It’s hard to find a landmark building in Washington more polarizing than the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Designed by legendary German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the city’s central library was never much loved by Washingtonians. If anything, its popularity has gone downhill since its 1972 opening. [...]
But now, as a four-year process wends its way toward a final design, it’s clear Washingtonians shouldn’t expect a major overhaul of Mies’s flawed design. — washingtonian.com
According to the Washingtonian, Mecanoo (the firm leading the redesign) will release updates to their redesign (along with local partner Martinez & Johnson) later this month. But only after many of the proposed redesign elements have already been nixed: a "3-story rooftop addition"; replacing...
Many and baroque have been the scandals that have toppled Illinois politicians. Rod Blagojevich, the most recent governor to be sent to prison, is behind bars for trying to sell the remaining years of Barack Obama’s Senate term. But Aaron Schock, who announced his resignation on March 17th as Republican congressman for the state’s 18th district, is the first to be felled by an over-talkative interior designer. — the Economist
'Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois's 18th Congressional district is probably better known for showing off his abs on the cover of Men's Health (see below) than for any actual legislating. At 33, Schock holds the title of the third-youngest US representative, at least until the end of this month...
Using new international measurement standards and technology not available in the past, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey has calculated the official architectural height of the Washington Monument to be 554 feet 7 11/32 inches [...].
Although the newly established architectural height differs from the historical height of 555 feet 5⅛ inches, neither the starting point nor the so-called “standard deviation” used for the original 1884 measurement is known [...]. — noaa.gov
The neoclassical monument designed by Henry Bacon has become an iconic piece of architecture, but had one of the designs from the other competing architect been selected, the familiar Lincoln Memorial would have looked jarringly different—perhaps in the form of a ziggurat, Mayan temple or Egyptian pyramid. — history.com
This episode is a doozy. Paul and Amelia left the temperate sunshine of Los Angeles for Washington, DC's frigid monumentality, to interview Bjarke Ingels on the eve of his "Hot to Cold" exhibition at the National Building Museum. The 40-year old architect shared some quick-won wisdom about scaling...
From inside the National Building Museum’s cavernous atrium, gaze upwards and you’ll see a series of white icons, suspended from the ceiling. Printed on square boards, the symbols loop around the museum’s 800-foot arcade, their background shifting from red to green to blue. This iconic...
The United States Olympic Committee seems ready to bid for the 2024 Summer Games. But the hard part is deciding which of the four finalists — Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco — has the best chance of being chosen by the International Olympic Committee. The U.S.O.C. could make its selection as soon as this week, so we asked New York Times reporters in each city to describe the view from each place. — nytimes.com
Some tastier nuggets from each city's reporter:Boston: "Boston’s modest $4.5 billion proposal envisions a new Olympic model: a walkable, bikeable, sustainable Games that uses mostly pre-existing structures. This compact city of 646,000 plans a downsized, compressed, antisprawl Olympics. No...
The United States Olympic Committee board of directors unanimously approved a U.S. bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the USOC announced today. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., remain under consideration, with the selection of a U.S. bid city to be made in early 2015. [...]
“All four cities have presented plans that are part of the long-term visions for their communities,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. — teamusa.org
BIG is returning to the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. with a new exhibition titled "HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation", just a few months after their successful giant indoor maze this past summer that brought in more than 50,000 visitors -- and a marriage proposal. Opening on January 24, the exhibition will showcase BIG's latest projects and more than 60 3-D models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the Museum's Great Hall. — bustler.net
As the saying goes, history likes to repeat itself. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. broke ground yesterday on the Kennedy Center Expansion Project. The ceremony also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Center's original groundbreaking in 1964. The event...
The McMillan Sand Filtration Site is one of Washington, DC's most conspicuous mysteries. Unbeknownst to the thousands of commuters and residents that pass by its rusted gates daily, below this sprawling parcel of land lies a series of vast underground caverns built in the early 20th century by the Army Corps of Engineers as a natural purification facility for DC's turbid water supply. — Vimeo
The latest episode of PBS Digital Studios’ Unusual Spaces series visits mysterious abandoned silos and underground reservoirs at the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, just 2 miles north of Capitol Hill in DC.
The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence is a 124-unit apartment building designed by Sorg Architects. The $33 million building is a striking stack of white, metal-paneled blocks, staggered with views facing the Capitol and the Mall. What makes the building truly distinctive, though, is that the space enables case managers and social workers to work onsite with veterans in tandem with the D.C. VA Medical Center.
Sixty units will be set aside permanently for homeless veterans [...]. — citylab.com
Clinging to antiquated urban notions, the District’s building height regulations imagine a skyline filled with spires, domes and minarets. — Washington Post
The debate over the Capital's skyline should not pit preservationists against contemporary designers. In fact, regulations that take advantage of the rooftop space would contribute to the monumental character of the city.
OMA and OLIN Studio have been selected to design the new 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington D.C. The competition was held as part of the 11th Street Bridge Park project initiative, which will transform an old freeway bridge into D.C.'s first elevated park. From the six shortlisted teams in phase one of the nationwide competition, and down to four finalists, OMA + OLIN won with their proposal, "Anacostia Crossing." — bustler.net
The Eisenhower Memorial Commission on Wednesday will review two approaches, including one that removes most of these elements. If that plan is selected, Gehry informed the commission, he will ask for his name to removed. — washingtonpost.com
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