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Editor's Choice Law May Render Architects Unnecessary in Spain
Rock Ventures LLC and Bedrock Real Estate Services has announced the winners of Opportunity Detroit’s international design competition which solicited ideas for a potential signature project on the former Hudson’s Department Store site in downtown Detroit. The three winning design ideas came from Rome, Italy; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Southfield, Michigan. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.
Canterbury Cathedral is delighted to announce a design competition to find an outstanding team to revitalise the landscape immediately in front of the main Cathedral entrance. The competition is an opportunity for designers to reconsider the way visitors first encounter England’s leading…
Amid fears that an initial proposal for a DePaul University stadium wouldn’t adequately fit in its residential context, The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) seeks architects without experience in sports design to propose alternative designs. The MPEA hopes to draw top architects to the project, who, with their fresh-eyed approach, will then collaborate with specialized stadium designers later in the process. A similar approach to solicit proposals for a revamp of Navy Pier was used in 2011.
In a recent interview, Spiegel speaks candidly with three architects who have one thing in common: projects in Germany plagued by severe delays and spiralling costs. Christoph Ingenhoven is head of Ingenhoven Architects, designers of train station Stuttgart 21. Meinhard von Gerkan of Gerkan, Marg and Partners is responsible for the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, and finally Pierre de Meuron represents Herzog & de Meuron, designers of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
These projects are well known in Germany as much for their designs as for their construction costs, and Spiegel is not shy about getting to the bottom of these controversies. Of course, the architects themselves have their own ideas about the bad press (namely that they’re being unjustly blamed). Meinhard von Gerkan, for example, says:
“It’s a big mistake to voluntarily serve as a figurehead, because then everyone knows whom to target. We are these figureheads, not the clients and not the construction companies. And we are liable for everything.”
More of these gems from the architects, after the break….
The Chinese government is pushing forward with a plan that will move 250 million Chinese people from rural communities into newly constructed towns and cities over the next 12 years. The government has been bulldozing ancient villages, temples and open-air theaters as well as paving over farmland to make way for mega-cities that will raise the number of city-dwellers in China to nearly the total urban population of the US.
To find out how and why this is happening, keep reading.
Following the first negative downturn in ten months (what AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Phd, is hoping was just a “blip“), May’s Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has bounced back from a score of 48.6 to 52.9. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings (aka an expansion in demand for architects’ services).
Baker notes that “there is [still] a resounding sense of uncertainty in the marketplace from clients to investors and an overall lack of confidence in the general economy – that is continuing to act as a governor on the business development engine for architecture firms.” However, the scores, which revealed the most growth in the Northeast as well as in the multi-family residential and institutional sectors, are good signs for the design and construction industries.
More results of this month’s ABI, after the break…
Existing urban guidelines call for a gateway to the new Hagastaden area of Stockholm, and OMA’s proposal accommodates a mixed-use program with a set of “rough-skinned” towers. The protrusions and inversions at different heights produce an alternating pattern of indoor living spaces and protruding outdoor spaces. OMA explains that their design “challenges the expected uniformity and homogenous façade treatment that is often assigned to tower structures. Instead, it extends the skin to expose the individuality of the separate living units in the two blocks – a true vertical, urban agglomeration.”
More on OMA’s winning proposal after the break…
Featuring fantastic quotes from SHoP Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Tod Williams Billie Tsien, & WORKac, Justin Davidson’s latest in New York Magazine gets behind the scenes of the working architectural relationship, in all its “beauty & complexity.” According to Davidson, these husband-wife teams are serving to upset ”two enduring fallacies: that men build as women help, and that the noblest kind of architect is a Napoleon of the blueprint, dispatching orders for others to carry out.”
Floating Barn is a lakeside residence designed for long Latvian summers. The two-story house features living spaces, a bathroom and a small deck on the first floor, and a sleeping area is located on the second floor. By using one material for both walls and roofs, a homogenous look is achieved. The pontoon base of the house features storage tanks for clean water, filtered graywater and fuel.
In recent years, high profile news outlets like The New York Times and CNN have featured architects’ struggles by citing the dire unemployment statistic of 13.9% for recent graduates, the highest of any college major. Many architecture firms are still reluctant to hire new full-time members to their team, and all too often students and recent graduates remain without work. Since approximately 40% of architecture graduates pursue work outside of the architectural profession, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) currently reports 26,850 students enrolled in accredited architecture programs, we can assume that over the following years 10,000 students trained as architects will forge their own path in a variety of other occupations.
One of the most creative, high profile fields that can offer an architect a wide range of positions is the film industry. And, in fact, those with architectural backgrounds have been making the transition into the filmmaking industry for decades. Our timeline showcases a sample of those with an architectural education who have enjoyed enormous success in the filmmaking industry over the last 80 years as actors, set designers, or directors.
You can read more about their stories (including how Jimmy Stewart went from architecture to acting), after the break…
Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture PC‘s Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC) breaks ground today on the edge of Taipei, Taiwan. Challenging the limitations of traditional performance space, the center will consist of several mixed-use spaces woven together into a dynamic, multi-purpose venue that reflects and supports the evolving culture of pop music. Three monumental elements—the Main Hall, Hall of Fame, and Industry Shell—symbolize the principal uses and attractions of the complex, making it a powerful representation of Taiwan’s pop music industry worldwide.
More on the new Taipei Pop Music Center after the break…