We continue our coverage of the Architecture Billings Index with a not-so optimistic report for May. The economic indicator showed a substantial drop in the Index (which had previously been inching upward over the past five months). In fact, all regions reported a decline in demand for design services and all regions fell below 50 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The official report for May was 45.8, with the regional breakdown as follows: Northeast (48.6), West (47.6), Midwest (46.8), South (46.1). “For the second year in a row, we’re seeing declines in springtime design activity after a healthy first quarter. Given the ongoing uncertainly in the economic outlook, particularly the weak job growth numbers in recent months, this should be an alarm bell going off for the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The commercial/industrial sector is the only one recording gains in design activity at present, and even this sector has slowed significantly. Construction forecasters will have to reassess what conditions will look like moving forward.”
We will keep you updated and hope for some different news for June.
Location: Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup, DK
Area: Approximately 30.000 m2 modernization and extension
Program: Center for Natural Science and Technology
Competition Year: 2011
Completion Year: 2015
After placing first in the design competition to transform an old mineral water bottling plant into a Science Center, CEBRA will move forward with the adapted proposal upon receipt of a substantial donation from the The A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation. The original building will be restored to serve as an interactive national center for science, technology and culture and house the Experimentarium’s diverse exhibition and education activities for the neighboring communities. CEBRA’s solution of layering a new expression on the historic entity brings science to the forefront while acknowledging contextual cues that create links back to its surroundings.
More about the project after the break.
Via Verde, Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects‘ sustainable housing development for the South Bronx, is officially open. At the ribbon cutting ceremony in front of 700 Brook Avenue and East 156th Street, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, along with the leaders of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, largely praised the team’s commitment to revitalize a once blighted South Bronx neighborhood. ”No one would have predicted that today there would one day be one of the most innovative, exciting, environmentally sustainable affordable housing developments in the nation – if not the world. The change that has swept through the South Bronx in the last decade challenges the very notions of what is and isn’t possible in urban revival. And investment in high-quality affordable housing – made possible by partnerships like the one behind Via Verde – has been the catalyst,” explained the Mayor. Located on a formerly contaminated industrial site, the eco-friendly housing development will provide hundreds with a healthy haven to enjoy fresh air and sunlight, natural food production, and outdoor play.
More about Via Verde’s opening after the break.
Landscape Architect: !Melk Landscape Architecture
Location: Qingdao, China
Client: Office of 2014 Qingdao World Horticultural Expo Executive Committee
Building site: 35.000m2
Program: Main Expo Pavilion with integrated Landscape Design
Status: Awarded Competition
For the International Horticultural Expo 2011 in Xi’an, we followed the design, construction and completion of Plasma Studio’s geometric design that extended from the grounds into the water. Currently, Qingdao, a major city in the Shandong province of Eastern China, is preparing for the 2014 Expo under the thematic notion “Let life walk into nature.” The event, which will be held from April through October, will feature three different pavilions (a theme pavilion, plant pavilion and garden culture center) and seven different themed areas that will display local horticulture and allow visitors to experience international gardens, such as displays from Europe, America and Oceania. The focal point of the Expo will be marked by a 28,000 m2 thematic pavilion designed by UNStudio and !Melk Landscape Architecture. The design focuses on the relationship between Science and Nature, using scientific achievement as a source of inspiration to “communicate the essential generative and structural principles of nature through architectural gesture,” explained the firm.
More about the pavilion after the break.
Tomorrow, June 16th, marks the official opening of Reiulf Ramstad Architects‘ National Tourist Route project. Back in 2004, the Norwegian firm placed first in an invited competition to design a viewing platform extending from the Trollstigen mountain plateau and an information center. After eight years spent designing and constructing the vision, an official opening will be hosted by Norway’s Transport and Communications Minister Magnhild Meltveit on the plateau. The national celebration also marks the 75th anniversary of the famous Trollstigvegen (the mountain was renamed as a marketing strategy years ago when tourism activity levels were rising). RRA’s Trollstigen project is just one stop along miles of the Norwegian natural landscape that will promote tourism by bringing people in closer contact with the country’s beautiful backdrop. The route, which runs between Geiranger and Trollstigen, provides rare driving experiences as people pass high mountains and deep fjords, with narrow ledges and small shorelines. By developing this stretch, more will be able to enjoy such an experience.
Please view our previous coverage for more on the project which was voted ArchDaily’s Building of the Year for public facilities in 2009.
Architects: JDS; Partners in Charge Henning Stüben, Julien De Smedt
Location: Gangnam Bogeumjari District in Seoul, South Korea
Collaborators: Junglim Architects
Area: 38,000 m2
Budget: 33 million euros
Project Leader: Heechan Park
Team: Byeongmoo Moo, Francisco Villeda, Amanda Ripoll, Chris Zhongtian Yuan, Marvin Philipp, Mathilde Claus
Construction: Autumn 2012
JDS has been commissioned to design a hybrid office and hotel, the Officetel Building, for the new development area of Gangnam Bogeumjari District in Seoul, South Korea. The interesting mixed program, which includes retail, amenities and 700 compact living spaces, has resulted in a textured facade that responds to contextual issues such as sight lines and expose to natural light.
More about the project after the break.
While all eyes may be locked on the Shard’s latest push toward the sky, Renzo Piano is preparing for his first major Spanish project to officially break ground in about one week in Santander. The Botín Foundation, the largest private foundation in Spain, will invest over 150 million USD for the construction and programming of a new Botín Center that will become an international reference in culture and education for the development of creativity through art. The building will inform a new cultural axis to connect the best art circuits in Europe and will serve as a cultural catalyst to bridge the community with art. Emilio Botín, President of the Botín Foundation, is confident the Center will establish a new community space and link the city with the bay. ”To accomplish it, we have called on the best architect in the world. The architect, who best knows how to link cities to the sea, to build urban spaces, and to generate magical places where art may be enjoyed,” explained Botín.
More about the project after the break.
Our friends from Visiondivision have envisioned a creative solution to respond to Stockholm’s lack of housing. While the city is growing rapidly, the pace of new construction for residences is quickly falling behind demand. Due to this lack of housing, the core of Stockholm has grown to be defined by expensive apartments, while the outer edges for those who can’t afford such prices. For Stockholm Stacked, Visiondivision responds to this segregated city by proposing a change in planning regulations to eliminate height restrictions on courtyard typologies, so as to utilize the urban spaces for efficiently and effectively. After all, “Who wants to move to a city where it is impossible to get an apartment? Which companies wants to invest in a city where their employees may have a hard time to find a place to stay? Which exchange students wants to study in a city where all the free time available will go to find a small flat with a decent rent?” asks the firm.
More about the project after the break.
Our friends from CEBRA will team with Tækker and Grassat to design the Prinsesse Charlottes Gade 42 day care and after-school center in Copenhagen. The project will convert two existing preservation-worthy buildings from 1875 into a day care center complete with outdoor areas for approximately 225 children. CEBRA has a strong portfolio of educational design - some of our favorites include the Youth Recreation & Culture Center designed with Dorte Mandrup; Design Kindergarten; Egmont High School and the Kristiansand Cathedral School Gimle - so we are looking forward to what this design process will bring about. As the project unfolds, we will keep you informed with the latest.
Each year, we look forward to the varied entries and the selected finalists of the MoMA + MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program for an outdoor recreational area within PS1’s triangular entrance courtyard and outdoor sculpture area. YAP began in 2000 as a way to strengthen the relationship between MoMA and MoMA PS1, and the program provides opportunities for emerging architects to showcase their talent and give back to the community. Now, the program is expanding even more as MoMa and MoMA PS1 have announced a new partnership with the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Such a partnership will further expand YAP’s international reach (in 2011, MoMA and MoMA PS1 partnered with MAXXI in Rome to create the first international YAP, and then, partnered with cultural organization CONSTRUCTO in Santiago,Chile).
More about the new partnership after the break.
Recently, we visited the Meulensteen gallery to hear an update on Steven Holl’s latest project in Virginia - the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Slated for completion in 2015, the project was presented in a series of Holl’s trademark watercolors and models, complete with a slideshow given by project architect Dimitra Tsachrelia who previously worked on the Glasgow School of Art for the firm. As we shared earlier, the project’s formal gestures are a reaction to its site context along the busy intersection of Richmond at Broad and Belvidere, with the intention to create an open gateway with a building that forks in the X-Y direction to illustrate the “non-linear” path of art, and torques in the Z direction to shape a dynamic volume of circulation. Although the weather was quite unforgiving, those who packed into the gallery enjoyed Tsachrelia’s friendly demeanor as she walked us through the process and progress of the project.
More about the event after the break.
During the summer months, The Municipal Art Society will be leading over two dozen urban design and architecture tours throughout New York. MAS is a non-profit membership organization committed to making New York a more livable city through education, dialogue and advocacy for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation. Since 1956, MAS has been offering such tours as a way to share knowledge and spread appreciation for New York’s varied cityscape. The tours are conducted by architectural, urban, and art historians, urban geographers, architects, teachers and writers, and offer a way to explore historic, evolving and “renewed” neighborhoods, the waterfront and specific residential and commercial projects. The tours will explore some neighborhoods we have featured on ArchDaily, such as Gansevoort with a look at apartments designed by Asymptote, the High Line and the construction site for the new Whitney Museum of American Art. And, even older gems such as New York’s Art Deco buildings from the 1950s.
Interested in exploring the brownstones of Brooklyn or learning more about the Pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village? Or, ever wonder how streets such as Bridge, Gold, and Broad got their names? Wherever your architectural interest lay, be sure to view the complete list of tours and take advantage of the great weather and the abundance of architecture New York has to share. For more information about specific tours, be sure to check out their website. And, perhaps take a look at our City Guide to further your adventures!
Over the years, we have been sharing the design and following the development of Richard Meier’s Newark complex which, earlier this year, began breaking ground. While the project will cost a cool $150 million, the urban efforts are meant to reinvigorate downtown Newark to restore the city to its former glory of the 1950s. During the early 2000s, developer Ron Beit purchased dozens of lots in downtown Newark in preparation for the area’s larger master planning vision which now includes plans for commercial and residential programs aimed at appealing to teachers. Such a move will create a new sense of community, explained Michael Duffy, previously the heard of the New York City’s charter school office, “Best-case scenario, they’ll [teachers] register to vote there, they’ll get involved civically in the community, they’ll see the success of Newark as their success. There are undeniably class differences between the kids who are coming in to teach in our school or to work as tutors and the young children that we serve as a school. So we have work to do in bridging the gaps between those two groups, and perhaps Teachers Village could be the place where gaps get bridged.”
More about the development after the break.
Our friends from Italian design firm sTARTT have shared their most recent restoration project which transforms an abandoned warehouse into a spatial urban kaleidoscope. Situated in the historic center in Porfiri of the Latina Province, the area is marked by architectonic elements from the city’s earliest foundation that now co‐exist with “inconsistent” contemporary parts of the center. In that sense, the project seeks to bring a continuity to the context, as sTARTT has envisioned a way to allow users to appreciate the historic roots of their city within a contemporary atmosphere.
More about the project after the break.
Architect: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
Client: Tianjin Command Key Projects, Bureau of Urban Planning, Tianjin
Competition Date: April 2009
Completion Date: May 2012
Site: 29.800 m²
Just three short years ago, German firm KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten placed first in an international competiton for the design of the Tianjin Art Museum. This week, the museum has opened its doors to the public to enjoy galleries filled with Chinese calligraphy, western art, sculpture, and modern art. Located along the lakeside promenade, the Art Museum enhances Tianjin’s cultural district and completes the 90-hectare development area, along with a library, an opera house and another new museum designed by various architects.
More images, drawings, and more about the art museum after the break.
While the excitement builds for the Olympic Games this summer, London is also preparing for their Design Festival of mid-September. In a joint effort between Arup and Sound and Music, the installation at Trafalgar Square will focus on the idea of design you cannot see by creating a black rubberized portal that will transport visitors to inaccessible places and remote environments through a series of three-dimensional soundscapes created by leading musicians and sound designers. By isolating the sense of sound, visitors will be submerged in a completely new environment as they stand in one of the busiest squares in the world.
More about BE OPEN after the break.
Architects: UNStudio, Ben van Berkel with Arjan Dingsté and Marc Hoppermann, Marc Herschel, Derrick Diporedjo, Kristin Sandner, Rein Werkhoven
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Client: ProRail, utrecht
Contractor: DAM-Dura Vermeer
Gross Roof Area: approximately 8700 m2
Dimensions: 4 platform roofs of approximately 210 metres long, with varying widths from 9-14 metre
Structure and materials: steel, aluminum and cold formed glass roofs
Start of construction: 2009
Planned completion date: 2011
In terms of scale, we typically feature massive projects by UNStudio – such as their Kutaisi Airport, planning scheme for Union Station, and grand performance venues – which all bring the contemporary aesthetic of Ben van Berkel to meet the projects’ respective programmatic and contextual demands. Recently, van Berkel’s team has crafted a covering for the Netherlands’ central rail line, bringing their elegant touch to a structure blanketing four train platforms measuring 210 meters in length.
More about the platform coverings after the break.
Foster + Partners was awarded first prize for their museum design in collaboration with Adrien Gardere for Narbonne in southern France. The museum’s central collection includes more than 1,000 ancient stone relief funerary blocks excavated from a nearby archaeological site, as Narbonne’s historical past as a vital Roman port has left an impressive legacy of buildings and ancient relics. Within the new design, Foster + Partners has created a wall to insert the stones that will act as a natural barrier to separate the public galleries from the more private restoration spaces. The building will also reinforce the strong landscape connection between water and gardens due to the site’s adjacency to the Canal du Midi.
More about the museum design after the break.
Last night, dozens packed into the Center for Architecture to join the conversation among some of the most influential in our field. With the energy levels high, panelists Bjarke Ingels of BIG, Toru Hasegawa and Mark Collins of Morpholio and Cloud Lab Columbia University GSAPP, and ArchDaily founders David Basulto and David Assael, shared insight into the impact social media and technology have on our profession and the way in which we design. While the panelists all share a background in design, their differences in applying technology to their particular niche – whether to aid the design process, to collect and redistribute data, or to share information and bring awareness - fueled a dynamic dialogue that kept the crowd engaged and informed way past the closing hours of the Center for Architecture.
Read on for the story behind ArchDaily, and, if you happened to catch the event, let us know in the comments below.
Nearly two years ago, we introduced Farshid Moussavi’s first major US building – a sleek geometrical design for Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art. With its strong formal moves, the museum intends to aid the city’s urban-revitalization efforts by shaping an iconic cultural destination alongside its neighboring concentration of museums, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder says, “We believe MOCA is contributing a great building to Cleveland, one that will stimulate critical thinking and animate social exchange. MOCA is expanding its scope and activities on all fronts, supported by new architecture that allows for flexibility, unconventionality, and technological capacity in the presentation of contemporary art.” The 34,000 sqf building is nearing completion, and a public opening will be celebrated in early October with the inaugural exhibition, Inside Out and from the Ground Up, featuring an in-depth look at how international artists engage with architecture and spatial ideas.
More about the project, including facade photos, after the break.
Earlier this week at a meeting given by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, Frank Gehry unveiled a revamped design for the controversial Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial for the Mall at the base of Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. This redesign responds to strong family objections in which Gehry’s vision had been criticized for largely misrepresenting the strength and achievements of the former Commander in Chief (check out our previous coverage of the controversial memorial and its heated meeting on March 20 here). After being selected to design the memorial in 2010 by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, Gehry looked to highlight the President’s great achievements as a source of inspiration to children, to “give them courage to pursue their dreams and to remind them that this great man started out just like them.”
The original design featured an 80-foot high colonnade from which large metal tapestries hang, and a statue depicting Eisenhower as a youth gazing upon his future accomplishments. To Gehry, the memorial celebrated a hero who was deeply proud of his Kansas roots and an icon children could identify with; to Eisenhower’s surviving family members, particularly granddaughters Susan and Anne Eisenhower, the design diminished the President’s accomplishments by depicting Ike as a “dreamy boy”.
More about the new design after the break.