We are happy to report another positive showing for the ABI this month as the index remained at 52.0 for the month of December. Prior to November, the volatile ABI showed the struggling and unstable conditions many practices were experiencing throughout 2011; yet, this month brings another bit of hope for the profession. “We saw nearly identical conditions in November and December of 2010 only to see momentum sputter and billings fall into negative territory as we moved through 2011, so it’s too early to be sure that we are in a full recovery mode,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Nevertheless, this is very good news for the design and construction industry and it’s entirely possible conditions will slowly continue to improve as the year progresses.” Regional breakdowns are as follows: Regional averages: South (54.2), Midwest (53.1), Northeast (52.6), West (45.1) and Multim-family residential led the sector index breakdown with 54.3. It was nice to finish the rocky year of 2011 with a consecutive positive index, and we’re optimistic for more improvement in 2012.
Steinberg Architects, an international design firm, recently announced they will manage the design of the extensive Changsha Songya Hu mixed-use project in China after winning an intensely competitive bid process. Key aspects of the project include a waterfront business district, an entertainment district, and an ecological model community mixing residences and green public spaces. More images and project description after the break.
Todd Saunders of Saunders Architecture will be giving a lecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich on January 25th at 7:30pm. Led by a strong contemporary design sensibility, Saunders has worked on cultural and residential projects right across Norway, as well as England, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and Canada. The studio believes that architecture must play an important role in creating place, using form, materials and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction.
Architects: MAGK+illiz architektur
Location: Kinderbetreuungszentrum Maria Enzersdorf (Childcare Centre Maria Enzerdorf), Franz Josef-Strasse 72-76, 2344 Maria Enzersdorf, Austria (NÖ) (Lower Austria)
Project Architects: Günter Klein, Sabrina Peters, Martin Aichholzer, Petra Schlömer, Stefanie Wögrath
Staff Team: Karin Gutmann, Jiri Koten, Rosemarie Lebzeltern, Christian Eibensteiner, Stefan Kehrer
Project Area: 9,554 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographer: Hertha Hurnaus
The newly constructed wing for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, opens to the public today with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony accompanied by the City of Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Designed to preserve the 1902 historic building, the 70,000 square-foot addition will offer purpose-built spaces for concerts, exhibitions and classes, along with enhanced visitor amenities. The museum will also be kicking off an inaugural season of exhibitions, performances and events that will highlight the buildings wide range of programming.
“This new wing is an extraordinarily elegant workshop, a bustling counterpoint to the historic building’s serenity. Here, the thinking and the work of the Museum is performed, so that the Palace, which had been put to uses for which it was not equipped, can once again give visitors the experience Isabella Stewart Gardner intended: a personal confrontation with art,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Museum.
Continue reading for more images and information.
Location: Zutphen, The Netherlands
Project Team: Bjarne Mastenbroek, Ad Bogerman
Assistants: Elke Demyttenaere, Remco Wieringa w/ Nienke Bouwhuis, Gert Jan Machiels, Dagmar Niecke, Geert Vennix
Contractor: BAM utiliteitsbouw, Arnhem
Interior Design: Kluster V.O.F., Purmerend, The Netherlands
Completion Date: July 2004
Project Area: 500 sqm
Photographs: Christian Richters
Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra, the team behind the Thames Hub proposal, welcomed reports yesterday that the government will be considering a Thames Estuary Airport when it launches its consultation to discuss options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status. The proposal, which includes a comprehensive environmental management strategy, is capable of being privately funded and built within 16 years. Estimations for the capital costs include: a new £20 billion, 150 million passenger estuary airport; £20 billion, four track orbital rail line and utilities spine; £6 billion barrier crossing and tidal power generation that will power the airport with green energy; and an additional £4 billion for improving infrastructure.
On behalf of the team, Norman Foster stated, “We welcome reports that the government is considering the case for an estuary airport, and the extra airport capacity that it can provide, when it consults in March on options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status as part of the nation’s aviation strategy.”
Continue reading for more on this update.
We have some interesting news: A while ago, we got in touch with Rafael C, owner of The Absolution Blog – one of the most popular architecture blogs at Tumblr. Rafael’s taste for architecture keeps him searching for amazing architecture shots from all around the Internet, followed by thousands on this popular micro blogging platform – he should absolutely be on your sources!
So, to bring Rafael’s unique vision to more of you who may not be on Tumblr (and have no plans to), every week he will present us a curated selection of photos from the ArchDaily archives, framing particular characteristics of the buildings we love. He is bound to find some buried treasure in our four-year-old-and-growing, 250,000+ image database :) so don’t miss it!
Location: Toulouse, France
Client /developer: Habitat Toulouse
Collaborators: Isabelle Fabre, Guillaume Calsou
Structure engineer: Bernadberoy
Fluids engineer: Ceercé
Hqe engineer: Franck Boutté
Project Area: 5 300 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Philippe Ruault
From residences to public and institutional architecture, Steven Ehrlich, FAIA has produced a range of distinctive buildings that have earned him recognition among colleagues and the AIA California Council, which has awarded him with the 2011 Maybeck Award. According to AIACC this award honors “outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over an extended career”. The honor of Maybeck Award is not granted annually. The last recipient was in 2007. It is distinctive from the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Firm Award, recognizing the individual’s contribution to the practice of Architecture. It was established in 1992, and Steven Ehrlich, principal and founder of Ehrlich Architecture located in Culver City, California, is the 14th recipient of this award.
Follow us after the break for more on the award and Steven Ehrlich.
What are the important places, the places that define who you are?
In 1969, when my father was at war overseas, my mother and I were on the front porch of our 1910 Bungalow in Kansas. The wind pushed my toys over the edge and into the grass. My mother was leaning on the railing, talking quietly to our neighbor. I crawled across the painted wood and reached through the rail and felt the soft tops of the wheat-colored grass.
In 1970, I walked into a dark bedroom and stood at the foot of my Grandfather’s bed. I reached through the rail to touch the top of the quilt my Great Grandmother had made. I watched the quilt rise and fall with his breathing.
In 1971, I placed my hands and feet on opposite sides of the door casing at my Grandmother’s house. As soon as the “grown-ups” were paying attention, I climbed to the top of the frame and reached up to touch the ceiling.
more places from coffee with an architect after the break