Martinez + Johnson complete stunning restoration of Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre.

The Kings Theatre.

Last fall, AN had the pleasure of touring the historic Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn in the midst of it is meticulous restoration by the Washington, D.C.–based Martinez+Johnson. The grand theatre, with its ornate detailing and 2,000-pound chandeliers, opened in 1929 with all the flair and flourish of Versailles. For nearly 50 years, the theatre—the biggest in Brooklyn—hosted vaudeville acts and films inside a grand auditorium that could seat over 3,000.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Zaha to touch down in Houston

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Monday, January 26, 2015
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(Montage by AN; skyline photo by Tom Haymes / Flickr)

(Montage by AN; skyline photo by Tom Haymes / Flickr)

 

It was announced in July of 2014 (very quietly evidently) that Zaha Hadid had been commissioned to design a new headquarters for real estate/oil and gas conglomerate The Richland Companies in Houston. Why had we not heard about this? Well, thanks to Vladimir Kagan, we are now in the know!

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MVRDV’s twisting tower in Vienna looks like it might snap in half

MVRDV's "TURM MIT TAILLE." (Courtesy MVRDV)

MVRDV’s “TURM MIT TAILLE.” (Courtesy MVRDV)

MVRDV, the Dutch firm known for dreaming up dramatic designs, has stayed true to form with its latest project: a 360-foot-tall twisting tower in Vienna. The structure appears like a standard-issue modern glass tower that has been grabbed at its top and then violently twisted. The result—ten rotating, slightly cantilevering floor plates—creates what the architects describe as a “curving waist.” The tower is said to have an “elegant, hourglass figure,” but appears more like a top-heavy structure ready to snap.

Continue reading after the jump.

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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 do 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.

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