New York City converted this dingy subway tunnel into a colorful underground museum of street art

(Courtesy NYC DOT)

(Courtesy NYC DOT)

For a long time, the 900-foot pedestrian tunnel that leads to the 1 train in Washington Heights was one of New York City‘s creepiest spaces. Now, it’s been transformed into one of the city’s best places to see art—or at least take some impressive Instagram photos.

Continue reading after the jump.

Des Moines Dialogue by Substance Architecture

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Substance Architecture's pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines' Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Substance Architecture’s pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines’ Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Zinc and glass unite riverfront pavilion and pump house.

In 2009, just as construction on its Principal Riverwalk pavilion was about to begin—and following years of funding-related stops and starts—Des Moines-based Substance Architecture received some unexpected news. The firm was commissioned to design a second building, a pump house, on an abutting plaza. At that point, recalled Substance’s Paul Mankins, it had been about three years since the firm started work on the pavilion. “There was some discussion in the office about whether the pump house should be an independent piece, or whether it should be formally related to the pavilion,” he said. “Our decision was that the pavilion would be stronger if it had this piece as a foil.” Using a limited material palette of zinc and glass accented by Jun Kaneko‘s artwork, Substance succeeded in creating a dialogue between the two small riverfront buildings, despite their differing programs and dates of origin.

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Are London’s Paolozzi underground mosaics to be destroyed?

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

In October on a visit to London, friends mentioned that Eduardo Paolozzi’s early 1980 tile mosaics in the Tottenham Court tube station were going to be demolished. I diverted a Northern Line trip from Bank Street to the Charing Cross branch of the line and and walked through the Tottenham Station taking poorly lit iPhone images of the threatened mosaics. Paolozzi was a founding member of the English Independent Group and as an important early pop artist. His tube station artworks are a colorful and bright addition to a public space that is usually generic and often downright lifeless and boring.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.

How murals could save Candela’s decaying Miami Marine Stadium

Architecture, Art, East, Preservation
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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The stadium seats last year. (Nicole Anderson / AN)

The stadium seats last year. (Nicole Anderson / AN)

An abandoned, decaying Miami stadium that once hosted the likes of Gloria Estefan, Elvis Presley, and Richard Nixon may finally be coming back to life. Since AN visited the 6,566-seat Marine Stadium last year there is new momentum to revitalize the iconic venue. And just as graffiti symbolized the stadium’s decline, street art could help secure its future.

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New York City Arts Group Recreates Historic Photo as 75-Foot-Tall Mural

The mural in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Mista Oh, Cre8tive YouTh*ink)

The mural in Brooklyn. (Courtesy Mista Oh, Cre8tive YouTh*ink)

A new, mid-rise, rental building on Pacific Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn looks like many of the new, mid-rise, rental buildings in the borough—at least from the front. The GF55-designed building’s brick and glass facade is fairly nondescript, but around the corner, on the building’s eastern flank, a new 45-foot-wide, 75-foot-tall mural could become one of the most iconic—certainly the most Instagrammed—pieces of public art in the neighborhood.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Art Installation Transforms Philly’s Amtrak Corridor With Vibrant Color

The Drama Wall. (Courtesy Mural Arts Program)

The Drama Wall. (Courtesy Mural Arts Program)

An art installation along Philadelphia’s Northeast Amtrak corridor is adding some color to the travel experience for 34,000 daily riders. Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse has been commissioned by the city’s Mural Arts Program to transform seven sites alongside the tracks with vibrant (and environmentally friendly) coats of paint: Orange and white streak across a warehouse, green and white do the same on an abandoned brick structure, and hot pink cover brush and boulders.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Mural Ordinance Opens Floodgates For Art in Los Angeles

West
Friday, August 30, 2013
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Untitled, by Mister Cartoon & El T Loko (Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles)

Untitled, by Mister Cartoon & El T Loko (Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles)

Finally. Los Angeles’ City Council on Wednesday passed a new mural ordinance, legalizing murals on private buildings after a decade of banning them. Of course would-be public artists still have to go through an extensive permitting process, and pay a$60 fee, but if they’re persistent they can finally go crazy. That is, as long as their murals don’t contain commercial messages.

“It’s a big victory and we’re thrilled,” said Isabel Rojas-Williams, executive director of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. The group has been protecting the city’s murals and muralists since 1987. “Despite the recent restrictions, the city has remained one of the country’s mural capitals.”

Don’t believe us? Behold a selection below of our favorite (finally-sanctioned) murals from around the City of Angels, courtesy of the Mural Conservancy. They range from political to historical to street art / graffiti, to, well…the undefinable. Read More

Designers to Transform Obsolete Rail Overpass Into Public Garden, Urban Orchard

International
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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Aerial view of the bridge over 97th Street in Edmonton. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Aerial view of the bridge over 97th Street in Edmonton. (Courtesy Google Maps)

At the beginning of the 19th century, the city of Edmonton was considered one of Canada’s most important rail hubs. For over two decades the trains that once made Edmonton a prominent center of economic activity have ceased to run along those tracks, and the historic freight yard has remained vacant.

Over the years a prominent old overpass connecting 97th Street to Edmonton’s downtown rail yards has morphed into a poorly finished, unattractive concrete pedestrian walkway and bicycle path. This weekend designers Chelsea Boos, Carmen Douville, and Erin Ross, will begin working on a project to revitalize the historic landmark. According to the Edmonton Journal the artists, with the help of a group of volunteers, will bring the bridge back to life by planting 25 circular raised beds filled with vibrant flowers, indigenous plants, and edible crops from which visitors can actually pick fruit from.

Continue reading after the jump.

BAM! Brooklyn Academy of Music Kicks Public Art Up A Notch in Fort Greene

East
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
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Rendering of Mural by KAWS (Courtesy of Community Board 2/Via Brownstoner)

Rendering of Mural by KAWS. (Courtesy Community Board 2/Via Brownstoner)

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is expanding its programming to the streets of Fort Greene. Brownstoner reported that the multi-arts center is proposing a series of temporary murals in front of an empty lot at 31 Lafayette Avenue, across from one of its performing arts spaces, the Howard Gilman Opera House. BAM plans to launch the program with a mural by Brooklyn artist KAWS, and then invite other local talent to display their art. There will also be space made for more of David Byrne’s sculptural, letter-shaped bike racks akin to the ones he designed in front of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Community Board 2 will vote on the art wall tomorrow.

The Colorful Camouflage of a Secret Tea Shop

International
Monday, October 29, 2012
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The Gourmet Tea shop begins to unfold (Djeng Chu)

The Gourmet Tea shop begins to unfold (Djeng Chu)

Bright colors are not typically associated with inconspicuous spaces but when it comes to The Gourmet Tea storefront, the shop manages to bring the two together.Through the use of clever ingenuity and compact design Brazilian architect Alan Chu successfully plants a secret tea shop inside a public shopping center in São Paulo, Brazil.

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S.Alt City Mural in Syracuse Blends Industrial Heritage With Modern Technology

East
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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S.Alt City mural in Syracuse.

S.Alt City mural in Syracuse.

This Syracuse mural project, S.Alt City, was sent to AN over the summer just as we were preparing our live coverage of the Venice Biennale and went unreported in the paper. But the mural by Cheng and Snyder Architects is a smart project that deserves more attention than it has received. The mural depicts a local waterside salt barge that alludes back to Syracuse’s industrial heritage but it also imbedded QR codes throughout the work. These QR codes are becoming more ubiquitous in the world of art making and were in fact used in the Russian pavilion at the recent Venice Biennale in a grandiose and very expensive installation in their pavilion.

Continue reading after the jump.

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