Japanese government to fund a maglev train line between DC and Baltimore

East, News, Transportation
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi railway that US state and federal officials rode in trip to Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi Maglev Test Track that US officials rode on trip to test the technology in Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

You can do a lot in fifteen minutes: cook some surf-and-turf, blast through paperwork, star in a mediocre crime drama, or travel 40 miles between major East Coast cities. Well, not yet. Given the excruciatingly slow pace of infrastructure modernization in the U.S., there will be a wait on that last one, probably for decades.

Yet, the U.S. is taking small steps towards twenty-first century transportation. Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department granted $27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to conduct feasibility studies for a maglev train line that will run between DC and BaltimoreRead More

The 2015 winners of the Rudy Bruner Awards serve up a healthy dose of urban excellence

Architecture, Awards, National, Urbanism
Thursday, June 11, 2015


The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence has announced its 2015 gold and silver medalists. For the past 27 years, the biennial competition has honored “transformative places distinguished by physical design and contributions to the economic, environmental and social vitality of America’s cities.”

See the winners after the jump.

Beneath this 200 year old monument to George Washington, a time capsule filled with 3D printed scans will send messages to the future

East, Preservation, Technology
Friday, April 17, 2015
(Ed Gunts)

(Ed Gunts)

What do you put in a 21st century time capsule inside the cornerstone of a 19th century landmark that’s undergoing restoration? If the landmark is the nation’s first monument to George Washington, you put in a 3D printed likeness of the first president, hot off the 3D printer, of course. That’s the idea behind the four shiny objects that will be sealed within an 1815-era cornerstone and placed below the base of the Washington Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, home of the aforementioned first monument to Washington.

Read More

One of these five projects will be named winner of the 2015 Rudy Bruner Awards in urban design

Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Grand Rapids, MI (Courtesy Mike Buck)

Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Grand Rapids, MI (Courtesy Mike Buck)

The Rudy Bruner Awards for Urban Excellence have announced the five finalists for 2015. Founded in 1987, the accolade recognizes urban design, architecture and urban planning projects which address economic and social concerns within their environment.

Read More

Another Brutalist Wonder Bites the Dust: Johansen’s Mechanic Theatre

Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore (photo: Edward Gunts)

Despite pleas for preservation from some of the nation’s top architects, demolition work has begun on  a nationally significant example of “Brutalist” architecture in north America, the 1967 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, designed by the late John M. Johansen.

A  yellow backhoe with a spike-like attachment began chipping into the theater’s concrete exterior earlier this month, ending any chance that the building could be saved. One local preservationist was able to salvage the original letters from the  building, but nothing else. Read More

Solar-Powered Water Wheel Contraption Cleans up Baltimore Harbor

(Courtesy Baltimore Office of Sustainability)

(Courtesy Baltimore Office of Sustainability)

The Water Wheel Powered Trash Inceptor, an apparatus first introduced to the city of Baltimore back in 2008, has been reinstated in Baltimore Harbor with a sleek new design. The floating machine is a sort of vacuum cleaner for the harbor, scooping up trash floating through the water. This new iteration is projected to collect an estimated 50,000 pounds of trash every day.

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA’s Committee On The Environment Announces 2014’s Top 10 Green Buildings

Arizona State University Student Health Services. ( Bill Timmerman / Courtesy AIA)

Arizona State University Student Health Services. ( Bill Timmerman / Courtesy AIA)

The AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the winners of its annual sustainability awards program. Now in its 18th year, the COTE awards celebrate green architecture, design, and technology. According to a press release, the winning projects must “make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts.”

Each of the ten winners will be officially honored at the AIA’s National Convention and Design Exhibition in Chicago later this year, but, in the meantime, here’s a closer look at the 10 winners.

View the winners after the jump.

Perkins + Will folds in Freelon Group Architects, expands North Carolina practice

East, National, Shft+Alt+Del
Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Freelon's Museum of the African Diaspora (Todd HidoEDGE)

Freelon’s Museum of the African Diaspora. (Todd HidoEDGE)

Design giant Perkins + Will has swallowed up Freelon Group Architects, one of the country’s most prominent African American–led firms. The firms announced Tuesday that North Carolina–based Phil Freelon will help lead Perkins + Will’s design efforts in the region and globally.

Continue reading after the jump.

Baltimore’s Hopscotch Crosswalk Colossus

City Terrain, East, Urbanism
Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Crossing the street in Baltimore just got a lot more fun. The city has just unveiled its newest dispatch: a “hopscotch crosswalk” transforming the downtown street crossing at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard streets into an entertaining diversion for pedestrians. The project was a component of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for the Bromo Seltzer Arts & Entertainment District’s desire in incorporate public art in various areas of the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Finds from the Floor at NeoCon East 2013

East, Product
Monday, October 28, 2013

Tonic by Watson

The 11th edition of NeoCon East, the sister show to Chicago’s summer contract furniture fair, was held October 16 and 17. Despite the government shutdown that legally prevented some GSA employees from attending,  more than 7,000 visitors attended the show at Baltimore‘s Convention Center to peruse the wares of over 250 exhibitors. Keynote addresses from Michael Graves—who launched a new collection of textiles with cf stinson—and Suzanne Tick were augmented with ongoing educational seminars.

Designed in collaboration with San Francisco–based industrial design firm Mike & Maaike, the freestanding benching system (above) is designed with steel and MDF for both durability and flexibility. A center deck can support video and computer monitors, storage, and LED lamps with a concealed four-circuit, eight-wire raceway.

Continue reading after the jump.

QUICK CLICKS>Palace 4 Sale, College Towns, Barbie House

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How much for a palace in New York? $400 million. Courtesy WSJ

Big Deals. It’s a week of very big deals in NYC as The New York Times reported that Condé Nast signed on the dotted line to move in to One World Trade, and The Wall Street Journal broke the story that The Palace is under contract to be sold to Northwood Investors for $400 million. While across town at The Plaza, the drama continues to unfold with news that landlord Miki Nafti is stepping down and the Oak Room is closing.

Grad Towns. With commencements commencing, many would rather forget that college grads are having a pretty hard time finding work. But a recent search for the ten best college towns from Kiplinger made job opportunities in the college towns part of the criteria.  NYC came in first, despite the “sky high rents,” Charlotte and Baltimore followed with their relatively low cost and robust growth.

Open Call. The AIA has announced that My Architect Barbie needs a house. Through the contest to “design a house that meets her guidelines” architects may find the client surprisingly demanding, “With more than 125 careers, I need a spacious office,” says the eight- inch wonder. A big back yard needs to accommodate all her pets, including the giraffe.




7 Cities Consider Removing Major Urban Highways

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Proposed highway removal along Louisville's riverfront (Courtesy 8664.org)

Proposed highway removal along Louisville's riverfront (Courtesy 8664.org)

In a shift from America’s traditional 20th century landscape, more and more cities are now considering removing major highways in favor of housing, parks and economic development.

The chief motivation seems to be money, according to a recent NPR report highlighting the growing movement and the removal of Cleveland’s West Shoreway. As highways age, keeping them around doesn’t justify the high cost of maintenance.

Check out 7 highway removal proposals across the country

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