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Pei Cobb Freed And Partners: The Latest Architecture and News

Boston's Tallest Residential Tower Tops Out, Designed by Pei Cobb Freed

14:00 - 23 August, 2018
© Four Seasons One Dalton
© Four Seasons One Dalton

The Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston’s tallest residential building, has reached its full height of 742 feet, forming a significant presence on the Boston skyline. Designed by Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, in collaboration with Cambridge Seven Architects, the 61-story scheme features 160 residences, a five-star hotel, and an adjacent park.

Cobb’s design for One Dalton comes 40 years after he designed another noted Boston landmark, the John Hancock Tower.

© Conor Doherty © Four Seasons One Dalton © Kwesi Arthur of Cambridge Seven Associates © Four Seasons One Dalton + 10

The Evolution of Light in IM Pei’s Museums, from Dark Concrete Voids to Luminous Glass Pyramids

09:30 - 11 October, 2017
The Evolution of Light in IM Pei’s Museums, from Dark Concrete Voids to Luminous Glass Pyramids, Illuminated glass pyramid at Grand Louvre during twilight, Paris / France. Architecture: I. M. Pei & Partners, New York. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle, Washington. Photography: Thomas Mayer. Image © ERCO GmbH, www.erco.com
Illuminated glass pyramid at Grand Louvre during twilight, Paris / France. Architecture: I. M. Pei & Partners, New York. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle, Washington. Photography: Thomas Mayer. Image © ERCO GmbH, www.erco.com

Although the Louvre pyramid, often recognized as his masterwork, created a luminous icon for presenting culture, IM Pei’s early museums were characterized by the harsh shadows of brutalism. Project by project, the Chinese-American master developed a sophisticated, open architectural language. Pei’s holistic approach for welcoming museum visitors comprises powerful symbols which utilize sunlight to its fullest during the daytime, while employing the magical glow of illumination in the evening.

Whereas most assessments of the Louvre have praised the achievements of the luminous pyramid as seen above the ground, the actual design challenge laid underground, in offering visitors a successful underground space. Later, Pei transferred his language to multiple other museum projects, where light was always a key factor in defining museum experiences. In a year of celebratory events such as “Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium,” which begins tomorrow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, an examination of Pei’s use of light in museums can contribute an important cultural emphasis.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland / USA. Architecture: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. Image © Timothy Hursley Night view of Suzhou Museum, Suzhou / China. Architecture: Pei Partnership Architects. Photography: Kerin Ip. Image © Pei Partnership Architects Atrium at Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum), Berlin / Germany. Architecture: Pei Associates, New York. Photography: Rudi Meisel. Image © ERCO GmbH, www.erco.com Tetrahedral glass tent at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland / USA. Architecture: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. Image © Panoramio user Bohao Zhao <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rock_%5E_Roll_Hall_of_Frame_-_panoramio.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> + 29

"See You in Court!": 9 of Architecture’s Nastiest Lawsuits

09:30 - 8 May, 2017
© <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/16868722144/'>Flickr user diversey</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-2.0</a>
© Flickr user diversey licensed under CC BY-2.0

What did Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry get when he designed the Stata Center, an exuberantly whimsical academic complex for MIT? A very large check, plus a major lawsuit, alleging negligence and breach of contract due to rampant leaks, mold, cracks, drainage problems and sliding ice. Sometimes the most inspired designs can go awry. And when they do, some clients lawyer up. Here are 9 fascinating examples.

I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art

09:30 - 26 April, 2017
I.M. Pei’s Inspiration: A Comparison of Masterful Architecture with Minimalist Art, I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/masstravel/8568079947'>Flickr user masstravel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
I.M. Pei's JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Massachusetts. Image © Flickr user masstravel licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Today, April 26th 2017, marks I.M. Pei’s 100th birthday. The occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to take a retrospective look at one of the most significant and productive architects of the past 100 years, with many organizations hosting events, celebrations, and symposiums to talk about Master Pei and his notable projects. However at these events, just as throughout I.M. Pei’s career, there is unlikely to be much intellectual conversation about Pei’s architectural legacy. The main discussion around I.M. Pei is still focused on his design talent and intriguing narratives about the charisma he used to convince clients to continue through tough projects.

Though I.M. Pei himself has never talked at length about his design theory or the intellectual basis of his projects, these simple narratives leave certain questions unanswered: Where does I.M. Pei’s inspiration for architectural form come from? How did his architectural design affect his peer group of architects and artists, and contribute intellectually to the contemporary art world?

Why IM Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art is the Perfect Building to Suit Doha’s Style

09:30 - 16 March, 2017

#donotsettle is an online video project created by Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost about architecture and the way it is perceived by its users. Having published a number of videos on ArchDaily over the past two years, Pramoto and Provoost are now launching an exclusive column, “#donotsettle extra,” which will accompany some of their #donotsettle videos with in-depth textual analysis of the buildings they visit.

In our first installment we are taking you to Doha, the capital of Qatar, where we visited the Museum of Islamic Art. For some years, this museum was the only architecture fix you could find in Doha, but recently this has changed, with projects almost completed by Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas, and will continue to change leading up to the 2022 World Cup. The building was designed by IM Pei who, when the building was constructed in the mid-2000s, was retired but was persuaded to commit his time to design this prominent museum. And prominent it for sure is. Mister Pei, you know how to make your building stand out. Standing off the mainland, a solid natural stone structure rises out of the water.

© Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost + 9

I.M. Pei's Le Grande Louvre Wins AIA 25 Year Award

12:00 - 16 December, 2016
I.M. Pei's Le Grande Louvre Wins AIA 25 Year Award, © Koji Horiuchi. Courtesy of AIA
© Koji Horiuchi. Courtesy of AIA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected The Grand Louvre – Phase I as the recipient of the 2017 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by I.M. Pei with his firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the project is notable for its 71-foot-tall glass and stainless steel pyramid, which according to the AIA, “now rivals the Eiffel Tower as one of France’s most recognizable architectural icons.”

The award is presented annually to a project that has "stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years."

© Benoit Perrin. Courtesy of AIA © Koji Horiuchi. Courtesy of AIA © Koji Horiuchi. Courtesy of AIA © Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Courtesy of AIA + 5

The Names and Numbers Behind the World’s 100 Tallest Buildings

16:10 - 14 October, 2016
The Names and Numbers Behind the World’s 100 Tallest Buildings, via CTBUH
via CTBUH

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released some of the facts and figures behind the projects appearing in their recent book, 100 of the World’s Tallest Buildings. The construction of tall buildings requires collaboration between many different companies and firms and the efforts of hundreds of people, but a few select firms have been responsible for more of the design and engineering achievements than any other.

Continue reading to see the 18 design architects that have contributed multiple buildings to the top 100 list.

New York to Expand Its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

14:00 - 12 January, 2016
New York to Expand Its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Building after renovation. Image © Governor Andrew Cuomo
Building after renovation. Image © Governor Andrew Cuomo

Alongside a series of 2016 proposals, including the plans to transform Penn Station, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York will be expanding its Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - the busiest convention center in the US. Originally designed by James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1986, the structure has undergone a number of renovations since; this time, it will be expanded by 1.2 million-square-feet, totaling 3.3 million-square-feet, with the addition of "the largest ballroom in the Northeast," new exhibition space, a four-level truck garage, and a 34,000-square-foot solar array.

Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal

15:25 - 7 May, 2015
Henry N. Cobb Awarded Architectural League President's Medal, John Hancock Tower in Boston. Image © Flickr CC User Zach Heller
John Hancock Tower in Boston. Image © Flickr CC User Zach Heller

The Architectural League of New York has awarded its President's Medal to Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects. The League's highest honor, the medal was awarded to Cobb “for the truly consequential work he has created as designer, educator, thinker, writer, and leader,” says the jury citation.

"We are inspired by his decades-long passion for the art of architecture; by his analytic rigor, manifest in subtle and articulate buildings and penetrating readings of history and place; by the broad and profoundly informed humanist culture that suffuses his writings and approach to education; and by the unbounded curiosity and delight he takes in new ideas, new work, and new talent. Henry N. Cobb embodies that combination of capability and conviction—artistic, intellectual, practical, and civic—that defines the ideal architect.”

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

00:00 - 27 January, 2015
Pei Cobb Freed Breaks Ground on Boston’s Tallest Residential Tower, © Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Cambridge Seven Associates
© Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Cambridge Seven Associates

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.

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2012

15:00 - 13 June, 2012
Absolute Towers - Courtesy of MAD architects
Absolute Towers - Courtesy of MAD architects

Four innovative towers in Canada, Qatar, Australia and Italy have named the best tall buildings in the world for 2012 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the international not-for-profit association. These towers demonstrate the continued renaissance of tall building development worldwide, as a record number of 88 tall buildings soaring over 200 meters were completed in 2011, compared to 32 buildings in 2005. Another 96 tall buildings are projected to compete this year, with China being the largest contributor.

The four regional winners include the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas); 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia); Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe); and Doha Tower in Doha, Qatar (Middle East and Africa). Additionally, Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the CTBUH’s first Innovation Award for the project’s computer sun-screen.

“The winners display remarkable creativity, as well as a respect for the environment, connection with place, and the urban surroundings,” said Richard Cook, awards committee chairman and founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects.

Continue after the break to learn more.

National Mall Finalists Exhibit Designs

15:00 - 10 April, 2012
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects

The ten finalists competing in the final phase of the National Mall Design Competition are dreaming big. Proposals to restore the National Mall include flourishing lakeside gardens, contemporary cafés hovering over water, grassy new amphitheaters and underground pavilions exposed at the foot of the Washington Monument. Since the announcement of the finalists, the teams have been refining there proposals behind closed doors.

Now, the Trust for the National Mall has released the highly anticipated proposals to the public. From now until Sunday, at the Smithsonian Castle and the National Museum of American History, you can view each proposal in its entirety. If you don’t live in the D.C. area, no need to worry. Continue after the break to catch a glimpse of each submission and learn how you can help the jury decided who will revamp America’s “front yard”.

Update: National Mall Design Competition Stage II Results

19:00 - 23 December, 2011

Trust for the National Mall has announced the Stage II results, naming the ten design teams selected to continue in the third and final stage of the National Mall Design Competition. The National Mall will undergo an approximate $700 million restoration in three selected areas – Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

“We are excited about the teams selected to advance to Stage III and have no doubt each of them will create beautiful, useful and sustainable designs for the National Mall,” said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. “We are eager to share their final designs with the public in April.”

Continue reading for more information and the complete list of finalists.

National Mall Competition Finalists Announced

19:00 - 8 November, 2011

Over 1,200 entires from 30 states and 10 countries submitted applications for the National Mall competition. Late last month fifteen design teams were chosen as finalists to advance to the second stage of this prestigious contest.

Hosting 25 million visitors annually, the National Mall will undergo an estimated $700 million restoration beginning in 2012. The competition has been broken down into three areas of restoration: Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Among the finalists to move on to stage two of the competition, Diller Scofidio Renfro, Weiss/Manfredi, and Rogers Marvel Architects who are shortlisted for two out of the three areas of restoration, as well as Snohetta, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Ten Arquitectos, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson who are finalists for one area of restoration.

“Entrants were evaluated on past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity and overall resume,” according to a release from the Trust of the National Mall. The jury, compiled of architects, professors and other members of the architecture community, included Michael Gericke of Pentagram NYC and Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne founder of Morphosis.

The second stage of the competition includes interviews of the teams conducted by the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and the last stage will include proposed plans for the restoration. The competition will culminate in May 2012 and the proposed designs from stage three of the competition will be available to the public prior to the winning design being selected.

Follow the break for a complete list of design finalists for the National Mall Competition.

Texas Society of Architects' 25-Year Award Presented to I. M. Pei & Partners' Fountain Place

13:00 - 14 August, 2011
© Andreas Praefcke / <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>Wikimedia</a> Commons
© Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons

Each year the Texas Society of Architects recognizes a building that was completed 25-50 years ago which they believe has “stood the test of time by retaining its central form, character, and overall architectural integrity”. This year, the prestigious honor is awarded to Fountain Place, designed by Henry Cobb of I. M. Pei & Partners and completed back in 1986 in Dallas, Texas.

Top 100 Architecture Firms

15:48 - 17 May, 2011
© Joe Pugliese
© Joe Pugliese

Architect Magazine‘s third-annual ranking of American architecture firms takes a look at three factors: profitability, sustainability, and design quality. This whole picture approach provides an opportunity for small and large firms to go head to head, with a result of the best architecture firms, not necessarily the biggest.

Some of these practices have been featured on ArchDaily like Perkins + Will, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Cannon Design, and Frank Harmon Architect.

Take a look at the complete rankings after the break.

The Skyscraper as Citizen: Reflections on the Public Life of Private Buildings

20:00 - 22 April, 2011
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / Rachel Kz. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / Rachel Kz. Used under Creative Commons

The John Hancock Tower Boston, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, will receive the AIA 2011 Twenty-five Year Award at the annual convention next month. To mark the occasion, Henry N. Cobb, FAIA, Founding Partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, will discuss the history of the project and its influence on subsequent tall buildings designed by his firm. Organized by the Center for Architecture the discussion will be this coming Monday, April 25th and is free to AIA members.

Architecture City Guide: Philadelphia

10:05 - 23 March, 2011
Courtesy of <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>Wikimedia</a> Commons / Massimo Catarinella
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Massimo Catarinella

This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to Philadelphia. The list of influential architects that have either worked, studied, or taught in Philadelphia is perhaps the only list that challenges the numbers of Founding Fathers that descended on this city of “Brotherly Love.” A brief list includes Sullivan, Kahn, Wright, Pei, Rudolf, Corbusier, Latrobe, Gropius, Mumford, and Furness. That being said, our list of 12 barely scratches the surface of buildings worth seeing in this great city. We would like to hear about your must not miss buildings in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Philadelphia list and corresponding map after the break!