Leaving the Big City

Goodbye New York: AN picks the best projects outside the Big Three

Architecture National
WORKac’s new take on the Earthship typology reduces a classic housing form into two main volumes that work in tandem to regulate the house’s temperature. The living space is a triangle with the roof pitched at a 35 degree angle (neatly running parallel to the interior stairs) to support solar panels for maximum heat gain. A rectangular mass of adobe bricks at the rear of the house insulates the private living spaces and helps facilitate the structure’s air circulation. (Courtesy WORKac)
WORKac’s new take on the Earthship typology reduces a classic housing form into two main volumes that work in tandem to regulate the house’s temperature. The living space is a triangle with the roof pitched at a 35 degree angle (neatly running parallel to the interior stairs) to support solar panels for maximum heat gain. A rectangular mass of adobe bricks at the rear of the house insulates the private living spaces and helps facilitate the structure’s air circulation. (Courtesy WORKac)

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) has editors in New York, Chicago, and L.A., but we’re not city snobs. With a network of regional writers from Baltimore to Dallas, Seattle to Phoenix, our mission is to cover projects everywhere in North America—and in 2016, we printed far-flung stories that usually fly under the radar. Check out our 15 favorite projects below. (See the rest of our Year in Review 2016 articles here.)

WORKac’s new take on the Earthship typology reduces a classic housing form into two main volumes that work in tandem to regulate the house’s temperature. The living space is a triangle with the roof pitched at a 35 degree angle (neatly running parallel to the interior stairs) to support solar panels for maximum heat gain. A rectangular mass of adobe bricks at the rear of the house insulates the private living spaces and helps facilitate the structure’s air circulation. (Courtesy WORKac)

WORKac’s new take on the Earthship typology reduces a classic housing form into two main volumes that work in tandem to regulate the house’s temperature. (Courtesy WORKac)

WORKac Arizona House revives the Earthship typology
“The desert house typology reached an ending point where it became all about overhangs and metal—a common vocabulary of what a desert house should be,” said Dan Wood, principal of WORKac. “We felt like that needed to be renewed.”

Local firm archimania is building Tennessee’s first net-zero office building. The complex, which includes a six-unit apartment building, is intended to carry downtown’s energy further south. (Courtesy Archimania)

Local firm archimania is building Tennessee’s first net-zero office building. The complex, which includes a six-unit apartment building, is intended to carry downtown’s energy further south. (Courtesy archimania)

The Memphis Movement
A slew of new developments suggest Memphis, long plagued by high rates of poverty and unemployment, is on the up-and-up, but is the city really rebounding?

Gensler designs a new vision for the unloved Milwaukee Post Office. (Courtesy Gensler)

Gensler designs a new vision for the unloved Milwaukee Post Office. (Courtesy Gensler)

Gensler designs a new vision for the unloved Milwaukee Post Office
The long, low-slung Milwaukee Post Office is not a popular building, but Gensler’s forthcoming revamp will inject much-needed vitality into the more-or-less dead space.

The Longaberger “Big Basket” was designed in-house by the Longberger Company with the help of NBBJ as architect-of-record. (By Barry Haynes / Wikimedia Commons)

The Longaberger “Big Basket” was designed in-house by the Longberger Company with the help of NBBJ as architect-of-record. (By Barry Haynes / Wikimedia Commons)

Basket builders vacate Ohio’s famous basket building
After nearly twenty years, the Longaberger Company, maker of wooden baskets, will be moving out of its trademark Longaberger Medium Market Basket–shaped building in Newark, Ohio. What will happen to the building?

View of a proposed scheme for the potential Las Vegas Raiders stadium designed by Manica Architecture. (Courtesy Manica Architecture)

View of a proposed scheme for the potential Las Vegas Raiders stadium designed by Manica Architecture. (Courtesy Manica Architecture)

$1.9 billion Las Vegas Raiders stadium clears penultimate hurdle
The odds for the Oakland Raiders football team’s relocation to Las Vegas are looking very good right about now.

(Courtesy John Johansen)

(Courtesy John Johansen)

Not OKC
See what’s happening to John Johansen’s Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City.

(Courtesy Ford)

(Courtesy Ford)

Ford begins work on new $1.2 billion campus in Michigan
When Ford Motor Company took stock of its current 60-year-old Dearborn, Michigan, facilities, it became clear that the only way forward would be to take a big leap into two new high-tech campuses. Spearheading the master plans is the Detroit office of SmithGroupJJR. When completed, the estimated $1.2 billon, ten-year project will involve moving 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into a Product Campus and a Headquarters Campus. Throughout the project, the entire campus will also have to stay 100 percent operational.

Aerial view of Buckhead Park over GA400 looking south at dusk. The park is expected to cost between $190 million to $245 million. (Courtesy Rogers Partners / Nelson Byrd Woltz)

Aerial view of Buckhead Park over GA400 looking south at dusk. (Courtesy Rogers Partners / Nelson Byrd Woltz)

New renderings revealed for ambitious, highway-capping park in Atlanta
Buckhead Park Over GA400 is a new park typology for the city. Like most great public places, it’s about creating a series of scaled experiences” for visitors, explained Rob Rogers, principal at Rogers Partners and one of the park’s lead designers.

Designers Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss populated the waiting room in the Chicago Cultural Center with their designs for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. (Courtesy Steve Hall and Hedrich Blessing/Chicago Architecture Biennial/Pedro & Juana)

Designers Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss populated the waiting room in the Chicago Cultural Center with their designs for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. (Courtesy Steve Hall and Hedrich Blessing/Chicago Architecture Biennial/Pedro & Juana)

The Mexico City designers forging a new path beyond modernism
By combining high-design references with homespun folk art, the city’s designers are able to create works that are contemporary, but also contextual and artisanal, and that speak to the contested and refined realities of their home city. With a grab bag of contemporary stylistic influences coupled with the methodical pedagogy of their elders, the current generation of designers is quickly moving past the orthodoxy of the city’s Modernismo traditions toward new enterprises that blend design, architecture, and furniture. This year the city hosted Design Week Mexico, and it will be the WorldDesign Capital in 2018—the sixth in the program and the first North American city to be named as such.

The Old Dairy Barn, seen in the foreground. (Via Shelburne Farms)

The Old Dairy Barn, seen in the foreground. (Image via Shelburne Farms)

Shelburne Farms Old Dairy Barn, a Vermont landmark, destroyed by fire
Sadly, Vermont lost one of its agrarian and architectural landmarks in September when the historic Old Dairy Barn at Shelburne Farms was destroyed by fire.

Aerial of Columbus Occupational Health Association (Courtesy H3)

Aerial of Columbus Occupational Health Association (Courtesy H3)

Saving the Columbus Occupational Health Association
Columbus, Indiana is small Midwestern city filled with buildings designed by Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, César Pelli, Gunnar Birkerts, Robert Venturi, Robert Stern, and many others.

Now, its 1973 health center, designed by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (HHPA) is for sale. Despite its wealth of modern architecture and a forthcoming biennale, the town has no formal preservation laws, so a sale could mean the destruction or thoughtless modification of this important building.

Jean Nouvel taking a tour of MASS MoCA with Director Joseph Thompson. (Courtesy City of North Adams)

Jean Nouvel taking a tour of MASS MoCA with director Joseph Thompson. (Courtesy City of North Adams)

Jean Nouvel eyeing North Adams
The home of MassMoCA and the future home of Gluckman Tang’s Extreme Model Railroad Museum may be getting a master plan by none other than Jean Nouvel.

Celebration, Florida (Eric E Johnson / Flickr)

Celebration, Florida (Eric E Johnson / Flickr)

Residents say Celebration, FL is ruined by mold and shoddy construction
Although the Walt Disney Company hired a cadre of leading architects to design Celebration, Florida, the sloppy construction of homes in the theme town is driving residents to grief and financial trouble.

A rendering of the proposed Branch Waters Network by Dallas landscape architect Kevin Sloan, which would incorporate the waterway system into the city’s framework. (Courtesy Kevin Sloan Studio)

A rendering of the proposed Branch Waters Network by Dallas landscape architect Kevin Sloan, which would incorporate the waterway system into the city’s framework. (Courtesy Kevin Sloan Studio)

Dallas–Fort Worth Branch Waters Network dovetails with rapid development
Architect Kevin Sloan thinks American conceptions of planning and notions of “nature” need to be challenged. His Branch Waters Network project in Dallas aims to do just that. 

Riverside Galleria, aerial view from the north. (Courtesy Studio V)

Riverside Galleria, aerial view from the north. (Courtesy Studio V)

A torrent of new projects are reshaping Staten Island
Okay, okay—Staten Island is part of New York City, but even in a city of islands, the borough gets no love. Islanders voted to secede in 1993, and city officials say it’s too far for nice things like bikeshares. Nevertheless, AN visited this spring to check out some new developments shaping the Forgotten Borough.

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