Quick Clicks> Floating, Ethics, Mansard Roofs, Transit Saves

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Monday, March 7, 2011
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A recreation of the Pixar film Up (National Geographic)

A recreation of the Pixar film Up (National Geographic)

Up, Up & Away. My Modern Met has a photo set from National Geographic‘s recreation of the Pixar movie Up. With the help of 300 colorful weather balloons, a team of engineers and pilots sent a 16′ square house skyward in LA, setting a world record in the process. (Via Curbed.)

Archi-Ethics. Mark Lamster is leading this week’s Glass House Conversation. He’s discussing the ethics of client selection: “How do we balance commercial imperatives with a desire for a moral practice?”

Mansard Mania. The New York Times has a feature on Manhattan’s Mansard roof heyday between 1868 and 1873, spotlighting some of the best examples of the French-style roof.

Transit Saves. As civil unrest continues in the Middle East, oil prices have risen to near record levels. Reuters brings us a study from the American Public Transportation Association that finds transit riders are saving over $800 a month with the elevated gas costs, and projects nearly a $10,000 savings annually if gas maintains its high price tag.

A Pictorial Description of Broadway in 1899

East
Thursday, March 3, 2011
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Broadway, East Side. Wall to Liberty St. (Courtesy NYPL)

Broadway, East Side. Wall to Liberty St. (Courtesy NYPL)

Last week, we came across illustrator James Gilliver Hancock’s series of playful block elevations titled “All the Buildings in New York.” It turns out this impulse to sketch block upon block of New York’s architecture has been around for quite some time. In 1899, the Mail & Express newspaper company published a graphic journey down Manhattan’s Broadway in a book called A Pictorial description of Broadway now archived at the New York Public Library.

The stroll down Broadway 112 years ago reveals just how much New York has evolved over the past century. As the NYPL says, “The result, as you can see here, is a 19th century version of Google’s Street View, allowing us to flip through the images block by block, passing parks, churches, novelty stores, furriers, glaziers, and other businesses of the city’s past.”

Check out some of our favorite blocks after the jump.

Event> Architecture-Made Music

East, On View
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
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Diagram of Blake Carrington's Cathedral Scan (Courtesy Blake Carrington)

Diagram of Blake Carrington’s Cathedral Scan (Courtesy Blake Carrington)

Architecture is often referred to as frozen music, but with a little digital technology, artist Blake Carrington has learned to capture the “diverse rhythms, drones and textures” from the stone walls of cathedrals. In his aural performances called Cathedral Scan, Carrington uses a church’s floor plan combined with the space’s unique acoustics to create to generate his his unique architectural sounds. Here’s more from the artist:

Groups of scanners filling the sonic spectrum may act in synch, forming a single harmonically-dense rhythm, or they may scan the plans at different speeds, resulting in complex polyrhythms. Each plan is treated as a modular score, with a distinct rhythm and timbre of its own. Also, by varying the speed and intensity of each scanning group, drone-like sounds may emerge based on the “resonant frequency” of the black and white plan.

This Thursday, March 3, Carrington will reveal the hidden sound of New York’s Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral for a CD release concert. He will be joined by audiovisual artists Mark Cetilia (of Mem1) and Kamran Sadeghi. More information on the AN events diary. (Via BldgBlog.)

Watch a video excerpt of Cathedral Scan after the jump.

Revealing A City′s Hidden Digital Landscapes

International
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Ever hit a WiFi dead spot when moving about the city? A new visualization project called Immaterials: Light painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen reveals the hidden landscape of digital signals though long-exposure photography and a stick equiped with a WiFi sensor and LED lights. Here’s more from YOUrban.no:

The city is filled with an invisible landscape of networks that is becoming an interwoven part of daily life. WiFi networks and increasingly sophisticated mobile phones are starting to influence how urban environments are experienced and understood. We want to explore and reveal what the immaterial terrain of WiFi looks like and how it relates to the city.

Looks like this project could feel right at home with the upcoming MoMA exhibition, Talk to Me, exploring the feedback of our environments. (Via information aesthetics.)

Watch a video of the project after the jump.

Filed Under: , , ,

Space Available on the High Line

East
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Space Available by Kim Beck, 2008 (Courtesy High Line)

Space Available by Kim Beck, 2008 (Courtesy High Line)

This Friday, three massive billboards will debut along the High Line, but instead of blasting consumerism, the art installation by Kim Beck hopes to provoke visitors to think of public space. From the High Line: “Kim’s work will encourage park visitors to reconsider the water towers, exhaust pipes, HVAC systems, roof decks, green roofs, and other building elements that are integral components of the cityscape views along the High Line.”

Called Space Available, Beck will install three “skeletal” blank billboards. Experiencing the signs from different angles can provide the illusion of three dimensionality, when in fact each sign is really flat.

Watch Kim Beck explain the artwork after the jump.

Video> Pick Up The Pace, New York

East
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Still from Josh Owens' NYC - Mindrelic Timelapse

Still from Josh Owens’ NYC – Mindrelic Timelapse

If you thought the pace of life in Manhattan couldn’t get any more hectic, think again. Photographer Josh Owens has compiled a stunning collection of time lapse scenes from around New York. Despite its fast pace, there’s something distinctly calming about the hustle.  (Via swissmiss.)

Watch the video after the jump.

Video> Rubik′s Cube House

Other
Monday, February 21, 2011
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Rubik's Cube House by Kenneth Brandon

Rubik's Cube House by Kenneth Brandon

Last Friday, our friends at Curbed spotted this amazing Rubik’s Cube by and puzzle connoisseur Kenneth Brandon and artist Heather Kent. The custom-made creation actually works, as demonstrated in a video after the jump (we imagine things can get pretty surreal inside the house when the twisting gets going). Named House Cube, the puzzle was made with painted stickers, complete with a basement plumbing system.

Click through for a video of the Rubik’s House.

Filed Under: ,

Quick Clicks> River Metro, Byrne, Reskinned, Jane

Daily Clicks
Monday, February 21, 2011
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Mississippi Metro Map via Something About Maps

Mississippi Metro Map via Something About Maps

Mississippi Metro. Strange Maps pointed out a clever reinterpretation of the Mississippi River basin as a subway system. Check out a bigger version at Something About Maps. (You may also be interested in the Sustainable City Collective’s list of top five urban infographics.)

Byrne-ing Down the House. David Byrne waxes poetic on the arts-and-crafts bungalows of Berkeley after taking a recent bike ride through the city’s early 20th century neighborhoods.

Reskinning. Solve Climate News spotlights Toronto entrepreneur Ron Dembo who is tackling insufficiently skinned buildings to increase energy efficiency. (Via Planetizen.)

Janie’s got a Walk. With warm weather closer on the horizon (despite a fresh blanket of snow across parts of the country), Shareable recommends planning a Jane’s Walk in your city, after the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, to explore the history, ecology, and social issues in your neighborhood.

Quick Clicks> Safe, Cuts, Drawing, Rage

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, NY (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission via DNAinfo)

Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, NY (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission via DNAinfo)

Safe. DNAinfo has a story on the newly landmarked interior of Gordon Bunshaft’s Manufacturer’s Trust Company building in New York including a 30-ton circular vault visible from the street. The exterior has been a landmark since 2007. Previous AN coverage here and here.

Cutting History. Preservation magazine reports that President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget sends the wrecking ball after two federal grant programs supporting historic preservation across the country: Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. Needless to say, the National Trust president was “profoundly disappointed.”

Pin Up. Architect Roger K. Lewis penned a piece for the Washington Post lamenting the downfall of hand drawing in architectural production. He warns that we should avoid the seductive “I can, therefore I shall” approach that computers can sometimes produce.

Sidewalk Rage. Researchers at the University of Hawaii have identified key traits of Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome. Richard Layman has the list of behaviors on Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, which is readily on display on the sidewalks of major cities everywhere.

Japanese Architect′s Midget & Giant House

International
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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Midget & Giant by Ryuji Nakamura

Midget & Giant by Ryuji Nakamura

Japanese architect Ryuji Nakamura has designed a very small house to fit over a computer’s webcam for a design workshop called Design East 01. The miniature is called Midget & Giant, and, well, you can see the results. [via Today & Tomorrow.]

Another view after the jump.

Video> Exhibition Recalls NY′s Lost Garden of Eden

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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Adam Purple's Garden of Eden in the Lower East Side (Photo by Harvey Wang)

Adam Purple's Garden of Eden in the Lower East Side (Photo by Harvey Wang)

As he watched his Manhattan neighborhood crumble and burn around him in the urban decay of the 1970s, Adam Purple decided to build a garden. For roughly a decade from the 1970s until 1985, Purple’s Garden of Eden earthwork expanded with concentric circles as more and more buildings were torn down. Photographer Harvey Wang is marking the 25th anniversary of the garden’s destruction with an exhibition at the Fusion Arts gallery running through February 20.

Click through for more info and a video about the exhibition.

Quick Clicks> Green, Trolley, Bike, and Soane Booms

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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New York by Gehry nee 8 Spruce nee Beekman Tower (Courtesy dbox)

New York by Gehry neé 8 Spruce neé Beekman Tower (Courtesy dbox)

Green Boom. Blair Kamin takes a look at the sustainability of two billowing icons in Chicago and New York. Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower is going for LEED certification while Frank Gehry’s New York tower will not seek the USGBC’s approval but claims to be green nonetheless. Kamin notes the importance of such moves, saying of Gehry: “What he, in particular, does–or doesn’t do–can have enormous influence, not simply on architects but on developers.”

Trolley Boom. NPR has a piece on the explosion of streetcars across the country with planned or completed systems in over a dozen cities.

Bike Boom. Cycling advocate Elly Blue discusses a new study on Grist stating that bikes deserve their own infrastructure independent from autos. And not just a striped bike lane, Blue notes, but separated lanes called “cycle tracks” like one installed along Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West.

Soane Boom. The Independent reports on a planned renovation to the Sir John Soane Museum in London, that architect’s treasure trove of antiquities and architectural memorabilia from across the world. Plans include opening up a new floor that hasn’t been open to the public since Soane died in 1837.

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