Erie Elementary Charter School / John Ronan Architects

© Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing

Architects: John Ronan Architects
Location: 1405 North Washtenaw Avenue, , IL 60622, USA
Design Team: John Ronan FAIA, Lead Designer; Evan Menk, Senior Technical Coordinator; Gregory Pinter , (design team); Tom Lee, Marcin Szef , John Trocke
Area: 17470.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing

La Brea Affordable Housing / Patrick Tighe + John V. Mutlow

© Patrick Tighe Architecture / Bran Arifin

Architects: Patrick Tighe, John V. Mutlow
Location: , CA, USA
Area: 50000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Patrick Tighe Architecture / Bran Arifin, Art Gray Photography

September ABI Indicates Robust Conditions for US

September 2014. Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The American Institute of Architecture () has indicated a “heightened level of demand for design services” throughout the US. As the latest Architecture Billings Index () reports, all regions and project sectors have shown positive conditions and the September score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Prairie Logic / el dorado

© Mike Sinclair

Architects: el dorado
Location: , MO, USA
Architect In Charge: Dan Maginn, FAIA
Year: 2012
Photographs: Mike Sinclair, Videtech, Courtesy of el dorado

Interview: Brian MacKay-Lyons on the State of Architectural Education and the Architect’s Role

Ghost 7 / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. Image © James Steeves

Brian MacKay-Lyons is the founding partner of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, a professor at Dalhousie University and the founder of Ghost Lab - the now legendary 2-week summer design/build program that took place on his family farm in Nova Scotia from 1994 to 2011. While relentlessly local, Brian’s work has been recognized internationally with more than 100 awards, 300 publications and 100 exhibitions. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects recognized the collective work and influence of Ghost with an Institute Honor Award for Architecture.

On August 22nd, 2014 Brian hopped off his tractor and wiped the diesel fuel off his hands to discuss architectural education with Keith and Marie Zawistowski, co-founders of the design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech and partners of OnSite Architecture. Here is an excerpt from their conversation, which was originally published on Inform:

Keith Zawistowski: Your contributions to the discipline of architecture have been both in practice and in education. In 1994, you founded Ghost, an international laboratory that influenced all generations of architects with its simplicity and this affirmation of timeless architectural values of place and craft. It was a pretty bold move and it seems for us like it was a direct reaction to your discontentment with academia and the way architects were being educated. Do you still feel that strongly about the state of architecture education and the profession?

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center / Gould Evans

© Assassi Productions

Architects: Gould Evans
Location: 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Associate Architect: Delawie
Area: 124000.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Assassi Productions, Ace Aerial Photography

What Should Obama’s Presidential Library Look Like?

Columbia University: open space, throughout the community. Image © Alfonso Medina/T38 Studio via the Guardian

Barack Obama still has two years left in his presidency, but speculative planning for his Presidential Library has already begun for each of the four possible final locations. Just as the election of President Obama broke down historical precedents for who could hold office, could the design of his dedication library represent an architectural shift from previous libraries? This article by Lilah Raptopoulos from The Guardian presents four unofficial visions for the design of the new library, each of them from award-winning architects. Their bold design sketches expand our perceptions of what a presidential library could be, and explore new ways in which these libraries could serve their communities. See all four designs and read the full article from The Guardian entitled, “Obama’s presidential library: four radical visions of the future from top architects.”

Rogers Partners and PWP’s Constitution Gardens Redesign Approved for National Mall

Events Plaza. Image © PWP Architecture and

Rogers Partners (formally known as Rogers Marvel Architects) and PWP Landscape Architecture’s redesign for the National Mall’s neglected Constitution Gardens has received unanimous approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The 50-acre project, which was originally won through a competition in 2012, will now move forward with its first phase. 

Nathan Hale High School Modernization / Mahlum

© Benjamin Benschneider

Architects: Mahlum
Location: 10750 30th Avenue Northeast, , WA 98125, USA
Area: 204000.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Benjamin Benschneider

Judith Edelman, A “Firebrand for Women in Architecture, Dies at 91

New Settlement Community Campus; NYC (2012) / Dattner Architects and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood

Judith Edelman, FAIA, an American architect and feminist who hoped to rid architecture of its “gentleman’s club” status, has passed away at 91. Starting her career in an era when hiring “girls” wasn’t the norm, Edelman’s work to elevate has paved the way for many of today’s leading architects; She was the first woman ever elected to the executive committee of the AIA’s chapter and she helped co-found the Alliance of in 1972. Edelman’s built work, also highly admired, ranged from affordable housing to schools and health clinics, mostly in the New York City area. You can read Edelman’s obituary here.

Michael Graves Defends the Portland Building from Demolition Threats

The Building in 1982. Photo by Steve Morgan via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Michael Graves attended a public conversation with Randy Gragg, director of The University of Oregon’s John Yeon Center to discuss the Portland Building, America’s first postmodern building. The discussion centered around the famed, 1980s building’s many problems – “dark, leaky and claustrophobic” interiors,” pedestrian-unfriendly parking garage, and more – asking Graves for his advice on whether the city should update it or tear it down. His response, “The whole idea of tearing the building down, it’s like killing a child… I don’t know how to react to that.” Read all of Graves’ responses to tenant complaints here on the Oregon Live.

A House Named Fred / in situ studio

© Richard Leo Johnson

Architects: in situ studio
Location: , NC, USA
Area: 2369.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Richard Leo Johnson

Tulane Students Upcycle Traffic Signs into Shade Canopy

© David Armentor

Tulane City Center and a team of Tulane architecture students worked together with the Lousiana Outdoor Outreach Program to design a shade structure made from traffic yield signs for a challenge course in City Park. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding tree canopy and the structure of the ropes course, the design team crafted a faceted, curving aluminum canopy suspended by steel cables with an earthen berm for seating below. More about the pavilion, after the break.

Elk Valley Tractor Shed / FIELDWORK Design & Architecture

© Brian Walker Lee

Architects: FIELDWORK Design & Architecture
Location: , OR 97031, USA
Design Team: Cornell Anderson, Tim Fouch, Tonia Hein, Joshua Mollenkamp, James Austin, Intern
Area: 820.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Brian Walker Lee

In Progress: West 57th Street / BIG

The southeast corner from West 57th Street. Image © Field Condition

Architects: BIG
Location: West 57th Street, , NY, USA
Partners In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Beat Schenk
Project Architect: David Brown
Project Team: Alessandro Ronfini, Sören Grünert, Maya Shopova, Lauren Turner, Tiago Barros, Tyler Polich, Ivy Hume, Yi Li, Daniel Sundlin, Thomas Fagan, Aaron Hales, Hongyi Jin, Mina Rafiee, Tara Hagan, Rakel Karlsdottir, Celine Jeanne, Aleksander Tokarz, Alessio Valmori, Alvaro Garcia Mendive, Felicia Guldberg, Gabrielle Nadeau, Ho Kyung Lee, Julian Liang, Julianne Gola, Lucian Racovitan, Marcella Martinez, Dominyka Mineikyte, Eivor Davidsen, Gul Ertekin, Maria Nikolova, Minjae Kim, Mitesh Dixit, Nicklas Rasch, Riccardo Mariano, Stanley Lung, Steffan Heath, Thilani Rajarathna, Xu Li, Christoffer Gotfredsen
Architect Of Record: SLCE Architects
Landscape Architects: Starr Whitehouse
Year: 2015
Photographs: Field Condition

The Choy House / O’Neill Rose Architects

© Michael Moran/OTTO

Architects: O’Neill Rose Architects
Location: Flushing, Queens, NY, USA
Contractor: MC 2
Area: 2700.0 ft2
Photographs: Michael Moran/OTTO

Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle

Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has approved Frank Gehry‘s revised design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, meaning that after a fifteen-year process, all the involved parties have finally agreed on a design. Gehry’s most recent design – a slightly scaled-down version of the one he produced in 2011, with the two smaller woven steel tapestries removed to open up the view to the Capitol – was approved by the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) earlier this month, allowing the CFA to give their final verdict on the new design.

AD Classics: Wexner Center for the Arts / Peter Eisenman

© Flickr user OZinOH

Before it was even completed, Times critic Paul Goldberger dubbed the Wexner Center for the Arts “The Museum That Theory Built.” [1] Given its architect, this epithet came as no surprise; Peter Eisenman, the museum’s designer, had spent the better part of his career distilling architectural form down to a theoretical science. It was with tremendous anticipation that this building, the first major public work of Eisenman’s career, opened in 1989. For some, it heralded a validation of deconstructivism and theory, while its problems provided ammunition for others who saw theory and practice as complimentary but ultimately divergent pursuits. The building’s popular reception has been equally mixed, but its influence and intrigue in the academic community is as pronounced and unmistakeable as the design itself.