Our Crisis: Engineer Considers Options for Houston’s Transportation Future

Eavesdroplet, Southwest, Transportation
Thursday, February 20, 2014
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Houston. (Paul Sableman / Flickr)

Houston. (Paul Sableman / Flickr)

It’s no secret that Houston is going through a growth spurt. The city currently has four central business districts that, if separated, would each be among the country’s top 15 employment centers. In the next 30 years, 3.5 million people are projected to move to the 8-county region, with two million of those concentrated in Harris County.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Reimagine the Astrodome Competition Sour Grapes

Letter to the Editor, Southwest
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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(Courtesy HiWorks with Erica Goranson)

(Courtesy HiWorks with Erica Goranson)

[ Editor's Note: The following is a selection of reader-submitted comments from the online feature about AN's recent Reimagine the Astrodome competition. It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN01_02.05.2014_SW. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

Three of these are not serious, and the one with merit, the “sky dome” closely resembles a proposal I published over two years ago. Naturally we think that is a great concept, but the devil is in the details.

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Photo of the Day: Happy Presidents Day!

National
Monday, February 17, 2014
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The Washington Monument. (Courtesy Department of the Interior)

The Washington Monument. (Courtesy Department of the Interior)

By George, today is Presidents Day, the annual celebration of Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and their successors. While Washington was born on February 22 and Lincoln on February 12, the holiday—dating back to the 1700s—is officially celebrated on on the third Monday in February. To mark the occasion, the U.S. Department of the Interior shared this rather untraditional view of the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital.

Alphabet Soup: Architecture Firm Acronyms Gone Wild

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Monday, February 17, 2014
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(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

What do architects, attorneys, and accountants have in common? Naming firms after themselves. Architecture firms are some of the worst offenders and Eavesdrop is constantly consulting Wiki to figure the names behind those initials. After decades of ego, leadership changes, and acquisitions, one would think that global design would be dominated by a firm called SOMHOKBKLMNOP.

So it should not come at any surprise that St. Louis–based HOK recently acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality firm BBG-BBGM. Eavesdrop refuses to do any research on the provenance of that cluster of initials, but, luckily, it appears the combined firm will just be HOK. BBG should add an impressive, high-end roster of clients—think St. Regis and Peninsula hotels—to HOK’s portfolio of marquee projects.

Letter to the Editor> Cornell Responds to Milstein Hall Rumors

East, Letter to the Editor, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Milstein Hall at Cornell University. (Philippe Ruault)

Milstein Hall at Cornell University. (Philippe Ruault)

[ Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a recent Eavesdrop article, “OMA Gosh, What a Disaster!” It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN02_02.12.2014. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com. ]

The Architect’s Newspaper’s gossip column recently mentioned Cornell University’s Milstein Hall, quoting an online interview with Cornell Professor Jonathan Ochshorn. The column repeats a few shocking claims regarding our new addition, Milstein Hall.

Continue reading after the jump.

OMA Gosh, What a Disaster! Cornell Professor Pokes Koolhaas

East, Eavesdroplet
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Interior of Rem Koolhaas' Milstein Hall at Cornell. (Unexplained Bacon / Flickr)

Interior of Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall at Cornell. (Unexplained Bacon / Flickr)

Cornell architecture professor Jonathan Oschorn has taken Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall—an expansion of the university’s architecture school—to task in a critique, calling it “by virtually any conceivable objective criterion, a disaster.” While Oschorn admitted that the building possesses great aesthetic interest, his quibbles lie in the project’s functionality. He calls out no less than seven fire safety issues, including that the auditorium only has a single means of egress and that there are no fire walls separating it from the existing buildings that it connects—Sibley and Rand halls.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> The Seattle Art Museum presents “Miró: The Experience of Seeing”

Art, On View, West
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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(Courtesy Seattle Art Museum)

(Courtesy Seattle Art Museum)

Miró: The Experience of Seeing
Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Avenue, Seattle, WA
February 13 to May 25

The Seattle Art Museum will be offering a look—almost unprecedented in its breadth for this side of the Atlantic—at the later work of Spanish artist Joan Miró’s. The work on view has been culled entirely from Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s extensive Miró collection. Miró: The Experience of Seeing will feature more than fifty paintings, drawings, and sculptures created between 1963 and 1983. The work from this period is defined in part by increasingly simplified abstract compositions and sculpture that makes use of found objects.

Bronze on Your Hands: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Faces Folk Museum Backlash

The doomed Folk Art Museum. (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

The doomed Folk Art Museum. (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

Liz Diller faced down a hostile crowd at the recent “MoMA Expansion Conversation,” hosted by the Architectural League, the Municipal Art Society, and AIA New York. Apparently she’s had some practice.

One elder statesman of the New York architecture community reports that Diller made a series of phone calls to prominent architects prior to the public release of MoMA’s plans asking for their advice and support. This gray eminence apparently told her the firm should resign from the commission. At which point Ric Scofidio apparently chimed in, saying, succinctly, “Never!”

An editor from another publication reports rumors of dissent within Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Apparently some associates in the firm have asked not to work on the project, fearing a Scarlet Letter on their resumes.

Penn-ultimate? Never! Norman Foster’s Superstitious Plans for Philly

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, February 6, 2014
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Rendering of Norman Foster's new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Rendering of Norman Foster’s new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

In life, by all accounts, William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, was a good man. In death, however, this portly, English-born idealist has turned nasty—if the good sports fans of Philadelphia are to be believed. But Norman Foster has a plan to appease the spirits.

Get the whole story after the jump.

Ten Pounds of Sugar in a Five-Pound Sack: Studio Gang Growing Out of Their Own Space

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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(Montage by AN)

(Montage by AN)

We are not talking about Jeanne Gang or Mark Schendel, that’s for sure, but their practice, Studio Gang. Word on the streets is that they’re shopping for a new home. If you visit their website, you can see why, as the list of people requires you to scroll through dozens of names. That can only mean one exciting thing: projects are under construction! Just one or two years ago, Eavesdrop was at an office party where the entire firm could’ve comfortably fit in the office’s quaint second story courtyard. What unfortunate timing for the office to grow out of its britches, as one of the new (Gensler-designed?) outposts of Intelligentsia is opening across the street next month.

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On View> “Takeshi Murata: Melter 2″ at the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis

Art, Midwest, On View
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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(Courtesy Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis)

(Courtesy Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis)

Takeshi Murata: Melter 2
Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis
3750 Washington Road, Saint Louis, MO
Through April 27

New York–based artist Takeshi Murata will be transforming the facade of the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis through the installation of Melter 2. Created in 2003, the playful piece of video is being enlarged from its original form in order to fit the museum’s 62-by-18-foot metal facade. Melter 2 is reflective of the vibrant and psychedelic animations that have formed a major component of Murata’s practice. Its colorful floral forms that seem to melt and fuse over the course of the video will be visible once night falls through April 27. The work is the second in the museum’s ongoing series of expansive video-art installations, Street Views.

AECOM Surprise: Zellner Named Head of Southern California Architecture.  AECOM Surprise: Zellner Named Head of Southern California Architecture Our friends at one of the largest firms in world, AECOM, have made a move we never anticipated: signing Peter Zellner, known as a maverick architect of galleries and houses, to be their new head of design in Southern California. Zellner said it best: “I think my hire suggests they want to move things in a different direction.” Indeed it appears with the hire of Zellner and former SOM principal Ross Wimer that the firm is ready to further embrace design. (Photo: Courtesy Peter Zellner)

 

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