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How the Architectural League's "Emerging Voices" Award Predicted 30 Years of Architectural Development

Tarlo House, Sagaponack, NY, 1979 by Tod Williams Associates (EV 1982). Image © Norman McGrath. Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Tarlo House, Sagaponack, NY, 1979 by Tod Williams Associates (EV 1982). Image © Norman McGrath. Courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

For over 30 years, the Emerging Voices prize given by the Architectural League of New York has offered the architecture world a glimpse into the future, showcasing radical ideas from architects at a crucial stage in their career development. In this excerpt, the opening to her essay "Idea: Claiming Territories" in the newly-released book "Thirty Years of Emerging Voices: Idea, Form, Resonance," Ashley Schafer discusses how the prize has acted as a litmus test for architectural culture, with laureates often presaging trends and sometimes even singular projects years or decades before they occurred in the profession at large.

Lasater Ranch, Hebbronville, TX, 1986 by Lake | Flato Architects (EV 1992). Image © Lake | Flato Architects Stair, Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange, Seattle, WA, 2003 by Lead Pencil Studio (EV 2006). Image © Lead Pencil Studio Rubadoux Studio, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1989 by Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design (EV 2000). Image © Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design. Photo James Steeves Bridge of Houses, New York, NY, proposal, 1979 by Steven Holl (EV 1982). Image © Steven Holl Architects

SCAPE Wins 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge with Climate Change Adaptation Plan

"Don't fight forces, use them." - R. Buckminster Fuller

SCAPE’s comprehensive climate change adaptation and community development project, Living Breakwaters has been announced as winner of the 2014 Fuller Challenge, “socially responsible design’s highest award.” Announced by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), the proposal was selected over seven shortlisted humanitarian initiatives and will receive a $100,000 prize for their innovative solution to solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems. 

"Living Breakwaters is about dissipating and working with natural energy rather than fighting it. It is on the one hand an engineering and infrastructure-related intervention, but it also has a unique biological function as well. The project team understand that you cannot keep back coastal flooding in the context of climate change, but what you can do is ameliorate the force and impact of 100 and 500 year storm surges to diminish the damage through ecological interventions, while simultaneously catalyzing dialog to nurture future stewards of the built environment," said Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, a 2014 senior advisor and jury member.

More on Living Breakwaters, after the break.

SCAPE and Rogers Marvel Selected to Transform Waterfront District in Minneapolis

SCAPE and Rogers Marvel have been unanimously selected from 27 international applicants to create a schematic design for one of the most visited destinations on the Mississippi River: Water Works in downtown Minneapolis. The SCAPE-Roger Marvel Team, which also includes New York-based James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting, will be responsible for transforming the historically significant Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, within which the Water Works district exists, with a master plan based on a series of “visionary” parks and trails. 

SCAPE/Landscape Architecture Wins Competition for Lexington Masterplan

SCAPE's Masterplan for Lexington, Kentucky's Town Branch Commons. Image © SCAPE/Landscape Architecture
SCAPE's Masterplan for Lexington, Kentucky's Town Branch Commons. Image © SCAPE/Landscape Architecture

New York-based SCAPE/Landscape Architecture has beat out 4 national/international firms, including JDS Architects, to design a Masterplan for the Town Branch Commons, a two-mile linear stretch of green space that will connect the eastern and western sections of downtown LexingtonKentucky. The Competition has garnered attention for its interesting challenge: to bring the Town Branch Creek, a river which has been underground for over 100 years, to the surface. 

Jeff Fugate, President and COO of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, which sponsored the competition, noted that “The [five-person] jury had five excellent choices, but SCAPE clearly was above the competition.” Aaron Betsky, the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the jury chairman also explained the choice: “As a jury, we felt inspired and excited by the breath of the designers’ vision, while we felt confident that they would be able to implement their plan." 

Kate Orff, founder of SCAPE, notes that the firm is looking forward to working with the community to make the vision a reality: “SCAPE is so thrilled to be a part of this exciting initiative to revive Town Branch, make new connections downtown, and improve the quality of life in Lexington. We’ve been inspired by the realities and conditions on the ground and by the potential of water to inform the design of new urban landscapes.”  

Find out more about the Masterplan, after the break... 

Video: Rethinking our Landscapes with Kate Orff

Kate Orff shares her vision of ‘oyster-tecture’ utilizing oysters as an agent for urban change. Focusing on the New York Harbor, Orff, architect and founding principal of Manhattan based studio SCAPE, demonstrates how we can rethink our landscapes, both the green and blue spaces, linking nature and humanity for mutual benefit.

Museo Nazionale dell’Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah / Studio Arco, -Scape, Michael Gruber & Kulapat Yantrasast

© -scape with Simone Lapenta
© -scape with Simone Lapenta

The collaboration of Studio Arco -scape architects with Michael Gruber and Kulapat Yantrasast shared with us their project, Museo Nazionale dell’Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah, for an international competition open to the European community. Upon believing that a museum is an object for the city, the MEIS is a Memorial, as well as a place where one can experience the presence of Jewish culture in Italy. At the same time, it is a symbol: the symbol of the city, of an historically involved territory, but also a testimony of common cultural roots, becoming a monument recognized by any citizen and religious community. More images and architects’ description after the break.