The American Institute of Architects’ Architectural Billings Index (ABI) rose more than four points in June for a total score of 59.3—its highest level since last summer. Institutional projects accounted for much of the gain. ABI data comes from surveys sent to 300 mainly commercial firms. Studies suggest a correlation between the ABI and construction levels nine to 12 months in the future.
The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act boosted a preservation tax credit to 26 percent, up from 20 percent. Although this incentive expires next year, it has spurred the repair of older buildings—and new developments are under way, too.
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, better known as the Gateway Arch, made headlines last month when internal trams carrying roughly 200 people became stalled for several hours after a cable snapped and the power failed. No one was hurt in the incident, which was soon eclipsed by far more serious engineering failures, but it reminded people of the memorial’s unique design by architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. Photo Courtesy Jefferson National Expansion Memorial / National Park Service The Gateway Arch in St. Louis “It’s such an impressive structure and makes such a statement you
Editor’s note: You may read the news digest below or listen to it, plus other news headlines from ArchitecturalRecord.com, as a podcast by clicking this link. Click the play button to begin | Click here to download Three proposals for San Francisco’s Landmark Transbay Transit Center and Tower, unveiled last week, are drawing lots of public comments—so many, in fact, that the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s Web site briefly crashed as a result of all the traffic, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote on August 14. In addition to submitting comments online, some 1,000 people saw an exhibit of the proposals
Classical music, ballet, musical theater, opera—the acoustician Russell Johnson, who died August 7 at age 83, loved them all. Johnson read about the musical arts voraciously, attended performances regularly, and, as the founder of the 37-year-old acoustics and theater-planning firm Artec Consultants, raised the visibility of acousticians in the design and construction of performance venues. Photo by Chris Lee, Courtesy Artec Consultants Russell Johnson Johnson relied on more than just his enthusiastic spectatorship to determine the acoustics for some this generation’s most renowned concert and recital halls, theaters, and opera houses. “He was not a fly on the wall,” says
Arrive in KL for the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, a triennial event, after 20-hour flight via Stockholm. Bleary-eyed, check into the business-chic Traveler’s Hotel, so new the furnishings still have scraps of wrapping tacked on.
Is the Whitney Museum of American Art’s apparent construction curse site-specific? Neighbors of the institution’s Brutalist home on Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side have rejected three ambitious proposals in 21 years to expand Marcel Breuer’s 1966 building. Now they’re chiding the institution for construction work that it has failed to do—even as plans for a new branch elsewhere show signs of moving ahead.
Underwater living is no longer a Jules Vernes fantasy. Crescent-Hydropolis Resorts is constructing Hydropolis: a 1.1-million-square-foot hotel located 20 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Dubai.
Nadel-designed skyscraper to blossom in Saudi desert Second time’s the charm for Nadel Architects. The Los Angeles–based firm placed second to Norman Foster in a competition to design Al Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 14 years ago. Now the same client, the philanthropic King Faisal Foundation, has commissioned Nadel to design a 2.3 million-square-foot mixed-use building on 10 acres adjacent to Al Faisaliah. Images: Courtesy Nadel Architects Like its predecessor, the new building features a retail plinth; the two will be connected to form a mega-mall. While Nadel’s project will showcase major evolutions in retail design since Foster’s project