Twinkle Toes: Eric Owen Moss Now A Football Fan

Eavesdroplet, National
Monday, December 3, 2012
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In a recent issue of The New Yorker, writer Ben McGrath profiles Steve Clarkson, the private football coach to the quarterbacks of tomorrow. The writer interviews several adolescent clients attending Clarkson’s elite practice camp, including 10-year old Miller Moss (also featured on the article’s only photo). During a workout McGrath finds Moss’ father in the stands—California-based architect Eric Owen Moss.

“I would be completely disingenuous if I didn’t say I really enjoy this stuff,” said the elder Moss of the high-stakes training. “I’m embarrassed a little bit. It’s contagious in a way that even parents who should know better don’t always.” The design influence of the architect—once called the “jeweler of junk” by Philip Johnson—may be evident on the field: his son sports silver Nike cleats with the nickname “Miller Time” embroidered in gold.

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Clean Vitrine: Security Issues at OMA’s Rotterdam Kunsthal

East, Eavesdroplet
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Inside OMA's Rotterdam Kunsthal. (FaceMePLS/Flickr)

Inside OMA’s Rotterdam Kunsthal. (FaceMePLS/Flickr)

On October 16 thieves nabbed a handful of valuable paintings, including works by Picasso, Matisse, and Monet, from the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam. At least one person points the finger at the architecture by home team OMA. Citing an interview with Dutch security expert Ton Cremers, Dezeen.com reports that the open plan and glass walls are a nightmare for guards. Cremers appreciates the design aesthetic of the museum, which was completed in 1992, but noted, “It’s an awful building to protect.”

 

SOM Rumored to Have Been Chosen for Los Angeles Courthouse

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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AN has been anxiously awaiting official news of an architect for Los Angeles’ long-awaited Downtown Federal Courthouse, and we’ve picked up the scent of a promising rumor. Brigham Young’s DTLA Rising blog has heard from a “source at a large architectural and design firm in Downtown LA” that SOM has won the commission, beating out a short list of teams including Yazdani Studio and Gruen Associates, Brooks + Scarpa and HMC Architects, and NBBJ Architects.

The new $322 million courthouse will be located on a 3.7-acre lot in Downtown LA at 107 South Broadway and will contain 600,000 square feet incuding 24 court rooms. The General Services Administration (GSA), the federal agency in charge of building the new courthouse, hopes to have the project completed by 2016. The former art-deco courthouse  at 312 North Spring Street will be sold to help pay for the new structure, drawing criticism from some politicians.

The GSA is expected to make an official announcement soon, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as news comes in.

Arb-itects? English Registration Board Flips Out Over Titles

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Daniel Libeskind (left) and Renzo Piano (right).

Daniel Libeskind (left) and Renzo Piano (right).

In a letter to Building Design magazine, the Architects Registration Board in London, aka ARB, has requested that BD no longer refer to Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind as “architects.” Apparently, neither are registered as architects with the all-knowing ARB, therefore “they are not entitled to be described as such,” states the letter. BD Editor-in-Chief Amanda Baillieu immediately called out ARB’s high-handed mandate in an online editorial, writing, “there is no other word to describe ARB’s ban on calling Renzo Piano an architect except bonkers.” The registration board’s Alison Carr later apologized for the letter, “Do I think that this was a great example to bring to BD’s attention and help raise awareness? No I don’t. We should have been more cautious so that we get the right message across at the right time, and for that I apologise.”

Relocation Time on the West Coast

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Rendering of Barton Myers' DPAC Orlando Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Barton Myers)

Rendering of Barton Myers’ DPAC Orlando Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Barton Myers)

Everybody seems to be opening up new offices these days. One of our favorite firms, Barton Myers Associates, is moving from Westwood all the way to Santa Barbara, which doesn’t sound promising. Cunningham Group has opened new digs in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, the collection of arts offices made famous by the wild constructs of Eric Owen Moss. And UCLA Architecture will remain in Westwood. But it’s ready to open a new robotics lab inside the old Playa Vista research facilities of Howard Hughes.

Egg on Face at Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park?

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

You can’t make a monument without breaking some eggs. Fabergé cosmetics heir Reed Rubin is protesting a decision by the board of Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park to not include a donor inscription on the Louis Kahn-designed FDR memorial. For a $2.5 million donation in honor of Rubin’s parents Vera D. and Samuel Rubin, founders of the cosmetics firm and the Reed Foundation, the foundation claims it was promised an inscription in a prominent spot (preferably near the bust of FDR on a slab facing Manhattan).

The board of the park, not wanting to compromise the monument’s design, proposed an inscription in another location in the park. Rubin and the foundation are fighting back, and had tried to postpone October’s dedication. The New York Daily News quoted a letter written by the park’s board chairman William vanden Heuvel to the foundation: “You may prevail in a courtroom. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory, dear friends, a scar not a medal on the list of your achievements.”

 

Cincinnati is Recovering From the Swine Flu

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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Aerial view of Over the Rhine and beyond in Cincinnati. (OverTheRhine/Flickr)

Aerial view of Over the Rhine and beyond in Cincinnati. (OverTheRhine/Flickr)

Dear readers, Eavesdrop had the opportunity to explore Louisville, KY—our hometown—and Cincinnati, OH (a.k.a. Porkopolis) over the weekend. It’s been six or seven years since our last trip to Cincy and we have a couple things to say about it. It’s kind of a real city, like dense and old, with just enough corporate headquarters looming over the skyline.

We finally got to see the HOK designed Great American Tower in real life and it’s just as bad in person as its renderings. You may remember that we thoroughly made fun of its fugly, Princess Di inspired, steel tiara—something about lipstick on a pig. Let’s update that to a more current comparison. That tiara is more Honey Boo Boo than Princess Di. Eavesdrop is not a fan of hats or tiaras on buildings—i.e. the Pappageorge Haymes-designed One Museum Park in Chicago with its sailor cap. The American Institute of Steel Construction disagrees, recently giving said tiara a design award.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Fan From Indy Gets His Feelers Hurt

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Thursday, October 25, 2012
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The JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis. (Courtesy Marriott)

The JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis. (Courtesy Marriott)

Last month in this column, we conjured up a fake rivalry between Cincinnati, Cleveland, and East Lansing, MI, as they all have high profile projects opening this fall. Of all the blabber we’ve scattered across these pages, that piece stirred up the most voices. One fan wanted to know, “What about Indianapolis?” In our opinion, it’s a classic quantity versus quality situation. There’s a lot of development going on in Indianapolis right now, including City Way, along with a lot of forgettable architecture. There was the opening of the JW Marriott, with its nifty, curved blue glass curtain wall, design by HOK and CSO Architects. But does a convention hotel really stand up against starchitect designed museums and boutique art hotels? Not in this case.

Golden Carbuncle: Grimshaw’s Cutty Sark Named Ugliest Building in UK

Eavesdroplet, International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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(Jim Stephenson)

(Jim Stephenson)

The famous clipper ship Cutty Sark was recently rehabilitated by Grimshaw Architects, who also built an exhibition hall around the vessel. The project, which opened in April, has just received the dubious distinction of winning Building Design’s 2012 Carbuncle (a.k.a. “ugliest building”) Cup award. Parked in Greenwich, England and categorized as a World Heritage site, the ship now floats on a blue glass base intended to suggest water. But the resulting effect is more bateau-en-gelée, prompting BD executive editor Ellis Woodman to write that the project had “the best of intentions and yet has tragically succeeded in defiling the very thing it set out to save.”

Read More

Scotch on the Rocks.  Scotch on the Rocks RMJM may have been pushed into a corner financially over the last few years, but the firm is coming out swinging, with talking points that channel the British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill. In a recent interview with Forbes.com, RMJM CEO Peter Morrison counts Churchill’s famous “We shall never surrender” speech as a source of inspiration and has taken to referring to the firm’s offices as “the War Rooms.” When asked about his goals, Morrison said, “Success, at all costs. We have sacrificed much, invested heavily, and we now find ourselves in a strong position post-recession with a global platform poised to support clients in all corners of the Earth.” If the RMJM outlook doesn’t improve, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Scottish management takes it up a notch by donning blue and white face paint, Braveheart-style.

 

Philly says Yes: Planning Commission Approves Major Projects.  Philly says Yes: Planning Commission Approves Major Projects Philadelphia Planning Commissioners have approved several major projects for development on or near the Central Delaware Waterfront. 205 Race Street, designed by Peter Gluck, was granted several zoning variances despite mixed reactions from Old City community members. Plans to develop mixed-use residential buildings and new public space on Piers 34 and 35 were also approved.

 

Fondant Foundations: Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Transformed into a Cake

East, Eavesdroplet
Friday, October 12, 2012
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(Courtesy B Caked NY)

(Courtesy B Cake NY)

It’s probably best to eat before you get to the to the new Barclays Center—a can of Red Bull and a bag of chips will set you back almost $12. But at a recent sneak peek of the arena guests were treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and an up-close look at the intricate and oddly sweet-smelling building model—wait, that’s no model, that’s a cake! The confection was a tour de force by Brooklyn-based BCakeNY, who carefully rendered the delicious-looking Core-ten exterior in chocolate and cinnamon, “Your cake looks better than the actual building!” wrote one of BCakeNY’s Facebook fans. Take note architects—a model of devil’s food rather than foam core might be just the thing for your next community board meeting.

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