Explore Chicago’s regional transportation network on this interactive website

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

How many people get on the train at your “El” or Metra stop each day? Which county’s roads make for the roughest ride? How long did Chicago-area drivers while away waiting for train crossings?

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) just unveiled a new tool to stir discussion about transportation in the greater Chicago area that can answer all of those questions, as well as many more about the regional transportation system as a whole.

Continue reading after the jump.

Aaron Betsky to Head Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

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)

The search for a new leader of Frank Lloyd Wright‘s School of Architecture concluded today, as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation named Aaron Betsky the new dean in charge of Taliesin. Read More

It’s okay, Zaha, building is a tricky game: Starchitecture that has struggled to keep it together

HADID’S LIBRARY AND LEARNING CENTRE AT THE VIENNA UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS. (FLICKR / POV_STEVE)

HADID’S LIBRARY AND LEARNING CENTRE AT THE VIENNA UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS. (FLICKR / POV_STEVE)

When a huge piece of a starchitect-designed building comes crashing to the ground, the architectural world tends to notice. We are of course talking about the recent reaction to the 176-pound piece of concrete that fell off Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Centre at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Making matters worse for Hadid, this is the second time the building has shed a piece of its skin. But Zaha is not alone; shed(-ding) happens.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House re-opening in Los Angeles after immaculate restoration

Architecture, Preservation, West
Friday, January 23, 2015
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Hollyhock House, post-renovation (Joshua White)

Hollyhock House, post-renovation (Joshua White)

The lengthy renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House—his first residence in Los Angeles—is finally over. On February 13 Mayor Eric Garcetti and other local luminaries will cut the ribbon on the landmark’s re-opening.

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Los Angeles’ sustainability chief talks going green in SoCal

Sustainability is a top concern for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Neil Kremer / Flickr)

Sustainability is a top concern for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Thanks in no small part to the local AEC industry, Los Angeles is a leader in sustainability in several areas, notably green building. But there is still room for improvement, said Matt Petersen, former president and CEO of Global Green USA. Petersen would know: he’s the city’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as part of a broader administrative overhaul. “The mandate the mayor gave me was to build on the great things Los Angeles is already doing, and to put forward a vision for sustainability in the city,” explained Petersen.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Take a walk along New York City’s starchitect-lined High Line

Looking north to Stern's Abington House and KPF's 10 Hudson Yards. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Looking north to Stern’s Abington House and KPF’s 10 Hudson Yards. (Henry Melcher / AN)

If you haven’t been up on the High Line recently, or perhaps ever–looking at you Mayor de Blasio–then you’ve been missing out on some big new projects from architecture’s biggest names–we’re talking about your Hadid’s, your Foster’s, your Piano’s, and your Kohn Pedersen Fox’s.

Continue reading after the jump.

Governor Cuomo proposes AirTrain to LaGuardia, but would it actually help?

East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Friday, January 23, 2015
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Rendering of the LaGuardia AirTran. (Courtesy Cuomo Administration)

Rendering of the LaGuardia AirTran. (Courtesy Cuomo Administration)

Day One: New Yorkers rejoice as their governor,  Andrew Cuomo, announces his intent to bring AirTran service to LaGuardia Airport. Day Two: Well-respected transportation blog The Transport Politic digs into the $450 million plan and shreds apart some of its ambitious goals, namely the time savings it takes to get to the airport. Using the LaGuardia AirTran would actually be a less convenient way to get to the airport than the slow and unreliable options that currently exist.

Continue reading after the jump.

Thom Mayne fires back about Bradbury House destruction: “It’s not our responsibility.”

Architecture, Preservation, West
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Bradbury home prior to demolition (Redfin/ MLS)

Bradbury home prior to demolition (Redfin/ MLS)

By now you’ve likely heard about Thom Mayne‘s destruction of Sci-Fi author Ray Bradbury’s storybook 1937 home in Los Angeles’ Cheviot Hills neighborhood. Mayne and his wife Blythe yesterday talked to KCRW’s Frances Anderton to try to set the record straight.

COntinue reading after the jump.

The Architecture Billings Index ends 2014 in positive territory

National
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

Back in November, we told you how Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It off” perfectly summed up how we should feel about the Architecture Billings Index’s disappointing showing from the month before. Sure, the ABI’s momentum had slowed to 55.2 in October, but since any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, we could just shake off any negativity. Now with 2014 gone, how did the Index shape up through the end of the year?

Continue reading after the jump.

Flood-Proof and Floating: Architects unveil open-source plans for a prefab “Floating House”

Other
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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(Courtesy Carl Turner Architects)

(Courtesy Carl Turner Architects)

In an effort to reduce the cost of housing even further, this prefabricated home proposal ditches the cost of a traditional lot entirely. The houseby UK-based Carl Turner Architects doesn’t need one—it floats.

Continue reading after the jump.

Wrecking Keck & Keck? Chicago preservationists target North Shore landmark ordinance

Architecture, Midwest, News, Preservation
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Keck & Keck's Blair House in Lake Bluff, Illinois. (Griffith, Grant and Lackie Realtors)

Keck & Keck’s Blair House in Lake Bluff, Illinois. (Griffith, Grant and Lackie Realtors)

One of the Chicago area’s last remaining homes by brothers and modernist architects George Frederick and William Keck faces likely demolition later this year, despite a long-running preservation campaign to save it.

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Are London’s Paolozzi underground mosaics to be destroyed?

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

In October on a visit to London, friends mentioned that Eduardo Paolozzi’s early 1980 tile mosaics in the Tottenham Court tube station were going to be demolished. I diverted a Northern Line trip from Bank Street to the Charing Cross branch of the line and and walked through the Tottenham Station taking poorly lit iPhone images of the threatened mosaics. Paolozzi was a founding member of the English Independent Group and as an important early pop artist. His tube station artworks are a colorful and bright addition to a public space that is usually generic and often downright lifeless and boring.

Continue reading after the jump.

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