Kelly Minner

SOM Wins 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design

© SOM

The Beijing Central Business District (CBD) plan by SOM can now add 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design to its list.  The ongoing 4,200,000 sqm project is the winning design from the international design competition expanding the CBD

The plan calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards. New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD, and every street would be bicycle friendly. To establish a pedestrian-friendly scale for development, the plan calls for a network of small, walkable blocks.

Green Concept Home / Modus V Studio Architects

© Millie Leung

The “Green Concept Home” is a two-story single-family residence located in , . This 2,840 sqf house has a contemporary design and is owned, designed and built by husband and wife team David Huang and Millie Leung. Designed by Modus V Studio Architects, the house broke ground in September 2009 and was completed the following year in September 2010.

Architects: Modus V Studio Architects, David Huang
Location: Bellevue, Washington, USA
General Contractor: David Huang
Interior Designer: Millie Leung
Green Verifier: O’Brien & Company
Mechanical Engineer: Mitchell Engineering, Inc.
Landscape Designer: Studio 342 Landscape Architecture
Energy Consultant: Bushnell Energy Consulting
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Millie Leung

Henry Gifford Files Opposition to USGBC’s Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

The USGBC continues to be in the headlines as last week Henry Gifford filed opposition papers to the USGBC’s motion to dismiss the pending lawsuit in New York.

Mr. Gifford’s attorneys argue in their opposition. “If the USGBC website were password protected for professional members only, that assertion would be more convincing,” Mr. Gifford’s attorneys write. “But the USGBC website is aimed at giving the general public an overview of , with ‘What Is’ on the masthead. USGBC’s website explains to the layman consumer: ‘By using less energy, -certified buildings save money for families, business, and taxpayers. . . It’s absurd to think USGBC is not directing its marketing at the tenant-consumer.”

Postage Stamp Architecture

TNT Post, the Dutch postal company has collaborated with the Netherlands Architecture Institute to develop a new line of postage stamps that feature both monumental works and experimental projects.  More about the postage stamps, from previous NAI director Aaron Betsky following the break.

Next Generation AIA Contract Documents from the AIA

The American Institute of Architects () has recently unveiled a demonstration of its new Next Generation Service. The new service follows the release of the Sustainability Guide, which was developed to assist users of AIA Contract Documents in understanding contractual considerations unique to sustainable design and construction projects.

The next generation AIA Contract Documents service, which will represent a significant innovation in accessibility, security, flexibility, affordability and ease of use for the design and construction industry. This new service will allow AIA Contract Documents users to have access to the AIA Contract Document library and all drafts and final documents anytime from anywhere with an internet connection from either a PC or Mac.

More details about the Next Generat Service following the break.

Passive House for New Orleans Competition Winner

DesignByMany and media partner ArchDaily are pleased to announce the “Low Cost, Low Energy House” by sustainable.TO as the winning design for the Passive House for New Orleans competition.  The competition challenged both students and professionals to design a passive house for focusing on key components of The Passive House Standard and the 2030 Challenge which has influenced the Better Buildings Initiative issued by President Obama.

More on the results of this competition after the break.

Lafayette Park Recreation Center / Kanner Architects

© Nicolas O.S. Marques

The Lafayette Park Recreation Center is the first completed -certified building for The City of Los Angeles.  The project is a 15,000 sqf addition to, and remodel of an existing 1963 community center, resulting in an L-shaped plan.  The design challenge was to deliver an inexpensive public building that would be low- to no- maintenance, functional and attractive.

Architects: Kanner Architects
Location: Los Angeles, , USA
Client: The City of Los Angeles
Photographs: Nicolas O.S. Marques

In Progress: Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport / Patkau Architects and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects

© Luxigon

Patkau Architects and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, in joint venture, were selected as the winner of the international design competition to design the new sports complex for the University of containing Field House, Strength & Conditioning Centre, Sports Clinic and Research, Student Facilities.  Design development and programming is underway, with anticipated project completion by 2015.

Architects: Patkau Architects and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects in joint venture
Location: Toronto,
Expected Completion: 2015
Renderings: Luxigon

MVRDV’s Winy Maas receives Legion of Honor

Courtesy of

The prestigious recognition of France’s Legion of Honour, was recently bestowed upon MVRDV’s Winy Maas. A French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, on 19 May 1802, it is the highest decoration in France and was given to Mass by French Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr. Jean-François Blarel.

MVRDV has become active in France, currently part of a think tank – Atelier du Grand Paris (concerned with the future planning of Greater Paris) and a number of architecture projects throughout France including: the refurbishment of a Dijon Mustard laboratory into a call centre and incubator, Le Monolithe in Lyon, they are also working on Caen’s port refurbishment, and the Pushed Slab energy efficient office building.

SEI Investments Corporate Headquarters / Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

© Lara Swimmer

SEI Investments, Inc., a banking and financial software services firm with operations worldwide, commissioned Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle to develop and implement a multi-phase master plan for their 90-acre site located outside Philadelphia. Master planned for 650,000 square feet, SEI Investment’s corporate campus is designed to maximize employee environmental benefits, increase productivity, and eliminate about $1 million per year in operational costs. For five consecutive years, SEI has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America.” In addition to general statistics regarding employees, jobs, and management, the company was recognized for its family center, egalitarian culture, and beautiful grounds.

Architects: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle
Location: , , USA
Photographs: Lara Swimmer

Video: ‘Cloud City’ by Tomas Saraceno

Through May 17th, Tomas Saraceno’s ‘Cloud City’ at the Carpenter City is one of three major works of the exhibition, The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is an “exploration of the emerging domain of experimental spatial practice where the concerns of art, design, and activism are powerfully converging today.”

Curator’s Statement from Sanford Kwinter

In the project presented here on the terrace of the renowned Le Corbusier–designed Carpenter Center, Saraceno will erect and dock an air-filled, 7-meter-tall, 14-sided, irregular, transparent structure loaded with solar cells, sensors, recorders, and transmitters intended not only to record the environment but to incorporate and be integrated into it as well.* In collaboration with various space agencies and local amateur operators, the apparatus, or a confederacy of others like it, has the potential to be launched into free space to interact with the urban ocean above.

Pratt Show 2011


The annual Pratt Show 2011, featuring the best new design work of graduating students of , is a juried exhibition of over 300 works.  On display at The Manhattan Center from May 10th to 13th, this event is free and open to the public.

Pratt Show 2011 is designed to give industry professionals and the public a chance to see the best work of students in Pratt’s design programs, many of whom will go on to become masters in these industries. Pratt Show 2011 will also feature for the first time products designed in collaboration with corporate sponsored studios and iconic corporations such as Barnes & Noble, Cabot Wrenn, Cotton Incorporated, Nachtmann, Umbra, and West Elm.

Noh House / Koji Tsutsui Architect & Associates

© Masao Nishikawa

The Noh House was built for a Noh performer within a quiet residential area in Tokyo. The traditional Japanese musical drama has been performed for over 700 years, and the Noh stage is composed of a main stage and a bridge (runway) that connects to a backstage. While meeting the client’s functional requirements such as daily living spaces and a Noh rehearsal room, Koji Tsutsui Architect & Associates wanted to incorporate the soul of Noh into the architecture.

Architects: Koji Tsutsui Architect & Associates
Location: Tokyo,
Project Team: Koji Tsutsui, Takashi Sugimoto
Structural Engineers: Takashi Manda
General Contractor: Heisei Construction Co., Ltd
Project Area: 162.90 sqm
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa

Video: Olafur Eliasson ‘Three to Now’

Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Three to Now’ is part of the exhibition, The Divine Comedy. On display at Gund Hall through May 17th this major work is a piece of an “exploration of the emerging domain of experimental spatial practice where the concerns of art, design, and activism are powerfully converging today.”

Curator’s Statement from Sanford Kwinter

It may be said that Eliasson, like Duchamp, does not produce works of art. Rather, he organizes and transforms conditions of experience. The widely known Weather Project at the Tate Modern in London in 2003 is a primary example. Every Eliasson work entails the production of a machine that activates other machines—in particular, the sensation-producing body-machines of the viewers themselves. In the exhibition presented here are displayed 54 experiment-machines (they could also be called “perceiving machines”) that each explores an aspect of how the human body and nervous system orients itself in space and time by tapping clues implicitly or explicitly from its environment, from which it innovates its own irreducibly unique “life in space.”

‘Groundbreaking Women in Construction’ Conference

The Groundbreaking Women in Construction conference, May 9th and 10th, is an opportunity for business owners, entrepreneurs or women rising through ranks in construction, design or engineering firm, to join national and global women leaders for Engineering News-Record’s second annual leadership conference for women.

The conference will focus on topics including: Legacy and Leadership, The New Business Leader, The Global Leader, The Art and Science of Promoting, Ideas and Yourself, Social Media, and Leadership and Your Brand.  The program includes break out sessions, roundtables, and lectures from a list of speakers with knowledge in multiple areas of the profession: design, construction, and engineering.

Transitional Shelter Design Study in Haiti by MICA

© Laurel Cummings

In March of 2011, a design-build class from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) received a grant in support of their efforts to design a shelter for disaster relief. The money from the grant was used to travel to to see conditions on the ground, 14 months after the earthquake that reportedly amassed some 230,000 fatalities.

The goal of the trip was to investigate the myriads of different shelter construction projects still ongoing as Haiti transitions from the emergency tents and tarpaulins that still populate the landscape, into temporary housing for the foreseeable future until permanent housing can be provided through rebuilding.

One of the more ambitious and impressionable projects we came across was the UberShelter.

Sliding House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

© Brian MacKay-Lyons

The house is sited on an agrarian hillside, along a 250 year old existing stone wall so as to cultivate rather than consume the field. Its sliding axis is eastward, down the hillside to the lake. In the historic village below there are three houses, corresponding to three sons of the original settlers. There are three barns, three chicken houses, etc. The third barn was demolished in the 1970s. The Sliding House adds back this lost barn. It is sited orthogonally to the other village buildings. It is both of its place and radically modern – testing the limits of a critical regionalist position.

Architects: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia,
Photographs: Brian MacKay-Lyons, Courtesy of

AIA New York’s 2011 Design Award Winners

© Iwan Baan

New York celebrated their 30th year of the annual design awards program which recognizes projects located in New York City or design by architects practicing in New York City.  Three projects received “Best in Show”: the Hypar Pavilion Lawn and Restaurant by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects’ David Rubenstein Atrium, and another collaboration by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with FXFOWLE and Beyer Blinder Belle’s Public Spaces.

A special exhibition featuring all of the winning projects will be on view through June 25th at the NYC Center for Architecture.  The complete list of 2011 Design Award Winners following the break.