Los Angeles’ impressive new bridges have gotten a lot of press lately, including HNTB’s epic 6th Street Viaduct and Andrew Leicester’s unusual so-called basket bridge for the Metro Pasadena Gold Line extension. But one crossing is being worked on in total secrecy: a span over the 101 Freeway at Los Angeles Street, connecting the Civic Center and the Pueblo de Los Angeles.
Artists Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess, who run the city’s Materials and Applications gallery in Silver Lake, are designing the bridge. No renderings have been unveiled, and it’s all very top secret within the city, which is why eavesdrop is on the case. And while Thom Mayne (101 pedestrian bridge) and Asymptote (Steel Cloud) have both failed to make similar ideas happen, this looks like it’s actually moving. Stay tuned.
The Architect’s Newspaper‘s and Enclos’ facades+ PERFORMANCE conference is right around the corner. The two-day event, held in New York City on April 11 and 12, will feature some of the AEC industry’s top experts in building skin technology. Be there with a broad consortium of your peers to watch these heavyweights analyze, discuss, and dispute the development, implementation, and maintenance of high performance enclosures. See a full list of the conference’s events after the jump. Tickets are going fasts! Sign up today. Read More
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
Through April 27
Aircraft Carrier examines the dramatic changes that occurred in Israeli architecture between two catalyzing moments in global capitalism, 1973 and 2008. The events of the former, marked by irreparable changes in American relations to the Middle East and the fundamental structures of Israeli society, drastically altered the course of Israeli architecture. Presented through diverse works of photography and video art from international artist Florian Holzherr, Nira Pereg, Jan Tichy, Asaaf Evron, and Fernando Guerra, the exhibition explores this transformative period, the American imprint that endowed it, and the radical changes in Israeli architecture that emerged from it.
Not many practitioners today can say they’ve collaborated with Henry Van Brunt, the 19th century architect famous for designing Harvard’s Memorial Hall, or Boston architect Guy Lowell, who designed the original 1903 master plan for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. But Ann Beha, who once said she specializes in “finding a contemporary voice within a historic center,” is a bit of a time-traveler. Her Boston-based firm is acclaimed for creating elegant links between the past and present.
A keynote speaker at Facades + PERFORMANCE, an upcoming conference about high-performance building envelopes, Beha notes that some of the older buildings she works with already have highly efficient envelopes thanks to excellent construction and high quality materials. Her lecture, “Interventions: History and Innovation,” will review three case studies at varying scales, telling the stories of how she restored landmarked buildings while simultaneously developing new expansion plans that were rooted in the original architecture but also clear expressions of their own time.
Some estimates indicate up to 70 percent of existing building stock is in need of major renovation. Get hip to the latest trends and techniques in facade retrofit at the Facades+PERFORMANCE Conference taking place in New York City next week. Come explore the emerging technology and recent applications in the daylong workshop, Facade Retrofit: The Challenge and Opportunity Presented by an Aging Building Stock, moderated by Mic Patterson, Director of Strategic Development at Enclos.
What better place to explore this topic than Manhattan, surrounded by aging buildings badly in need of facade renovation both to improve performance and appearance. But these buildings and their facades present unique challenges. This full-day workshop will delve deeply into the various issues comprising the renovation of large commercial facades in the urban environment, particularly the retrofit of old curtainwall facades, and also the use of contemporary curtainwall technology to renovate old masonry buildings. A team of local experts will first establish context by defining the scope of the problem, then follow with a discussion of design strategies, and means and methods for implementing facade retrofit projects. A series of exemplary case studies will be presented, among them will be the recently completed recladding of the Javits Convention Center. The workshop program will conclude with a mid afternoon tour of the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Speakers from: CUNY, Davis Brody Bond Architects, Gensler, Halsall Associates, Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, RA Heintges and Associates, SHoP Architects, Structuretone.
Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s
David Zwirner Gallery
525 West 19th Street
New York, NY
Through May 4
This March, Thomas Ruff’s seventh solo exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery will be dedicated to two of the late twentieth-century German photographer’s most recent projects: photograms and ma.r.s. Ruff’s photograms series features a unique collection of “camera-less” photography—a technique used by photographers in the 1920s in which objects are placed on photosensitive paper and exposed to light. The outcome is the negative image of the object revealing itself in the form of a grey or white shadow glowing against a black backdrop. Ruff adds layers to his visually intriguing compositions—which mostly depict abstract lines, shapes, and spirals—by adding color and implementing varying degrees of transparency and lighting. To create his ma.r.s series, short for Mars Reconnaissance Survey, Ruff manipulated black-and-white satellite images, taken by a NASA spacecraft of the surface of Mars, and dramatically increased the saturation of the images, creating a striking representation of the planet’s rugged terrain.
Well it looks like the tech craziness on LA’s west side—a.k.a. Silicon Beach—is just getting going. Of course, Google has basically taken over Venice, and a number of tech companies, including YouTube, are taking over Howard Hughes’ old facility in Playa Vista. Now we hear that Amazon is looking for a huge space in Santa Monica. The new LA outpost could measure as much as 80,000 square feet, putting this development in the upper echelons of the city’s tech world. It will certainly compete with the new campus they’re building up in Seattle, designed by NBBJ. Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, the architectural one-upmanship continues. That same firm (NBBJ) just unveiled designs for its new HQ for Google, which it hopes will stand out among the other ambitious schemes for Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, and so many more.
Look out, there’s been a major announcement at the World Trade Center. No, really. Look out and see all of New York City at your feet, from the 100th through 102nd floors of One World Trade. While the lines are sure to be long, plenty of multimedia on the way to banks of high-speed elevators should provide some entertainment and history lessons. Beginning in 2015, visitors will move through trippy video hallways, into a cave-like foundation room. After a quick 60-second elevator ride up 100 floors showcasing the vertical growth of New York, doors will open onto the One World Observatory and its mesmerizing 360-degree views from floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s certainly not an experience for those with vertigo. The facility will be operated by Legends Hospitality and is expected to generate $875 million in revenue over 15 years. Admission prices to get to the observation deck have not been released.
We know you’ve seen those sleek parametric designs that are all the rage in cutting-edge architecture, but have you ever wanted to make your own? Venturing into the software zoo of Grasshopper and Rhino can be daunting on your own, and understanding algorithms and computational geometry can sound like Greek to the uninitiated. Luckily, parametric expert Ronnie Parsons of Mode Collective has joined the upcoming facades+PERFORMANCE Conference taking place in New York City next week, April 11 and 12, and will help guide beginners into the exciting world of Parametric Design.
With a focus on fundamental concepts and workflows for creating performance-based design models with the parametric design tool Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Parsons’ Technical Workshop, Introduction to Parametric Design, will guide participants through a series of exercises designed to emphasize the relevant applications of parametric design for professional practice.
Register today for the Introduction to Parametric Design workshop and the facades+PERFORMANCE before space fills up. There are 8 LU AIA CE credits up for grabs, so head on over to the facades+PERFORMANCE homepage for more information.
Work took place in March to replace a portion of Chicago’s Wells Street bridge—“the engineering equivalent of a heart transplant,” in the words of the Tribune’s Cynthia Dizikes. Work crews replaced a portion of the 91-year old double-decker bascule bridge during just two nine-day periods (a similar replacement in 1996 took almost a year). Inconvenience or not, seeing a 500,000-pound hunk of metal floating into downtown Chicago atop a barge makes one feel like a witness to latter-day Carl Sandburg paeans: “Here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities.”
Buffalo’s Hirsute Pursuit. An old 140-foot-tall concrete grain elevator in Buffalo is being converted into a rock-climbing facility, Silo City Rocks. That much is true, but today, a group of mustachioed city-boosters unveiled a giant mural project to celebrate “famous mustached Buffalonians Grover Cleveland, Lindy Ruff, Rick James and Mark Twain.” Dubbed “Mount Stachemore,” the mural will be part of a planned Mustache Hall of Fame and Museum. Head brewer for Flying Bison beer was on hand to announce a new product sharing the same name: “My mustache is made thick by the foam of Flying Bison beer; in turn, Mount Stachemore Ale has a thick-hearted body and smooth finish, and we look forward to serving it at Silo City for centuries to come.” The group said they hope the mural by artist Max Collins will be complete by August 17.
Calling Fred and Carrie. The city of Portland, OR is famous for its progressive stance on transportation. To stay ahead of the competition, Portland Transport reports the city has announced a new public transit program aimed at increasing the horse-power on city streets – literally. A new hay-ride system gliding along high-tech RUTS (rapid ungulate tracking system) and complete with alfalfa-filled bioswales at intersections could open in 2017.
Florida’s New Pad in Boca. The epic battle between urbanism foes Richard Florida and Joel Kotkin appears to have fizzed, according to Planetizen. Suburban sympathizer Kotkin has switched sides to embrace the creative class. “The old school is dead. This is the new American economy – spontaneously meeting people, sharing ideas, Tweeting stuff.” Urban advocate Florida had his own change of heart, trading his latte for a lawnmower in a surprising appeal for suburbia. “If that ain’t what people want, why would they keep building it?”
Minneapolis St. Sprawl. Seemingly following Florida to the ‘burbs, a new plan for the future of Minneapolis-Saint Paul ditches density in favor of suburban sprawl. “It is time to reflect and realize that we need to shift our walking-oriented ways and rely more on the magnificent creation that is the car.”
Your Kiss Is On My List. Smoking, soft drinks, and now kissing? According to the Project for Public Spaces, New York’s Mayor Michael “Ban-it-all” Bloomberg is reportedly set to usher in a new PDA ban for New York City parks as studies suggest intimacy is on the rise.
I Haz High Line. While you can’t love your fellow human being in public for much longer, Friends of the High Line have been showing their affection for cats. The group hosted its first annual cat festival on the renamed “High FeLine,” which took a turn for the worse when the animals ingested too much catmint: “In what appeared to be a drug-induced mania, the cats jumped wildly up and down the Seating Steps, sending visitors’ macchiatos and kombucha teas flying.”
In the new documentary The Centrifuge Brain Project, the work of famed centrifugal theorist Dr. Nick Laslowicz finally gets its due. Combining never-before-seen archival footage with testimony from Dr. Laslowicz himself, the documentary briefly outlines the groundbreaking career of this oft-forgot designer, engineer, and academic who dared to challenge mankind’s oldest obstacle: gravity. As Laslowicz’s work moved from drawing-board simulations to real-life amusement park experimentations, his ambitious creations drew criticism from the establishment, but he never gave up hope in his aspirations. “We had setbacks, but I wouldn’t say it was a mistake,” said Laslowicz in the film, “If anything, the mistake is in nature. Gravity is a mistake.” Watch below to catch a glimpse of the The Centrifuge Brain Project and the legendary work of one of our generation’s great scientific minds.