Ennead Architects has unveiled details of the Zhangjiang Science City, representing a conscious shift in the planning and design of large-scale urban blocks in Shanghai towards a human-scaled design that integrates a wide range of programs. Responding to a masterplan mandate, the scheme creates an open campus designed to foster a holistic built environment with a focus on providing a balance of living, work, and play spaces.
Ennead Architects: The Latest Architecture and News
Taking to the skies, Ennead Architects have released drone footage of the construction progress on their Shanghai Planetarium project. First revealed back in 2016, the 38,000-square-meter planetarium will be one of the largest in the world. By early June, nearly 85 percent of civil construction has been completed, and a new milestone was reached as temporary braces were removed with the 2,000-ton cantilever structure. The drone footage showcases the museum design and the construction process that's bringing it to life.
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.
But American public housing doesn’t have to be desolate. A new set of design standards from the New York City Public Design Commission (PDC)—in collaboration with The Fine Arts Federation of New York and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter—hopes to turn over a new leaf in affordable housing architecture.
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.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of the 2017 CAE Education Facility Design Awards, honoring the year’s best educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”
“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.”
See the 12 winning projects, after the break.
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.
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.
Ennead Architects has broken ground on the Shanghai Planetarium, a new 38,000-square-meter project that will define a new identity for the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (SSTM) in the Lingang district of Shanghai, China.
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.”
Update: The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.
Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has shared initial photos by Iwan Baan of their new McMurty Building for Art & Art History at Stanford University, which will be officially unveiled to the public on October 6. The 100,000 square foot building will open for the 2015 fall semester, and allow students studying art history and students practicing fine arts to work together under the same roof for the first time at Stanford. See and read more about the soon-to-be opened project after the break.
After renovations by Todd Schliemann of Ennead Architects, the New York Hall of Science’s (NYSCI) Great Hall has reopened to the public, reclaiming its place as the centerpiece of the NYSCI. Originally designed by Harrison and Abramovitz Architects, the Great Hall was the main exhibit space of the Hall of Science during the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, encapsulating visitors in an illusion of deep space with its irregular plan surrounded by undulating glass and concrete walls. Still one of the most formally interesting buildings in Queens, the Great Hall is one of the original World’s Fair’s last surviving structures and a landmark of mid-century modernism.