2011 Skyscraper Trends

© TFP Farrells

Every January the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conducts a review of skyscraper construction and compiles all the data from the previous year. The trend since 2007 has seen record breaking years for buildings taller than 200 meters completed, with 88 skyscrapers completed in 2011. Even as the global economy is slowly recuperating from the 2008 financial crisis, it would appear as though this trend will remain relatively stable. China, leading the pack at 23 completed towers is predicted to remain at the forefront of skyscraper market, followed by Middle Eastern countries in the next decade.  UAE, South Korea, and Panama City – an up and coming cosmopolitan city – rounded out the top four. Of the towers completed in 2011, 17 have made their way into the top 100 tallest buildings – Shenzhen’s Kingkey 100, at 442 meters crowning this year’s list. More after the break.

Uptown Kids / Elliott + Associates Architects

Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing

Architects: Elliott + Associates Architects
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Project Team: Rand Elliott, FAIA, David Poerio, Assoc.
Client: Gary and Carolyn Goldman
Civil Engineer: Johnson & Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Engineering Solutions, Inc.
Consultants: Smith Lighting (lighting); Logo designed by: Rachel Shingleton; Smith & Pickel Construction, Inc.(General Contractor)
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 2,573 sqf
Photographs: Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing

AIA’s 2012 Legislative Agenda

© 2010 CAST architecture

The AIA recently unveiled their 2012 legislative agenda, and has made it clear that creating jobs in the design and construction industry are a priority. We have been covering the numerous initiatives that the has been implementing over the past year ranging from the Stalled Building Index, the regularly updated Architectural Billing Index and their update of the 2030 Commitment Reporting Tool. Of particular importance, especially for those of us who are running small firms or contemplating breaking into this fragile market as a sole proprietor, is an emphasis on fostering our growth. With the bulk of firms falling into this category – 95% of all firms in the US employ 50 or fewer people – this initiative should put some pressure on the political machine that has the authority to reign in the tax rates on small entrepreneurs and stimulate growth through the reevaluation of private sector lending.  In tandem with this concerted effort by the AIA, it is practically imperative as a owner, that we take control and become much more fluid in an increasingly amorphous and uncertain environment. Whether it is by seeking out non-traditional design opportunities, or introducing new initiatives that are unique to your firm, we as a design community are certainly up to the task. (See Jennifer Kennedy’s recent article on the topic here.)

To see more of the AIA’s 2012 Legislative Agenda topics visit them here.

Practice 2.0: Championing the young architect’s career, a lesson from technology startups

ICON's 20 Young Architects, photo via anarchitecture

By David Fano and Steve Sanderson, edited by Julie Quon

A well-known and often cited truism of architecture notes that forty (as in years) is considered young for an architect and most don’t start hitting their stride until they’re seventy. This may partially explain why well-known architects seem to live forever… they’re simply too busy to die. What is often omitted from this narrative is how the architects spent the first twenty (or so) years of their careers as freshly minted graduates prior to being recognized by their peers in the profession as “making it”.

If you approach any architect about their early-career experience in the profession you will get slightly different versions of the same story. They are all, in essence, about paying your dues.

  1. Taking a low-paying position for an A or B-list architect, where the compensation for long hours is the privilege of anonymous design on important projects, and in return a few hours are spent outside of the studio (usually with a group of similarly indebted classmates) on open design competitions that pay trifle stipends.
  2. Taking a low-paying adjunct teaching position, ideally in a design studio, where compensation for long hours is the privilege of working on your design interests with students in order to become a part of the elite tastemakers and to one day be shortlisted for an exclusive cultural competition.
  3. Taking a slightly better paying position with a corporate firm and spending your hours outside of work designing kitchens and bathrooms for wealthy friends and family with hopes that their social reach is broad enough to lead to additional commissions that will one day be substantial enough to make a living.
  4. Taking a slightly better paying position with a corporate firm and slogging through the incredibly tedious intern development and professional registration process in order to move up the corporate hierarchy. The goal is to eventually become a principal or partner with an established firm or even break off on your own with some of the established firm’s clients.

In each of these scenarios, the only path to a significant commission is to spend the few hours outside of these paying jobs in the pursuit of establishing credibility and reputation through exposure in architectural publications. In any case, it seems that around the age of forty is when all of this hard work finally begins to pay off with consistent commissions. For the vast majority that never succeed by following these models, there is usually a ‘pivot’ (in startup terms, a change in approach) that leads to a stable corporate position, a full-time teaching post, or an exit from the profession altogether (we did the latter, see Fed’s post). The difficulty of ‘being’ an architect is branded about in schools (oftentimes by people with little to no actual experience in the field) as a source of pride, a perverse hazing ritual intended to weed out all but the most dedicated adherents to the ideals of architecture as a pure form of expression, a rationale which further reinforces architecture as an intellectual pursuit for the privileged (that topic is for another post).

Courtesy of LAVA

Classroom of the Future / LAVA

Designed as a learning space for the future, LAVA…‘s design focuses on an environment that is sustainable, integrates with the landscape, connects with the school environment, and is suitable for prefabrication and mass customization.  Relocatables are the decades old

Renovation And Extension Of The German School In Lisbon / JLCG Arquitectos

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Architects: JLCG Arquitectos / João Luís Carrilho da Graça
Location: , Portugal
Project Team: Francisco Freire, Paulo Costa, Joanna Malitski, Vera Schmidberger, Paula Miranda, Marcos Roque, Raquel Morais, Luis Cordeiro, Vanessa Pimenta, architect; Nuno Pinto, drawing
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: New construction: 4,500 sqm; Existing intervention: 7,500 sqm; Outer spaces: 30,200 sqm
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Sumatrakontor Hamburg / Erick van Egeraat, Michiel Raaphorst

Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

Architect: Erick van Egeraat, Michiel Raaphorst
Location: ,
Project Area: 9,681 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Erick van Egeraat

Video: New Museum / SANAA / Great Spaces

Ever likened SANAA’s to Lady Gaga?  We didn’t think so!  So, check out this video by Great Spaces and prepare to see the museum in a new light.   Toward the end of the video, it was mentioned that only after won the Pritzker, did some people truly take notice of the museum.  Have you visited the New Museum on the Bowery prior to the Pritzker, or have you been influenced to see if after ’s won?   And, for more info on the museum, be sure to reference our previous articles.

Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture

Carnegie Mellon Spring 2012 Lecture Series

Known for drawing in a diverse background of well-known architects, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture‘s spring 2012 lecture series began January 23rd with Jesse Seppi and concludes with Tatiana Bilbao on April 23rd. All events will take place at the…

Vittra Telefonplan / Rosan Bosch

© Kim Wendt

Architects: Rosan Bosch
Location: Hägersten, Stockholm,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 1900 sqm
Photographs: Kim Wendt

Courtesy of CTBUH

Call for Proposals: CTBUH Research Seed Funding

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce a “Call for Proposals” for its 2012 International Research Seed Funding initiative – culminating with an award of US$20,000.
The goal of the seed funding is to…

In Progress: Cite des Arts et de la Culture / Kengo Kuma & Associates

© Nicolas Waltefaugle & Stephan Girard

Architect: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Location: ,
Associated Architect: Archidev
Client: City of Besançon, Region Franche-Comté
Engineer: EGIS Est
Landscape engineer: L’agence L’Anton et associé
Acoustic engineer: Cabinet Lamoureux
Scenographic engineer: Changement à vu
Quantity survivor: Cabinet Guy Cholley
Environment engineer: Alto
Façade Detail Manufacturers: LAUBEUF
Site area: 23,000 sqm
Total floor area: 11,925 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2012
Photographs: Nicolas Waltefaugle & Stephan Girard


Europan 11 Proposal: ‘Nudge City’ / RIO Agency

In their Europan 11 Proposal, titled ‘Nudge City’, RIO Agency’s… main goal was to build on a critical vision of sustainability as it is often promoted today. In their approach, the urban project cannot be a goal in itself. It

Yellow Peach / MuFF

Courtesy of MuFF

Architect: MuFF – Kosuke Kajikawa
Location: Shibuya-ku, ,
Client: Yellow Peach
Project Area: 30.400 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of MuFF

Theatre La Licorne / FABG

© Steve Montpetit

Architects: FABG
Location: Montréal,
Project Team: Steve Montpetit, André Lavoie, Dominique Potvin, François Verville
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 20,000 sqm
Photographs: Steve Montpetit

Iconic Houses by Grant Snider

© Grant Snider, 2012

Curbed lead us to Colorado-based webcomic Grant Snider and his clever blog Incidental Comics. Snider uses the classic “glass houses” proverb in his own unique depiction of midcentury “Iconic Houses”, highlighting The Glass House by Philip Johnson, Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier and Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Curious about the red beavers gnawing at the Farnsworth House? Snider clears up the confusion stating, “In an earlier draft of this comic, it appeared the Farnsworth house was being gnawed by ordinary beavers. My architect brother informed me that Mies van der Rohe was known for his innovations in steel and glass, not wood. So just to clarify: those are MUTANT beavers.”

House Eadie / Tribe Studio Architects

© Katherine Lu

Architects: Tribe Studio Architects
Location: Surry Hills, , Australia
Project Team: Hannah Tribe, Ricci Bloch
Builder: JLS Construction
Structural Engineer: Damian Hadley – Cantilever Engineers
Project Area: 143 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Katherine Lu

Courtesy of AMK+ Studio

Europan 11 Proposal: ‘Diversity Recharged’ / AMK+ Studio

The first prize proposal in the Europan 11 competition in Hungary, Szeged by AMK+ Studio… is before a functional transformation and with the cooperation of the city and the site owner, the integration of the site into the urban tissue