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AD Classics: Austrian Cultural Forum / Raimund Abraham

Before the impossibly “super-thin” tower became ubiquitous on the Midtown Manhattan skyline, Raimund Abraham’s Austrian Cultural Forum challenged the limits of what could be built on the slenderest of urban lots. Working with a footprint no bigger than a townhouse (indeed, one occupied the site before the present tower), Abraham erected a daring twenty-four story high-rise only twenty-five feet across. Instantly recognizable by its profile, a symmetrical, blade-like curtain wall cascading violently toward the sidewalk, ACFNY was heralded by Kenneth Frampton as “the most significant modern piece of architecture to be realized in Manhattan since the Seagram Building and the Guggenheim Museum of 1959.” [1]

The massing of the building is dictated solely by zoning laws and the immediacy of its neighbors. Image © Photo by David Plakke, davidplakke.com; Courtesy of Austrian Cultural Forum New York © Photo by David Plakke, davidplakke.com; Courtesy of Austrian Cultural Forum New York The director's office that occupies the box-like protrusion on the southern facade. Image © Photo by David Plakke, davidplakke.com; Courtesy of Austrian Cultural Forum New York East-facing section with the "scissor stairs" on the left-hand side

City View Garage in the Miami Design District / IwamotoScott

  • Architects: IwamotoScott
  • Location: Miami, FL, USA
  • Area: 1403.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Craig Scott , Daniel Balean, Robin Hill, Vernon Jones

© Daniel Balean © Robin Hill © Craig Scott © Craig Scott

AIA Signs Cooperative Agreement with Africa Union of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) has signed a cooperative agreement to "share practice tools and resources, creating a framework for American and African architects to work collaboratively in achieving development and infrastructure goals in Africa." The agreement articulates their mutual interests to advance the “Africa Sustainability Campaign” in spirit of the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reinvigorate and formalize the AIA's relationship with our colleagues in Africa,” said AIA 2015 President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “We look forward to increased knowledge sharing on topics such as health and resilience which are critical to the sustainable future of our planet."

Please Touch the Art: Jeppe Heine's "Labyrinth NY" Installed in Brooklyn

For the next year, visitors at New York's Brooklyn Bridge Park will have the chance to interact with "Please Touch the Art", an exhibition of works by Danish artist Jeppe Hein. Playful, inventive, and immediately striking, Hein's work engages audiences as "active participants," inviting spontaneity and user interaction. Curated by Nicholas Baume, the exhibition contains three bodies of work by Hein: the soaring water jets of Appearing Rooms, the sixteen bright red benches of Modified Social Benches, and the reflective vertical planks of Mirror Labyrinth NY.

The exhibition is a project of New York City's Public Art Fund, a non-profit organization responsible for numerous free exhibitions offering "powerful experiences with art and the urban environment".

Learn more about the Mirror Labyrinth NY installation and view selected images after the break.

"Mirror Labyrinth NY", Jeppe Hein (2015), High polished stainless steel, aluminum,106.5 x 346.5 x 338.5 inches "Mirror Labyrinth NY", Jeppe Hein (2015), High polished stainless steel, aluminum,106.5 x 346.5 x 338.5 inches "Mirror Labyrinth NY", Jeppe Hein (2015), High polished stainless steel, aluminum,106.5 x 346.5 x 338.5 inches "Mirror Labyrinth NY", Jeppe Hein (2015), High polished stainless steel, aluminum,106.5 x 346.5 x 338.5 inches

Elastic / Garcia Tamjidi Architecture Design

© Joe Fletcher Photography © Joe Fletcher Photography © Joe Fletcher Photography © Joe Fletcher Photography

Exhibition: Sketch to Structure

Sketch to Structure unfolds the architectural design process to show how buildings take shape. With sketches, plans, blueprints, renderings, and models from the Heinz Architectural Center collection, this exhibition reveals that architectural design, from initial concept to client presentation, isn’t straightforward.

Win Tickets to the IDEAS CITY Conference Next Week in NYC

Next week, the New Museum in New York will kickstart the annual IDEAS CITY Festival on Thursday, May 28th. Themed after Italo Calvino's "The Invisible City," the three-day event will "explore questions of transparency and surveillance, citizenship and representation, expression and suppression, participation and dissent, and the enduring quest for visibility in the city" through a number of platforms, such as panels discussions, poetry slams, mobile art installations, workshops, exhibitions and most notably the transformation of New York City's Bowery neighborhood into a "temporary city of ideas."

Interested in attending? Five of our readers have the chance to win tickets to the festival's opening conference. Enter the sweepstakes below for a chance to watch a screening of Mannahatta: Studies for an Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, listen to Bjarke Ingels discuss the relevance of literary speculation, and much more (the full conference schedule). 

All those who will be in New York City on May 28th are eligible to participate. Follow the instructions to enter below. 

Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial

The US World War I Centennial Commission has launched a design competition for the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is open internationally to any professionals, university-level students, and all other interested participants. "The objective is to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place that complements the memorial purpose while attracting visitors, workers, and residents of the District of Columbia," says the Commission. 

White Stone Studios / Benjamin Hall Design

  • Architects: Benjamin Hall Design
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • Design Team: Benjamin Hall, Matt O’Bright
  • Unit Area: 450 ft2
  • Area: 3000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Matt Winquist

© Matt Winquist © Matt Winquist © Matt Winquist © Matt Winquist

ABI Slows in April

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Zig-Zag House / Dan Brunn Architecture

  • Architects: Dan Brunn Architecture
  • Location: Venice, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Design Team: Dan Brunn, AIA, Principal - Samantha Ballard, Designer- John Ferri, AIA, Project Architect
  • Area: 450.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Brandon Shigeta

© Brandon Shigeta © Brandon Shigeta © Brandon Shigeta © Brandon Shigeta

Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link

Work Begins on Steven Holl's Hunters Point Library in Queens

Construction has commenced on Steven Holl Architects' Hunters Point Community Library in Queens, New York. Rising along the shoreline on the city's East River near a cluster of newly built high-rise condominiums, the 22,000 square-foot (6,705 meter) library aims to provide a community-centric public space and park to the increasingly privatized Long Island City waterfront. 

© Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects

CLOG : GUGGENHEIM Launch @ Wieden+Kennedy

To mark the release of CLOG's 13th issue, a panel discussion will be hosted at the WORKac-designed offices of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. Tina Vaz, Acting Deputy Director of Global Communications of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; David Kolbusz, Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy New York; and the Editors of CLOG will critically discuss the branding of museums today. Party to follow.

18th Ave City Homes / Malboeuf Bowie Architecture

© Andrew Pogue © Andrew Pogue © Andrew Pogue © Andrew Pogue

Call for Papers - "Suffragette City: Gender, Politics, and the Built Environment"

The College of Charleston is now accepting abstracts for its upcoming symposium Suffragette City: Gender, Politics, and the Built Environment. Exploring the convergence of these topics throughout history, the interdisciplinary event aims to inspire new research that examines how both past and present efforts have challenged customary gender roles and impacted the physical, social, and conceptual identities of cities. The deadline for paper proposals, which must be 300 words or fewer, is July 1, 2015. For more information or to submit a topic, visit arthistory.cofc.edu.

SecondMedia's Foamspace Proposal Wins Storefront's 2015 Street Architecture Competition

SecondMedia has been selected as the winner of Storefront for Art and Architecture's 2015 Street Architecture Prize Competition. Now in its third year, the biennial international competition seeks to implement temporary outdoor installations that facilitate "new forms of collective public gathering." Participants in the 2015 competition were asked to respond to the theme of New York's IDEAS City Festival, "The Invisible City." SecondMedia's winning proposal 'Foamspace' -- which envisions creating an "urban lounge" with Geofoam blocks -- beat out over 70 submissions from teams of artists, engineers, and architects across the globe. 

Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Courtesy of SecondMedia Courtesy of SecondMedia Courtesy of SecondMedia Courtesy of SecondMedia