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Civic: The Latest Architecture and News

Renovation of Federal Reserve Board Headquarters Portends a Battle Over Civic Architecture

Paul Philippe Cret’s 1937 building for the Federal Reserve Board (FRB)—the Marriner S. Eccles Building—stands as a prime example of neoclassical civic architecture along Washington D.C.’s Constitution Avenue. But the white marble building may have prompted new proposed guidelines around federal architecture, if conversations swirling in meetings of the Commission of Fine Arts are any indication. Plans to renovate and expand the FRB complex—the Eccles Building is joined by the FRB-East Building, designed in 1933 as the US Public Health Service by Cret’s fellow Frenchman Jules Henri de Sibour—are currently under review at the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).

TheeAe Unveils a Triangular Proposal for Australia’s Ryde Civic Center

Courtesy of TheeAe LTD.
Courtesy of TheeAe LTD.

TheeAe has revealed their competition entry for a new civic center in Ryde, Australia. As its name indicates, ‘Trianglemnant’ builds upon the unique triangular site area, and consists of a series of overlapping trilateral forms that shape the building and surrounding public spaces.

Trianglemnant was put forward as part of the international design competition ‘Design our Ryde’, which invited architects to present proposals for a new civic center at the gateway to the municipality. Though the project was not one of the four shortlisted, its attempt to create a diverse public space is noteworthy.

Competition Proposal by Preliminary Research Office Thinks “Outside the Box”

Preliminary Research Office has revealed their entry to a competition to design the new civic center for the city of Ryde, Australia. The project uses a series of boxes at different scales to inform the organization of both the building and the public spaces. Following a competition of 175 entries from 49 countries, the project did not make the shortlist. However, its approach addresses the fundamental needs of a civic center to be dynamic, flexible and human-scale.

Aerial Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Preliminary Research OfficeExterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Preliminary Research OfficeExterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Preliminary Research OfficeAerial Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Preliminary Research Office+ 15

Call for Submissions: Design Our Ryde - International Design Competition

The Council of the City of Ryde, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, invites submissions for an iconic gateway concept – a bold vision of insightful and creative design to guide future development of its civic site.

Review: 'All Of This Belongs To You' - Civic Urbanism At London's Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), named after the Queen and Her Consort, has its foundations in the Great Exhibition of 1851 amidst the wealth, innovation and squalor of the Industrial Revolution. Britain was flooded by prosperity which allowed for the development of major new institutions to collect and exhibit objects of cultural significance or artistic value. The institute’s first director, Henry Cole, declared that it should be “a schoolroom for everyone,” and a democratic approach to its relationship with public life has remained the cornerstone of the V&A. Not only has it always been free of charge but it was also the first to open late hours (made possible by gas lighting), allowing a more comprehensive demographic of visitor.

Their latest exhibition, which opens today, seeks to realign the museum’s vast collection and palatial exhibition spaces in South Kensington with these founding concepts. The interventions of All of This Belongs to You attempt to push the V&A’s position as an extension of London’s civic and cultural built environment to the fore, testing the museum’s ability to act as a 21st century public institution. To do this in London, a city where the notion of public and private is increasingly blurred, has resulted in a sequence of compelling installations which are tied together through their relevance either in subject matter, technique, or topicality.

The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column by Jorge Oteros-Pailos. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum‘AgBags’ installed on the V&A’s stone façade as part of a work by Natalie Jermijenko. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert MuseumSpike studs by Kent Stainless Ltd. that are intended 
to discourage people from occupying various spaces in the city. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert MuseumMacBook Air casing and components from a computer used by journalists to write editorial about the data leaked to The Guardian newspaper by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. Image © The Guardian/ Victoria & Albert Museum+ 9