Museum of Jewish Heritage and “Designing Home Exhibition”
36 Battery Place, Manhattan
When it rains it pours… and today it was a soaker, but our undaunted crowd of avid Archtober followers were treated to an abundance of architectural and design riches in our “double header.” Kevin Roche, now a magisterial 93 years of age, introduced the planning complexities of the original hexagonal Museum of Jewish Heritage, that landed its faceted ziggurat onto the shore of Battery Park City in 1993.
This year’s Monterey Design Conference could have been titled the “Monterey Design Short Video Clip Festival.” For as long as I can remember, most of the presentations at the conference have followed the same formula: show slides of recent work and explain them. But now most of the speakers are trying to tell a more nuanced story, informed by our mobile-app/social-media/you-are-never-offline age. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I checked in with attendees to get their impressions.
National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion
180 Greenwich Street, Manhattan
The Survivor Tree lived on the site of the original World Trade Center. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the burnt and ailing pear tree was removed from its home and nursed back to health. It has since returned and continued to flourish, and has become a symbol for recovery and resiliency. From a spot beside the tree, the glowing National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion appears to grow straight out of the ground, itself representing the past and promise of the future.
A shortlist was announced for the Pershing Square Renew competition. Ten teams were selected to have a chance at a crack at redoing Ricardo Legorreta’s scheme. The five-acre park is seen as the centerpiece of a revitalized Downtown Los Angeles and the competition, a public-private partnership backed by councilmember José Huizar, is a critical step toward that effort.
“The building is not static—it is designed to gracefully mature over time as life and art move forward together,” said Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers poetically wrapped up his opening remarks at the pre-launch event of their heralded new addition to the SFMOMA, which is slated to open May 14, 2016.
Memorializing the quiet town of Gibellina that was destroyed by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in 1968, Alberto Burri’s Grande Cretto has finally been completed after some 30 years of planning. Occupying over 86,000 square feet, the concrete piece of land art is now open to the public and coincides with the artist’s 100th birthday.
El Barrio’s Artspace PS109
215 East 99th Street, Manhattan
Jazz musician Ellen O’Brien still gets teary-eyed when she recounts the tale of how she ended up in a spacious one-bedroom apartment at El Barrio’s Arstpace PS109. Like many artists in New York City, life has been a struggle. When an already precarious financial situation coincided with her apartment burning down, she lost everything except the clothes on her back. Luckily, Ellen was one of 89 applicants selected from a pool of 53,000 to reside in Artspace’s community-driven live/work artists’ housing project.
Renzo Piano aims to punctuate London‘s skyline once again. The architect behind the Shard has now designed a cylinder of glass adjacent to Paddington Station. Contrasting his Southwark skyscraper, Piano has proposed a seemingly crystalline, uneven facade wrapping the cylinder that looks to reflect its surroundings with ripple-like qualities.
Storefront’s Critical Halloween to explore the idea of “DEMO” at a historic Lower Manhattan firehouse
This October, the Storefront for Art and Architecture will host its annual Critical Halloween party in tandem with its ever-fascinating costume competition. The event will be held at the historic DCTV firehouse and engine bay in Lower Manhattan and will have a “DEMO” theme, with a prize for the best costume.