Architecture People & Places


Pelli Clarke Pelli at UT in Austin

Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the new Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex at UT in Austin, Texas. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli

A two-building complex on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin is a new home for the school's computer science program. The 232,000-square-foot (21,600-square-meter) development has been named for Bill and Melinda Gates, while the northernmost of the two buildings is named for Michael Dell.

The two buildings are connected by a central atrium. Image: Pelli Clarke Pelli

Clad in bond-patterned Texas brick and cast limestone, the Gates Computer Science complex, designed by New Haven, Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, unifies the department's functions in a single place for the first time, with 60 faculty offices, and 40 more for visitors and technical staff. The building also accommodates up to 350 graduate students and boast about 20,000 square feet (1,860 square meters) of flexible lab space, as well as a 200-seat lecture hall, 10 seminar rooms, seven classrooms, eight conference rooms, and dozens of other seminar, discussion, and computer lab spaces.

The wood-clad center staircase is suspended from upper floors. Photo:

SmithGroupJJR in Lake View, Illinois

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for Advanced Care. Image: SmithGroupJJR

Ground has broken on a new outpatient facility for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, a three-story building in the Lake View area of Chicago, Illinois. SmithGroupJJR designed the building, which is the first of a planned two-phase development that will add 156,000 square feet (14,500 square meters) to the Advocate Illinois Masonic hospital.

The new building adds major new care facilities to the hospital, including six outpatient operating rooms, 18 prep and recovery rooms, two linear accelerators, 16 infusion bays, and a medical teaching area. Once completed, the Center for Advanced Care will also accommodate digestive health and cancer care services.

Its front facade will comprise a curving glass curtain wall supported by a metal backing structure. The structural frame continues past the wall at its end, marking the building's entrance, leading to a three-story atrium.

AIA Minnesota Design Awards

The Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, designed by HGA. Photo: Paul Crosby Photography

A serene mausoleum, a respectful addition to the American Swedish Institute, a new staff support facility for the shipping hub of the Dollar General store chain, and the conversion of a historic Chicago landmark by Target Stores were among the eight projects recognized by the AIA Minnesota Design Awards.

The roster of winners also comprised a colorful new main library for the city of McAllen, Texas and three diverse residential projects encompassing historic preservation, homage to a mid-Century master, and contemporary urban infill.

The ground floor of Louis Sullivan's Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store in Chicago, Illinois is now a Target department store. Photo: Scott Gilbertson

Ralph Rapson - In & Around Tehran

Azadi Tower, in Tehran, Iran, designed by Hossein Amanat, 1971

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
"A former Iranian graduate student of mine was a member of the Shah's inner circle. He had been given the commission to design a new arts college in Tehran and asked me to be his associate. I visited Iran several times, preparing preliminary designs for the project. The last trip happened shortly before the Shah fled into exile in 1979. 

"En route from the airport to the city center, my car would always pass an impressive modern monument to the Shah's accomplishments. But this was mostly window dressing as much of Tehran was not modernized. The capital I recall was a city of contrasts, a maze of beautiful gardens, heavily trafficked streets, low-quality housing, and covered bazaars loaded with fascinating goods: jewelry, rugs, fabrics.
A traditional small village in Iran with wind scoop towers used to passively cool buildings

Marlon Blackwell Architect in Springdale, Arkansas

The new St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, designed by Marlon Blackwell Architect. Photo: © Timothy Hursley

A former shop building has been transformed into a beautifully minimalist modern church building for a small Eastern Orthodox congregation in Springdale, Arkansas. The St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church was designed by Marlon Blackwell Architect of Fayetteville.

The building's new corrugated siding echoes its industrial origins, and its steel structure was largely preserved, but this is where the similarities end. A deceptively simple western front facade recalls Le Corbusier: a slightly off-center entrance with cantilevered awning, a church tower, and carefully arranged window openings at either corner.

Under the skylit tower, with vestibule (right) and sanctuary (left) in view. Photo: © Timothy Hursley

The glazing is tinted to hint at stained glass. The two corner windows are tinted blue and yellow respectively. And in the tower, narrow ribbons of red glass form a blazing Latin cross, marking the church. The tower is also a skylit lightwell that stands at the point where the slender vestibule–oriented at 90 degrees to the entry sidewalk–makes a right-angle turn on the center line of the 100-seat sanctuary.

Floor plan drawings. Image: Marlon Blackwell Architect

Ralph Rapson on Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater, near Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1934, 1938, 1948.

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
"While a student at Michigan, I traveled to Taliesin with two of my peers to meet the great Frank Lloyd Wright. The architect had started a fellowship program at Taliesin, where students worked and studied in the shadow of the master.  
"While I admired Wright's designs, his Spring Green, Wisconsin retreat seemed to me too somber and monastic. There wasn't the laughter, joy, and chaos that I was used to. 

Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1937 onward.

Renzo Piano - Harvard Art Museum Addition

The glass-roofed addition to the Harvard Art Museum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was designed by Renzo Piano. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The renovation and expansion of a 1927 Harvard Art Museum building at 32 Quincy Street continues in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Designed by Renzo Piano, the facility will bring three Harvard museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time.

Begun in June 2008, the project has included demolition of older additions to the 1927 building and extensive excavation to make room for the construction of additional galleries and other space–a total of 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters) in all.

Inside one of the studios of the new Harvard museum building. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

HOK in Istanbul, Turkey

Solar "trees" are part of the HOK masterplan for the Istanbul International Financial Center in Turkey. Image: HOK

Site work has begun on a new finance center complex in Istanbul, Turkey. Masterplanned by HOK, the Istanbul International Financial Center (IIFC) will occupy a 170-acre (69-hectare site) will also include two  high-rise office towers designed by the firm.

Located on a site between the Ataşehir and Ümraniye districts, HOK's masterplan divides the complex into four districts with cultural, commerce, governance, and civic functions.

Aerial view of IIFC plan. Image: HOK

Toyo Ito - Pritzker Prize

The Sendai Mediatheque, in Sendai, Japan, was designed by Toyo Ito. Photo: © Nacasa and Partners Inc.

Toyo Ito is the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The outspoken 71-year-old Japanese architect has designed a body of varied work, with each successive building seeming to share little stylistically in common with its predecessors.

Of these many buildings, in an ArchitectureWeek interview, Ito identified the Sendai Mediatheque, in Sendai, Japan, as a favorite:
"It changed the whole way I think about architecture and society. Before that project I didn't think society actually expected much from architects. My idea was that we didn't really have much of a social impact. But after that project, I actually watched what happened at the Mediatheque, and the people who used that space really enjoyed that building and it changed their behavior."
Toyo Ito. Photo: Courtesy Pritzker Foundation

British Columbia Wood Design Awards

The VanDusen Botnical Garden Visitor Center, in Vancouver, British Columbia, was designed by Perkins + Will. Photo: Courtesy Wood WORKS! BC
The Perkins + Will-designed VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was one of nine British Columbia projects recognized in the 2013 Wood Works BC Design Awards. The highlight of building's design is its curving roof.

Awarded for innovation in wood design, the prefabricated structure of the visitor center was assembled in 71 panels, each made of 100 uniquely curving glulam beams. FSC-certified Doug fir was used in the panels, along with insulation, electrical conduits, fire suppression plumbing, and acoustic materials.  Elsewhere in the building, FSC-certified wood, including that from on-site salvage and harvest activities, make up other elements of the building's structure and finish materials, including custom door handles.

At the building's entrance, the roof extends well beyond the curtain wall, forming a covered porch supported by three tapered, wood columns. Measuring 1,765 square meters (19,000 square feet) in area, the building accommodates a cafe, library, volunteer facilities, garden shop, offices, and flexible spaces used as classroom or rental event space.

LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certifications are anticipated.

Queen of Peace Monastery, in Squamish Valley, by Aka Architecure. Photo: Courtesy Wood WORKS! BC

BNIM - Kansas City Ballet

The Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity was adapted from a former power plant by BNIM. Photo: © Farshid Assassi
BNIM adapted a 1904 Power House building in Kansas City, Missouri to create the new Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. The original  structure of the 52,000-square-foot brick-clad building was preserved, with new partitions and volumes dividing its generous interior.

Section drawing looking west. Image: BNIM

Brooks + Scarpa - Solar High School in Los Angeles

The Amino Leadership High School, in Los Angeles, California, designed by Brooks + Scarpa. Photo: John Linden

Los Angeles, California-based firm Brooks + Scarpa designed a new 500-student high school building for a difficult neighborhood in the Lennox area of south Los Angeles, California. In a prominent display of sustainability, the south-facing main facade of the Animo Leadership High School (also known as the Green Dot Animo Leadership High School) is shaded by a vertically oriented photovoltaic array, similar to the firm's earlier Colorado Court housing project.

Located directly under the LAX flight path and near the busy I-105 freeway, the 53,500-square-foot (4,970-square-meter) building occupies a modest site at the southern end of a long rectangular block. Because outdoor space is at a premium, significant portions of the school's ground level, including an entry court and wide central hallway, are open.

The courtyard and concrete bleachers beyond. Photo: John Linden

Ralph Rapson & Palladio in Vicenza

Villa Capra, also known as Villa Rotunda, in Vicenza, Italy, designed by Andrea Palladio, 1566 to 1571.

Watercolor sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
"Italy followed Greece on a ten-week University of Minnesota study tour I led in 1976. 

VJAA Addition to Breuer's Abbey

The Petters Pavilion (foreground) is a new entry pavilion, designed by VJAA, that provides an accessible entrance to the St. John's Abbey church in Collegeville, Minnesota . Photo: Paul Crosby

VJAA designed a renovation and addition for Marcel Breuer's Brutalist St. John's Abbey (1961) church in Collegeville, Minnesota. The project adapted an existing office space attached to the main church, converting it to use as a sacramental chapel for devotional prayer and added an accessible entry pavilion along side the chapel.

Inside the sacramental chapel. Photo: Peter Seiger

The project also included renovation of the adjacent Chapter House which is connected to Breuer's church via enclosed ramp. A new glazed ramp extends from the entry pavilion, intersecting with the existing Chapter House ramp and providing a unified entry to the church, chapel, and chapter house.

The new ramp from the pavilion connects to an existing ramp and leads into. Photo: Paul Crosby

Dream of a Science Pope

Image: Kevin Siers / Charlotte Observer

I am dreaming that the assembled cardinals will decide to go with a billion Catholics boldly into the future, choosing to revitalize their church by selecting a visionary Pope for a new millennium.

A Pope for the 21st century. The first of the Science Popes.

Once in office, this new Pope would dramatically reverse several hundred years of futile intellectual warfare against science, and instead, fully embrace it. Liturgy would be understood as rich cultural metaphor with the deepest kind of historical roots and most powerful psychological/historical significance.

Leo A. Daly - High School in Los Angeles

The new South Region High School Number Nine building for the Los Angeles Unified School district, located in South Gate, California, was designed by Leo A Daly. Photo: Leo A Daly/Lawrence Anderson Photography

The Los Angeles Unified School District South Region High School Number 9 (LAUSD No. 9) has opened in South Gate, California. The Los Angeles offices of Omaha, Nebraska-based Leo A Daly designed the 107-000-square-foot (9,940-square-meter) school, which prominently displays irregularly shaped open-air steel canopies and angular glazed entrances against a backdrop of more staid two-story buildings with CMU block walls.

Inside the administration building. Photo: Leo A Daly/Lawrence Anderson Photography

The campus comprises a series of three learning clusters, as well as separate buildings housing gymnasium, performing arts, administration, and maintenance and operation functions. The firm organized these buildings around a central hardscaped courtyard.

The central courtyard. Photo: Leo A Daly/Lawrence Anderson Photography

Light blue steel canopies shelter open-air staircases and courtyard pavilions from direct sun. According to the firm, the distinct arrangement of the campus buildings is intended to create a primary path whose shape echoes that of the nearby Los Angeles River.

RIBA Video Highlights 2012 Olympics Architecture

Prior to a reversal in late January 2013, the designers of the buildings and venues of the 2012 London Olympics were prohibited from promoting their work. Photo: Populous/ Courtesy London 2012

Following the lifting of a promotion ban imposed on the architects who designed the buildings of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London, England, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released a short video highlighting a few of the Olympic projects, featuring commentary from the designers.

Video: Courtesy RIBA

In July 2012, ArchitectureWeek published an overview of the venues of the 2012 London Olympics. The long-lasting ban also sparked a campaign called 'drop the ban' and led by Peter Murray, which used a variety of tactics to draw attention to the issue.

CZWG - Vermillion Housing in London

CZWG designed the recently completed Vermillion development, the first phase in the Rathbone Market development in the Canning Town area of London, England. Photo: © Tim Crocker
A 21-story residential tower anchors the western end of the recently completed Vermillion mixed-use residential complex, the first in a three-phase development of a 1.56-hectare (4.8-acre) lot in the historic Rathbone Market area of eastern London, England. CZWG designed the 271-unit development, which includes a mix of residential types including affordable and market-rate units for rent and for sale. The project received funding from the Homesa nd Communities Agency.

The other building elements comprising Vermillion include a smaller 13-story eastern tower, and three other low-rise structures that, connect the towers and form a wide south-facing U-shaped enclosure that shelters an "eco-garden" courtyard.

The buildings of the Vermillion phase are organized around a second-floor courtyard. Photo: © Tim Crocker

The fourth side of the courtyard, adjacent to an elevated roadway, is enclosed by a vertical-garden wall. A large pond in the courtyard, and three other fountains, are supplied by a rainwater collection system throughout the site.

Second-level floor-plan drawing. ImageCZWG

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