The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that spending for nonresidential and commercial construction will continue to decline before a modest recovery in 2012. The reason for the continued decline, of course, is due to the overall uneven economic recovery. The hesistency on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities all restrain the nonresidential and commercial construction sectors.
Overall, many sectors of the building industry are seeing a decline this year followed by a slight rebound. The nonresidential sector is projected to decline 5.6 percent this year and recover at 6.4 percent in 2012. The commercial sector will see a 6.5 percent decline this year and rebound approximately 12 percent next year. Manufacturing facilities will see a steep decline at almost 16 percent, with a rebound of 8 percent. While the stable institutional sector will see the least amount of decline at 3 percent and rebound at 4 percent.
With such a week recovery, most businesses and institutions are refraining from building new facilities. However, spending on renovations of existing facilities has remained strong. Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. This also threatens international markets that have seen rapid growth in recent years.
For a more thorough breakdown of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast refer to this chart by following this link: http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/2011/charts/consensus-survey/july/july.html
A new set of tools have been developed by researchers at MIT in collaboration with China’s Tsinghua University that will evaluate the performance and energy consumption of large-scale projects. Led by Dennis Frenchman and Christopher Zegras from MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning, these new set of guidelines and tools are a proactive response to the rapid urbanization of China and its ever-increasing development and infrastructure projects. The main goal is to introduce sustainable methods of implementation and construction, and responsible energy patterns one neighborhood at a time.
Recent graduates of the Masters program at Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning, Adam Buente and Kyle Perry have spent the last couple years developing their unique interests and ideas into a business of their own. Working with fellow students Elizabeth Boone and Eric Brockmeyer, they began a collaborative graduate thesis project focused on exploring the possibilities of design and fabrication via digital equipment as a business platform. After their first year out of school they have begun to independently manage their Indiana based company. PROJECTiONE recently produced the ACADIA competition winner HYPERLAXITY and boast other projects such as EXOtique, bitMAPS, and Radiance. Words and images from the PROJECTiONE team after the break. (more…)
Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks Initiative, recently released its second annual Green Building Opportunity Index and three New York City submarkets cracked the top ten. Midtown, Midtown South, and Downtown placed second, fourth, and seventh, respectively in the Index. One of the goals of this initiative is to assist urban planners and policymakers in examining data to understand what new policies and incentives may be useful in accelerating green building practices at the local level.
After patiently evolving the design of 837 Washington Street, the Meatpacking District’s newest addition, New York-based Morris Adjmi Architects are happy to announce the project’s recent approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The new office and retail building, which will rise from a 1930s warehouse, will be Adjmi’s fourth building in the Meatpacking District. The project has been struggling to gain approval, primarily due to its height, as the building was originally conceived to stand 100 feet tall; however, the most recent design scheme shows the building measuring just below 80 feet, allowing it to blend more graciously with its surroundings.
More about the project after the break. (more…)
The architectural profession has been greatly influenced by the recession that began over three years ago. With hundreds of projects, on a variety of scales, being stalled or completely canceled, and firms forced to lay off extreme numbers of employees, many estimate that our profession has taken one of the hardest hits of this economic downturn.
We are constantly, and optimistically, seeking that metaphorical silver lining to get back on our feet hoping our industry will revive itself. Yet, back in March of this year, the Chief economist for the AIA, Kermit Baker, warned, “We’ve been preaching patience and cautious optimism for a full recovery because there continues to be a wide range of business conditions for architecture firms that are also influenced by firm size, practice specialties and regional location. We still expect the road to recovery to move at a slow, but steady pace.”
More after the break. (more…)
Director Christopher Nolan is preparing to shoot his third and final Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which promises to bring the events of its blockbuster predecessors full circle. The filmmaker will experience new ground with the conclusion to his trilogy by shooting a portion of the film in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Shooting locations for Nolan’s Batman installments are shot all over the world, in places such as, India, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and now Pittsburgh. Each location offers unique elements of architecture to create the look and feel of Gotham City and Batman’s world. More information after the break. (more…)
The award winning sustainable German architecture firm, Ingenhoven Architects, has been hired by Google Inc to design their new headquarters in Mountain View, California. Expected to begin construction in 2012, Ingenhoven approached the design with the idea that ‘the architecture should be an expression of the corporate culture and at the same time a model for sustainable architecture in the broadest sense surpassing the LEED-Platinum-Standards with its holistic concept’. Jordan Newman, a Google spokesman shared about Ingenhoven, “we’ve asked them to build the most green, sustainable building possible.”
Google’s offices in Milan, previously featured on ArchDaily can be viewed here. More about this exciting news from the architects following the break.
American Institute of Architects New York Chapter organizes international exchange of award-winning designers between New York and São Paulo
Last year, the New Practices Committee of the AIA New York Chapter recognized seven promising and pioneering new architecture and design firms working in New York – the New Practices New York 2010 winners.
This year, AIANY and the Center for Architecture are thrilled to send an exhibition of these firms to São Paulo, and welcome in return an exhibition of São Paulo’s winning new practices. New York’s 2010 winners will be on view at the São Paulo International Architecture Biennial in Oscar Niemeyer’s OCA Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park from November 1 – December 4, 2011 and the young Brazilian firms will be featured in an exhibition opening July 14 at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, in New York City.
The exhibition will remain on view at the Center for Architecture until September 10, 2011. More information after the break.
The St. Petersburg Pier, a long-adored and long-outdated West Florida cultural attraction, has unveiled the semi-finalists in its international redesign competition. Of the twenty-three qualified inquiries received, nine were chosen to move forward in the contest. The competition attracted big names in the architecture world; BIG, West 8 Urban Design, James Corner Field Operations, and HOK Architects were among the participants.
More on the St. Petersburg Pier after the break.
Tallinn Architecture Biennale is a new international architecture forum that brings together theory and practice as well as young and experienced architects in order to arouse rich discussion upon the issues of architecture, urban planning and landscape. The first TAB concentrates on the hybrid issue of Landscape Urbanism.
Our hope is to see landscape urbanism as a ’third way’ which can solve urban problems that have proved too difficult for conventional planning methods. Landscape urbanism could provide answers to the question of how to guide urban processes from the inside so that the system as a whole would maintain its balance and integrity. The term ’landscape’ is here used primarily as a model of consistency, responsiveness and scale, that is, a conceptual tool rather than a direct reference to nature.
The architecture community recently lost Chicago architect Douglas Garofalo, FAIA. Founder of Garofalo Architects, he was a University of Notre Dame graduate and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serving as director (2001-2003) and co-founded the alternative design school Archeworks. Garofalo also was known for pioneering the use of computer technology in building design within the United States. His award-winning Korean Presbyterian Church in New York, a collaborative project with Greg Lynn and Michael McInturf, received international attention with its digital media approach and alternative solution to adaptive reuse.
Garofalo has received recent professional honors including a Chicago AIA Distinguished Building Award, Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design (for Hyde Park Arts Center), the united States Artist Fellowship, and he was named a University Scholar for 2009-2012 by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bob Somol, “In addition to his professional accomplishments and teaching excellence, Garofalo is tireless in his service to the University and larger architectural community. Along with his increasing national and international acclaim, Garofalo continues to be one of the most generous and dedicated members of the University and School community.”
Executive Director of AIA Chicago Zurich Esposito shared, “Doug was a shooting star and always ahead of most. We are only just now starting to understand everything he was moving forward in design. His recent absence from the practice was palpable. His death is a huge loss for our community.”
The Libyan Museum of History located in Tripoli, Libya proposes a unique twist on the traditional museum typology. Consolidated Consultants/Jafar Tukan Architects has taken an approach that blends the building experience into the existing urban fabric through the integration of two surrounding pathways that define both experience and building geometry and massing. Unfortunately, the project has suffered numerous setbacks since concept approval including delays related to property issues, which was followed by a six month delay. Construction of the project is currently undetermined as the current national conflict within Libya continues. More details after the break.
Within St. Petersburg lies a triangle shaped island that has been home to a naval prison, lumberyard, a radio station, and military barracks. Off limits to the public for 300 years New Holland Island, with its unique identity of canals and existing warehouse structures, will be part of a $12 billion dollar redevelopment project. Identifying the island as one of St. Petersburg’s most significant historical sites The Architecture Foundation held an international invitation-only competition New Ideas for New Holland, which included entires from David Chipperfield Architects, MVRDV, Russia’s Studio 44, and winning proposal from WORK Architecture Company (WORKac).
Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, principals of WORKac shared, “We are very excited at the opportunity to work with the Iris Foundation and NHD on this critically important project for one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Our master plan balances preservation with innovation, respecting St Petersburg’s past while paving the way for its continued artistic development and future.”
A few years ago we had a chance to visit WORKac at their studio in New York and spoke with principals Amale Andraos and Dan Wood (be sure to take a look at our interview with them!) More on this winning proposal by WORKac along with renderings and drawings following the break.
The American Institute of Architects is spearheading a new initiative aimed at reviving the numerous stalled projects across the country. Since a significant portion of the US economy is construction based – measuring $1 out every $9 of total GDP output – it is imperative to get the industry back on track in order to revive the economy. However, the current obstacle many developers are facing is the lack of lending available by the banking system.
One method that the AIA is implementing in order to circumvent the unwillingness of banks to invest in real estate is to harvest investment from pension funds, and construction consortiums. The AIA is currently compiling a database of stalled buildings that will serve as a menu for potential investors. Any new and innovative methods for jump-starting the design and construction industry will undoubtedly be welcomed, as a recent survey of 700 firms discovered that 63% have at least one stalled project with an average value of $50 million. The results from this pending investigation are expected within the next couple of months.
Over 1,000 meters (that’s 3,280 feet!) with a total construction area of 530,000 sqm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture are currently in design development phase for Kingdom Tower. Slated to surpass Burj Khalifa by 173 meters (coincidently which Adrian Smith also designed while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) Kingdom Tower is the centerpiece of the $20 billion dollar Kingdom City Development, with the tower itself expected to cost $1.2 billion dollars. Featuring a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory the tower’s foundation drawings are complete with the piling currently being tendered.
More renderings of the world’s largest tower which will be located near the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia following the break.
Although often criticized for being especially liberal in its approach to crime and punishment, Norway focuses intensely on ensuring that ”doing time” is done in a dignified way, and inmates’ sentence should be a dress rehearsal for living a life without crime once they have completed their sentence. The Halden Prison in Halden, Norway by Erik Møller Arkitekter is considered to be the world’s most humae prison and it will be the new home for Anders Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist responsible for the deaths of 76 people last week.
More after the break. (more…)
Voted the most important building of the 20th century in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater this month celebrates its 75th anniversary. This residential mountain retreat masterpiece by Wright was designed in 1935 for legendary Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr. and his family. Drawing crowds of 160,000 visitors a year to Western Pennsylvania’s picturesque Laurel Highlands, Fallingwater redefined the relationship between man, architecture, and nature with Wright’s integrated design of the existing waterfall and the house itself. Commemorating the anniversary, Rizzoli has published a 382 page book entitled Fallingwater complete with specially commissioned photography just for this book.
For the 2011 Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based landscape architecture office Topotek1 “dug” a hole to the other side of the world. From its edges visitors to this garden in China can peer into a real or imagined world at the end of the tunnel. Whether these are the cows from the pampas of Argentinas, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin. These soundtracks pique the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from China, away from the garden,” and into a far-off place.
This concrete, clover leaf-shaped structure, which was built in 1975, will likely suffer a fate common to many vacant and disused buildings. After approximately four years of vacancy, this Bertrand Goldberg-designed building will likely be demolished when ownership will revert to Northwestern University this year. Although Goldberg’s organic architectural designs – such as this one – were widely influential, none of his major Chicago works are protected by local landmark designation. Prentice Women’s Hospital was considered groundbreaking for its cutting-edge architecture, advanced engineering, and its progressive design approach to organizing medical departments and services. It received international press coverage and an award from Engineering News Record for its innovative tower and open floor-plate layout that eliminated the need for structural support columns. “You will not find the structural solution to Prentice, which is an exterior shell cantilevered off a core, anywhere else in the world” notes Geoffrey Goldberg, an architect and Bertrand Goldberg’s son. “Prentice was the only one in which this was achieved.”
Roll It, a cool experimental house, resulted from the collaboration among different institutes within the University of Karlsruhe. This cyclindrical design is a modular protype that provides flexible space within a minimum housing unit. Three different sections are dedicated to different functional needs: there’s a bed and table in section, an exercise cylinder, and a kitchen with a sink.
More images and more about the prototype after the break. (more…)