In the latest edition of the Student Works feature, Building Soft takes on the L.A. River's infrastructure, students from SWA’s Summer Student Program presented projects such as; Topo-Infrastructure for Health, Stairway to the Hill, or Performative Punk Playground.
Justine Testado posted some information re: the new federal courthouse, by SOM, that will be located at the corner of First St. and Broadway in Downtown LA. In an interview with the LA Times architect Craig Hartman explained "The goal for us is to not make that security visually obtrusive, so you have a sense of openness and a generosity of public spirit".
sameolddoctor quipped "This is great, we are back to the late 70s" while first-time commentator Lesley Castle chimed in "Not a fan from the looks of this. Could be better".
KCRW’s Frances Anderton spoke with Raphael Sperry, Beverly Prior and Joe Day to answer Should Architects Design for Solitary Confinement? Archinector Christine Pierron took a principled stand "No moral architect should be designing SHU's. It is the equivalent of designing torture chambers with racks and iron maidens".
Over at Architect Magazine Greig O'Brien looked at the latest ABI released last week by AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. He wrote "Even more impressive is the jump in project inquiries in July. The past half year has seen this score rise not only over 50, but over 60. And July’s score of 66.4 marks the highest score in nearly eight years (the score rose to 66.7 in November 2005)".
Updated designs have surfaced for Amazon's new headquarters in downtown Seattle. Instead of the biospheres' uniformly diamond-shaped supporting structure (compare with previous renderings), the new images Archinect received from NBBJ, show a much more organic web of struts, described as "Catalan spheres."
citicritter commented "The answer to the question asked previously by Archinect - ‘Apple vs. Amazon: Who's new headquarters is cooler?’ starts to lean a bit more to Amazon with this iteration (better than either their earlier diagrid biosphere iteration or glass box before that)".
Aaron Willette offered up a postscript wrap-up for the inaugural SummerBuild workshop he led with his business partner. He argued "The physical artifact says volumes about the success of the workshop, so I'll leave the talking to one of the photos taken on opening night".
Ampdesign has submitted Prism Forest for a competition for work at University of Rochester. The design features "A series of translucent laser cut translucent acrylic prisms. They will be illuminated from within....hopefully by using a setup of lasers and prisms".
wabi.sabi at Cornell university just started a new school blog to document "M.Arch.I program at Cornell, plate life at Milstein, experiences in Ithaca and New York City, trips, course work, studio work, sightings, students, faculty, events, exhibitions, lectures, crits, reviews, and everything in between".
The schedule for students participating in the Architectural Association Visiting School in Jordan this September 1st to 10th has been released. Itinerary includes visits to Petra and Wadi Rum as well as ‘Tooling’ and ‘Group Brainstorming” sessions.
Justin Wang urged readers to check out "this year's Datum, Iowa State's Student Journal of Architecture".
mgsf was looking for advice on How much to charge for fiberglass and aluminum shop drawings? Specifically, mgsf will be freelancing for an Aluminum company they have worked at for last year, leaving them to start an internship in an architectural firm.
bowling_ball felt the general consensus was "2x to 2.5x what they were paying you previously. And gruen has some good advice - make sure it's okay with your new employer, there may be a conflict of interest down the line". gwharton also advised “Charge them per project, not hourly. Hourly billing is for suckers. Flat fee is how you make a profit".
Finally Xenakis started a thread.
"When are the expectations of an office that says they are looking for someone with 3 - 5 years experience - what are they looking for? I see many variants on this"
LITS4FormZ responded "3-5 years is where you begin to separate production from middle management...3-5 years is the ‘sweet spot for employment now because it's in demand and allows you to choose your path in the profession".
CrazyHHouseCat made the point "A distinction that may help your case: In the BIM world, there should be no such thing as simple production like what drafters do in the old days...If you’ve worked in BIM in the last 2.5 years, you should also have decent technical knowledge (technical as in how to put building together vs. technology as in Revit, CAD). You really should be on track to become a project architect".
For his part Will Galloway defined 3-5 years as "contracts, contractor negotiations and management, design, site running, etc. should all be within your reach even if you are not able to take complete control yet. You shouldn't need much direction for a project to move forward".