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WEISS/MANFREDI Honored with the 2024 Louis I. Kahn Award

New York-based architecture office WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism has been named the 37th recipient of the Louis I. Kahn Award, offered by DesignPhiladelphia. The firm, founded by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, is recognized for its wide range of projects, from cultural institutions to urban landscapes, all demonstrating and responding to contextual conditions, sustainability standards, and centered around the human experience.

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SOM's 30th Street Station Redevelopment in Philadelphia Breaks Ground

This month, Skidmore, Owings, and Merril's (SOM) $550 million William H. Gray III 30th Street Station broke ground in Philidelphia. Initially proposed in 2016, the scheme involves a new mixed-use urban district with an emphasis on transit for the 30th Street Station Precinct. Boasting a vibrant public realm, the initial phase of the plan focuses extensively on renovating the historic station. Designed in collaboration with Gilbane, Amtrak, Plenary, Vantage, and Johnson Controls, the overarching goal is to position the station for sustained growth over the next five decades and enhance the travel experience for millions of annual visitors.

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Snøhetta Opens the Beijing City Library, Containing the World’s Largest Climatized Reading Space

Snøhetta’s Beijing City Library has opened its doors to the public, introducing a unique space for learning and knowledge-sharing in Beijing’s cultural scene. As one of the most anticipated projects of 2024, the library features the world's largest climatized reading space, in addition to various facilities aimed at creating a vibrant cultural destination in the city. Snøhetta was awarded the Beijing City Library in 2018 through an international competition and the project was completed with local partner ECADI.

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Reimagining London's Iconic BT Tower: Heatherwick Studios' Vision for a Hotel Transformation

On February 21st, 2024, American Hotelier MCR Hotels acquired the renowned BT Tower in London. The tower, a Grade II listed marvel, is nestled within London’s Fitzrovia, standing as a testament to the city’s heritage. Initially used as the British Telecommunications Tower and was known as the Post Office Tower, the BT Tower will be repurposed by Heatherwick Studio, with plans underway to breathe new life into this iconic structure.

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From Housing to Commerce: The Revitalization of Old Houses and Mansions

Throughout the city's history, buildings have changed their use and function, which is inevitable, as each era presents unique issues and requirements. Factors such as housing types, population density in specific areas, and the emergence of new businesses and services reshape the cityscape, often outpacing the adaptability of existing structures. Therefore, revitalizing or rehabilitating buildings is logical but also necessary to meet the demands of a changing landscape.

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The Second Studio Podcast: Interview with Michael Kimmelman

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina of FAME Architecture & Design are joined by architecture critic of The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman, to discuss his background; the role of a critic; New York City; the evolution of the profession; the housing crisis; social housing; the value of architecture; and more!

Reimagining Work Culture: Google Unveils New York Headquarters at Renovated St. John’s Terminal

Google’s newest headquarters in New York, situated within the St. John’s Terminal, will open its doors on February 26th, marking a milestone for the company’s presence in the city. Designed by COOKFOX Architects, in collaboration with Gensler, the headquarters is constructed atop the original 1930s rail terminal and adapted to become a vibrant hub for over 14,000 Googlers. The terminal, formerly the endpoint of the iconic High Light, now serves as a testament to the company’s innovative approach, rapid growth, and lifelong commitment to New York.

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How to Pre-Size a Gutter

As commonly understood, gutters are elements installed along the edges of roofs and balconies to channel rainwater. Their primary function is to collect water flowing over the roof's surface and direct it to the appropriate downspouts. Proper sizing is crucial regardless of the material—whether aluminum, PVC, concrete, galvanized steel, or others. Depending on the climate in which the project is situated, the damages caused by incorrect application can be considerable.

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Great American Cities That Teach Architecture

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Recently I visited Pittsburgh for a fascinating hand-drawing conference at Carnegie Mellon’s superb school of architecture, which to my knowledge is not among the top 10 in U.S. News and World Report. I wonder why? The curriculum is cutting-edge, the faculty world-renowned, and the students well-grounded and talented. More people of color are in the design community at CMU than at Princeton, SCI-Arc, or Harvard.

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Handrails and Accessibility 101: Ensuring Safe Usage in Architectural Projects

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Architectural design is a discipline that spans a wide range of scales, from macro scales involving the design of master plans or large urban complexes to micro scales, where it focuses on specific elements such as fixtures and fittings. Regardless of scale, careful attention to the design of each component of the built environment plays a critical role in how people experience architecture.

At the architectural micro-scale, railings and handrails play specific roles but are often confusing. While railings are designed to enclose spaces and prevent falls, handrails function as support elements, offering orientation and stability to avoid accidents and injuries. It is in the latter aspect that a stronger connection to accessibility becomes evident. For this reason, it is essential to have handrails, wall railings, and assist railings that meet ADA standards, such as those developed by Hollaender Manufacturing Co. These elements adapt to various design conditions, facilitating the movement of individuals who may encounter barriers in the physical environment.

CEBRA Designs Visitor Center in the Vjosa Wild River National Park in Albania

Established in 2023 to protect nearly 13,000 hectares of the Vjosa River Region Park, the Vjosa National Park Europe’s first “wild river national park.” Danish architecture CEBRA has been selected to design a multifunctional visitor center and information center in the newly protected space. Located in Përmet, Tepelenë, and Vlorë in Southern Albania, the Vjosa Wild River National Park features a 190-kilometer-long free-flower river. CEBRA’s design supports conservation efforts and investigates how visitors can engage with their respective ecosystems.

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Six Interviews to Understand Latin American Architecture

Multifaceted and filled with complexities, the landscape of architecture and urbanism in Latin America unveils specific nuances and challenges in light of the issues faced by various countries, such as social inequality, violence, and rapid urban growth. Within this context, architectural practice assumes a significant role in crafting feasible and appropriate solutions tailored to each reality, emphasizing the importance of reaffirming local references and narratives in this process.

In the face of the established hegemony, particularly by North America and Europe, which often marginalizes Latin American architectural and urban achievements, especially those not even recognized as such, the appreciation of this diversity and complexity becomes imperative for any consideration and intervention in the region. Below, we have selected six interviews that aid in understanding the architecture of Latin America and contribute to a more contextualized and sensitive approach to its needs, potential, and richness.

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