Architects will soon suspend this cellulose fiber canopy made from discarded paper in Boston

(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

Recognizing architects’ increased use of installations for experimentation and prototyping, the “Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building” competition awards project proposals that use the medium for spatial exploration.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sasaki Associates proposes a community-friendly Boston City Hall Plaza buzzing with cultural activities

(Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

(Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

Requests, complaints, and even full-fledged proposals came flooding in after Mayor Marty Walsh issued a Request for Information (RFI) in January for the redesign of Boston City Hall Plaza. Four months and nearly 1000 tweets later, plans to launch a complete assail on the eight-acre eyesore of red brick and concrete are beginning to consolidate.

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This netted, aerial sculpture above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway looks like lace but is stronger than steel

(Courtesy Melissa Henry)

(Courtesy Melissa Henry)

A multicolored aerial sculpture lords over the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston in spiderweb fashion, casting rippling shadows over the pedestrian-friendly highway topper.

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Anita Berrizbeitia to head Department of Landscape Architecutre at Harvard GSD

Anita Berrizbeitia. (Courtesy GSD)

Anita Berrizbeitia. (Courtesy GSD)

Anita Berrizbeitia has been named as the new chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD. Berrizbeitia is already quite familiar with the department as she is currently a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the GSD and the Director of its Master in Landscape Architecture degree programs.

“Berrizbeitia is a landscape architect specializing in theory and criticism of 19th and 20th-century public landscapes in the United States and Europe, with particular interests in material culture, design expression, and the productive functions and roles of landscape in processes of urbanization,” Harvard GSD said in a press release. “Her research on Latin American cities and landscapes centers on the creative hybridization of local and foreign cultural practices as a response to a centuries-old process of global cultural exchange; the role of large-scale infrastructural projects on territorial organization; and the interface between landscape and emerging urbanization.”

Berrizbeitia will assume her new role on July 1.

Plans advance for Congress Square, a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use project in Boston

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

Boston is moving closer to turning an under-utilized part of its financial district into a 24-hour, mixed-used entertainment center. BostInno reported that the Boston Redevelopment Authority held a meeting on the project Monday night, which has been dubbed “Congress Square.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Höweler+Yoon combine cutting-edge tech and age-old craft to complete the Sean Collier Memorial at MIT

Sean Collier Memorial. Photo by Scott Newland. Courtesy Howeler + Yoon.

Sean Collier Memorial. (Scott Newland / Courtesy Howeler + Yoon)

On April 18th, 2013, the Boston Marathon bombers went on a crime spree that included the killing of Officer Sean Collier who was shot in the line of duty on the MIT campus. In honor of the slain MIT patrol officer, the university commissioned Boston-based Höweler+Yoon Architecture to design the Sean Collier Memorial—a somber, grey stone structure that marks the site of the tragedy. The heaviness of the unreinforced, fully compressive masonry structure is meant to convey the concept of “Collier Strong,” or strength through unity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Beantown Goes Deep Green with ISA

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Interface Studio Architects' 226-232 Highland was the first project built under Boston's E+ Green Building Program. (Sam Oberter)

Interface Studio Architects’ 226-232 Highland was the first project built under Boston’s E+ Green Building Program. (Sam Oberter)

Boston launches a sustainable housing initiative with net-zero energy townhomes.

As anyone who has come into contact with Red Sox Nation knows, Bostonians tend not to believe in half measures. A case in point is the city’s E+ Green Building Program, a joint initiative of the Office of Environment & Energy Services, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Designed to demonstrate the feasibility of building net-zero energy, multi-unit housing in an urban context, the program made its built debut in 2013 with 226-232 Highland Street, a development consisting of four three-bedroom townhomes in Boston‘s Roxbury neighborhood. The building achieved substantial energy savings on a tight budget in part through a highly insulated facade constructed from conventional materials. “The envelope is key,” explained Interface Studio Architects (ISA) principal Brian Phillips. “We design many super high performance projects and we believe strongly in the quality of the envelope as the starting point.”
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John Peterson, founder of Public Architecture, to curate GSD’s Loeb Fellowship

Architecture, East, Media, Shft+Alt+Del
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
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John Peterson. (Courtesy GSD)

John Peterson. (Courtesy GSD)

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design has named John Peterson, founder of the non-profit Public Architecture, as the new curator of the Loeb Fellowship. The fellowship consists of architects, landscape architects, journalists, and more studying the built environment.

Continue reading after the jump.

High-Tech History by Hacin + Associates

Architecture, East, Envelope
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Hacin + Associates' District Hall is the centerpiece of Boston's new Innovation District. (Bruce Martin)

Hacin + Associates’ District Hall is the centerpiece of Boston’s new Innovation District. (Bruce Martin)

Innovation center’s corrugated metal envelope evokes Boston’s seagoing past.

Commissioned to design District Hall, the centerpiece of Boston‘s emerging Innovation District, Hacin + Associates found themselves in a unique situation. “There was no context,” recalled design team member Matthew Arnold. “We were one of the first buildings down there; we had to build our own story.” To fill the gap, the architects looked to the site’s history. “In the old days, goods came from around the world to the Boston seaport, then were distributed throughout the United States,” said founding principal David Hacin. “We were thinking that this is analogous to an innovation center: ideas are born in this place, then distributed around the world.” Wrapped in corrugated metal punctuated by strategic glazing, its two volumes informed by nautical and railroad architecture, District Hall captures both the glory of Boston’s seagoing past and the promise of its high-tech future.

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London’s mayor wants to move major streets underground to make a pedestrian-friendly city

Current image of A408 Southgate  in London (Courtesy TfL)TfL-FlyUnders - A406 Southgate

In recent years, the proliferation of parks, pedestrian plazas, greenways, and bike share programs in cities around the world have signaled an important change in the culture of city-dwellers, one that values walkability, integrated and congestion-free neighborhoods, open space, and environmental health. The major thoroughfares, however, that slice through metropolises are not always conducive with this desired urban experience, and take up space that could otherwise be used for housing, office and commercial uses, and parkland. That’s why London Mayor Boris Johnson is proposing to relocate portions of key road networks underground. And where better to make this announcement than in and around Boston’s infamous “Big Dig” project?

Continue reading after the jump.

The New Guard: The Architectural League of New York announces its 2015 Emerging Voices

Levering Trade by Mexico's Atelier ARS (photo: Daniel Maldonado)

Levering Trade by Mexico’s Atelier ARS. (Daniel Maldonado)

The Architectural League‘s Emerging Voices lecture series, now in its 30th year, has reliably identified important new talent through a juried selection process. This year’s group reflects a number of important currents in contemporary practice in North America.

Check out the winners after the jump.

Boston wants to build the most walkable Olympics ever if its selected to host the 2024 games

(Courtesy Boston 2024)

(Courtesy Boston 2024)

As you’ve probably heard by now, Boston blew past the likes of Los Angeles and San Francisco to be selected as the United States’ bid city for the 2024 Summer Olympics. With the announcement official, Boston 2024, the private nonprofit spearheading the bid, has publicly released the presentation it gave to the Olympic Committee back in December.

Continue reading after the jump.

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