Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop Furthers Advancements in High Performance Facades

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2017

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Industry experts gather to address terra cotta’s potential in advanced manufacturing of bioclimatic structures and environments.

BUFFALO, NY – Architects, engineers and ceramic artists from across the country and Europe are coming to Buffalo, New York to attend the second annual Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW) being held Monday, August 14 through Thursday, August 17. Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning present the weeklong event that combines the models of academic research, artistic experimentation and industry expertise to explore innovative façade solutions and develop large-scale applications for ceramic components. The agenda includes introduction to digital design and traditional terra cotta manufacturing techniques, architectural tours and daily lectures to stimulate the imagination on the potential of terra cotta.

Building upon last year’s bioclimatic focus, ACAW 2017 will explore designs that utilize ceramic’s material properties to consider environmental factors like light, heat, cold, wind and precipitation. Representatives from multinational engineering firms AECOM and Walter P. Moore, the architectural and design practice Morphosis, and educators from the UB Department of Architecture and Alfred University College will lead four teams to strategize ways to develop sustainable micro climates in and around buildings and address issues like energy mitigation, hybrid structural systems and high performance façade systems for shading, snow collecting, heat harvesting and air circulation. Assisted by experts from terra cotta manufacturers Boston Valley Terra Cotta, the participants will learn, create and get their hands dirty with industrial scale forming methods to develop designs and prototypes in response to the design challenge.

“While many architects design with industrially-produced ceramic components, they may have little material understanding of clay, and most artists and designers trained in ceramics may have few opportunities to explore the medium at a scale beyond the object,” says Bill Pottle, Director of Business Development at Boston Valley Terra Cotta. He added, “By attending the ACAWorkshop, designers will have the opportunity to collaborate and deepen their understanding of and experience with the potential for terra cotta in the architectural setting.”

The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop is jointly housed between the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning’s Hayes Hall and the production facilities of Boston Valley Terra Cotta in Orchard Park, NY with events in some of Buffalo’s most significant historical locations including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House and the recently renovated H.H. Richardson Complex. Returning speakers include Dr. William Carty, the John F. McMahon Professor and Chair of Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University and Neil Forrest, the internationally exhibiting ceramic artist and professor at NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design). Thursday’s final presentation of the team’s solutions at the Hotel Henry is open to architectural and ceramic professionals and will be followed by a keynote address and reception. Mic Patterson, Director of Strategic Development at Shuco USA, is the keynote speaker. His address, entitled “Material matters: Durability, obsolescence, adaptability and the embodied impacts of the building shell” will begin at 5:30pm.

For more information, see the event’s website, click here.

Read about last year’s event in the Architect’s Newspaper, click here.


About Boston Valley Terra Cotta
Boston Valley Terra Cotta was established by the Krouse family in 1981, following the purchase of Boston Valley Pottery, a company that had been in existence since 1889. Originally a brick manufacturing facility and later a clay pot manufacturer, Boston Valley Pottery was converted to an architectural terra cotta facility by the Krouses. Utilizing both superior terra cotta engineering knowledge and sculpting talent, Boston Valley Terra Cotta has become one of the leading manufacturers of architectural terra cotta in the country, with a proven commitment to quality and a history of unparalleled customer service. 
For more information, visit www.bostonvalley.com