Oy, Tannenbaum! Modern Christmas Tree Causes A Stir in Belgium

International
Friday, November 30, 2012
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ABIES-Electronicus, a modern XMAS tree. (Courtesy 1024 Architecture)

ABIES-Electronicus, a modern XMAS tree. (Courtesy 1024 Architecture)

A modern interpretation of a Christmas tree designed by French firm 1024 Architecture lighting Grand Place, the main public square in Brussels, Belgium has some locals seeing stars. Standing 82 feet tall, ABIES-Electronicus, as the modern tree installation is named, is billed as an eco-friendly equivalent of chopping down a living tree, but some politicians in the city say it represents a “war on Christmas” as the symbols of the holiday are abstracted away from tradition. The mayor dismissed the charges, noting this year’s holiday theme was about light, and noting that a nativity scene is set up nearby.

Continue reading after the jump.

SHoP Updates Atlantic Yards Design as Forest City Confirms Prefab

East
Friday, November 30, 2012
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SHoP refines the design of the Atlantic Yards B2 Tower as groundbreaking approaches. (Courtesy SHoP)

SHoP refines the design of the Atlantic Yards B2 Tower as groundbreaking approaches. (Courtesy SHoP)

On Wednesday, Forest City Ratner made it official: the world’s tallest prefabricated building will be coming to Brooklyn with a groundbreaking date set for December 18. As AN outlined in our recent feature on Atlantic Yards, the SHoP Architects-designed B2 Tower will climb, modular unit by modular unit, 32 stories on a slender wedge-shaped parcel adjacent to the new Barclays Center on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street.

Renderings released with the groundbreaking announcement also revealed design revisions to the B2 Tower since it was unveiled in November 2011, and Chris Sharples, principal at SHoP, told AN what’s new.

Continue reading after the jump.

Another Brick in the Wall: Pink Floyd Drummer Awarded Honorary Architecture Degree

International
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason awarded an honorary architecture degree.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason awarded an honorary architecture degree.

British rock band Pink Floyd famously opined, “We don’t need no education,” and maybe they were right. The band was founded by a group of architecture students—Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright—at the Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster, which served as the band’s first rehearsal space and performance venue in the early 1960s. As the band gained popularity, the architecture students left school to focus on their music.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Extreme Commutes: Architects Build “Fast Track” Trampoline Sidewalk in Russia

International
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Salto Architects' "Fast Track trampoline sidewalk. (Courtesy Salto Architects)

Salto Architects’ “Fast Track trampoline sidewalk. (Nikita Šohov & Karli Luik/Courtesy Salto Architects)

There are countless ways to get around cities these days—on foot, bike, or skateboard, by transit or car—but Estonian firm Salto Architects has imagined what could be the next dedicated lane to hit a street near you: the Fast Track trampoline sidewalk. The 170-foot-long trampoline was built earlier this year in Russia for the Archstoyanie Festival, sending leaping pedestrians through Nikola-Lenivets Park, about 120 miles southwest of Moscow.

Continue reading after the jump.

Deborah Berke Designing 700 Residences in Lower Manhattan Art-Deco Skyscraper

East
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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Looking up at 70 Pine. (12th St David / Flickr)

Looking up at 70 Pine. (12th St David / Flickr)

Move over Woolworth Building. Another iconic Lower Manhattan skyscraper is slated for a residential conversion, this time by Deborah Berke Partners and architects of record Steven B. Jacobs Group. The 66-story art deco landmark at 70 Pine Street was built in 1932 as the Cities Service Company, and more recently served as the headquarters of American International Group (AIG), and now developer Rose Associates plans to transform the tower into 700 luxury apartments above a 300-room hotel.

Continue reading after the jump.

Figment 2013 Brings a Cloud of 50,000 Plastic Bottles to Governors Island

East
Monday, November 19, 2012
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Head in the Clouds pavilion by Studio Klimoski Chang Architects. (Courtesy Figment)

Head in the Clouds pavilion by Studio Klimoski Chang Architects. (Courtesy Figment)

Each year, the AIANY’s Emerging New York Architect (ENYA) committee and the Structural Engineers Association of New York bring a whimsical, wondrous, and often absurd pavilion to New York’s Governors Island as part of the FIGMENT Festival. This year, FIGMENT held a design competition and 200 designers submitted proposals. The newly announced City of Dreams Competition winner for 2013 is Brooklyn-based Studio Klimoski Chang Architects and their sustainably-minded Head in the Clouds pavilion, comprised of metal rods, and thousands of plastic milk jugs and water bottles.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects Build A Times Square Pavilion to Promote Dialogue for Veterans Day

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Matter's "Peace & Quiet" installation in Times Square. (Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Matter’s “Peace & Quiet” installation in Times Square. (Ka-Man Tse / Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Opening today for Veterans Day, a new pavilion designed by Brooklyn-based Matter Architecture Practice aims to bring a little Peace and Quiet to the hectic liveliness of Times Square. The new temporary pavilion, built yesterday and set to remain standing through November 16 is described as a “dialogue station” by its architects. “It is a tranquil place to meet, share stories, leave a note, shake hands, or meet a veteran in person,” Matter continues on its website. Times Square “seemed the ideal circumstance (or mad challenge) to initiate and inform a poignant exchange of ideas, to will intimacy in an instance of its opposite.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Sandy Snuffs Out Century Old Lighthouse near Staten Island

East
Friday, November 9, 2012
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The Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse before and after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

The Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse before and after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

Staten Island’s Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse stood as a protective beacon in Sandy Hook Bat for 119 years, but has now been reduced to rubble atop its rocky outcropping after being slammed by Hurricane Sandy. Built in 1893, the cast-iron lighthouse once stood 51 feet tall and had been listed on the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Program, but had been declared obsolete by the General Service Administration and sold at auction in 2008 for $235,000. The US Coast Guard confirmed this week that the stout structure succumbed to the storm. Light House Friends has more history on the Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse:

In the late 1800s when winter ice closed down Staten Island Sound, the waterway separating New Jersey from Staten Island, an estimated 15,000 tons of shipping were forced to use the narrow channel that ran along the eastern shore of Staten Island. In doing so, the vessels passed dangerously close to Old Orchard Shoal. A bell buoy and a lighted buoy initially marked this shallow area, but mariners considered these navigational aids grossly inadequate…After $60,000 was approved, construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1893. The new fifty-one-foot, cast-iron tower was cone-shaped, built in the “spark plug” style common among offshore lights in that region.

[Via SI Live and Working Harbor.]

More images of the destruction after the jump.

On View> White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes

Midwest
Thursday, October 25, 2012
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Ground floor of Adriana Varejão Gallery by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, showing installation Linda do Rosário (2004–2008) by Adriana Varejão. (Iwan Baan)

Ground floor of Adriana Varejão Gallery by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, showing installation Linda do Rosário (2004–2008) by Adriana Varejão. (Iwan Baan)

White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Through January 13, 2013

With the exhibition White Cube Green Maze at the Heinz Architectural Center in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, curator Raymund Ryan moved beyond the predictable white enclosed gallery, creating a maze, which forces viewers to navigate museum space and interact with art in new ways. The exhibition presents a series of six innovative designs from around the world that blend landscape design, modern architecture, art, and environment. The sites are shown with photos, presentation models, sketches by various artists and historical designs and redesigns of the sites, offering an understanding of how collaborative the design processes were. Visitors can wander through the exhibition’s different pavilions that open to beautiful outdoor spaces. The sites in the exhibition include the Olympic Sculpture Park (USA), Stiftung Insel Hombroich (Germany), Benesse Art Site Naoshima (Japan), Instituto Inhotim (Brazil), Jardín Botánico de Culiacán (Mexico), and Grand Traiano Art Complex (Italy), all captured in architectural photographs by Iwan Baan.

More images after the jump.

NACTO Celebrates 21st Century Transportation Planning in New York

National
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addresses the NACTO Designing Cities conference in New York. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addresses the NACTO Designing Cities conference in New York. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

Planning and transportation wonks from around the country gathered at NYU’s Kimmel Center this morning to mark the beginning of three-days of the NACTO Designing Cities conference, emphasizing new and innovative ideas for designing streets and public spaces. To jumpstart the event, the National Association of City Transportation Officials released the Urban Street Design Guide, collecting design principles, strategies, and case studies from across the country on how to best design and implement everything from cycletracks to bus rapid transit.

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Welcome to Staten Eye-Land: World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel to Anchor New Waterfront Development

East
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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The planned New York Wheel development includes the world's tallest Ferris wheel. (Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office)

The planned New York Wheel development includes the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. (Courtesy NYC Mayor’s Office)

Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project’s neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Slideshow> Manhattan at the Feet of Four World Trade

East
Friday, September 7, 2012
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Looking north from a corner office in Four Word Trade.

Looking north from a corner office in Four Word Trade.

Compared to its neighbors, the Fuhimiko Maki-designed Four World Trade offers a more somber, reflective aesthetic at the World Trade Center site. Reflective quite literally, as the tower’s curtain wall mullions nearly disappear at street level. Inside the 977-foot-tall building, Maki’s stunningly-precise detailing is made evident, along with the breathtaking views of the surrounding New York region.

After climbing to death-defying heights yesterday at One World Trade yesterday, AN stopped by Tower Four’s construction floor 51 (or what will eventually be renamed the 60th floor when the building opens). While the interior office spaces are still shells, the clarity of Maki’s trapezoidal form shows through. Project Architect Osamu Sassa said columns at the tower’s perimeter—four on each side—were pushed to the edge, providing 80-foot spans of uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling glass. Column-free corners, many forming acute angles that proved to be a challenge in designing the curtain wall, make the views even more brilliant. Take a look for yourself in the slideshow below.

View the slideshow after the jump.

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