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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. 

Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle

The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has approved Frank Gehry's revised design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, meaning that after a fifteen-year process, all the involved parties have finally agreed on a design. Gehry's most recent design - a slightly scaled-down version of the one he produced in 2011, with the two smaller woven steel tapestries removed to open up the view to the Capitol - was approved by the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) earlier this month, allowing the CFA to give their final verdict on the new design.

OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park

The competition jury for Washington D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN's design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + OLIN saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA © OMA & Luxigon © OLIN © OLIN Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA + OLIN

Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Gets a Break

The National Capital Planning Commission has granted preliminary approval to a modified version of Frank Gehry’s controversial Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design, which removed two of the stainless steel tapestries to clear views towards the Capitol. The project, which has remained stagnant since 2011, has been shawled in turmoil largely due to criticism regarding its "grandiose" design and focus on Eisenhower as a boy. The vote will now advance Gehry’s design to the Commission of Fine Arts for approval.

More images of the revised design, after the break.

Are You a Card-Carrying Member of the Urban Elite? Find Out With "Cards Against Urbanity"

Architects have been known to dabble in product design, but what about board game design? A team of Washington, D.C.-based architects, urban planners, and designers have come together to create a game with a comedic (yet somewhat serious) take on the nuances of city living. Cards Against Urbanity, a parody on the wildly successful Cards Against Humanity, is simultaneously a critical and satirical game designed to open a dialogue about the development of cities among those who influence them.

4 Visions Released for D.C.’s First Elevated Park

OMA, Höweler + Yoon, NEXT Architects, and Cooper, Robertson & Partners are amongst four interdisciplinary teams competing to design Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park. As part of a six month nationwide competition, the shortlisted teams have just released their preliminary design proposals for what will be known as the 11th Street Bridge Park.

Suspended over the Anacostia River, the multi-use park aims to re-connect two disparate city districts and re-engage residents with the riverfront by offering a 21st century civic “playscape.” Education and performance spaces, as well as a cafe and water sport areas will all be included in the masterplan.

A preview of the four shortlisted schemes, after the break…

The Power of Paint: Three Case Studies on Colour in Architecture

Based at the Architectural Association school of Architecture and linked to the Phd research program at UIAV, Saturated Space takes a comprehensive look at the “grammar” and history of colour in architecture, the perceptual and phenomenological principles of colour in relation to the human subject, and the socio-political aspects of colour as a culturally active agent. This article, written by architect and CLOG editor Jacob Reidel, originally appeared as “Powerful Colours” on Saturated Space‘s website, a forum for the sharing, exploration, and celebration of colour in Architecture.

Let’s admit it, architects are suspicious—if not a little scared—of colour. How else to explain the default contemporary architect’s preference for exposed finishes such as concrete, brick, COR-TEN steel, stone, and wood? Perhaps this is because an architect’s choice of applied colour may often seem one of the most subjective—and hence least defensible—decisions to be made over the course of a project.* Indeed, applied colour seldom performs from a technical standpoint, and it is the architect’s taste, pure and simple, which is often on the line whenever a specific colour is proposed to the client. Or perhaps architects’ mistrust of applied colour owes something to the profession’s well-known controlling tendencies and the fact that colour is one of the most mutable aspects of a building; better, we architects are instructed, to focus on “important” and “architectural” decisions such as form, space, materials, program, and organization. Indeed, it is far easier for a future owner to repaint a wall than it is to move it.