Situ Studio to Construct Valentine’s Day Installation with Salvaged Sandy Debris

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Situ Studio has been selected from eight competitors as winner of the fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design, cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, along with Design Trust for Public Space. The young, Brooklyn-based practice won the jury over with their Heartwalk proposal made of New York and boardwalk boards that were salvaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The installation will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.

Learn more about Situ Studio’s winning proposal after the break.

Farewell to Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg

Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo via Artinfo

After a intensive, 14-year preservation battle, the fate of Richard Neutra‘s mid-century Cyclorama Center in ’s Gettysburg National Military Park has been sealed. Yesterday, the National Park Service confirmed their plans to demolish the modernist structure and restore the site to its original 1863 appearance just in time for the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle. It is a victory for Civil War purists and a loss for 20th century architecture advocates.

As we announced last September, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directed the park service to conduct an environmental analysis on the demolition and to consider “non-demolition alternatives” such as moving the structure or leaving part of it intact. Following the release of a 200-page analysis, the park confirmed that the service had “no need for the continued use of the building” and that it “conflicted with the overall goals of the park.”

More after the break…

Urban Fabric: Building New York’s Garment District

URBAN FABRIC: Building ’s Garment District; Courtesy of the Skyscraper Museum © 2012

New York’s Garment District, consisting of 18 blocks in the west side of midtown, was the city’s most well known industries in the boom of the 1920s through the early 50s.  The influx of immigrants and the geography of New York City made it a natural hub for manufacturing and trading activity.  The work began in small workshops and at home in crowded tenements and eventually grew out of these crammed space into factories and warehouses.  The industry inadvertently transformed Seventh Avenue into rows of skyscraper factories that faithfully abided to New York City’s zoning regulations.  The 125 loft buildings all shared the pyramidal forms due to step-back laws governing design.

Now, The Skyscraper Museum in New York City is celebrating this neighborhood and its influential development of business, industry and architecture and the mark that it left on the city with an exhibition called URBAN FABRIC.  It is curated by Andrew S Dolkart, the Director of the Historic Preservation Program, and will be running through February 17th.

Learn more and watch the curator’s lecture after the break.

AIA and NIBS Launch Building Research Information Knowledgebase

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) have developed the Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK), an interactive portal offering free online access to peer-reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of the built environment, from pre-design through occupancy and reuse.

“By providing a portal to comprehensive research and data, this initiative is intended to help better educate the entire real estate marketplace on how design strategies and innovations can have a profound impact on building performance,” said Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The BRIK offering is an entry-way to show quantifiable proof of evidence-based design approaches.”

AIA President Mickey Jacob Urges Congress to Aid Sandy Relief

Photography: The Rockaways, Post-Sandy © Amanda Kirkpatrick

In response an outrage that broke out amongst Democrats and Republicans, after House Speaker John Boehner failed to vote for Sandy relief before the end of the Congressional session two days ago, the House of Representatives have approved a $9.7 billion relief measure to aid flood victims of Hurricane Sandy. This is good news, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recently warned that it would soon run out of funding if no measures were taken. Senate approval is likely to come later in the day and a second congressional vote is scheduled to take place on January 15 for a larger $51 billion request.

Understanding the importance of issuing this federal support,  President Mickey Jacob has offer Congress three key objects for helping these communities recover.

Read AIA President Jacob’s letter to congress and his three objectives after the break…

The Biggest Complaint of 2012: Insufficient Pay

© Tulane Public Relations

For many young architects the biggest complaint of 2012 has been insufficient pay in exchange for hard work and long hours under the guise of an internship. As if graduating with a degree in architecture is not grueling enough, NCARB, the US architectural licensing board also requires three years (amounting to thousands of hours) of training under a licensed architect, followed by a seven-part exam.  Becoming an architect takes an exceptional amount of commitment, time and money.  College graduates are already shaking under the weight of student loans and a stunted economy and job market; but what makes matters worse is that architecture as a profession has gained a reputation for exploiting recent graduates by hiring them as interns with little or no compensation.

2013 can be the year to turn this trend around.  Is the architectural profession willing to make this resolution?

Follow us after the break for more.

AIA Comments on “Fiscal Cliff” Vote

The American Institute of Architects () today issued the following statement in reaction to the House and Senate votes approving the “Fiscal Cliff” deal negotiated by Congressional leaders earlier this week. The statement should be attributed to President Mickey Jacob, FAIA:

“On the plus side, the agreement prevents a tax increase on millions of Americans and small businesses. It also extends several business tax incentives that help create jobs and promote design and construction, including for schools and energy efficient homes.”

More after the break…

2013 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement Recipients

Three influential groups have been chosen by the American Institute of Architects () to receive the 2013 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The award recognizes and encourages 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.

This year’s award goes to: the Chicago Architecture Foundation for DiscoverDesign.org, the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom), and the . Continue reading to learn how these three programs have had a positive impact on the profession.

NYC Developers Race to the Top

© Adam Jackson

It’s a race to the top as developers are reaching higher and higher with impressive glass skyscrapers that house exclusive apartments and panoramic views across Manhattan, level with some of the city’s tallest buildings.  Gary Barnett of is the man behind the 1,005 foot high One57 tower in Midtown Manhattan.  He announced last month that he would be developing the tallest residential building in New York City (without the help of a spire).  Adrian Smith, chosen as the architect for the job, is best known for his work on the Burj Dubai.  The new building, still in its early stages of design planning and financing, will tower over the Empire State Building at a planned 1600 feet, that’s just 176 feet shy of World Trade One, the tallest building in Manhattan.

ABI Reports Strongest Business Conditions Since 2007

ABI November 2012 via Calculated Risk

The numbers are in and the American Institute of Architects’ November Architecture (ABI) has revealed positive business conditions for all building sectors for the fourth consecutive month.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. Understanding this, the is pleased to report that November has reached a five-year high with a score of 53.2, slightly up from 52.8 in October. Since August, the national billings index has continued to increased above 50.0 – the break-even point between contraction and growth – reflecting a steady rise in demand for design services. The West seems to be the only region in contraction, coming in at a score of 49.6.

Additionally, November also sees the Project Inquiry Index at 59.6, marking the 47th straight month in which inquiries into architectural services has been increasing.

“These are the strongest business conditions we have seen since the end of 2007 before the construction market collapse,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The real question now is if the federal budget situation gets cleared up which will likely lead to the green lighting of numerous projects currently on hold. If we do end up going off the ‘fiscal cliff’ then we can expect a significant setback for the entire design and construction industry.”

View the ABI highlights in greater detail, after the break…

Video: Glithero / Design Miami


Glithero are a progressive London-based practice made up of designers, Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. Their latest work, entitled ‘Lost Time’, was recently unveiled at Design . Created in collaboration with Perrier-Jouët, the installation takes inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement and a trip to the Champagne region of France, where they were invited into the Perrier-Jouet cellars in Epernay. In the past year Glithero has presented solo shows in London, Paris and Rotterdam, as well as exhibitions in Milan, Berlin and Basel. In 2011 the studio was shortlisted for the Brit Insurance Award and the Dutch Design Awards. Filming the installation, we gain an insight into its creation and into Glithero’s design ethos.

Despite Controversy, Michael Maltzan Architecture’s “Lens” Will Go On

Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture

Despite petitions and pending lawsuits, the St. Petersburg City Council declared last night that Michael Maltzan Architecture‘s $50 million re-design of the city  will go on.

The project, known as “The Lens,” has hit speed-bumps due to local dissidents, who have been vocally wary of the new Pier’s price-tag/design and have called for a voter referendum. However, the architects have been sensitive to the process; since first winning the competition in January (beating out BIG and West 8), the firm has taken part in local workshops to get community input, making some significant changes to the original design.

After receiving local criticism that the Pier include more things “to do” and more shading, the firm has adjusted the design to include two restaurants, shaded balconies, and – in order to improve access – a road that can support service vehicles and a tram. Most noticeably, the plan for an underwater reef garden, the signature feature which gave the project its name, has had to be scratched: scientists have determined that a reef garden would be unrealistic with Tampa Bay’s dark water.

Last night’s 7-1 vote determined that the project will now receive funding in smaller, pre-approved increments in order to safeguard against potential legal complications. However, no mater the outcome, the closure and the of the current Pier will take place between May and August 2013; if all goes to plan for Michael Maltzan Architecture, “The Lens” will open in summer 2015.

See updated Renderings for “The Lens,” and a really cool video, after the break…

Pinterest Round Up of Our Favorite Nap Time Retreats

Four-cornered Villa / Avanto Architects © Kuvio

If there is one thing that will make you crave a nap, it’s a feast. To help you through the post-meal hangover, we have complied some images of our favorite nap time retreats from Pinterest. Relax, enjoy and thank you for being an ArchDaily reader.

Continue after the break for all the images…

“Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

, Cube Light, 2008. Photo: Cathy Carver.

“Cube Light” has made it’s debut in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s , along with collection of Ai Weiwei most famous works in the retrospective “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”. Although one of China’s most prolific and provocative contemporary artists, Weiwei is best known in the world of architecture for his work with Herzog & de Meuron on Beijing’s famous “Bird’s Nest” and, most recently, the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

More images and information after the break…

Mayors Challenge Finalists Announced

’s Mayors Challenge

Twenty from across the U.S. are competing for nine million dollars in grant money that could fund their innovative solution to some of the major urban challenges that face our communities today. These Top 20 finalists were selected from 305 teams, formed by mayors, architects and local professionals, representing a city of 30,000 or more residents that responded to Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge with a bold idea that could potentially make our government more efficient, solve a serious problem, or improve city life.

The five boldest ideas with the greatest potential for impact will win funding as well as national and local recognition. The winning city will receive a $5,000,000 grand prize and four other cities will receive $1,000,000 to help implement their ideas.

The Top 20 finalists are…

HNTB’s winning concept for LA’s 6th Street Viaduct Replacement Project

HNTB winning proposal via Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project

In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in . The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.

Continue reading to learn more…

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 1

Architecture, shared with us by Sunny & Mild Media, is part one of a series that encapsulates the futuristic design found prevalent in the post-war sprawl of Los Angeles during the 1950s. Popular among coffee shops, motels and gas stations, the ultramodern style originated from the Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, designed by John Lautner, named Googies.  A Googie building was a symbol that a business was with the times, which in turn brought traffic and attention to its doors. Form followed function, and it’s function was advertisement.

For more, read Googie Architecture: Futurism through Modernism.

The Matchbox House / Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism

Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography

Architects: Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism
Location: ,Michigan, USA
Design Team: Naseem Alizadeh
Landscape Architect: Tad Krear
Year: 2012
Structural Engineer: Cory Johnston
Mechanical Engineer: Matt Snider
Photographs: Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography