Last week, as the NY Times reported, the interior of 510 Fifth Avenue received landmark protection by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill back in the 1950s, served as a branch of the former Manufacturers Trust Bank (later the Chase Bank Building) and is situated on a dense Manhattan block near the New York Public Library, Cook+Fox’s recent One Bryant Park, and the park itself.
More about the landmarked interior after the break.
The commission for a Green Tech City in Hanoi, Vietnam was recently awarded to Skidmore Owings & Merrill. SOM’s preliminary master plan focuses on reducing demand for non-renewable resources while integrating local traditions and utilizing the existing green urban character of Hanoi. At the heart of this new green district is a riverfront park. A series of landscaped green spaces, formed from existing agricultural water channels, would connect into this linear riverfront park creating a well connected network of public parks.
The Philips Livable Cities Award has announced a shortlist of eight initiatives, narrowed down from 450 ideas received from 29 countries around the world. The eight simple solutions all share a common thread, a reasonable approach to improving the health and well-being of people living in cities. Shortlisted designs include a smart grid athletic light for city recreation in NY, design your own park competition, a shade stand in Kampala, and a moveable street park in Buenos Aires. Cast your vote for your favorite Philips Livable City by March 24th. Design Your Own Park Competition in Binghamton, USAIn many cities, neglected urban spaces are seen as unsightly and unusable areas of land. David Sloan Wilson’s shortlisted ‘Design Your Own Park Competition’ idea would turn these areas into a space Binghamton residents can use and be proud of.Shade Stand in Kampala, Uganda James Kityo’s idea involves creating 45 ‘Shade Stands’ across Uganda’s capital, Kampala, providing shelter against both the hot sun and torrential rain, and displaying posters about health education topics. Plaza Movil Street Park in Buenos AiresManuel Rapoport’s ‘Plaza Movil Street Park’ idea would see Buenos Aires’ streets temporarily closed to traffic during weekends and public holidays, and portable playground equipment and benches used to convert them into recreational spaces.Smart Grid Athletic Light in New York City, USA Andrew Burdick’s ‘Smart Grid Athletic Light’ shortlisted idea involves modular solar or wind-powered streetlights connected to a ‘smart grid’, allowing children and sports teams to play later in the day in a well-lit and safer environment. Neighborhood Network Scheme in Abeokuta, NigeriaMichael Iyanro’s idea proposes the development of a ‘Neighborhood Network Scheme’ in Abeokuta, Nigeria, by providing access to a network of welfare services, designed to help elderly citizens live independently and more securely within their city.Rainwater Aggregation in Sana, Yemen In Sana’a, Yemen, water can quickly become scarce, posing a risk to vulnerable city residents. Sabrina Faber’s shortlisted idea of ‘Rainwater Aggregation’ addresses this problem by using existing flat rooftops to capture, filter and store water during rainy periods. iQare in Edinburgh, UKEve Hatton’s shortlisted idea, ‘iQare’, works by simplifying how elderly people in Edinburgh, UK, access the latest digital tools. Thus making it easier to remain independent, stay in touch with friends and family, and access service providers and retailers.Health Education Initiative for the Deaf in Embu, KenyaJacob Ireri has submitted an idea to address the significant challenges faced by deaf children in Embu, Kenya. His ‘Health Education Initiative for the Deaf’ aims to promote health-related information through the teaching of Kenyan Sign Language.
The 2011 edition of Indesem will focus on the theme ‘Losing ground’; the changing position of architect and architecture with respect to the digitalized network society and the necessary shifts in practice and thinking when designing in this changing paradigm. For more information on the theme, lectures and workshop you can go to the event’s official website.
The awkwardly shaped large site at West Side Highway and 57th Street is about to get a whole lot more attention. Bjarke Ingels and BIG will finally make their architectural debut in North America, with an unusual apartment building design in none other than New York City. The asymmetrical peak almost pyramid in shape is the result of blending the mismatched forms of a typical Manhattan tower podium and a low-rise apartment block European in style.
BIG’s reinvention of the ‘New York apartment building’ somehow is able to check all of the boxes, providing a connection to the waterfront and the Hudson River Park, acknowledging the surrounding context both in relationship to building size and neighbors’ views, and alleviating traffic noise. The leafy green courtyards that pop up within this new residential typology help to balance a steeply sloped facade, 450-feet at its peak. Designed for client Durst Fetner Residential, the building offers both a cultural and commercial program and will accommodate 600 residential units varying in size.
Follow the break for the architect’s description and more photographs.
Studio O+A, principals Verda Alexander and Primo Orpilla, were named this week by Contract magazine as the 2011 Designers of the Year. Known for designs such as the Facebook Offices in Palo Alto, the award is recognition of Studio O+A’s consistency of bringing creative quality design to start-ups and venture firms in Silicon Valley.
University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design is putting on their Bulthaup Spring 2011 Lecture Series which will feature several well-renowned architects beginning at 6:30pm on February 3rd and ending on March 22nd. The lectures will be held at the University’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design in room 103 at 230 College Street, Toronto ON M5T 1R2. Below are the dates of the lectures:
Immersive Kinematics, a new research group at the University of Pennsylvania, shared with us their newly launch website. The research agenda expands the roles of architecture and engineering focusing on integrating robotics, interaction, and embedded intelligence in our buildings, cities, and cultures.
Earlier today it was announced that OMA teamed with AMO have been commissioned to develop a new vision, Railway Vision 2020, for Hong Kong’s MTR, urban transit authority. Together they will produce new branding and identity, site analysis, sustainability research, and usage patterns studies. OMA will also be designing two prototype stations that will eventually span the entire transit network in Hong Kong. The prototype stations are expected to open before 2014.
The 20 collegiate teams chosen for the 2011 Solar Decathlon headed to Orlando, Florida last week for the International Builders’ Show where they met with media, exhibited scaled models of their current designs, and had their Design Drawings reviewed – the last stages of preparation, feedback, and red-flags prior to the September assembly at the National Mall in Washington DC.
In a strange turn of events, the National Park Service and Department of Energy decided to simultaneously announce last week that the Solar Decathlon would not be hosted at the National Mall. Contestants were blindsided by the announcement to relocate this years U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 competition. The launching pad for the largest solar competition in the world, where contestants are educating the general public about sustainable living and further are held fiscally responsible under competition rules for maintaining and restoring their respective sites to their natural state following the exhibition, is apparently not good for sustainability.
In recognition of his contributions to architecture in both theory and practice Fumihiko Maki was recently named the 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner. Maki, arguably one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, will be honored with the award in New Orleans at the AIA National Convention.
Straight on the heels of being named the Best Architectural Monograph of 2010 by the DAM Museum, Taschen republishes YES IS MORE as the World’s 1st Architectural Monograph in an eBook edition tailored to the Apple iPad.
Today, the design for the Broad Museum has been released. Situated adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum has become a key part of the Grand Avenue redevelopment project that has been losing steam.
Yesterday, we received an overwhelming number of reader responses to David’s post regarding how much architects make per hour. To follow up, we found a list, via @casinclair on Twitter, of the top jobs for 2011. The list places an architect at spot 108, just under a vending machine repairer (107), a cashier (105) and an insurance agent (103). On the survey’s measure of stress, how’s this: a surgeon (spot 101) received a score of 30.580 for stress, while an architect received a score of 39.930! Yet, we were surprised to see that an architectural drafter places at spot 66 on the list (with a stress measure of 17.410). By the way, in case you were wondering, the list rated a software engineer as the best job for 2011 (stress measure=10.400), followed by a mathematician and an actuary.
This prototype system, Homeostatic Facade, is the latest in green building design. The line maze like facade consists of material that flexes and bends as an artificial muscle fighting solar heat gain by changing shape on its own. No computer programing or physical adjustments required. The system regulates a buildings climate by auto responding to environmental conditions and has an advantage over other systems because of its low power consumption and localized control.
Check out the video of the moving Homeostatic Facade following the break.
Back in 2009, over 150 firms across the world entered the Glasgow School of Art competition which was seeking an architect-led team to create a building opposite Mackintosh’s masterpiece. Steven Holl, in collaboration with Glasgow-based JM Architects, proposed a submission that capitalized on the changing quality of light throughout the spaces. Holl’s vision responds to Mackintosh’s sectional emphasis by implementing large voids of light – the “circuit of connection ” – that slice through the spaces to “encourage the creative contact central to the workings of the school.”
When we visited Holl’s office, we talked Senior Partner Chris McVoy about the importance of the section for this particular project (we also chatted about their latest Shan-Shui master plan). One hundred years have passed since Mackintosh’s building opened for the School of Art, yet, as McVoy explains, although the structures represent completely different times, their attention to architectural elements, such as light, materiality and proportion, will create a relationship between the two.
Today OMA announced the appointment of Iyad Alsaka and David Gianotten as new partners in the company. Architectural and research projects in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been increasing for OMA and this recent appointment signifies their investment to grow and develop projects within these regions.
The Mies van der Rohe Society recently released their newly designed website. Some of the features we like are the detailed building biographies, sketches, models, 3D renderings, and photographs that showcase the buildings Mies designed.
As we shared in September, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reported an ever so slight increase with the index shifting from 47.9 to 48.2 in August. Now, the index shows a 52.0 – a 3 point increase from last month. This is great news for our profession as this billings marks the strongest point we’ve reached since December of 2007. As the New Year approaches, we’re hoping that this trend can steadily climb higher and bring prosperity for 2011; especially since firms across the country – from the Northeast to the West – reported increases. However, the New Year will bring mixed feelings to firms as Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, AIA Chief Economist stated in his report of the ABI. “Both residential and commercial/industrial firms are more optimistic about business conditions over the coming year. Half of the firms in each group are expecting revenue increases in 2011…In contrast, almost half of institutional firms are expecting revenue declines over the coming year, with only 38 percent expecting growth,” stated Baker.
More information about the recent ABI after the break.
Athens based Point Supreme Architectswere recently awarded an honorary mention for their Theater Square proposal. The competition asked participants to rethink the idea of an urban square, as the site is surrounded by buildings which makes the small space seemingly negligible in the broad sense of the context. For their proposal, the architects dedicated the square to the magic of nature by making an urban room realized as a ‘secret garden’.
PBS has released their sixteen finalists under consideration for piloting. Making their short-list is Cool Spaces, a show focused on featuring modern architecture, hosted by architect Stephen Chung. The show is slated to be a 13-part series focused on buildings in North America. The public spaces Chung would visit include libraries, restaurants, hotels, etc. with approximately two or three buildings featured per half hour episode.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund just awarded $816,472 toArchitecture for Humanityfor the Haiti Rebuilding Center to support reconstruction and livelihoods in Port-au-Prince, a town that was catastrophically affected by an earthquake at the beginning of the year. As a result, many large buildings were either severely damaged or destroyed. This fund will not only aid in the rebuilding process, but will benefit thousands of who were suffering since the natural disaster. Additionally, this grant will enable small and growing Haitin businesses to participate in post-earthquake reconstruction and ensure rebuilding incorporates better design and engineering. More information after the break.