How does it sound when Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, host of Designing Healthy Communities says that we are among the first generation in modern history to have shorter lifespans than our parents? It is a frightening thought, especially when it is compounded with the idea that the way in which we have designed – that is our buildings, our streets, our infrastructure, our food, our lifestyles – for decades has contributed to it. Designing Healthy Communities is a project that is dedicated to confronting contemporary issues of public health associated with the built environment and offering solutions that encourage reshaping our interactions, lifestyles and design strategies. In a series of episodes, Dr. Jackson discusses various factors within our environment that has caused rampant chronic health problems, the most prominent of which is Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity. It comes down to an environment that promotes a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices.
The AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2012 reports an optimistic outlook for residential architectural firms. Key aspects of the survey attempt to illustrate the trending situations compared with previous quarterly surveys. Perhaps the most enlightening aspect prevalent throughout the majority of the survey topics is that growth is beginning to shake off the declines of the housing downturn. More details after the break.
Starting today, one of Arizona’s most well-known architecture firms will no longer be will bruder+PARTNERS. After a successful 17-year history, the practice has branched into two independent firms with diverse architectural offerings due to a “natural evolution of individual and collective goals relating to firm size, design methodology and management.” Together, the internationally respected firm has created landmark buildings throughout the state, including projects such as the Burton Barr Library and the Agave Library. And now, each will go their separate ways as the firm has split into Will Bruder Architects and WORKSBUREAU.
Continue after the break to learn more about each firm.
Organized by the Institute for Urban Design, the American Pavilion for the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale is devoted to the theme Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. The installation will feature 124 urban interventions initiated by architects, designers, planners, artists, and everyday citizens that bring positive change to their neighborhoods and cities. The selection was narrowed down after a nationwide open call for projects, which yielded over 450 submissions.
Designed by the Brooklyn creative studio Freecell, the space will feature a lively system of banners that will frame an archive of the urban interventions. Collaborating with Sausalito-based communication design studio M-A-D, the installation will also feature a supergraphic that serves as a bold counterpoint to the banners and act as an installation in and of itself. This will all be presented in an enveloping environment to put Spontaneous Interventions into a broader historical and cultural context. Continuing into the courtyard, a NYC-based studio Interboro (winner of the 2011 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program) designed “outdoor living room” will serve as the pavilion’s hang-out and workshop space during the three months of the Biennale.
Continue after the break to review the selected projects and participants.
New York City-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been chosen to design the gallery and visitor experience at the historic Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum – the only museum in the United States that is exclusively devoted to historic and contemporary design. The New York City landmark is currently under undergoing an extensive, $64 million transformation that will expand gallery space by sixty-percent. The new environment will be laced with interactive elements in which Local Projects will help integrate into the gallery space as they have been selected as participatory media designer.
The contemporary vision of the re:design aims to become a modern exemplar for museum design, while still preserving the historic Carnegie mansion. The renovation is led by Gluckman Mayner Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle. It will achieve LEED certification and is scheduled to be complete by 2014.
“It is because of their keen abilities to translate ideas and concepts into boundary-stretching design that Cooper-Hewitt selected DS+R and Local Projects as the ideal partners to help re-envision the design of its gallery, visitor and participatory digital experiences,” explained Bill Moggridge, director of the museum.
Architects: Modus Studio
Location: Berryville, Arkansas, USA
Architectural Team: Chris M. Baribeau, AIA (principal architect), Josh Siebert, Assoc. AIA, Chris M. Lankford, Austin L. Chatelain, Assoc. AIA
Completed: February, 2011
Effective Area: 2,450 sf
Cost: $291,748 | $119 per SF
Site Infrastructure: $43,000
Photographs: Rett Peek
The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in midtown New York, designed by Cook + Fox Architects, is the first commercial high-rise to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The design and high performance of this building is intended to set a new standard for commercial construction and for the office-work environment. By focusing on ways to emphasize daylight, fresh air and a connection to the outdoors, the architects redefine the parameters of the skyscraper as more than a glass box.
More on the strategies implemented in this project after the break.
Architects: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects
Location: Kentfield, California, USA
Design Team: Eric Haesloop, Mary Griffin, Jule Tsai, Evan Markiewicz, John Kleman, Jerome Christensen, Mayumi Hara, Juliet Hsu, Tory Wolcott.
Interiors: TGH, Margaret Turnbull Simon
Structural: Fratessa Forbes Wong
Civil Engineer: Sherwood Engineers
Landscape: GLS Landscape Architecture, Rana Creek (living roof)
General Contractor: Redhorse Constructors
Size: 5,900 sqft
Photographs: David Wakely Photography
In an effort to make New York City’s built environment “more livable and hospitable” the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation (DOT), and City Planning have developed the Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design to be referenced in conjunction with the DOT’s Street Design Manual and other guidelines produced by NYC. The guidelines are written for urban planners, designers and architects and are driven by the need to address health concerns such as obesity and diabetes through intelligent design. Our built environments give us cues as to how to inhabit them and have tremendous effects, sometimes subconscious, on our lifestyles. Do you walk, drive, or bike to work? Do you take the stairs or the elevator? We make these types of decisions, which are largely based on comfort, on a daily basis. But the guidelines established in this manual are intended to give designers the tools to encourage healthy lifestyle choices to address the social concerns of NYC. So, what can planners, architects and designers do to create an active and healthy city? Find out after the break.
Architects: Modus Studio
Location: Green Forest, Arkansas, USA
Owner: Green Forest Public Schools, John Calaway, Superintendent
Architectural Team: Josh Siebert, Assoc. AIA (principal in charge), Chris M. Baribeau, AIA (principal architect), Chris M. Lankford
Completion: September, 2011
Site Area: 200,000 SF
Construction Costs: $1,600,000 total
Photographs: Timothy Hursley
Architectural Record has published their annual list of the “Top 250 Architecture Firms” in the United States. The companies are ranked according to architectural revenue from the prior year. Gensler claimed the number one spot, with a record high of $764 million in revenue, over the long-standing leader AECOM, whom brought in $445 million in 2011.
The firms classify themselves by:
- A = Architect
- AE = Architect-Engineer
- AP = Architect Planner
- EAL = Engineer Architect Landscape
- AEC = Architect-Engineer-Contractor
Continue after the break to review the top 25.
The New York Economic Development Corporation and Mayor Bloomberg of NYC announced the completion of the final plan for Willets Point - a peninsula on the Flushing River in Northern Queens, New York. The development of Willets Point is part of the urban renewal project associated with Citi Field – the Mets’ new stadium. Nicknamed the Iron Triangle, the project will include housing for mixed incomes, retail and entertainment amenities, a hotel, a convention center, office space, parks and open space, and a new public school, all of which falls under the umbrella of LEED-certified buildings and infrastructure. As with every redevelopment plan, there are positives and negatives to restructuring the community.
Read on for more after the break.