Video> Michael Adlerstein & John Gering on retrofitting the United Nations Secretariat Building

The United Nations Headquarters site in Manhattan (seen here in 1985) covers approximately sixteen acres from 42nd to 48th Streets between First Avenue and the East River. Among the buildings on the premises are the marble-framed 39-storey Secretariat (to the left); the General Assembly building topped with a shallow dome; the Dag Hammarskjöld Library (to the left of the Secretariat); and the building housing the Council Chambers and Conference Rooms which lies on the river's edge. (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata.)

The United Nations Headquarters site in Manhattan (seen here in 1985) covers approximately sixteen acres from 42nd to 48th Streets between First Avenue and the East River. (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata.)

In addition to being AN‘s Midwest Editor, I was the special media correspondent for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2014, interviewing tall building designers, developers, and other experts at the skyscraper think tank’s Shanghai conference, and its annual CTBUH Awards ceremony in Chicago.

Watch the video after the jump.

Snarkitecture created this ethereal light-filled cave to calm visitors at Milan Design Week

(Courtesy COS / Snarkitecture)

(Courtesy COS / Snarkitecture)

No, you haven’t stepped inside a dream world made of suspended toilet paper tissues. You are, however, inside an ethereal installation crafted by New York–based design studio Snarkitecture and created for the 2015 Salone del Mobile taking place this week in Milan.

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Furniture with its own Mind: Researchers at MIT Create Self-Assembling Chair

Design, Technology
Monday, April 6, 2015
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(Courtesy MIT Self-Assembly Lab)

(Courtesy MIT Self-Assembly Lab)

Scientists at MIT dream of autonomous assembly lines that are free of machinery, human intervention, or fossil fuel expenditure—and still run 24/7.

Continue reading after the jump.

Above Average pokes fun at kale-fueled gentrification with “Settlers of Brooklyn”

Development, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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    In "Settlers of Brooklyn," players compete to "colonize" the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

In “Settlers of Brooklyn,” players compete to “colonize” the outer boroughs. (Above Average)

The comedy geniuses at digital network Above Average have released a glorious sendup of gentrification in New York City’s outer boroughs. “Settlers of Brooklyn” (pronounced Brook-LAWN) promises hours of good old-fashioned board-game fun for the next generation of power brokers: millennials.

Continue reading after the jump.

San Francisco never looked as grand as in this nighttime time lapse video

Architecture, Skyscrapers, West
Monday, March 30, 2015
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Still from Gotham City SF.

Still from Gotham City SF.

This black-and-white time-lapse video by Toby Harriman shows San Francisco at its most dramatic. The skyline emerges quietly from its famous fog as the city and its bridges twinkle in the distance—including Leo Villareal’s Bay Lights installation. As the music builds, Gotham City SF picks up pace, showing dramatic angles at high speeds completely appropriate for an action thriller. You’d have to watch to really understand.

Watch the video after the jump.

Fly through Zaha Hadid’s sand dune-inspired headquarters with this flashy new video rendering

Screengrab from animation.

Screengrab from animation.

In December, we told you about Zaha Hadid‘s plan to build a sand-dune inspired, net-zero, headquarters in the United Arab Emirates for Bee’ah, a waste management company based in the Middle East. Now there’s more.

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AN’s own Susan Kramer appears in New York Times video on Union Square

East, Media
Monday, March 23, 2015
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Union Square in New York City. (Wikimedia Commons)

Union Square in New York City. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the latest installment of its by “Block by Block” video series, the New York Times explored Manhattan’s thriving Union Square neighborhood. The video kicks off with AN‘s very own Susan Kramer, who is a long time resident of the area.

Watch the video after the jump.

Shanghai Talks> Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

AN's Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

AN’s Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Architecture takes a front seet on this new film centered on Borromini’s architecture

Saint Yves at La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. (Courtesy Kino Lorber)

Saint Yves at La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. (Courtesy Kino Lorber)

The word “sapienza” means “wisdom” in Italian. It also refers to the Church of Saint Yves at La Sapienza, 1642–1660, designed by Baroque architect Francesco Borromini. In Eugene Green’s film, La Sapienza, Borromini is a hero of the protagonist, architect Alexandre Schmid (played by Fabrizio Rongione). Borromini incorporated the remains of a 14th century church, rather than razing it, a touchstone for Schmid. Geometry reigns throughout: the building is capped by a corkscrew lantern, and triangles and semi-circles are combined with figurative elements.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Ferry Fiasco: Ice shuts down ferry service on New York City’s East River

A ferry struggles with ice on the East River. (Several seconds / Flickr)

A ferry struggles with ice on the East River. (Several seconds / Flickr)

 

As AN reported, it will be quite difficult for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to pull off his plan to launch a five-borough ferry system. There are, of course, the obvious issues surrounding subsidies, ridership, operators, and dock placement that could all cause major headaches down the road. While the mayor starts charting his path through these details, another potential problem came to the fore: winter weather.

Continue reading after the jump.

Washing your hands will never be the same with this award-winning faucet’s swirling lattice of water

(Courtesy Simin Qiu)

(Courtesy Simin Qiu)

If you’re trying to up your faucet game and new fixtures just aren’t doing the trick—we’ve got the perfect piece to impress your dinner guests when they visit the powder room. Simin Qiu, a student at the London Royal College of Art, has designed a faucet that releases water in an elegant latticework pattern. Finally, water from the tap won’t just lazily fall into your sink basin, resigned to its dreary passage into the sewers; it will do it with pizzaz!

Continue reading after the jump.

This year’s architecturally inspired films at the 2015 Slamdance and Sundance film festivals

Still from Concrete Love. (Courtesy respective directors)

Still from Concrete Love. (Maurizius Staerkle Drux)

This year’s Park City offerings at the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals ranged from portraits of architects, a mayor with architectural dreams, a victim of the foreclosure crisis, those trapped in physical and dreamed spaces, and individuals exploring the cultural landscape. Always a harbinger of what is coming up, look out for these films and media projects coming to a screen near you.

Continue reading after the jump.

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