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Columbus Museum of Art Expansion and Renovation / DesignGroup

© Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf © Brad Feinknopf

6 Shortlisted for U.S. Embassy Project in Brasília

In June, the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) released a call for architects interested in designing a New Embassy Compound (NEC) in BrasíliaBrazil's federal capital. Of the 48 firms deemed eligible to compete, 6 practices have been shortlisted to move on to the second and final stage of the international competition. 

These 6 shortlisted teams include: 

United States Allocates $160 Million to Smart Cities Initiative

In the continuing quest for smarter cities, the White House has announced the dedication of 160-million dollars toward the integration of sensors and data collection in cities across the United States. The new initiative strives to produce better, real-time data for local organizations, companies and governments to improve responses, both in time and effectiveness. The initiative broadly covers various organizations and federal grants, but hopes to address issues like crime, traffic congestion and climate change. Read more after the break.

RE-Form Design Competition

The AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee (AIA|DC EAC) has partnered with Price Modern, a national furniture solutions dealer, to announce its inaugural RE-Form Competition. RE-Form aims to bridge the boundaries of the design industry and promote a multidisciplinary dialogue towards design solutions. Through an industry-wide design competition, RE-Form helps widen the definition of design work creative professionals do throughout the country. The design competition launches nationally through AIA|DC EAC’s online platforms on August 31st 2015, with entries due on October 19th 2015. Award winners will be announced at a gala reception at Washington, D.C.’s District Architecture Center (DAC) on November 12, 2015. Winning entries will be showcased at DAC’s gallery space and online via Architect Magazine.

August ABI Contracts Slightly

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined in August, following fairly healthy business conditions so far this year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 49.1, down from a mark of 54.7 in July. The new projects inquiry index was 61.8, down from a reading of 63.7 the previous month.

“Over the past several years, a period of sustained growth in billings has been followed by a temporary step backwards,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that project inquiries and new design contracts continue to grow at a healthy pace suggests that this should not be a cause for concern throughout the design and construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break. 

Niche Tactics Book Launch

Niche Tactics: Generative Relationships between Architecture and Site (Routledge 2015), the first book by architecture's Edgar A. Tafel Assistant Professor Caroline O'Donnell, explores architecture's relationship with site and its ecological analogue: the relationship between an organism and its environment.

The launch event on Monday, September 28 at 5 p.m. will replicate the order of the book itself, with experts responding to particular chapters: Catherine Ingraham will represent the self-authored "Introduction"; Greg Keeffe will respond to chapter 1, "Niche Tactics"; Val Warke will respond to chapter 6, "All Dressed Up"; Mark Morris will respond to chapter 9, "Duck Jokes"; and O'Donnell will conclude with the CODA. In addition, an array of mixed meats and eggs will represent chapter 11 "Hopeful Monsters." 

Competition Challenges Architects to Reimagine New York's MetLife Building

Metals in Construction magazine has launched a competition for architects, engineers, students, designers, and others from all over the world to submit their vision for recladding 200 Park Avenue, built a half-century ago as the world’s largest corporate structure, the Pan Am Building (now the MetLife Building).

The mandate is to reimagine this New York City icon with a resource-conserving, eco-friendly enclosure—one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of its heritage. Entrants may now register on the competition's official website. The deadline for final submission is February 1, 2016.

DesignPhiladelphia Festival

DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, is the oldest design event of its kind in the country and annually showcases the work of over 400 practicing architects, designers, and creative professionals. This year’s Festival kicks off on the evening of October 7, and events run from October 8-16. Experience design in unexpected ways through approximately 100 exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, tours, talks, and events held in venues across the city. Learn about wide-ranging topics, including architecture, urban planning, landscape, graphic, multi-media, product, furniture design, fashion, and the like.

Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968

In this survey exhibition, architectural historian Kerri Culhane documents and explores Poy Gum Lee’s (1900-1968) nearly 50-year long career in both China and New York and examines Lee’s modernist influence in New York Chinatown. This project will result in the first-ever comprehensive list of Lee’s projects in New York. Lee’s hand is visible in the major civic architecture of Chinatown post 1945, which blends stylistically Chinese details with modern technologies and materials. Lee was the architectural consultant for the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association’s building on Mott Street (1959) and the On Leong Tong Merchant’s Association at Mott & Canal Street (1948-50) – the most prominent Chinese modern building in Chinatown. Among his highly visible commissions, Lee designed the Chinese-American WWII Monument in Kimlau Square (1962), a modernist take on a traditional Chinese pailou, or ceremonial gate; the Lee Family Association (ca. 1950); and the Pagoda Theatre (1963, demolished).

2016 Berkeley Prize Now Open

The 2016 Berkeley Prize is now open. Open to all undergraduate architecture students, the essay competition "strives to show architects-in-training that the smallest act of building has global implications: that design can and does play a major role in the social, cultural, and psychological life of both the individual and society at large." This year's competition theme is "Sheltering Those in Need: Architects Confront Homelessness." All initial submissions are due November 1, 2015. Essay semifinalists will be given the opportunity to apply for a travel fellowship. All the details, here

Likelihood / Best Practice Architecture

© Mark Woods Photography © Mark Woods Photography © Mark Woods Photography © Mark Woods Photography

Salt-Shaped Salt Shed Takes Shape Along Hudson River in New York City

New York City is replacing one of its 40 salt sheds on the Gansevoort Peninsula with a new, origami-like structure by Dattner Architects at Canal St/West St, along the Hudson River. Once completed, the shed will rise almost 70 feet tall and hold over 4,000 tons of salt in its six-foot thick concrete walls. In response to the complaints leveled against the Sanitation Garage across Spring Street from the new salt shed, Dattner Architects deliberately created a monolithic, crystalline form to contrast the scrim-like façade of its neighbour.

Event: Design Miami/

Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design.

Yellow Fever / Fleetwood Fernandez

© Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl

MOCATALKS: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee

It’s hard to miss the On Leong Tong Chinese Merchants building on the corner of Mott and Canal Streets. With its pagoda façade and ornamented balconies, this iconic building designed by Chinese American architect Poy Gum Lee reveals the distinct hybrid modern architectural style often referred to as “Chinese modern.” Through Poy Gum Lee’s body of work in Chinatown and in China, guest curator of "Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee, 1923-1968", Kerri Culhane illuminates Lee’s influence on the architectural aesthetics in Chinatown, the cultural and political impulses behind this architecture style, and the role of the built environment as an expression of identity.

Panel Discussion: Climate Change and the Willamette Valley

Farmland prices hitting new records, self-identified “climate refugees” fleeing the droughts in the southwest for verdant Oregon, rising water temperatures killing fish —the warming climate is already changing the Willamette Valley. Things will look very different here for farming, urban livability, and ecosystem health.

To ponder this rapidly evolving ecosystem, the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape will present four leading thinkers on the Willamette Valley and its future. What lies ahead for Oregon’s primary population center, breadbasket, garden, natural landscape, and playground? Moderated by Yeon Center director Randy Gragg, the conversation will explore the research that has been done, the successes and shortcomings of programs in place, what kinds of initiatives might be developed to shape a warmer, more populous valley to benefit its urban and rural populations, industries, and ecological health.

Carroll Gardens Townhouse / Lang Architecture

© Ty Cole Photography © Ty Cole Photography © Ty Cole Photography © Ty Cole Photography

Eye Eye Care and Clinic / Best Practice Architecture

© Rafael Soldi © Rafael Soldi © Rafael Soldi © Rafael Soldi