Like every year, the Architectural League of New York selects eight North American firms as part of its Emerging Voices competition. A jury, composed of architecture and design luminaries, choose winners based on past accomplishments and potential to influence architecture’s trajectory in coming years.
Founded in 2006, Atlanta-based firm BLDGS follows a self-proclaimed responsibility to the civic realm that inspires founding principals Bell and Yocum. The firm recently finished the Congregation Or Hadash Synagogue and is currently restoring a windowless Brutalist-style building for Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, slated for completion in 2017.
Cadaval & Solà-Morales, based in Mexico City and Barcelona, view their practice as one that stands at the intersection of theory, academy, and praxis. Recent projects include Córdoba Reurbano, apartments added to a historic Mexico City building; CH 139, a mixed-use renovation that preserves a Spanish Colonial facade, and a guesthouse for travelers in Tepoztlán.
Duvall Decker Architects founders Roy Decker and Ann Marie Duvall Decker seek to accomplish more with fewer resources, partially due to the lack of public funds in their home state of Mississippi. In 2012, the firm completed the Midtown Affordable Housing complex in Jackson, which includes 22 federally funded affordable units. They also recently renovated the Dumas Hall at Alcorn State University and Bennie G. Thompson academic and Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College.
Frida Escobedo, who founded her Mexico City–based firm in 2006, strives to design forward-thinking large-scale projects. Her recent work includes the Octavio Paz Library’s 2014 renovation and a 2015 pavilion for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Escobedo’s firm also designed a civic stage for the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale.
Chris Leong and Dominic Leong’s mission at Leong Leong is driven by a curiosity for new aesthetic experiences. The practice, founded in 2009, designed the 2014 U.S. Pavilion for the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Current projects include the Center for Community and Entrepreneurship in Queens, New York, and the Anita May Rosenstein Campus at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, both slated for completion in 2019.
LEVER Architecture founding principal Thomas F. Robinson emphasizes material research; he has pioneered study into cross-laminated-timber (CLT) since starting his Portland-based firm in 2009. In 2018, LEVER will complete a CLT-clad high-rise that offers affordable housing. The firm also designed Union Way, a European-inspired retail arcade that uses locally-sourced poplar.
Jonathan Tate of OJT
Jonathan Tate, founder of New Orleans–based firm OJT, concentrates on the context of each project, accounting for social, spatial, historical, economic, and environmental concerns. In 2017, OJT will complete Bastion Community, an 80-unit multi-family housing community for combat veterans in the city.
David Scott and Susan Scott of Vancouver–based firm Scott & Scott Architects have a portfolio that spans from agricultural and community master planning to urban adaptive reuse for commercial clients. The firm recently completed two retail projects: a knife shop and ice cream parlor, the latter located on the loading dock of a restored 1912 warehouse.
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