The jury of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale has awarded the United States pavilion a “Special Mention” for it’s innovative installation, titled Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Curated and commissioned by Cathy Lang Ho, along with David Van Der Leer and Ned Cramer, the exhibition presents 124 socially-minded urban interventions that have brought immediate improvements to the public realm.
Brooklyn-based practice Freecell collaborated closely with the Sausalito-based design studio M-A-D, led by Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane, to design a kinetic system of color-coded banners, weights and pulleys, that showcase each urban intervention. Learn more after the break.
Mark your calendars – the Lowline is going public! After a great gallery exhibition and tons of international support, the Lowline founders are launching a public exhibition to showcase their innovative technological approach to creating the world’s first underground park on the Lower East Side of New York City. The full scale exhibition will take place in the Essex Market Building D, an abandoned warehouse just above the proposed Lowline Park, from September 15-27.
More after the break.
SPURA is one of the many adopted acronyms used to describe New York City’s division of neighborhoods. But unlike SOHO, NOHO, or Tribeca, SPURA is actually the name of a development site in Lower Manhattan, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, to be exact. The history of the site is a story of politics, economics and social pressures. After fifty years of debates between community leaders, activists and designers, the City Planning Commission has given a proposed development plan the green light. That means that following a land-use review process called ULURP, a city council vote and the Mayor Bloomberg’s final approval, the site may finally transition from a street level parking lot into a mixed-use development full of retail stores, offices, community facilities, a new Essex Street market, a hotel, a park and 900 apartments that will occupy 1.65-million-square-feet.
Join us after the break to read more on the development and to see other alternative creative proposals that this site has inspired over the years.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program has launched the 2012 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. This year, 3,200 buildings across the country will be competing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs and protect health and the environment. With that kind of challenge, every participant wins. Last year, 245 participants saved a combined $5.2 million on their utility bills and prevented nearly 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The competition is open to commercial buildings, which are responsible for approximately 20% of the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually in energy bills.
A winner will be announced in April 2013. In the meantime, follow us after the break for more on the potential behind this competition.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the eleven recipients of the 2012 Small Project Awards. Now in its ninth year, the AIA Small Project Awards Program emphasizes the excellence of small-project design and strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to projects, no matter the limits of size and scope.
The award recipients are categorized into three groups; category 1) a small project construction, object, work of environmental art or architectural design element up to $150,000 2) a small project construction, up to $1,500,000 and 3) a small project construction up to $1,500,000 which does not rely on external infrastructure as its primary power source.
The 2012 Small Project Award winners are:
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced four international projects shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Lubetkin Prize – an award presented to the “best new international building outside the EU”. Three of the projects are located in South East Asia and one is in the USA. This news follows the announcement of the shortlisted projects competing for the UK’s prestigious Stirling Prize. The winners of both awards will be announced at a special event in Manchester on Saturday, October 13th.
Angela Brady, RIBA President, stated: “On the 2012 RIBA Lubetkin Prize shortlist we have four highly experienced architecture practices offering sophisticated yet fun responses to complex sites. These cutting-edge buildings show the leading role that architects play in creating low-energy living and working spaces, even in extreme environmental conditions.”
The four projects shortlisted for the 2012 RIBA Lubetkin Prize are:
L&L Holding Company, LLC, today announced that four of the world’s most acclaimed architecture firms – Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects – are participating this week in the conceptual design phase of its architectural competition for a new office tower to be constructed at 425 Park Avenue in Manhattan.
In April of this year, L&L Holding invited 11 of the world’s most accomplished architects to express their interest in competing for the commission to design a new tower at 425 Park Avenue. Of those invited, nine firms chose to enter the competition. After careful deliberations, L&L Holding narrowed its list to the four selected firms, each of which is led by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect with extensive international experience and proven expertise in office tower design.
The architects and their teams have prepared and are presenting their conceptual designs this week for a 650,000 square foot tower that will be designed to high L.E.E.D. sustainability standards.
The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan last Thursday. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, approved a nomination that sets in motion a two year master plan creation process to generate a new vision for Union Station, in conjunction with the general revitalization and growth of downtown Los Angeles as the city and metro look to the future. More architects’ description after the break.
How does it sound when Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, host of Designing Healthy Communities says that we are among the first generation in modern history to have shorter lifespans than our parents? It is a frightening thought, especially when it is compounded with the idea that the way in which we have designed – that is our buildings, our streets, our infrastructure, our food, our lifestyles – for decades has contributed to it. Designing Healthy Communities is a project that is dedicated to confronting contemporary issues of public health associated with the built environment and offering solutions that encourage reshaping our interactions, lifestyles and design strategies. In a series of episodes, Dr. Jackson discusses various factors within our environment that has caused rampant chronic health problems, the most prominent of which is Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity. It comes down to an environment that promotes a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices.