All images courtesy TimNelson3D.com / Union Studio Architecture & Community Design
Not unfamiliar with daring urban design endeavors, Providence, RI is gearing up for a $20 million transformation of Kennedy Plaza, a major transportation hub and park dating to 1848 in the city’s downtown. The overhaul designed by Providence-based Union Studio Architects was announced in late April and call for upholding the plaza’s principal position as a public-transit terminal, preserving the 2002 intermodal station. Change in the site’s layout will relocate bus kiosks to the perimeter of the plaza so as to create supplementary space for public and private activities to enliven the space.
For nearly a decade now, New Yorkers have been turning their focus on revitalizing the city’s waterfront, a trend that has only grown in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. WXY Architecture’s East River Blueway and Bloomberg’s Vision 2020 are two examples of initiatives that seek to build sustainable, accessible, and engaging shorelines for the city. But with summer approaching and the days heating up, what city dwellers may want most from their estuaries is a cool, clean dip. Brooklyn-based design firms Family Architects and PlayLab hope to make that dream possible, but they still need $500,000 to get started.
On the opening day of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at the Javits Center, AN sat down with Christian Rasmussen, the head of design for Fritz Hansen, to discuss the company’s design strategies, its philosophy on collaboration, and to test out the new Favn and Ro seating that has just been released in the U.S.
What are your impressions of ICFF?
It’s getting better every year and I’m seeing more interesting stuff. I was surprised last year and this one is even better. Last month we were in Milan but it’s so big. I like that ICFF is more focused and offers a tighter overlook. You can spend more time in each booth as opposed to Milan where you have to move very fast to see everything. Overall it’s really positive.
Tonight, Gowanus by Design (GbD), a community-based urban advocacy group, will launch a new exhibition showing award winners and other selected entries of its Water Works Competition at The Old American Can Factory Gallery in Brooklyn. The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on May 22 from 6:30 to 9:00p.m. The intent of GbD’s competition was to design a new community resource to replace the site of the old Douglas Degraw pool with a Combined Sewer Overflow retention facility.
After creating their 2011 and 2012 graduation pavilions for SCI-Arc, Oyler Wu has once again produced a striking structure LA-based school, this time on the occasion of their 4oth anniversary. Dubbed the Storm Cloud pavilion, the structure salvages the existing steel from the 2011 Netscape, which served as the school’s graduation pavilion two years ago. Looking at Storm Cloud, one can hardly tell it shares much of the bones that made up the older pavilion.
Indian officials have proposed that high-rises be built on the site of Edwin Lutyens-designed bungalows dating from the 1920s and 1930s, threatening Delhi’s colonial era architecture, according to the Guardian. Lutyens’ Delhi, a 3,000-acre zone containing the Mughal Garden at Rashtrapati Bhavan, has endured monsoons, riots, and acid rain, but now many of the area’s government buildings, parks, and homes have met a new menace: a scheme to loosen planning limitations to permit construction of high-rise structures.
Underscoring the fragility of the economic recovery, the April AIA’s Architecture Billings Index dipped into negative territory for the first time in nine months. The slump to 48.6 was significant, down from 51.9 in March (any score above 50 indicates positive growth).
“Project approval delays are having an adverse effect on the design and construction industry, but again and again we are hearing that it is extremely difficult to obtain financing to move forward on real estate projects,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, in a statement. “There are other challenges that have prevented a broader recovery that we will examine in the coming months if this negative trajectory continues. However, given that inquiries for new projects continue to be strong, we’re hopeful that this is just a short-term dip.”
The 25th edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) opened on Saturday, May 19, with approximately 500 exhibitors from around the world showing their wares to the design community. In addition to smaller designs studios from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon, international designers from Belgium, Spain, Italy, Norway, Japan, and Haiti were also onsite with all manner of interior products. The fair closes on May 21, and is open to the public on the final day.
A sanitary alternative to silk pendant shades, Two features 3Form’s Varia Ecoresin—made of 40 percent preconsumer recycled content—formed around a fabric layer for greater ease of cleanability. The pendant comes fully enclosed with top and bottom diffusers for LED components that also feature dimming capabilities.
Beginning June 21, visitors of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will get the unusual opportunity to experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic rotunda like never before. American artist James Turrell is transforming the legendary space with his favorite medium: light. As visitors navigate the spiraling gallery they may feel disoriented. With each step, their perception of the illuminated space will change dramatically, as colorful influxes of artificial and natural light dynamically shift around the rotunda. Throughout this site-specific work, titled Aten Reign, Turrell offers visitors a subjective viewing experience. Each observer will see his or her own vision of the space depending on the location in which they stand, as well as the way in which fluctuating shadows and illuminations highlight their surroundings. Four of Turrell’s other works will accompany the core light installation.
Yesterday, AN reported on the incredible new entertainment complex that millionaire James Goldstein is building next to John Lautner’s Sheats Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills. But even without an adjacent nightclub, the house often hosts splashy events, the most recent of which was the latest art/architecture installation that’s part of artist Xavier Veilhan’s Architectones series. As he did at Richard Neutra’s VDL House and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House 21, Veilhan created several site specific installations for the site, ranging from a life size statue of John Lautner to a series of cords stretching over the home’s pool. The project was curated by architect Francois Perrin and organized by Galerie Perrotin.
Jerry Tate Architects has revealed the design for a dynamic treehouse called the Biodiversity Nest to be built inside the Eden Project facility in Cornwall, UK. The London-based firm’s design unites architecture and nature, much like the Eden Project’s massive Grimshaw-designed overlapping geodesic domes comprising the world’s largest enclosed rainforest.
The Biodiversity Nest, part of the new Rainforest Canopy Walkway project, will sit between two 52-foot-tall bridges in the Eden Project’s Humid Tropics Biome. The timber enclosure will provide a shady education space perched in the tree canopy.
Patrizia Moroso, art director at Moroso, recently chatted with AN about her impressions of ICFF, working with Patricia Urquiola, and the design house’s plans for New York Design Week.
What are your impressions of ICFF?
It is something very important for the U.S. and for New York. For me, around the fair and outside the pavilions, there’s a lot organized in town. The fair is growing. For example, Milan [Furniture Fair] has become so important these years. In Milano, we have something like 3,000 events around design week but this means that people are excited. Now, New York is becoming something like this. You have so much happening around it. The interest and the dialogue between the institutions and the companies and firms can carry on in and around the fair.