Reburbia Resolved

National
Thursday, August 20, 2009
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"FROG’S DREAM: McMansions Turned into Biofilter Water Treatment Plants," by Calvin Chiu

Judges of Dwell and inhabitat’s Reburbia competition split the difference between fantasy and pragmatism in picking winners out of last week’s 20 finalists.
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Head of the Class

National
Monday, August 17, 2009
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Camino Nuevo High School, Los Angeles, California by Daly Genik (Photo: Tim Griffith)

Indian Community School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Antoine Predock Architect, PC (Photo: Timothy Hursley)

The AIA just announced the projects that received the highest marks in this year’s Educational Facility Design Awards, and they’re a diverse class – the 13 winners run the gamut from urban to rural, elementary to university, built to unbuilt.

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Fill it In, Trick it Out

National
Thursday, August 13, 2009
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Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma's futuristic airships.

Dwell and inhabitat’s REBURBIA competition last month drew hundreds of schemes for making the suburbs more sustainable, and now they want your votes to pick a “readers’ choice” winner from the 20 finalists. (The official winners will be picked next week by a jury, and featured in Dwell’s December/January issue). Read More

Making Buildings Dream

International
Monday, August 10, 2009
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From Germany via Dangerous Minds comes this stunning 3-D architectural illusion: A square building appears possessed, its facade rippling, segmenting and mutating. Giant hands manipulate the building’s surface and then dissolve. A wave ripples through the building’s bricks as if it were shivering. Read More

Designing Better Healthcare

West
Thursday, July 30, 2009
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Mahlum's Providence North Portland Clinic. (All images courtesy AIA)

The healthcare reform battle’s getting ugly, but at least it can play out against some pretty backdrops.

The two built winners of this year’s AIA National Healthcare Design Awards, both in Portland, Oregon, are glossy and inviting. Mahlum’s Providence North Portland Clinic runs alongside a transit line downtown, greeting the street with a long wall of windows revealing glimpses of murals within. And a dramatic new pavilion at the Oregon Health and Science University (by Perkins + Will in joint venture with Petersen Kohlberg & Associates) spans a 75-foot change in elevation, creating a cascade of expansive vistas and terraces with a pedestrian walkway snaking through them. Read More

Drinks, Dancing, and DIY

Other
Thursday, June 4, 2009
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(images courtesy of the Architectural League)

The Architectural League’s Beaux Arts Ball 2009 this Saturday night has a dress code, but not the kind you might expect. “No stilettos please,” warns the invite, because in addition to the standard drinks and dancing, this ball features a vast factory where guests will be “building, binding, stitching and printing.” Read More

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation

Other
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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Twilight in the financial district. The view from the cupola at 48 Wall Street. (Photos: Douglas Back/Lower Manhattan Cultural Council)

The mood was decidedly anti-Wall Street among the crowd who gathered on April 28 for the final lecture in Access Restricted, a series sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council exploring the relationship between finance and city design. We were packed into one of the Street’s oldest strongholds: 48 Wall St., the site where Alexander Hamilton established the country’s first bank in 1789, though the current building dates from 1928. As the sun set, we were told we would be taken up to the cupola for a rare view of “twilight on Wall Street,” prompting one audience member to call out, “Is that metaphorical?” to widespread titters.
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Inside Out, Outside In

Other
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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The Pembroke Hill School campus before Gisolfi's redesign.

Peter Gisolfi’s oeuvre is diverse enough to merit five separate categories in his new book Finding the Place of Architecture in the Landscape: townscape, campus, landscapes and buildings, gardens and houses, and transformation. Read More

Wishful Blinking

Other
Monday, April 20, 2009
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A Bird's Eye View of Amsterdam, Jan Micker (1652 or after). (All images courtesy the National Gallery of Art.)

In the 17th century, the Dutch republic was booming, and the public clamored for paintings celebrating the iconic forms of their cities. The art world’s response to that demand is on display in the National Gallery of Art’s Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age , a captivating collection of paintings that is less like a window on cities of the past, and more like a lens, distorting and idealizing its subject in fascinating ways. Read More

Beyond Pruitt-Igoe

Other
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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Jeff Hou, Stephanie Bailey, D.K. O-Assere, Nisha Botchwey, and Malo Andre Hutson served as panelist at the "Unspoken Borders" conference. (photos courtesy of PennDesign)

The University of Pennsylvania School of Design sought to bring social equity back into architectural discourse last weekend with a conference called “Unspoken Borders: The Ecologies of Inequality,” hosted by the Black Student Alliance. Architects have been skittish about addressing large-scale social issues ever since the profession’s notorious Pruitt-Igoe-style failures in the 1960’s, said presenter Craig Wilkins. Since then, he added, the predominant attitude among architects has been, “‘We’re not doing that again. They got mad at us the last time we did that!’” Read More

Underground Man

Other
Thursday, February 12, 2009
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Something wicked this way comes? Tibbets Brook, the Bronx (Steve Duncan)

Something wicked this way comes? Tibbets Brook, the Bronx. (Steve Duncan)

The life of a subterranean urban explorer may be fascinating and full of thrills, but glamorous it is not. “You know you’re not in a museum when you’re stomping through a wad of toilet paper,” said Steve Duncan, who showed photos of his travels through the world’s sewers to a packed room at New York’s Center for Architecture late last month. Read More

Gehl to New York: Lose the Cars

Other
Friday, November 14, 2008
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When the Danish urban-design guru Jan Gehl visited New York a few years ago, he was struck by how little the city had changed since the 1970s—“as if Robert Moses had only just walked out the door!” But since that visit, as Gehl recalled last night at the Center for Architecture, New York has made a surprising about-face on matters of public space, embracing the ideals of his late friend (and Moses nemesis) Jane Jacobs.

Gehl was holding forth in a town-hall-style meeting with New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who has played no small role in challenging the dominance of the automobile in New York, and who hired Gehl Architects last year to study the quality of public life on the city’s streets. Read More

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