When we think of public housing architecture in the United States, we often think of boxes: big, brick buildings without much aesthetic character. But the implications of standardized, florescent-lit high-rises can be far more than aesthetic for the people who live there. Geographer Rashad Shabazz, for one, recalls in his book Spatializing Blackness how the housing project in Chicago where he grew up—replete with chain link fencing, video surveillance, and metal detectors—felt more like a prison than a home. Accounts of isolation, confinement, and poor maintenance are echoed by public housing residents nationwide.
Megan Beddoe, Alfonso Gorini ,Steven Caputo, Steven Chang AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Michael Chen, Lucy Ciletti, Andrew Comfort, Frank de Santis, Amanda Faye, Chris Hall, James Ke, Dean Kim, Janny Kim, Chris Koon, Molly McGowan AIA, Charmian Place, Michael Regan, Kevin Rice, Mary Rowe, Rainier Simoneaux, Oliver Sippl, Margaret Tyrpa AIA, Yvonne Yang, Robert Young AIA, John Zimmer
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named James Stewart Polshek, FAIA, as the recipient of the 2018 AIA Gold Medal. Lauded by the AIA for his “unparalleled vision and leadership,” Polshek has enjoyed fruitful professional and academic careers as a founding partner of James Stewart Polshek Architect (later Polshek Partnership and currently Ennead Architects) and a former dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Honoring “an individual or pair of architects whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture,” the AIA Gold Medal is often considered the highest honor awarded in the United States for architecture.
“Education continues to evolve, and the projects from this year’s Education Facility Design Awards program—presented by the AIA and the Committee on Architecture for Education—represent the state-of-the-art learning environments being developed in today's learning spaces,” explain the AIA. “These projects showcase innovation across the entire learning continuum, displaying how today's architects are creating cutting-edge spaces that enhance modern pedagogy.”
One general trend in today's Information Age involves the absolute transmutation of downtime into productivity or engagement of any kind, however meaningless. We hear it all the time: we have lost our ability to be still. However, as a team at Ennead Lab has observed, some of the same technologies that are causing this shift in routine also have the potential to open new, empty pockets of time in our daily lives, and affect the built spaces with which we interact.
Tasked with designing an electric car charging station for a development in Shanghai, Ennead realized that the five hours required to fill up a single standard charge necessitate a place for customers to wait. In an article on Metropolis Magazine, they show that the promise of transportation-less people to stick around in one place for such a period of time opens up a host of possibilities for what could fill the latency period; the Shanghai project, however, focuses on the opportunity to create a civic space. The team has imagined the modern "gas station" as a vertical charging tower that calls upon the functionality of urban parking elevators in the 20th century, this time clad in reflective silver to serve as a beacon for customers in search of a charge. Rather than standalone charge-park towers, the projects are integrated into a system that encourages patrons to walk to neighboring zones to eat, shop, and socialize while they wait.
Ennead Architects has broken ground on the construction of an addition to the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, the country’s oldest continuously operating museum (since 1799).
The expansion project includes a new 40,000 square foot wing and 17,500 square feet of renovation to adjacent structures. Upon completion, total gallery space will be increased by 15% for a total of 100,000 square feet, making the Peabody Essex into one of the top 20 art museums in the country.
Inspired by astronomical principles, the design is centered on the concept of orbital motion. “Each of the building’s three principal forma—the oculus, the inverted dome, and the sphere—acts as an astronomical instrument, tracking sun, moon, and stars, and reminding visitors that our concept of time originates in distant astronomical objects."
Ennead Architects has recently celebrated the completion of the steel core of a new 295,000-square-foot Biological Sciences Building (BSB) and Museum of Natural History with a topping out ceremony at the University of Michigan. Due to open in 2018, the BSB will bring together the departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Research Museums of Paleontology and Zoology, and a re-envisioned Museum of Natural History.
Ennead Architects has released images of the new Engineering Education and Research Center for the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. Currently under construction, the 433,000 square foot (40,200 square meter) building will house undergraduate education, interdisciplinary graduate research and two distinct engineering departments, and will become a new hub of activity at the edge of campus. The design takes advantage of a unique section featuring stacked atrium and outdoor spaces to serve a variety of educational and public functions.
Ennead Architects has released plans for a new 40,000 square meter (430,550 square foot) Music Center in the Chinese city of Xiamen. The design, produced for a six-week design competition held by Xiamen City Municipal Planning, draws inspiration from the island city’s dramatic topography and history to create a new public institution along the harbor. To provide the beachfront with a new public gathering place, the project’s feature element will be a grand stair likened by Ennead to Rome’s timeless Spanish Steps.
Ennead Architects have unveiled their proposed design for the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts campus expansion, master planning and architectural design competition. “This campus expansion and re-envisioning positions Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts—one of China’s top schools of fine art—as an Academy in the Park,” inspired by nature and an oasis destination within the dense urban fabric of Tianjin, write the architects.
Ennead Architects has unveiled the plans for its new project, the Qilin Technology Innovation Park, located in Nanjing, China. The 468,000 square meter project seeks to give a new direction to Chinese urbanism, as it moves away from the trend of “individual architectural trophies,” and towards “creating a holistic district identity and memorable urban space on a human scale.”
Inspired by Silicon Valley, the new science and technology district will create a “24-7 mixed-use urban research hub,” with commercial and government office space, conference facilities, residential buildings, hotels, retail environments, and public open space.
Ennead Architects has unveiled its design for the new Huawei Research Center, a research and development campus under construction in Wuhan, China. The new Center will be 350,000 square meters, and seeks to foster “interdepartmental interaction amongst employees while maximizing access to the surrounding landscape.”