Greenwich Village is a picturesque and predominantly residential community in Manhattan that is centered around Washington Square Park. Historically, it was a haven for artists, beatniks, musicians, and lots of students — it is the home of New York University (NYU).
Murrye is a freelance writer based in New York City. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Arkansas and is a LEED-accredited professional. Her work has been published in Architectural Record, Eco-Structure, and Architectural Lighting, among others. She also serves as a contributing editor for the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter publication, eOculus.
Those accustomed to architect Frank Gehry's signature swooping titanium forms might feel that the New World Symphony concert hall hits a low note; Walt Disney Concert Hall it is not. Instead, its boxy form and white stucco exterior reflect the traditional Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach. Located at Washington Avenue and 17th Street, just blocks from both the bustle of Lincoln Road and the beach, the $160 million building measures 100,641 sq. ft. and faces a new 2.5-acre urban park, situated on the site of a former parking lot. Looks can be deceptive; this stucco box contains a few surprises.
The answer to this question lies in economics. In a down economy, it would seem logical that the cost of materials would drop in response to a decline in projects, i.e., a lack of demand. However, global events impact construction costs in the United States, specifically the prices and availability of materials. We spoke with Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), to learn exactly what is driving construction costs and find out his predictions for the coming months.
Anyone who has glimpsed New Zealand’s picturesque beaches or the rolling green hills and mountainous terrain showcased in films like "The Lord of the Rings" can imagine why New Zealanders value their country’s natural beauty and enjoy spending time outdoors. Team New Zealand is competing in the 2011 Solar Decathlon and is comprised of Victoria University of Wellington students from the Schools of Architecture, Design, Marketing, Commerce, Tourism Management, and Building Sciences. Their entry is titled First Light because “New Zealand is the first place the morning light shines at the start of a new day,” and it conveys the students’ pride in their country to attendees on the National Mall in Washington, DC, all the way on the other side of the world. In fact, First Light is the Solar Decathlon’s first and only entry from the Southern Hemisphere.
Houses are stationary objects, so using terms like “passive” and “active” to describe them initially seems a little odd. These terms actually embody design strategies that create comfort for occupants while drastically cutting down on energy use.
CHIP Off a New Block
There are two facts about living in Los Angeles: real estate is expensive, and cars are beloved, if only out of necessity. A team of students from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) created CHIP, an affordable home that acknowledges both facts while saving energy. This 2011 Solar Decathlon entry employs conventional materials in unconventional ways, offering a new prototype for living in LA (and, yes, it protects your car, too).
Picture Miami: a palm-dotted, pastel tableau with a bikini-required dress code. Then forget everything you think you know about Florida’s famous resort destination. Landing a commission in Miami has become a badge of honor among world-class architects. In particular, downtown Miami and Miami Beach host a growing collection of significant buildings connected by lively public spaces. The city’s success lies in its ability to reinvent itself while preserving itself. We explore the evolution of Miami's architecture through historical and economical lenses, the perspectives of influential practitioners, and the scopes of past and current projects.
"Lightness" has several meanings, and the University of Tennessee’s 2011 Solar Decathlon entry, Living Light, exhibits them all. The design celebrates natural light, views, and ventilation, all within a compact footprint. The target audience for the home is young professionals working in the design or technology industries in Nashville. In other words, they appreciate all things high-tech but want a retreat at the end of the day. Living Light provides occupants with visual relief from the techni-cluttered world; energy-saving technologies are seamlessly integrated into the design.
Looking at INhome, short for "Indiana home," one wouldn’t assume that it is net zero or even necessarily green, if not for the solar panels mounted on its roof. It looks like a quintessential Midwestern home, and that is exactly what Purdue University students intended for their 2011 Solar Decathlon entry. Sarah Miller, the team’s Architecture and Design Manager, describes the look as “transitional style,” falling somewhere between modern and traditional. With an estimated cost of less than $250,000, INhome’s practical design will appeal not only to the Midwestern homebuyer, but also a national market.
There are few activities more American than watching baseball, but in Miami, extreme weather can put a damper on the beloved summer pastime. One way to ensure that the game goes on? Design a retractable roof system that allows for a variety of configurations. The new Florida Marlins ballpark, designed by Populous (formerly HOK Sport), will replace the Miami Orange Bowl, a landmark structure built in the 1930s in the Little Havana neighborhood near downtown Miami.