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Smiley N. Pool
Let’s celebrate some of the highlights and lament the misfires.

Here’s a look at big moments in architecture as we celebrate the highs, lows and uh-ohs of the departing decade in Dallas culture, 2010-2019.

Growing pains in the Arts District

It’s easy to take the Arts District for granted — easy, because even after a decade of building it still has a tendency to feel, well, kind of dead. It’s not for a shortage of big-name architects. Additions to the district over the last 10 years have included Norman Foster’s AT&T Performing Arts Center, OMA’s Wyly Theatre, SOM’s Moody Performance Hall, and Allied Works’ expansion of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A bevy of less-impressive towers are filling in around these signature projects, with the ill-conceived Museum Tower being the most notorious. While all this building has gone on, a master plan for the district has sat on a shelf, waiting for implementation. Most cities, one should note, make the urban plan, and then allow for the building. Here, we do it in reverse and pay the price, which is empty streets. Still, we have some really nice buildings, and with the new development, there is potential for new life.

The decade’s best new buildings in Dallas

Rather than a single champion, we spread the accolades among a group of projects that collectively make Dallas a better place: Test Pavilion at the Dallas Arboretum (Buchanan Architecture), the St. Michael and All Angels Columbarium (Max Levy), the Temple Emanu-El expansion (Cunningham Architects), College Park Pavilion (Snøhetta), the Cottages at Hickory Crossing (BC Workshop), Webb Chapel Park Pavilion (Cooper Joseph Studio), the Wyly Theatre (OMA), the Booker T. Washington expansion (Allied Works), the Warehouse (Droese Raney), Pacific Plaza Pavilion (HKS), the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at the Greenhill School (Weiss/Manfredi), the Science Building at the Lamplighter School (Marlon Blackwell), Bullion Restaurant (Gensler), 1217 Main St. (5G Studio), Rolex Building (Kengo Kuma), and Fire Station 27 (Perkins & Will).

Signature spans

In a fit of skyline-altering extravagance that we will probably never see again, Dallas managed to open not one but two bridges designed by Spanish shape-wizard Santiago Calatrava, each named for a beloved matriarch named Margaret. Like most everything built by Calatrava, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge were massively expensive, dogged by construction problems, needlessly grandiose, uniformly white and — arguably — beautiful. At least, with the former, there was a purpose in the ostentation: the creation of a signal gateway to West Dallas, which has rapidly gentrified since the bridge’s inauguration. Of course, despite the big price tag, the bridge made no accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists, a fact only partially ameliorated by the transformation of the erstwhile Continental Avenue Bridge into a car-free elevated park. Call that a victory.

The fall of sprawl’s thrall?

Yes, the cookie-cutter developments continued to sprout in the hinterlands, but the younger set returned to the city, and even those who remained out in the burbs clamored for reform. In Plano, in McKinney, in Frisco, and points beyond, suburban centers began emphasizing walkability and rail connection to the city, even as they remained principally automotive in nature. (They also became a lot more diverse.) Even Jerry Jones, always with a keen eye for opportunity, noticed the trend, the result being his own mini-city devoted to football: the Star, an antiseptic paradise for Cowboys fans.

The eternal quest for a Fair Park plan

Did you have a plan to save Fair Park? It seemed like everyone did during the 2010s. There were plans, and then more plans, and more plans after that. Every year, we heard lamentations about the state of affairs at the city’s crown jewel — too much concrete, no connection with the neighbors, underuse, decaying landmarks, flooding — and every year there was another plan to save the place that went exactly nowhere. It looked like we might just get through the entire decade with zero progress until, late in 2018, the city finally — finally — signed a 20-year deal with a private management firm with a solid history of running parks. Will this be the answer? The problems are still real, but there’s hope. And a $15 million
Trent Bell
In Englishman Bay, where his relatives have summered since the 19th century, a musician builds an idyllic hideaway for his family and their three parrots.

"When I was growing up, we went to a little log cabin in Maine," says a musician now based in Colorado. "It sounds romantic, but it really was three boys stuck in a one-room cabin with a loft. Maine can be rainy, foggy, and dreary. We’d go a little stir crazy." Like many childhood summers, his was a mix of boredom and adventure. Part of the romance was his family’s deep roots in the isolated area of Englishman Bay, a two-hour drive east of the bustling seaside community of Bar Harbor. His father had been born in the cabin, and relatives had been summering in the region since the 1880s. And, on sunny days, Maine was fun. He and his brothers played in the woods and clambered over the rocks by the ocean. All the same, he and his brothers were ready to go home at summer’s end.

Englishman Bay Retreat resides on a plot of land next door to the homeowner’s parents’ property; he remembers traversing it as a child to get to the pebbled beach. Clad in hardy local hemlock and raised on galvanized steel piers with board-formed concrete wrapping the ground floor’s mechanical systems, the residence is designed to endure through the ages.

Now he, his wife, and their two daughters still visit Englishman Bay, but their vacation home is decidedly more stylish. In late 2015, they asked Whitten Architects and Nate Holyoke Builders (in Portland and Holden, respectively) for a durable, minimalist home, simultaneously rustic and Scandinavian, that would sit lightly on the land and make use of local materials whenever possible. (They knew Whitten and Holyoke’s work because the team had built a nearby Norwegian-inspired home for the musician’s cousin.) Principal architect Russ Tyson translated the family’s request into a striking, partially transparent house with simple geometries. The U-shaped dwelling comprises three primary forms: a three-story entry tower with a roof deck, a rectangular bedroom wing, and a dramatic, three-season glassed-in porch—organized around a double-sided concrete chimney—that serves as a great room.

Alabama DOT
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has selected 20 projects—for highway, bridge, port and rail improvements—to share $856 million in the latest round of its highly competitive INFRA grant program.

The department picked the winners for this year’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America funding from a wide field. Announcing the 2019 selections on July 25 at DOT headquarters, Secretary Elaine Chao said that almost 200 applications were submitted, seeking a total of $9.8 billion.

The largest awards, $125 million, went to Alabama DOT to help finance construction of a new bridge for Interstate 10 over the Mobile River channel; and to Maryland DOT to increase the vertical clearance of the Howard Street rail tunnel in Baltimore, to permit more double-stack freight rail cars to pass through.

Those two were among 10 winners in the large-project classification, with a minimum project size in most states of $100 million and grants of at least $25 million.

Another 10 projects were selected in the small-project competition, receiving awards of $5 million or more. The largest small-project grant was $13.1 million to the South Dakota DOT, for a bridge replacement over the Missouri River in Pierre.

The grant program was established in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST Act. In fact, the Obama administration, which was in office when the FAST Act was signed, dubbed the program FASTLANE grants, for the first awards, announced in 2016. That stood for a mouthful of a title: Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies

When the Trump administration took office, it renamed the program INFRA. It also altered some of the selection criteria and has put more emphasis on projects in rural areas. The FAST Act mandated that at least 25% of the program’s annual award dollars go to rural projects but the Trump administration has gone far above that.

Chao noted that 54% of the dollars in the latest batch of INFRA grants went to projects in rural areas, a 10 percentage point increase over the 2018 round’s rural share.

Supplement to Core Funding

State DOTs scored big in this year’s INFRA competition, winning eight of the 10 large-project grants and three of the 10 small-project grants.

Joung Lee, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials director of policy, said in an interview that states see INFRA grants as a supplement to the core highway funding, which accounts for more than 90% of total federal highway dollars and is distributed to states by formula.

Nevertheless, INFRA is a desirable supplement. Lee, who attended the DOT event, says, "Given the [transportation infrastructure] investment backlog, you're going to look at anything that could be a possibility to help."

He notes that discretionary grant programs sometimes can make funding available and get projects underway more quickly than with formula funding—“if you’re able to win the award.”

The selections for the INFRA grants technically were DOT proposals. Congress has 60 days to reject any of DOT’s choices for the grants; otherwise they become final after that point.

Although DOT made its announcement on July 25, senators and House members from the winning states or congressional districts released the news about their home-state projects several days earlier, after DOT had notified them of their decision.

GAO Report

The latest INFRA awards were announced a week after the Government Accountability Office released a report that found DOT’s review process for the grants “lacked consistency and transparency related to following up with applicants and evaluating applications.”

Specifically, GAO said DOT found that 97 applications lacked sufficient information for the department to determine whether a project was eligible for INFRA. The report said DOT asked 42 of those applicants for more information. But it added, “DOT did not sufficiently document why it followed up with certain applicants over others.”

In addition, GAO stated that DOT evaluated applications using “merit criteria’" such as promoting economic vitality, giving each project a score.

But the report said DOT staff forwarded to Chao information on all 165 projects that were statutorialy eligible for a po
The Imperial War Museum has a new archive in Cambridgeshire, England, called the IWM Paper Store, which is the most airtight building in the world.

The IWM Paper Store in Duxford was designed by sustainability specialist Architype to hold the museum's most sensitive collections and records.

Wrapped in a weathering-steel facade, the 1,238-square-metre facility preserves artworks, photographs, letters and diaries documenting warfare since 1914.

The building is designed to passivhaus standards, so it has an extremely low ecological footprint.

Passive building technologies – ensuring the building uses almost no energy for heating or cooling – help it achieve its high environmental standards. These technologies help to preserve the building's sensitive contents while also reducing its running costs.

The archive's simple box-like form is designed to look modern, while complementing the colour of the bricks of the existing buildings on the airfield site, many of which date from the first world war.

Its facade is made from full-height weathering-steel panels, with a single panel representing each year since 1914, when the Imperial War Museum's collection begins.

Perforations in the panels denote the volume and quantity of material in the collection from each year.

This creates a broad visual timeline, with the panels representing years with high levels of conflict much more heavily perforated than those of relative peace.

Architype chose the material as it aligns with the building's programme as an archive to record conflict.

"Weathered steel hardens and gets stronger with time, a concept that is congruent with an archive which likewise gets stronger with time through continued collection," explained Jessica Taylor head of business development at the studio.
David Butler
Marmalade Lane, the first cohousing development in Cambridge, has recently been completed in Orchard Park and serves as a promising solution to the critical undersupply of houses in the market. Cambridge-based architectural firm Mole Architects designed the development that comprises 42 contemporary homes with shared facilities and garden space for a mixed and integenerational resident group. Billed as a “sustainable neighborhood,” the cohousing community was designed in accordance to passive design principles and with the Trivselhus’ Climate Shield prefabricated timber frame panel system for superior thermal efficiency and airtightness.

Marmalade Lane’s 42 homes include a mix of two- to five-bedroom terraced houses as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments. Designed to foster a community spirit and sustainable living, the development has shared public spaces for growing food, playing, socializing and quiet contemplation. The residents— members of K1 Cohousing who have a stake in the common areas and contribute to community management— also have access to a flexible “common house” that serves as the community’s social heart and houses a play room, guest bedrooms, laundry facilities, meeting rooms and a large hall and kitchen for shared meals and parties. A separate workshop and gym are also onsite.

“As a custom-build development, each K1 Cohousing household selected one of five ‘shell’ house or flat types which they then configured through the floor-by-floor selection of floorplans, kitchen and bathroom fittings, and one of four external brick specifications,” according to the press release. “Wide and narrow house and ‘paired’ flat shells share a 7.8m-deep plan, allowing them to be distributed in any sequence along a terrace. Homes have been tailored to individual requirements without the risks or complexity of self-build, while balancing personalisation with the harmony of a visually cohesive architectural style based on repeating wall and window proportions, porches and balconies.”

For energy efficiency and flexibility in floorplan configuration, the brick-clad cohousing structures are built with Trivselhus’ Climate Shield closed panel timber frame system that was prefabricated in southern Sweden. The triple-glazed composite aluminum and timber windows along with electrical ducting were also factory-fitted so that a single house can be quickly assembled on site in just two days. Each home is also equipped with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery as well as air source-heat pumps.

Cloe Poisson
In southwest Connecticut, the gap between rich and poor is wider than anywhere else in the country. Invisible walls created by local zoning boards and the state government block affordable housing and, by extension, the people who need it.

A dirt field overgrown with weeds is the incongruous entrance to one of America’s wealthiest towns, a short walk to a Rodeo Drive-like stretch replete with upscale stores such as Tiffany & Co.

But this sad patch of land is also the physical manifestation of a broader turf war over what type of housing — and ultimately what type of people — to allow within Westport’s borders.

It started when a developer known for building large luxury homes envisioned something different back in 2014 for the 2.2 acre property: a mix of single- and multifamily housing that would accommodate up to 12 families. A higher density project is more cost efficient, he said, and would allow him to sell the units for less than the typical Westport home.

But the site was zoned to hold no more than four single-family houses, so he needed approval from a reluctant Westport Planning and Zoning Commission, which denied his plan. Residents erupted in fury each time he made a scaled-back proposal, and it took the developer four years after purchasing the property to win approval to build two duplexes and five single-family homes.

“You are selling out Westport,” one resident yelled out as the final plan came up for a commission vote last spring. Other residents picketed commission meetings with signs reading “Zoning is a Promise.”

The commission’s discussion was couched in what some would regard as code words and never directly addressed race or income. Chip Stephens, a Republican planning and zoning commissioner, voted against the plan, declaring, “To me, it’s too much density. It’s putting too much in a little area. To me, this is ghettoizing Westport.”

Now under construction, these two-bedroom duplexes and single-family homes have a price tag of $1.2 million, the going rate for a home in this swanky village just outside Bridgeport and Norwalk.

“We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get this through. Would I do this all over again? No. Probably not,” said the developer, Johnny Schwartz, of Able Construction.

Welcome to Connecticut, a state with more separate — and unequal — housing than nearly everywhere else in the country.

This separation is by design.

Westport is only one example of a wealthy Connecticut suburb that has surrounded itself with invisible walls to block affordable housing and, by extension, the people who need it.

In a liberal state that has provided billions in taxpayer money to create more affordable housing, decisions at local zoning boards, the Connecticut Capitol and state agencies have thwarted court rulings and laws intended to remedy housing segregation. As far back as data has been kept, Connecticut’s low-income housing has been concentrated in poor cities and towns, an imbalance that has not budged over the last three decades.

Many zoning boards rely on their finely tuned regulations to keep housing segregation firmly in place. They point to frail public infrastructure, clogged streets, a lack of sidewalks and concerns of overcrowding that would damage what’s often referred to as “neighborhood character.”
National Transportation Safety Board
On the morning of last year’s Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse, when the engineer of record assured project team members that there were no safety risks related to cracks propagating across a part of the unusual single-truss structure, other project team members voiced mild concern, but no alarm. In hindsight, considering that the bridge had no inherent structural redundancy as it sat, incomplete, straddling a busy highway—and would suffer a sudden, catastrophic and deadly collapse just hours later—the team’s lack of urgency remains puzzling, say engineering experts contacted by ENR for comment.

Minutes of the meeting in the contractor’s field office recently released by the Florida Dept. of Transportation show that attendees offered modest suggestions and questions to FIGG Bridge Engineers.

Bolton Perez & Associates, the project’s construction engineering and inspection contractor, asked, “Do we need temporary shoring?,” for instance. FIGG officials responded that it was not necessary. Instead, the minutes show that FIGG staff suggested that steel channels and post-tension bars would “capture some of that force which is better than vertical support. The diagonal member is what needs to be captured.” To the suggestion that another engineer should peer review the bridge’s cracks, FIGG concurred.

An official with FIU asked a representative with Bolton Perez their opinion of FIGG’s presentation analysis. Bolton, Perez said they could not comment at the moment, but would “expedite” a response in 2-3 days, according to the notes.

An FDOT representative asked FIGG to supply a copy of the presentation for the agency’s records.

Engineers asked by ENR to review the meeting presentation and minutes for this story don’t believe that it shows exactly what errors or mistakes precipitated the sudden collapse.

Designed with a single central, open truss, the pedestrian bridge structure featured a narrower top chord. The top chord was to serve as a canopy over the wider bottom chord, which would be the walking surface. Cables from a 109-ft-high central pylon, not yet built at the time of the collapse, would add stability, according to the design-build proposal. The concrete deck was designed with two-way post-tensioning tendons.

At the time of the collapse, contractors were apparently adjusting a tension rod in one of the diagonal struts between the chords at one end of the bridge. It is possible that the project’s prime contractor, MCM, and its post-tensioning subcontractor, in attempting to fix the problems, made an error that caused the bridge’s single truss to crack and give way. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, crews reportedly had been re-tensioning diagonal member 11 at the time of the collapse. Lacking redundancy, the truss failed at that end and fell to the ground, smashing autos and claiming six lives.

Just days before the meeting, the truss structure cast alongside the road was loaded onto its permanent supports and inspections showed no distressed members. But two days before the collapse, MCM emailed FIGG about cracks. FIGG responded by instructing MCM to install temporary shims in the base of a pylon directly below the portion of the bridge with the cracks, between the permanent support shims.

Then, on March 15, 2018, engineers, contractors, consultants, state DOT representatives and officials with FIU, the project owner, gathered to hear why the bridge designer thought cracks were occurring around part of the structure’s walking surface. The section in question was the bottom chord of the concrete truss comprising the bridge, at one of the diagonal web members at the structure’s north end.

Meeting notes indicate that it was known that cracks were “growing daily.”

Despite that, FIGG Bridge Engineers assured project team members that they saw “no safety concern” due to the cracking. According to the meeting notes, FIGG’s lead technical designer Denney Pate—who led the presentation, according to FIU—and bridge engineer Eddy Leon were on site for the presentation. Dwight Dempsey, FIGG’s design manager, joined by phone.

Team members in attendance probably held Pate’s opinion in high regard that morning. FIGG-MCM’s design-build proposal lists numerous accolades for Pate in support of its description of him as
SHoP Architects
New York City has just welcomed yet another gem to its growing number of waterfront parks — Pier 35, the long-awaited East River Waterfront project designed by Manhattan-based firm SHoP Architects in partnership with Ken Smith Workshop. Built to anchor the north side of the East River esplanade, Pier 35 consists of a new eco-park that not only offers a passive recreational space for the local community but also an innovative habitat restoration section, called Mussel Beach, that will encourage the growth of water-filtering mussels. The park also features a massive folded wall of mesh metal that will be covered in climbing vines to create a “green” billboard visible from afar.

Opened this month, the 28,000-square-foot park stretches two miles along the waterfront between the Battery Maritime Building and Montgomery Street in the Lower East Side. Created in collaboration with the local community, Pier 35 revitalizes an often-overlooked section of the East River esplanade with a landscaped lawn and dunes; a raised porch with custom swings overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges; and an inclined, folded green screen that rises to 35 feet in height and over 300 feet in length and will be overlaid with vines. Built of metal and weathered steel wall panels as a nod to the East River’s industrial history, the screen wall was installed to hide views of the adjacent Sanitation Department shed at Pier 36.

Thanks to a grant from the New York Department of State’s Division of Coastal Resources, Pier 35 also features Mussel Beach, an ecological prototype that mimics the historic East River shoreline and creates an inclined space that not only offers visitors a close look at the daily rising and falling of the tides but also a specially designed habitat for mussels, which naturally filter and clean the water.

“As we work toward finalizing community-led resiliency plans along the East River, I am thrilled to see active open space come online at Pier 35,” said councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “Along with ecological projects, this section of the waterfront is a much-needed amenity what will someday be part of a continuous and protective esplanade along Manhattan’s East Side. We’ll be improving our coastline in the years ahead and much of it will be inaccessible during renovation, so the community needs as much alternative open space as it can get. I thank my colleagues in government that championed this project.”

VA and MIR
The world’s longest single-mast, asymmetric cable-stayed bridge has broken ground in northern Taiwan. Not only engineered for minimal visual impact, the bridge is also designed to host a wide range of transit options. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the world record-breaking Danjiang Bridge will span approximately 3,000 feet across the mouth of the Tamsui River. The structure’s single-mast design is also meant to minimize site impact to the riverbed as part of an effort to protect the estuary’s ecosystem and nature reserve.

Supported by a single 656-foot-tall concrete pylon, the Danjiang Bridge will connect Bali district and Tamsui district in New Taipei City while improving accessibility between Taipei and Taoyuan International Airport, and will also help reduce traffic in the area by an estimated 30 percent. Along with Sinotech Engineering Consultants and Leonhardt, Andrä and Partner Beratende Ingenieure, Zaha Hadid Architects was approached to design the project after winning an international design competition in 2015 with their proposal for a sleek and minimalist bridge. The proposed bridge includes dedicated lanes for high-occupancy vehicles, motorized vehicles, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians. Bicycle racks and benches will also be installed at intervals across the bridge.

Since the estuary has long drawn locals and tourists alike who flock to the coast every day to watch the sun setting over the Taiwan Strait, it was imperative that the slender bridge minimize its visual impact so as not to obstruct views from popular viewing points along the river bank. The bridge is also designed to minimize environmental impact and to accommodate a potential future expansion of the Danhai Light Rail network across the Tamsui River.

The Danjiang Bridge has a construction schedule of 68 months and a budget of NT $12.49 billion (U.S. $405.2 million). The project is slated to open in 2024.

Office of Governor Pete Ricketts
And Waters Keep On Rising

Midwestern floodwaters have topped or breached multiple levees, damaged bridges and roads, destroyed one dam and damaged another and inundated at least 42 wastewater treatment plants as historic flooding continues to hit Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. At least two people are reported dead.

Nine levees in total have been breached on both sides of the Missouri River, and “additional breaches are possible,” says Mike Glasch, deputy director of public affairs for the Army Corps’ Omaha District. “We are continuing to work with state and local agencies to monitor the levees,” he adds.

The Missouri River should crest within 24 hours between Omaha and Nebraska City and reach peak flows farther south later in the week, Glasch says. But those water levels will depend upon the weather, he adds, with an additional .5 in. of rain expected in the area this week.

“We are continuing to help supply agencies with whatever they need — sand, supersacks, Hescos and so on,” Glasch says.

Major and moderate flooding is expected to continue into next week, according to a March 18 Federal Emergency Management Agency briefing that also detailed the extent of known damage to infrastructure.

“We are still in a flood fight,” says James Camoriano, spokesman for HDR, based in Omaha, Neb. While Omaha is not flooded, several areas around the city are. Camoriano says HDR is working with clients to examine roads, treatment plants, railroads and other infrastructure, but comprehensive assessments can’t occur until floodwaters recede.

HDR has employees at one of the wastewater treatment plants that flooded when a nearby creek overtopped a levee. Several other employees live in the flooded areas, Camoriano says.

The flooding is unprecedented, with both the Missouri and Platte rivers and many of their tributaries flooding at the same time. “One will typically rise, but not both,” he says.

FEMA says heavy rainfall in early March in the Missouri and Mississippi river basins caused rapid snow melt, exacerbated by a “bomb cyclone,” an unusually strong blizzard that swept across seven western states last week. However, ice remained in the waterways, causing additional problems. The broken ice and high water caused the Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River to fail March 14. The waters swept away part of U.S. 281, downstream from the dam.

At least 14 bridges are washed out, missing or have the approaches washed out out in Nebraska, according to Jeni Campana of the Nebraska Dept. of Transportation.

The Nebraska Public Power District was still operating its Cooper Nuclear Station along the Missouri River, though it has armed the plant with thousands of sandbags. The facility would have to shut down if the water level reaches 902 ft mean sea level. Currently, the level is 898.9 ft and dropping, according to the district.

On his Facebook page, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said he visited Plattsmouth on the Missouri River on Monday morning. “Their water treatment plant is under water, with millions of dollars in damage. In 2011, it took 108 days for water to subside, and this year the water is 4-5 feet higher,” he wrote.
bujcich/ Flickr
MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) is currently scattered all over the school’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus, but not for much longer. The university announced on December 14 that it had tapped New York’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) to convert the historic Metropolitan Storage Warehouse into a central design hub.

The idea of renovating the Metropolitan Warehouse, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986, has been kicking around since June of this year. At the time, SA+P dean Hashim Sarkis expressed the desire to consolidate the physical design and research components of the school into one location.

The proposed changes would preserve the warehouse’s distinctive red brick facade (likely because of its historical significance). DS+R will be partnering with Boston’s Leers Weinzapfel Associates, no strangers to academic work, to bring 200,000 square feet of classrooms, galleries, workshops, studio spaces, and an auditorium to the former warehouse. A makerspace, accessible to the entire campus, will also be installed under the administration of Project Manus, a group responsible for integrating and updating such spaces at the school.

The selection of DS+R began with a long list of potential architects that was put forth by MIT’s Office of Campus Planning (OCP). Representatives from every department of SA+P, Project Manus, and OCP then whittled the list down to four finalists. The remaining studios were invited to give private presentations in October, and feedback on each was taken from SA+P students and faculty, as well as representatives from the city.

“A project of this scale and complexity,” said Sarkis, “which demands a design sensibility informed by both art and technology—along with a deep understanding of architecture education as well as the role of public space—is made for a firm like DS+R.”
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
In Iraq, as an estimated 900,000 people return home to the city of Mosul after liberation, many of the returnees will only find desolation. The Tamayouz Excellence Award, Rifat Chadirji Prize focuses on bringing global awareness as well as global talent toward addressing the social issues Iraq faces through design.

This year’s theme, “Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing Competition” asked applicants design prototypes for affordable housing. The winning housing proposals selected by the jury are practical, inspiring, and scalable, while adding capacity and density. The competition received 223 submissions from 42 countries. The Top 20 entries will be featured in a traveling exhibition that will visit Amman, Baghdad, Boston, Beirut, Milan, and London. Read on to learn about the three winning proposals and seven honorable mentions.

The Rifat Chadirji Prize got its namesake from Iraqi architect, theorist and author, Dr Rifat Chadirji. Chandirji’s work, both in thought leadership and built projects, has influenced the built environment and holds significance today. The founder of the Tamayouz Excellence Award, Ahmed Al-Mallak said, “all contributing ideas responding to the humanitarian crisis is heartwarming. This competition had the value of reflecting difficult and controversial situations but through a reasonably optimistic lens. Although the competition finished, our work starts now to help organizations responsible for the reconstruction efforts.”

The tessellating and evolutionary project, Re-Settlement by Anna Otlik, takes into consideration the immediate needs of the city of Mosul, as the anticipated 900,000 displaced citizens return, but also longer-term needs for community and public services. The first phase of re-settlement is an informal process, with catalyst points determined organically by the returning community. With a matrix of modules, the settlements can then grow, densify, and evolve through the proposed rule-set. The judges panel states that Re-Settlement “considers the situation at all the relevant scales and stages, from initial emergency housing to a full-fledged neighborhood.” Otlik’s design takes inspiration from the vernacular Iraqi architecture, with the incorporation of outdoor spaces “it complements the fabric and the density of the city,” as described by the Judging Panel.