Detroit: Urban Renewal and the Great Recession

Photo by ifmuth -

The recession that began in 2007 technically ended in 2009, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting . The capital of U.S. auto manufacturing has been hit particularly hard, and stories of its plight during the economic downturn abound. Less reported, though, are the ideas and proposals put forth to return this city to its former glory. The urban renewal projects proposed are some of the latest in a long line of design projects that attempt to bring renewed prosperity and well being to the downtrodden sections of cities throughout the world. More on urban renewal and after the break.

The Research Agency / Jose Gutierrez

© Emily Andrews

Architects: Jose Gutierrez Ltd.
Location: Auckland,
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 200 sqm
Photographs: Emily Andrews

First Presbyterian Church Colorado Springs / Trahan Architects


Trahan Architects, among several elite design firms to contend, was selected to design “one of the most significant ecclesiastical commissions in the nation,” also known as the First Presbyterian Church of Springs. The proposed 1,750 seat sanctuary, along with a master plan comprises this project, which sits in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The structure is relatively independent of overt signs of a church; its design aspires to revive the church’s identity through an architecture which articulates convergence.

More on the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs after the break.

New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal / Pikasch Architecture Studio

Courtesy of

Inspired by varied and complex geographical environment of and in order to fit to playful topography and landscape of the provided site, the design by Pikasch Architecture Studio proposes a land form architecture where the building with its striking form not only blends into the existing landscape and paths, but also works as an attractive centre point and organizes the site with optimal consideration of given parameters. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Update: Solar Decathlon 2011

2011. Image via Jetson Green

For years, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the entries of the Solar Decathlon competition -an amazing student collaborative effort which showcases the latest in sustainable design.  Today, we’re bringing you a sneak peak of the 19 houses for the 2011 competition.  The form and materiality may be different from one team to the next, yet the projects’ attitudes toward optimizing solar gain and having the design serve an educational example of clean energy is all the same.  While the winner of the competition best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency, we enjoy seeing each team’s proposal and learning about their process.  Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more information about some of the projects of the 2011 competition (check out our in-depth look at Team New Jersey’s eNJoy House).  Which would you like to learn more about?

Check out a sampling of the teams’ models and renderings after the break and let us know which you’d like to learn more about.

Tempe Transportation Center / Architekton

© Bill Timmerman, Architekton, A.F. Payne Photography, Otak, Skip

Architect: Architekton
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Project Cost: $18.9M
Client: City of Tempe
Photography: Bill Timmerman, A.F. Payne Photographic, Architekton, Otak, Skip Neeley


‘After You Left, They Took It Apart’: Paul Rudolph Exhibition at Colgate

Twitchell House / ©

The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University will host a reception on Tuesday, September 13, 5-7 p.m. to celebrate the new exhibition, An Architect’s Vision: Paul Rudolph and Colgate’s Creative Arts Center and the concurrent exhibition, After You Left, They Took It Apart, photographs by Chris Mottalini. Both open on August 30th and remain on view through October 7th

In 2007 Mottalini photographed three homes by the late Modernist architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997), just days prior to their demolitions. The resulting images capture a state of Modernist architecture few people have witnessed, revealing the grace of these homes as they stood in defiance of severe neglect and ‘progress’. Mottalini’s photographs are the final portraits of these destroyed homes. More information and images on the exhibition after the break.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences + Faculty of Teacher Education / Hildegard Auf–Franić, Tin Sven Franić, Vanja Rister

© Robert Leš

Architects: Hildegard Auf–Franić, Tin Sven Franić,
Location: , Croatia
Client: University of Rijeka
Collaborators: Ana Aščić, Marina Bertina,Tamara Brixy, Tajana Jaklenec, Vedrana Jančić, Luka Korlaet, Mia Roth Čerina
Structural Engineer: Eugen Gajšak, G.I.F. d.o.o., Zagreb
Mechanical Engineer: Ivan Cetinić
Electrical Engineer: Elag d.o.o., Zagreb
Contractor: Lavčević–inženjering d.o.o., Split
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 21,000 sqm
Photographs: Robert Leš

Music-Themed Upscale Hotel Competition

Courtesy of International Design Idea Competition

All interested architects are invited to partake in an open international competition for a new 4 star hotel in , . The resort city, located on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is well known for its musical heritage, and the hotel will express elements related to music in its design concept.

The history of Jurmala has long been tied together with the musical character of the Baltic Sea – the sound of waves crashing on the beach, the whistling of old pine trees in the wind, the shrieking seagulls in the sky, the shifting sand under your feet, and even the distant chime of the leaving train – all of this and more creates a whole symphony in the memories of everyone who has ever been here. More competition information after the break.

Cheval Noir Housing with Artist’s Studios / L’Escaut + Atelier Gigogne

© Marc Detiffe

Architects: L’Escaut + Atelier
Location: , Belgium
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 3300 sqm (Renovation), 752 sqm (New construction), 177 sqm (Outside space)
Photographs: Marc Detiffe

New Taipei City Art Museum Proposal / STUDIO_KICK

Courtesy of

STUDIO_KICK shared with us their proposal for the Art Museum competition. Their main goal is not to design an iconic form for the museum, but an iconic field activated by the museum, with events and interactions for the people. Rich in culture and natural scenery, Yingge, a western district in is an energetic city full of ongoing events. Therefore, the solution for a Modern Art Museum lies far from the traditional modern museum typology. More images and architects’ description after the break.

AD Classics: Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park / Kenzo Tange

Photo by hairyeggg -

On August 6th, 1945, a B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb in history over Hiroshima, , targeting the intersection of bridges over the Honkawa and Motoyasu rivers. The bomb devastated Hiroshima within a radius of 5 km, resulting in 140,000-150,000 deaths by December of that year.  was commissioned with the challenge of designing the reconstruction of Hiroshima. By designing the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park, Tange expressed the solidarity of human kind as well as symbolizing a commitment to peace. More after the break.

DuPont Environmental Education Center / GWWO Architects

© Robert Creamer

Architects: GWWO Architects
Location: Wilmington, ,
Structural Engineer: MacIntosh Engineering, Inc.
MEP Engineer: Mahaffy & Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer: Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP.
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: 13,900 sqf
Photographs: Robert Creamer

Video: The Mason Lane Farm

This video from McGraw-Hill Construction is a close look at the Mason Lane Farm, a -Gold Farm Storage and Service Center in Goshen, Kentucky.  Narrated by architect Roberto De Leon of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, the video gives insight into the strategies associated with passive, economic and simple construction systems.  De Leon discusses orienting the buildings on the site, assessing appropriate materials and providing comfortable conditions for the workers on the farm.

For a more detailed look at the Mason Lane Farm by following this link:  Mason Lane Farm / De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop.

Casa Talia / Vivian Haddad and Marco Giunta

© Andrea Ferrari

Location: Via Exaudinos, 1/9, 97015 , Italy
Styling: Arianna Lelli Mami
Photographs: Andrea Ferrari

Museum of Energy / Arquitecturia

© Pedro Pegenaute

Architects: Arquitecturia
Location: ,
Collaborators: M. Agudo, I. Sola, A. Horta, J. Farres, A. Serrats
Contractor: TCSA
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute

FAU College of Computer Science and Engineering Building / Leo A Daly

© Island Studios Photography - Stuart Gobey

Leo A Daly architects has recently completed Flordia Atlantic University‘s College of Computer Science and Engineering Building. The new building holds the numerous different labs of the Computer Science and Engineering Programs within a building that leads the way for Florida’s academic buildings in technology and sustainability.

Architect: Leo A Daly
Location: , Florida, United States
Project Team: William A. Hanser, AIA, Robert Thomas, AIA, Ron Wiendl, Stella Perico
Consultants: Affiliated Engineers SE, Inc., OMN&J, Inc., James Santiago, Miller Legg, Green Building Services
Project Area: 96,000 square feet
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Island Studios Photography – Stuart Gobey

The Green Building to Host U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum Plaque Ceremony & Exhibit Reception

© Ted Wathen Quadrant

In honor of its Platinum certification earlier this year by the U.S.Green Building Council (), The Green Building of Louisville, KY will host an official plaque ceremony and exhibition reception for the public on Friday, September 2, 2011.

Details after the break.