The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.

 

WASHINGTON POST
Arts, Architecture grads face higher rates of joblessness
Among all recent college graduates, those with degrees in architecture have the highest rate of unemployment, according to a recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. The study, based on data from the 2009 and 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, shows that 13.9 percent of all recent architecture grads are out of work, compared with 11.9 of those with degrees in the arts, and 9.4 percent with degrees in the humanities. Students who majored in health and education (both 5.4 percent) fared best. The study also showed that among more experienced professionals and those with graduate degrees, architects also face the highest rate of unemployment.

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DEZEEN MAGAZINE
A Zumthor/Bourgeois memorial to Norwegian witches
Dezeen’s latest photo gallery takes us to the Norwegian island of Vardø, where the Steilneset Memorial commemorates suspected witches burned at the stake there in the 17th century. The memorial is two structures: Fronting onto the craggy coast is Peter Zumthor’s long network of pine scaffolding, a skeletal tunnel that holds a cocoon lit with 91 windows, one for each of the men and women put to death. Nearby is a glass box designed by Louis Bourgeois, the late French-American sculptor famous for the spidery “Mamet” sculpture outside the Guggenheim Bilbao. Inside the glass case is a concrete cone encircling a flaming steel chair, reflected by three circular mirrors hanging aloft.

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SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta dies at 80
Ricardo Legorreta, the renowned Mexican architect who designed the San Antonio Central Library and won the AIA Gold Medal in 2000, died on Friday at the age of 80. He was known for his ambitious palate, evidenced in the 10-story purple bell tower in Los Angeles’s Pershing Square, the yellow walls of Mexico City’s Camino Real Hotel, and what he called the “enchilada red” of the Central Library. When that building opened in 1995, he told the San Antonio Express-News, “I think the bold colors signify the joy of learning and the city's bright future.” When asked about how the building didn’t look like a library, he told the San Antonio Light, “To me that's a compliment. It's completely intentional.”

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TXCHNOLOGIST
The Lego home of the future past
With models of the Brandenburg Gate, Falling Water, and the Burj Khalifa, Lego’s Architect and Landmark series has won the devotion of building buffs everywhere. Now, the Danish toy manufacturer is soliciting ideas for the next installation in the series, and Matthew Van Dusen at Txchnologist has a few ideas. He suggests eight 20th-century designs that represent how architects thought we might live in the future. “Some, like Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House and Monsanto’s House of the Future, relied on hilariously impractical ideas such as plastic construction and became footnotes of futurism,” Van Dusen writes. “Others, like Madrid’s Torres Blancas and Montreal’s Habitat 67, proved to be comfortable and livable — though far too expensive to reproduce.” Except with little plastic blocks. 

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THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Zoning by fiat on the way out
Philadelphia is one of the last big American cities where local lawmakers operate according to “councilmanic prerogative,” an old-fashioned procedure that may be on its way out. Inga Saffin, the architecture critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, writes that “the prerogative grants the city's 10 district Council members the right to do as they please in their own patch,” whether that measure is “a history plaque or a major zoning change.” The practice, a surefire method of appeasing developers and thus generating campaign contributions, is now under scrutiny. This fall, Germantown and Chestnut Hill residents revolted when retiring Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller used the prerogative to rezone two sites to pave the way for controversial developments. “Unlike a bad law,” Saffin writes, “councilmanic prerogative can't be revoked. But we know from the democratic movements sweeping the Middle East and Russia that even the most arrogant of tyrants can't last forever.”

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THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Houses of the GOP Hopefuls
We know their policies from the debates, but in order to know these politicians as people, we need to take a look at their homes. After touring the homes of the seven G.O.P. hopefuls, The New York Times’s Kate Zernike writes of Michelle Bachman’s West Lakeland Township, Minn., “Dream Home” that “The builder’s description reads like a synonym finder for nouveau suburban glory, touting the home’s arched stone entry, hand-scraped walnut plank flooring, and a fully paneled library with see-through fireplace.” Newt Gingrich’s McLean, Va. “mansionette” “sits angled on a corner lot, as if to say, ‘Look at me.’ ” And, she reports, Ron Paul’s campaign confirmed “that he converted the garage to a dining room to accommodate the 40-odd family members who gather there for holiday dinners.”

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GARDEN & GUN
“The best damn barns in the country”
Ted Flato, a founding principal of San Antonio–based firm Lake/Flato, has designed some big projects, including academic buildings at the University of Texas and Arizona State, and the AT&T Center, home to the San Antonio Spurs. Guy Martin of Garden & Gun reports that, according to client Tommy Lee Jones, he also “builds the best damn barns in the country.” In this in-depth profile, Flato explains how he designed two barns for Jones’s string of polo ponies, why he repurposed pipes from an oil-field for the buildings’ frames, and how, in these barns and other structures, he works to “harness the breeze.”

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TRIPLE PUNDIT
Sustainable cities to watch for in 2012
Everyone knows about the sustainable initiatives of Portland, San Francisco, and Amsterdam. What you might not know, wagers Leon Kaye at Triple Pundit, is that smoggy Mexico City has an aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction plan in the works, and in April will be home to Latin America’s largest rail project, Line 12. The Mexican capital is one of 12 cities he flags as future beacons of sustainability. These include Detroit, which is reinventing itself with urban farming; Doha, the oil rich Qatari capital ramping up its investments in solar technologies; and Seoul, South Korea, which Kaye calls “a former drab metropolis” now thriving with “additional open space, more bikes, new approaches towards waste diversion, and most importantly, a thriving technology sector that most of us mortals can barely understand.”

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AIA CENTRAL OKLAHOMA CHAPTER
Proposals Solicited for Stage Center Building
The Central Oklahoma AIA is soliciting proposals for the purchase or lease and redevelopment of Oklahoma City’s Stage Center building, designed in 1970 by Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright pupil John M. Johansen. The building, considered one of Johansen’s most influential, received a National Honor Award from the AIA in 1972, the same year that MoMa added the building model to its permanent collection. The Central Oklahoma AIA is seeking proposals on behalf of the Oklahoma City Foundation, the public non-profit that owns the property. Though the organization will review all plans recommended by the AIA branch, its trustees are not obligated to accept any plan. Proposals are due on February 29, 2012.

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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Building a bridge over the Hoover Dam
Over the past two years, photographer Jamey Stillings documented the construction of a 1,900-ft. bridge hovering over the Hoover Dam. The Mike O’Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which spans the Colorado River and connects the Arizona and Nevada sides of the Black Canyon, is the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge in the U.S. In this slideshow, Scientific American samples six rich photographs from Stillings’s coffee table book The Bridge at Hoover Dam.

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