Obit> Ada Louise Huxtable, 1921-2013

East, National
Monday, January 7, 2013
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Ada Louise Huxtable.

Ada Louise Huxtable.

The legendary architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable has died at 91. Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Huxtable served at architecture critic for the New York Times and was also a contributor of numerous editorials about the city’s built environment. She later served as architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal, where she most recently wrote a scathing critique of the proposed renovation of the New York Public Library by Foster + Partners (“You don’t ‘update’ a masterpiece. ‘Modernization’ may be the most dangerously misused word in the English language.”).  Known for the crystalline clarity of her arguments and the cutting precision of her words, Huxtable was unmatched in her lifetime as an architecture critic. She made the city and its architects better. Julie V. Iovine has penned a full remembrance that will run in the next print edition of AN.

Creative Corridor Plan Unveiled to Revitalize Little Rock

National, Newsletter
Friday, December 21, 2012
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Aerial view of Main Street's Creative Corridor (Courtesy Marlon Blackwell Architect & Steve Luoni)

Aerial view of Main Street’s Creative Corridor. (Courtesy Marlon Blackwell Architect & Steve Luoni)

Marlon Blackwell, architect and professor at the Fay Jones School of Architecture, and Steve Luoni, architect and director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, have unveiled a masterplan for converting Little Rock’s Main Street into a cultural center. The plan titled, The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization will include a pedestrian promenade, outdoor furniture, LED lighting installations, rain gardens, affordable living-units for artists and a renovation of downtown buildings for mixed-use. Luoni notes that execution is expected to occur in phases.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bjarke Ingels Has Phoenix Pinned, Plants Giant Observation Tower Downtown

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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BIG's proposed observation tower in Phoenix. (Courtesy BIG)

BIG’s proposed observation tower in Phoenix. (Courtesy BIG)

Phoenix-based developer Novawest wanted a new signature project for the city’s downtown, an observation tower from which to admire the far-off mountain ranges and dramatic Southwestern sunsets, so Bjarke Ingels proposed to scoop out the spiraled negative-space of New York’s Guggenheim Museum rotunda and plant it 420 feet above downtown Phoenix. Ingels’ “Pin,” a 70,000 square foot observation tower is elegant in its simple form, a ball on a stick, indeed evoking some far away Gulliver on a real-life version of Google maps finding his way to the Sun Belt. In another light, Phoenicians could ostensibly see a larger-than-life Chupa Chup or an upended mascara brush, but that’s the beauty of pure form, right?

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA Billings Report Scores Fourth Month of Gains

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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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)

A fourth straight month of increased billings by AIA members signals the architectural economy may finally have turned the corner. The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) ticked up to 53.2 from last month’s 52.8 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in demand for design services). Project inquiries also rose slightly to 59.6 from 59.4. “These are the strongest business conditions we have seen since the end of 2007 before the construction market collapse,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker.

Continue reading after the jump.

Thomas H. Beeby To Win 2013 Driehaus Prize

Midwest, National
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, designed by 2012 Driehaus laureate Thomas H. Beeby. (Courtesy of University of Notre Dame)

Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, designed by 2013 Driehaus laureate Thomas H. Beeby. (Courtesy of University of Notre Dame)

One of the “Chicago Seven” architects who broke with the city’s modernist aesthetic during the 1970s and 80s, Thomas H. Beeby, will receive the 2013 Richard H. Driehaus Prize. Considered the traditionalist’s Pritzker Prize, the Driehaus comes with a $200,000 purse and denotes a lifetime of contributions to classicism in contemporary built work.

Continue reading after the jump.

Mayne Takes Gold, Williams Tsien Take Firm Award

National
Friday, December 7, 2012
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Caltrans District 7 Headquarters (Morphosis)

Caltrans District 7 Headquarters (Morphosis)

Add another medal to Thom Mayne‘s trophy case. Thursday the American Institute of Architects announced that it was awarding him the 2013 AIA Gold Medal. He’ll pick it up at next year’s AIA convention in Denver, becoming the 69th AIA Gold Medalist. The list of works from his firm Morphosis is way too long to include here, but it includes the diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California; the California Department of Transportation District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles; and 41 Cooper Square in New York City.

Meanwhile Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects have been awarded the AIA Firm Award. The architects, who opened the new Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia this year, have also designed (among other heralded work) the former American Folk Art Museum in New York; the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley; and the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center.

Barnes Foundation (Tod Williams Billie Tsien)

Barnes Foundation (Tod Williams Billie Tsien)

Pantone Color of the Year: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City

National
Friday, December 7, 2012
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Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Just in time for the holiday season, and perhaps taking its cue from Christmas palette, the color wizards at Pantone have announced the 2013 color of the year. Drum roll please … Emerald, or color code 17-5641 to be exact. If you’re wondering why emerald, and not say, forest green, here’s what Pantone has to say: “Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

“The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a statement. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Last year’s Tangerine Tango popped up everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled for Emerald.

Twinkle Toes: Eric Owen Moss Now A Football Fan

Eavesdroplet, National
Monday, December 3, 2012
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In a recent issue of The New Yorker, writer Ben McGrath profiles Steve Clarkson, the private football coach to the quarterbacks of tomorrow. The writer interviews several adolescent clients attending Clarkson’s elite practice camp, including 10-year old Miller Moss (also featured on the article’s only photo). During a workout McGrath finds Moss’ father in the stands—California-based architect Eric Owen Moss.

“I would be completely disingenuous if I didn’t say I really enjoy this stuff,” said the elder Moss of the high-stakes training. “I’m embarrassed a little bit. It’s contagious in a way that even parents who should know better don’t always.” The design influence of the architect—once called the “jeweler of junk” by Philip Johnson—may be evident on the field: his son sports silver Nike cleats with the nickname “Miller Time” embroidered in gold.

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Six Architects & Designers Take Home $50,000 Prizes

National, Newsletter
Monday, December 3, 2012
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Today the United States Artists (USA), a national grant-making and advocacy organization, named fifty artists to receive the USA Fellowships, which includes six in design and architecture whose accomplishments, in everything from landscape architecture to digital technology, have distinguished them in their field. These fellows—hailing from New York, Los Angeles, and Arkansas—will receive unrestricted grants of $50,000 each. Among the winners are two architecture firms, a landscape architect, and an academic.

Details about the winners after the jump.

Happy Thanksgiving from AN!

National
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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The Architect’s Newspaper extends our best wishes to all our readers for Thanksgiving. We’d also like to thank our 40,000+ twitter and nearly 30,000 facebook followers for your engagement throughout the year. We enjoy the conversation and hope more of you will join us. Happy Holidays from AN. We’ll be back on Monday.

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Obit> Jane Holtz Kay, 1938-2012

National
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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Jane Holtz Kay in 1986.

Jane Holtz Kay in 1986.

Noted author and critic Jane Holtz Kay passed away November 5 at the age of 74 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Her book Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back propelled her into the national spotlight as she chronicled the affects of cars on the American landscape. Jane Jacobs remarked about the book, “Jane Holtz Kay’s book has given us a profound way of seeing the automobile’s ruinous impact on American life.” She had been working on a sequel to Asphalt Nation, documenting climate change and global warming, called Last Chance Landscape. Holtz Kay was also architecture critic for The Nation and formerly for the Boston Globe. She is survived by her sister, Ellen Goodman, daughters, Julie Kay and Jacqueline Cessou, and four grandchildren. The staff at The Architect’s Newspaper sends our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

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Congratulations to Joshua, Winner of AN’s Greenbuild Giveaway

National
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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AN was back at Greenbuild this year in San Francisco, and we offered readers at the expo a chance to win an iPad Mini and $250 to stock it with the latest tunes, apps, or anything else, really. Over 130 of you participated in the Greenbuild Booth Crawl Contest, and we’re pleased to announce that Joshua Hickman of California was drawn as the lucky winner. Congrats Joshua!

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