"Quake" Exhibit Explores Intersection of Architecture and Engineering

A New York exhibition explores where architecture and engineering meet to design for earthquake zones.
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The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects is bringing an exhibition to its Center for Architecture in Manhattan that explores the delicate nexus between architecture and engineering in earthquake-prone regions.

The CCTV building, the headquarters of China Central Television designed by OMA, in earthquake-prone Beijing. Photo by Iwan Baan.

The exhibit, called "Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge," opens on February 13, 2014, and runs through May 26. Originally presented at the Design Exchange in Toronto, the exhibit was conceived as a "science center." It will feature full-scale seismic technology, architectural and structural models, seismic testing videos, and other interactive and tactile features in addition to photographs and information about buildings that feature inventive approaches to earthquake-proof design. These include the CCTV building in Beijing, the headquarters of China Central Television designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren; and SKLIM Studio’s Hansha Reflection House, which was built in an earthquake zone in Japan.

Studio SKLIM, an architectural firm with offices in Tokyo and Singapore, used what it describes as "a tenon-joint system with steel bracketing" to shore up the Hansha Reflection House in Nagoya, an earthquake-prone city in Japan. Photo courtesy of Studio SKLIM.

The exhibition was curated by Dr. Effie Bouras and Professor Ghyslaine McClure, both of the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University in Montreal.

A shot of the Hansha Reflection House under construction. Photo courtesy of Studio SKLIM.

"Considering the Quake peels back a building’s facade and captures the moment where the philosophy of architecture and technicality of structural design intersect," Bouras says. "We chose to explore this intersection through earthquake requirement because of [the] enhanced detailing demands needed to make a building safe. This attempt at unison represents a most challenging opposition to architectural premise—a test of both architect and engineer."

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, by Studio Daniel Liebskind. Photo by Mark Darley.

"Considering the Quake" will be on view at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan starting February 13.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange, designed by OMA. Photo courtesy of OMA.


A detail shot of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Photo by Guy Bertrand.


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