Radlab Makes Music with Moiré

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Radlab's Clefs Moiré brings life to the lobby of a Boston-area apartment building. (Courtesy Radlab)

Radlab’s Clefs Moiré brings life to the lobby of a Boston-area apartment building. (Courtesy Radlab)

Undulating birch walls create pockets of privacy in an apartment building lobby.

When Boston design and fabrication firm Radlab began work on Clefs Moiré, the permanent installation in the lobby of One North of Boston in Chelsea, Massachusetts, they had relatively little to go on. They knew that the apartment building’s developer wanted a pair of walls of a certain size to activate the lobby space, but that was about it. “Normally we get more information, so we can come up with a story—a concept based on the building and its requirement,” said Radlab’s Matt Trimble. “For this we pulled back and said, we have an opportunity to be a little more abstract about how we approach this conceptually.” Inspired by moiré patterning and a harpsichord composition by J.S. Bach, the team designed and built two slatted birch walls whose undulating surfaces embody a dialog between transparency and opacity.
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Architects Join the Circus: Crowd-funded “Architectural Circus” tours the Northeast

Architecture, East
Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Circus for Construction (Courtesy The Spectacle Syndicate)

Circus for Construction (Courtesy The Spectacle Syndicates)

The Circus for Construction has taken its gallery-meets-event space on the road this fall, bringing a mix of dialogue and exhibitions on contemporary art and architecture practices, via a custom-built truck, to several east coast cities. After winning a competition by Storefront for Art and Architecture last May, this traveling Circus— conceived by Ann Lui, Ashley Mendelsohn, Larisa Ovalles, Craig Reschke and Ben Widger— got its wheels thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #22> Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

Architecture, East
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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(Courtesy Center for Architecture)

Archtober Building of the Day #22
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
FXFOWLE Epstein

Designed by Pei Cobb in the early 1980s, the Jacob K. Javits Center had fallen into a considerable slump in the years following its debut. Plagued with structural problems, today’s Archtober tour leader and head of the building’s extensive overhaul, Bruce Fowle, began in the center’s Crystal Palace by showing photos of the space before his firm’s massive undertaking. He highlighted two of the worst features of the original structure—the dirty, impossible-to-clean glass and extensive water damage. Almost immediately after opening, large canvas “diapers” were constructed to catch the ever-leaking roof, costing the center nearly one million dollars a year to alleviate the constant influx of water.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #21> Runner & Stone Restaurant

Architecture, East, Interiors
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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(Katie Mullen)

Archtober Building of the Day #21
Runner & Stone
285 Third Avenue
Latent Productions

Karla Rothstein and her partner Sal Perry are Latent Productions. They, along with Baker Peter Endriss served up a very nice helping of both delicious snacks and spiffy new architecture on yesterday’s Archtober tour. With a full tour of enthusiasts and architects, Karla and Sal described their self-initiated process of design, development, and construction management. They first prototyped, then fabricated the puffy custom concrete blocks that evoke the sacks of flour waiting to become bread that are the design hallmark of the restaurant, Runner & Stone, in Brooklyn.

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Kean University announces Michael Graves School of Architecture

Exterior of Wenzhou Kean Campus. (Michael Graves via Kean University)

Exterior of Wenzhou Kean Campus. (Michael Graves via Kean University)

This Saturday, Kean University, in Union, New Jersey, will launch the Michael Graves School of Architecture in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Michael Graves Architecture & Design. Over his career, Graves has racked up an impressive list of architectural accolades including the AIA Gold Medal, the National Medal of the Arts, and the Driehaus Prize for Architecture.

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Archtober Building of the Day #20B> Donald Judd Home and Studio

Architecture, East, Interiors, Preservation
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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(Joshua White / Judd Foundation Archives)

Archtober Building of the Day #20
Donald Judd Home and Studio
101 Spring Street
Architecture Research Office; Walter B. Melvin Architects

The Soho of the 1970s has come and gone, grungy artists’ studios replaced by glitzy storefronts and luxury condos. However, two decades after artist Donald Judd passed away in 1994, his presence still permeates 101 Spring Street. It’s in the nooks he carved out for his children and his books, his kitchenware and furniture, and, most of all, his art.

Continue reading after the jump.

Vice President Biden and Governor Cuomo announce design competition for New York City’s airports

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

If you’re not a fan of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, then LaGuardia Airport really has nothing to offer you. Besides travel-friendly food options like “jalapeño and cheese pretzel dogs” the aging, dirty, sometimes-leaking airport is by all accounts a disaster. Just ask Vice President Joe Biden who once said that if he blindfolded someone and took them to LaGuardia they would think they were in “some third world country.” The Vice President adding, “I’m not joking.”

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Archtober Building of the Day #19> Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University

Architecture, East
Monday, October 20, 2014
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(Rochelle Thomas)

Archtober Building of the Day #19
Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University
Broadway & 218th Street
Steven Holl Architects

We rode the subway to the northern tip of Manhattan to tour Columbia University’s Campbell Sports Center, designed by Steven Holl Architects. The design, based on football play diagrams, incorporates “points on the ground, lines in space” that develop from the sloping site in this industrial section of Inwood. Olaf Schmidt, associate-in-charge of the project, led the Archtober tour through the building.

Continue reading after the jump.

Meet Fleurt, New York’s most anticipated chair of the fall season

Behold, the Fleurt. (Courtesy Andrew Jones)

Behold, the Fleurt. (Courtesy Andrew Jones via NYC Parks and The Battery Conservancy)

Fleurt, the winning design for the Battery Conservancy America’s “Draw Up a Chair” competition, has been described as an “archetypal floral form” and even a “whimsical suggestion of sun-loving flowers floating in a field.” But it is much more than that. Fleurt “announces openness and photogenic warmth” and creates a “memorable, diaphanous landscape.” Fleurt “stretches out” with its “lounging curves.” Fleurt is, yes, fine, technically a chair.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #18> Navy Green Supportive Housing

Architecture, East
Monday, October 20, 2014
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(Julia Cohen)

Archtober Building of the Day #18
Navy Green Supportive Housing
40 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
Architecture in Formation

The design is “not subtle,” said Matthew Bremer, principal at Architecture in Formation, of the design of the Navy Green Supportive Housing Facility in Brooklyn. The bright red, corrugated-metal facade references the neighborhood’s brick townhouses, and also the sea of red brake lights on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, visible from the site at night. The corrugated metal gives the building an industrial look and responds to the “grittiness” of the Brooklyn Navy Yard down the street. This bold building is one of four towers in the larger Navy Green development.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #17> East 34th Street Ferry Terminal

Architecture, East, Transportation
Friday, October 17, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #17
East 34th Street Ferry Terminal
E 35th Street at FDR Drive
KVA Matx

Public architecture is alive. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal, designed by KVA Architects, integrates structure, social use, the natural environment, and digital technology to realize an architecture that is sensitive and responsive to its surroundings.  This approach, called “soft” or “resilient” infrastructure, creates a dynamic civic space in which flows of water, people, and information are manifested in the structure.  Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1900 poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the design emphasizes the fecundity of the waterfront and the multiple uses of the pier, not only that of the commuter but also that of the wanderer, viewer, or fisherman.  Technology accentuates elements of nature so that the commuter might slow down, absorbing the light, water, and the beautiful terminal, before entering or re-entering the city.

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Pratt Students Raise an AAC Wall

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School of Architecture students designed and fabricated a portion of an AAC facade for display in the lobby of Higgins Hall. (Courtesy Lawrence Blough)

School of Architecture students designed and fabricated a portion of an AAC facade for display in the lobby of Higgins Hall. (Courtesy Lawrence Blough)

Installation investigates the future of facade design and fabrication.

Unlike some student projects, AAC Textile-Block v2.0 was shaped by both practical and speculative concerns. In back-to-back courses at Pratt, undergraduates designed and fabricated a prototype section of a screen wall system made from autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC). Co-taught by Lawrence Blough and Ezra Ardolino, the design studio and prototyping seminar encouraged students to look beyond their computer screens to real-world constraints including block size and light and air circulation. “The idea was that we wanted to make something that has an application later on,” said Blough. “It was more than a run-of-the-mill digital fabrication project,” added Ardolino. “It was really a comprehensive fabrication project.” Read More

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