Critically Costumed For Storefront

East
Monday, October 31, 2011
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A sampling of the motley crew at Storefront's Critical Halloween party on October 29.

“Banality,” the theme of Storefront‘s Critical Halloween costume fundraiser, was manifested in an array of clever–and occasionally perplexing–forms on Saturday evening at the 3-Legged Dog in Manhattan. Blizzard-like conditions did not deter a group of over 250 design-o-philes and at least one (in)famous party crasher from getting decked out in spandex, foam, plush, rubber, tulle, and acres of cardboard. The weather did prevent Liz Diller from arriving to judge the costume contest, but her fearless partner Charles Renfro stepped into the breach, and channeling Damien Hirst in a rhinstone-studded skull mask (“Greed”), took his place alongside judges Wangechi Mutu (embodying Pantone’s “Bluebird”) and Justin Davidson (dressed as an architecture critic).

images after the jump

Lantern Lights Out at Jane’s Carousel

East
Monday, October 31, 2011
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The view from Bubby's Brooklyn provided the perfect sunset vista of the carousel.

The view from Bubby's Brooklyn provided the perfect sunset vista of the carousel.

Over the weekend, we headed out to Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out the light show of Jane’s Carousel. We had been told that silhouettes of horses were to be projected onto a ceiling scrim until 1AM. We even held ambitions of traipsing across the Brooklyn Bridge to get a better view. But after watching a spectacular sunset reflect off of Jean Nouvel’s acrylic cube, the show was over. We were told that the lights for the magic lantern were much too hot for the recently restored horses. No matter, it’s hard to surpass the carousel’s bulbs reflected in the acrylic, with a glittering Manhattan serving as backdrop.

Read More

Grand Concourse Discourse: Rosenblum on a New Landmark

East
Friday, October 28, 2011
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The Bronx County Courthouse falls within the new district. (Lehman College Art Gallery/Stoelker)

The Bronx County Courthouse sits within the new district. (Lehman College Art Gallery/Stoelker)

Shortly after the Landmarks Preservation Commission declared a section of the Grand Concourse an historic district on Tuesday, New York Times columnist Constance Rosenblum  received a call with the news. Walking down Montague Street near her home in Brooklyn Heights, the usually unflappable writer burst into tears. When it comes to the Concourse, Rosenblum wrote the book. Her 2010 chronicle of the corridor, Boulevard of Dreams (NYU Press, $20), played a significant role in calling attention to the plight and promise of the neighborhood. “It was notable day,” she said in a phone interview in reference to the announcement. “It wasn’t easy for the Bronx, and the stigmas will remain for a long time.”

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Chutes and Ladders at the New Museum

East
Friday, October 28, 2011
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Carsten Höller's Slide at the New Museum. (Branden Klayko)

Carsten Höller's Slide at the New Museum. (Branden Klayko)

The New Museum has been transformed into a real-life game of chutes and ladders, or perhaps a Fun Palace a la Cedric Price, for its new exhibition Carsten Höller: Experience that opened this week and is running through January 15, 2012. The centerpiece of the show is a spiraling stainless steel slide traversing the fourth through second floors and providing what certainly must be the most rapid vertical circulation in the entire city short of a plummeting elevator . We stopped by to check out the slide and, after signing our lives away on a waiver, took a couple rides ourselves.

Check out a photo gallery after the jump.

EVENT> 10/29: Storefront’s Critical Halloween

East
Friday, October 28, 2011
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The closest thing we have to Carnival in the US, Halloween offers a chance for type A-types (yeah, we’re looking at you, architects) to blow off some steam. Tomorrow night, Storefront for Art and Architecture’s hosts its Critical Halloween costume soiree at the 3-Legged Dog at 80 Greenwich St. The theme? Banality!

Lest you thought this might be an eggheads-’round-the-punchbowl affair, be aware that this party just made New York Observer‘s list of New York’s 10 Hottest Halloween Events to Die For alongside fetes hosted by the likes of model Miranda Kerr and V Magazine. Read More

City Center Slicker

East
Thursday, October 27, 2011
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The newly restored City Center opened on Tuesday. (Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architect)

The newly restored City Center reopened on Tuesday.(Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architects)

You could literally smell the champagne aroma at Tuesday night’s gala reopening of New York City Center. Row upon row of glasses were poured just before the doors opened to reveal Ennead’s $56 million renovation of the beloved hall. Backstage, wide-eyed dancers and musicians rushed with palpable pre-performance angst. Duncan Hazard, Ennead’s partner in charge of the restoration, gave us a whirlwind tour before the curtain went up.

Read More

On View> Modernism in Miniature at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

East
Thursday, October 27, 2011
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Model of San Remo Apartment, Carlo Mollino and Mario Roggero, 1946. (Courtesy CCA)

Model of San Remo Apartment, Carlo Mollino and Mario Roggero, 1946. (Courtesy CCA)

Modernism in Miniature: Points of View
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile
Montréal, Québec
Through January 8

Modernism in Miniature examines the relationship between architectural model-making and photography, spanning the years 1920 to 1960. It posits model photography as its own genre, exploring the evolution and visual methods used to capture these miniature architectural representations. Focusing on the encounter between media and architecture, the exhibition investigates the link between design and mass media with themes such as “Object and Image” and the “Art of Simulation.” Models by architects including Mies van der Rohe, Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, and Carlo Mollino (his model for a San Remo apartment, above) illustrate the changing architectural expression and visual representation of mid-century modernism.

More images after the jump.

Stage 1 Finalists Announced for National Mall Design Competition

East, National, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The Trust for the National Mall has announced the finalists for the first round of its National Mall Design Competition. The 700-acres of parkland have been worn down over the years thanks hoards of visitors (25 million a year), marches, and certain bi-annual decathalons. The scope of the competition includes three distinct areas of the mall: Union Square, the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens. Finalists were selected for each area, and will move on to stage two of the competition (team interviews), and then—finally—a selected few will be asked to envision a design for one of the three designated area.

Check out the finalists after the jump.

CityLights Finally Begin to See Daylight

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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New York City's new street lights are making their debut downtown. (AN/Stoelker

New York City's new streetlights are making their debut downtown. (AN/Stoelker)

Approximately six years after Thomas Phifer and Partners, the Office for Visual Interaction, and Werner Sobek won the CityLights competition for a new standard streetlight, some of the first examples are popping up in Lower Manhattan. The design for LED streetlights was cutting edge at the time, and the technology was very expensive. Prices for energy efficient LED’s have fallen considerably since then, allowing the ultra slim fixtures to find their way onto city streets. Read More

Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #25: Alice Tully Hall at Julliard

East
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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Detail of stage at Alice Tully Hall (Courtesy FX Fowle)

Detail of stage at Alice Tully Hall (Courtesy FX Fowle)

Rather than add a few hundred more words to the tens of thousands already devoted to praise the Diller Scofidio + Renfro / FXFOWLE renovation of the Julliard School and Alice Tully Hall, I think today that I will remember the original architect, Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994). As a young faculty member at the University of Virginia, I got to know his work a bit. He designed the UVA School of Architecture. The building was muscular, had clear structure, and well expressed the late 1960s/early ‘70s last gasps of Brutalism.

Continue reading after the jump.

Inside Archtober “Building” of the Day #24: Subway Vent Benches

East
Monday, October 24, 2011
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An MTA flood mitigation filter in Queens. (Courtesy Laura Ann Trimble/Center for Architecture)

An MTA flood mitigation filter in Queens. (Courtesy Laura Ann Trimble/Center for Architecture)

Even though Hurricane Irene blew through on August 27th without flooding the subways, which were rendered prophylactically still and silent for a day, a pesky summer storm in 2007 dumped so much water onto the M and R lines that they were forced out of service. Governor Spitzer took immediate action to mitigate the problem, and boldly mobilized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation to do something about it. Solving a range of engineering problems while at the same time providing a streetscape element with some wit and whimsy, Rogers Marvel Architects created banks of raised stainless steel grates that rise up into an undulating wave of slats and hammered speckled side walls.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bjarke Ingels, WSJ Architecture Innovator of the Year

East
Monday, October 24, 2011
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BIG's concept for the expansion of the National Beaux-Arts Museum in Quebec. (Courtesy BIG)

BIG's concept for the expansion of the National Beaux-Arts Museum in Quebec. (Courtesy BIG)

If Bjarke Ingels‘ ascension into starchitecture hasn’t been dramatic enough, the Danish architect is again moving up in the world. On Friday, Ingels’ firm BIG threw a party to christen their new office space in Manhattan. BIG has expanded its Chelsea presence, moving up from the third to the twelfth floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building. A press preview of the new space preceded the party a couple floors above. Among those in attendance were Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, who earlier this month awarded Ingels the $90,000 Culture Prize—the MacArthur of Scandinavia—for his emerging work in architecture.

Now it looks like Ingels’ October has just been getting started. The Wall Street Journal Magazine will declare the Danish architect among its inaugural Innovators of the Year. Read More

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