Search results for "multi-family residential"

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Best of Design Awards 2015
Montage by The Architect's Newspaper

For AN’s third annual design awards, seven jurors gathered in New York to review nearly 500 projects submitted by architects and designers.

The jury included Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Nicholas Koster, project manager at Snøhetta; Chee Perlman, editor and curator of Chee Company; Ana Garcia Puyol, computational designer at Thornton Tomasetti; Ali Tayar; founder of Parallel Design Partnership, Terence Riley, founding partner at Keenan/Riley, and Mimi Zeiger, AN’s west coast editor. In each category, a winner and an honorable mention were selected, although there were a couple of ties. Below are all of the 21 categories linked to their winners and honorable mentions.
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Residential Multi-family
Courtesy Alloy Design

For AN’s third annual design awards, seven jurors gathered in New York to review nearly 500 projects submitted by architects and designers.

The jury included Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Nicholas Koster, project manager at Snøhetta; Chee Perlman, editor and curator of Chee Company; Ana Garcia Puyol, computational designer at Thornton Tomasetti; Ali Tayar; founder of Parallel Design Partnership, Terence Riley, founding partner at Keenan/Riley, and Mimi Zeiger, AN’s west coast editor.

In each category, a winner and an honorable mention were selected, although there were a couple of ties. Over the coming days, we will be posting their selections in the 21 categories. 

Residential Multi-family Winner

Dumbo Townhouses
Architect: Alloy Design
Location: Brooklyn, NY

“A continuous facade combines the individual townhouses into a block which is particularly fitting for the industrial past of this NYC neighborhood.”
—Ali Tayar, Parallel Design Partnership

Located on a small lot in Brooklyn, the DUMBO Townhouses are five townhouses of approximately 3,500 square feet. A unique sectional strategy offers a generous program of four bedrooms, three baths, covered parking and outdoor space with parlor floor ceiling heights and multiple skylit rooms. Across from a park and located within a landmarked district, the industrial warehouse context inspired a cladding of tensile Ductal concrete panels composed of a series of tapered fins. Interspersed with full height windows, the cladding offers a combination of generous light and air with solar shading and privacy. The locally based team acted as architect, contractor, developer and broker for the project.

Honorable Mention

Courtesy Morris Adjmi Architects

The Schumacher
Architect: Morris Adjmi Architects
Location: New York

Honorable Mention

Courtesy Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects

Architect: Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Location: Los Angeles


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Kermit Baker is unruffled by the 3.8 point drop in November's Architecture Billings Index
As temperatures dipped in November, so did the Architecture Billings Index (ABI). The ABI was 49.3, a 3.8 point drop from October's 53.1. Any score below 50 represents a decrease in billings. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker seemed unfazed by the drop in billings. “Since architecture firms continue to report that they are bringing in new projects, this volatility in billings doesn’t seem to reflect any underlying weakness in the construction sector. Rather, it could reflect the uncertainty of moving ahead with projects given the continued tightness in construction financing and the growing labor shortage problem gripping the entire design and construction industries.” New projects inquiries were at 58.6, a touch above last month's reading of 58.5. The design contracts index rose to 53.5, an increase 1.8 points from October. Regional averages were mostly down: the Midwest sank to 47.8 from 52.6 last month, the Northeast dropped three points to 46.2, and the South dropped 0.8 to 55.4. The West gained 0.1 points over last month, coming in at 54.5. Billings by sector were a mixed bag. Multi-family residential and institutional billings climbed, while commercial/industrial and mixed practice fell. At 53.8, multi-family residential was up 1.3 points from October. Institutional billings gained 0.6 points in the same time frame. Commercial/industrial fell 4.1 points to 51, and mixed practice was at 47.6, an astonishing 7.3 point drop from the previous month. A quick note on the data: national index, design contracts, and inquiries are calculated monthly. Sector and regional categories are calculated as a three month moving average.
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October's Architecture Billings Index down slightly from September, though demand for design services remains high
In fall, warm blooded animals usually slow down as they prepare to hibernate for winter. Yet, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) demonstrates few signs of winter slumber, with increased demand for design services in almost every category. The October ABI of 53.1, the AIA reports, is down 0.6 points from September, but any score over 50 represents an increase in billings. The ABI is the primary economic indicator of construction activity, reflecting a nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. “Allowing for the possibility of occasional and minor backsliding, we expect healthy business conditions for the design and construction industry to persist moving into next year,” AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a statement. “One area of note is that the multi-family project sector has come around the last two months after trending down for the better part of the year.” October's new projects inquiry index was 58.5, down from September's 61.0. Design contracts fell by 1.5 points to 51.7. The South lead the regional averages with a score of 56.2, up from a score of 54.5 in September. The West trailed at 54.4, followed by the Midwest (52.6), and the Northeast at at a paltry 49.2, though up 5.5 points from the previous month. Commercial and industrial construction led the sector breakdowns at 55.1 points, up 4.2 points from September. Mixed practice jumped 2.3 points to 54.9, and multifamily residential climbed 3 points to 52.5. Institutional sector held steady at 51.4, a drop of 0.1 from last month. The national index, new projects inquiries, and design contacts indexes are calculated monthly, while the regional and sector categories are calculated as a three month average.
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Architecture Billings Index up for September, though architecture talent pool is not deep enough for demand
It may be getting colder outside, but the Architecture Billing Index (ABI) is heating up. In September, the ABI bounced back to positive territory, and has seen growth in two-thirds of the months this year. The AIA reported that the September ABI was 53.7, up 4.6 points from August. Any score above 50 marks an increase in billings. “Aside from uneven demand for design services in the Northeast, all regions are project sectors are in good shape,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a statement. “Areas of concern are shifting to supply issues for the industry, including volatility in building materials costs, a lack of a deep enough talent pool to keep up with demand, as well as a lack of contractors to execute design work.” To that end, the new projects inquiry was down to 61.0, a decrease of 0.8 points from August. The design contracts index was at 53.2, a drop of 2.1 points from August. The South (54.5) led the Midwest (54.2) by a hair for regional averages. The West, at 51.7, was up 1.7 points from August, while the Northeast placed last, at 43.7, a drop of 3.1 points from last month. By sector, commercial/industrial (50.9) was the only category with positive growth. Multi-family residential flatlined at 49.5, while institutional dropped 2.2 points to 51.5. Mixed practice dropped 0.2 points to 52.6. It's important to note that the regional and sector indices are calculated as a 3-month moving average, while the design contracts, inquiries, and national index are monthly figures.
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Architecture Billings Index declines sharply in August after a strong year
The Architecture Billings Index declined in August after a relatively robust year. The August ABI score was 49.1, a decline of 5.6 points from July. In July, the new projects inquiries index was 63.7, while August's number decreased by 1.9 points to 61.8. Regional averages were 50.2 (West), 56.1 (Midwest), 46.8 (Northeast), and 53.8 (South). "Over the past several years, a period of sustained growth in billings has been followed by a temporary step backwards," AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a statement. "The fact that project inquiries and new design contracts continue to grow at a healthy pace suggests that this should not be a cause for concern throughout the design and construction industry." By sector, mixed practice (52.8) and institutional (53.7) were in positive territory, while commercial / industrial (49.7) and multi-family residential (49.5) just skirted the positive mark. The design contracts index was 55.3 for August, an increase of 0.8 points over July.
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Registration Open! Here's what you need to know about AN's 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards
The Architect's Newspaper is thrilled to announce its 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards. It’s a unique opportunity to showcase your great buildings, building elements, and other architectural-based categories that are not covered by other competitions. This year, AN's Best of Design Awards has expanded to include 18 categories. Here are just a few of the new additions to this year’s categories: Building of the Year Since AN publishes four regional editions—East, West, Midwest, and Southwest, we’re seeking the best new building in each of these regions. Architectural Models Whichever form is your favorite—virtual or analog, interior or exterior, landscaping or urban— show the world how you build, just at a smaller scale. Your model does not need to have come to fruition. All scaled architecture types are eligible. Temporary Installation Whether your installation is a site-specific exhibition or it created an entirely new site, enter your work that showcases materials, techniques and invention. Urban Design Built or unbuilt, enter your design plans that focus on groupings of buildings, street and public spaces to create a more sustainable and functional neighborhood or city. Young Architects Award Emerging architects or firms often have the talent but don’t always get the glory. This category seeks to celebrate the work of young practices (10 years or less) or professionals (35 years or less). All project types are eligible. Competition entrants will be judged by a jury that includes Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta; Julio Braga, principal of IA Interior Architects; and Ana Garcia Puyol, computational designer at Thornton Tomasetti and winner in the student built work category of last year's Best of Design Awards. For each category winner and honorable mentions, the jury will be looking at a project’s strength of presentation, evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, and, most importantly, good design. Registration is open through October 9th and the submission deadline is November 2nd. Much more information about the competition, including past years’ winners, see the Best of Design Awards site.
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Gimme Shelter: Inaugural A+D Museum exhibition promises to rethink Los Angeles housing
Opening August 20, Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles, the inaugural exhibition at the A+D Museum's new Arts District space presents works by architects and designers that challenge and improve upon L.A. housing typologies. The single-family house has long been the touchstone for experimental architecture in Los Angeles, from the Case Study Houses to Gehry’s own home in Santa Monica, replete with (now-removed) domesticated chain-link fencing. But as the cost of real estate puts pressure on residential architecture, new solutions for single- and multi-family housing are desperately needed. Curators Sam Lubell and Danielle Rago invited local practices to develop proposals for the Wilshire Corridor and along the Los Angeles River, these include Bureau Spectacular, LA Más, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, MAD Architects, PAR, and wHY Architecture. (Editor's Note: Both Lubell and Rago are regular contributors to AN, and Lubell is AN's former West Coast editor.) Works by Kevin Daly Architects, Michael Maltzan Architects, Bestor Architecture, OMA, R&A, and Koning Eizenberg, will also be on view. AN spoke with the curators. The title is Shelter, the absolute basis for architecture, but what does it mean to “rethink how we live” and why is this reassessment so pressing right now? Sam Lubell: LA is going through monumental changes, re-embracing density, transit, and the public realm while facing unprecedented challenges around affordability, the environment, and congestion. But while the city has always been a center for residential innovation, most residential architecture here today does not properly respond to the changes taking place. We're hoping to help spur a dialogue about reshaping our housing and our lifestyles to today's realities. It’s a great line up of practices in the show. What were your criteria for selecting participants? Danielle Rago: The show features [six new proposals] by Los Angeles design practices—each occupies a different position in the field of architecture. Yet, we believe all approach residential design in interesting and innovative ways. SL: We also wanted a mix of emerging and established firms, and practice-oriented and research-oriented firms. We think it's a great mix, full of energy, creativity, and some surprise. How did the designers address some of Los Angeles’ hot button topics: density, affordability, accessibility, and sustainability? SL: The designers have done an excellent job addressing several of these issues. wHY, for instance, tackled both density and affordability by proposing new configurations of development in underused, residual public spaces along Wilshire Boulevard. LOHA tackled environmental issues by creating homes that utilize the aquifers near the L.A. River to capture and store water. And MAD has created a new type of outdoor living within a dense cluster of interconnected, extensively landscaped towers. DR: The invited teams all investigated one if not more of these pressing issues currently affecting Angelenos. LA Más' design addressed density and affordability by reconsidering the granny flat as a new model for low-rise high-density development in Elysian Valley along the L.A. River. PAR responded to increasing density and new transit offerings on the Wilshire Corridor with their proposal for a courtyard housing tower, where each unit maintains a visual connection to nature. And Bureau Spectacular investigated environmental challenges through the study and re-application of vernacular domestic architecture in L.A.
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Don't Get Comfortable
BKL / Flickr

When I first arrived in Los Angeles eight and a half years ago I must admit I didn’t really get it. The city seemed to poke its finger at everything I had grown to love about my former home, New York. What do you mean I couldn’t walk everywhere? Why was nothing seemingly more than 50 years old? And where was the grid? The order? The organization?

But over these years I’ve come to love and respect Los Angeles and the whole West Coast to an extent that I never thought I could. Sure, LA is not as walkable as New York. But its sweeping geographic scale is less restricted, open to cultural and economic diversity, and varied types of buildings and neighborhoods. It leaves room for strange and fascinating happenings in the margins. Yes, it doesn’t have the history of the East Coast (although it has more history than most understand). But it’s also historically unburdened by eastern rules and expectations, making it a fertile place for innovators. And yes, it’s chaotic and ad hoc urbanistically, but it’s the collision of people, culture, and buildings that makes it endlessly fascinating.

But even though LA has all of this, and one of the best climates in the world, the city should not get comfortable. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned is that we’ve barely begun to tap the potential of not only Los Angeles, but also the entire West Coast.

For one, the West has one of the most talented design communities in the world. But very few build in the public realm here. Much comes down to an antiquated procurement system favoring the big and well-connected; developers that are often isolated from architectural innovation; a dizzying political bureaucracy that is frequently fractured, self-interested, and not as progressive as it thinks; and a population that spends more time fighting new development than distinguishing between the good and the bad. Meanwhile academic-focused research practices have neither the initiative to connect with the powers-that-be nor the knowhow to make a major impact outside of residential design and the ivory tower.

In LA, while preservation of landmark buildings has improved, the city’s hidden gems are often masked in ugly signage and other horribleness. Further unearthing this legacy will usher amazing dividends, as it did with the incredible movie palaces of Downtown LA’s Broadway. In San Francisco, on the other hand, we have one of the most advanced architecture communities in the country weighed down by a culture that wants to keep the city a museum.

Along much of the coast we have a lot of sunshine, yet relatively few buildings have solar panels. While in California it has virtually stopped raining, water-related innovations are almost nonexistent. Our public incentives are a good start, and the West Coast has some of the most stringent environmental standards in the country, but we need to go further to force the adoption of more sustainable practices.

One of my goals as West Coast editor has been to help us enliven our potential, pointing out systemic flaws that hold us back and bursting the bubbles that stifle innovation. I’ve witnessed improvement in all realms, and seen public officials and citizens begin to embrace a progressive design agenda. Major steps include more inclusive public competitions, walkable streets, new transit lines and parks, more effective preservation measures, improved affordable and multi-family design, developments in technologies, and the rebirth of neighborhoods like Downtown LA, Hollywood, and San Francisco’s Transbay.

And I have unending faith that the architecture and planning communities here will continue to make astonishing progress. As I move forward in New York and Los Angeles I’ll be doing my best to get these issues—and the talented architecture firms here—onto a larger stage; to sidestep the bubble of architecture through books, exhibits, videos, and print publications.

Taking my place will be Mimi Zeiger, who is more qualified than anyone I can think of to continue advocating for innovation and excellence. Mimi’s background in architecture, journalism, and criticism is second to none. Her judgment is superb, and she’s not afraid to tackle tough issues and to speak out when necessary. She’ll bring a fresh new angle to the paper in news coverage and critical content.

I’m honored to have served what I believe is the most talented group of architects in the world. I’ll still be serving you, even if I’m straddling both coasts in the process, and I’m thrilled to see where the road takes us next.

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Institutional projects lift the Architecture Billings Index to its highest score since 2007
While you were out grilling hot dogs and searching for the song of the summer (give it up, there isn’t one), the Architecture Billings Index was climbing to its highest score since 2007. In June, the ABI posted a 55.7, up significantly from 51.9 in May. The new projects inquiry index also had a great month, moving from 61.5 to 63.4. By sector, institutional was way ahead of the pack with a score of 59.1. It was followed by mixed practice (54.7), commercial/industrial (51.6), and multi-family residential (47.0). By region, it was Midwest with gold (57.2), South with silver, (54.9), West with bronze, (50.7), and Northeast (50.4) with whatever comes after bronze. A firm handshake and a slice of pizza? “The June numbers are likely showing some catch-up from slow growth earlier this year. This is the first month in 2015 that all regions are reporting positive business conditions and aside from the multi-family housing sector, all design project categories appear to be in good shape,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a statement. “The demand for new apartments and condominiums may have crested with index scores going down each month this year and reaching the lowest point since 2011.”
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The Architecture Billings Index heads south in April
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) doesn’t want to hear it right now–it knows it's not in a great place, okay? After the economic index started looking up last month—we’re talking 51.7!—the ABI dropped down to 48.8 in April. And, as we all know, any score below 50 means a decrease in billings. Here's a silver lining, though: the New Projects Inquiry did scoot up from 58.2 to 60.1. If we dig into the numbers, it becomes clear that one region (spoiler: the Northeast) ruined the party. The South reported an impressive 55.8 and the West wasn’t too shabby with a 52.9. The Midwest was “eh” at 49.9, but the Northeast was a real bummer last month posting a 43.2. By sector it was more of a mixed-bag with institutional and mixed practice both at 51.8, multi-family residential at 49.0, and commercial/industrial at 48.9. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker is staying positive, saying in a statement: “The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy.” This would be reassuring if it wasn’t almost exactly what John McCain said in 2008, ("the fundamentals of the economy are strong"), when trying to reassure voters the global economy wan't collapsing before their eyes. But to be fair to Baker, he has some specifics to back up his optimism. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects," he said.
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The Architecture Billings Index continued climbing in March
Everyone’s favorite billings index is once again posting some impressive numbers just as winter loosens its cold grip and summer makes its long-awaited appearance. As AN previously reported, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) had a slow start this year, but jumped into positive territory in February with a score of 50.4. Now, the ABI is taking things even more seriously, scooting up to 51.7 in March. And if you’re looking for more good news, we’ve got it: the new projects inquiry index jumped from 56.6 to 58.2. Want to talk regional and sector breakdown? Great, let’s talk regional and sector breakdowns. In March, the South was out front with a score of 54.5. It was followed by the Midwest at 51.0, the West at 50.4, and the Northeast at a very disappointing 45.8. By sector, it was institutional at 53.2, commercial/industrial at 53.0, multi-family residential at 49.7, and mixed practice at 46.2. “Business conditions at architecture firms generally are quite healthy across the country. However, billings at firms in the Northeast were set back with the severe weather conditions, and this weakness is apparent in the March figures,” AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a statement. “The multi-family residential market has seen its first occurrence of back-to-back negative months for the first time since 2011, while the institutional and commercial sectors are both on solid footing.”