A new exhibition opening later this month at Chicago's Graham Foundation seeks to explore the complex history and legacy of modernist architecture in sub-Saharan Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. Architecture of Independence: African Modernism will feature nearly eighty buildings in commissioned photographs by Iwan Baan, Alexia Webster, and Manuel Herz. Alongside archival material, the exhibition "imparts a new perspective on the intersection of architecture and nation-building in Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia and investigates some of the most compelling yet under-studied examples of 1960s and 1970s architecture worldwide."
It is no secret that, in the last 10 years, a majority of the big budget construction projects have been centered in newly emerging world markets like China. But now, the markets may be turning. Steven Holl Architects is a strong example of this trend: with the groundbreaking of the Glassell School of Art in Houston on the 15th, the firm now has 8 projects under construction in the western world - 7 in the United States, and one in the United Kingdom. Owing to the steady strengthening of the US dollar over recent years, clients seem to be investing in high ticket architecture once again. After completing projects abroad such as the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, and Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum, Holl will now be working in cities like Richmond, Iowa City, New York and London.
Holl’s recent work also reflects a change in design scale. In projects such as the Linked Hybrid in Beijing and the Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, design began at the urban level, resulting in inward-looking superstructures. In the firm’s return to the west, projects are usually designed as an object or extension of an existing environment, such as in their expansion project for the Kennedy Center. The reduced sense of scale is also evident in the square-footage in some of their recent designs, including a residence to be built at under 1000 square feet.
The Knight Foundation has announced their second Knight Cities Challenge – a grant with a pool of $5 million to be awarded for city-improving ideas. Applications can be submitted by anyone, professional, student or amateur. Projects must take place in, or benefit one or more of the 26 knight communities across the United States, and focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunity, and creating a culture of robust civic engagement.
Patano Studio Architecture has created a proposal for a 45-acre, two-mile park spanning over the top of the Interstate-5 freeway in Seattle. Called C.A.P., the plan “proposes a city-wide architectural infrastructure solution to multiple issues facing the fast growing city.”
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, has announced the winners of the US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. The two winning projects—Framework, by Framework, LLC, and 475 West 18th, by 130-134 Holdings LLC—will each receive $1.5 million in funding for their development in Portland and New York, respectively.
Each of the projects took a unique perspective on wood building systems, fulfilling the competition’s call “to showcase the safe application, practicality, and sustainability of a minimum 80-foot structure that uses mass timber, composite wood technologies, and innovative building techniques.”
Marcin Chmura, a recent graduate from London's Bartlett School of Architecture, has developed a project which attempts to imagine a new future for the 'American Dream'. The United Suburbs of AmeriKa, named after Franz Kafka’s novel in which—despite never having visited America—he depicts the United States as a utopia offering eternal wealth and happiness for his foreign protagonist.
The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Emerging Professionals has announced its newest campaign, called Know Your Worth, which seeks to inform “all generations of architects about the value Emerging Professionals bring to the field, and the importance of getting paid for internship hours.”
While the issue of unpaid internships in the architecture field has gradually been improving, many students and emerging professionals are still faced with the dilemma. Thus, through the campaign, the AIA hopes that it will be able to inform students, architects, and others of federal compensation requirements, as well as to instill a sense of value for emerging professionals and the important work that they do.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and BP, has announced the winner of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, which sought out designs for an innovative lakefront kiosk to be inaugurated on October 3 for the opening of the Biennial.
In addition to the winner of the competition, the Biennial is also partnering with local schools—the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—in order to build three more kiosks to be featured at the Biennial. View the grand prize design, as well as three competition finalists, honorable mentions, and the three architecture school designs after the break.
US firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is renowned for their iconic and sustainable designs, having won numerous awards, including the AIA’s Firm Award. They currently have several projects under construction, ranging from a transit center in San Francisco to an office and retail tower in Seville, Spain. Read on after the break for an overview of three of their current projects, all in various states of completion.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring statistics important to the architecture profession in the US. NCARB’s research portrays a positive future for the profession, with statistics showing that diversity is growing, architects are becoming licensed at an earlier age and progressing through licensure paths more quickly than in previous years, and more architects are becoming licensed than ever before.
The 2015 report covers the causes and effects of the results, looking into the impact of location and education. A section entitled “Jurisdictions by the Numbers,” lays out standardized relevant information for viewers to investigate conditions in the architecture profession in each state. The report also includes an analysis of the role of NAAB-accredited programs in helping architects achieve licensure.
Learn more on the information in NCARB’s report after the break.
Moving specialists iMove have created 115 Years of American Homes, a Scrolling Parallax Infographic in which viewers can “drive” through a neighborhood of single-family homes that reflect the style of their respective decades. For each home, graphics detail “tell-tale architectural features, design trends, average home price, and the historical and cultural context” of each decade from the 1900s through the present. Test out the interactive timeline here, and let us know: which decade of residential architecture is your favorite?
AECOM has designed a $42,000,000 campus and training facility for a professional basketball organization in West Los Angeles. The building contains a basketball arena, corporate headquarters, a hall of fame, and gardens, among other programs. Despite the building’s varied uses, AECOM was determined to make it “basketball centric.”
In partnership with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture, the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C. aims to once again create an interactive architectural exhibit as a part of its “Summer Block Party” programming. While last year’s exhibit included a life-sized maze by BIG, this summer, the museum will host a 10,000 square foot enclosure in its Great Hall called the BEACH.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the governing body for much of the architectural profession in the US, is taking steps to take “intern” out of architectural vocabulary. In a press statement, NCARB president Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB, said that in the future, NCARB will only encourage regulatory language for post-licensure individuals
“Architects are those who have met all the requirements to become licensed in states and jurisdictions throughout the United States,” McKinney said. “Everyone else is not an architect. But their status also doesn’t need a regulatory title such as ‘intern’ or any similar reference. This has become a term that has been perceived as negative by many in the architecture community and a term that really does not fully value the work that aspiring architects bring to the profession.”
Richard Rogers has announced that the home he built for his parents in Wimbledon, London, will be gifted to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) for the training of doctorates in the field of architecture. The home, which will be donated by his charity, the Richard Rogers Charitable Settlement, was completed between 1967 and 1968 by Richard and his then wife Su Rogers. Originally designed for his parents, Dr. William Nino and Dada Rogers, the Grade II* listed pre-fabrictated single storey dwelling was later adapted for Rogers' son Ab and his family, before being put on the market in 2013 for £3.2million ($4.8million).
A new exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by Iñaki Ábalos and Renata Sentkiewicz (Ábalos+Sentkiewicz) will explore Dualisms in architecture: the notion that most historic architecture takes its "composite tension from two theoretically incompatible morphological organisations that correspond to different disciplines or languages." Suggesting that these organisations can possess elements of "compatibility and incompatibility" simultaneously, the appearance of "a kind of hybrid 'Frankenstein's monster'" is characterized by dualism in architecture. For the curators, Dualisms act not only performatively, but also in a creative and composite way. "They are, at once, constraints and formative opportunities."
National libraries, often monumental in scale and "dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details," will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. In the global milieu of the "rapid digitisation of print," this exhibition aims to shed light on why nations are "vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history."
In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church - the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a "tiny jewel" for lower Manhattan, comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of 9/11. It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.