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moore ruble yudell: evolution

volume one, number two / winter 2010

We are pleased to present our second issue of evolution, a seasonal journal. This issue focuses on sustainability and our humanistic approach to environmental responsibility. You may click on the links below to skip to the feature you are interested in.

emerging: Carbon Neutrality: Myth or Reality

posting: a clipboard of recent and forthcoming engagements of the firm and its individuals


Carbon Neutrality: Myth or Reality?

Discussion of global warming swings between peaks of aspiration and valleys of despair. We are elated when we think Copenhagen will yield international consensus and deflated to see the lack of progress. As individuals we often feel helpless in the face of global forces. Perhaps part of the problem is to mainly focus on grand goals to the exclusion of immediate and sustained action.

As architects we are fortunate to be deeply engaged in these challenges. In our practice we have found it energizing to envision long term goals while implementing near-term achievable results. There is both opportunity and danger in staking all our efforts on utopian targets. As worthy a goal as carbon neutrality is, architects and planners will often do contortions to advocate or promote this objective. The reality is that it is very rarely achieved in buildings and doing so usually takes us into the realm of questionable accounting and diminishing returns on effort.

Conversely, we can achieve exceptional results with holistic planning based on careful understanding of site and climate and on early optimization of building systems. Our explorations benefit from an array of strategies from timeless lessons in "passive" design to emerging technologies. Early integrated planning can keep cost premiums to a minimum while greatly enhancing operation and reducing life-cycle costs.


The Sea Ranch

The Sea Ranch

In the early 1960’s Charles Moore working with his partners at MLTW, the great landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and Joseph Esherick, moved sustainable architecture into the forefront of international dialogue. The planning for the new Sea Ranch community prioritized the preservation of land and ecosystems and mandated that buildings be designed to be harmonious and integrated with the landscape. This represented a paradigm shift from the prevailing architecture of heroic objects on the landscape to a new understanding of building with the land. This approach to learning from the land has been a touchstone for our work from the inception of the firm.



Ruddell House

Ruddell House

Our work has always begun with listening to place and culture and in an effort to understand the essence and spirit of the context. On the north shore of Kauai, the Ruddell house evolved as a series of pavilions shaped to capture prevailing breezes, to provide extensive protected outdoor living and to frame views of the unique setting. The building is shaped for passive shading and ventilation inspired by the  wisdom of vernacular traditions. Active solar water systems further reduce energy consumption and complement the passive techniques of the architecture. The entire site is designed as a working farm. A broad array of native produce adds to the sustainability of family life and culture.

Yudell/Beebe House

Yudell/Beebe House

This house on an urban lot in Santa Monica has enabled us to push our sustainable agenda further than in any prior residences. From its inception the house is shaped to optimize shading, natural ventilation and daylighting. Rooms have three to four exposures and apertures are shaped so the house is painted with washes of daylight. Systems of photovoltaic and solar water panels provide nearly all of the energy needs through renewable sources. Emerging LED lighting systems will be tested throughout the house and garden. An extensive palette of sustainable materials is employed from structure through finishes. The landscape palette is based on native species, site water detention and green roof gardens. The early integration of passive and renewable systems has allowed the house to approach net zero energy without adding to the cost of construction. Monitoring the systems and energy consumption will enable this house to be a living laboratory for our future work.

South Lawn Project, University of Virginia

South Lawn Project, UVa

The South Lawn Project will be the first LEED Certified project at the University of Virginia. As at other campuses, student initiative has played a positive role in moving the University to take this important step toward a more sustainable development of buildings and grounds. The project is on track for LEED Silver certification, and takes a holistic approach to campus planning. The higher density of the project maximizes open space, expands the Central Grounds as a pedestrian district while resolving vehicular conflicts along Jefferson Park Avenue, provides universal access in topographically challenging terrain, enhances connectivity to public transit, and leverages the re-use of the University’s largest existing classroom building. The South Lawn’s integration of building and landscape is inspired by the great example of Jefferson’s original Lawn, with an ambitious program to restore site hydrology. Building longevity is enhanced by translating the University’s celebrated classical architectural language into durable, integral-color and/or factory-finished materials. Historic and cultural resources of the neighboring Foster Family Home Site are celebrated in a new interpretive garden.

North Campus Master Plan, Kemeny-Haldeman Centers,
and McLaughlin Cluster Student Housing, Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College North Campus

At Dartmouth College we have been collaborating with our associate architect Bruner/Cott and Marc Rosenberg on an advanced approach to designing integrated systems for buildings. The energy consumption of the new Kemeny-Haldeman Centers academic building and the new McLaughlin Cluster dormitories is approximately 60% of similar campus buildings. The dormitories employ radiant heating and cooling floor slabs, heat exchange systems and unusually robust building envelopes leading to a LEED Gold rated building. Students participated in early workshops during design and have taken pride of ownership in the use and operation of the buildings.   

Students and staff devised a system of on-line energy monitoring named Green Lite Dartmouth, which aims to educate Dartmouth students through real-time feedback, on how much energy is used in the dorm rooms. When individual dorm wings use less energy, a contented polar bear smiles from atop a solid ice pack. When energy use rises, the bear tries to flee from cracking ice and icy waters below. This playful innovation in monitoring has been adopted by other dorms on campus and has led to a competition between dorms to reduce energy use. The Green Lite program hopes to inspire similar efforts at colleges throughout the country.    

MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School

At MIT (also with Marc Rosenberg and Bruner/Cott) our building for the Sloan School of Management is nearing completion. This project takes the design of integrated building systems to the next level. Extensive workshops with academic and staff stakeholders led to an analysis of many alternative mixes of building structure, envelope and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The early integration and optimization of systems allowed us to develop a highly sustainable building within a strict budget. Life cycle costs and operating expenses were thoroughly analyzed and the head of facilities expects this project to be the highest performing building on campus. As with our other projects the early integration of disciplines is far more important than the more apparent design elements such as green roofs and photovoltaics.

The human issues of nurturing community, creating healthy workspaces and the connection to the natural context are equally important to the sophistication of the building systems. They provide for the sustainability, creativity and productivity of the culture of the Sloan School.

Claremont McKenna College Master Plan

Claremont McKenna College

At Claremont McKenna College we’ve been able to advance an integrated sustainable approach to campus planning. Working with the College, Buro Happold and KPFF we’ve advocated for the early integration of sustainable planning with an emphasis on landscape design, water and energy consumption, the re-use of existing facilities and an overall responsiveness to the special desert climate of the region. While traditional issues such as site and building capacity, academic and social programming, zoning, transportation and infrastructure will all be considered, it is the early analysis of climate, energy use, water consumption, as well as building and landscape guidelines, that will enable the College to develop a roadmap to a sustainable culture and campus.  

In addition, strategic planning for the College involves the increasingly relevant analysis of how much new construction is truly required. The careful renovation of older buildings and systems can combine with the synergistic programming of all facilities to minimize the need for extensive new facilities. Optimizing the use and preservation of open space complements the careful consideration of new projects, so that precious resources and space are sustainably preserved. Most master plans create an armature for growth. The CMC plan will create a flexible armature for the sustainable evolution of their academic and social mission.

posting celebrating
Manzanita Village 2009 AIA Santa Barbara Merit Award

Manzanita Village, the 800-bed student housing complex at the University of California, Santa Barbara, received a 2009 AIA Santa Barbara Merit Award for Design Excellence.

Grangegorman Masterplan Grangegorman Feature in The Plan

The Grangegorman Masterplan for Dublin Institute of Technology was featured in the December 2009 / January 2010 issue of the Italian magazine, The Plan.

21st Century Houses 21st Century Houses: 150 of the World's Best

The Moir Residence in Carmel and the Ruddell Residence in Kauai are featured amongst a select number of innovative residential projects from around the world in 21st Century Houses: 150 of the World's Best, published by Images Publishing.

AD 100 Architectural Digest AD 100

Moore Ruble Yudell has been included again in Architectural Digest's AD 100 list of top architects and interior designers.

House on Padaro Lane House on Padaro Lane in Orange County Magazine

House on Padaro Lane near Santa Barbara is featured in the Winter 2009–2010 issue of Orange County Magazine.

St. Mary's College St. Mary's College Library

Moore Ruble Yudell with local architects Noll & Tam have been selected to develop a conceptual design and provide fundraising support to transform the main undergraduate library into a new social and intellectual center for the campus.  

Luxe Lakes Luxe Lakes New Town Residential, Chengdu, China

The energy-efficient towers, mid-rise buildings and villas incorporate optimal sustainable strategies, creating a vertical movement of sky garden units that minimize the need for heating and air conditioning. The Schematic Design Phase has been completed.

Bakersfield Courthouse Bakersfield Design Excellence / Design Build Competition

Moore Ruble Yudell's proposal for the new Bakersfield U.S. Courthouse received design kudos and helped the GSA validate an innovative new approach to project design and procurement. Four design/builder teams developed schematic designs and fixed-price proposals in an accelerated two-month process. Our design conceived the courthouse as a justice center with community in mind.

Concordia Concordia Resort Development, Macau, China

The design evokes the image of a lotus blossom, shaping a luxurious residential district with hotel, retail, and leisure facilities to celebrate the area’s identity as a resort and entertainment destination. Groundbreaking has taken place, with construction to begin in March 2010.

Win Sing AIT Tower Win Sing AIT Tower, Taipei, Taiwan

The stepped massing of the upper floors relates to the scale of the city while providing a varied silhouette, with their large glass bays acting as lanterns. Under construction, the structure is starting to come out of the ground.

Santa Monica Parking Offices City Offices, Santa Monica Parking Structure

The award-winning parking structure had three tenant spaces within the building on the 1st, 2nd and Mezzanine levels. Moore Ruble Yudell provided space planning, interior architecture, color, material and FFE design services for the City Building Department and Code Compliance offices and a new take out café, Trimana.

US Bank Offices US Bank Building 72nd Floor Offices

Moore Ruble Yudell provided interior design services including new furniture and artwork for an E-Commerce office on the top floor of the US Bank Building. Space age forms were installed to relate to the client’s desire for a cosmic ambience in this highest of LA office locales, while contrasting with the existing architectural envelope.

Steger Center for Student Life, University of Cincinnati Architecture in Two Dimensions, Getty Center

March 4, 2010, 7 pm
Frances Anderton of KCRW moderates as architect Mario Violich, AIA, ASLA and scholars Peter Hales and Stephen Murray discuss the representation of architecture (real and imagined) in illuminated manuscripts, photographs, drawings, and other media.

Design Colloquium 2010 Design-First Colloquium

May 13, 2010
John Ruble, FAIA, and Jeanne Chen, AIA, will join the second Design First Colloquium in San Francisco. This invited conference of mid-size design firms will explore common ground in seeking to advance sustainability, design excellence, and professional growth in the current economy.

Krista Becker Creating Meaningful Interaction in Presentations

June 9, 2010, 8–12:00 pm
Krista Becker, AIA, LEED AP will participate in a panel on how and what to communicate during presentations and interviews to create meaningful yet creative interaction between clients and expanded interdisciplinary project teams.

Camana Bay Camana Bay, AIA Convention

June 9, 2010, 1–5 pm
Michael Martin, AIA will participate in presenting the Camana Bay New Town’s development process in a workshop forum at this year’s AIA Convention in Miami Beach.

US Embassy, Berlin Integrating Design and Sustainability, AIA Convention

June 10, 2010, 2–3:30 pm
Krista Becker, AIA, LEED AP will participate in a panel featuring AIA Firm Award recipents discussing how sustainability is changing both their practices and the profession (with KieranTimberlake, Lake|Flato, Leers Weinzapfel, and Miller|Hull).

Grangegorman Masterplan Transforming the City, AIA Convention

June 11, 2010, 7–8 am
James Mary O'Connor, AIA, and Mario Violich, AIA, ASLA present four case studies that focus on the campus as a piece of the city: the Grangegorman Master Plan, Student Community Center at UC Berkeley, University Boulevard at the University of British Columbia, and the Steger Student Life Center, University of Cincinnati.

Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage

June 23, 2010, 6:30 pm
National Buiding Museum, Washington, DC,
James Mary O'Connor, AIA will partcipate in a panel discussion titled The Future of Parking. He will present the Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure, one of the first LEED Certified parking structures in the country.

Pomfret School Buzz Yudell Joins Board of Trustees of Pomfret School

Buzz Yudell, FAIA joined the Board of Trustees of the Pomfret School in Connecticut. He is looking forward to focusing on campus and facilities planning as well as long-term strategic planning.

US Embassy, Berlin Design for Diplomacy

John Ruble, FAIA now serves as AIA representative to the Department of State’s Industry Advisory Panel, establishing new approaches to Design Excellence and Project Delivery. Krista Becker, AIA, LEED AP, and John Ruble are also members of the AIA 21st Century Embassy Task Force, whichfocuses on creating high-performance diplomatic facilities.

Moore Ruble Yudell Website