Architecture People & Places


Team Austria Wins Solar Decathlon 2013 - Irvine, California

The 2013 Solar Decathlon winner is the LISI house by Team Australia. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
With a total score of 951.922, the LISI house designed and built by Team Austria, has won the 2013 Solar Decathlon.
The prototype house is a timber-frame structure designed for transportability. Two patios extend the 639-square-foot (59-square-meter) home's living area. The larger of the two also incorporates an herb garden irrigated by a rainwater reservoir.
Floor plan drawing. Image: Team Austria
LISI's passive solar design incorporates a system of automated awnings and shades to maintain thermal comfort within the living space. A photovoltaic array supplies power to offset energy use.
Active systems include a two-unit air-water heat pump system that provides domestic hot water and heating and cooling with a multifunction air and water subfloor delivery system. Waste heat is also recovered from the home's shower and HVAC system.
Main interior living space. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
The  U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the biannual competition, which this year was held in Irvine, California, after more than a decade of competitions held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  

Entry ramp and cloth shades. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Exterior overview of LISI house. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Main patio with shades deployed. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Interior living space. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Bedroom. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Bathroom. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Patio. Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
Section drawing. Image: Team Austria

Section drawing. Image: Team Ausria

Stirling Prize Shortlist 2013

A new residence built in the remains of Astley Castle is one of the shortlisted projects. Photo: Brian Wood
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the project shortlist for the 2013 Stirling Prize. Named for British architect James Stirling, this year's prize will be awarded to one of the following six designs:

Photo: Daniel Hopkinson
Park Hill Phase 1, in Sheffield, England
by Hawkins\Brown with Studio Egret West

"Reinvention of the loved and loathed Grade II* listed 1960s housing estate. The structure of the building remained in place whilst key features were changed – interior layout, windows, security and much more.  It stands as a beacon for imaginative regeneration, quality mass housing and the bold reuse of a listed building."

Zaha Hadid in New York

Early design rendering of 520 West 28th Street, in New York City. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

London, England-based Zaha Hadid Architects has been commissioned to design a boutique condominium adjacent to the High Line at 520 West 28th Street in Chelsea just south of Hudson Yards. The 11-story residential development, owned by Related Companies, will be Hadid's first project in New York City.

The firm released an initial rendering of the project design, which shows an L-shaped and heavily glazed building sporting a subdued version of Hadid's fluid style, seeming to express a vertical stacking of large, split-level units.

And while views of the High Line are emphasized through the building's orientation and overall massing, the viewer is left with the sense that Hadid's building has little interest in engaging in a spatial dialog with the elevated park as other new structures, such as The Standard hotel and HL23 have.

Quoted in a firm press release, Pritzker Prize laureate Zaha Hadid explained the design thinking:

KPF in Madison, New Jersey

The Realogy Headquarters building, designed by KPF, is organized around a glazed, multistory atrium. Photo: Michael Moran

The new Madison, New Jersey headquarters for Realogy Holdings Corportaion, a real estate franchising company, is a warmly toned, welcoming building whose glass-dominated wings enclose a courtyard. Kohn Pedersen Fox designed the extensive reskinning of the suburban building, which was a Verizon call center in its past life with a minimally glazed, introverted facade.

Image: Bing Maps
Image: Google Maps

KPF's design strategy was to cut the central third out of the existing, essentially rectangular 225-square-foot (21,000-square-meter) original building, extending the two remaining pieces into long parallel wings running east-west. The resulting building has an increased area of 285,000 square feet (26,000 square meters).

KPF reskinned and renovated an outdated Verizon call center to create a new Class-A headquarters for Realogy, in Madison, New Jersey. Photo: Michael Moran

Scottish Design Awards

Schmidt Hammer Lassen designed a new library building for the University of Aberdeen campus in Aberdeen, Scotland. Photo: Adam Moerk

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS has announced 12 winners of its RIAS Awards for 2013. In addition to winners in its main awards section, as it continues to evolve the program, RIAS also announced three new sponsored topical subcategories for use of timber, for sustainability, and for resource efficiency.

The RIAS Awards 2013 winners are:

Photo:  Paul Zanre Photography
The Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Scotland
LDN Architects
Client: Greenock Arts Guild
"This building seems wholly appropriate for its superb waterside setting. It is elegantly contemporary in its materials and form, both open and welcoming.

Moshe Safdie in Los Angeles, California

The fourth phase of the Skirball Cultural Center, under construction in Los Angeles, California will open in October 2013. Image: Courtesy Skirball Cultural Center

Construction continues on the fourth and final phase of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California, set to open in October 2013. The thirty-year project has been masterplanned and designed by Moshe Safdie.

This phase of the development will feature two adjoining buildings – Herscher Hall and Guerin Pavilion – on the north side of the campus. These facilities will provide additional space for the Skirball's programming, including the addition of 40,000 square feet of classrooms, conference spaces, gardens, and a grand hall accommodating up to 1,200 guests. The 9,000-square-foot (840-square-meter) grand hall is daylit by nearly 100 custom skylights in a roof supported by Oregon Douglas Fir beams.

Interior rendering of the great hall and its window wall. Image: Courtesy Skirball Cultural Center

A large window-wall frames a view of the cascading terraced courtyard garden, which contains 30 Japanese maple trees. And the entrance plaza to the new building is accented with coral trees, enamel art panels, and a fountain.

The campus building palette comprises pink Tadoussac stone, recessed glazing, stainless steel roofs, vaulted ceilings, and discreet planted areas.

RIBA Awards 2013

The Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, in Edinburgh, Scotland was designed by Simpson and Brown. Photo: Chris Humphreys

From a beautifully-crafted chapel in the back garden of an Edinburgh townhouse to the yellow-roofed Ferrari Museum in Italy, and from a new 'green' flagship store in Cheshire, to a new visitors center at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, a total of 52 projects throughout the United Kingdom and European Union are winners of the 2013 RIBA National Awards.

Shiro Studio inherited the design of the yellow-roofed Ferrari Museum, in Modena, Italy following the death of Jan Kaplický. Photo: Studio Cento29

According to RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects), one third of this year's UK winners are education buildings. And fewer medium-scale projects won this year, although large- and small-scale projects are well represented. Many of the winners are publicly, charity, or foundation funded, with only one commercial office building in the mix.

A major renovation of the Park Hill estate housing complex was designed by Hawkins Brown & Studio Egret West. Photo: Daniel Hopkins

Foster + Partners in Munich, Germany

Norman Foster designed a two-story addition, and major renovation of the existing 19th-century core of the Lenbachhaus Museum, in Munich, Germany. Photo: Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

In Munich, Germany, the Lenbachhaus Museum has reopened with a major new golden addition, and extensive renovations designed by Foster + Partners. Originally built in 1891 as a studio and villa for the artist Franz von Lenbach, the Lenbachhaus Museum was gradually extended over the last century as its audience grew to some 280,000 annual visitors.

Section drawing. Image: BPR/ Foster+ Partners

To accommodate these growing numbers, the building's facilities and circulation have been significantly improved. A new building entrance was created and is served by a new piazza to the east of the museum. This move helped to reclaim the villa's courtyard garden as a place of contemplation, separate from the main circulation system.

Inside the atrium of the Lenbachhaus Museum. Photo: Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

The new social heart of the building is a dramatic top-lit atrium, with ticket and information desks, access to a new temporary exhibition space on the ground floor, and a grand, cantilevered stair leading to the upper level galleries. This large-volume space incorporates a portion of the original villa wall and is intended to accommodate large-scale works of art.

SFMOMA Addition Breaks Ground

Construction has begun on  an 11-story expansion to the SFMOMA building in San Francisco, California designed by Snøhetta. Image: Courtesy Snøhetta

Construction has begun on the new 235,000-square-foot (22,000-square-meter) expansion of SFMOMA in San Francisco, California. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the 11-story structure was designed by Snøhetta. Until the building's reopening, SFMOMA will be staging exhibitions and other events at locations througout

SmithGroup JJR in Salt Lake City, Utah

SmithGroup JJR designed the new LEED Platinum-targeting University of Utah College of Law building which is under construction in Salt Lake City, Utah. Image: ©VCBO/ SmithGroup JJR Architecture/ College of Law

Ground has broken on the S.J. Quinney College of Law building on the campus of the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. In addition to providing more typical facilities the 155,000-square-foot (14,400-square-meter) building will provide space needed by the college for hands-on training of lawyers including practice courtrooms, and a collaborative research facility, as well as facilities to support the school's tradition of providing pro bono services to the community.

With upper levels projecting beyond a double-height ground floor, the five-story building will feature a predominantly glazed facade, with vertical and horizontal shades to minimize heat gain. Opaque facade materials will include metal, concrete, stone, and an orange-colored panel system that helps to frame and visually unify the disparate glazed volumes of the building's several wings.

Rear overview of Quinney building. Image: ©VCBO/ SmithGroup JJR Architecture/ College of Law

Diederendirrix Architects in Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Caption. Photo: Arthur Bagen

A major reskinning and renovation project on the campus of Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, converted a derelict boiler plant into the inviting and energy-efficient home of the school's Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Once clad in brick, Boiler House Ceres now has a predominantly glazed curtain wall that connects the two-story building with the surrounding campus.

Diederendirrix Architects designed the transformation, which preserved the building's steel structure, central light monitor, and other industrial details including a large sliding door, even as the building's envelope and systems were substantially upgraded. The building is the 2013 recipient of the annual Royal Institute of Dutch Architects Building of the Year award.

The central light monitor now encloses a central atrium and circulation space. Photo: Arthur Bagen

Siegel & Strain Architects at UC Davis

The new Jesse S. Jackson Sustainable Winery in Davis, California, was designed by Siegel & Strain Architects. Photo: Courtesy Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers

The new Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building (JSWB) has opened on the campus of UC Davis, in Davis, California. The 8,500-square-foot industrial building is the result of a design-build collaboration between Siegel & Strain Architects and Pankow Builders. The JSWB will house teaching and research facilities for winery, brewery, and food-processing activities.

Thanks to a five-kilowatt photovoltaic array, which can be expanded to 30 kilowatts to support future increases in energy needs, the building is expected to operate at a "net-zero" energy level. This is achieved with a series of aggressively sustainable passive systems, including a tight, super-insulated building envelope, and substantial thermal mass, including a concrete slab, CMU stub walls, and a future rock bed, that supports a night-ventilation cooling strategy.

Interior of the JSWB. Photo: Courtesy Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers

AIA-ALA Library Design Awards

A new atrium and interior structure replaced the original book storage structure inside the north wing of the St. Louis Central Library, renovated by Cannon Design. Photo: © Timothy Hursley
A major renovation of Cass Gilbert's Central Library building (1912) in St. Louis, Missouri is one of six projects to receive a 2013 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. The transformation focused on modernizing the facility and improving public access. Cannon Design restored the library's  Great Hall and four surrounding wings, while at the same time significantly adapting a fifth wing and creating a new atrium.

This adaptation involved removing a cramped book storage structure and replacing it with new, more generously proportioned spaces that seem to float within the building's original envelope. Use of glass balustrades throughout this wing, and improvements to glazing on the north wall result in a light open and inviting space.

Ralph Rapson - Small House Competition Design

Rapson's second-place design for a 1950 NAHB competition. Image: Ralph Rapson

In 1950, the National Association of Home Builders held a nationwide housing competition for a small 1,000-square-foot house plan tailored to a particular region of the country. Amazingly, the competition drew some seven thousand entries, making it the largest competition in its day.

The rules permitted only one entry per person, but since I had worked out two designs, I decided to enter one in Mary's name. At the last moment. I flipped a coin to decide how to credit the designs.The entry submitted under my name received second national overall prize and first prize for homes designed for the southeast region.

RDH Architects near Mississauga, Ontario

The Lakeview Library is one of three remodeled by RDH Architects. Photo: Tom Arban

The Mississauga Library Project is an adaptive re-use strategy recently completed upgrades and additions to the Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park branch libraries, in Mississauga, Ontario. Toronto, Ontario-based RDH Architects Inc. designed the building renovations.

The three library projects date from between 1956 and 1967 and the three renovations were treated as one project, a strategy put forth by the client as a means to use public infrastructure stimulus funds in an efficient manner.

Overview of the Lakeview Library. Photo: RDH
Each of the libraries is situated in park settings. Lakeview and Lorne Park stand within established 1950's suburban neighborhoods, while Port Credit is situated adjacent to the Credit River along Lakeshore Road, the former commercial 'high' street of the old town of Port Credit.

Caption. Image: RDH Architects

The libraries are mid-century modern buildings with similar physical and aesthetic characteristics. As such, the new design for the buildings is based on the development of a single vocabulary of consistent parts, applied differently to each of the three libraries.

The result is the transformation of three tired modern facilities:  a complete gutting of the interiors, a re-cladding and expansion of all glazed areas, the refurbishment of exterior masonry, and the development of a canopy frame system and set of exterior terraces intended to change the building aesthetics.

Lorne Park Library. Photo: RDH

The existing exterior elevations of each library are composed as a basic rhythm of solid and void. The solid areas are predominantly masonry while the voids areas are glazed. This composition was respected and accentuated by increasing the amount of glazing in each void area, extending the glass from floor to ceiling and using a minimal detailing methodology.

The new steel frame canopy systems form an enclosing colonnade that incorporates the existing building volumes and engages with the park setting while providing infrastructure for building elements such as canopies, shading, lighting, and plants. Custom ceramic frit patterns reinforce the vertical rhythm of the colonnade.

Port Credit Library. Photo: Tom Arban

The buildings' new interiors emphasize openness and transparency. Where walls between public spaces are required, most are made of structural glass. Low shelves and an open plan design also contribute to a sense of interior spaciousness in these modest branch facilities.

Port Credit floor plan drawing. Image: RDH Architects

Project Details
  • Buildings:
    • Lakeview Library, 1110 Atwater Ave, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    • Port Credit Library, 20 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    • Lorne Park Library, 1474 Truscott Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Date of Occupancy: Jan. 2011
  • Construction Budget: $8,900 000.00
Glazed partition walls inside the Port Credit Library. Photo: Tom Arban
Project Credits
  • Architect: RDH Architects Inc.
  • Client: Mississauga Public Library
  • Landscape Architect: NAK Design
  • Structural Engineers: Halsall Associates Ltd.
  • Mechanical / Electrical Engineering: Jain Associates Ltd.
  • Civil Engineers: Valdor Engineering Inc.
  • Contractor: Brown Daniels Associates
Lorne Park Library floor plan drawing. Image: RDH Architects

Inside the Lakeview Library. Photo: Tom Arban

Inside the Lorne Park Library. Photo: Tom Arban

Inside the Port Credit Library. Photo: Tom Arban

AIA Housing Design Awards

Rooftop vegetable gardens are a part of the Via Verde affordable housing development, in Bronx, New York, designed by Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects. Photo:  David Sundberg/ Esto
The winners of the 2013 national AIA Housing design awards include four high-end private residential projects in Washington, California, Colorado, and Texas, an affordable housing project in Bronx, New York, and a 1,650-student housing development in Seattle, Washington.

Via Verde is a 222-unit affordable living development built on a former brownfield site in Bronx, New York. Designed by Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects, the project combines high-rise, mid-rise and townhouse residential structures unified by a common color scheme that includes bright red, orange, and yellow highlights.

BCJ designed the Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House, in San Francisco, California. Photo: Nic Lehoux

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson's contribution to the single-family housing category is the latest in a long line of thoughtfully modern luxury dwellings incorporating the firm's signature moves – copious glazing, a rigorous and logical timber structure, and living spaces that blend indoor and outdoor spaces. The Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House, located in San Francisco, California is a simple shed-roof structure sited among oaks on a sloping lot, surrounded by a generous deck, adjacent to a large swimming pool.

A complete list of the winners includes:

Photo: Will Austin
Eagle Ridge; Eastsound, Washington
by Gary Gladwish Architecture

Photo: Nic Lehoux
Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House; San Francisco
by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Photo: Steve Mundinger
House in the Mountains; Colorado

Photo: Patrick Wong
Lake View Residence; Austin, Texas
by Alterstudio Architecture LLP

Photo: David Sundberg/ Esto 
Via Verde - The Green Way; Bronx, New York
by Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
West Campus Housing - Phase I; Seattle

The jury comprised: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA, Dorgan Architecture & Planning; John Isch, AIA, RWA Architects, Inc.; R. Thomas Jones, AIA, California Polytechnic State University; Stephen Sharpe, Hon. AIA and Charles L. Travis, AIA, The Housing Studio, P.A.

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