Ho,Ho, Home: Architects design a modern logistics center for Santa Claus

Architecture, Awards, International
Friday, December 19, 2014
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Ruukki_TUC_winner_NothingIsImpossible_2

(Courtesy Ruukki Construction)

Competing for a place in holiday history—and a ten-week paid internship at the Oslo office of Snøhetta—entrants from fifty-nine countries submitted 243 proposals for a new logistics center for a very singular client: iconic global trading magnate, Santa Claus.

Check out the designs after the jump.

Want a Rem in your room? Beijing’s CCTV tower transformed into a wardrobe

GalleryALL_NaihanLi_CCTVwardrobe_2

(Courtesy Design Miami)

At the recent Design Miami fest, artist Naihan Li exhibited her work-of-art wardrobe, which is helpfully—or confusingly—titled I AM A MONUMENT. (Apologies, and a tip of the chapeau, to Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour.) The monument in question is, of course, Rem KoolhaasCCTV building.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Zaha Hadid designs a net-zero headquarters in the desert that mimics a sand dune

Bee'ah Headquarters. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid / MIR)

Bee’ah Headquarters. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid / MIR)

The Queen of Swoop, Zaha Hadid, has unveiled her latest project: the upcoming headquarters for Bee’ah, a waste management company based in the Middle East. The roughly 75,000-square-foot structure, in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, keeps a low-profile in its desert environment by taking the form of the surrounding sand dunes.

Continue reading after the jump.

Arktura Forms Gensler’s Frameworks

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The serpentine steel screen is composed of hundreds of uniquely shaped cells. (Courtesy Arktura)

The serpentine steel screen is composed of hundreds of uniquely shaped cells. (Courtesy Arktura)

Framework is made of 260 unique steel boxes, laser-cut and sculpted on an 18-axis metal forming machine.

When designers at Gensler’s Dallas office dreamt up plans for a serpentine steel screen composed of hundreds of perforated cells, they enlisted the design-build talents of Arktura, based in Gardena, California, 14 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Though still mostly architects, Arktura’s staff includes mechanical engineers and even a physicist. The company’s 50,000-square-foot space includes a design studio, an engineering studio, and manufacturing space where they produce furniture, architectural products, and custom projects—like the one Gensler took to calling “Frameworks: Cellure Structure.”

“It’s in our DNA to allow a lot of flexibility when we’re working with design teams,” said Sebastian Muñoz, director of project design and development. Gensler’s concept remained intact through numerous redesigns, Muñoz said, but getting it right required a lot of flexibility.

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Portland Building, once eyed for demolition, will be saved, Graves says

Architecture, National, News, Preservation
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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The Portland Building (photo: Keith Daly/flickr)

The Portland Building (photo: Keith Daly/flickr)

[Editor’s Note: This post was written by Edward Gunts and James Russiello.]

The Portland Building, once considered for demolition, will be spared from the wrecking ball and renovated, according to its architect. Michael Graves, the building’s architect, said in late November that city officials have decided to renovate it for continued use as municipal offices and have asked him to serve on a committee that will coordinate the redesign effort. AN spoke to Graves at a symposium organized by the Architectural League of New York.

“It’s going to be saved,” Graves said. “They told me… They said they are saving the building and not only that but we want you to sit on a committee for the redesign.” Graves added that a time frame for the work has not been set but “I would imagine in the next year we’ll do something.” Dana Haynes, communications director for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, confirmed that the Portland Building is not under threat of demolition and will continue to house city employees. He said Portland’s annual capital budget process will begin in January and city officials likely will begin to look at what resources the city might have to address flaws with the building at that time. Haynes said he was not aware that Graves had been asked to serve on a commission to help oversee work on the building, but he said he thought that made sense.

Continue reading after the jump.

Time Inc. sells Cliff May’s midcentury modern Sunset campus in Menlo Park

Architecture, Preservation, West
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Entrance to Cliff May's Sunset campus (Charles Birnbaum)

Entrance to Cliff May’s Sunset campus (Charles Birnbaum)

After weeks of rumors, Time Inc. earlier this week announced that it had sold Sunset‘s Cliff May–designed, seven-acre campus in Menlo Park, CA to real estate investment firm Embarcadero Capital Partners. Sunset, which has been published in some form or another since 1898, moved into the classic midcentury campus in the 1950s. They will stay through the end of next year.

Continue reading after the jump.

Wanda’s plans for a new Studio Gang–designed Chicago supertall tower come into focus

(Wanda Commercial Properties / City of Chicago)

(Wanda Commercial Properties / City of Chicago)

City officials laid to rest Wednesday some, but not all, of the supertall rumors swirling around Chicago since July. Beijing-based real estate giant Wanda Commercial Properties is indeed planning what would be the city’s third tallest building for 375 East Wacker Drive in the Lakeshore East neighborhood.

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Presents with Presence: AN’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide sure to please all the designers on your list

National, Newsletter, Product
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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j-hill

(Courtesy J. Hill’s Standard)

For those in the A/E/C practices, there is little doubt about the greatest gift of all: time. While AN can’t source that elusive asset for you, we have assembled a collection of material goods that are designed to make life a little more elegant, efficient, and even fun. Happy holidays to all!

Elements Collection
J. Hill’s Standard

A fresh take on Irish cut crystal, this barware is marked by cuts and textures of varying depth, creating a graphic language. Designed by Scholten & Baijings.

View the full Gift Guide after the jump.

OMA heading back to China with an exhibition center in Shanghai

Rendering of the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, along the Pudong waterfront.

Rendering of the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, along the Pudong waterfront.

Having designed what is arguably Beijing’s most recognizable building, CCTV, OMA is ready to make a similar, if slightly smaller, mark in Shanghai. They’ve just won a commission to design the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, located on the northern edge of Shanghai Pudong, a famed tower-filled area along the Huangpu River.

Continue reading after the jump.

Frank Lloyd Wright School calls for cash to save its accreditation

A theater at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home-studio and retreat in Spring Green, Wisconsin. (Chris Bentley)

A theater at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home-studio and retreat in Spring Green, Wisconsin. (Chris Bentley)

In August, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture found its accreditation in jeopardy, following a rules change by their regional accrediting board, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Now the institution needs to raise $2 million before the end of 2015, or it will lose its standing once the new rules take effect in 2017.

Continue reading after the jump.

Morphosis Computes a Facade for Cornell

Architecture, East, Envelope
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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Gates Hall's facade features stainless steel panels that mitigate heat loading. (Courtesy Cornell University)

Gates Hall’s facade features perforated stainless steel panels that mitigate heat loading. (Courtesy Cornell University)

The facade’s stainless steel panels form a wave pattern, cutting down on glare and heat loads while representing the contribution computing has made to design.

The recently completed Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, combines the schools’ Computing Science and Information Science departments under one roof. Designed by Morphosis, the facility encourages spontaneous interactions between these two disciplines with common spaces for comingling and transparent partitions that allow views, and daylight, to pass from space to space. The building envelope, a unitized glass curtain wall system, is wrapped in a band of perforated stainless steel panels that forms a dynamic, angular wave pattern across the surface. In addition to creating a sense of movement across the exterior, it serves as a fitting symbol of the contribution that computing has had on the arts and sciences: The architects used advanced digital modeling tools to design the geometry, pattern, and details of this additive layer, and made it to function both as an aesthetic gesture as well as a performance enhancing element of the architecture. “The goal was to establish a consistent level of daylighting throughout the interior,” said Cory Brugger, director of design technology at Morphosis. “We maximized the exterior glazing to get the light coming through. The design of the screen reduces the amount of glare and heat gain and starts to help with the performance of the facade system itself.”

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