New York-based architectural photographer Paul Clemence has shared with us recent images and his thoughts on Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s new student residence hall that is being constructed in downtown Boston. The 21-story, $61 million building is planned for completion this year.
Boston is not particularly known as a destination for trendy, contemporary architecture; but some new buildings are beginning to change that perception. From Diller Scofidio Renfro’s Institute of Contemporary Art to Norman Foster’s new wing at The Museum of Fine Arts to the recently completed Renzo Piano addition to the beloved Gardner Museum, the city’s urbanscape is getting a much needed updating. And now, a soon to be finished bold new project by the firm ADD Inc is bringing a colorful twist to the mix. They are the designers behind the new MassArt Students Residence Hall.
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The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) recently opened its new headquarters, BSA Space, Boston’s leading cultural institution on architecture and design. The design of the new headquarters by Boston-based firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture is centered around a highly visible “cloud” ceiling and an iconic stair. These two architectural elements act as brand markers for BSA Space and an invitation into the exhibits and meeting spaces above. More images and project description after the break.
The newly constructed wing for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, opens to the public today with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony accompanied by the City of Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Designed to preserve the 1902 historic building, the 70,000 square-foot addition will offer purpose-built spaces for concerts, exhibitions and classes, along with enhanced visitor amenities. The museum will also be kicking off an inaugural season of exhibitions, performances and events that will highlight the buildings wide range of programming.
“This new wing is an extraordinarily elegant workshop, a bustling counterpoint to the historic building’s serenity. Here, the thinking and the work of the Museum is performed, so that the Palace, which had been put to uses for which it was not equipped, can once again give visitors the experience Isabella Stewart Gardner intended: a personal confrontation with art,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Museum.
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Envisioned as an urban grove, this central gathering space represents the convergence of community in this diverse, mixed income, residential development. The design accommodates a complex program, layering the varied multi-cultural and intergenerational uses with a number of meaningful gathering and recreational spaces for the residents. Tai Chi, chess, children’s play areas, and contemplative seating areas allow for various groups to utilize the garden spaces in different ways. Lawn areas can be used for sunbathing in the summer and also provide the community with areas for flexible programming during larger gatherings, such as celebrations for the Chinese New Year, Russian Unity Day, and other cultural and civic events.
Boston Society of Architects (BSA) recently launched their lecture series which opens up on September 21st with Jeremiah Eck, FAIA as he considers a simple way to infuse sustainability and light in homes; Barnaby Evans does something similar for cities while Chee Pearlman enlists design for the betterment of humanity and Audrey O’Hagan, AIA looks boldly toward the future of the profession. All free BSA lectures take place at 6:00 pm at the BSA Space multimedia room (290 Congress Street, Boston). More information on the series after the break.
The U.S.G.S. recently reported that an earthquake struck the Washington, D.C. area with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 (later updated to 5.9). Initial reports of damage are minor however the National Cathedral’s central tower sustained some damage. “It looks like three of the pinnacles have broken off the central tower,” spokesman Richard Weinberg said of the tower, the highest point in Washington, D.C.
Update: The Cathedral has sustained some substantial damage due to the earthquake, and experts are currently assessing the structural and aesthetic damage. For a video of the Cathedral damage, or to help join the efforts of preserving the Cathedral click here.
Update: You can also see the effects of the earthquake on a building in Virginia here.
Felt in Philadelphia, North Carolina, Boston, New York City, Martha’s Vineyard, and even Wheeling, West Virginia, the tremor raises questions of the importance of seismic considerations particularly in New York City.
Although earthquakes are not something a typical New Yorker would have cross their mind in comparison to other parts of the world such as Japan (8.9 magnitude in 2011) and Chile (8.8 magnitude in 2010), the overal size and density of NYC puts it at a high risk for extensive damage.
More photographs of the Washington National Cathedral and discussion regarding seismic considerations following the break.
Opening in 2012, the $118 million steel, glass, and copper-clad expansion to Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by Renzo Piano Building Workshop will more than double the size of the current facility. Included in the project are a new entrance, music hall, gallery space, and other amenities for an institution that has remained largely unaltered since opening in 1903.
Cambridge Public Library wins Harleston Parker Medal / William Rawn Associates and Ann Beha Architects
The Boston Society of Architects/AIA announced the winner of the 2010 Harleston Parker Medal as the Cambridge Public Library by William Rawn Associates Architects and Ann Beha Architects. Each year, the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and the City of Boston award the Harleston Parker Medal to “the single most beautiful” building or structure built in the Greater Boston area over the past 10 years.
More images of the winner after the break.
The International Living Future Institute launched the Living City Design Competition in 2010, seeking designs for our cities in the year 2035. map-lab’s submission was ResilienCity. ResilienCity seeks to set the vision for the future of Boston’s Innovation District, a new neighborhood built on grey field and brownfield sites that will provide residences and workplaces for over 300,000 people.
We have reached the tipping point where we need to think of the whole, not the self. We have arrived at a time when we need to stop behaving selfishly and begin to explore how we can all come together as a community to create environments that are culturally enriching, healthier, and equitable. We come back to nature to do this. Additional images of map-lab’s submission and a continuing narrative can be seen after the break.
Back in December we told you about the Rotch Travelling Scholarship, an annual two-stage design competition that results in one person, deemed the Rotch Scholar. Christopher Karlson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been named the 2011 Rotch Travelling Scholarship recipient. Karlson will receive a $37,000 stipend to spend eight months traveling and studying architecture around the world.
As first runner-up, Young Seop Lee of Jersey City, New Jersey, is invited to compete in next year’s final competition without re-entering the preliminary stage and is the 2011 alternate if Karlson declines the scholarship.
Thirty-four competitors participated in the preliminary competition. They were asked to design an urban bicycle station in downtown Boston. More information and images of the winning proposal after the break.
Fascinated with the theory of camouflage and interested in how, as a design concept, it could result in the transformation of space, MODU changed the recognizable figure of a barge in a city to an interactive atmospheric phenomenon they titled, ‘Lighter Than Air’. This proposal, which was for “The Barge” competition organized by SHIFTBoston, won first place and will be coming to the Fort Point Channel in Boston in September 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Boston based research and design firm, PRAUD, shared with us the West End Museum which is a community-based museum in Boston dedicated to documenting the history of the West End of Boston. The museum especially captures the immigrant era which dates approximately from 1880 to the West Ends destruction by eminent domain in 1958. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The new Ames Hotel is Rockwell Group’s first hotel project in Boston. The boutique hotel occupies the historic Ames Building, a historic office building which was built in the late 19th century, and was the tallest building in Boston when it was completed. The hotel sits along the Washington Mall at One Court Street and is located on the edge of the Financial District, the Downtown Crossing shopping district and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.