Table of Contents May 2011



  • Good Times

    Cabrini-Green is now gone, and Chicago embarks on a new public-private era of public housing.




  • Image

    Talk of the Town

    Richard Tyler lost everything in Katrina, but rebuilt his life with the help of a "Porchdog."








Architect 50

  • Model Employee: Jamie Lee 33-year-old Jamie Lee is a newly licensed architect in SmithGroups Washington, D.C., office. She was born in Taiwan and grew up in Northern Virginia. After receiving her M.Arch. in 2005 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Lee wanted to return home and have some impact on the built environment of D.C. Working in the offices learning studio, Lee has developed a passion for higher-ed design. I like working with the client, she says. The thing thats great about schools [is], they all have academic missions and visions. Its nice to provide them with a physical structure that embodies their vision.

    Number 2: SmithGroup

    This firm pulled through the recession by focusing on its four primary markets.

  • Model Employee: Samuel Lasky Forty-two-year-old Samuel Lasky, AIA, joined William Rawn Associates (WRA) in 1998, having earned his stripes at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Yale University, and with stints in a few other architecture offices. Because of WRAs team-based, generalist approach, the environment was such that Lasky could freely contribute design ideas. Then, as the office took on program types it had not yet worked with, Lasky set out to fill the gaps. When the Cedar Rapids courthouse came in, I learned everything there was to learn about courthouses, Lasky says. He brought that same researchers spirit to projects including the W Hotel and Residences in Boston and Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Mass. Outside the firm, Laskys contributions have not gone unnoticed: He won the AIA Young Architects Award in 2008. Now, as a senior associate, he is able to mentor younger designers. Our designs involve an entire team, he says. The ideas may come from junior staff who are a few years out of school and who bring a different expertise. We want that to happen.

    Number 3: William Rawn Associates

    Staying true to their mission and not falling for the boom helped this Boston firm return to the top five.

  • Model Employee: Leigh Christy When Friends of the Los Angeles River needed an architect to plan the reclamation of a flood plain just east of downtown, it turned to Perkins senior associate Leigh Christy, AIA, who heads the social responsibility committee at the firms L.A. office. (The committee identifies nonprofits that could benefit from pro bono design services.) Christy, 37, ended up leading a collaborative of southern California firms whose work will help the organization promote its goal of riverbank restoration. A University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley grad who has been at Perkins since 2004, Christy is committed to such pro bono projectsbut even her paying work is civic-minded. Witness the new LAPD Rampart station near MacArthur Park, part of an effort to make the citys police force accessible to the public. Christys current projects include a new student services building for Modesto Junior College and a new home for LAPDs Metropolitan Division. She lauds Perkins for encouraging an entrepreneurial spiritone reason she acts as both project architect and project manager on many jobs.

    Number 1: Perkins+Will

    Openness and sustainability help this firm move into the top spot this year.

  • Image

    The ARCHITECT 50

    Our third-annual ranking of American architecture firms judges them on three factors: profitability, sustainable ethos, and design quality.

  • ARCHITECT 50: Top Tens

    The top 10 in each of the scoring categories: award-winning, net revenue per employee, and sustainable firms.

  • ARCHITECT 50: 51-100

    Those firms who came in at 51 to 100 in the third-annual ARCHITECT 50 rankings.

  • Number 4: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

    After trimming its organization with the downturn in 2009, the skyscraper-building giant is hitting its stride.

  • Number 5: Ann Beha Architects

    This Boston firm took a top 5 spot with their combination of research and its sensitivity to the past.

  • Methodology

    Here is how the rankings in the ARCHITECT 50 are calculated.



Best Practices

  • Portrait of Nick Merrick, architectural photographer and principal of Hedrick Blessing Photographers, photographed in his Galisteo, New Mexico studio.

    Shoot the Moon

    Architectural photographer Nick Merrick gives his tips on shooting architectural photography.



  • VisionArc is a consultancy run in tandem with Toshiko Mori Architect, the practice founded by Toshiko Mori (pictured) in 1981. Mori also teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and chairs the World Economic Forums Global Agenda Council on Design.

    Systems Thinking in Architecture

    Systems thinking in architecture: VisionArc, a New York City think tank, puts design at the service of complex global challenges.


Local Market

  • Image

    Columbia, S.C.

    A look at market conditions and signature works in Columbia, S.C.


Pro Bono


    Village Green

    EHDD Architecture in San Francisco builds a green elementary school in China after the 2008 earthquake.



  • St. Regis Princeville Resort - Kauai, Hawaii - WATG - WATG transformed this 23-acre, 303-room resort from a property outfitted in a somewhat heavy,  European style to one with a more Hawaiian and residential feel. The resort reopened in late 2009 as the first St. Regis property in Hawaii. Today, major hotel renovations are less common in the U.S. than budget-conscious upgrades.

    Hotel Renovations

    The recession forced some hotel owners to put off renovating. Now, as conditions improve, they’re trying to do the most they can with the capital they’ve got.


Other Articles

  • In Design, We Trust

    Many nations have a national architecture policy in place. Will the U.S.?

  • Image

    John D’Amico

    This designer was elected to the City Council of West Hollywood, Calif., in part because of his views on the built environment.






CEU Article



  • Image

    A New Theory War?

    The divide between the proponents of practice-based and theoretical instruction.


Exhibits Books Etc.

  • Image

    Two from Thomas Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design

    "Ethics for Architects" and "The Invisible Elements of Place."

  • Image

    "Micro Green"

    Mimi Zeiger expands on "Tiny Houses" with "Tiny Houses in Nature."

  • Image

    "Master of Shadows"

    The diplomatic career of painter Peter Paul Rubens, by Mark Lamster.

  • Image

    The Daly Street Lofts

    Contributing editor Joseph Giovannini transformed a 1930s garage into live-work units.

  • Image

    "Matter in the Floating World"

    Blaine Brownell, AIA, talks with the architects of Japan.

  • Image

    What Happens When

    A restaurant in New York is changing its food, music, and decor every 30 days until October.

  • Image

    "Knoll Textiles, 1945–2010"

    An exhibit in New York attempts to remedy the wrongs done to fabric designers, by highlighting the history of Knoll Textiles.

  • Product Guide, photographed for Architect Magazine, 21 January 2011.

    "How to Design"

    Design Museum in London offers up a How to Design series on lights, chairs, houses, and typefaces.

  • Image

    "Julius Shulman Los Angeles"

    A new compilation of photographer Julius Shulman's snaps of L.A. reveal midcentury modern at its height, as well as the domestic, agricultural, and industrial state of L.A. at the time.

  • Image

    Miller House

    The Miller House by Eero Saarinen, Dan Kiley, and Alexander Girard in Columbus, Ind., is available for tourists to see.

  • Image

    You Are Listening To

    Listen to the sounds of a police radio feed layered over electronica to get the soundtrack of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Montreal.

  • Image

    Lego Architecture'

    Adam Reed Tucker built world-famous buildings in Lego form, including the Burj Khalifa, the unbuilt Chicago Spire and more.

  • Product Guide, photographed for Architect Magazine, 7 April 2011.

    "The Sourcebook of Contemporary Architecture"

    This compendium features photographs and drawings of 70 sustainable projects worldwide that feature varied eco-strategies.

  • Product Guide, photographed for Architect Magazine, 7 April 2011.

    "Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed"

    From 1970 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, sci-fi-like buildings were built across the Sovet Union—and are surveyed in this book.

  • Image

    "Architects' Sketchbooks"

    Will Jones compiles architectural and fanciful sketches by architects including Shigeru Ban, Wil Alsop, and more.


Past P/A

  • Piazza d??Italia

    Postmodern Postmortem

    The Piazza d'Italia's current state speaks to the postindustrial city and post-Katrina New Orleans.



  • Image

    Steelcase Dash

    A freestanding LED task lamp that is made with 32% recycled content and is 97% recyclable.

  • Image

    Pablo Link

    A modern version of classic task lamp, incorporating LEDs.

  • Image

    Marset Scantling

    Combining basic geometric shapes with wood and metal in a task lamp.

  • Image

    Luxo Ninety

    Task lamp that uses four 1.5W LEDs to offer bright, warm light with a color temperature of 3,000 K.

  • Image

    Luxo L-1 8151

    This task lamp has an 11W compact fluorescent bulb with a rated maximum of 40W.

  • Image

    Philips Lightolier Lytegem Lamp

    This Lytegem lamp is part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

  • Image

    Lampe Gras Task Lamps

    The 205 task lamp family is now available in the U.S from Holly Hunt.

  • Image

    Foscarini Tua

    A white table lamp made from a single piece of aluminum; the source is hidden within the curve.

  • Image

    Flos Kelvin LED

    This task lamp has a power consumption of 8W and color-rendering index of 95.

  • Image

    Successful Living from Diesel with Foscarini Perf

    A task lamp based on the concept of perforated lamps from North Africa.


Other Articles