On View> Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles, 1945-1980

West
Monday, April 2, 2012
.
Choy Residence. (Julius Schulman)

Choy Residence. (Julius Schulman)

Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945–1980)
The Chinese American Museum
425 North Los Angeles St., Los Angeles
Through June 3

As part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative, the Chinese American Museum presents Breaking Ground to showcase the pioneering contributions made by four Southern California–based Chinese American architects. These architects, Eugene K. Choy, Gilbert Leong, Helen Liu Fong, and Gin Wong, all made contributions to the development of postwar California architecture, from Choy and Leong’s playful Chinatown Modernism to Wong’s radical masterplan for LAX and Fong’s development of the Googie style (think neon signage and cantilevered boomerang-shaped roofs). Original and reproduced photographs, blueprints, renderings, and drawings of works by the architects are on display, including original photographs by architectural photographer Julius Shulman (above, The Choy House).

More images after the jump.

Channeling Mumford.  NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan lauds Grand Army Plaza. (Branden Klayko) DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has been invited to deliver the prestigious 2012 Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College on April 5. The lecture will be held in the freshly restored Shepard Hall.  

 

Billings Remains in the Black Four Months in a Row

National
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
.
BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

With the moody Architectural Billings Index landing in positive territory for the fourth straight month in February, the architectural community might begin to exhale a sigh of relief. Project inquiries alone saw its highest spike since 2007, up from 61.2 to 63.4 (anything over 50 indicates an increase in billings).

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Architecture in the Expanded Field

West
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
.
(Courtesy CCA Wattis Institute)

(Courtesy CCA Wattis Institute)

Architecture in the Expanded Field
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
1111 8th St., San Francisco
Through April 7

Theorist and critic Rosalind Krauss’s 1979 text “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” attempts to identify the scope of sculpture in a time when artists were redefining its traditional limits to include considerations of architecture, landscape, and space. The Wattis attempts a similar redefinition of the field of architecture; installations explore material, spatial, and perceptual concerns with emerging experimental technologies outside the limits of traditional architectural practice. A full-scale installation within and outside of the gallery transports visitors into the immersive environment, while a surface component presents the mapped expanded field of architectural installation.

Diamond studded Eco-Developer?  Diamond studded Eco-Developer? Having successfully covered the world (or at least all 11 outposts of the global Gagosian empire) in colorful spots, Damien Hirst is turning his attention to architectural matters. The artist is planning to build more than 500 homes on the land he owns in Devon, England as part of a broader expansion of the glam seaside resort town of Ilfracombe. Mike Rundell of London-based MRJ Rundell+Associates is putting his undergrad degree in fine art to good use and working with Hirst on the project. “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings,” said Rundell of his artist client. Pressed for details, Rundell described the houses as modern and possibly incorporating eco-friendly touches such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines nestled in the roofs. Pickled sharks or spin art not included.

 

WTC security extends to streets beyond site..  Downtown Express reports that NYPD will be battening down access to  WTC “campus” in lower Manhattan. This week a new safety plan was presented at Community Board 1’s Redevelopment Committee meeting, and community members were dismayed by the multiple Checkpoint Charlie-like blocks on streets around the site proper. Said one resident of neighboring Cedar Street, “I don’t see a way to go home in a cab in front of my door without going through two checkpoints. We’re not talking about parking – we’re talking about access to the front door the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with a cab full of groceries and 24 people for dinner.”

 

On View> Middle Eastern Ambitions at the Center for Architecture

East
Friday, March 16, 2012
.
A model of a Frank Lloyd Wright plan for Baghdad. (AN/Stoelker)

A model of a Frank Lloyd Wright plan for an opera house in Baghdad. (AN/Stoelker)

City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982
Through May 5

Change: Baghdad, 2000–Present
Through June 23

Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place

Two complimentary exhibits at the Center for Architecture capture an aspirational past and equally ambitious present in the Middle East. City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 shows a flourishing cosmopolitan city that—whatever the regime—commissioned an impressive array of international design talent for much of the last century resulting in an architecture combing modernist ideas with interpretations of the local climate and culture. Through models and drawings, including Walter Gropius and Hisham A. Munir’s campus building (top) at the University of Baghdad, rather than photographs in order to emphasize the optimistic intentions of the period, City of Miracles sheds light on a significant but rarely seen corner of global modernism. CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000–Present surveys 123 contemporary works from 20 countries in the wider Middle East, including Asymptote and Dewan Architects’ Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi (above), gathered through an open call for submissions. The impact of rapid growth and instant globalization is evident through supertalls, man-made islands as well as UNESCO monument sites under siege.

Read More

On View> Sarah Morris: Points on a Line

Midwest
Thursday, March 15, 2012
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Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut. (Sarah Morris)

Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut. (Sarah Morris)

Sarah Morris: Points on a Line
The Wexner Center
1871 North High Street
Columbus, OH
Through April 15

Points On A Line, a 2010 film by artist Sarah Morris, takes two iconic buildings as its central characters, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut (above). Commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns both properties, the film is a meditation on the relationship between the buildings—Johnson, an acolyte of Mies and inspired by Farnsworth drawings, happened to complete his New Canaan house first—and the structures as they exist today. But it is the relationship of the architects themselves that becomes Morris’ narrative thread, serving as a springboard to explore their other architectural overlap: Johnson’s glamorized corporate interiors for the Four Seasons, the power-broker restaurant in the base of the Mies-designed Seagram building in Manhattan. Points on A Line underscores how our perception of a space is affected not just by its design but also its mythology.

On View> News Paper Spires at the Skyscraper Museum

East
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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Newspaper Row

Newspaper Row. (courtesy The Skyscraper Museum)

News Paper Spires
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Pl.
Through July 2012

Focusing on the years between 1870 and 1930, News Paper Spires at the Skyscraper Museum considers the buildings where the most important events of the day were committed to the public record with ever-increasing speed. Just after the Civil War, The New York Times, The New-York Tribune, and The New York Post all were headquartered on the so-called “Newspaper Row” to the east of City Hall Park (above), each headquartered in early skyscrapers, where writers and editors worked above, while below typesetters and steam-engine powered printing presses churned out morning, afternoon and evening editions. In this exhibition, the history of these vertical urban factories—including their migration from downtown to midtown—is considered through films, architectural renderings, photographs, typesetting equipment, and the archival newspapers themselves.

More images after the jump.

SHFT+ALT+DEL: March 9

Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, March 9, 2012
.

Vishan Chakrabarti joins SHoP Architects as a partner, but will remain director of the Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, a position he’s held since 2009.

Peter Schubert becomes a partner at Ennead Architects, where he’ll be “enhancing international efforts”; Schubert was most recently at RMJM.

Robert Allen Design appoints Kerry Galloway as their new vice president of contract sales. Galloway was formerly vice president, sales and marketing for Contract Décor International.

In office expansion news, Aedas announces it plans to double the size of its London office (currently 80 staffers) in the next two years to keep pace with work in Russia and North Africa.

Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to people@archpaper.com!

One of largest U.S. glass companies ceases operations..  One of largest U.S. glass companies ceases operations. Glass Magazine reports that Trainor Glass, one of the three biggest contract glaziers in the U.S., notified employees on February 21 that the company was ceasing operations, effective immediately. At the time of its shut down Trainor employed over 600 staff and had several active projects, including the Museum Tower in downtown Dallas. Katy Devlin of Glass spoke with several industry players, including Jeff Haber, the managing partner of W&W Glass, who noted the ripple effect the Trainor closure was likely to cause:”Every bonding company is going to start tightening the leash. They are going to start raising the capital requirements, and general contractors are going to be more selective as to who gets work…This will be painful in the short term. … It might expose a few more [contract glaziers] that are in bad shape.”

 

Eavesdrop> The Gang Gang.  Eavesdrop> The Gang Gang In news that will surprise no one, Studio Gang is getting the star treatment by the Art Institute with a monographic show planned for fall 2013. Eavesdrop is certainly not immune to Jeanne Gang’s charms, nor do we dispute her talent, but her work is exhaustively covered in these pages and every other design publication as well as prestige glossies like The New Yorker. Last year, Studio Gang released a monograph of their work, as well as a book-length design proposal for the Chicago River. The firm’s contribution to MoMA’s Foreclosed exhibition just opened. Zoe Ryan and her team at the AIC, then, have given themselves a difficult task: how to show or say something new about the MacArthur-anointed genius architect. And next time, AIC, shine the spotlight on someone a bit less exposed!

 

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