been subjected to continued and increasing flooding since its construction. During the past decade the National Trust has undertaken several studies to determine solutions that would mitigate or stop floods from continuing to damage this historic house. The consultants and task force charged with studying the problem have arrived at a recommendation to use hydraulic lifts to raise the building during periods of high risk. This session will outline the alternatives considered, the hydraulic lift system and the application of this study’s methodology to other historic resources that are increasingly at risk from floods.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess the geology and hydrology of historic properties with various diagnostic tools.
  • Compare and contrast the pros and cons of different interventions for flood mitigation.
  • Consider the impact of different interventions on the structural loads the building must meet.
  • Combine the objectives of historic preservation and resilience when working on historic structures and settings.

This lecture is presented in special recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus and the National Trust’s 70th Anniversary in 2019.

10:15-10:45 am Networking Break

10:45 am-Noon Pre-Construction Investigations and Mock-ups for Historic Preservation Projects

Speaker: Robert Score, AIA, Director of Historic Preservation, Consigli Construction Company, Boston, MA

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

The success of historic preservation projects is dependent on developing successful treatments to be executed by artisans and specialty craftspeople. One of the challenges for architects is developing the scope of drawings and specifications for unique project specific treatments that must match the properties and appearance of original and existing elements, without being certain of the results until mock-ups during construction. This can result in costly design changes that cause problems for budgets and schedules while creating tension across the project team. Some treatments are specified to require a desired result without specifics of how to achieve them. This can result in un-necessarily high bids due to uncertainty.

An alternative approach to address this issue is for designers and craftspeople to collaborate during the development of design and construction documents. This method allows for restoration treatments to be mocked-up and developed through trial and error incorporating lessons learned along the way. This presentation will illustrate this approach through a series of case studies covering a range of materials and projects.

Learning Objectives:

  • Strategize with specialty artisans to achieve appropriate treatments that match historic finishes and materials.
  • Manage the time required to develop artisan-based restoration treatments.
  • Improve scheduling and realize a cost/benefit return by engaging artisans early in the development of design solutions.
  • Use mock-ups and long-term monitoring of proposed treatments to evaluate in situ performance prior to implementation.

Noon - 1 pm Lunch, Networking, and Sponsors

1-2:05 pm Working with Custom Cabinet Makers: Modern Kitchens in Traditional Settings

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: Brian Stowell, President and CEO, Crown Point Cabinetry, Claremont, NH

Fine cabinetry for traditional and restoration projects demands a respect for historical design intent and a thorough understanding of modern lifestyle essentials, from technology to Universal Design. A successful design is dependent upon precise measurements and evaluating clients’ needs. A successful installation is dependent on accurate shop drawings, an understanding of materials, adequate lead time and skillful production followed by experienced installers onsite.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop and schedule the fabrication and installation of fine cabinetry.
  • Compare and contrast wood, finishes, and hardware for fine cabinetry.
  • Consider the end use of kitchens with such goals as ergonomics, universal design and family interaction in mind.
  • Reduce the number of variables that contribute to challenging installations.

2:05-2:15 pm Networking Break

2:15-2:50 pm Lost and Found: The Extraordinary Preservation Story of Boscobel House and Gardens

Speaker: Jennifer Carlquist, executive director, Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison, NY

Note: There are three options for earning credit for the lecture and tour: 1.5 AIA Learning Units if you listen to the lecture and take the tour; 0.5 AIA Learning Unit (“Nano” learning unit) for lecture only and 1 AIA Learning Unit for the house and garden tour only.

The 1950’s were rough on historic buildings; urban renewal, interstate construction, and market forces conspired to wreak havoc throughout the nation. Boscobel was certainly not alone in suffering the wrecking ball’s wallop, but in a dramatic 11-hour rescue, the Friends of Boscobel saved architectural elements and other resources, some while in transit, and brought them to another site. Fifteen miles from the original setting, Boscobel was revived in a masterful restoration under the direction of Lila Acheson Wallace, a co-founder of Reader’s Digest. Today, the building affords a look into the life of the early 19th century upper-class along the Hudson River. The building features exquisite Neo-classical and Palladian architectural details and an authentic furnishing plan featuring English decorative art and the work of Duncan Phyfe and family. Original construction documents and the 1934 Historic American Buildings Survey guided the faithful restoration of this site.

This session will begin with an introductory lecture followed by a tour of the house at one’s own pace with experienced docents available for Q&A. There will be a guided tour of the gardens. 

Please note: The garden tour is wheelchair-accessible, but the house tour is not. The house features steep stairs. Please wear comfortable shoes. Participants may bring sketch books for interior and exterior sketching with pencils and pens (no liquids)

Learning Objectives:

  • List key historical documents used for the restoration of the site.
  • Reflect on the Federal period's architectural elements and their reflection of the work of the Adam brothers in England.
  • Use Boscobel’s composition of architectural ornament, sequence of rooms and furnishings plan for new Neo-classical designs.
  • Explain the restoration of Boscobel as part of the awakening of the modern preservation movement in America.

2:50-3:25 pm Traditional Takes

3:25-4:00pm Networking Break

4:00-5:30 pm Boscobel House and Garden tours, 

Sketching and building craft discussions and demonstrations. See tour description above at 2:20 pm

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

8-9:00 am Breakfast and Registration 

9-9:15 am Welcome and Introductions

9:15-10:30 am Restoring Jefferson’s Rotunda 

2019 Palladio Award Winner

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Moderator: John G. Waite, FAIA, Senior Principal; John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC; Albany, NY

Panelists: Clay S. Palazzo, AIA, LEED AP, Principal; John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC; Albany, NY and Matthew K. Scheidt, AIA LEED AP, Associate; John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC, Albany, NY

This course has been submitted for learning unit review to the AIA.

Thomas Jefferson envisioned the Rotunda as a temple of knowledge, adapting Palladio’s vision of the Roman temple for educational use. Originally, the Rotunda housed the library, classrooms, laboratories, and workrooms. In the twentieth century, as the university expanded, the Rotunda’s role gradually diminished to administrative and ceremonial uses. Over the years the structure itself was compromised, most severely in 1895 when a catastrophic fire destroyed the building except for its brick walls. Stanford White, who admired Jefferson, restored the Rotunda, attempting to replicate Jefferson’s design and intent; but his design for the library greatly changed the original interior volumes.

The project to restore the Rotunda was completed in 2016 and it utilized the most advanced modern building conservation measures and included the replacement of the leaking roof, restoration of the wood windows, and cleaning, stabilization, and repointing of the brick walls. The exterior 1890s metal moldings were restored, and the deteriorated replacement column capitals on the north and south porticos were replaced with accurately carved Carrara marble capitals, replicating Jefferson’s originals. The interior work restored Jefferson’s spatial volumes, room finishes, and architectural detailing on all three stories. In the top-floor dome room, acoustic plaster replaced the perforated aluminum ceiling, and the 1970s cast-plaster column capitals were replaced with carved wood capitals to more accurately replicate the originals. Jefferson’s entrance to the second-floor piano nobile has been reinstated as the primary entrance. The dome room and oval rooms are again used by students, faculty and the Board of Visitors.

Investigation on the ground floor unearthed a nineteenth-century chemical hearth, the only evidence of the chemistry teaching facility that was original to the building. Entombed since 1840, the hearth is now the centerpiece of an exhibition that interprets Jefferson’s Academical Village. The least noticeable feature, but the one with greatest impact, is construction of new mechanical, service and storage space in a newly excavated vault beneath the east courtyard. This allowed for the insertion of efficient modern HVAC, electrical, and technology systems to serve the entire building.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe techniques that are frequently employed in a restoration and renovation project of this size and scope, particularly in relationship to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • Apply lessons learned from a case study of a significant historic structure, restored to meet LEED standards.
  • Cite the development of new building conservation and restoration techniques, particularly the cleaning and stabilization of exterior sheet copper; the design, fabrication and installation of Carrara marble column capitals, and the installation of innovative building systems.
  • Gain insight into design strategies for the adaptive use of significant spaces.

10:30-11 am Networking Break

11 am - 12:10 pm #ContextualSustainability: The Child of Vitruvius and the Picturesque

Speaker: David Andreozzi, AIA, NCARB; Andreozzi Architects, Barrington, RI

Vitruvius ordained the Ultimate Synthesis: architecture should be judged according to a perfectly blended combination of Commodity, Firmness and Delight. It is our job as architects to blend these ingredients, but at some point, by over-manipulation, designs may go awry or become gratuitous monuments. Contextual Sustainability suggests viewing this Ultimate Synthesis in a new updated paradigm as an architectural order that relearns and reapplies the historic code of the architectural genome - commodity, firmness, and delight - and adds to this matrix two more elements inspired by the Picturesque: vernacular, both cultural and topographic, and regional, in respect to natural resources and labor. This gives us a new architectural rule set based on an age-old formula that local materials, culture, and ideologies form the architectural building blocks of true design and become differentiated region by region.

The debate over traditional and modern is set forth by architects and critics tending to be territorial to their own style preferences and unable to respect regional and vernacular knowledge and building heritage. Contextual Sustainability is a style-blind code to judge all architecture, traditional or modern.

Learning Objectives:

  • Outline sustainable building design and practice from Vitruvius through the Picturesque Movements in Europe and the United States, especially as evidenced in the Hudson River School of Art; through the Arts and Crafts era and on to McKim, Mead and White, and to the revival of Neo-classical design over the past 30 years.
  • Cite specific examples of regional and vernacular building traditions that exemplify sustainable and contextual design.
  • Describe the impact of Commodity, Firmness and Delight on the health and well-being of building inhabitants.
  • Explain the value of regional identity as found in art and architecture.

12:10 - 1:10 pm Lunch

1:10 - 3:15 pm Zero Net Carbon and Heritage Cities: Policy, Practice and Preservation

Moderator: Jill H. Gotthelf, AIA, FAPT; Principal, Walter Sedovic Architects, Irvington-on-Hudson and New York, New York. She serves as the AIA_HRC representative on the Zero Net Carbon Collaborative for Existing and Historic Buildings.

Panelists: Nakita Reed, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Encore Design, Baltimore, MD and a member of the Zero Net Carbon Collaborative for Existing and Historic Buildings (ZNCC).

Lori Ferriss, Goody Clancy, Boston, MA

Collen Chapin, Building Conservation Associates, Newton Center, MA

2 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Units

The American Institute of Architects and other world leaders in architectural design and practice have set a target of 2030 for significant improvement in the impact of building construction on the environment. Recently, international design associations and governments have set 2050 as the year by which new buildings and existing buildings should have a zero net carbon impact on the environment. Policies are being developed at every level of government in the United States and many other countries in support of these goals. How will these new policies impact your practice as architects, builders and related professionals? What can you recommend that clients do today to achieve these standards while protecting historic character? What will the role of traditional building practice be moving forward?

The moderator and panelists will share their experiences with efforts to help historic and existing buildings achieve these standards and facilitate a discussion with you about what you can do in your own communities and businesses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Cite model charters such as the ICOMOS Charter for Climate Change and Heritage.
  • Explain technology and standards that help prove carbon benefits of building reuse.
  • Consider the current state of research and documentation for project benchmarks on carbon benefits of building reuse.
  • Apply lessons learned from the practitioners’ case studies that solve energy and environmental problems for a variety of historic structures.

3:15-3:45 pm Networking Break

3:45 pm-5:00 pm A Mason’s Perspective of Historic Precedent and Building Traditions in the Hudson Valley

Speaker: Timothy M. Farina, Associate AIA, David M. Schwarz Architects, Washington, DC

This course has been submitted for learning unit review to the AIA.

The historic sites of the Hudson River Valley embody an architectural heritage that spans the history of the United States. To those familiar with the region, the storied buildings remaining from each era serve to inspire and elevate the canon of American architecture. Stylistically diverse and varied in their means of construction, they were both the product and proponent of a changing architectural vocabulary through time. While much is studied about their significant cultural impact and site-specific architectural characteristics, the often-overlooked cultural context and preeminence of a regional vernacular is invaluable knowledge to present-day design professionals working in the region. 

Drawing from three generations of local masonry experience, this presentation will highlight vernacular constructions in the region from settlement to the present day, the focus being on the influence of regional materials and historical methods of detailing. Likewise, there will be information on the development and industrialization of building technique over time including the means by which masons today work to replicate and repair historic masonry.

Learning objectives:

  • Outline a concise architectural history of the region focusing on specific precedents to embody each period.
  • Study evidence of the indelible mark left by early Dutch settlers on the robust masonry constructions of the region through researched case study.
  • Consider the present-day market for historically accurate construction and the viability of skilled tradesmen.
  • Advise design professionals on the aesthetic characteristics of the Hudson Valley vernacular and their construction implications.