New United States Courthouse Competition Entry / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design

15:00 - 23 December, 2012
Courtesy of  Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design
Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design

Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design and Gruen Associates have shared with us their second place proposal for the highly anticipated design-build competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, California. Envisioned as an icon within the city skyline, the triangular monolith provides a sustainable, 21st century courthouse that embodies the democratic qualities of dignity, stature, transparency, openness and accessibility.

Located at a pivotal node connecting the Los Angeles Civic Center, the Broadway Historic District and Bunker Hill, the 550,000 square foot courthouse is surrounded by a lush civic space that plays an important role in the existing cityscape.

Read the architect’s description after the break…

VIDEO: Federal Architecture

13:00 - 23 December, 2012

Democratic By Design is a short film, produced by the General Services Administration and narrated by Luke Russert, that tackles the issue of federal architecture. Buildings designed for the government typically have a familiar aesthetic. Washington, DC, is dominated by Neoclassical Architecture, building on the connotations of ancient Greek and Roman fora and temples as a symbol of democracy. But they perpetuate a sense of dominance and formality. Most of these buildings – city halls, courthouses, agency headquarters – were built in the 18th and 19th century, yet they leave behind a legacy and association in the architecture of the federal government.

US Census Bureau Headquarters / SOM
US Census Bureau Headquarters / SOM

On the contrary, government buildings built in the mid to late 20th century, specifically after 1962, have a more varied vernacular. This can be credited to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, aide to President John F. Kennedy. His one page document outlined guidelines for public architecture – an effort to contextualize and modernism government buildings. This video brings his words to life via well-known architects who have have designed federal buildings.

Join us after the break for a look at some of these buildings.

Zaha Hadid commissioned to design Miami Skyscraper

13:55 - 19 December, 2012
The northern portion of the Biscayne Wall © Marc Averette via Wikipedia
The northern portion of the Biscayne Wall © Marc Averette via Wikipedia

The Miami Herald has just announced that Zaha Hadid will be designing her first skyscraper in the Western hemisphere in Miami: America’s Next Great Architectural City. The female powerhouse has been commissioned to transform a waterfront property, currently occupied by a BP Station at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, predominantly into a residential high rise. The skyscraper will rise above the neighboring Museum Park and fill a void in the wall of towering condos, commonly referred to as the “Biscayne Wall”. Details of the design are expected to be released next year.

This news comes shortly after Zaha’s loss to Norman Foster in an intense competition to design New York City’s next high-profile office tower on 425 Park Avenue. You can watch the A-list architects battle it out here as they present their ideas to the jury.

As we reported last year, Zaha was also selected to design a Miami Beach parking garage at Collins Park, which was approved for construction by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board last month.

Check out the preliminary renderings of the Collins Park garage, after the break…

ABI Reports Strongest Business Conditions Since 2007

12:57 - 19 December, 2012
ABI November 2012 via Calculated Risk
ABI November 2012 via Calculated Risk

The numbers are in and the American Institute of Architects’ November Architecture Billings Index (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 AIA 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

13:34 - 7 December, 2012

Despite Controversy, Michael Maltzan Architecture's "Lens" Will Go On

00:00 - 7 December, 2012
© Michael Maltzan Architecture
© Michael Maltzan Architecture

Despite petitions and pending lawsuits against the project, the St. Petersburg City Council declared last night that Michael Maltzan Architecture's $50 million re-design of the city pier 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 both BIG and West 8), the firm has taken part in local workshops in order 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 demolition of the current St. Petersburg 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...

© Michael Maltzan Architecture According to thenewstpetepier.com, "Adjacent to parking facilities and located on land at the base of the Pier, the Hub will be the primary retail and restaurant destination for the new Pier. An elevated walkway along the water’s edge will offer unparalleled views of the dramatic Pier canopy, and space will be provided for retail, restaurant and other concessions." Photo © Michael Maltzan Architecture. © Michael Maltzan Architecture © Michael Maltzan Architecture +14

NYC Plans On Designer Shipping Containers for Next Disaster

15:00 - 6 December, 2012
Puma City Shipping Container Store  © Danny Bright
Puma City Shipping Container Store © Danny Bright

Shipping container architecture has gained a lot of ground over the past few years for its simplicity, affordability and flexibility.  Yes the very same containers that make transatlantic voyages and are carted around hitched to trucks have become a tool for architects to design restaurants, to serve as retail or pavilions and even homes.  According to an article by Matt Chaban on the New York Observer, NYC plans to prepare for the next disaster with apartments built out of shipping containers to be used as disaster relief shelters.

Join us after the break for more.

Winners of the Future Prentice Competition Announced

19:00 - 21 November, 2012
First Prize: "The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says."
First Prize: "The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says."

Amidst the longstanding, heated battled to save Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the results of the 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice have been announced! Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in collaboration with Chicago Architectural Club and the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the international competition intended to act as a platform for public debate about the future of the controversial Chicago landmark.

More information and the winning proposals after the break…

Transforming the Bridge Competition Winners

15:00 - 20 November, 2012
First Place (Tied) / Archilier Architecture; Courtesy of Transforming the Bridge Competition
First Place (Tied) / Archilier Architecture; Courtesy of Transforming the Bridge Competition

Results from the Transforming the Bridge Competition for Cleveland, Ohio, are in.  The competition called for an innovative solution for the redevelopment and repurposing of the abandoned Detroit-Superior Bridge.  The brief called for a variety of uses, dedicated pedestrian and bike paths, performance spaces, and landscaping solutions.  Nine projects made the cut…

Hudson Yards' Long Awaited Makeover

15:00 - 18 November, 2012
Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse
Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse

The west side of midtown Manhattan is probably one of the more unexplored areas of New York City by residents and tourists alike. Aside from the Jacob Javits Center, and the different programs off of the Hudson River Parkway that runs parallel to the waterfront, there is very little reason to walk through this industry – and infrastructure – dominated expanse of land full of manufacturers, body shops, parking facilities and vacant lots. The NYC government and various agencies, aware of the lost potential of this area, began hatching plans in 2001 to develop this 48-block, 26-acre section, bound by 43rd Street to the North, 8th Ave to the East, 30th Street to the South and the West Side Highway to the West.

The new Hudson Yards, NYC’s largest development, will be a feat of collaboration between many agencies and designers. The result will be 26 million square feet of new office development, 20,000 units of housing, 2 million square feet of retail, and 3 million square feet of hotel space, mixed use development featuring cultural and parking uses, 12 acres of public open space, a new public school and an extension of a subway line the 7 that currently terminates at Times Square-42nd Street, reintroducing the otherwise infrastructurally isolated portion of the city back into the life of midtown Manhattan.  All this for $800 million with up to $3 billion in public money.

Join us after the break for details and images.

Parrish Art Museum / Herzog & de Meuron

15:00 - 17 November, 2012

Prentice Granted Temporary Landmark Status as Preservationists Sue

13:00 - 16 November, 2012
Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design via Chicago Architecture Foundation
Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design via Chicago Architecture Foundation

Cook County Judge Neil Cohen has granted Bertand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital a temporary reprieve after preservationist filed a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago Commission on Public Landmarks yesterday afternoon. Plaintiffs, Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation claim that the commission “acted arbitrarily and exceeded its authority,” after granting and subsequently revoking Prentice landmark status in just a short afternoon on November 1. These proceedings, which typically takes months, followed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to publicly support Northwestern University’s plan to demolish the vacant icon.

More after the break…

Post-Hurricane Sandy: Solutions for a Resilient City

13:00 - 14 November, 2012
Hurricane Sandy damage north of Seaside, N.J. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen
Hurricane Sandy damage north of Seaside, N.J. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. © Governor’s Office / Tim Larsen

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as communities band together to clean up the devastation and utility companies work tirelessly to restore the infrastructure that keeps New York City running, planners and policy makers are debating the next steps to making the city as resilient to natural disaster as we once thought it was. We have at our hands a range of options to debate and design and the political leverage to make some of these solutions a reality. The question now is, which option or combination of options is most suitable for protecting New York City and its boroughs? Follow us after the break for more.

Video: Cityscape Chicago

19:00 - 11 November, 2012

This mesmerizing time-lapse film, by Eric Hines, captures the essence of the “Windy City”. The “Vimeo Staff Pick” is a compilation of over 30,000 still photographs shot between July and October of this year in downtown Chicago.

MoMA: Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

17:21 - 11 November, 2012
Tokyo 1955–1970 A New Avant-Garde; Courtesy of MoMA
Tokyo 1955–1970 A New Avant-Garde; Courtesy of MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art in NYC is launching an exhibit called Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, that investigates the transformation of Tokyo from a war-torn nation into an international center for arts, culture and commerce.  The exhibition will run from November 18 through February 25, 2012 and includes over 200 works of various media including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, drawings, graphic design, video and documentary film.

More after the break.

LA's Millennium Hollywood Project

19:00 - 6 November, 2012
Millennium Hollywood Project via Millennium Partners
Millennium Hollywood Project via Millennium Partners

Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by Handel Architects, that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by James Corner Field Operations.

With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the New York-based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.

Continue reading to learn more…

Helmut Jahn receives AIA Chicago's Lifetime Achievement Award

13:00 - 6 November, 2012

German-American architect Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects has been announced as this year’s recipient of Chicago’s AIA Lifetime Achievement Award. Following his arrival to the U.S. more than 40 years ago, the Chicago-based architect has been lauded by some of the industry’s best for continuously breaking new ground with his postmodern steel-and-glass structures. Some of his most notable works include the SONY Center in Berlin and the University of Chicago Campus.

The film above, shared with us by our friends at Black Spectacles, captures the essence of Helmut Jahn’s work through images, videos and peer interviews with Jeanne Gang, FAIA, John Ronan, AIA, Ron Krueck, AIA, Werner Sobek and Franz Schulze.

The news of this award was followed by Jahn’s announcement that he will be changing the name of his firm to “Jahn”. Browse through some of Jahn’s most recent works, here on ArchDaily.

Mayors Challenge Finalists Announced

19:00 - 5 November, 2012
Mayors Challenge
Mayors Challenge

Twenty cities 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…