US ABI Hits Highest Level Since 2007

Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reached 55.8 in July  – its highest level since 2007. The score reflects what has been a steadily increasing demand for design services over the past three months, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports. The ’s new projects inquiry and design contracts indexes were also strong at 66 and 54.9, respectively.

“Business conditions for the design and construction marketplace, and those industries associated with it, appear to be well-positioned for continued growth in the coming months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The key to a more widespread boost in design activity continues to be the institutional sector which is starting to exhibit signs of life after languishing for the better part of the last five-plus years.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

Regional Averages:

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Homes You Cannot Live in: The New Cost of Architectural Antiques

The Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe, 1951. Plano, Illinois. Image Courtesy of Blouin Art Info

What is the true value of architecture in today’s society? According to this article by Anna Katz, rare pieces of architectural history have recently soared in value. Katz discusses the booming world of architecture at auction, featuring pieces by Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright among others. The article gracefully compares some of the most important architecture of our time against current prices, exploring the catalyst of rising values in architecture of the recent past, while deliberating on the pitfalls of owning a delicate piece of architecture history. Read the story in full on Blouin Art Info.

Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition 2014

Courtesy of KRob Memorial Delineation Competition

The 40th Annual Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition, the longest running architectural drawing competition, is now accepting submissions. Entries can be conceptual or final elevations, sections, perspectives, or renderings and may be produced digitally or by hand – or a combination of both.

Frank Ching, the acclaimed author and illustrator responsible for teaching countless students about basic architectural elements, principles, and relationships, is one of the three jurors this year. The jury panel will be attending the presentation and lecture, which will take place on Thursday, November 20th in Dallas. This event will be hosted by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who have been organizing the competition since 1974.

The competition is open to both students and professionals and there are $11,000 in prizes to be won. Entries are due Monday, October 27, 2014 at 5pm CST. For more details, click here.

Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen

© Exothermic

Perhaps the most famous father-son duo in the architectural world, Eliel and Eero Saarinen share more than just a last name. The two designers both left profound influences upon the cities where they did their work, both were awarded Gold Medals, and, rather uncannily, both share the very same date of birth. But, when it comes to their architectural stylings, that’s where the comparisons end. Find out more about both after the break.

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Early Gehry Building Reimagined as a Whole Foods Store

© Howard Hughes Corp via archpaper.com

One of Frank Gehry‘s earliest works, the former Rouse Company Headquarters, is currently undergoing a $25 million renovation that will see it converted into a Whole Foods market and community wellness center. The building, which Gehry dubbed an “elegant warehouse,” was designed in 1974 for developer James Rouse, who founded Columbia, Maryland in the 1960s. The developer behind the current renovation is The Howard Hughes Corp, a Dallas based company that now serves as the master developer of Columbia.

Read on for more about the renovation

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Scottish Architects To Launch “Architects For Yes” Campaign in Edinburgh

The Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh. Image © Dave Morris Photography

In advance of the Scottish Independence vote next month, a group of Edinburgh-based architects led by Alasdair Stephen of will launch an “Architects for Yes” campaign in support of independence. The campaign, which currently has backing from over 50 architects, states these architects’ belief that independence could be a way to “design a new, better .” More about the campaign and the launch ceremony after the break.

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Search for the 2014 Young Architect of the Year Begins

Ferreries Cultural Centre by [ARQUITECTURIA

The search for the 2014 Young Architect of the Year Awards (YAYA), organised by BDOnline, has begun. Now in its 16th year, YAYA “recognises the most promising new architectural practice in the European Union.” Open to fully qualified architects who have been practising for twelve years or less, the winner of this year’s YAYA will be announced at the Architect of the Year gala dinner on the 2nd December 2014 at The Brewery, London.

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World Photo Day: Christian Richters by Francine Houben

Library of Birmingham / . Image © Christian Richters

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Francine Houben of Mecanoo writes on behalf of Christian Richters. 

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Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture Series Premieres with Spain’s “Guerrilla Architect”

Last night the first episode of Al Jazeera’s new series “Rebel Architecture” was launched, featuring Spanish architect Santiago Cirugeda. Based in Seville, Cirugeda reclaims abandoned urban spaces for the public, despite the fact that self-building is illegal in Spain. His buildings are often fast-build, mobile structures made from recycled materials, but the key is that they all serve a social function. In this 25-minute episode, Al Jazeera looks at his latest project: converting an abandoned cement factory into a vibrant cultural center. Will Cirugeda successfully complete his biggest challenge yet?

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and to learn more about the series and upcoming episodes…

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Bjarke Ingels Lays Foundation Brick at LEGO House

BIG‘s LEGO House is now under construction, following a one of a kind foundation laying ceremony featuring – what else – supersized lego bricks. Bjarke Ingels himself was in attendance to lay one of the foundation bricks. Constructed in LEGO‘s hometown of Billund, Denmark, the LEGO House will be a 12,000 square metre “hands-on minds-on experience centre.”

More on the LEGO House, and the foundation laying ceremony, after the break

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World Photo Day: Patrick Bingham-Hall by Richard Hassell

School of the Arts / . Image © Patrick Bingham-Hall

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Richard Hassell of WOHA writes on behalf of Patrick Bingham-Hall. 

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World Photo Day: Thomas Mayer by Emre Arolat

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects. Image ©

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Emre Arolat writes on behalf of Thomas Mayer

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World Photo Day: Javier Callejas by Alberto Campo Baeza

The MA: Andalucia’s Museum of Memory / . Image © Javier Callejas

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Alberto Campo Baeza writes on behalf of Javier Callejas

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Shukhov Radio Tower Saved by Moscow City Hall

Shabolovka Radio Tower, , . Vladimir Shukhov, 1922. Image © Richard Pare 2007

Moscow‘s Cultural Heritage Department has stepped in to save Vladimir Shukhov‘s historic 1922 Shabolovka Radio Tower, with a conservation order protecting its materials, architectural composition, structural elements and location. The news will be a relief to the many architects – including Tadao AndoElizabeth DillerRem Koolhaas and Thom Mayne  – who agreed with Norman Foster that the tower is “a structure of dazzling brilliance and great historical importance”, and signed a petition urging for the structure to be saved.

Thanks to the conservation order, the neglected building will have to be repaired, and Moscow City Hall now hopes to collaborate with Russia‘s national government to organize an open international competition the restoration and re-purposing of the 160m tower.

Read on after the break for more on the Shukhov Tower’s proposed future

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World Photo Day: Sergio Pirrone by WMR Arquitectos

Till House / WMR Arquitectos. Image ©

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, WMR Arquitectos writes on behalf of Sergio Pirrone

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World Photo Day: Iwan Baan by Steven Holl

Museum of Ocean and Surf / Architects in collaboration with Solange Fabiao. Image © Iwan Baan

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked 15 architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Steven Holl writes on behalf of Iwan Baan

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World Photo Day 2014

The role that photography plays in disseminating and even shaping architecture has long been under scrutiny, perhaps now more than ever as the effort required for anybody to snap a photo and share it worldwide has decreased to almost nothing.

With that in mind, we hoped to find out what it takes to create photos that really do justice to the architecture they depict. We asked architects to write a few words about the photographers they trust most to document their projects, and the response we got revealed not only architects’ incredible gratitude toward their favorite photographers, but in many cases deep friendships and even collaborative relationships which drive both architect and photographer to greater heights.

Some of the photographers featured may be familiar to readers, such as Iwan Baan, Thomas Mayer or Roland Halbe; others may not. But what’s certain is that without all of these talented photographers, architecture as we know it today – and this website – just wouldn’t be the same. 

See all the World Photo Day Honorees here.

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Sefaira Announces Real-Time Daylight Visualisation Tool for AutoDesk Revit

Daylight Visualisation alongside BIM. Image Courtesy of Sefaira

Sefaira, one of the leading software designers for high-performance building design, have recently announced a new real-time daylight analysis and visualisation tool which runs within Autodesk Revit, one of the most commonly used Building Information Modelling (BIM) enabled (Windows native) design packages. Sefaira for allows for early stage analysis, leading to “more informed design decisions based on multiple daylighting metrics.”

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