This fall KieranTimberlake, an award-winning Philadelphia-based architecture firm, joins the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) as an industry partner. “We are thrilled to become part of this research and practice community,” Billie Faircloth stated on behalf of the firm. Faircloth, a Partner and the firm’s Research Director, affirmed the role of the CBE’s Industry Advisory model as essential to AEC practice now. “Our commitment to the Center — and by extension its faculty, students, researchers and industry partners—reflects our commitment to work we must collectively tackle to address our industry’s biggest challenges.”
Throughout its 35-year commitment to advancing the field of architecture, KieranTimberlake has paired research with design. The practice is transdisciplinary — out of 100 full-time staff, 14 are dedicated to its Research Group and represent the fields of ecology, chemistry, physics, anthropology, materials engineering, and architecture among others. KieranTimberlake is widely recognized for its holistic design approach which informs a roster of proactive projects that include novel envelope concepts, field studies, tools, and software apps.
The firm has pioneered new approaches to off-site fabrication on projects such as the Loblolly House in Taylor’s Island, Maryland, and Cellophane House™, a recyclable dwelling that debuted at The Museum of Modern Art in 2009. Most recently, the firm demonstrated the efficacy of post-occupancy evaluation within their own studio, Ortlieb’s Bottling House, with an attempt to eliminate air-conditioning during Philadelphia’s notoriously muggy summers. Ortlieb’s has been a testbed for hardware and software products developed by the firm’s affiliate company, KT Innovations. Their products include Pointelist®, a low-cost, high-density sensor platform, Roast, an occupant comfort survey tool, and Tally®, a BIM-integrated life cycle assessment tool that allows designers to model embodied carbon and other environmental impacts during design and project delivery. “Our overall aim,” stated Faircloth, “is to increase the agency of our profession and the value of architecture.” The firm’s research has been published in journals, conference proceedings, and popular press.
KieranTimberlake received the 2008 AIA Architecture Firm Award, the 2010 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, and recognition for exemplary design research including four Architect R+D Awards, and four AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Innovation Awards. As the firm looks to the future, it believes that operating in new territories and taking on new challenges will be increasingly important. Faircloth notes, “With a strong cross-section of industry partners who refuse to accept the status quo, the Center is uniquely positioned as a changemaker in the AEC community. KieranTimberlake is proud to join CBE’s partners in pursuit of actionable research that makes the spaces we inhabit better for the people who bring them to life.”
Main image: KieranTimberlake Studio. ©KieranTimberlake.