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Historic Preservation: The Latest Architecture and News

Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

09:00 - 1 February, 2019
Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

Old Pasadena has gone from drab and dingy to a shopping and dining destination. Without Pasadena Heritage, this National Register Historic District would have been destroyed! Now it is one of the finest examples of downtown revitalizations in
 the country. Let one of our trained docents lead you through the historic neighborhood and reveal its many hidden and unusual architectural details, old alleyways, and historic signs.

Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

19:00 - 31 January, 2019
Old Pasadena Historic District Walking Tour

Old Pasadena has gone from drab and dingy to a shopping and dining destination. Without Pasadena Heritage, this National Register Historic District would have been destroyed! Now it is one of the finest examples of downtown revitalizations in
 the country. Let one of our trained docents lead you through the historic neighborhood and reveal its many hidden and unusual architectural details, old alleyways, and historic signs.

The Best Refurbishment Projects in the USA Recognized by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

09:00 - 22 November, 2018
The Best Refurbishment Projects in the USA Recognized by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation , Richardson Olmsted Campus, Buffalo, NY / Henry Hobson Richardson & Fredrick Law Olmsted. Image Courtesy of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’
Richardson Olmsted Campus, Buffalo, NY / Henry Hobson Richardson & Fredrick Law Olmsted. Image Courtesy of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced the winners of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Awards, honoring the best projects on 2018 in the field of preservation and adaptive reuse. The three schemes range “from the reimaging of a former asylum to the adaptive reuse of a historic school to the groundbreaking transformation of a 1.5 million square foot mixed-use facility”

The schemes were chosen from a shortlist of 50 nominated projects by a jury led by Pulitzer-Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, recognized for demonstrating “excellence in execution and a positive impact on the vitality of their towns and cities.”

New Plans to Revitalize Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

05:00 - 10 October, 2018
New Plans to Revitalize Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Courtesy of Glenn Howells Architects
Courtesy of Glenn Howells Architects

Home to the historic engineering firm, AE Harris, for over 50 years, Birmingham’s treasured Jewellery Quarter is being revamped on account of modernized manufacturing methods adopted by the company.

Joint venture partners Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital are working alongside Glenn Howells Architects to transform the site into a residential-led, mixed-use hub for the quarter.

Virtual Reality Opens Up New Possibilities for Historic Preservation

08:00 - 27 April, 2018
Virtual Reality Opens Up New Possibilities for Historic Preservation, via Google
via Google

In partnership with a 3D laser-scanning nonprofit called CyArk, Google Arts & Culture began the Open Heritage Project, a new chapter for historic preservation in the form of virtual reality. By using advanced 3D laser scanning technology, high-res drone photography, and DSLR cameras, CyArk can virtually recreate historic architecture to be more easily explored and restored.

O-office Discusses How Refurbishment Projects Reveal Untold Stories

19:00 - 11 March, 2018
SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United
SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion. Image© O-office & Maurer United

Guangzhou-based multidisciplinary firm O-office Architects specializes in refurbishment projects. Founders Jianxiang He and Ying Jiang are known for exploring what architecture can do within the contemporary Chinese context, including a recent project in which they transformed an abandoned Shenzhen factory into a dynamic cultural and community center.

In this interview with ArchDaily, the founders of O-office speak about their philosophies regarding refurbishments and the current state of architecture in China.

Woods Bagot to Transform 82-Year-Old Chinese Textile Mill Into Entertainment Destination

08:00 - 2 March, 2018
Woods Bagot to Transform 82-Year-Old Chinese Textile Mill Into Entertainment Destination, © Woods Bagot
© Woods Bagot

Fosun Group hired Woods Bagot to transform commercial planning of Dahua, an 82-year-old historic textile mill, into China’s next retail and entertainment district. Located in Xi’an’s urban center, the site sits next to Daming Palace, the Tang Dynasty’s royal residence and a national heritage site which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

© Woods Bagot © Woods Bagot © Woods Bagot © Woods Bagot + 10

Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building

09:30 - 24 February, 2018
Watch Robert A M Stern Make the Case for Preserving Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX
Rendering of Snøhetta's renovation plans for the AT&T Building. Image © DBOX

In a recent film published by Metropolis Magazine, New York-based architect Robert A M Stern explains why we should care about Philip Johnson’s controversial AT&T building. As landmark designation hearings to protect the buildings external facade continue, demolition of the lobby of this iconic Postmodern New York City skyscraper has already completed.

The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building's street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.

Call for Submissions: 2018 Fitch Funding

17:32 - 13 October, 2017
Call for Submissions: 2018 Fitch Funding, Featured work of Fellows past and present (clockwise from top left): Kress Fellow Tim Frank (2015), Blinder Awardee Rebecca Ward (2014), and Fitch Fellow Paul Kapp (2017).
Featured work of Fellows past and present (clockwise from top left): Kress Fellow Tim Frank (2015), Blinder Awardee Rebecca Ward (2014), and Fitch Fellow Paul Kapp (2017).

Since 1989, the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation has been in the vanguard of historic preservation practice and theory. The mission of the Fitch Foundation is to support professionals in the field of historic preservation, and to achieve this we provide mid-career grants to those working in preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, materials conservation, decorative arts, architectural design and history, and allied fields.

Dark Arkitekter Plans to Rejuvenate Oslo with National Theatre Rehabilitation

06:00 - 28 August, 2017
Dark Arkitekter Plans to Rejuvenate Oslo with National Theatre Rehabilitation, © Dark Arkitekter
© Dark Arkitekter

Oslo-based architecture firm Dark Arkitekter hopes to jumpstart the revitalization of the city’s cultural center with their proposed rehabilitation of the National Theatre and redevelopment of the surrounding public space. The government is currently planning to renovate the 118-year-old structure, but Dark Arkitekter was unimpressed with the minimal-effort plan and so put forth their design on behalf of the Theatre.

© Dark Arkitekter © Dark Arkitekter © Dark Arkitekter © Dark Arkitekter + 12

AD Classics: Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis / Abbot Suger

04:00 - 2 December, 2016
AD Classics: Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis / Abbot Suger, West Façade. Image © Wikimedia user Thomas Clouet (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)
West Façade. Image © Wikimedia user Thomas Clouet (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

The origin of Gothic architecture, a style which defined Europe in the later Middle Ages, can be traced to a single abbey church in the northern suburbs of Paris. The Basilique royale de Saint-Denis (Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis), constructed on the site of an abbey and reliquary established in Carolingian (800-888 CE) times, was partially rebuilt under the administration of Abbot Suger in the early 12th Century; these additions—utilizing a variety of structural and stylistic techniques developed in the construction of Romanesque churches in the preceding centuries—would set medieval architecture on a new course that would carry it through the rest of the epoch.

Félix Benoist (Public Domain). ImageEngraving (1861) Rose Window. Image © Wikimedia user Diliff (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) Tomb. Image © Wikimedia user Myrabella (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) West Façade Portal Detail. Image © Wikimedia user Myrabella (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) + 9

Why the Austrian Government's Plan to Demolish Hitler's Birth House is Contentious

04:00 - 1 November, 2016
Why the Austrian Government's Plan to Demolish Hitler's Birth House is Contentious, US soldiers photographed defacing Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn (1945)
US soldiers photographed defacing Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn (1945)

Mankind has a strange relationship with the darker elements of its history. While some argue that we must consign our greatest mistakes to the past in order to move forward, others believe that ignoring, or refusing to acknowledge, our transgressions dishonors those who suffered – and leaves us vulnerable to repeating them. This ongoing debate has found its latest incarnation in western Austria, where the national government has announced its intention to demolish a seemingly unremarkable yellow house in the riverside town of Braunau am Inn – a house which, despite its unassuming façade, has gained infamy as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.

Call for Applications: 2016 L.A. Conservancy Preservation Awards

16:30 - 10 January, 2016
Call for Applications: 2016 L.A. Conservancy Preservation Awards

The Los Angeles Conservancy is now accepting applications for their 2016 Preservation Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation in Los Angeles County. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2016.

An independent jury of experts in architecture, historic preservation, and community development will select the award recipients. Submissions that illustrate the value and power of preservation are encouraged from across Los Angeles County.

Projects honored in the past have varied widely, from sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse projects, to groundbreaking advocacy and education efforts undertaken by individuals or groups.

The World’s Fair New York State Pavilion to Be Digitally Preserved

00:00 - 25 May, 2014
The World’s Fair New York State Pavilion to Be Digitally Preserved, CyArk And The University Of Central Florida Plan To Digitally Preserve The 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion. Image © Marco Catini
CyArk And The University Of Central Florida Plan To Digitally Preserve The 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion. Image © Marco Catini

If you haven't heard of CyArk yet, make sure to check out their recent Kickstarter project. The not-for-profit company digitally preserves some of the world's most important sites: including Easter Island, Mt. Rushmore and The Pantheon, to name a few. Now the group is headed to New York to preserve Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin's 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion. Since the fair ended, the pavilion has fallen into disrepair and been heavily vandalized. With assistance from the University of Central Florida, they plan to release the digitally preserved 3D files to the public, for free. To help preserve this "National Treasure," check out their Kickstarter page.

Is there a Future for India's Stepwells?

00:00 - 29 September, 2013

Tourists in India dutifully make the rounds, visiting the spectacular temples, palaces, and forts the country has to offer. But, even when they're practically under their feet, people often forget about stepwells, the massive subterranean (up to ten stories) structures that dot the Indian landscape.

As this video explains, stepwells, first constructed around 300 CE, were born out of a need to dependably collect and store water. They boast highly complex circulation and ornamentation, and over the years have evolved to function also as community centres and temples. But, as architecture journalist Victoria Lautman has pointed out, with the spread of industrialisation and drought (not to mention widespread demolition), stepwells are slowly becoming derelict.

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Lauds "Exciting" New Building

00:00 - 25 September, 2013
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Lauds "Exciting" New Building, Courtesy of BKSK Architects
Courtesy of BKSK Architects

New designs of the six-story, 34,000 square foot building on the intersection of Broadway and Spring Street in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District in New York City led Commissioner Fred Bland to proclaim it as the most exciting building proposed during his tenure.

The proposal, designed by BKSK Architects, sits on a $147.9 million site purchased in December of 2012 by prominent developers, setting a per-buildable-square-foot record for SoHo retail. Their early intent of demolishing the existing building and constructing a new one garnered significant opposition. That is, till they revealed what was to replace it.

Chelsea Market Upzoning Approved by NYC Council

15:00 - 24 December, 2012
Plans for Chelsea Market along 10th Avenue; Courtesy of Jamestown Properties. Via Architect's Newspaper
Plans for Chelsea Market along 10th Avenue; Courtesy of Jamestown Properties. Via Architect's Newspaper

Construction has exploded along the High Line ever since it opened: condos hover over the rehabilitated track and look out onto the Hudson, while the new location of the Whitney Museum is making headway on the southern end of the park as Google moves into its NYC headquarters to a building just a few short blows away. Now, the historic Chelsea Market may be looking at a facelift following approval from the New York City Council for increasing density in the building by developers, Jamestown Properties. The proposed vertical extension, which has made a brief appearance on a few architecture blogs, will provide the additional in demand office and retail space in the Chelsea neighborhood.