Satellite captures the world’s largest street art GIF from 430 miles above Earth

Art, International
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Satellite view of the world's largest GIF. (Courtesy INSA)

Satellite view of the world’s largest GIF. (Courtesy INSA)

 

INSA, as the undercover street artist is cryptically known, is the net generation’s equivalent of the legendary graffiti artist Banksy. While INSA’s doodles also dapple the walls of buildings in London as well as around the world, the artist creates GIFs—or “GIF-ITIs” as he calls them—based on photographs of his own graffiti paintings.

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Video> Watch Bjarke Ingels’ Manhattan “Dry Line” form before your eyes

The berm. (Courtesy BIG)

The berm. (Courtesy BIG)

The Bjarke Ingels Group’s plan to wrap Lower Manhattan in a landscape berm to keep floodwaters at bay was definitely one of the most architecturally interesting proposals to come from Rebuild By Design, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s competition to boost resiliency in a post-Sandy world. Last June, the plan—known as “The BIG U” or “The Dry Line”—also became the competitions’s biggest winner.

Watch the video after the jump.

High-Tech History by Hacin + Associates

Architecture, East, Envelope
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Brought to you with support from:
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Hacin + Associates' District Hall is the centerpiece of Boston's new Innovation District. (Bruce Martin)

Hacin + Associates’ District Hall is the centerpiece of Boston’s new Innovation District. (Bruce Martin)

Innovation center’s corrugated metal envelope evokes Boston’s seagoing past.

Commissioned to design District Hall, the centerpiece of Boston‘s emerging Innovation District, Hacin + Associates found themselves in a unique situation. “There was no context,” recalled design team member Matthew Arnold. “We were one of the first buildings down there; we had to build our own story.” To fill the gap, the architects looked to the site’s history. “In the old days, goods came from around the world to the Boston seaport, then were distributed throughout the United States,” said founding principal David Hacin. “We were thinking that this is analogous to an innovation center: ideas are born in this place, then distributed around the world.” Wrapped in corrugated metal punctuated by strategic glazing, its two volumes informed by nautical and railroad architecture, District Hall captures both the glory of Boston’s seagoing past and the promise of its high-tech future.

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West 8 unveils botanic garden in Doha, Qatar inspired by plants from the Qur’an

The Qur’anic Botanic Garden. (Courtesy West 8)

The Qur’anic Botanic Garden. (Courtesy West 8)

The Rotterdam and New York City–based West 8 has unveiled plans for a botanic garden in Doha, Qatar to feature plants mentioned in the Qur’an. According to the firm, the Qur’anic Botanic Garden project will break ground this year, roughly five years after the idea for the project was proposed by UNESCO.

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Amangiri Resort blends with Utah’s dramatic desert landscapes for one luxurious getaway

Architecture, National
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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(Courtesy Aman Resorts)

(Courtesy Aman Resorts)

One of hospitality’s hottest hideaways is located—where else—on barren desert land solely accessible via a treacherously winding road. Booked to nearly full capacity for the first two years of operation, the Amangiri resort is nestled in a desert region called the “Four Corners,” where the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona converge.

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Watchdog InsideAirbnb challenges claims made by the popular apartment-sharing site

Development, East
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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Airbnb listings in New York City. (Courtesy Inside Airbnb)

Airbnb listings in New York City. (Courtesy Inside Airbnb)

Airbnb, the hugely popular apartment rental site, has managed to amass a broad coalition of detractors in New York including developers, the State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the New York City Council, and affordable housing advocates. The main line of attack being levied against Airbnb is that it is making New York City’s affordability crisis even worse.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> SpecSheet: Six Super Surfacing Treatments

Interiors, National, Product, Spec Sheet
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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Spec Sheet  
LEAD-neolith

(Courtesy Neolith / TheSize)

Long the workhorses of finishes, composites have come a long way. Mineral- or wood-based, polymers, ceramics—new chemistries and production methods have expanded the both the performance range and the aesthetic qualities of these surface materials. Here are six new products that are as durable as they are attractive.

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Video> Bjarke Ingels explains his torquing Vancouver House

Vancouver House. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group)

Vancouver House. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released a snazzy video of its eponymous leader explaining the design of Vancouver House, the firm’s upcoming mixed-use project in—you guessed it—Vancouver, Canada. As you can see from the photo above, the development is focused around a 52-story tower that appears to be twisting and expanding as it rises.

Watch the video after the jump.

Mexican group turns Tequila byproduct into construction materials stronger than wood

The fibrous material of the  agave plant is used as a biofuel (Courtesy Stan Shebs)

The agave plant is used to make tequila and doubles as a biofuel (Courtesy Stan Shebs)

Stigma and foreseeable jokes aside, the tequila industry may be one of the keys to sustainable development of the future. Mexican recycling startup Plastinova has created a wood substitute that is not only renewable but allegedly stronger than what nature bequeathed.

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The view from this South Dakota TV Tower is as grand & dizzying as any Manhattan skyscraper

National, Skyscrapers
Monday, February 16, 2015
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04-tower-vid

While here in New York City, the antennas we cover tend to sit atop skyscrapers like the World Trade Center, for much of the American landscape, the tallest fixtures are spindle-thin television towers that keep watch over an agrarian landscape. But the view from atop those towers can be just as beautiful as the view from a $100 million Manhattan penthouse, as this drone video proves.

Watch the video after the jump.

A quirky Googie bowling alley finds new life as a Community Center in Los Angeles

Former bowling alley, now the Foundation Center (Cuningham Group)

Former bowling alley, now the Foundation Center (Cuningham Group)

Googie—the futuristic style born in mid-century Los Angeles coffee houses (like the recently threatened Norms), gas stations, and motels—has found a revival in Cuningham Group‘s renovation of the “Southwest Bowl” in South LA’s West Athens district.

Continue reading after the jump.

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