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PatchWork, Living City Design Competition / OLIN

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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.

Tower at PNC Plaza / Gensler

© Gensler
© Gensler

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., currently the sixth largest bank in the United States, is a leader in green design, currently possessing over 100 green buildings. PNC was an early adopter of sustainable design, opening its first green building in 2000. PNC and Gensler have recently announced plans to design and construct the world’s most environmentally friendly skyscraper at PNC’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. More information and images after the break.

Fallingwater Celebrates 75th Anniversary

© Robert Ruschak - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
© Robert Ruschak - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Voted the most important building of the 20th century in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater this month celebrates its 75th anniversary. This residential mountain retreat masterpiece by Wright was designed in 1935 for legendary Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr. and his family. Drawing crowds of 160,000 visitors a year to Western Pennsylvania’s picturesque Laurel Highlands, Fallingwater redefined the relationship between man, architecture, and nature with Wright’s integrated design of the existing waterfall and the house itself.  Commemorating the anniversary, Rizzoli has published a 382 page book entitled Fallingwater complete with specially commissioned photography just for this book.

The Granary / Interface Studio Architects

© Interface Studio Architects
© Interface Studio Architects

A conceptual proposal for the retrofit of an old grain silo in Center City Philadelphia, Interface Studio Architects aims to integrate an existing, vacant structure into an urban, mixed-use project. Additionally, it raises interesting questions about old building reuse and innovative tactics for sustainability. More images and architects’ description after the break.

In Progress: Butterfly House / davidclovers

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In search of the origins of architecture, Laugier presented a primitive hut using the three basic elements of architecture – the post, the lintel and the gable. Semper’s pursuit of the origin resulted in a primitive dwelling that was comprised of four basic qualities – earthwork, hearth, framework/roof, and enclosing membrane. While Laugier’s list of basic elements stemmed from the obsession with disciplinary origins, Semper‘s meditations were a vehicle to essentialize that which was previously seen as superfluous, namely the building enclosure. Semper wanted to put ornament to work. Butterfly House is an exercise in re-working three ubiquitous elements – window, door and roof – until they exceed their functional value and lead the way to new architectural effects. Butterfly House builds upon Laugier’s primitive hut as a model of fitness, updated to reflect a post-bubble economic climate rather than mythical origins, as well as Semper’s interest in the productive capacity of the apparently unnecessary. Our conceptual hut uses a limited quantity of elements to solicit rich qualities and characteristics and uncovers a zone of enchantment between the essential and the excessive. Architect: davidclovers Location: Wayne County, Pennsylvania, USA Project Area: 1,000 sqf Expected Completion: Fall 2011

Bethlehem Steel Brownfield Site Becomes a New Performing Arts Center

© Spillman Farmer Architects
© Spillman Farmer Architects

Situated on the former Bethlehem Steel brownfield site the newly designed ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks has transformed an industrial site and inspired a community. A unique hybrid project of old and new, the building’s 67,000 sqf will feature a 450-seat venue for live performances and a two-screen state of the art cinema. “The design grew from the profoundly meaningful history of place here,” said Joseph N. Biondo AIA, Spillman Farmer Architects‘ Design Principal. “The Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces are iconic – they are America’s historic ruins. The arts center is deeply inspired by this former industrial site and the lives that were lived here.  We wanted the building to make a compelling statement about the future of the arts and community here in Bethlehem. This project evolved from the energy generated by the friction of past and future, the human spirit that fueled the American industrial revolution, and the elegance of a finely crafted music box.” The new Performing Arts Center by Spillman Farmer Architects will host a special dedication ceremony tomorrow Thursday, April 14th. A video and further construction photographs of this project following the break.

© Spillman Farmer Architects © Spillman Farmer Architects © Spillman Farmer Architects © Spillman Farmer Architects

Architecture City Guide: Philadelphia

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Massimo Catarinella
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Massimo Catarinella

Pennsylvania Convention Center / tvsdesign

Courtesy of tvsdesign
Courtesy of tvsdesign

This project by tvsdesign is an addition to and rehabilitation of Philadelphia’s historic 1893 Reading Train Shed. As the centerpiece of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the terminal building, Grand Hall, meeting rooms, ballroom and farmer’s market will be joined by a new modern convention center that weaves the style, scale and rhythm of the historic Philadelphia architecture with the new addition.

More on this project after the break.

University of Pennsylvania School of Design 2011 Spring Lecture Series

University of Pennsylvania School of Design boasts one of the Top 10 Graduate Architecture Schools in the United States. This month their Spring Lecture Series, More and More, is hosting Qingyun Ma (M.Arch), dean of the USC School of Architecture. This event is free and open to the public and PennDesign is a registered provider of continuing education programming for the American Institute of Architects.

Camp JRF Eco-Village / Metcalfe Architecture & Design

Courtesy of Metcalfe Architecture & Design
Courtesy of Metcalfe Architecture & Design

The Camp JRF Eco-Village is situated in the Pocono Mountains just up a hill from the existing Jewish Reconstructionist summer camp. The new village will be for older adolescent firl and boy campers and be composed of yurt cabins and sheltered by colorful canopies. The yurts will sit upon platforms, adjacent to a program building for gatherings, bathhouses, and an earthen berm for stargazing. Metcalfe Architecture & Design has been working closely with Camp JRF to provide a design that is focused on creating social spaces for campers and staff to meet and enjoy their lives together at summer camp. The Camp JRF Eco-Village anticipates to break ground this coming summer.

Morris Arboretum Tree Adventure / Metcalfe Architecture & Design

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol

Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibit Out on a Limb, designed by Metcalfe Architecture & Design, was the 2010 AIA Philadelphia Design Excellence Gold Medal Winner, 2010 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Award, 2010 “Best of Philly” Award, and the 2010 American Association of Museums Excellence in Exhibition Design Award. Suspended 50 feet above the forest floor this network of walkways (450-feet in length) provides a bird’s eye view of the forest, complete with a giant Bird’s Nest, Squirrel Scramble rope, and many vista platforms. Follow the break for photographs, drawings, and renderings of Out on a Limb.

© Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol

Architects: Metcalfe Architecture & Design Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Consultant: Forever Young Treehouse, Inc Structural Engineers: CVM Engineering Construction Managers: CVM Construction Civil Engineers: Hunt Engineering Company Lighting Designers: Grenald Waldron Associates Exhibit Designers: Sparks Exhibits and Environments Photographs: Paul Warchol

Art of Urban Environments Festival Competition Call for Entries

The Art of Urban Environments Festival celebrates how the arts are a positive force in the economic and creative life of communities. Organized by Lafayette College and the City of Easton, located in eastern Pennsylvania, the Art of Urban Environments Festival is an international event recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with major support.

Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition proposal / Wendell Burnette Architects

A couple of days ago we featured Saucier + Perrotte’s proposal for the Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA. Today, Wendell Burnette Architects | Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture shared with us their proposal, which received second place. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition proposal / Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Saucier + Perrotte architectes have shared with us their finalist proposal for the Fallingwater On-Site Cottages Competition in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA. You can see more images and architect’s description after the break.

Flight 93 National Memorial

Paul Murdoch Architects, with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, won the 2-stage competition for a national memorial and park to occur at the site where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The memorial will honor the passengers and crewmembers of Flight 93.