Defending Gehry’s Take on Ike.  Defending Gehry's Take on Ike In the perennial battle of rads versus trads, Penn professor and former Slate architecture critic Witold Rybczynski often sides with the trads. So it was a bit of a surprise to see Rybczynski take to the op-ed page of the New York Times in defense of Frank Genry’s design for the Eisenhower memorial. Genry’s design has numerous critics including two of Eisenhower’s granddaughters, as well as the usual suspects who think classicism is the only appropriate approach to everything really, especially if it involves patriotism, presidents, or Washington D.C. Rybczynski calls Gehry “our finest living architect” and worries that a design-by-committee approach will undermine the quality of the memorial. Or as Eisenhower might have said, beware of the classicist/reactionary complex.

 

What Is NY-LON? Mark Wigley and Brett Steele On the New York-London Axis

Dean's List, East, East Coast
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Brett Steele, Enrique Walker, and Mark Wigley at "What Is NY-LON?". (Lindsay Kunz, Columbia University GSAPP)

Brett Steele, Enrique Walker, and Mark Wigley at "What Is NY-LON?" (Lindsay Kunz, Columbia University GSAPP)

“NY-LON” is an annual series of discussions at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) about the transfer of ideas along the New York-London axis.  In this particular conversation, Brett Steele, director of London’s Architectural Association (AA), and Mark Wigley, dean of New York’s GSAPP, talked about the threads that connect the two cities, what that means for architectural discourse, and how the connection has evolved over time.

Continue reading after the jump.

@MikeBloomberg: #SocialMedia is Complicated! SMH

East
Monday, March 26, 2012
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Demonstrators at the Design Commission Meeting mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page.

Demonstrators at the Design Commission mobilized on their Save Coney Island Facebook page. (Stoelker/AN)

Mayor Bloomberg was in Singapore last Wednesday to accept the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for sustainable planning, but it was the mayor’s comments on social media got the most play in The New York Times and the New York Post.

“I think this whole world has become a culture of ‘me now,’ rather than for my kids later on,” he was quoted as saying. “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments. We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day, and it’s very hard for people to stand up and say, ‘No, no. This is what we’re going to do’ when there’s constant criticism and an election process.”

Continue reading after the jump.

OHNY: Open Studios Husdon Square, Saturday, March 31

East
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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There are perhaps three–maybe four–design hubs in New York City. These hubs are places with high concentrations of architects and allied designers who are attracted by relatively large, light-filled spaces and the camaraderie of like-minded designers next door. These hubs are know mostly in the “cool” borough of Brooklyn (The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Dumbo and Red Hook), but the originally and still most “designer” dense is near Hudson Square, on Varick Street between Houston to Canal. Last month The Architect’s Newspaper collaborated with Open House New York (ohny.org) and had a hugely successful Saturday afternoon in Dumbo where over 35 architects opened there offices to the public.

Now we are doing second Open Studio on Varick Street, and the public will have the opportunity to visit some of the most high profile and active architects offices in the city. The event will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m., and you can make a reservation to attend the day at OHNY’s website. The day will conclude with a drinks event at a local spot for all those participating in Open Studios.

Come by and say hello.

 

ON VIEW> CARLO SCARPA: THE ARCHITECT AT WORK

East, East Coast
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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Palazzetto Site Plan. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Palazzetto Site Plan. (Courtesy Cooper Union)

Carlo Scarpa: The Architect at Work
The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th Street
Through April 21
A collection of hand drawings and photographs of work by renowned postwar Italian architect Carlo Scarpa is on view for the first time in New York.  The exhibition depicts the conception and realization of two major works, the renowned Villa Ottolenghi (Bardolino, Verona, 1974–79) and the Il Palazzetto series of imagined interventions in a 17th-century villa (Monselice, Padua, 1969–78). Scarpa is renowned for his poetic expression of space through the use of materials and ornamentation, and visitors to the gallery will witness the architect’s development of spatial ideas through 22 original hand drawings of Villa Ottolenghi and 11 of Villa Il Palazzetto. Reproductions of historical photos taken of the Villa Ottolenghi before it was completed as well as recent and historical photos of Scarpa’s work at Villa Il Palazzetto are included, along with reproductions of his drawings for the Museo di Castelvecchio and the Museo Nazionale dell Arti del XXI secolo.

 

More Eyes on Rudolph’s Threatened Orange County Government Center.  More Eyes on Rudolph's Threatened Orange County Government Center Recently AN put a spotlight on Rudolph’s threatened Orange County Government Center, through photos and reporting, and many others are coming to defense of this challenging and bewitching building. The World Monuments Fund declared the building a culturally significant site, and a local group is protesting the planned demolition. Bloomberg’s James S. Russell just visited, declaring it, “insistently attention-grabbing in photos, the building reveals a surprising delicacy in person. Rudolph’s complicated shape-making domesticates the building’s institutional scale.”  Will prominent architects from around the country rally to around Rudolph’s singular creation? Time is running out.

 

Groundbreaking for SHoP’s Pre-Fab Tower Delayed.  Modular buildings surrounding Barclay's Arena at Atlantic Yards. (Courtesy SHoP) SHoP unveiled their design for the 32-story B2 tower in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards last November, which will be one of the world’s tallest prefab building if all goes according to developer Forest City Ratner’s plans. Now, however, Atlantic Yards Report noticed the tower’s planned groundbreaking target, originally set for early this year, won’t be moving dirt until the end of 2012, after the adjacent Barclay’s Center arena (also designed by SHoP) opens in September. In the meantime, the developer says it’s working with unions on the details of the tower’s modular design.    

 

Ride, Baby, Ride: Senator Chuck Schumer Caught Pedaling in Contested Bike Lane

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 19, 2012
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Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

A shocking cellphone pic of New York’s senior Senator has transportation circles abuzz across the Internet today. While not so much a scandal as a beautiful bike ride in the park, Senator Chuck Schumer was photographed pedaling down a contested bike path in Brooklyn on Sunday by Paul Steely White, director of Transportation Alternatives.

Given his close ties to a group fighting the bike lane—his wife and former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall was among the most outspoken opponents to the path—a hypothetical snapshot of the senator biking had previously been called the Holy Grail of livable streets activism and been the punch line of April Fool’s jokes, but Schumer, who had never taken a public stance on the protected lane, sure appears to be enjoying himself in New York’s unseasonably warm weather.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.”

 

The Great GoogaMooga is coming to Prospect Park

East
Friday, March 16, 2012
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The Great GoogaMooga logo (courtesy of event website).

The Great GoogaMooga (courtesy of event website).

Superfly Presents, the co-founder and producer of mega-festivals Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, is bringing its park-packing swagger to New York City this summer. The Great GoogaMooga, described as “an amusement park of food and drink,” will occupy the Nethermead region of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on May 19th and 20th.

The famed pastoral lower meadow of the park will be transformed into “the ultimate sensory experience” by a collaborative design effort led by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. The design weaves together to over 75 food vendors, 35 brewers, 30 winemakers and 20 live musicians debut festival. General admission is required but tickets are required and available as of March 15. The event intends to leverage the synergy of two of New York City’s most high-energy features: food and music.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Middle Eastern Ambitions at the Center for Architecture

East
Friday, March 16, 2012
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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

Eating Champ & Starchitect Celebrate Damn Good Advice.  Massimo Vignelli and George Lois. (Courtesy Phaidon) During festivities for the launch of his book Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent), legendary art director and advertising guru George Lois announced that he will donate his professional archive to the Vignelli Center for Graphic Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. At the launch, a star-studded guest list including Massimo and Leila Vignelli, architect Richard Meier, and competitive eating champion Kobayashi packed NYC’s Art Directors’ Club. The addition of Lois’ work bolsters the archive’s reputation as a world-class resource for design researchers.

 

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