Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse – AIA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports

Washington, D.C. – July 22, 2009 – After showing signs of stabilization over the last three months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plunged nearly five points in June. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI rating was 37.7, far lower than the 42.9 the previous month. This score indicates a sharp decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 53.8, the fourth straight month with a score in the mid-50’s.

“It appears as though we may have not yet reached the bottom of this construction downturn,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Architecture firms are struggling and concerned that construction market conditions will not even improve as soon as next year. There has also been little movement in terms of stimulus funding allocated for design projects having the desired impact of leading to new work.”

Key June ABI highlights:

o Regional averages: Northeast (42.8), South (40.5), West (39.9), Midwest (36.2)
o Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (43.5), multi-family residential (42.7), commercial / industrial (39.5), institutional (37.0)
o Project inquiries index: 53.8

SOURCE: The American Institute of Architects – Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse,

Slough £450 million masterplan wins planning – Building Design

Building Design report

The £450 million Heart of Slough masterplan, which includes a dramatic new library building by 3DReid, has won planning permission from Slough Borough Council.

The 11.75ha masterplan includes offices by Sheppard Robson along with a new bus station by Bblur Architects’ Matthew Bedward and the new central library and cultural hub.

read the full article at the SOURCE: Building Design – Slough £450 million masterplan wins planning

Ohio town is leading the way – Freep.com

Freep.com reports

In Youngstown, Ohio, mini master plans offer residents a peek of what they can expect their neighborhoods to look like in 2010, 2020, 2030 and beyond. The forecast informs some that their houses will not exist in the future.

Youngstown is one of America’s first cities to begin the downsizing process to become a smaller and stronger city. The former steel town has a population of 80,000, a drop from the 170,000 residents the city had four decades ago.

YOUNGTOWN’S PLAN: See the city’s vision for development at http://www.youngstown2010.com

SOURCE: Freep.com | Detroit Free Press | Ohio town is leading the way

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UNStudio/ Ben van Berkel’s design selected for Dance Palace in the historic centre of St. Peterburg

UNStudio’s design has been selected in the competition for a 21,000 square meter dance theatre in the historic centre of St. Petersburg. The new complex houses The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, headed by the prolific choreographer Boris Eifman. From the four projects presented (Jean Nouvel (FR), UNStudio (NL), Snøhetta (NO), ZAO (RU)), UNStudio’s design was yesterday unanimously chosen by the jury for realisation.

The Dance Palace forms an integrated part of the European Embankment city quarter masterplan for a new urban square in the historic centre of St. Petersburg.

SOURCE: UNStudio
Image: UNStudio

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Bruce Lee home competition opens – news.gov.hk

Creative proposals are being invited on restoring Bruce Lee’s former residence in Kowloon Tong to turn it into a tourist attraction.

Initiated by the property owner, the Ideas Competition for Bruce Lee’s Residence will select the best ideas to restore the residence to its original appearance and provide an exhibition hall, an audio-visual room, a kung-fu corner, a library and souvenir counter.

“We are grateful to Yu Pang-lin, the owner of the residence, for his generosity in donating the property. Mr Yu has also agreed to be the promoter of the competition and the honorary chairman of the adjudication panel, and will sponsor $100,000 in prizes for the winners,” Mrs Lau said.

“The support and advice given by various professional bodies, and Bruce Lee’s family, friends and supporters are also crucial to the successful launch of the competition.”

Participants can register until August 31 and must submit entries by October 15. Competition results will be announced by year’s-end.

For more information goto the competition website

SOURCE: News.gov.hk – Bruce Lee home competition opens

Flickr Image: Ian Muttoo

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