And the Rome Prize Winners Are….

International
Friday, April 27, 2012
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Courtesy of the American Academy in Rome

Courtesy of the American Academy in Rome

The American Academy in Rome announced the winners of the 116th annual Rome Prize Competition. Drawn from a variety of disciplines including musical composition, literature and design, fellowships have been awarded to 30 Italy-bound scholars. Randall Mason and Elizabeth Kaiser Schulte have been awarded the Historical Preservation and Conservation fellowships; Pablo Castro Estévez and William O’Brien Jr. for Architecture, and Ross Benjamin Altheimer and Karen M’Closkey for Landscape Architecture. Recipients of the 2012-2013 Rome Prizes are provided with a fellowship that includes a stipend, a study or studio, and room and board for a period of six months to two years in Rome, Italy.

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Aga Khan Award for Architecture Prize Doubles.  Aga Khan Award for Architecture Prize Doubles The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, awarded every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and historic preservation, has announced its prize will double to $1 million. The Award, which seeks projects that address the needs of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence, typically goes to projects that innovate the use of local resources and technology. Recent winners have focused on improving public spaces in rural societies and communities on the outskirts of urban centers. His Highness the Aga Khan explained in a statement, “One of the important aspects of the Award is that winners should be able to reposition their future with the support they get from the Award, both professionally and institutionally.”

 

Another $9 Million Banked for Chicago’s Newest Linear Park.  Another $9 Million Banked for Chicago's Newest Linear Park Today, Mayor Emanuel announced an additional $9 million in pledges for the Bloomingdale Trail, completing funding for the first phase of the elevated rails to trails project, according to the Sun-Times. The funds include a $5 million gift from Excelon, $1 million each from Boeing and CNA, and a $2 million commitment from the city, which, combined with $37 million in federal funds, will cover the $46 million cost of the first phase. The city and park advocates hope to raise an additional $36 million to complete the project, mostly through private, corporate, and foundation sources.

 

Vikings Commit to Minneapolis…If They Get A New Stadium

Midwest
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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It’s a story that’s been told in city after city. If you build it, they won’t leave. Professional sports teams hold cities hostage, playing on the loyalty of fans to get expensive, taxpayer-funded facilities, while displaying little civic loyalty of their own. Anyway! In Minneapolis, the Vikings have said they won’t decamp for Los Angeles if the city and state agree to help build a new $975 million stadium on the site of the Metrodome, according to the Star-Tribune.

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Whew! EPA Declares Chicago’s Air is Still Dirty.  Whew! EPA Declares Chicago's Air is Still Dirty Most people would think that politicians would want their cities to be declared in compliance with Clean Air Act standards, but not Chicago! Illinois Governor Quinn and others the EPA lobbied to make sure  Chicago is counted as having dirty air, in spite of initial findings from that Chicago’s pollution levels had improved significantly from 2008 to 2010. Why? Money of course! According to Crain’s, a cleaner air ruling would have jeopardized up to $80 million in funding for projects to promote cleaner air, including transit upgrades and bike paths. While the logic is mind-bending, at least it means better public transportation and biking options!

 

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.

Ahoy! Treasure in the Gowanus Muck!

East
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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(EPA via The Brooklyn Paper)

The Enviornmental Protection Agency is beginning its analysis and cleanup of the filthy yet fascinating Gowanus canal. It’s proving to be full of all kinds of junk, including horrendous carcinogenic chemicals and, as the Brooklyn Paper reports, a 60 foot long sunken ship!

Located where Fifth Street meets the canal, the wooden ship likely dates from the 19th century, the channel’s shipping heyday. What we’re calling the S.S. Superfund was discovered through sonar scanning, its outline is clearly visible in the image above.

This is the second time in a year that New York’s maritime past has resurfaced. Last summer another submerged ship was found buried at the World Trade Center site.

Competing Visions for Chicago, Big and Small

Midwest
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Two new competitions of note explore possible futures for Chicago‘s public realm. The 2011 Burnham Prize ideas competition sponsored by AIA Chicago and the Chicago Architectural Club calls for new visions for the McCormick Place East building, the 1971 modernist covention center on the lakefront designed by Gene Summers of C.F. Murphy Associates.

The massive, Miesian building has a powerful presence on the lakefront, and a vast column-free interior, but parks advocates have long contended it should be removed. Meanwhile, the building’s owner, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, says it needs $150 million in repairs and is functionally obsolete.

The competition aims to inspire new dialogue around the future of the building and site. The Street Furniture 2011 competition sponsored by Architecture for Humanity‘s Chicago chapter aims for something more universal, new street furniture that could be deployed to activate almost any vacant site.

More info after the jump.

Driehaus Awards the Much-Awarded Stern

National
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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The design for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas (all images courtesy Notre Dame School of Architecture).

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture announced that Robert A. M. Stern has been named this year’s Richard H. Driehaus laureate. The prize, which comes with a $200,000 purse, “honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world,” according to a statement. Founded in 2003, the prize has previously honored lesser known architects such as Rafael Manzano Martos of Spain and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil of Egypt in addition to marquee American traditional and classicist architects like Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Allan Greenberg (several Driehaus recipients have also won or been involved in the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize).
Click through to see more of Stern’s work

Dyson Awards Aim to Improve Society Through Design

International
Thursday, August 12, 2010
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Copenhagen 1

The brief for the James Dyson Award design competition is deceptively simple: Design something that solves a problem. The winner and nine finalists representing the United States all responded with highly functional designs that could make a positive impact on the way we live, none more so than the U.S. winner, the Copenhagen Wheel, designed by Christine Outram and students in the SENSEable City Lab at MIT. The hybrid battery-powered disk turns any bike into an electric boosted bike, helping cyclists go longer distances and ride up hills. Read More

Hefty Bill for AT&T

National
Thursday, July 29, 2010
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The AT&T Building as rendered by Philip Johnson.

In April, a seven foot tall presentation drawing of the AT&T building was purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for $71,000, one of the highest prices ever paid for a “modern architectural drawing,” according to a release. The Philip Johnson drawing was sold through the Wright auction house in Chicago, which has become a specialist in selling architectural materials. The V&A will show the piece in an upcoming exhibition on postmodernism. It is one of only a handful of works by an American in the museum’s 35,000 piece architecture collection.

The building is famous for its “Chippendale” top, which, when it opened in 1984, signaled the ascendency of postmodernism and the return of historical styles and classical references to the architectural vocabulary.

The drawing is part of a larger archive of Johnson’s work, which includes thousands of drawings, plans, and photographs of AT&T, Pennzoil Place, PPG Place, and the Chrystal Cathedral. The owner of the archive wishes to remain anonymous, according to the release.

Parks Advocates Picked for Jacobs Medals

East
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
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Joshua David and Robert Hammond (photo: Joel Sternfeld)

Central Park Conservancy founder Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and Friends of the High Line founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond will receive this year’s Jane Jacobs Medals, presented by the Municipal Art Society and the Rockefeller Foundation. Rogers founded the Central Park Conservancy in 1980 and served in the dual position of president and park administrator till 1995. Read More

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