April 4, 2008
  Jean Nouvel Awarded 2008 Pritzker Prize
Jean Nouvel of Paris was named the 2008 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize on March 31. The 62-year-old architect first received international acclaim two decades ago as architect of the Arab World Institute, one of Paris’ Grand Projects under the aegis of President Francois Mitterrand. Since then, although the majority of his work is in France, Nouvel has designed projects all over the world, including in Japan, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Qatar, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iceland, UAE, Taiwan, Malaysia, Portugal, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia, and the U.S.—more than 200 buildings in all.

New Nationals Park Opens in Washington, D.C.
An energetic crowd of 40,000 inaugurated the new Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on March 30—and AIArchitect was there! The new ballpark is a collaboration of Kansas City-based HOK Sport and Washington, D.C.-based Devrouax + Purnell Architects and Planners PC, the architect of record. AIA President Marshall Purnell, FAIA, a design principal at Devrouax + Purnell, played a vital role in making the new ballpark a reality by working closely with AIA designers at HOK Sport and the City of Washington. The ballpark has just been awarded LEED® Silver certification, the first major league ballpark to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Watch for detailed coverage about the ballpark in next week’s AIArchitect—just in time for our special issue celebrating National Architecture Week. Stay tuned to find out how the team of architects, owners, collaborating colleagues, and public officials hit one out of the park!

Architecture 2030: Wear Blue to Show You’re Green on Earth Day
Architecture 2030, the nonprofit research organization founded by Ed Mazria, AIA, invites you to join the “BYOBlue for Earth Day 2008” event by wearing blue on Earth Day, April 22, to signify your support for an immediate moratorium on the construction of any new conventional coal-fired power plants. Then, on April 22, they suggest you make your voice heard by calling Congress, 202-224-3121, and asking for an immediate “Moratorium on Coal—a halt to the construction of any new conventional coal-fired power plants.” Through this Earth Day Network Call for Climate event, Architecture 2030 (this is not an AIA-sponsored initiative) hopes to generate more than a million phone calls to Congress. As the Earth Policy Institute points out, of the 151 conventional coal plants in the planning stage in early 2007, 59 were cancelled last year and some 50 more currently are being contested.

Celebrate Architecture Week!
Architecture Week—established in 2007 in conjunction with a congressional resolution and presidential proclamation marking the AIA’s 150th anniversary—will be observed this year from April 7-13. The celebration kicks off with a reception (you’re invited!) April 8 at the AIA national component headquarters in Washington, D.C., and includes the initial release of Architecture: Celebrating the Past, Designing the Future, the definitive book on the last 150 years of American architecture. Also debuting during Architecture Week is The Blueprint for America Mosaic, a Web resource for members, elected officials, and communities featuring efforts undertaken by local and state AIA components to create more livable, healthy, and sustainable communities. And, to raise public awareness of the value of architecture further, there’s the launch of the Shape of America, an Internet-based program offering short multi-media vignettes of cultural and historical significance, each focusing on an AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture. To learn more about Architecture Week, visit the AIA Web site or contact your local component about festivities in your area.

Tufts University Creates Harmony in the Age of Noise
"Harmony in the Age of Noise," a public art project currently under construction on the roof of Tufts University’s Tisch Library, Somerville, Mass., will bring together more than 100 students and faculty from diverse programs to explore the sound environment in which they live. Spearheaded by Tufts Professor of Anthropology David Guss and internationally renowned sound artist Bruce Odland, the project features an interactive sonic observatory housed in a large parabolic gazebo—designed and constructed of recycled and sustainable materials by sculptor Mark McNamara—in which a "sound dial" designed by Michael Luck Schneider is used to navigate through a harmonized mix of a real-time sonic feed, a collection of stored psycho-acoustic maps, and visitors' sounds programmed to play like hourly chimes. The installation will open to the public on April 17 and remain accessible throughout the spring. For more information, visit the project Web site.

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Welcome to the News Zone
This is where you will find the latest happenings in the Institute, the profession, and the wider world of building design and construction. The News Zone also carries commentary from AIA elected representatives as well as major new commissions, completions, and openings.