Video> Knight Architects create folding fan-like bridge in London

The Merchant Square Footbridge. (Edmund Sumner via Knight Architects)

The Merchant Square Footbridge. (Edmund Sumner via Knight Architects)

The UK-based firm Knight Architects has created a pedestrian bridge in London that opens and closes like a Japanese folding fan. The Merchant Square Footbridge is comprised of five steel beams that sequentially open with the help of hydraulic jacks. The structure spans about 65 feet across the Grand Union Canal in the new mixed-use Merchant Square development in Paddington.

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Report: McMansion rules in Los Angeles are largely ineffective

Newsletter, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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Los Angeles McMansion (Trulia)

Los Angeles McMansion (Trulia)

Despite reports of their demise, giant, neighborhood-busting McMansions in Los Angeles appear to be alive and well. Although they were passed six years ago, it looks like Los Angeles’ Mansionization rules, according to the LA Times, “haven’t stopped neighborhoods from being overwhelmed by out-of-scale homes.”

Continue reading after the jump.

HiWorks Architecture Redesigns Houston’s Rocket Park, Without Being Asked

HiWorks' scheme posits a segmented building with glass sections that allow views in to the moon rocket. (Courtesy HiWorks Architecture)

HiWorks’ scheme posits a segmented building with glass sections that allow views in to the moon rocket. (Courtesy HiWorks Architecture)

When I was a boy growing up in Houston, Texas, one of my favorite field trips was the drive down to Clear Lake to tour NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. One of the highlights of the visit—in addition to seeing Mission Control, eating astronaut ice cream, and picking up a new zero-gravity pen in the gift shop—was the enormous Saturn V rocket, lying on its side in sections, that greeted you as you approached the facility at the corner of Saturn Lane and 2nd Street.

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Docomomo considers the future of mid-century architecture in tour series

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA. (Brant Brogan)

Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA. (Brant Brogan)

October has become the month of architecture tours in cities all across the country. The largest and most ambitious of these tour programs is Docomomo’s Tour Day that takes place throughout the month but primarily on October 11. Docomomo will sponsor or organize architecture tours in nearly half the states in the country, and in 37 different cities. This years theme is “The Future of Mid-Century” and it looks into current issues facing modern architecture today and highlights the innovative and progressive work of architects, designers, and typologies not usually recognized within the scope of mid-century design.

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San Francisco Arts Commission Votes to Remove Diller Scofidio + Renfro Public Art Project

Architecture, Art, News, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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dsr-boot-01

In a move that has angered critics and scholars, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) voted at its meeting on September 8 to remove the artwork, Facsimile, from the facade of the Moscone Center West, thus ending the history of a project that began in 1996 when architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio competed in a pool of 62 applicants that included Jenny Holzer, Anish Kapoor, and Nam June Paik and won the public art competition to design a site-specific project for the convention center in downtown San Francisco.

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Zip over Apple’s under-construction headquarters and take a seat in its newly-unveiled auditorium

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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Apple's auditorium pavilion (Poltrona Frau Group)

Apple’s auditorium pavilion (via Poltrona Frau Group)

The excitement over Apple’s new mega-campus in Silicon Valley continues to build. First, we got an aerial drones-eye-view of the under-construction Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (check it out after the jump!). And now, we get to see the corporate auditorium where the company will show off its new products once complete in 2016.

Continue reading after the jump.

Karim Rashid tones down colorful and controversial Harlem development

Architecture, East, News, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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karim-rashid-HAP5_update

The original design and the new design with a less colorful facade, right. (Courtesy Karim Rashid / HAP Investment Developers)

When Karim Rashid unveiled his plans for Hap 5—a residential building in East Harlem that had fluorescent pink and turquoise balconies—there were, how should we put this, some detractors. Turns out, the the community wasn’t a huge fan of Rashid’s, let’s just say, vibrant color scheme.

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Faith Rose tapped as Executive Director of New York City’s Public Design Commission

Faith Rose, the new Executive Director of the Public Design Commission. (Courtesy

Faith Rose, the new Executive Director of the Public Design Commission. (Courtesy o’neill rose architects)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Faith Rose, a former senior design liaison at the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), to lead the city’s Public Design Commission. According to the mayor’s office, in her new role, Rose “will be charged with building on the Public Design Commission’s history of prioritizing the quality and excellence of the public realm, enhancing and streamlining the Commission’s review process, and fostering accessibility, diversity and inclusion in the City’s public buildings and spaces.”

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New Jersey goes Brooklyn with new sustainable food hall

Outdoor beer garden.  (Courtesy MABU Design)

Outdoor beer garden. (Courtesy MABU Design)

You can’t keep artisanal pickles, earthy micro-brews, and locally-sourced popsicle sticks in Brooklyn forever. At a certain point, these gluten-free, all-vegan treats are going to want to explore the world beyond Williamsburg. Like so many Brooklyn residents before them, they’re headed for New Jersey

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MVRDV’s enormous arched food hall and housing complex opens in Rotterdam

Markthal Rotterdam. (Courtesy facebook.com/MarkthalRotterdam)

Markthal Rotterdam. (Courtesy facebook.com/MarkthalRotterdam)

When the plan for Markthal Rotterdam first appeared, it seemed like one of those interesting, but never going to actually happen type of projects. There was no way that MVRDV’s sprawling food hall set underneath a 130-foot-tall arching roof that itself contains 228 apartments would ever be realized. Well, it turns out there was a way, and Rotterdam figured it out.

Continue reading after the jump.

Talking tall buildings in Shanghai

In September the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) gathered high-minded designers, developers and engineers for a conference in Shanghai. CTBUH, which often partners with AN on conferences, including our own Facades+ events, invited me to serve as a special media correspondent for the conference, held September 16–19. I spent most of the time conducting video interviews with the symposium guests, which we’ll post here on the AN blog as they become available. For now, here’ a quick overview of the topics discussed.

Continue reading after the jump.

Another Brutalist Wonder Bites the Dust: Johansen’s Mechanic Theatre

Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore (photo: Edward Gunts)

Despite pleas for preservation from some of the nation’s top architects, demolition work has begun on  a nationally significant example of “Brutalist” architecture in north America, the 1967 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, designed by the late John M. Johansen.

A  yellow backhoe with a spike-like attachment began chipping into the theater’s concrete exterior earlier this month, ending any chance that the building could be saved. One local preservationist was able to salvage the original letters from the  building, but nothing else. Read More

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