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How The Architectural League Gave a Platform to 30 Years of Emerging Voices

Since 1982, The Architectural League of New York's Emerging Voices awards have helped to launch hundreds of careers and consistently picked out the best and brightest in architecture. To highlight the release of a new anthology of the work of Emerging Voices' luminaries, Metropolis Magazine spoke with the League’s director, Rosalie Genevro, and the program director, Anne Rieselbach, about the mission of the Emerging Voices awards. The interview covers the changing criteria and contexts of the awards, adapting to a new form of voice in the information age and some of the award's most successful alumni. Read the full interview, including inside information on how the selection process works, over at Metropolis Magazine here.

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

Six Young Practices Selected As Winners Of The Architectural League Prize 2015

Besler & Sons, The Entire Situation. Image © Joshua White
Besler & Sons, The Entire Situation. Image © Joshua White

The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of its 2015 Prize for Young Architects + Designers. Launched in 1981 and organized by a committee comprising League Programs Director Anne Rieselbach and a selection of winners from last year, the Architectural League Prize is one of the United States' most prestigious awards for young architects, recognizing provocative work and offering a platform for the winners to disseminate their ideas. This year's theme, "Authenticity," asked designers how technological changes in computation, visualization, material intelligence, and fabrication technologies are altering our perception of design and the role of the architect.

The jury for the prize consisted of Keller Easterling, Sanford Kwinter, Michael Meredith, Lyn Rice, and Billie Tsien, as well as previous winners Carrie Norman, John Rhett Russo, and Jenny Sabin. As part of their prize, in June the six winning practices will present a series of lectures, and their work will be on display in an exhibition during the summer.

Read on for the complete list of winners.

Thom Moran, Tables and Chairs. Image Courtesy of Thom Moran Thom Moran, Rainbro. Image Courtesy of Thom Moran mcdowellespinosa, Anomally Folly 03. Image Courtesy of Seth McDowell First Office, Possible Table 2. Image Courtesy of First Office

Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President's Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League's highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

"We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”

The Architectural League Announces Emerging Voices of 2015

MANUEL CERVANTES CESPEDES / CC ARQUITECTOS, Equestrian Project | photo by Rafael Gamo
MANUEL CERVANTES CESPEDES / CC ARQUITECTOS, Equestrian Project | photo by Rafael Gamo

Eight practitioners from the US, Canada and Mexico have been selected to receive The Architectural League of New York’s 33rd annual Emerging Voices award - one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Each recipient was selected for being a “distinct design voice” with the “potential to influence" disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.

“This year’s Voices critically re-envision solutions for contemporary design concerns—programmatic, typological, and tectonic—that have the potential to inspire new approaches to building and form,” says program director Anne Rieselbach.

This year’s emerging voices are…

Five Design Teams Re-Envision New York's Public Libraries

There are 207 branch libraries in the city of New York, each providing a number of services to city residents. From the simple lending of books to adult technical literacy classes, these institutions are as vital as they were before the advent of the internet, and their attendance numbers prove it. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, circulation in the city’s library systems increased by 59%. Library program attendance saw an increase of 40%. In spite of this, library funding was cut by 8% within this same timeframe, which has made it difficult to keep many of the system’s buildings in good repair. To spark interest and support from city leaders, The Architectural League, in collaboration with the Center for an Urban Future, instigated the design study Re-Envisioning New York's Branch Libraries.

Sponsored by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the study is the effort of five design teams chosen by the League. These teams - including MASS Design Group and SITU STUDIO - were charged with proposing exciting new library designs that follow the League’s themes of “integrating libraries into the city’s housing and community development goals, reconfiguring libraries to meet community needs, and developing new ideas for expanding the impact of branch libraries.” The teams presented their work at a January 4th symposium. See each of the proposals, as well as video footage of that symposium, after the break.

Concept for transit Outpost Performance library. Image Courtesy of team L+ Clinton Hill Branch Library concept. Image Courtesy of Andrew Berman Architect, Library Development Solutions, Neil Donnelly, AEA Consulting, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Concept for Brighton Beach Library. Image Courtesy of team Marble Fairbanks with James Lima Planning + Development, Leah Meisterlin, and Special Project Office Conceptual drawing by MASS Design Group. Image Courtesy of the team

Open Call: 2015 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers: Authenticity

Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. Established in 1981 to recognize visionary work by young practitioners, the Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, lecture series, and exhibition organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee. 

Call for Proposals: Folly 2015

The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park invite emerging architects and designers to submit proposals for Folly, an annual design/build studio program during March and April 2015 leading to a public exhibition at Socrates opening in early May 2015.

Emerging Voices: Estudio Macías Peredo

Estudio Macías Peredo is led by Salvador Macías Corona and Magui Peredo Arenas and is based in Guadalajara, Mexico. In their lecture as one of the winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Corona and Arenas reveal the ways in which the local conditions and building traditions of their country have become creative drivers for their contemporary practice of architecture. They have a shared interest in primitive buildings, seeking to incorporate some of the inherent abstract qualities of primitive structures in ways that address contemporary issues.

Emerging Voices: Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie

Joyce Hwang founded Buffalo-based firm Ants of the Prairie in 2004 as an architecture and research practice “dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies,” according to the Architectural League. In her lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, Hwang explains her fascination with the conflicted perceptions of urban wildlife, and discusses a series of projects that aim to incorporate diverse animal habitats into the built environment.  

Emerging Voices: David Benjamin of The Living

In his lecture as one of winners of the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices awards, David Benjamin discusses his unique approach to environmental and computational design and how it manifests itself in the work of The Living, a firm he founded in 2006.

Throughout the lecture Benjamin discusses projects that are fundamentally linked to the natural environment and ideas related to sustainability. To introduce how the firm generates new ideas, Benjamin describes a method of experimentation developed in their practice called flash research: beginning with the idea that architecture could be dynamic and responsive, these are prototypes that operate under self-created constraints such as a budget of $1000 or less and a required time span of three months or less.

Read on after the break for further synopsis of the lecture.

Beaux Arts Ball 2014: Craft

The Architectural League hosts the design party of the year at its annual Beaux Arts Ball on September 20. Held in the recently restored, exquisite interiors of Williamsburg’s Weylin B. Seymour’s, the Ball will feature a projection installation by Nuit Blanche New York that reflects on the theme of “Craft.” In addition to the installation, a series of digital presentations and photographic essays will reveal more information about the building and the team of artisans and consultants behind its restoration. 

Emerging Architects Austin+Mergold Win Folly 2014

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York have announced that Austin+Mergold have won “Folly 2014” – an annual competition among emerging architects to design and build a large-scale project for public exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City – with their project SuralArk, an installation that is "part ship, part house."

The annual “Folly” program strives to give emerging architects and designers the opportunity to build public projects that explore the boundaries between architecture and sculpture. This year's proposal beat out 171 submissions from 17 countries; it was selected by a jury made up of Chris Doyle, Artist; John Hatfield, Socrates Sculpture Park; Enrique Norten, TEN Arquitectos; Lisa Switkin, James Corner Field Operations; and Ada Tolla, LOT-EK.

SuralArk will open on May 11th through August 3rd. Learn more about the project after the break.

Architectural League Announces 2014 Winners of Emerging Voices Award

The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of their 32nd annual Emerging Voices awards. The coveted recognition program spotlights eight emerging practitioners in North America whose “distinct design voices” have shown the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.

“The work of each Emerging Voice represents the best of its kind, and addresses larger issues within architecture, landscape, and the built environment,” described the League.  “This year, in particular, saw firms entrepreneurial in spirit, pursuing alternate forms of practice, often writing their own programs or serving as their own clients.”

This year’s eight Emerging Voices are...

The Architectural League Spring Events

The Architectural League announced their Spring 2014 calendar of events. 'First Friday' events are held at the offices of the hosting firms. It started January 10 with Toshiko Mori and future participants include COOKFOX Architects, SHoP Architects, and GLUCK+

Current Work: Richard Meier

Each year The Architectural League in its Current Work program presents the work of significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment. Richard Meier will present his work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with a moderator and fellow partnersBernhard Karpf, Reynolds Logan, and Dukho Yeon in honor of fifty years of independent practice.

Call for Entries: 2014 Architectural League Prize

Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. The jury will select work for presentation in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition opening in June 2014. Winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by The Architectural League and Princeton Architectural Press.

Beaux Arts Ball 2013: –ism

In 1913, an art exhibition opened in New York City that shocked the country, shattered perceptions of beauty, and shifted the American cultural landscape forever. “The International Exhibition of Modern Art” became known simply and infamously as “The Armory Show,” after its venue­, the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. It was a show of clashing and competing “–isms:” Cubism, Modernism, Realism, Futurism, Fauvism…