September Billings Report Show Steady Positive Growth for Architecture Economy

National
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

The slow days of the recession are long gone. Recent figures indicate that September was another robust month for the architecture industry. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose from 53.8 in August to 54.3 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said that this upswing in the demand for design services is a reflection of the industry’s new and advanced design and business practices. “The prolonged economic downturn that has affected the design and construction industry has actually resulted in the increased productivity levels as reported by architecture firms,” Baker said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Stockholm-based White Arkitekter Wins FAR ROC Design Competition

City Terrain, East
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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White Arkitekter's winning proposal (Courtesy of White Arkitekter)

White Arkitekter’s winning proposal (Courtesy of White Arkitekter)

Sweden-based firm White Arkitekter has been named the winner of the “For a Resilient Rockaway” (FAR ROC) design competition. The team’s winning proposal, Small Means & Great End, offers a set of design strategies to transform an empty swath of land, known as Averne East, along the Rockaways in Queens, New York into a resilient, mixed-use community.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), along with private developers and the AIA New York Chapter,  shortlisted four finalists back in July, including Ennead Architects, Lateral Office, and Seeding Office.

Continue reading after the jump.

Boston Unveils New Map of “The T” Subway System

City Terrain, East
Monday, October 14, 2013
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Winner of New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition by Mikheil Kvrivishvili (Courtesy of MBTA/Mikheil Kvrivishvili)

Winner of New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition by Mikheil Kvrivishvili (Courtesy of MBTA/Mikheil Kvrivishvili)

Navigating Boston’s subway system, known as “The T,” will soon be a cinch with the help of a new map designed by Mikheil Kvrivishvili. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) named the Moscow-based interactive/graphic designer the winner of its “New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition” after receiving 6,837 out of the 17,045 votes cast by the public. A panel of experts—composed of MBTA officials, academics, urban planners, and cartographers—selected six finalists from a pool of dozens of applicants. Members of the public then voted online for their favorite design.

Continue reading after the jump.

City Council Takes Legal Action to Halt NYCHA’s Infill Strategy

East
Friday, October 11, 2013
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The Carver Houses (Courtesy Bing Maps)

The Carver Houses (Courtesy Bing Maps)

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) just faced another hurdle in its controversial plan, known as its “infill strategy,” to lease swathes of land in public housing developments to private developers. The deal would allow for the construction of new market-rate apartment buildings, along with a handfull of affordable housing units, in eight projects throughout Manhattan. But New York City Council and a group of tenants filed a lawsuit on Thursday to prevent the plan from moving forward. This past spring, the struggling agency issued a Request for Proposal seeking ideas from developers. The lawsuit slips in right before NYCHA’s November 18th deadline for proposals. The New York Times reported that the plaintiffs said that the agency failed to include City Council on the “decision-making regarding the plan to build on public housing grounds.” And moreover, government officials pointed out that the Bloomberg administration didn’t follow the standard protocol, which requires that agency officials go through City Council for approval.

In a statement to Times, NYCHA said: “It’s unfortunate that the City Council is attempting to block a proposal that would generate significant revenue for the New York City Housing Authority — money that would go directly into developments and repairs for residents.”

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New Mixed-Use Complex to Join Philly’s Logan Square

East
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Rodin Square. (Courtesy MV+A Architects)

Rodin Square. (Courtesy MV+A Architects)

Philadelphia‘s Logan Square, home to the Penn Center and much of the city’s cultural district, is now experiencing an influx of commercial and residential development. The city just gave developer Neal Rodin the green light to move forward with his eponymous three-acre mixed-use project, Rodin Square.

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Farewell to the Famed Graffiti Haven: 5Pointz Demolition Moves Ahead

East
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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5Pointz (Courtesy of 5Pointz NYC)

5Pointz (Courtesy of 5Pointz NYC)

It is the end of an era. The New York City Council voted in a favor of a plan to demolish the iconic 5Pointz, the former manufacturing building-turned-graffiti-mecca, in Long Island City, Queens, to make way for a $400 million residential development. The New York Times reported that the Wolkoff family, the owner and developer of the property, will build two residential towers—one of which will climb up to 47 stories—consisting all together of 1,000 units.

Continue reading after the jump.

Developer Taps Starchitects, Baz Luhrmann For Miami Cultural & Residential District

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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Faena cultural building designed by Rem Koolhaas. (Courtesy OMA)

Faena cultural building designed by Rem Koolhaas. (Courtesy OMA)

A tired strip along Collins Avenue in Miami, once populated by swanky hotels, will soon be returned to its former glory days. The Miami Herald reported that Argentinian developer Alan Faena is moving forward with his grand vision for this ghostly side of town, dubbed the “Faena District Miami Beach,” which will consist of an elaborate mix of residential, hotels, retail, and cultural space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Puts her Curvilienear Spin on the Serpentine’s New Sackler Gallery

International, Newsletter
Monday, September 30, 2013
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Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Architect Zaha Hadid is finally putting her stamp on the city she has called home for over 30 years with one of her signature curvaceous designs. The London-based architect has designed the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens consisting of both a $14.5 million curvilinear extension and the renovation of the The Magazine, a brick building originally built as a Gunpowder Store in the early 19th century.

Continue reading after the jump.

Richard Meier Opens First Phase of New Complex in His Hometown of Newark

East, Newsletter
Friday, September 27, 2013
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Rendering of Teachers Village (Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

Rendering of Teachers Village (Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

Richard Meier has returned to his roots with the opening of his latest project in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey.  Government officials gathered Thursday to cut the ribbon on the first phase of a mixed-use development called Teachers Village. The 90,000 square foot structure is now home to two charter schools, with retail planned for the ground floor.

The sprawling development—part of of revitalization program to revive downtown—will consist of retail space, a daycare center, three charter schools, and 200 apartment units for teachers. The Newark-born architect was tapped to design five of the eight buildings in the complex with KSS Architects in charge of the remaining three.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Getting in on the Ground Floor: Collective-LOK Wins Van Alen’s Ground/Work Competition

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
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Winning Proposal (Courtesy of Collective-LOK/Van Alen Institute)

Winning Proposal (Courtesy of Collective-LOK/Van Alen Institute)

The Van Alen Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to public realm improvements in New York City, has announced Collective-LOK as the winner of its Ground/Work competition. The winning team—a collaboration between Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under)—was selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, and beat out two other finalists: Of Possible Architectures and EFGH. The competition called on designers to re-imagine the ground floor level to accommodate new offices, bookselling platform, galleries, and event and programming space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Summer Continues to Soar with Strong August Billings Report

National
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

Recent economic figures from the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) revealed that summer finished on a high note with a significant rise in the demand for design services. The ABI score for the month of August jumped more than a full point from July climbing up to 53.8 from 52.7 (any score above 50 indicates positive growth). AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, sees positive growth for the industry, but remains cautious about the future. “As business conditions at architecture firms have improved eleven out of the past twelve months, it is fair to say that the design professions are in a recovery mode,” Baker said.  “This upturn signals an impending turnaround in nonresidential construction activity, but a key component to maintaining this momentum is the ability of businesses to obtain financing for real estate projects, and for a resolution to the federal government budget and debt ceiling impasse.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Neighborhood Slams Proposal for Massive Waterfront Development

East
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
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Greenpoint Landing (Courtesy Handel Architects)

Greenpoint Landing (Courtesy Handel Architects)

It is going to be an uphill battle for the developers behind two massive residential projects planned for Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  DNA Info reported that Community Board 1 rejected the proposals to build over a dozen 40-story residential towers on the northern tip of the borough, but they indicated they could be persuaded to change their minds. The bargaining chip is more affordable and senior housing. The board would like the developers behind the two developments, Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street, to drastically bump up the number of affordable units in their plans, which so far include housing, retail, a public school, and esplanades along the water. This decision is just the first step in the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

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