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BIG's First Office Building Design Opens at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

14:00 - 2 November, 2016
BIG's First Office Building Design Opens at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, © Rasmus Hjortshoj
© Rasmus Hjortshoj

BIG has completed their second building on U.S. soil, a 92,000-square-foot office building at 1200 Intrepid Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that also marks the firm’s first realized office building design. Located within the revitalized Philadelphia Navy Yard master plan (designed by Robert Stern), the four-story building features a bowing, double-curved facade and a supersized “periscope” inspired by the historic battleships docked a few blocks away.

© Rasmus Hjortshoj © Rasmus Hjortshoj © Rasmus Hjortshoj © Rasmus Hjortshoj +11

Snøhetta's Library for Temple University Begins Construction

12:00 - 10 June, 2016
Snøhetta's Library for Temple University Begins Construction, Courtesy of Snøhetta / Methanoia
Courtesy of Snøhetta / Methanoia

Temple University’s new library designed by Snøhetta, in collaboration with Stantec, is now under construction after a groundbreaking ceremony in April. The 21,000 square meter (225,000 square foot) building is adjacent to what will become a future campus quadrangle that is currently occupied by other buildings slated for demolition. The library sits at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways, Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk, attesting to the University’s hope that the facility will be a new social and academic heart for 37,800 students.

Courtesy of MIR & Snøhetta Courtesy of MIR & Snøhetta Courtesy of MIR & Snøhetta Courtesy of MIR & Snøhetta +12

SHoP and West 8 to Masterplan Philadelphia’s “Schuylkill Yards”

14:00 - 11 March, 2016
SHoP and West 8 to Masterplan Philadelphia’s “Schuylkill Yards”, Schuylkill Yards - proposed. Image © SHoP and West 8
Schuylkill Yards - proposed. Image © SHoP and West 8

Working with Drexel University and master developer Brandywine Realty Trust, SHoP and West 8 will transform 14-acres of existing underutilized land with 6.5-acres of public open space to create a collaborative mixed-use neighborhood in Philadelphia’s University City submarket. Schuylkill Yards will feature a mix of 24/7 entrepreneurial spaces, educational facilities and research laboratories, corporate offices, residential and retail spaces, hospitality and cultural venues, as well as a robust public realm network that connects the existing neighborhoods with the adjacent Amtrak 30th Street Station.

Situated next to the third-busiest passenger rail station in the country, Schuylkill Yards will be connected to Philadelphia’s international airport and major cities along the Northeast corridor, making it a major innovation hub on the East Coast.

Frederick Steiner Named Dean of PennDesign

12:00 - 1 March, 2016
Frederick Steiner Named Dean of PennDesign, Frederick Steiner. Image Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin
Frederick Steiner. Image Courtesy of University of Texas at Austin

Frederick Steiner has been named the new dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design (Penn Design). Effective July 1, the appointment comes after Steiner announced his departure from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, which, according to The Texas Tribune, was partially due to the school's new gun law that will allow students to carry concealed firearms. 

Rem Koolhaas, Neri Oxman and Kevin Spacey to Speak at AIA National Convention 2016

16:00 - 18 February, 2016
Rem Koolhaas, Neri Oxman and Kevin Spacey to Speak at AIA National Convention 2016, Mediated Matter's Silk Pavilion in the MIT Media Lab. Image © Steven Keating, courtesy of Mediated Matter
Mediated Matter's Silk Pavilion in the MIT Media Lab. Image © Steven Keating, courtesy of Mediated Matter

Update: In addition to the previous announcement of Neri Oxman and Kevin Spacey as keynote speakers, the AIA has now announced Rem Koolhaas as the headline speaker for day three of this year's convention in Philadelphia. Koolhaas' speech will be titled "Delirious Philadelphia," a playful twist on his seminal book Delirious New York. The following article was originally published on February 11th.

Louis Kahn's Notorious Richards Laboratory Restored

16:00 - 12 January, 2016
Louis Kahn's Notorious Richards Laboratory Restored, Richards Medical Research Laboratories in 2010, prior to restoration. Image © Wikipedia CC user Smallbones
Richards Medical Research Laboratories in 2010, prior to restoration. Image © Wikipedia CC user Smallbones

Louis Kahn's Richards Medical Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, once deemed "the most consequential building constructed in the United States" since World War II by MoMA, has been notoriously hated by its users; scientists claim the building lacks privacy, has too much exposure to sunlight and is not suitable for lab experiments. Thus, the University's architect has just completed a full renovation of Richards' four brick towers, converting them into offices and computer labs for researchers, while, as Philly.com reports, restoring the structure to its original essence.

"The renovation has pared Kahn's spaces down to their essence, restoring a Zenlike calm, and revealing the muscular concrete structure that made the design such a revelation in the early 1960s, when International Style glass towers were all the rage," says Philly.com. Read the complete article here

A New Series Featuring Laurie Olin, Acclaimed Landscape Architect

00:00 - 24 November, 2013

The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently launched its newest documentary as part of the ongoing Oral History series, this time focusing on the ideas and career of Laurie Olin, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the greatest landscape architects of our time. Olin's influential work as a practitioner, educator and author over the past forty years has helped to guide the future of landscape architecture and shape urban life around the world.

Interior of Louis Kahn's 1971 Korman House to be Redesigned

00:00 - 10 July, 2013
Interior of Louis Kahn's 1971 Korman House to be Redesigned

Though Louis Kahn turned down developer Steven Korman numerous times, the would-be patron persisted and eventually convinced Kahn to accept the commission for a residence which was to contain “rooms large enough to play football in.” Located in Forth Washington, Pennsylvania, the Korman house would be Kahn’s final residential project. 

The house, considered a masterpiece, is characterized not only by Kahn’s assiduous sense of order, but also a unique combination of materials that create a play of structure and light. Decades after the original 1971 commission, Korman's son Larry has now selected New York based-designer Jennifer Post to take on the task of redesigning the interior space of the house. 

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects

13:00 - 12 September, 2012
Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier
Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier

United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the four planes hijacked during the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. It was on this flight that 40 passengers and crew members courageously gave their lives to thwart a planned attack on the Nation’s Capital. Tragically, the plane crashed in Western Pennsylvania with no survivors.

To honor these heroes, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act in 2002 and launched a two-stage, international design competition in 2005. A Jury of planners, landscape architects, architects, designers, government representatives, family members and community representatives chose Paul and Milena Murdoch’s proposal, which treated the 2,200 acre former coalmine as a memorialized national park where visitors embark on a sequence of experiences that leads them towards the crash site of Flight 93.

Bruce Munro’s stunning LED Installations light up Longwood Gardens

19:00 - 11 June, 2012
Courtesy of Bruce Munro
Courtesy of Bruce Munro

Visitors poured into Longwood Gardens this past Saturday to see 23-acres of breathtaking ‘Light: Installations’ by artist Bruce Munro. Although Munro describes the installations as simply “sketchbook jottings realized”, this “large-scale one-man-show” is anything but a simple feat. Eight large outdoor installations, two installations within the 4-acre Grand Conservatory and a collection of illuminated sculptures in the Music Room are keeping visitors mesmerized for hours.

Munro’s ‘Light: Installations’ are being shown for the first time outside of the UK. They will remain open until September 29th this year. Continue reading for more images and information.

Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro +25

AIA Pennsylvania awards Spillman Farmer Architects for ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks

19:00 - 10 April, 2012
© Paul Warchol Photography
© Paul Warchol Photography

The American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania Chapter has awarded a Silver Medal, the institute’s highest honor, to Spillman Farmer Architects for their highly successful ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Located on the landmark Bethlehem Steel site in eastern Pennsylvania, the dynamic performing arts, media and cultural center has served as an anchor for the revitalization effort in the City of Bethlehem that is transforming the once-abandoned historic industrial core into a dynamic, sustainable and livable mixed-use community. The 200-foot industrial ruins towering above the ArtsQuest Center is part of the country’s largest privately-owned brownfield.

AIA jurors praised the project saying, “The design captures the energy and utilitarian beauty that the best of the industrial revolution once offered. At the same time it demonstrates the power that a truly successful marriage of architecture and program can exert in bringing new purpose and hope to the most abandoned parts of our community.”

Continue reading after the break for more information and images.

© Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography +12

PennDesign 2012 Spring Lecture Series

04:00 - 6 February, 2012
Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania School of Design
Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania School of Design

Just last month, University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design announced their lecture series for Spring 2012. All lectures are held at 6PM in Meyerson Hall and free and open to the public unless otherwise noted with continuing education credits available. The series began on January 17th and concludes on April 28th. More information on the upcoming events after the break.

The Imbued Potential of Vacant Land

15:00 - 4 January, 2012

Vacant land is a looming problem for many cities, especially when it remains undeveloped for years or is transformed into garbage dumps and parking lots. But when designers begin to notice these voids within the activity of a city they are able to unlock the inherent potential in the land. That is precisely what “Not a Vacant Lot”, as part of DesignPhiladephia, did this October. Philadelphia’s 40,000 vacant lots are both a challenge and an opportunity for young designers, artists and architects to tranform these under-utilized spaces into experiences within the fabric of the urban environment. The focal point of the design intervention was at the University of the Arts lot on 313 S. Broad Street, just a few blocks from Philadelphia’s center. It featured a reinterpreted map of Philadelphia by PennDesign students and Marianne Bernstein’s Play House, an 8′x8′ aluminum cube which, in its simplicity, could unlock the potential of this particular lot. But this engagement of vacant land was just one such intervention in a series artist installations throughout Philadelphia.  Another such intervention, GroundPaper, was designed by two collaborating artists, Mike Ski and KT Butterfield.  The site of their choosing was along the banks of the Delaware River in Fishtown, a neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Read on to see what artists can accomplish with no budget, a vacant lot and an inspired idea.

Portal to the Point proposal / wHY Design

13:00 - 6 November, 2011

Portal to the Point is a design project initiated to honor the completion of renovations to Pittsburgh’s most visible National Historic Landmark, Point State Park. wHY Architecture is one of five finalists selected to redefine the space beneath the Portal Bridge that leads into 36-acre park.

Continue reading for more project information and renderings.

Dickinson College Kline Sports Facility Proposal / Spillman Farmer Architects

11:00 - 23 October, 2011
landscape view from quad
landscape view from quad

Spillman Farmer Architects’ proposal for the Dickinson College Kline Sports Facility takes advantage of the existing features, while striving to introduce more transparency and connectivity as well as making the building’s sustainability evident. The new three-level addition transforms the Kline Center into a dynamic campus gateway, a marquee building with bold daytime and nighttime presence. The addition is placed along the eastern side of the existing building, reaching east to Cherry Street and south to High Street and integrated with the existing topography. More images and architects’ description after the break.

In Progress: Gateway Center Station / EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates

16:04 - 1 September, 2011
© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates
© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

Architect: EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDGE Studio Design Team: Gary Carlough AIA, Jonathan Golli, Matt Fineout AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich Pfaffmann & Associates Design Team: Rob Pfaffmann AIA, Carl Bergamini RA, Erik Hokanson Completion Date: 2011 Photography: Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates +16

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

17:30 - 16 August, 2011
© The Barnes Foundation
© The Barnes Foundation

The last chance to see the Barnes Foundation’s artwork in its original setting has passed. It is now being prepared for the move to its new home in downtown Philadelphia. Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien designed the new building for the Barnes Foundation with respect for its strong history and as a reflective addition of the foundation’s mission. The building is scheduled for completion in late 2011.  More after the break.

PatchWork, Living City Design Competition / OLIN

13:30 - 15 August, 2011
rendering
rendering

The OLIN team’s award-winning submission to the Living City Design Competition responded to ambitious standards of sustainable development within the historically rich yet socially and ecologically underserved neighborhoods of Brewerytown and North Central in Philadelphia. Working closely with architects and urban planners Digsau and Interface Studio, OLIN explored how sustainable design can be implemented within an existing urban framework by utilizing local resources, community engagement, and respect for the vernacular culture and architecture.