SOM To Date

National
Monday, June 29, 2009
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Monacellis five-book series on SOM begin with three volumes reprinted from the original Verlag Gerd Hatje monographs.

Monacelli's five-book series on SOM begin with three volumes reprinted from the original Verlag Gerd Hatje monographs.

The Monacelli Press has announced publication of a five-volume monograph on SOM. According to the publisher, the five books offer a near complete history of the iconic firm’s work from the 1950s to the present. Each project featured is illustrated with archival and new photographs, as well as drawings, and each volume begins with an essay from such well-known architecture critics as Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Albert Bush Brown, and Kenneth Frampton. The first three volumes are reprints of editions published by Verlag Gerd Hatje in 1963, 1974, and 1984, though their layouts have been updated and their covers redesigned to create a consistent aesthetic with the two new volumes. The monographs go on sale in October, though they are currently available for pre-order on Random House’s website.

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High Line Reaches The Street

Other
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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Today, The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the High Line, written by none other than AN‘s Executive Editor, Julie V. Iovine. Employing the same skill for observation and elegant phrasing that she applied to our own sneak peek of the elevated park back in April, Iovine has brought the wonders of this industrial-wreck-turned-lilly-scented-promenade to a whole new readership: the brokers and bankers of The Street. The Journal also put together this video on the High Line just before its opening. Enjoy!

Far Far Away

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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According to Architects Journal, the second Death Star evinces a pleasing return to Classical symmetry.

According to Architect's Journal, the second Death Star evinces a "pleasing return to Classical symmetry."

Yesterday, New York real estate blog Curbed picked up a rather nerdy feature in the UK-based Architect’s Journal: their top ten list of the most important buildings from Star Wars. In addition to judging each project by aesthetic and programmatic merit, the journal draws parallels between the architecture of that galaxy and that of earth. Notables include the Cloud City of Bespin (“a well-appointed luxury resort… complete with hotels and casinos”), the Bright Tree Village on Endor (“rated BREEAM Excellent, the development—by architect Wicket W Warrick—makes use of locally sourced materials, is carbon neutral, and far exceeds Endor’s notoriously strict building regulations”), and Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine (“originally built as a monastery by  the B’omarr Monks”). The “run-away winner” however is the second Death Star (“a menacing spherical chunk of Brutalist infrastructure”).

Emerald City

Other
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy LIttle)

Named after a line in Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy Little)

What if one block in Texas became the sustainable model for the world? Such was the question posed recently by Urban Re:Vision, a California-based group bent upon creating better cities through rethinking the components that make up a city block. Earlier this month, the organization unveiled the three finalists in one of its latest design competitions: Re:Vision Dallas. Contestants were asked to create proposals for a mixed-use development near downtown that would do “no harm to people or place.” Find out more about the finalists after the jump: Read More

In Turner We Truss

Other
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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My In Detail article in the current issue covers Rafael Moneo’s Northwest Corner Building at Columbia University. In addition to filling the final vacancy in the 1890 McKim, Mead & White master plan, the building had to bridge a subterranean recreation center with a 120-foot clear span. In answer, Moneo—along with executive architect Davis Brody Bond Aedas and structural engineer Arup—designed the building’s steel framing system as one big truss, with diagonal members bolstering the perimeter moment frame. The majority of the gravity loads, however, are supported by three gargantuan trusses that run the length of the building four levels above the street. These trusses are so big and heavy that Turner Construction had to assemble them on site, on a shed built above the sidewalk, and then slide them into place. The above stop-action video was also assembled by the construction manager, documenting its elegant solution to this seriously heavy erection.

A Hole In Dubai

Other
Friday, June 5, 2009
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Reiser + Umemoto's O-14 tops out in Dubai.

Construction projects are dropping like flies everywhere you look, falling in the water deader than Air France Flight 447. It’s gotten to the point that when a major milestone is met on a significant piece of architecture there is cause not only for rejoicing, but commentary by the architectural press. And lo, our latest great happiness comes (yet again) from the Arabian Desert: In the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, work has completed on the structural frame of O-14, an office building somewhat redolent of a block of swiss cheese. Designed by the New York City firm Reiser + Umemoto, the structure makes a significant departure from the otherwise glass-curtain walled edifices of this arid city by the sea. It’s exterior is composed of a perforated concrete bearing wall, which does double duty as a shading device, protecting the building from the blazing middle-eastern sun. For a full low down on O-14′s uncommon framing system, as well as more construction photos, see our 2008 feature on concrete.

Perfect Fit

Other
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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Here at AN there is no shortage of talk about how buildings are designed, but it is rare indeed that we actually get to show architecture in the course of one of its most important processes: construction. Lucky for us (and you dear reader) Robert Adrian Pejo filmed and edited the above video of a group of ornamental ironworkers from W&W Glass installing the James Vincent Czajka-designed glass link at the American Academy of Arts & Letters. The project is the subject of my In Detail piece in the current issue. Now, watch in amazement as these trained professionals crane lift 10-foot-wide-by-16-foot-high pieces of laminated glass (perfect golden rectangles mind you) over 40 feet into the air and insert them, in windy conditions, between the stone walls of two Beaux Arts edifices.

Through The Channel, Darkly

Other
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
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We’ve blogged about the oil infrastructure in and around Houston, Texas, a couple of times: here and here. But we hadn’t managed to get a level view of the massive installation until stumbling across ship pilot Louis Vest’s time lapse video of a nighttime trip down the Houston Ship Channel aboard a 600-foot-long Panamax tanker. Vest strapped his NIkon D700 camera to an outside rail and programmed it to capture an image every six seconds, documenting a 3 1/2-hour journey cruising at 5 to 10 knots through this gloaming industrial landscape of exhaust stacks, burning lights, and gas flares. Mmmmm… Creamy!

Max Neuhaus is Dead

Other
Friday, February 6, 2009
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Max Neuhaus installs his sound work in Times Square in 1977.

Max Neuhaus installs his sound work Times Square in 1977.

Pioneering sound artist Max Neuhaus has died of cancer at his home in Marina di Maratea, Italy, according to a report in the Houston Cronicle. In a career that spanned 50 years, the Texas native brought people’s attention to the aural experience of space through sound installations, a term he coined. After abandoning a career as a percussionist in the early 1960s, Neuhaus began to realize anonymous sound works in public spaces, such as his 1977 installation under a subway grating in Times Square

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Drive Me To The Moon

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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NASAs new rover will allow astronauts to explore the moon in the safety of a pressurized cabin. (Courtesy NASA)

NASA's new rover will allow astronauts to explore the moon in the safety of a pressurized cabin. (Courtesy NASA)

Few of mankind’s feats have inspired more awe than the Apollo moon missions of the late 1960s and early 70s. Well we’re going for it again, and this time we’re bringing a cooler car! NASA, which plans to put its boots back on earth’s lone natural satellite in 2020, recently unveiled it’s updated moon buggy—a 12-wheeled, electric-powered, fully-pressurized extraterrestrial vehicle that can house two astronauts for up to 14 days of no-holds-barred lunar exploration. Architects take note: With the way the economy is going, your next commissions may be anywhere, even on the moon. (Just check the video after the break.) Read More

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Texas Tea

Other
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
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Permian oil field in Odessa, Texas

Permian oil field in Odessa, Texas (Courtesy CLUI)

It’s hard to imagine an industry by which humans could have changed the natural landscape more so than through the business of getting crude out of the ground, refining it, and shipping it around the globe. Which makes the oil industry a perfect subject for the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Culver City, California-based research organization that conducts studies into the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface. And where better to examine what oil hath wrought than in Texas? Beginning on January 16th and running through March 29th, the CLUI will exhibit just what it has learned in the Lone Star State with Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry at the Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston. Read More

HOUSEpital

Other
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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The RMJM/HOK-designed University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

The RMJM/HOK-designed University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (Courtesy RMJM)

On the popular Fox doctor drama House, actor Hugh Laurie plays an acerbic, yet ingenious infectious disease specialist whose curmudgeonly ways, drug use, unrepentant machinations, and sadistic treatment of patients has earned the show—now in its fifth season—an enormous and dedicated following. The series unfolds at the fictitious Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where, segment after segment, Dr. House and his team bicker, sneer, and get to the bottom of rare medical afflictions, killing off the odd invalid from time to time. Well, the stage for this gripping serial need not remain a figment much longer: the utterly factual Princeton hospital has recently announced that it will soon move its facilities to a brand new home in none other than Plainsboro, New Jersey! Read More

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