September’s ABI Surges Higher

September 2013 ; Graph via Calculated Risk

Demand for design services in the U.S. continues to increase, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reached its second highest level this year. According to the American Institute of Architects (), September’s ABI score was 54.3, up from 53.8 in August. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index fell a few points from 63.0 in August to 58.6 in September. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Building U / MJ Sagan Architecture

© Michael Moran

Architects: MJ Sagan Architecture
Location: , OH, USA
Architect Of Record: Meyers Welsh Architecture & Design
Year: 2008
Photographs: Michael Moran

AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry

© Gehry Partners, LLP

Completed October 23, 2003, The Walt Disney Concert Hall celebrates its tenth anniversary today. to the LA Philharmonic, it has received wide acclaim for its excellent acoustics and distinctive architecture. In the decade since its opening, the hall’s sweeping, metallic surfaces have become associated with Frank Gehry’s signature style.

House 1532 / Fougeron Architecture

© Richard Barnes

Architects: Fougeron Architecture
Location: , CA, USA
Photographs: Richard Barnes

Solar Decathlon 2013: SCI-Arc & Caltech Create California-style, Zero Net Energy Bungalow

© Paolo Tadoc / SCI-Arc

, short for Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, is this year’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team. Made of two movable, prefabricated modules that open to allow the outdoors in, DALE celebrates the active California lifestyle through its dynamic architecture.

DALE learns from two classic precedents: the super-sized suburban tract home and the compact, sufficient bungalow; amending one and expanding on the other to become a new Southern typology. At 600 square feet, it is a micro house with an unprecedented flexible interior that results in the program of a house three times the size.

WSU Enrollment Services Center / Robert Maschke Architects

© Matthew Carbone

Architects: Robert Maschke Architects
Location: Dayton, Ohio,
Project Team: Robert Maschke, FAIA, Marc Manack, AIA, Matthew Lindsay
Area: 14,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Matthew Carbone

McCormick Place Event Center / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli

Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli has been selected to design the new $195 million McCormick Place Event Center in Chicago that will double as for the DePaul Blue Demons basketball program. With 10,000 seats, the building will also house large business and professional meetings as well as concerts and special events.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Stanford University Places Fifth Overall, Ties First in Affordability

Courtesy of Start.Home – Solar Decathlon Team Stanford

From the architect. Stanford University’s Start.Home has won fifth place overall and tied for first place in affordability in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Read the team’s description to learn more:

For the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Stanford University designed to provide energy efficiency at the push of a button to a new generation of environmentally conscious occupants. With modular architecture and advanced controls to optimize each component, the house aims to spark a revolution by lowering the entry barrier for an ultra-efficient house and making trendy, social, and affordable.

Piampiano Residence / Studio B Architects

© Andrew Pogue

Architects: Studio B Architects
Location: , CO, USA
General Contractor: Koru Ltd
Area: 8000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Pogue, Derek Skalko

Solar Decathlon 2013: Stevens Institute of Technology Places Second in Architecture, Fourth Overall

Courtesy of Jason Flakes / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

From the architect. This “L-shaped” energy smart house by the Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT), dubbed Ecohabit, won second place in the architecture category and fourth overall in this year’s Solar Decathlon competition. The L-concept divides the house into two modules, “wet” and “dry”. Read the team’s description to learn why:

Tolleson Offices / Huntsman Architectural Group

© David Wakely

Architects: Huntsman Architectural Group
Location: San Francisco, , USA
Design Team: Bill Puetz, Alison Woolf, Gregory Dumont, Elise Beaty
Area: 11,000 sqft
Year: 2012
Photographs: David Wakely

Tacoma Art Museum Expansion / Olson Kundig Architects

Art Museum Expansion. Image Courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects

Construction begins in late October on the approximately 16,000 square foot new wing and building renovation of the Tacoma Art Museum. The new wing will provide a home for the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, double the museum’s gallery space, provide greater art experiences for visitors, and increase the museum’s role in downtown Tacoma. Award-winning architects Olson Kundig Architects will design the expansion and renovation.

ART[house] / TACK architects

© Tom Kessler

Architects: TACK architects
Location: , Nebraska,
Year: 2012
Photographs: Tom Kessler

Midvale Courtyard House / Bruns Architecture

© Tricia Shay

Architects: Bruns Architecture
Location: Madison, Wisconsin,
Interior Design: MANI & Company
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tricia Shay

Public School 158 Bayard Taylor Library / Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani

Courtesy of

Architects: Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani
Location: 1458 York Avenue, , NY, USA
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani

AD Classics: College Life Insurance Company Headquarters / Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates


In response to a growing company’s request for office space, Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates developed a master plan that would allow the incremental addition of floor space over time. The initial design included nine identical buildings arranged in a parallelogram, totaling 1.2 million square feet. Only three of the buildings were constructed in the initial phase, and the expansion plan was never fulfilled. The trio is known as “The Pyramids” for their simple geometry and slanting glass facades.

Gelb House / Bruce Norelius Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Bruce Norelius Studio
Location: , CA, USA
Area: 1,200 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Bruce Norelius Studio

AD Classics: The Ford Foundation / Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

© Ezra Stoller/Esto

Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo established their own practice in 1966, after heading the firm of Eero Saarinen for several years. The Ford Foundation Headquarters is regarded as the pair’s first major success, a combination of Roche’s unique ideals and Dinkeloo’s innovative structural solutions. They introduced an office typology in which employee interaction extended beyond departments and levels, reaching even to the public.