Library officials and developers hope to give Boston Public Library’s Philip Johnson-designed branch a facelift, but as the Boston Herald reported, local residents question who these proposed changes will really benefit. Standing besides Charles Follen McKim’s 1895 Beaux Arts masterwork on Copley Square, and across the street from the site of the recent marathon bombings, the mid-century monolith, which was completed in 1971, has been likened by many to a bunker or mausoleum and derided for its “greyness” and “bleakness.” With nearly half of Boston’s library users regularly visiting this branch, some think it’s about time for an upgrade.
The gentle drumming sound of rainfall is one that many of us find soothing, but it is a natural phenomena that we can only experience at a safe distance without suffering the consequence of being drenched. With their one-of-a-kind installation, Rain Room, the designers at rAndom international made what you thought was impossible possible—presenting anyone who is curious for a new sensation with the opportunity to fully experience standing unprotected in the rain without ever getting wet.
The Battery Urban Farm came to life in November 2010 motivated by eight students from the Environmental Club at Millennium High School who wanted to create a vegetable garden. Once the Battery Conservancy got involved the idea began to grow and was realized in five months. By 2012 the one-acre farm grew to serve 1,800 students from 30 schools, teaching them the basics about farming and eating healthy, as well as community organizations, local residents, commuters, tourists, and local restaurants. However, the growing and teaching came to a halt after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of lower Manhattan, flooding Battery Urban Farm and destroying the Battery Conservancy offices. Now they are asking for your help to rebuild in order to keep the veggies growing.
Lightfair International held its 2013 edition at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center from April 21–25. More than 500 exhibitors, including 80-plus first-timers, filled over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space with the latest lighting technologies, from solar fittings to roadway fixtures, and rounded out a robust conference program with ample networking opportunities. Following are a handful of standout products from Lightfair’s exhibitors.
Designed for corporate and hospitality settings, the wall mounted Fino produces indirect light for washing floors or ceilings. Aluminum construction with an extruded latching system was designed to be set within sheet rock for hairline seams. Once installed, light from a replaceable LED board bounces off an internal reflector to produce a soft, even glow. Fino is available in increments of 6-inch lengths.
The Storefront for Art and Architecture and the New Museum in New York City have announced the winners of the StreetFest Tenting Competition for their upcoming IDEAS CITY Festival, arriving Saturday in front of the New Museum on the Bowery. The international competition asked architects to re-imagine the typical street fair tent with a more compelling and sustainable form. Winner Davidson Rafailidis—lead by Georg Rafailidis and Stephanie Davidson of Buffalo—were chosen for their entry, MirrorMirror, which will premiere at 6:00pm on Saturday May 4th.
The Rockefeller Foundation has announced that four cities will receive a combined $1.2 million in grants to foster research, communications, and community outreach efforts in an endeavor to educate local stakeholders about the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. The Foundation’s solution to “Transform Cities” and promote fiscal growth and quality of life proposes better mass transit investments. Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh will participate in the project.
After a long, cold winter, many of us are itching to lock away our wool coats, slip into our flip-flops, and dash to the beach. That’s especially the case for Matt Tomasulo, the artist behind the Raleigh Beach proposal that would transform the corner of West Hargett Street into an alluring summertime oasis in inland North Carolina. His Raleigh Beach rendering depicts sunbathers soaking up the sun while lying on the sand as swimmers cool-off in the pools.
Mergers and consolidations continue in the A/E/C industry. The four legacy firms that make up the US division of engineering firm WSP—WSP Flack + Kurtz, WSP Cantor Seinuk, WSP Environmental & Energy, and WSP SELLS—are consolidating under the WSP name.
The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced the appointment of Iñaki Ábalos as chair of the Department of Architecture. Ábalos is currently a Professor in Residence at the GSD where he has lead studios, lectures, and seminars grounded in technology and history,with a focus on the thermodynamics of architecture. As a founding member of both Ábalos + Sentkiewicz Arquitectos and Ábalos and Herraros, his work has focused on the intersection between architecture, technology, landscape, and culture. He will assume his new post July 1, replacing current chair Preston Scott Cohen. Read More