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ABI Rebounds into Positive Territory

After two months of a decreasing demand for design services, the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has bounced back into positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, May's ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. This growth was lead by a growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards Honor Housing Projects

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Housing Knowledge Community, together with the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has announced two selections for the 2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards, which recognize innovative housing projects with excellence in design. This year's projects were selected in the Excellence in Affordable Housing Design and Creating Community Connection categories. 

The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award was awarded to Brooks + Scarpa for their Step Up project in Santa Monica, California, which embodies the award’s recognition of “architecture that demonstrates overall excellent design responses to the needs and constraints of affordable housing."

Gossens Bachman Architects was announced as the winner of the Creating Community Connection Award for their Co-op Plaza Redevelopment in Brattleboro, Vermont. This award “recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purposes of either revitalization or planned growth.”

More about the winners, after the break…

Morphosis Architects Headline AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards

The AIA has announced four projects as the winners of its inaugural Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Innovation Awards, with Morphosis Architects' Emerson College Los Angeles taking away the headline "Stellar Architecture" award. Started in 2005, the TAP Knowledge Community has led efforts to acknowledge and disseminate the best use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies, and the AIA hopes that the new TAP Innovation Award will "enliven the discourse on how these innovations can advance the profession and practice of architecture and further the mission of the Institute."

See all four awarded projects after the break.

The building and site utilize best ‘green’ practices, including capturing stormwater in the landscape. Image © Tom Holdsworth The three main massing elements (south bar, atrium and north tower) are each designed with their own structural systems and floor-to-floor heights to maximize efficiencies. Image © Alene Davis The design's canted glazing intensifies reflections of immediate environment. Image © Point B Design A grand stair provides space for social gatherings, connecting the students to Sunset Blvd below with a view of the Hollywood Sign ahead. Image © Iwan Baan

AIA Signs Cooperative Agreement with Africa Union of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) has signed a cooperative agreement to "share practice tools and resources, creating a framework for American and African architects to work collaboratively in achieving development and infrastructure goals in Africa." The agreement articulates their mutual interests to advance the “Africa Sustainability Campaign” in spirit of the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reinvigorate and formalize the AIA's relationship with our colleagues in Africa,” said AIA 2015 President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “We look forward to increased knowledge sharing on topics such as health and resilience which are critical to the sustainable future of our planet."

ABI Slows in April

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link

Future of Architecture Competition Winners Revealed

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Houzz have announced the winners of their Future of Architecture Residential Design Contest and Showcase. Receiving entries from students and emerging architects around the world, the competition highlights prominent approaches to residential architecture in an effort to both recognize the work of young professionals and inform viewers about the worth of “good design.”

The winners emerged within five design categories and were chosen by Houzz’s extensive community of subscribers. To jumpstart their careers, the winners will receive prizes tailored to professional advancement, including participation in an upcoming community revitalization project and expenses-paid attendance to the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. See all of the winners after the break. 

Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition were announced today at the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) National Convention. The urban design challenge sought proposals for creative interventions at two existing freeway overpasses in the city’s Midtown and Downtown districts, with a referential budget of $3 million per bridge. The winners were selected from five finalists by a panel of industry experts. 

See the two winning proposals as well as the winners of the People’s Choice Award after the break. 

An Architect's Story: AIA Documentary Profiles Blind Architect Chris Downey

As part of their #ILookUp campaign to raise awareness about the importance of the architecture profession, the AIA has produced this short documentary about Chris Downey, an architect who lost his sight in 2008 and has gone on to become a pioneer in designing for the blind and visually impaired. Screened for the first time earlier today at the AIA convention in Atlanta, "An Architect's Story" takes a look into the life and work of Downey and one of his students, Sana Jahani, as they explain what architects can offer the world - and what the #ILookUp campaign means for an architect who is "without sight, but not without vision."

AD Interviews: Elizabeth Chu Richter / 2015 AIA President

In the midst of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2015 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, we had the chance to sit down with Elizabeth Chu Richter, CEO of Richter Architects and the AIA President for 2015 to discuss some of the important issues facing the architecture profession today.

ArchDaily Founders to Discuss Globalization and "Going Viral" at AIA Convention 2015

A week from today the 2015 AIA National Convention will kickstart in Atlanta, Georgia. With a plethora of options to consider, we encourage those attending to sign up for the hour-long discussion "Going Viral: Blurred Borders and Globalization." Presented by ArchDaily co-founders David Basulto and David Assael, and organized by the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee, "Going Viral" will discuss how you can take your practice (and profits) to a global level. The discussion will occur at 5PM on Friday, May 15th. Sign up for the course here, using the code "FR418."

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015

Ten projects have been named the top examples of sustainable and ecological design by the AIA and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) for the year 2015. Now in its 19th edition, the COTE Top Ten Awards program recognizes projects that adhere to the highest integration of natural systems and technology to produce spaces that positively impact their surroundings and minimize their environmental footprints.

All of the projects will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. See this year's top ten sustainable designs, after the break.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Image © Timothy Hursley University Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Image © James Ewing Sweetwater Spectrum Community / Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. Image © Tim Griffith Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse / Overland Partners. Image © Dror Baldinger

March ABI Continues to Increase

For the second consecutive month, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has indicated a "modest increase" in design activity in March. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 51.7, up from a mark of 50.4 in February. The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, up from a reading of 56.6 the previous month.

“Business conditions at architecture firms generally are quite healthy across the country. However, billings at firms in the Northeast were set back with the severe weather conditions, and this weakness is apparent in the March figures,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The multi-family residential market has seen its first occurrence of back-to-back negative months for the first time since 2011, while the institutional and commercial sectors are both on solid footing.”

AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2015

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the recipients of the 2015 Housing Awards. Currently in its 15th year, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in US housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” This year, the jury awarded ten designs in three categories. See them all, after the break. 

Marlboro Music: Five Cottages / HGA Architects and Engineers Broadway Affordable Housing / Kevin Daly Architects 160 Massachusetts Avenue Tower / William Rawn Associates. Image © Bruce T. Martin Photography Bayview Hill Gardens / David Baker Architects. Image © Matt Edge

Win a FREE Full Pass to the 2015 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

In just over a month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Atlanta to celebrate world class innovations in architecture, new materials and technology. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend one of the largest architecture events, free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the AIA National Convention ($1,025 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with wood in mid-rise, and even high-rise structures.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before April 20 at 12:00PM ESTWhat is your favorite example of wood in architecture?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA National Convention after the break.

AIANY and the Center for Architecture Name David Burney as Interim Executive Director

After the unexpected departure of Rick Bell last week, the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture have named David Burney as interim Executive Director until a long-term replacement can be found. Currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Board Chair for the Center for Active Design, Burney worked as an architect at Davis Brody Bond until 1990, when he embarked on a 24-year career as one of New York's key civil servants: first as director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) until 2003, and then as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 until 2014.

AIA Names 6 US Libraries as 2015's Best

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed six libraries they believe to be the year's best. In collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards are intended to promote and honor exceptional designs in library architecture. Taking into account the evolving role of the library, these six award recipients are believed to have elevated the institution to one of congregation and community-specific programs.

See the winning designs after the break.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center / Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects. Image © Timothy Hursley Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership. Image © Benjamin Benschneider Slover Library / Newman Architects with Tymoff + Moss Architects. Image © Newman Architects Mission Branch Library / Muñoz and Company. Image © Chris Cooper

“Drylands Resilience Initiative” Awarded AIA Latrobe Prize

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected a team led by Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute for its “Drylands Resilience Initiative: Digital Tools for Sustainable Urban Design in Arid and Semi-Arid Urban Centers” to receive the 2015 Latrobe Prize.

The Latrobe Prize, named for architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, is awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession. The $100,000 award will enable the Arid Lands Institute (ALI) and its cross-disciplinary partners to further develop and test a proprietary digital design tool, known as “Hazel,” that eventually will enable arid communities anywhere to design and build the infrastructure needed to capture, retain and distribute stormwater runoff.