New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority has selected a multibillion-dollar proposal by developer Tishman Speyer, architect Murphy Jahn, and landscape architect Peter Walker and Partners for the development of the city's 26-acre West Side railyard. Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff of The New York Times has decried the scheme—which will likely evolve in response to community involvement, rezoning, and other pressures—as “a throwback to the days when corporate Modernism was taking its dying breaths.”
Thornton Tomasetti has named Thomas Z. Scarangello as the firm's chairman, Daniel A. Cuoco as president and chief executive officer, and Robert P. DeScenza as chief operating officer. The changes come as Richard L. Tomasetti, past chairman and CEO, moves into a new role of founding principal and chairman of the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation, the engineering and architecture firm's charitable arm.
On May 13, Christie's will put Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House, in Palm Springs, Calif., on the auction block as part of a postwar and contemporary art sale. Renovated and restored by Los Angeles firm Marmol Radziner and Associates, the 1946 house—considered among the top home designs of the 20th century—is expected to sell for $15–$25 million.
One Chase Manhattan Plaza, in lower Manhattan, has been granted official landmark status by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Built in 1961, the tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and was, at the time of completion, the sixth tallest building in the world.
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada has awarded Dan S. Hanganu the 2008 Gold Medal, the highest honor the group bestows. Hanganu's work, the selection committee noted, is “not showy but significant and successful as highly usable environments.” The Chinese government has said that Beijing construction projects will be put on hold for two months, beginning July 20, to help clean the air for the 2008 Olympics. Officials said plans also include a reduction in steel production and temporary shuttering of quarries in and around the city. The games are scheduled to begin on Aug. 8.
The Washington University Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts awarded its biennial Steedman Fellowship to Nikole Renee Bouchard for her plan for an urban agricultural development north of St. Louis. Bouchard will receive $30,000 to support her research.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates has proposed a 1,500-foot LEED Gold skyscraper for Philadelphia. Called the American Commerce Center, the mixed-use building would include offices, a shopping mall, and a hotel and conference center. Initial renderings show the tower's usable space topping out at 1,200 feet; a 300-foothigh spire completes the design.
In other KPF news, the Kohn Pedersen Fox Foundation has announced the winners of its annual traveling fellowship, now in its third year. Kyung Jae Kim from Columbia University, Hoi Lung Chan from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Kristin Elaine Hawk from North Carolina State University will each receive $10,000 to create and follow an architecturethemed itinerary. Learn more about the fellowship and view experts from the winning portfolios at kpf.com.
Zaha Hadid Architects has won the competition to design the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania. The new museum will house pieces from both New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Hadid's design bested two others, by Studio Daniel Libeskind and Studio Fuksas.
Ray Pentecost, vice principal and director of healthcare architecture at Norfolk, Va.– based firm Clark Nexsen, has been named president-elect of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health. Pentecost, an architect and doctor, joined Clark Nexsen in 2003. He also serves on the board of directors of Virginia Commonwealth University's Health System Authority and used to direct the healthcare architecture program at the University of Houston.