The billings index is our industry’s leading indicator of construction activity, and for March, the commercial sector is continuing its positive run with a score of 56.0. Although scores above 50 reflect a positive showing, the new projects inquiry dropped to 56.6 from a high 63.4 reported in February. “We are starting to hear more about improving conditions in the marketplace, with a greater sense of optimism that there will be greater demand for design services,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But that is not across the board and there are still a number of architecture firms struggling so progress is likely to be measured in inches rather than miles for the next few months.” Regionally, the Midwest leads with 54.1, following by the Northeast, South and West with scores of 53.9, 50.1 and 46.6, respectively.
While the five month run seems to show promising conditions, the index is barely above the cutoff score of 50 and conditions have remained volatile throughout this post recession period. And, although we enjoying sharing the statistics, we understand the numbers don’t tell the whole story, so we would like to hear how your firms are fairing. Have your projects included an increase in commercial programs recently? Let us know in the comments below.
Resonant Chamber, an interior envelope system that deploys the principles of rigid origami, transforms the acoustic environment through dynamic spatial, material and electro-acoustic technologies. The aim of rvtr is to develop a soundsphere able to adjust its properties in response to changing sonic conditions, altering the sound of a space during performance and creating an instrument at the scale of architecture, flexible enough that it might be capable of being played. The project is funded through the 2011 Research through Making Grant, U-M Office of the Vice President for Research, 2011 Small Projects Grant, U-M Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research Creation Grant. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Big Ben, officially known as the Clock Tower, is one of the UK’s most recognizable buildings and a global symbol of Victorian London and the Gothic Revival style. It was designed by the unlikely team of Classical architect Charles Barry and Gothic Revival pioneer Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859.
Big Ben is the fourteenth model in the LEGO Architecture range, which uses the LEGO brick to interpret the designs of iconic architecture around the world. It is the first model to be designed by Rok Zgalin Kobe from Slovenia who joins Adam Reed-Tucker as a LEGO architect.
Architects: Exit Architects - Ibán Carpintero, Mario Sanjuán
Location: Hellín, Albacete, Spain
Client: Public works Ministry / Hellín Municipality
Built area: 2,160 sqm
Budget: 3,512,235 Euros
Collaborators: Miguel García-Redondo, Silvian Gómez, Ángel Sevillano, José Mª Tabuyo
Technical Architects: Alberto Palencia, José Antonio Alonso
Mechanical consultant: Maintenance Ibérica
Structural consultant: Indagsa (José Luis Cano)
Photographs: FG + SG – Fotografía de Arquitectura
Architects: Marsino Arquitectos Asociados – Jorge Marsino P., María Inés Buzzoni G., Claudio Santander L.
Location: Av. Pedro de Valdivia 1218, Santiago, Chile
Design Team: Francisca Valenzuela R.
Site Surface: 3,200 sqm
Client: Universidad Finis Terrae
Structural Engineering: Hinojosa Ingeniería Asociados ltda.
Contractor: Constructora Valle Alto ltda.
Technical Inspection: Víctor Fuentes
Photographs: Aryeh Kornfeld
Organized by Graz University of Technology, the ‘Advanced Building Skins’ Conference will take place June 14-15 where creative, innovative professionals and researchers at the forefront of skin design will discuss tasks and issues in research, design and manufacturing of high-performance…
The project by Morris Architects for a new information technology and media center for Santa Monica Community College in California includes 12,000 square feet of new space and approximately 6,000 square feet of renovation to the existing campus library. The college currently has an enrollment of 30,000 students and is experiencing rapid growth that requires a major upgrade to its current information technology department and computing infrastructure. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Al Borde – David Barragán, Pascual Gangotena& Esteban Benavides
Location: Manabí, Ecuador
Collaborator: Grace Pozo
Constructor: AL Borde & Volunteers & Community
Area: 140 sqm aprox.
Budget: US$ 700, all the community material and all the work of the volunteers and community
Photographs: Sebastián Melo, Andrea Vargas
Yenikapi Transfer Point and Archaeo-Park Area Proposal / insula architettura e ingegneria + Atelye 70
After successfully participating in the first phase of the competition as part of a limited group of 9 international teams, the team comprised of Francesco Cellini – insula architettura e ingegneria with Huseyin Kaptan – Atelye 70… was awarded ‘7
Architects: 3GD Inc - Edward Richardson Brya
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
Area: 418 sqm
Owner/Client: Tom & Mona Jones
Project Team: Steve Click, Philip Rusk, Porter Winston
Landscape Architects: Greg Bland, Landform Designs
Consultants: I Space; AV Design Consultants
General Contractor: 3GD inc.
Photographs: Dero Sanford
Architecture is seen by many as a man’s game, but Parisian Manuelle Gautrand is one woman who’s making her mark on the design world. Designing such architectural feats as the Citroën showroom in the Champs-Elysées and the new La Gaîté Lyrique, an interactive space for music and digital art, Gautrand is renowned for innovation in contemporary design. Here. Crane.tv visits Gautand at her studio to find out why she sees beauty in inner city spaces, and how to lose yourself in Paris.
Architects: Atelier Kempe Thill
Location: Oude Gracht 4, 9341 AB Veenhuizen, The Netherlands
Client: VROM Rijksgebouwendienst (Building service Dutch Government), Branch / Vestiging
Site area: 5,200 sqm
Total building budget: € 1,90 mio. (excl. VAT)
Design Team: André Kempe, Oliver Thill, David van Eck with Teun van der Meulen, Cornelia Sailer, Sebastian Heinemeyer, Kingman Brewster, Jeroen Heintzbergen, Takashi Nakamura
Photographs: Ulrich Schwarz
Carnegie Mellon University has a building in its School of Architecture that is a lab. No, the building does not house experiments, it is the experiment. It is called the Intelligent Workplace Energy Supply System and it provides the Energy Supply System (EES) for Carnegie Mellon’s Intelligent Workplace, which is part of the School of Architecture’s Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics. It is a physical construction from 1997 that consists of offices, meeting rooms, and work spaces for faculty and students, all located atop the Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall.
What’s the goal? To study the viability of providing power, cooling, heating and ventilation to a building using thermal energy and renewable, bioDiesel fuel. The specific investigations range from design and installation to evaluation of both individual components as well as their ability to work efficiently in concert with one another. Ideally, once all this information is compiled, more comprehensive design strategies can then be identified and used by architects everywhere.