New Routes for High Speed Rail Funds

Midwest
Thursday, December 9, 2010
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It’s hard to imagine turning down $1.2 billion. That is, unless you’re the governors-elect of Wisconsin and Ohio. The New York Times reported today that those two states officially withdrew claim to their shares of federal stimulus money awarded for construction of new rail corridors, citing concerns over subsidies needed to run the trains. Instead the money will be redirected to 13 other states. Ironically, both Wisconsin and Ohio had lobbied aggressively for big hunks of the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail development in Obama’s stimulus package. Things changed when Republicans won both governorships, partly on the platform of denying the stimulus awards. Read More

A Sculpture By Any Other Name. . .

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Isa Genzken's installation at New Museum. (Photo: Kubota Photography/New Museum)

Haters of kitsch rejoice!  No longer will visitors to the New Museum be greeted by Ugo Rondinone’s glowing, rainbow affirmation.  Hell, Yes! has been replaced as part of the museum’s ongoing Façade Sculpture Program.  In its place, Rose II, a far subtler work by German artist Isa Genzken.  Growing from the first tier of SANAA’s ethereal Bowery building, the sculpture, a 28-foot tall rose, was created in 1993 and reprised in 2007. Read More

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!melk in Milan

International
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
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!melk designed pergolas for Milan's new CityLife development. (Photo: !melk)

!melk, a brand new landscape architecture and urban design firm, is set to join Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind, and Zaha Hadid, among others, for CityLife, an enormous development planned for the historic Fiera di Milano neighborhood in Milan.  The New York-based !melk, which was founded less than a year ago when Jerry van Eyck left West 8 and teamed up with Evan Rose, won an international competition to design a multi-level piazza, sculpture park, and butterfly garden/pavilion situated within Libeskind’s master plan.  CityLife will include skyscrapers by Isozaki, Libeskind and Hadid, as well as a museum of modern art, commercial center, housing complexes, and a new subway station.  !melk collaborated on its submission with the London-based landscape architect Gustafson Porter as well as One Works and Arup in Milan. Read More

Foamly Footed

East
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
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Leong Leong's amorphous Siki Im pop-up under the High Line (Photo: Pete Deevakul)

More cave-itecture under the High Line.  Architecture firm Leong Leong and fashion designer Siki Im have teamed up for the fifth and final installation in the Building Fashion series of pop-up collaborations beneath Chelsea’s High Line Park.  Picking up where Snarkitecture and Richard Chai left off, Leong Leong has turned the former Sales Tin for Neil Denari’s HL23 condos into another amorphous cave-like interior—only now you’ll have to take off your shoes before entering.  “We wanted to radically transform the interior,” explained principal Chris Leong.  “We wanted to breakdown the traditional pop-up experience.”  To do this, the firm oriented the store around a parabolic, foam-covered ramp and hung clothes seemingly at random from the walls and ceiling, which were sculpted with the same soy-based spray-foam. Read More

San Diego Crossing Gets Green Lighting Scheme

West
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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The wind-powered project is said to be the greenest large-scale lighting design in the nation. (Courtesy FoRM/S+M/Buro Happold)

California State Route 75 is getting a whole lot snazzier. The 2.5-mile-long San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge is set to undergo the “largest interactive green energy lighting project in North America.” An international team led by London-based artist Peter Fink (FoRM Associates) and lighting designer Mark Major (Speirs + Major) plus the LA-based office of engineering consultant Buro Happold have won a worldwide contest to illuminate the iconic, swooping girder bridge, opened in 1969. Read More

Starchitecture: The Next Generation

East
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Between Frank Lloyd Wright’s private homes, Louis Sullivan’s original skyscraper, and Henry Hobson Richardson’s asylum, Buffalo, New York has more famous and historically important architecture than most cities in the country.  Now Buffalo is working hard to churn out its own starchitects—starting in high school.  The new Architecture and Design Academy at the International Preparatory School at Grover celebrated its grand opening this week on Buffalo’s west side. Read More

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Celebrating Bruce Graham

Midwest
Thursday, September 23, 2010
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(courtesy SOM)

Recently deceased and much respected Chicago architect Bruce J Graham, the man behind the Sears (now Willis) Tower and Hancock Center, will be honored with a special tribute Thursday, October 14 at the Art Institute of Chicago. The event, hosted by the Graham family and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will begin at 5:30 pm in the Rubloff Auditorium.  Graham also brought the Inland Steel Building to Chicago, the Business Men’s Assurance Company Headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri, and the recently demolished Upjohn Headquarters to Kalamazoo, Michigan, among many other significant projects.

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Daley Reverses Course, or Wants To

Midwest
Thursday, September 16, 2010
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(photo: sunface13/flickr)

Whether you want to call him a lame duck or not, Chicago Mayor Richard M Daley wants to float out of office and into Lake Michigan. Days after announcing his decision not to seek reelection the long-serving mayor hinted at a possible last hurrah: the re-reversal of the Chicago River. Read More

Acconci Gets In on the Ground Floor

East
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
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Vito Acconci's Corian "Lobby-For-the-Time-Being" at the Bronx Museum

What do kitchen counter tops, shower-wall cladding, and the Grand Concourse have in common? Corian, of course. Thanks to performance-artist-turned-designer (and Bronx native) Vito Acconci and Acconci Studio designers Adam Jakubowski and Bradley Rothenberg, the Bronx Museum can now boast its very own DuPont fabricated sculpture. Acconci’s large, porous installation is titled Lobby-For-The-Time-Being and provides an imaginative, fabric-like reconsideration of the now ubiquitous polymer, originally developed in 1967 to replace human bones. In what seems like the most recent installment in a worldwide series of Corian-centric, site-specific sculpture, Lobby-For-The-Time-Being incorporates seating (take that Philadelphia), as well as lighting and projections by Taylor Levy and Che-Wei Wang. Technically, Acconci’s first foray into architecture was way back in 1971, the year the
Bronx Museum opened. Though it’s unlikely anyone remembers Seedbed for its central wooden structure…

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