For the latest edition of the ShowCase feature, Archinect published the first fire station designed by Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza Veira. The project, Santo Tirso Fire Station is located in Quinta de Geão, Portugal "comprises a total gross area of 1173 m2 and lodges the support functions to the fire brigade...it is organized in 3 floors”.
Chris Moody's initial reaction was that "At first glance, it would be hard to picture this building as a fire station. But then again, that's probably the point. Nicely done! Alvaro." toasteroven added "that brick is yummy, the exterior is really nice - but - the interiors seem a little cold and off-putting. all shades of grey and white - like a bunker in Antarctica in the dead of winter”.
According to released figures the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed its strongest growth since November 2007. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 54.2, up sharply from a mark of 51.2* in December. AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. noted "We have been pointing in this direction for the last several months, but this is the strongest indication that there will be an upturn in construction activity in the coming months". To which sameolddoctor countered "Okay, so why are there not enough jobs?".
↑ The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 54.2, up sharply from a mark of 51.2* in December.
Ariel Kaminer reported on how Cooper Union’s free tuition tradition may be coming to an end, due to the financial troubles of the institution. While offficials at Cooper Union say its financial problems predated the construction of the Morphosis designed 41 Cooper Square, the audacious building, completed in 2009, has become the most visible symbol of a debate about the future of Cooper Union.
tranz kafka wondered "If the financial troubles started before the new building, why the hell they moved ahead with the white elephant? Seems like a really nasty plan" for his part Fred Scharmen admitted being "totally fascinated by the idea that this building may have killed off (or seriously damaged) one of the world's greatest schools of architecture".
French-Californian outfit Sériès et Sériès shared their entry to the international architectural competition Piraeus Cultural Coast - Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Piraeus, Greece. The scheme was designed as a collaborative effort with Studio Touraine, Tajima Open Design Office, and ARUP. jla-x thought the proposal looked "very nice!". Just a couple of days later, Bustler announced the final competition winners. All tman had to say was "1st prize reminds a lot of the Kansai International Airport Project (c 1988) from Bernard Tschumi".
↑ Piraeus Antiquities Museum Entry by Sériès et Sériès and Studio Touraine
↑ Piraeus Antiquities Museum Entry - 1st Prize- Antonopoulos Evangelos, Vetta Thalia, Gavalas Georgios, Riga Maria - Kiriaki, Stamouli Anastasia, Pilarinou Maria
↑ Piraeus Antiquities Museum Entry - 4th Prize- sparch SAKELLARIDOU _ PAPANIKOLAOU ARCHITECTS (Dr. Sakellaridou Eirini, Papanikolaou Morpho, Mavrou Chrysokona)
Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Spirit of Space released two short films on the Sliced Porosity Block - CapitaLand Raffles City. A Conversation with Steven Holl presents Steven Holl on site as he explains the design concept. The film Sliced Porosity Block explores the project in its urban context and as a public space in the city of Chengdu. Darkman argued "For all of the flak architects get for being too 'obtuse' Holl has always been a clear and unpretentious presenter of difficult concepts”. Yet, Orhan Ayyüce sounded wistful, "I didn't see anything particularly poetic in this commercial development even with the architect's narrative. Maybe the video does not capture the essence of it and the project needs to be visited in person. One would wish Lebbeus Woods' only built project was not a light show to embellish property values and make the shopping mall festive".
Sandra Lozan worked on "Container dwellings for Colombia, South America. Private Residence CulverCity" while Adrian Smith recently opined "Re-building priorities at the Jersey Shore: More structures on the primary dunes, or more post natural planting in and around towns? I choose plants!".
Last December the Lighting Practice was featured in the Business Section of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Diane Mastrull interviewed TLP's principals Helen Diemer, Michael Barber, and founder Al Borden about the firm's history, design and business philosophy, and outlook for the future. The Inquirer featured imagery of TLP projects the Empire State Building and 230 Park Avenue in New York City as well as Hamilton Garden at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, Bulge (Comteporary Hotel and Theatre Design) by Danny Ye Li & Haoyang Yu and Continuous Surface/ Tectonic by Leen Katrib were just two of the projects featured in the latest 'Top Archinect Pinterest Images' post from the board Student Work.
↑ Bulge (Comteporary Hotel and Theatre Design) by Danny Ye Li & Haoyang Yu
↑ Continuous Surface Tectonic by Leen Katrib
Over on his University of Colorado at Denver school blog, Patrick Beseda posed the question Why sketchbooks? Specifically he wanted to know about "the value of a sketchbook. I'm here to ask if anyone references their sketchbooks. Do you keep them? Do you trash them when the project is over? Do you scan them and archive it? Do you ever go back and look at them? So far in my life and education the value of the sketchbooks I've carried is usually in the next blank page".
IamGray responded "I don't really look at my drawings. Once the drawing is done and I flip the page, I rarely find myself turning back. Like you wrote, the value is in the blank page...For this reason, I don't put a lot of value in the sketchbook itself. It's simply a nice way to ensure that I've always got a paper to draw on with me".
SDR offered an older designer's experience. "I began sketching in el-hi and began keeping consecutive sketchbooks before enrolling in design school. It wasn't until a few years after graduation that I began accumulating ideas -- often sketched on scraps or random pieces of paper (diner place-mats) -- and I tipped them into the current sketchbook. I began using Strathmore spiral-bound 'Sketch' pads (9 x 12) -- and 1/8 gridded pads -- and now, at age 70, I have about two dozen of those,...After a career of making things designed (mostly) by others, I'm now mining the sketchbooks to augment the fresh ideas that arrive".
hsolie currently working on a graduate thesis the University of Michigan Taubman College shared some images, explaining "As part of my thesis research into the past, present and future realities of Detroit housing, I have started to use representational devises as a means of speculation...This current work explores possibilities for what I am calling functionalDETERIORATIONS which are those operations that seek to reframe distress as additive or generative to architecture instead of subtractive".
↑ functionalDETERIORATIONS via hsolie.
vado retro and Donna Sink both thought the images "really kicks ass" but toasteroven provided some criticism "Detroit is a very complex beast - it is not your generic 'post industrial city.' The city is currently being taken over by the state government - it’s probably the first city in america where its citizens will have absolutely no control over who their leadership is. You want to 'reframe' how we look at the 'post industrial city?' start with something that actually empowers the people who live there”. tiorted continued "Very cool images. From them I see a photoshopped, glorified ruin porn...As a Detroiter, I'm more interested in what occurs in the physical environment".
↑ functionalDETERIORATIONS via hsolie.
Samuel Mortimer documented the Winter Passive Performance of the University of Tennessee's New Norris House. Reviewing the numbers led archaalto to question "So-do you think the overheating in the summer is due to the microclimate and the operation of the house itself?...Or does it go so far to ask the question if the passivhaus approach is appropriate for the southern USA climate?"
↑ the Winter Passive Performance of the University of Tennessee's New Norris House.
From Samuel Mortimer’s perspective "Humidity is definitely the big concern when we start considering passivhaus approach. And this is all to say again that our ERV was still running continually-- which has some ability to mitigate humidity, but it is not an active process built into our unit".
jla-x started a thread to discuss the architecture of gentrification and get opinions regarding "what are some of the most gentrifying projects of all time?” adding “cities are becoming gentrified because they have lost their utilitarian function...The utilitarian value of the industrial city, trade center, ect.... is being replaced with a more qualitative cultural value”.
marisco reminded us "I think Haussmann's Paris plan would be a huge gentrification push we shouldn't forget. Swaths of Paris slums and poor districts were cleared so developers could make new housing and boulevards for the more affluent people of Parisian society". don’t be a goat chimed in "The High Line as a park is a great public project. However, it altered the zoning in that district. ..It was a gentrification catalyst...Unless you're Sam Mockbee, all architecture is gentrifying". gwharton had to ask "You guys keep talking about gentrification like it's a bad thing. WTF is that about?"...
Nick Ladd is frustrated “Contract working has been on my mind a lot recently. I have recently relocated and have been offered several jobs with the caveat that I would be a ‘contract worker’. What the hell does that mean?”.
Miles Jaffe jumped in “What it means is that you get no benefits and no commitment from your ‘client’. It also means you are on the hook for your own taxes including quarterly payments, and are in a grey area in terms of liability. Are you licensed? You may also be required (by your ‘client’) to have workman's comp policy, as your contract employer may be charged 15% of payments paid to you if you don't. If they've got any employees on the books, they are audited by comp twice a year".
Gregory Walker stated "i think it's incumbent on both sides to very clearly understand what the implications are. when we've had to hire someone for a specific project (as contract), we've clearly spelled out the term it was expected to last and reviewed what the tax implications would be so that they understood it" while labocce claimed "I have worked a number of contract positions in the last few years. It is not ideal, but you do not have to get totally screwed over".
Finally Randomhouse laid out the sad state of affairs at P+W;
"Another major lay-off at Perkins + Will. Seems like they are sucking wind big time. Basically the CEO Phil Harrison said in his webcast that the corporate management had ‘misjudged’ the market conditions. Hmmm...looks like the problem may be corporate management".
med. vouched for the update "Perkins and Will is indeed having major managment issues and have been laying people off for the last three years - as well as hiring. A friend of mine was 100% billable and was still laid off in their san fran office. They are facing the same disaster AECOM was/is facing".
Moreover, dubh45 concluded "Perkins+Will is sort of rudderless right now. Management is really invisible on a day to day basis. The layoffs are actually a popularity contest".