Karissa Rosenfield

2014 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture Recipients

Convention 2014, June 26‒28, Chicago

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected James L. Abell, FAIA, Carole J. Olshavsky, FAIA, and Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, as recipients for the 2014 for Public Architecture. The award recognizes excellence in architectural advocacy and achievement in three categories: Private-sector architects who have established a portfolio of accomplishment in the design of architecturally distinguished public facilities (category 1); public-sector architects who manage or produce quality design within their agencies (category 2); and public officials or other individuals who by their role of advocacy have furthered the public’s awareness and/or appreciation of design excellence (category 3). Learn more about the recipients, after the break.

NL Architects Shortlisted to Design ArtA Cultural Center in Arnhem

Rhine View. Image ©

Amsterdam-based NL Architects has been shortlisted, alongside three other prestigious teams, to design a new “ArtA” museum and film house for the city of Arnhem. Uniting four main programs – a cinema, art square, museum and park – the “wedge-shaped” structure is designed as an “urban moraine” that cascades towards the city and invites residents to experience the Rhine from an elevated parkway. This formation grants pedestrians two options for museum access: up the Baroque-inspired rooftop park or through the ground level “Art Square” which serves as a “public intermediary” between the building and city, as well as the museum and film theatre.

Skyscrapers Shedding Ice in NYC

One World Trade Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

As begins to thaw after record breaking winter conditions, city dwellers are forced to be on high alert for falling ice. Streets surrounding the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center have been closed following reports of ice shearing from its surface. Some blame the more energy efficient buildings for the deadly occurrence, believing that because the newer structures are able to hold in more heat their exteriors remain colder which aids the formation of ice. Materials and building form can help prevent this phenomena. You can learn more here.

Details Emerge on Johnston Marklee’s Design for the Menil Drawing Institute

© Johnston Marklee

The Menil Collection has unveiled details of the long-awaited Menil Drawing Institute, designed by Los Angeles-based Johnston Marklee, in , . The modest, $40 million institute is projected to be the first freestanding facility in America dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing, as well as the Menil’s first major expansion under the ambitious 30-acre master plan designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

Details on the design, after the break…

Kengo Kuma Presents Shortlisted Design for ArtA “Civic Center” in Arnhem

© Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma, one of four renowned architects competing to design the highly anticipated ArtA cultural center in , has shared details about their shortlisted proposal. Enveloped in an “elegant filigree screen” of contextually prevalent red clay roof tiles, the “multileveled Arts Square” is designed to serve as “the living room of the city.” Its main programs, the Focus Film Theatre and Museum , are united by a series of green terraces whose main purpose is to reconnect the inner city to its “unexploited resource,” the Rhine River.

10 Unbuilt Projects Honored With Progressive Architecture Award

© RUR Architecture

ARCHITECT Magazine has named 10 projects that will be honored with this year’s Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award. The annual award, now in its 61st edition, recognizes projects for being an exemplar of innovation and design excellence.

The winners, after the break…

SO-IL Shortlisted to Design Arnhem’s ArtA Cultural Center

© SO–IL

New York-based SO-IL, together with Architectuurstudio HH (AHH) and ABT, has unveiled details of their shortlisted design for Arnhem’s highly-anticipated ArtA cultural center. One of four shortlisted proposals, SO-IL’s “energy-neutral” building aims to serve as a transformative link that connects the inner city to the Rhine River. “Generous and flexible programmatic volumes,” which were shaped by the surrounding context, are designed “support the production and experience of culture, as well as create a place for reflection and wonder – a transportive experience.”

VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

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What do you think the North American, Asian and Western European tall building communities most need to learn from each other? This is precisely what the Center on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat () sat down to ask five leading architects, whose responses formed an eclectic and meaningful overview on the state of tall building worldwide. As Rem Koolhaas noted, each region has their own journey that is worth understanding, such as the Arab world’s transition from “extravagance to rationality” or Asia’s hyper-focus on project realization. However, as James Goettsch points out, “not every building has to be something remarkable.” It’s alright for some buildings to be nothing more than “good citizens.”

Watch all five responses in the short video above.

January ABI Reports “Modest Uptick”

January via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Business in the United States has started the New Year on a more positive note, as January’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) revealed the first increase in design services after three consecutive months of decline. As reported by the American Institute for Architects (), the January numbers rose from December’s score of 48.5 to 50.4, indicating an increase in billings. However, the new projects inquiry index was 58.5, down a bit from the reading of 59.2 the previous month.

“There is enough optimism in the marketplace that business conditions should return to steady growth as the year progresses,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.

What Does a Zaha Hadid-Designed Water Fountain Look Like?

© ZHA

Zaha Hadid ArchitectsAdam ArchitectureHopkins ArchitectsEric Parry ArchitectsAllford Hall Monaghan Morris and Studio Weave have all unveiled, what AJ describes as, six “jaw-dropping” proposals for new water kiosks planned for central London. As part of a competition, conducted by the British journal, the architect-designed drinking fountains will be on view at The Building Centre from February 20 through March 14. View them all and vote for your favorite here.

20 Architects Listed to Compete for Estonian Cultural Facility

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Zaha Hadid, Rick Joy, and COOP HIMMELB(L)AU are three of 20 diverse architects shortlisted to compete for the commission of the International Arvo Pärt Center near Tallinn. As part of the competition’s second stage, the selected practices will move forward with the design of a 2,000-square-meter expandable facility which will be used to house the famous Estonian composer ’s work on a wooden coastal site in Laulasmaa.

The Union of Estonian Architects (UEA) will announce the winner on June 20. See a complete list of the competing architects, after the break.

Phoenix Determined to Build BIG Pin

© BIG

Although developer Novawest was determined to build BIG’s 420-foot observation tower in downtown before the 2015 Super Bowl, failed negotiations has left them without a site. Once planned for the interior courtyard of the Arizona Science Center, the privately-funded project is now being considered for an undisclosed downtown site with completion rescheduled for 2016. Considering the project has received a considerable amount of support from city officials, it seems inevitable that the BIG pin will eventually be built despite harsh criticism from nearby residents. Modifications for the new site will be minimal. You can review the design here

BIG Shortlisted to Design ARTA “Arts Cluster” in Arnhem

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As we announced yesterday, four impressive teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals to design a new house for an existing art museum and film theater on a waterfront site in Arnhem. Competing to design the “ArtA” cultural center includes BIG, who teamed up with Amsterdam-based Allard Architecture to propose a scheme that would merge the two facilities by constructing “a simple building volume of two poles: The Film Theater facing the city and the Art Museum facing the river.”

Mecanoo, Martinez + Johnson Selected to Redesign Mies’ MLK Memorial Library

© Mecanoo with Martinez + Johnson Architecture

Mayor Vincent Gray has named Mecanoo architecten and Martinez + Johnson Architecture winners of a competition to reinvent ’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – the only library and D.C. building ever designed by the legendary architect. The Netherlands- and D.C.-based team aims to resurrect the neglected building by improving “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.” This includes opening up the boxy interiors to enhance flow and increase natural light and, most dramatically, sculpting two rooftop terraces by topping the historic landmark structure with a four-story, mixed-use addition.

We will keep you posted with more details as they come available. In the meantime, scroll through the renderings and presentation that landed Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson the commission, after the break.

Libeskind Designs “Polycentric Spiral” for Cosentino Group

Beyond the Wall / Daniel Libeskind for Cosentino Group

Daniel Libeskind has unveiled a permanent sculpture at the Cosentino Group world headquarters in Almeria: “Beyond the Wall.” Inspired by the “infinite possibilities of the spiral,” the is intended to exhibit how the company’s ultra-compact, innovative surfacing material, ® can be used to clad contemporary facades.

“This is not a traditional spiral with a unique center and axis, but a contemporary spiral that opens multiple paths in many different directions,” describes Cosentino in a press release. “In short, a polycentric spiral energy is projected to a dramatic peak.”

BIG, Kengo Kuma Among Four Visions Unveiled for ARTA Cultural Center in Arnhem

© with

Four international teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals in the final leg of a highly anticipated competition to design a new “cultural hotspot” on the edge of the Rhine. ArtA, the “catchy” new name of what was previously known as “The Arts Cluster,” is part of a larger redevelopment project for the City of Arnhem which aims to reconnect the southern district of Rijnboog with its waterfront and establish a new home for the Focus Film Theatre and Museum Arnhem. 

A sneak peak of the shortlisted proposals, after the break…

Winners of the 2013 BSA Design Awards Announced

Via Verde – The Green Way / Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects © David Sundberg | Esto Photographics

The Boston Society of Architects has announced the winners of the 2013 Design Program. With programs ranging from accessible design to architecture, the following projects were awarded top honors for being Massachusetts and New England’s most prized examples of excellent design.

J. Mayer H. Designs 70-Meter Tower for Duesseldorf

© J. MAYER H., via designboom

J. Mayer H. has been crowned as winner of an invited competition to design a 19-story medical services and residential high-rise in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The “sculptural” tower, which is defined by the horizontal “cloud-shaped” aluminum strips that cloak its facade, is designed to “provide a natural atmosphere” enhanced by planted terraces and balconies overlooking the adjacent landscape of the Rheinaue and views of Duesseldorf.