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How Infrastructure Segregates Cities

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, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee. Read the full article, here.

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval

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

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

Images Released of Beyer Blinder Belle-Designed U.S. Diplomacy Center

The Washington Post has published renderings of the new U.S. Diplomacy Center currently under construction at the State Department in Washington DC. "A shimmering pavilion," as architecture critic Philip Kennicott describes, the new center will serve as a welcoming public entrance to the Department of State's headquarters and be the nation's first museum and education center devoted entirely to the "history, practice and challenges of US Diplomacy. 

Designed by architect Hany Hassan of Beyer Blinder Belle, the glass pavilion will house a museum and an underground cafe, bookstore and event space, providing a new destination just two blocks from the National Mall. 

Help the National Building Museum and Snarkitecture Bring a Beach to D.C.

In partnership with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture, the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C. aims to once again create an interactive architectural exhibit as a part of its “Summer Block Party” programming. While last year’s exhibit included a life-sized maze by BIG, this summer, the museum will host a 10,000 square foot enclosure in its Great Hall called the BEACH.

Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial

The US World War I Centennial Commission has launched a design competition for the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. The competition will be a two-stage design competition, and is open internationally to any professionals, university-level students, and all other interested participants. "The objective is 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 that complements the memorial purpose while attracting visitors, workers, and residents of the District of Columbia," says the Commission. 

Open Call: Peace Corps Host National Competition for Washington DC Memorial

The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation">PCCF) is sponsoring a two-stage, national design competition to select an artistically exceptional design concept for a permanent commemorative work in the heart of Washington DC. This competition will provide designers from all across the United States an opportunity to create a compelling work of public art that will be bold and inspirational. The design should focus on and express American ideals and values that are the essence of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps service. It should be about America and our aspirations as a people, and about the Peace Corps as a manifestation of those aspirations. Submissions are due June 12, 2015. More information can be found here

International Spy Museum Aims to Relocate to New Richard Rogers Building

The Washington DC International Spy Museum is seeking permission to relocate to a new $100 million building designed by Richard Rogers at L’Enfant Plaza. Contingent on approval from the Commission of Fine Arts, as the Washington Business Journal reports, the new 100,000-square-foot, six-story proposed museum would be sited on an open area adjacent to the L'Enfant Plaza hotel.

“I think everyone in the city knows that’s somewhat of a dead area right now,” said Spy Museum Chief Operating Officer Tamara Christian to WBJ. “When we came to Penn Quarter, it was somewhat of a dead area. Now it’s completely energized, and we’re really hoping that we’ll be able to be a catalyst to energize L’Enfant.”

Grimshaw to Masterplan Washington DC's Union Station

Grimshaw Architects has been asked to collaborate with New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle on a $10 billion masterplan that will modernize Washington DC's 1913 Beaux Arts Union Station. Along with the potential to triple passenger capacity, the plan aims to make the station more accessible and efficient, while integrate a new three-million-square-foot, mixed-use development by Amtrak and Akridge over its rail tracks. 

"Washington DC deserves a station that serves the region on a practical level whilst celebrating the gateway to the nation’s capital," said Grimshaw partner Vincent Chang.

New Images Released of Mecanoo's Plan to Modernize Mies' D.C. Library

Mecanoo and Martinez + Johnson Architecture has released their completed preliminary designs for the modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - the only library and Washington D.C. building ever designed by Mies van der Rohe. The team’s competition-winning scheme aims to improve “Mies in a contemporary Miesian way.”

“While not final, these renderings demonstrate the amazing possibilities as we work to transform this historic building into a center for learning, innovation and engagement for the District,” says the D.C. Public Library. Updated images and more information about the design, after the break.

Win a Set of LEGO® Architecture's Newly Released Lincoln Memorial

We announced earlier this month that the LEGO® Architecture series will now include the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC! Thanks to LEGO® Architecture, two of our US readers now have the chance to win their very own set.

Official Rules: To participate, let us know what existing LEGO® Architecture set is your favorite. All you have to do is become a registered user at ArchDaily and leave us your answer in the comments below. Two winners will be chosen at random from entries received between Monday, January 26th and Sunday, February 1st at 11:59 EST. Anyone in the United States is welcome to participate. One entry per person. ArchDaily will enforce verification and remove duplicated ones before choosing the winner.

Good luck!

Nonprofit Group ACDU Seeks to Transform Abandoned D.C. Trolley Station

The Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) has taken on the task of revitalizing an abandoned trolley station beneath Dupont Circle in the Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C. The nonprofit organization recently signed for a 66-month lease of the property with the District of Columbia’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Within that timeframe, the group will transform the space into a permanent cultural hotspot capable of hosting performances, art exhibitions, and other public functions. Learn more, and contribute to the ACDU’s Fundable campaign for this project, after the break.

Lincoln Memorial and Flatiron to Join LEGO® Architecture Series

LEGO® has unveiled the latest buildings to join their architecture series: the Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial and the New York City Flatiron Building. Both will be released in 2015. 

The Lincoln Memorial, a national monument honoring the 16th President of the United States, was designed by Henry Bacon and features a sculpture of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French. The Flatiron Building, originally known as the Fuller Building, is a landmark Manhattan skyscraper designed by Daniel Burnham Frederick Dinkelberg.

The news was released following the grand opening of a new LEGO® Brand Store adjacent to the Flatiron. 

More images of the new LEGO® sets, after the break. 

2014: A Great Year for Landscape Architecture

By all accounts 2014 has been a great year for landscape architecture, and not just because of the completion of the final phase of the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations. Previously published by the Huffington Post as "2014's Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture," this roundup of the year by the President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles A Birnbaum finds plenty of promising developments, marred only slightly by some more backward-looking descisions.

This year there was a cultural shift that saw landscape architecture and its practitioners achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and influence.

This year the single most notable development came courtesy of the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman who wrote: "Great public places and works of landscape architecture deserve to be treated like great buildings."

Landscape architecture and architecture on equal footing. Let that sink in.

Vice President Joe Biden to Break Ground on Steven Holl's Kennedy Center Expansion Today

Almost 50 years to the day after President Lyndon B Johnson broke ground on Edward Durell Stone's design for the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, today Vice President Joe Biden will do the same for Steven Holl Architects' design of the Kennedy Center Expansion, a largely below-ground addition that will add an extra 60,000 square feet to the Center.

Eduardo Souto de Moura Tapped for Mixed-Use Condo Project in DC

Eastbanc has tapped Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura to transform a former "Four Seasons gas station" site into a mixed-use condo. According to a report on the Georgetowner, the developer has asked residents to have "an open mind" for the design, which, as Urban Turf points out, is likely to stand out in the historic Washington D.C. district. Little details have been released. “We are considering all options, from condo to rental to hotel,” Eastbanc President Anthony Lanier stated. “It’s early in the design phase.”

BIG Reveals 20-Year Restoration Plan for Washington DC's Smithsonian Campus

Nearly a year-and-a-half since the announcement of their selection, BIG has unveiled plans for a massive, 20-year-long overhaul for the Smithsonian’s southern campus in the center of Washington DC. With an overarching goal to unite the site by dissolving the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area, BIG plans to also expand visitor, education and gallery spaces, while updating aging and inefficient building systems. 

"Where today each museum is almost like a separate entity, in the future, it’s going to be a much more open, intuitive and inviting campus to meander around," Bjarke Ingels explained.

Courtesy of BIG Courtesy of BIG Courtesy of BIG Courtesy of BIG

Rogers Partners and PWP's Constitution Gardens Redesign Approved for National Mall

Rogers Partners (formally known as Rogers Marvel Architects) and PWP Landscape Architecture’s redesign for the National Mall’s neglected Constitution Gardens has received unanimous approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The 50-acre project, which was originally won through a competition in 2012, will now move forward with its first phase.