Tag Archives: Architecture

Winston Family YMCA

Personal experience of Robert Blatter, AIA, while employed at Gresham Smith + Partners

The project consisted of a 8,500 square foot renovation and addition to the existing Winston Family YMCA in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, near Jacksonville.  The existing exercise and general fitness program spaces were renovated with the addition being a childcare area (shown in foreground).

The project team included Jason Faulkner, AIA.

Brooks Family YMCA

Personal experience of Robert Blatter, AIA, while employed at Gresham Smith + Partners

The Brooks Rehabilitation and Fitness Center is a 60,000 square foot facility located on 8.5 acres in the Southpoint Business Park area of Jacksonville bordering J. Turner Butler Boulevard.

The project program includes three separate fitness areas, a full service spa, an indoor basketball court, rehabilitation pools and an indoor Olympic swimming pool. The primary construction materials are a combination of concrete tilt-panels and concrete masonry with built up and metal standing seam roofing.

The facility was recently donated to YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. The primary elements of the facility remain intact except for the spa being changed to childcare.

Project team included Jason Faulkner, AIA, Karie Kovacocy, Jim Frey and Leigh Gunn

Barco-Newton Family YMCA

Personal experience of Robert Blatter, AIA, while employed at Gresham Smith + Partners.

The design strategy was to focus the surrounding community into what the facility offers: energy, athletics and a family oriented facility. The butterfly roof of the main axis attempts to gather light, and in turn, the surrounding community. The mainly concrete tilt panel structure is broken by metal panel clad program elements that break down the long facade and mimic formal residential imagery.

The project is a new 36,000 sq ft facility in a residential community named Fleming Island Plantation in Orange Park, Florida. The facility is located along Town Center Drive which is the developments’ main boulevard.

The site is bordered to the south, east and west by residential communities and a large lake to the north. The building is oriented to take advantage of the northern exposure and views to the lake while the pool and playground areas display the facility activities to the residents along Town Center Drive. A large canopy marks the building entry and directs occupants to the reception point. The entry canopy functions to draw light into the building core through clerestory windows.

Profiles of architectural team members participating in athletic activities were abstracted, scaled up and used as relief on the tilt-panels to provide character on the gymnasium facade.

Project team included Jason Faulkner, AIA, Karie Kovacocy, Jim Frey and Leigh Gunn

CNC Router

CNC Router Design and Fabrication
Discretization is the process of mathematically translating components of a three dimensional object into discrete elements in order to better evaluate them digitally. While a computer numeric controlled (CNC) machine doesn’t perform this evaluation specifically, it provides a glimpse at the constitution and reconstitution of materials for examination. In contrast to a three dimensional printer, which adds material to create an object, the CNC machine uses a standard router and modified bit, aka endmills, subtracting material to create another object.

Each machine has limits
A three dimensional printer is limited by the material dispensed and tends to have small dimensional limits. The ability of a source material to cool or dry or be suspended weighs on object constraints. A CNC is limited by its ability to move the cutting head or the material being manipulated.

This suject apparatus is designed to remove material from wood, plastic, foam, soft metals and stone. It moves the cutting head and can affect pieces up to 50-inches long (x-a axis), 30-inches wide (y-axis) and 6-inches tall (z-axis). Due to its size, the X + Y axis are driven along a rack and pinion by 380-oz NEMA 23 steppers. The z-axis utilizes a 5-start screw drive to raise and lower the router assembly.

Material + Operation
The table support is composed of 8020 aluminum extrusions with 1018 steel plate providing the carriage runways. A disposable MDF table surface serves as the clamping layer along with tracks on either side of the gantry. IGUS energy chains protect power and communication cables on the x-a and y axis. A dedicated computer runs the processing software converting steriolithography (STL) files into G-code, a numerical control programming language. This interface controls, among other things, cutting head position, elevation, spindle speed, rate of travel and cutting fluid application (metal only).

Power is provided through a 600-watt 120-volt supply to the four steppers. Instructions from the cpu interface with a Gecko 540 breakout board which includes an emergency shut-off circuit. Limit switches are installed to provide homing of the cutting head and prevent accidental over-travel.

A support stand (in development) will provide mounting and protection of the computer and the breakout board rack mount housing. It will also have casters allowing the maching to be moved within the shop.

Anticipated Uses include:

  • Topographic door veneer design
  • Furniture design parting
  • Casework design parting