Happy Birthday Thom Mayne

Perot Museum. Image © Iwan Baan

Today is the 70th of Thom Mayne, Principal architect of LA firm Morphosis. Mayne was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the Cooper Union building and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters.

Council Approves Cornell’s Net-Zero Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island

© Kilograph

City Council has approved Cornell’s two-million-square-foot tech campus planned to break ground in 2014 on New York’s . Masterplanned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), the ambitious carbon positive campus will offer housing for 2,000 full-time graduate students, world-class education facilities, a hotel, a corporate co-location building, and more than an acre of public open space. Construction will commence with the first, state-of-the-art academic building that will be designed by Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis, who will incorporate the latest environmental advances, such as geothermal and solar power, to achieve net-zero energy for the landmark structure.

Thom Mayne, Recipient of the 2013 AIA Gold Medal

Courtesy of Princeton University Lecture Series

The has announced that Thom Mayne has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Gold Medal, one of the profession’s highest honors, due to his “ambitious government and institutional projects.”

Beyond forming the firm Morphosis and co-founding the innovative Southern Institute of Architects, or SCI-Arc, in 1972, the AIA cited “Mayne’s palette of bold, angular forms, exposed structural elements, and double-skin veils that play on notions of dynamic transparency” as reason for his selection.

As former AIA Gold Medal Winner Antoine Predock, FAIA, wrote in a letter of recommendation: “[Mayne] is one of the few architects able to head a large-scale, successful practice while influentially designing theoretical premises. The result has been a 40-year body of work that is intellectually rigorous and consistently searching.”

Mayne will be honored at a special event in March in Washington, D.C. as well as at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver.

Story via the AIA 

Perot Museum of Nature and Science / Morphosis

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Morphosis
Location: Dallas, Texas,
Director Of Technology & Bim: Synthesis
Associate Architect: Good Fulton & Farrell
Structural Engineer: Datum Engineers
Consulting Structural Engineer: John A. Martin Associates, Inc.
Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer: Buro Happold
Civil Engineer: URS Corporation
Area: 16,722 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of

Video: Manhattan Memorious / Reiser + Umemoto

Created by Reiser + Umemoto for the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, “ Memorious” explores what could have been. The film visualizes several unrealized projects from Manhattan, including Buckminster Fuller’s dome over Midtown, ’ City of the Captive Globe, RUR’s East River Corridor, Paul Rudolph’s Eastside Redevelopment Corridor, Morphosis’ West Side Yard and others.

Jesse Reiser, Principal of Reiser + Umemoto, explains; “Before a city becomes a thing of steel, concrete and glass it is a theater of visions in conflict. As a city ages, the visions do not die but come up against the physical and ideological resistance of the place and its people. The city we see today is the direct result of radical visions, gradually changing the way the future is realized. This is an account of a Manhattan that could have been – might have been. A phantasmagorical Manhattan where the visionary meets the everyday – the absurd and the sublime. The island as we know it is but a pale reflection of a city designed by visionaries – a city of mad, incongruous utopias.”

Flashback: Caltrans District 7 Headquarters / Morphosis

© Roland Halbe

Architects: MorphosisThom Mayne
Location: 100 South Main St., Los Angeles, California,
Project Team: Team
Client: State of California, Department of General Services
Construction Years:  2002-2004
Building Area: 1,200,000 gross sq ft
Photographs: Liao Yusheng, Roland Halbe

National Mall Competition Finalists Announced

Over 1,200 entires from 30 states and 10 countries submitted applications for the National Mall competition. Late last month fifteen design teams were chosen as finalists to advance to the second stage of this prestigious contest.

Hosting 25 million visitors annually, the National Mall will undergo an estimated $700 million restoration beginning in 2012. The competition has been broken down into three areas of restoration: 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.

Among the finalists to move on to stage two of the competition, Diller Scofidio Renfro, Weiss/Manfredi, and Rogers Marvel Architects who are shortlisted for two out of the three areas of restoration, as well as Snohetta, , Ten Arquitectos, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson who are finalists for one area of restoration.

“Entrants were evaluated on past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity and overall resume,” according to a release from the Trust of the National Mall. The jury, compiled of architects, professors and other members of the architecture community, included Michael Gericke of Pentagram NYC and Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne founder of .

The second stage of the competition includes interviews of the teams conducted by the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and the last stage will include proposed plans for the restoration. The competition will culminate in May 2012 and the proposed designs from stage three of the competition will be available to the public prior to the winning design being selected.

Follow the break for a complete list of design finalists for the National Mall Competition.

Short Listed Firms for Museum of Fine Arts Houston Expansion

The property for the expanded MFAH is vis-à-vis the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo © MFAH

Earlier this week, we shared the news of + BCWH recent commission for the Institute for Contemporary Art in Virginia.  It seems Holl will also be busy working on a conceptual design for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston as the museum recently announced their short list from ten international architects to three.  In addition to Holl, the museum has selected and Snohetta to submit design proposals for the expansion project.  “This decision marks an important step forward for the future MFAH,” said Richard D. Kinder, chair of the museum’s long-range planning committee. “Even before Rafael Moneo’s Audrey Jones Beck Building opened, in 2000, MFAH director Peter Marzio and the board recognized that it would not be the final step in expanding the MFAH.”

More after the break.

“With the collections now numbering some 63,000 objects—more than half of them works of art created after 1900—the need for a building dedicated to these expanding collections is unquestioned,” continued Kinder.

The three firms will develop concepts for a new building which will be situated on a two-acre and will house post-1990 art.   In addition, the projects must address the needs for a parking garage and integration with the surrounding MFAH buildings.  It is an exciting competition as the new building will be adjacent to the Isamu Noguchi-designed Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, across from Moneo’s Audrey Jones Beck Building and Mies van der Rohe’s Caroline Wiess Law Building.  We’ll keep you updated with the proposals.

As seen on Bustler.

Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles

The Architecture City Guide series heads to the West Coast this week.   area is huge and it was nearly impossible to narrow down 12 buildings for this weeks list.  Here’s what we suggest visiting if you are in LA, but we want to know what additional buildings you think we should add to our list!  Visit the comment section and provide your can’t miss buildings in LA.

The Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles list and corresponding map after the break!