May 6, 2020

The Modernist Houses of Jack Bialosky, Sr.

We are delighted to share an expanded, detailed article by Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Steve Litt on our late founder’s early midcentury residences. Jack Bialosky, Sr.’s residences stand with “an earth-hugging humility, a serene clarity and a sense of restrained, quiet confidence.” Many of these residences were subsequently renovated by the firm over the years, even in a change of homeowners, to preserve their architectural character. The article shares insights from diverse generations of homeowners and what Jack, Sr.’s homes meant to them. 

In anticipation of the article, we created a simple map that curates his mid-century modern homes in Shaker Heights, OH. We are overjoyed to learn that since this map was published by cleveland.com, people have used it for walking tours and windshield tours. We share it again here for those looking for an uplifting outdoor architectural adventure.

Read the full article: "Appreciating the modernist houses of architect Jack Bialosky Sr.: space, light, and the quiet modesty of suburban Jewish assimilation" on cleveland.com.

DRIVING TOUR ROUTES

See directions for Shaker Heights Driving Tour Part 1
See directions for Shaker Heights Driving Tour Part 2

*Residential Image by The Young Team

View the May Issue of our newsletter here:
https://mailchi.mp/bialosky/the-modernist-houses-of-jack-bialosky-sr

April 1, 2019

Graffiti: How a Vibrant Facade Came to Bring a Sense of Place

Constraints often create the best opportunities for design. When the owners of Graffiti and Legend asked us to re-design their Midtown storefront, the constraints were fairly evident. Some were typical, like budget and constructability, while others were more unique, like providing daylight to a retail store that requires a high level of security. Ultimately, these constraints drove the design and allowed us to create a unique storefront that brings a vibrant flash to the Midtown neighborhood while remaining true to the identity of its owners.

An Opportunity for Design

Existing Physical Conditions

The façade consisted of original brick masonry partially covered over as part of a renovation made up of tile and fiber-reinforced panels done in the 1980s. These renovated materials would be difficult to remove without potentially destroying the underlying brickwork, so we made the decision to simply leave them in place and paint all existing materials a single color to help unite them. We then covered them further with a perforated metal panel supported by an aluminum frame. The form is thus directly influenced by the existing constraints.

In Process South Elevation

Property Lines

The storefront sits directly adjacent to the city-owned sidewalk, meaning the aluminum support frame for the metal panel cannot engage the ground since it would cause potential issues for sidewalk replacement and plowing. Because of the existing facade materials, the frame had to be light enough to carry the new additional weight. The solution was to create smaller individual frames that could be installed independently and tied together laterally. The majority of these frames ended up being four feet wide, which precisely matched the dimensions of the perforated metal panels, meaning less material had to be wasted which is always a bonus.

Frame Attachment Detail:  A. Overview  B. Frame to Existing Wall  C. Frame to Frame

Security

Prior to our design, motorized grilles covered all of the windows and were rarely opened up during the day, meaning minimal daylight was reaching the offices and showroom. The perforated panels offer a unique solution as they cover the windows completely, allowing the security grilles can remain open at all times, while the perforations are sized in a way that permits ample daylight to fill the interior. Tamper-proof screws add an additional level of security, ensuring the panels can’t be removed without specialized tools.

Visual Interest

Physical conditions, property lines, and security concerns are contributing factors to the design process, but the aesthetic of the finished product must still stand out and support the vibrant brands. After all, the name of the business is Graffiti!

 

In Process South Elevation with Metal Frame Detail

The concept was to integrate a city-themed graphic that would evoke the very heart of the business’s ethos: provide great product and service, right here in Cleveland.

We considered several options for painting or coating the metal panels. Printing directly onto the metal was an early idea, but the process proved too difficult as the perforations and size of the panels would make it hard to achieve a clean finished product that can withstand weather and time. We ultimately decided it would be interesting to treat the perforations as pixels and layer something colorful and vibrant behind the metal panel. We printed a graphic onto a vinyl material that was then wrapped over a thin aluminum composite panel. Prior to being wrapped, the aluminum panel was CNC routed to match the shape of our choice, the Cleveland skyline. These colorful panels were then “sandwiched” between the perforated metal panels and the aluminum frame, holding them in place. This method ensures longevity compared to printing directly onto the perforated metal panel while the layering provides further protection from UV light.

 

A Vibrant Solution

The solution to our constraints ended up providing more than we could have hoped for, as it allows the appearance of the façade to change as light hits the surface. At times, the grittiness of the metal panel stands out, while at others the graphic shines brighter.

Small projects can be challenging to find design inspiration, but by listening to the client’s needs, and understanding the design constraints, we realized that simple solutions have a huge impact.

For more information about the project, visit the project page.

February 23, 2018

Volunteering With Coworkers Brings Benefits Back to the Workplace

Curious how sharing your donated time with coworkers can impact your community, workplace, and overall wellbeing? Jen Brennan tackles this topic in her article for Crain's Cleveland Business magazine.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20180223/blogs05/152901/volunteering-coworkers-brings-benefits-back-workplace

August 8, 2017

Bialosky Plays Hard at AIA Cleveland Beach Day

Last Saturday, we hit Edgewater Beach for AIA Cleveland Beach Day, the annual field day for northeast Ohio architecture and engineering firms to compete in the sand, while raising scholarship funds for the ACE Mentorship program. The beach was filled with people all day: watching the festivities of sandcastle building and beach volleyball tournament, eating at food trucks, or enjoying the new Edgewater Beach House.  It's no surprise that our sandcastle team chose to build the Beach House (which we are thankful stayed standing for the parade of castles!) Other favorite sand sculptures included AECOM's "May The Forest Be With You" and RDL's salute to the Cleveland Zoo, all celebrating the Metroparks' centennial.

Our volleyball team had the best threads on the field, unified in wearing their Bialosky Sports tees in that unmistakable blue. They eliminated a few teams on their way deep into the tournament, before finally losing a close one to a DS Architecture team.

You can see more photos of the day in Steve Litt's article for Cleveland.com here

Final Sandcastle Competition Results:

First Place: AECOM (Third consecutive title)

Second Place: GPD Group

Third Place:  RDL Architects

People's Choice | Public Vote:  RDL Architects

Final Volleyball Competition Results:

First Place:  Perspectus | Robert Maschke Architects | Free Agents (Third consecutive title)

Second Place: Whiting-Turner Construction

Third Place:  Dealer Tire

July 6, 2017

Bialosky + Rust Belt Riders

A proud partner of Rust Belt Riders composting since 2017, we wanted to share how far we have come since then. We have diverted over 3,700 pounds of food waste from landfills and kept 3,270 pounds of harmful greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere.

This year, Bialosky Cleveland took a leap towards a more environmentally-friendly office, by separating our food waste from our landfill trash. Sustainability is an important principle at Bialosky Cleveland and we strive to act more green-minded. We focus on sustainability in our work, as many of our employees have LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications and our firm takes on many LEED projects. By adding an environmental initiative to our everyday lives, we remember the purpose behind the sustainable principles we apply to our projects.

Since mid-February, Bialosky Cleveland collected over 528 pounds of food waste. This is equivalent to keeping 464 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere. When food waste goes into a landfill, it cannot break down properly and it produces large amounts of the harmful greenhouse gas, methane. By separating our organic food waste and allowing it to decompose naturally, we prevent methane from being created and keep the air a bit cleaner.

Our food waste is picked up every Friday afternoon by a Cleveland composting company called Rust Belt Riders and is transported to various local community gardens, where it is used as organic fertilizer.

 

Rust Belt Garden in downtown Cleveland, OH.

I recently toured Rust Belt Garden in downtown Cleveland with Michael Robinson, CFO of Rust Belt Riders. At this location, people in the neighborhood take care of the garden and receive fresh fruit and vegetables grown with compost in return.

Plants were grown with compost in Cleveland, OH.

The employees at Rust Belt Riders are knowledgeable about the biology and business of compost and they ensure Bialosky’s food waste is re-used in ways that best serve the community and environment. The company also services other well-known Cleveland businesses, such as University Hospitals, Spice Kitchen, and City Club of Cleveland.

Rust Belt Riders are creating compost with food waste.

We recently added an architectural touch to our composting bin – a wooden cover cut with our in-office laser cutter out of reclaimed wood. A few Bialosky architects and designers collaborated on the design and creation of the cover.

Compost cover made by Bialosky designers.

Composting our food waste keeps sustainability on the minds of Bialosky employees and reminds us to be more environmentally conscious in our professional and personal lives.