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You dont have to be rich to afford the house of your dreams, says William Massie, associate professor of architecture. Massie has devised a new computer-driven building process that dramatically cuts down on costs of building a home while increasing overall quality. His innovations have attracted the attention of prominent publications such as Business Week and Esquire magazines.
Esquire deemed Massie one of its best and brightest in its December 2002 issue, The Best and the Brightest: 50 Pages of People and Ideas That Will Change Our Lives. Business Week said that Massie is on the cusp of becoming a well-known name in the field of architecture, comparing him to architect Frank Gehry.
People dont have to pay a huge premium to live in a beautiful and somewhat experimental space, Massie says. And, we know from the auto and aerospace industries that the ability to develop complex shapes is not just for aesthetic purposes. In making an automobile side panel, for instance, you can use less material to form a shape that is stronger on impact. Im applying the same fabrication processes to architecture.
Computer-driven laser-cutting and milling machines shape the pieces at the shop of Massies four-person firm, Massiearchitecture, which he recently relocated to Troy. The pieces then are delivered to the site for the contractor to fit together like a giant puzzle.
Architects usually design abstract drawings and give them to a contractor, who then must reinterpret them, Massie says. My process provides a way of moving directly from the designing stage to construction, saving time and money.
In 2000, Massie received a Progressive Architecture award from Architecture Magazine for his Big Belt House in Montana, which is designed to fit naturally into the surrounding landscape.
Massies most recent completed project took top honors in a contest sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center in Queens, N.Y. His work, Playa Urbana/ Urban Beach, was selected the winner of the annual MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program, one of the most prestigious for young architects. Massies urban beach includes brightly colored artificial ponds and laser-cut steel structures set in P.S.1s outdoor courtyard.
Esquire cover © Hearst Communications Inc.
|Rensselaer Magazine: March 2003|
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