Finding a Place in History: Joseph Weishaar on His Winning WWI Memorial Design

09:30 - 3 February, 2016
Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission
Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission

Last week, the World War I Centennial Commission announced architect Joseph Weishaar and sculptor Sabin Howard as the winners of the WWI Memorial Competition held to redesign Washington, DC’s Pershing Park for the 100th anniversary of the conflict. For Weishaar, a 25-year-old project architect at Chicago firm Brininstool + Lynch, the key to the design was to integrate elements of both a park and a memorial into a cohesive whole; his design, "The Weight of Sacrifice," incorporates a raised lawn surrounded on three sides by memorial walls with sculptures designed by Howard. ArchDaily was given the opportunity to sit down with Weishaar to learn more about his winning memorial design, his response to the park’s critique, and what the future could hold for the young architect.

Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission +15

Winning Design Selected for the World War I Memorial in DC

10:00 - 28 January, 2016
Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission
Courtesy of The World War I Centennial Commission

After announcing five finalists in August of 2015, the World War I Centennial Commission has announced the winner of its National World War I Memorial competition: The Weight of Sacrifice by 25-year-old architect Joe Weishaar and sculptor Sabin Howard. The design focuses on the sacrificial cost of war through relief sculpture, quotations of soldiers, and a freestanding sculpture. Visitors are guided through the memorial’s changing elevations by quotation walls that describe the war from the point of view of generals, politicians, and soldiers.

Re-Ball! A Design Competition by the Dupont Underground

19:56 - 4 January, 2016

Re-Ball! is an open design competition to turn 650,000+ 3-inch, white, translucent plastic balls into a site-specific installation in the Dupont Underground’s 14,000-square-foot east platform. The balls were previously part of the National Building Museum’s blockbuster 2015 summer destination The Beach.
The winning concept will take the medium in a new direction, one that responds to the uniqueness of the installation site. From the open, light-filled box of the National Building Museum’s Great Hall to the curving concrete volume of the Dupont Underground's east platform, Re-Ball! entries should transform the constituent materials — and the space itself — into an entirely

Dallas Architecture Forum Presents Kevin McClurkan

02:30 - 31 October, 2015
William J. Clinton Presidential Center by Ennead Architects. Photo by Timothy Hursley
William J. Clinton Presidential Center by Ennead Architects. Photo by Timothy Hursley


Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization for everyone interested in learning about and improving the architecture, design, landscape and urban fabric of the North Texas region is pleased to continue its 2015-16 Lecture Season with the outstanding architect Kevin McClurkan, Management Partner of Ennead Architects of New York City. McClurkan's many major projects include the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock; the Newseum adjacent to the US Capitol in Washington, DC; and The Standard hotel on the High Line Park in New York City. He will speak on Tuesday, November 3 at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium

Monocle 24 Report from the CityLab Summit

04:00 - 30 October, 2015
River Thames, London. Image Courtesy of Monocle 24
River Thames, London. Image Courtesy of Monocle 24

For this edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team report from the two-day CityLab summit, which "gathered the world’s top mayors and urban leaders for a series of chats on how to to make our cities a better place." They explore the vision for London’s transport infrastructure, discover how Rio de Janeiro is gearing up its digital strategy ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, and find out how to create a smart city through data. On top of that, they chat to millennials in Washington and "sit down for a very honest chat with the mayor of Athens."

Field Operations to Design National Building Museum's Next Summer Installation

12:00 - 28 October, 2015
Tongva Park overlook. Image © Tim Street Porter, courtesy of Field Operations
Tongva Park overlook. Image © Tim Street Porter, courtesy of Field Operations

James Corner Field Operations has been chosen to design the National Building Museum's 2016 Summer Block Party installation. Just like its predecessors, including Snarkitecture's popular BEACH and BIG's massive Labyrinth, the installation will take over the Museum's Great Hall. With the design in its preliminary stages, little has been revealed. However, its mission is to "present innovative, interactive experiences that experiment with new ways of seeing and understanding the built environment."

“We are very excited about this opportunity to once again transform the Great Hall for summer spectacle and pleasure,” said James Corner, adding that “it will be a great challenge to surpass the genius of previous installations, but also an opportunity to explore something new and unexpected.” 

MASS Design Among Shortlist to Redesign Gallaudet University's Campus

16:00 - 15 October, 2015
© Flickr CC User Mr.TinDC, Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0
© Flickr CC User Mr.TinDC, Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0

Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for deaf and hard of hearing students, has shortlisted four teams in a competition to redesign its new campus in Washington DC and redefine “the university’s urban edge as a vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district.”

A total of 51 teams, consisting of 320 architectural practices, responded to the call for submissions, and 13 semi-finalist teams were highly commended for their designs. The four shortlisted firms will participate in a design forum at the university next week and will submit their final concept designs by January 2016.

View the shortlisted teams after the break.

OMA to Redesign Washington DC's RFK Stadium Campus

16:35 - 9 October, 2015
RFK Stadium in 1988. Image © Ken Hammond
RFK Stadium in 1988. Image © Ken Hammond

OMA has been selected to redevelop Washington DC's Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium campus. Lauded by the commissioners for their ability to activate public space, especially along waterfronts, OMA was also recently chosen alongside OLIN to design the city's 11th Street Bridge Park.

“One of the things we realized as we were analyzing the future use of RFK, after talking to a lot of potential users, is that there was no conceptual master plan that can be shared with the community once the ideas are put to paper,” said Max Brown, chairman Events DC - the organization spearheading the project. “We needed someone to help tell a story about what this place could be and options for use and how they’re located.”

David Adjaye: "Architecture Cannot be Autonomous"

12:25 - 31 August, 2015
© Adjaye Associates
© Adjaye Associates

"I believe that for architecture to be emotionally relevant to people, that there has to be a connection, [that] there has to be a relationship, that architecture cannot be autonomous. If it's not connected to the lives of people, the histories of people, I think there's a problem." In a recent interview with Aljazeera's Lisa Fletcher, British architect David Adjaye discusses his recent work and how the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History will serve as a "negotiator" on racial tension in the US. Read the full interview, here

2015 AIA|DC Emerging Architects Thesis Showcase

19:30 - 25 August, 2015
2015 AIA|DC Emerging Architects Thesis Showcase
2015 AIA|DC Emerging Architects Thesis Showcase

The AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee (AIA|DC EAC) is excited to announce our presenters for the second-annual Thesis Showcase. Five recent B.Arch and M.Arch graduates from schools around the world will present their thesis projects to members of the AIA|DC and the public. The showcase event aims to bridge the gap between recent graduates and local practicing architects, by providing an opportunity for practitioners to view a sample of the work hailing from architecture schools around the country and abroad. The selected presenters will showcase their work at AIA|DC’s District Architecture Center (DAC) on August 27, 2015 at 6:00pm. Following the presentations a networking reception will occur at DAC’s gallery space in Penn Quarter.

KAMJZ Proposes to Preserve Pershing Park with an Overhead Memorial

06:00 - 24 August, 2015
Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects
Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects

Earlier this month, after viewing the contenders in the US World War I Centennial Commission’s competition to redesign the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC, organizations like The Cultural Landscape Foundation began to began to voice their opinion regarding the reach of the competition. With the cultural importance of the site in mind, such organizations had hoped that the redesign would maintain the existing Pershing Park, but were disappointed to discover that the majority of the competition’s design proposals seek to demolish the existing landscape.

Although left off of the competition’s shortlist, KAMJZ Architects’ proposal for the World War I memorial addresses these concerns by leaving Pershing Park almost completely intact. Leaving alone the park’s seating areas, agora, and landscaping, the design proposal unifies the park by adding an outer ring of trees “along the borders of the site [to] provide an acoustic barrier from the noisy adjacent streets.”

Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects +7

World War I Memorial Competition Finalists Announced

08:00 - 20 August, 2015
One of the five finalists: "An American Family Portrait" by STL Architects, Chicago. Image Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission
One of the five finalists: "An American Family Portrait" by STL Architects, Chicago. Image Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission

In May, the US World War I Centennial Commission launched its design competition for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial, located in Washing DC. Though some concerns about the fate of Pershing Park, which currently occupies the site, have been voiced, the competition will continue nonetheless, aiming to fulfill the Commission's stated aim "to transform Pershing Park from a park that happens to contain a memorial to a site that is primarily a national World War I memorial, within a revitalized urban park setting with a distinct sense of place."

After cycling through a first stage of entries, the competition has reached its second stage, which entails a public viewing and commentary of the top five designs, before a winner is selected in January 2016.

View the five finalists, after the break.

Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission Courtesy of The US World War I Centennial Commission +16

Images Emerge of Souto de Moura's First US Project

14:20 - 18 August, 2015
© www.1825.in
© www.1825.in

Images of Souto Moura Arquitectos' first US project has emerged. Aimed to replace a former gas station at 2715 Pennsylvanian Avenue NW in Washington DC, the five-story red brick and concrete building will feature a ground floor restaurant and eight 2,000-square-foot apartment units with balconies, a gym and penthouse terrace.  

As BizJournals reports, the proposal is being pitched by EastBanc Inc. as the new "entrance to Georgetown." The Portuguese architect chose red brick "because it seems to be the most appropriate for this part of the city."

Charles Birnbaum on the Need to Save DC's Pershing Park

08:00 - 18 August, 2015
Pershing Park in the 1980s. Image © Oehme, van Sweden, courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Pershing Park in the 1980s. Image © Oehme, van Sweden, courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Last May, we published an open call for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial at Washington DC's Pershing Park, situated between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue. Opened as a park plaza in 1981, the park’s current state is in need of renewal.

The competition, hosted by the United States Federation for the Commemoration of the World Wars and sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission, received over 350 entries. While these entries did generally follow the guidelines they were given, most of the designs incorporated the complete demolition of the park.

Now, because the park is one of the most significant works of Modernist landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, with planting plan designs by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, landscape architecture organizations like The Cultural Landscape Foundation are speaking up against the possibility of demolition.

Gallaudet University Launches $60M Public Competition to Redesign Its Campus

16:00 - 8 August, 2015
Gallaudet Chapel Hall. Image © Flickr CC User Mr.TinDC
Gallaudet Chapel Hall. Image © Flickr CC User Mr.TinDC

Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for deaf and hard of hearing students, has launched an international competition to re-design its historic Washington DC campus. Participants will be challenged to "create a new campus gateway and redefine the University’s urban edge as a vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district." Design proposals are not required during the competition's first stage; teams will be shortlisted based on their "understanding of the institution and project, team composition and past experience."

How Infrastructure Segregates Cities

18:00 - 24 July, 2015
via The Washington Post
via The Washington Post

The Washington Post has published a piece looking at how infrastructure acts as a form of segregation in cities in the US. Using racial dot maps from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, they show how highways, railroads, historically uncrossable avenues, and similar urban design decisions have a huge impact on the physical isolation of different races. These types of infrastructure were also found to reinforce boundaries set by natural patterns of topography and bodies of water. Cities found to have clear infrastructural segregation include Pittsburgh, Hartford, DetroitWashington, D.C., and Milwaukee. Read the full article, here.

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

12:23 - 13 July, 2015
© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October. 

"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here

Snarkitecture Turns National Building Museum into Massive Ball-Pit

12:24 - 7 July, 2015
© Noah Kalina
© Noah Kalina

Now through September 7, you can take a "swim" in a massive "BEACH" that has taken over the National Building Museum's Great Hall. Spanning 10,000-square-feet, the BEACH was created in partnership with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture to offer the people of Washington D.C. a one-of-a-kind installation as part of the NBM's "Summer Block Party."

The "ocean" is essentially a ball-pit comprised of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. It is contained within a mirrored, all-white enclosure flanked by a 50-foot-wide "shoreline" that offers visitors the option to wade the  "water" or sit back and relax. 

© Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina +11