President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s family has released their thoughts on the latest design changes proposed by Frank Gehry that were released in May. Most changes were “positive and welcomed” by the family, however they remain unhappy with the metal tapestries that surround the memorial. Gehry appeased the families concerns with the memorials original focus on the Kansas roots of Eisenhower by replacing the carved images on the stone reliefs with two sets of 9-foot statues that depict Eisenhower as a World War II hero and president. These statues join the remaining life-sized statue of Eisenhower as a boy, which remains in the center of the memorial.
More about the family’s response after the break.
Partially cloudy with a high in the mid-seventies, this was weather we couldn’t say no to on the Sunday after the 2012 National Convention. Therefore we took advantage of the Washington D.C. Capital Bikeshare and set off on a self-guided tour of the National Mall. Although the National Mall was packed with graduates and tourists, we managed to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic quick enough to visit many of the historic buildings and memorials before heading off to Eero Saarinen’s beautiful Dulles International Airport. What a perfect way to wrap up an eventful week in the nation’s capital.
National Mall Winning Design Proposal for Constitution Gardens / Rogers Marvel Architects + PWP Landscape Architecture
As we announced earlier, the Trust for the National Mall has selected the New York-based Rogers Marvel Architects and California based-PWP Landscape Architecture to re-envision Constitution Gardens in Washington DC. This team was one of three winning teams selected to redesign three neglected sites on the National Mall. The winning design for the Constitution Gardens proposes to bring renewed identity to this often overlooked part of the National Mall by building on the legacy of the original 1970s plan and creating a lush landscape of rolling hills, gardens and forests with a pavilion overlooking the lake.
Continue reading for more images, video and the architects’ press release.
One week from today, ArchDaily will be joining you at the AIA 2012 National Convention! Knowledge, inspiration and connection are the three primary reasons architects are attending this year’s convention. In just three days (May 17-19), you can fulfill your annual Learning Units with nearly 200 education sessions, gain insight on the latest products and technologies at the Design Expo, and expand your professional network with the opportunity of meeting thousands of architects from around the country. Also, with AIA DC as your host, you will have the opportunity to explore the highlights of our nation’s capitol with a number of exclusive tours.
Continue after the break to learn more!
Liz Diller, founding principle of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, shares the story of creating the pneumatic addition to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Commonly known as the “Bubble”, the inflatable event space is planned for the cylindrical courtyard of the National Mall’s modernist museum that was originally designed by Gordon Bunshaft in 1974. The first inflation of the “Bubble” is expected to take place at the end of 2013.
“To truly make good public space, you have to erase the distinctions between architecture, urbanism, landscape, [and] media design.” – Liz Diller
New York-based architects Weiss / Manfredi and Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN have been announced as winner of the National Mall Design Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater in Washington, DC. Weiss / Manfredi and OLIN were one of three winning teams selected by the Trust for the National Mall to rejuvenate and transform three neglected sites on the National Mall (read our original announcement here). In the winning proposal for Sylvan Theater, Weiss / Manfredi and OLIN sculpt the ground plan and restore the existing tree canopy to create a new performance landscape that can accommodate a wide variety of events, while permeating the site with critical visitor amenities.
Continue reading for more images, video and the architects’ press release.
National Mall Winning Design Proposal for Union Square / Gustafson Guthrie Nichol + Davis Brody Bond
Seattle-based landscape architects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) and New York-based architects Davis Brody Bond (DBB) were recently selected as the winners of the National Mall Design Competition for Union Square. Organized by the Trust for the National Mall, a jury of eight esteemed professionals selected a design team for each of the three re-design sites of the National Mall through a three-stage process. The winning design was judged on flexibility, sustainability, and creativity of their design and how well it reflects the established vision and design influences of this historic setting. More images and architects’ description after the break.
After an intense and highly publicized competition, the Trust for the National Mall has announced the three winning teams selected to redesign the neglected sites of America’s front yard. As reported by the Washington Post, Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners will redesign Constitution Gardens east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, while Weiss/Manfredi & OLIN will bring new life to the Sylvan Theater, southeast of the Washington Monument. The Union Square will be forwarded to the Architect of the Capitol and transformed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond.
Continue reading for more on the winning proposals.
The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) recently announced the 2012 winners of the 4th Annual Washington UNBUILT Awards competition.
This year’s judging yielded eight winning submissions from local design professionals and students with the grand prize awarded to Christine Chlebda, a student at The Catholic University of America (CUA). More information on the awards after the break.
Three companies demonstrated their commitment to the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. by recreating significant works in LEGO® bricks in the spirit of the Museum’s current and landmark exhibition LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition. These three new models, containing more than 77,000 LEGO® bricks join the gallery already showcasing LEGO® models of 15 of the world’s most iconic buildings.
The original 15 were created by LEGO® certified professional Adam Reed Tucker, one of only 11 LEGO® certified professionals in the world. The Museum’s LEGO® Architecture exhibition is among the most popular in Museum history and has had more than 214,000 visitors since it opened in July 2010 and will be exhibited until September 3, 2012. More information on the exhibition after the break.
We have been covering the progress of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture over the last several months, our most recent being President Obama’s speech at the ceremony for the official ground breaking. Adjaye Associates recently shared with us some insight into the inspiration for the design and its grounding principles. We also have several new perspective renders illustrating the internal experience. More details after the break.
Despite strong objections from the Eisenhower family, classical architects and many others, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has issued a statement of support for Frank Gehry’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial design. The statement was signed by every member of the commission, including chairman Rocco Siciliano, vice chairman Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), both senators from President Eisenhower’s home state of Kansas, and five other members of Congress.
The commission’s letter reads, “Frank Gehry has followed the direction provided to him by this commission. He has also consulted with the Eisenhower Family. His design for the Memorial is exciting, creative and inspiring. It captures the life and the spirit – and commemorates the historic achievements – of Dwight Eisenhower as one of the greatest generals in human history and one of our finest presidents.”
Continue reading for more.
In a letter presented at a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Frank Gehry expressed his willingness to change the design of the controversial Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in order to resolve objections from the 34th president’s family.
“My detractors say that I have missed the point, and that I am trying to diminish the stature of this great man,” Gehry wrote. “I assure you that my only intent is to celebrate and honor this world hero and visionary leader.”
Continue reading for more information on the hearing.
Obama speaks at the ground breaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture
President Obama attended the official ground breaking ceremony of the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on February 22, commemorating this milestone for the Smithsonian Institution’s new museum on Washington’s National Mall. The Tanzanian-born, London-based architect David Adjaye serves as Lead Designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team that was selected by the Smithsonian Institute back in 2009 in the international competition for the design of the nation’s new prestigious building.
The President began his brief remarks by stating, “As others have mentioned, this day has been a long time coming. The idea for a museum dedicated to African Americans was first put forward by black veterans of the Civil War. And years later, the call was picked up by members of the civil rights generation -– by men and women who knew how to fight for what was right and strive for what is just. This is their day. This is your day. It’s an honor to be here to see the fruit of your labor.”
Continue reading for more information on the project and a video of President Obama’s speech.
Coming up in March, the AIA Grassroots Conference will be featuring the Young Architects Forum (YAF), a knowledge community of AIA composed of architects licensed less than 10 years, who will be holding ‘Summit20′ at the District Architecture Center in Washington, D.C. during the conference on March 6-7. This is to commemorate YAF’s 20 year anniversary and to identify the top ten issues affecting young architects today. They will also be discussing immediate and long term action plans that AIA-YAF can take addressing the specific needs of young architects. The two day summit with panel discussions and open dialogue among approximately 50 young architect leaders from the nation will conclude with an outcomes presentation at the conference. For more information, please visit here.
The controversy surrounding Frank Gehry’s proposal for the Eisenhower Memorial has just reached new heights as the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin has recently published a 1,500-word essay, written by the influential neo-traditionalist architect Leon Krier, that bashes Gehry’s proposal and ideology. Krier calls Gehry a “greatly confused artist” who’s “style is a century old” and “seems “innovative” only to the ignorant”. Kier continues to claim the commission who appointed Gehry’s design “shares his [Gehry’s] intellectual confusion and distaste of classical Washington D.C.” Continue reading for more.
This past Fall, ROMA Design Group proudly announced the completion of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington D.C. In 2000, ROMA won the international design competition among nearly 1,000 entries. ROMA Design Group worked for several years to develop the design. The memorial has now been built and was officially dedicated by President Obama on October 16, 2011.
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture, along with joint venture partner Leo A Daly, are continuing to develop their design for the District-owned “La Casa” supportive housing project. The project is an important milestone for the District in their efforts to redefine the concept of housing for the homeless community in Washington D.C. More images and architects’ description after the break.
View Unbuilt Washington in a larger map
“Imagine that you are traveling into Washington, D.C., from northern Virginia. As you approach the Potomac River, you see the tall, craggy, medieval-looking towers of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Bridge looming in the foreground, largely blocking the view of the National Mall beyond. As you reach the end of the bridge, now you can clearly see the enormous pyramid that was built to honor Abraham Lincoln. Going around to the side of the pyramid, you note the odd, pagoda-like structure dedicated to George Washington—a design that was executed after the original obelisk had stood unfinished for decades. Surrounding these monuments are informal paths that meander through dense woods, which help to filter the noise from the two elevated highways running along either side of the Mall. Barely visible in the distance is the Capitol, a dignified but modest structure that looks rather like a classroom building at a liberal arts college, topped by a tiny cupola.”
The National Building Museum presents Unbuilt Washington – an exhibit that reveals what Washington could have been if a number of extravagant architectural proposals where constructed. The exhibit explores the motives and trends of the forgotten architecture, while investigating why the designs where never realized. Imagine what the impact would be if they existed today.
The exhibit began November 19th and will remain open until May 28th, 2012.
Reference: National Building Museum
Over 500 people from all across the country and around the world participated in the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds. From a field of twenty-four semifinalists, a distinguished jury chose six top ideas. Now it is the public’s turn to choose the top two People’s Choice winners. More information on the finalists and their proposals after the break.
USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.
See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.