Archive for February 2022

February 28, 2022

AIA Elevates Detroit Architects to College of Fellows

The AIA has announced the elevation of 88 members and two international architects to the College of Fellows, including AIA Detroit’s own Dorian Moore, FAIA of Archive DS, and Jeff Hausman, FAIA of SmithGroup. This is an incredible achievement, as only 3% of the membership are given this distinction.

The award is reserved for architects who have made significant contributions to the profession and society and who exemplify architectural excellence. Both Dorian and Jeff have dedicated their careers to bettering the profession of architecture.

Dorian Moore, FAIA, CNU, Vice President of Archive Design Studio, is an urban designer, architect, entrepreneur, educator, and developer whose commitment to city building extends into civic leadership. With a strong commitment to redeveloping and enhancing existing urban areas, particularly where physical as well as economic challenges exist, he advocates for a strategic approach to revitalizing cities, based on precedent research and sustainable practices aimed at the long-term viability of neighborhoods, districts, corridors, and downtowns. 

Jeffrey J. Hausman, FAIA, LEED AP, is Senior Vice President and Director of the Detroit & Pittsburgh Offices for SmithGroup, Inc., the 6th largest integrated architecture, engineering, and planning firm in the nation. He is also responsible for winning and leading the design of facilities that embody design excellence, innovation, sustainability, and responsiveness to the needs of nationally-recognized organizations. Jeff is a constant champion of the architectural profession.  He inspires young people to explore careers in architecture through his work with educational programs at his firm, for the Michigan Architectural Foundation, and with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

We know that both Jeff and Dorian will be transformative additions to the AIA’s College of Fellows.

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
February 20, 2022

11 Gorgeous Buildings Around the World Designed by Black Architects

Stacey Freed | Fodor’s Travel

Black architects have been designing architectural structures and making their mark on the international landscape since the late 1800s, despite historical barriers. Paul Revere Williams was the first Black member of the American Institute of Architects. He opened his practice in the early 1920s and built nearly 3,000 glamorous Southern California residential and commercial structures for almost 60 years. Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first licensed African American female architect, designed major projects such as the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Today, there are 2,434 licensed Black architects in the United States, less than 2% of the total number of licensed architects. Though small in number, they are responsible for myriad commercial, residential, academic, and government buildings, health care facilities, memorials, and parks large and small around the world. Black architects bring new visions and voices to the way humans perceive and interact with our built environments.

“We’re at a moment when process is almost as important or possibly more important than the product,” says Steven Lewis, principal at ZGF Architects. With today’s Black architects, “there’s an inclusionary process of gathering input and ideas; they’re seeking a sense of having been heard, seen, and acknowledged and offering an ease and comfort in occupying the spaces they create. Pre-George Floyd, these issues weren’t as urgent as they’ve become. There’s an awakening, curiosity, and interest now throughout the profession. With this new visibility of culture and issues, colleagues are excited to include that in the process of ideation.”

Read the entire list here.

Categories: AIA Detroit News  

2022 Hour Detroiters: Rainy Hamilton Jr. Draws up the Future of Detroit Architecture

Sarah Steimer & Photographs by Sal Rodriguez | HOUR Detroit

“I was sitting somewhere yesterday looking at a workstation — at all of the cables that connect from the PC, the monitor, the keyboard, everything else — and it was a kind of a spaghetti-looking mess,” says Rainy Hamilton Jr. “As architects, we like to take those puzzle pieces, that spaghetti, and try to bring some order to it. And we’re doing that in a context.”

Hamilton and his firm, Hamilton Anderson Associates, are puzzling together pieces of Detroit’s past and future to either birth or revitalize buildings across the city. He says history and context always fuel the first step of the design process in architecture: You look at the fabric of what’s already there — be it an existing building or a vacant piece of property — and ground it in what is needed today.

Hamilton’s own past clearly influenced where he is today — and where he hopes to be in the future. A native Detroiter, he found his calling early and stayed on that path, excelling at art, science, and model-building at a young age. But the context that kept him in Detroit was mutual support between him and the city.

Hamilton initially remained local in an effort to stay close to his mother after his parents divorced. He attended University of Detroit Mercy and was drafted into work at a firm with two of his professors. Hamilton then moved to SmithGroup, where he spent three years before striking out on his own — and even then, his former boss at SmithGroup offered him a safety net: He was told he would be welcome back if his independent work didn’t pan out.

Of course, Hamilton was successful. Now, 28 years later, Hamilton Anderson handles some of the highest-profile architecture and design projects in Detroit including The Hamilton Midtown Detroit, winner of a 2021 Detroit American Institute of Architects Award for Historic Rehabilitation. The organization’s jury for the award said, “The Hamilton perfectly exemplifies the dynamic future of Detroit while simultaneously acknowledging and preserving this piece of its glorious past.”

Hamilton says his team combined new features and amenities with some of the classic ornamentation of the building — such as the marble stairway and terrazzo floors — letting “history speak” in a way that creates a rich environment for the tenants.

This is the more obvious way The Hamilton Midtown (not named for him) combines the past with the present. The arguably more impactful way is that it helped to relocate its previous tenants and offered them a spot in the updated building — at the rent they were originally paying, plus a slight percentage increase and only allowing for small incremental rent increases going forward.

“That kind of effort just excites me, especially in the era of George Floyd and all of the injustice that we see across the country,” Hamilton says. “These projects are important to our mission. I use this corny expression, and I’m sure my staff is tired of hearing me say it, but as a native Detroiter, to be able to rebuild Detroit one home, one block, one neighborhood at a time is exactly why Hamilton Anderson is here and exactly why we’re headquartered here.”

Read the original article here.

Categories: AIA Detroit News  

12 Black Architects Making History Today

Hannah Feniak | Architizer

Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the past and reckon with the long history of racism and inequality that has disenfranchised Black Americans to this day. It is also a time to acknowledge the contributions and celebrate the achievements of generations of Black communities across all areas of society. A history that should not be limited to a single month, we recognize the urgency of listening to and amplifying Black voices all year round.

The under-representation of Black architects and designers continues to mar the architectural profession. Today, Black people make up 14% of the United States’ population; yet, less than 2% of the approximately 113,000 architects licensed in our country are Black. In addition to increasing diversity within the profession, the industry must confront the need to design more equitable spaces and cities and incorporate communities of color into these design processes. As Kweku Addo-Atuah beautifully states, “It takes the collective populace to imagine and shape the built environment, and for it to be truly reflective and responsive to society, inclusiveness must be at the forefront of collaboration.”

Previously, we have sought to posthumously recognize the work of 10 Black Architects Whose Work has Shaped America. By acknowledging these figures from the past whose legacies continue to impact our present, we hoped to contribute to a joint roadmap for building a more equitable future. This year, we highlight contemporary Black architects whose impactful work is forging history in the field today. Including A+Awards jury members, established practitioners and up-and-coming talents, the following architects have not only been singled out for their distinguished designs, but also for their leadership roles in advocating for a more diverse architecture industry and equitable built environment.

Read the entire list here.

Categories: AIA Detroit News  
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