MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Top online reads from the pages of AN’s print edition

Architecture, National, News
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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(VINCENT LAFORET/FINEST.LAFORETVISUALS.COM)

(VINCENT LAFORET/FINEST.LAFORETVISUALS.COM)

February’s top news stories covered a variety of topics from resiliency to city data to what an architect needs to know. Take a look at the top five stories as voted by our readers’ clicks that kept you coming back last month.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Crumbling temples, South Side landmarks, neon signs top list of Chicago’s “most threatened” buildings

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. (Chris Bentley)

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. The Uptown building is among Preservation Chicago’s most threatened buildings. (Chris Bentley)

Preservation Chicago Wednesday named the seven Chicago structures on their annual list of the city’s most threatened historic buildings, calling attention to vacant or blighted buildings from Englewood to Uptown that include a crumbling masonic temple, defunct factories, and even a South Side city landmark. Read More

San Francisco developer nixes BIG-designed Arts Center, plans smaller project

West
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

A mixed-use complex designed by New York- and Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is going to be, well, not quite as big. The San Francisco Mid-Market neighborhood has been quickly revitalizing since 2011, but the largest development in the area, located at 950–974 Market Street, has just been downsized.

Continue reading after the jump.

This reformed industrial garage in Sydney now serves industrial-strength coffee

(Courtesy of The Reformatory Caffeine LAB)

(Courtesy of The Reformatory Caffeine LAB)

Veteran coffee farmer Simon Jaramillo hightailed it to the land Down Under to serve his piquant Colombian brew in a former industrial garage turned hip-and-happening watering hole located close to Sydney’s Central Station.

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Imma let you finish, but Kanye West had the best minimalist Manhattan bachelor pad of all time

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

The utilitarian Manhattan loft formerly owned by rap mogul Kanye West bespeaks deep pockets and a distaste for cluttering decor. The 1,585 square foot bachelor pad, which West sold in 2013 for $4.5 million, is an ultra-minimalist expanse of French limestone and pear wood—and not much else.

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Here’s your first look at all 17 teams competing in the 2015 Solar Decathlon

(Courtesy Yale University)

(Courtesy Yale University)

The United States Department of Energy has named the 10 teams that will compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon. The biennial program was launched in 2002 and “challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.” The teams are then judged on affordability, consumer ability, and overall design excellence. The Decathlon will be held October 8–18 in Irvine, California, but you can preview all of the teams’ work right now.

Continue reading after the jump.

Renovations underway to help MASS MoCA become the nation’s largest contemporary art museum

Architecture, Art, East, Interiors, Other
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Interior of MASS MoCA's Building 6. (Courtesy Bruner/Cott)

Interior of MASS MoCA’s Building 6. (Courtesy Bruner/Cott)

MASS MoCA’s rambling campus in the former factory town of North Adams, Massachusetts, has been 25 years in the making, and is now entering its third phase of development, starting with the rehabilitation of Building Six, a 120,000-square-foot space that’s able to be flexibly programmed to create “Museums within the Museum.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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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Brought to you with support from:
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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

(Helga Taxler)

(Helga Taxler)

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 designed by Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss of NAO 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. The exhibit was accompanied by a journal compiled by Khrushcheva with Yiqing Wang-Holborn and by a book of graphic novellas designed as a result of Weiss’s seminar on new ideologies at Columbia GSAPP, both profiling selected dictators and their trappings.

Read More

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