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

12:00 - 28 October, 2015
Field Operations to Design National Building Museum's Next Summer Installation, 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
MASS Design Among Shortlist to Redesign Gallaudet University's Campus, © 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
OMA to Redesign Washington DC's RFK Stadium Campus, 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
David Adjaye: "Architecture Cannot be Autonomous", © 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
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
KAMJZ Proposes to Preserve Pershing Park with an Overhead Memorial, 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
World War I Memorial Competition Finalists Announced , 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
Images Emerge of Souto de Moura's First US Project, © 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
Charles Birnbaum on the Need to Save DC's Pershing Park, 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 University Launches $60M Public Competition to Redesign Its Campus, 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
How Infrastructure Segregates Cities, 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
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Wins Final Approval , © 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
Snarkitecture Turns National Building Museum into Massive Ball-Pit , © 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

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

18:00 - 23 June, 2015
Images Released of Beyer Blinder Belle-Designed U.S. Diplomacy Center, © U.S. Diplomacy Center
© 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.

14:00 - 7 June, 2015
Help the National Building Museum and Snarkitecture Bring a Beach to D.C., Courtesy of Snarkitecture
Courtesy of Snarkitecture

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

17:00 - 21 May, 2015
Open Call: US Launches Competition for National World War I Memorial, Project Site. Image Courtesy of U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
Project Site. Image Courtesy of U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

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

17:00 - 12 May, 2015
Open Call: Peace Corps Host National Competition for Washington DC Memorial, Peace Corps commemorative site, Washington, D.C. Source: Bing Maps. Image via PCCF
Peace Corps commemorative site, Washington, D.C. Source: Bing Maps. Image via PCCF

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

16:00 - 15 April, 2015
International Spy Museum Aims to Relocate to New Richard Rogers Building, L'Enfant Plaza metro station. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Clinesmith
L'Enfant Plaza metro station. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Clinesmith

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.”