North America’s Radiant City: Le Corbusier’s Impact on New York

Co-op City. Image © Flickr CC user Runs With Scissors

Despite his status, Le Corbusier never had the opportunity to build in New York – in fact he only had one chance to build in the at all, completing Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge in 1963. But this doesn’t mean his influence isn’t visible all over the Apple. Originally published on 6sqft as “Towers in the Park: Le Corbusier’s Influence in NYC,” this article takes a look at three examples where Le Corbusier’s “Radiant City” ideals were transplanted to New York.

Even before taking his first trip to New York in 1935, Le Corbusier described the city as “utterly devoid of harmony.” After seeing it in person, his feelings didn’t soften. He wasn’t impressed by the tall towers, rather stating that they were the product of an inferiority complex, and he thought the city’s leaders were too timid to hire him. He wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times saying that “American skyscrapers have not attained the rank of architecture; rather, they are merely small objects such as statuettes or knick-knacks, magnified to titanic proportions.” He thought the city would benefit from buildings that “don’t try to outdo each other but are all identical.”

Ranquist Development Office / Vladimir Radutny Architects

© Mike Schwartz Photography

Architects: Vladimir Radutny Architects
Location: , IL, USA
Area: 1200.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Mike Schwartz Photography

See BIG & Heatherwick’s Design for Google’s California Headquarters

© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like structures organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies. 

“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”

A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break. 

Reggio Pre-school and Religious Center / Scalar Architecture

© Miguel de Guzman / Imagen Subliminal

Architects: Scalar Architecture
Location: , NY, USA
Architect In Charge: Julio Salcedo
Area: 5500.0 ft2
Year: 2015
Photographs: Miguel de Guzman / Imagen Subliminal

Capitol Hill Loft / SHED Architecture & Design

© Mark Woods

Architects: SHED Architecture & Design
Location: 1310 East Union Street, , WA 98122, USA
Contractor: Dolanbuilt Construction
Area: 1702.0 ft2
Year: 2015
Photographs: Mark Woods, James F. Housel

Cafe Fargo / Davidson Rafailidis

© Florian Holzherr

Architects: Davidson Rafailidis
Location: , NY, USA
Project Team: Georg Rafailidis (lead), Stephanie Davidson
Project Staff: Jia Ma, Aleksandr Marchuk
Area: 82.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Florian Holzherr

AIA Awards Two with 2015 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

Novartis Campus / Gehry Partners – A project with Transsolar KlimaEngineering. Image © Flickr CC user Novartis AG

The Lyceum Fellowship Inc. and Transsolar KlimaEngineering have been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The annual award is intended to “recognize and encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.” Both winners will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.

Sharon Fieldhouse / design/buildLAB

© Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

Architects: design/buildLAB
Location: The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Sharon School Circle, , VA 24422, USA
Professors In Charge: Marie Zawistowski, Keith Zawistowski
Student Team: Landon Williams, Molly Vaughan, Mitchell August, Ryan Myers, Julia Vasquez, Xiao Fu, Ellie Burns, Forrest Bibeau, Mykayla Fernandes, Kellen McGinley, John Iaconis, Chanel Carter-Harris, Barbara Dior, Nancy Redenius, Tom Powers
Year: 2014
Photographs: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO, Courtesy of

Two Architects Selected to Receive the 2015 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

New Century Plan. Image © UC Berkeley

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break.

OMA Designs Food Port for West Louisville

View from Market Street. Image © / Robota

OMA has unveiled plans for a mixed-use project that will consolidate facilities for the growing, selling and distribution of food for local farmers in Louisville. A collaboration with the non-profit Seed Capital Kentucky, the 24-acre “Food Port” will transform a former tobacco plant into an “active economic and community hub” that shapes a “new model between consumer and producer.”

“The diversity of program reflects the full food chain, as well as a new foodscape of public spaces and plazas where producers and consumers meet,” said OMA’s Partner-in-Charge Shohei Shigematsu, who is also leading the Alimentary Design research studio at Harvard University. “The Food Port acts as a catalyst to activate the surrounding neighborhoods, exemplifying one of the complex urban relationships between architecture and food that our studio is investigating.”

The expandable campus, which is expected to break ground this summer, will include an urban farm, edible garden, market and food truck plaza, retail space, classrooms, a recycling facility, and more. Continue after the break to learn more.

Golden View Residence / Workshop AD

© Kevin Smith

Architects: Workshop AD
Location: , AK, USA
Area: 5000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Kevin Smith

Empty Nester Residence / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

© Hoachlander Davis Photography / Anice Hoachlander

Architects: Studio Twenty Seven Architecture
Location: , VA, USA
Area: 222.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Hoachlander Davis Photography / Anice Hoachlander

Win a BIG Trip to Copenhagen

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Daydreaming about a trip to Copenhagen? Now is your chance to go. As part of BIG’s HOT TO COLD exhibition on view at the National Building Museum, Visit Denmark is hosting a sweepstakes for two to see the architectural and cultural sights of ’s capital. All you need to do is watch the video above, find out which seaside museum Bjarke Ingels believes to be one of the world’s greatest (hint: take a look after the break), and enter your answer here (click “Win a trip to !”). Only US residents are eligible.

Ocean Deck House / Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

© Matthew Carbone

Architects: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects
Location: , NY, USA
Architect Team: Frederick Stelle, Viola Rouhani, Luca Campaiola, Jessica Twiggs
Area: 14714.0 ft2
Photographs: Matthew Carbone

Populous Unveils Plan to Redevelop Jacksonville’s Shipyards District

Shipyards aerial view. Image Courtesy of

Populous‘ has released plans to redevelop Jacksonville, Florida’s riverfront Shipyards district into a massive recreation and entertainment hub. Unveiled by the  Jaguars’ team owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping, the property will be injected with life to better stimulate economic activity in the area and make the forgotten plot a bustling destination for locals and tourists alike.

Read on after the break for more information and an animation of the Shipyards vision.

January ABI Falls into the Red

January 2015 . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After nine consecutive months of growth, January’s Architecture Billing Index (ABI) reported a “softening” in US design activity. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the January ABI score was 49.9, down from a mark of 52.7 in December. This score reflects a “very modest decrease” in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.7, down from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

“This easing in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market over the past nine months,” said Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. , PhD. “Likely some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions in January. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

560 Vinson / Modus Studio

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Modus Studio
Location: , AR, USA
Architect In Charge: Chris Baribeau
Area: 2158.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Make It Right Releases Six Single-Family House Designs for Manheim Park Community

Home design by DRAW. Image Courtesy of

Make It Right, the organization formed by that builds affordable and sustainable houses for people in need, has released a series of new single-family home designs by local architects to expand their efforts in Kansas City, Missouri. The new homes will become part of Make it Right’s established work in Manheim Park, complementing the affordable housing and community complex opened by the organization in 2013.

View the designs, after the break.