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FBI's Brutalist Hoover Building Faces Serious Makeover

“Originally seen to reflect the democratic attributes of a powerful civic expression - authenticity, honesty, directness, strength - the forceful nature of Brutalist aesthetics eventually came to signify precisely the opposite: hostility, coldness, inhumanity. [...] Separated from its original context and reduced in meaning, Brutalism became an all-too-easy pejorative, a term that suggests these buildings were designed with bad intentions.” - “BRUTAL”/“HEROIC” by Michael Kubo, Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik 

Brutalism, an architectural movement that peaked in the 1960's, inspired the development of countless governmental buildings in Washington DC as well as across the world. Though Brutalism's original intentions may have been good, many believe that the actual manifestation of these buildings was not and consider them to be little more than an eyesore on the District's landscape. One such concrete structure, the FBI's J. Hoover Building, is currently facing possible redevelopment as the government has decided to relocate FBI headquarters and given the private sector the rare opportunity to transform this so-called "monolith" into a new kind of monument.

More on the Hoover Building after the break...

Four Faces: Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Atelier WHY

Designed for the Collider Activity Center competition, Atelier WHY's ‘Four Faces’ proposal presents a diversity of images rather than one unified experience. With the building containing many different activities, the architects were interested in branding activities with different concepts.  They focused on how to convey the variety of activities happening inside to those who are outside though the shape of the building. More images and architects’ description after the break.

AIACC 2013 Monterey Design Conference

Founded in 1979, the Monterey Design conference, which is presented by AIACC (California Council), has become the “Renaissance Weekend” for architects. Held in Pacific Grove at the historic Asilomar Conference Grounds founded in 1913, it has been praised as the most prestigious and best attended architectural design conference in the United States. This year, the conference will take place September 27-29 and all are invited to watch, think, interact, learn and recharge your creative energies with more than 700 of California’s best-known architects. For more information, please visit here.

Centro de Interpretación / dra arquitectos

  • Architects: dra arquitectos
  • Location: Valdemeca, Spain
  • Architect In Charge: DRA, DIAZ ROMERO
  • Promotor: GEACAM S.A
  • Area: 382.96 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Miguel Souto

© Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto

Chicago's Mayor Launches Transformative Urban Farming Plan

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Growing Power, a Chicago-based urban agriculture organization, announced recently the formation of Farmers for Chicago, a program that will transform vacant south-side Chicago lots into productive urban farms. The program will make available up to five acres of city-owned vacant lots for urban farming activity and "help expand the supply chain for local neighborhood-level food production and wholesale," "improve community access to healthy food, help participants to supplement their incomes, and to foster workforce training."

Read more about Farmers for Chicago after the break.

Integrated School of Building: 'Submit a 10'

The Integrated School of Building, the not-for-profit institute in the city of Chicago, recently launched 'Submit a 10', a new lean course proposal system open to anyone, worldwide, interested in delivering courses through InSB.  A 10 is either a 10 slide presentation (slideshare.net), or (up to) 10 minute video (youtube.com), or both, delivering an opportunity for quick and efficient learning to the public. In order to retain the best faculty, develop and deliver the best courses, and to meet current and ever-changing market demands in our industry globally, these speed sessions will fall under the broad categories that are Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Project Delivery, Urbanism, Real Estate, Interior Design, or Trades. For more information, please visit here.

Museum of Underwater Antiquities Competition Entry / Charry C. Bougadellis & Associate Architects + Georges Batzios Architects

Designed by Charry C. Bougadellis & Associate Architects + Georges Batzios Architects, their proposal for the Piraeus Museum of Underwater Antiquities, which received an honorable mention, was divided in two elements based on the notion of ‘Viollet-le-Duc’: the negative element being the void, whilst the positive being the vertical and horizontal elements that define a space (walls and slabs). The link between these two elements, which defines the unity of the space is man. Therefore, the architectural space cannot be applied without the presence of man. More images and architects' description after the break.

Sichang Road Teahouse / Miao Design Studio

  • Architects: Miao Design Studio
  • Location: Kunshan, China
  • Design Architect : Pu Miao
  • Local Architect: Shanghai Landscape Architecture Design Institute
  • Area: 300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Pu Miao

Courtesy of Pu Miao Courtesy of Pu Miao Courtesy of Pu Miao Courtesy of Pu Miao

Day Centre / Diaz Romero Arquitectos

© Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto © Miguel Souto

Francisco Perez Anampa School / Architecture For Humanity

Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity
Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity
  • Architects: Architecture For Humanity
  • Location: Tate, Ica, Perú
  • Design Fellow: Diego Collazos
  • Colaborator: Arturo Novelli - Edificaciones America
  • Project Coordinator: Ofelia Harten
  • Area: 557.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity

Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity Courtesy of Architecture For Humanity

Train Station Čeladná / Projektstudio

  • Architects: Projektstudio
  • Location: Čeladná, Czech Republic
  • Architect In Charge: David Kotek, Kateřina Holenková
  • Project Architects: Pavel Krátký, Lukáš Bobek
  • Area: 205.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Jan Šafář

© Jan Šafář © Jan Šafář © Jan Šafář © Jan Šafář

Wang Shu Lecture

Presented by The Architectural League of New York, the Wang Shu lecture is coming up this Tuesday, April 2nd, at The Cooper Union at 7:00pm. The 2012 Pritzker laureate will be discussing his current work and how Amateur Architecture Studio, founded by him and wife Lu Wenyu, incorporates his knowledge of everyday techniques to adapt and transform materials for contemporary projects. Some of his most important built works include the Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University; Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum; the Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art; and the Ningbo History Museum. For more information, please visit here.

Cambodian Future House Competition Winning Proposals

Building Trust International, a non-profit organization offering design assistance to communities and individuals in need, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and Karuna Cambodia announced the joint winners of the design competition that brings new life to housing design and delivery for low income families living in Cambodia. The winning projects include: ‘Wet + Dry House’ by Mary Ann Jackson, Ralph Green, Muhammad Kamil and Nick Shearman from Australian firm Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd., ‘Courtyard House’ by Jess Lumley & Alexander Koller from the UK, and ‘Open Embrace’ by Keith Greenwald and Lisa Ekle from USA. The Winning Student Design was by Sanaz Amin Deldar, Nastaran Hadidi, Ehsan Naderi and Simak Khaksar from Iran. More images and information after the break.

Fitzroy North House / Nic Owen Architects

  • Architects: Nic Owen Architects
  • Location: Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia
  • Architect In Charge: Nic Owen Architects
  • Area: 150.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Rhiannon Slatter

© Rhiannon Slatter © Rhiannon Slatter © Rhiannon Slatter © Rhiannon Slatter

House S / becker architekten

Courtesy of becker architekten
Courtesy of becker architekten

Courtesy of becker architekten Courtesy of becker architekten Courtesy of becker architekten Courtesy of becker architekten

Royal Gold Medal 2013 Lecture: Peter Zumthor

It’s a rarity that the architecture community is presented a chance to indulge in a Peter Zumthor lecture. Often referred to a architecture’s reclusive “man of mystery”, the Swiss legend has produced a handful of projects so eloquently designed that they have captured the attention of the world. In honor of his mastery, RIBA awarded Zumthor with the institute’s prestigious Royal Gold Medal in February. In this video, he gives the 2013 Royal Gold Medal Lecture at the RIBA, focused on the theme of Presence in Architecture. 

Xiangxiangxiang Boutique Container Hotel / Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co

Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
  • Architects: Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
  • Location: Changzhi City, Shanxi, China
  • Design Team: Jiang Bo, MO keli, SUN Jie
  • Constructor: Dalian, CIMC
  • Area: 5000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co

Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co

Milano EXPO 2015 Info Point Winning Proposal / Scandurrastudio

The winning proposal in the Info Point competition at Milano EXPO 2015 by Scandurrastudio aims to be an impressive void; a square and two pavilions. Featuring a great open space, a central square between two booth-like pavilions, the gate to EXPO 2015 will offer an ideal opportunity to talk about growth and evolution, while marking the time before the opening event. More images and architects’ description after the break.