When the statistics showed architecture as the field of study where recent graduates had the highest unemployment rate, some suggested that future students ought to pursue different educational backgrounds. Courtney Lukitsch has shared her response to such a claim by defending the merits of an architecture education. ArchDaily reaches a wide range of readers – from established professions to students just entering the field – and we’d like to hear your thoughts on the value of pursuing an architecture education.
“Recently published reports about education degrees ‘not to pursue’ in architecture, design and art, made the rounds in the national press and A&D industry, raising eyebrows and demanding closer scrutiny. Needless to say, this news spread like wildfire on social platforms such as Facebook and twitter, oddly to scant commentary among top-tier critics, academics and educators, architects and designers, a decidedly vocal and opinionated group of incredibly well educated professionals.”
Read the rest of Lukitsch’s article after the break.
We have been keeping close watch on the progress of Barclays Center, SHoP’s 650,000+ stadium for Brooklyn at Atlantic Yards. The project has an interesting history as the client, Bruce Ratner, originally looked to Gehry to design an urban solution and iconic image for the 22 acre site, prior to teaming with Ellerbe Becket and SHoP. As we’ve reported earlier, SHoP’s response has developed to become a sweeping pre-fabricated volume, with a perforated latticework steel skin and a transparent ground level. Photographer Roger Edwards has shared some recent photos with us of the construction process as the building is quickly beginning to take shape.
Check out more photos after the break.
Just last week, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn enacted 29 new recommendations of the Green Codes Task Force that will provide the proper foundation for New York to meet the aggressive PlanNYC Goals for 2030. The impact of these new codes is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent; lower the energy costs for lighting by 10 percent; save 30 billion gallons of water through better plumbing regulations; treat 15 million gallons of toxic construction water; recycle 100,000 tons of asphalt; and save $400 million in overall energy costs. The implementation of such codes is the result of the formation of the NYC Green Codes Task Force, an organization led by Urban Green Council, that proposed over 100 recommendations in 2010 to address a wide range of sustainable issues; and, in the two years since that report, the Mayor’s Office and City Council have made 29 of those recommendations law, and are currently working to codify 8 others.
More about the new building codes after the break.
For their honorable mention competition entry, Betillon/Dorval-Bory have attempted to create a new architectural language rooted in climate analysis for Fundecor, a non-governmental organization focused on environmental preservation. The procedure for creating the project is largely about understanding environmental systems and then allowing the building to respond and support those technical aspects for the desired result. As such, the architecture is “not trying to hide in a neo-vernacular posture, but celebrates its radicalism in aid of its atmospheric functioning.”
More about the competition entry after the break.
Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the leading cultural institution of the region, has recently selected Steven Holl Architects to design a new museum building to support its collections, exhibitions, and various educational programs. After a comprehensive international competition, MFAH asked Steven Holl, Snøhetta, and Morphosis to develop site-specific concepts for the planned expansion. The jury unanimously chose Holl as his strong portfolio of built museums, such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the recently finished Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, display a sense of elegance and clarity much desired by the MFAH.
More about the museum after the break.
Earlier this week, we shared a great clip of a comparison video betwen Lady Gaga and SANAA’s new Museum – if the comparison has you scratching your head, be sure to check out the video! Great Spaces has also made a short video of UNStudio’s Amsterdam Pavilion. Upon its opening back in the summer of 2009, we had the opportunity to interview van Berkel about his inspiration for the design. Since then, the landscape and hardscape around the pavilion have been completed, giving it a stronger presence in front of the Staten Island Ferry terminal as it seems more integrated into the swirls of the bike and pedestrian paths. Thanks to Delaine Isaac for sharing the clip.
Check out this beautiful documentary by First Run Features highlighting Norman Foster’s architectural inspiration, theories and products of his premier global practice. As an architect who is constantly challenging the rules of the system, Foster’s career has produce magnificent structures from his iconic skyscrapers to the world’s longest bridge. The film “documents the way that great architecture is created, but does not flinch from the disappointments, and the set backs, and even the failures that come with it.” The film will be released on DVD and is having a limited theatrical release. Enjoy the trailer!
Ever likened SANAA’s New Museum to Lady Gaga? We didn’t think so! So, check out this video by Great Spaces and prepare to see the museum in a new light. Toward the end of the video, it was mentioned that only after SANAA won the Pritzker, did some people truly take notice of the museum. Have you visited the New Museum on the Bowery prior to the Pritzker, or have you been influenced to see if after SANAA’s won? And, for more info on the museum, be sure to reference our previous articles.
Special thanks to our readers Danielle Bakkes, Tjeerd Hermsen, Rudi Koster, Viet Le, Wouter Rooijackers and Kor Zijnstra from the Academy of Architecture Arnhem for sharing their funky video on the Ronchamp Chapel with us. The short film was compiled after the students completed a workshop at the Chapel back in 2007. What do you think of the video’s mystical spin?
Watch Thomas Leeser of LEESER Architecture share some insight into what architecture means and how his firm expresses that philosophy. One of our favorite lines is when Leeser stated, “We are not architects with a particular style; we are architects with a particular message.” The clip shares some background pertaining to Leeser’s Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, New York that exemplifies the firm’s idea of a changing continuous media surface and ties the conceptual understanding between film and architecture. What are your thoughts on Leeser’s closing comment when talking about the Bric media center and Urban Glass project – “Our work can influence and change the world around us, there is a really impact…it’s not just like another building” – perhaps, not just in terms of Leeser’s work, but for the field of architecture at large.
The destruction of the Mercado de la Encarnacion in Seville left a huge void in the urban character of the city center which remained unfilled for over thirty years. The market enriched the city with life, and with its absence, the vitality of the Plaza de la Encarnacion was soon challenged by the negative implications of economic downturn. In April of 2011, Jürgen Mayer H and Arup teamed to complete their solution for Seville’s central square – an architecture that brings a contemporary spirit to such a historical and traditional space. Entitled Metropol Parasol, the massive timber structure (which is one of the largest timber structures built in the world) draws residents and visitors back to the city center as its striking aesthetic provides a variety of markets and restaurants bounded by the dynamic shape of the parasols. We enjoyed the video as it illustrates the impact architecture can bring economically and socially to enrich even one of the most established city centers in the world. The ability for the design team to look toward the future allows Seville to preserve its historic cultural prowress while not limiting itself for future greatness. Special thanks to Marina from Arup for sharing the video with us!
Check out more images of the project after the break, and be sure to read our previous coverage on the project.
Last summer, we were big advocators for the AIA’s innovative idea to establish a database of stalled projects. As we shared earlier, such a network would allow potential investors to finance halted projects deemed “credit-worthy”; thus, projects that may not acquire the necessary financial backing due to the lack of available credit may be able to be built thanks to public/anonymous investors. This initiative, which has been in effect for a mere 2 and a half months, could be a great opportunity for entreprenauial architects as the database provides a perfect platform for information and interaction. So far, the AIA reported that the database contains 36 projects worth approximately $1.2 billion with 50 investors – and those numbers are only expected to increase as efforts of the initiative are more publicly known. “This effort by the AIA to match projects with investors has no precedent we know of, and so we have to be pleased with the development of the database so far,” said AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA. “We won’t be satisfied, however, until we see deals being consummated at a rapid pace as a result of our efforts.”
More about the database after the break.
We are happy to report another positive showing for the ABI this month as the index remained at 52.0 for the month of December. Prior to November, the volatile ABI showed the struggling and unstable conditions many practices were experiencing throughout 2011; yet, this month brings another bit of hope for the profession. “We saw nearly identical conditions in November and December of 2010 only to see momentum sputter and billings fall into negative territory as we moved through 2011, so it’s too early to be sure that we are in a full recovery mode,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Nevertheless, this is very good news for the design and construction industry and it’s entirely possible conditions will slowly continue to improve as the year progresses.” Regional breakdowns are as follows: Regional averages: South (54.2), Midwest (53.1), Northeast (52.6), West (45.1) and Multim-family residential led the sector index breakdown with 54.3. It was nice to finish the rocky year of 2011 with a consecutive positive index, and we’re optimistic for more improvement in 2012.
As we have shared previously on AD, Washington DC’s National Mall – America’s most visited national park with over 25 million visitors a year- is undergoing a total restoration. The $700 million project will be the first major renovation in over 35 years, and will focus on three sites of the Mall: Union Square, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens. During an intensive three part competition, the jury first evaluated scores of portfolios to select up to eight designers per site; conducted team interviews to narrow the site designers to five; and finally, during Phase Three, the jury will hold a design competition for each site. We have just been notified by Weiss/Manfredi and OLIN that their team has been chosen to develop two of the three sites; no small feat for a competition that began with over 1,2000 designers. The multidisciplinary team of architecture, landscape and planning designers will develop proposals for both the Monument Grounds and the Constitution Gardens. We are excited to see what the team will develop, and we will keep you updated on the other Phase Three finalists and their proposals as we hear more.
Special thanks for Adam Goss from Spirit of Space for sharing this great clip of Harvard GSD “Waterline” studio led by Phil Enquist of SOM. When ArchDaily visited Chicago, our team had the chance to interview Enquist and gain some insight to his urban design and planning strategies, especially, the Beijing Central Business District and his Vision for the Great Lakes. This latest studio is a collaborative think tank of architecture, planning and landscape architecture students analyzing the Chicago River as a way to capitalize its potential to serve as a recreation, education, and transportation component of the city. Currently, the river is neglected and its presence is often ignored; yet, the students of Harvard are attempting to “rethink what the River means to the City” by questioning the existing relationships between River and City, and the public’s persepective and awareness of the river. Enquist’s multidisciplinary team is working to understand the issues of the river at large and by developing a larger, zoomed out, framework, smaller interventions can truly fuse to become a cohesive citywide system. We enjoyed listening to the students and seeing their passion for the river and its potential for Chicago, and we hope you enjoy the video, as well. Let us know what you think about the studio in the comments below.
Our friends from CEBRA have shared their new Information Center for Rebild Hills and Rold Forest, a winning competition entry in collaboration with HP Byg, Viggo Madsen and exhibition architect Elisabeth Topsøe. Situated in the amazing nature reserves of Denmark’s Rebild Hills and Rold Forest in northern Jutland, the project was conceptualized as an open and accommodating buiding that serves as a gathering place to inform, guide and inspire the 400,000+ visitors who are guided through the forests each year. “We have created an information portal, which is both building and nature, with a distinctive expression and character deriving directly from Nature’s own formal language and elements, which makes the building stand out from its surroundings and blend in with nature’s scenery at one and the same time,” explained CEBRA.
More about the project, including lots of CEBRA’s awesome hand drawings, after the break.
Opening tomorrow at the AA, Critical Territories will share the work of Groundlab and Plasma Studio -two interdisciplinary firms pushing the envelope of the relationship between and the expression of landscape design and architecture. The installation will share the firms’ top projects, such as the Xian International Horticultural Expo which we having been covering extensively on AD, by way of a site-specific grid arrangement of light boxes covered with technical drawings. The organization of the installation will showcase the underlying themes of the practices, namely their systemic approach and preoccupation with grids, ground and context. The exhibit will be run through February 11.
As a response to urban density, Waterstudio.NL has created a floating Sea Tree that would restore environmental value in crowded metropolises. The Sea Tree, a multilayered tower-esque structure, would inhabit the harbors and rivers surrounding major cities, such as New York, as a way to provide an opportunity for flora and fauna even when land is sparse.
More about the Sea Tree after the break.
Special thanks to Maziar Behrooz for sharing this lecture with us! Filmed during a PechaKucha event at the Parrish Art Museum, we enjoyed a good laugh while watching and hope you do, too. Behrooz’s selections made us wonder, what’s your favorite “inconvenient” piece of architecture? Be sure to share your thoughts below.
In his State of the State address last week, New York Governor Cuomo introduced the notion of replacing the Jacob Javits Center along Manhattan’s West Side with a new convention center in Queens. Such a plan envisions a 3.8 million-square-foot exhibition center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, Queens – a project that would become the largest convention center in the United States and a major urban redevelopment project. Through a joint-partnership with Genting Americas, the government would provide the land and Genting would provide the $4 billion to finance the convention center. “Let’s build the largest convention center in the nation, period,” Mr. Cuomo said. “It will be all about jobs, jobs, jobs, tens of thousand of jobs.”
More about the Convention Center after the break.