This issue, Precast Solutions hears from Joseph Biondo, FAIA, a design principal with Spillman Farmer Architects, based in Bethlehem, Pa.
What is your background and area of focus?
Spillman Farmer Architects is an interdisciplinary practice of design professionals focused on the delivery of innovative building solutions based on human-centered design. Since 1927, we have been working closely with people and communities to deliver high-quality, effective, and inspiring places to live, work, play and learn. Our design process empowers people to make responsible, thought-provoking and inspiring decisions related to the built environment. Through this process, we explore each project’s unique opportunities for honest, expressive solutions specifically suited to a building’s site and use.
What type of projects does your company focus on?
Our office participates in a broad spectrum of building types – nearly every building type you would find in a neighborhood, campus or city. We are the consummate generalists of architecture, planning and design. That broad base of experience enables us to have an intrinsic quality of thinking and problem solving that transcends new trends in design.
What are some interesting projects on which you specified precast concrete?
We have many interesting precast projects which include cultural arts, civic, office and distribution centers. The most notable are the ArtsQuest Center and the City of Easton’s City Hall and Transportation Center. Beyond aesthetics, both buildings utilize precast panels in a hybrid structure. The system provides both gravity-load-bearing and horizontal bracing for the structural steel frame. Varying surface textures add to the unique qualities of the buildings.
What benefits do you see in using precast concrete?
Precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled environment, which enables exceptional quality control and construction scheduling.
How have you seen precast concrete products evolve?
Although concrete and precast concrete have been familiar systems with long standing histories, we continue to be curious about them and their methods of assembly. We continue to push the boundaries of the precast systems; their forms, structural capabilities and textures. Our priority is to develop an architecture that is rational, leveraging a distinct, precise and honest building vocabulary that shows clear evidence of how and why it was made.
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