Architectural illustrator David Macaulay and Richard H. Driehaus, the philanthropist and preservationist, were feted last night with Soane Foundation Honors. These awards recognize individuals who carry on the legacy of Sir John Soane, a visionary British architect who practiced in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Macaulay, who was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2006, is best known for his children’s books including Cathedral, Building Big, and The Way Things Work. He has also hosted PBS television series based these books. Macaulay teaches illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he received his degree in 1969.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has joined a coalition of more than 60 business groups attempting to repeal a little-known but far-reaching tax law called Section 511. Passed last year, the provision requires federal, state, and some local governments to withhold 3 percent from virtually all government contracts to help cover the contractors’ federal taxes. Included in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, which aimed to cut taxes and boost federal revenue, Section 511 applies to contract payments beginning in 2011. Proponents say it will help the Internal Revenue Service collect taxes and help to recoup
The complexion of America’s architects has been a subject of introspection and discussion since at least 1968, when Whitney Young, Jr., president of the National Urban League, chastised attendees at the AIA’s national convention for the scarcity of African-American and women practitioners.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) announced this year’s Top Ten Green Projects yesterday. These projects exemplify sustainable architecture. An alphabetical list of award-winners, as well as projects receiving honorable mention, follows below.
It is difficult to differentiate one of Laurie Baker’s designs from vernacular construction in India, where the British-born architect spent most of his life. Even so, many contemporary practitioners owe him a debt as the creator of a regionally sensitive, socially responsible architecture whose principles are now in vogue. Baker died earlier this month at his house in Thiruvananthapuram, in the Indian state of Kerala. He was 90 years old. Baker’s house, known as the Hamlet, reflects his approach to architecture. Built into a steep hillside, the brick-and-salvaged-timber dwelling integrates the natural landscape with manmade forms. It is also one
Nearly 6,000 planning practitioners and scholars converged in Philadelphia last week for the 99th annual national conference of the American Planning Association (APA). A theme evident in many of the 300 seminars was how U.S. cities are grappling with what one presenter termed the “post-Federal” era: the current climate in which municipalities can no longer rely on federal monies but must instead secure philanthropic and corporate support to help resolve social and infrastructure problems. Green space, many speakers agreed, is a critical asset that cities may use to their benefit. Environmental lawyer Robert Kennedy gave the conference’s keynote. He contended
Paris is one of the world’s cultural capitals, but a key offering is missing from its menu: a state-of-the-art symphony hall. That’s about to change. Earlier this month Jean Nouvel was selected as the winner of an international competition to design the Philharmonie de Paris, a music complex that will be the future home of the Orchestre de Paris. Images courtesy: Ateliers Jean Nouvel Slated to open in 2012, the new complex will be located in the Parc de la Villette. In addition to providing a contemporary performance space, the Philharmonie de Paris will be the city’s first full-fledged professional
The Chicago Planning Commission unanimously approved the fourth, and perhaps final, iteration of Santiago Calatrava’s Chicago Spire yesterday afternoon. Designed for a 2.2-acre lakefront site—although its footprint will occupy barely half that amount—the seven-sided glass tower tapers and twists to point 2,000 feet above a public plaza below, making it the tallest building in North America.
Editor’s note: New this week, with the unveiling of the redesigned ArchRecord.com, you may read the news digest below—or listen to it, plus other news headlines from ArchRecord.com, as a podcast. Click the play button to begin | Click here to download Is Frank Gehry’s Manhattan debut a “minor mood piece” or a “milky hulk”? Take your pick of these less-than-flattering phrases to describe his IAC office building in Chelsea, which Newsday critic Justin Davidson reviewed on April 15. “Instead of being a marvelous mirage, it’s only an office building wrapped in a gimmick,” he wrote of the white-glass-clad structure.