Calatrava on the state of NYC architecture & his own controversial World Trade projects

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The Real Deal recently scored an interview with Santiago Calatrava, the so-called “symphonist of steel” behind the upcoming (and wildly over budget) World Trade Center Transit Hub, and the nearby Saint Nicholas Church. In the interview, Calatrava explained how New York City’s building code impacted the two projects’ designs, offers his thoughts on the World Trade Center master plan, and comments on the construction quality of the Transit Hub. Overall, the controversial architect lavishes praise on just about everyone—from Daniel Libeskind to Larry Silverstein to the Port Authority.

 

 

Plan for a parametric townhouse of undulating brick “flames” is rekindled in Tribeca

Model of 187 Franklin. (Courtesy SYSTEMarchitects)

Model of 187 Franklin. (Courtesy SYSTEMarchitects)

Getting the blessing of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission can be a tricky thing. Typically, your best bet is to go contextual: stick with historic materials and keep the modern ornamentation to a minimum. That is clearly not the approach that SYSTEMarchitects‘ Jeremy Edmiston took for a parametrically designed Tribeca townhouse in search of facelift.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Frank Gehry Shuffle: University of St. Thomas to move Winton Guest House a second time

Architecture, Midwest, News, Preservation
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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(University of St. Thomas)

Frank Gehry’s Winton House (University of St. Thomas)

An early Frank Gehry–designed house about an hour south of Minneapolis is on the move—again.

The Winton Guest House, which Gehry designed in the early 1980s for Penny and Mike Winton, sits on property in Owatonna, Minnesota recently sold by the building’s owner, the University of St. Thomas. They have until August 2016 to relocate the playful, postmodern cluster of forms.

Continue reading after the jump.

In first year of Vision Zero, NYPD steps up traffic enforcement

An NYPD officer telling a cab driver about New York City's new speed limit. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

An NYPD officer telling a cab driver about New York City’s new speed limit. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

Given the current state of relations between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio (spoiler: terrible, horrible, no good, very bad), the mayor has been quick to thank the police force for its strong support of Vision Zero—the mayor’s plan to entirely eliminate traffic fatalities in New York City. The effort is obviously an ambitious one, but a year after it went into effect, de Blasio is able to tout some big successes.

Continue reading after the jump.

Köhler Goes with the Flow in Hamburg

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Köhler Architekten designed and built a new row house in a protected area of Hamburg's Ottensen quarter. (Courtesy HI-MACS)

Köhler Architekten designed and built a new row house in a protected area of Hamburg’s Ottensen quarter. (Courtesy HI-MACS)

Composite facade brings new row house into harmony with its historic neighbors.

Florian Köhler, whose firm, Köhler Architekten, recently designed and built a new row house in Hamburg’s Ottensen quarter, observes a disheartening trend among his fellow architects. When designing for a site rich in historic context, they tend to shy away from all allusions to the past, opting instead for an antiseptic modernism. “Many architects only build cubic forms without reference to their environment, and cityscapes are becoming increasingly similar,” he said. “We deliberately wanted to go a different route.” Ice Loft, which is surrounded by protected properties dating to the mid-19th century, features a tripartite facade that translates familiar historic forms into smooth curves and planes. “Our unusual approach to the transformation of classical qualities into flowing forms seems to be a suitable alternative, at least at this point, in this urban district in Hamburg,” said Köhler.
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Hof’s Hut, another famed California mid-century diner, in trouble after back-to-back fires

Architecture, Preservation, West
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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Hoff's Hutt in its prime (Marvin Rand)

Hoff’s Hutt in its prime (Marvin Rand)

While it appears that Los Angeles’ famed Norms restaurant is safe, at least for the moment, another local dining landmark is in trouble: Hof’s Hut, in Long Beach, which recently suffered “significant damage” due to multiple fires, according to the LA Times.

Continue reading after the jump.

Net Zero and the Future of Facade Design

Next week, leaders in the fields of facades design and fabrication will gather in LA to discuss pressing issues, including sustainability. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Next week, leaders in the fields of facades design and fabrication will gather in LA to discuss pressing issues, including sustainability. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Though sustainability remains a primary goal for many AEC industry professionals, its definition is increasingly up for debate. Tried-and-true energy efficiency standards such as LEED and Energy Star are facing competition from other rubrics, including net zero. “LEED was the sustainability measure,” said CO Architects‘ Alex Korter. “It’s good, but people looked at it more as a certification. With net zero, you’re setting hard performance goals.” With his colleague Kevin Kavanagh, Korter will lead a panel on “Net Zero and the Future Facade” at Facades+ LA next week. Korter, Kavanagh, and the panelists—who include ARUP‘s Russell Fortmeyer, Atelier 10‘s Emilie Hagen, and Stephane Hoffman from Morrison Hershfield—will dig in to the what and why of net zero, and ask how facade designers and builders can push the envelope on environmental performance.

Continue reading after the jump.

How the Koch brothers helped stop Nashville’s plan for Bus Rapid Transit

East, Transportation, Urbanism
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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An amp bus. (COURTESY TRANSIT ALLIANCE OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE)

An amp bus. (COURTESY TRANSIT ALLIANCE OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE)

The plan to build Nashville’s first-ever bus rapid transit (BRT) system is dead and the billionaire Koch Brothers helped kill it. The Tennessean is reporting that after months of controversy, the city has ceased all planning efforts for the Amp, a 7-mile BRT system that would have connected Nashville’s neighborhoods and given the city one of its first major pieces of smart mass-transit policy.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid settles lawsuit, donates proceeds to laborers’ rights charity

Hadid's Al Wakrah Stadium. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

Hadid’s Al Wakrah Stadium. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

One of the biggest architectural head-to-head matches of 2014 has come to an amicable end. As AN reported last fall, Zaha Hadid sued New York Review of Books critic Martin Filler for defamation for comments he made about her in a review of Rowan Moore’s Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture.

Continue reading after the jump.

Forever 21 flips the switch on Los Angeles’ largest solar project yet

Forever 21's 5MW PermaCity Solar System

Forever 21’s 5MW PermaCity Solar System

On January 21 solar supplier PermaCity and retailer Forever 21 turned on the switch to their 5.1 MegaWatt DC SunPower solar system in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood. The renovation of the former Macy’s distribution center—now Forever 21’s headquarters— was designed by Forever 21 staff with Culver City architect Brian Reiff.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Six Top-Performing Bath & Kitchen Products

National, Other, Spec Sheet
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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Spec Sheet  
LEAD-SieMatic-Forum-SE3003-R9155

(Courtesy SieMatic)

The most successful kitchens and baths turn not only on appearance, but on functionality, as well. From well-engineered drawer glides and door lifts to water-saving showers and faucets, it pays to spec products with performance in mind.

SE 3003 R
SieMatic

The front panels of this new kitchen line are framed in a slim, 6.5mm band of aluminum, uniting the variety of finishes and materials offered. Available with or without handles.

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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.

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