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These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

09:30 - 27 October, 2016
These Are the World's Most Innovative Architecture Firms

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "5 of the Most Innovative Architecture Firms."

The AEC industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Cumbersome organizational structures and high financial stakes make it difficult for AEC professionals to experiment. Due to the limited role of architects in the project development process, innovative design solutions and experimentation with new manufacturing techniques are still confined to academic circles and research institutions.

However, some architecture firms are utilizing their high profiles, international success and the influx of talented, young designers to establish in-house research divisions and incubators that support the development of new ideas in the AEC industry. The following five companies are consistent in pushing the envelope and helping architecture adopt some of the latest technologies:

Architects As Developers: The Pros & Cons

09:30 - 24 October, 2016
Architects As Developers: The Pros & Cons, Jonathan Segal’s newest mixed-use project called “Mr Robinson” located in San Diego. Image © Jonathan Segal Architect
Jonathan Segal’s newest mixed-use project called “Mr Robinson” located in San Diego. Image © Jonathan Segal Architect

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Reasons Why Architects Can Make Great Developers (or not?)."

Today, a majority of architects work solely on the design end of the development process. It is common knowledge that the net value of architectural services in a projects’ total value amounts to a very small percentage (it’s usually in single digits), which puts architects near the bottom of the financial structure in the AEC industry.

Stuck between developers, clients, contractors, and subcontractors, architects are usually in a role that implies great responsibility but proportionally low compensation for it. When we add to that the grievance of not having full control of a project, it becomes clear as to why an increasing number of architects either transition to real estate development or transform their design offices into design-builds.

Though still in its infancy, this transition seems indicative of an emancipatory trend that’s taking place, where architects take matters into their own hands and thus claim their rightful position within the industry.

SHoP Unveils Design for New Skyscraper in Manhattan's Lower East Side

16:00 - 28 April, 2016
SHoP Unveils Design for New Skyscraper in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Courtesy of SHoP
Courtesy of SHoP

SHoP has unveiled the design for a new 900 foot tall skyscraper in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The 77 story, 500,000 square foot, mixed-income tower will have 600 units, 150 of which will be permanently affordable and distributed evenly throughout the building. The project has been developed as a collaboration between SHoP and JDS who are co-owners of the development, with the partnership of two not-for-profit groups: Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (TBNC) and Settlement Housing Fund (SHF).

SHoP Wins Landmarks Commission Approval for Brooklyn Supertall

16:30 - 21 April, 2016
SHoP Wins Landmarks Commission Approval for Brooklyn Supertall, via YIMBY
via YIMBY

SHoP has won Landmarks Preservation Commission approval to build Brooklyn’s tallest tower at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension, reports New York Yimby. Located on the same block of the former Dime Savings Bank, an individual and interior landmark, SHoP’s proposal calls for a 73-story, 1,066 foot-tall mixed-use tower. The proposal required LPC-approval because the architects want to merge the tower’s lobby with the bank and convert the atrium into a new retail component. The site’s relationship to the bank building encouraged the architects to develop a design and material choices that are heavily influenced by the proposed tower’s smaller, but no less grand, neighbor.

SHoP Reveals Plans to Build 50 New Schools in Nepal

06:00 - 23 December, 2015
SHoP Reveals Plans to Build 50 New Schools in Nepal, © SHoP Architects PC
© SHoP Architects PC

In wake of the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Nepal, SHoP has partnered with Kids of Kathmandu and Asia Friendship Network (AFN) to help rebuild 50 public schools in the hardest hit areas. The project will not only replace damaged schools, but also will raise the standard for public education in remote regions of Nepal.

In the hopes of providing a future model for non-governmental organizations, the design is a flexible system that is adaptable to different site conditions and available resources, and can be easily assembled.

Watch Gregg Pasquarelli and Vishaan Chakrabarti Describe their Ideal New York

12:00 - 14 November, 2015

In this new video by WIRED, Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects and Vishaan Chakrabarti of Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism discuss the biggest changes that they would make to New York City. Covering everything from public green space to transit infrastructure, the two speak at length on the Big Apple’s planning and how it compares to other massive metropolitan cities around the world. Major changes they suggest include the separation of Central Park into two large strips, for example “West Side” and “East Side” Park, with industrial areas on the outside edge and residential/commercial areas located between them.

SHoP's Vishaan Chakrabarti Launches New Practice Dedicated to Cities

14:30 - 21 October, 2015
SHoP's Vishaan Chakrabarti Launches New Practice Dedicated to Cities, Vishaan Chakrabarti discussing his book, "A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America". Image © Tina Gao, Columbia University GSAPP
Vishaan Chakrabarti discussing his book, "A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America". Image © Tina Gao, Columbia University GSAPP

Former SHoP partner, scholar, author and urbanist Vishaan Chakrabarti has announced the creation of Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), a new practice focused on the "advancement of cities through cosmopolitan architecture and strategically innovative urban planning." As founder and CEO, Chakrabarti will lead the New York City-based firm with a mission "to create an ecological network of empowered citizens, generous buildings, discursive public space, strong infrastructure and a thriving urban environment."

PAU's first client will be Sidewalk Labs, a new urban innovation company funded by Google that seeks to solve urban issues through the application of technology.

New Images Released of SHoP Architects' 111 West 57th Street

16:00 - 6 April, 2015
© Property Markets Group via New York YIMBY
© Property Markets Group via New York YIMBY

Uncovered by New York YIMBY, five new images have been revealed showing SHoP Architects' supertall and super-slender tower at 111 West 57th Street in Manhattan, just south of Central Park on what has become known as "Billionaire's Row" (on account of the slew of new residential skyscrapers with some unit prices approaching $100 million).

Fast Company Names Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture

01:00 - 28 March, 2014
Fast Company Names Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture, Domino Sugar Factory Master Plan Development / SHoP Architects
Domino Sugar Factory Master Plan Development / SHoP Architects

Fast Company has announced who they believe to be the most innovative practices in architecture for 2014. Topping this list is New York’s SHoP Architects who has gone from “boutique to big commissions in only a few years.” See who made the list after the break and let us know who you believe is the world’s most innovative firms in the comment section below. 

SHoP Architects Selected for Design of Iconic Site in Downtown Detroit

00:00 - 26 November, 2013
SHoP Architects Selected for Design of Iconic Site in Downtown Detroit, © Rock Ventures LLC
© Rock Ventures LLC

One of Detroit's most prominent vacant sites is slated to become one of its most iconic buildings. SHoP Architects will partner with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates to transform the site formerly occupied by Hudson's Department Store. Located at Grand River and Gratiot in the city's Central Business District, the two-acre site has remained a scar in the urban landscape since the implosion of the Hudson's building in 1998. 

SHoP Architects' Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC

00:00 - 17 October, 2013
SHoP Architects' Super Tall Tower Approved, Sets Precedent for NYC, © SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

UPDATE: SHoP Architects' ultra-thin, 100-unit apartment tower has now won approval from the New York City Landmarks Commission. Once complete in 2016, the 1,350-foot structure will offer luxury apartments that peer down at the Empire State Building and rise just above the One World Trade Center’s roofline.

When Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at ShoP Architects, spoke recently of building high-density cities, he meant it.

Renderings from the architecture firm show Manhattan's skyline will soon welcome its newest "super tall" building, a strikingly skinny residential tower rising 411 meters (1,350 feet) on a puny 13 meter (43 feet) wide site just two blocks south of Central Park.

© SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects © SHoP Architects +5

Bloomberg to Announce Mega-Redevelopment of NYC's Lower East Side

00:00 - 21 September, 2013
Bloomberg to Announce Mega-Redevelopment of NYC's Lower East Side, The planned "Essex Crossing" complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle. Image © SHoP Architects
The planned "Essex Crossing" complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle. Image © SHoP Architects

After decades of contention between residents and politicians, the Bloomberg administration will announce on Wednesday plans of constructing a six-acre complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects over a ten year period. Nine vacant lots in New York City's Lower East Side will be erected into a mega-development of retail, office, entertainment, cultural and housing units. The complex will be located in rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, once home to working-class Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans and Ukrainians, and has struggled to preserve affordable housing against an encroaching luxury market. In response, developers have collaborated with local community groups agreeing that half of the projected 1,000 apartments will be for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families. 

However, is this enough to sustain a balance of varying incomes? 

Three Teams Shortlisted to Re-Envision Downtown Dallas

01:00 - 29 July, 2013
Three Teams Shortlisted to Re-Envision Downtown Dallas, Courtesy of Dallas CityDesign Studio
Courtesy of Dallas CityDesign Studio

OMA*AMO (New York), Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (Barcelona), and Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston) with SHoP (New York) have been selected as the top three teams to re-envision Dallas’s urban center and its connection to the Trinity River Corridor. The teams kickstarted the final leg of the competition this past weekend with a summer workshop, symposium and site visit alongside local developers and city officials. All three final proposals will be unveiled to the public this mid-October with a lecture series host by each team (dates and information here). A winner is expected to be selected shortly after. 

Penn Station, Re-Imagined

01:00 - 29 May, 2013
Penn Station, Re-Imagined, © SOM
© SOM

This morning, four architectural firms, invited by the Metropolitan Art Society(MAS), displayed how they would transform New York's darkest & dingiest hub - Penn Station - into a space worthy of its site in the heart of the city.

New Yorkers have been up in arms about Penn Station ever since its Beaux-Arts predecessor, designed by McKim, Mead & White, was demolished in 1963. Its replacement is a dark, cramped station that lacks both the operational and security features it needs to sustain the hundreds of thousands of travelers who use it daily. As Michael Kimmelman put it in his inaugural piece as architecture editor for The New York Times: "To pass through Grand Central Terminal, one of New York’s exalted public spaces, is an ennobling experience, a gift. To commute via the bowels of Penn Station, just a few blocks away, is a humiliation."

As we reported last month,Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) 50-year permit expires this year, and it will be either renewed without limit, or extended 10-15 years, by The New York City Council in the coming months. The problem, according to MAS, is that "MSG happens to sit on top of the busiest train station in North America [a.k.a, Penn Station] and constrains its ability to serve over half a million people every day. [...] 2013 presents New York City with a truly unique opportunity and together we need to seize this moment."

And so MAS invited Diller, Sofidio, & Renfro; H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; SHoP; Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, to do just that. See their visions, after the break...

Chakrabarti + SHoP Architects

09:30 - 12 March, 2012

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Director of Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, will join SHoP Architects as its seventh partner – and only the second partner not related to the firm’s founders by blood or marriage.  Chakrabarti’s expertise with large scale urban development projects will allow the firm to expand their urban reach, invigorating their “think-tank” approach to confront larger architectural problems that respond to global issues.  “We are thrilled to have Vishaan join the firm. His background and depth of experience allow SHoP to add expertise to our bench while continuing our firm-wide focus on both planning and building,” said William Sharples, SHoP Partner. “Our interests extend beyond building beautiful skyscrapers, museums, university buildings and airport terminals. We want to build in such a way that our buildings give back to our cities and to our clients through use of public space, density, sustainability, and innovative construction methods.”

More about SHoP’s new partner after the break.

In Progress: Barclays Center / SHoP

09:00 - 8 February, 2012
Photograph by Roger Edwards.
Photograph by Roger Edwards.

We have been keeping close watch on the progress of Barclays Center, SHoP’s 650,000+ stadium for Brooklyn at Atlantic Yards.  The project has an interesting history as the client, Bruce Ratner, originally looked to Gehry to design an urban solution and iconic image for the 22 acre site, prior to teaming with  Ellerbe Becket and SHoP.   As we’ve reported earlier, SHoP’s response has developed to become a sweeping pre-fabricated volume, with a perforated latticework steel skin and a transparent ground level.   Photographer Roger Edwards has shared some recent photos with us of the construction process as the building is quickly beginning to take shape.

Check out more photos after the break.

Atlantic Yards: B2 Bklyn / SHoP Architects

15:00 - 27 November, 2011
Courtesy of SHoP Architects
Courtesy of SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects has shared with us the B2 Bklyn building which will be the first of the residential developments for Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New York to break ground, scheduled for 2012. Standing at 32 storeys, it will be the world’s tallest pre-fab building, saving both on cost and waste.

More after the break.

Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects Courtesy of SHoP Architects +8

Conference Addresses Performativity of Architects

19:00 - 25 August, 2011
 © SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

Local New York architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Teachers Seminar 2011. He addresses numerous issues that are currently being debated within the profession where the theme of the three-day seminar was “Performative Practices.” The roles of the architect and builder, the architect and engineer, etc. The roles of architects as instruction makers who outsource to specialists in façade or fabrication may not be as clear as in previous generations. His own firm is prime example of the shifting of roles. SHoP has branched off with its own SHoP Construction subsidiary that is managing the fabrication of their design for the new Barclays Center rusted steel skin. More details after the break.