Philadelphia Courts Developers With Benjamin Franklin Parkway Hotel

East
Monday, July 29, 2013
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Philadelphia's Family Courts Building. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

Philadelphia’s Family Courts Building. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

Three developers vie for the commission to convert Philadelphia’s 72-year-old Family Court Building into a new luxury hotel. After issuing a request for qualifications last October, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC) has selected three development teams from a pool of applicants, which include Fairmont Hotels & Resorts with Logan Square Holdings, Klimpton Hotels with P&A Associates and the Peebles Corp., and Starwood Hotel & Resorts with Dranoff Properties and HRI Properties. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the city will bring officials together from different departments, from planning to historic preservation, to oversee the review process and choose a proposal. The PIDC anticipates that an agreement will be reached with the winning developer by end of the year. A new hotel will be a coup for the area around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which has seen an influx of activity and changes in the last few years.

On View> “Never Built: Los Angeles” Opens July 27 at the A+D Museum

West
Friday, July 26, 2013
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B+U Downey Office Building, 2009. (Courtesy B+U Architects)

B+U Downey Office Building, 2009. (Courtesy B+U Architects)

Never Built: Los Angeles
A+D Architecture and Design Museum
6032 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
July 27–September 29th, 2013

It is difficult to envision the city of Los Angeles any differently than it exists today, but AN West editor Sam Lubell and co-curator Greg Goldin, in collaboration with Clive Wilkinson Architects, have organized an exhibition at the Architecture and Design Museum that grants visitors the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the city as it could have been. The team gathered a diverse assortment of renderings, models, and various media depicting parks, buildings, master plans, and transportation schemes that were designed with the intention of being built, but were deemed too novel to actually be brought to life. The collection features unrealized projects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1925 Civic Center Plan, William H. Evans’s 1939 design for the Tower of Civilization, and B+U Architect’s 2009 design for an office building on Firestone Boulevard, as well as many other projects that, had they been carried out, would have completely changed the physical reality of the city of Los Angeles.

Happy 80th Mr. Rogers!

Eavesdroplet, International
Thursday, July 25, 2013
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richard_rogers_01

Richard Rogers turned 80 years old this week, making him the same age as Willie Nelson. You might think that’s a pointless comparison, but the Italian-born, British, self-described “left-winger” architect and the pot-smoking Texan Outlaw Country singer have more in common than one might at first suspect. At around the same time that Shotgun Willie was changing America by uniting the hippies and the red necks through music, Rogers and his buddy/collaborator Renzo Piano were converting critics into fawning admirers and altering the face of architecture with their design for the Centre Pompidou. “We thought of ourselves as bad boys who wanted to change the world, with the funny idea that you could do it through architecture,” is the way Piano put it in a recent article in The Guardian.

On View> MoMA presents “Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City”

East
Thursday, July 25, 2013
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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Convention Hall project, Chicago. Interior perspective. 1954. (Courtesy ARS / VG Bild-Kunst)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Convention Hall project, Chicago. Interior perspective. 1954. (Courtesy ARS / VG Bild-Kunst)

Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY
Through December 1

Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City, on view at The Museum of Modern Art from July 10 to December 1, examines the essential yet overlooked role of collage in architectural representation. The exhibition places Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s early photomontages next to the cut-and-pasted experiments of artists, photographers, and graphic designers. Together, these pieces suggest an immersive “collage city,” originally conceived by Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter in the 1970s, that becomes animated through superimposing various elements.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Free Again?  Free Again? Cooper Union students’ 65-day occupation of the President’s office has come to an end. The board of trustees, administration, and student occupiers announced this month that the school will now reconsider its controversial decision to end its tradition of free tuition. A new proposal establishes a “Working Group”—consisting of a selection of trustees, faculty members, students, alumni, and administrators—to examine the school’s finances and come up with a strategy to reinstate its full-tuition scholarship for students. The Working Group will provide recommendations to the Board of Trustees by December 1, 2013. (Photo: Courtesy Free Cooper Union / Facebook)

 

Iconic, Not Ionic: Gehry Weighs in On Dictators and Design

Eavesdroplet, International
Monday, July 22, 2013
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Frank Gehry. (Montage by AN)

Frank Gehry. (Montage by AN)

In recent interview with the journal Foreign Policy, Frank Gehry held forth on how architecture and democracy don’t really go together. Just too many opinions, you see. “I think the best thing is to have a benevolent dictator—who has taste!” said Gehry. “It’s really hard to get consensus, to have a tastemaker. There is no Robert Moses anymore.” Why was Gehry on FP’s radar in the first place? We’re guessing it was Hillary Clinton’s Gehry name-check in one of her outgoing speeches as Secretary of State. Riffing on how institutions of the future must be dynamic rather than static, the stateswomen stated, “We need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek.”

Architects have no work? Let them eat cake!

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

The planners of the AIA New York Chapter 2014 International Architecture and Design Summit have selected a pretty unusual conference venue: the Chateau of Versailles. Given the still sorry state of the economy, the choice left us scratching our head (under our powdered wig). Perhaps Rick Bell will point out the lessons in urban agriculture to be found in the Petit Trianon? Summit participants can display their work on easels in the Galeries Batailles, which will be handy if they want to do a little painting later en plein air. Apres tout, Giverny is less than an hour away by automobile, a bit longer by carriage though. Potential attendees are warned that the Plaza Anthénée will be closed for renovations. Sacrebleu!

Slow Boil.  Slow Boil The designers at New York-based Atopia Innovation, must have been stewing over the past year. Although the gag order imposed on all participating architects and designers by London’s Olympic Organizing Committee (a.k.a. LOCOG) was lifted in January, Atopia only stepped forward in late June to say that the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick and used in the 2012 opening ceremonies seems to have been directly inspired by studies Atopia delivered to LOCOG between 2006 and 2008. Check out the sketchbook that seems to prove the point at atopiainnovation.com. (Photo: Courtesy Thomas Heatherwick)

 

The Shortlist> Top Five Competitions of the Week

National
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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Activate Union Station Design & Planning Competition (Courtesy MetroPlanning.org)

Activate Union Station Design Contest (Courtesy MetroPlanning.org)

Are you eager to put your architectural design skills to the test?  Here are some exciting upcoming competitions that will be sure to present you with the type of challenge you’ve been waiting for. AN‘s editors have combed through our online listing of architecture and design competitions to bring you five of the most interesting competitions happening right now. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.

Activate Union Station. While Chicago’s Union Station is an iconic building and an important transport center, it has much more potential. The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Fifth Annual Placemaking Contest is awarding cash prizes of $5,000 to the top temporary ideas that transform three specific sites within the space into a gathering place for West Loop residents and an attraction for tourists. Two winners will have the opportunity to implement their designs for 10 days this summer, between August 24 and September 3, 2013.

Submission Deadline: July 24, 2013.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Cooper Union’s President Emeritus Responds

East
Monday, July 1, 2013
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Cooper Union's Engineering Building designed by Morphosis. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

Cooper Union’s Engineering Building designed by Morphosis. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

[ Editor's Note: The following comment appeared on AN's website in response to the editorial, “Cooper Union’s Tragic Compromises,” which cited a report in the New York Times, titled “How Errors in Investing Cost a College Its Legacy.” The selection ran as a letter to the editor that ran in print edition, AN08_06.05.2013. 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 article on Cooper Union, “How Errors in Investing Cost a College Its Legacy,” like many others in response to the college’s decision to charge tuition, discusses selected aspects of its financial history, leaves out crucial elements, and offers misleading and outright incorrect details.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Part Two of AN’s Discussion with Eco-Architect Ken Yeang

National
Friday, June 28, 2013
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(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

(Courtesy Ken Yeang)

This is second of a two part interview of Ken Yeang one of the earliest thinkers and designers in the field of sustainable architecture. The interview was conducted by Mic Patterson of Enclos who will be introducing Yeang at The Architect’s Newspaper’s Facades+PERFORMANCE conference on July 11 in San Francisco.

Mic Patterson: Your work clearly demonstrates that concepts of bioclimatic design are readily scalable from the residence to the skyscraper to the urban environment. How do the considerations of bioclimatic design apply at the scale of building subassembly or the the building skin?

Ken Yeang: At the sub-assembly level, we have developed devices such as the ‘raincheck’ wall being a glazing façade system that lets in ventilation but keeps out rain. Another device we are working on is a ‘solar chimney’ that uses a double-glazed glass-shaft to naturally ventilate internal spaces.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Reprogramming the City at the Boston Society of Architects Space

East
Friday, June 28, 2013
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(Courtesy Boston Society of Architects Space)

(Courtesy Boston Society of Architects Space)

Reprogramming the City
Boston Society of Architects Space
290 Congress Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA
Through September 29

BSA Space presents a mixed-media exhibition, Reprogramming the City, curated by urban designer Scott Burnham. The works on display—videos, photographs, media stations, renderings, models—explore how the built environments of cities around the world are being retrofitted to accommodate new urban inhabitants and visitors. The exhibit also includes examples of urban infrastructure and systems that are being reimagined to reinvent a more functional urban landscape. There are 40 innovative examples from London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and Boston that seek to develop new ways of urban design from within the city.

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