After long wait, Philadelphia’s bikeshare fleet hits the streets

Philly's new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philly’s new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philadelphia has become the latest American city to offer a bikeshare system with the introduction of Indego. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter celebrated the long-awaited launch by pedaling around town on one of the system’s first 600 bikes. The program will expand significantly over the next two years.

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AN Video> Tour Philly’s future Reading Viaduct with the designers behind the visionary linear park

The Architect’s Newspaper is introducing a new video series focusing on the places, people, and processes behind news-making projects. We begin with a tour of Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct, an abandoned rail line that advocates hope to transform into an elevated park, a grittier take on Manhattan’s celebrated High Line. With the city and state pledging millions toward the project, the Viaduct park is moving closer to reality. Come along with us for a first look.

On View> Pittsburgh’s Heinz Architectural Center tackles architecture from “Sketch to Structure”

Architecture, East, On View, Review
Monday, February 2, 2015
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Presentation model of Lorcan O'Herlihy's Formosa1140, 2012. (Tom Little)

Presentation model of Lorcan O’Herlihy’s Formosa1140, 2012. (Tom Little)

Sketch to Structure
Heinz Architectural Center
Carnegie Museum of Art
Pittsburgh
Through May 20, 2015

The concept and visual for Sketch to Structure, an exhibition that has just opened at Pittsburg’s Heinz Architectural Center, is so cogent and well thought out it’s a wonder no other museum hasn’t already staged such a show. The exhibit is curated by Alyssum Skjeie of the Heinz Center and takes the architectural design process and divides it into four discrete sections—concept, collaboration, communication, case studies—each with drawings and renderings taken from the center’s own collection.

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On View> Philadelphia Museum of Art shows off design objects by Vitra

Art, Design, East, On View
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
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A plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames. (Courtesy Vitra)

A plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames. (Courtesy Vitra)

 

Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building, Collab Gallery
2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Through April 26, 2015

In its new exhibition, Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the history of the famous Swiss furniture company from its early licensing partnership with Herman Miller to new collaborations with world-renowned contemporary designers, such as Verner Panton, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison.

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New Buildings Institute catalogues the nation’s net-zero buildings

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation's headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The Vancouver-based New Buildings Institute (NBI) tracks energy efficient built work, and their 2014 update, “Getting to Zero”, provides a snapshot of the emerging U.S. market for net-zero buildings—those are structures that use no more energy than they can gather on site.

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Philadelphia packs its riverfront pop-up park, RiverRink Winterfest, with holiday cheer

Fire pits. (Courtesy Matt Stanley)

Fire pits. (Courtesy Matt Stanley)

Just a few months after Philadelphia’s hugely popular, but temporary, Spruce Street Harbor Park closed up shop, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has opened in its place. The new space, which is open until March 1st, was commissioned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and designed by the New Jersey–based Groundswell Design Group, the same team behind the Winterfest’s summertime predecessor.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pringle-shaped velodrome proposed for Philadelphia

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

When we talk about cities boosting bike infrastructure, we’re typically talking about adding bike lanes and launching, or expanding, bike share. Building a multi-million dollar velodrome for high-speed, Olympic-style, indoor track racing isn’t typically part of that equation. But it now is in Philadelphia.

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Van Alen and National Park Service select finalists to re-imagine visitor experience at national parks

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson, NJ. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

The Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced four finalists in their competition to modernize visitor experience at four national parks. While the National Parks Now competition aims to “[design] the 21st Century National Park experience,” it’s about more than launching an app or two and boosting WiFi signals.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh up their bike game

Bike lane in Philadelphia. (karmacamilleeon/ Flickr)

Bike lane in Philadelphia. (karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

With bikeshare launching in Philadelphia next year, Mayor Nutter is taking significant steps toward boosting cycling throughout the city. NewsWorks reported that the mayor recently signed an executive order to create the Philadelphia Bicycle Advocacy Board, which will advise him on implementing smart bike policy. This would include “[fostering] volunteer efforts that promote cycling and maintain cycling trails; encourage private sector support of cycling, especially among Philadelphia employers; and promote national and international races in Philadelphia to attract the most elite cyclists to compete in the city.”

Continue reading after the jump.

[UPDATED] Longwood Gardens announces $90 million renovation plan

The Longwood Gardens revitalization project. (Courtesy Longwood Gardens)

The Longwood Gardens revitalization project. (Courtesy Longwood Gardens)

The picturesque Longwood Gardens outside of Wilmington, Delaware has announced a $90 million plan to revitalize its 83-year-old fountain garden. The expensive undertaking will include replacing the fountain’s aging electric and plumbing infrastructure, restoring limestone reliefs, installing new plantings and pathways, and improving guest access to the garden. The historic renovation is being led by Beyer Blinder Belle with West 8 overseeing the garden’s public space design.

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Philly’s Divine Lorraine Hotel Coming Back to Life

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

One of Philadelphia’s most impressive old ruins might be coming back to life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a New Jersey real estate lender is providing  $31.5 million to convert the decaying Divine Lorraine hotel into luxury apartments and commercial space. This is not the first attempt to transform the Lorraine, but it just might be its best.

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Pittsburgh’s Transformation: The 11 Projects Moving The Steel City Forward

The re-opening of Point State Park. (Courtesy Bridgett Kay / Riverlife)

The re-opening of Point State Park. (Courtesy Bridgett Kay / Riverlife)

From its streets to its rivers to its skyline, Pittsburgh is a city in transformation. The Steel City is diversifying its economy, improving its streetscape and becoming a new hub for the creative class. Business Insider has even declared Pittsburgh to be “The Next Hipster Haven.” But the transformation has meant more than coffee shops, bike-share, and startups—even though that’s certainly playing a part. As the city changes, though, it’s too easy to ask if Pittsburgh is the “Next [Enter City Here].” Because the “Next Pittsburgh” will not be the “Next Austin,” or even the “Next Portland.” It’s shaping up to be something entirely it’s own. Simply put, “The Next Pittsburgh” will be just that.

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