Battle over Midtown’s Skyline

© Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

© Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

City’s Empire State Building has dominated its portion of Manhattan’s skyline ever since it was constructed back in 1931.  Now, as Charles V. Bagli reported for the New York Times, a proposed tower just two avenues west on 34th Street across from Pennsylvania Station will be infringing on the Empire State Building as it is slated to rise 1,216 ft – almost reaching the Empire State Building’s 1,250 ft (with its antenna, the ESB measures 1,453 ft). So, it has become the battle of the skyscrapers as the new building claims it will benefit Manhattan by providing jobs and improve the quality of life for New Yorkers and the Empire State Building is worried about losing its iconic presence in the skyline.

The HuB Design Competition

Architecture for Humanity Charleston invites you to participate in ’s continuing legacy of preservation and sustainability. As a basis for exploration, the HuB Design Competition proposes that a new light rail system has been established that will provide a connection between Charleston’s downtown peninsula and its surrounding communities. Entrants to the competition are challenged to design the two major components of the new transit system:

The Downtown Transit Hub: The new downtown transit hub is a mixed-use building that will be located within the heart of the Charleston peninsula. The building will provide services for light rail, bus riders, cyclists, pedestrians and will also address the growing need for community meeting space, affordable retail and office space. We have chosen an underused site in a prominent location adjacent to the Charleston City Visitor Center on Meeting Street.

The Node Transit Station: The node transit station is a prototypical design that will be located at various locations throughout the Charleston Lowcountry. It is a modestly scaled structure that will serve the new light rail system and the existing bus system. The two designs should collaborate to create a system of cohesive recognizable nodes for tourists and residents. For more information, go to the competition’s official website. Seen at Death by Architecture.

Unit 4906 / Studio IDE

What do you think of this interior renovation by Studio IDE?  The 550 sq ft studio is designed as an overlapping of space, incorporating the client’s Pop Art lithographs as well as more private living areas.   The swinging frames add a nice touch to the art display, and their arrangement makes one feel he is walking into “a gallery space wired for living rather an apartment space equipped to display art.”    As the apartment opens toward ’s Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan, wanted the space to conceptually become an “interweaving of form and space…of the incidental voids amidst the City’s oscillating texture below.”  In this way, the art becomes a “spectacle of tranquility, a moment of pause similar to the calm found in looking onto the lake.”  The video is arranged in an interesting style, as the independent sounds follow the shots of each space. The crisp detailing and materiality create a sophisticated space, both in terms of a gallery and living area.

Seen at Studio IDE’s Vimeo Studio IDE.

Greenway Self-Park / HOK

© John Picken

HOK has infused green strategies into ’s Greenway Self-Park facility – a not so typical place to find sustainable ideas.   While the 11 story energy efficient parking garage features a naturally ventilated exterior wall, a cistern rain water collection system, a green roof, and electric car plug-in stations, we can’t get over the dozen wind turbines made by Helix Wind that attach to the external structure.

More about the self-park and more images after the break.

Update: Broad Museum / DS + R

Proposed Site for Broad's Museum. Photo credit: Bryan Chan

Back in May, when American philanthropist, Eli Broad, announced his plans to build a new museum in downtown , six invited top architects competed for the commission ( Rem KoolhaasHerzog and de MeuronChristian de Portzamparc, Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Foreign Office Architects).   Yesterday, Broad confirmed that Diller Scofidio + Renfro (one of just two invited firms who have not been awarded the Pritzker) will design the  120,000 sqf downtown museum.

Doyle Hall / Specht Harpman

© Taggart Sorensen

Architects: Specht Harpman
Location: Austin, ,
Project Team: Scott Specht, Louise Harpman, Sarah Gamble, Erica Quinones, Brett Wolfe
MEP Engineering: Energy Engineering Associates
Structural Engineering: Architectural Engineers Collaborative
Civil Engineering: Urban Design Group
Landscape Architecture: Sasaki Associates, Inc. in association with RVI Inc.
Contractor: VRW Construction Company
Project Area: 33,250 sq ft
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Taggart Sorensen

Cliff Treehouse / Baumraum


Check out this cool treehouse nestled into Maple trees near the Hudson River in designed by German-based Baumraum.  Far from a child’s treehouse, this residence provides simple interiors with a touch of elegance.  Constructed for a family with two children, the treehouse serves as an outlet for relaxation and is connected to their main residence via a slender wooden catwalk.

More images and more about the treehouse after the break.

Citizen Architect Airs Tonight

This evening at 10 PM ET/9 PM CT, PBS will be broadcasting a 60 minute documentary of the late architect, Samuel Mockbee, and his design/build education program, .  Deep in the heart of one of Alabama’s poorest areas, Mockbee’s students choose specific families as clients and work together to create their dream residences, community centers or prayer spaces.   The students physically construct these spaces from simple materials, yet their innovative strategies and pure passion for design results in striking pieces of architecture.  This inspiring documentary makes a strong statement about architects and the profession – showing a new perspective on who we should be designing for and how we should be designing.   As our world is experiencing hardship after hardship, from earthquakes to monsoon floods, the video brings to light our responsibilities to use our talents to help each other.  Be sure to check it out tonight – it won’t disappoint.

Source: ArchRecord

Artreehoose / Della Valle Bernheimer

© Richard Barnes

Architects: Della Valle Bernheimer
Location: Lake Candlewood, New Fairfield, CT,
Partner in Charge: Andrew Bernheimer
Project Manager: Erik Helgen
Project Team: Jared Della Valle, Brian Butterfield, Adam Ruedig, Suzanne Stefan
Contractor: Hammersmith Inc.
Project Area: 5,400 sq ft
Project Year: 2007-2008
Photographs: Richard Barnes

Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library / Davis Brody Bond

© Paúl Rivera - archphoto

Architects: Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Location: Washington DC,
Co-Lead Designers: Peter Cook, J. Max Bond
Project Team: Christiane DeJong, AIA, LEED AP, Nathan Hoyt, FAIA, Cody McNeal, LEED AP, Scott Phillips (no longer with firm), Kelly Powell (no longer with firm), Semaj Tucker (no longer with firm)
Contractor: Forrester Construction Company
Structural & Civil Engineering: Delon Hampton
Lighting Consultant: MCLA
Landscape Architects: Lee and Associates
Project Area: 22,800 sq ft
Budget: $12,000,000
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Paúl Rivera & Aedas

Nove II / Studio B Architects

© Raul Garcia

Architects: Studio B Architects
Location: Aspen, , USA
Site Area: 10,800 sf
Project Area: 3,200 sf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Derek Skalko & Raul Garcia

Material Intelligence: Intensive Design and Prototyping Workshop Reception

Studio Mode/modeLab and Tietz-Baccon are pleased to announce the Material Intelligence: Intensive Design and Prototyping Workshop Reception in City, August 21, 2010. The workshop investigated the prototype within the history and culture of design through component-based aggregate systems. All prototypes were designed in an associative environment and iteratively tested utilizing digital fabrication equipment.

The reception will include design prototypes and full scale assemblies built by workshop participants over the course of the workshop. The reception will take place tomorrow at 4PM at Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City, NY. You can see some photos of the workshop here.

Architecture project from students wins a citation from the AIA, East Bay

© PAAV | Design Build

Five Academy of Art University Architecture students built more than confidence when they won a citation from the American Institute of Architects, East Bay (AIAEB). Students Justin Ackerman, Mary Telling, Justin Hanan, Shaum Mehra and Shanay Moghbel put their design skills and ingenuity to work creating a free-standing office space for a client.

More images and information after the break.

Roosevelt University / VOA Associates


will soon feature a new vertical campus, courtesy of VOA Associates.  The existing campus layout makes it nearly impossible for the college to grow outwardly – so the only solution was to expand vertically. The 32 storey building is quite slim in profile, yet its wavy glass façade provides a distinguishing aesthetic touch.

More about the tower after the break.

FutureShack: How Do We Want to Live?

What is FutureShack? While many think of architecture as grand, historic buildings or the latest artistic showpiece, it is more often found in the dwellings that we see every day. What is the future of home design? How will it affect you and how can you get involved? FutureShack helps us discover, through examples around our city, what makes good design work. A panel of design professionals and public advocates will lead a discussion focusing the key issues facing our communities when it comes to design.

The event will take place September 15 starting 5:00pm, at Center Fisher Pavilion. For more information and tickets, go to the event’s official website.

The Poplar Creek Public Library / Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects

© Lambros Photography

Architects: Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects
Location: Streamwood, IL, USA
Lead Architects: Lonn Frye, FAIA / AJ Rosales, AIA
Landscape Architects: Conservation Design Forum
Lighting Design: Aurora Lighting Design
General Contractor: Pepper Construction
Total Project Area: 96,846 sq ft
Budget: $23,700,000
Project Year: 2009
Photography: Lambros Photography

The City+The Arch+The River 2015

© Behnisch Team

An exciting exhibit opening today in , will display the five finalist teams of The City+The Arch+The River 2015 International Design Competition (check out some previous information about the competition on AD).  The competition asked participants to better “frame” the iconic Arch and weave the national park back into the fabric of the city and the region, by rejuvenating connections and re-energizing the area.  The construction finish line is set for October 28, 2015  which marks the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.

Check out a brief overview of each project after the break.

Roadmap 2050: A pathway to decarbonize the United States power grid / AMO

As we told you a few months ago, (the think-tank inside OMA) played an important role on Roadmap 2050, an initiative by the European Climate Foundation which looks to chart a policy roadmap for the next 5-10 years based on the European leaders’ commitment to an 80-95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

Based on this plan, AMO presents “Roadmap 2050: A pathway to decarbonize the United States power grid”. While ranked #1 based on the GDP, the US is ranked #61 in energy performance. As we see on the above video, an inefficient energy grid undermines any efforts to improve this, and local production of energy could be the answer.

This initiative is presented at the GE Ecoimagination Challenge, a $200 million call to action for businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.

You can vote for this idea (and even discuss it with AMO on the comments), see others or even submit your own.