Eavesdrop> Staten Island to Get a Subway (Simulator)

The New York Wheel is planned for Staten Island. (Courtesy New York Wheel)

The New York Wheel is planned for Staten Island. (Courtesy New York Wheel)

The planned giant Ferris wheel in Staten Island—one of kookier of the Bloomberg-era megaprojects—is apparently still happening. Eavesdrop always thought the step-Borough deserved more than a tourist trap wheel and a giant outlet mall, but hey, apparently Amanda Burden thought differently. According to the Associated Press, New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin said the project will include a thrill ride that will “simulate a ride in a subway car.” Here’s a better idea: buy a MetroCard.

Five finalists unveiled for Governors Island FIGMENT pavilion

Architecture, Art, Awards, East
Monday, November 24, 2014
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FIGMENT's 2014 Pavilion. (Axel Taferner / Flickr)

FIGMENT’s 2014 Pavilion. (Axel Taferner / Flickr)

It’s never too early to start planning for the summer. As we head into winter, try to warm yourself up with thoughts of visiting Governors Island, with an iced coffee in one hand and pure, summertime optimism in the other. When you make that dream a reality in a matter of months—on the other side of a polar vortex or two—you will be greeted on the island with a new public pavilion. The City of Dreams Pavilion will be the fifth consecutive installation to come out of a competition hosted by FIGMENT, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, and the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the AIA New York Chapter. While a winning design won’t be announced until next month, FIGMENT & Company have unveiled their five finalists.

View the finalists after the jump.

Obit> Paul Katz: 1957–2014

Architecture, International, Obit
Monday, November 24, 2014
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Paul Katz. (Courtesy KPF)

Paul Katz. (Courtesy KPF)

The Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates website went to a black background this weekend to announce the passing of its dynamic, South African–born president Paul Katz. Katz had a quick penetrating mind but was an open and generous person who “trained and mentored” many young architects at the firm. The Architect’s Newspaper will publish a longer obituary in its next issue.

Eavesdrop> Johnson for Sale: Dallas’ Monumental Beck House has hit the market

Architecture, Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Friday, November 21, 2014
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Philip Johnson's Beck House in Dallas. (Courtesy Bodron + Fruit)

Philip Johnson’s Beck House in Dallas. (Courtesy Bodron + Fruit)

Philip Johnson’s only Dallas residential design, The Beck House (1964), has hit the market with a $27.5 million asking price. Current owners Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz—who famously hosted President Barack H. Obama twice within the home’s white walls at fundraising events—recently spent seven years conducting a detailed modernization and renovation of the modernist palace, as well as a re-landscaping of the 6.45-acre park that surrounds it. Dallas firm Bodron + Fruit touched up the architecture, including adding a pavilion beside the new pool, while Massachusetts-based Reed Hilderbrand worked on the grounds.

Minneapolis plans the country’s most climate resilient neighborhood

Minneapolis' 4th Street looking east from a location just east of 29th Ave., in a sketch of climate resilient neighborhood Prospect Park 2020. (Prospect Park 2020)

A collection of grain silos and railroad tracks next to the University of Minnesota‘s Minneapolis campus is set to become a “living laboratory” for climate resilience, according to its designers and allies in city and regional government.

COntinue reading after the jump.

New renderings and details of SHoP’s supertall Midtown tower

The facade and skyline. (Courtesy SHoP via 6sqft)

The facade and skyline. (Courtesy SHoP & JDS Development Group via 6sqft)

Despite concerns that New York City’s high-end housing bubble is about to burst, the supertall towers that have come to symbolize that upper-echelon of the market keep coming, one after the other. Now, with One57 open, and 432 Park topped off, SHoP’s 111 W. 57th Street—widely seen as the most attractive of the bunch—is preparing to head skyward. As the tower begins its roughly 1,400-foot climb, new renderings and details of the project have surfaced.

Read More

On View> MoMA tackles tactical urbanism with “Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities”

(Courtesy MoMA)

(Courtesy MoMA)

Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities
MoMA
11 West 53rd Street, New York, New York
November 22–May 10, 2015

The population of the planet is growing quickly and an increasing number of people are living in urban areas. The resultant demographic changes, including an increase in urban poverty, pose challenges and opportunities for architects and planners in the decades ahead. How to address such a complex and global change is a question explored in the MoMA exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.

Continue reading after the jump.

San Francisco’s Candlestick Park to be replaced by an outlet mall and housing

Architecture, News, Urbanism, West
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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Rendering of new retail complex at Candlestick Point. (Lennar)

Rendering of new retail complex at Candlestick Point. (Lennar)

San Francisco’s city center isn’t the only place undergoing unprecedented changes. While the 49ers play out their season in the much warmer (and tech-nerd-friendly) new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, their former home, Candlestick Park, is about to be replaced by an outlet center and residential community.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Dictating Taste in a Dictatorship

Architecture, Eavesdroplet, International
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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beijing-birds-nest

Beijing’s “Bird Nest” stadium by Herzog & De Meuron. (Jean Wang / Flickr)

Contemporary monarchs and world leaders have a mixed record when it comes to dictating architectural taste (see Prince Charles: wrong on classicism, right on sustainable agriculture). Even so, it seems significant that Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for an end to “weird architecture,” the kinds of formally adventurous projects China has been building at a breakneck speed for the last few decades. It’s unclear at this point if he was expressing a personal preference or if this edict will have teeth. One Bird’s Nest too many?

Filed Under: ,

Shake off the October Architecture Billings Index

Architecture, National
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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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)

The party’s over, folks. Take down the streamers, re-cork that bottle of champagne, and turn off the Taylor Swift. Actually, on second thought, turn the Swift back on because “Shake It Off” might be exactly what we need to hear right now. We’ll tell it to you straight. After months of strong momentum, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped from a 55.2 in September to a 53.7 in October. Here’s where Ms. Swift plays back into the data set—since any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, things are still in the positive territory so we can shake, shake, shake the October Architecture Billings Index score off, more or less.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Illuminate SF setting San Francisco aglow

Architecture, Art, Lighting, On View, Urbanism, West
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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Flaming Lotus Girls, SoMa (Jason Chinn)

Flaming Lotus Girls, SoMa (Jason Chinn)

For the second year, San Francisco Travel (the city’s marketing organization) is organizing Illuminate SF, a two-month series of light art installations around the metropolis. This year’s version, taking place now through the end of the year, features 16 glowing pieces—11 of them permanent—including works by James Turrell, Ned Kahn,Vito Acconci, and James Carpenter. Many are integrated into San Francisco buildings, such as Morphosis’ San Francisco Federal Building, KMD’s SF Public Utilities Commission, the grain elevator at Pier 92, and various terminals at SFO. Cities like Cleveland and New York have held similar festivals in recent years.

Continue reading after the jump.

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