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Los Angeles River: The Latest Architecture and News

Pei Cobb Freed Breaks Ground on Boston’s Tallest Residential Tower

Construction has commenced on Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ 61-story condominium tower in Boston’s historic Back Bay. The $700 million development will be the tallest residential building in the city, and the tallest tower to rise since the 1976 John Hancock Tower, also designed by Pei Cobb Freed.

“The project allows us to consider once again how a tall building, together with the open space it frames, can respond creatively to the need for growth while showing appropriate respect for its historic urban setting,” says Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

How Americans Get to Work

In the US, most people drive alone to work. This isn’t surprising, considering car culture has been a staple of American life since the end of World War II. However, with the potential of high speed rails making way in California and the push for public transit in many other states, it will be interesting to see how this map may (or may not) change over the next decade.

Tiny-House Villages: Safe Havens for the Homeless

As the need for smart housing solutions rises, so does the appeal of tiny-house villages, not just as shelter for the homeless, but as a possible look to the future of the housing sector. The new article, Are Tiny-House Villages The Solution To Homelessness? by Tim Murphy, takes a closer look into the positive and negative aspects of these controversial communities, as well as their social and political ramifications so far. Through interviews with residents of several tiny-house villages, Murphy investigates the current impacts they have had on the homeless populations within major American cities, and questions how the lifestyle will evolve in the future. Read the full article, here.

NCARB to Assist Brazil with Regulating Architectural Licensure

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has formed an agreement with the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR) to “exchange information and share best practices” regarding the regulation of architectural licensure and professional standards.

“NCARB is pleased to be in a position to help Brazil strengthen and solidify its regulatory approach governing architects,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. “We are also excited to learn from Brazil’s activities, including its effective national system of monitoring various aspects of architectural practice.”

AIA Says December ABI Closed 2014 on "Solid Footing"

Rising from a score of 50.9 to 52.2 in December, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) closed 2014 on "solid footing." As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), design services continued to increase throughout the majority of last year and all regions, except the Northeast, experienced favorable conditions.

“Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

360 Architecture Tops New Atlanta Stadium with Retractable "Roof Petals"

Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium
Courtesy of New Atlanta Stadium

A fly-through over the new Atlanta Falcons’ stadium has been released, revealing an unprecedented retractable roof designed by 360 Architecture (recently acquired by HOK). According to the stadium’s official website, the Pantheon-inspired stadium’s “eight unique roof petals” can rotate open in less than eight minutes, much like a “camera lens.” It will also be clad in a translucent ETFE fabric that, when closed, will allow natural light to pass into its interior.

The video, after the break.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Commissioned for New Performing Arts Center in Massachusetts

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been chosen as the winner of a design competition for a new performing arts center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The competition received submissions from eight world-renowned firms, which were then judged by a selection committee. The $60 million building will tentatively begin construction in 2017, as part of the College's plan to "Become More: The Campaign of Holy Cross." DS+R ultimately won the competition due to its diverse design and interdisciplinary nature, just as the College hopes to instill in its students through this addition.

Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light

In the wake of her selection as the recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award for 2015, Hélène Binet's work will be exhibited at the Woodbury University Hollywood (WUHO) Gallery in Los Angeles, California. The exhibition, entitled Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light, will be open from February 28, 2015 to March 29, 2015, showcasing the highlights of the artist's career as a renowned architectural photographer. The exhibition will be initiated with an opening reception and award ceremony on February 28, 2015 to honor Binet for her achievements.

Artplace Offering Grants for Cultural Installations

Artplace America is offering up to $3 million in funding to an applicant non-governmental organization (NGO) in six different regions of the US as a part of its Community Development Investments program. Artplace will select these six organizations based on their interest in “sustainably incorporating arts and cultural strategies into the organizations work.” If selected, NGOs will work with financial advisement teams, as well as creative consultants to make the best use of the grant money. To see if your organization is eligible, click here!

Yoko Ono and Project 120 Collaborate to Reimagine Chicago’s Jackson Park

Chicago’s Jackson Park is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.

2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

Celebrating the most innovative spaces in the realm of interior design, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected this year's recipients for the prestigious Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture. These eight projects will be recognized for their exceptional design at the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.

Learn more about the winning designs after the break.

Arent Fox / STUDIOS Architecture. Image © Eric Laignel Beats By Dre / Bestor Architecture. Image © Jasper Sanidad Barbarian Group / Clive Wilkinson Architects; Design Republic Partners Architects LLP. Image © Michael Moran National September 11 Memorial Museum / Davis Brody Bond. Image © James Ewing Photography + 8

Vincent Laforet's Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid.

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

© Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet © Vincent Laforet + 12

2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture

Several projects have been selected to receive this year's Institute Honor Awards for Architecture, chosen by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award celebrates projects which exhibit design excellence in the field of architecture, and is one of the highest such awards in the industry. The recipients will be recognized for their work at the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.

View the winners after the break.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Image © Eduard Hueber / ArchPhoto LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park. Image © Michael Moran Danish Maritime Museum. Image © Luca Santiago Mora UC Berkeley Memorial Stadium and Training Center. Image © Jim Simmons + 23

64North to Construct "Sparkling" Palo Alto Pedestrian Bridge Over Highway 101

Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto
Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto

64 North, HNTB Engineering, Bionic Landscape Architecture and sculptor Ned Kahn have been chosen by the City of Palo Alto to realized a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the 14-lane Highway 101 at Adobe Creek. Their winning proposal, “Confluence” will connect residential and commercial areas in south Palo Alto to the Baylands Nature Preserve and the regional Bay Trail network.

Read on for more information and a video about the design. 

Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto + 12

2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design

Four projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) for honorably expanding the role of the architect beyond the building and into the realms of urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. These projects will be honored with the AIA’s Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design at the 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. See the winners, after the break.

© CBT Architects © BIG © SOM Courtesy of Morgan Sheff + 12

Society of Architectural Historians 68th Annual International Conference

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) will hold its 68th Annual International Conference in Chicago, Illinois, from April 15–19, 2015, with the theme "Chicago at the Global Crossroads." SAH will celebrate its 75th anniversary during the conference, which includes lectures by Jeanne Gang and Blair Kamin, as well as roundtables and 36 paper sessions covering topics in architecture, art and architectural history, preservation, landscape architecture, and the built environment. SAH is committed to engaging both conference attendees and local participants with public programming that includes over 30 architectural tours, a plenary talk, and a half-day seminar addressing Chicago’s waterways and neighborhoods. Register at sah.org/2015.

Nonprofit Group ACDU Seeks to Transform Abandoned D.C. Trolley Station

The Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground (ACDU) has taken on the task of revitalizing an abandoned trolley station beneath Dupont Circle in the Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C. The nonprofit organization recently signed for a 66-month lease of the property with the District of Columbia’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Within that timeframe, the group will transform the space into a permanent cultural hotspot capable of hosting performances, art exhibitions, and other public functions. Learn more, and contribute to the ACDU’s Fundable campaign for this project, after the break.

Video: Santiago Calatrava On His Design For Ground Zero's Only Non-Secular Building

In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church - the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a "tiny jewel" for lower Manhattan, comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of . It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.