Archive for the ‘Master Planning’ Category

Dennis Kowal Architects expands “The Innovation University”   1 comment

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Dennis Kowal Architects expands “The Innovation University”

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The proposed new Stevens Institute of Technology Library overlooking the Hudson at Castle Point.

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New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology, ranked as one of the top 75 schools in the United States, asked DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS  to plan renovations  and expansion of their existing 70,000 square foot Samuel C. Williams Library and Computer Center.     The 1960’s building which sits at the heart of the Castle Point campus has not kept up with the technology and innovation for which the school is known.

Kowal says “after extensive interviews with the students, faculty, and new Stevens President, Nariman Farvardin, a plan to transform and expand the four level library was presented and embraced by the planning committee and administration.  The concept provides team study and research environments that facilitates student and faculty interaction and problem solving; a hallmark of the Stevens successful teaching style.

In addition to the traditional library functions, key design features of the new Library include a concert pavilion, new graduate lounge, more seating and computer work areas, quiet study rooms, projection-equipped rooms to practice and record team presentations, lab-style student “collaboration” spaces to facilitate student interaction, digitized reference materials, archives, and a small student commons.

10.22.12

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The new Library is part of an expansion plan that will double the undergraduate population.  The Library design by DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS is a part of an overall master plan study.  Funding and approval of the project are currently underway.  A large part of the new master plan is dedicated to focusing on technology in sectors such as health care, defense and finance.  

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Students in the existing library often work at tables without power connections in rooms without adequate seating. The existing building will be renovated and expanded to become a center of for study and community.
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The DKA planning with faculty and staff was broadcast throughout the University to obtain the maximum input from the students and users.    Above, Kelly Smozanek of  Dennis Kowal Architects leads a workshop with faculty.  This consensus approach to design resulted in wide acceptance and a strong solution.

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DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS is currently planning facilities at Rutgers University and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

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I was the one who closed all the traffic lanes   1 comment

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I was the one who closed all the traffic lanes!

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DKA provided an actual traffic study for the State of New Jersey in which the act of studying traffic, backed up the traffic!

 

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All will remember when the NJ Governor’s chief of staff got in hot water for closing the George Washington Bridge lanes for a “traffic study”.   Well, I was the one who wrote the original traffic study that made everyone upset.  It was several years ago, when new emission testing regulations threatened the capacity of the existing New Jersey Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations.  As an Architect, I was hired by the Governor’s Office to study all of  the existing NJDMV Inspection Stations in 21 counties to determine how many new lanes needed to be built.  It was a $100,000 study  that looked at the vehicle inspection process from tip-over problems with  SUV’s to more stringent emission laws.   It also examined statistics and average inspections per worker.   By the way, the best time to get your car inspected is the middle of the morning, in the middle of the week in the middle of the month…..no lines at the most locations.

In order to test some theories, I commandeered a popular motor vehicle inspection station and crew and we tested our “dual lane vehicle theory”.   In essence, we discovered that adding lanes alongside an existing station was expensive and sometimes impractical due to land restrictions, but increasing the thru-put of existing lanes increased capacity without any construction.   The concept was that the  length of the existing lanes were underutilized; actually two cars could go through the test locations in the same time frame as one vehicle if sent in as a pair.  So we added equipment and inspectors to an existing lane and put up cones to build up enough traffic to put the dual-lane vehicle theory to the test.  It took a while for everyone to get the hang of it, but it worked.  With virtually no major construction, we doubled the capacity of the existing inspection stations by taking two cars through the process with duplicate inspections at the same time.   But then it happened….

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Angry motorist’s didn’t like being part of a study and demanded we stop the testing even though the theory actually began to work quite well.  It seems lane closures are never popular!

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In setting up the test facility and cones, we created some long lines outside the facility.   Unhappy customers waiting in line got quite vocal.   They saw the clip boards, stop watches and  commotion and demanded we stop the study.      So what happened to the theory?   Like the Indiana Jones movie, the study is buried in some warehouse somewhere and the State decided to build more lanes!  Your tax dollars at work!

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inseState auto inspection station, New Jersey, USA

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Some ideas are just ahead of their time and so the State built  more lanes rather than improve the capacity of what they had.  Using existing resources to better purpose and efficiency is a hallmark of sustainable design and Dennis Kowal Architects.

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DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS  studies the problems and recommends the most efficient solutions.

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Posted January 10, 2012 by Dennis Kowal Architects in Master Planning