The AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the winners of its annual sustainability awards program. Now in its 18th year, the COTE awards celebrate green architecture, design, and technology. According to a press release, the winning projects must “make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts.”
Each of the ten winners will be officially honored at the AIA’s National Convention and Design Exhibition in Chicago later this year, but, in the meantime, here’s a closer look at the 10 winners.
In January Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer implored local designers and developers to propose ideas for 250 of the city’s several thousand vacant lots. Last week they announced four winners, which included gardens of dye plants for local textile production; a Habitat for Humanity–style homeownership program; environmental remediation via lavender fields; and meditation gardens made of recycled materials.
While much of the work introduced at Milan this year played it safe—distinctly conservative colors, forms familiar from the 1950s, cautious use of materials—some architects’ designs took, shall we say, a bolder stance. But: Was it a better one? You, ever-opinionated reader, shall and no doubt will be the judge of that. Among the boldest of the bold designs this year were four pieces presented by Zaha Hadid.
Building the Picture
April 30 through September 2014
At the end of April, the National Gallery will present a new exhibit spotlighting the handling of architecture in various paintings by prominent Italian renaissance artists. Building The Picture will feature works by Duccio, Botticelli, Crivelli and others chosen from the museum’s permanent collection along with paintings gathered from other institutions in the U.K. These 14th, 15th, and 16th century images will be complemented by a series of five films that offer contemporary ideas on the theme of real and imagined architecture from Peter Zumthor, filmmaker Martha Fiennes, art historian T. J. Clark, film historian John David Rhodes, and computer game cinematic director Peter Gornstein.
A recently restored Frank Lloyd Wright house on Chicago’s far North Side will be open for weekly tours this summer, starting May 7. The Emil Bach House, 7415 North Sheridan Road, is a Chicago Landmark and an entry on the National Register of Historic Places. As a vacation rental, the carefully crafted private dwelling invites Wright enthusiasts to stay a while.
After starting the year on a positive trend, the Architectural Billings Index ticked down last month. The March ABI score dropped sharply from February’s score of 50.7 to 48.8. This moves the index into negative territory as any score below 50 signifies a decrease in design services. The new projects inquiry, though, did tick up from 56.8 to 57.9.
The Storefront for Art and Architecture will unveil its new exhibit, Letters to the Mayor, this Tuesday, April 29th. According to Storefront, “Letters to the Mayor presents fifty letters written by international architects to the political leaders of more than 20 cities around the world. Each letter provides a space of reflection for the architect to present ideas and methodologies and express some of the concerns and desires that might contribute to action within political spheres.”
At the opening, Storefront will announce the winners of its “Competition of Competitions,” which invited interdisciplinary teams to “formulate their visions of the future of architecture and cities in the form of a competition brief.” For more on the competition and the exhibit visit storefrontnews.org.
[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted comments in response to a back-page comment written by Lawrence W. Speck (“Togetherness” AN 01_11.06.2013_SW), which called on the architecture profession to regard its creations as collaborative efforts, rather than the products of solo geniuses. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. ]
I am sorry to say that architects do NOT make buildings! To identify the field of architecture as an Industry leads to the inevitable subordination of architecture not as an intellectual pursuit capable of a transformative role in society to one of simply propping up the Status Quo.
The semi-dilapidated Eastern-bloc buildings of Warsaw may seem like unlikely candidates to be immortalized in paper miniature. Nonetheless that was the task undertaken by Hispano-Polish design studio ZUPAGRAFIKA, which has devised a series of intricate paper models that can be cut and folded into small-scale models of a number of the Modernist structures dispersed through the city.
Allan Wexler: Breaking Ground
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
31 Mercer Street, New York
Through May 3, 2014
The current Allan Wexler exhibit, Breaking Ground, at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts proves again how important is the work of architects who confine their production to the gallery. In the new exhibit, Wexler explores mankind’s first interventions into landscape with a series of photo-based images and sculpture. Wexler first builds models of his imagined landscapes out of plaster and museum board before photographing them and digitally manipulating and printing them. The Architect’s Newspaper will celebrate Wexler’s extraordinary forty five year career with a special reception at the Feldman gallery Tuesday, April, 29th from 6:00–8:00p.m.
This week, the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York announced the inaugural Isamu Noguchi Awards to recognize like-minded spirits who share Noguchi’s commitment to innovation, global consciousness, and Japanese/American exchange. The first recipients of the award are architects Norman Foster and Hiroshi Sugimoto.