Four Teams to Envision Proposals for D.C. “Bridge Park”

Artist Rendering. Image Courtesy of THEARC

The four teams moving on to stage three of Washington D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park competition has been announced. Selected from over 80 qualified design firms from across the U.S., the following multidisciplinary teams will receive $25000 stipends to envision a new civic space spanning the Anacostia River by early September:

The Sprawled Desert City of Phoenix Sets Sights on Walkability

Phoenix Light Rail crossing Tempe Town Lake. Image © CC Flickr User Alan Stark

When the profit-driven bulldozing of virgin desert quickly transformed into unfinished ghost towns in 2008, the city of Phoenix, , reset their sights on a more sustainable and desirable way of living: walkable communities. With the establishment of the city’s first light rail, the once car-centric communities of its urban core have turned into swaths of pedestrian havens. This has not only improved the city’s desirability, but has also been good for business. See how else Phoenix is trying to “pull off an urban miracle” and reverse it’s sprawled image here on Fast Company.

NCARB Endorses Licensure for US Architects Upon Graduation

© CC Flickr User Raja Sambasivan

The U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards () has released a statement endorsing upon graduation from accredited programs. Though the release did not specify a definite plan of action, the announcement acknowledges the benefits of restructuring U.S. so that “rigorous internships and examination requirements” are all fulfilled during the education process.

Envisioned by NCARB’s “Licensure Task Force,” the “new path” concept overhaul will move forward by identifying schools interested in participating in the program. A Request for Information will be sent out later this year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.

Though many U.S. architects have seemingly longed for news such as this, others argue that there are drawbacks to licensure upon graduation. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section after the break.

Proposal for New York Skyscraper Cantilevers Lobby Over Its Neighbors

Section Rendering. Image ©

The typical skyscraper is a nondescript tower constructed of a steel frame and glass curtain wall. Architects from the firm Fundamental are challenging this convention with “ Tomorrow,” a proposal that earned them a runner-up place in Metropolis Magazine’s Living Cities Competition. This progressive design weds revolutionary structural technology with a unique programmatic layout to draw people from all walks of life to the city of New York.

SOM Reveals Design for “All Aboard Florida” Train Station

Miami Station- 1st Avenue elevation. Image ©

SOM recently revealed its design for the West Palm Beach hub of All Aboard Florida’s passenger rail line. The terminal will be one of three (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach) that connects more than 235 miles of rail lines crossing the state of Florida. With the Sunshine State close to becoming the third biggest in the union in terms of population, these stations will serve as a welcome travel alternative to crowded highways. The Miami station alone is expected to serve about 12 million visitors. The stations will also host retail outlets and restaurants, making them cultural landmarks within their respective .

STAAB Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio

© Winquist Photography

Designers: Chen + Suchart Studio
Location: , AZ, USA
Project Team: Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart, Thamarit Suchart
Area: 279 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Winquist Photography, Courtesy of

Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility / Selldorf Architects

© Nikolas Koenig

Architects: Selldorf Architects
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Area: 140000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nikolas Koenig, Marc Lins, Jonathan Chesley, John Majors

Paramount Residence / A Parallel Architecture

© Topher Ayrhart

Architects: A Parallel Architecture
Location: , TX, USA
Architect In Charge: Eric Barth, Ryan Burke
Area: 2968.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Topher Ayrhart

Weddle Gilmore and !melk Redesign Phoenix’s Hance Park

Entrance Plaza. Image ©

Within a decade, the city of Phoenix, Arizona will transform a 32-acre downtown urban park into a vibrant cultural hub. Spanning over one half mile of U.S. Interstate Highway 10, the recently-approved, competition-winning masterplan was envisioned by New York’s !melk and locally based WEDDLE GILMORE black rock studio.

More on the masterplan, after the break…

Bridging the Divide: chadbourne + doss’ Scheme “Stitches” Portland Communities with Rec Center Overpasses

© chadbourne + doss

We’ve all traveled along an interstate overpass. In most cases they are constructed of bleak concrete, tattooed in graffiti, and built with the sole purpose of getting you across lanes of heavy traffic as quickly as possible. They are a bridge at the bare minimum, but what if they provide something more for the communities they connect?

In a recent ideas competition, AIA Portland called for creative proposals that would best bridge local neighborhoods divided by Interstate 405. The winning entry, “Five Bridges” by chadbourne + doss, posits that the best way to do this is with inhabitable overpasses.

April ABI Reflects Continued Decrease in Design Services

April ABI. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the last two months, the U.S. has remained in negative territory. Although the ABI rose slightly from the previous month’s 48.8 mark to 49.6 in April, the score still reflects a decrease in design services. As the American Institute of Architects () reports, the new projects inquiry index also revealed a slight increase, rising from 57.9 to 59.1.

“Despite an easing in demand for architecture services over the last couple of months, there is a pervading sense of optimism that business conditions are poised to improve as the year moves on,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With a healthy figure for design contracts this should translate into improved billings in the near future.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

PXSTL / Freecell Architecture

Courtesy of

Architects: Freecell Architecture
Location: 3713 Washington Boulevard, , MO 63108, USA
Architect In Charge: Freecell Architecture
Area: 2400.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Westfield State New University Hall / ADD Inc.

© Robert Benson Photography

Architects: ADD Inc.
Location: State University, 577 Western Avenue, , MA 01085, USA
Architect In Charge: B.K. Boley, Principal,
Photographs: Robert Benson Photography

Denver Union Station / SOM

© Robert Polidori

Architects: SOM
Location: , CO, USA
Design Partner: Roger Duffy
Year: 2014
Photographs: Robert Polidori

Biking to Work Increases 60 Percent in U.S.

© 2008-2012 American Community Survey

Over the last decade, the amount of bicycle commuters have increased 60 percent in the U.S. As the U.S. Census Bureau reports, this is the largest percentage increase of all modes tracked by the 2000 Census and the 2008-2012 American Community Survey. Along with the study, the Bureau released a new interactive map that allows you to zoom-in and explore the statistics for every neighborhood in the U.S. Find out how to access this map and read some highlights from the report, after the break…

Critical Round-Up: The September 11 Memorial Museum

Two salvaged columns from the towers, placed inside Snøhetta’s entrance building. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Set to open to the public on Wednesday after a highly controversial and contested journey from idea to reality, the September 11 Memorial Museum has inevitably been a talking point among critics this week. The museum by Davis Brody Bond occupies the space between the Memorial Plaza at ground level and the bedrock below, with an angular glass pavilion by Snøhetta providing an entrance from above. A long ramp, designed to recall the access ramp with which tons of twisted metal was excavated from the site, descends to the exhibits which sit within the perimeter boundaries of the twin towers’ foundations, underneath the suspended volumes of Michael Arad‘s memorial fountains.

The content of the museum is obviously fraught with painful memories, and the entrance pavilion occupies a privileged position as the only surface level structure ground zero, in opposition to the great voids of the memorial itself. The discussion at the opening of the museum was therefore always going to center on whether the design of the museum – both its built form and the exhibitions contained – were sensitive and appropriate enough for this challenging brief. Read the critics’ takes on the results after the break.

National September 11 Memorial Museum Celebrates Opening

© Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Today marked the ceremonially opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Set to officially open to the public next Wednesday (May 21), the subterranean museum has already made headlines for its emotional 70 foot decent to the bedrock of the Towers.

Prior to entering the museum’s interior, visitors must first walk past the footprints of the Twin Towers, commemorated by Handel Architects’ cascading granite voids, before entering a Snøhetta-designed stainless steel and glass pavilion that is the museum’s entrance.

As Snøhetta’s founding partner, Craig Dyker describes, the pavilion’s main purpose is to serve as the “threshold between the everyday life of the city and the uniquely spiritual quality of the Memorial.”

More about the pavilion from the architects, after the break…

EGWW / SERA Architects + Cutler Anderson Architect

© Nic Lehoux

Architects: SERA Architects, Cutler Anderson Architect
Location: Portland, OR 97204, USA
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nic Lehoux