While the rest of the world scoffs at Detroit’s recent announcement of bankruptcy (using it as an opportunity to bemoan how far the city – and the country – has fallen since its golden Motown days), many Detroiters themselves are embracing the move as a long overdue turning point.
Like Las Vegas, undergoing an urban patronage from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Detroit has similarly been the focus of its own CEO: native-Detroiter and Quicken founder Dan Gilbert. By channeling over $1 billion dollars into the city, and inspiring others to follow suit, Gilbert is helping Detroit attract young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Throw in the lure of cheap land/rental rates, and it’s no wonder the city’s is host to a burgeoning tech scene.
The only thing that’s been getting in these techies’ way – is the city itself. Which is why many are hopeful that Detroit’s bankruptcy is just the beginning.
More after the break…
Figures released last month by the National Endowment for the Arts offer telling insight into the architecture profession across the US, with a helpful breakdown of the representation of various demographic groups.
The data, collected between 2006-2010, reports the number of architects in each state and their race, gender, age and income. The data reveals which states have the highest/lowest income, the best/worst gender discrepancies, and also offer insights into the average age and races of architects, per state.
Read more about what the NEA statistics reveal after the break.
Rock Ventures LLC and Bedrock Real Estate Services has announced the winners of Opportunity Detroit’s international design competition which solicited ideas for a potential signature project on the former Hudson’s Department Store site in downtown Detroit. The three winning design ideas came from Rome, Italy; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Southfield, Michigan. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.
According to the AIA, The American Institute of Architects, the American housing market is at its strongest growth level since 2005. As the once struggling residential market continues to improve, the size of homes is also growing in both high-end and custom homes as well as in additions to existing homes. Data from the AIA Home Design Trends Survey reveals that preferences for accessible spaces in homes – such as open-space layouts and single-floor design – is also on the rise.
To see the survey’s findings and to learn more about today’s housing market, read on.
This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city’s most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple, and the store’s architects at Foster + Partners, were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store’s design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more by trademark and less by its surroundings.
More on Apple’s proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.
The Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes exhibit at the MoMA opens on June 15th. The exhibit will be centered around Le Corbusier‘s worldview of architecture. It explores both his most famous architectural projects, as well as the means by which he was able to realize them. Through a collection of early watercolors, drawings and photographs, curator Jean-Louis Cohen provides a peak into Le Corbusier’s journeys and developments as an architect, revealing how he explored the world and what he drew from his travels and observations.
More on ‘Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes’ after the break.
The American Design Club (AmDC) was conceived in the spring of 2008. At that time, America’s relevance in the design world was being questioned, with some postulating that US-based designers would never be as influential or productive as their European counterparts. Looking around, however, all they saw was talent and ambition in our fellow American designers, from close friends to former employers to recent design school graduates. What was missing was an avenue for these designers to share their work with a broad audience. The AmDC’s founding members resolved to improve the situation by creating a platform from which designers could launch new ideas and connect with one another.
The Miami Beach Convention Center, a giant box of a building constructed in 1957, is in desperate need of a makeover and two design teams have bravely accepted the challenge. Team 1 is dubbed South Beach ACE (Arts, Culture, Entertainment District) and is a collaboration between Rem Koolhaas‘s OMA firm, Tishman, UIA, MVVA, Raymond Jungles and TVS. Team 2 goes by the name of Miami Beach Square and includes BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA and Portman CMC. Both proposals completely re-imagine 52 acres of prime beach real estate and cost over a billion dollars in public and private funds. So, who does it better?
Vote for your favorite after the break…
Social justice. How can that be achieved? At Portland State University School of Architecture, faculty and students are exploring just this issue in different forms. Often when people think of Portland or the state of Oregon, images of “crunchy” eco-“warriors” come to mind, but these issues are not simply proxies for a lifestyle or consumer choices. Rather, when discussing people and ecology, the issues are about resources. Specifically, how do humans use and allocate resources to promote fair, well-distributed advancements rather than exploitation, oppression and conspicuous consumption.
South Beach ACE just unveiled their master plan for the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center site. Currently in a battle with BIG and Portman CMC for the right to overhaul the 52-acre site, national developer Tishman, international architecture firm OMA, international firm TVS, and Miami Beach developer UIA Management comprise the South Beach ACE team. The vision involves bringing to life one of Miami Beach’s most underutilized public sites with a fully-revamped convention center capable of luring major events from around the world, an iconic hotel, inviting green spaces, low-density retail uses, and cultural venues.
More images and the team’s description after the break…
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted four design firms for the major rehabilitation of the Athens Chancery project. Protected as an architectural landmark, the mid-century modern building was originally designed by the famed Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius with the consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios.
The shortlisted firms are:
Daniel Libeskind has been selected among two other renowned artists to design the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial in Columbus. The 18-foot tall memorial brushed stainless-steel memorial will be punctuated by the six-pointed Star of David and accompanied by a 40-foot walkway with words etched in limestone.
When Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, gives a bad review there is the sense that he is essentially dismantling a building, chipping its façade apart, like breaking down some charade in defense of the public’s honor. Like a hired killer he disappears the architecture, but at the same time heightens its visibility in the culture.
This ability, to provoke in such ways, is precisely why Thom Mayne would like to bar Mr. Hawthorne from taking a crack at reviewing the new building he and his firm, Morphosis designed for the firm’s new offices.
On a recent tour of the new digs, Mayne, as reported in The Architect’s Newspaper, was overheard saying, “There are no good writers in Los Angeles” and “All local writers are horrible.” To add further insult, he wants a science writer to cover it. That should be a short review.
Last year the University of California, Davis invited three architects to compete for the chance to design their new $30 million art museum, slated to open in 2016. The competition was a design-build affair, with each entrant being asked to pair up with a contractor and submit a holistic design. For those who missed it, SO – IL was announced as the winner of the competition.
Here we present one of the two runner-up submissions from Henning Larsen Architects. Given the name ‘The Leaf’, the design it spatially and materially expresses its overlapping functions. Its name comes from the lightweight leaf-like steel and aluminum roof, which filters sunlight and offers shade. The leaf sits on a heavy concrete base, providing accommodation for the museum’s exhibits.
Read the architects description after the break…
Last year the University of California, Davis invited three invited three architects to compete for the chance to design their new $30 million art museum, slated to open in 2016. The competition was a design-build affair, with each entrant being asked to pair up with a contractor and submit a holistic design. For those who missed it, SO – IL were announced yesterday as the winners of the competition.
Here we present one of two runner-up submissions from WORKac. The concept revolves around creating a distinctive beacon, which would be a center point for an overlap between art, higher-education, and everyday-life. The parallelogram form is intended to create a dynamic space which creates opportunities for interplay with the proposed landscape and surrounding area. Inside a collection of formal and informal, open and intimate are arranged along two axes, pinned together with a bright common space.
Read the architects description after the break…
After weather conditions refused to cooperate on Monday, the final two sections of Freedom Tower have been lifted to the summit of the One World Trade Center. Construction of the gargantuan 758-ton, 408-foot spire – a joint Canadian-U.S. venture – began in December 2012, when 18 separate pieces were shipped to Manhattan from Canada and New Jersey. This final addition, including a steel beacon, means that the height of the building will soon rise from 1,368 feet to a more patriotic 1,776 feet once the segments are permanently installed within the next few weeks. However, it’s not yet certain that the building will officially be the tallest in the U.S.
Read more after the break…