Posts tagged with "Awards":

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Six Outstanding Libraries Honored by the AIA and American Library Association

As cities across the country struggle to bring new life to aging athenaeums and cash-strapped local libraries, the AIA has honored six outstanding examples of library design in this year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. In the past we have seen a Walmart transformed into a library, a controversial starchitect renovation in New York, and an interactive, LED light-show—now take a look at these honored projects. From democratic design in the nation’s capital to a stunning Beaux-Arts restoration in St. Louis and high-tech solutions in North Carolina, this year's winning projects present a range of answers to the challenges facing our fading repositories. The jury for the biannual award included Jeanne M. Jackson, FAIA, Chair, VCBO Architecture; John R. Dale, FAIA, Harley Ellis Devereaux; Charles Forrest, Emory University Libraries; Kathleen Imhoff, Library Consultant; J. Stuart Pettitt, AIA, Straub Pettitt Yaste and John F. Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library. Anacostia Neighborhood Library Washington, D.C. The Freelon Group From the AIA: The small-scale residential context provided the inspiration for the design of this new branch library, located in a low-income, underserved neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The project not only fulfilled programmatic needs but also provided a stimulus for community pride and economic development. The residential scale is reflected in the library design as a series of pavilions for program areas that require enclosure: the children’s program room, the young adults’ area, support spaces, and public meeting rooms. The remainder of the level one plan is high, open space for the main reading room, stacks, computers, and public seating areas. A large green roof structure provides shelter over all program areas. Central Library Renovation St. Louis Cannon Design From the AIA: Cass Gilbert’s grand Beaux-Arts library, now 100 years old and a St. Louis cultural landmark, was in need of a transformative restoration that would increase public access and modernize it for the 21st century. On the interior, the centrally located Great Hall is surrounded by five wings, four dedicated to public reading rooms and the fifth, the north wing, to a multistory book depository closed to the public. The transformation of the north wing truly rejuvenated the library and brought it into the next century. Old book stacks were removed, and a new “building within a building” was inserted. Now, a multistory public atrium provides an accessible and welcoming entry. The new “floating platforms” surround the atrium without touching existing interior walls. Glass-enclosed upper levels house the collection with compact high-density bookshelves. The windows of the north wall, now clear glass, bounce natural light deep into the interior and provide striking views. New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center New York City Rice + Libpka Architects From the AIA: The center, located on the previously empty third-floor space of Harlem’s Hamilton Grange branch library, designed by McKim, Mead and White, is NYPL’s first full-floor space dedicated to teens. In an effort to attract and engage neighborhood youth, the 4,400-square-foot space challenges the norms of library design. The light-filled floor is divided into specific zones that foster small-group interaction and socialization. Visibility is maintained across the entire floor. Two programmatic elements—a 20-foot-diameter Media Vitrine and a bamboo bleacher—occupy the center of the space and work to define the seven zones between and around them. The vitrine’s open-top glass enclosure upends the notion that multimedia spaces must be dark, hyperisolated rooms. The bleacher allows views out to the street from the existing high south-facing windows and provides a sunny hang-out for a range of group sizes. Custom L-shaped lounge benches bracket this space and can be rolled away to allow for other uses and activities. James B. Hunt Library Raleigh, North Carolina Snøhetta and Pear Brinkley Cease + Lee From the AIA: An $11 million reduction in the budget for this library during the schematic design phase prompted the design, construction, and client teams to formulate a range of new ideas to maintain functionality and quality. The building would need to be highly programmed and reasonably versatile as well as comfortable and stimulating to visitors. One innovation was the introduction of an automated book delivery system (ABDS), which effectively reduced the total area of the building by 200,000 gross square feet and allowed more space for collaboration and technology. The ABDS is supported by user-friendly browsing software that matches and even enhances the traditional pleasure of browsing a collection. Oak Forest Neighborhood Library Houston NAAA + AWI + JRA From the AIA: This 7,600-square-foot modern brick and glass structure opened in 1961. Fifty years later, there was still great nostalgia for the library’s mid-century modern design, but the building no longer met the standards of the Houston Public Library system or the needs of the surrounding neighborhood. The 2011 renovations and additions respect the character of the existing library and enhance its accessibility and functionality. The original building’s restored signature green tile mosaic still graces the parking entry area on the north, but now the neighborhood is welcomed by a tree-shaded second entry and outdoor reading room framed by new dedicated adult and teen areas on the west. The original tile mosaic and globe light canopy of the old circulation desk were restored to create a toddler-sized reading nook. Each age group—from toddlers through teens and adults—now has appropriate facilities, furnishings, and technology. A new lobby and circulation space, lit by a continuous shaded clerestory, occupies the seam between old and new and unites the two entries. South Mountain Community Library Phoenix richärd+brauer From the AIA: The building integrates the varied uses of a contemporary public library with the needs of a state-of-the-art central campus library, allowing each to function both independently and collaboratively. The design is modeled after that of an integrated circuit, providing insulation between disparate functions and promoting interaction and connection between like functions and spaces. The simple massing of the building is attenuated to focus views on the surrounding mountains and provide shade and transparency. The site was once home to fertile agricultural valleys and citrus groves, and the building consciously merges interior and exterior spaces to connect to the area’s rich history. A series of rooftop monitors and light shafts flood natural light into the first-level core. The rain screen, formed of bent planks of copper, calls to mind the pattern of an abstracted bar code. Variegated cedar strips reinforce the digital aesthetic of the building. Further echoing the design of a circuit board, building systems are organized and expressed within an internally lit independent distribution soffit.
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AIA Chicago Names Small Projects Awards Winners

The Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored 107 projects with its annual small project awards last Friday, putting the spotlight on objects, small structures, and small firms. According to the AIA Chicago, "the goal of this award program is to raise public awareness of the value that architects bring to small projects and to promote small practitioners as a resource for design excellence." This year, the third year for the awards program, small projects were honored in four categories: Additions/RemodelingKitchensNew Construction, and Small Objects. “Big ideas and transformational spaces come from creative people, and those people are at firms small and large,” AIA Chicago Executive Vice President Zurich Esposito said in a statement. “The Small Projects Awards reward that innovative thinking that works on a smaller scale.”
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Nominations Sought for Jane Jacobs Medal

jane_jacobs_medal_01 After announcing the winners of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal last month at Frank Gehry's IAC Building in west Manhattan, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Art Society are in search of nominees for this year's prize (the awards ceremony was pushed back due to Hurricane Sandy). The groups are accepting online nominations on the Rockefeller Foundation's website through April 30. Among the qualities of a Jacobs Medal winner are that they "Open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city" and "Challenge traditional assumptions and conventional thinking." Winners will be announced this September.
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APA Hands Out National Planning Excellence Awards

Northwest Indiana’s 2040 masterplan took home top honors for comprehensive planning last week, when the American Planning Association handed out its 2013 National Planning Excellence Awards. The association also saluted 12 projects with the first-ever National Planning Achievement Awards. Tying into a major theme at this year’s conference, the APA award winners tended toward projects with an ambitious scope, such as Philadelphia’s sweeping planning and zoning rewrite and New York’s Zone Green initiative. Cincinnati’s riverfront development, The Banks, won the implementation award, winning praise for its resurrection of an area cut off from downtown by an expressway since the 1950s. Since then the city’s population has dropped 41 percent. But after a low point in 2002 when the mayor abolished the planning department, Cincinnati is in the midst of a “rebirth,” according to city planners there. “How do we modernize our city without suburbanizing it?” asked Katherine Keough-Jurs, a senior city planner with Cincinnati. She was speaking at a panel on the resurgence of urban planning in the city. “Maybe what makes our city great is what we strayed away from. Let’s look back to that.” Bridging the expressway that once severed downtown from what is now, The Banks was one key example. The city is also developing a form-based code, targeted to areas where walkable communities still thrive. The goal is to keep planners from trying to start a new neighborhood center where it would compete with an existing one. Michael Osur, Deputy Director of the Riverside County, California Department of Public Health was selected for the National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Advocate and Ronald Shiffman was named National Planning Award for a Planning Pioneer. Goody Clancy, Interface Studio, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning were also awarded in the Planning Firm, Emerging Planning & Design Firm, and Planning Agency, respectively. More National Planning Excellence Awards winners, from coast to coast, below. View the twelve winners of the National Planning Achievement Awards here. (All images courtesy APA.) National Planning Excellence Award for a Grassroots Initiative Cathedral City's Environmental Conservation Division (ECD) Kids & Community Program Cathedral City, California From the APA: "The Environmental Conservation Division (ECD) Kids & Community Program is an environmental education and awareness project where young people conceptualize, design, plan and create hands-on environmental projects that help reduce landfill waste and beautify the landscape of Cathedral City. The program's goals include making recycling and conservation fun, preserving the beauty of the local environment, and encouraging youth to play an active role in community efforts. It engages youth within the community and offers a way to learn about the environment while being part of the solution." The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award  Restoring the American City: Augusta's Laney Walker/Bethlehem Augusta, Georgia From the APA: "The Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Initiative involves two historic African American neighborhoods and is a pioneering effort to reverse decades of blight and disinvestment and regenerate nearly 1,100 acres of Augusta's urban center. This decision to catalyze regeneration of Augusta's urban core was primarily driven by politics and the need to address a historically disenfranchised population. The project addresses a number of needs and community objectives outlined in the Augusta-Richmond County Comprehensive Plan, including affordable housing, access to jobs and services, open space, blight abatement, infill development, and preservation of local heritage." Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan  2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan: A Vision for Northwest Indiana Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties, Indiana From the APA: "The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission's (NIRPC) 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (CRP) represents the first broad planning initiative covering the counties of Lake, Porter and LaPorte. The CRP focuses on a variety of issues including transportation, land use, human and economic resources, and environmental policy objectives. The objective is to offer residents more transportation choices, and making the cities more sustainable and livable." The Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Award The Valsequillo Initiative Puebla, Mexico From the APA: "The Valsequillo Initiative is a planning effort not only to improve the quality of urban areas growing around the Valsequillo Reservoir and increase opportunities for area residents and remediate decades of environmental degradation, but it also aimed to unify urban and environmental planning for the first time. Four years ago, the 58,000-acre Valsequillo region was set to become a new mega-development, a companion city to Puebla, Mexico's fourth largest urban area. Development proposals would have reduced the value of the area's ecological resources and displaced indigenous communities, small farmers, and communal landholders." National Planning Excellence Award for Urban Design Lancaster Central Market: Assessments, Guidelines, and Recommendations for Preservation and Development Lancaster, Pennsylvania From the APA: "The Lancaster Central Market: Assessments, Guidelines, and Recommendations for Preservation and Development guidelines was created after a comprehensive study of the Lancaster Central Market that connected the importance of architectural preservation, urban development history, and cultural heritage, to present planning and development decisions. The Central Market is on the National Register of Historic Places and was named by APA as one of the Great Public Spaces in America. The study of the Central Market that resulted in the planning guidelines was a regional first, producing a historical-architectural report to guide building renovations, before decisions were made for a capital improvement project." apa_awards_05 National Planning Excellence Award for Environmental Planning NYC Department of City Planning, Zone Green New York, New York From the APA: "Zone Green is an initiative to modernize regulations for greener buildings. It is a coordinated package of zoning amendments, city legislation, and state legislation that promotes the construction and retrofitting of greener buildings. The regulatory changes adopted through Zone Green affect all categories of buildings throughout New York City, from single-family detached homes to high-density office buildings. It also gives owners and builders more choices for investments to save energy, save money, and improve environmental performance." National Planning Excellence Award for Transportation StarMetro's Route Decentralization Tallahassee, Florida From the APA: "For years, StarMetro operated a hub-and-spoke transit system that brought all passengers to one central transfer location downtown. Riders were forced to unnecessarily travel through the central business district to get to work, resulting in extended commutes and overcrowding. A survey revealed that 93 percent of passengers were traveling somewhere other than downtown. StarMetro was tasked with decentralizing all routes at the same time, within its normal operating budget." apa_awards_13 The HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award Owe'neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico From the APA: "Ohkay Owingeh is the first Pueblo tribe to develop a comprehensive preservation plan that guides practical housing improvements according to cultural values. The Owe'neh Bupingeh Rehabilitation Project is a multi-year, affordable housing, rehabilitation project within the historic core of the tribe's village center. Only 60 homes remain of the nearly several hundred that once existed. Most had been abandoned by 2005 due to deterioration." apa_awards_11 National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice Philadelphia's Integrated Planning and Zoning Process Philadelphia, Pennsylvania From the APA: "The Philadelphia City Planning Commission's (PCPC) integrated Planning and Zoning Process is an innovative approach to leveraging the synergy between citizen education, planning, and zoning reform. The PCPC coordinated three distinct planning activities — the Citizens Planning Institute (CPI), Philadelphia2035 (the city's comprehensive plan) and a new zoning code and map revision. Individually, these activities educated hundreds of citizens and professionals, and engaged thousands in envisioning the future of Philadelphia and improving the way development is regulated. Collectively, they created an environment that hadn't existed for 50 years. The city not only adopted a new comprehensive plan and zoning code, but did so in the same year and has moved forward with implementation." apa_awards_07 National Planning Excellence Award for a Communications Initiative We Love Lake Oswego Video City of Lake Oswego, Oregon From the APA: "The City of Lake Oswego created the "We Love Lake Oswego" video as part of its public outreach effort to educate and engage the community in the comprehensive planning process. The video objectives were to convey a compelling story about why to plan for the future, provide a clear, concise concept of what the comprehensive plan update is about, and offer inspiration for the community to participate in the planning process." National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach Newberg 6th Grade Design Star Program Newberg, Oregon From the APA: "The Design Star Program is a learning collaboration between the City of Newberg and local 6th grade students that has engaged students in city planning. The program started as part of the city's outreach efforts during National Community Planning Month and is now an annual collaboration between Newberg city staff and middle school teachers and has been integrated into the curriculum. The program teaches students about why things are organized a certain way in their city, and it allows them to think critically about both the positive and negative impacts of development, the need for jobs in the community, how to differentiate between city wants and city needs, as well as environmental impacts of commuting for jobs and recreation. It also teaches students mapping, writing, presentation, and teamwork skills." apa_awards_02 Advancing Diversity & Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff YWCA Central Alabama Birmingham, Alabama From the APA: "The YWCA Central Alabama undertook a multimillion-dollar urban neighborhood revitalization effort called YWoodlawn. The YWoodlawn Plan was a collaborative empowerment initiative intended to reduce poverty and hopelessness within an underserved area of Birmingham through reinvesting in the neighborhood; providing innovative housing for families experiencing homelessness; introducing affordable transition housing for families; bringing health, education, and employment-based services to the community's doorstep; and reintroducing homeownership opportunities in a stable, growing community."
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AIA Committee on the Environment Honors the Top Ten Green Projects on Earth Day

Quite appropriate for Earth Day today, the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the ten most outstanding examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. The projects, which protect and enhance the environment through sustainable design practices and reduced energy consumption, will be honored at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver. Now in its 17th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is celebrated as the best program in recognizing sustainable design. The program acknowledges projects that succeed in this environmental endeavor via an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology and ones that benefit their communities by reducing environmental impact. Federal Center South Building 1202 Seattle, Washington ZGF Architects From the AIA: "Federal Center South Building 1202 (pictured at top) is the result of responding to both the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which focused on improving our nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs, and the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence program which was established to procure the nation’s best architects in order to achieve the most innovative and high performance design in federal government building projects. The project’s integrated design-build team developed a design and construction solution that fuses programmatic, functional, and aesthetic objectives while achieving a new standard for high-performance, cost-effective and sustainable workplace environments." Charles David Keeling Apartments UCSD, La Jolla, California Kieran Timberlake From the AIA: "The Charles David Keeling Apartments employ a suite of tactics to address Southern California’s pressing environmental challenges of stormwater management, water scarcity, and carbon emissions. The apartments are situated to provide expansive views of the ocean and mountains from all interior spaces, and from exterior walkways and the large roof terrace, which have become popular gathering spaces. The buildings and landscape promote the active use of exterior spaces, encouraging interaction among students with outdoor circulation that leads to chance encounters, convenient spaces for individual and group activity, and spaces conducive to congregating." Clock Shadow Building Milwaukee, Wisconsin Continuum Architects + Planners From the AIA: "The Clock Shadow Building is not your ordinary sustainable building. The developer wanted a building that was a commercially viable project, repeatable in different communities, a radically sustainable building that followed the Living Building Challenge, and met the quadruple bottom line mission of economic improvement, social justice, environmental restoration, and cultural celebration. With these ambitious and unapologetic goals, the project team set off to design a one-of-a-kind building for a one-of-a-kind developer." Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard Corte Madera, California EHDD From the AIA: "Marin Country Day School’s Strategic Plan aspires to make ecological literacy an integral part of its curriculum, and to reinforce the students’ sense of connection with nature on their very special site. Throughout the design process they worked to develop synergies between the physical campus and the school's educational program that would allow students to creatively tackle real, local issues using all the tools at their disposal. Site work included creek restoration, a new playground and the courtyard." Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments Oakland, California Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects From the AIA: "This new affordable senior housing transforms an abandoned site near a busy freeway into a community asset for disadvantaged or formerly homeless seniors while setting a high standard for sustainable and universal design. The high-density, transit-oriented project is one of the first new developments planned near the Lake Merritt BART regional transit station. The 70 apartments are all reserved for seniors with incomes between 30% and 50% of area median. Over half of the apartments were set aside for seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, living with HIV/AIDS or challenged by mental illness." A New Norris House Norris, Tennessee Tricia Stuth, Robert C. French From the AIA: "In 1933 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed a model community, Norris, Tennessee, as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A New Norris House is conceived and created by its design team to mark the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project and to revisit themes on the use and scale of public and private resources. The project entails an integrated team approach to the design, construction, evaluation and demonstration of a model dwelling. The process required that the team confront and resolve not only technological or scientific challenges; but also legal, social, and aesthetic issues that currently restrict green construction." Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse San Antonio, Texas Lake Flato Architects From the AIA: "The Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan and the adaptive reuse of the Full Goods Warehouse are serving as a model and catalyst for green urban revitalization in a long neglected portion of San Antonio’s inner city. After 15 years lying derelict, the creative reuse of this 26-acre brownfield site and its neglected structures are drawing in a rich mix of new residents, small businesses, retail, and non-profits while emphasizing community, conservation, and local economic development. This is a new community meeting ground where visionary private development and public space come together to create a vibrant urban destination." San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters San Francisco, California KMD Architects From the AIA: "The City and County of San Francisco embarked upon a rigorous building commission for a new administrative building for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. The recently completed building acts as the defining northwest edge to the large “urban room” formed by the buildings of the Civic Center. Of paramount importance from the very onset of the project was to keep in mind the impact that the building would have on human performance. Along with creating a world-class sustainable building, the designers constantly had the employees in mind in creating the healthiest, most effective and comfortable work environment." Swenson Civil Engineering Building Duluth, Minnesota Ross Barney Architects From the AIA: "The Swenson Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth is a two-story structure wrapped around double-height laboratories. Engaging the adjacent building and responding to existing pedestrian patterns presented challenges. The site sloped significantly from east to west, while access was required in both locations. The project team successfully designed a building that seamlessly engages the adjacent structure, reinforces existing circulation patterns, and mediates grade changes." Yin Yang House Venice, California Brooks + Scarpa From the AIA: "This nearly net-zero energy live/work home and office was designed to function not only as a home and commercial office for both parents, but also as a private home for a large and growing family with several children. It was designed to incorporate sustainable design as a way of teaching a green lifestyle and the offices are purposefully integrated with the home, making both the house and office feel large despite their small combined area. Passive measures, such as a very tight building envelope, reduce energy demand by more than 50 percent. The 12-kW solar system produces 100% of it's electricity needs."
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American Academy of Arts & Letters Announces 2013 Architecture Award Winners

arts_and_letters_01 The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced its 2013 architecture awards recipients. The winners were chosen from a group of 32 individuals and practices nominated by Academy members. An exhibition of their work will be on display at the Audubon Terrace in New York City from May 16 to June 9, 2013. The Academy’s architecture awards program was established in conjunction with the 1955 inauguration of the annual Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, which is presented to a leading architect from any country who has made a noteworthy contribution to architecture as an art. Alberto Campo Baeza from Madrid, Spain won the $5000 prize this year. He has practiced and taught architecture for over 35 years at prominent universities in the U.S. and abroad. He turns architecture into art through utilizing timeless forms. Campo Baeza received the 2013 Heinrich Tessenow Gold Metal. Two Arts and Letters Awards of $7500 recognizing American architects whose work holds a strong personal bearing were presented to Teddy Cruz of San Diego, California and Thomas Phifer of New York. Teddy Cruz is an architect, academic, and activist who investigates the politics and economics that compel urban conflict. Thomas Phifer, who has led his own New York City practice since 1996, blends the beauty and simplicity of Modernism with awareness of the natural environment. Barry Bergdoll and Sanford Kwinter of New York each won an Arts and Letters Award of $7500 given to Americans exploring ideas in architecture using any method of expression. Barry Bergdoll, a 19th- and 20th-century architectural history scholar, is the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Sanford Kwinter is a witer, editor, and Professor of Architectural Theory and Criticism at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he co-directs the Master in Design Studies program.
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First Lexus Design Award Winners Reimagine Motion

Have you ever found yourself thinking: “If only they had invented a/an—insert really clever device here—my life would be so much better?” For instance, a “clam kayak” that you could serenely float along in after a long week at work, or a “slide bridge” that offered the option to well, slide, rather then walk down a flight of stairs. It sounds too good to be true, but these inventive concepts were just two out of the twelve winning submissions of the first Lexus Design Award competition. The competition, conducted in collaboration with designboom, invited some of the most talented visionaries from around the world to submit their innovative design ideas. The theme of the 2012 competition was “Motion.” Contestants were asked to submit ideas that responded to issues in daily life and provided solutions related to movement. With such an abstract theme, contestants were allowed to let their imaginations run free, and they certainly did. 1,243 submissions were received, 12 winners were selected, and the top two were awarded a prize that appropriately reflects the innovation of the competition—the opportunity to see their designs come to life with the help of world-famous professionals. First place went to Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono of Tangent for their “INAHO” lighting concept. The designers incorporated their natural environment into their vision for an interactive interior lighting system inspired by the movements of an ear of rice.  The delicate freestanding panicles, or bulbs, arranged in a ring and emitting a golden glow, gently sway towards people as they approach the fixture.  Yoshimoto and Ono will work with world-renowned product designer Sam Hecht to realize their vision. Second place was awarded to the Japanese Hitomi Igarashi for his design entitled “Making Porcelain with ORIGAMI.” The design clearly integrates the traditional Japanese paper folding technique; porcelain casts will be made from paper molds.  Igarashi will be mentored by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami who will help him create the prototype for his design. Both prototypes, along with the designs of the other 10 winning entries, will be exhibited during Milan Design Week taking place this April. Some of the other winners include the Spanish Pablo Fernandez-Goula and Pablo Figuera's "Bscooter," an electric scooter whose sleek and compact design was inspired by the Swiss Army knife,  the Italian Rudi Davi's "KLAVA lamp," which remains balanced in any position and emits precise illumination in any setting, and Taiwan's Dear Cai's "FLY," a device that will efficiently disperse crowds throughout Taipei's bustling metro transit. Below are the designs of the 10 finalists whose works will be featured during Milan Design Week:
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Winners of the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper Competition Announced

The winners of eVolo magazine’s 7th Skyscraper Competition have been announced!  This year the publication, which has hosted the prestigious competition since 2006, received 625 submissions from 83 different countries, but only 3 of the most thought-provoking projects were selected as the winners. From floating (on-water and in-midair) skyscrapers to morphing structures, each of these futuristic designs not only resembles something out of a sci-fi film, but more importantly, radically defies our understanding of vertical architecture, creatively explores new technologies, and proposes solutions for a more sustainable urban future. First Place: “Polar Umbrella” (Pictured at top) Derek Pirozzi United States Pirozzi’s ambitious design not only addresses issues of global warming but also aims to rebuild the arctic ice caps.  According to eVolo Magazine, “The Polar Umbrella’s buoyant super-structure becomes a statement for the prevention of future depletion of our protective arctic region. Through its desalinization and power facilities, this arctic skyscraper becomes a floating metropolis equipped with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research laboratories, renewable power stations, dormitory-style housing units, eco-tourist attractions, and ecological habitats for wildlife. A series of these structures would be strategically located in the most affected areas.” Second Place: “Phobia Skyscraper” Darius Maikoff and Elodie Godo France With their innovative design for the “Phobia Skyscraper” Maikoff and Godo have envisioned a residential development constructed out of reconfigurable recycled industrial materials that, according to eVolo Magazine, “seeks to revitalize an abandoned industrial area of Paris, France, through an ingenious system of prefabricated housing units. Its modularity allows for a differentiation of various programs and evolution in time.” Third Place: “Light Park” Ting Xu and Yiming Chen China Xu and Chen’s design for “Light Park” endeavors to ameliorate Beijing’s issue of traffic and overpopulation.  As said by eVolo Magazine, “One way to make scarce green and recreation space available to residents of [Beijing] is a skyscraper that floats above the land, taking new development to the sky. The Light Park stays afloat thanks to a large, mushroom cap-like helium-filled balloon at its top, and solar-powered propellers directly below. Programmatic platforms that host parks, sports fields, green houses, restaurants, and other uses are suspended from the top of the structure by reinforced steel cables; the platforms fan in different directions around the spherical vessel to balance its weight. These slabs are also staggered to allow for maximum exposure to sunlight on each level.” Honorable mentions were given to several other commendable projects, including but not limited to “a pH conditioner skyscraper that resembles a jellyfish and purifies polluted air,” a “volcano skyscraper that harvests geothermal energy,” and “a cluster of artificial islands that create the 7th continent in the Pacific Ocean.” A gallery of the Honorable Mention winners; more information of each of the Honorable Mention projects available on eVolo. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow. All images courtesy eVolo.
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Brazilian Architect Carla Juaçaba Wins First arcVision Prize For Women in Architecture

Thanks to the Italcementi Group, International Women’s Day just became that much more special. This year the group found a unique way to celebrate the holiday by instituting the very first competition its arcVision—Women in Architecture prize, an award that valorizes the increasingly important role women have and continue to play in architecture. The jury selected 19 finalists from 15 different countries including but not limited to Egypt, Switzerland, Singapore, Italy, and Thailand. The architects were judged according to their creative approach in designing an unconventional structure as well as their ability to design a building that responds to the context of its site. The prize was bestowed to Brazilian architect Carla Juaçaba at a press conference at the group’s i.lab Research Center (designed by Richard Meier) in Bergamo on March 7th, and was publicly announced the following day for International Women’s Day. Juaçaba, who collaborated with artist Bia Lassi, won for her design of the Pavilion Humanidade 2012 project developed specifically for the United Nations' conference on sustainable development, Rio +20. The architect innovatively designed a translucent waterfront scaffold building made entirely of previously-used, recyclable materials. The temporary structure was used to house private spaces as well as the two-week private exhibition on sustainability. By designing a structure that is exposed to all weather conditions Juaçaba designed a pavillion that was seamlessly integrated into it’s natural surroundings. The architect, who says her design was inspired by the work of Paulo Mendes, explained “sustainability and geography are closely related in architecture.  It might make sense to build on Africa or in some places in Brazil using clay, or to create green roofs in Buenos Aires, but not in this specific site in the fortress of Copacabana. It’s as if every specific geographical point has to find it’s own equilibrium.” Juaçaba further commented on winning the award by saying, “I think it is really special to have thought of a Prize only for women.  I was never “invited” to all the work I’ve done so far.  I have always had to struggle to prove that I was capable. I’m not saying this just because I am a woman, but I think that for us it is a little more complicated. So it is really great to have such a prize to highlight this effort, because all work requires hard work. I am really very excited.” Additionally, honorable mentions were awarded to three other female architects: Izaskun Chinchilla from Spain, Anupama Kundoo from India, and Siiri Valner from Estonia. This year marks the establishment of a new tradition: from this year forward the Italcementi Group aims to continue recognizing the accomplishments of female architects all over the world through the arcVision Prize.
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Laurie Olin Awarded Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture

Landscape architect and OLIN principal Laurie Olin has been awarded a 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal for Architecture by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. The award recognizes leaders who exemplify the actions and goals that Thomas Jefferson, an architect himself, would have admired. The medal will be awarded to Olin on April 12, the day before Jefferson's birthday, and he will be delivering a lecture at the UVA School of Architecture. We assume he will be sporting a bow tie. “Laurie Olin is one of the most revered landscape architects of our time,” Kim Tanzer, UVA's architecture dean, told UVA Today. “He is an inspiring teacher, an extraordinarily talented and prolific designer, and an international thought leader in environmental design. From his drawings and writings to his built projects, he has set an amazing example for several generations of landscape architects. We are thrilled he will become the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Medalist in Architecture.” Past architecture winners have included Mies van der Rohe, I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, and Maya Lin. The other two recipients this year were Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp and FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.
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AIA Awards 2013 Latrobe Prize to Research Study on Global Urbanization

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows announced today that it will award the 2013 Latrobe Prize of $100,000 to the proposal, “The City of 7 Billion." This ambitious research study will explore how population growth and resource consumption, on a global scale, affects the built and natural environment looking "at the world as a single urban entity." The winning team, consisting of Bimal Mendis and Joyce Hsiang of the Yale School of Architecture and Plan B Architecture & Urbanism, will create a geospatial model of the world with different sets of data—including demography, finance, geography, infrastructure, and resources—that will shed light on patterns of urbanization to better understand how resources can be more effectively used. This model will ultimately serve as a resource to help architects "address the challenges of global urbanization." The Benjamin Henry Latrobe grant is awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for "research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession."
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2013 SCUP Excellence Awards for Architecture, Planning, or Landscape Architecture

scup_awards_01 SPONSORED CONTENT The 2013 SCUP Excellence Awards for Architecture, Planning, or Landscape Architecture deadline is February 22. These awards recognize and honor institutions and consulting firms whose success and best practices demonstrate achievements through plans, buildings, additions, renovations, restorations, and landscapes. This is a juried program. The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), which was established in 1965, is a community of senior, higher education leaders who are responsible for, or are involved in, the integration of planning on their campuses and for the professionals who support them.Award categories include: • SCUP Excellence in Planning for a New Campus; Existing Campus; District or Campus Component • SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design; Open Space Planning and Design • SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture for a New Building; Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse; Restoration or Preservation. Get all the details at www.scup.org/awards or contact Betty Cobb: 734.764.2004, 734.395.0024, or betty.cobb@scup.org