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University Of Pennsylvania: The Latest Architecture and News

America's Most Admired Architectural Schools 2020 Ranked

The annual DesignIntelligence architecture school ranking for 2020 classified the establishments according to the “most admired” rather than the “best”, for the second year in a row. The subjective classification is based on the responses of hiring professionals.  

David Adjaye Honored with 2018 Louis Kahn Memorial Award

British architect Sir David Adjaye, Founding Principal of Adjaye Associates, will be honored as this year’s recipient of the Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award by the Center for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia. The annual award celebrates the achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of architecture, while also celebrating the achievements of influential Philadelphia-based architect Louis Kahn.

Past recipients of the award have included Bjarke Ingels, Norman Foster, Peter Bohlin, Daniel Libeskind, Robert A.M. Stern, Rafael Viñoly and César Pelli.

The Best Architecture Schools in the U.S. 2017

With schools around the country starting back up again, it’s time for the latest edition of DesignIntelligence’s yearly rankings of the Top Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. This year, CEOs, managing partners, and human-resource directors from more than 2,000 firms were asked to list the 10 programs from each category they felt best prepared students for success in the profession of architecture.

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, computer applications, sustainability and construction methods & materials, factored into the creation of the 2017 rankings. In addition, over 2,785 students were polled on the quality of their program and their plans for post-graduation. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, were once again named the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Read on to see the list of the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US.

Frederick Steiner Named Dean of PennDesign

Frederick Steiner has been named the new dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design (Penn Design). Effective July 1, the appointment comes after Steiner announced his departure from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, which, according to The Texas Tribune, was partially due to the school's new gun law that will allow students to carry concealed firearms.

Louis Kahn's Notorious Richards Laboratory Restored

Louis Kahn's Richards Medical Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, once deemed "the most consequential building constructed in the United States" since World War II by MoMA, has been notoriously hated by its users; scientists claim the building lacks privacy, has too much exposure to sunlight and is not suitable for lab experiments. Thus, the University's architect has just completed a full renovation of Richards' four brick towers, converting them into offices and computer labs for researchers, while, as Philly.com reports, restoring the structure to its original essence.

"The renovation has pared Kahn's spaces down to their essence, restoring a Zenlike calm, and revealing the muscular concrete structure that made the design such a revelation in the early 1960s, when International Style glass towers were all the rage," says Philly.com. Read the complete article here.

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

HWKN Unveils Design for "Pennovation Center" in Pennsylvania

New York-based firm HWKN have revealed the design for what is to become the University of Pennsylvania's latest hub for entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators. Dubbed "The Pennovation Centre," the project is the first major development within the Pennovation Works, and will occupy a 58,000-square-foot footprint on the campus' south.

A rejuvenation of the former DuPont laboratory, it is hoped that The Pennovation Centre will become an "iconic landmark" for pen, providing a "dynamic environment" for innovation in varied fields.

Courtesy of HWKN Architects Courtesy of HWKN Architects Courtesy of HWKN Architects Courtesy of HWKN Architects + 6

AD Interviews: Winka Dubbeldam

At last week's Mextrópoli conference we spoke with Winka Dubbeldam about the challenges of architecture education. We also asked her to elaborate on why she thinks architecture should embrace industrial design tools. Watch the short clip to hear Winka's thoughts on making technology a more integral part of our built environment.

A New Series Featuring Laurie Olin, Acclaimed Landscape Architect

The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently launched its newest documentary as part of the ongoing Oral History series, this time focusing on the ideas and career of Laurie Olin, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the greatest landscape architects of our time. Olin's influential work as a practitioner, educator and author over the past forty years has helped to guide the future of landscape architecture and shape urban life around the world.

499.SUMMIT Reimagines U.S. Prisons

Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch
Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch

With the guidance of their instructor Matthias Hollwich, students Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design have proposed an alternative to the traditional prisons seen throughout the United States. The innovative high-rise penitentiary acknowledges the fact that nearly two-thirds of the 14,000 inmates released annually from New Jersey correctional facilities will return to prison within five years. 499.SUMMIT offers a solution that intends to reverse that statistic and help inmates successfully transition back into society.

Continue after the break for more.

Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch Courtesy of Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch + 50

Video: Swarming Nano Quadrotors Fly in Formation

You may remember our coverage on the Flight Assembled Architecture exhibit by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, that featured a team of flying drones constructing an architectural structure at the scale of a 600m high “vertical village” out of foam blocks. Well, check this out! Roboticists at the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab, along with developer Kmel Robotics, have created these autonomous Nano Quadrotors capable of flying in formation and flawlessly performing complex maneuvers. Imagine the possibilities!

Immersive Kinematics: A New Research Website at the University of Pennsylvania

Caterpillar (Courtesy of Immersive Kinematics)
Caterpillar (Courtesy of Immersive Kinematics)

Immersive Kinematics, a new research group at the University of Pennsylvania, shared with us their newly launch website. The research agenda expands the roles of architecture and engineering focusing on integrating robotics, interaction, and embedded intelligence in our buildings, cities, and cultures.

Fumihiko Maki 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner

© Imogene Tudor
© Imogene Tudor

In recognition of his contributions to architecture in both theory and practice Fumihiko Maki was recently named the 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner. Maki, arguably one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, will be honored with the award in New Orleans at the AIA National Convention.