Eavesdrop> Prince Charles’ Royal Rules

Charles, Prince of Wales. (Courtesy Charles, Prince of Wales)

Charles, Prince of Wales. (Courtesy Charles, Prince of Wales)

 

Charles, Prince of Wales, is at it again, giving his two cents regarding the current dismal state of architecture. In a new essay, “Facing up to the Future,” in Architectural Review, the British royal has come up with “10 important geometric principles” to guide future master plans, based on the sacred order of “Nature.”

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Eavesdrop> From architectural zombie to cash cow: Stalled Chicago development site pays off big

(Kevin Zolkiewicz / Flickr)

(Kevin Zolkiewicz / Flickr)

 

Most developers did some serious belt-tightening during the recession, but news of a record-breaking real estate deal from late last year proves it sometimes pays to take a little risk. Related Midwest bought the concrete podium of an aborted development at Chicago‘s 111 West Wacker Drive in 2011, after plans for a Shangri-La hotel there went up in smoke. Chicago-based real estate investment firm Heitman reportedly paid roughly $333 million for the luxury rental building Related finished last summer, OneEleven. That’s about $661,000 per unit—a new high for a downtown apartment sale. This high-rise zombie lives, and it’s apparently very lucrative.

Eavesdrop> Bubba on Impact: Bill Clinton to headline this year’s AIA convention

Architecture, Eavesdroplet, National
Thursday, January 15, 2015
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(Courtesy AIA)

(Courtesy AIA)

The American Institute of Architects has announced the keynote speaker of its 2015 national convention. William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States. The theme of this year’s convention is Impact… Stop chuckling. No? You won’t? Well, fine then. Your mind can stay in the gutter with its silly cigar references about Cuban missile crises and not inhaling.

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Eavesdrop> Study shows Angelenos hard up for rent

Eavesdroplet, West
Monday, January 12, 2015
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The Los Angeles skyline. (Mulling it Over / Flickr)

The Los Angeles skyline. (Mulling it Over / Flickr)

Forget about San Francisco being the hardest place to rent in California. According to a story in the New York Times (citing zillow.com), Angelenos spend 47 percent of their income on the median rent. That’s the highest in the country, and significantly higher than San Francisco, which ranks sixth on the list at 40.7 percent. And the problem appears ready to get worse as new supply struggles to keep up with demand in the overcrowded city. Maybe we’ll all have to move to Bakersfield.

Eavesdrop> Debbie Posthumously Does the Chicago Design Museum

(Laure Joliet Photography / Courtesy Chicago Design Museum)

(Laure Joliet Photography / Courtesy Chicago Design Museum)

 

The Chicago Design Museum held its most recent opening for Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! on November 12, 2014. The show, which runs through February 28, further cements this museum startup by Tanner Woodford into the Chicago cultural fold.

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Eavesdrop> Renzo Piano to deliver high design with a low-minded name in Des Moines

(Montage by AN)

(Montage by AN)

Downtown Des Moines, Iowa, courted an all-star list of architecture firms for a new $92 million corporate headquarters that has the unfortunate baggage of being helmed by the world’s most cringe-inducingly named and spelled convenience store chain, Kum & Go.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Kate Mantilini, Part II: Is Morphosis ready to revamp Beverly Hills?

(William Veerbeek / Flickr)

(William Veerbeek / Flickr)

In a previous Eavesdrop, we reported that the famous Morphosis-designed restaurant Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills was chafing at city plans to landmark the premises. Well it appears the problem may have been resolved. Eavesdrop heard over cocktails that Morphosis itself has been tagged to do the restaurant’s renovation. No official word yet, but this seems like a natural fit, doesn’t it?

Eavesdrop> Expo Line’s First Riders? Unexpected patrons swarm Santa Monica

Eavesdroplet, Transportation, West
Monday, January 5, 2015
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Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Ave, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

There’s been a lot of sunny news revolving around the incoming Expo Line in Santa Monica, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2016. But with all the feverish construction, it appears some unwelcome guests are coming out of the shadows (or actually, the ground). Several businesses around the construction—including those of architects—are reporting increased numbers of cockroaches making their way into their offices. Some have even called it an infestation. Who knew mass transit would attract such a wide ridership?

Eavesdrop> One Rat Center

East, Eavesdroplet, Skyscrapers
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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one-rat-center

(Michael Tapp / Flickr; Montage by AN)

 

Speaking of One World Trade, Condé Nast’s highly publicized move-in did not go entirely as planned. According to Gawker, Vogue, which is occupying floors 25 and 26, had to delay the relocation of its editorial department due to an infestation of rats. The rodent problem was evidently so dire that the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, a one Anna Wintour, went so far as to issue an order to her staff that they must ensure her office is a rat-free zone before she sets foot inside.

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Eavesdrop> Not My Spire: Sculptor wants no connection to World Trade topper

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

Sculptor Kenneth Snelson is tired of having his name all over the derided spire atop One World Trade Center. It has been widely reported that Snelson consulted with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on the 441-foot-tall spire that brings the tower to its highly symbolic height of 1,776 feet. But he said he was only peripherally involved in the early stages of the design and is not all that connected to what now towers above Lower Manhattan. Snelson said everyone involved in the design of the spire had the best intentions, but as for its final iteration, he’s no fan. “I don’t know why somebody doesn’t decide, ‘well, we should remove the spire,’” he said.

Eavesdrop> LA’s Westside Urban Forum hands Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor Darth Vader Awards

Awards, Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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Renzo Piano's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum was awarded a Darth Vader Award. (Montage by AN)

Renzo Piano’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum was awarded a Darth Vader Award. (Montage by AN)

 

It’s good to see some good old-fashioned roasting, and that’s what the Westside Urban Forum’s WUFFIES awards are all about. This year’s event, held earlier this month at the Los Angeles Times of all places, was full of the usual snipes on botched RFPs and difficult County Supervisors. But it also got in some good jibes at architecture’s expense. Our favorite: the Darth Vader Award, which went both to Peter Zumthor’s foreboding, jet black LACMA expansion and to Renzo Piano’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum with its helmet-looking theater bulging out of the old May Company Building.

Eavesdrop> The AIA “looks up”

Some of Safdie's work seen in the "I Look Up" film. (Screengrab from AIA)

Some of Safdie’s work seen in the “I Look Up” film. (Screengrab from AIA)

Today, December 12th, the architectural world changed forever. Is that an overstatement? Entirely, but the AIA did launch a new social media campaign that it’s really excited about. It’s called “Look Up” and the AIA said it marks the next phase of its “multi-year repositioning initiative” to increase the public’s awareness about the importance of design.

Continue reading after the jump.

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