San Antonio Mayor Reportedly Tapped To Replace Donovan as HUD Secretary

Julian Castro who is expected to be the next HUD Secretary. (FLICKR / NOWCastSA)

Julian Castro who is expected to be the next HUD Secretary. (FLICKR / NOWCastSA)

President Obama will reportedly nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed by the senate, Castro will succeed Shaun Donovan, a trained architect, who has been at the agency since 2009. Donovan is expected to head the Office of Management and Budget.

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Dallas Developer Wants to Adopt Abandoned Parking Lot, Turn it Towards Economic Viability

(Photo Courtesy of HKS Architects)

(Photo Courtesy of HKS Architects)

Dallas developer Shawn Todd is proposing a $100 million parking-garage-and-park combo for a downtown parking lot that Dallas has been trying to get underway for years now. And while stories about parking garages aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, Todd’s plans are making a particularly idiosyncratic splash. Besides a massive media screen, a Trader Joe’s grocery store, and adding a plethora of parking spots to downtown Dallas, the garage and park won’t cost the city a penny. Todd plans to pay for it all by himself.

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Ishigami Wins Port of Kinmen, the Latest High-Design Port in Taiwan

Ishigami + Associates' winning scheme (Kinmen Harbor Bureau)

Ishigami + Associates’ winning scheme (Kinmen Harbor Bureau)

As we’ve noted before, water-surrounded Taiwan has become ground zero for ambitious port projects, from Neil Denari’s Keelung Harbor to Reiser Umemoto’s  Kaohsiung Port Terminal. The latest, the Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center, has just been awarded to Japanese firm Junya Ishigami + Associates, for a series of undulating landform buildings that all but disappear beneath their green roofs. Second and third place went to California firms, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, for a design featuring five crystalline structures hovering over a large box, and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), for a grid of folded triangular planes weaving through and above a public park. Runners up were Spanish firms EMBT and Josep Mias Gifre.

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The Golden Lion Roars for Phyllis Lambert at Venice Biennale

Awards, International, News
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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Lambert with Mies and Philip Johnson.

Lambert with Mies and Philip Johnson.

The board of the Venice Biennale announced today that Phyllis Lambert is the 2014 recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for the 14th Architecture Biennale, Fundamentals. Best known for championing the selection of Mies van der Rohe to design the Seagram Building for her family and for founding the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Lambert has worked as an architect, author, curator, and advocate for contemporary architecture and historic preservation.

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Washington D.C. To Grow World’s Largest Urban Greenhouse

East, News, Urbanism
Monday, May 19, 2014
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Officials from BrightFarms inside one of the company's Pennsylvania facilities. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

Officials from BrightFarms inside one of the company’s Pennsylvania facilities. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

From junk metal and rubble to tomatoes and kale. That’s the plan for a vacant lot in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. located just under six miles from the United States Capitol building. Over the next few months, the 2.3-acre site, which has been covered in trash for years, will be transformed into the world’s largest urban greenhouse.

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Shields back on Milwaukee Art Museum overhaul, new designs unveiled

01-milwaukee-art-museum02-milwaukee-art-museum

 

The Milwaukee Art Museum revamp’s previous design and current iteration. (Courtesy HGA Architects & Engineers)

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s long-planned expansion and renovation has become somewhat of a saga.

Plans for a new addition with an entrance along Lake Michigan were announced in 2012, but hit a snag when HGA Architects and Engineers’ Jim Shields walked off the job in February. In April Urban Milwaukee first broke news that Shields, somewhat of a local design celebrity, had left the project amid quibbling over the design. Read More

With One Art Barn Down, Plans At Another Texas University Alarm Preservationists

UT Dallas Art Barn (Courtesy of Mark Lamster)

UT Dallas Art Barn. (Courtesy Mark Lamster)

It’s a bad year to be an Art Barn. Only two weeks after Rice University demolished its beloved structure, UT Dallas announced plans to close down its own Art Barn, with its exact fate remaining unclear. Architecture critic Mark Lamster, among others, voiced speculation over the building’s shutdown and possible removal from UT Dallas’ campus.

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Small Projects Awards honor big things in small packages

Woodland Dune Home (Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing)

Woodland Dune Home (Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing)

Big projects command the most media attention, but small works of art and architecture can still make a splash. That’s the ethos of AIA Chicago’s fourth annual Small Projects Awards, which last week named 13 honorees among 96 entries that included Chinatown’s new boathouse, a barn-like complement to Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house, and an un-built “Safe House” for tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri. Read More

Boston’s Green Line Extension Sending Real Estate Prices North

The Green Line in Boston. (Flickr /  bindonlane)

The Green Line in Boston. (Flickr / bindonlane)

Boston’s subway system—the “T”—is currently undergoing its first expansion in nearly three decades, pushing the city’s Green Line into the hip enclave of Somerville. And while the first stations in neighboring Somerville won’t open until 2017 (at the earliest), the promise of new transit is already transforming the city’s real estate market. The streetscape is coming next.

Continue reading after the jump.

One Small Step For Houston is One Giant Step Backward for Johnson Space Center

One of Johnson Space Center's control rooms (Photo Courtesy of NASA)

One of Johnson Space Center’s control rooms (Courtesy NASA)

AN recently profiled the emerging architectural typology of spaceports across the country, and now there’s news from the Houston site that helped launch the dream of space travel decades ago. Independence Shuttle, a full-scale replica of NASA’s iconic Space Shuttle, recently was moved from the Johnson Space Center (JSC) to its next-door neighbor, Space Center Houston.

To some people, the relocation was a matter of mere logistics. To others, however, the transfer symbolized not just a lessening of power and precedence associated with Johnson Space Center, but with NASA’s space program as a whole.

Continue reading after the jump.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s only handicap-accessible home opens for public tours

Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House at dusk. (Nels Akerlund)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House at dusk. (Nels Akerlund)

Decades before the Americans With Disabilities Act, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an accessible home for a World War II veteran. Now Wright’s only home designed for a person with a disability will open to the public. Wright’s Kenneth & Phyllis Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois opens for tours on June 6, two days before what would have been its architect’s 147th birthday.

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“Tilt!” tips tourists out from Chicago’s John Hancock Tower

Midwest, News, Skyscrapers
Monday, May 12, 2014
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"Tilt!," a new attraction at Chicago's John Hancock Center, opened this weekend. (360Chicago)

“Tilt!,” a new attraction at Chicago’s John Hancock Center, opened this weekend. (360Chicago)

Visitors to Chicago’s John Hancock Tower this weekend were, of course, treated to the skyscraper’s stunning views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, but the thrill-seekers among them also had another option. On the 94th floor, up to eight people at a time can stand in a glass box that tilts out 20 degrees, dangling them 1,000 feet above the street.

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