Kimmelman Reviews the One WTC: An Emblem of New York’s “Upside-Down Priorities”

One WTC. Image © James Ewing OTTO

Nearly a month since the official (and somewhat mundane) opening of ’s One World Trade Center, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has published a scathing review of the SOM-designed tower, claiming it to be a “flawed” emblem of the city’s “upside-down priorities.”

“Replacing the twin towers with another giant office building was somehow supposed to show New York’s indomitable spirit: the defiant city transfigured from the ashes. To the contrary, 1 World Trade implies (wrongly) a metropolis bereft of fresh ideas. It looks as if it could be anywhere, which New York isn’t.” You can read Kimmelman’s complete review, here.

Compartes Melrose / AAmp Studio

© Andrew Ashey

Architects: AAmp Studio
Location: Melrose Place, , CA 90069, USA
Designers: Andrew Ashey, Anne-Marie Armstrong
Area: 500.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Andrew Ashey

Grajo Residence / Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design

© Feinknopf Photography

Architects: Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design
Location: , OH, USA
Architect In Charge: Jonathan Barnes
Project Architect: Jeremy Little
Structural Engineer: Joe Lewis
Contractor: Benco
Area: 4200.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Feinknopf Photography

Gehry Sides with MAD, Defends Lucas Museum from Critics

Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

With criticism forcing progress on MAD’s “mountainous” Lucas Museum to come to a standstill, Frank Gehry has released a statement on the Tribune urging critics to “take the proper time to review” the museum before dismissing it.

“Chicago is a great city for architecture and has historically supported innovative, forward-looking work. There is a natural impulse to deride a project in the early stages of design, particularly one that has a new shape or expression. This is not a new concept,” says Gehry, citing that both the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall were shrouded in criticism before becoming “great assets to their mutual cities.”

McElroy House/ Ehrlich Architects

© Miranda Brackett

Architects: Ehrlich Architects
Location: , CA, USA
Site Area: 19042 sq ft
Area: 7500.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Miranda Brackett, Roger Davies

Cristina Parreño Investigates the Tectonics of Transparency With Glass Wall Prototype

© Jane Messinger

Architect and MIT Lecturer Cristina Parreño has created this new prototype for a self-supporting facade, entitled “The Wall.” The design is the first in Parreño’s “Tectonics of Transparency,” a series of planned prototypes that will “explore the relationship between formal design, spatial perception, structural efficiency and systems of fabrication.”

More details about Parreño’s prototype after the break

Peloton / Bernheimer Architecture

© Naho Kubota

Architects: Bernheimer Architecture
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Photographs: Naho Kubota , Eric Hwang

Milken Institute School of Public Health / Payette

© Robert Benson

Architects: Payette
Location: , DC, USA
Area: 161100.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Robert Benson

Winning Proposals “Reanimate the Ruins” of Detroit’s Packard Motor Plant

Ecological Engineering Center . Image Courtesy of

Parallel Projections has announced the winners of the Reanimate the Ruins competition, an international challenge to redesign and memorialize Detroit’s historic Packard Motor Plant. The competition called for designers to simultaneously honor Detroit’s history, while envisioning a future of technological, social, and aesthetic healing.

This year’s jury has selected three winners and six honorable mentions. Read more after the break to explore the award-winning proposals.

Revitalizing Olmsted Center / BKSK

© Raimund Koch

Architects: BKSK
Location: Parks Department, 156th, , NY 10455, USA
Architect In Charge: Joan Krevlin
Design Team: Harpreet Dhaliwal, Jennifer Preston, Christian Eusebio, Ivan Chabra
Photographs: Raimund Koch

SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut

Exterior view of The River. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

“The River,” SANAA’s first US commission since winning the 2010 Pritzker Prize, is currently underway in Connecticut. Designed by the Japanese practice in collaboration with OLIN, the meandering and almost transparent building will be built on a 75-acre preserve as a multi-use platform for events and initiatives put on by the community of and non-profit Grace Farms Foundation.

“We are thrilled that Grace Farms will begin welcoming the public in autumn 2015,” Sharon Prince, president of the Grace Farms Foundation stated. 

Three OMA-Designed “Park Grove” Towers to Rise in Miami

© Bloom

OMA is set to realize their first commercial residential project in the US: Park Grove. Planned to rise alongside the Biscayne Bay in ’s Coconut Grove, in close proximity to BIG’s “Grove” residences at Grand Bay, the three-tower luxury residential project will be the last building allotted for the “walkable” Floridan neighborhood.

Redaction House / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

© John J. Macaulay

Architects: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Location: , WI 53066, USA
Year: 2014
Photographs: John J. Macaulay

Red Bull’s New York Offices / INABA

© Greg Irikura

Architects: INABA
Location: , NY, USA
Architects In Charge: Jeffrey , Ostap Rudakevych, Yoichiro Mizuno, Alan Kwan
Area: 16800.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Greg Irikura , Naho Kubota

October ABI Reveals Decrease in Demand for Design Services

October . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Demand for design services in the US has slowed. According to the latest (ABI) reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the October ABI score was 53.7, down from a mark of 55.2 in September, and the new projects inquiry index fell to 62.7. Despite this, the demand is still considered “healthy” with the South showing the strongest regional conditions.

“Though it has been slow in emerging, we’re finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we’re seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Check Out These Images of New York’s Skyline in 2018

View looking south above Central Park showing “Billionaires Row” towers visible in foregorund, midtown towers in background, and various Financial District and Downtown Brooklyn Towers in far background. Image © CityRealty

If New Yorkers thought that construction during Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor was frantic, then what’s coming next might be quite a shock: courtesy of CityRealty, these images show the skyline in 2018, when many of the city’s current projects will be complete. Produced from building models by TJ Quan and Ondel Hylton as a marketing ploy for Jean Nouvel‘s which recently (finally) began construction, the images include all of Nouvel’s illustrious future neighbors: the “Billionaire’s Row” including 111 West 57th Street, 220 Central Park South, 225 West 57th Street (Nordstrom Tower) and One57; new Midtown developments such as 432 Park Avenue, 520 Park Avenue425 Park Avenue, One Vanderbilt, 610 Lexington, 15 Penn Plaza, and the Hudson Yards towers; and even the latest financial district towers, 1WTC, 30 Park Place, 125 Greenwich, and 225 Cherry Street.

Weddle Gilmore, West 8 and Colwell Shelor Selected to Redesign Arizona’s Mesa City Center

Context. Image © , and Weddle Gilmore

Weddle Gilmore black rock studio, West 8 and Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture have been selected to transform 19 acres surrounding Arizona’s Mesa City Hall into a unique civic space that will “capture and enhance the urbanizing momentum of Mesa’s downtown core.” Unanimously selected by the City of Mesa, over finalists Woods Bagot + Surface Design and Otak + Mayer Reed, the winning scheme plans to activate the public space with a series of flexible plazas and garden spaces centered around a distinct cooper shade structure.

More about the design and competition, after the break.

Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion / Renzo Piano + Payette

© Nic Lehoux

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Payette
Location: Harvard University, 32 Quincy Street, , MA 02138, USA
Design Team: M.Carroll and E.Trezzani (partners in charge) with J.Lee, E.Baglietto (partner), S.Ishida (partner), R.Aeck, F.Becchi, B.Cook, M.Orlandi, J.Pejkovic, A.Stern and J.Cook, M.Fleming, J.M.Palacio, S. Joubert; M. Ottonello (CAD operator); F.Cappellini, F.Terranova, I.Corsaro (models)
Area: 204000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nic Lehoux, Michel Denancé, Aerial by Lesvants.com