Design Wire December 2018
Architects are all too familiar with the hand cramps, bruises, and sore knuckles that commonly occur while creating models. The ERGOKIWI is the newest tool that helps alleviate architects from ailments caused by long periods of model making. The ErgoKiwi is described by its creator, Sean Riley, as “the perfect extension” of the hand. It features a dip on the bottom for the thumb to rest in and a curved top for the forefinger. Riley spent two years testing and developing the design in order to create a product that’s “as simple and easy to use as possible.” A 3D-printed latch slides open for easy blade replacement. A magnet inside the handle holds the cutting edge in place and also helps to pick up a new blade from a table, reducing the risk of cuts. The ErgoKiwi comes in a variety of densities, weights, and grain patterns.
Portland city planners have approved a second six-story condominium along Franklin Street. The condo, called VERDANTE AT LINCOLN PARK, is expected to have 31 market-rate units, a retail space, and a parking garage. The lead architect for the project, VIRGINIE STANLEY of Archetype Architects, worked closely with city planners and developers to create a modern building that relates to the historic fabric of the surrounding neighborhood. Construction will begin in 2019, with an expected completion date sometime in 2020. According to the developer, NEWHEIGHT GROUP, market-rate prices will range from $300,000 to over $1 million for penthouse units.
ROSEMONT BAKERY is expanding to Falmouth. The company’s seventh store will open this winter at the former site of Pratt and Abbott Garment Care on Route 1. The 2,000-square-foot space will offer locally sourced produce, baked goods, deli items, prepared meals, and wine and beer and will sell seafood from the Portland-based Harbor Fish Market. The new space will be the bakery’s second largest after the space on Brighton Avenue in Portland. Cofounder John Naylor says, “Our whole reason for being is to connect our neighbors to the farmers, fishers, and other food producers we love working with, and so we’re really excited to bring those relationships and that spirit to Falmouth.”
ZAHA HADID DESIGN has released a new series of carpet designs for manufacturer ROYAL THAI. The collection, called RE/FORM, is designed to embody reconfiguration and transformation. The London-based studio created 22 designs, hand-tufted and woven on Axminister looms. “The patterns within each grouping capture Hadid’s signature use of interweaving, layering, and playing with light and shadow,” says the studio design team. Patterns in certain carpets are reminiscent of buildings designed by Hadid architects, such as the Striation carpet, which reflects the facade of Hadid’s recently completed project on 520 West 28th Street in New York City.
L.L.BEAN is now home to Maine’s largest electric-vehicle charging station. President and CEO Stephen Smith hopes the new charging station will help show the company’s dedication to curbing emissions and helping the environment. Last winter L.L.Bean installed eight Tesla chargers. Eight Level II chargers were added over the summer, doubling the size of the charging bank. All 16 outlets are available to the public. While Tesla chargers are not compatible with non-Tesla electric models, Level II chargers work for most standard electric vehicles. L.L.Bean’s addition is making it easier for tourists and Mainers alike to travel the coast. Since 2014 Mainers have doubled the number of electric cars they own with 1,300 vehicles now registered. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that Maine currently has 252 public outlets at 132 stations.
A longtime customer favorite has been revived by JBL: the JBL L100 CLASSIC is a refreshed take on the original Bang and Olufsen BeoVox speakers. The design aesthetic of the speakers is ultimately the same, making the L100 Classic a perfect modern replacement for the 1970 loudspeakers. The foam grille comes in blue, orange, or black, and the rest of the speaker is outfitted in satin walnut veneer with black front and rear panels. The L100 Classic can be oriented horizontally or vertically, with optional black metal stands to vary the speakers’ height. The speakers are passive and must be paired with an amp.
The groundbreaking for a new elementary school in Brunswick began in October. The KATE FURBISH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, located on Jordan Avenue, will be 88,000 square feet, with an expected total cost of $20.3 million. The Kate Furbish Elementary School will teach preschool through second grade and will replace Jordan Acres School, which was deemed structurally unsafe and closed in 2011. MATTHEW PITZER of PDT ARCHITECTS is the lead architect for the project. In order to fit into the surrounding neighborhood, the school will be constructed with brick on the lower level of the building and architectural panels on the upper level, with some residential-sized windows in common areas. The interior of the building will be constructed to evoke a wooded walking path, transitioning from acorn and pinecone motifs for preschool classrooms to depictions of maple, oak, pine, and spruce trees for first and second grades. Meadow-and river-inspired motifs will line the hallways.
A former Verizon Wireless call center in Bangor is being renovated into a medical center for children. PENOBSCOT COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE (PCHC) plans to remodel the space into a fully integrated pediatric center with everything in one space double the size of the current pediatric center. Once complete, the new building will have 30 exam rooms and will see patients until age 20. Also on-site will be a pharmacy, primary care center, and mental health services. The speech therapy and audiology services at the current space will be moved to the new center, along with the Key Clinic, which examines foster children. In addition, PCHC is planning to add a community room for family therapy sessions and staff/patient training and education. PCHC is a federally qualified healthcare center and receives a federal grant to care for low-income patients. It is the largest community healthcare center in Maine.
The search for a new kind of durable kitchen countertop is over. Commonly used in the aerospace industry, RICHLITE is a postconsumer, paper-based composite that’s been in production since 1943. In the 1960s it was discovered that Richlite works as a functional cutting board because it doesn’t wear out and isn’t affected by water. For these same reasons, Richlite is commonly used to make skate ramps. In fact, the material is so versatile that new applications for it are still being found 70 years after its creation. The resilient material is created by hyper-compressing paper blended with resin. The color range of Richlite is limited due to the maple hue of the resin, so it is available in understated jewel tones and browns. Richlite countertops can be compared to those of wood, stainless steel, or copper. Any scratches or patina that develop can be simply sanded away and resealed.