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How to Fix America's Infrastructure Problem

With structurally unsound bridges, unsafe dams, and derelict roads becoming increasingly common problems, infrastructure has been brought to the forefront of many political agendas. However, limited funding in this area brings to mind the question of economics: how will improvements to North America's major trading channels be made without driving the nation further into debt? This is what Jordan Golson addresses in the article, "It's Time to Fix America's Infrastructure. Here's Where to Start." Although not all of these infrastructural problems can be resolved in the foreseeable future, according to Golson, however some smaller improvements in the next few years can be a manageable starting point. Read the full article, here.

AIA Construction Forecast Predicts Increased Spending

This week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released the results of its first Consensus Construction Forecast of the year. The forecast is compiled based on predictions of the industry's leading forecasters and is conducted bi-annually to anticipate shifting business conditions in the construction industry. The dominant trend in this forecast (projected for 2015 and 2016) is an overall increase in spending in the construction sector.

Beach Hampton / Bates Masi Architects

© Bates Masi + Architects © Bates Masi + Architects © Bates Masi + Architects © Bates Masi + Architects

Pei Cobb Freed Breaks Ground on Boston’s Tallest Residential Tower

Construction has commenced on Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ 61-story condominium tower in Boston’s historic Back Bay. The $700 million development will be the tallest residential building in the city, and the tallest tower to rise since the 1976 John Hancock Tower, also designed by Pei Cobb Freed. 

“The project allows us to consider once again how a tall building, together with the open space it frames, can respond creatively to the need for growth while showing appropriate respect for its historic urban setting,” says Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

BLUEPRINT: Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer and Florian Idenburg & Jing Liu of SO – IL

BLUEPRINT is the latest exhibition on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Curated by Sebastiaan Bremer, Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, the exhibition features 50 blueprints from participating artists and architects, ranging from as far back as 1961 to 2013. 

Win a Set of LEGO® Architecture's Newly Released Lincoln Memorial

We announced earlier this month that the LEGO® Architecture series will now include the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC! Thanks to LEGO® Architecture, two of our US readers now have the chance to win their very own set.

Official Rules: To participate, let us know what existing LEGO® Architecture set is your favorite. All you have to do is become a registered user at ArchDaily and leave us your answer in the comments below. Two winners will be chosen at random from entries received between Monday, January 26th and Sunday, February 1st at 11:59 EST. Anyone in the United States is welcome to participate. One entry per person. ArchDaily will enforce verification and remove duplicated ones before choosing the winner.

Good luck!

14 Architects to Receive 2015 AIA Young Architects Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 14 recipients for the 2015 AIA Young Architects Award. This award, now in its 22nd year, honors young architects - licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age - who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. All recipients will be presented the award at the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. View them all, after the break. 

How Americans Get to Work

In the US, most people drive alone to work. This isn’t surprising, considering car culture has been a staple of American life since the end of World War II. However, with the potential of high speed rails making way in California and the push for public transit in many other states, it will be interesting to see how this map may (or may not) change over the next decade. 

Tiny-House Villages: Safe Havens for the Homeless

As the need for smart housing solutions rises, so does the appeal of tiny-house villages, not just as shelter for the homeless, but as a possible look to the future of the housing sector. The new article, Are Tiny-House Villages The Solution To Homelessness? by Tim Murphy, takes a closer look into the positive and negative aspects of these controversial communities, as well as their social and political ramifications so far. Through interviews with residents of several tiny-house villages, Murphy investigates the current impacts they have had on the homeless populations within major American cities, and questions how the lifestyle will evolve in the future. Read the full article, here.

Redesigning Los Angeles For Long-Term Drought

With many of the world’s cities combating drought, it is apparent that channeling water away from populated areas with no intended use is not sustainable. Cities are depending on their “precious rain water” more than ever and, as Arid Lands Institute co-founder Hadley Arnold says, "the ace in our species pocket is the ability to innovate.” We need to “build cities like sponges,” starting with permeable hardscape, drought-tolerant landscaping and smarter plumbing. See what NPR has to say about issue of water treatment and Los Angeles, here.  

Warren Woods Passive House / GO Logic

  • Architects: GO Logic
  • Location: Belfast, ME, USA
  • Design Team: Matthew O’Malia, RA, Principal, Timothy Lock, RA, Project Architect, Riley Pratt
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Trent Bell

© Trent Bell © Trent Bell © Trent Bell © Trent Bell

NCARB to Assist Brazil with Regulating Architectural Licensure

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has formed an agreement with the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR) to “exchange information and share best practices” regarding the regulation of architectural licensure and professional standards. 

“NCARB is pleased to be in a position to help Brazil strengthen and solidify its regulatory approach governing architects,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. “We are also excited to learn from Brazil’s activities, including its effective national system of monitoring various aspects of architectural practice.”

360 Architecture Tops New Atlanta Stadium with Retractable "Roof Petals"

Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium
Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium

A fly-through over the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium has been released, revealing an unprecedented retractable roof designed by 360 Architecture (recently acquired by HOK). According to the stadium’s official website, the Pantheon-inspired stadium’s “eight unique roof petals” can rotate open in less than eight minutes, much like a “camera lens.” It will also be clad in a translucent ETFE fabric that, when closed, will allow natural light to pass into its interior. 

The video, after the break.

AIA Says December ABI Closed 2014 on "Solid Footing"

Rising from a score of 50.9 to 52.2 in December, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) closed 2014 on "solid footing." As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), design services continued to increase throughout the majority of last year and all regions, except the Northeast, experienced favorable conditions. 

“Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Treatise: Why Write Alone?

Drawing inspiration from Steven Holl and William Stout’s brainchild Pamphlet Architecture, a new collaborative project, Treatise: Why Write Alone?, unifies fourteen design firms to examine the architectural treatise as a method of exploring theoretical questions and sparking discussion. The project was developed by designer Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular in response to receiving a grant from the Graham Foundation. His unconventional ideas on the architectural process made him wonder, "Why write? And, why write alone?" The resultant collection of publications delves into these questions, both collectively and individually, with a collaborative piece as well as submissions from each firm.

Andrew Kovacs, "Guggenheim Helsinki Model," 2014. Found objects. 48 x 96 x 12 inches. Courtesy of the artist Design With Company (Stewart Hicks & Allison Newmeyer), "Midwest Culture Sampler (Department of Quantity, Scale, Image)," 2014. Three archival inkjet prints. 26 x 11 1/4 inches each. Courtesy of the artists. is-office (Kyle Reynolds and Jeff Mikolajewski), “Javits, Javits,” 2012. Archival inkjet print. 56 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artists. SOFTlab (Michael Szivos), "Shizuku," 2009. Plywood. 72 x 24 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Jessika Creedon.

Phoenix House / Anderson Anderson Architecture

  • Architects: Anderson Anderson Architecture
  • Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Mark Anderson, Peter Anderson
  • Design Team: Anderson, Peter Anderson, Johnson Tang, Yevgeniy Ossipov, Gennifer Muñoz, Yingying Xue, Jia Wu, Chris Campbell
  • Project Manager: Yevgeniy Ossipov
  • Area: 3700.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Anthony Vizzari

© Anthony Vizzari © Anthony Vizzari © Anthony Vizzari © Anthony Vizzari

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Commissioned for New Performing Arts Center in Massachusetts

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been chosen as the winner of a design competition for a new performing arts center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The competition received submissions from eight world-renowned firms, which were then judged by a selection committee. The $60 million building will tentatively begin construction in 2017, as part of the College's plan to "Become More: The Campaign of Holy Cross." DS+R ultimately won the competition due to its diverse design and interdisciplinary nature, just as the College hopes to instill in its students through this addition.