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Integrated Energy Systems: This Building and Car Create a Symbiotic Relationship to Leave the Electric Grid Behind

Line Shape Space Ι Jan. 21, 2016  They’re the twin pillars of the American dream and the current climate predicament: the single family detached house and the automobile—the convenience, freedom, and independence enabled by inefficient and finite fossil fuels. As such, much of the urban-planning and architecture industries are focused on ways to radically subvert this inherited infrastructural wisdom. So what if the
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Is This the Suburban House 2.0?

CityLab Ι Jan. 19, 2016 In the rarefied air of architecture biennials, like the one that just wrapped up in Chicago, suburban architecture is less than an oxymoron—it basically doesn’t exist. When talented building designers gather, they don’t spend much time thinking about the predominant way Western nations house their citizenry. It’s easy to blame suburbanites’ conservative tastes on this lack of engagement from d
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Alejandro Aravena Awarded Pritzker Prize

Jan. 15, 2016 Ι Metropolis  With this year’s Pritzker Prize awarded to Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, 2016 will be remembered as the year architecture’s most eminent institutions rallied around a vision of architecture as a social, ameliorative practice. Aravena, 48, has centered his practice around a string of clever social-housing projects set in developing-world nations. He’s bringing that expertise to the 2
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How a Defensive Moat Became a Top Tourist Attraction

CityLab Ι Jan. 5, 2016  For 100 years, the moat surrounding Fort bij Vechten in the Dutch province of Utrecht was used to deter and repel attackers. Today it draws people to a cultural space that celebrates wild feats of landscape engineering; recasts the role of water with technocratic precision; and reuses military infrastructure as a progressive nature preserve. In other words, it’s as Dutch as you can get—the lan
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A Seawall That Proves Strong Infrastructure Can Be Pretty, Too

CityLab Ι Dec. 9, 2015  In the alternately dour and idealistic world of water infrastructure, there are some pretty clearly delineated Good Guys and Bad Guys. The Bad Guys are everywhere: gray concrete culverts, drainage pipes, and seawalls that use brute force to shove water out of sight and away from settlements and homes, often exacerbating flooding in places just past the barrier. The Good Guys are a much rarer s
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Deep Cut

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι Nov. 2015  Palmisano Park in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood is as a theme park ride of ancestral Chicago landforms, landscapes, and industrial histories. In one corner, wetlands that once surrounded its lakeshore. In another corner, prairie that extended for hundreds of miles in all directions. Then there’s a rock wall 25 feet high left over from 130 years of dynamite blasting, wh
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After Decades of Withdrawals, Stony Island Arts Bank Makes a Deposit

AIA Architect Ι Nov. 13, 2015 Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Arts Bank is getting top billing at this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, highlighted as one of the event’s main venues. Amid this wild omnidirectional survey of contemporary architecture, the community arts center designed by Gates and managed by his nonprofit Rebuild Foundation might seem like an odd fit. Elsewhere at the biennial, there’s a floating c
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LEED for the Electricity Industry? New PEER Rating System Measures Sustainability for Power Grids

Line/Shape/Space Ι Nov. 9, 2015 Since it launched in 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building rating system has created the market for green buildings, with more than 13.8 billion square feet of building space now LEED certified. With LEED as guidance, architects and their clients reduce their buildings’ impact on the environment by implementing such strategies as connecting their projects
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Building with Light and Shadow: An Interview with Barbara Kasten

AIA Architect Ι Oct. 30, 2015  Good art, and architecture, can look into the future. There’s French Surrealist Yves Tanguy’s paintings, which would be dead ringers for early computer animation had they not been painted in 1945. There’s the seminal 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower competition, which produced designs that could settle into any contemporary skyline. And there’s pioneering photography artist Barbara Kasten, wh
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A New National Public Housing Museum Begins in the Gap Between “House” and “Housing”

Architectural Record Ι Oct. 27, 2015  For its first home, the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago fittingly chose a local public housing architect—not a globetrotting museum designer. After funding is secured, Landon Bone Baker Architects (LBBA) will adaptively reuse the last standing Jane Addams Home—one of the first public housing projects built in the city, named after a Progressive-era reformer—for the fled
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