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

Ipera / Atlas Architecture Consulting © Gürkan Akay
Ipera / Atlas 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 AIA Home Trends 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”?

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 wrapped around their trunks. Carefully designed, the blocked geometry of her architectural construction is considered to allow for the expansion of tree limbs and to avoid damage. Catching the eye of local New Yorkers and captivating anyone who may pass by her creations, Moon says she chose Legos as a medium because they are ready-made objects that mimic industrial, mechanical uses and because they summon a certain childlike innocence and sense of play. More images and information after the break.

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 and design excellence in the following countries: Argentina, Aruba, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The design project(s) must have been completed between January 1, 2010 and June 31, 2012. A complete gallery of the winning projects can be viewed after the break.

Hanking Nanyou Newtown Urban Planning Design Proposal / Jaeger and Partner Architects

Jaeger and Partner Architects shared with us their Hanking Nanyou Newtown Urban Design proposal for the renovation of a parcel of Nanyou in Nanshan District, Shenzhen. Their concept focuses on creating a ‘multi-functional ring’ which combines the planning theories of the compact city, green city, and digital city. Acting as a unifying element, the multi-functional ring at the site’s core is a prominent feature of the design, providing the best site accessibility solution to an otherwise difficult to manage site. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Al Punto Restaurant / Estudio Mariano Martin

© Ángel Baltanás
© Ángel Baltanás
  • Architects: Estudio Mariano Martin
  • Location: Avda. Machupichu, 85 (Parque del Conde de Orgaz) Madrid, Spain
  • Architect In Charge: Isabel Martínez
  • Area: 340 sqm
  • Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ángel Baltanás

© Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás © Ángel Baltanás

Forest Road Youth Centre / Matthew Lloyd Architects

  • Architects: Matthew Lloyd Architects
  • Location: London, UK
  • Project Architect: Alex Sherratt
  • Project Manager: Regen First
  • Structural Engineers: Akera Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
  • M&E Engineers: Mendick Waring
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Mikael Schilling

© Mikael Schilling © Mikael Schilling © Mikael Schilling © Mikael Schilling

Novo Nordisk Corporate Centre / Henning Larsen Architects

Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Casa La Punta / Elías Rizo Arquitectos

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

© Marcos García © Marcos García © Marcos García © Marcos García

Iron Gallery / Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio

Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio Courtesy of Kensuke Watanabe Architecture Studio

Marianne McKenna Invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada

Marianne Mckenna, OAA, FRAIC, AIA, OC, founding partner of KPMB Architects © Ann Marsden (CNW Group / KPMB Architects)
Marianne Mckenna, OAA, FRAIC, AIA, OC, founding partner of KPMB Architects © Ann Marsden (CNW Group / KPMB Architects)

The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, has bestowed Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honors – to Toronto architect Marianne McKenna of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Similar to the Order of the British Empire in Britain and the Kennedy Center Honors for artists in the United States, the award recognizes Canadians for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Office of the Secretary to the Governor General stated:

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas to design Cultural Center in Chengdu

© Studio Fuksas
© Studio Fuksas

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas has been announced as winner of an international competition to design and construct the first cultural center in Chengdu, China. In their winning proposal, Fuksas combined four, elliptical shaped buildings with a spiral structure to create an inclusive artist complex that offers a center for the performing arts, a cultural center, offices Writer and Literary Association, and an apartment building for artists. Learn more about the Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Center after the break.

Video: Gary Card, Designer Profile

Helsinki Central Library Competition Entry / Luca Peralta Studio

Luca Peralta Studio shared with us their design concept for the Helsinki Central Library competition. Their ‘three cubes on a leaf’ concept is designed with the intent of creating an animated light in the distance. As a result, their project becomes an urban lantern that attracts and guides you on your journey in the direction of the city center. This light emanates from geometric objects, with a modern and minimal design, gently suspended on the landscape. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Cadogan Café Winning Proposal / NEX

Courtesy of NEX
Courtesy of NEX

NEX recently won the Cadogan Café design competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The £2 million project for a new café, which will sit near the entrance to the Saatchi Gallery in Duke of York Square in Chelsea, is an organic coiled form. Their design features a roof terrace and incorporates an ingenious glass wall that rises and falls depending on the weather. More images and architects’ description after the break.

'TIP-TOP' Competition Entry / Tomas Ghisellini Architetto

Designed by Tomas Ghisellini Architetto, the proposal for the new “Malga Fosse” refuge, which won an honorable mention, chooses the language of the rough and simple local construction scattered among the mountains. In doing so, their design builds up the impression of an old archetypal building surrounded by valleys and peaks of great beauty. Aimed at being an unforgettable place right in the heart of the Dolomites, the old is here replaced by a fascinating and iconic architectural body. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Rendering / CLOG

Every month, the publication CLOG takes on “a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now.” It’s not a quick look at something trendy, but rather an in-depth look, from multiple perspectives, at the issues that are affecting - and will continue to affect (and even alter) - architecture as we know it today.

CLOG: Rendering is, in my opinion, the best issue yet. Through dozens of fascinating, concise articles and a handful of illustrative, quirky images, it takes on an enormous question often over-looked in the architectural world: what is a rendering? An alluring device to win over a jury or public? A realistic depiction? Or perhaps it’s an entity unto itself...

Rendering examines how the rendering has become a means of deception - not just for the public, but for ourselves - becoming an aesthetic end-product rather than the representation of an idea in-progress. But at the same time, the rendering is our best tool for entering into the “real” world, for communicating what we do to the public at large. 

Is there a way to marry these opposing characteristics? What should the future of rendering be? CLOG takes these questions head-on. More after the break...

Burgess Residence / John Dwyer Architect

  • Architects: John Dwyer Architect
  • Location: Saint Paul, MN, USA
  • Architect In Charge: John Dwyer
  • Collaborators: Shelter Architecture, Colin Oglesbay, ro/lu
  • Area: 2,355 ft2
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect

Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect Courtesy of John Dwyer Architect