Eavesdrop> Let Them Drink Champagne, Daddy

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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Studio Gang's design for a massive lamp shade at Expo Chicago. (Courtesy Studio Gang)

Studio Gang’s design for a massive lamp shade at Expo Chicago. (Courtesy Studio Gang)

Art fairs serve three groups of clientele: the rich, who buy the art, curators and museum folks, and the poor—students, freelance writers, party-crashers. You can probably guess that Eavesdrop is in the latter, not the former, so imagine the disappointment when champagne was going for $19 per glass on opening night of Expo Chicago.

Seriously, what happened to the days of all-you-can-drink Grolsch or Basil Haydens way back in Art Chicago’s past? The sticker shock should be from the gallery price lists, not the bar.

While standing in line, Eavesdrop was flattered to be recognized by James Geier of 555 International, who hinted at a slew of new projects and fall openings. Hopefully those openings will allow the 99 percent to imbibe.

The art fair’s environment, layout and scheme, was designed by Studio Gang, although we can’t say that we were able to discern a noticeable imprint.

On View> “Of Walking” at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography

Midwest, On View
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography)

(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography)

Of Walking
Museum of Contemporary Photography
660 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Through December 20

The Museum of Contemporary Photography’s exhibition, Of Walking, explores how the simple act of walking gives rise to countless intricate thoughts. Although walking may be perceived as one of mankind’s most simple acts, it triggers a series of emotions and contemplations. Of Walking shows that it is not just about putting one foot in front of the other, nor is it solely the motion from point A to point B. The curators sought to demonstrate how the process of thinking is made possible by the act of walking.

Continue reading after the jump.

Johansen’s Oklahoma City Mummers Theater Will Live on in Memory

Southwest
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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John Johansen's Mummers Theater was renovated into the Stage Center in the 1990s. (Courtesy Elliott+Associates Architects)

John Johansen’s Mummers Theater was renovated into the Stage Center in the 1990s. (Courtesy Elliott+Associates Architects)

[Editor's Note: Tracey Zeeck is an Oklahoma native and resident who has been leading the effort to save and preserve John Johansen's classic Mummers Theater in that city. She responds here to a letter to the editor in the Oklahoma Gazette. ]

In 2012, armed with good intentions and a passionate group of friends and family, Farooq Karim of REES Associates and I decided to respond to an RFP and save John Johansen’s Oklahoma City masterpiece, Stage Center (Mummers Theater) from the wrecking ball. We would turn this vestige of 1970s brutalism into a children’s museum and light up downtown with joyful sounds of creative play. We had two months to create the plan, submit the RFP and raise $30,000,000. We didn’t make it.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> The Skyscraper Museum Traces the Logic of New York’s Luxury Skinny Towers

East, On View
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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(Courtesy Skyscraper Museum)

(Courtesy Skyscraper Museum)

Sky High & the Logic of Luxury
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place
New York, NY
Through April 19, 2014

For Manhattan architecture, the sky has always been the limit. The current trend in super-slender, luxury high-rise residential buildings has excited a niche clientele and captured the attention of skyscraper architects. This October, The Skyscraper Museum explores these ultra slim constructions, from their contextual rise to the modern engineering technologies that have rendered them possible.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Jennifer Steinkamp Turns the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Inside Out

Midwest, On View
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
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(Jennifer Steinkamp)

(Jennifer Steinkamp)

Jennifer Steinkamp: Street Views
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO
Through December 23

The Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis has inaugurated Street Views, an exhibition featuring a series of works by digital installation media artist Jennifer Steinkamp. As part of the 10th anniversary of CAM’s building, the museum will be turned inside out, as its exterior will be transformed into a gallery with large-scale video art being projected onto its facade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Wakeup Sleepy Head, It’s Time For Design at Depaul.  Wakeup Sleepy Head, It’s Time For Design at Depaul DePaul University lays claim to many superlatives, like Largest Catholic University and other stuff. We have one: The Largest Collegiate Architectural Snoozefest. That is until now. On the heels of the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, DePaul recently cut the ribbon on its new Theater School, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli. The new building is quite literally—excuse the cliché—a breath of fresh air, clad in materials other than brick veneer. (Photo: Jeff Goldberg / ESTO)

 

Zaha Hadid: Right Angles Bad, Dictatorships Okay

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
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Zaha Hadid said she wouldn't design a prison. (Montage by AN)

Zaha Hadid said she wouldn’t design a prison. (Montage by AN)

The Guardian got up close and personal with Zaha Hadid in a recent, no-holds-barred interview where the Pritzker prize-winning architect gave her two cents on London’s “conservative” architecture climate and railed against rectangular buildings, revealing a nugget of wisdom that perhaps has eluded most designers: “The world is not a rectangle.” Beyond her dislike for conventional corner-oriented design, she also told the reporter that, at her firm, “we don’t make nice little buildings.”

While quadrilaterals and “nice” architecture are out of the question, apparently designing in Syria isn’t. That is, unless it is an un-luxurious prison. “Well, I wouldn’t mind building in Syria,” Hadid told the paper. “I’m an Arab and if it helps people, if it’s an opera house or a parliament building, something for the masses, I would do it. But if someone asks me to build a prison, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t build a prison, irrespective of where it is, even if it was very luxurious.” What population living in a war-ravaged country doesn’t need a first-rate opera house?

Soft Landing: New Balance Breaks Ground on Boston Headquarters

East
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
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Rendering of New Balance's new headquarters. (Courtesy Boston Redevelopment Authority)

Rendering of New Balance’s new headquarters. (Courtesy Boston Redevelopment Authority)

Construction has commenced on a new $500 million Elkus Manfredi–designed headquarters for New Balance Athletic Shoes, called New Brighton Landing, located on 14 acres in the Allston Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Besides the 250,000-square-foot world headquarters, the campus will also include additional office space, a sports complex, 175-room hotel, three office buildings, retail space, parking, and a new stop on the Worcester Line commuter rail. The new station will be fully subsidized by the athletics brand. Overall, the new facility will encompass nearly 1.5 million square feet.

View the campus site plan after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Never Built, the VIP Party

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, October 3, 2013
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A line forms at the Never Built: Los Angeles opening. (Courtesy Guy Horton / KCRW)

A line forms at the Never Built: Los Angeles opening. (Courtesy Guy Horton / KCRW)

We at Eavesdrop don’t like to toot our own horn, but sometimes we can’t help ourselves. So we have to point out the scene for the late July opening of Never Built Los Angeles, co-curated by our very own Sam Lubell. The event looked more like a Hollywood club opening than an exhibition opening, with a line that snaked around the corner and angry would-be partygoers trying to convince the bouncer (a.k.a. the fire marshal) to let them in. We especially love the description by AN contributor Guy Horton, here writing for KCRW’s blog: “The line of black clothing wrapped around the corner and kept going, reaching all the way down to a stretch of houses where local residents nervously peeked out to see what was going on. Cars were pulling all sorts of questionable maneuvers on Wilshire and adjacent streets as distracted, anxious architects hustled for parking. People were walking in from blocks away as if drawn from some invisible force. At any moment I was expecting police helicopters to appear overhead. That would have made my night complete.”

Pictorial-ism> Photos from the Architecture League’s 2013 Beaux Arts Ball

East
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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The Architectural League's 2013 Beaux Arts Ball. (Fran Parente)

The Architectural League’s 2013 Beaux Arts Ball. (Fran Parente)

On Saturday night, New York’s architecture community gathered in Manhattan’s historic 69th Regiment Armory  to celebrate the Architectural League of New York on the centennial of the original 1913 Armory Show. The sold out party welcomed 1,350 design-minded revelers dressed as their favorite “–ism,” the theme of this year’s event, representing everything from surrealism, revivalism, Dadaism, classicism, and brutalism. In all, over $100,000 was raised for the League.

SITU Studio designed an installation to bring scale to the cavernous armory space, working with Renfro Design Group on an integrated lighting scheme. A series of white fabric prisms were suspended from the ceiling, serving to humanize the space while providing an armature for digital projections. Pulsing music built excitement throughout the night, which culminated in a procession of giant vellum marionettes, each controlled by a team of three performance artists, and a troupe of vellum-clad artists wandering through the armory, encouraging attendees to dance.

View the photo gallery after the jump.

Video> AN Sharing Our Architectural Expertise on CNN International

International
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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In a segment on CNN International on the ongoing work on Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, The Architect’s Newspaper was pleased to be asked to comment on architectural icons around the world. In this abbreviated clip, executive editor Alan G. Brake said that iconic buildings should be unique but still capture the spirit of their place. Later in the segment (not included), he went on to argue that iconic buildings add to cities but don’t make cities great on their own. People return to Paris again and again because it’s a great city, not to see the Eiffel Tower repeatedly. We look forward to seeing Gaudi’s vision completed in 2026.

Friday> Join AN at the West Edge Design Fair in Santa Monica

West
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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photo

Have you ever wondered why our buildings are not as digitally smart as our phones? Well that’s changing fast, and AN West Coast editor Sam Lubell will be moderating a panel on the topic this Friday at the West Edge Design Fair in Santa Monica. The panel is entitled “Embracing Technology: The Client Wants it, Are you Prepared?

It will include Santa Monica architect Peter Grueneisen, who has developed a speciality working for music companies and tech-savvy clients, as well as several technology experts from around the city. A major focus will be on home technologies, but the panel will also explore technology in the hospitality and commercial realms. We bet you didn’t realize how much work goes into making home tech systems seem simple and seamless? How much coordination must take place between tech experts and architects? How much security is becoming an issue? And how our homes will in fact quickly merge with, yes, our phones.

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