Dear Designers, Builders, and Dwellers,
Housing numbers are down:
The AIA has announced their annual national design award winners, which seem to include just one residential project, among the museums, theaters, and office complexes...
U.S. Home Prices Slump Again, Hitting New Lows - New York Times, 2011.0125
U.S. Home Prices Slide into 'Double Dip' - Los Angeles Times, 2011.0126
Housing numbers are up!
New-Home Sales Rise Sharply in December - NAHB, 2011.0126
It's a bit of a sad farce for such a potentially productive industry.
Focusing on the usual horserace of percentage points and fractions up and down - as most media and pundits continue to do, aided and abetted by the PR push from hungry national trade associations — for a U.S. housing market running along at around 1/3 of its long-term levels — is like putting a filter on your sound system so any sad music is filtered out, making the leftover crackle and hiss of background noise your main entertainment.
With an estimated eight million U.S. homes in or approaching foreclosure, we can expect much of the machinery of production housing to lie idle for the foreseeable future.
There's still an economy. There are still clients for good projects, and buyers for good properties - at least if the prices are great.
But we're not going to make out on volume for years to come. Let's take these slow times to watch, learn, retool, re-educate, upgrade, and focus where we can deliver housing design and construction that counts, even at relatively low volumes - that has a real competitive advantage - because it is flat out better. Better located, better made, better looking, better to operate, better for the environment, better for communities.
It's going to be slow. We can still make it worthwhile.
Residential Design and Building News
Home Builders Saw Weak Sales in 2010 - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0127
U.K. House Prices Fall 2.2 Percent in January - Reuters, 2011.0127
Canadian House Prices Fall for Third Straight Month - Financial Post, 2011.0126
2011 Housing Market Will Be Pancake Flat - CNN, 2011.0126
In a 'Shed,' Seeds of a Scottish Farm - New York Times, 2011.0126
Canada Home Prices Drop a Third Month in November - Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 2011.0126
A Reservist in a New War, Against Foreclosure - New York Times, 2011.0126
Why Are Home Prices Still Falling? - Time, 2011.0125
Generation Y Wants Housing Las Vegas Has in Short Supply - Las Vegas Sun, 2011.0125
Flat-Pack Home 'Answer to Shortage' - Press Association, 2011.0125
Norfolk Couple Restores Apartment Building to Home - Virginian-Pilot, 2011.0125
US Home Building Stuck Near 50 Year Lows - AFP, 2011.0125
Mortgage Fees on the Rise Again - MarketWatch, 2011.0125
Construction, Permits Rise Off Bottom but Still Below Peak - San Diego Union-Tribune, 2011.0124
How 'Distressed' Home Sales Are Fuzzing the Numbers - CNBC, 2011.0124
Selling a Luxury 'Turn-Key' Home in Cheshire - Mail Online, 2011.0124
Home Designer's Creativity Has Roots in World of Rock - San Francisco Chronicle, 2011.0123
With Martha Stewart's Help, 'Green' Home is a Joy for the Eyes and the Wallet - Washington Post, 2011.0122
Shanghai Looks to Tax to Cool Housing Prices - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0122
A Jigsaw Puzzle That Sleeps 4 - New York Times, 2011.0122
Modern Among the McMansions - Real Estate Journal, 2011.0121
International Builders Show Concept House Is LEED Platinum-Certified - Washington Post, 2011.0121
Home-Mortgage Rates Steady - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0121
Food Appeal for Sri Lankan Flood Victims - New York Times, 2011.0120
'Floating Above the City' - Chicago Tribune, 2011.0120
U.S. Home Sales, Leading Indicators Index Show Expansion Gaining Momentum - Bloomberg, 2011.0120
Existing-Home Sales Jump 12% - MarketWatch, 2011.0120
Love Affair with Fireplace Cools with Health Concerns - Seattle Times, 2011.0120
Former Beer Warehouses Returning to Residential - New York Times, 2011.0120
A Small, Cozy Studio to Call Her Own - New York Times, 2011.0120
Weeks of extremely heavy rains have led to massive flooding across eastern Australia in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. This NASA satellite photo from January 9, 2011 shows flooding of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, Queensland, a city of about 75,000 residents.
Design for Flooding - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0119
Floods are the most frequent natural disaster in the
United States. One in three federal disaster
declarations is related to flooding, many as a result of
hurricanes affecting heavily populated U.S. coastlines. >>>
Smarter Planning and Increased Transit makes us "Grow Wealthier" - FavStocks, 2011.0119
Postcard from Passive House Portland - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0119
There were 345 attendees (including me) at the North
American Passive House Conference in Portland, Oregon,
held from November 4 to 7, 2010. Twenty-six sessions
focused on all aspects of the Passive House building
energy-efficiency certification system, ranging from
detailed conceptual overviews led by Passivhaus
cofounder Dr. Wolfgang Feist to technical sessions about
specific aspects of certification in our region. >>>
Home Building Remains Very Depressed - MarketWatch, 2011.0119
Size Matters - Pacific Northwest Inlander, 2011.0119
U.S. Housing Starts Drop 4.3% in December - MarketWatch, 2011.0119
Hibernia Bank in New Orleans Building May Be Converted - New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2011.0118
Builders May Need to Learn New Way to Pitch Projects to Financiers - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0112
People and Places
by Nancy Novitski
HMC Architects in Los Angeles, California
HGA in Monterey Park, California
Atelier Kempe Thill in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Grimshaw in Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom
Cuningham Group Architecture in Marina del Rey, California
Kengo Kuma in Portland, Oregon
CO Architects in Los Angeles, California
Callison in Seattle, Washington
WASA/ Studio A in Brooklyn, New York
IA Interior Architects in San Francisco, California
Walton and Associates Architects in Springfield, Illinois
MVE Institutional in Placentia, California
OMA in Rotterdam, Netherlands
ESG Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska >>>
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Tools and Downloads
Update to AutoCAD Web and Mobile Access
Autodesk recently released an update to AutoCAD WS, which
enables users to view, edit, and share their AutoCAD designs and
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WS 1.1 plugin and mobile app are currently available for free
(subject to terms and conditions).
Vectorworks Architect 2011
With Vectorworks(R) Architect 2011 software, you can create
building information models without giving up the ease of design
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Making the Switch - AutoCAD to Revit, Part 2 - Cadalyst, 2011.0120
Beyond BIM - It's Not the End of the Road! - AECbytes, 2011.0120
gbXML - an Open Green Building Schema - Green Building Pro, 2011.0120
progeCAD Presents iCADMac - progeSOFT Press Release, 2011.0119
Oce Launches TDS750 Large-Format Printer - Oce Press Release, 2011.0118
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"COOOOOooool!" — AS, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Which 19th-century movement was led by William Morris
and was influenced by the earlier Gothic Revival
During which of the following time periods was
Romanesque architecture flourishing in Europe: 6th to
9th centuries, 9th to 12th centuries, or 12th to 15th
Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Chicago AIA Awards, by ArchitectureWeek
Ten years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Gateshead Millennium Bridge, by Don Barker
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