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.
more stories like this

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.

China’s cities: faster, bigger, better?

Today Pudong has joined Manhattan and the City of London as one of the world’s foremost business hubs.

Countless other Chinese cities are determined to follow in Shanghai’s steps. Cities have been the engines of China’s economic growth, contributing 70% of its annual gross domestic product. But they are also the stage on which China’s most intense social and environmental struggles are being played out.

The rapid expansion of cities and swelling of urban populations has been the most spectacular feature of China’s rapid economic development over the past two decades. China has become one large construction site: the stock of urban buildings has doubled in a mere five years, reaching almost 15 billion square metres in 2004. In 2005, Shanghai constructed more building space than exists in all the office buildings of New York City. Construction projects in China account for 30% of the global total.

China has become a global laboratory of urban change and an incubator of technological, design and policy innovations. Paradoxically, therefore, China’s urban mayhem has made it the epicentre of global debate on sustainable urbanisation.

Read more at Bangkok Post : Business news. LEO HORN-PHATHANOTHAI

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