According to a very confidential source, engineers currently working on the Waller Creek tunnel believe that Austin sits on top of some of the most optimal conditions for tunneling in the entire U.S. These number-crunching problemÂ solvers claimed that a subway tunnel beneath the Texas State Capitalâ€™s downtown would cost 1/10th of the amount it would in most places in the country. However,Â the brainiacs also said that there are those in high places who do not want that knowledge spread around (read TxDOT) because the construction of more freeways is making certain people a great deal of money.
â€œNew York City?!? Get a rope.â€ That sums up the feelings of some North Texans upon learning the origin and reading the prejudices of the Dallas Morning Newsâ€™ new architecture critic, Mark Lamster. The Brooklyn-based scribblerâ€”who also happens to be a professor in the architecture school of the University of Texas at Arlingtonâ€”recently tweeted a love letter he received from one such offended reader. â€œYouâ€™re a carpetbagger reporter with no knowledge ofâ€”or sensitivity toâ€”Dallas, our suburbs, or our incorporated cities and towns,â€ it said. To which Lamster replied, â€œThanks!â€
California Republicans (yes, there are a few, we think), your leader has arrived. After a multiyear battle, Mitt Romney has finally gotten permission to tear down their existing beachfront house and build an 11,000-square-foot mansion in La Jolla. Although it was approvedÂ in 2008 by the California Coastal Commission, neighbors were able to stymieÂ the projectâ€”questioning whether it exceeded square footage allowancesâ€”until commissioners upheld their approval. According to the Los Angeles Times, the home is more than four times larger than the median house in the area. (As is this house by Zaha Hadid also planned for La Jolla.) Itâ€™s proof that Mitt truly loves the earth. And exploiting resources on top of it.
There is little, if anything, Kanye West canâ€™t do. That is, of course, according to Kanye. The rapper-meets-fashion designer has already declared himself the â€œSteveÂ [Jobs] of the Internetâ€ and now he has set his eyes on architecture. Perhaps next, heâ€™ll hail himself the â€œFranklin Lloyd Wright of design.â€ In an interview this fall with BBC Radio 1 (watch after the jump), West said that he was interested in trying his hand at architecture and product design.
Art fairs serve three groups of clientele: the rich, who buy the art, curatorsÂ and museum folks, and the poorâ€”students, freelance writers, party-crashers.Â You can probably guess that Eavesdrop is in the latter, not the former, so imagine the disappointment when champagne was going for $19 per glass on opening nightÂ of Expo Chicago.
Seriously, what happened to the days of all-you-can-drink GrolschÂ or Basil Haydens way back in Art Chicagoâ€™s past? The sticker shock should be from the gallery price lists, not the bar.
While standing in line, Eavesdrop was flattered to be recognized by James Geier of 555 International, who hinted at a slew of new projects and fall openings. Hopefully those openings will allow the 99 percent to imbibe.
The art fairâ€™s environment, layout and scheme, was designed by Studio Gang, although we canâ€™t say that we were able to discern a noticeable imprint.
The Guardian got up close and personal with Zaha Hadid in a recent, no-holds-barred interview where the Pritzker prize-winning architect gave her two cents on Londonâ€™s â€œconservativeâ€ architecture climate and railed against rectangular buildings, revealing a nugget of wisdom that perhaps has eluded most designers: â€œThe world is not a rectangle.â€Â Beyond her dislike for conventional corner-orientedÂ design, she also told the reporter that, at her firm, â€œwe donâ€™t make nice little buildings.â€
While quadrilaterals and â€œniceâ€ architecture are out of the question, apparently designing in Syria isnâ€™t. That is, unless it is an un-luxurious prison. â€œWell,Â I wouldnâ€™t mind building in Syria,â€ Hadid told the paper. â€œIâ€™m an Arab and if it helps people, if itâ€™s an opera house or a parliament building, something for the masses, I would do it. But if someone asks me to build a prison, I wouldnâ€™t do it. I wouldnâ€™t build a prison, irrespective of where it is, even if it was very luxurious.â€ WhatÂ population living in a war-ravaged country doesnâ€™t need a first-rate opera house?
We at Eavesdrop donâ€™t like to toot our own horn, but sometimes we canâ€™t help ourselves. So we have to point out the scene for the late July opening of Never Built Los Angeles, co-curated by our very own Sam Lubell. The event looked more like a Hollywood club opening than an exhibition opening, with a line that snaked around the corner and angry would-be partygoers trying to convince the bouncer (a.k.a. the fire marshal) to let them in. We especially love the description by AN contributor Guy Horton, here writing for KCRWâ€™s blog: â€œThe line of black clothing wrapped around the corner and kept going, reaching all the way down to a stretch of houses where local residents nervously peeked out to see what was going on. Cars were pulling all sorts of questionable maneuvers on Wilshire and adjacent streets as distracted, anxious architects hustled for parking. People were walking in from blocks away as if drawn from some invisible force. At any moment I was expecting police helicopters to appear overhead. That would have made my night complete.â€
California Senator Barbara Boxer has won many accolades over the years,Â to be sure. But none has been quite like the honor she was bestowed thisÂ month: National Asphalt Legislator of the Year, according to the National AsphaltÂ Pavement Association (NAPA). The group said it was particularly impressed withÂ her role in the passage of MAP-21, the $105 billion 2012 Surface TransportationÂ Funding Bill. NAPA Board of Directors Chairman John Keating pointed to Boxerâ€™s ignoring of â€œnaysayers who said a bill would never pass.â€
To be fairÂ the bill provided for billions in mass transit funding, but nonetheless Boxer has helped the state refurbish hundreds of miles of roads, and even build quite a few new ones. Not exactly a claim to fame in our transit-friendly design world. Ahem, donâ€™t tell Elon Musk.
Designed to survive the force of a hurricane, the new prefab bathrooms byÂ Garrison Architects have apparently not been weathering this mild summer very well. DNAinfo reported that the stations are leaking and many surfaces are rusting in the salty air. “I look at it now and I say, ‘Is this going to last the winter?’” one anonymous lifeguard assigned to one of the comfort stations told DNAinfo. “There’s leaks right next to the equipment closet. They left it half-done and now there’s problems. The job was done like people didn’t care. It’s a monstrosity. It’s a debacle.”Â Parks hopes to treat the rust and leaks after the beach season ends. Until then, relieve yourself with caution.