The Smithsonian Institution has commissioned the innovative practice of Bjarke Ingels to reimagine the heart of its antiquated Washington D.C. campus. The Danish architect has agreed to an eight- to 12- month, $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of a master plan that seeks to dissolve the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area.
More on this news after the break…
As part of the Nordic Cool 2013 Forum: Designing Nature: Art & Architecture in Cities and Public Spaces exhibition, which is on now until March 17, Bjarke Ingels, the internationally acclaimed Danish architect and founder and principal of BIG, will give a forum talk on February 24. At this free event, located at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, Ingels will share to the audience his views on development and challenges of sustainable design. Through a series of award-winning design projects, Bjarke and BIG have developed a reputation for designing buildings that are as programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious. More information after the break.
As part of their Cultural Drivers event series, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. will be presenting the ‘Culture as Catalyst: Past, Present, Future’ event from 6:30pm-8:00pm on February 25th. Cities are increasingly defined by their civic spaces such as museums, theaters, libraries, parks, and cultural districts. Designers, public officials, and non-profit leaders from across the U.S. will share how their cultural facilities and civic spaces are re-energizing neighborhoods, spurring economic development, and responding to the needs of the community. For more information, please visit here.
Nearly a million people crowded the National Mall yesterday to witness the second swearing-in of President Barack Obama. The Mall was transformed – from the oft-trampled, dusty track of land separating the Capitol from the Lincoln Memorial – into a space of civic pride and participation. It’s moments like these that reveal to us the latent potential of the National Mall, and it’s important symbolic value as our Nation’s “backyard.”
The National Mall has suffered decades of over-use and under-funding, but has recently come back on the National agenda. With many projects underway – and soon to be underway – now is the time to consider: What is the National Mall? What is its value? And how should it be designed for the future? With informative graphics, varied insights, and interesting case studies, CLOG: National Mall addresses these vital questions.
Read our review of CLOG: National Mall, after the break…
Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s ‘Bubble’ project (featured here) has recently come under fire by critics for its “ballooning” cost. Meant to be a seasonally inflated, temporary structure at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC., the Bubble’s original price-tag ($5 million) has now inflated to $15.5 million. The federally-funded price tag would be less relevant if the project were universally accepted, but many feel that the “Bubble” represents a misguided attempt to get into the spectacle game.
More information after the break.
“Cube Light” has made it’s debut in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, along with collection of Ai Weiwei most famous works in the retrospective “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”. Although one of China’s most prolific and provocative contemporary artists, Weiwei is best known in the world of architecture for his work with Herzog & de Meuron on Beijing’s famous “Bird’s Nest” and, most recently, the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.
More images and information after the break…
Taking place 6:30pm-8:00pm on Tuesday, October 30, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. will be presenting a lecture by Madrid-based studio Ábalos + Sentkiewicz arquitectos. The event, which is part of the ‘Spotlight on Design’ series, focuses on their integration between architecture, environment, and landscape. This “thermodynamic beauty” is seen in a variety of international projects, including the Highspeed Rail Station in Logrono, Spain; Atelier Albert Oehlen in Bühler, Switzerland; and plans for a performing arts center in Taipei. Presented with the Embassy of Spain as part of Preview: Spain Art and Culture. The ‘Spotlight on Design’ speaker series is sponsored by Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, with additional support from the American Institute of Architects. For more information on the event, please visit here.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray has announced Davis Brody Bond, KADCON and Robert Silman Associates as the winning team to design the new St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion on the St. Elizabeths Hospital east campus in Washington D.C. Designed by Davis Brody Bond, the $5 million Gateway Pavilion will transform an existing “weedy, fenced-in plaza fronting Martin Luther King Avenue SE in Congress Heights” into a sustainable, multi-purpose structure that will provide “a venue for casual dining, a farmers’ market and other weekend and after-hours community, cultural and arts events”.
Continue after the break to learn more.
Taking place at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. on October 11, the Smart Growth: Tactical Urbanism Event features Mike Lydon, the primary author of Tactical Urbanism Volumes 1 and 2. He will discuss chair bombing, site-previtalization, depaving, open streets, intersection repair, and numerous other placemaking tactics at a time when cities and citizens are increasingly using short-term action to spur long-term revitalization. The event, which starts at 12:30pm, is free and presented in association with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Smart Growth Network. For more information, please visit here.
Taking place September 24th at the National Building Museum, the Spotlight On Design: Intensities: Recent Work by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis event highlights the firm’s ability in using the constraints of small budgets, awkward spaces, and strict zoning to generate innovative architecture. Marc Tsurumaki, AIA, one of the founding principals of the New York-based studio, shows how this “opportunistic architecture” results in compelling projects that include Austin’s Arthouse at the Jones Center and the Claremont University Consortium Administrative Campus Center. For more information, please visit here.
More after the break.
A national landmark and one of the busiest multimodal transportation hubs in the country, Washington Union Station, designed by Daniel Burnham, is about to undergo some significant changes. The 1907 station is currently operating beyond capacity, serving 100,000 passenger trips per day on Amtrak and commuter trains, Metrorail and buses. Over the next 15 to 20 years, passengers are expected to triple and the number of trains will double, so change is necessary in order to accommodate this growth.
HOK, in collaboration with Amtrak and Parsons Brinckerhoff, have unveiled a plan to revitalize the station and bring it up to 21st century standards. Continue after the break for more.
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Davis Brody Bond were recently announced as the winners of the National Mall competition for Union Square. As the country’s most visit park, attracting more than 25 million visitors annually, Union Square is the site of major historic events from presidential inaugurations to public gatherings and demonstrations. Located at the base of the Capitol, they were judged on the flexibility, sustainability, and creativity of their design and how well it reflects the established vision and design influences of this historic setting. More architects’ description after the break.
The National Building Museum in Washington DC just opened a one of a kind exhibit featuring a 12-hole mini-golf course, which will be up until Labor Day, September 3. Designed by leading local architects, landscape architects, and contractors, their creations allow visitors to challenge friends and family to a round of mini-golf with air-conditioned comfort in the museum. Games cost $5 for non-members and $3 for members. For more information on the exhibit, please visit here. More images after the break.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and 10 other groups have sent a letter to Congressional leaders warning that cuts to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC)’s budget could lead to further deterioration of the U.S. Capitol and wind up costing taxpayers more in the long run.
“There is little disagreement that the federal government, including Congress, must live within its means and be judicious in its consideration of short and long term expenditures,” the letter states. “However, the AOC’s FY2013 budget is focused primarily on needed maintenance and repair projects that are designed to keep the buildings of the Capitol complex – some of them nearly two centuries old – in proper working order.”
Continue reading for more.
Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment will be opening June 16th, 2012 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit, organized by Yale Institute, will celebrate Kevin Roche’s expansive portfolio, from his early days as Eero Saarinen’s “right-hand man” through the founding of his practice in the 1960s with John Dinkeloo (KRJDA). The exhibit will include images, drawings, interviews, models, as well as original slide presentations to clients. More on the exhibit after the break.
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.