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TEDx: Fracture-Critical Design / Tom Fisher

Thomas Fisher, Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, discusses the subject matter of his most recent book, Designing To Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design.

Burton Barr Central Library / bruderDWLarchitects

© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

The Phoenix Central Library stands as an iconic structure that straddles Interstate 10 as it passes through the Margaret T. Hance Deck Park Tunnel in Phoenix, Arizona. Designed by bruderDWLarchitects, the contract was awarded in 1989 and the project completed in 1995 to house an expansive volume collection of 1,000,000 within 280,000 square feet, it has also served as a catalyst to the local community and fostered a sense of pride. It features numerous details that enhance the overall user experience and incorporates strategic building tactics that respond to the harsh Sonoran Desert. More details after the break.

© Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman

will bruder+PARTNERS Splits into Two

Agave Library / will bruder+PARTNERS © Bill Timmerman
Agave Library / will bruder+PARTNERS © Bill Timmerman

Starting today, one of Arizona’s most well-known architecture firms will no longer be will bruder+PARTNERS. After a successful 17-year history, the practice has branched into two independent firms with diverse architectural offerings due to a “natural evolution of individual and collective goals relating to firm size, design methodology and management.” Together, the internationally respected firm has created landmark buildings throughout the state, including projects such as the Burton Barr Library and the Agave Library. And now, each will go their separate ways as the firm has split into Will Bruder Architects and WORKSBUREAU. Continue after the break to learn more about each firm.

Phoenix Children's Hospital / HKS Architects

Courtesy of HKS Architects
Courtesy of HKS Architects

Arizona’s Phoenix Children’s Hospital, designed and renovated by HKS Architects, is an 11-story tower facility that is one of the largest pediatric campuses in the country.  The building is part of a larger campus and a part of Phoenix’s community, which was a factor in determining the aesthetics of the new architecture.  The design team was challenged to enhance the campus, improving upon its existing planning and flexibility, and staying true to the facility’s vision of providing children’s care in a comfortable atmosphere. More on this project after the break.

Courtesy of HKS Architects Courtesy of HKS Architects Courtesy of HKS Architects Courtesy of HKS Architects

Lavance Shade Screen / Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance

Courtesy of Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance
Courtesy of Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance

The Lavance Shade Screen, a project designed and built by Benjamin Hall & Michael Lavance, was created out of appreciation for the desert climate and its harsh effects on specific materials. This inspiration and architectural concept led to this unique and regionally specific approach in providing much needed shade to a custom residential outdoor barbecue and bar near the downtown of Scottsdale, Arizona. More images and architects’ description after the break.

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik
© 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. citiesDetroit, Phoenix, 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.

Phantom Developments of the Southwest

© Wikimedia.org / Gobeirne
© Wikimedia.org / Gobeirne

During the housing boom in Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs, enormous swaths of land were graded and prepared for endless subdivisions as far as the eye could see. Following the burst of the housing market and prolonged recession, these unfinished construction sites have sat vacant – remnants of unbridled optimism in the Valley of the Sun. A recent article on NPR.org discusses some of the alternative visions for re-appropriating these phantom lots that propagate the greater Phoenix area. Various methods of breathing new life into these chasms left behind include rezoning the numerous residential lots for mixed-use, or tearing up the infrastructure and letting nature take back control. For those unfamiliar with the rapid pace of development that was taking place prior to the recession, Maricopa, a small town just south of Phoenix was approving over 600 residential home permits per month. With an inventory of over 16,000 dedicated to residential homes, the measures that are required to remediate the impact of such an ambitious plan need to be ingenious. While the Southwest has suffered from the housing bust significantly more than many other states, it will undoubtedly always remain a destination for its unequaled sunny days, warm weather and amazing desert landscape. See this article on similar circumstances in the Rust Belt region. Photographs: Wikimedia.org User: Gobeirne References: www.NPR.org, www.philly.com

Exhibit: Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century

 Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, 1955. Courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona
Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, 1955. Courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum presents Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. The exhibit will explore Wright and his relevance today through a survey of more than 40 projects shown through rarely seen drawings, models, furniture, films and photographs. The Arizona exhibit will be open to the public from December 18th, 2011 to April 29th, 2012 at the Steele Gallery in the Phoenix Art Museum.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Arizona State Capital, “Oasis,” Phoenix, Arizona, 1957 © 2010 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona Frank Lloyd Wright, Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois, 1905-08 © 2010 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona Frank Lloyd Wright. Lenkurt Electric Company, San Carlos, CA, 1955 © 2010 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona Frank Lloyd Wright, Edgar J. Kaufmann House, “Fallingwater,” Mill Run, Pennsylvania, 1934-37 © 1936 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson-based Architects Line and Space Wins 2011 AIA-Arizona Architectural Firm of the Year Award

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge – © Mike Torrey
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge – © Mike Torrey

Architecture firm Line and Space, has been selected as the 2011 Architectural Firm of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award recognizes a firm that has produced distinguished architecture for over ten years, has made significant contributions to the profession and the community, and has transcended local boundaries in making these contributions. Awarded by an out of state jury comprised of architects, the honor was given to Line and Space at the Institute’s Celebrate Architecture Awards Gala held in Phoenix on October 22.

AIA Phoenix Metro Home Tour

Cedar Street Residence by colab studio © Bill Timmerman
Cedar Street Residence by colab studio © Bill Timmerman

If you are in the Phoenix area this weekend be sure to take in the AIA Phoenix Metro Home Tour tomorrow from 10am to 5pm. The tour will feature seven designs within the Phoenix area that vary in scale and range from contemporary to traditional styles, so there is omething for everyone. Included within this year’s tour is colab studio’s Cedar Street Residence which has been featured here on ArchDaily. After the home tour you may be inspired to take a look at some of the other great architecture in the city. Check out our Architecture City Guide Phoenix for ideas. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time or at any on the homes on the day of the tour. A portion of each ticket sold will be given to the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SAARC).

Paolo Soleri's Bridge Design Collection: Connecting Metaphor

© Cosanti Foundation
© Cosanti Foundation

“Of all things that are man-made, bridges are, with dams, the most “structural,” single-minded, and imposing. As connectors at a breaking point, they have a heroic force that is aided by a challenging structuralism. As a strand of continuity in a non-continuum, the bridge is full of implied meanings. It is the opposite of devisiveness, separation, isolation, irretrievability, loss, segregation, abandonment. To bridge is as cogent in the psychic realm as it is in the physical world. The bridge is a symbol of confidence and trust. It is a communications medium as much as a connector.” -Paolo Soleri, 1970, from “The Sketchbooks of Paolo Soleri”, published by MIT Press, 1971

Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man

Paolo Soleri, detail, Mesa City Market (Arts and Crafts), 1961. Pencil, Charcoal, pastel on paper. Collection of the Cosanti Foundation. © Paolo Soleri. Photo: Cosanti Foundation/Soleri Archives/David DeGomez
Paolo Soleri, detail, Mesa City Market (Arts and Crafts), 1961. Pencil, Charcoal, pastel on paper. Collection of the Cosanti Foundation. © Paolo Soleri. Photo: Cosanti Foundation/Soleri Archives/David DeGomez

[OVER]fill / Architekton

© Architekton
© Architekton

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Flip a Strip competition challenged designers around the country to re-imagine the suburban strip mall as an urban typology, proposing an alternative to the ubiquitous developments which have emerged as an economic response to a rapidly outward expanding residential market and the availability of inexpensive land.

Roth House / Debartolo Architects

© Debartolo Architects
© Debartolo Architects

The studio of Debartolo Architects is a unique architectural design firm in that they are passionately committed to architectural excellence parallel with their commitment to serving clients and creating relevant and functionally-tuned environments for people. Founded in 1996 as a collaboration of the father-son team, the firm is built on the rich history of Jack Debartolo Jr. FAIA’s 22-year partnership with Anderson DeBartolo Pan, Inc. Through creativity, innovation and careful listening, their team has become one of the leading studios in creating highly-custom, well-tuned built-environments that respond to their client, context, culture and community.

Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration (ISTB4) / Ehrlich Architects

© Ehrlich Architects
© Ehrlich Architects

Arizona State University’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB 4) was designed to be a progressive home for ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and some departments from the Fulton Schools of Engineering (FSE). At 294,000 sq.-ft., this seven-story “smart” structure will be the largest research facility in the history of the university. In addition to cutting-edge laboratories and research offices, ISTB 4 will house extensive public outreach and K-12 education spaces designed to engage the Greater Phoenix community in earth and space exploration. Ehrlich Architects’ new Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration is a clearly organized laboratory building that will enhance the research, science and educational programs housed within.

The Grove / Debartolo Architects

Perspective 01
Perspective 01

Debartolo Architects were commissioned to develop a master plan for the growing church in a satellite community of Metro-Phoenix. Debartolo Architects developed a new language for a church that named themselves after an existing pistachio grove that once and still partially thrives on their 22 acre site. With three existing buildings, built by the congregation and designed by volunteers, the idea was to develop a more strategic approach to the next generation of development, growth and use of the entire site.