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Michael Van Valkenburgh And Associates: The Latest Architecture and News

Detroit's Waterfront is Setting a Precedent for Community Led Architecture

As the river offers a place of beauty and solitude to the people of Detroit, four international design teams have presented their creative schemes for the West Riverfront to extend this vibrant area in the city as part of an international design competition led by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy (DRFC). The development of the 22-acre West Riverfront Park is expected to cost around $50 million to complete the DRFC’s ultimate vision for 5.5 miles of revitalized riverfront.

The four principal firms include Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), Hood Design Studio (HDS), James Corner Field Operations and Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates (MVVA) collaborating with numerous Detroit and Michigan- based firms. Each of the teams has collaborated closely with the public to achieve a design that gives justice to the legacy of the people.

This Brooklyn Theater Renovation Shows You Don't Have to Choose Between Heritage and Sustainability

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings: Why a Theater Company Chose Resurrection (Not Demolition)."

For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.

Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.

St. Ann’s, led by artistic director Susan Feldman, hired a building team that included Marvel Architects; BuroHappold Engineering; and Charcoalblue, a theater, lighting, and acoustics consultancy. The resulting 25,000-square-foot complex, St. Ann’s Warehouse, includes two versatile and changeable performance spaces, lobby and event areas, and a triangular garden (designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates).

ARC Wildlife Crossing Competition winner / HNTB + Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates

© HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.
© HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.

Announced in Washington DC the ARC jury of internationally-respected professionals with expertise in design, ecology, and engineering selected entry ‘hypar-nature’ led by HNTB with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates as the winner of the ARC International Design Competition.

The ARC Wildlife Crossing Competition challenged interdisciplinary design teams to create the next generation of wildlife crossing structures for North America’s roadways. The four inter-related objectives for the competition included:

  • Provide an avenue for international teams of design professionals to address new design challenges in the coalescent issues of road transportation safety, structural engineering, wildlife conservation and landscape ecology;
  • Explore creative new approaches, materials, and designs that address the fundamentals of transportation engineering and ecology;
  • Increase the number of potential solutions for cost efficient, innovative crossing designs that can be adapted for widespread use in other locations; and,
  • Engage design professionals and students in the interdisciplinary nature of road ecology with a real-time, in-situ application.

HNTB + MVVA Team Members: HNTB Engineering, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. Landscape Architects PC, Applied Ecological Services Competition Timeline: September 2010 – January 2011 Renderings and Drawings: HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.

New Yorkers top Architectural Events of 2010

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

This years architectural events in New York are bound to have a meaningful effect on the years to come; the decision by NYU to add another tower complementing I.M Pei’s existing Silver Towers complex (rather than their initial plan to demolish them), the opening of the first section of Brooklyn Bridge Park coupled with the completion of the High Line has re-established New York City as a key model to reference when it comes to designing urban public space, and finally construction began on Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, by Louis Kahn, to name a few.

From transportation, urban planning, exhibitions, residential and office buildings follow the break to see the New Yorkers list of some of the most influential decisions surrounding architecture over the past year in New York.