It’s getting to be legacy time for President George W. Bush and, among other things, that means building a presidential library—which, after months of official denials and equivocations, is headed for Southern Methodist University (SMU), in Dallas, the alma mater of first lady Laura Bush. This location was confirmed in an RFQ issued on May 24 by 3D/I, a Houston-based firm hired by the Presidential Library Foundation to oversee the selection process. The document outlines a 145,000-square-foot library and 40,000-square-foot public policy institute on “property that SMU recently acquired.” The project must be compatible with “the distinct architectural character of
Five design teams presented competing visions for a park on Governors Island at a public forum in New York City last week. Although roughly 350 people attended, they were a subdued crowd and only 40 returned comment sheets, underlining one of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation’s (GIPEC) biggest challenges—how to make New Yorkers care about the relatively unknown, 172-acre landmass located a seven-minute ferry ride from the southern tip Manhattan. “A grand total of probably 50,000 people have ever been on the island who were not members of the military forces and their families,” Leslie Koch, GIPEC’s president,
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 New Orleans still faces a significant risk of flooding, according to an Army Corps of Engineers analysis released this week. While central neighborhoods have benefited from $1 billion in levee improvements since Hurricane Katrina, the study found that the Lower 9th Ward, Gentilly, St. Bernard Parish, and other areas would likely be flooded during a 100-year storm, according to an Associated Press story
Four times could be the charm for the Tampa Museum of Art, in Tampa Bay, Florida. The museum’s building committee voted unanimously in May to forge ahead with Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects’ design for a new facility to be located on the site of its existing home, which will be demolished. The committee chose the San Francisco-based architect last November. Trustees had nixed a design by Rafael Vinoly in 2004, citing concerns over that project’s estimated cost, as well as two other schemes. Renderings: Courtesy Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects Saitowitz/Natoma’s 68,000-square-foot building, the first phase of a possible larger structure, takes the
The Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and Tom Eliot Fisch have resurrected a nearly lost piece of history by preserving the handwriting on the wall—literally—at the former Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco. Known as the West Coast version of Ellis Island, it was the entry point for close to 200,000 predominantly Chinese immigrants at the turn of the last century. Angel Island’s compound consists of barracks, a hospital, and a powerhouse. These structures are less well preserved than their eastern counterparts. Demolition was planned for the early 1970s, until hand-etched poetry was discovered on the dormitory walls. A listing
In the months following Hurricane Katrina, two well-connected musicians, Harry Connick, Jr., and Branford Marsalis, began thinking about how they could help New Orleans’s music scene recover. They soon teamed with Habitat for Humanity to envision Musicians’ Village: a neighborhood composed of 70 single-family homes, five duplexes, a park, and a performance center, that would provide musicians with affordable housing and work space. The move from cultural mission to concrete buildings has not been as simple—or as musical—as they initially hoped it would be, but it is finally showing success. Photo courtesy Bell Architects The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
This April’s Architectural Billings Index, prepared by the American Institute of Architects, held steady for the third month in a row with a score of 52.7; any showing above 50 indicates growth. But many of the mostly commercial firms surveyed said that inquiries for new business are rising, suggesting that billings might increase later this year.
Editor’s note: You may listen to excerpts from James Murdock’s interview with Robert Hillier and Peter Morrison by clicking the link below. Click the play button to begin | Click here to download Although the official announcement was embargoed until today, both RMJM and Hillier Architecture had difficultly keeping a lid on their big news: they’re getting hitched. To the tune of $30 million, it turns out. The papers were signed yesterday at Hillier’s office in Princeton, New Jersey, and the firm’s management, along with leaders from its new Edinburgh-based parent company, will celebrate with a champagne toast at the
Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, created a buzz in museum circles earlier this year when he expressed an interest in acquiring canonical, Midcentury Modernist houses for his institution's collection.
Renzo Piano is not bashful about his plan to raze century-old, masonry-clad factories and tenements in West Harlem and replace them with big, crisp buildings of steel and glass—a new campus for Columbia University that resembles Metropolis more than it does the existing neighborhood. “Cities are bound to change,” he says, “You have to accept it.” Images courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop / Skidmore Owings & Merrill Created by Renzo Piano and SOM, Columbia University’s new 17-acre campus will replace low-rise warehouses and tenements with glass-walled towers. Pressed for space at its original campus in Morningside Heights, 10 blocks south,