Archtober Building of the Day #11> Queens’ Glen Oaks Branch Library

Architecture, East
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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(Courtesy AIANY)

Archtober Building of the Day #11
Glen Oaks Branch Library
256-04 Union Turnpike, Queens
Marble Fairbanks

The goal of libraries is to provide communities with access to resources, said Karen Fairbanks, founding partner of Marble Fairbanks. Before Fairbanks and a large team of fellow architects, landscape architects, and engineers designed the new Glen Oaks Branch Library, community members were yearning for a facility that could provide more resources that better serve their needs.

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Seattle’s bike share program, Pronto, launches today!

Transportation, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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A bike sharing station in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Bikes will be delivered on Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Here’s one bike sharing station in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, with bikes coming Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

In the last few years, urban bike sharing has popped up all across the United States: in cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Finally Seattle is getting it’s first bike sharing program, Pronto Cycle Share, today.

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Greenbuild 2014 heads to New Orleans on October 22–24

Greenbuild 2010. (Charles & Hudson / Flickr)

Greenbuild 2010. (Charles & Hudson / Flickr)

Greenbuild 2014, the country’s largest conference and expo on sustainable building and design, will be held at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. This year’s conference, which runs from October 22–24, is themed “Leadership Jazz” and is expected to draw 23,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors from around the country.

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Eavesdrop> Take a secret peek inside the secret Guggenheim’s Helsinki competition room

Eavesdroplet, International
Monday, October 13, 2014
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guggenheim-helsinki-competition-room

The secret Guggenheim Helsinki competition room. (Courtesy Tipster)

As we’ve mentioned before, the biggest competition in town is not in the United States. Virtually every design firm in California and everywhere else has entered the competition for the Guggenheim Helsinki. Proposals were due on September 10, and Eavesdrop received a secret picture of the storeroom where they are being kept. Let’s just say it is FULL. There appears to be several hundred submissions. Only six of the proposals will advance to stage two of the competition, a list that will be announced later this fall. The winning entry will eventually be chosen next June. So stay tuned, there’s plenty of Guggenheim madness left! (And why doesn’t the Guggenheim open a branch in Los Angeles already?!)

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.”

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New report predicts huge spike in tidal flooding for coastal communities

East, Sustainability
Monday, October 13, 2014
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Overflow at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Flickr / thisisbossi)

Overflow at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Flickr / thisisbossi)

It had been a few days—maybe even weeks—since we’d seen a new report about the devastating impacts of climate change, but, as expected, that short streak has ended. The latest end-of-the-world-type report comes from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and let’s just say there’s a reason these scientists are so concerned.

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Michigan Avenue’s newest high-rise by bKL Architecture is under construction

from left: Charles Becker, Becker Ventures; Dan Raleigh, Partners Group (USA)Inc.; Carrie Meghie, Becker Ventures; John Buck, The John Buck Company; Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Michael Glandt, Fifth Third Bank; Mark Degner, Partners Group (USA Inc.; and Scott Egarian, Partners Group (Donna Binbek)

from left: Charles Becker, Becker Ventures; Dan Raleigh, Partners Group (USA)Inc.; Carrie Meghie, Becker Ventures; John Buck, The John Buck Company; Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Michael Glandt, Fifth Third Bank; Mark Degner and Scott Egarian, Partners Group (USA)Inc. (Photo: Donna Binbek)

Last year AN broke news of plans for the first residential high-rise on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue in decades. Last Friday, James McHugh Construction Company and Pepper Construction Company broke ground on the 41-story tower at 200 N. Michigan Ave., which is expected to be complete in mid-2016.

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Archtober Building of the Day #10> The Barbarian Group’s winding Superdesk

Architecture, East
Friday, October 10, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Building of the Day #10
The Barbarian Group
112 West 20th Street
Clive Wilkinson Architects

It seems like something out of an interiors sci-fi novel: a barbaric desk comes to life, invading a helpless office floor. Nothing can stop it. It grows around structural columns. Monsters represent our cultural fears, and this could be a story expressing our anxieties about Corporate America, if it wasn’t for the fact that Clive Wilkinson Architects’ superdesk for The Barbarian Group is so functional and so cool. A 1,100-foot-long uninterrupted white surface snakes about the office, arching to create nooks for informal meetings and casual encounters.

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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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Eavesdrop> Jerde Surprise: Christopher Hawthorne smitten with new LA apartment tower

Architecture, Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, October 10, 2014
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The Vermont. (Courtesy Jerde Partnership)

The Vermont. (Courtesy Jerde Partnership)

In one of the more surprising analyses of his tenure as architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Hawthorne recently came out with breathless praise for The Vermont, a green glass residential tower by Jerde Partnership on Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. According to Hawthorne, the building’s “sleek steel-and-glass profile is a reminder that new apartment buildings in Los Angeles can be something other than bland, stucco-covered, stick-built neo-dingbats.” Eavesdrop is no architecture critic, but let’s just say we do not totally agree.

Archtober Building of the Day #9> Kickstarter’s Greenpoint Headquarters

Architecture, East, Preservation
Friday, October 10, 2014
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(Inbal Newman)

Archtober Building of the Day #9
Kickstarter
58 Kent Street, Brooklyn
Ole Sondresen Architect

“Nothing is better than doing nothing.” While this may be the maxim that many of us live by on lazy Sunday afternoons, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn it applies to the design philosophy of Norwegian carpenter-turned-architect Ole Sondresen. During today’s tour of the Kickstarter headquarters, Sondresen demonstrated how this sustainable principle guided his design process.

Continue reading after the jump.

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