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Matt Hickman

Associate Editor at The Architect's Newspaper

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Herzog & de Meuron’s Tour Triangle is Moving Forward, Dividing Parisians

After more than a decade of financing snags, legal scuffles, and more than a soupçon of backlash, initial work on the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Tour Triangle (Triangle Tower) is set to commence by the end of this year at a site near Parc des Expositions de Porte de Versailles in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. However, last-ditch efforts to block the project are underway.

Ithaca, New York Will Decarbonize All 6,000 of the City’s Buildings

Last week, the Common Council of Ithaca, New York, voted to approve a first-in-the-nation decarbonization plan in which the roughly 6,000 homes and buildings located within the notably “enlightened” lakeside college town will be electrified to meet goals established by the city’s impressively aggressive Green New Deal (GND) plan. That carbon-neutral-by-2030 GND plan was adopted unanimously by the Common Council in June 2019 to “address climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice,” per the city.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Frederick Bagley House Dodges Demolition and Will Be Restored

Less than two months ago, the future of an 1894 Dutch Colonial-style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t looking all that bright after it hit the market for $1.3 million in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Illinois. As of this week, however, the historic Frederick Bagley House, described by the nonprofit Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy as a “unique and irreplaceable” early work of Wright, has found a very happy ending—or, more aptly, a new beginning.

The First New High-Rise in L.A.’s Historic Broadway Theater District in a Century Makes its Debut

Perla on Broadway is the first new high-rise to be constructed in Los Angeles’s Broadway Theater District. Designed by CallisonRTKL, the tower will be the first addition within the district in over a century. Matt Hickman explores the latest addition to Downtown L.A.'s skyline in a piece originally published in The Architect's Newspaper.

SWA Group Tapped for Memorial and LGBTQ+ Space at Harvey Milk Plaza, in San Francisco

Matt Hickman reports on San Francisco's latest inclusive memorial, for the Architect's Newspaper, designed by SWA, a firm that operates two Bay Area studios (San Francisco and Sausalito) as well as offices in Texas, Southern California, New York City, and Shanghai. Selected by FHMP from a shortlist of four firms that submitted proposals, out of 17 invited offices, SWA shared their winning conceptual design for the memorial at Harvey Milk Plaza.

Potential Demise of Chicago’s Thompson Center Inches Closer With Proposed Zoning Change

It would seem that the ongoing saga of the James R. Thompson Center, Chicago’s beloved but neglected governmental office building-slash-postmodernist mecca, might be reaching its final act.

Yesterday, Brendan Reilly, alderman of the city’s 42nd ward, announced a proposed rezoning ordinance that could kick the sale of the prized 3-acre site (12,140 m2) at 100 West Randolph Street into high-gear. The cash-strapped State of Illinois has been considering/trying to offload the property as early as 2003.

COVID-19 Contributed to Sharp Decline in Completed Skyscrapers in 2020

It’s a given that the coronavirus pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts on construction projects large and small over the past 10 months. So, what about the construction of new buildings that share the defining characteristic of being superlatively tall?

As detailed in an annual report published earlier this month by the Chicago-headquartered Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), newly completed skyscrapers experienced a global decline of 20 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year due, both directly and indirectly, to the COVID-19 crisis.

Works by David Adjaye, Daniel Libeskind, and More for Bid to Support Black Women Architecture Students

Architecture for Change (ARCH), a newly launched nonprofit initiative dedicated to addressing systemic racism in the architecture and design industry, is kicking off with an online auction featuring donated works—sketches, models, plans, photographic prints, and more—from a host of notable architects including Sir David Adjaye, Daniel Libeskind, Michel Rojkind, David Rockwell, Jennifer Bonner, Trey Trahan, and others.

Harvard Will Remove Philip Johnson’s Name From Cambridge Home That He Designed as Graduate Student

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) will no longer refer to a private residence at 9 Ash Street in Cambridge as the “Philip Johnson Thesis House.” Moving forward, the home, designed by and inhabited by Johnson while enrolled at the Harvard GSD in the 1940s, will now be known solely by its physical street address.

After Coronavirus Delays, M+ Launches "Archigram Cities" Series in a Hybrid Format

After its opening was curtailed this past winter by the coronavirus pandemic, the hotly anticipated Archigram Cities exhibition is now officially up-and-running throughout November 2020. Presented by the Hong Kong-based visual culture museum M+ and organized in collaboration with the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Power Station of Art, Archigram Cities has taken form as a hybrid virtual/in-person slate of happenings—talks, screenings, presentations, and more—that plumb and celebrate the vast legacy of British avant-garde architectural collective Archigram.

'Landslide 2020' Spotlights Women-Designed Landscapes and the Threats That They Face

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has released its 2020 edition of Landslide, an annual in-depth report produced by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that profiles—and raises awareness of—a geographically diverse number of at-risk American parks, gardens, horticultural features, working landscapes, and “and other places that collectively embody our shared landscape heritage.”

12 Outdoor Art Spaces, Parks, and Landscapes that Have Reopened or are Reopening Soon in the US

As many Americans tentatively ease back into their museum- and park-going routines, numerous cultural institutions and public spaces are slowly coming back to life on a limited/adjusted basis after months of hibernation to greet them, with coronavirus precautions firmly in place. Meanwhile, large, indoor gallery-centered museums continue to plot their eventual returns. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, plans to reopen in late August while the Getty Center in Los Angeles has still not announced its phased re-opening dates.

In many locales, a trickle of small but positive re-openings has taken place in recent weeks and/or are slated for mid-to-late July. With an eye toward public landscapes, open-air museums, and multifaceted art spaces with room to spread out, here’s a small sampling of places across the country that have reopened or expanded public access or are due to allow visitors in the very near future.

3 Major Architecture Firms Propose School Buses and Shipping Containers for Accessible Testing Labs

Despite all the news of re-openings, lifted restrictions, al fresco options dining, and a return to something more closely resembling “normal,” COVID-19 is still very much with us. And despite the defeatist/downplayed/nothing to see here stance embraced by the current presidential administration, the United States is still in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis. In some states, both new reported cases and hospitalizations have now reached record highs.

This being said, the need for accessible, easy to fabricate, and quick-to-deploy testing facility solutions are still in great need, particularly in dense urban areas, at large institutions and workplaces, and in underserved communities where coronavirus testing might come as a luxury, not a basic necessity. In terms of testing availability, all bases need to and must be covered.