Four housing projects were spotlighted today by the American Institute of Architects' Housing & Custom Residential Knowledge Community and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development as laudable examples of affordable housing architecture, neighborhood design, participatory design, and accessibility. Category 1: Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Paseo Senter at Coyote Creek, San Jose, Calif. David Baker + Partners, Architects A new urban district, this affordable neighborhood fronts a newly created main walking street, or Paseo, that connects the arterial roadway to the area’s adjacent park. At its midpoint, the Paseo widens into a public plaza that holds the main entries to the two residential districts. The bold color palette has proved extremely popular with residents and the community, who consider the project a signature addition to the neighborhood. The property is 100% handicapped- and wheelchair-accessible, and the pool features an automatic lift. Category 2: Creating Community Connection Award Arbor Lofts, Lancaster, Calif. (Pictured at top) PSL Architects This 21-unit affordable housing development for artists is the first urban infill project to be completed since the city implemented its new Downtown Specific Plan to transform this mostly vacant city area into a place of historic, cultural, social, economic and civic vitality. The design incorporates many sustainable design methods; among these, the use of high efficiency mechanical systems qualifies the design to exceed California Title 24 Energy Code requirements by 20% and the lighting system exceeds the requirements by 24% which significantly reduces the use of energy. Category 3: Community-Informed Design Award Congo Street Green Initiative, Dallas building community WORKSHOP A tight-knit community consisting of 17 single-family and duplex houses, all built before 1910, recognized the need for re-development, but also did not want to relocate. Through a series of conversations with the residents, a plan was developed to restore and/or reconstruct six owner-occupied homes. The idea is centered around the concept of creating a temporary home, or “holding house,” to house the family whose home was currently under renovation. To date, three resident’s homes have been completed and the fourth is under construction. Category 4: Housing Accessibility—Alan J. Rothman Award Madrona Live / Work, Seattle Tyler Engle Architects PS A converted storefront built in the early 1900’s for a client with an extensive art collection required a flexible and multi-functional space that provides wheelchair accessibility while not making that the primary focus of the design. Entering from the sidewalk, the main living space has a single level polished concrete slab for unrestricted wheelchair access. A floating concrete countertop that steps from low to high accommodates disparate height requirements of the clients and exemplifies how the design provides an elegant solution on a tight construction budget. The jury for the 2010 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards includes: Jury chair, Andrew V. Porth, AIA, Porth Architects, Inc.; Natalye Appel, FAIA, Natalye Appel + Associates Architects; Geoffrey Goldberg, AIA, G. Goldberg and Associates; Grace Kim, AIA, Schemata Workshop; Jane Kolleeny, Architectural Record and GreenSource; Luis F. Borray, Assoc. AIA, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and Regina C. Gray, PhD, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
Posts tagged with "AIA":
Yes, we will someday have high speed rail in California (Anaheim, for instance, is already nailing down its plans and San Francisco has a swanky new downtown station planned). And no, there aren't enough innovative ideas. That's why RailLA, a collaboration between the LA Chapters of the AIA and the American Planning Association have launched a Call for Ideas to collect more innovative thinking on the topic. Entrants are encouraged to submit designs, plans, papers, videos, models and other studies about stations, rail infrastructure, architecture, neighborhood planning and anything else having to do with effective high speed rail. In short, say the founders, the primary goal is to show "how rail can help us recapture our individual American dream." Wow, that's a tall order. The top five submissions will receive $2500, and a select group of submissions will be shown off at an exhibit in downtown LA.
Hard to believe Glenn Beck isn't already up in arms over the president's decision to nominate his long-time friend and former Weatherman (some might say terrorist) to become the Architect of the Capitol. Oh. Wait. Wrong Ayers. Stephen Ayers, who has actually been serving as AoC for the past three years on an interim basis, was nominated to take over full-time on Tuesday by the Obama administration. Previously, Ayers held the position of Deputy Architect of the Capitol, taking over when his predecessor, Alan Hantman, retired after a decade of service. Ayers has had a distinguished career of public service, including a stint in the Air Force, then a turn in the public sector followed by work at Voice of America, the government-run radio network in Europe. By all appearances, his experience in facilities management in general and at the Capitol in particular should silence critics who have been giving the industry grief over the AoC position in recent years. As we reported shortly after Hantman's retirement, some on the Hill had been agitating for a non-architect to take over the AoC position partly because of huge cost overruns and delays at the much-maligned (particularly by critics) new Capitol Visitor Center. But that's not the AoC's only responsibility, as the office also manages the entire Capitol Complex and surrounding grounds, a job the AIA and others said required an architect's unique and varied skill set. The institute issued a statement today calling for Ayer's timely appointment:
"Christine W. McEntee, Executive Vice President/CEO of the AIA, said, "Mr. Ayers has shown leadership, foresight, and a steady hand as he led the Architect of the Capitol’s office for the last three years. Mr Ayers has addressed many goals for the office in an exemplary manner. However, there are still urgent needs facing the Capitol complex, from reducing its carbon footprint to renovating buildings in need of repair, and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol will benefit from Mr. Ayers’ capable leadership."Best of luck. He'll probably need it.
This weekend the AIA announced that The Architect’s Newspaper has been awarded a 2010 Collaborative Achievement Award. We’re thrilled to get the national recognition because even as a regional publication (Ok-now three regionals) we have always aimed our sights as high and wide as possible. The Architect’s Newspaper has always prided itself as well on its independent voice and critical attitude toward the practice and profession of architecture, while still working collaboratively with the AIA on many events, including the New Practices program in New York and San Francisco. We’re honored our voice has been heard, and we look forward to picking up our award at the AIA national convention on June 10-12 in Miami. Thank you, AIA!
Pimp Our Ruins Formula for architectural mischief: Start with a fabulous ruin. Then add a public entity with oversight of fabulous ruins, which, in turn, summons a quirky arts organization to devise a competition to do something useful with said ruin in peril. Governors Island? Nope. Think England: The fabulous ruin is Sutton Scarsdale Hall, a dilapidated wreck of a structure in the countryside of Derbyshire. The public entity is English Heritage, which watches over Stonehenge among other oddities, and the arts organization is something called the Centre of Attention. The 1724 Georgian hall was stripped to its foundation in 1919, and some of the interior paneling ended up in the Hearst Castle and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, although apparently there are still “traces of sumptuous plasterwork.” (Don’t miss the ha-ha ditch on the picturesquely wrecked grounds.) The Centre of Attention has called for proposals to transform the stone shell into “a pavilion of post-contemporary curating.” If that’s your cup of tea, dive right in. Saarinen’s Punch List In the exhibition Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future at the Museum of the City of New York, there is a peculiar document among the Finnish architect’s personal ephemera on display. It’s a marriage proposal to his second wife, Aline, in the form of a checklist in which he rates her and several other women on categories including beauty, sex, and support of her husband’s career. It’s not unlike the way some architects weigh the pros and cons of a number of possible building schemes. We assume that Aline—an accomplished art critic, author, and television reporter—was amused. The exhibition closes January 31. Color Me Opaque Color authority Pantone has selected 15-5519 Turquoise as the 2010 color of the year. Thank god that’s sorted out. But apparently, no decision has been made on which media company will be awarded the contract to be the AIA’s official publication. Will Architectural Record renew, or will it go to one of the other two competitors who made the shortlist? Now we hear that we won’t hear until the board meets again in February. Frankly, we’re feeling rather teal about the whole business. [Ed.: This was published in print prior to the decision in, uh, January. So much for those sources, Sarah.] Send paint chips and tea leaves to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It being the last day of 2009, we at AN's California edition thought we'd remind you of some of the year's best architecture by sharing the awards presented by the AIA chapters from around California. Wow, there are a lot of chapters in this state. We only link to the ones that have posted their award winners (a little depressing to see that several chapters latest awards postings are from 2006 or so..). Here you go: AIA California Council AIA Los Angeles AIA San Francisco AIA San Diego AIA East Bay AIA California Central Coast AIA California Desert AIA Central Valley AIA Golden Empire AIA Inland California AIA Long Beach/ South Bay AIA Monterey Bay AIA Orange County AIA Palomar AIA Pasadena & Foothill AIA Redwood Empire AIA San Fernando Valley AIA San Joaquin AIA San Mateo County AIA Santa Barbara AIA Santa Clara Valley AIA Sierra Valley AIA Ventura County
For the last three years, AIA New Orleans has invited teams of architects and artists to takeover "hidden" spaces within the city, transforming them with the latest design tech and hopefully testing the boundaries of this at-times-ephemeral place in the process. One of installations at this year's DesCours comes from the Chicago team of Marshall Brown and Dana Carter. (Brooklynites may know Brown from his work on the anti-Ratner UNITY plan for the Atlantic Yards.) The duo has focused their gaze on the heavens, where they are harnessing the sun—through photovoltaic, of course—and transforming it for the weeklong nightly event into a constellation in no less a celestial place than Charles Moore's Piazza d'Italia. More illuminating photos after the jump, and if you happen to be in town for the event, let us know what you think about this or any of the other 13 projects.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released its energy bill today. The main talking point is that the bill sponsored by Barbara Boxer and John Kerry takes a tougher stance on emission reductions than the House bill, shooting for 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, as opposed to 17 percent. But the bills share some comforting similarities, at least for architects. Just like the house bill, which we wrote about in July, the Boxer-Kerry bill includes important measures targeted at buildings, among them stricter building codes and retroactive efficiency standards for retrofitted buildings. Along with the bill passed by the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June, which called for other efficiency standards, Andrew Goldberg, the senior director for federal relations at the AIA, said the Senate stands to create strong, architecturally intensive standards Goldberg said one piece of the House bill that is missing is the GREEN Act, which encourages banks to offer better loans to sustainable projects. Because of the nature of the Senate, such provisions would actually have to be worked out in a separate committee, though Goldberg said he remains confident in the act's prospects. Another issue where the AIA is looking for improvement over the House bill is the allocation of funds generated by the sale of cap-and-trade credits. The Senate has yet to divvy up those credits—of which there could be more, in light of higher standards—but Goldberg is hoping for more than the 10 percent given over building related initiatives like training building operators and funding green public housing. "With the built environment accounting for 40 percent of greenhouse emissions in the country, we want to keep hammering home that buildings are the key to energy efficiency," Goldberg said. Which is not to say the AIA expects 40 percent of the cap-and-trade funds—improving the energy grid and using more renewable energy will go a long way toward addressing buildings' energy usage, though the feeling is buildings deserve more than they are getting in the House bill. Plus, building improvements not only mean greenhouse reductions but more of those vaunted green collar jobs.
The AIA just announced the projects that received the highest marks in this year’s Educational Facility Design Awards, and they’re a diverse class – the 13 winners run the gamut from urban to rural, elementary to university, built to unbuilt. Deemed “excellent” by the jury, Antoine Predock Architect’s Indian Community School follows a long ridge on a former farm outside Milwaukee, sidestepping historic trees and sporting a roof of overlapping angled planes that blends into the site’s topography. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Visitor Center for the Parks Service in Pennsylvania borrows from its setting to make a plea for environmental consciousness instead: its shingles were cut on-site from old tires found in the streams and woods nearby. The urban designs may be more constrained by their settings, but they acquit themselves admirably. In Chicago, OWP|P converted Ralph Ellison elementary school into a high school, renovating the original 1926 limestone building and grafting on a modern glass box with a mosaic of glazed windows. Another striking visual comes from Daly Genik Architects: On a long, skinny site sandwiched between two highways in Los Angeles, their industrial-chic Camino Nuevo High School has corrugated metal sides that muffle street sounds while cooling the building at the same time: stylish and smart. Full list of winners: “Excellent”: Indian Community School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Antoine Predock Architect, PC) Yale University Sculpture Building and Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut (Kieran Timberlake) Environmental Education/Visitor Activity Center, National Park Service, Pennsylvania (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson) “Merit”: Francis Parker School, San Diego, California (Lake|Flato Architects) ASU Polytechnic Academic Complex, Mesa, Arizona (RSP Architects, Ltd. in association with Lake|Flato Architects) Camino Nuevo High School, Los Angeles, California (Daly Genik) Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects) “Citation": Cornell University West Campus Residence Initiative, Ithaca, New York (Kieran Timberlake) Staples Elementary School, Easton, Connecticut (The S|L|A|M Collaborative) Ralph Ellison Campus, Chicago, Illinois (OWP|P) Avon Old Farms Beaston Performing Arts Center, Avon, Connecticut (The S|L|A|M Collaborative) Modular Zero Energy Classroom, Hawaii (Anderson Anderson Architecture) Green Dot Animo Leadership High School, Lennox, California (Pugh + Scarpa Architects, Inc.)
Remember when architects actually built things? Oh yeah, that was last year. And to commemorate that fact in Northern California, the AIA San Francisco chapter just announced the winners of its 2009 Design Awards. Many of our favorite projects of the year were included, like SOM’s beacon-like Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Stanley Saitowitz’s funky U-shaped Congregation Beth Sholom, and Mark Cavagnero and Paulett Taggart’s cool and sophisticated Sava Pool near Golden Gate Park. Speaking of Golden Gate Park, another big winner was Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences, with its rolling green roof, amazing aquarium, and various indoor biomes. Aidlin Darling’s 355 Eleventh Street, a very contemporary adaptive reuse of a turn-of-the-century industrial building in San Francisco’s SOMA district, won in both the Energy + Sustainability category and in the Excellence in Architecture category. Maybe next year we'll be giving awards to renderings? Or maybe just to the most likable architects? Keep your fingers crossed.
Today AIA/LA's Director of Government & Public Affairs, Will Wright, testified to LA's planning commission regarding a revised sign ordinance controlling the erection of billboards in the city. A moratorium on all new signs was passed by LA's city council in December, while the city's original sign ordinance—considered by many to be ineffective— was passed in 1986. Wright requested that the commission delay a vote and consider a revised ordinance "until comprehensive visual analysis of the proposed regulations is completed." A vote on the revised ordinance is expected in the next few weeks. In a letter to the Commission AIA/LA also recommended that the planning department convene a panel of outside experts or a consultant team with design expertise to work with City staff to review, illustrate, and contribute to the refinement of the draft sign code. "No substantive visual analysis has been completed to date. This is a design issue that impacts the environmental quality, indeed brand, of Los Angeles and nobody knows what it looks like," said AIA/LA President John Kaliski in the letter.
In the wake of the recent presidential election, more people, including architects, have become interested and involved in local and national government. As part of the AIA’s efforts to encourage members to run for or be appointed to political offices or commissions, they recently conducted a survey tallying up the number of active members involved in politics, running the gamut from mayors to city council members and planning commissioners. The results of the survey revealed that there are at least 850 architects, making up more than one percent of total AIA membership, currently holding such posts. According to Scott Frank, Director of Media Relations at the AIA, “the survey aims to get more architects involved in the debate about the role the built environment has within the larger society as well as the smaller community.” Giving architects the opportunity to “have a seat at the table,” Frank told AN, “architects can use their design building and problem solving skills to help enlighten policy-makers on the importance of good design in planning.” The AIA is taking several measures to prod other members to follow in the footsteps of the already 850 active politicos. At the AIA’s Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference (currently taking place now in Washington D.C.) and at the National Convention in San Francisco in April, there will be workshops devoted to the importance of civic engagement for the architectural profession. If architects don’t yet rule the world, they may soon!