This Architect Spends His Free Time Reinventing the World’s Subway Maps

By  Rachel Nuwer, April 15, 2014

Jug Cerovic decided to reinvent the world’s subway system maps because of Paris. Frustrated with the city’s standard metro maps, he decided to make a new map for his own use. After Paris, he moved on to Madrid’s subway map and soon established a set of standardized rules, Slate explains:

Cerovic uses shapes to indicate symbolic forms of various cities—circles for Moscow and Paris, rectangles for Beijing and Shanghai, a stadium shape for Berlin and Seoul, South Korea, parallelograms for London and regularly spaced straight parallel lines in gridded street pattern cities like New York and Mexico City.

By assigning each city a different shape, Cerovic, a Serbian architect based in Paris, avoids homogenization and preserves each subway system’s uniqueness, the Atlantic points out. The maps are meant to act like road signs. Cerovic told the Atlantic: “They’re not the same in the whole world but they’re very similar — so if you go to another place, you’ll seem to recognize the meaning of the signs.” More…

Architect designs new transit hub straight out of ‘The Jetsons’

By Rebecca Harshbarger
April 15, 2014, New York Post

Two architects have completely reimagined a Queens transit hub with a sprawling, sea creature-like design that includes apartments straight out of “The Jetsons.”

The towering, webbed Urban Alloy Towers, designed by Matt Bowles and Chad Kellogg, rise above the intersection of the Woodside LIRR station and the elevated 7 train stop at 61st Street in futuristic artistic renderings.

The steel structures have luxury apartments on the top floor, as well as space for affordable housing and stores.

The renderings of the vertical transit hub were created for a yearly skyscraper competition by the design magazine eVolo, and recently won an honorable mention. More…

How One Family Dominated Fin-de-Siècle NYC Architecture

By Curbed Staff
April 15, 2014, Curbed

Two of the most important people in the history of New York City’s built environment weren’t politicians, magnates, or architects. They were two members of a family of builders from Spain. Their surname? Guastavino. It may not ring a bell, but pretty much every New Yorker has seen the work of Rafael Guastavino, Sr. (1842-1908), and his son Rafael Guastavino, Jr. (1872-1950). Their ascent to acclaim typifies the American dream, and it’s one that still has missing pieces—but more on that later.

Rafael Sr. was born in Spain and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1881, he and his eight-year-old son immigrated to the United States, where the two would revolutionize American architecture. They brought with them a vaulted tile ceiling technique whose foundation can be found in a tradition the Moors brought with them to Spain from Africa. But the Guastavinos took it further. Spaces massive and intimate could be draped in intricate tile ceilings. Rafael Sr. made their signature tiles fireproof, while Rafael Jr. would develop ones with better acoustics. Together, they amassed 24 patents and created some of Gotham’s most stunning spaces. According to the Museum of the City of New York, which is hosting an ongoing exhibition on them called “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile,” there are 300 Guastavino-annointed spaces in the five boroughs alone, and over 1,000 of them across the country.  More…

In Passing: Robert Hull

Robert Hull Architect AIBC FAIA, passed away on April 8, 2014 at the age of sixty eight.  Robert was a beloved colleague and founding partner at The Miller Hull Partnership.  Robert passed away from complications related to a stroke suffered while on sabbatical in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Hull, along with his long-standing business partner David Miller, led The Miller Hull Partnership to national prominence as a leader in the practice of Pacific Northwest regional design.

The two met while studying architecture at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, after which Hull served four years in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, where he designed more than 100 sustainable schools. He began his design career in the New York office of Marcel Breuer which honed his modernist aesthetic, eventually joining his classmate at Rhone Iredale in Vancouver, B.C. before opening The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle, in 1977.

During his 46 year career, Hull had a significant impact on the architecture of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, receiving numerous awards and honors. Among the most prominent, his design guidance contributed to the firm’s receiving the 2003 AIA National Firm Award for sustained design excellence. He and David Miller received the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award in 2006 and jointly earned the AIA Seattle Medal of Honor in 2010.

Hull was regarded for his natural ability to grasp the essence of a project and translate it into an inspired physical manifestation of client values. His design approach was that of an artist with an amazing eye for composition. His buildings fit amazingly well in their setting—urban or rural—and were extremely comfortable to occupy, but most of all, they were beautiful. Along with numerous residences throughout the San Juan Islands, many notable regional design credits include The Open Window, Epiphany, Bertschi and Bush Schools in Seattle, Conibear Shellhouse at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University Science Building and University Center for Performing Arts, Discovery Park Visitors Center and the iconic Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. In Oregon, his work includes the Tillamook Forest Center and Yaquina Interpretive Center on the Oregon Coast. He also led the design of numerous waterfront developments in San Diego, California including The Wharf and Pier 32 marinas.

Hull recently returned to Herat and Mazar e Sharif Afghanistan, where he was leading the design of both a health clinic and girl’s school respectively, in communities where he had served in the Peace Corps 40+ years ago.

Always generous and gracious with his knowledge and time, throughout the years Hull was an inspiration, mentor and role model to numerous design staff at Miller Hull, the architectural community, and students. Those who have benefited from the power of his inspirational work are legion. And among his many talents, he was gifted in the art of beautiful hand drawn design concepts.

At ease in the public forum, he was a respected and sought after speaker, and he participated in numerous regional and national design juries, including the national AIA Honor Awards. He is a former president of the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

Hull is survived by his wife and two sons.

A family funeral service was held in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Details of a public celebration in Seattle of Robert Hull’s life in will be announced when confirmed.

BC’s 100 Best Buildings Contest

We all have our favourite buildings.  Buildings with architectural lines we love, old houses with never forgotten memories within their walls and shops that beckon us to visit.  Buildings that hold special significance and have become a touchstone in our lives.

The Architecture Foundation of BC (AFBC) wants to raise awareness and appreciation for these buildings — your favourite buildings.  To celebrate 100 years of architecture, the AFBC is presenting the BC’s 100 Best Building Contest.

No matter where you live in British Columbia, you are invited to nominate buildings whether they are located in your region or elsewhere in the province.  A building that you love and want to share with us.

Give your favourite building the recognition it deserves:
Click here to submit a nomination, or go to But hurry! Nominations close on BC Day, August 4, 2014.

Then check out the nominations and vote for your picks from each region to make the TOP 100.

Your building could win!
Judges will select the top 3 from each region. It could be yours!


Thesis Survey – Calling All Architects!

As partial fulfillment of an architectural thesis, a student is requesting your participation in a blind survey to gain a better understanding of the daily challenges the modern architect faces.

The collected responses will be analyzed and used in a masters of architecture thesis on information and decision making. None of the data will be shared with others, only the student’s aggregate analytical findings will be incorporated in the final thesis. The deadline for completion of the survey is April 25, 2014.

The survey should take no longer than 12 minutes to complete. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

AIBC Council Election, Email Lists and Personal Information & Protection of Privacy

The institute has become aware that various ‘group emails’ are circulating among members with respect to the current council election.  Please be assured that the AIBC does not provide mailing or distribution lists to members or the public. Note that some contact information for members is readily available to any person seeking it through various sources, including the AIBC web site, firm or organization web sites, etc.