Postmodernists Are Now Classicists, Driehaus Confirms

National
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
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The Minneapolis Institute of Arts addition designed by Michael Graves (all photos courtesy Driehaus Prize)

The small world of classicist architecture in America–where many former Postmodernists found refuge after the dial of taste turned away from jokey historical references and pasted-on pediments–is working overtime to rehabilitate the 70s and 80s stylistic counter reformation. First was the recent conference, “Reconsidering Postmodernism,” organized by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which brought out many of the movement’s old stars for presentations, chats, and a lot of hand wringing. Today, the Chicago-based Richard H. Driehaus Foundation announced that Michael Graves was this year’s winner of the $200,000 Driehaus Prize.

Continue reading after the jump.

Holl Gets AIA Gold, VJAA Wins Firm Award

National, Newsletter
Thursday, December 8, 2011
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Holl's Vanke Center (photo: Iwan Baan)

Steven Holl has been awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the institute’s highest honor and among the most significant in the profession. Holl is known for his formally inventive, richly detailed buildings in the US and around the world, including the Linked Hybrid in Beijing, the Vanke Center in Shenzen, the Bloc Building at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO, and Simmons Hall at MIT among many other notable projects.

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Miami on the Make: Adjaye, Fuller, and Foster

National
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
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David Adjaye with his pavilion. (Courtesy Design Miami)

David Adjaye with his pavilion. (Courtesy Design Miami)

Design Miami, the high-design fair that runs with the giant, Art Basel Miami Beach, exhibited two objets d’architecture over the Miami Art Week, and named an architect, David Adjaye, as its 2011 Designer of the Year. Both objets were sculptural pavilions: one is an installation by Adjaye, commissioned for the fair, and the other a restored modernist icon with a utopian agenda. Continue reading after the jump.

P.S. 1′s Would be Makeover Artists

National
Friday, November 18, 2011
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The P.S. 1 Courtyard with Work AC's installation (courtesy: CreativeTime)

MoMA/P.S. 1 has announced the finalists of the 2012 Young Architects Program. The winning team, which will be announced in February, will have the chance to makeover the museum’s courtyard into a space for the annual Warm Up summer concerts and dance parties. The program has served as a launching pad for younger firms and as a testing ground for new formal and programmatic strategies. This year’s entry by Interboro Partners, called Holding Pattern, stressed community engagement, as all the elements of the installation were repurposed by neighboring non-profits. The 2002 finalists are: AEDS Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio, Ammar Eloueini, principal, of Paris and New Orleans, LA; Hollwich Kushner, Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, principals, of New York; I|K Studio, Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, principals, of Cambridge, MA; UrbanLab, Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, principals, of Chicago; and Cameron Wu of Cambridge, MA.

 

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Stage 1 Finalists Announced for National Mall Design Competition

East, National, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The Trust for the National Mall has announced the finalists for the first round of its National Mall Design Competition. The 700-acres of parkland have been worn down over the years thanks hoards of visitors (25 million a year), marches, and certain bi-annual decathalons. The scope of the competition includes three distinct areas of the mall: Union Square, the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens. Finalists were selected for each area, and will move on to stage two of the competition (team interviews), and then—finally—a selected few will be asked to envision a design for one of the three designated area.

Check out the finalists after the jump.

2011 ASLA Professional Awards Showcase Innovation & Sustainability

National
Friday, October 21, 2011
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Citygarden, St. Louis, MO by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. (Courtesy NBW)

Citygarden, St. Louis, MO by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. (Courtesy NBW)

Earlier this week, we checked in with the student winners of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2011 awards and found reason to be hopeful about the future of landscape architecture. But what legacy will those students be inheriting? The ASLA has recently doled out 37 awards to professional firms from across the globe, honoring their innovation, design, and sustainability.  The submissions (most of which have been built) range from the systematic redesign of streetscapes and historical residential gardens to large scale estuarine master plans.

Check out the winners after the jump.

Comment> The Rights of the Neighborhoods

National
Friday, October 14, 2011
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York St and 10th St, North Philadelphia.

York Street and 10th Street, North Philadelphia. (Courtesy Slought Foundation)

A Call to Action for the  Rights of Neighborhoods

This new social contract is based off of the historical model of the Second Bill of Rights that was delivered by Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 11, 1944.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for rethinking the American Dream. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. Communities in need are not free communities. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Continue reading after the jump.

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2011 Jane Jacobs Medalists Champion City Life

National
Friday, October 7, 2011
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As we all know, Jane Jacobs was a visionary urban activist and author, whose 1961 publication of The Death and Life of Great American Cities had a tremendous impact on how we think about cities and urban planning today. She challenged prevailing assumptions in urban planning at a time when slum-clearing was the norm and emphasized the intricacies and sensitivities of an urban fabric. In 2007, the year after Jacobs died, the Rockefeller Foundation launched the Jane Jacobs Medal, an annual award given to those who stand by Jacobs’ principles and whose “creative uses of the urban environment” renders New York City “more diverse, dynamic and equitable.”

Read about this year’s winners after the jump.

University of Maryland Wins 2011 Solar Decathlon

National
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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The winning entry from the University of Maryland. (Jim Tetro / USDOE)

The winning entry from the University of Maryland. (Jim Tetro / USDOE)

On October 1st, the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon at West Potomac Park in Washington D.C., bringing together innovative solar-powered prototype residences designed and built by international student teams from universities and colleges. This year’s champion, the University of Maryland’s WaterShed house, excelled in a variety of then ten metrics used to judge the houses including affordability, energy balance, hot water, and engineering.

Continue reading after the jump.

An Honest Look at Architecture

National, Newsletter
Thursday, September 29, 2011
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Architecture Studio at Harvard University. (Cesar Harada / Flickr)

Architecture studio at Harvard University GSD. (Cesar Harada / Flickr)

After years of grueling through studios, crits, and all-nighters, there comes a time soon after entering the real world where it hits you: You’re lost. You didn’t learn any of this architect-business in school!

While we can’t help with the shock of the realization, we did stumble across a new humorous book by SCI-Arc-trained architecture writers Guy Horton (an AN contributor) and Sherin Wing called The Real Architect’s Handbook: Things I Didn’t Learn in Architecture School. The project is a hilarious and often sobering look at the realities of the architecture profession, including its low pay, inflated egos, and many misperceptions. “Most of the books we were seeing skewed toward an idealized vision of the architect. There was a definite disconnect between this romanticized Architecture and what we were seeing and hearing,” explained Horton, who added, “We annoyed a few people, but that tells us we were hitting the right chords.”

Here are some of our favorite words of wisdom:

#1 It’s architecture, not medicine. You can take a break and no one will die.

#10 Once you leave architecture school not everybody cares about architecture or wants to talk about it.

#35 The “privilege” of working for a firm is not compensation in itself. You cannot live on, buy food with, or pay the rent with, a firm’s “reputation.”

Continue reading after the jump.

August Billings Index Bounces Back

National
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
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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)

They’re back! Positive numbers for the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped up in August to 51.4 from a dismal 45.1 in July where it had been stewing in negative land for months. (Anything over 50 indicates positive growth.) Together with a sharp rise as well in Project Inquiries to 56.9 (up from 53.7), the good news seems cautiously solid. “This turnaround in demand for design services is a surprise,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. Regional averages, however, remained below the positive bar across the country indicating that firms generally are still struggling. These numbers predate the next injection of stimulus money—whatever shape it takes—which will be sure to give another jolt. Unless, of course, billings are tracking the roller-coaster antics of the stock market.

“The stock market is doing what the economy is doing which is not moving solidly in one direction, either way,” Baker said by phone. “The stop-start that we have seen over the past two years is going to stay with us. I would love to believe that these latest numbers are the start of a Grand Recovery. And maybe they are. The evidence is just not there yet to be sure.”

Check out the regional and sector breakdowns after the jump.

Video> Urbanized Continues It’s Tour Around North America

National
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
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Tonight in New York, Gary Hustwit’s new film Urbanized will make its U.S. premiere in front of a sold out crowd at the Sunshine Theater. Hustwit has just released this trailer for the the final segment of his design-inspired trilogy which previously included Helvetica and Objectified. After New York, Urbanized heads out west to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and more before moving back across the country in October. Check out a full listing here and don’t miss our interview with Gary Hustwit where we ask him about his film.

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