Following announcements that the Whitney Museum’s new building has been cancelled (a projected 200 million dollar project) and that the new Ian Schrager hotel has been shelved, Rem Koolhaas announced plans…

The director of planning for the World Trade Center site has resigned. Alexander Garvin has been a key player in putting emphasis on strong design and also encouraging Daniel Libeskind to enter the design competition. Garvin teaches at Yale and is the author of The American City, one of the better books today on urban planning and design.

Scott Simpson, Partner at Stubbins Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council has been named the new President and CEO of the firm succeeding Richard Green. The firm announced a new organizational model, which will be profiled in an upcoming edition of DesignIntelligence. Effective April 23, Kling and Stubbins announced an affiliation where Kling acquired Stubbins stock, then converted the existing ESOP-owned firm into one, allowing the leadership of both firms an equity stake. Kling is a 400-person firm, formed in 1946; Stubbins was founded in 1949 and has 100 employees. Their combined forces will now include six offices, with annual billings in excess of $80 million.

SmithGroup this year marks a rare distinction of 150 years in business; the oldest continuously practicing architecture, engineering and planning firm in the country. With eight offices in the U.S., the firm employees 900 and is headquartered in Detroit. Congratulations.

This month, the renovated Soul Experience Revival of the Stax Museum opens in Memphis. Darrell Russell of Looney Ricks Kiss called it “a burst of pride and energy.”

Following announcements that the Whitney Museum’s new building has been cancelled (a projected 200 million dollar project) and that the new Ian Schrager hotel has been shelved, Rem Koolhaas announced plans to severely reduce the size of his New York City firm. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) also announced recently that it was indefinitely postponing their new project. In a speech recently to the architecture students at Columbia University Koolhaas said: “I am admitting defeat in New York.”

Two of the Washington D.C. area’s larger design firms have merged to provide architectural and interior design. The new firm, Hickok Warner Cole is the combination of
Yolanda Col’s LyrixDesign and Mike Hickok’s Hickok Warner Fox Architects. The new firm has 50 employees.

Jeff Floyd and Dan Curtis have joined forces to create The ALPHA Group to provide long-term strategic advising for colleges, churches and other non-profit institutions. The firm has offices in Atlanta and Destin, Fla. Floyd, an architect and planner, brings more than 30 years of strategic planning experience for colleges and universities. Curtis is a 30+-year veteran growth and development consultant for non-profit institutions, including campuses, health care and church campuses. The firm has experience with more than 100 higher education campuses, churches and non-profit institutions across the US and internationally.

At Corbin Design: Following structural changes last fall (an ESOP plan allowing 51 percent stock distribution to employees) the firm now has made Mark VanderKlipp president. He has been with the firm for more than a decade. Now, Jeff Corbin will serve as chair and VanderKlipp will be aided by the firm’s five officers. The changes were effected late last month. The firm specializes in environmental graphic design.

With increasing popular interest in architecture and design, Michael Wollaeger the former Executive Editor of Architectural Digest, along with Carol Decker are starting a new magazine named Western Interiors and Design. The encouraging trend in upscale residential architecture and interior design is expected to grow by 5 percent a year or more over the next five years. In addition to Architectural Digest, magazines such as Southern Accents, Veranda, and Dwell, have had recent success during what is otherwise a three year down trend in ad spending in consumer and trade magazines.

Paul Sherwood-Rogers has joined Douglas Wallace Architects. With experience in retail and strategy, he is to work with the firm’s growing number of European clients. Previously, Sherwood-Rogers was with BAA, where his projects included the arrivals retail area of Heathrow Airport. His present areas involve work with brand-led clients in the United Kingdom, including Virgin and Lend Lease. The firm has offices in Dublin, Galway and London.