To join in on all the holiday cheer, we decided to share with you this architectural funny that depicts the architectural history of the christmas tree. We found the clever illustration by Subtle Design on deviantART – “the world’s largest online art community”. Enjoy!
Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design and Gruen Associates have shared with us their second place proposal for the highly anticipated design-build competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, California. Envisioned as an icon within the city skyline, the triangular monolith provides a sustainable, 21st century courthouse that embodies the democratic qualities of dignity, stature, transparency, openness and accessibility.
Located at a pivotal node connecting the Los Angeles Civic Center, the Broadway Historic District and Bunker Hill, the 550,000 square foot courthouse is surrounded by a lush civic space that plays an important role in the existing cityscape.
Read the architect’s description after the break…
A shortlist of six international teams has been chosen to advance to the second stage of the architectural competition for the Museum and Educational Center of the Polytechnic Museum and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The competition’s objective is to create a Museum and Educational Center that will compliment the historic Moscow Polytechnic Museum – one of the largest and oldest technical museums in the world – on the new territory of the Moscow State University (MSU). The new center is envisaged as a meeting point for the Russian and international scientific community. It will demonstrate the most recent scientific and technological discoveries using state-of-the-art multimedia technologies, for accommodating multiple displays and exhibitions as well as for conducing scientific educational programs for over 1.3 million annual visitors.
The shortlisted design teams are:
The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, has bestowed Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honors – to Toronto architect Marianne McKenna of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Similar to the Order of the British Empire in Britain and the Kennedy Center Honors for artists in the United States, the award recognizes Canadians for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General stated:
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas has been announced as winner of an international competition to design and construct the first cultural center in Chengdu, China. In their winning proposal, Fuksas combined four, elliptical shaped buildings with a spiral structure to create an inclusive artist complex that offers a center for the performing arts, a cultural center, offices Writer and Literary Association, and an apartment building for artists.
Learn more about the Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Center after the break.
Christmas has come early for the international community of architects and preservationists, as an anonymous benefactor has saved the endangered David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona. Culminating a six month saga, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is proud to announce that it has facilitated the purchase of the historic property through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed today, December 20, and is no longer a demolition threat.
The Wright home will now be transferred to the hands of an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the structure. The change in ownership guarantees the house will survive and be preserved. Landmark status is expected to follow shortly.
More information on the David Wright House after the break…
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has unveiled the details of their controversial plan to renovate the 20th century, Carrère and Hastings “masterpiece” on 5th Avenue. Designed Foster + Partners, the $300 million dollar proposal is a response to the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, as the library has experienced a 41% decrease in the use of collections over the last 15 years.
Sensitive to concerned critics, the renovation promises to preserve the building’s legacy as it integrates a new, state-of-the-art Circulating Library into its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street. Foster’s “library within a library” will transform seven floors of stacks, currently occupying the back of the building, into an aesthetically, technologically and environmentally advanced public space that meets the needs of our 21st century society.
“We need to be respectful of the beloved, iconic building and to create a new inspiring space,” Anthony W. Marx, the library’s president, said in an interview with the New York Times. “At a time when people wonder about the future of libraries, we’re going to create the greatest library the world has ever seen.”
Learn all the details and see the renderings after the break…
The Miami Herald has just announced that Zaha Hadid will be designing her first skyscraper in the Western hemisphere in Miami: America’s Next Great Architectural City. The female powerhouse has been commissioned to transform a waterfront property, currently occupied by a BP Station at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, predominantly into a residential high rise. The skyscraper will rise above the neighboring Museum Park and fill a void in the wall of towering condos, commonly referred to as the “Biscayne Wall”. Details of the design are expected to be released next year.
This news comes shortly after Zaha’s loss to Norman Foster in an intense competition to design New York City’s next high-profile office tower on 425 Park Avenue. You can watch the A-list architects battle it out here as they present their ideas to the jury.
As we reported last year, Zaha was also selected to design a Miami Beach parking garage at Collins Park, which was approved for construction by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board last month.
Check out the preliminary renderings of the Collins Park garage, after the break…
The numbers are in and the American Institute of Architects’ November Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed positive business conditions for all building sectors for the fourth consecutive month.
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. Understanding this, the AIA is pleased to report that November has reached a five-year high with a score of 53.2, slightly up from 52.8 in October. Since August, the national billings index has continued to increased above 50.0 – the break-even point between contraction and growth – reflecting a steady rise in demand for design services. The West seems to be the only region in contraction, coming in at a score of 49.6.
Additionally, November also sees the Project Inquiry Index at 59.6, marking the 47th straight month in which inquiries into architectural services has been increasing.
“These are the strongest business conditions we have seen since the end of 2007 before the construction market collapse,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The real question now is if the federal budget situation gets cleared up which will likely lead to the green lighting of numerous projects currently on hold. If we do end up going off the ‘fiscal cliff’ then we can expect a significant setback for the entire design and construction industry.”
View the ABI highlights in greater detail, after the break…
The profession has lost an influential voice that has undoubtedly left a profound impact on the way we think about architecture. Scholar, critic, and practitioner Alan Colquhoun (1921-2012) passed away last week in London at the age of 91.
More after the break…
Recognized as one of the “Chicago Seven” architects who challenged modernist orthodoxy in the 1970s and 1980s, Thomas H. Beeby has been selected as the 11th recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize from the University of Notre Dame. The prestigious award honors Beeby’s lifetime contribution to classical and traditional architecture, as he was one of the leading figures who helped bring traditional architecture and urban design back into the public consciousness. For over 40 years, Beeby – the current Chairman Emeritus of HBRA Architects – has spearheaded a wide spectrum of work that has embodied a positive cultural, environmental and artistic impact within the modern world.
“Tom Beeby has had a transformational role in modern architecture’s return to classical and traditional design principles,” says Michael Lykoudis, Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. “Beeby’s recent design of the Tuscaloosa courthouse is a great example of how the rigor and richness of classicism can be used to achieve a sense of place and purpose that will be relevant well into the future.”
Read the Jury’s Citation after the break…
Chika Kijima Architect’s Office + O.F.D.A. transformed a cluster of three existing homes into this work/live haven for a pair of musicians. The naturally lit interiors of the single-story Overlapped House features a studio, kitchen, hall, ample amounts of storage and a well-buffered sleeping quarters.
Video via JA+U.
As you approach Zaha Hadid’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, it is the complex, light-catching carapace that first reels in the eye — a fine shock after the brick, neo-Gothic buildings that define the rest of the Michigan State University campus. Draw closer and its undulating fins, opening and closing in rhythmic asymmetries, begin to seduce the mind. In some places scrunched up into sharp angles and in others allowed to breathe for longer stretches across the low-slung facade, the fins seem to be the expression of some higher, grid-bending equation.
In a half-conscious attempt to solve the math, you begin to circle the building. At certain points, the fins spread wide enough for generous glimpses inside, but as you move keep moving, the inner secrets vanish again behind the metal lattice. In the same way, the relentlessly kinetic carapace tantalizes with, but ultimately eludes, any logical or definitive summing up. What is certain, though, is that, by the time you’ve come full circle, you’ll have grown quite curious to see what is going on inside.
More after the break…
The Glass House just concluded their second annual Conversations in Context, which presents visitors with the opportunity to join in a weekly evening tour and intimate conversation with industry leaders, including Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, and more.
Since the 1940s, The Glass House has served as a place of inspiration, education and conversation across creative disciplines. Its 49-acre landscape, 14 architectural structures and world-class art collection continue to draw members of an international creative community to participate in its rich story. Conversations in Context continues Philip Johnson’s legacy of using the Glass House as a place to conduct ongoing seminars with architecture students and present emerging and established architects the opportunity to discuss the current state of the industry.
The video above features Architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, along with Dean Mark Wigley from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Follow us after the break for a few of our favorite conversations from this year’s series.
If there is one thing that will make you crave a nap, it’s a Thanksgiving feast. To help you through the post-meal hangover, we have complied some images of our favorite nap time retreats from Pinterest. Relax, enjoy and thank you for being an ArchDaily reader.
Continue after the break for all the images…
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects’ highly anticipated multidisciplinary arts center has opened at the University of Chicago in Illinois. Serving as a landmark on the south end of campus, the 184,000 square foot Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is the new home to UChicago’s academic and extracurricular programs in cinema and media studies, creative writing, music, theater and performance studies, and the visual arts.
Inspired by the “flat prairies of the Midwest and the great towers of Chicago”, the new arts hub is comprised of a light-filled glass and stone tower and a three-story “podium” with a saw-tooth roof. The 170-foot tower houses a performance penthouse, screening room, rooftop deck, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and performance labs, while the podium features studio space, music practice rooms, workshops, a café, a digital media center, production and editing labs, two theaters, and a 474-seat performance hall.
The University is pursuing LEED Silver Certification for the Logan Center, as the design features regionally sourced materials, a “green roof,” and solar panels.
More images and the architects’ description after the break…
Amidst the longstanding, heated battled to save Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the results of the 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice have been announced! Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in collaboration with Chicago Architectural Club and the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the international competition intended to act as a platform for public debate about the future of the controversial Chicago landmark.
More information and the winning proposals after the break…
UPDATE: The lists have been updated from showing the Top 5 Schools in each category, to the Top 20.
James Cramer and the Greenway Group have released the 14th edition of DesignIntelligence, a compilation of different rankings for accredited architecture schools in the United States. The report attempts to create a level playing ground upon which to rank the universities by polling thousands of students, talking to deans and administrators, interviewing successful designers in private practices, and visiting each university campus. While the findings may raise some debate, overall, the report creates a dialogue as to how, and to what extent, higher education responds to the changing demands of our profession.
Although design education is generally well respected, several of the educators, students and practitioners interviewed this year were critical of its current state, believing that it is simply not good enough. As Cramer describes, “Respect for design education is high – and can grow further. This will require that there be a deep understanding of the dimensions of the trends in the design profession. When schools and practitioners are in harmony on these dimensions of change, they can reinforce and enhance each other. In this there is art and science. Leadership is at issue. The big shifts can be signs of new strength in a time of flux.”
A closer look after the break…
Billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 52.8, up from the mark of 51.6 in September. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, compared to a mark of 57.3 the previous month.
“With three straight monthly gains – and the past two being quite strong – it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “With 2012 winding down on an upnote, and with the national elections finally behind us, there is a general sense of optimism. However, this is balanced by a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the marketplace, which likely means that we’ll have a few more bumps before we enter a full-blown expansion.”
If you’re in the South Bend, Indiana, area, mark your calendars! A week from today, the famed architect and designer Michael Graves will present his lecture “A Grand Tour” at the University of Notre Dame. The lecture will recount his journey, once considered obligatory for a young architect, exploring the great monuments of Europe. As a recipient of the prestigious Prix de Rome, Graves traveled through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, England, Germany, and France, studying and recording the masterworks of both ancient and modern architecture.
This year, the University of Notre Dame awarded Graves with the Richard H. Driehaus Prize, honoring his lifetime contributions to classical and traditional architecture in the modern world. Read all about his nomination here and watch an exclusive ArchDaily interview with the legend here.