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Studio Gang Architects won in the architecture category. This is their design for a Lincoln Park Zoo pavilion in Chicago. (Steve Hall / Courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)
Acting director Caroline Baumann of The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has announced the winners of the 2013 National Design Awards. The 14th annual Awards program continues the practice of acknowledging excellence and innovation across an array of disciplines. This year’s winners will be recognized during a gala dinner on Thursday, October 17 at New York’s Pier 60 in conjunction with National Design Week, where they will be presented with trophies created by The Corning Museum of Glass.
Citi Bikes in docking station (Planetgordon.com/Flickr)
The big biking news this week is that the first phase of New York City’s Citi Bike bike share system will finally launch on May 27th to program members (and to everyone else the next week), and New Yorkers’ enthusiasm (and a little controversy) is mounting. Some New Yorkers, over 8,000 according to Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Kahn (with more than 4,000 of them in the first 24 hours), could not wait to start pedaling and have already signed up for annual memberships. Meanwhile, malcontents from across the City have spoken up in attempts to stop Citi Bike from rolling onto their blocks.
The proposed plan for the Seattle Aquarium expansion. (Courtesy Mithun / Seattle Aquarium)
In its over 30 years resting on Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium has undergone a series of complex renovations, including the restoration of the original 1905 pier (while staying open), and the addition of a 120,000-gallon marine life viewing tank that helps visitors feel like they are immersed in an octopus’ garden in the shade.
Gold Medal Winner, Inspiration Kitchens (Courtesy of Inspiration Corporation/Steve Hall, Hendrich Blessing)
The Bruner Foundation Inc. has named the 2013 Gold and Silver Medalists of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA). For twenty-five years, the foundation has celebrated urban projects that stand out for their “contributions to the social, economic, and communal vitality of our nation’s cities” with this biennial award. A panel of six urbanists—including such experts as Cathy Simon, design principal at Perkins + Will, and Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City—selected the four Silver Medalists, and the recipient of the $50,000 Gold Medal, Inspiration Kitchens in Chicago. Read More
New York City Department of Design and Construction Commissioned Steven Holl Architects to design new Hunters Point Community Library in Queens for a prior Design + Construction Excellence Program
All too often public buildings can fall short on creativity, but with the launch of the Design + Construction Excellence Program in 2004, the Bloomberg administration has raised the ante and tapped a number of top architecture firms from around the world to work on a slew of new city projects. The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that they have selected 26 emerging and leading architecture firms out of pool of 264 applicants to participate in the next wave of the program, including the likes of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, nArchitects, and TEN Arquitectos. Read More
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.
Portland is to America what Copenhagen is to Europe: everyone looks to it as an exemplar cycling city, and it has been continually improving its cycling infrastructure for more than 40 years – the first Bicycle Masterplan was published in 1973. As a result, 6 per cent of Portland commuters now bike to work and the Active Transport Alliance’s annual Bike Commute Challenge attracts over 700 participant companies. Cycling is undoubtably a part of Portland’s culture with its Neighbourhood Greenways, bicycle boulevards, routes across key bridges, safe routes to school and the Eastbank Esplanade – a wide path shared with walkers and joggers overlooking the Willamette river. The city was awarded platinum status by the League of American Bicyclists and acclaimed by Bicycling magazine as number one for cycle-friendliness.
Last month AN compiled a list of the most high profile projects taking place in Miami, and on a recent trip to the Magic City, we had the opportunity to visit two of these sites: the shuttered Marine Stadium and Herzog and de Meuron’s new building for the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
While new developments flood Miami, preservationists are fighting to save and revive the abandoned Marine Stadium on Virginia Key by Cuban-born architect Hilario Candela. In 2009, the graffiti-covered venue that once held powerboat racing events and large-scale concerts, was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a blood feud in Los Angeles. It seems that Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne doesn’t care for Thom Mayne’s work. At all. Reviewing his new Perot Museum in Dallas, he called the building, “One of the pricey, preening old breed.” Adding, “it is a thoroughly cynical piece of work, a building that uses a frenzy of architectural forms to endorse the idea that architecture, in the end, is mere decoration.”
Hawthorne has used this vitriol on other Mayne buildings, like the Caltrans building and the Cahill Center at Caltech, which, he said, employs a “skin-and-stair strategy that allows the client to make the rest of the building—every interior office or gallery—conventional at best and banal at worst.”
Mayne, not surprisingly, doesn’t appear happy. In a recent public tour of his new offices in Culver City, led by our friend and design journalist Alissa Walker, Mayne said he would not be allowing a local architecture critic to write about his new building for his firm’s offices—he was asking a science writer to do the story instead. “All local writers are horrible,” he said. “There are no good writers in Los Angeles.” We beg to differ!
But the two may not be mutually exclusive. JDL’s plan calls for development along the west side of Clarendon Avenue, while Cuneo is on the east. Baum’s plan awaits the approval of an architectural engineer who could vet the building’s structural integrity and help solidify plans for redevelopment.
BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)
The Architecture Billings Index has reported a slight fluctuation in design activity over the past few months, recording a score of 51.9 for March, a 3 point decrease from February’s mark of 54.9. Any score above 50 indicates positive growth. All four regions were in positive territory with the Northeast leading at 54.6, the Midwest at 53.9, the South not far behind at 53.6, and the West finishing with a 51.9.
As Spring approaches, perhaps in the spirit of rejuvenation, the New York City Council has unanimously approved plans to revitalize Manhattan’s Pier 57, the historic pier located at 15th Street and the Hudson River. In 2009 architecture firm Young Woo & Associates set in motion a plan to transform the Pier into a multi-use cultural, retail, and restaurant hub, and, with the City Council’s approval in hand, the developers can finally begin the long-awaited redevelopment of the pier.
Pier 57 was built in 1952 by Emil Praeger. At the time of construction the engineer received great acclaim for his pioneering design—the Pier floats on three buoyant hollow concrete boxes that were flooded down the river. The new plan to restore the historic landmark conserves the original framing while renovating the 375,000 square feet of interior and rooftop space.
Federal Center South, Building 1202. (Benjamin Benschneider / Courtesy AIA)
Quite appropriate for Earth Day today, the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the ten most outstanding examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. The projects, which protect and enhance the environment through sustainable design practices and reduced energy consumption, will be honored at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver. Now in its 17th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is celebrated as the best program in recognizing sustainable design. The program acknowledges projects that succeed in this environmental endeavor via an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology and ones that benefit their communities by reducing environmental impact.