Design, What's Up
January 23, 2012
The American Institute of Architects each year recognizes one American building that is at least a quarter of a century old. “The idea,” says Robert Campbell of the Boston Globe, “is to recognize architecture that has proved its merit over time.”
This year, the AIA chose the residence in Santa Monica that Frank Gehry designed for his family. As much statement as structure, the house features materials familiar in an urban landscape: raw plywood, chain-link fencing, asphalt, corrugated metal—not the stuff of a quiet residential neighborhood.
But, Gehry has seldom been concerned with the expected. We have our own stories to tell about working with him on a factory-office facility we built in Rocklin, California. It has proved its longevity, too. Now owned by the William Jessup University, it’s become an award-winning student apartment building that preserves, as the award citation reads, “the original conversion of the Herman Miller furniture factory, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.”
March 25, 2011
OS House, Racine, WI
Johnsen Schmaling Architects
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the winners of its 2011 Housing awards, and they are fantastic! From urban settings to rolling farmland to glacial lakes, the projects represent work from all over the country, with so many great ideas—edgy angles, fun curves, creative use of color, and lots and lots of glass.
Living well sustainably and affordably seemed to be key in this contest, which includes four award categories: One/Two Family Custom Housing, One/Two Family Production Housing, Multifamily Housing and Special Housing.
50 Saint Peter Street/Historic Salem Jail, Salem, MA
Finegold Alexander + Associates
The award was established a decade ago with the goal of “recognizing the best in housing design and promoting the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.”
930 Poydras Residential Tower, New Orleans
The 18 winning projects were as different from one another as wildflowers in a field. Let your mind and imagination wander through them. It will be a fun trip from wherever you’re sitting, I promise.
(Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the story on the AIA website about Tokyo-based architect Shigeru Ban, Hon. FAIA, who has designed simple partitions for those living in shelters as a result of the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Also very inspirational.)
Better World, Design
May 5, 2010
Here are 10 buildings that make you want to cheer—for their beauty as well as sustainability. And they are winners in American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 COTE Top Ten Green Projects. Check these out and learn about the best in green design solutions.
355 11th Street (Aidlin Darling Design) San Francisco: Reuse of a historic industrial building; Califoria’s first LEED Gold Building.
Homer Science & Student Life Center (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects) Atherton, CA: Natural ventilation, daylighting, a green roof, solar panels, and a virtual dashboard that shows energy and water consumption in real time; LEED Platinum.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia: The country’s first LEED certified project and the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.
Kroon Hall, (Centerbrook Architects and Planners; Hopkins Architects), Yale University, New Haven, CT: Replaces a brownfield with a net zero energy building.
Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K (VMDO Architects, P.C.) Manassas Park, VA: The building is a teaching tool; its sustainable design is integrated with the curriculum.
Manitoba Hydro Place (Smith Carter Architects and Engineers; Kuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg Architects) Winnipeg, MB: A “living building” that dynamically responds to the local climate (b-r-r-r).
Omega Center for Sustainable Living (BNIM Architects) Rhinebeck, NY: Environmental education facility and a net zero energy system, featuring natural wastewater treatment.
Special No. 9 House (KieranTimberlake) New Orleans: Affordable housing with customizable, sustainable options for the devastated Lower Ninth ward.
Twelve West (ZGF Architects LLP) Portland, OR: ZGF’s office is a living lab of urban sustainability; expected to earn LEED Platinum.
Watsonville Water Resource Center (WRNS Studio LLP) Watsonville, CA: A functional, educational, and visual extension of the water recycling plant it supports.