As owners and regulators ponder how to handle the aging of towers built during the time of the first oil shocks, in the 1970s, architects and engineers nationwide are proving that a new skin can make a middle-aged building more energy efficient—but only sometimes make it look more elegant. Images courtesy Gensler Gensler’s proposal to re-clad a masonry tower in Manhattan with glass has drawn criticism. Along with lava lamps and disco, the 1960s and 1970s produced a host of tall buildings that used crude window glazing and air control technology. “In those days you built on site, put in
Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture recently won a competition to design Masdar Headquarters, a 1.6-million-square-foot, zero-waste, zero-carbon facility that it predicts will generate not only enough power to run itself, but also surplus energy to help fuel buildings surrounding it.
Photo courtesy New York City Department of Buildings Patricia Lancaster, FAIA, stepped down as Building Commissioner of New York City on April 23. On April 23, New York City’s Building Commissioner Patricia Lancaster, FAIA stepped down following a string of construction accidents in 2008, 13 of which were fatal. Just one week later, on April 28, a construction worker on Staten Island was critically injured on the first day of the city’s newly created Construction Safety Week. These incidents have incited a fierce debate over where fault lies that could have far-reaching implications for other cities in the midst of
Construction of Santiago Calatrava’s elegant, lyre-shaped suspension bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem is due to be finished at the end of May, despite a history of opposition from residents, environmental groups, and others—and an apparent lack of purpose in the short term.
This Sunday, May 4, marks the one-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that destroyed most of Greensburg, Kansas. As part of a town-wide green initiative, students from the state’s two architecture schools are lending a hand in helping residents rebuild using sustainable design principles and techniques.
The two-year-old, Richard Meier-designed Ara Pacis museum in Rome may face the wrecking ball if the city’s new leader has his druthers. Gianni Alemanno, who this week became Rome’s first right-wing mayor since Mussolini, says the building is “to be scrapped,” although he didn’t indicate when, according to Reuters. The glass, marble and steel building—completed in 2006 in the historic city center—houses the 2,000-year-old Ara Pacis altar, which commemorates the pacification of France and Spain. The museum’s design has incited critics; a former culture minister declared the building “an indecent cesspit by a useless architect,” according to an article in
Competition in the Commonwealth Games begins long before athletes are positioned behind starting lines. Cities vie for the privilege to host this quadrennial event, which is open to the 53 nations of the British Commonwealth, and architects compete to design the venues.
Columbia University, New York University, and other schools are planting ever larger footprints throughout Manhattan. But the Big Apple has plenty of company in managing tensions between academic institutions and their urban neighbors. Boston, the quintessential college town, is in for major changes as its schools accelerate their building programs. Although local officials generally welcome such projects, some plans are testing town-gown relationships. Photo courtesy Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Boston is in for major changes as Harvard University, Boston College, and Boston University all accelerate their building programs. The expansion of Harvard University’s campus in Allston, on the Boston side of
Many high school students aspiring to be architects are heading into this year’s summer vacation with a fundamentally new learning experience under their belts, one that recognizes that the profession is as much about landscaping and room circulation as drawing lines. This holistic approach comes courtesy of the Architecture Handbook, from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a 462-page primer that debuted last August and has quickly caught fire in schools across the country. By April, 71 schools in 34 states, plus 10 community colleges, were using it, says Lynn Osmond, foundation president, with the list expected to grow in the fall.