The International Business Magazine for Architects – Since 1986

Public Space rooftop night


As the seventh largest architecture firm in the world, Woods Bagot works across architecture, interior design, master planning and urban design with focus on the functional, operational and cultural needs of the customer. The firm will test-fitthe crowdsourced winning designs from the first Prodigy Design Lab competition, held this past spring. The competition was an open call for proposals to determine the design of the interior spaces and digital services of the collaborative community-based extended stay hotel.

“Woods Bagot is the ideal partner to bring the 17John crowdsourced concepts to fruition, focusing on an interactive and collaborative version of a traditional extended stay,” said Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network. “We are striving to create an innovative extended stay experience, incorporating the crowd’s vision and the needs of the modern international traveler into one space.”

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Prodigy Network closed on the purchase 17John in downtown Manhattan for $85.3 million, with more than $25 million in crowdfunded equity, senior financing from Deutsche Bank and subordinate financing from a New York-based institutional investor. Accredited investors from over 12 states and 10 countries invested in participations starting at $50,000 in this prime New York building.

Upon completion of construction, the extended stay property will be 23 stories and feature 191 furnished units, including full kitchens and workspaces and state-of-the-art technology. Each extended stay residence is designed for the international traveler looking for a community and opportunities to be collaborative in New York City.

“Woods Bagot is dedicated to re-defining the extended stay concept with Prodigy Network’s 17John,” said Brent Capron, senior designer at Woods Bagot. “By creating an environment where like-minded social entrepreneurs and business creators are brought together, we hope to create not only an extended stay environments, but an experience.”

Prodigy Network’s Manhattan portfolio now exceeds an estimated $450 million in top Manhattan commercial real estate properties with over $70 million of crowdfunded equity.




The 8 Best Podcasts for Architects


Each episode, Evan Troxel, Neal Pann, and Cormac Phalen get together for a casual conversation about all things architecture. The trio often weighs in on trending topics—including licensure at graduation (episode 36) and the emergence of millennial architects (episode 39).

Spotlight on Design
Produced by the National Building Museum, the lecture series features legendary voices in architecture, urban planning, and design. Past speakers include Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Shigeru Ban, to name a few.

99% Invisible
This imaginative podcast might just change the way you think about design. Award-winning producer Roman Mars explores how we’ve become numb to the design around us. He explores various phenomena such as utopian communities and the rise in IKEA hacking (anyone with a Pinterest account knows what I’m talking about).

Entrepreneur Architect
Every week, Mark R. LePage shares invaluable business tips for small-firm architects. Want to learn how to market your firm on social media? Maybe you’d like to re-adjust your budget or raise your fees. Whatever the case, the New York architect can help you build a better business.

The Architecture Happy Hour
Grab a drink and unwind with Laura Davis and Larry Paschall, principals of HPD Architecture. This dynamic duo discuss everything from finding a contractor to working abroad. We were especially delighted to find an episode about becoming a mentor!

DnA: Design & Architecture
The popular podcast explores architectural trends in the modern age. Host Frances Anderton chats with designers and users about the latest trends in Los Angeles and beyond, revealing how design can shape our world. For additional inspiration, head to the show’s eponymous blog, Design & Architecture.

Architect Exam Prep
Listen up ARE candidates. This one’s for you. David Doucette, Eric Corey Freed, and Aubrey Buracchio (who passed all seven divisions in five months!) offer prudent testing advice. Their number one tip? Make a plan and stick to it. Editor’s note: NCARB does not endorse any third-party study materials.

AIA Podnet
Only have a few minutes? The AIA’s podcast features brief interviews with design professionals from around the world. Recent guests include Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair to South African architect and UIA2014 Commissary General Karen Eicker.





Westchester, CA 3/13/14 Older buildings routinely give notice about their state of health. Rarely do they collapse on their own without some kind of assistance. In the wake of the Harlem collapse of March 12th, 2014 which has claimed 8 lives so far, it is imperative for architects to inspect older buildings for a host of simple tell tale signs. Among these are uses other than for which the structure was designed. Changes in use can lead to building failure for several reasons including: overloading of PME, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical. These life systems are often overloaded when a commercial building becomes an industrial building, or a residential use becomes a home office in addition to the residential uses. Commercial and residential buildings both are subject to failure relatively easily when the use becomes storage, for example. The dead weight of paper, and furnishings, for example, as it collects in offices can easily exceed design load provisions. When this happens, a catastrophic loss can occur. We are reminded by these accidents in Harlem just how realistic these risks can be. Architects should be utilized by everyone all the time to identify structural problems in buildings over 10 years old. There is no reason that these buildings, bridges and infrastructure should not be mapped more thoroughly.
When gas is present in a building it is imperative to isolate the leak and shut it down. The longer a leak is allowed to vaporize, it’s explosive properties become exponential. The results as we saw yesterday in Harlem are indicative of how gas expands in closed spaces. Fire tests done by Fire Marshals in Pennsylvania proved just how dangerous gas leaks become over time. If you smell gas, evacuate the building.
 Mr. Robert Sawyer is a California Licensed Architect and is available for interviews at:

Whistleblowers now can file complaints online with OSHA:

Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) now will be able to file complaints online. The online form will provide workers who have been retaliated against with an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance online.

Currently, workers can submit complaints to OSHA by filing a written complaint or calling the agency’s (800) 321-OSHA (6742) number or an OSHA regional or area office. Workers now will be able to electronically submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA by visiting

“The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their rights without fear of retaliation provides the backbone for some of American workers’ most essential protections,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. “Whistleblower laws protect not only workers but also the public at large, and now workers will have an additional avenue available to file a complaint with OSHA.”

The new online form prompts workers to include basic whistleblower complaint information so they can be contacted easily for follow-up. Complaints automatically are routed to the appropriate regional whistleblower investigators. In addition, the complaint form can be downloaded and submitted to the agency in hard-copy format by fax, mail or hand-delivery. The hard-copy version is identical to the electronic version and requests the same information necessary to initiate a whistleblower investigation.

Detailed information about employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets and instructions regarding how to submit the form in hard-copy format, is available online at

The London Fire Department reports an unknown number of casualties at this hour as survivors are being pulled from the Apollo Theatre structural collapse. Full story: Another report here:





Shawmut, an East Coast-based $850 million dollar national management construction firm responsible for LA flagship stores including Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Tory Burch on Rodeo Drive, has just expanded into an LA office in the mid-Wilshire area.

In addition to the firm’s newly established LA outpost, the team is currently under construction on a new ChristofleBarney’s and Santa Anita Park, as well as recently having recently completed culinary hotspots Nobu and Nikita in Malibu, and Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica. Other notable national clients include Apple, Le Bernardin, The Waldorf Astoria, Harvard University and Yale University.







Phaidon Press launch Phaidon Atlas: Architecture for Architects (, a global online resource for the best examples of contemporary architecture, spotlighting thousands of projects built in the 21st century.
The product of 6 years of extensive research and the input of over 200 architects, universities and experts from around the world, this new digital resource is designed to evolve as a growing online community to help build a global network for architects to communicate and share ideas, and will be a must-have research tool and an essential resource for anyone creating, studying, involved in, or passionate about the field of contemporary architecture.




Editor’s Note:

The architect’s* (builder’s also) nightmares are many, but we may refer to a few of them. There is the client who does not know much about building but who has friends who do, to whom he goes for suggestions — and, unfortunately, gets them! Were these suggestions made to the architect directly he could in most cases dispose of them; but his client becomes an intermediary, carrying back his defence or explanation in a garbled form to a judge who is prejudiced against him. The client often begins to feel that if he knew more about the game he could himself catch the architect out. Strained relations, inconsistent with lofty ideals of charity, supervene — and we have a case of architect’s nightmare (builder’s also!)

We have the client who, like the ancient Athenians, is always looking out for some new thing. His architect can do nothing without discussing the advantage of something he has not thought of adopting and is usually unsuitable and inappropriate. Yet, because the client and not the architect has mentioned it first, the client feels he has got his architect at a disadvantage, and the poor fellow is much in the position of a man who runs for a train with insufficient time and failing wind. This is another well-known form of nightmare.

The economical client is often a trial and discipline to those whom he employs. His architect can do nothing without being told of something somewhere else which was cheaper, and a continual stream of such reminders gradually destroys the architect’s peace of mind, leaving him in the position of a convicted fool — an experience akin to a nightmare. The architect who builds for a client whose finances cannot well bear the strain naturally fares badly. He is placed in the position of a man who insists on his solicitor fighting a weak case. If by a miracle he wins, his judgment is justified; if not, it is human to attribute his failure to inefficient professional advice.

These and many other forms of nightmare might be described, but it suffices to say that one and all of them are obviously attributable to the client’s failure to digest and understand the true nature of the sympathetic and altruistic architect he has employed. Summing up the evidence we have briefly marshalled, we may say that architectural nightmares such as we see around us owe their origin not so much to the failure of architects, but to their super-abundant sympathy for their clients, while the architect’s nightmares have their origin in the failure of the client rightly to understand and estimate the full merits of the profession. The treatment in both cases is obviously not to administer remedies to the architect, but to the general public. We are refining pure gold at our numerous architectural schools, while what is needed is to leaven the mass and make the public recognize the talent which is theirs to employ. But touching the minor question of the education of the architectural student, we have indicated the nature of another aspect from which it may be approached.

We may arrive at a definition of virtue and vice by studying either, and is it not possible that in all fields of thought it is sometimes well to adjust our views by considering not only what is, but also what is not? We have often been asked to give chapter and verse for a condemnation of bad design, which we have found difficult precisely because we have never troubled to analyze the nature of what displeases us, while we find it easy to explain the merits of what we consider good. As the proper study of mankind is man and not good men alone, so our proper study is building and not good building alone, and it is only mental laziness which leads us to restrict the extent of our survey. We are but the instruments on which our clients play their harmonies or strike discords, and what is needed is that the performer should receive a training which will enable him to appreciate our manifold merits. - The Editor

Adopted from the classic reference text: ca. 1922 American Architect & Architecture C 373602 – Fornightly, New York

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