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3 New Films Showcase 7 Architects Redefining the Role of Women in Architecture

"I cannot, in whole conscience, recommend architecture as a profession for girls. I know some women who have done well at it, but the obstacles are so great that it takes an exceptional girl to make a go of it. If she insisted on becoming an architect, I would try to dissuade her. If then, she was still determined, I would give her my blessing–she could be that exceptional one."
– Pietro Belluschi, FAIA from the 1955 New York Life Insurance Company brochure, “Should You Be an Architect?”

With great fanfare, in mid-October 2014 on the opening night of the 6th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in Manhattan, Festival Director Kyle Bergman announced that the festival’s special focus this year was on women in architecture. “We’ve been wanting to feature women in architecture for a while now,” he told me, “and this year we finally have the films to make that happen,” referring to three new documentaries: Gray Matters (2014), Making Space: 5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture (2014) and Zaha Hadid: Who Dares Wins (2013).

2013 Great Places Award Winners Announced

Seven exemplary projects in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design have been named winners of the 2013 Great Places Awards and were honored during the 44th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) earlier this month. The EDRA Great Places Awards recognizes professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience.

The winners after the break...

National Mall Winning Design Proposal for Union Square / Gustafson Guthrie Nichol + Davis Brody Bond

View from US Capitol Speaker’s Balcony - Courtesy of GGN, © Methanoia
View from US Capitol Speaker’s Balcony - Courtesy of GGN, © Methanoia

Seattle-based landscape architects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) and New York-based architects Davis Brody Bond (DBB) were recently selected as the winners of the National Mall Design Competition for Union Square. Organized by the Trust for the National Mall, a jury of eight esteemed professionals selected a design team for each of the three re-design sites of the National Mall through a three-stage process. The winning design was judged on flexibility, sustainability, and creativity of their design and how well it reflects the established vision and design influences of this historic setting. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Winners announced for the National Mall Redesign Competition

OLIN & Weiss / Manfredi Via the Trust for the National Mall
OLIN & Weiss / Manfredi Via the Trust for the National Mall

After an intense and highly publicized competition, the Trust for the National Mall has announced the three winning teams selected to redesign the neglected sites of America’s front yard. As reported by the Washington Post, Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners will redesign Constitution Gardens east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, while Weiss/Manfredi & OLIN will bring new life to the Sylvan Theater, southeast of the Washington Monument. The Union Square will be forwarded to the Architect of the Capitol and transformed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond.

Continue reading for more on the winning proposals.

National Mall Finalists Exhibit Designs

Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects

The ten finalists competing in the final phase of the National Mall Design Competition are dreaming big. Proposals to restore the National Mall include flourishing lakeside gardens, contemporary cafés hovering over water, grassy new amphitheaters and underground pavilions exposed at the foot of the Washington Monument. Since the announcement of the finalists, the teams have been refining there proposals behind closed doors.

Now, the Trust for the National Mall has released the highly anticipated proposals to the public. From now until Sunday, at the Smithsonian Castle and the National Museum of American History, you can view each proposal in its entirety. If you don’t live in the D.C. area, no need to worry. Continue after the break to catch a glimpse of each submission and learn how you can help the jury decided who will revamp America’s “front yard”.

Update: National Mall Design Competition Stage II Results

Trust for the National Mall has announced the Stage II results, naming the ten design teams selected to continue in the third and final stage of the National Mall Design Competition. The National Mall will undergo an approximate $700 million restoration in three selected areas – Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

“We are excited about the teams selected to advance to Stage III and have no doubt each of them will create beautiful, useful and sustainable designs for the National Mall,” said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. “We are eager to share their final designs with the public in April.”

Continue reading for more information and the complete list of finalists.

GGN Announces Groundbreaking at Hines|Archstone’s CityCenterDC Development

aerial view / © neoscape
aerial view / © neoscape

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) announced the beginning of construction of the CityCenterDC development by Hines|Archstone in downtown Washington, DC. A new mixed-use development located on the 10-acre site of the former convention center, CityCenterDC is one of the largest downtown development projects currently underway in any U.S. city. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol participated in developing the master plan for the site with lead architect Foster + Partners, and acted as lead landscape architect, working with DC-based Lee and Associates. Additional members of the design team include DC-based Shalom Baranes Associates, serving as associate master plan architect, project Architect of Record, and lead designer of the residential rental buildings.

Construction commenced on March 23, 2011, and is expected to reach completion by the fourth quarter of 2013. The project includes the development of Northwest Park, a lively addition to downtown DC, the creation of a Central Plaza, as well as dramatic terraces with green roofs and gardens incorporated into all the buildings. More images and description after the break.