Leon Brand died on Oct. 24 at age 74. A founder of the architectural firm Brand & Moore, he also created and administered an architectural prize, the Albert S. Bard Award, which was given to municipal and commercial projects in New York. Born in Brooklyn, Brand studied architecture at the Pratt Institute and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Rome.

In December, the Chicago chapter of the AIA presented its Firm of the Year award to David Woodhouse Architects and the Dobin Family Young Architect award to Martin Felsen of UrbanLab.

Looney Ricks Kiss has opened a new office in Boulder, Colo., to expand its environmental design and retail group. The new studio will work on projects around the country, including designs coming out of the firm's three Florida studios. At the helm is longtime LRK principal Rebecca Courtney.

Stanford University has selected a design team for a new concert hall slated to open in 2012. Polshek Partnership Architects (led by design partner Richard Olcott and partner in charge Timothy Hartung) will design the 900-seat venue in collaboration with theater consultants Fisher Dachs Associates and world-famous acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota.

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the 2008 Solar America Cities program, which will fund up to 12 cities—each of which must have a population of at least 100,000—that are integrating and promoting solar technologies. The total value of the awards may reach $7.8 million. Last year's Solar America Cities included Ann Arbor, Mich.; New Orleans; New York; and Tucson, Ariz.

Hollywood's famed Art Deco Pantages Theatre is finally going to get the office tower designed by its architect, B. Marcus Priteca. Working from Priteca's plans, which were approved in 1929, theater owner James Nederlander and developer The Clarett Group expect to start construction on the 10-story tower—which will rise atop the existing building—in two years, once an environmental impact report and the entitlement process are complete. Opened in 1930, the Hollywood theater was the last and largest of 22 theaters designed by Priteca for theater and film impresario Alexander Pantages. The Great Depression forced construction to stop at two stories. A project architect has not yet been named.

Greg Havens, a principal of Sasaki Associates, is serving on the implementation advisory committee of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pact that seeks to reduce campus emissions and make them carbon neutral.

The Cleveland Institute of Art has unveiled plans for the $53 million expansion and overhaul of its McCullough Center. Architect Winy Maas of Dutch firm MVRDV will add an 80,000-square-foot structure to the west side of the existing center, a former Model T factory, which will undergo an extensive renovation. The project is scheduled for completion in 2009.

The 2007 Architectural Review Awards for Emerging Architecture have been presented to three firms: Taketo Shimohigoshi/AAE for a vegetation installation at FLEG Daikanyama showroom in Tokyo; Ecosistema Urbano Arquitectos for the EcoBoulevard of Vallecas, Madrid; and Far: Frohn & Rojas for their Wall House in Santiago, Chile. Additionally, six projects were awarded high commendations, and nine received commendations. For more information about the winning projects, go to architecturalreview awards.com.

Pratt Institute and the University of New Mexico have been awarded NCARB Grants for the Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. Each school will receive $5,000 in seed money from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards to create programs that bring together architectural practice and education. The University of New Mexico's plan is to develop a series of professional-level courses for advanced students, interns, and practitioners. Pratt proposes the creation of a history/theory course that would take Master of Architecture students into firms to document the ways that theory is integrated into practice.

In November, international engineering and design firm AECOM Technology Corp. acquired CityMark Architects and Engineers—which opened in 1998 and is based in Shenzhen, China—for an undisclosed price. It is believed to be the first time that a non-Chinese company has acquired ownership of a Chinese design firm with a Class A architecture and engineering license.