Review> MAXXI Takes To the Highway: Exhibition Explores Energy & Architecture

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

One of the most curious artifacts in the current exhibition, Energy: Oil and Post-Oil Architecture and Grids, currently running through November 10, is the one you run into just outside the entrance doors to Rome’s MAXXI museum. It’s one of those ubiquitous mini AGIP filling stations, of the kind you normally would find curbside in any one of Italy’s many town centers. The look is ultra modern, with a cantilevered steel structure sheltering a smartly-constructed metal-and-glass shed designed for the gas station attendant and his stock of replacement windshield wipers and engine oils. Next to one of the pumps is AGIP’s bright yellow icon featuring a black, six-legged, fire-breathing dog. The filling station wouldn’t seem so odd if it were not for where it sits: on the pavement just under one of Zaha Hadid’s flying concrete viaducts. The architecture of Hadid’s MAXXI suggests a series of highway overpasses crashing into one of the remaining buildings preserved on the former barracks site. The miniature service station with all its loaded petro-symbolism seems to fit perfectly under the shadows of this massive Ballardian road wreck.

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Jakob + MacFarlane Designs a Pair of Carafes for Ricard Pastis

International
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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Jakob + MacFarlane's Ridard Duo Carafe Set (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Jakob + MacFarlane’s Ridard Duo Carafe Set. (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Another week, another architect-designed liquor bottle. This time around, Paris-based architecture duo Jakob + MacFarlane—who made headlines over the summer with their tubular “Turbulances” project in France—have joined up with the manufacturer of their nation’s most popular pastis to create a pair chiseled, glass decanters.

The set of slender, carved-glass carafes, commissioned by Pernod Ricard, is color-coded and sculpted to represent the “authenticity” of the beloved aperitif. The pair—consisting of a clear, ice-like container for water and an opaque, yellow one for the liqueur—are packaged together in a punctured, swiss cheese–shaped box.

Bjarke Ingels Reinvents the Bridge as a Mountain of Landscaped Trails

City Terrain, International
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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(Courtesy BIG)

(Courtesy BIG)

The Swedish Transport Administration launched a conceptual design competition in 2011 for a new bridge in Skuru, Sweden. The competition received great national and international response, including one fanciful proposal by Danish firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The competition brief stated that the new bridge should adhere to high aesthetic standards and coincide with the existing bridge and the surrounding valuable cultural and natural landscape. Ingels deploys his characteristic hedonistic sustainability to bring nature onto the bridge itself.

Continue reading after the jump.

Testing Begins on Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly Wind Turbine Blade

International, Sustainability
Monday, October 28, 2013
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‘Dragonfly’ Wind Turbine (Photo: Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

‘Dragonfly’ Wind Turbine (Photo: Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

You might know Renzo Piano as the architect behind many of the world’s leading museums, but get ready to meet Renzo Piano, wind-turbine expert. Testing has commenced on Renzo Piano’s small-scale wind-turbine blade at the Molinetto Test Field near Pisa, Italy. Piano’s turbine blade resembles a dragonfly’s wing and incorporates elements from the insect that promote stability in flight in order to allow the turbine to tolerate gale-force winds.

Continue reading after the jump.

Power Couple: Gehry & Foster to Build at London’s Battersea Station

International
Monday, October 28, 2013
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Battersea Power Station (Flickr: Scott Wylie)

Battersea Power Station (Flickr: Scott Wylie)

Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners have been selected to design the third phase of the mixed-use Battersea Power Station development in London, which includes a retail pedestrian street that serves as the entryway to the complex. Gehry and Foster will collaborate on the High Street section, and each firm will design residential buildings on the east and west sides, respectively.

This will be Gehry’s first building in London. He will approach the project with the “goal to help create a neighborhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city.”

The iconic Battersea Power Station  has captured the imagination of everyone from furniture designers to rock stars. Take a look below at AN‘s roundup of 12 of the most amazing Battersea Power Station photos.

View the gallery after the jump.

Ultra-Sustainable Mushroom-Based Packaging Wins 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

(Courtesy Ecovative)

(Courtesy Ecovative / Flickr)

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, co-founders of Ecovative, want the world of material packaging to enter “The Mushroom Age” and they have the approval of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. Founded in 2009, the upstate New York company has developed biocompatible, strong, lightweight, and fireproof fungi-based packaging as a sustainable replacement for polystyrene foam, widely used but made of environmentally harmful plastics. In August, AN reported Ecovative’s Mushroom Packaging project as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge. This week, BFI awarded the entry first place in its $100,000 competition for socially responsive design.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Post on Politically-Charged Public Space and Priestly Palaces

City Terrain, East, International
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

We don’t normally look to the New York Post for stories on architecture and planning. But while getting our shoes shined for tonights black tie Heritage Ball we had a chance to read the paper’s Late City Final. There in the middle of stories on JonBenet Ramsey, a lawyer “ripping a Jet Slugger,” and Lady Gaga’s thigh tattoo was a smattering of the latest in design spectacle.

Next to a story on Mitt Romney’s new 5,900 square foot “secret hideout” in Holiday, Utah (which will apparently feature a bookcase that swivels open and leads into hidden room), there is a long story on Midtown Manhattan street plazas that both Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota are apparently thinking of “yanking…out,” according to the paper.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> BIG Opens Underground Maritime Museum in Denmark

International, Newsletter, Pictorial
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed its latest cultural offering in its homeland: the Danish Maritime Museum in the city of Helsingør. Located a mere 1,600 feet from the historic Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the museum honors Denmark’s historic and contemporary role as a leading maritime nation. Faced with the challenge of establishing a fitting facade while preserving the views from the nearby castle, BIG principal Bjarke Ingels tucked the 65,000-square-foot museum 23 feet below grade by carving out space around an existing, decommissioned dry dock.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rashid Karim–Designed Vodka Bottle Looks Like a Piece of Ice

International
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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(Courtesy Anestasia)

(Courtesy Anestasia)

It seems booze is on high-design minds. The latest in AN‘s series of high-end liquor bottles by top-tier designers comes from the prolific Prince of Pink, New York’s own Karim Rashid. Teaming up with American luxury vodka brand Anestasia, Karim has delivered a jagged, crystalline container that differs from his usual globulous rose creations. The bottle’s angular forms were supposedly drawn from word “vodka” itself, or more specifically the shapes of the letters V and K. Aside from the asymmetrical bottle design, Rashid is also responsible for the brand’s logo, typeface, and visual identity.

Unveiled> Renzo Piano’s Stacked Masses Create an Efficient Paris Judicial Complex

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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Paris Courthouse (Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Paris Courthouse (Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Renzo Piano has unveiled renderings for the new Palais de Justice, positioned on the northern edge of central Paris in the urban expansion area of Clichy-Batignolles, which will provide space for and unite numerous judicial services presently scattered throughout the city. The law courts complex appears as a slender, translucent, 525-foot-tall tower comprised of four stacked rectangular masses diminishing in size as they ascend. The structure includes extensive fenestration to blend the division of the interior and exterior, in addition to two exterior glass elevators offering expansive views of the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

Terreform One Finalists Secure a Stormproof Future

City Terrain, International
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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Hybrid Edge, Finalist (One Prize 2013)

Hybrid Edge, Finalist (One Prize 2013)

Through Stormproof, an open international design competition for building resilient cities, Terreform One has pursued many viable solutions for a stormproof future. Students and professionals were challenged with preparing cities for imminent confrontations of extreme climate change. Twenty finalists were chosen from 168 teams comprised of 310 participants based in over fifteen countries, and by employing complex designs such as barrier islands to mitigate storm and flood impact, participants have recommended solutions that revive and repurpose present infrastructure.

Continue reading after the jump.

ASLA Picks The World’s Top Professional Landscape Design Projects for 2013

City Terrain, International
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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General Design Category Winner: Lakewood Garden Mausoleum by Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc. (Courtesy ASLA)

General Design Category Winner: Lakewood Garden Mausoleum by Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc. (Courtesy ASLA)

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the winners of their 2013 ASLA Professional Awards, granting landscape design projects from around the world prestigious titles as top works within the field of landscape architecture. The competition included five categories: general design, residential design, analysis and planning, communications, and research. Entries are judged on their quality, context, and effectiveness, and for the two actual design categories, on their environmental sustainability and sensitivity. This year, the winning designs range from an urban revitalization in New Orleans to a book of photographic reflection on the built landscape.

View the winners after the jump.

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