Detroit gets its feet wet with “blue infrastructure”

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Detroit‘s Water & Sewerage Department hopes an experiment in so-called blue infrastructure will help the cash-strapped city stop flushing money down the drain.

Continue reading after the jump.

Shanghai Talks> Watch SOM’s top sustainable engineer talk air quality, environmental design

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 280-meter-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (© Si-ye Zhang)

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 918-foot-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (Si-ye Zhang)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Luke Leung, director of sustainable engineering for SOM.

Watch the interview after the jump.

Feds tout new $100 million bus rapid transit plans for metro Indianapolis

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently delivered some welcome news to proponents of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Indianapolis.

“The city is on throes of launching something unique,” Foxx said in April while touring the proposed system’s first leg, the 28-mile, $100 million electric bus route known as the Red Line. “Transit can be the difference between someone having a shot and not having one in the 21st-century economy.” Read More

It’s official: Barack Obama’s Presidential Library is coming to Chicago’s South Side

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

Although the decision had already been widely reported by May 1, Barack Obama‘s nonprofit foundation today announced that the 44th President’s library will be built on the South Side of Chicago. Read More

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill selected for high-tech overhaul in South Bend, Indiana

(Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill)

(Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill)

Union Station Technology Center (USTC) in South Bend, Indiana began its life as a train station. Now it’s a data center and the state’s second largest carrier hotel. As a piece of internet infrastructure, it’s high tech. With the help of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the building owners are aiming for a design to suit.

Continue reading after the jump.

Northwestern University breaks ground on biomedical research tower to succeed Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in Chicago. (Northwestern University, Perkins + Will)

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in Chicago. (Northwestern University, Perkins + Will)

Northwestern University broke ground today on the latest addition to their downtown medical campus: a glassy, high-rise complex for biomedical research that architects Perkins + Will have previously described as “a high-tech loft.”

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center replaces Bertrand Goldberg’s old Prentice Women’s Hospital, which was demolished last year after a contentious preservation fight ended with the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voting unanimously to deny the building protection. Read More

This map sheds light on Chicago’s $1.7 billion in tax-increment financing projects

A screen shot of Chicago Cityscape's interactive TIF map. (Courtesy ChicagoCityscape.com)

A screen shot of Chicago Cityscape’s interactive TIF map. (Courtesy ChicagoCityscape.com)

The open-data site Chicago Cityscape has mapped hundreds of construction projects receiving public support through the city’s increasingly controversial tax-increment financing (TIF) system.

Continue reading after the jump.

National Endowment for the Arts awards nearly $75 million in grants across all 50 states

Art, Awards, National, News
Friday, May 8, 2015
.
Among the 1,023 awards announced May 6 is one to Make Music New York to support a one-day festival of free, participatory outdoor concerts. Pictured here is one of their Mass Appeal events that took place in New York's Union Square. (Aaron Friedman)

Among the 1,023 awards announced May 6 is one to Make Music New York to support a one-day festival of free, participatory outdoor concerts. Pictured here is one of their Mass Appeal events that took place in New York’s Union Square. (Aaron Friedman)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on Wednesday announced the latest round of its Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships programs, funding a symphony in Alabama, StoryCorps in Brooklyn, and more than 1,000 different projects across the country.

Continue reading after the jump.

The water is so clear right now in Lake Michigan, you can see sunken ships beneath the crystal waves

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

Winter ice is melting around the Great Lakes, revealing cerulean waters below—and, in northern Lake Michigan, an open graveyard of shipwrecks.

Continue reading after the jump.

Read all about it: Obama Presidential Library reportedly headed for Chicago

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

The Associated Press has reported that Barack Obama‘s presidential library will be in his adopted hometown of Chicago. After months of speculation that the 44th President of the United States might site his legacy project in New York City—where he attended Columbia University—or his birth city of Honolulu, Hawaii, multiple unnamed sources cited by the AP and other publications say Obama and his nonprofit foundation have settled on Chicago, where he forged his political career.

Continue reading after the jump.

Elegant studios, clean kitchens, Ohio Chabad Center get big praise at Chicago small projects awards

Architecture, Awards, Midwest, News
Thursday, April 30, 2015
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P. K. VanderBeke's Live/Work Gallery (Janet Mesic Mackie)

P. K. VanderBeke’s Live/Work Gallery (Janet Mesic Mackie)

The Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects this week honored tiny, often overlooked work in its fifth annual small projects awards, set to take place May 1 at Chicago’s Architectural Artifacts. Read More

Oberlin breaks ground on LEED Platinum hotel complex by Solomon Cordwell Buenz

(SCB, The Olympia Companies)

(SCB, The Olympia Companies)

Work is currently underway on a new mixed-use development at Ohio’s Oberlin College that, once complete later this year, will include one of only a handful of hotels pursuing LEED Platinum certification in the United States.

Continue reading after the jump.

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