AIA Michigan is looking for a new executive director. The 126-year-old, Detroit-based organization needs someone to act as its “ambassador to the broader business and civic community.” Dennis M. King, the search committee chair, is accepting submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org until the close of business Friday, March 1. More information is available at aiami.com. (Image: Bernt Rostad / Flickr)
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The AIA's Architectural Billings Index (ABI) stayed in positive territory for the fifth straight month in December with a score of 52.0 (any score above 50 indicates growth). The level of growth edged down slightly from November's mark of 53.2. By region, the Midwest is currently performing the best (55.7), followed by the Northeast (53.1), and the South (51.2). The West remains in negative territory (49.6). “While it’s not an across the board recovery, we are hearing a much more positive outlook in terms of demand for design services,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, in a statement. Federal budget cuts, however, could impact the recovery. “Moving into 2013 we are expecting this trend to continue and conditions improve at a slow and steady rate. That said, we remain concerned that continued uncertainty over the outcomes of budget sequestration and the debt ceiling could impact further economic growth,” Baker said. By sector, commercial/industrial led with 53.4, followed by mixed practice at 53.0, institutional at 50.9, and multi-family residential at 50.5. Project inquiries were also in positive territory at 59.4, down just slightly from November's 59.6. The National Association of Home Builders is also reporting growth and forecasting greater gains:
Multifamily production, which has posted a 273 percent gain from its fourth quarter trough of 82,000 units in 2009 to 306,000 units in the final quarter of 2012, is expected to reach what is considered a normal level of production by 2014. The single-family market, which has the farthest to go, was running at 44 percent of normal production in the fourth quarter of 2012. Single-family starts are expected to steadily rise to 52 percent of what is considered a typical market by the fourth quarter of this year and 70 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of 2014. NAHB is forecasting 949,000 total housing starts in 2013, up 21.5 percent from 781,000 units last year.
[Editor's Note: This the first in a three-part series documenting the winners of the AIA 2013 Honor Awards, which are broken down into three categories: architecture, interiors, and urban design. This list covers the architecture awards, but additional segments spotlight winners in interior architecture and urban design.] The American Institute of Architects has announced the 2013 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. The list is comprised of a range of projects from across the country, including the new building housing The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, a centralized operations facility for Mason Lane Farm in Kentucky, the exterior restoration of The New York Public Library, and the Vancouver Convention Center. The eight-person jury that selected this year’s AIA Architecture Honor Award winners included: Mary Katherine Lanzillotta, Hartman-Cox Architects; Brian Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons Architects; John Kane, Architekton; William Leddy, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; Philip Loheed, BTA Architects; Robert Maschke, robert maschke ARCHITECTS; Douglas L. Milburn, Isaksen Glerum Wachter; and Becky Joyce Yannes, Drexel University. The AIA will honor the recipients at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver in late June. Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop Goshen, Kentucky From the AIA Jury:
We were taken by how this typology was architecturally rendered with very modest materials that were well crafted and thoughtfully considered throughout. The simple, regionally inspired forms are transformed by their uniquely composed skins of weathered bamboo and commodity metal siding.More coverage from AN. Art Stable Olson Kundig Architects Seattle From the AIA Jury:
This is an important everyday building type that sits quite nicely in its residential neighborhood but is unique. The flexible framework can adapt over time; becoming retail when it needs to, and when the neighborhood changes, it can change as well.The Barnes Foundation Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Philadelphia From the AIA Jury:
The Barnes Foundation serves as an example for the museum building typology in its careful consideration of the foundation’s mission, user experience, and sustainable operating practices. It commands attention by inviting pedestrians to the site and incorporating the historic landscapes of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.More coverage from AN. Boat Pavilion for Long Dock Park Architecture Research Office (ARO) Beacon, New York From the AIA Jury:
This remarkable kayak pavilion – part of the larger Scenic Hudson’s River Center – celebrates simplicity, craft, resilience, and advanced resource-efficiency. Assembled from humble, off-the shelf industrial components, the design skillfully employs careful proportions, elegant detailing, and forthright use of materials to create a building that enlivens the riverfront and creates a vibrant new community gathering space.Centra Metropark Kohn Pedersen Fox Iselin, New Jersey From the AIA Jury:
While the context is less than desirable, the impact that this building has on the parkway has resulted in improvements of neighboring structures, proving that design can have a ripple effect in an otherwise mundane context. The central exterior column supporting the massive truss level is built with precision and craftsmanship, allowing for maximum expansion while creating a covered welcoming piazza.More coverage from AN. Clemson University, Lee Hall College of Architecture Thomas Phifer and Partners Clemson, South Carolina From the AIA Jury:
The rigorous clarity in the organization and assembly of this building is perfectly suited to an educational environment for architecture. It is an exceptional work that surrounds students with a seamless integration of programmatic goals, energy efficiency, and creative tectonics.Milstein Hall, Cornell University OMA and KHA Architects Ithaca, New York From the AIA Jury:
A powerful parti with emphasis on transparency places the entire design school on display to the campus in largely successful ways. The hall is praised by users for its “transactional” qualities: The college’s activities have become far more visually accessible within the Cornell campus; spaces created are connective between Sibley and Rand Halls; and functional relocations—such as the design library—have enhanced communication between student cohorts within the college.More coverage from AN. Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Yale University KieranTimberlake New Haven From the AIA Jury:
A thumbs-up for preserving the work of Saarinen and exploiting the basement space that was originally less desirable without altering the general impression and character of the project. It is sensitive to the resources and shows real attention to detail—great use of materials, lighting dynamics, and spatial results.The New York Public Library - Exterior Restoration Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates New York City From the AIA Jury:
This is the first comprehensive exterior reconstruction effort in the building’s history and it was thoroughly and successfully executed. There is a high level of professionalism from everyone that worked on this project; everyone was a strong player - from the craftsmen to the design team - and all contributed to the success of this building.Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church Marlon Blackwell Architect Springdale, Arkansas From the AIA Jury:
This transformation of a humble former welding shop into an elegant work of religious architecture is an inspiring example for our profession and especially for small practitioners. The project makes the most with the least, displaying deep resource efficiency as an integral part of its design ethos—something more architects should be thinking about and practicing.Vancouver Convention Centre West LMN Architects; Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership; DA Architects + PLanners Vancouver, Canada From the AIA Jury:
This large project impressed us on many levels, showing how a typically large, introverted program can thoughtfully reinforce and contribute to a prominent urban site. A carefully considered 360º architecture uniquely responds to a variety of urban and natural adjacencies.More coverage from AN.
[Editor's Note: This the third in a three-part series documenting the winners of the AIA 2013 Honor Awards, which are broken down into three categories: architecture, interiors, and urban design. This list covers the urban design awards, but additional segments spotlight winners in architecture and interior architecture.] The American Institute of Architects has announced the 2013 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. The list is comprised of a range of projects from across the country and the world, including plans to cap over railyards at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, a plan for a large new neighborhood in San Francisco, and the September 11 Memorial in New York. The five-person jury that selected this year’s AIA Urban Design Honor Award winners included: Mark Shapiro, Mithun; Ellen Dunham-Jones, Georgia Institute of Technology; William A. Gilchrist, Place Based Planning; Toni L. Griffin, The City College of New York; and Thomas E. Luebke, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The AIA will honor the recipients at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver in late June. SUPERKILEN BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group Copenhagen, Denmark From the AIA Jury:
This project is a joy! This is not only original, but stunning to behold. It is noteworthy for its aesthetic approach, which is straightforwardly artificial rather than pretending to be natural. One of the project’s most exciting dimensions is its inclusion of the diverse community of users. Its bold use of color and public art (both high and popular) in spaces that promote social interaction and engagement all exude a high level of excitement and energy through what once looked like residual space.More coverage from AN. Rock Street Pocket Housing University of Arkansas Community Design Center Fayetteville, Arkansas From the AIA Jury:
This is a great integration of inventive architecture and sustainable urbanism into a traditional, low-income fabric. The project does a very interesting and successful job of comingling variations of public and private space. By creating variations in the housing typology, building placement on the site and landscape treatments, the development proposal has appeal to multiple household types, creates private and shared space, and it completes the urban context of the neighborhood.Parkmerced Vision Plan Skidmore, Owings & Merrill San Francisco From the AIA Jury:
This is one of the most ambitious retrofits of an existing suburban apartment complex with green infrastructure this jury has seen. Instead of typical ‘urban’ or ‘suburban’ streetscapes it will provide a new high-performing, hybrid experience that is both dense and lush with improved connectivity to transit. They’ve added a series of layers to the existing fabric of the mid-century garden suburb development.More coverage from AN. National September 11 Memorial Handel Architects New York City From the AIA Jury:
This is an exquisite memorial that captures the absence of the towers both literally and poetically. Its execution creates a successful space for collective mourning and remembrance. It lives up to its role as a significant and appropriate memorial but also acts as a functioning part of a more livable and beautiful city by providing remarkable views from above, casual seating for daily use as well as the emotional experience of the memorial.More coverage from AN. Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Nanhu District, Jiaxing From the AIA Jury:
This is an excellent example of sustainable design that supports food production and habitable spaces and establishes a viable regional footprint for agriculture, housing, and natural conservation. It is commendable to see a development that relates to the canals and addresses pressing production and sustainability issues in the context of growth in China.The Great Lakes Century - a 100-year Vision Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Great Lakes Region From the AIA Jury:
This is a strong environmental vision for an important global natural asset. There is power in the grand scale and how it looks at regional sustainability less in terms of direct environmental protection and more in terms of a transformational shift to a green regional economy catalyzed by high speed rail connectivity.Coal Harbour Convention District LMN Architects; Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership; DA Architects & Planners Vancouver, Canada From the AIA Jury:
This is an outstanding development of the public edge of the city at its waterfront. The project transforms the convention center typology into a true “civic” piece of the city. The balance of built and open space is spectacular and the linear orientation of the park and convention center take full advantage of the water’s edge. Detailing of the water’s edge integrates human access with ecological habitat restoration and sustainable systems to an impressive degree. This is beautifully done with an integration of urban and architectural strategies.Burnham Place at Union Station Shalom Baranes Associates, PC; HOK Washington, D.C. From the AIA Jury:
This is a commendable plan for the sensitivity it shows to reconnecting DC’s historic context while successfully integrating an extremely complex set of uses and transportation modes. Despite the challenges of building on a podium above the rail yards, the plan’s framework maintains continuity of public streets and bikeways lined with mixed-use development while including a new public space extending from the expanded, updated new station hall.More coverage from AN.
[Editor's Note: This the second in a three-part series documenting the winners of the AIA 2012 Honor Awards, which are broken down into three categories: architecture, interiors, and urban design. This list covers the interior architecture awards, but additional segments spotlight winners in architecture and urban design.] The American Institute of Architects has announced the 2013 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. The list is comprised of a range of projects from across the country, including Norman Foster's PACCAR Hall at the University of Washington and Lamar Advertising Headquarters in Baton Rouge. The five-person jury that selected this year’s AIA Interior Architecture Honor Award winners included: Andrew Wells, Dake Wells Architecture; Susan H. Jones, Atelierjones; Carlos M. Martinez, Gensler; Ronald J. McCoy, Princeton University; and Catherine M. Truman, Ann Beha Architects. The AIA will honor the recipients at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver in late June. Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity BNIM Kansas City, Missouri From the AIA Jury:
This project was commended for both the interior architecture and for the precedent it sets for the reuse of the country’s industrial building stock. The planning of the program, in plan and section, was commended, in particular the suspended studios that allow sharing of views and daylight, as was the smokestack space, which is powerful and unexpected.PACCAR Hall, University of Washington LMN Architects Seattle From the AIA Jury:
Remarkable for a campus building, the interiors of this University of Washington business school campus building contain a rich material palette. The generous natural materials accented with steel and glass details provide balance. The detailing, especially in the entry and public spaces, coordinates seamlessly, even sensuously, for a building of this scale.McAllen Main Library Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle McAllen, Texas From the AIA Jury:
The McAllen Main Library represents an important shift in American cultural attitudes toward tolerating big box, suburban structures. The interior spaces have been dramatically transformed from a warehouse to a place with a sense of intimacy.Lamar Advertising Corporate Headquarters Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Baton Rouge From the AIA Jury:
This project was commended for the simplicity yet complexity of the plan and section moves, especially the creation of the interior courtyard and the way light is brought into the building. The interior moves are made more powerful by the decision to retain the original exterior facade of the data center rather than remove and replace it with a glazed curtain wall.Doc Magic RA-DA Torrance, California From the AIA Jury:
This beautiful design creates a powerful and fluid space where light dominates. With a strong conceptual parti, the project submission described real challenges in executing such ambitious design exploration.Chicago Apartment VJAA Chicago From the AIA Jury:
This is a beautifully conceived and detailed work of interior architecture employing traditional principles of modernism while transforming and extending that language with an innovative and carefully considered vocabulary of materials, colors, and patterns. Horizontal planes of wood are designed with strong textures of color and pattern.Charles Smith Wines Tasting Room and World Headquarters Olson Kundig Architects Walla Walla, Washington From the AIA Jury:
This minimalist intervention into a modest urban warehouse space results in a dynamic and beautifully detailed project. A great solution for a simple space reflecting an attitude of restraint and editing, the project is gritty and urban and integrates the exterior with the interior for a sort of "rough luxe" aesthetic.BNIM Iowa BNIM Des Moines From the AIA Jury:
This project has the mark of a mature designer, willing to reduce the existing space to its barest essentials. It exhibits restraint and control to make a very elegant and sophisticated design solution. The scheme integrates and adapts a classic exterior language into the interior space.Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Abbey Church Pavilion VJAA Collegeville, Minnesota From the AIA Jury:
This project involves modest yet beautifully sensitive modifications to a heroic modernist building. It respects and enhances the spirit and values of the Benedictine monks embodied in the original building while responding to a new set of goals for the religious community and a variety of code and system-related improvements.
The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, has been honored with the 2013 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. Renzo Piano designed the museum to house Dominique de Menil’s impressive collection of primitive African art and modern surrealist art in the heart of a residential neighborhood. The design respected Ms. de Menil’s wish to make the museum appear “large from the inside and small from the outside” and to ensure the works could be viewed under natural lighting. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
A fourth straight month of increased billings by AIA members signals the architectural economy may finally have turned the corner. The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) ticked up to 53.2 from last month's 52.8 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in demand for design services). Project inquiries also rose slightly to 59.6 from 59.4. “These are the strongest business conditions we have seen since the end of 2007 before the construction market collapse,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. Activity was greatest in the Northeast (56.3) and the Midwest (54.4). The South remained in positive territory at 51.1, while the South dipped into a slight decline at 49.6, down from the previous month's 51.8. The AIA cautioned that the A/E/C sector's growth could be drastically undercut if the country goes off the so-called "fiscal cliff." Uncertainty about spending cuts and tax increases have already put numerous projects on hold.
Add another medal to Thom Mayne's trophy case. Thursday the American Institute of Architects announced that it was awarding him the 2013 AIA Gold Medal. He'll pick it up at next year's AIA convention in Denver, becoming the 69th AIA Gold Medalist. The list of works from his firm Morphosis is way too long to include here, but it includes the diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California; the California Department of Transportation District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles; and 41 Cooper Square in New York City. Meanwhile Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects have been awarded the AIA Firm Award. The architects, who opened the new Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia this year, have also designed (among other heralded work) the former American Folk Art Museum in New York; the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley; and the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center.
AIA Chicago announced their 2012 awards, to be officially presented tomorrow at the chapter’s annual meeting. Firm of the year goes to Farr Associates, whose sustainable design credentials include seven LEED Platinum projects, two net-zero-energy buildings and three LEED-Neighborhood Developments. Farr was the first firm in the world to rack up three LEED Platinum projects. The New York Times’ Keith Schneider once called them “The most prominent of the city’s growing cadre of ecologically sensitive architects.” Eco-urbanists are in good company these days, and it seems a timely choice by AIA to highlight a firm so actively involved in the hard work of implementing smart growth and sustainable design. Valerio Dewalt Train’s Matt Dumich took the Dubin Family Young Architect Award. Dumich was project architect on VDTA’s upgrade of Bruce Graham's First Wisconsin Plaza and was previously honored with the 2011 Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40 award. His firm’s work includes a revival of the Staybridge Suites project at 127 W. Huron, and the University of Chicago’s Early Childhood Center. AIA is also awarding three Distinguished Service Awards, recognizing "outstanding service to the Chicago architectural community." Lynn Becker, mastermind of the essential ArchitectureChicago PLUS blog, Paul Knight of the residential energy-efficiency consulting firm Domus PLUS and the University of Illinois Chicago’s Vincent Paglione will be recognized by AIA’s board at 3340 N. Kedzie Ave., December 7.
Heading into the holidays, the AIA has more good economic news to report: the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) has recorded a third straight month of growth. The October score was 52.8, up from September's 51.6 (any score above 50 indicates a growth in billings). The uptick reflects improving conditions in the housing market and real estate more broadly. All four regions were in positive territory, with the South leading at 52.8, followed by the Northeast at 52.6, the West at 51.8, and the Midwest at 50.8. By sector, multi-family housing performed the strongest (59.2), followed by mixed practice (52.4), and institutional (51.4). The industrial/commercial sector lagged behind in negative territory (48.0) “With three straight monthly gains – and the past two being quite strong – it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, said in a statement. Project inquiries also grew, from 57.3 in September to 59.4 in October.
Barriers or freshwater wetlands? New building codes? What about porous pavements or floating city blocks? These were just a few of the ideas batted around at AIANY’s discussion and fundraiser, “Designing the City after Superstorm Sandy,” at the Center for Architecture last Thursday evening. The panel, moderated by Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, consisted of the city’s leading designers, architects, scientists, and government officials. While each panelist came to the conversation with a different approach and set of strategies, all agreed that change is necessary and new solutions urgent. “There’s a certain consensus about taking steps in the long-run,” said Kimmelman. The participants on the panel included Cynthia Barton, Housing Recovery Plan Manager at the NYC Office of Emergency Management; Howard Slatkin, Director of Sustainability and Deputy Director of Strategic Planning for the city; Dr. Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist and Special Research Scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Stephen Cassell, principal architect at ARO; Donna Walcavage, landscape architect and urban designer; and Robert M. Rogers, partner of Rogers Marvel Architects. The design solutions are part of a larger and more complex issue that call for us to “re-frame the ways we engage with the water,” said Cassell whose ideas helped to spearhead the Rising Currents exhibit at MoMA in 2010. And as Kimmelman pointed out in his introduction, will force us to decide, “what parts of the city are necessary to change, salvage and develop and what parts we cannot.” Cassell and Walcavage advocate for what they term “soft solutions” such as freshwater wetlands and upland parks that won’t disrupt the balance of the ecosystem as oppose to the much talked about barriers. Dr. Jacob referred to himself as a “barrier skeptic.” He hasn’t completely ruled them out, but believes that other preventive measures should be considered, including regulations and large-scale regional planning with New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. The solutions were at once specific and lofty, and Kimmelman challenged the panelists during the Q&A session when he asked: “Who will legislate and have authority? Why will something change now?” Many of the participants argued that Hurricane Sandy is a turning point, and there’s simply too much at stake. Rogers pointed out that New York City is a “grid of real estate” and the significant investment in waterfront property will prompt developers and the city to be pro-active whether that means implementing new codes and regulations or altering the landscape by creating saltwater marshes to act as buffers against rising sea levels and storms. A few panelists suggested that an improved version of Robert Moses would lead the way or joked that perhaps a benevolent god would appear. Even though Kimmelman remained ambivalent and questioned why strong and cohesive leadership would emerge now to help facilitate change, it looks like the city is already taking action. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has asked the Urban Green Council to launch a Building Resiliency Task Force, which will consist of leading professionals in New York City real estate. In an announcement last week, Urban Green said that the Task Force’s main objective is “to take an in-depth look at how to better prepare our buildings for future storms and infrastructure failures.” A list of recommendations will be released in summer of 2013.
On the heels of a surprising, if tenuous, victory in court, preservationists gathered Thursday evening at the Chicago Architecture Foundation to celebrate the opening of Reconsidering an Icon: Creative Conversations About Prentice Women’s Hospital, an exhibition that showcases re-use proposals for Bertrand Goldberg’s threatened icon. Some of the 71 ideas presented addressed Northwestern University’s stipulations for high-density wet-lab research space on the site, while some imagined other uses for the cloverleaf tower and its blocky podium. The winning proposal, by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta, was entitled The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says. Named for a Robert Montgomery quote, the proposal cleverly slices the existing Prentice in half, maintaining its characteristic symmetry in reflection. Bisecting an architectural icon is a radical proposal by preservation standards, but it essentially preserves the form while meeting Northwestern’s specifications. Superimpositions: Prentice as Additive Icon, by Noel Turgeon and Natalya Egon, took second place. Their subtly provocative suggestion was to stack new buildings atop Prentice, creating a “vertical timeline of icons” over time. If we raze our icons every 35 years, it seems to suggest, we should have no problem piling on a few more. The Superimpositions team was not so wry in their presentation, but other suggestions were outright sarcastic. A solicited entry from Tim Brown Architecture plainly laid out the four steps to achieving his Probable Prentice, which described Northwestern’s reasoning as intransigent, unreasonable, and culminating in a boxy, mediocre replacement. Other proposed uses ranged from The Hotel Bertrand to Out to Pasture, in which a hollowed out Prentice stores grain amid the pastures of a completely leveled Streeterville. Third place winners James Wild et al. brought some bucolic charm to their Bridging Prentice design, as well, adding a green roof to the existing podium and stretching it into an elevated park that runs eastward beneath a new 500,000-square-foot research facility. The Chicago Architectural Club, CAF and AIA Chicago cosponsored the competition, which serves as this year’s Chicago Prize Competition. The show will be on display in the Architecture Foundation’s Lecture Hall in the lobby of 224 S. Michigan Ave. through February 8, 2013. Check out more from the winners in the gallery below or flip through all 71 competition entries in the official flip book: