Steve Jobs Presents to Cupertino City Council

Posted in Architecture, Business, Community, Construction, Design, International by htdstudio on June 9, 2011

Architizer App for iPad, iPad2

Our good friends at have released their new iPad app.  Enjoy.

Squatters on the Skyline

Posted in Architecture, Business, Community, Finance, International by htdstudio on March 1, 2011

Photo: Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

The “Tower of David,” a 45-story uncompleted skyscraper located in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, is one of Latin America’s tallest skyscrapers. It is also home to more than 2,500 squatters.


Published: February 28, 2011


Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff @ TEDx Houston

Posted in Architecture, Business, Community, Construction, Design, Education, Finance, International by htdstudio on February 8, 2011

Dan Phillips, co-founder of Phoenix Commotion gave a great presentation at TEDx Houston last fall. The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes unique. The Phoenix Commotion targets single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. They require that the homeowner be involved with the planning and construction of their own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the useful knowledge and building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.

Fantastic Chrysler Ad “Imported from Detroit”

Posted in Automotive, Business, Community, Construction, Design by htdstudio on February 7, 2011

Chrysler seems to have tapped into to the energy and determination coursing the streets of Detroit.  This is a good start for the company ‘s way back, and the rest of the country should take something from it.

2011 North American International Auto Show, Detroit, USA…and Beyond

Posted in Architecture, Business, Community, Construction, Design, Education, International, Media by htdstudio on January 15, 2011

As a longtime fan of cars, machines and all things mechanical, I’m back in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. Not only to witness the imminent resurgence of the US auto market, but to return to a city that blew me away on my first visit in late 2010. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many extraordinary people here, many of them innovators and/or pioneers. For now, I will continue to exchange ideas, continue unfinished conversations, assist friends and colleagues, and feed off the energy I take away as we kick off 2011. Entrepreneurs, farmers, artists, industry professionals remain hopeful and positive that Detroit’s rebirth efforts are both sustainable and REAL.  Detroit, like dozens of ‘post-industrial’ cities around the US is fertile with potential in creating new markets, industries, collaborations and yes jobs, but one has to be positive, diligent and creative.  The bittersweet mix of the future and futility swirls like the cold Detroit winter wind itself.

All Images ©2011 HTDSTUDIO

Mercedes-Benz Business Center + Intercontinental Hotel Competition, Yerevan, Armenia

Posted in Architecture, Business, Competitions, Construction, Design by htdstudio on February 2, 2010


The Mercedes-Benz Business Center and Intercontinental Hotel stands alone as a singular business destination in the Northern Middle East region.  Situated atop a promontory overlooking the Old City via the axis of Terian Street,  the Mercedes-Benz Business Center and Intercontinental Hotel will be a beacon of progress, sustainability and excellence that is customarily associated with both global brands.  The approach is to create a ‘Living’ program where each component  maximizes the following:

  • All exposures to city ‘walls’ or old vs. new city
  • Site access and traffic flow, both vehicular and pedestrian
  • Dramatic/Strategic views of the City of Yerevan & Mt. Ararat
  • Discreet Separation vs. Consolidation of spaces
  • Minimal site disturbance by main building
  • Sub-grade parking coupled with a green park and public gardens
  • Re-use of at-grade wall-base  of old Yerevan Youth Center as Museum
  • Superstructure.

    The Superstructure was created for both enhanced integrity and seismic absorption. Constructed of steel (100% of which is now recycled)  the four main pylons are tied together with trussed ‘bridge’ volumes at floor levels 2,3,8,9,16 and 17.  A minimum of site area was disturbed to anchor the structure.  Designed with sub-grade pedestrian only access for enhanced building security.

    Lower program volumes such as Fitness/Spa/Restaurant are suspended from main fitness/spa volume; they are meant to ‘hang’ from the building to anticipate and counteract seismic activity and oscillation.  Grand Ballroom and Conference halls are suspended from the larger building for clearly denoted typology as well as increased speed of construction.  These volumes are constructed (and chemically isolated) of Aluminum construction for increased rigidity and weight savings of up to 30%.


    The creation of a steel ‘monocoque’ was necessary as the basis for the tower portion of the complex to facilitate staggering of floor units while maintaining integrity.  Each floor unit is composed of an inner box-truss system around the core opening and main suite walls are made up of a steel shear-wall truss system that extends from the center. The Tower core super-structures penetrate floor plates at appropriate locations according to layout.

    Reduced Footprint.

    A smaller footprint adds value to a development project as there is reduced schedule in site prep.  This is a similar approach to how an oil rig would be constructed.  Where the main pylon is built and key program components can be assembled and lifted into place.  Construction scheduling may be maximized as the building can be simultaneously assembled from above (jump crane) and below (assembly lift).

    Floorplate Configurations.

    With the Quad-Core Superstructure, the Client is free to design hotel floorplates as desired according to budget, anticipated occupancies, future expansion and so on.  Each floorplate acts as a brace both vertically and horizontally throughout the building.  Steel slab construction is also cross-braced to lock the structure in place.  Views, green space, suite configurations dictate staggered program elements.

    The New Apple iPad Could Revolutionize the Way Architects, Designers and Creatives Gather Data, Generate Work

    Posted in Business, Design by htdstudio on January 27, 2010

    The iPad from Apple could change the way we do business, from networking to presentations; to field surveys to modeling and production.  The new device lends itself to the often sought-after seamless approach to out-of-office efficiency.

    The  standard for web browsers (Safari)

    The large Multi-Touch screen on iPad lets you see web pages as they were meant to be seen — one whole page at a time. With vibrant color and sharp text. So whether you’re looking at a page in portrait or landscape, you can see everything at a size that’s actually readable. And with iPad, navigating through the web has never been easier, or more intuitive. Because you use the most natural pointing device there is: your finger. You can scroll through a page just by flicking your finger up or down on the screen. Or pinch to zoom in or out on a photo. There’s also a thumbnail view that shows all your open pages in a grid, to let you quickly move from one page to the next.

    A powerful alternative to Outlook (Mail)

    See and touch your email in ways you never could before. In landscape, you get a split-screen view, showing both an opened email and the messages in your Inbox. To see the opened email by itself, you just turn iPad to portrait, and the email automatically rotates and fills the screen. No matter which orientation you use, you can scroll through your mail, compose a new email using the large, on-screen keyboard, or delete messages, with nothing more than a tap and a flick. If someone emails you a photo, you can see it right in the message. You can also save the photos in an email directly to the built-in Photos app. And iPad will work with all the popular email providers, including MobileMe, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL.

    On-the-fly photo import/export in the field (Photos)

    With its crisp, vibrant display, and its unique software features, iPad is an extraordinary way to enjoy and share your photos. For example, the new Photos app displays the photos in an album as though they were in a stack. Just tap or pinch to open the stack, and the whole album opens up. Then you can flip through your pictures, zoom in or out, or watch a slideshow. You can even use your iPad as a beautiful digital photo frame while your iPad is docked or charging. And there are lots of ways to import photos: you can sync them from your computer, download them from an email, or import them directly from your camera using the Apple Camera Connection Kit.

    Creation of project footage, walkthrus (Video)

    The large, high-resolution screen makes iPad perfect for watching any kind of video: from HD movies and TV shows, to podcasts and music videos. You can also easily move between wide-screen and full-screen with a double-tap. And because it’s essentially one big screen, with no buttons or anything to distract you, the picture fills your line of sight. So you feel completely immersed in what you’re watching.

    Seamless Content Deployment (YouTube)

    The YouTube app organizes videos so they’re really easy to see and navigate. To watch one, you just tap it. When you’re watching in landscape, the video will automatically play in full screen. And with its high-resolution display, the latest YouTube HD videos will look amazing on iPad.

    Multimedia Management (iPod)

    With the iPod app, all your music is literally at your fingertips. You can browse by album, song, artist, or genre, with a simple flick. To play a song, just tap it, and the now playing screen will show the album art at full size. Then you can listen to your music with either the powerful built-in speaker, or with wired or Bluetooth wireless headphones.

    Podcasts (Tunes)

    Just tap on the iTunes Store icon, and you can browse and buy music, TV shows, podcasts — or buy and rent movies — wirelessly, right from your iPad. There are thousands of movies and TV shows (in both standard and high definition), along with thousands of podcasts, and millions of songs to choose from. You can even preview songs before you buy them. And you can sync iPad with the content you already have in your iTunes library on your Mac or PC.

    Office Base Independence (App Store)

    iPad will run almost 140,000 apps from the App Store. Everything from games to business apps, and more. And new apps that have been designed just for iPad are highlighted, so you can easily find the ones that take full advantage of its features. Just tap the App Store icon on the screen and you’ll be able to browse, buy, and download apps wirelessly, right to the iPad.


    The iBooks app is a great, new way to read and buy books.1Just download the app for free from the App Store, and you’ll be able to buy everything from classics to bestsellers from the built-in iBookstore. Once you’ve bought a book, it’s displayed on your Bookshelf. To read it, all you have to do is tap on it and it opens up. The high-resolution, LED-backlit screen displays everything in sharp, rich, color, so it’s very easy to read, even in low light.

    Site/Location Data Coordination (Maps)

    See more of the world with high-resolution Satellite and Street View images. You can even see topography with the new Terrain view. You can also search for a nearby business type (for example, “Restaurant”) and then tap on that business to see the route and directions from your current location.

    Meetings/Ideas (Notes)

    With its expansive display and large, on-screen keyboard, iPad makes jotting down notes easy. In landscape mode, you get not only a note-taking page but a list of all your notes. It even circles the current note in red. So you can see where you are at a glance.

    Scheduling/Client Management (Calendar)

    iPad makes it easy to keep on schedule by displaying Day, Week, Month or List views of your calendar. That way, you can see an overview of a whole month, or the details of a single day. iPad will even show multiple calendars at once, so you can manage work and family calendars at the same time.

    Networking / Communication (Contacts)

    The Contacts app on iPad makes finding names, numbers and other important information quicker and easier than ever before. A new view lets you see both your complete contact list, and a single contact, simultaneously. Need directions? Just tap on an address inside a contact and it’ll open Maps.

    Familiar User Interface (Home Screen)

    The Home Screen gives you one-tap access to everything on iPad. You can also customize your Home Screen by adding your favorite apps and websites, or using your own photos for the background. And you can move apps around to arrange them in any order you want.

    Intuitive Search (Spotlight)

    Spotlight Search allows you to search across iPad, and all of its built-in apps. Including Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iPod, and Notes. It’ll even search apps you’ve downloaded from the App Store. So no matter what you’re looking for, it’s never more than a few taps away.

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