Kelly Minner

Is Architecture Employment Improving

© Rene de Wit

Is architecture employment improving?  According to C. J. Hughes recent article some firms need for design services has increased providing an opportunity to hire employees.  That being said the employment opportunities are still minimal some firms hiring only one or two employees while others are able to hire in the double digits.  Many principals are tentative about the future and are therefore proceeding cautiously not to over hire employees.

The full article Architecture Employment on the Rise by C. J. Hughes for ArchRecord following the break.

Ecco / NAU


As an all-electric vehicle, the Ecco has no emissions of its own, and can be quickly charged at a standard 240V station. But when used for extended living purposes, even where no electricity is available, its built-in photovoltaic panels and solar sail roof mean that it can cut out the middle man, and charge directly from the sun.

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design

© James Steeves

The modest house is a 12 foot wide, 110 foot long wall playing a didactic role within both the natural and cultural landscapes. It sits on a four acre field surrounded by the sea on three sides: east to a domesticated fishing cove, west to the nearby wild, open ocean, and south to the immediate shore of a bay. Its ‘rough-and-ready’ wrapper is in keeping with the dog-patch-like cultural landscape context. The exterior skin is standard, industrial, corrugated galvalume. The top-of-concrete line of the foundation is raised, expressing the relatively high cost of getting out of the ground in cold climates and forming a horizontal datum against the opposing slopes of land and roof. A heavy, concrete stair bump is a protective gesture against the prevailing westerly winds coming off of the sea.

Architects: Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
Location: West Pennant, Nova Scotia,
Client: Vivian and David Howard
Project Team: Brian MacKay-Lyons, Niall Savage, Trevor Davies, Talbot Sweetapple
Structural: Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited
Builder: Andrew Watts
Photographs: James Steeves

Tel Aviv Museum of Art / Preston Scott Cohen

Courtesy of

The Museum of Art, located in the center of the city’s cultural complex and designed by Preston Scott Cohen has completed construction and will open to the public shortly.  The program for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Amir Building posed an extraordinary architectural challenge: to resolve the tension between the tight, idiosyncratic triangular site and the museum’s need for a series of large, neutral rectangular galleries. The solution: subtly twisting geometric surfaces (hyperbolic parabolas) that connect the disparate angles between the galleries and the context while refracting natural light into the deepest recesses of the half buried building.

Architects: Preston Scott Cohen
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Project Area: 200,000 sqf
Project Year: 2007-2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Preston Scott Cohen

Video: A Plea for Modernism

Scheduled for demolition in Summer 2011, the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School is a treasured piece of regional modernism in . Designed by Charles Colbert, the school has served the historic African-American neighborhood of Tremé since it opened in 1955. It is just one of over thirty public schools that were constructed at that time.  These schools were designed by architects who practiced a regional modernism, incorporating innovative design for circulation, ventilation and lighting.  Of the thirty schools only four are still standing, three of which are threatened with demolition (including Phillis Wheatley).  DOCOMOMO Louisiana is advocating for the restoration through adaptive reuse for the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School. “A Plea For Modernism” was created by Evan Mather and is narrated by actor Wendell Pierce.

University of Oregon John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes / ZGF Architects

Courtesy of ZGF Architects

The John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes at the University of Oregon explores the limits of transparency and connectivity to provide the UO’s student-athletes a place to gather as a community focused on study and learning. The challenge of creating a tranquil environment where students feel connected to natural landscape elements and daylight was heightened by the chosen location: a busy intersection between campus and the city of Eugene, on the site of a former parking lot at one of the major campus entrances.

Architects: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP
Location: Eugene, Oregon,
Project Area: 40,000 sqf
Photographs: Courtesy of ZGF Architects

May 2011 Issue of the Charrette from Tulane School of Architecture

The Tulane School of Architecture, theCharrette presents its May 2011 Issue. The culmination of a year with a new image for the publication, theCharette has included in this issue key architectural topics at Tulane and adjacent realms including the Richardson Memorial Hall renovations with and .

Included in this issue is the latest update from Byron Mouton and students who have completed URBANbuild build 06 house at 1821 Toledano. Also don’t miss the articles featuring Dutch Dialogues and Architecture 2030.

The Miller Hull Partnership Expands to San Diego

Courtesy of The

Seattle based Miller Hull Partnership has recently shared with ArchDaily that they have expanded to open an office in San Diego. Formed in 1977 the award-winning [check out our coverage of The Miller Hull Partnership here] firm’s design reputation is based on simple, innovative and authentic designs that incorporate sustainable practices.

The Miller Hull Partnership has been working in San Diego for seven years, and has a number of projects currently under way. These include the renovation of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, the busiest border crossing in the world (Phase 1 in construction), and the University of California San Diego Structural & Nano Materials Engineering building also in construction.

Portland State University to host Student Exhibition

The Department of Architecture at Portland State University will celebrate the graduation of its first-ever class of Master of Architecture students with an end-of-year design show, titled “Materialize | Student Work 2010-2011.” Hosted by the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the show will highlight the achievements of students throughout the graduate and undergraduate programs, with an emphasis on the independent design theses of the Master of Architecture students. An opening reception will be held in conjunction with First Thursday on June 2, 2011, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

Nanjing Sifang Art Museum, photos by Iwan Baan


The Nanjing Sifang Art Museum designed by Steven Holl Architects is nearly complete, and on schedule to open its doors to the public in a few short months.  Iwan Baan shows on his website a great photo set of the new museum which can be viewed here.

Update: New World Center / Frank Gehry

© Emilio Collavino

Photographer Emilio Collavino recently shared these photographs of Frank Gehry’s New World Center in , . Part of the New World Symphony America’s Orchestral Academy, the music education and performance facility is the first puporse-built home for the New World Symphony founded by artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. The New World Center opened its doors to the public in January of this year.

Nanjing Sifang Art Museum / Steven Holl Architects

© Shu He

The new museum is sited at the gateway to the Contemporary International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in the lush green landscape of the Pearl Spring near Nanjing, . It explores the shifting viewpoints, layers of space, and expanses of mist and water, which characterize the deep alternating spatial mysteries of early Chinese painting. This coming fall the Nanjing Sifang Art Museum will open to the public.

Drawings, photographs, and sketches following the break.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Design Architect: Steven Holl, Li Hu
Location: Nanjing, China
Associate-in-Charge: Hideki Hirahara
Project Architect: Clark Manning, Daijiro Nakayama
Project Team: Joseph Kan, JongSeo Lee, Pei Shyun Lee, Tz-Li Lin, Richard Liu, Sarah Nichol
Associate Architects: Architectural Design Institute, Nanjing University
Structural Consultant: Guy Nordenson and Associates
Lighting Design: L’Observatoire International
Client: Nanjing Foshou Lake Architecture and Art Developments Ltd
Project Area: 20,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Li Hu, Shu He,

Concrete Canvas Shelter

A solution to temporary soft skin shelters that are generally used following a natural disaster, the Concrete Canvas shelter can provide a more permanent structure that is both a fire proof and sterile environment.  This ‘building in a bag’ consists of concrete cloth material that is prefabricated onto an inflatable plastic interior anchored by steel doors on either end.   Follow the break to watch a video describing the process.

Museum of Ocean and Surf / Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao

© Iwan Baan

The Museum of Ocean and Surf (Cité de l’Océan et du Surf) explores both surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science and ecology. The design by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao is the winning scheme from an international competition that included the offices of Enric Miralles/Benedetta Tagliabue, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, Bernard Tschumi and Jean-Michel Willmotte.

The Museum of Ocean and Surf will open to the public this coming June 25th.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao
Location: Biarritz,
Project Area: 50,859 sqf
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Steven Holl Architects

Senate Legislation Calls for Zero-Net-Energy Buildings by 2030

A recent Bi-Partisan Congressional effort has landed the 2030 Challenge back on the Senate Floor, where the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The bill places meeting the 2030 Challenge target of zero-net-energy for new buildings by 2030 as the first item in a comprehensive strategy for U.S. energy reductions in the building and industrial sectors.

Living Roof / NAU


NAU is an international, multidisciplinary design firm, spanning the spectrum from architecture and interior design to exhibitions and interactive interfaces. As futurists creating both visual design and constructed projects, NAU melds the precision of experienced builders with the imagination and attention to detail required to create innovative exhibits, public events and architecture.

The Living Roof is a living environment boiled down to its most essential elements: a refuge to recover, plan excursions into the city, or simply stare into the stars.  Offering you the essence of the city, it condenses all the functions of daily life into a compact and self- sustaining capsule, intended for urban rooftops, but ready to be airlifted into the savanna at short notice. The minimal interior allows for concentrated thought and recuperation, while the highly efficient enclosure helps resolve one of the paradoxes of modern life: the contemporary citizen seeks mobility, but also wants to tread softly on the environment. For just this sort of traveler, NAU has designed the Living Roof, the first short-term housing unit to produce more energy than it consumes.

New Doctorate’s Building, National University Bogota / Steven Holl Architects


The importance of the National University of campus began with its enlightened master plan by the architect Leopold Rother in the 1930s. With its green center, classical axiality, and layered concentricity, the campus contains some wonderful examples of architecture.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Design Architects: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy, Garrick Ambrose
Senior Partner in Charge: Chris McVoy
Project Architect: Garrick Ambrose
Project Team: Johanna Muszbek, Scott Fredricks, Dimitra Tsachrelia
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Project Area: 70,000 sqf

Top 100 Architecture Firms

© Joe Pugliese

Architect Magazine‘s third-annual ranking of American architecture firms takes a look at three factors: profitability, sustainability, and design quality. This whole picture approach provides an opportunity for small and large firms to go head to head, with a result of the best architecture firms, not necessarily the biggest.

Some of these practices have been featured on ArchDaily like Perkins + Will, , , and Frank Harmon Architect.

Take a look at the complete rankings after the break.