The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism has produced a new report examining urban health in eight of the USA’s largest cities, which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 – the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental health in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our cities.
The new issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, Coast, focuses on the thin border of continental crust that is home to 45 percent of the world’s population. The issue examines how architects and urban planners can mitigate or accommodate sea-level rise and storm surges associated with climate change. Coast promotes debate and offers answers and opportunities surrounding a problem that will inevitably affect most of the world’s urban residents in years to come.
Francine Houben of Mecanoo will present Dutch Mountains: People, Place, Purpose, a lecture on the design of the new Dudley Square Municipal Office Facility, as part of the Fall 2013 Student Lecture Series on September 25, 2013 in Cascieri Hall.
Francine Houben directs her Mecanoo team with the ambition to design buildings with a strong respect for context; physical, historical and environmental. In her lecture Dutch Mountains: People, place, purpose, she presents her vision and philosophy as well as the participatory planning and design process that is fundamental to her work. Houben guides you through Mecanoo’s increasingly international portfolio, which features the recently opened Library of Birmingham integrated with the REP Theatre in the UK, as well as the Wei-Wu-Ying Centre for the Arts in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and the Dudley Municipal Offices in Boston – both currently under construction.
All three projects serve as catalysts for their respective cities and neighborhoods; however, Boston’s Dudley Square Municipal Center serves as a unique North American example of the reinvigoration of a community. With a long history of participatory planning and community engagement, Francine worked with Sasaki Associates, Boston’s Property & Construction Management, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, along with neighborhood efforts, to produce a building that binds this community together. This lecture will present key moments in the process which lead to design solutions.
More on the lecture, including a short documentary on the project after the break.
Boston Society of Architects Housing Committee and Emerging Professionals Network Presents reGEN Boston: Energizing Urban Housing, an international ideas competition with presenting sponsor First Republic Bank.
In the 21st Century, more people than ever will be living in Cities. Generations are drawn together through the lifestyles a city can provide. In response to growing density in Urban areas, cities will renovate and re-purpose existing areas, and new urban centers are ripe to erupt. What new housing typologies will support this love for urban living? If Boston, and other cities, want to retain their diverse demographic, and lasting appeal, there needs to be an enticing solution for housing or, the cities risks losing their greatest asset, residents.
ReGEN Boston seeks innovative housing typologies to responds to Boston’s need to house the continuing life-cycles of its residents. The City needs a new round of planning, charged with harnessing growth and extending it to the many neighborhoods, many of which have been overlooked or under valued.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital just broke ground last week on the Brigham Building for the Future, a 620,000 square-foot translational research and clinical facility designed by NBBJ. Located on the hospital’s Longwood campus, the 11-story project will house eight floors of research laboratories, three floors of clinics, a state-of-the-art imaging facility, social spaces, and a 400-car garage, along with associated site improvements. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Curated by Charles Waldheim, Ruettgers Consulting Curator of Landscape, the ‘Composite Landscapes: Photomontage and Landscape Architecture‘ exhibition opens this Thursday, June 27th, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Examining the montage view, one of landscape architecture’s most recognizable representational forms, the exhibit gathers work from a select group of influential contemporary artists and a dozen of the world’s leading landscape architects. These composite views reveal practices of photomontage depicting the conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscape. The exhibit runs until September 2nd. For more information, please visit here.
Opening tomorrow, June 25th through September 29th at BSA Space, the ‘Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure‘ exhibition celebrates more than 40 examples of imaginative reuse, repurposing and reimagining of urban infrastructure, from physical objects to the city’s most functional systems and surfaces. Curated by Scott Burnham, the new exhibition presents a global overview to serve alternate and expanded functions for urban dwellers and visitors. Featured exhibits will include numerous videos, photos, media stations, renderings, and models. For more information, please visit here. More images after the break.
Last Sunday James S. Russell, architecture critic for Bloomberg News and a former editor for Architectural Record, mused on his personal blog about the possible influence Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist University of Massachusetts campus in Dartmouth may have had on Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two Boston Marathon bombers who was also a student there.
Mr. Russell describes the campus as “a gigantic eerie, dozen-building concoction of grim ribbed-concrete hubris….” This is the sort of description that drives right to the heart of urban alienation. It’s Edvard Munch’s The Scream. This ability to sum up and drive the nail home is one reason he is the architecture critic for Bloomberg News. No side-stepping here.
Enthusiasm for water and energy data collection for commercial and residential buildings has been growing strong across the U.S. in major cities such as Austin, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. It’s no surprise to learn that Earth-friendly Seattle is ahead of the game when it comes to tracking its buildings; reports show that the city is receiving data for a whopping 87% of its commercial and multi-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet, which totals to 1,160 individual properties covering over 200 million square feet of the city.
But that’s not all. New cities are hopping on the data collection bandwagon, most recently Minneapolis – the first city in the Midwest to adopt rules for energy benchmarking and disclosure. Other cities who already have a green reputation, such as Boston, are upping their game to adopt this beneficial practice in an effort to create even healthier and more prosperous urban conditions. With the President himself expressing support for cutting energy use by constructing more energy efficient buildings at last week’s State of the Union address, water and energy data collection is finally receiving the attention and consideration it deserves.
More on tracking building energy use after the break…
I Want to be METROPOLITAN is a research project on small scale metropolises, MINI Metropolis, using Boston as a case study to provide a different reading of the city. The study focuses on showing the efforts that the city of Boston has made in order to grow with metropolitan characteristics while remaining at a much smaller scale than cities like New York, London, or Tokyo. The morphology of Boston has been achieved through different metropolitan interventions that occur on different scales. These are divided on an infrastructural scale, urban scale, and architectural scale. By means of analyzing these different aspects, we can compose a vision of a future Boston, or Fictitious Boston, derived from its metropolitan potential.
Produced by the Boston Society of Architects, the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) will take place November 14-16 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boasting the most comprehensive education program and largest marketplace for the design and construction industry in New England, the event offers over 175 professional development opportunities. This covers a range of topics from building technology to design, software, social sustainability and code. The tradeshow and conference launches on Wednesday morning with Speaking of Architecture, an Opening Plenary panel discussion moderated by Renée Loth of ArchitectureBoston Magazine and Robert Campbell FAIA of the Boston Globe. Tours are also provided, allowing attendees an inside look into some of the most unique and interesting buildings in Greater Boston, including the recently re-opened Tea Party Museum, Hostelling International and the MassArt Tower Building.To register and for more information, please visit here.
Design Museum Boston recently announced the call for entries for Street Seats Design Challenge — an international outdoor furniture design challenge that will culminate in new waterfront seating, an outdoor design exhibition, and a walking tour around the channel. The Fort Point Channel links the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston – the seam between the Financial District and the emerging Boston Innovation District. o=Open to local and international artists, designers, and enthusiasts, Street Seats falls into the stated goals for the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan, a 2002 vision to establish the Fort Point Channel as the next great (public) place in the City of Boston. Submissions are due no later than February 1. For more information, please visit here.
According to a new survey published in Architect Magazine, Boston is starting to show “encouraging, though not significant, signs of improvement” in its architecture industry. Well, something’s better than nothing, right?
A 2012 Architectural Survey, conducted by accounting firm CBIZ Tofiasv, found that profit per hour increased from 2010’s $5.54 to $6.89; and the direct labor utilization rate (aka the portion of payroll that pays for income-generating labor, not training, administration, time off, etc.) also increased from last year, which in turn was an improvement over the three previous years.
But it’s not all rosy in Beantown. First of all, the 2011–2012 increase wasn’t huge, and, what’s more, the overhead rate didn’t drop. In 2007, it was $47.27; in 2011, $59.09, reported the Boston Business Journal.
We got flurries of responses when we asked “What’s the best country to find work?” but we didn’t think to ask: “What’s the best American city to find work?”
If these small economic flutterings are anything to go by, could Boston be the answer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Story via Architect Magazine
Architects: Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, Inc
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Principal in Charge: Jane H. Weinzapfel, FAIA
Project Manager: Winifred A. Stopps, Senior Assoc. AIA LEED AP
Project Architect: Alan Christ, AIA LEED AP
Design Architect: Tom Chung, Senior Assoc., AIA LEED AP
Project Team: Kevin Bell AIA, Susan Crowe Knight, Laura Duncan, Shih-Min Hsu AIA, Hannah Jackson RA, Irene Kang AIA LEED AP, Matt Petrie AIA, Jared Ramsdell, Marley Wright RA
Project Area: 12,270 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Anton Grassl/Esto
Khoury Levit Fong shared with us their proposal for the GLOW/SHIFTboston Copley Square Competition. Their concept consists of an urban room, and hanging in the middle of it is a great chandelier. Dewdrop-shaped globes hang from a funicular mesh support, each illuminated by a wick-like row of low-energy addressable LEDs. It is light which is given weight and pulls down upon its supports to produce an inverted dome of scintillating light. Through the middle, the oculus at the center, the unobstructed sky is visible again. More images and architects’ description after the break.