Mecanoo, Martinez + Johnson Selected to Redesign Mies’ MLK Memorial Library

© Mecanoo with Martinez + Johnson Architecture

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has named Mecanoo architecten and Martinez + Johnson Architecture winners of a competition to reinvent ’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – the only library and D.C. building ever designed by the legendary architect. The Netherlands- and D.C.-based team aims to resurrect the neglected building by improving “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.” This includes opening up the boxy interiors to enhance flow and increase natural light and, most dramatically, sculpting two rooftop terraces by topping the historic landmark structure with a four-story, mixed-use addition.

We will keep you posted with more details as they come available. In the meantime, scroll through the renderings and presentation that landed Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson the commission, after the break.

Living by the Sea / Minarc

Courtesy of Minarc

Architects: Minarc
Location: , CA,
Architect In Charge: Minarc
Design Team: Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir, Tryggvi Thorsteinsson
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Minarc

Designing Parking Garages For a Car-less Future

The trend is part of a wider drive to rethink worldwide. Image © Paul de Ruiter Architects by Rien van Rijthoven

This intriguing article on The Atlantic Cities highlights a growing trend as cities become more focused on pedestrians, bicycles and public transportparking garages that are designed with alternative uses in mind. Developers are ensuring that these garages have ”good bones”, such as comfortable ceiling heights, that will allow them to be easily converted into apartments or offices in a future when many city-dwellers don’t own cars. You can read the full article here.

Philip Johnson’s Crystal Cathedral Born Again

© Flickr CC User Amir Nejad

Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been selected to transform Philip Johnson’s 1981 Crystal Cathedral, originally a Protestant mega-church, to make it more in keeping with its new, Catholic identity.

The Cathedral, which had filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, was bought in early 2012 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Earlier this month, the architects were chosen for the will focus on the interior, while Rios Clementi Hale Studios will oversee the masterplan of its 34-acre campus.

UOW Australia Wins the 2013 Solar Decathlon China

Courtesy of Team UOW

Team UOW from the in has been awarded first place at the 2013 Solar Decathlon China, taking top honors for its net-zero, water-conserving design. Selected from 22 teams and 35 universities, Team UOW’s winning entry – the Illawarra Flame House – was the first retrofitted house ever to be submitted in decathlon history.

FBI’s Brutalist Hoover Building Faces Serious Makeover

© Jeffrey MacMillan via The Washington Post

“Originally seen to reflect the democratic attributes of a powerful civic expression – authenticity, honesty, directness, strength – the forceful nature of Brutalist aesthetics eventually came to signify precisely the opposite: hostility, coldness, inhumanity. [...] Separated from its original context and reduced in meaning, Brutalism became an all-too-easy pejorative, a term that suggests these buildings were designed with bad intentions.” - “BRUTAL”/“HEROIC” by Michael Kubo, Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik

Brutalism, an architectural movement that peaked in the 1960′s, inspired the development of countless governmental buildings in Washington DC as well as across the world. Though Brutalism’s original intentions may have been good, many believe that the actual manifestation of these buildings was not and consider them to be little more than an eyesore on the District’s landscape. One such concrete structure, the ’s J. Hoover Building, is currently facing possible redevelopment as the government has decided to relocate headquarters and given the private sector the rare opportunity to transform this so-called “monolith” into a new kind of monument.

More on the Hoover Building after the break…

Five Firms Shortlisted to Rehabilitate U.S. Embassies Worldwide

US in Beijing, by SOM. SOM is one of the 11 firms shortlisted by the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings (BOB). Photo © SOM

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has selected five design teams in a worldwide Architecture/Engineering Design Services solicitation to rehabilitate/renovate facilities that “represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, , maintainability, art, culture, and construction execution.”

Each of the five selected firms, which include Weiss/Manfredi Architects, have “extensive renovation and restoration experience.” See them all after the break…

Queens Museum of Art Expansion / Grimshaw Architects

Courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art

Originally constructed for the 1939 World’s Fair, the resilient structure of ’s Queens Museum of Art has been undergoing its fourth and most ambitious renovation since April 2011. This $68 million renovation, designed by Grimshaw Architects, will double the institution’s size, expanding the museum to a total of 105,000 square feet upon its completion in October 2013.

On Oikonomia: Saarinen’s Ezra Stiles College Open After $55M Renovation

Ezra Stiles College under construction, 1961. Copyright Balthazar Korab Ltd.

NEW HAVEN, –Yale’s Ezra Stiles College, designed by and completed in 1961, reopened to students last month after a one-year, $55 million dollar renovation. The project was the last in a complete overhaul of all the residential colleges at Yale, which started in 1998 and has cost over $500 million (adjusted for inflation).

Students are happy with the work, praising the new brick pizza oven in the dining hall, shift from single to suite-style rooms, and improved furniture and lighting. Jon Rubin ’12 told the Yale Daily News (YDN) the renovated Stiles is “definitely a step up” from the college he lived in two years ago.