Lights of Building 66

On America’s birthday, the Department of Energy’s National Lab system feels like quite a gift. The amount of innovation and discovery coming from the dramatic-yet-humble concrete structures is another reason to celebrate.

Lights of Building 66

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Frozen Retreat

North Country temperatures abruptly rose from 20ºF to nearly 60ºF before suddenly dropping to -20ºF—all in under 36 hours. The result was rain that completely melted almost all snow, followed by freezing rain that deposited a layer of ice, followed by a new 12″ of snow to replace what came before.

In the midst of that chaos, I visited the Grasse River through the center of Canton to see it rising above its banks and jamming the shores with ice.

Frozen Retreat

Boxes on Boxes

The first “real” snowfalls of the winter have arrived in the North Country, and I can’t think of a better time to look back on the never-snow geometries of Berkeley. The architectural possibilities expand when structures will never have to bear the load of a late-winter storm and stairs will never have to be scraped free of ice and snow. I think the design is particularly well-expressed in the boxes-on-boxes-on-boxes design of this building. The best detail, to me, is the sunlight passing in one side and out the other of the corner window on the first floor.

Boxes on Boxes