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.

Filed Under: 

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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Detroit city council asks, graffiti: art or vandalism?

Detroit graffiti art by Four Eyes, via 4731 Gallery and Studios.

Detroit graffiti art by Four Eyes, via 4731 Gallery and Studios.

Graffiti: art or vandalism? For some there’s an absolute answer to that question, but for most there’s room for debate. In New York City, police chief Bill Bratton calls graffiti “the first sign of urban decay,” while work from Banksy (and sometimes lesser-known street artists) fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at New York auctions.

Detroit became the latest city to grapple with this question in an official capacity, with city council members previewing ordinances designed to cut back on blight that have brought a somewhat philosophical question into sharp legal focus: How do you distinguish between blight and art in a city renowned (or reviled) for both?

Continue reading after the jump.

SHoP Architects’ first tower at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar site breaks ground with a refined design

"Site E." (Courtesy SHoP via Two Trees)

“Site E.” (Courtesy SHoP)

As AN has been reporting for a while now, it’s all systems go for the long-stalled Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment on the Brooklyn waterfront. Crews have been demolishing old structures on the site for months, and today we got word that the developer, Two Trees, is breaking ground on the massive project’s first residential building: a 16-story, 500-unit rental building designed by SHoP, which is designing the entire project.

Continue reading after the jump.

LEGO Architecture honors the Great Emancipator with a miniature of the Lincoln Memorial

(Courtesy LEGO)

(Courtesy LEGO)

A miniature LEGO model of the Lincoln Memorial has just launched under the LEGO Architecture brand, a “Lego for grownups” product line that celebrates architecture and the chameleon capabilities of the LEGO brick.

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London to invest $140 million to boost cycling in the ‘burbs

A proposed "cycle hub" in Kingston. (Transport for London)

A proposed “cycle hub” in Kingston. (Transport for London)

As we’ve been reporting, there are some pretty big urbanism proposals being pushed in London right now. Next month, the city is expected to break ground on a massive cycle superhighway that will give cyclists about 20 miles of new protected bike lanes. Mayor Johnson is also supporting a plan to bury parts of major thoroughfares to boost walkability and development. But now, something even bigger is brewing in the London suburbs.

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This prefab steel cabin from Copenhagen takes glamping to a whole new level

Other
Friday, February 27, 2015
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(Courtesy Vipp)

(Courtesy Vipp)

Danish design studio Vipp recently debuted a fully-furnished, prefabricated shelter touted as a “plug and play getaway” and “all-inclusive nature retreat.” This ready-to-use, minimalist cabin is just 592 square feet and is designed to reunite man with nature by integrating into its surroundings with a steel facade and predominantly dark tones that defer to the surrounding scenery.

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St. Louis is the latest to pursue a bike share system

Potential stations for a bike sharing system in St. Louis. (Alta /  Great Rivers Greenway)

Potential stations for a bike sharing system in St. Louis. (Alta / Great Rivers Greenway)

St. Louis could become the latest city to join the wave of bike sharing programs already prevalent in cities from Washington, D.C. to Portland, Oregon.

Great Rivers Greenway—a special taxing district created in 2000, when St. Louisans devoted a tenth-of-a-cent sales tax premium to for the creation of trails and parks—issued a request for qualifications in December. Now a feasibility study from bike sharing firm Alta Planning + Design says the city’s ready for a two-year roll out of 60 stations with 540 bikes, with 30 additional stations and 250 bikes to follow. Read More

Animated film shows how growing up with modernist architect parents comes with its own challenges

Architecture, Art, International
Friday, February 27, 2015
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modern-arch-parents-01

Still from Me and My Moulton.

A short film called Me and My Moulton by director Torill Kove takes a humorous look at growing up with parents who are “modernist architects”—and it’s been nominated for an Academy Award under “Best Animated Short Film.” Told from the perspective of of a seven-year-old middle child, the challenges of growing up with architect parents include three-legged dinner table chairs and a house that your friends think is a bit odd.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

Filed Under: ,

Breaking! Renderings and video of Bjarke Ingels’ and Heatherwick’s Google headquarters unveiled

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

Just two days ago, AN brought you word that Copenhagen- and New York–based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and London-based Heatherwick Studio were teaming up to design the new headquarters for Google in Mountain View, California. At the time, it was only being reported that the complex would comprise “a series of canopylike buildings.” Well, now we know what those canopylike buildings will look like and a whole lot more.

Continue reading after the jump.

Clive Wilkinson Architects Makes a Superdesk

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Fabrikator
Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Clive Wilkinson Architects designed a continuous work surface dubbed the Superdesk for New York advertisers the Barbarian Group. (Michael Moran)

Endless table materializes intra-office connectivity in plywood, MDF, and epoxy.

When Culver City-based Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWA) sat down with representatives of the Barbarian Group to discuss renovating the advertising agency’s new 20,000-square-foot office, one word kept coming up: connection. “Before, they were all in offices designed for one person, but crammed five in each, and scattered,” recalled associate principal Chester Nielsen. “It was a pain. Bringing everyone into the open, and having them feel like they were all connected was super important.” The architects elected to “surgically gut” the leased New York Garment District loft to create a central workspace for between 125-175 employees. To materialize the theme of connection, they zeroed in on the idea of a single work surface, an endless table later christened the Superdesk. With 4,400 square feet of epoxy-coated surface atop a support structure comprising 870 unique laser-cut plywood panels, the Superdesk is a triumph of programmatic creativity. “Building a big table was not an obvious solution,” said Nielsen, “but it’s a simple one.”
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