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Tick Tick Tick

Will COVID-19 sink $1 billion in nationwide climate resiliency projects?
As communities look to batten down the hatches in preparation for rising seas and extreme future weather events exacerbated by climate change, numerous major infrastructural projects—spread across 13 cities and states—are now at risk of being abandoned or left unfinished due to construction delays-prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. As the New York Times recently reported, various projects, ranging from Dutch-style sea gates to storm surge-blocking earthen berms to complex pump systems designed to alleviate street flooding, could be scrapped as state and local officials sound the alarm that they will fail to meet the conditions set forth by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban-funded program. Established during the wake of Hurricane Sandy by the Obama administration, the National Disaster Resilience Competition stipulates that the funding for community-fortifying climate projects—$1 billion doled out in total—must be spent in its entirety by each recipient by 2022. If not, any remaining funds awarded to cities and states would be forfeited, a move that could potentially prevent in-progress work from being completed. States and cities participating in the program include Louisiana (and the city of New Orleans), Iowa, Virginia, California, and both New York City and New York state. Per the Times, a group of officials from these cities and states has asked Congress to extend the deadline by three years to 2025, so that full funding remains intact. However, the fate of these projects could ultimately lay in the hands of Republican lawmakers, most of whom have demonstrated themselves to be antagonistic toward climate resiliency as they aid in the loosening of restrictions on major polluters and other environmental regulations. Some projects, such as a $36 million storm wall “meant to blend into the landscape” while protecting a low-income neighborhood in Bridgeport, Connecticut, are still in the early design and environmental review phases. Work on that project was slated to kick off in early 2021 and finish, just under the clock, by the end of the year to receive full funding in accordance with the conditions of the program. That timeline, however, is now in doubt. “All of these projects, all 13 of them, are very complex,” Pat Forbes, executive director of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development, told the Times, noting that the pandemic has impeded the progress of already complex and time-intensive projects. This includes completed work on a $48 million community being built for the former residents of Isle de Jean Charles, a coastal Louisiana village that was rendered inhabitable after being devoured by the Gulf of Mexico. Forbes is overseeing the ambitious resettlement project, which was supposed to wrap up at the end of 2031. “They are the types of projects that do take longer to develop and construct,” he said.
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A Chorus of Outrage

Architecture and design organizations speak out as protests over racial injustice continue
Earlier this week, AN published a mission-redefining statement written by Kimberly Dowdell, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed in public view at the hands of members of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. “As architects, how can we protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public if our country is not properly including Black Americans as full members of our society?” wrote Dowdell. In the days—now weeks—since Floyd’s death, protests and demonstrations, ranging in size from less than a dozen people to crowds numbering in the thousands, have been staged in all 50 states as Americans demand accountability and a swift end to racial injustice and police brutality. Leading organizations and professional networks within the architecture and design community have also been quick to respond in solidarity with official statements. All of them have expressed their outrage and sorrow regarding Floyd’s death—and the current state of affairs in America—while also acknowledging that meaningful conversations about race, inequality, and the built environment need to happen as do sweeping changes. Below are some of these statements published in full. AN will add additional statements to this list accordingly. From Jane Frederick, president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA):
“As Americans, we are mindful of this nation’s dark history of racial inequality. We are appalled by any actions that further threaten the universal respect and human dignity that everyone deserves. As architects, we remain committed to advancing civil rights protections, fair housing policies, and accessibility in the built world to help achieve the more perfect union we all seek. The fact is that architects and AIA, in our more than 160-year history, have not always felt compelled to share our perspectives. But the times we live in, the horrific nature of the events we witness, and the role we see for every member of our society demands that we speak out.”
From the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA):
“After hearing feedback from our membership and after much reflection, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) issues the following statement regarding the killing of George Floyd: The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) joins millions of people around the world in mourning the death of George Floyd, a black man who was murdered by a police officer. ASLA recognizes that the brutal systems of slavery and Jim Crowism have dehumanized black people and weakened their communities. We also acknowledge that the planning and design of the built environment, including landscape architecture, has often had a disproportionate adverse impact on black communities. Systemic racism in the built environment has taken many forms, including redlining, urban renewal, and disinvestment. Environmental injustices, including lack of equitable access to clean air and water and greater concentrations of pollution, continue to plague these communities. Further, gentrification and displacement make it impossible for black communities to continue to exist. The landscape architecture profession can play a critical role in reversing these trends. Public spaces have always been a critically important platform for the protest movement and democratic change. They have also become sites of violent confrontation and oppression against the black community. It is important that ASLA and others amplify the black narrative of these spaces. ASLA stands in solidarity with black communities in the fight against racial injustice and police violence against black people. Moving forward, ASLA will deepen our partnership with the Black Landscape Architects Network (BlackLAN) to create a meaningful, sustainable plan of action to help guide the profession in addressing the wants and needs of black communities—no matter how much work and time it takes. Black Lives Matter.”
From the Black Landscape Architects Network (BlackLAN):
In the shadow of the racialized murder of George Floyd and the history of violence against black communities in America, the Black Landscape Architects Network (BlackLAN) stands in solidarity with the protests against such killings and associated acts of terrorism. As black design professionals working within public and community realms, we are keenly aware of the need for our presence as stewards of equity and equality. This racialized shadow has long been present in American communities, places, and practices. It has been 100 years since the Red Summer of 1919, when black people were attacked and murdered across the United States. Two years later, the prosperous black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma—sometimes known as the ‘Black Wall Street’ — was attacked by a white mob. The legacy of the death and property destruction is still being addressed today. Within this 100-year timeframe, there have been countless other acts of hate and violence against black people and their communities. These events all speak to a need for our nation and our profession to truthfully reconcile the legacy of systemic racism and violence rooted in landscapes of institutional slavery. The continued refusal to reconcile this legacy does not pay respect to the role black people played in creating American landscapes. We are committed to fighting these transgressions and omissions through cultural, historical, and social practices. We embrace cultural research that reveals the history of black people living in and building the American landscape. The BlackLAN values working as a collective to bring voice to the importance of black landscape architects in American society.”
From Paul Edmundson, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Like so many others, I have been profoundly dismayed and deeply saddened at what is happening in our country. George Floyd’s horrific and inexcusable death in Minneapolis; the shooting of peaceful protestors in Louisville; the fomenting of violence; destructive outbreaks in cities across the country; and the politicization of what should have been a compassionate response by leaders in our society: I would like to think that America is better than this. It is evident, however, that we have a long way to go to ensure that justice and equity are applied to all Americans. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has made a commitment as an institution to ensure that our own work reflects the equal value of every single American in our history and in our culture. A major reflection of that commitment is the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, created by the National Trust in response to the tragic events in Charlottesville in August of 2017. We believe that historic preservation can play a critical role in acknowledging and healing the divisions in our nation, by telling the full story of our often-difficult history, by elevating and preserving the enormous and important contributions African Americans have made to our nation, and by carrying that powerful legacy forward through places of truth and reconciliation. We also believe that recognizing the dedication of communities of color to the American experiment through the places we work to save—from Rosenwald schools to the home of Madame C.J. Walker—will help to inspire innovation, investment, and faith in our democracy. Each of us, in our own communities, businesses, and institutions at all levels, must commit to do all we can to create constructive spaces where justice and peace can flourish—including in those places that reflect our history as Americans. If we are successful, we will find our way to a more unified society, where outbreaks of pain and outrage will become only a thing of the past. We have much work to do in this country to acknowledge and shift a legacy begun hundreds of years ago, but I firmly believe we can find a way to healing and peace by respecting the humanity of every person, and by making that evident in the very fabric of our communities.”
From the American Planning Association (APA):
The American Planning Association is heartbroken over the brutal, senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week, and the immense pain inflicted on the black community, which continues to suffer from the insidious and blatant effects of structural racism nationwide. We are also profoundly saddened by the additional burdens being visited on our cities, which are still reeling from the devastating effect of a global pandemic, and concerned for the tens of thousands of planners across the nation who strive daily — despite setbacks and frustrations — to raise the voice of the voiceless. The impact of Mr. Floyd's death and other recent grave injustices like it must be viewed in light of the historical trauma inflicted on African American communities, including discrimination wrought by the planning profession itself, which led to structural disadvantages in housing, transportation, education and employment that last to this day. APA recognizes this reality and is working to center equity in all planning processes in keeping with our mission of creating great communities for all. From our landmark Planning for Equity Policy Guide, to the ethical principles that undergird the professional practice of planning articulated in the AICP Code of Ethics, to the new online public engagement toolkit to ensure that all voices are heard, we're working to help planners and others recognize and eradicate the bad policy decisions of the past. Together we can take an active role in rebuilding and transforming communities to create a society that ensures safety, health and prosperity for all its inhabitants. APA will continue to develop and deliver tools, techniques, support and encouragement to planners tirelessly combating all forms of racism and inequity. Let's stand in solidarity with communities of color nationwide at this painful time, moving beyond righteous anger and advocating for peaceful dialogue that educates and builds the bonds of great communities for all.”
From Docomomo US:
At this time of profound sorrow and frustration over the murder of George Floyd, Docomomo US honors the call put forth by the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), ‘to condemn racism and take an active role in eliminating the racial biases that account for a myriad of social, economic, and health disparities, and most importantly, result in the loss of human lives.’ We recognize that we are all part of the structure of American racism, and we re-affirm our ongoing, never-ending commitment to identify, oppose, and eliminate racial inequality and injustice wherever it occurs, including within our own organization. We will encourage our chapters to do the same. As a very first, humble step, Docomomo US will focus on updating and highlighting our online register to better feature and recognize the important work and contributions of African American and minority modernist architects and designers to our culture, our cities, and our architectural heritage. This is a struggle that we all must take part in; we encourage you to participate in this effort by submitting a minority architect or designer for our website.”
From Diane Regas, president and CEO of the Trust for Public Land:
We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all other Black Americans who have been unjustly killed. This week we have seen just how dangerous simple acts that many White people take for granted can be for People of Color in this country. The heart of our mission is rooted in our belief that everyone has a fundamental right to enjoy the outdoors —regardless of race, socio-economic status, or zip code. No one should face a threat of violence while jogging, birding, or visiting with friends. We need a new way forward. In order to do the real work of building a more just society, we must acknowledge the history of racial discrimination, injustice, and violence that has and continues to harm generations of People of Color in this country. The Trust for Public Land is redoubling our commitment to engage communities in creating inclusive parks and open spaces where People of Color are welcome and safe to enjoy the outdoors.”
From the Architectural League of New York
The murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis—and the murders of Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others—lays bare, yet again, the pervasive and enduring racism that disfigures American society. Simultaneous with these deaths, systemic racist violence shows itself as part of all of the converging crises of this moment: the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic collapse; climate change; our ongoing “everyday” crises of police brutality, housing insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, radically unequal and unjust education and criminal legal systems, and overarching economic inequality. Each of these sources of oppression in American society has had and is having massively disproportionate impacts on Black and brown Americans. Every system, every institution in American society, including the discipline of architecture, is implicated. The built environment—our public, private, and civic spaces, and the ways we design, construct, and inhabit them—reifies lopsided power relationships, economic inequality, and thwarted opportunity. Through inadequately examined design, planning, and land-use decisions; through the negligent or malevolent location of infrastructure, “renewal,” and noxious uses in poor and minority neighborhoods; through embodying and failing to challenge the aggrandizement of Whiteness and the depreciation of Blackness and all other cultures in aesthetic, technological, and historical norms and values; through our inadequate commitment to helping provide the human right of adequate shelter and other basic needs, we perpetuate the status quo and the unjust world it has created. Dismantling and rebuilding these systems and practices—and the very structures of American society—is not the work of a month or a year; it is work that must engage all of us, immediately, continuously, for a lifetime. We commit The Architectural League to ongoing action for change.”
From Sarah Curry, president of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS):

It is almost impossible to put into words the feeling we get in the pit of our hearts when we are unable to distract ourselves from the egregious manifestations of racial inequality in the United States of America. Some of us are new to feeling, or do not regularly feel, so angry, helpless, and disgusted. Some of us have lived with that scary discomfort for so long now that it is as familiar, as anxiety-inducing, and as exhausting as a recurring nightmare. During times like these, all of us have the potential and responsibility to embrace empathy, seek justice, and uplift those who need it the most, no matter how difficult it may seem to be.

Though we may wish it otherwise, racism has always been and will continue to be inseparable from the realm of architecture. This profession we’re inheriting has a long history of excluding people of color and underserved groups from the design process, even when their homes and livelihoods are repeatedly the first to be demolished to make way for ‘bigger and better’ developments. Between the 1960’s and today, the percentage of licensed architects in the United States that are African-American has not exceeded 3 percent; and as of right now, in all of this country’s recorded history and among the over 110,000 currently licensed architects in the U.S., there have not yet been 500 licensed architects who identify as African-American women. Though most of us were not taught these facts in architectural history classes, a few of us have had to live these lessons in our very real present and, unfortunately, for the foreseeable future. Our education and experience in this field is a reflection of society’s privileged ability to disregard the minority and benefit the majority. There are no more excuses—we cannot un-know or un-see what the pandemic has exacerbated and what advocacy has brought to light over the past few months; and as Desmond Tutu said, ‘if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ The pursuit of equality is an interdisciplinary issue that we, as students, designers, recent graduates, and almost-architects, should be excited to do our part to solve.”  Read more here. 
From the Professional Association for Design (AIGA):

AIGA, the professional association for design, stands in solidarity with Black designers, creative business owners, educators, students—as well as their families, cultures, and communities—in the condemnation of racism, intersectional discrimination, fear, and acts of violence, including murder.

It’s with great sadness and anger that we reflect and take a stand against the violent deaths of George Floyd and Black adults and children across the United States. It’s a pattern of loss that spans generations and directly impacts the safety, health, and liberty of Black Americans. Members of our community are weighed down by the knowledge that they or their loved ones may be killed in their homes, community parks, driving in their cars, or walking in their neighborhoods. Whether they live in Saint Louis, Minneapolis, New York City, Louisville, or countless communities across our Nation and around the world.

As designers, we understand the power of a well-designed and human-centered system to drive health, security, and justice in our communities—and to protect and ensure the rights of all people. We are attuned to identifying unethical systems. Systems that exclude certain individuals or groups, lead to dead ends, anger, and in the most monstrous cases, the consistent loss of life from historically abused and disenfranchised communities.

This is a problem that’s crossed generations and centuries, and enough is enough. These wrongs can no longer be permitted to stand. No problem can be solved that is not first identified and soberly acknowledged. AIGA acknowledges the issues and pledges to do its part to confront this egregious reality by both empowering and supporting our members and community to do the same. Even though the full effects of our investments aren’t likely to be fully realized by our generations, it’s time for designers and the organizations that support them to do our part to shift the tide of change toward solutions, peace, and justice.” Read more here.
From the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH):
The wrongful murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police has proven a tipping point in the attitudes and actions of many Americans. Protesters around the country have taken to the streets, during an unprecedented pandemic, to demonstrate their commitment to securing for black Americans the basic rights and protections of every person. We share in their hurt and anger. It was nearly seven years ago that Dianne Harris penned a poignant essay for the Society of Architectural Historians entitled ‘Race, Space, and Trayvon Martin.’ In this essay, Harris describes the way that the structures and ideologies of anti-black racism were made material in the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. How histories of spatial segregation and gated communities came to a head in what was described as a young black man literally ‘out of place.’ Her conclusion that race and space are inextricably linked in deadly ways for many minorities should not come as any surprise to us today. As these insights were made during the, now retrospectively, optimistic Obama years, writing such words seemed to hold the promise of better things to come. Yet instead of witnessing a decline in violence against black Americans, we find ourselves facing more and more tragedy, sometimes on a daily basis, as cell phone footage and investigative journalism reveal the routine character of anti-black racism in the United States. From the signs of young black children reading ‘Stop Killing Us’ in Tampa to the human barricade willing to stand between black protesters and police officers in Louisville, we can find examples of people deciding to take action to ensure that our nation lives up to its promises of life and liberty. These individuals are joined by hundreds of other Americans—people of every age, color, and economic background—who support their efforts, but feel powerless, afraid, or unsure about how to contribute. ‘What is it that I can do to help?’ ‘What can I possibly do that will make a difference?’ If our peers can take to the streets and risk their health and lives for a political principle, even as the White House threatens to respond to such lawful protests with military force, then we must at least summon the courage to publicly acknowledge the importance of their sacrifice. Their work is essential to maintaining a healthy democracy and we stand in solidarity with their efforts.” Read more here.
From AIA New York and the Center for Architecture:
The events of the past week and the injustices that these events are forcing us to confront have been heartbreaking and overwhelming. On May 25, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, MN. His name was added to a long list of victims of unjust violence towards black communities and other communities of color in America. This is nothing new, we have crossed this ground before in our history. The 1968 Kerner Commission Report warned that, ‘our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, and one white—separate and unequal.” The burden of this pain and suffering, while not felt equally, must fall on all of us. AIA New York and the Center for Architecture, as two organizations dedicated to furthering the practice of architecture to the highest of standards, place design excellence at the very core of our mission. In the most fundamental sense, we rely on our built environment to provide spaces for shelter, for employment, for governance, for entertainment, and for public gathering—including, when necessary, spaces for protest. Architecture and architects have a vital role in healing injustice, and we must hold ourselves accountable. The current COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic fallout have only served to underscore the existing structures of racial inequality in our society. While we have all been experiencing this crisis, we are not all impacted equally. Black people and people of color have felt health and economic impacts most acutely, including within the architecture profession. This glaring inequality serves as a call to action, and our organizations feel this at the deepest level. Now is the time to have more difficult conversations about what our community and profession can do to make change, and to work for justice and fair access to opportunity and wellbeing. An architect offers society specific skills that are not accessible to everyone and is often in a position of privilege; thus it falls on our community to put our hard-won problem-solving skills to work in the struggle for a more just and equitable society. This cannot be done if our profession continues to fail to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.” Read more here.
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House of Quakers

Kliment Halsband Architects blends past and present at Friends Seminary
Facadism, the act of retaining a historic facade whilst fundamentally adapting a structure’s interior, is often maligned by preservationists as relegating historic architecture to urban set pieces. Lost in such orthodox pedagogy is recognition of the functional demands of the client and the pragmatic reality that buildings evolve over time. Kliment Halsband Architects (KHA), a New York-based firm with particular expertise in historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects, recently completed an inventive renovation and expansion for the Friends Seminary school which included the insertion of an academic core between a meticulously restored Italianate street front and a courtyard-facing elevation of zinc and brick. Friends Seminary was founded in 1780 and is located on the border of Gramercy Park and the East Village in Manhattan. Over the centuries, the school gradually expanded to encompass a fairly significant campus adjacent to Stuyvesant Square Park; that includes three Italianate homes built in the mid-19th century and purchased in 2014, and the 1960s-era Hunter Hall. However, this growth lacked an overall cohesive master plan, with floors across the campus misaligned and not in compliance with contemporary ADA standards. For KHA the primary challenge of such a project was to develop an intervention that successfully respected the existing historic fabric while creating programmatic space invisible from the street.
  • Facade Manufacturer Kawneer ACME Brick Company Accurate Speciality Metal Fabrication Oldcastle Building Envelope Rheinzink
  • Architect Kliment Halsband Architects
  • Facade Consultant Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc.
  • Structural Engineer Silman
  • Construction Manager AECOM Tishman
  • Facade Installer Champion Metal and Glass Long Island Concrete Northern Bay Contractors
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Kawneer Series 2000T
  • Products ACME Brick Limestone-colored brick and mortar pointing ASMF zinc facade panels
The project began with the construction of two additional stories atop Hunter Hall, which accommodated for lost classroom space during the renovation process. Collaboration with structural engineer Silman was key to this project, and the complexity of the demolition and reconstruction was truly daunting. The new 76,500-square-foot building is offset approximately five-feet from the existing historic facade and houses the bulk of a lateral support system bridging floors across to Hunter Hall. An extensive temporary bracing system for the facades had to be installed and maintained throughout the buildout of the structure. A steel moment-and-brace system was inserted between the historic facade and new building as the project neared completion, and the result is a captivating five-story light well that highlights the utilitarian poetics of structural engineering. “Through this approach, we enable the building’s history to continue into the future,” said KHA founder Frances Halsband. “By exposing the steel structure, we reveal the key design tool used to bridge the old and the new making it an educational experience for the school community who use the building daily.” KHA worked closely with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and local preservation groups to ensure that the facade restoration was in keeping with the Stuyvesant Park Historic District and the facade restoration occurred over the course of one year out of the overall three-year construction schedule. Restoration work, led by Jablonski Building Conservation and Northern Bay Contractors, entailed the repointing and replacement of brick; the restoration of terra-cotta eyebrow lintels; the faithful replication of historic wood windows, and the repair of the ornately-carved wood cornice. The courtyard elevations are a demonstration in contextually sensitive infill and deft maximization of occupiable area allowed under zoning. In a series of setbacks and bay-like projections the expansion unfolds onto terrace and courtyard, and is clad in limestone-colored brick and vertically-seamed zinc panels. “The zinc was selected for its light to medium value and warm neutral coloration to minimize the massing of the new additions on the adjacent buildings facing the courtyard and from the roof terrace atop the rear yard enlargement allowed by zoning for community use,” continued Halsband. “Our approach was to design these elevations with new materials distinct from while sympathetic to their surrounding existing building fabric.”  
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One for the Books

AIA California announces winners of ninth annual net-zero design competition
The American Institute of Architects, California (AIACA) has unveiled the 2020 winners of Architecture at Zero, a popular annual competition now in its ninth iteration that challenges both professional and student architects to design zero-net-energy (ZNE) buildings. Although an AIACA-organized affair, the competition is open to entrants worldwide. As outlined by the AIACA, the competition aims to generate fresh, originative ideas for ZNE commercial and residential buildings—that is, buildings that are both energy-efficient and offset any and all energy that they consume through the on-site production of renewable energy. Per the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, the state has set ambitious targets for all new residential construction to be ZNE by, well, this year, and all new commercial construction to be ZNE by 2030. The state has also set additional goals for retrofits and renovations of existing buildings. For the 2020 edition of the competition, the AIACA partnered with the San Benito County Free Library in Hollister, a small city in the largely rural Monterey Bay Area of Central California. Competition participants were asked to produce speculative designs for the library. Previous competitions have challenged entrants to design ZNE collegiate rec centers, science centers, student housing, and more. “San Benito County residents are excited to explore ideas for a new 21st-century library that meets the needs of this diverse community,” said county librarian Nora Conte in a statement. “The Library is thrilled to partner with AIACA and participants from around the world to develop zero net energy library designs.” Here’s a look at this year’s winners, which collectively received $25,000 in prize money.

Professional Winners

Citation Award: “THE BRANCH” by DIALOG + Byrens Kim Design Works (San Francisco/Vancouver and Oakland, California) Merit Award: “Community Currents” by Murphy Burnham and Buttirck Architects (New York City) Honor Award: “Book Garden” by Jensen Architects (San Francisco)

Student Merit Award winners

“TO GATHER” by a team from Cankaya University in Ankara, Turkey “Atrial Creep” by a team from Wroclaw University in Poland “Meraki” by a team from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India
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Coming In On the Ground Bloor

Toronto’s first Herzog & de Meuron-designed building could be this 87-story skyscraper
Herzog & de Meuron has been commissioned by Dutch real estate development companies Kroonenberg Geoep and ProWinko to design a mixed-use supertall tower at the northwest corner of Bloor and Bay Streets in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood. The glass-encased, ultra-slender 87-story skyscraper will be the first building to be designed in Canada’s most populous city by the Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss firm. (Toronto-based Quadrangle is serving as project architect.) If completed as proposed today, the tower—at 1,063 feet—would stand as the tallest residential building in Canada, although at least one slightly lankier planned project is a bit further ahead in the development process. The project also slightly edges out a Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed supertall, also planned for Toronto, announced earlier this year. Kroonenberg Geoep and ProWinko purchased the parcel at 1200 Bay Street, currently the site of a 1960s-era commercial mid-rise,  in 2016 for $86.75 million. Speaking to Bisnow shortly after the sale, Jordan Karp, senior vice president of Paracom Realty Corp., mentioned at the time that the two developers were aiming to transform the site  into a top office property for the upscale retail-heavy Mink Mile section of Yorkville, which is centered on Bloor Street. That approach, however, has apparently shifted as Herzog & de Meuron’s design appears to be primarily residential. Per a media release, the toothpick-thin tower’s bottom sixteen floors will be dedicated to offices and retail space. Above this will be 332 condominium units, ranging from one-bedrooms to multi-level penthouses, spread across 64 floors accessible by a quartet of dedicated elevators through a triple-height private lobby on Bloor Street. A “private amenities level” will provide a buffer between the lower commercial floors and the residential floors above. The top three floors will be home to a sky lounge, restaurant, and rentable event spaces, all of which will no doubt come equipped with stunning panoramic views. “Providing diversity in the proposed program is an important component of the building’s approach to sustainability and enhancing the vibrancy of the local community,” reads the announcement, noting that the residential floors will be “characterized by generous daylight through the floor-to-ceiling operable windows which provide natural ventilation.” “The proposal is a layered expression of the vertical structural elements, interior glazing (thermal envelope), exterior timber roller shades and an outer layer of transparent, open-jointed glass," the announcement goes on to explain. “The effect is a building which at times appears transparent and expressive—revealing the scale and activity within the building; and at other times, the reflective outer layer of glass gives the building an abstract quality, emphasizing its dramatic proportion.” While this is the second Toronto project to be developed by ProWinko, it’s the first for Kroonenberg Groep. “This is an iconic block in the neighbourhood and Toronto at large. We have an opportunity to deliver a project that sets a new benchmark for design and strives to give something back to the city,” said Lesley Bamberger, owner of the latter company. Meanwhile, four provinces over in British Columbia, Herzog & de Meuron is also heading up the revamp of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is the firm’s first project in Canada.
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En Plein Air

Outdoor art spaces that are now open for socially-distanced summer enjoyment
Over the past several weeks, a modest of trickle of museums and cultural institutions have slowly and cautiously begun to reopen their doors with coronavirus safety measures firmly in place while others announce tentative plans to reopen later this summer or in the fall. Others remain shuttered indefinitely. For those who aren’t quite ready to venture indoors in the (limited) company of fellow museum-goers, standalone sculpture parks and outdoor art spaces affiliated with museums remain a viable alfresco option in which social distancing is perhaps made a bit easier. Plus, these spaces are a great way to enjoy beautiful summer weather and get some exercise while easing back into public places that aren’t the local pharmacy or supermarket. Similar to indoor museums, however, not every sculpture park and outdoor art space across the board has reopened or announced a reopening date—like with all coronavirus-related restrictions, it all really depends on geography along with other factors. Just north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, for example, Art Omi is currently open to visitors at a smaller capacity than normal while just 90 minutes south, the perennially popular Storm King Art Center remains closed until further notice. Many of these now-open spaces have adjusted operating hours and rules and restrictions (i.e. shuttered cafes and restrooms) to keep in mind before heading out. Below is just a sampling of sculpture parks and outdoor art spaces currently open across the country. We will continue to add to this list as other major venues reopen or partially reopen their grounds. Art Omi—Ghent, New York Spread across 120 acres, Art Omi, a sculpture and architecture park in Columbia County, New York, is now open daily from dawn to dusk although all indoor facilities are closed and public programming has been cancelled until further notice. To prevent an unsafe influx of visitors, parking is extremely limited. For those who do manage to snag a spot, face coverings will be required in the parking lot and on trails (if passing other visitors.) Art Omni also requests that visitors practice social distancing and refrain from touching surfaces. Currently on display are works by Nari Ward, Steven Holl, Robert Grosvenor, Virginia Overton, Sarah Braman, and David Shrigley, among many others. Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art — New Orleans The New Orleans Museum of Art’s 11-acre Besthoff Sculpture Garden reopened to visitors on June with at 25 percent capacity with special hours for seniors and the immunocompromised. Visitors are asked to don face coverings and observe social distancing measures while admiring works by such artists as Frank Stella, Katharina Fritsch, Henry Moore, and Louise Bourgeois. Meanwhile, the rest of the museum is open for virtual visits. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum — Lincoln, Massachusetts The 30-acre grounds of the deCordova Sculpture Park—the largest of its kind in New England—is open to the public but reserved timing/day passes are required to gain access to prevent overcrowding. All buildings will remain closed until further notice. The Glenstone — Potomac, Maryland The Glenstone, the free and tricky-to-get-into private contemporary art museum in Potomac, Maryland, will reopened its sprawling, 300-acre campus as an “outdoor-only experience” for the duration of the summer on June 4. (No firm reopen date has been announced for the Charles Gwathmey- and Thomas Phifer-designed buildings that house a bulk of the museum’s collection.) As always, reservations are strictly required on the days the museum will operate (Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) while various additional safety measures have been instituted including the requirement that visitors wear face coverings and enjoy the grounds in groups of five or less. All indoor amenities, including bathrooms, will be closed to the public so go before you, well, go. Al fresco highlights of the museum include sculptures and installations by the likes of Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, and more. Lynden Sculpture Garden — Milwaukee Milwaukee’s lush 40-acre Lynden Sculpture Garden reopened on June 1 for “free social distance walking” daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (The grounds are closed on Thursdays). Guests are encouraged to wear face coverings and arrive in groups of nine people are less. Bathrooms and indoor facilities remain closed while all guided visits and group tours are cancelled until further notice. Michigan Legacy Art Park — Thompsonville, Michigan Located on the grounds of Crystal Mountain Resort, the woodsy 30-acre Michigan Legacy Art Park, home to over 40 permanent sculptures and 2 miles of secluded trails, is open, as always, to visitors every day of the year (with some safety-related tweaks.) As the park writes: “One of the best things about our 30 acres of outdoor wilderness and our miles of hiking trails is that you won’t encounter crowds. It’s not uncommon to wander through our forest and never see more than a few other people, or none at all. Our park is designed to give you and your family peace and quiet, with multiple trails and routes that you can select yourself. #SocialDistancing is already built into our plans.” Olympic Sculpture Park — Seattle While the Seattle Art Museum remains closed until further notice, the museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park—at nine acres, it’s the largest green space in downtown Seattle—remains open to the public with various safety measures in place. Socrates Sculpture Park – Queens, New York Nestled along the East River in Astoria, Queens, Socrates Sculpture Park remains open along with other New York City public parks during its regular hours (9:00 a.m. to sunset). The New York City Parks Department requires that visitors observe various safety practices while in the park including donning face coverings.
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Not So Fast

When are museums in the U.S. reopening?
With infection and mortality rates of COVID-19 seemingly declining (or at least, this first wave of it), cultural institutions, many of them desperate for revenue and fearful of being forced to remain shuttered forever, are slowly gesturing towards reopening to the public. Of course, the museum-going experience will look very different once they do, with temperature checks at the door, new capacity restrictions, touchless payment, and the removal of cafes and other eating areas. While the Metropolitan Museum of Art, seemingly a bellwether for New York City museums so far, has announced that it’s shooting for a mid-August reopening, other institutions in less-affected cities around the globe are have already begun reopening. When can you expect your favorite museum to reopen? Check out our curated list below and plan accordingly; or, if an arts or design institution you care about will remain closed, check out our collection of virtual museum tours. AN will follow this with an article with more information on international museums. The San Antonio Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Tampa Museum of Art in Florida have all already reopened, likely owing to their locations in states that have been pushing to get things “back to normal” a bit faster than elsewhere. Of course, some Texan museums and galleries aren’t rushing things; Ruby City in San Antonio remains closed only months after its official opening, and the Menil Collection in Houston won’t let visitors into its buildings until sometime later in the summer. The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida is reopening today, but the ICA Miami, which is offering livestreams of its exhibitions, remains closed with no reopening date in sight. Other Miami museums are reportedly aiming to open back up in September. One major reopening delayed by the COVID-19 crisis is the Rothko Chapel in Houston, which ARO is renovating. The contemplative art space and surrounding campus were originally slated to open again in June, but that’s been pushed back to September 13. If you can’t wait to get your fill of meditative, art-focused chapels, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin has put together a 24/7 livestreamof Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. Back in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art is trying to reopen sometime between July and September, according to director Glenn Lowry, albeit with an enormous reduction in staff and the possible abandoning of its plans to rotate its exhibitions more frequently. The Cooper Hewitt, as a Smithsonian museum, has canceled all planned programming through July 1 and has not announced a reopening date yet. The Museum of Arts and Design has similarly avoided putting put a potential reopening date. On the West Coast, the Getty remains closed and has canceled all programming through August 31 but is reportedly researching how best to reopen. Hauser & Wirth’s downtown Los Angeles location will tentatively try to reopen in June (visitors will need to make appointments ahead of time), while the Broad Museum, also in L.A., hasn’t announced a reopening date yet. SFMOMA, which also recently saw a painful round of layoffs, has no plans to reopen any time soon either. Somewhat ironically, even as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is being torn down, the museum’s outdoor, interactive sculptures remain open to the visiting public.
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Off the Rails

Coronavirus capital cuts could derail de Blasio’s affordable housing plan
Even more bad news for New York City: Housing advocates are sounding the alarm over the damage the nearly $1 billion in cuts to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) capital budget will do to the city’s affordable housing prospects. The novel coronavirus pandemic has decimated the city budget, to the point that Mayor Bill de Blasio recently proposed borrowing up to $7 billion from New York State to cover the city’s operating expenses—a move explicitly banned after similar measures brought NYC to the brink of collapse in the “bad old days” of the 1970s. Without a federal bailout or a tax increase on top earners (something the mayor has balked at in the past), it looks like austerity is on the table for the next fiscal year. The cuts follow others made to municipal departments like the DDC, which was compelled to freeze all public design work (including projects that were already under construction), and the Department of Parks & Recreation, which has seen a dreadful reduction in park maintenance. In HPD's case, its budget will be hobbled by a reduction of 40 percent; the mayor has proposed cutting $583 million in 2020 and $457 million in fiscal year 2021. As with public design work, a once relatively stable source of income for architects, affordable housing design is also looking more precarious. Aside from the uncertainty this brings to firms looking to shore up their portfolios with longer-term projects, developers told Politico that the cuts could kill affordable housing buildings that have been in the works for years. For instance, HPD’s loan program for supportive housing, through which the department partly finances its projects, funds developments with at least 60 percent of the units set aside for the homeless or disabled and was expected to deliver 1,000 units this year and 1,500 in 2021 alone; now those projections are up in the air. More concerning is that HPD has stopped issuing “soft commitment letters,” which affirm that a developer is set to receive city funding. Without that written commitment, affordable housing developers are having a much more difficult time luring in outside investors. With groundbreakings pushed back, those same projects are also at risk of losing investors who were angling for low-income housing tax credits but have been spooked at the uncertainty now involved. Any delay in affordable housing construction or the preservation of existing units could endanger Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 plan, which in 2018 bumped up its goal of creating or preserving 300,000 housing units by 2026 from the original 2014 plan’s 200,000-unit target. It’s estimated that the combined 2020 and 2021 cuts to HPD’s budget would ultimately prevent 21,000 fewer affordable units from becoming available. More importantly, the current pandemic has greatly exacerbated housing insecurity among city renters, and slashing the availability of affordable units will be certain to cause ripple effects down the line.
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Stream One, Stream All

Carriage Trade launches an online film festival dedicated to William Menking
Carriage Trade, a gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, specializes in pairing historical work with contemporary context, and Public Images, its online short film festival on public spaces, has taken on a particular poignancy. And because the organizers have described the show as a love letter to cities and open spaces, they thought it would be only fitting to dedicate the exhibition to AN’s late co-founder, William Menking. From now through June 10, viewers can watch Japanese artist Yuki Higashino’s 2020 film Extinguishment for free on the Carriage Trade website. Extinguishment is an eerily apt sci-fi parable for our troubled times, imagining a future Japan rendered empty by declining birth rates, exclusionary immigration policies, and environmental collapse. Without humans to walk the streets, animals have taken over and plants rewild the urban landscape (sound familiar?). More than just an allegory about the current lockdown, Extinguishment is intended to speak to the global interconnectedness every country now faces, for better or for worse. Although we’re approaching the tail-end of the exhibition at the time of writing, from June 11 through June 24, Carriage Trade will make all the previously screened films available to view online for free. Those include: Diane Nerwen’s 2014 film Traveling Shots: NYC, which travels the streets of New York City to recreate what is perhaps the most-filmed backdrop in the history of cinema. Combining archival background footage from movies spanning seven decades, Traveling Shots demonstrates how the city itself plays as much of a role as the characters who walk it. Outtakes from Metropolis, 1939 from the National Archives paints a portrait of NYC during the time of the New Deal, moving from the streets to the low-rise Harlem River Houses, New York’s second-ever social housing project. From Carriage Trade:
Writing on the Harlem River Houses in 1938 in Sidewalk Critic, his regular column in the New Yorker, urbanist, and architecture critic Lewis Mumford claimed - "So much for what is plainly visible from the outside. What are less visible in the Harlem Houses, but no less important for decent family living, are four social units for adults, a nursery school that can accommodate sixty children, and a health clinic. Here in short is the equipment for decent living that every modern neighborhood needs: sunlight, air, safety, play space, meeting space, and living space."
Dan Graham’s 1992 Two-Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube and a Video Salon was created to catalog Graham’s work for the Dia Art Foundation in Manhattan (then at West 22nd Street). Sitting atop the foundation’s headquarters, Graham’s pavilion was freely accessible to visitors and allowed them to contemplate the Far West Side decades before the High Line would formally codify similar themes of repurposing industrial architecture for leisurely ends. In the 1983 film Grand Openings / Public Places, Howard Silver documented James Wines and SITE Architects’ now-famous BEST showrooms, attempts at using postmodern spectacle to lure in customers. Of course, the stripped, peeled-back, and seemingly demolished facades of the nine BEST stores SITE designed were more than just exercises in excess; the ruin-like retail outlets, inspired by Gordon Matta Clark’s desire to expose the inner workings of the built environment, were commentaries on the failures of capitalism in their own right. Only one BEST store still stands mostly unaltered, so this is a great way to experience them in a new light.
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Wrapping It Up

Christo passes away at 84
Bulgarian-born artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, who achieved fame for the massive public installations he completed with his late wife Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, died yesterday, May 31, 2020, of natural causes at 84. The news was announced via the artist’s Twitter account. Christo and Jeanne-Claude were both born on June 13, 1935, and after meeting for the first time in Paris in 1958, the pair collaborated from 1961 to Jean-Claude’s death via brain aneurysm in 2009 (though they practiced only under Christo’s name until 1994). The duo prepared their large-scale wrapping artworks years, sometimes decades, before anything was ever actually built; Christo’s The Mastaba (Project for United Arab Emirates), a passion project that would have bundled 410,000 colorful barrels into a massive trapezoid, was conceived of in 1977 and still has yet to be assembled. Planning such massive public projects would always take time, but Christo and Jeanne-Claude were always concerned about the environmental impact their pieces would have and took care to leave the sites of their work cleaner than they found it. Take 2018’s The London Mastaba at the Serpentine Gallery, for example; after floating the 65-foot-tall, 7,506-barrel-strong Mastaba on top of Serpentine Lake, great pains were taken to not only to recycle the piece but to remediate the lake afterward. Regulations and funding were other challenges that hounded the artist regularly throughout his career. Christo, a self-described “educated Bulgarian Marxist who has learned to use capitalism for his art,” financed all of his projects independently through the sale of concept drawings, and patiently waited the decades it took for the duo’s work to ultimately win approval. The Gates, a triumphant series of 7,503, 16-foot-tall orange gates draped with waving flags that were woven over Central Park’s walking paths were ultimately well-received in Christo’s adopted city of New York, but erecting them took 14 years of financing and pushing back against NIMBY nay-sayers. But that, thankfully, is what Christo will be remembered for—installing levity and a sense of wonder in public places. As the Twitter announcement of his death stated, Christo and Jeanne-Claude made it clear that they wanted their work to continue posthumously. The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in recyclable silver-blue polypropylene fabric and red rope, a reduction of a famous icon to pure form and mass, was a project Christo had dreamt of since 1962 and will finally be realized next year from September 18 through October 3. AN will follow this announcement with a more in-depth obituary in the days to come.
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Bye Bye Byford

Andy Byford leaves New York to head Transport for London
Public transportation systems around the world are being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, with ridership and fare collection in freefall as citizens social distance (ie, stay home). Now, five months after resigning as president of MTA New York City Transit, Andy Byford is reportedly heading home to helm another public transportation system in crisis: London’s. During his two-year tenure as head of New York City’s subway system, British-born Byford (affectionately referred to online by transportation enthusiasts as the “train daddy”) did manage to make a noticeable dent in the city’s notoriously ailing train service. As previously noted, in January the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released its last Subway Action Plan update of Byford’s tenure, which showed a 10,000-delay-a-month reduction for the fourth month in a row and the highest on-time arrival percentage in four years at 72.6 percent. Why the falling out, then? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, despite the fawning praise he’s received for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, is notorious for micromanaging, going so far as to preempt the MTA on an L Train repair plan and hand-picking most of the MTA’s board. Byford also claimed that Cuomo was at one point forcing him to organize transportation conferences instead of letting him do his job. Now, Byford will be returning to England to help salvage what’s left of London’s public transportation system. Today, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed that Byford had been selected as the next Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), the local governmental body that oversees all transportation throughout the Greater London region. That’s a big step up for Byford, who began his career with the organization, as TfL commissioners oversee everything from local trains, to buses, to the London Underground system, to bike paths and ferries. Byford will have his work cut out for him, as fare revenue has fallen 90 percent so far as a result of the global health crisis, and the TfL has instituted a series of furloughs, pay cuts, and fare hikes as a result of a nearly $2 billion government bailout. Byford is scheduled to take up the mantle of Commissioner on June 29.
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COTE's Crème de la Crème

The 2020 AIA COTE Top 10 Award winners raise the bar for sustainable building
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the recipients of the 2020 COTE Top 10 Awards, just a few short weeks later than normal. Usually synced with Earth Day, the big reveal of this year’s batch of superlatively sustainable projects—all demonstrating “the solutions architects provide for the health and welfare of our communities and planet”—was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis. As is wont with the prestigious COTE Top 10 Awards, the 2020 recipients are a diverse lot and truly run the gamut when it comes to building type, usage, and geographic locale. Just a taste of the winning projects: An adaptive reuse effort in which a defunct Austin, Texas, recycling center that was transformed into an airy creative office space; a distinctive 52-unit affordable housing complex (the only housing project recognized this year) for previously homeless and disabled veterans in Los Angeles’s MacArthur Park neighborhood; and a border crossing facility in the Chihuahuan Desert that’s architecture “serves and respects all people, embraces culture, conserves resources, nurtures ecology, protects habitat, celebrates diversity, and conveys a love of the land.” One winning project, the Environmental Nature Center and Preschool, Newport Beach, California, was singled out for its exceptional, resource-conserving post-occupancy performance data. Gensler made a strong showing and had three total projects recognized. Two are in New York City (Etsy’s Living Building Challenge Petal-certified headquarters in DUMBO, Brooklyn, and a much-praised overhaul of the Ford Foundation’s landmark modernist Manhattan headquarters) and the third is the aforementioned adaptive refuse project in Austin. On that note, Texan firm Lake|Flato (no stranger to the COTE Top 10) was also recognized for multiple projects, both of them collaborative efforts: The Austin Central Library and the Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Mississippi. To be eligible for the COTE Top 10 Award, individual project submissions must meet stringent criteria that includes 10 measures such as social, economic, and ecological values, explains a press statement from the AIA. From there, a five-member jury evaluated each project based on the “effectiveness of their holistic design solution and metrics associated with the 10 measures.” The 2020 jury included: Robert Berkebile, FAIA, BNIM Architects; Roy Decker, FAIA, Duvall Decker Architects; William Horgan, Associate AIA, Grimshaw; Vivian Loftness, FAIA, Carnegie Mellon University; and Andrea Love, AIA, Payette. Below is the complete list of winning projects. You can learn more about each at the AIA COTE Top 10 Awards website. Austin Central Library, Austin, Texas — Lake|Flato Architects + Shepley Bulfinch  Per the jury: “The interior light-filled atrium has become a living room for the city, open to the community and all constituencies; the space is dynamic and offers many opportunities for citizens to find just the right spot to read, study, meet, or work.” U.S. Land Port of Entry, Columbus, New Mexico — Richter Architects Per the jury: “A port of entry is a challenging building type. The designers in this project not only met that challenge, but achieved more by showing us how the architecture of any kind can make human environments healthy and dignified. This is a thoughtful, durable building made to last.” Environmental Nature Center and Preschool, Newport Beach, California — LPA, Inc. Per the jury: “It introduces kids to responsible sustainability at a young age and is a place where people will want to send their children. It does all the right things—water, biophilia, resilience, and strong material choices.” Etsy Headquarters, New YorkGensler Per the jury: “Everything about the inhabitants, the building, and the use of the space are involved in the investment in sustainability as a way of life. This project is a celebration of health and craft and takes an existing fabric and transforms it into something more rewarding.” Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, New YorkGensler Per the jury: “The new design adds adjustments and changes to its planning that make it more public and equitable. The garden is reestablished as a public oasis that invites the community in, and following the current values of the Ford Foundation, the building makes room for like-minded partners in a more collaborative structure.” John W. Olver Design Building, Amherst, Massachusetts Leers Weinzapfel Associates Per the jury: “The space is made possible by an innovative wood truss system showing us how to reach beyond the CLT systems to make larger spaces. Its courtyard guarantees views and access to campus to everyone within the building and is well integrated into the larger campus.” Keller Center at the Harris School of Public Policy, ChicagoFarr Associates (design lead and architect of record) and Woodhouse Tinucci Architects (collaborating architect, interior designer) Per the jury: “The opening of the floor plates to create a larger light-filled community atrium makes the interior expansive. This design intervention teaches us an important lesson on how to transform these large floor plate-existing buildings into healthy, desirable, light-filled spaces.” Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi — Lake|Flato Architects in association with Unabridged Architecture Per the jury: “The design team’s thoughtful care shows everywhere. The complex is ordered not by an imposition of a construct of some kind, but by finding sites that create minimal damage and that would be above the flood plain and remain inherently resilient.” The Six, Los Angeles Brooks + Scarpa Per the jury: “The courtyard makes a public protected space and provides a communal harbor for a vulnerable population. Passive strategies are identified at the building and unit scale. The units are light-filled, and the courtyard provides ventilation.” UPCycle, Austin, TexasGensler Per the jury: “The design team here shows us how to make a great, healthy, sustainable, adaptive reuse project within a crazy tight budget.”