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Form and Dichroic Light
Form and Dichroic Light

Form and Dichroic Light

Scott Hall at Carnegie Mellon University


98 Pages, 8 x 10

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $28.95 (US $28.95) (CA $38.95)

Publication Date: April 2018

ISBN 9780918172709

Rights: WOR

Leete's Island Books (Apr 2018)

Price: $28.95


The story of innovation, creative problem solving, and sustainable design behind the recently completed Scott Hall at Carnegie Mellon University

With their groundbreaking building design for Scott Hall—a recently completed Nano-Bio-Energy Technologies Building at Carnegie Mellon University—architects Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell show how their studio’s outside-the-box thinking and imaginative problem solving yielded an innovative design vision for this prestigious project. By weaving together architecture, contemporary fabrication technology, and an ingenious campus planning approach, they reveal how they won an invited national design competition with a design reverent to its designated place. With numerous illustrated examples, the authors share their studio’s creative process and demonstrate how they reimagined the prescribed planning strategy for Scott Hall to produce a unique, energy efficient design for the building, its complex site, and its demanding research program.


"Lafoe and Campbell, co-founders of OFFICE 52, unfold the conscientious and creative response of architectural research as a meticulous yet open ended process. They share their studio work to show design as it responds intimately to site constraints through creative iterative solutions and then reveals detail conceptual material strategies for expressing the marvels of nano-bio-energy in a new technology center for Carnegie Mellon University.

In addition to the skillful separation of programmatic areas into non-obtrusive, but activated edges of the site, the plan offers spacious color and texture-filled gathering and circulation areas in large airy volumes that invite but do not dominate the historical views. Upon approach the ceramic frit patterns shift in in scale while the dichroic glass changes in color as the sun moves throughout the day.

The mind of the architect is revealed in clearly explained scales of practices from nano to macro and ideation to constructed detail. Form and Dichroic Light is an informative and wonderful read about the adventures and challenges inherent in the practice of architecture for the architect, architectural client, and architect enthusiast!" —Linda Keane, AIA, NCARB, Professor of Architecture and Design, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Author Biography

 Michelle LaFoe, AIA, is a licensed architect and accomplished artist, who has designed award-winning higher education, museum, and architectural installation projects. Professional accolades include a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Isaac Campbell, AIA, has planned, programmed and designed highly sustainable environments and award-winning buildings for educational institutions, corporate, and private clients in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years. His design work has been recognized with awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the Society for College and University Planning. Major projects include the Chubu Teiju Cultural Center and Museum in Kurayoshi, Japan and the New York Times Headquarters Competition in New York City.