3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik

The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – , , and New Orleans – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.

Flashback: Prathama Blood Centre / Matharoo Associates

Courtesy of

Architects: Matharoo Associates
Location: Ahmedabad, , India
Principal in charge: Gurjit Singh Matharoo
Project team: Gurjit Singh Matharoo- principal architect, Mrs. Komal Mehta-Architect, Mr. Sanjeev Joseph-Trainee, Manoj parmar-Autocad operator
Client: Advanced Transfusion Medicine Research Foundation in joint venture with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
Construction Year: 2000
Building Area: Approx.3000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Matharoo Associates

Use white, or very white

What color should you paint the walls? …, that’s a trick question….

You’re an Architect. All walls should be white.

Of course, they should. Obviously, that’s the only choice, The ONLY choice, no options, no other possiblities, none, nothing, just go with white…

whitey, white, white, whitey, white with extra whiteness. WHA-ITE!

Mezban Inverted Topography / Collaborative Architecture

© Lalita Tharani

Architect: Collaborative Architecture – Lalita Tharani + Mujib Ahmed
Location: Calicut, ,
Client: Mr.Mohamed, Hotel Asma Tower Calicut
Design Team: Lalita Tharani, Mujib Ahmed, Muneeb, Mazhar, Shaoukath, Vineeta Parekh
Project Date: July 2011
Photographs: Lalita Tharani

The New Design Museum / John Pawson, OMA, West 8, Arup

© Alex Morris Visualisation

John Pawson, OMA, West 8 and Arup were all asked to come together to design The New Design Museum in London. Their design will accommodate up to 500,000 visitors per year. Notable for its superb complex hyperbolic paraboloid copper roof intended by the architects to symbolize a tent in the park, it is regarded by English Heritage as the second most important modern building in London, after the Royal Festival Hall. Plans to bring the new design to fruition is scheduled to be completed by 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Private Executive Office / Fitzsimmons Architects

© Joseph Mills Photography

Architects: Fitzsimmons
Location: , Ok
Construction: Lingo Construction, Oklahoma City, Ok
Project Year: 2011
Photography: Joseph Mills Photography

New Building Codes to Meet PlaNYC Goals

Just last week, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn enacted 29 new recommendations of the Green Codes Task Force that will provide the proper foundation for to meet the aggressive PlanNYC Goals for 2030.  The impact of these new codes is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent; lower the energy costs for lighting by 10 percent; save 30 billion gallons of water through better plumbing regulations; treat 15 million gallons of toxic construction water; recycle 100,000 tons of asphalt; and save $400 million in overall energy costs.  The implementation of such codes is the result of the formation of the NYC Green Codes Task Force, an organization led by Urban Green Council, that proposed over 100 recommendations in 2010 to address a wide range of sustainable issues; and, in the two years since that report, the Mayor’s Office and City Council have made 29 of those recommendations law, and are currently working to codify 8 others.

More about the new building codes after the break. 

Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei to design Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012

Jacques Herzog, Ai Weiwei and Pierre de Meuron © Courtesy of Serpentine Gallery

Today, the Serpentine Gallery announced the team that will design the twelfth edition of the , a special edition that will be part of the  2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

Every year the gallery invites a renowned international architects who has not built yet in the UK, to design a temporary pavilion that hosts public activities in at the Gallery’s lawn, in London’s Hyde Park between June and October 2012. The list of architects for the past editions includes several Pritzker laureates. More info of this program at our Serpentine Gallery Pavilion infographic.

This years teams includes Pritzker laureate architects Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (runner up of TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year). The trio has worked together in projects such as ORDOS 100 in the Mongolian desert and the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games. As a trio they don’t have any built projects in the UK, but Herzog & de Meuron have been involved in several, including the Tate Modern renovation and its current expansion.

Their design will explore the  hidden history of the previous installations (more info), with eleven columns under the lawn of the Serpentine, representing the past pavilions and a twelfth column supporting a floating platform roof 1.5 metres above ground. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.

Quinta Do Vallado Winery / Francisco Vieira de Campos

© Nelson Garrido

Architects: Guedes + DeCampos – Francisco Vieira de Campos
Location: , , Portugal
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Nelson Garrido

Bayou-Luminescence Installation / ISSSStudio + PATH

Courtesy of + PATH

Bayou-luminescence, one of ten site-specific installations commissioned by the chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was a collaboration between Igor Siddiqui, the principal of the Austin-based design practice ISSSStudio and Matt Hutchinson, the principal of San-Francisco-based firm PATH. The project was included as a part of DesCours, the annual architecture and art event on view at various locations in city from December 2 through 11, 2011. More images and architects’ description after the break.

55 Baker Street / Make Architects

Courtesy of Make Architects

Architects: Make Architects
Location: London,
Client: London and Regional Properties Ltd
Collaborators: , Blyth & Blyth, DP9, Expedition Engineering, Hann Tucker, HBG, Indigo Lighting, Jason Bruges Studio, Safe Consulting Ltd, Tweeds Construction Consultancy
Project Area: 75,000 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Zander Olsen, Make Architects

Kohn Pedersen Fox Hosts Inaugural Exhibition: ‘Cities Unknown’

Courtesy of

International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) recenlty announced the inaugural exhibition at its new gallery space in central London, a celebration of the work of German artist and architectural photographer Hans‐Georg Esch. Shown in the UK for the first time, the exhibition presents a selection of photographs taken from Esch’s ‘Cities Unknown’ series. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Yusuhara Marche / Kengo Kuma & Associates

© Takumi Ota Photography

Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Location: 1196-1 Yusuhara, Yusihar-Cho, Takaoka-gun, , Japan
Client: Tomio Yano, Town Mayor of Yusuhara
Site: 779.08
Built area: 552.28
Total area: 1,132.00
Photographs: Takumi Ota Photography 


Courtesy of PATTERNS


An event marking the publication of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’ new book, Embedded brings together authors, contributors, mentors and confabulators to discuss some of the most relevant issues haunting contemporary architectural practice and discourse today, such as the perceived divide between progressive design…

W305 Building / Isay Weinfeld

© Leonardo Finotti

Architect: Isay Weinfeld
Location: Vila Madalena, São Paulo,
Collaborator Architect: Domingos Pascali
Coordinator: Elena Scarabotolo
Team: Marcelo Alvarenga, Gabriel Bicudo, Felipe Hess, Marina Capocchi, Adriana Marcus
Building Completion: January 2011
Built Area: 5,838.96 sqm
Contractor: DP Unique
Structural Engineering: Steng Estrutural Engenhharia
Electrical and Pumbling Engineering: KML Engenharia E Projectos LTDA
Developer: Idea Zarvos
Photographs: Leonardo Finotti

AD Classics: Wall House 2 / John Hejduk

© Liao Yusheng

With a history unlike any other, Wall House 2 redefines the limits of architectural design as a function of context in both time and culture. 28 years after the completion of the initial designs and one year after the death of architect , construction began in a completely different environment than where it was initially imagined.

The house is a study of the relationship between inside and outside and is reminiscent of Corbusian architecture, although a bit more eccentric.

More on the history of Wall House 2 after the break.

SuperWhatnot / Marc&Co, Nielsen Worksop

© Alicia Taylor

Architect: Marc&Co in collaboration with Nielsen Worksop
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Project Team: Angus Munro, Ceirwen Burton, Lachlan Nielsen
Project completion: 2011
Project Area: 100 sqm
Photographs: Alicia Taylor


Laws Behind LA’s Flat Skyscrapers

© Wikimedia Commons / Pintaric

Ever wonder why the skyline of Los Angeles is peppered with flat top ? Or for that matter, why does such a global cosmopolitan city have so relatively few dotting its cityscape, the majority residing in downtown LA?

The answer lies in a section of the Los Angeles Municipal introduced in 1974 – Sec. 57.118.12 – “Emergency Helicopter Landing Facility.” The stipulates that “Each building shall have a rooftop emergency helicopter landing facility in a location approved by the [Fire] Chief.” The text also dictates that the helipads measure 50′x50′ in addition to a 25′ safety buffer. The resulting skyline thus far has been dominated by flat roof skyscrapers that would only make it through the planning process if in strict accordance with this . However, a newly introduced proposal called the Hollywood Community Plan would allow skyscrapers to be constructed along the subway served “Hollywood Corridor.”  In lieu of embarking on a plan that would surely result in more box type towers, an amendment has been introduced into the plan that would exempt skyscrapers within the corridor from having to conform to Sec. 57.118.12 helipad requirements. More After the break.