VIDEO: Federal Architecture

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Democratic By Design is a short film, produced by the General Services Administration and narrated by Luke Russert, that tackles the issue of federal architecture. Buildings designed for the government typically have a familiar aesthetic. Washington, DC, is dominated by Neoclassical Architecture, building on the connotations of ancient Greek and Roman fora and temples as a symbol of democracy. But they perpetuate a sense of dominance and formality. Most of these buildings – city halls, courthouses, agency headquarters – were built in the 18th and 19th century, yet they leave behind a legacy and association in the architecture of the federal government.

US Census Bureau Headquarters / SOM

On the contrary, government buildings built in the mid to late 20th century, specifically after 1962, have a more varied vernacular. This can be credited to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aide to President John F. Kennedy. His one page document outlined guidelines for public architecture – an effort to contextualize and modernism government buildings. This video brings his words to life via well-known architects who have have designed federal buildings.

Join us after the break for a look at some of these buildings.

DMB House / act_romegialli

© Filippo Simonetti

Architects: act_romegialli
Location: Province of Sondrio,
Design Team: Gianmatteo Romegialli, Angela Maria Romegialli, Erika Gaggia
Year: 2010
Photographs: Filippo Simonetti, Courtesy of act_romegialli

Courtesy of JaK Studio Architects
Courtesy of JaK Studio Architects

Yorks Historic Guildhall and Riverside 2nd Prize Winning Proposal / JaK Studio Architects

Designed by JaK Studio Architects…, their second prize winning proposal for the RIBA International Competition to Re-imagining York’s Giuldhall Complex: Connecting River and City re-energizes the area by focusing on its history while embracing the future. When the Romans

House at Goleen / Níall McLaughlin Architects

© Nick Guttridge

Architects: Níall McLaughlin Architects
Location: Spanishcove, Co. , Ireland
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Nick Guttridge, Nick Kane, Niall McLaughlin

Peak Competition - 2nd award - 'Peak Eye' by Horatiu Valcu, Daniel Reist
Peak Competition - 2nd award - 'Peak Eye' by Horatiu Valcu, Daniel Reist

Think Space Programme: Past Forward Competition Results & Upcoming Events

Think Space Programme recently announced the winners of all three competitions within the Past Forward 2012 Cycle, an annual cycle of conceptual architectural competition within the Think Space programme. This cycle of competitions aimed to hold a mirror to the…

House N / Bembé Dellinger Architekten

© James Silverman

Architects: Bembé Dellinger Architekten
Location: Bachern, Germany
Year: 2011
Photographs: James Silverman


Call for Submissions – CLOG: SCI-FI Issue

CLOG recently announced their call for submissions for their upcoming SCI-FI issue, which has been inspired by a the recent rise of a number of designs from significant international offices exhibiting a striking resemblance to science fiction icons, such as…

Double Church for Two Faiths / Kister Scheithauer Gross Architects And Urban Planners

© Christian Richters

Architects: Kister Scheithauer Gross Architects And Urban Planners
Location: im Breisgau, Germany
Architect In Charge: Susanne Gross
Project Leader: Sándor Forgó
Photographs: Christian Richters

Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects
Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects

New Vision for Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 Forecourt / Grimshaw Architects

Grimshaw Architects… recently announced their completion for a detailed masterplanning study for Fraport, which provides a new vision for the existing forecourt area at Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1. Using creative design solutions, the masterplan embraces the challenges presented at the

Casa La Punta / Elías Rizo Arquitectos

© Marcos García

Architects: Elías Rizo Arquitectos
Location: Punta Mita, Nayarit,
Architects In Charge: Elías Rizo Suárez, Alejandro Rizo Suárez
Area: 795.0 m2
Proyect Year: 2012
Photography: Marcos García

Never Built: Los Angeles

Never Built: Los Angeles will present a thorough compendium of projects by some of the worlds most celebrated architects that never made it past the drawing board. After two years of extensive research, countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful designs – many promoting a denser, more vibrant – have been unearthed. Co-curated Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, Never Built: will present the most visionary designs that had the greatest potential of reshaping the city and question why they were never built. Forgotten, yet innovative projects from Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, and more, will be presented.

The research and exhibition design is complete. However, they need your (tax deductible) donations to help make Never Built: Los Angeles a reality. Learn more and support the exhibition on Kickstarter!

The exhibition plans to open this spring at Los Angeles’s A+D Architecture and Design Museum.

Six Teams Shortlisted for Museum and Educational Center in Moscow


A shortlist of six international teams has been chosen to advance to the second stage of the architectural competition for the Museum and Educational Center of the Polytechnic Museum and Lomonosov State University.

The competition’s objective is to create a Museum and Educational Center that will compliment the historic Moscow Polytechnic Museum – one of the largest and oldest technical museums in the world – on the new territory of the Moscow State University (MSU). The new center is envisaged as a meeting point for the Russian and international scientific community. It will demonstrate the most recent scientific and technological discoveries using state-of-the-art multimedia technologies, for accommodating multiple displays and exhibitions as well as for conducing scientific educational programs for over 1.3 million annual visitors.

The shortlisted design teams are:

Is the American Dream Shifting Towards Density, In-fill Housing and Accessibility to Amenities?

Ipera / Alataş Architecture Consulting © Gürkan Akay

A recent survey into the billing activity of architecture firms across the country has revealed a growing trend in homeowners’ preferences. The Home Survey released a series of charts, marking the rise between 2011 and 2012 of preferences for low maintenance, and energy efficiency home options with a rise in a desire for homes that have a proximity to neighborhood amenities. What this means is that home buyers are moving away from the auto-centric lifestyle of mid century suburbs and are coincidentally opting for the more sustainable choice where walking and public transportation may take preference. AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, notes that in many areas, there has been a rise in interest in urban infill locations over exurbs, and a general push within communities for public accessibility and proximity to work places, retail options and open space.

What is behind this trend? Is the influence of sustainable design breaking into the mainstream of the American home-buying conscience? Is sustainability changing the “American Dream”?

Iron Gallery / Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio

Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio

Architects: Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio
Location: Minato, Tokyo,
Contractor: Eiger Co. Ltd, Noriaki Fujii, Koji Misaki
Structure: K. Nakata & Associates, Katsuo Nakata, Takashi Takamizawa
Steel Fabrication: Tokyo Kentetsu, Kenji Sasaki, Shuuji Matsushima, Masamoto Kondo
Client: Mori Building Co. Ltd
Area: 97.33 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio

© Jaime Rojo
© Jaime Rojo

Lego Housing Units on the Street / Jaye Moon

In an effort to alleviate some of the stress and frustration associated with New York’s continued housing crisis, Jaye Moon…, a Brooklyn-based street artist, decided to leave new buildings made of Legos cradled in the limbs of trees, or

In Progress: Novo Nordisk Corporate Centre / Henning Larsen Architects

© Dragør Luftfoto ApS

Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
Location: , Denmark
Lanscape Architect: SLA
Engineer: Alectia
Area: 50,200 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of , Dragør Luftfoto ApS

JWT by Arquitectura e Interiores, Bogota, Colombia, Award: Best of Category
JWT by Arquitectura e Interiores, Bogota, Colombia, Award: Best of Category

2012 IIDA Best Interiors of Latin America Awards

The IIDA recently released the photos on the winning projects for their 2012 Best Interiors of Latin America Competition. The competition was created to recognize, honor and celebrate outstanding Interior Design/Architecture projects that represent the highest level of creativity, originality…

Al Punto Restaurant / Estudio Mariano Martin

© Ángel Baltanás

Architects: Estudio Mariano Martin
Location: Madrid,
Architect In Charge: Isabel Martínez
Area: 340 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ángel Baltanás