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NELSON
Accredited designer Brian Tolman has joined NELSON Worldwide as Senior Vice President, Northeast Region Lead. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in workplace and hospitality interiors and building practices, Tolman will lead the multidisciplinary team to champion a new wave of design as the firm expands.

“We are delighted to welcome Brian Tolman to the NELSON team,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NELSON Worldwide, Ozzie Nelson Jr. “His exceptional work on world-class projects and propensity for effective yet inspiring leadership make him the perfect person to oversee our northeast offices.”

Passionate about the field of architecture, Tolman has always been a thinker and tinkerer—aiming to challenge preconceived notions through critical thinking and actively practicing empathy to understand how people behave in different contexts of the built environment. This approach has helped him create projects that allow people to feel connected to both each other and the space they are inhabiting.

Tolman’s devotion to design excellence, coupled with his strong leadership skills, will enable him to usher NELSON’s northeast offices—which include New York, Boston, and Philadelphia —into a new era of design and innovation. NELSON’s recent and upcoming projects in the northeast include the NoMad Tower and the New York Life Social Space and Conference Center in Midtown Manhattan, and the W/Element brand hotel opening in Philadelphia later this spring.

“I am excited to join an immensely talented team and be a part of the next evolution of the NELSON brand,” says Tolman. “In my new role, I will continue to drive innovation across all market sectors, working closely with my team to help elevate a firm that is built upon an amazing infrastructure, brimming with potential.”

Tolman earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art,

Architecture and Planning. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), accredited in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He has received numerous AIA awards for his work, including an AIA Honor Award for his work on the Bloomberg office interiors in New York and an AIA NYS Honor Award for American holding company IAC’s offices. In 2010, Tolman was named one of ENR NY’s Top 20 Under 40 young professionals.

Having employed a cross-discipline approach to his impressive portfolio of projects, Tolman will work to further promote innovation, champion change, and continue NELSON’s already rapid growth within the northeast region.
Construction Dive
os Angeles-based construction and engineering giant AECOM is in talks with Canadian firm WSP Global Inc. about a possible deal, Bloomberg reported Monday night. Media reports said that WSP approached AECOM about the potential transaction, according to sources familiar with the two companies.

Although there is no guarantee that the talks will lead to a deal or how a deal would play out, analyst Andrew Wittmann said in a written research report that he believes the discussions "likely have some merit" for several reasons, including the fact that WSP's stated goals include acquisitive growth, that AECOM stock has inexplicably climbed in recent days and that AECOM leadership is currently transitioning. Chairman and CEO Michael S. Burke announced in November that he will retire this year.

In addition, a deal could help the two firms — which both operate across hundreds of local offices mainly concentrated in North America — save on costs, consolidate real estate, streamline procurement and system investments and help meet AECOM's "very aggressive" F2021 EBITDA guidance, said Wittmann, a senior research analyst with Baird Equity Research's Industrial Services division​. While Montreal-based WSP has been growing in recent years with multiple acquisitions, AECOM recently announced the sale of one of its divisions.

The $2.4 billion sale of AECOM's Management Services business to two private equity firms is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, and the company’s Civil Construction business is also​ on the block, analyst Michael Corelli, vice president and senior credit officer for Moody's Investor Service, told Construction Dive.

In June, Starboard Value LP, an AECOM investor that owns approximately 4% of the company's common stock, called on the board of directors to consider selling its construction services unit, according to a letter from Peter Feld, Starboard's managing member. Company leaders said they would review the letter.

Meanwhile, WSP's acquisitions of U.S.-based construction and engineering firms go back several years. In 2018, WSP bought Berger Group Holdings Inc., parent of the group of companies operating under the umbrella name of Louis Berger, a Morristown, N.J.-based international professional services firm, for $400 million, according to ENR. And in 2014, it acquired New York City-based Parsons Brinckerhoff for about $1.4 billion.

In recent days, WSP closed an acquisition in December of Lancaster, N.Y.-based environmental consulting firm Ecology and Environment Inc., a 775-employee, publicly traded company that works with governments and private customers worldwide, including the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $65 million deal included a special dividend of approximately $2.2 million, according to a press statement.

At the time of the announcement, WSP U.S. president and CEO Lou Cornell said that the transaction would enable the firm to "fulfill its strategic ambition of enhancing our activities in the United States."

WSP provides engineering and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, buildings, environment, power and energy industries, according to its website. The company employs approximately 50,000 employees, including approximately 10,500 in the United States.

WSP is part of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the team designing and building the $3.6 billion Central Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, one of the largest public-private partnerships (P3) currently undertaken in the U.S.

Representatives for AECOM and WSP didn’t immediately respond to Construction Dive's requests for comment.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership wants to make bold streetscape improvements akin to the recent redesign of 14th Street in Manhattan.

While parts of Brooklyn are famous for their human scale and walkability, the borough’s downtown is not among them. Much of its street design dates back to the Robert Moses era: Broad arterial roads move cars swiftly to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, public plazas can feel bleak and unsafe, and the collision of three different street grids makes wayfinding difficult.

Yet the neighborhood is one of the fastest growing in New York City. Its population increased 31 percent between 2010 and 2016; the number of jobs also increased between 2010 and 2015, by 26 percent. The neighborhood’s population is expected to double over the next decade.

“The action plan seeks to re-knit, at a pedestrian and bike scale, many of the streets that were widened or cut off,” said Claire Weisz.

The first phase of the plan would link those pedestrian oases via shared streets, known in the Netherlands as woonerfs, where curbs would be eliminated to make room for landscaping and street furniture. A 15-foot-wide winding traffic lane would be retained in these streets, although vehicle speeds would be severely restricted.

The second phase would extend the shared streets through much of the neighborhood, expand sidewalks along Fulton and Livingston Streets and Boerum Place, and add improved pedestrian crossings along Flatbush Avenue.

All of that space reclaimed from cars would make room for some serious greenery. The plan calls for 950 new trees to add to the existing 1,500 in the neighborhood, and a 230 percent increase in permeable surfaces. Planters will do triple duty, not only as homes for trees but also as benches and as barriers protecting people from cars.

Cyclists would get new protected lanes along Boerum Place, Schermerhorn Street, and Fulton Street. To make room for bike lanes and expanded sidewalks on the Fulton Mall—a corridor that sees higher peak-hour pedestrian traffic than Wall Street—eastbound buses would be diverted one block south to Livingston Street.
Tremend
The Polish city of Lublin will soon be home to an environmentally friendly bus station that not only offers a new and attractive public space, but also combats urban air pollution. Designed by Polish architectural firm Tremend, the Integrated Intermodal Metropolitan Station in Lublin will be built near the train station and aims to revitalize the area around the railway station. The contemporary design, combined with its environmental focus and green features, earned the project a spot on World Architecture Festival’s World Building of the Year shortlist.

Located close to Folk Park, the Integrated Intermodal Metropolitan Station was designed as a visual extension of the neighboring green space with a lush roof garden and large green wall that wraps the northern facade. Greenery is also referenced in the series of sculptural tree-like pillars that support a massive flat roof with large overhanging eaves. Walls of glass create an inviting and safe atmosphere, while the administration rooms will be provided with tinted windows for privacy.

To reduce energy demands, the building will be heated with geothermal energy and outfitted with energy-efficient LEDs. Meanwhile, motion detectors will be used to activate the lighting to ensure energy savings. A rainwater collection and treatment system will also be used to irrigate the plants that create a cooling microclimate and improved air quality. Air quality is further improved with the use of “anti-smog blocks,” a modern photocatalytic material containing titanium dioxide that breaks down toxic fumes.

“Architecture of public places is evolving in my opinion in a very good direction,” says Magdalena Federowicz-Boule, President of the Tremend Board. “Combining different spaces, open shared zones favors establishing contacts. The communication center, which is to be built in Lublin, is to revive it for revitalization district and become a meeting place where people will be able to meet and spend together time in an attractive environment with green areas. The project is also a response to problems, related to environmental protection and city life, such as smog, water and energy consumption, noise. It is an image of how we perceive the role of ecology in architecture.”


ENR
Three large, publicly held contractors—SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Fluor Corp. and Granite Construction Inc.—are exiting fixed-price contracting as a business-growth strategy in the wake of megaproject risk imbalance, the companies said in disclosing their second quarter results.

After announcing a $1.6-billion quarter loss on Aug. 1, Canada design-builder SNC-Lavalin said it will not bid on future “lump-sum turnkey” projects and will reorganize its infrastructure, oil-and-gas and mining units into separate businesses.

That compares to $62.7-million profit a year earlier. Fixed-price contracts are the “root cause … of performance issues,” said interim CEO Ian Edwards. “The current model within our industry is broken.”

Path Forward

On Sept. 24, Fluor will detail a path forward for its previously announced retreat from fixed-price work after a strategic review led it to take a $714-million pretax second-quarter charge on Aug. 1. The Texas-based global EPC giant posted a $555-million quarter net loss compared with net earnings of $115 million a year ago. Revenue fell 16% to $4.09 billion.

“We understand the implications of the magnitude of these results,” said newly named CEO Carlos Hernandez, charged with assessing levels of risk in the firm’s backlog.

“While charges were expected, the magnitude and pervasiveness across the portfolio were worse than [Wall Street] expected,” said Jamie Cook, Credit Suisse managing director and industry sector analyst.

Fluor still will pursue fixed-price work in energy and chemicals, where there is a limited bid slate and it has identified a quantifiable advantage over other bidders.

It will no longer pursue lump-sum-projects government work and will replace two directors to “deepen oversight,” said Andrew Wittman, Baird Equity Research analyst. He also noted reviews of the firm’s real estate portfolio and performance of assets such as its NuScale small modular nuclear unit.

Analysts said Fluor could gain a strong share of pending LNG construction awards, with its $35-billion backlog rising to $40 billion by year end, “assuming [it] appropriately de-risks it,” said Cook.

A report last month in Weapons Complex Monitor, a government-services-sector publication, cited unidentified sources who said Jacobs Engineering was exploring possible purchase of Fluor’s government services group, or even the company, to further boost its federal waste-cleanup work.

A Jacobs spokeswoman did not comment.

Jacobs said in the release Aug. 5 of its third-quarter results, that revenue and share earnings both rose. The firm is finalizing a sale of its energy, chemicals and mining group to WorleyParsons as it transitions to a services-focused model.

In reporting its $97.8-million Q2 loss on Aug. 2, Granite noted charges related to four $1-billion-plus legacy fixed-price projects in its heavy civil group that the firm and owners are disputing.

“It is now clear that, especially in the context of these megaprojects, the fixed-price design-build contract delivery model and public-private partnership … model resulted in an untenable imbalance in risk-sharing,” said CEO James H. Roberts.

He noted an accelerated review “of how we approach larger projects in our portfolio” but said results were “solid” in other units, including water, since its 2018 purchase of Layne Christensen, with a “robust project pipeline ahead for 2019.”
Wanda Lau
Building professional connections is a skill not taught in many architecture programs, but it is a necessity in practice, Evelyn Lee writes in her first column for ARCHITECT.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point (Back Bay Books, 2002), I would be considered a “connector.” I’ve been in the industry nearly two decades, with about 15 years serving on different AIA committees at all levels. As a business school graduate and contributing writer to several publications, I seek out individuals and organizations thinking about the future of architecture and how practice needs to adapt. I enjoy connecting people within my network because, while the design profession is relatively small, the number of us thinking about the evolution of practice is even smaller. Relationship building has been critical to my own growth, professionally and personally. My best connections keep me excited about the industry, challenge my viewpoints, and have become incredible mentor and advocates—and I take pride in cultivating my network.

Which is why I was taken aback by the flurry of cold emails and messages I received from firm principals and senior designers almost immediately upon updating my LinkedIn profile with my new role as the inaugural senior experience designer at Slack, the fast-growing tech company in San Francisco. Since I had moved to the client side three years ago, my ability to hire architects was nothing new. So why the widespread attention? Perhaps it was Slack’s recent IPO?

The myriad mindless messages I received in response to my new position truly left a bad taste in my mouth. Business school graduates know that networking is fundamental: Universities want to promote what percentage of their alumni have gone on to find successful jobs, and building relationships enhances that stat. Literally, Networking 101 is built into B-school orientation.

But designers could certainly do much better when they reach out. To make the process more palatable to both you and your networking target, I offer five recommendations for developing professional relationships.

Look for Mutual Connections
Regardless of your age or experience, leverage the resources that exist in your network. People are more receptive to an email that comes from someone they know—or even someone who knows someone they know—than from a stranger. This validates a good connection and assures the recipient that the contact will be deeper than a superficial ask for new work. The architecture world is not that big.

It’s Not About You
The first outreach should never be about your needs: It’s always about theirs. Do not fish for information in the first contact; instead, be specific about why you want to talk or, at the very least, if you’re requesting their particular experience and viewpoint on your own work. If you explicitly want to talk about my new job, then I will shelve your request.

Simplify Your Ask
Most people will be happy to talk for 15 minutes on a topic they are passionate about—just make sure you know what that topic is. I have had more success asking for a 15-minute phone conversation than an in-person sit-down. Even a coffee meetup means you are asking someone to take time out of their day, go to a place out of their routine, and commit to a conversation that they may not be excited about. Fifteen minutes first. Then maybe coffee.

Be Patient
Relationships take time, trust, and nurturing. A milestone in a person’s career is a good reason to reach out or pick up a conversation with a connection you haven’t talked to in a while. As with personal relationships, it takes time to develop professional confidantes.

Google Yourself
Leverage technology but be mindful of your own profile. Whether you are building your own network or on the receiving end of a cold email, people are going to research who you are. Clean up your public personas and make sure they reflect your professional self.

About 10 years ago, I picked up a great book on social media marketing for AEC professionals. I wanted to meet the author and was excited to discover she was running a workshop at the local AIA component. I made the workshop but had to run immediately after the event without speaking with her. My few shared connections with her on LinkedIn were merely acquaintances to me—so I took a chance and messaged her directly. In my email, I explained that I had attended her workshop, had questions about specific points she made, and was interested on her take on the profession’s
Rachel Jones
This tech-savvy and entrepreneurial cohort has the power to change the workplace.

As we eye the opportunities and upheaval posed by rapidly evolving technology and societal shifts, it may be today’s young people (known by demographers as Generation Z) that are poised to make the most significant disruptions. Architecture firms could prove to be in a prime position to attract today’s youth, since the profession offers ample opportunity for unique expression while also advocating for the creation of a better world through concrete actions and increasing technology use.

Gen Z, with their technical savvy and tendency toward collaboration and individual expression, may be the best fit yet for the profession. However, there is a lot to be considered to attract, retain, and harness those traits.

To date, there has been notable study on the ways that millennials (born 1981–1996) have changed the workforce, and office culture in particular. For example, millennial influence can be seen in the emergence and growth of flexible and collaborative work environments, telecommuting, and workplace benefits aimed at better work-life balance (i.e., things like paternity leave and flexible work hours). In some ways, the collaborative nature of architectural practice has made architecture firms better prepared for millennial influence in terms of workplace engagement. However, like many other professions, architecture firms are still working to create a culture that embraces the benefits demanded by the large cohort of millennials.

But as large a cohort as millennials have been, the oldest of the generation are nearing 40. As we envision the practice of the future, it is now to the subsequent generation—Gen Z— that we must look. The Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as those born from 1997 to 2012—spanning today’s elementary school and college students, the oldest of whom are just starting to enter the workplace. This is the largest generation to date (estimated in the U.S. at 86 million, as compared to the 72 million millennials). This cohort already holds tremendous purchasing power, something unheard of in prior generations. Current estimates value their current consumer spending influence at $40 billion.

Profile of a Generation

Gen Z is a cohort with glimmers of the past. Socially, its members are in sync with their millennial predecessors. According to 2018 surveys by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of Gen Zers believe increasing amounts of racial and ethnic diversity are good for society, equivalent to the 61 percent reported by millennials, and significantly higher than reported by earlier generations. They also share millennial views that the government should do more to solve problems, that the Earth is getting warmer due to human activity, and that same-sex marriage benefits our society.

In approach, it mirrors Generation X (born 1965–1980), the one that makes up the largest proportion of Gen Z’s parents. They are similar in their pragmatism and work ethic. According to the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, high school seniors in 2017 were more willing to work overtime than their millennial peers, at levels that are on par with Americans in Generation X.

In circumstance, it also shares much in common with the Silent Generation, those born from 1928 to 1945, who emerged after World War II and the Great Depression during a time of economic disaster and recovery. Likewise, Gen Z came of age during a time of economic and social turmoil, following the Great Recession and 9/11. Their society is one plagued by global conflicts and wars, climate disruption, and school safety threats. It has led to a cautious generation, but one born at a time of opportunity.

Along with these commonalities, Gen Z has an identity of its own, bringing new energy and skills, as well as new challenges, to the workplace. Having never known a world without mobile devices, it is a group used to having information available all the time, and as a result they are both highly sophisticated online but also wary of the content they find there. They are constantly connected, but less so in person. They are realistic, yet still hopeful of a better future. They are economically cautious, yet highly entrepreneurial. And they are risk-averse—an attitude borne from a deep trust of adults coupled with economic insecurity.

Implications on Workplace Benefits

Given some of the unique demograph
Architect Magazine
Known for his contributions to the Radical design movement, di Francia passed away on July 30.

Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, a Florentine architect known for founding the Radical design movement collective, Superstudio, died on Tuesday. Di Francia was 78 years old.

Di Francia studied architecture at the University of Florence, founding Superstudio with his friend and classmate Adolfo Natalini in 1966, two years before he graduated in 1968. The group—eventually also led by G. Piero Frassinelli, Alessandro and Roberto Magris, and Alessandro Poli—garnered initial attention for its 1996 "Superarchitettura" exhibition. Through this and other work, di Francia and his collaborators resisted the rational practicality of Modernist architecture, creating elaborate sketches for conceptual projects that pushed the boundaries of conventional design. This “anti-architecture” and philosophical approach sparked discussions in the architecture community about theoretical approaches to design and remains a cornerstone movement in the history of architecture. During the collective’s 12-year history, its proposals were published in Domus and Architectural Design magazines and exhibited in venues such as the Venice Biennale (1978, 1996, 2014), the Museum of Modern Art (1972, 2002), and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (1976).

When Superstudio dissolved in 1978, di Francia continued his work independently, first with Italian architect Andrea Noferi in 1994 and then in 1999 with Italian architect Lorena Luccioni, who later became de Francia's wife. Di Francia completed several projects after the end of Superstudio, such as the San Paolo di Torino Banking Institute in Prato, Italy; the Liverno waterfront in Liverno, Italy; and the controversial La Pensilina di Santa Maria Novella bus and taxi terminal in Florence, which was demolished in 2010 when Matteo Renzi served as the city's mayor. Di Francia taught and lectured in several cities around the world, eventually joining the University of Camerino (Unicam) in Ascolio Piceno, Italy, in 1992 as an associate professor of architectural design and founding member of the institution’s architecture faculty.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the university community expressed its sorrow from the loss and offered its condolences to di Francia’s family.

“Unicam recalls the competence, preparation, passion for research and teaching that have always marked its figure of university professor, together with an extraordinary humanity and proximity to the dreams and aspirations of students, for which it has always been point of Unique and irreplaceable reference.”
Building Design + Construction
With the rapid evolution of available technologies, and the integration of them into the profession, the role of an architect is changing faster than it ever has before.

The profession of architecture is one that dates back to ancient times, with a profound impact on the built environment of civilizations all over the world. The evolution of the practice has been relatively slow; while technologies and styles have evolved, the fundamentals today are not all that different than they were historically.

However, with the rapid evolution of available technologies, and the integration of them into the profession, the role of an architect is changing faster than it ever has before. At HMC Architects, we believe that the best way to stay relevant in our changing profession is to always be considering what the future holds, and pushing ourselves and the boundaries of the profession.

THE CORE TENETS OF ARCHITECTURE

Taking a building from concept to reality is a long, involved process, with each project presenting its own unique set of challenges. For the sake of discussion, the core tenets of the architectural process can be simplified as follows:
  • Interpreting client
  • Developing a design solution
  • Submitting a design for approval from the local building agency
  • Conveying the design solution to the contractor via construction documents
  • Verifying that the construction is true to the documents provided
There are nuances to those responsibilities, such as code compliance and environmental considerations, but the core of our business is still solution-based, with a focus on problem-solving.

Looking forward, while the tenets may more or less stay the same, there will be less of a focus on the drawing process of the construction documents, and more of a focus on innovative solutions and how they affect as well as support the users of the space.

In turn, clients are becoming more sophisticated, and are demanding a higher level of understanding of the process and, in some cases, desire to be integral to its completion. Luckily, technologies are also advancing, allowing a higher level of information to be easily conveyed.

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS

Technology is migrating into architecture more and more every day. The speed to market has increased significantly with the industrialization of construction with companies like Katerra and DIRTT. These firms are applying logistics via Google Maps to deliver materials to the job site quicker, along with the science of prefabrication to increase the efficiency of construction, which in turn delivers the project quicker to market.

While this is ideal from an operational and logistical standpoint, it also means that some of the traditional aspects of architecture, specifically the drawings, are going to fade away, and the next generation of architects will have a whole new type of deliverables.

These digital outputs, such as building information modeling (BIM), assist in achieving higher performing buildings by looking at regenerative design, renewability, life-cycle costs, and app-based maintenance programs. We also anticipate that, with the digital delivery of construction documents, they will no longer be plan checked by an individual, but by a program-based software; a virtual plan check of sorts. This will speed up the agency approval time, streamlining the path from design to construction while reducing the margin for human error.

The focus is shifting from pure architecture to an environment that is both architectural and user-focused to enhance the occupants’ experience. Our clients are looking for ways to get the most out of their buildings with user apps and sensors that allow them to gather data to determine which spaces are truly utilized, which will drive the need to design for more or less space. Clients will also be using technology and data analytics to determine the life-cycle costs of buildings, as well as forecast occupant experiences to drive future buildings and programs.

With this heightened emphasis on technology, the role of the architect has frequently come into question. While the human component of architecture can never be replaced, many of the once-manual processes can. Architecture and its practitioners must be willing to embrace the migration towards a wholly digital design experience. Adaptability, flexibility, and early adoption of new technologies and procedures will ensure that the collaborative minds at the center of the profession remain a fundamental component of archite
Philippe Lopez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Cesar Pelli, who designed some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, died on Friday at his home in New Haven. He was 92.

His son Rafael confirmed the death.

Mr. Pelli’s works included the cluster of towers making up the World Financial Center (now called Brookfield Place) at Battery Park City in New York, famous for the glass-roofed Winter Garden at its center; the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, known for its bright blue glass facade; and Ronald Reagan National Airport outside Washington.

Although his work was wide-ranging — he designed the United States Embassy in Tokyo, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar, among other projects — Mr. Pelli was particularly known for his skyscrapers.

His Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Other Pelli towers, if not record holders, commanded the skylines of cities around the world. He designed the One Canada Square tower at Canary Wharf in London; the Carnegie Hall Tower in New York; the Salesforce Tower, now the tallest building in San Francisco; the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong; the Wells Fargo tower in Minneapolis; the UniCredit Tower in Milan; the Torre Banco Macro in Buenos Aires; and the Goldman Sachs tower in Jersey City, among many others.

He won hundreds of architecture awards, including the 1995 gold medal of the American Institute of Architects, its highest honor.

Mr. Pelli’s success came late in life. He didn’t open his own firm until he was 50, and even then, he said, “It was only because I was forced to.” That happened in 1977, when he was chosen to design the renovation and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

With his wife, the landscape architect Diana Balmori, and a former colleague, Fred Clarke, he formed Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects to handle the MoMA project.

The firm grew, eventually becoming Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The second Pelli in the name is his son Rafael, who practiced out of an office in Manhattan while Mr. Pelli and Mr. Clarke ran the New Haven office that Mr. Pelli set up in 1977 in a modest two-story building across the street from the Yale School of Architecture, where he was then serving as dean.

It was an unprepossessing location for a firm that would become one of the most prolific designers of skyscrapers around the world. It remained Mr. Pelli’s base until his death.

The couple never returned to Argentina to live. Instead, one of Mr. Pelli’s professors, Ambrose Richardson, recommended him to Eero Saarinen, the great Finnish-American architect then working in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Mr. Pelli spent almost 10 years at the Saarinen firm.

One of his projects there was the TWA Flight Center at Kennedy Airport. As Mr. Pelli recalled it, Mr. Saarinen was unhappy when structural engineers informed him that the building’s two central columns would have to cross each other, forming a giant X. Mr. Saarinen asked Mr. Pelli to try to sculpt those columns into something beautiful, which, in Mr. Pelli’s account, led to the celebrated gull-winged building.

Later, Mr. Pelli was assigned by Mr. Saarinen to work on two new residential colleges at Yale, which were being built on a tight budget. Mr. Saarinen came up with a scheme to use walls of reinforced concrete with large, exposed stones — an inexpensive way of evoking Yale’s older masonry buildings. When Mr. Saarinen died in 1961, Mr. Pelli continued working on what became Ezra Stiles College and Morse College, considered exemplars of gentle modernism.

Jayne Merkel, a Saarinen biographer, said Mr. Pelli was “the real creative right-hand man” on both the TWA and Yale buildings.

In 1967, Mr. Pelli took a job in California at a giant architecture and engineering firm known as DMJM. The firm’s commercial clients wanted buildings quickly and on budget, and Mr. Pelli enjoyed great freedom as a designer, as long as he met those goals.

He became particularly well known for his experiments with new forms of glass facades, and designed numerous buildings covered in different forms of reflective glass, including glass in colored panels. But the glass skins, which obscured pretty much everything behind them (but often offered gorgeous reflections of the sky) weren’t right fo
Architectural Record
Philip Freelon, FAIA, a much-admired, award-winning architect, died today at the age of 66. He had been diagnosed with ALS in 2016.

Freelon founded his practice, The Freelon Group, in Durham, North Carolina, in 1990, and went on to design civic and cultural projects throughout the United States—libraries, schools, museums, parks, and academic buildings, notably for a number of historically African American colleges. His best-known works include the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, where he worked with David Adjaye (Freelon’s firm was architect of record); the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco; Emancipation Park in Houston; and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

In 2014, the Freelon Group, one of the largest African American–owned firms in the country, joined with Perkins and Will. Freelon continued to lead his team on such projects as the North Carolina Freedom Park in Raleigh; the Durham Transportation Center; and the Motown Museum expansion in Detroit.

In paying tribute to his colleague, Adjaye told RECORD, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of Phil Freelon. He leaves behind an indelible mark on the practice of architecture and his legacy transcends the brick and mortar of the buildings he designed. Phil was a pioneer, an advocate of diversity and inclusion, and his impact will only strengthen over time as we continue to see people of color rising in the field of architecture. More than anything, however, Phil was a dear friend and mentor.”

Indeed, Freelon was a highly influential leader in the profession, where barely two percent of registered architects are African American, and hugely encouraging to younger minority practitioners. A statuesque man with a gentle demeanor, he was a fierce proponent for equity and pluralism, and brought a deep humanism to the communities with whom he worked and to his architecture. The two curving walls of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, for example, were inspired by the arms linked together during the historic marches for civil rights.

Born in Philadelphia—and the grandson of Allan Randall Freelon, a painter associated with the Harlem Renaissance—Freelon studied architecture at North Carolina State University and earned an M.Arch. from M.I.T. He was the youngest architect to pass the registration exam in North Carolina, at age 25. In mid-career, he was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and received honorary degrees from NC State, Duke University, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He taught and lectured throughout his career at various institutions, and was a professor of practice at M.I.T. His awards include the AIA North Carolina Gold Medal and the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. President Obama appointed him to the United States Commission of Fine Arts in 2011.

Freelon is survived by his wife, jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, and three children.
Bret Hartman/TED
The University of California, Berkeley, has named Vishaan Chakrabarti dean of its College of Environmental Design (CED). The founder of New York–based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) will continue to lead the firm during his deanship.

Chakrabarti is a 1996 graduate of CED’s architecture program and member of the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council. He holds a Masters of Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Masters of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as dual bachelor’s degrees in art history and engineering from Cornell University. An AIA Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Chakrabarti has also been a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) since 2009, where he is currently an associate professor of professional practice. There, he has directed projects including a public-private partnership to redevelop Penn Station, and the adaptive reuse of Domino Sugar Refinery and Park, both in New York City. He also served as director of the Manhattan office of New York City’s Department of City Planning from 2002–2005 during the rebuilding that followed 9/11.

In this new role, Chakrabarti will succeed Jennifer Wolch, who stepped down at the end of the spring 2019 term after 10 years at the helm of the CED. Professor Renee Chow, chair of Berkeley’s architecture department, will serve as acting dean beginning July 1, 2019, until Chakrabarti begins on July 1, 2020.
Carapate
Inspired to take a long summer adventure in a sweet tiny camper? Well, French start-up Carapate has unveiled a 10.5-foot-long, boat-like travel trailer for adventurous souls to travel in style and comfort. Although compact, the interior space of the Carapate Travel Trailer is incredibly flexible with a modular bed/sofa combo, a sliding galley kitchen and an extra-wide swing door to take in panoramic views.

According to the company, the design for the trailer was inspired by the beloved teardrop campers. Using the classic teardrop design as a starting point, the designers gave the camper a rounded trapezoid shape to create a bit more square footage. With traditional shipbuilding techniques, the team constructed the trailer to be incredibly lightweight. Coming in at approximately 990 pounds, the tiny trailer is easily towed by most vehicles and is extremely road-friendly. The nautical inspiration can also been seen in the camper’s exterior cladding, which includes wood, white and navy detailing. This sleek, yet classic feel continues throughout the interior.

The entrance is through an oversized door that swings open and upward. This extra large doorway provides plenty of natural light to the interior as well as wide, unobstructed views of whatever incredible scenery may be surrounding the vehicle.

Inside, white walls and wood detailing pay homage to boat interiors, as does the savvy storage solutions found throughout. The tiny camper comes equipped with a number of flexible furnishings that are meant to make the most out of minimal space.

A modular bed layout includes three single mattresses that can be folded up into a sofa or fit together on the floor to create a sleeping area for two. The galley kitchen is also a smart, space-saving design. The concealed countertop slides out to reveal the basic amenities, including a single-burner stove, sink and a pull-out cutting board.

The basic Carapate trailer package, which unfortunately is only available in Europe at the moment, starts at just under $16,000. However, the campers can also be customized with extra features including LED lighting, solar panels, an electric/gas fridge box and more.







Raysonho / Wikimedia Commons
Starboard Value LP, an AECOM investor that owns approximately 4% of the company's common stock, is calling on the board of directors to consider selling its construction services unit, according to a letter Peter Feld, Starboard's managing member, penned to AECOM Chairman and CEO Michael Burke this week.

The investment firm said AECOM's construction services unit has experienced earnings volatility and that it is subject to the risks of cost overruns and schedule delays.

A sale, Starboard said, would streamline the AECOM portfolio and allow investors and the company to focus more on the potential of its design and consulting business.

Overall, Starboard said, given AECOM's scale when compared to competitors, there's no reason it should not be able to compete with its peers on margins. In addition, the investment company said that AECOM should use Jacobs Engineering and its "turnaround" during the last several years as an operational model moving forward.

In a statement to Construction Dive, AECOM said, "We have taken and continue to take proactive steps from a position of strength to create meaningful shareholder value as demonstrated through our plan to spin-off our Management Services business into a standalone government services company; our already-executed $225 million margin-enhancing [general and administration expenses] reduction; ongoing review of margin improvement opportunities; our intent to exit all self-perform construction exposure by the end of the fiscal year; and stock repurchases under our $1 billion authorization." The company added that it values shareholder input and will review Starboard's letter.

AECOM announced last week that it was going to spin off its management services unit into a standalone company, which Starboard cited as an opportunity for it to suggest other changes.

It's not unusual for public companies like AECOM to have one or more activist investors try to force fundamental changes in the way the company operates.

Earlier this year, another AECOM investor, Engine Capital, tried to sway shareholders in the runup to the company's annual meeting by announcing it would vote "withhold" against current board members and a new executive compensation plan. Engine said executive pay at the company, particularity for Burke, who had by that time received almost $80 million in compensation, was too high given its substandard operating results in comparison to its peers. One of Engine's suggestions was to tie bonuses to long-term performance.

Shareholders ended up approving all of AECOM's board of directors' nominees and the proposed executive compensation resolution, voting yes as well on a revised employee stock purchase plan. ​
Getty Images
With recent project execution issues, quarter results surprises and share price falloffs among some publicly traded engineering and construction firms, sector analysts are questioning traditional industry business models and are calling for strategy changes to keep investors from fleeing industry stocks.

In a “deep dive” assessment earlier this month, investment bank Credit Suisse analyzed metrics among large firms it tracks, with recommendations for needed change to eliminate or reduce high-risk profiles—some already in process by firms.

“Bottom line, cost overruns associated with construction represent a huge repeatable industry issue,” says Jamie Cook, lead research analyst. “For investors to buy in, [firms] need to demand better contract structures to de-risk business models. This is long overdue, given limited competition in the space and … reflecting unnecessary risk consistently placed on the contractors.” Cook notes the continuing “self-help” moves by some firms, through sell-offs of higher-risk businesses and transition into sectors with growth potential and more stable earnings.

She points to moves by AECOM, Jacobs Engineering Group and KBR, for example, that have shed or reduced potentially higher-margin but risk-prone heavy construction markets, or are in process, in favor of more stable IT consulting or government services.

But the analyst cautions that as KBR’s remaining energy business is set to ramp up with expected award of large liquefied-natural-gas projects, its backlog risk could accelerate, even requiring selling off that segment.

"We have been curious as to why KBR would take on the risk of lump sum LNG work, given its message about de-risking and prioritizing consistent performance," added UBS construction sector analyst Steven Fisher in a June 21 research note: "It appears that KBR's financial targets only reflect modest amounts of profit, relative to what the as-bid potential is, thereby potentially skewing the upside/downside to the upside, assuming there are no extreme outcomes."

Noting McDermott and Fluor Corp. recent quarter results, battered by execution issues on projects, Credit Suisse cautions that firms need to review contract structures, with a push to “negotiate better terms and conditions.”

Says Cook: “This is particularly important as contractors have been increasingly taking on fixed-price work.”

The mega-project trend that has led to “mega-losses, and public firms, especially, cannot deal with that uncertainty,” says one construction financial consultant who declined to be identified. "Early on, design-build margins on big projects were tremendous. Over time, with competition, margins have gone way down and are not commensurate with risk."

“If you’re doing fixed-price jobs, sooner or later you will have a bad one, but there should be enough good ones to offset that,” he says. Firms seeking to eliminate risks “are design-centric that never really developed a contractor mentality,” the executive adds.

"I think what we are seeing is a reversal of a trend toward integrated design/build by the large engineering firms who did not want to be relegated to being subcontractors to the large builders," the consultant contends. "That movement has proven to be a disaster for some of the large E&C firms and they are moving back to selling services and not taking construction risk."
Edmund Sumner
Why Aaron Betsky loves the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station by Andrew Bromberg at Aedas.

Sometimes a good building that I nevertheless probably shouldn’t like for all kinds of reasons just bowls me over. That’s the case with the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, designed by Andrew Bromberg, FAIA, a global design principal at Aedas. It is not modest; it is not critical architecture. It swoops, it soars, it arches, rises, and spreads. Rarely in recent years have I seen a project with more expressive power than this multi-billion-dollar terminus to a line that is—for better or worse—tying Hong Kong closer to the Chinese mainland. It evokes the excitement of travel and the anticipation that comes with arriving or leaving a city.

For several years I have watched the station's design and construction, which has been hampered by delays, by ever increasing security concerns, by mediocre construction, and by worse station management. So it was a pleasure to finally see the building completed when I was in Hong Kong this spring. Visiting it on a rainy day I missed the full effect of the skylights and clerestories in the station’s main hall, and I was left to scamper around the wet pavement outside, but it was still a delight. Towards the north, the building’s arches flip up above a jagged glass façade, which opens up to a view of Hong Kong Island—a feature that has already drawn comparisons to a dragon. Even in the rain, the building seemed to be continually in motion.

The building is essentially a low-lying arch. A series of giant, stretched trusses, bundled together for strength and braced by branching columns that slot in between the tracks and the spread out, give lateral support to the main roof. But Bromberg also conceived of a simple yet clever twist. Rather than having the arches run at right angles over the main station area to the end of the tracks, the tradition in train termini ever since Euston Station in 1837, he ran them in the same directions as the trains. The result is a visual representation of this superfast mode of transport. It also leaves large openings to the east and the west, the directions in which most people entering or leaving the station will pass.

The various levels of the station undulate both up and down and forward and back to accommodate the different modes of arrival and departure (car, taxi, or bus drop off, and the subway and pedestrian paths to the nearby mega-developments). The terminal serves about 1.5 million travelers a month, who can now travel to Shanghai in a few hours and to Beijing in a day.

As an added bonus, the layers of arches also create an elevated park on top of the station; you can walk up and, more than 80 feet above the ground, enjoy a panoramic view across the harbor of Hong Kong Island. Already, the park has become a site for joggers and selfie takers; the hope is that further development in the area, including the Herzog & de Meuron-designed M+ Museum, will make the public space even more vibrant.

On the inside, Bromberg had originally designed the hall to start at the tracks themselves, so travelers could glimpse the bottom of the arches as soon as they arrived. The cost of a transparent fire barrier made that impossible, creating the same problem that plagues many airports and other transportation nodes: passengers get the best view when leaving or before going through security. After clearing customs, you can still see the some of the spectacle above while waiting for your train, but you have to remember to look up. Travelers who head directly into the subway, meanwhile, will never even enter the hall.

Soon, the station will be surrounded by apartment and office towers that will help pay for the cost of its construction. I believe that Bromberg had hoped to design these as well, but they will be put out for tender separately, so there's not much chance that he can create a large version of the fully integrated transportation hub that Ben van Berkel designed for the station in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

There is a more serious question about the West Kowloon Station that does give me pause. It successfully represents the achievements of a state that is using this very infrastructure to further suppress Hong Kong’s freedom and quasi-independence. Much in the way of Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA’s convoluted design for the Chinese state’s central propaganda machine, CCTV, in Beijing, one has to ask if the project helps perpetuate social and economic injustices.

I’d
U.S. Air Force
The 2028 Summer Olympics (L.A. 2028), officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, are coming to the Los Angeles region in just nine years. The event will make Los Angeles only the third city in the world, behind Paris and London, to ever host the games three times, and could potentially cement the city’s status as a 21st-century global economic, entertainment, and cultural powerhouse.

But what will it take to get there?

Though L.A. 2028 has been billed by organizers and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a no-frills affair that will make use of existing or already planned facilities—“we could do the Olympics probably two months from now,” Garcetti quipped in a recent interview—the effort has become a symbolic capstone for a variety of ongoing urban and regional metamorphoses across Southern California.

This symbolic quality has transformed the Olympics from a novel pipe dream into a rallying cry for what could be the most transformative urban vision the city and region have seen in over a generation.

When L.A. last held the games in 1984, city officials made history by holding the first and only Olympic games that turned a profit. The effort’s success resulted from a distributed event model that used existing university student housing and training facilities to create a networked arrangement of mini–Olympic Villages across a region spanning from Santa Barbara to Long Beach. Organizers also presented a novel media strategy for the games by fusing spectacular and telegenic installations by Jon Jerde and colorful magenta, aqua, and vermilion graphics by environmental designers Deborah Sussman and Paul Prejza with the marvel of television broadcasting, giving the impression of a cohesive urban vision for the games despite the fact that some locales were more than 100 miles apart from each other.

For 2028, local officials are hoping to repeat and surpass these successes. Garcetti, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the private L.A. 2028 committee tasked with bringing the games to life have stated that unlike many recent Olympic games around the world, L.A. 2028 is designed on paper to break even, financially speaking—once again, mainly due to the lack of new purpose-built structures or venues that would be created for the event.

But these verbal and rhetorical gymnastics mask the full extent of the coming transformations and underplay both the scale of the games and the effects of what L.A. will have to accomplish to make them happen.

In reality, L.A. 2028 will not be possible without the completion of several key initiatives, namely, the ongoing expansion of Los Angeles County’s mass transportation network and the planned expansion and renovation of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

As part of a 50-year vision to double the size of the region’s mass transit network, Mayor Garcetti helped pass a sweeping ballot initiative in 2016 that will transform L.A.’s transportation system. Afterward, as Garcetti worked to secure the Olympic bid, he unveiled the Twenty-eight by ’28 initiative to speed up and prioritize certain transit improvements outlined in the 2016 plan so they can be completed in time for the games. In total, the plan aims to complete 28 infrastructure projects by the time the games begin.

One of the new transit lines due to be completed by 2028 will connect the southern end of the San Fernando Valley, where track and field and other events are to be held at the Valley Sports Park in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where the Olympic Village is to be located. There, the university is busy preparing to add 5,400 new student housing units. Up to 6,900 new student beds are envisioned by UCLA’s latest Student Housing Plan, while up to 1,400 additional student beds could be brought online at several other UCLA-adjacent sites, as well. Though these projects are being built to help address a severe shortage of student housing, they will also ensure that when Olympians arrive to compete in 2028, their accommodations will be in tip-top shape.

The southern end of the UCLA campus will connect to the forthcoming Purple Line subway extension, another project that is being sped up in preparation for the games. The line will link UCLA to Downtown Los Angeles, where many of the transit network’s lines converge. The 9-mile exte
Daniel McCullough via Unsplash
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has announced that the number of architects in the United States rose by 2 percent in 2018, bringing the total amount to 115,316 practitioners across the 55 U.S. jurisdictions: all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Through its annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, NCARB found that California leads the country with the highest number of total architects (both resident and reciprocal licensure-holders) with 21,828 people. New York and Texas take the following top spots with 19,582 and 13,229 respectively, while the smallest number of architects practicing today work in Guam (104) and the Northern Mariana Islands (38).

Here’s a further breakdown:

States with the most license-holders (after Texas):
Illinois: 10,310
Florida: 11,169
Virginia: 7, 412
Massachusetts: 7,507
Colorado: 7,804

States with the fewest license-holders (before Guam):
Alaska: 570
Puerto Rico: 887
South Dakota: 929
U.S. Virginia Islands: 1,111
North Dakota: 1,214

The survey also revealed that the number of architects in the 55 U.S. jurisdictions has risen over 13 percent in the last decade, which is 6 percent more than the total population increased since 2008, and there are currently 5,000 individuals finishing up their final core licensure requirements and nearly 41,000 candidates total on the road to licensure through NCARB.

So far, diversity data on the number of architects practicing per state has not been released, but NCARB will provide more information on the path to licensure in its upcoming annual NCARB by the Numbers. Due out next month, the report comes as NCARB celebrates its centennial. Founded in 1919, the licensure organization began with a group of architects representing just 13 states.
Studio NAB
Waiting for the bus is usually a drag, but what if the experience could instead become an opportunity to be closer to nature? French design practice Studio NAB has reinterpreted the humble bus stop as a hub for biodiversity that offers a “hotel” for birds and insects of all varieties. Built from recycled materials and topped with a vegetated green roof, the proposed Hotel Bus Stop aims to promote the population of native pollinating insects and reconnect people to nature.

Studio NAB designed the Hotel Bus Stop to serve five purposes: to promote the presence of pollinating insects; to bring adults and children closer to nature and promote environmental awareness and education; to showcase architecture constructed from recycled materials such as wood, cardboard and stainless steel; to introduce urban greenery and improve air quality with a vegetated roof and exposed plant wall; and to create “green jobs” for maintenance around the bus stops.

“A broad scientific consensus now recognizes the role of man in the decline of biomass and biodiversity in general and that of insects in particular,” Studio NAB explained in a project statement. “The use of pesticides in intensive agriculture, the destruction of natural habitats, excessive urbanization, global warming and various pollutions are at the origin of this hecatomb. Our hegemony allied to our conscience obliges us today to fulfill a role of ‘guardian’ and to allow the ‘living’ to take its place in order to fight against the erosion of our biodiversity.”

Envisioned for city centers and “eco-neighborhoods,” The Hotel Bus Stop would provide more habitats for pollinating insects that are essential for our food system and gardens, from fruit trees and vegetables to ornamental flowers. Auxiliary insects would also benefit, such as lacewings and earwigs that feed on aphids, a common garden pest. The underside of the bus stop roof would include boxes to encourage nesting by various bird species found throughout the city.


Nigel Young
Foster + Partners has completed stations in Saudi Arabian cities Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, connected by the 280-mile Haramain high-speed rail line.

The stations, "conceived as gateways to each city", are designed to offer a unified appearance to between 60 million and 135 million passengers anticipated to use the high-speed line each year.

"We have designed all four stations, resulting in a consistent approach and intuitive wayfinding strategy throughout the network," said Angus Campbell, senior partner at Foster + Partners.

All four of the stations, which can handle up to 20,000 passengers an hour, have been built using the same modular system.

They are all covered by flexible vaulted roofs supported by grids of steel columns – described by the practice as structural trees.

The modular system meant that each station could be designed to fit its site, and that in the future the grid can be extended to increase capacity.

"The stations are based on a common 27-metre-square module containing the roof, concourse and platform, which is flexible enough to be reconfigured for both through and terminus stations, while also making it possible to extend the stations in response to changing passenger requirements," continued Campbell.

The buildings are designed to be shaded areas that can provide a respite from the country's heat. Small openings within the building's roof and its walls allow controlled amounts of light into the stations.

All of the stations have been designed so that they maintain low ambient temperatures without the need for using mechanical cooling. Large fans and misting devices have also been installed on the platforms to keep this area cool.

Between the station's vaults, which are a different colour in each of the cities, large circular chandeliers provide light and are intended to "accentuate the rhythm of the structure".

"The designs of the new stations focus on passenger comfort, while building on the sense of excitement and wonder that is inextricably linked to the idea of travel," added Luke Fox, head of studio at Foster + Partners.
Grimshaw Architects
The 2019 RIBA Gold Medal winner will stay on in an advisory role with Andrew Whalley succeeding him as chairman.

After almost 40 years at the helm of his eponymous firm, British modernist Nicholas Grimshaw, Hon. FAIA, is stepping down as the chairman of Grimshaw Architects, ceding the role to longtime colleague Andrew Whalley, FAIA. Grimshaw will stay on in an advisory capacity and focus his time on the new Grimshaw Arts and Architecture Foundation. "I will continue to make available my experience from the last 50 years in practice,” he said in a press release.

Grimshaw is best known for projects like the Waterloo International railway station in London and the Eden Project in Cornwall, England. In 1995, he was named an honorary member of AIA's College of Fellows, and in 2002, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. This year, he was awarded RIBA's 2019 Royal Gold Medal.

"Andrew has worked closely with me for over 33 years and has been involved in many of our key projects," Grimshaw said. "He has undertaken the role of deputy chairman for the last eight years."

A graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Whalley joined Grimshaw Architects in the 1980s and went on to help establish and run the firm's New York and Doha offices.

"I’m thrilled to be fostering another generation of the Grimshaw practice in pursuit of innovative design solutions that address the complex contemporary challenges that we face," Whalley said in the same release.
Sean Airhart
Award winning architect William “Bill” Bain Jr. died Saturday at the age of 88, surrounded by his family.

Bain spent six decades at NBBJ, which was co-founded by Bain’s father in 1943, and shaped projects such as Seattle's Two Union Square, Pacific Place, and the renovation of the Paramount Theatre.

John Nesholm, founding partner at LMN Architects, worked for Bain on projects such as the Rainier Tower from 1969 to 1979.

“Bill was an admired icon of Seattle architecture,” Nesholm said. “He stood for great design, and inspired and launched many careers and was proud for their successes. He also, through his many volunteer activities, was a shaper of our city. He will be greatly missed.”

In a note to colleagues at the firm, NBBJ Partner Richard F. Dallam wrote:

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Bill Bain Jr., a longtime leader at NBBJ and the son of founding co-partner William Bain Sr. Bill joined the firm in 1955 after graduating from Cornell University and serving in the Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout his 64 years at NBBJ, Bill held numerous leadership positions, making a significant impact on the growth and success of the firm. Bill was awarded the American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter, Medal of Honor in recognition for his remarkable achievements throughout his career. Described by those who knew him as the "heart and soul" of NBBJ and "Mr. Seattle," Bill's devotion to architecture and city-building has had a significant impact on Seattle. It's impossible to separate the work of the firm from the leadership of Bill Bain Jr. From the realization of Seattle's iconic Two Union Square high-rise and Pacific Place, to the U.S. Federal Courthouse, Bill was instrumental in helping NBBJ grow into a firm that is among the most innovative in the world. Bill, deeply committed to our Seattle community, served as past president of the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects, president of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chair of the Downtown Seattle Association. May Bill's legacy at NBBJ continue to live in our work.

NBBJ Partner David Yuan recalls coming to Seattle from Boston decades ago with a small black portfolio case, and facing Bain in an interview.

“He was as gracious the first day I met him as he was the last day I saw him. And he was sincere, and helpful and he gave me a job. He changed my life,” Yuan said. “It’s a tremendous loss for me personally, for our firm and for our city and community.”

A skyline shaper, Bain also led the renovation of landmarks such as the Olympic Hotel and the Paramount Theatre.

“Bill Bain was truly one of the people who helped the Paramount Theatre realize ‘historic.’ Bill’s memory will always be a blessing to all of us here at the Paramount,” Seattle Theatre Group’s Executive Director Josh LaBelle said.

Seattle Repertory Theatre's Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann said Bain was very important to the history of The Rep. "Bill and his firm designed the Bagley Wright Theatre which opened nearly 40 years ago, and he was a subscriber and supporter here going back decades. I will miss seeing him at the theater and am thinking a lot about his wife Nancy and their whole family today.

Among his community ties, Bain was also a member of the Board of the Corporate Council for the Arts, the Urban Land Institute, Pacific Real Estate Institute, and Lambda Alpha, an honorary professional land economics society.

“I loved Bill Bain for his generosity of heart and spirit,” said The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Managing Director Bernie Griffin. “Anytime I called him for counsel on a situation he was there for me. He was one of those individuals who would always take my call and provide support and assistance. He was a friend and mentor and I will miss him with all my heart.”

Bain is survived by his wife Nancy Bain, and his sons David Hunter Bain, John Worthington Bain, Mark Sanford Bain (Anuschka Blommers); and two grandchildren, Tesla Bain and Atom Bain.
Art Institute of Chicago
Stanley Tigerman, the revered and irreverent unofficial chief of Chicago architects, died yesterday at 88. Stanley (never Stan!) emerged as a fledgling post-modernist with a group of architects dubbed the Chicago Seven in the 1970s, reacting against the pervasive Mies-inspired modernism of their hometown. Though Tigerman earned his B.Arch. and M.Arch. at Yale, he returned to Chicago immediately after getting his final degree. Yet he remained so loyal to his alma mater that, in his later years, when his chronic pulmonary condition prevented him from flying, he would take the train all the way to New Haven to attend final reviews.

His personality was embedded in his architecture—much of it playful and much of it reflecting his deep humanism. He designed an animal rescue center with a facade that included what looked like dog ears, and a house shaped like a hot dog. But he also created the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie (2009) and a new facility for the Pacific Garden Mission, a men’s homeless shelter in Chicago (2007)—both of which he described as exemplifying hope. In 1982, joining with his wife and partner, Margaret McCurry, he changed the firm to Tigerman McCurry Architects.

But as much as his architecture, Tigerman will be remembered as a provocateur who gained national stature for his writing, lecturing and participation—with characteristically unbridled remarks—in conferences and debates. In the late 1970s the Chicago Seven (soon to swell to 11 members) enlivened the architectural scene by initiating exhibitions and publications, as well as forums. In addition, Tigerman and crew brought new life to the ailing Chicago Architectural Club, and in 1980 organized the show devoted to reimagining the Chicago Tribune Competition of 1923. By then, there was little dispute that Tigerman had helped loosen Mies’s mantle.

The architect, who titled one of his collections of critical essays, “Schlepping Through Ambivalence,” applied his razor-sharp wit to such designs as a tea and coffee set for Alessi in 1983, currently on display at the Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine In Paris. More famous is his collage “Titanic,” which shows Mies’ Crown Hall sinking into Lake Michigan.

In 1993, long before a younger generation of architects turned to working for underserved communities, Tigerman founded Archeworks with Eva Maddox, to engage students in design for the public interest.

And he was always a strong advocate for younger architects, particularly the rising generation of Chicagoans today, including Jeanne Gang and John Ronan.

Here is a tribute to Tigerman from his longtime friend, Robert A.M. Stern:

“Stanley Tigerman was a legendary force – uniquely important for the vitality of Chicago architecture. Time spent with Stanley was time very well spent. He was never bored and never boring. He always thought out of the box and was often a contrarian who held on to his opinions fiercely even when he was demonstrably wrong. Stanley was supremely talented and a risk taker. In addition to his work as an architect, he was a master draftsman, widely admired for his inventive architoons. His drawing of Crown Hall sinking into or rising from Lake Michigan – one was never sure – was the perfect metaphor for the seismic conceptual shift that Stanley did so much to instigate in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Stanley was central to the renewal of Chicago’s status as a center of architectural discourse, something that it had not enjoyed since the era of Sullivan and Wright. To his dying day he saw to it that the debate was an inclusive one – welcoming architects of diverse convictions from both coasts to the numerous symposia and lecture series that he masterminded.

“A talented designer, a superb draftsman, an intellectual and most importantly for me, a friend for almost sixty years. I miss him.”

Peter Eisenman had this to say about Tigerman:

“It is difficult today to imagine a time when Stanley Tigerman, Robert Stern, and myself were together representing the U.S.A. But in fact, this occurred in the first architectural biennale of Venezia in 1976. The exhibition, entitled Europa-America, featured the work of eleven European architects (Rossi, Smithsons, Hollein, etc.) and eleven American architects (among them Bob Venturi and Denise Scott Brown). The theme of the American part was t
Fortis Construction
When Redwood, Calif.-based CM and general contractor DPR Construction decided in 2003 to close the doors of its regional office in Portland, Ore., Jim Kilpatrick, manager with the Portland office, heard opportunity knock. Rather than relocate to another DPR office and part ways with longtime associates, including a tightly knit managerial staff, he decided he would spearhead the launch of a new firm.

In its first year, CM and general contractor Fortis Construction Inc. commenced operations with a cadre of three former DPR officers, in addition to 10 other former firm employees, four of whom Fortis appointed to leadership positions. “We picked the cream of the crop, recalls Kilpatrick, now president of Fortis. In its first year, Fortis posted revenue of $6 million, some of it from legacy work originally involving DPR.

“It was a very amicable parting,” says Fortis senior project manager Tim Sissel, one of the four employees originally tagged for a leadership role. “DPR assisted us in opening our office.” Once up and running, Fortis focused on markets it knew best, including higher education, medical and commercial tenant build-outs.

“Growth was slow but steady in those early years,” Sissel acknowledges.

“Our thought was we eventually would achieve $45 to $50 million in annual revenues and make a comfortable living,” adds Kilpatrick.

Those early ambitions proved to be modest. Last year, Fortis saw Northwest regional revenue skyrocket to $668.6 million for 2018, or a roughly 200% increase from the $229.3 million the contractor reported for 2017.

The turning point arrived in 2007, when DPR approached Fortis about joint-venturing on a data center in Quincy, Wash., for web services enterprise Yahoo. Having withdrawn from the Northwest, “DPR didn’t have the manpower or local resources to complete the project, but we did,” says Sissel. “We also had experience with data co-location centers—earlier, less complex versions of data centers.” For its part, “DPR had the balance sheet,” he adds.

Within the world of regional data center project owners, word soon spread of Fortis’s acumen. In short order, the firm found itself either co-venturing on such projects with DPR or constructing them on its own, with its clientele including Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. The 349-employee construction firm has largely pursued data center projects on its own since 2016, Sissel says.

Kilpatrick partially credits the firm’s 2018 surge to $500 million in revenue to Facebook’s Prineville, Ore., data center campus. “We’re at the end of one phase, the middle of another phase and the start of a third phase,” he says.

Fortis also has been delving deeper into other core competencies, having recently completed work on a $44-million modernization program for the Portland State University Stott Center and Viking Pavilion, a 141,000-sq-ft student athletic facility that includes a sports medicine center. Under construction is the $30-million Tykeson Hall College and Careers Building, a facility that will house the College of Arts and Sciences and a Career Center for the University of Oregon in Eugene. Fortis also is participating in a planned $160-million student housing project on the campus.

Meantime, the firm is branching out into the K-12 educational market, says Kilpatrick, with projects including the $100-million-plus modernization of Portland Public Schools’ Madison High School, currently in the design phase.

Significantly, some 96% of its business involves repeat clients, with the company reporting exceptional growth in both its revenue and head count. Kilpatrick attributes the firm’s fortunes to culture.

“Most firms are revenue driven—working toward a given goal for a specific period,” he says. “We never think about revenues. You could say we’re like an inverted pyramid. We’re people-centric. If we hire good people, make them happy, then they will make clients happy and revenues will take care of themselves.”

It’s a strategy that has resonated with Facebook, says Matt Moews, regional data center construction manager with the firm.

“We selected Fortis to build our first data center for us in 2009, and we’ve been working with them ever since,” he says. “We have similar cultures. We’re both people-oriented, safety-oriented and driven to work hard. We cons
SOM
Despite the buzz around a few hyperconnected cities and districts being planned and built as urban utopias from the ground up—such as Portugal’s PlanIT Valley, Toronto’s Quayside district, Qatar’s Lusail, and South Korea’s Songdo—the real potential for technology to boost the quality of life lies in existing cities, where most people already live.

“The spaces around us are becoming permeated with the Internet of Things, a fusion of bits and atoms,” says architect Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab, a multidisciplinary research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Its manifestations are everywhere. From energy to waste management, mobility to water distribution, city planning to citizen engagement, digital technology is facilitating novel interactions with urban space.” In New York, sidewalk kiosks on former pay phone sites provide access to public Wi-Fi and city services, while in Moscow, an intelligent transport system tackles the city’s near-critical congestion. Connected water infrastructure in Christchurch, New Zealand, helped prioritize repairs following a major earthquake; air-quality sensors inform Beijing’s regulation of construction and traffic; and real-time consumption data facilitates distributed energy initiatives in Copenhagen. Around the world, to varying degrees, existing municipalities are retrofitting with new technology in pursuit of familiar priorities, in combinations tailored to each city’s particular circumstances.

But it’s not the technology per se that’s having the impact. It’s not even the data that the tech generates. The significance of “smart” technology comes from how people use the data to inform decisions about their city.

“Smart city” is a catch-all for the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve a city’s operations and its citizens’ quality of life. The term lacks consistent usage, even among experts, who generally don’t like it, preferring alternatives with more inherent meaning, such as “connected,” “ sensing,” or even the neologism “senseable,” which, says Ratti, implies both “able to sense” and “sensible.” Whatever they want to call it, some cities are crafting a more livable urban fabric, particularly two municipalities perennially acknowledged to be among the world’s most connected, Barcelona and Singapore. Another showing potential to use this data this way is Los Angeles.

Barcelona’s development of its technological infrastructure stretches back about 30 years, and now encompasses more than 40 programs. One of the most transformative may be the city’s “superblocks,” an initiative being instituted in existing neighborhoods in response to increasingly congested streets and associated noise and pollution levels.

Not to be confused with the disconnected, monolithic superblocks that Jane Jacobs effectively discredited, each Barcelona superblock comprises a three-by-three, nine-block neighborhood of traffic-calmed and shared streets. Local traffic can enter only along the center block of each side, drive slowly around that block, and reemerge on the street from which it entered, which limits through-traffic to the perimeter. Within the block, the scheme liberates more than 70 percent of the surface previously occupied by cars, reducing noise, improving air quality, and providing much-needed public space.

The clustering of blocks, exclusion of traffic, and installation of picnic tables, play areas, and potted trees may seem like an analog initiative, but it rests on “data-integrated decision-making,” says Salvador Rueda, director of the Agència d’Ecologia Urbana de Bar- celona (BCN Ecologia) and originator of the superblock program. Rueda first proposed the superblock concept in 1987 (even then, noise and poor air quality were marring city life), but a lack of reliable projections about traffic impacts stalled it. Now, with contemporary sensing and simulation technologies, says Rueda, “we can use data to advocate, to plan, and to verify.”

For example, increasingly sophisticated monitoring equipment has enabled the creation of a network of fixed and moving sensors that connect with ICTs and a cloud-computing process. These make it possible to assess a range of air-quality parameters—particulates, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants—and to generate accurate, real-time est
Marc Riboud/Magnum Photos
I. M. Pei, who began his long career designing buildings for a New York real estate developer and ended it as one of the most revered architects in the world, died early Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 102.

His death was confirmed by his son Li Chung Pei, who is also an architect and known as Sandi. He said his father had recently celebrated his birthday with a family dinner.

Best known for designing the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the glass pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre in Paris, Mr. Pei was one of the few architects who were equally attractive to real estate developers, corporate chieftains and art museum boards (the third group, of course, often made up of members of the first two). And all of his work — from his commercial skyscrapers to his art museums — represented a careful balance of the cutting edge and the conservative.

Mr. Pei remained a committed modernist, and while none of his buildings could ever be called old-fashioned or traditional, his particular brand of modernism — clean, reserved, sharp-edged and unapologetic in its use of simple geometries and its aspirations to monumentality — sometimes seemed to be a throwback, at least when compared with the latest architectural trends.

This hardly bothered him. What he valued most in architecture, he said, was that it “stand the test of time.”

He maintained that he wanted not just to solve problems but also to produce “an architecture of ideas.” He worried, he added, “that ideas and professional practice do not intersect enough.”

Mr. Pei, who was born in China and moved to the United States in the 1930s, was hired by William Zeckendorf in 1948, shortly after he received his graduate degree in architecture from Harvard, to oversee the design of buildings produced by Zeckendorf’s firm, Webb & Knapp.

At a time when most of his Harvard classmates considered themselves fortunate to get to design a single-family house or two, Mr. Pei quickly found himself engaged in the design of high-rise buildings, and he used that experience as a springboard to establish his own firm, I. M. Pei & Associates, which he set up in 1955 with Henry Cobb and Eason Leonard, the team he had assembled at Webb & Knapp.

In its early years, I. M. Pei & Associates mainly executed projects for Zeckendorf, including Kips Bay Plaza in New York, finished in 1963; Society Hill Towers in Philadelphia (1964); and Silver Towers in New York (1967). All were notable for their gridded concrete facades.

The firm became fully independent from Webb & Knapp in 1960, by which time Mr. Pei, a cultivated man whose understated manner and easy charm masked an intense, competitive ambition, was winning commissions for major projects that had nothing to do with Zeckendorf. Among these were the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., completed in 1967, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse and the Des Moines Art Center, both finished in 1968.

They were the first in a series of museums he designed that would come to include the East Building (1978) and the Louvre pyramid (1989) as well as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, for which he designed what amounted to a huge glass tent in 1995. It was perhaps his most surprising commission.
Related
Related Santa Clara, one of the largest projects in the Bay Area, plans to create over 9 million square feet of offices, housing, hotels and retail on 240 acres next to Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Developer Related Cos. intends to start construction next year on the $8 billion project, previously known as CityPlace Santa Clara, which survived dueling lawsuits between Santa Clara and its neighbor, San Jose. The first phase is set to open in 2023.

In a battle over Silicon Valley’s future growth, San Jose sued Santa Clara in 2016 and alleged that the project, which includes 5.4 million square feet of office space and 1,680 housing units, would lead to more housing demand and additional traffic in San Jose.

In response to San Jose’s lawsuit, Santa Clara sued to block Santana Row, a large office project planned in San Jose. The two cities settled both lawsuits last year, allowing both Related Santa Clara and Santana Row to be built in exchange for payments to both cities to fund transit improvements.

The clash underscored Silicon Valley’s growing pains amid the red-hot economy, powered by big tech companies like Google, which plans to build a giant campus in San Jose, and Apple, which leased space in Santa Clara last year. Job growth has far outpaced new housing, with the Bay Area adding 14,900 new homes in 2017 compared to 52,700 jobs, according to government data.

The amount of housing was limited at Related Santa Clara because the site was previously used as landfill and required additional environmental approvals, according to Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She said other parts of the city will add more housing, such as the adjacent Tasman East area, where 4,500 units are planned.

The project will replace an underused golf course at 5155 Stars and Stripes Drive, she said. Legal challenges aren’t fully resolved: David’s Restaurant, a tenant on the site, is fighting a city eviction and use of eminent domain.

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Crowds arrive early on opening day of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Feb. 18, 1939.
Stephen Eimer, a Related executive vice president, said the developer was attracted to the site because of its proximity to transit from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority and Amtrak and Altamont Corridor Express trains. VTA light rail trains will connect to Caltrain stations in Mountain View and San Jose and a soon-to-open BART station in Milpitas. (The project website confusingly notes that BART is coming to the city of Santa Clara in 2025. While technically true, that station is 6 miles from the stadium area and will not offer convenient transit connections.)

The project will generate $17 million in annual taxes and fees and create 25,000 jobs. It includes 170 affordable housing units. An additional 700 hotel rooms are planned.
AECOM Annual Report / Getty Images
The benefits that helped the corporation avoid paying are all legal

Among the companies that were able to lower federal taxes due to 2017’s tax code overhaul, AECOM is construction’s standout. Not only did the company benefit from the lower corporate tax rate. It was able to mobilize a handful of other tax benefits along with the tax cut so that it paid no corporate taxes at all.

That earned AECOM a very public place near the top of the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy’s list of 60 companies on the Fortune 500 that avoided all federal income taxes in 2018.

In total, the company earned a $122-million rebate on its fiscal 2018 federal taxes. That tied AECOM (NYSE-ACM) for third place on the institute's list with a negative tax rate (meaning the government pays the company, not the other way around) of 51% on $238 million in U.S. income.

Only newspaper chain Gannett, which topped the list of all Fortune 500 companies with a tax rate of minus 167%, followed by IBM, at number 2, with negative 68%, posted better tax rates, according to the institute’s calculations.

AECOM is also the only engineering or construction firm to make the list. The institute, a nonprofit think tank, emphasizes corporate tax avoidance in its flagship publication, Who Pays? The rankings published in it are reported in many media outlets.

Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the institute, said the story is not about any single company, but rather that 60 Fortune 500 firms either paid no federal taxes in 2018 or got multimillion-dollar rebates.

“When any particular business or individual isn’t paying some amount, that amount has to be made up in some other way,” Gardner says. “When you have a situation where some companies are paying a little and other companies are paying a lot, that undermines people’s view of the fairness of the federal tax law.”

AECOM Tax Ethics Policy

AECOM’s corporate tax ethics policy emphasizes the company’s obligation to pay all taxes it legally owes and notes the possibility of “reputational damage” for failing to follow the policy.

In a statement, AECOM called the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy’s study “misleading,” especially for its focus on federal corporate taxes.

“The organization’s list is misleading by using a narrow definition of tax expense, and AECOM continues to conform to all applicable tax laws,” AECOM said in a statement. The 2017 tax reform law is one of “a number of factors” that helped lower the company’s corporate effective income tax rate, the company stated.

At least one independent scholar unconnected to the institute or AECOM believes the study is imprecise in how it defines loopholes and avoidance.

Paul DeBole, an assistant professor of political science at Lasell College in Auburndale, Mass., says he is no fan of the current tax system. But he contends the think tank’s study is a bit heavy handed.

“It talks about loopholes but I get wary when people label a legitimate allowance as a loophole,” said DeBole, who has a background in accounting. “I don’t think they are being totally fair.”

Other industries are skillful at managing their taxes, too. Duke Energy, for example, topped the institute’s list with a $647 million federal rebate. And insurer Prudential Financial ($346 million), IBM ($342 million) and oil and gas concern EOG Resources ($304 million) all scored bigger tax rebates than AECOM.

Meanwhile, AECOM’s $122 million federal tax rebate, while substantial, doesn’t tell the whole story of the company’s tax situation. It only covers the U.S. portion, and the Los Angeles-based firm's final, global tax bill is based on worldwide revenue and operations.

When all the taxes paid by AECOM to other governments across the world are taken into account along with its U.S. tax situation, the engineering giant still managed to stay in the black on its yearly tax liability, though at a more modest $19.6 million.

In a series of tables in its 2018 annual report, AECOM details how it went from a worldwide tax liability of more than $43.5 million to being owed money.

Exact Origin of Tax Benefits Unclear

The exact origin of some key tax benefits are never spelled out, however.

For example, the company notes that it had “income tax credits and incentives” which reduced its taxes by $37.2 million in 20
OMA and Laboratorio Permanente
OMA and Milan-based Laboratorio Permanente have won a competition to transform two abandoned railway yards in Milan into eco parks that will act as “ecological filters” for the car-centric city. Titled Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents), the master plan would use the natural, air-purifying power of plants and the filtering capabilities of water to clean and cool the environment while adding new recreational spaces for the public. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop disused post-industrial areas around the periphery of the city.

The Agenti Climatici master plan addresses two railway yards: the 468,301-square-meter Scalo Farini on the north side of Milan and the 140,199-square-meter Scalo San Cristoforo on the south side of the city. The designers have designated Scalo Farini as the “green zone” that will consist of a large park capable of cooling the hot winds from the southwest and reducing air pollution. Scalo San Cristoforo has been dubbed the “blue zone” after the designers’ plan to turn the railway yard into a linear waterway that will naturally purify runoff and create cooling microclimates.

“In a moment of dramatic environmental transformation and permanent economic uncertainty, our priorities have changed,” said OMA partner Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. “The most valuable currency is no longer ‘brick’ — the built — but rather the climatic conditions that cities will be able to provide and ensure for their citizens. The city of the 20th century, with its high energy consumption, must be overcome by reconsidering the principles that have marked urban development since the classical era.”

For adaptability, only the public elements of the Farini park will be fixed — including the waterways, greenery and bridges — while the location of the buildings and their programming will be contingent on the city’s future economic development. The master plan also calls for Milan’s longest expressway bicycle lane alongside a new tram line and metro stations.



Nadine M. Post for ENR
The repair of two fractured girders spanning Fremont Street and the reinforcement of twin girders spanning First Street are complete at the beleaguered Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.

To date, an independent panel of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has found no other issues affecting the transit center, according to the public owner, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. TJPA will announce a reopening date after the panel concludes its review.

TJPA shuttered the facility in late September, some six weeks after it had opened to bus traffic. This was shortly after a ceiling panel installer had inadvertently discovered the most serious of the two brittle fractures in the bottom flange of one of the twin built-up plate girders spanning Fremont Street.

Shoring Removed

To date, crews have removed all shoring from both sets of third-floor girders that span 87 ft and support both a public rooftop park above and hang the second floor bus level. All traffic lanes are now open during the day. Night street closures will continue throughout May to restore lights, MUNI overhead lines and to reinstall ceiling panels.

Recommissioning of the 4.5-block-long facility will continue through the end of this month. The quality assurance process includes retesting and re-inspecting fire and life safety systems throughout the facility and retesting the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, reports TJPA.

Since the closure, transit agencies have been providing bus service out of a temporary terminal at Howard and Main streets. The mostly outdoor facility served as the depot during construction of the new facility.
Construction Dive
As U.S. contractors deal with the rising costs of both material and labor, the latter of which is driven partially by a shortage of skilled workers, three of the country’s biggest construction industry players — AECOM, Tutor Perini and Jacobs Engineering Group — reported their most recent quarterly earnings this week, proving that despite these challenges, there are still plenty of opportunities.

March saw the end of the second quarter of Jacobs’ fiscal year 2019, and company executives reported that the firm’s gross revenue for the quarter was $3.1 billion, up 7.7% from the same period a year ago. Net revenue increased 8.7% year over year, from $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion.

Q2 gross revenue for the company’s Building, Infrastructure and Advanced Facilities (BIAF) business was more than $2 billion, up from last year’s Q2 figure of $1.9 billion, delivering $172.7 million in segment operating profit. This growth was driven, in part, by the "further optimization of CH2M integration synergies,” said Steven Demetriou, company chair and CEO. Jacobs purchased CH2M in a $3.3 billion deal in 2017.

The company’s second-quarter backlog grew 11% year over year to $13 billion. Big wins for Jacobs’ BIAF segment this quarter included contracts for a vaccine manufacturing plant in the southeast U.S.; IDIQ contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and the MetroLink in Toronto.

Tutor Perini's first-quarter 2019 revenue fell a bit from the same period last year — $958.5 million from more than $1 billion — mostly due to new projects not starting in time to make up for the lower revenues of projects that are either complete or nearing completion. Bad weather in some areas of the country also had a negative impact on revenue in the company’s Q1.

However, income from construction operations was $22.9 million in Tutor Perini's first quarter, up from a loss of $900,000 in the first quarter of 2018.

Tutor Perini also broke some company records in its first quarter — $3.2 billion of new awards and upward adjustments in current contracts, as well as an $11.6 billion backlog. New awards for Q1 included the $1.4 billion Purple Line Section 3 Stations project in Los Angeles; the $253 million Culver Line Communications-Based Train Control project for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City; and the $200 million Southland Gaming Casino and Hotel project in West Memphis, Arkansas, through its subsidiary Roy Anderson Corp.

“As these and other recent awards progress and contribute more meaningfully as the year develops,” said Ronald Tutor, chairman and CEO, "we expect to report significantly improved financial results.”

AECOM also had good news for investors this week, reporting revenue of $5 billion for its 2019 Q2, up 5% from the second quarter of last year, with positive contributions from all of the company’s construction-related segments.
Vikky Wilkes
Born and educated in Milan, Enrico Taglietti would bring a European sophistication and sensibility to Canberra.

As a student at the Politecnico di Milano, his teachers included design luminaries Gio Ponti, Bruno Zevi and Pier Luigi Nervi. On graduation in 1953 he commenced his career as an architectural consultant, participating with Carlo di Carli on the inventive Sant’Erasmo theatre, and undertaking various residential and commercial developments in Milan and Zurich. Appointed curator of the foreign exhibits at the 1954 Milan Triennial, he was subsequently invited to bring a selection of Italian designs to Sydney for exhibition at David Jones’ department store in 1955.

At that time, under the direction of Sir Charles Lloyd Jones, the main Sydney store was the hub of Sydney’s cultural life. Here one could see, at various times, a full-size facsimile of Michelangelo’s David, sculptures by Rodin, rare Chinese porcelain or Sidney Nolan’s surreal desert paintings. During his visit, Taglietti was introduced to the leaders of Sydney society, and was commissioned by the Italian ambassador to search for a suitable site for the Italian Embassy in Canberra.

Canberra before the lake (pre-1964) was an odd place – a scatter of formal public buildings and six garden suburbs in search of a city. Each element was separated by grassy paddocks, and at its centre one descended to cross the winding Molonglo River by means of clanking timber bridges. Learning that Canberra was being reviewed for major improvements to fulfil its role as the national capital, and sensing that Australia was a place of opportunity, Taglietti set up his practice in Canberra in 1956.

His European training and cosmopolitan flair were evident in his work from the start and his buildings stood out amongst the tame Anglo-Australian products of the time. Clearly outside the Australian architectural mainstream, they were both intriguing and idiosyncratic and gave distinction to the emerging city of Canberra. His early buildings in Civic – the Town House Motel (1961 – now demolished) and the Centre Cinema (1966) – featured strong, exaggerated sculptural shapes, and used powerful cantilevered elements. The motel’s sculptured panels by Clement Meadmore are now in the National Gallery of Australia.

Taglietti’s powerful visual imagery is very evident in the McKeown House (1965) at Watson with its dramatic canted walls and cantilevered deck and roofs, or the monumental scale and articulated concrete elevations of the Australian War Memorial Annex (1978-9) at Mitchell. He used concrete for striking visual and special effects in grand gestures: in massive sculptural walls and cantilevers at the Smith House (1968-70) at West Pennant Hills, or as blockwork in the fortress-like base of the Paterson House (1970) at Aranda. His key interiors are equally arresting, with strongly detailed and generous volumes capped by vaulted ceilings. Lacquered timber boarding, plywood or even thick Canite panels were used to provide textural contrast, along with floors of hardwood, tile or carpet.

In Canberra Taglietti’s well-known works include the Dickson Library (1962), the award-winning Giralang Primary School (1975), the Apostolic Nunciature (1977) at Red Hill, the Phillips Fox Building (1985) in Civic, and the Saudi Arabian Ambassador’s Residence (1996) at Garran. He was responsible for the realisation of the Italian Embassy (1967-74). Outside of Canberra, major public works include the Town House Motel (1962) at Wagga Wagga; St Anthony’s Church (1968) at Marsfield; and the St Kilda Library (1969).
Shutterstock
In-app ticketing aims to make Uber a better last-mile solution

With options to rent scooters and electric bikes via its Jump subsidiary, a ride with Uber no longer means getting into a car. Now, thanks to a new feature launching in Denver, it could also mean jumping on a train or bus.

Starting today, Uber’s Transit feature will allow Denver users to plan their trips with public transportation in mind, including paying for rides on buses and trains in-app. Tickets will cost the same via Uber as they would using other payment methods.

“For the first time ever, taking an Uber trip can mean taking public transit,” said David Reich, Uber’s head of transit, in a statement. “With this step, we are moving closer to making Uber’s platform a one-stop shop for transportation access, from shared rides to buses and bikes.”

Uber users in Denver will be able to select “Transit” as an available transportation option, and then be able to plan their trip utilizing bus or light rail. The new feature will include real-time transit information for the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), as well as step-by-step directions. Developed with technology from Masabi, a mobile ticketing service that began working with the ride-hailing giant last year, this new service will allow users to purchase and validate fare passes using a QR code from within the Uber app.

Uber and RTD are banking on the fact that this collaboration both allows more users to utilize Uber as a last-mile solution, and gets more passengers on transit.

“This exciting next phase of RTD’s collaboration with Uber is yet another way our transit agency is leading the dialogue about mobility strategy, not just for the Denver metro region but for cities across the globe,” said RTD CEO and general manager Dave Genova in a statement. “This project broadens our reach and stays at pace with the public’s needs, allowing people to plan and pay for trips from start to finish.”

This launch highlights both the push by transit companies to create all-in-one mobility solutions—what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has called the “Amazon of transit”—and the increased competition between Uber and Lyft to broaden their offerings and incorporate more multimodal options they go public, as Lyft did in March.

Uber, which is planning an IPO, has already made partnering with transit agencies worldwide a part of its growth strategy, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, collaborating with cities such as New Delhi, Cairo, and Sydney in a bid to increase ridership.
Fastily/Wikimedia Commons
George Homsey, one of the founding members of San Francisco–based firm Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis (EHDD), has passed away.

Widely considered a giant of California architecture, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, Homsey practiced architecture with EHDD for nearly 50 years before parting ways with the firm in 2000 to run his own practice. During Homsey’s storied career, he worked with some of the greats of late-20th-century Northern California architecture, including business partner Joseph Esherick, and collaborators Charles Moore and William Turnbull.

Together with these architects, Homsey helped bring to life Sea Ranch, the iconic shingled housing development situated on the rugged California coast north of San Francisco, as well as many delightful and contemplative private residences, schools, and public buildings.

Homsey was regarded as the diligent and strong-willed counterpart to Esherick at EHDD, and helped to animate Esherick’s conceptually-driven works with a sensitivity to light, composition, and pragmatic materiality that made Homsey one of the fathers of what some called the “Third Bay Tradition,” a vernacular style of architecture that channeled and updated the Bay Area’s woodsy architectural and environmental influences for a new generation.

Homsey, for example, was one of the chief designers of the hedgerow homes at Sea Ranch, a series of shed-roofed and wood-clad abodes that simultaneously struck out from and blended into the site’s scrubby terrain.

Born in 1926 in San Francisco’s Western Addition, Homsey grew up in a typical San Francisco duplex where the modest units were separated by a pragmatic light well. The son of an auto mechanic, Homsey trained to become a naval aviator to serve in the military, but the war ended before he could take flight. With this training in hand, Homsey set out to study architecture at the City College of San Francisco and at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Esherick’s fledgling firm in 1952 and made partner 20 years later.

Homsey would go on to create the design guidelines for Yosemite National Park as well as comprehensive designs for San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit stations. He was awarded the Maybeck Award for lifetime achievement in architectural design by the American Institute of Architects, California Council in 2006 for his work.
Xinhua News Agency/Newscom
Chinese leader promises more transparency and funding opportunity in $900-billion program

Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised an audience of world leaders as he outlined China's decision to modify the Belt and Road Initiative in crucial areas including: project selection, environmental risk assessment and financing. He was speaking at the second Belt and Road Forum, which convened April 26 in Beijing.

China's BRI features ambitious plans to build modern-day Silk Road connectivity projects, such as seaports, airports, railways and roads across 60 countries covering all continents at a colossal cost of $900 billion. Developing countries have offered some support, but the scheme has been widely criticized on a number of counts in developed countries.

The U.S., Germany, France, Australia and Japan have been especially critical, pointing to a lack of transparency and a refusal to share business opportunities with non-Chinese companies.

At the Forum's open session, Xi signaled a course correction. “Everything should be done in a transparent way, and we should have a zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.

The Chinese President tried to counter criticism that nearly 90% of the businesses emerging out of the Belt and Road program went to Chinese companies and there was little for foreign firms to share. "The Belt and Road is not an exclusive club," Xi said at the gathering.

Signs of China’s readiness to modify the infrastructure development program began to emerge in recent months after it allowed close ally, Pakistan, to shelve an electricity project, and accepted a 30% cost reduction in a high-speed rail project in Malaysia. In effect, Malaysia had closed down the project for several months and eventually forced China to renegotiate the terms.

“Xi Jinping is trying to deliver a readjusted BRI, providing more opportunities for non-Chinese companies to participate, delivering greener and better quality projects, being more attentive to their local economies in humane impact as well as to the recipient country’s debt sustainability,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor at the Dept. of Government and International Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde backed efforts by China to improve and refine the program but asked for more changes particularly where it comes to rules for procurement of construction equipment from across the world.

She said the BRI could “benefit from increased transparency, open procurement with competitive bidding and better risk assessment in project selection.”

Financing challenges

Xi invited foreign and private-sector partners to help fund China-backed infrastructure projects. Earlier offers restricted project financing only to Chinese banks and agencies. In the past, non-Chinese banks and lending agencies have been closed out.

Critics have also slammed BRI for opacity and for saddling recipient countries with costly loans that they cannot repay. For example, Sri Lanka recently was forced to sign away commercial control of its Hambantota port for 99 years because it could not reply Chinese loans.

The Chinese president said "We also need to ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects so that they will achieve the intended goals as planned.” He went on to say that his government will now offer a “debt-sustainability framework” to encourage compliance with international standards in infrastructure contracting.
Pablo Enriquez
Few occupations require as rigorous a set of academic courses and professional exams while promising so little by way of remuneration as architecture. And, for early-career architects, salaries can be precarious—and in some cases nonexistent—while emerging designers chase dream commissions, and prioritize prestige over pay when taking jobs.

Recent questions about the internship practices of this year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion winner, Junya Ishigami, have again brought the topic of competition compensation to the fore. Shortly after the February announcement of Ishigami’s selection, designer Adam Nathaniel Furman circulated an image purporting to be a screenshot of an e-mail soliciting unpaid work at the firm. Although Ishigami’s office could not be reached for comment, the Serpentine Gallery later issued a statement requiring Ishigami to pay all those working on his commission for the annual summer pavilion. (The same issue arose in 2013 when fellow Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto won the Serpentine commission.)

In the United States, unpaid work is illegal. Federal law prohibits employment without a minimum wage, which varies from state to state, but student internships offer a loophole, allowing non-employee interns to receive on-the-job training or school credit in lieu of payment.

The AIA’s official stance on internship payment is as hard to pin down as its exact definition of an intern. “If you, as an AIA member, want to run for office or want to submit a project or your firm for an honor or award, you have to state that you do not employ, or have not employed, working students or unpaid interns,” said AIA deputy general counsel Terence F. Canela in a video for the organization. Beyond that, the AIA’s Code of Ethics requires its members to follow federal laws, which are murky on the subject at best.

Design competitions also remain a complex realm within the profession. Many offer more in the way of prestige and recognition than they do in prize money. Some open competitions are criticized for soliciting thousands of hours of design work with pay reserved for a small group of finalists. Other invited competitions offer build budgets and travel stipends, but leave employee overhead to be covered by the firms.

There’s no doubt in the mind of 2017 Young Architects Program (YAP) winner Jenny Sabin that designing Lumen for MoMA PS1’s annual summer pavilion is one of the biggest highlights of her career. According to the museum’s press office, the year Sabin won, the YAP began offering finalists $5,000 to develop their designs and produce an exhibition model; the ultimate winner receives an additional $15,000 toward design development, and $100,000 for build-out. But even with those designated funds, Sabin says that “part of the creative maneuvering of producing the design is finding ways to bolster the budget in support of the project.” YAP winners are not allowed to fund-raise, but “there are ways of thinking creatively around the budget,” Sabin tells record. “You have to organize a team of professionals, such as structural engineers and contractors, and because of the size of their companies, many of those people are able to do pro bono work.”

A relative newcomer on the American competition circuit originated with Exhibit Columbus, the annual program in Columbus, Indiana, celebrating art, architecture, and community. Named for the philanthropists who helped shape the city’s notable architectural legacy (in 30 square miles, one can find works by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, and others) and meant to encourage the next generation of architectural creativity, the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize offers $70,000 build budgets to each of five winners. But Richard McCoy, who is director of Landmark Columbus, the organization behind the Exhibit Columbus program, admits that organizers have never verified a firm’s accounting for Miller Prize–winning projects. “We offer to help the winners find local fabricators and people to build or work with them, and we’ve had a tremendous amount of in-kind donations to all of the installations,” McCoy tells record. “But I also recognize that some studios don’t view this as a profitable enterprise,” he adds. “They all do it for the love of the art, and because it’s a chance to experiment in an interesting context.”

While, generally,
City of Ottawa
Sinkholes, winter-weary trains, and political upheaval have held the Confederation Line light-rail transit back from a seriously overdue opening.

Get ready for rail.”

At first the slogan for Ottawa’s new transit project felt like a command. Then it was a question mark, and now it’s a desperate plea—as if the city could will into existence a light-rail plan that has been talked about for the better part of 20 years.

Ground broke in 2013 on Ottawa’s extension of its O-Train system—then, a five-station, diesel-powered light-rail line. The mission was to electrify the network and extend it to central, eastern, and southern parts of the city with two new add-ons, the brand-new Confederation Line and the Trillium Line addition.

But it hasn’t gone so smoothly. After years of planning and waiting, some in Ottawa might feel like their rapid transit dreams are simply cursed. In 2014, two years after the CDN$2.1-billion project was officially approved by council, a sinkhole measuring 26 feet wide by 39 feet deep opened up near a tunneling site. Two years later on one of the city’s busiest streets, a second LRT tunnel-related sinkhole—this one 92 by 131 feet in area and 16 feet deep—swallowed a van.

And that’s just the sinkholes. The 7.7-mile Stage 1, known as the Confederation Line, has been consistently bedeviled by problems. Originally due in May 2018, It’s still not open yet. Instead, empty trains glide up and down the route for testing, taunting Ottawans who are most definitely #Ready4Rail. The new delivery date is “sometime before Canada Day,” on July 1.

The consortium tasked with building and delivering the LRT, the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), needs 12 consecutive days of near-flawless testing on all 34 of its Alstom Citadis Spirit train cars before it can release them into the wild. Just one issue with a car, though, and the 12 days restart. RTG has been testing the trains for months.

This past winter, after a train got stuck in the snow during a trial run, CBC reporter Joanne Chianello obtained internal reports that said the trains may not be able to withstand Ottawa’s cold, snowy winters. “Vehicles are currently unreliable to the point that it has not been demonstrated that operations can be sustained during a winter weather event,” one report read.

But that’s next winter’s problem. The day after Chianello’s CBC story, the city’s transportation general manager John Manconi told city councilors at a public meeting that RTG was looking forward to the end of winter to finish testing: “Better weather will certainly help.”

And then there’s Stage 2, a CDN$4.7-billion project and the city’s biggest procurement ever. A $1.6-billion slice of that project was awarded to SNC-Lavalin, an engineering and construction management firm currently facing charges of corruption and fraud. SNC-Lavalin is also a key member of the RTG consortium building the thrice-delayed Stage 1.

So, what the hell is happening with the LRT? “[Constituents] are exactly right to ask that question, because we don’t know the answer,” says Ottawa city councilor Rick Chiarelli.

Contracts, bids kept secret

Chiarelli, who has been an Ottawa city councilor since 1988, says the people tasked with running the city have been largely kept in the dark on the LRT project. In March, he voted against approving the $4.7-billion budget on Stage 2, saying that proper oversight had not been done on the project.
LAWA
According to a new environmental review document, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is poised for a large expansion that could add up to two new terminals and nearly two dozen new gates to help handle the influx of travelers headed to the city for the 2028 Olympic Games.

Urbanize.LA reported that the plans call for attaching the new Concourse 0 terminal and its 11 passenger gates to the east of the existing Terminal 1 structure along the northern end of the LAX complex. A second new terminal, Terminal 9, will bring 12 new gates to the southern end of the airport, where it will be met by an extended run of a forthcoming automated people mover (APM) that is currently under construction.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the expansion plans include reconfiguring existing airplane runways, including on the northern end of the airport, where earlier plans to retool runway facilities produced outcry from neighboring communities concerned about noise, pollution, and other negative impacts. The proposed runway changes involve reconfiguring the airport’s road network while maintaining the current distance from those communities.

The plans come as Los Angeles World Airports, the entity that runs LAX, works to complete a $14 billion facilities upgrade plan for the airport’s existing roads, terminals, and associated transportation facilities.

That plan includes a $1.6 billion Gensler and Corgan–designed terminal that will bring 12 new gates to a mid-field site capable of handling new “super-jumbo” airplanes for long-haul international flights. The project, known as the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will connect to the existing and recently-expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal via a pair of underground tunnels that will feature moving sidewalks.
ENR
The construction market is enjoying a decade of steady growth, and most sector executives don’t see an immediate cause for concern. But there is a growing sense of unease that the U.S. economy is softening, which could put an end to the industry’s expansion.

The contrast between current conditions and future market expectations can be seen in the latest results of the ENR Construction Industry Confidence Index survey. The CICI remained static at 59 in the first quarter of 2019, from the previous quarter ending last year. Of the 205 executives from large construction and design firms responding to the survey, many believe the market will begin to decline sometime in 2020.

This sense of an impending downturn doesn’t mean that the current construction market is in trouble. Only 3% of survey respondents believe it has started to decline now, and only 6% say it could start in three to six months. On the other hand, 25% speculate the market will start to shrink in the next 12 to 18 months, compared to only 15% who believe it will still be in a growth mode in that timeframe.

The CICI measures executive sentiment about the current market, where it will be in the next three to six months and over a 12- to 18-month period. A rating above 50 shows a growing market. The index is based on responses to surveys sent between Feb. 28 and March 27 to 6,000 U.S. companies on ENR’s lists of leading general contractors, subcontractors and design firms.

CFMA: CFOs Prepare for Trouble
The contrast between what the industry is seeing in the current market and what it expects to see next year is even more dramatic in the soon-to-be-released results of the latest Confindex survey from the Construction Financial Management Association, Princeton, N.J., which show that CFOs are worried about the market climate in 2020.

Each quarter, CFMA polls 200 CFOs from general and civil contractors and subcontractors. The CFMA Confindex is based on four separate financial and market components, each rated on a scale of 1 to 200. A rating of 100 indicates a stable market; higher ratings indicate market growth.

“The Confindex fell from 114 in the previous quarter to 109 in the current quarter,” says Stuart Binstock, CFMA’s CEO, noting it is the lowest rating since late 2010, when the industry was struggling to climb out of a deep recession.

The bigger story is how the market is being viewed. The forward-looking “general business conditions” component plunged 11 points, to 102, while the “year-ahead outlook” took a similar dive, falling 10 points, to 95.

On the other hand, the Confindex components associated with the current market were stable. The “financial conditions” component remained steady at 115, while the “current conditions” component also was unchanged at 121.

Worrying About the Bottom Line

Even so, industry execs are watching news about the U.S. economy with growing concern. “I don’t know if it is what [CFMA members] are seeing in the market, or what they are hearing from economists, but they are worried about next year,” says Anirban Basu, CEO of economic consultant Sage Policy Group, Baltimore, and a CFMA adviser.

Basu says CFO members of CFMA are more focused on the bottom line than on markets. “There is a lot of work out there, but workers to do that work are getting more expensive, which means increasing volume does not necessarily mean increased profits,” he points out.

Despite the active market, firms are not necessarily awash in cash. Only 29% of CICI survey respondents report higher profits compared to this time last year, while 14.5% said profits were actually down. This compares to a year ago, when 37.1% said profits were up year-over-year, and only 11.8% said they had fallen.

Binstock notes a similar trend in the Confindex survey. In the last quarter, 39% of respondents believed that profits would be up next year, compared with the 27% who thought profits would be in decline, he says. The current quarter’s responses are in sharp contrast to the last quarter, with only 20% believing profits will be up next year, as opposed to the 37% who believe profits will be down.