The sun’s rays helped shape this Studio Gang-designed NYC tower

When designing a new office building located between Manhattan’s High Line Park and the Hudson River, Studio Gang wanted to protect the views between the park and the river and block as little sunlight as possible. The firm’s solution to this problem was to take on the sun as a freelance designer.

Expanding upon its “solar carving” design strategy, Studio Gang used incident angles of the sun’s rays to sculpt the Solar Carve Tower’s form. The result is a gem-like façade that allows light, fresh air, and river views to reach the park.

121 East 22nd Street will be the first OMA-designed residential building in NYC

The office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is about to see its very first residential building in New York City come to fruition with 121 East 22nd Street. The 18-story, 133-unit tower is being designed by partner Shohei Shigematsu and will be equipped with luxury amenities and a contemporary aesthetic.

Potential residents will be able to choose from units ranging from studio to five-bedrooms, each with white oak flooring, high ceilings, and textural finishes. Some residences will also have private outdoor space.

Understanding retro commissioning

One of the biggest criticisms of the LEED process is its claim that using it will help save on operating costs, while in fact, many projects don’t reach that goal. Of course, until a building is completed and systems begin to operate, the owner doesn’t know how much energy the building really uses. Once a building has some history, energy models can be modified to make better projections for the building’s energy consumption. But the owner may not get all the answers if adequate metering systems are not in place to measure the energy loads of the building.

Designing an inclusive, automated city

Seattle is booming—the city has more cranes than any other American city right now. At the same time, the city is dealing with a homeless crisis that is mirrored by other major US cities.

Entering 2017, architecture billings slip modestly

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dipped slightly into negative territory in January, after a very strong showing in December. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.5, down from a score of 55.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

New Orleans Airport to add five additional gates and $110 million to current expansion

The replacement and expansion project for the North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has just about reached the midway point in construction. Originally projected to have 30 terminals across 650,000 sf and cost $650,000,000, increased passenger demand has caused all of these numbers to inflate.

According to city officials, the project is adding an additional five gates for $110 million, bringing the total price tag up to about $917 million. The terminal now sits at an estimated 802,000 sf.

5-tower scheme revealed for Zhengzhou, China

A proposal from London-based architecture firm Tonkin Liu won a competition to design a new trade center in Zhengzhou, China. The project, titled the “Cradle Towers,” will comprise five towers of varying heights and rise from a shared retail and leisure podium.

Plans for WELL Building Standard include linkage with other green building standards

New CEO and Chairman of the International WELL Building Institute, Rick Fedrizzi, plans to continue global expansion of the WELL Building Standard with four new initiatives this year:

• The development of “crosswalks” between WELL and other green building rating systems, including Green Star, BREEAM, LEED, and the Living Building Challenge

Millennials: 3 ways to position yourself as an emerging design professional


 year ago, we Millennials (I’m 33) surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation, according to the Census Bureau. Millennials are poised to dominate the U.S. workforce. 

Now that you’re ready to take over the design industry, what’s your first step? You’re sick of detailing stairwells. Time after time, as you have sought greater responsibility and professional opportunity, you’ve been rebuffed with these frustrating words: “Thanks, but we’re really looking for someone with more experience.” But how do you get that experience?

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