I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

Another museum that’s a work of art – The Boston Globe

All over the country – all over the world, in fact – cities are building new art museums, or enlarging the ones they have.
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A surge of new buildings like this, all of a single kind, doesn’t occur very often. What our blizzard of museums reminds you of is the Middle Ages in Western Europe, when every city and town seemed to be erecting a cathedral.

And indeed, it can be argued that the art museum, too, is a place where we gather with our neighbors to engage in something rather like worship. As the philosopher Nietzsche famously said, God is dead, and all we have left is art.

Museums now are like movies or celebrities. There’s a hot new performer every year. The current media darling is the Bloch Building, a new wing of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is the major art museum in Kansas City. The architect is Steven Holl, of New York, best known in Boston for his amazing, sometimes controversial Simmons Hall dormitory at MIT. The Bloch is amazing too, but it isn’t controversial. It’s been just about everybody’s pick as the best American building of 2007.

Another museum that’s a work of art – The Boston Globe.

Orlando approves $27.1M for performing-arts-center architects

Orlando approved a contract Monday with the Dallas company that will lead the team of architects designing the new downtown performing arts center.

The contract between HKS Architects Inc. and the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center is worth $27.1 million. The arts center will pay HKS a base fee of $4.5 million to serve as the production architect, with $4.3 million going to the company’s local partner, Baker Barrios Architects. Most of the rest will go to subcontractors.

HKS will work with the design architect already selected for the center, Barton Myers Associates of Los Angeles.

Orlando approves $27.1M for performing-arts-center architects — OrlandoSentinel.com.

Mouchel wins £10m Liverpool school

Liverpool City Council’s Children’s Services Directorate has commissioned 2020 Liverpool, a joint venture between consultant Mouchel and Liverpool City Council, to design a new school and residential buildings worth £10m.

Following a feasibility study and options appraisal, carried out by 2020 Liverpool’s building team, the council has opted to construct a new-build special school, Lower Lee School, and associated residential accommodation for young adults with special learning needs on a brownfield site currently occupied by single and two-storey buildings.

Builder & Engineer – Mouchel wins £10m Liverpool school.

N.Y. leads USA in green construction

Two days ago, the Verdesian, a 26-story rental building developed by the Albanese Organization, became the first multi-family, residential high-rise building in the United States to receive Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Five years ago, the Solaire, built by the same Long Island-based family, became the first-ever green residential high-rise building in the U.S. Currently under construction, the Visionaire will soon be the greenest high-rise residential condominium in the country.

You have to see these buildings, all in Battery Park City, to understand what it means to build green. While tours of the Solaire are given on request, here’s the next best thing — a visual and textual look inside the three greenest residential towers in the U.S.

N.Y. leads country in green construction – Daily News – Jason Sheftell

Mediating Strata: Connecting Landscape, Building & Artifact

If landscape and human habitation are two dynamic forces that the built environment is able to draw from over time, how can architecture as a constructed entity engage in a more explicitly reciprocal relationship with the different components of a place? More specifically, how might architecture operate as a mediator between the layers of a site such that its manifold relationships to time and place are activated in the present?

The site and program in this project draw from two city blind spots in Ottawa–one a semi-vacated post-industrial landscape on the Ottawa River, the other a compound-like cultural institution–the Library and Archives of Canada, both of which possess different forms of collections. These represent layers of the geological landscape, the built environment and the cultural artifact, which are hidden or inactive to some degree within the fabric of the city and have been treated in this project as found elements to be used as a way of testing the thesis question. What emerged from the iterative visual, factual, and interpretive readings of the area formed the basis for the design of a looped path system and two interventions in the landscape.

A path was chosen as the means through which the various strata uncovered on the site could be negotiated, connected, and framed in a material and perceptual relationship with the individual. The trajectory offers a temporal experience that is based in the present as a body moves through space, while it simultaneously offers the possibility of engaging with static elements found in a landscape marking the past. Essentially the looped path design enables multiple ways of understanding the same objects and structures in space.

canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 1/10/2008.
Written by Erin Hunt, Dalhousie University, Ottawa for her Student Award of Excellence

Committee in awe of design for Agua Caliente museum

Members of the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee were impressed Monday with the swirling design of the proposed Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

Located at the southeast corner of South Hermosa Drive and East Tahquitz Canyon Way, the two-story, $40 million museum will include galleries, an educational facility and theater.

The architecture and landscape design were reviewed by the committee Monday and will now move to the Planning Commission and City Council for comment.

Because the museum is on Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian land, the city and its commissions can review, but not vote on the project.

Committee in awe of design for Agua Caliente museum | MyDesert.com | The Desert Sun.

Jones & Jones Architecture/Landscape Architecture – Seattle

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