Los Angeles transformed this alley in North Hollywood into a polka dotted pedestrian plaza

NoHo Plaza, the day of its ribbon cutting. (LADOT)

NoHo Plaza, the day of its ribbon cutting. (LADOT)

The first project in LADOT’s People Street program has opened in a former alley near corner of Magnolia and Lankershim Boulevards in North Hollywood. The project, called NoHo Plaza, has been repurposed with cafe tables, chairs, umbrellas, a colorful surface treatment (which looks almost exactly like the dotted green and gold surface of Silverlake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza), and perimeter planters.

Continue reading after the jump.

“Jock tax” could fund new stadiums for Milwaukee Bucks; Populous, HNTB, Eppstein Uhen shortlisted to design

Inside the Milwaukee Bucks' current arena. (Jeramey Jannene via Flickr)

Inside the Milwaukee Bucks’ current arena. (Jeramey Jannene via Flickr)

Wisconsin’s NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, are getting a new stadium designed either by Populous, HNTB, or Eppstein Uhen, owners announced last week.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ephemeral Field House by design/buildLAB

Architecture, East, Envelope
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Students enrolled in Virginia Tech's design/buildLAB designed and built Sharon Fieldhouse over the course of an academic year. (Jeff Goldberg/ESTO)

Students enrolled in Virginia Tech’s design/buildLAB designed and built Sharon Fieldhouse over the course of an academic year. (Jeff Goldberg/ESTO)

Virginia Tech students demonstrate a light touch with glass and steel pavilion.

The undergraduate architecture students enrolled in Virginia Tech‘s design/buildLAB begin each academic year with an ambitious goal: to bring a community service project from concept through completion by the end of the spring semester. In addition to the usual budget and time constraints, the 15 students taking part in the course during the 2013-2014 school year faced an additional challenge. Their project, a public pavilion for Clifton Forge Little League in the tiny hamlet of Sharon, Virginia, was entirely lacking in contextual cues. “It was interesting because our previous design-build projects have been downtown, with lots of context,” said Keith Zawistowski, who co-founded and co-directs design/buildLAB with his wife, Marie. “Instead, we had a pristine, grassy field with a view of the mountains. We joke that this is our first group of minimalists.” The students’ understated solution—three geometric volumes unified by the consistent use of a vertical sunscreen—turns the focus back to the pavilion‘s surroundings with a restrained material palette of concrete, glass, and steel.
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Review> Poking at Power: New Parsons Exhibition Ridicules Dictators

(Courtesy Aronson Galleries)

(Courtesy Aronson Galleries)

At the Aronson Galleries at the New School, a wall of pickle jars taped with black-and-white cutout portraits of twenty dictators lines the windowsill. A standard 8 ½ x 11 paper sign invites visitors to Pick Your Own Dick by placing a poker chip in a jar. Chairman Mao, a world-class “dick” whose Cultural Revolution starved and murdered millions of Chinese, and Turkish President Erdogan, an elected Muslim fundamentalist morphing into a military strongman, handily won opening night.

Romancing True Power: D20, the mischievous exhibition and journal designed by Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss of NAO with research assistant Yiqing Wang Xiaolv, and conceived by Nina Khrushcheva, associate dean and professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, cheekily invites public debate about the nature of and difference between types of dictatorship, taking special glee in thumbing its nose at ostentatious symbols of power.

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Artist Cliff Garten lights up this “loud” sculpture covering a Los Angeles parking garage

Architecture, Art, West
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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Cliff Garten's Heart of Compassion, at night (tk)

Cliff Garten’s Heart of Compassion, at night (Jeremy Green)

Jerde Partnership’s The Vermont, consisting of glassy 23 and 29-story mixed-use towers on the corner of  Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, opened last summer. But one of its most memorable features, LA’s Heart of Compassion, a sculpture by Cliff Garten covering the bulk of its above-ground parking structure, is only now officially open.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects in Vienna plan to build this skyscraper out of wood

The tower will rise 276 feet. (Courtesy Rüdiger Lainer and Partner via The Guardian)

The tower will rise 276 feet. (Courtesy Rüdiger Lainer and Partner via The Guardian)

Last year, AN‘s Midwest Editor Chris Bentley reported on the advances being made in wood construction and how we were on the verge of seeing tall timber towers sprout up around the world. The AEC community has been talking about building high-rise structures with wood for years, but there obviously hasn’t been a major revolution with the building type just yet—the tallest modern wood building doesn’t even top 100 feet. Well, that record is about to be shattered by a new tower in Vienna that could usher in a new era of high-rise development.

Continue reading after the jump.

ARO, KieranTimberlake, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam make shortlist for Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University's campus. (Trevis Rothwell via Flickr)

Washington University’s campus. (Trevis Rothwell via Flickr)

Washington University in St. Louis on Monday announced the three finalists competing to design a new building for its Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Read More

This 400-foot-high hammock in the Moab Desert is a mid-air playground for climbers in Utah

City Terrain, National
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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(Courtesy Slackline Media)

(Courtesy Slackline Media)

A hammock suspended 400 feet above ground in Utah’s Moab Desert has become an aerial playground for the professional base jumpers and highliners who flock to the canyons every year.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Best Practitioners: Six Designers Share Their Go-To Products

Spec Sheet  
LEAD-bohn-pure_lighting_verge_door-copy

(Courtesy Pure Lighting)

Trust is earned. To be ensconced in the files of a design firm, products must pass professional muster on many fronts: performance, aesthetics, and value, prime among them. From high-tech building materials to hand-crafted finishes, architects and designers share their favorite resources with AN.

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Readers pick the top stories from the AN Blog in February

Hadid’s Beijing New Airport Terminal Building. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

Hadid’s Beijing New Airport Terminal Building. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

February’s over and that means Spring is a little, tiny bit closer. But while there’s still snow on the ground here in New York, let’s take a look back at the top stories from last month as voted by you, our readers. We saw a mix of topics hit the top posts, including high-tech transport, jewelry design, Frank Gehry’s funky architecture, and a heartwarming film about growing up with architects. Take a look at the top links below.

February’s top five blog posts after the jump.

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Italian architects believe these “personal rainclouds” could be the future of air conditioning

(Courtesy Pietro Leoni)

(Courtesy Pietro Leoni)

While the symbolic trailing raincloud over one’s head signifies a bad day, Italian architectural firm Carlo Ratti Associati recently unveiled an energy-efficient “personal cloud” for cooling off passersby in hot climates.

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This Week> Facades+AM Washington Three by Three

Facades+ AM is coming to Washington, DC on March 5. (Nicolas Raymond/Flickr)

Facades+ AM is coming to Washington, DC on March 5. (Nicolas Raymond/Flickr)

With its combination of iconic references to the nation’s past and the machinery that drives our political present, Washington, DC presents a particular set of problems and possibilities to facades innovators. Top experts in high-performance building envelope design and construction will this gather this Thursday, March 5, to explore some of these issues during Facades+ AM: Washington Three by Three, a morning seminar taking place at the District Architecture Center.

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