Firm Identity in an Age of Mergers and Acquisitions

In the current economic climate, the business of architecture is undergoing fundamental change. One accelerating trend is mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships: these new practice configurations are affecting company identities, business development strategies, and communications. Moderated by James Russell, this program will be a conversation among representatives from three firms with recent M&A.

We invite firm principals who may be considering these various options, architecture staff, business development and marketing/communications professionals, and job seekers who wish to have a greater understanding of the current practice landscape. It will be moderated by James S. Russell, Architecture Editor at Bloomberg. Panelists include Peter Cavaluzzi, Yen Ha, and F. Bradford (Rick) Drake. The event will take place next Monday, May 23 between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. More information can be found here.

“Angels’ Dance” – XXI Century Theater in the former Sant’ Anna’s Church / Silva & Roth Architects

Courtesy of

The XXI Century Theater which is located in the former Sant’ Anna’s Church in , is a choreographed spatial strategy that begins with the translation of words into actions, and is followed by the manifestation of actions into spaces.  Silva & Roth Architects developed the “Angels’ Dance” through the notions of actions and motion, spontaneous behaviors and the architectonic space.

More on this project after the break.

Felix Nussbaum Museum / Daniel Libeskind

© Bitter Bredt

Architects: Daniel Libeskind
Location: Osnabrueck,
Architect of Record: Reinders & Partner
Structural Engineer: Watermann
Landscape Architect: Müller, Knippschild, Wehberg
Mechanical Engineer: Jäger & Partner, Beratende Ingenieure
Lightning Designer: Dinnebier Licht
Contractor: Reinders and Partner
Project area: 1,890 sqm
Photographs: Bitter Bredt Fotografie

Mlicki Offices / Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design

© Feinknopf Photography

This renovation project addressed the issues of sustainability through recycling, the reinvention of two historic, but not historically significant, structures to align with the brand of the owner’s business, and the investigation of and references to the work of two artists through this project.

Architect: Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design
Location: Columbus, ,
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Brad Feinknopf, Feinknopf Photography

Update: New Amsterdam Pavilion Opens / Ben van Berkel

Last summer, we had the opportunity to discuss Ben van Berkel’s design ideas behind his New Amsterdam Pavilion for (see our past coverage here).  At that time, while the pavilion’s sleek sculptural form was complete, the interior the pavilion was still under construction.   Now, with the interior and landscape complete, the pavilion has opened for public use.  Situated outside the South Ferry terminal in Peter Minuit Plaza, the pavilion will serve as a new cultural hub in the middle of an intersection crossed by more than 150,000 residents each day.    Conceived as a contemporary “outdoor living room”, the project will provide visitor information, locally grown gourmet food, and a space for spontaneous and schedule activities.  Plus, at 12:00, the pavilion will glow with an array of colors in tribute to Peter Minuit whose name translates to ‘midnight.’

More about the pavilion after the break.

Henry Gifford Files Opposition to USGBC’s Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

The USGBC continues to be in the headlines as last week Henry Gifford filed opposition papers to the USGBC’s motion to dismiss the pending lawsuit in .

Mr. Gifford’s attorneys argue in their opposition. “If the USGBC website were password protected for professional members only, that assertion would be more convincing,” Mr. Gifford’s attorneys write. “But the USGBC website is aimed at giving the general public an overview of LEED, with ‘What LEED Is’ on the masthead. USGBC’s website explains to the layman consumer: ‘By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, business, and taxpayers. . . It’s absurd to think USGBC is not directing its marketing at the tenant-consumer.”

Nan Gallery / AZL architects

© Nacasa & Partners

Architects: AZL architects
Location: , Jiangsu Province, China
Project Team: Zhang Lei, You Shaoping, Yuan Zhongwei
Project area: 230 sqm
Project year: 2007
Photographs: Nacasa & Partners

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann

© Courtesy of Hausermann

Text: Mariana Timony
Photographs: Courtesy of Hausermann

Harajuku Church / Ciel Rouge

© Henri Gueydan

Architects: Ciel Rouge
Location: , Japan
Project area: 1100 sqm
Project year: 2006
Photographs: Henri Gueydan

Art and Archeological Museum / CVDB Arquitectos

Courtesy of

The Art and Archeological Museum in , Portugal by CVDB Arquitectos is an entry for an International Public Competition hosted by the Portuguese Archeological Institute. The project is located on a relatively secluded landscape and creates a establishes a strong connection between the natural and built forms on the site.

More on this project after the break.



Architects: FILM-OBRAS DE ARQUITECTURA (Carlos Fernández, Jorge Isaías, Gabriel Lanosa, Claudio Maslat)
Location: Buenos Aires,
Project area: 105 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of FILM-OBRAS DE ARQUITECTURA

‘$H!T HAPPENS’: An innovative traveling exhibit curated by Juergen Mayer H.

Why Berlin? Once an industrial center and later a city divided, Berlin’s walls fell years ago, and its gates have since remained open for experimentation. The city attracts artists and designers from around the world to its former factory buildings, transformed into studios and galleries. Berlin’s streets foster potential for what is new, perhaps more than any other place today. It has become an avant-garde capital for design in an unlikely locale, inviting international talent in the overlapping disciplines of art, architecture, industrial and product design.

The exhibition $H!T HAPPENS In Berlin explores the aesthetic and technical innovations of creatives in the city, showcasing both emerging and established designers. The unexpected is the norm; trials and errors, miscalculations and failures, experimentation and surprise–all result in ingenious design strategies.

The outcome of those experiments will be on view at special press and AD events starting May 14, 2011 in the City showroom and June 17, 2011 in the Toronto showroom of Relative Space & Floorworks. A custom video Clarity Matrix wall by Planar will be installed in the storefront of the Relative Space showroom, with all creative content streamed 24/7 to showcase the upcoming exhibit of over 10 Berlin based designers. More information may be found about individual participating designers at

Dawntown Miami Competition Winners

Courtesy of

DawnTown Miami is an annual architecture ideas competition meant to bring creative and inspiring new solutions to Downtown . This year’s winners have presented a variety of solutions for a new event space on a historic site.  The competition called for a Floating Stage that was to become a new structure to compliments the existing Marine Stadium.

This year’s winning projects can be seen after the break.

The Orchidarium Professor Ruth Cardoso / Decio Tozzi

© Ricardo Canton

Architects: Decio Tozzi
Location: Villa-Lobos Park,
Collaborators: Stefani Samara,  Natalia Necco
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Ricardo Canton

Buckner Companies Headquarters / Weinstein Friedlein Architects

© James West

Architects: Weinstein Friedlein Architects
Location: Graham, North Carolina,
Collaborators: Stewart Engineering, Raleigh, Structural Engineers, Romeo Guest Construction, Durham, General Contractor, Buckner Erection, Graham
Project year: 2010
Photographs: James West

Aero Pavilion / Department for Architecture Design and Media Technology

© Department for Architecture Design and Media Technology

Architects: Department for Architecture Design and Media Technology
Location: ,
Student team: Jonas Nielsen, David Thomsen, Mads Skak, Henrik Jacobsen, Phillip Klausen, Laura Bogstad
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Department for Architecture Design and Media Technology

Postage Stamp Architecture

TNT Post, the Dutch postal company has collaborated with the Netherlands Architecture Institute to develop a new line of postage stamps that feature both monumental works and experimental projects.  More about the postage stamps, from previous NAI director Aaron Betsky following the break.

Vertical Villages for European Snowbirds / OFF Architecture, PR Architect and Samuel Nageotte

Courtesy of OFF Architecture, PR Architect and Samuel Nageotte

The Solar Park South International design competition awarded French firms OFF architecturePR Architect and Samuel Nageotte for their entry called Verical Villages in , . The competition played with the theme of a ‘Solar Highway’, re-using sections of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway soon to be decommissioned by the Italian Highways Authority. The redevelopment of the viaduct section of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway was carefully considered by the architects for each of its components in order to best integrate the project with the site’s potential. The fundamental question posed by the competition is that of the readaptation of such sites and the possibilities of atypical redevelopment socially, culturally and economically for the region.

Read on for more on this awarded competition entry after the break.