ULI Announces Finalists in Urban Open Space Award Competition

National
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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Brooklyn Bridge Park (Flickr - Urban Land Institute)

Brooklyn Bridge Park (Flickr – Urban Land Institute)

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has announced five finalists for the Urban Open Space Award, a competition identifying exceptional examples of flourishing public open spaces that have encouraged economic and social rejuvenation within their neighborhoods. To qualify for the competition, projects must have been open to the public for a minimum of one year and a maximum of fifteen years. The open spaces must also be situated predominately outside, offer ample and diverse seating, sun and shade, and plantings, among other specific requirements.

View all the finalists after the jump.

Product> Small Spaces and High Design in the Kitchen

National, Product
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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G925 Door in Moka Glass by Porcelanosa

G925 Door in Moka Glass by Porcelanosa

Tight spaces shouldn’t dictate a sacrifice in style or function, particularly when it comes to outfitting the kitchen. Our round-up of sleek and compact kitchen products below proves good things do come in small packages.

G925 Door in Moka Glass
Porcelanosa

Small kitchens and baths call for innovative wall surfaces. Porcelanosa’s semi-custom kitchen includes the G-925 (above), a flat surface door finish with the company’s Moka Glass and walnut veneer. The cabinets come in a choice of nine colors and feature integrated handles, which give them a seamless look that can be re-configured to fit any space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis, Cycling City: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

National
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

We liked Minneapolis—it ended our sojourn in the wilderness of South Dakota, we saw some nice things, met a lot of cool people and the biking there is great!

On our journey plan we had highlighted the fact that the city was host to a bevy of starchitects—Herzog and de Meuron with the 2005 Walker Art Gallery extension, Jean Nouvel with the Guthrie Theater of 2006, and Frank Gehry at the Weisman Museum which opened in 2011.

Continue reading after the jump.

Six Outstanding Libraries Honored by the AIA and American Library Association

National, Newsletter
Monday, June 3, 2013
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South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

As cities across the country struggle to bring new life to aging athenaeums and cash-strapped local libraries, the AIA has honored six outstanding examples of library design in this year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. In the past we have seen a Walmart transformed into a library, a controversial starchitect renovation in New York, and an interactive, LED light-show—now take a look at these honored projects. From democratic design in the nation’s capital to a stunning Beaux-Arts restoration in St. Louis and high-tech solutions in North Carolina, this year’s winning projects present a range of answers to the challenges facing our fading repositories.

View the winners after the jump.

Review> Palatial Kitsch: At Home with Liberace

National
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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Scene from Behind the Candelabra. (Courtesy HBO)

Scene from Behind the Candelabra. (Courtesy HBO)

With gay marriage rippling across the country and even the Boy Scouts opening their doors to gays, it’s hard to believe that during Liberace’s lifetime, coming out was career suicide.  The mystery is how anyone, particularly his adoring blue-haired female fans, could have ever thought otherwise.  His flamboyant, over-the-top more –is-better excess in décor and fashion, both on stage and off, screams “queen” louder than his proficient, versatile piano playing.  “The Impossible Dream” indeed.

“I call this palatial kitsch” says Michael Douglas playing Liberace, known as Lee, to Matt Damon’s Scott Thorson, his soon to be paramour in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra.  This is shortly after Scott enters the Las Vegas spread where he asks the friend who’s brought him: “Is this a palace?” which prompts the reply “Lee thinks he’s King Ludwig II.”  Scott: “ Who’s he?”  “The Liberace of Bavaria.”  (Ludwig [1845-1886], also gay, commissioned extravagant palaces, patronized composer Richard Wagner, and was deposed as “mad.”)

Continue reading after the jump.

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Registration Open> facades+ PERFORMANCE Coming to San Francisco this July

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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Banner_Image-Tempate_630x160_v2

Keynote Speaker, Ken Yeang's vision for a green skyscraper.

Keynote Speaker, Ken Yeang’s vision for a green skyscraper.

Whatever your plans may be for this summer, be sure to check out this year’s second facades+ PERFORMANCE conference, symposium, and workshops in San Francisco on July 11th-12th, hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper in collaboration with Enclos. Registration is now open!

Facades+ is an ongoing series of conferences that has traveled to cities across the nation, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Each year the event focuses on a new theme, this year we have selected Performance.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cycling Across America: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Cycling Across the Country

National
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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The riders and Tom Jestico (our van driver). (Grant Smith)

The riders and Tom Jestico (our van driver). (Grant Smith)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

Reaching Mount Rushmoor was a significant—indeed iconic—moment of the trip, our sense of arrival heightened by the steep and long hill that takes the visitor up to the Avenue of Flags and the rather pompous facilities that are in stark contrast to the desolate scenes one remembers from Hitchcock’s North by North West.

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA Billings Dip Into Negative Territory For First Time in Nine Months

National
Wednesday, May 22, 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)

Underscoring the fragility of the economic recovery, the April AIA’s Architecture Billings Index dipped into negative territory for the first time in nine months. The slump to 48.6 was significant, down from 51.9 in March (any score above 50 indicates positive growth).

“Project approval delays are having an adverse effect on the design and construction industry, but again and again we are hearing that it is extremely difficult to obtain financing to move forward on real estate projects,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, in a statement. “There are other challenges that have prevented a broader recovery that we will examine in the coming months if this negative trajectory continues. However, given that inquiries for new projects continue to be strong, we’re hopeful that this is just a short-term dip.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Squandered Land: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

City Terrain, National
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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(Courtesy Peter Murray)

(Courtesy Peter Murray)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

When the author Bill Bryson moved back to the US from England he wrote a goodbye book entitled Notes from a Small Island. I was frequently reminded of Bryson’s analysis as I rode through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By comparison to these great open spaces England is neat and manicured, with everything in its place.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Final Turn: Architect Tom Kundig Designs a Minimal Funerary Urn

National
Friday, May 17, 2013
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The Final Turn (Kevin Scott)

The Final Turn. (Kevin Scott)

While few items should garner as much respect as those of which hold the memories of our loved ones, high-design has long had an aversion to memorialization. Seattle-based architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects and artist Greg Lundgren hope to change that with their new funerary urn, “The Final Turn,” for Lundgren Monuments. With this object, Kundig brings the rough materiality and crisp design that he has become known for with his acclaimed houses to create a timeless vessel.

“The Final Turn” is composed of two halves of an eight-inch sphere, handcrafted from blackened steel or bronze. The two halves are threaded together, but are noticeably offset when they meet. “While the sphere implies perfection and eternity, the offset nature of the urn is inspired by the people left behind—the people whose lives are thrown off-kilter by the passing of their loved one,” Kundig said in a statement. “The perfect world is no longer perfect for those who remain—something is amiss.” The top half contains a compartment to house mementos, while the bottom half provides a receptacle for remains.

Architect Gia Wolff Wins First Harvard Wheelwright Prize

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design officially announced the winner of the first Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship aimed at cultivating new forms of architectural research through cultural exchange. The jury awarded the fellowship to Gia Wolff, a Harvard graduate and Brooklyn-based architect, for her original proposal Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats. The young architect and professor, who currently leads her own practice, uniquely explored the cultural significance and design of the traditional parade float, which frequently transforms cities and brings people together during carnival festivals all throughout the world. The competition generated 231 submissions from 45 countries

Continue reading after the jump.

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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REMODELISTA CONSIDERED DESIGN AWARDS. SYMI LANTERNS. (COURTESY REMODELISTA)

(COURTESY REMODELISTA)

Are you eager to put your architectural design skills to the test?  Here are some exciting upcoming competitions that will be sure to present you with the type of challenge you’ve been waiting for. AN‘s editors have combed through our online listing of architecture and design competitions to bring you five of the most interesting competitions happening right now. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.

Remodelista & Gardenista Considered Design Awards. Remodelista is inviting its dedicated readers to submit their successful personal design endeavors for its first Design Awards. All kitchen, dining, bedroom, bath, and office projects are welcome for submission. For outdoor enthusiasts, Gardenista is searching for projects in five other categories. Judges will select up to five finalists in each category and then readers will vote for their favorites. Winners will be featured in a post and will receive a hand-wrought iron Symi Lantern in black matte finish with a hand-stitched leather handle from Casamidy.

Submission Deadline: June 14, 2013

More competitions after the jump.

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