Archinect - News 2016-10-27T05:16:02-04:00 Architecture Billings Index declines further; reflecting uncertainty over U.S. presidential election Alexander Walter 2016-10-19T14:42:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T23:34:00-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="400" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For the first time since the summer of 2012, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posted consecutive months of a decline in demand for design services. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 48.4, down from the mark of 49.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). &nbsp;The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, down from a reading of 61.8 the previous month.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>&ldquo;This recent backslide should act as a warning signal,&rdquo; said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. &nbsp;&ldquo;But this drop-off in demand could be continued hesitancy in the marketplace to move forward on projects until the presidential election is decided. The fact that new work coming into architecture continues to slowly increase suggests that billings will resume their growth in the coming months.&rdquo;</em></p><p>The AIA reports these key ABI highlights for the month of September:</p><ul><li>Regional averages: South (53.4), Midwest (50.1), West (49.5), Northeast (44.0)</li><li>Sector index breakdown:commercial/industrial (50.4), mixed practice (49.8), institutional (49.0), multi-family residential (48.8)</li><li>Project inquiries index: 59.4</li><li>Design contracts index: 51.4</li></ul><p>The&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ABI</a>&nbsp;in previous months on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Billings Index in August dips below 50, overall outlook reported as positive</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Billings Index in July remains in positive terrain but higher volatility expected due to U.S. presidential election...</a></li></ul> Does the size of your firm affect your pay? Intermediate architect edition Nicholas Korody 2016-10-13T19:21:00-04:00 >2016-10-18T08:57:18-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="464" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Since 2013, Archinect&rsquo;s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Salary Poll</a> has collected information on job salaries and satisfaction. The data, submitted anonymously, is broken down into metrics such as firm size, location, position, years of experience, education level, etc. The results provide a helpful look at the state of architecture employment, and the factors that correlate both satisfaction and salary.</p><p>In line with Archinect&rsquo;s October theme, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">XXL</a>, we&rsquo;ve broken down salaries by the size of firms. Is bigger better when it comes to where you work? Or do smaller firms provide better wages?</p><p>For intermediate architects, it seems size does matter&mdash;for the most part. With responses from over 300 architects, the average salary in a small-sized firm (1-15 people) shakes out to $51,776 per year, while at a large firm (201-500), the average salary is $64,109. In fact, as the firm size increases, so does the salary. The one exception is firms with 100-200 people, where the average salary is just $55,503.</p><p>In any case,...</p> Quickly Recover from Missing Billable Hours and Miscalculated Project Costs Sponsor 2016-10-10T09:00:00-04:00 >2016-10-11T22:08:40-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src=""></a><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BQE ArchiOffice</a>.</strong></em><br>&nbsp;<p><strong><em>Learn how this Brisbane-based architectural firm is enjoying faster cash flow now.</em></strong></p><p><strong>About</strong></p><p>Based in West End, Brisbane, Tim Bennetton Architects is a small, private architectural firm with a single director and three employees. They work in an intimate, responsive environment that collectively values good design, simplicity and positive relationships. This Australian firm goes above and beyond for their clients to ensure that the joy remains through the ups and downs of their projects &ndash; from the initial meeting through to completion. Tim Bennetton and his team offer unparalleled service that provides excellent design, as well as an experience in transforming that vision into reality.</p><p><strong>Background</strong></p><p>Prior to finding the right software for their firm, Tim Bennetton Architects encountered many time tracking issues that made it difficult to estimate project costs and profits. &ldquo;We used something called Timesheet Professional, which tracked our times ...</p> Engineering giant Arup announces imminent layoffs following Brexit vote Nicholas Korody 2016-09-26T17:27:00-04:00 >2016-09-28T22:55:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Article 50 still hasn&rsquo;t been triggered, but the fallout from Brexit is already impacting the UK and its economy. And, as many predicted, architecture isn&rsquo;t immune to its effects. In one of the first major post-referendum announcements pertaining to the discipline, engineering giant Arup has stated that it will lay off up to 10% of staff at its London Buildings Division.</p><p>As reported by the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Construction Review</a>, the multi-disciplinary firm will cut some 90 jobs. Final decisions will be made by the end of next month. This falls in line with predictions that the construction industry will be among the hardest hit in the aftermath of the June 23rd decision. Uncertainty hovers over many big projects in the capital, such as the planned skyscraper known as <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the Pinnacle</a>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>In an email sent to staff and quoted by the Global Construction River, Nigel Tonks, head of Arup&rsquo;s Buildings London office, states: &ldquo;We are seeing signs of delays in investment decisions, particularly in the commercial s...</p> American home sales drop unexpectedly in August Nicholas Korody 2016-09-22T12:57:00-04:00 >2016-09-26T23:26:33-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="650" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>U.S. home resales unexpectedly fell in August, crimped by a shortage of inventory that is boosting home prices faster than the pace of wage growth. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales declined 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.33 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales rising 1.1 percent in August to a 5.45 million-unit pace.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>July's sales pace was also revised lower to 5.38 million units from the previously reported 5.39 million units. However, despite sales being at their second-lowest pace of the year, home resales were still up 0.8 percent from one year ago.</em></p><p>For more on the current state of the housing market in the States, follow these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">The US housing market is "the planet's biggest concentration of financial risk"</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Even the wealthy are having trouble buying homes in Silicon Valley, so lenders are offering "zero-down loans"</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Facebook enters the housing market &ndash; and it's probably not a good thing</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Why it just isn't possible to build affordable housing in the current U.S. housing market</a></li></ul> Sydney Architect petitioning against the illegal use of the title ‘architect’ in Australia Alexander Walter 2016-09-14T14:19:00-04:00 >2016-09-16T03:56:22-04:00 <img src="" width="598" height="448" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Sydney architect Robert Harwood is apparently fed up with being compared on price point and capability to building practitioners who aren&rsquo;t registered architects. The director of Harwood Architects and founder of My Architect is petitioning the Australian Institute of Architects CEO Jennifer Cunich to do more to protect the architecture profession from non-architects passing off their work and capability as that of an architect.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"Harwood is particularly concerned with non-architects using the title &lsquo;architect&rsquo; in their name or the words &lsquo;architectural services&rsquo; in advertising."</em></p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York man tries to weasel out of architectural malpractice suit with "I'm not an architect" defense</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">College wins $5.5MM lawsuit against firm for use of unlicensed architects</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The NYT's interview with Karim Rashid, unlicensed architect</a></li></ul> Financial Management for the Small Architectural Firm 101 Sponsor 2016-09-12T08:00:00-04:00 >2016-09-14T23:12:30-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src=""></a><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BQE ArchiOffice</a>.</strong></em><br>&nbsp;<p>Providing great architectural services and running a financially successful firm are not mutually exclusive. It&rsquo;s quite the contrary. If you are as good an architect as you think, you&rsquo;ll be successful and it won&rsquo;t be because of your design skills. However, what separates the great&ndash;struggling designers from the great-successful designers isn&rsquo;t just luck.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not your fault that after all the years of education and training you endured to become an architect, you don&rsquo;t know the first thing about how to run a business. Sure, you can design &ndash; like nobody&rsquo;s business &ndash; but do you truly understand the difference between income and revenue? How about a credit and debit? Do you know what an overhead factor is and why it&rsquo;s so critical? Do you know what your minimum billing rate is? Did you ever sit down and map out your firm&rsquo;s operating budget?</p><p>Chances are the answer to all these questions is no. So let&rsquo;s get to work and get you on the right trac...</p> Virtual Reality: An Architect’s #1 Marketing and Business Development Tool Sponsor 2016-08-25T15:05:00-04:00 >2016-09-03T11:11:43-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><a href=";utm_medium=Editorial&amp;utm_campaign=Archinect%20Editorial%202" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" src=""></a><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href=";utm_medium=Editorial&amp;utm_campaign=Archinect%20Editorial%202" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yulio</a>.</strong></em><br>&nbsp;<p>There&rsquo;s no denying it: Virtual Reality (VR) creates a buzz. It&rsquo;s exciting and attention-grabbing. It attracts and then holds. And keeps holding. Wherever you go, a pair of goggles instantly draws a crowd.</p><p>For businesses in the Architecture and Interior Design industries, VR technology becomes a fantastic&nbsp;<strong>marketing and </strong>business development opportunity.&nbsp;Telling &ndash; or showing &ndash; prospects that you&rsquo;re using VR is great for <strong>sparking conversations</strong> and leaving <strong>lasting first impressions.</strong></p><p>For those interested in or actively experimenting with it VR, here&rsquo;s a few <strong>tips for using this technology as a business development and marketing tool in your business.</strong></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>1. Give a great first impression</strong></p><p>Show, don&rsquo;t tell. The best way to explain what VR can do is to simply <strong>hand your client or prospect a pair of goggles. </strong>Pre-load it with a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sample space</a>, past projects or perhaps even a 360&deg; &lsquo;before&rsquo; photo, and let them imagine the possibilities for themselves.</p><p>Make sure you <strong>know y...</strong></p> The US housing market is "the planet's biggest concentration of financial risk" Nicholas Korody 2016-08-18T19:58:00-04:00 >2016-08-19T15:04:48-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="350" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>WHAT are the most dysfunctional parts of the global financial system? China&rsquo;s banking industry, you might say, with its great wall of bad debts and state-sponsored cronyism. Or the euro zone&rsquo;s taped-together single currency, which stretches across 19 different countries, each with its own debts and frail financial firms. Both are worrying. But if sheer size is your yardstick, nothing beats America&rsquo;s housing market.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>It is the world&rsquo;s largest asset class, worth $26 trillion, more than America&rsquo;s stockmarket. The slab of mortgage debt lurking beneath it is the planet&rsquo;s biggest concentration of financial risk.&nbsp;</em></p><p>For more on the state of the US housing market, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">What these &ldquo;pre-rent control&rdquo; stats might reveal about SF's soaring housing costs</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Single women emerge as second-strongest group of homebuyers</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Looking to buy a home in SF? Good luck</a></li></ul> 7 Bookkeeping Tips for Architects Sponsor 2016-08-08T09:00:00-04:00 >2016-08-11T01:12:43-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="327" border="0" title="" alt="" /><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src=""></a><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BQE ArchiOffice</a>.</strong></em><br>&nbsp;<p>Many architects struggle with staying on top of their finances. After all, they were trained to draw and design, not how to run a business. Here are seven bookkeeping tips to help you better manage your finances with innovative tools.</p><p><strong>1. Get Comfortable with Reporting</strong><br>The first tip is to get comfortable with the reporting system of your accounting software. You spend money on bookkeeping so that you can get valuable information out of the system. This is precisely where the reports come in. If you have a good working knowledge of the reporting area of your accounting system, then you can pull reports, analyze your business and make decisions based on that. Of course you should also consult your bookkeeping and/or accounting professional for help understanding the reports, especially if something doesn&rsquo;t make sense to you.</p><p><strong>2. Know Your Numbers</strong><br>The second tip comes right on the heels of the second. You should have a working knowledge of how ...</p> San Francisco rejects “tech tax” that would require big companies to fund housing initiatives Justine Testado 2016-08-04T15:27:00-04:00 >2016-08-10T00:07:05-04:00 <img src="" width="640" height="427" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;They spend $25,000 per employee per year on perks like free beer and pool tables and massages ... That&rsquo;s great, but can they spend $1,000 to help the rest of San Francisco survive?&rdquo; As it turned out, they could not. Representatives of tech organizations reacted fiercely against the tax, saying that it would suppress growth in the industry that has made the city &ndash; parts of it, at least &ndash; wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Widening the gap between San Francisco's wealthy and poor, the&nbsp;budget committee of the city's board of supervisors&nbsp;rejected on Monday the tech tax, which &ldquo;would have imposed a 1.5% payroll levy on technology companies that generate more than $1m in revenues a year, including Uber, Google, Twitter and Airbnb.&rdquo;</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Luxury condos sink in San Francisco's Millennium Tower</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">San Francisco could face "class warfare" if it doesn't fix its economic inequality</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What these &ldquo;pre-rent control&rdquo; stats might reveal about SF's soaring housing costs</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bay Area media ban together for homelessness advocacy</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Don't blame the tech bros: SF's housing crisis is bonkers because of zoning, not startups</a></p> Will Brexit kill £405B worth of infrastructure projects? Nicholas Korody 2016-08-03T19:57:00-04:00 >2016-08-03T20:01:53-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced that the newly-formed government will delay making any decisions about building a major nuclear power plant&mdash;the first in a generation&mdash;until the fall.</p><p>Economists reacted with alarm to the announcement, according to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>, since the deferral raises doubts about the future of &pound;405 billion worth of infrastructural projects. The infrastructural projects would both improve productivity and provide much-needed economic stimulation as the country faces the possibility of a major recession.</p><p>Before the UK&rsquo;s vote to leave the European Union, the UK planned major energy and infrastructure projects meant to improve the country&rsquo;s crumbling infrastructure. These included a high-speed rail from London to northern England and a major expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick airports&rsquo; capacity.</p><p>Some economists question whether the UK could afford these projects at all, as the country&rsquo;s economy and credit rating remain uncertain following Brexit. Still, sp...</p> Google acquires LinkedIn's HQ in huge, unexpected property swap Justine Testado 2016-07-13T18:13:00-04:00 >2016-07-17T19:46:04-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Google and LinkedIn] announced a large, surprising property swap encompassing over three million square feet of existing and future real estate... From Google, LinkedIn is picking up seven buildings...In return, Google is getting LinkedIn&rsquo;s Mountain View headquarters office and...four different surrounding properties that enable Google to follow through on its ambitious plan for a new, green, crazy-futurist campus.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Following an unsuccessful bid <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">last year</a>, this is good news for Google as they continue to push toward making their dream campus a reality.&nbsp;Unleash the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&ldquo;crabots&rdquo;</a>.</p><p>Previously on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions Episode #19: Don't be Evil, Don't Throw Stones</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google loses to LinkedIn in Silicon Valley HQ pitch</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New Googleplex will be built by robots</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Unveils BIG + Heatherwick Studios Collaboration for New Campus Master Plan</a></li></ul> Yulio offers architects a DIY Virtual Reality platform Sponsor 2016-07-07T09:00:00-04:00 >2016-07-13T10:49:34-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="463" border="0" title="" alt="" /><a href=";utm_medium=Editorial&amp;utm_campaign=Archinect%20Editorial%201" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" src=""></a><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href=";utm_medium=Editorial&amp;utm_campaign=Archinect%20Editorial%201" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yulio</a>.</strong></em><br>&nbsp;<p><strong>AN INTRODUCTION TO VIRTUAL REALITY </strong></p><p>Though Virtual Reality (VR) is yet to truly break into the mainstream consumer market, it&rsquo;s an industry <strong>growing at breakneck speed.</strong></p><p>With Deloitte Global predicting a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">$1bn year</a> for the VR industry this year, and Digi Capital estimating it to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">hit $30bn by 2020</a>, it won&rsquo;t be long before <strong>VR is in the hands of millions of consumers worldwide.</strong></p><p>Yet though initial traction for the industry has been centered around the gaming and entertainment communities, <strong>VR is making serious headway as a tool for health, education, and business.</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>VIRTUAL REALITY FOR ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN </strong></p><p>For an architect or designer, viewing an image of a 3D space is enough to fully visualize the space around them. Yet this is not the case for the clients, who typically lack this ability. Yulio aims to bridge this communication gap through VR technology.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&ldquo;Virtual Reality technology transforms crucial aspects of the client-engagement experience b...</p> How long until Amazon conquers downtown Seattle? Justine Testado 2016-07-01T15:35:00-04:00 >2016-07-03T18:06:39-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="436" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>When its spheres and three surrounding towers are completed, [Amazon] will have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle, more than 15 percent of the city's inventory, on a campus that occupies more than 10 square blocks. That will provide space for Amazon to more than double in size, to 50,000 Seattle workers in the next decade...The spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, are Amazon's boldest statement yet in the first project it's building from the ground up.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NBBJ's biosphere design for Amazon Seattle HQ becomes even more organic</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NBBJ designs biospheres for Amazon's Seattle headquarters</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">This drone video takes you on a fascinating flight through the guts of Seattle's Bertha tunneling machine</a></p> US construction spending falls for second month in a row Nicholas Korody 2016-07-01T13:01:00-04:00 >2016-07-01T14:29:55-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>According to a <a href=";feedName=topNews&amp;utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=Social" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">report</a> from Reuters, construction spending fell in American for the second month in a row, following a steep 2% drop in April. April's drop was the largest since January 2011.&nbsp;</p><p>The US Commerce Department states that May construction spending dropped 0.8%.&nbsp;The drop indicates that "the growth outlook is still mixed as the effects of Britain's decision to leave the European Union become more apparent."</p><p>"Private construction spending fell by 0.3 percent after a downwardly revised 1.9 percent fall in April," Reuters reports.</p><p>Public spending dropped 2.3%, primarily in state and local projects, which account for the largest segment of public sector construction spending. Meanwhile, federal construction spending rose 7.5%.</p><p>For more economic updates, check out some recent news stories:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIBA release a statement following EU referendum result</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Billings Index reaches highest score in nearly a year</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Billings Index displays continued modest growth in April</a></li><li><a href="http://Why%20American%20infrastructure%20funding%20keeps%20facing%20such%20an%20uphill%20battle" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Why Ameri...</a></li></ul> Russian government wants to build its own Hyperloop, with China's help Justine Testado 2016-06-17T18:00:00-04:00 >2016-06-18T11:48:26-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="339" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The government of Russia has announced a desire to build a 70km Hyperloop line on its Pacific Coast to link the port of Zarubino with China&rsquo;s Jilin province, but wants China to help fund it. The link would be part of Russia&rsquo;s plan to develop a series of transport corridors between its Primorye region and northeast China...The project&rsquo;s cost has been estimated at about $500m...the ministry would try to interest China in co-financing the link as part of its Silk Road grand strategy.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">'Hyperloop as transportation&rsquo;s new girlfriend: mysterious, unencumbered, exciting, expensive.'</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bjarke Ingels Group + AECOM join forces with Hyperloop</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hyperloop hopefuls turn to 'passive' maglev technology</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT and TU Delft emerge victorious at Hyperloop competition; Elon Musk drops hint about "electric jets"</a></p> Hudson Yards could generate nearly $19B for New York City, study claims Alexander Walter 2016-05-04T17:53:00-04:00 >2016-05-06T20:23:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="352" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A study commissioned by the developer indicated that total economic output of the companies projected to occupy Hudson Yards will contribute $18.9 billion to the city's gross domestic product. [...] Many projections in the report are also contingent on a host of economic indicators in the city, including demand for Class A office space. Out of the 10.4 million square feet Related will have to lease up, so far it has locked in commitments from tenants for 4 million square feet.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Hudson Yards project previously in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Welcome to the Hudson Yards, c. 2019: the world's most ambitious "smart city" experiment</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BIG's concept for a spiraling-landscape tower in NYC's Hudson Yards</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A Plan to Build Skyscrapers That Barely Touch the Ground</a></li></ul> China and US compete to invest in a newly-opened Cuba Nicholas Korody 2016-03-17T15:39:00-04:00 >2016-03-18T01:17:02-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The American government&rsquo;s relaxation of its 56-year embargo against Cuba and the inauguration of direct flights from China has triggered a race to invest in the island&rsquo;s tourist infrastructure [...] There are reports that China&rsquo;s Suntime International Economic Trading Company will go ahead with a luxury hotel in Havana, in a joint venture Cuba&rsquo;s state tourism agency, Cubanac&aacute;n. The size of the hotel is reported variously at 600 to 650 rooms, with Suntime investing up to $150m</p></em><br /><br /><p>While diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US have thawed during the Obama administration, the embargo still remains in place effectively. But companies like Marriott International (whose chief executive will accompany the President on his historic visit to the island later this month) are optimistic that Cuba will soon be a major investment opportunity.</p><p>China, meanwhile, also has it's eyes on the (Ra&uacute;l) Castro-ruled country as well. For the sake of Havana and other Cuban cities' remarkable architectural heritage, here's hoping Cuba doesn't become the site for an ersatz-hotel-arms-race.<br><br>For related news, take a look at some other Cuba-specific Archinect content:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">Selling Cuba (Gehry's already there)</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">The promises and problems of a Cuban architecture market</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Take a virtual tour of Havana's modern architecture</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">A glimpse at Havana's rooftop dwellers as urban landscape transforms</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Airbnb now open for business in Cuba, despite anemic internet access</a></li></ul><p><em>It's&nbsp;<strong>Money March</strong>&nbsp;here on Archinect! Have you ...</em></p> $6B expansion for Atlanta International Airport set to launch this year Justine Testado 2016-03-14T17:35:00-04:00 >2016-03-14T17:55:37-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Two giant, translucent canopies spanning several lanes of roadway and sidewalks outside the domestic terminal will be among the most visible aspects of a $6 billion expansion and renovation project at the world&rsquo;s busiest airport during the next 20 years, officials announced last week. Among other goals for the coming year: improving wait times for passenger security screenings...'Americans will not tolerate a one-hour wait as normal.'</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Previous airport-related news on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">O&rsquo;Hare airport announces $1.3B expansion deal</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A new LaGuardia is the "airport that New York deserves", says Gov. Cuomo</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fancy $48M animal terminal to open in JFK Airport next year</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beacons in the sky: photographer Carolyn Russo celebrates the architecture of airport towers</a></p> Want to work in a giant basket? Ohio's soon-vacated landmark faces uncertain future Justine Testado 2016-03-11T14:06:00-05:00 >2016-03-21T14:04:19-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[JRJR Networks] is eager to shed itself of the big basket, but that may not be easy. What non-basket-related company will want a giant basket to be the face of their company? Are there enough well-off eccentrics in or visiting Newark to convert it into market-rate apartments or a boutique hotel?...A deal to donate the building to the city no longer appears to be in the works, and foreclosure is a possibility.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A few throwbacks related to weird architecture in Archinect news:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The politics behind China's ban on "weird" architecture</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Movie-themed resort in Macau to show off "figure-8" ferris wheel</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Southwark planners nix 'crude and literal' rocket-shaped flats</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">27 weird and compelling architectural evolutions of 2014</a></p> Why does LA have so many new galleries? Nicholas Korody 2016-03-11T12:27:00-05:00 >2016-03-17T21:40:15-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The grand openings of the Los Angeles branches of European galleries Spr&uuml;th Magers and Hauser &amp; Wirth (called Hauser Wirth &amp; Schimmel), on 23 February and 13 March respectively, are sure to generate even more buzz about the booming Los Angeles art scene [...] Some of the buzz is well earned, especially when it comes to cheaper downtown real estate and the great artists working and teaching here. But there is another strong incentive behind so many galleries making the move...</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the Art Newspaper, LA's new gallery boom reflects market competition to represent the disproportionately sizable population of impressive, well-established artists who, for a variety of reasons, lack gallery representation in their hometown. The article also notes that while opening an LA satellite serves a defensive, even necessary move, the city has yet to develop a real, sustainable collector base.</p><p>For more on LA's ever-growing art scene, check out some past coverage:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Art + Architecture: Swipes and Changeups with Mike Nesbit</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Broad Museum opens its doors for a look beyond the veil</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Art + Architecture: The Los Angeles Nomadic Division Sets Up Camp</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Art museums are more popular than ever &ndash; but what about the art inside?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Is Zumthor's inkblot the right size for LACMA's art?</a></li></ul> Will LA's new metro extension bring growth to the city's peripheries? Nicholas Korody 2016-03-10T20:33:00-05:00 >2016-03-17T21:28:27-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>When City Manager Oliver Chi looks across Station Square next to the new Gold Line stop in Monrovia, he doesn't see a dilapidated train depot. He sees a bustling restaurant. Where an empty lot now sits, he sees a five-story apartment complex. That old lumber house? A bustling food hall. Los Angeles County's growing light-rail network plunges deeper than it ever has into suburbia this week with the opening of the Gold Line extension linking Pasadena to Azusa.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Obsessed with infrastructure? Take a look at some related coverage:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes Won</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">More details on Glendale's "freeway cap park" emerge</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Why cranes keep collapsing, despite "sophisticated equipment"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">US government agency develops new batteries that could revolutionize energy infrastructure</a></li></ul> How this new gigafactory may popularize residential solar power technology Justine Testado 2016-03-04T21:24:00-05:00 >2016-03-17T21:56:02-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="413" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>When production begins, SolarCity, already the leading installer of residential solar panels in the [U.S.] will become a vertically integrated manufacturer and provider...At a time when conventional silicon-based solar panels from China have never been cheaper, investing in a new type of solar technology is a risky undertaking. However, the potential benefits are huge. The new factory...could transform both SolarCity&rsquo;s business...and the economics of residential solar power.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The MIT Technology Review profiles the upcoming Buffalo-based SolarCity factory and their ambitious plans that could potentially make solar power technology more widely available to consumers.</p><p>More news about alternative energy:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cloud-harvesting skyscraper: renderings of proposed new sustainable Tokyo development</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michigan State University researchers develop completely transparent solar panels</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Could 'quantum dots' be the key to turning windows into photovoltaics?</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Turning Japan's golfing greens into solar farms</a></p> Selling Cuba (Gehry's already there) Alexander Walter 2016-02-01T14:16:00-05:00 >2016-02-02T20:21:14-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="974" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;I give it two years, max [...] It will be US business interests that finally push congress into lifting the embargo &ndash; they&rsquo;re all going crazy being shut out of this market.&rdquo; American architects and developers are already queuing up to be first in line, ready to pounce on investment opportunities when the embargo drops. Frank Gehry sailed into Havana in December, aboard a streamlined yacht he designed for himself, here to &ldquo;offer his expertise to Cuba&rdquo; according to a government statement.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>&ldquo;You know that Cuba is at the centre of attention of many people,&rdquo; Gehry told the gathered crowd. &ldquo;And in the immediate future it will attract many investors &ndash; particularly the tourism sector. But I am sure that you know to be careful with those projects.&rdquo;</em></p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb now open for business in Cuba, despite anemic internet access</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Take a virtual tour of Havana's modern architecture</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cuba in talks for cultural exchange with US museum</a></li></ul> How record low oil prices shape the fate of America's boomtown, Williston, North Dakota Alexander Walter 2016-01-27T17:55:00-05:00 >2016-02-10T23:28:26-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Now, after more than five flush years, oil prices are in a prolonged slump, the flow of workers has reversed [...] But Williston believes it can build something more enduring. [...] The city used its newfound wealth to build a $70-million high school, a $68-million recreation center, and new water and sewer systems. It renovated Main Street and created a city position for someone to write parking tickets. Highways have been widened, and an airport is under development.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A supermall grows in fracking country</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">EPA study finds no evidence that fracking has lead to polluted drinking water</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">North Dakota is desperate to find workers</a></li></ul> One CEO's plan to supply water to drought-stricken CA cities, and obviously profit from it Justine Testado 2016-01-20T15:14:00-05:00 >2016-01-21T11:17:08-05:00 <img src="" width="620" height="372" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scott Slater has a plan. It is not a popular plan, but he wants to pump 814bn gallons of water from under the Mojave desert to Los Angeles and other drought-stricken communities in southern California, and make more than $2bn doing so...In addition to environmental concerns, others object to a private company being able to make billions from water. Slater says they do not understand the law, which in California states no entity can own water but they can buy, sell and trade the right to use it.</p></em><br /><br /><p>America: The land where nothing is free, indeed.</p><p>h/t <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New Republic</a></p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Have these heavy rains alleviated the California drought?</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In face of drought, San Diego's desalination efforts won't stop there</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Meet the architects behind the winning Dry Futures proposals</a></p> Use the AIA's visualized home design survey results to keep track of emerging trends Justine Testado 2016-01-04T15:28:00-05:00 >2016-01-04T20:41:05-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="314" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIA</a>&nbsp;recently revamped their AIA Home Design Trends Survey into a visual-friendly format for the 2015 findings, so this could be a handy reference tool for any home designers who want to stay on top of emerging trends that may come to the forefront in 2016. The new visual lets users quickly access charts and figures for each quarter in 2015, which focuses on a different area of home trends including "Neighborhood and Community Design", "Home and Property Design", "Home Features", and "Kitchen and Bath". The survey results also include the&nbsp;same business conditions questions for tracking purposes.</p><p>Check out the survey, archives, and more <a href="!" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Monthly architecture billings index</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIA creates new Commission to further investigate equity in architecture</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIAS launches survey to reassess studio culture's broken status quo</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architects tell all in a global survey about the future of design competitions</a></p> "Stepping Out" – the personal preface to starting your own practice, on Archinect Sessions #44 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-12-03T19:07:00-05:00 >2015-12-10T20:55:12-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="833" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>At least once in their professional life, every architect is likely to ask themselves, "Should I start my own practice?" From there, there are countless aspects to weigh against one another, but it begins as a very personal question &ndash; what do I want to create, and where?</p><p>Longtime Archinector (and tiki-drink enthusiast) <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">David Cole</a> began a discussion in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">forum</a> to mull over such questions for himself, as he considers whether to start a firm in his hometown of Cincinnati, or brave new territory in Seattle. We invited him onto the podcast to talk about the process behind such a momentous decision, and swap personal stories from Donna and Ken's experiences working in new cities and running their own practices.</p><p>Listen to episode 44 of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect Sessions</strong></a>, "Stepping Out":</p><ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen</a>, and click the "Subscribe" button below the logo to automatically download new episodes.</li><li><strong>Apple Podcast App (iOS)</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="pcast://" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to subscribe</a></li><li><strong>Stitcher</strong>:&nbsp;<a href=";refid=stpr" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to listen</a></li><li><strong>SoundCloud</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to fo...</a></li></ul> An analysis of donut-shaped buildings in modern work culture Justine Testado 2015-11-20T17:54:00-05:00 >2015-11-30T23:08:13-05:00 <img src="" width="620" height="372" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>That&rsquo;s not to say that all circular buildings represent some emergent 21st-century order. It is interesting, though, that past precedents have usually been buildings designed for spectatorship: sports stadiums or, more resonantly, panopticon prisons, where inmates&rsquo; cells are arranged in a ring so they&rsquo;re visible to guards in a central observation tower. Take away that tower and you have the Apple campus.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Circles are an emerging form of office buildings (e.g. Apple HQ, Zappos, Government Communications HQ) and organizing people (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Holacracy</a>), as they convey positive qualities like transparency and open collaboration. But, as one New Zealand artist warns in his work, what sinister undertones linger within these structural concepts?</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="Construction update: More (unofficial) drone footage of Apple's spaceship campus" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Construction update: More (unofficial) drone footage of Apple's spaceship campus</a></p><p><a title='"The Other Architect" explores alternative practices and radical research projects' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"The Other Architect" explores alternative practices and radical research projects</a></p><p><a title='Is "individual expression" in architecture at risk?' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Is "individual expression" in architecture at risk?</a></p><p><a title="Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face</a></p>