Levinson Plaza, Mission Park / Mikyoung Kim Design

Courtesy of

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.

Landscape Architect: Mikyoung Kim Design
Location: Boston, , USA
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design

BSA Lecture Series

Courtesy of WaterFire Providence

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, ). More information on the series after the break.

Seismic Considerations in New York City and Washington DC

Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (1)
Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral

The U.S.G.S. recently reported that an 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, , 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.

Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (2) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (14) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (12) Courtesy of Washington National Cathedral (10)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Expansion / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley and Jim Labeck, the director of operations, look over a model of the Gardner's new wing (center). The original building (right) sits in front of it. (John Tlumacki / Globe Staff)

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.

AD Classics: JFK Presidential Library / I.M. Pei

Photo by Daniel Cooper - http://www.flickr.com/photos/doitintheroad/

After a nine year process and fourteen possible architects the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library was finally finished and dedicated on October 20, 1979. Architect ’s signature geometric shapes of steel and glass created an appropriate stately monumentality. A juxtaposition of spaces and light quality along with a defined and lucid circulation creates a logical story line of its namesake.

B Street Lofts / Touloukian Touloukian Inc.

© Stephen Lee

Architects: Touloukian Touloukian Inc.
Location: , , USA
General Contractor: Fern Vanchon
Lighting Designer: Scott Richardson
Photographs: Stephen Lee

East 6th Street House / Touloukian Touloukian Inc.

© Stephen Lee Photography

Architects: Touloukian Touloukian Inc.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts,
General Contractor: Mike Ahern
Structural Engineer: Uy Than Ly
Electrical Lighting Design: Paul Zaferiou
Photographs: Stephen Lee Photography

Cambridge Public Library wins Harleston Parker Medal / William Rawn Associates and Ann Beha Architects

© Chuck Choi

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.

ResilienCity / map-lab

Courtesy

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 ’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.

Rotch Travelling Scholarship Competition Winner

's winning proposal

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, , 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.

‘Lighter Than Air’ Proposal / MODU

Courtesy of

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 in September 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.

West End Museum / PRAUD

Courtesy of

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 Ames Hotel / Rockwell Group

Courtesy of Rockwell Group

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.

Architect: Rockwell Group
Location: One Court Street, Boston, ,
Project Area: 70,000 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Rockwell Group

AD Classics: Gropius House / Walter Gropius

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, © daderot

Home to one of the most influential architects of the 20th Century, the Gropius House was the residence of Walter Gropius and his family during his tenure at Harvard University during the mid 1900s. Completed in 1938, the Gropius House was the first commissioned project in the for the famed architect.  Located in Lincoln, Massachusetts the house is a hybrid of traditional New England aesthetic and the modernist teachings of the Bauhaus.

More on the Gropius House after the break.

Boston’s Treepods / Influx_Studio

Courtesy of

Paris-based Influx_Studio shared with us a project they are currently developing: a new concept of artificial urban tree which absorbs Co², called TREEPOD. More images and architect’s description on this project after the break.

AD Classics: Boston City Hall / Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, © Daniel Schwen

As part of an international competition to design ’s City Hall in 1962, three Columbia University professors, Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles, diverted from the typical sleek, glass and steel structures that were being requested by popular demand.  Rather than basing their design on the material aesthetics, their goal was to accentuate the governmental buildings connection to the public realm.

Completed in 1968, the Brutalist style city hall bridges the public and private sectors of government through a gradient of reveal and exposure that allows the public to become integrated, either physically or visually, into the daily affairs of the governmental process.

More on the Boston City Hall after the break.

ArchDaily at the GSD / Borderless: Design and digital platforms

The role of the editor, the index of a more and more multidimensional society, the democratization of media, the use of media to create design and collaborative practices.

Next Tuesday (March 8th) at 12:30PM we will be participating at the Borderless: Design and digital platforms panel at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with the MIT Social Media Group.

Looking forward to see you there!

More info at the GSD website.

Boston Hydromall / Influx_Studio

Courtesy of

Paris-based Influx_Studio shared with us their project Hydromall, a submission for SHIFTBoston’s first competition. See more images and architect’s description after the break.