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Archinect - News

Updated: 2017-02-27T01:55:32-05:00


Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Installations" Pinterest Board



In case you haven't checked out Archinect's Pinterest boards in a while, we have compiled ten recently pinned images from outstanding projects on various Archinect Firm and People profiles.

(Tip: use the handy FOLLOW feature to easily keep up-to-date with all your favorite Archinect profiles!)

Today's top images (in no particular order) are from the board Installations.


Glimmer in San Francisco, CA by Variable Projects; Photo: Joseph Chang, Adam Marcus


Luminous Depths in Singapore by Desai Chia Architecture; Photo: Desai Chia Architecture, Sandy Wong, Issa Weng


STIK Pavilion in Tokyo, Japan by University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab (Kevin Clement, Project Manager, Design Lead)


Behance in New York, NY by SOFTlab; Photo: Alan Tansey


SANDBOXING in Dallas, TX by DSGN AGNC (Quilian Riano, Designer), New Cities Future Ruins (Gavin Kroeber, Curator), Ash Studio (Fabrication)


Taumascopio in Zingst, Germany by Mattia Paco Rizzi


Under Magnitude in Orlando, FL by MARC FORNES / THEVER...

MIT startup creates camouflage solar panels



Founded at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Sistine creates custom solar panels designed to mimic home facades and other environments, with aims of enticing more homeowners to install photovoltaic systems. Sistine’s novel technology, SolarSkin, is a layer that can be imprinted with any image and embedded into a solar panel without interfering with the panel’s efficacy. Homeowners can match their rooftop or a grassy lawn.

The product caters to the growing "aesthetic solar" market which tries to attract homeowners that are considering going solar but fear the aesthetic impact of the traditional, bleak-looking dark solar panels on their home's appearance. Just last fall, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a line of glass, photovoltaic cell-embedded roof tiles that mimic (currently) four common roof covering styles.

Here a few more examples of Sistine's SolarSkin technology that allows—so the company claims—the panels to either completely blend in with the existing roof or display any desired image, like business logos or advertisements.




All images via Sistine Solar's website.

Obama reacts to Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects's first design for the Obama Presidential Library



Interviewed by Paul Goldberger, the New York architecture critic who advised the Obama Foundation on the architect selection process for the library, Williams and Tsien revealed conceptual ideas for the project, said Obama critiqued an early plan of theirs as too quiet [...] "He said it was too unflashy," ArchDaily quoted Tsien as saying. "He looked at what we did and he said, 'I said you could be sort of quiet, but I think you're a little too quiet.'"

Check out these watercolor illustrations of the settings of some of this year's biggest films



Boryana Ilieva is an architect and artist. For the past two years, she’s been engaged in a project, dubbed “Floor Plan Croissant”, in which she paints the house and apartments that serve as the settings for films. Employing watercolor as her medium, Ilieva has studied the architecture of some of this year’s biggest films, all of which have been nominated for Academy Awards.



La La Land




20th Century Women


Toni Erdmann


Like her work? Support Ilieva on Patreon.

Doug Aitken among artists in Palm Springs-adjacent art show, "Desert X"



Amid the dust and clamor is the steel skeleton of Aitken’s “Mirage,” which takes the form of a 1960s-style suburban California ranch house. The seven-room structure, to be fully mirrored on the outside and inside, is perched on a hillside with city and desert views, which are key to the piece. The structure has gaping holes where doors and windows might be, and its interior walls are built on angles to reflect the sky and contrasting surrounding terrain...

What does the desert in Riverside County have to offer aside from a massive annual music festival, the sleek modernism of Palm Springs, and the ethereal vista of untrammeled nature? Well, starting on February 25th, it has the Desert Exhibition of Art, or Desert X for short.


Exhibitors in the self-guided, wide-ranging exhibit (you should plan on driving) include Doug Aitken, Sherin Guirguis, and Claudia Comte, who has created a 110-foot long stucco/wood sculpture that is part wall, part meditative exercise. Maps are available at the Ace Hotel; the exhibition will be up until April. 

How New York City's luxury housing tax could finance affordable units



While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America’s inner cities, it’s a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing. [...] Fortunately, there’s an already tested alternative: an annual luxury housing tax, levied on new high-end condos and rentals, which would feed a self-sustaining fund dedicated to develop truly affordable units.

Herzog & de Meuron's "6 AM" is a late bloomer, reaching completion in 2035



Two 58-story towers, eighteen years and two billion dollars make up the fundamental elements of Herzog & de Meuron's city-like mixed-used development "6 AM," which, while beginning its first phase of construction in 2018 in downtown L.A.'s Arts District, won't be finished until its principal architects are both 85 years old.


The wait should be worth it, though: Mia Lehrer will be providing the landscape architecture, while the project's seven buildings will include space for arts and performance, retail, a public/private school, a hotel and of course, plenty of apartments. The delay does prompt the question: will Los Angeles' Arts District still be the Arts District by then, or will it just be an evocative placard in 2.8 million square gentrified feet?

h/t Archpaper

DRIVERLESS FUTURE: A challenge to shape the impact of autonomous transportation


(image) (image) This post is brought to you by Blank Space.

The Driverless Future challenge seeks proposals that actively shape NYC’s response to driverless technology - will offer resources to help finalists transform their proposals into real companies and products.

Blank Space is proud to announce the Driverless Future challenge, a global competition to shape the impact of autonomous transportation in NYC, with a prize purse worth over $60,000 for the 4 top teams. The focus of the challenge is not on the cars themselves, but everything else: from parking solutions, to mass transit, accessibility, shipping, logistics, software, services, and new uses of roadways, intersections, and sidewalks. The primary goal is to create a launchpad for entrepreneurs, innovators, designers, engineers, architects and futurists to enact real change in New York City.

Blank Space is proud to partner with the NYC Mayor’s OfficeNew LabFast Company, and AIA New York to host the challenge and support winning entries b...

Explore mitigating human suffering via design in this New School symposium



As cities densify and the global population increases, much has been made of reclaiming physical spaces: but how does one reclaim a place that is bound up in tragedy, whether that tragedy was natural or man-made? On March 3rd and 4th, Parsons the New School for Design will host a symposium featuring Lina Sergie Attar, a Syrian-American architect, writer, and activist who hails from Aleppo.


In addition to Attar's keynote address, the symposium, entitled “Making Home in Wounded Places: Memory, Design, and the Spatial," will explore several dozen case studies dealing with refugee shelters, the repurposing of Latin American prisons into shopping malls, and how painful memories of the past have been represented and memorialized in places including a Warsaw ghetto. Those interested in registering to attend can do so on the website

Foster + Partners' Apple "spaceship" set to touch down and open up in April



According to a press release from Apple, it will take six months to move all 12,000 employees into the 175-acre campus, which will officially open for occupancy in April. In addition to the 2.8 million square foot, naturally ventilated Foster + Partners'-designed "spaceship" building, the campus features two miles of running and walking paths, and boasts a 17 megawatt solar energy rooftop installation (making it one of the largest in the world). Nothing about this place is small, or happenstance; the construction process was reportedly a clash between perfectionist designers and slightly more impressionistic contractors.


However, all's well that ends well: although Steve Jobs won't be able to see the completed campus, designer Apple's chief design officer Jony Ivy feels like things worked out. “Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments. We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and ...

The Barack Obama Presidential Center may end up costing up to $1.5B



At an estimated $1.5 billion, the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago may end up costing more than three times what the George W. Bush Museum cost, according to new reports. This is primarily due to the fact that the center will house not one institution but two—both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of the former president and his wife. Moreover, Obama avoided doing much fundraising while in office, making it all the more difficult to come up with the funds.

“It won’t be easy,” said Tod Williams of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, designers of the Center. “It’s not just about preserving the past. It’s about the future.”

Mithun's Wanapum Heritage Center nabs 2 awards, honors Native Am tribe



Just off the Columbia River, the Wanapum Heritage Center is a home for Wanapum culture and artifacts. The building form weaves solidity and light, from a protective repository enclosure that references traditional cliffside cave storage spaces to the glazed welcome area that evokes traditional fishing lanterns. The entry path aligns with the equinox sunrise, a Wanapum 'marker'. The center houses archival items alongside recording studios for oral history, and new gathering spaces.






Winner of PPI's ARE 5.0 Review Manual Book giveaway



In Archinect's most recent giveaway, our readers had the chance to win an architecture dream bundle that includes PPI’s ARE 5.0 Review Manual Book written by David Kent Ballast, FAIA, CSI, NCIDQ-Cert. No. 9425, and Steven E. O Hara, PE ($250 value); a LEGO set from the Architecture Collection, The White House (no longer available); and PPI’s Stainless SteeI Water Bottle ($24.95 value).

The lucky winner is: Laura from New York City.

Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who participated!

Michael Rotondi’s legendary Carlson-Reges House is now for sale



For the first time ever, the Carlson-Reges House designed by Michael Rotondi is up for sale. A collision of industrial materials and a 1920’s era power plant, the home is an iconic work of Los Angeles architecture that was awarded an American Institute of Architects award. It is listed for $12.5 million.

Back in the 1990s, Richard Carlson and Kathy Reges commissioned Rotondi to design the building, intended to serve as the heart of The Brewery, the massive Lincoln Heights live/work art colony that they developed. The home doubled as an art gallery and a kennel for purebred dogs (as well as rescues). 

Check out this review by Orhan Ayyüce from a few years ago for more on the project. And head over here to find out more about what makes Rotondi tick.




h/t LA Mag

Harvard Graduate School of Design announces Richard Rogers Fellows



Harvard’s GSD has announced the 2017 winners of the Richard Rogers Fellowship, a new residency program to be hosted at the Wimbledon House. The Wimbledon House was designed by acclaimed architect Lord Richard Rogers for his parents in the 60s and generously gifted to Harvard.The landmarked residence will house the fellows with the goal of bringing together experts and practitioners across disciplines who are focused on the built environment and its capacity to advance the quality of human life. 

Central to Rogers' life and career were the questions of urbanism, sustainability and how people use cities. “The spirit of the Fellowship” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at Harvard GSD “is intended to carry forward and expand on Richard’s deep commitment to cities not as ends in themselves, but as a fundamental means to bettering human life. At the GSD, our work is organized around the urgent issues cities are facing globally, a pedagogical a...

Architecture Billings Index in January enters 2017 with modest decrease



The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dipped slightly into negative territory in January, after a very strong showing in December. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.5, down from a score of 55.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.0, up from a reading of 57.6 the previous month.

“This small decrease in activity, taking into consideration strong readings in project inquiries and new design contracts, isn’t exactly a cause for concern,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fundamentals of a sound nonresidential design and construction market persist.”  

* Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.

The AIA reports these key ABI highlights for the month of January:

  • Regional averages: South (54.2), Northeast (53.0), Midwest (52.4), West (48.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (54.6), commercial / industrial (53.4), mixed practice (48.1), multi-family residential (48.1)
  • Project inquiries index: 60.0
  • Design contracts index: 52.1




All graphs represent data from January 2016 - January 2017, images via

A Canadian developer is building an enclave of world-class architecture in the Alberta foothills



Ian MacGregor, the president and chief executive of North West Upgrading Inc. and a self-described “guy who works in the oil business”, is reportedly planning to fund and develop a cluster of architectural icons in the idyllic foothills of Alberta. Dubbed the Carraig Ridge, the community will be located between Cochrane and Canmore. Already, the 650-acre site hosts “the Rock House” designed by Seattle-based architect James Cutler of Cutler Anderson Architects.



MacGregor, compelled by the beauty of the region, says he bought the $20-million site to avoid its division into a series of smaller parcels. Despite his profession, the developer is committed to preserving the area’s environment. He brought some notable conservation planners, including Randall Arendt and Christopher Alexander, to scope out the site.

Now, the development will host 44 lots between two and five acres. Each parcel is priced at $1.05 million—unless you’re willing to put up an extra million to get a sleek home design...

Matter Design's Five Fields Play Structure Reinvents the Purpose of Play



The intent is to not ask what the structure does, but how it imagines new possibilities

It has been said that play is the exultation of the possible. The Five Fields Play Structure then, is the fullest realization of this theory on play. Matter Design, an interdisciplinary design practice founded in 2008 by Brandon Clifford and Wes McGee, collaborated with FR|SCH, an architecture and design studio founded by Michael Schanbacher and Kerri Frick, to design this structure that proudly has no purpose. Instead, the form becomes a blank canvas meant for childish exploration and the cultivation of their imagination.

The design resists any directive and rejects specified, singular usage. Twenty-foot tall vertical elements seem to contribute to the structure at one moment, but then extend into the landscape. Doors and stairs, while standard architectural elements, are rethought to lead to nowhere and color is used as a suggestive rather than a clear label on entries and key moments. Another prominent design strategy was to provide multiple means of access to any location. These ...

Duvall Decker Architects combine greater agency and public outreach to benefit Mississippi (and the profession at large)



Since they founded Duvall Decker nearly 20 years ago, the Deckers, as they’re known, have focused mostly on neglected corners in and around Jackson, Mississippi’s capital. To pay the bills, the two have redefined for themselves the ambit of a small architectural practice. They have become developers and even branched into building maintenance: a soup-to-nuts strategy that has allowed them more than just financial breathing room.

Helping impoverished Mississippi communities? Check. Making money while creating a business model that empowers you with the decision-making powers of developers? Check. Being notable and effective enough to earn your own profile in The New York Times by Michael Kimmelman? Done, done, and done for Duvall Decker Architects, which also was named one of 2017's Emerging Voices by the Architectural League of New York. What's especially enheartening about this profile is how by virtue of increasing the quality of their own professional lives, the architects have also vastly increased the well-being of their community.  

Get Lectured: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Spring '17



Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter & Spring 2017

Archinect's Get Lectured is back in session for Winter and Spring 2017. Get Lectured is an ongoing series where we feature a school's lecture series—and their snazzy posters—for the current term. Check back frequently to keep track of any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss. Mark those calendars!

Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to

Check out what upcoming events are happening at the SAIC Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects for Spring '17.

Feb 24
Studio Swine
4:15 pm-5:45 pm at LeRoy Neiman Center Ground Floor, 37 Wabash Ave

Mar 2
Rossana Hu
4:15-5:45 pm at LeRoy Neiman Center

Mar 9
Center for Genomic Gastronomy
Tasting and Symposium: 12-2 pm at US Food Fanatic Auditorium, 900 North Branch St
Lecture: 6-8 pm at LeRoy Neiman Center

Mar 16
Jeanne Gang
6-8 pm at Fullerton Auditorium, 111 S Michigan Ave 


This week's picks for Chicago architecture and design events



Spring is continuing to bring visiting architects lectures to Chicago this week. We also have volunteer opportunities for designers and global research presentations.

Here is your list of things to do in Chicago over the next couple of weeks.

Junya Ishigami | February 21



The Golden Lion award winner for best project at the 12th international architecture biennale will speak on tectonics and environment as he comes to IIT this week. His work, though minimal insertions, shows a connection of purity from art to architecture.

Colonizing Heritage: The Adaptive Reuse of Myanmar's Architecture | February 22


The Martin Roche Travel Scholarship recipient Devon Morris will be at the Chicago design Museum this week to speak on his travels to Myanmar. In a constant state of globalization, many countries have to find new approaches to historical conservation and continual re-use of architecture.

Chicago Volunteer Expo | February 26


There are plent...

Only $90 for Frank Gehry's wisdom?



Don't tell grad students carting around six-figure debt, but those who wish to learn from one of the masters of architecture can now do so for $90. MasterClass, a San Francisco-based educational video company, is now taking pre-orders for an online class taught by none other than Frank Gehry himself. Students can sign up for the class, which offers "video lessons from the instructor, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, and more." Here's a trailer of what you'll likely learn as Frank winds his way through his model archive (and memories of nearly six decades of professional practice):

AIA officially states it is pro-immigration and travel-positive



What would America be without immigrants? More to the point, what would architecture be without the ability for those working within it to freely travel and collaborate with (much more affordable) talent from around the world? In recognition of these facts, the AIA has released an official statement that raises concerns about broad anti-immigration policies, and confirms the institute's dedication to reciprocal "free moment and association" around the globe. Here's the full text of the press release:

As discussion on immigration continues, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today joins with many American businesses, industries and universities in calling for fair and impartial immigration policies, and in expressing deep concern about policies that restrict immigration from specific countries or regions based on overly broad factors, including religion.

“Beyond the essential considerations of fairness and equity, restrictions targeting specific areas of the world can have prof...

Diébédo Francis Kéré announced as Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designer



" Diébédo Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Gando, Burkino Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017, responding to the brief with a bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns of Kensington Gardens. "

Diébédo Francis Kéré, Photo by Erik Jan OuwerkerkSerpentine Galleries have revealed that this year's pavilion will be designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré. The pavilion's design responds to the changeable British climate, whilst being influenced Kéré's ecological design ethos which drives his Berlin-based practice.  


Last year's design by BIG drew in huge crowds, and acted as a discussion piece throughout the summer. 

Diébédo Francis Kéré, Photo by Erik Jan Ouwerkerk

Naomi Milgrom appoints OMA's Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten for fourth MPavilion



In pavilions you can test things you cannot do within buildings -Rem Koolhaas

Naomi Milgrom has appointed high-profile architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of Netherlands-based architecture firm OMA to design the fourth MPavilion temporary culture venue for Melbourne. MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event conceived and created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in 2014. Every year,  one new temporary pavilion, designed by a leading international architect, is erected in Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Gardens.


Rem Koolhaas, founder of OMA and winner of the 2000 Pritzker Prize, is a controversial architect known for his large-scale projects such as CCTV "Pants Building" in Beijing and De Rotterdam "Vertical City" pictured above. On this year's appointment, Ms. Milgrom said “Rem Koolhaas is one of the world’s most provocative and influential architects. His contribution to the cultural landscape as an urban thinker together with OMA’s multi-disciplinary approach to architecture reflects MPavilion’s desire to inspire d...

This week's picks for London architecture and design events



As February draws to a close, we can feel spring already in the London air. If you are already full of 'Spring Cleaning' motivation, make sure you don't miss the NLA's workshops this weekend on home improvement, featuring advice from leading architects. 

See the month out with 'Tate Lates'; a Friday night at the Tate Modern, which promises (as always) a jam-packed evening of workshops and art, acompanyed by food, drink, and some of the best views in London

Check back regularly to keep up to date with London's latest happenings and our weekly recommendations!

Don’t Move, Improve! | 25 February


Image: New London Architecture

This weekend, there is a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to improve rather than move homes. The NLA have developed a day full of workshops and talks on the ways in which dwellings can be adapted, regardless of scale, to better fit occupants. One-on-one consultations from experts will fine-tune these ideas, and workshops and walks for all will make this family pr...

Jenny E. Sabin is the winner of MoMA PS1's 2017 Young Architects Program



The Ithaca-based design practice Jenny Sabin Studio has been named the winner of the 2017 Young Architect's Program at MoMA PS1. The annual competition awards an emerging architecture firm the opportunity to design a site-specific installation in the courtyard of the Long Island City art institution. Jenny Sabin Studio beat out five other practices with her entry Lumen.


Lumen is made of responsive tubular structures in a lightweight knitted fabric. The installation will include a canopy of photoluminescent, solar active textiles, which absorb and deliver light. Lumen will also feature a misting system, satisfying the competition stipulation that the installation include water in order to help cool down visitors to the Warm Up event. 

“Jenny Sabin's catalytic immersive environment, Lumen, captured the jury's attention for imaginatively merging public and private spaces," states Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design. "With innovative constructi...

A key characteristic of the design is efficiency; Snøhetta's design for the French Laundry's new $10M kitchen



The joint effort led to aesthetics that showcase a sleek, stylish yet minimalist digs are steeped in functionality...The improvements were the result of research...The ceilings are reminiscent of flowing table cloths, both for aesthetics and practical use, as they obscure equipment on the kitchen’s ceiling.


Justin Phillips goes inside the French Laundry’s new $10 million kitchen. The expansion/revamp/upgrade was a collaboration between Chef Thomas Keller and Snohetta.

A living fossil of life in Shanghai



They were basically city blocks that functioned as gated communities, with guards manning the front entrance. The whole essence of old Shanghai was that life was lived horizontally — all the activity happened at street level...Commissioned mostly by Western developers, the first shikumen appeared in the 1870s...local contractors who built them drew upon the interior floor plans of traditional Chinese courtyard homes and local decorative motifs.


Taras Grescoe pens a paean to shikumen, alleyway complexes entered through a stone-framed kumen (gateway), which at one point housed approximately 80 percent of the population of Shanghai. While fewer authentic examples remain, the city has in recent years begun redeveloping, "fake vintage" versions, most famously; the site of clandestine First National Congress of the Communist Party meetings and Xintiandi.

BIG's winning design for the new San Pellegrino flagship factory



In hopes to bring tourism into the area, San Pellegrino will soon have a brand new flagship factory in San Pellegrino Terme, where the sparkling-water brand has resided since 1899. Bjarke Ingels Group had the winning proposal to design the new bottling factory in a competition against MVRDV, Snøhetta, and Architetto Michele De Lucchi.


At 17,500 m2, the €90 million building pays tribute to its mountainous environment and San Pellegrino's heritage. “Rather than imposing a new identity on the existing complex, we propose to grow it out of the complex,” Bjarke Ingels said in a statement. “We propose to wash away the traditional segregation between front and back of house, and to create a seamless continuity between the environment of production and consumption, and preparation and enjoyment.“


In addition to the production facility, the new building will include offices for San Pellegrino staff and public spaces open to visitors. BIG's design reinvents elements of classic Italian architect...