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Fully Custom & Unique Terra Cotta Extrusions Will Soon Be Available

July 17, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Parametric Design, UB Architecture by Boston Valley

Boston Valley Terra Cotta is developing new machinery that will use digital design to produce fully custom, unique terra cotta extrusions. Peter Schmidt, who has been working in the ARCH Design Lab for the past few years while also earning his Masters degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo, designed the machine for his thesis program and is now building the machine and its one-of-a-kind GUI interface for operation at Boston Valley. Peter was hired by Boston Valley upon graduation to serve as the Digital Design Manager.

Designers will soon be able to take a profile such as a standard ashlar unit and modify it in any number of ways to create new profiles. This will occur directly from the extrusion line, negating the need for custom jigs and cutting. Stay tuned for more as the machine becomes operational!

Custom terracotta profiles, innovative manufacturing, terra cotta, boston valley terra cotta, buffalo, ny

Drive Curves, User Interface, and Resulting Profile Shapes

 

This technique of ruled surface toolpath cutting is designed to take a typical terra cotta profile extrusion and, in a third or fourth axis, trim the shape to achieve a different result that would not have been possible with standard extrusion.

Custom terracotta profiles, innovative manufacturing, terra cotta, boston valley terra cotta, buffalo, ny

Modified profile (shown above) and the resulting curtain wall arrangement

The machine and the user interface are both in the beta testing phases and will soon be up and running. This state of the art development through research is once again testament to Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s dedication to excellence in craftsmanship and innovation.

ARUP Visits Boston Valley Terra Cotta & Tours Buffalo, NY

July 15, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta by Boston Valley

Alexis Harrison and Peter Webb, associates from ARUP Group Limited visited the manufacturing facility at Boston Valley Terra Cotta, here in Orchard Park, NY. ARUP is an international professional services firm headquartered in London, UK which provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services. They have worked on countless projects including the Beijing National Aquatic Center (Below) used for the swimming and diving competitions in the 2012 Olympics. In addition to touring the Boston Valley plant, Peter  and Alexis  had the opportunity to explore the greater Buffalo-Niagara Region.

Peter Webb, Alexis Harrison, ARUP Group Limited, London, England, UK, visit Buffalo, NY & Niagara Falls, boston valley terra cotta

Alexis (left) and Peter (right) get a refreshing view of Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist

Beijing National Aquatic Center, ARUP Group Limited, London, Bosston Valley Terra Cotta, collaboration, niagara falls, ny, buffalo

Beijing National Aquatic Center. Image courtesy of ARUP

Lex Harrison is a designer and materials specialist as part of Advanced Technology + Research, and is a specialist in wood, ceramics, and brick. He has extensive experience in building facade technologies. Peter Webb is an Architect/Inventor who specializes in sustainable ceramic building materials. There is no doubt that Boston Valley sparked their interests.

In addition to the tour of the historic Guaranty Building and the Darwin Martin House in downtown Buffalo, NY, Peter and his colleague Alexis got to experience firsthand some of the fascinating and innovative things we do at Boston Valley Terra Cotta with an extensive tour of our facility.

Peter Webb, Alexis Harrison, ARUP Group Limited, London, England, UK, visit Buffalo, NY, Guaranty Building, boston valley terra cotta

Alexis Harrison (left) and Peter Webb (right) in front of the Guaranty Building, Buffalo, NY

This visit was a great opportunity to connect with skilled individuals from ARUP, sharing thoughts and being able to show them what Buffalo and Boston Valley Terra Cotta has to offer. We look forward to keeping in touch with Alexis and Peter and following their research and investigation in ceramics and terra cotta.

#ConsiderTerracotta and plan a visit to Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

Innovative Terra Cotta Facade: Ringling Museum’s Asian Art Study Center

July 10, 2014 in Parametric Design, Ringling Museum by Boston Valley

The John and Mable Ringling Museum, located in Sarasota, Florida, will soon feature a new Asian Art Study Center with a completely digitally imagined and designed terra cotta facade.

Horizontal Track Example, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

Mock-up of the rain screen system that will adorn the new Ringling Museum Asian Art Study Center.

Fabrication of the terra cotta units began at Boston Valley Terra Cotta after a review and development period in collaboration with architect Machado and Silvetti Associates.

The three primary shapes of terra cotta blocks that make up the main field will be hydraulically ram-pressed. The corner conditions are more custom and thus will be a combination of hand-pressed and slip-cast units.

ram-press die, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

Upper ram-press die, block (green) and lower ram-press die

The process involved a digital realization of the form using 3-D software and was prototyped using the 5-axis mill here at Boston Valley. The team is finishing up milling the models and will then create molds for all three manufacturing types on this project.

Horizontal Track Example, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

The ram-press models take shape on the 5-Axis router.

Check back on our blog for more photos & details on the Ringling Museum’s Asian Art Study Center and it’s innovative terra cotta facadecas it progresses through our plant @ Boston Valley.

Boston Valley Attends AIA Chicago 2014

July 7, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta by Boston Valley

Boston valley terra cotta, 2014 AIA convention, chicago, Il, Bill Pottle, Tricia Herby

Bill and Tricia outside McCormick Place, site of the AIA Convention.

National Sales Manager Bill Pottle  and Sales Administrator Tricia Herby ventured to Chicago for the 2014 AIA Convention. There, among more than 700 other manufacturers and suppliers, Boston Valley Terra Cotta seemed right at home in this terra cotta city.

Boston Valley is currently working on several restoration projects including 7 West Madison and 162 North State. Recently completed are 2300 Lake Shore Drive and the Wells Street Bridge. And of course, one must not forget the work done on such prestigious buildings as the Rookery, the Reliance and the Marquette buildings which have become jewels of our portfolio.

Boston valley terra cotta, 2014 AIA convention, chicago, Il, Bill Pottle, barry meyer, arcspec

Bill catches up with Barry Meyer of Arcspec, Boston Valley’s sales representative company covering Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta Shines on NYC Luxury Project

July 1, 2014 in Boston Valley Terra Cotta, NYC Townhouse, TerraClad by Boston Valley

“Bond Street in lower Manhattan’s has turned into a short “starchitect” row and Boston Valley Terra Cotta is playing a key role in the street’s latest project.  The Orchard Park-based firm is designing and constructing the terra cotta panels that will grace the façade of architect Annabelle Selldorf’s 10 Bond Steet, a seven-story, 11-unit infill project.  The building’s façade treatment takes center stage in the project’s sales office.”

Read the full article from Buffalo Rising (Posted by WCPerspective).

Bond Street, Lower Manhattan, NYC, New York City, Boston Valley, Terra Cotta

Image courtesy of www.BuffaloRising.com

Read more about this project & see the complete process on our blog.

Custom Glaze Colors on NYC Townhouse’s Green Wall

June 24, 2014 in NYC Townhouse by Boston Valley

Boston Valley’s production team has completed the prototype “Green Wall” planter unit for the NYC Townhouse project  by Michael Chen Architecture. The glazed and fired unit provides the first look at a finished piece of this wall that has been reviewed and modified in our ARCH Design Lab for several months.

 NYC Townhouse, Michael Chen Architecture, Boton Valley Terra Cotta, custom Glaze Colors

Finished prototype “Green Wall” planter.

The finish is a three-part glaze that consists of a grey base coat and two pulsed coats – one matte black and one with a bronze/gunmetal finish.

Boston Valley’s National Sales Manager Bill Pottle had this to say about the project, “This is such a unique concept. To see the finished unit and hold it in your hand after so many months of development is truly gratifying.”

 NYC Townhouse, Michael Chen Architecture, Boton Valley Terra Cotta, custom Glaze Colors

The proposed Green Wall (courtesy of Michael Chen Architecture).

 NYC Townhouse, Michael Chen Architecture, Boton Valley Terra Cotta, custom Glaze Colors

A finished planter mounted to Boston Valley’s TerraClad track and clip on our shop floor.

Follow along with this project & see the complete process on our blog.