Frank Gehry’s Ice Blocks Chilling Out Inside Chicago’s Inland Steel Building

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Frank Gehry's new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Frank Gehry’s new sculpture in the Inland Steel Building lobby. (Lynn Becker)

Follow the Architecture Chicago Plus blog as Lynn Becker raises an eyebrow at the new sculpture that quietly popped up in the lobby of downtown Chicago’s celebrated Inland Steel Building.

The 1957 SOM icon seems to have acquired a consortium of ice hunks, courtesy Frank Gehry. Ostensibly a formal counterpoint to the elegant energy of Richard Lippold’s Radiant I, the original lobby art, Gehry’s glass agglomeration (fabricated by the John Lewis Glass Studio of Oakland, California) frames Radiant I and responds to its angularity with carved blobs. It’s admittedly atypical in the setting of the modernist masterpiece, but doesn’t overpower the space or the original artwork.

Product > Finds from the Floor at NeoCon 2013

Midwest, Newsletter, Product
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Cliffy 6000 from SIXINCH.

Cliffy 6000 from SIXINCH.

Nearly 42,000 architects, interior designers, facilities planners, furniture dealers, and distributors converged on NeoCon, the A&D industry’s largest exhibition of office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional, and government design products. Held from June 10–12, the show included education components and keynote presentations from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president & CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. AN was present to cover a handful of educational seminars and sessions (see our live tweets from Ingels’s presentation on our Twitter feed), and we scoured the showrooms in search of 2013′s new product trends. Following are a few we saw at the show.

Check out AN’s top picks after the jump.

Q+A> Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMOMA Architecture & Design Curator

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Rendering of Snohetta's SFMOMA expansion currently under construction (left) and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher (right).

Rendering of Snohetta’s SFMOMA expansion currently under construction (left) and Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher (right).

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher was recently named the head of the department of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), filling a position vacated by Henry Urbach more than two years ago. Fletcher just completed a assessment of the museum’s architecture and design collection, and, most recently, she co-curated the exhibition Lebbeus Woods, Architect. She sat down with AN editors Nicole Anderson and Alan G. Brake to discuss her plans for the department.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What direction do you plan to take the architecture and design department?

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher: The collection just turned 25 and so I think it was important that my colleague Joseph Becker and I, along with Henry Urbach, really undertook a collection analysis and are trying to draw on the identity and strengths of the collection: the experimental and conceptual architecture, the iconic chairs that capture every 20th century design movement, and then the Bay Area collection.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Unveils Ten Proposals to Restore Waterfront Warehouses

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Team Six's Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Team Six’s Proposal for Empire Stores coffee warehouses (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Proposals galore! Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is moving full speed ahead with its plans to develop parcels of its 1.3-mile waterfront expanse. In September, the Park released a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to restore and makeover the crumbling Empire Stores warehouses into a lively mixed-use development consisting of office, commercial, and retail space, while also preserving the integrity of the massive historic structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> The Comprehensive New York Design Week 2013 Roundup

East, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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The Low Collection by 13&9 Design

The Low Collection by 13&9 Design.

New York’s inaugural design week, held from May 10 through 21, was a comprehensive, two-week celebration of all things design across Manhattan island, as well as parts of Brooklyn. Showcasing the latest from industry stalwarts to emerging and independent designers—local, domestic, and international—AN culled its top picks of New York Design Week products from the ICFF show floor, Wanted Design exhibitions, showroom launches, and all events in between. 

The Low Collection
13&9 Design
The multidisciplinary Austrian design studio debuted at Wanted Design with a collection of furniture, wearable fashion and accessories, a cinematic video, and a music album. With the Low Collection (pictured above), Corian is formed into several seating styles that combine with storage vessels, all at ground level. Suitable for outdoors, furniture heights can be modified to generate a unique landscape.

Continue reading after the jump.

Q+A> Michael Graves On His J.C. Penney Collection

National, Newsletter, Product
Monday, June 10, 2013
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Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

Michael Graves (left) and the toaster he designed for J.C. Penney (right).

At J.C. Penney’s recent rebranding launch party, AN spoke with architect and product designer Michael Graves about his new collection for the company and some career highlights. He even offers advice for aspiring architects and designers and talks about some current design work.

How did designing a collection for JCPenney come about?

I’ve known some of the people at Penney’s since my Target days, so when this opportunity came around we were looking for a way to slow down our commitment to Target at that time. When Penney’s offered what they did to us, we grabbed it in a second. It was such a good deal in terms of having a shop within a store.

For me, that’s the game changer. If we were close friends and you told me you had to do some shopping for a relative or something like that, I’d tell you to go to our shop in Penney’s. It’s all there and that’s what excites me.

Continue reading after the jump.

MIT Media Lab Enlists 6,500 Silkworms to 3D Print a Dome Pavilion

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

A new pavilion created by the Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s Media Lab explores the intersection between material technology, computation, and biological and digital fabrication on an architectural scale. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to create a 3D cocoon out of a single, 1 km thread, a team of researchers led by architect Neri Oxman created a fibrous, CNC-fabricated scaffold made from 26 polygonal panels and laid out in silk thread. They then let loose 6,500 silkworms onto the frame to fill in the gaps and reinforce the structure.

Watch the worms at work in a video after the jump.

French Architect’s Restaurant Designs Creates A Pixelated Green Facade

Newsletter, Other
Monday, June 3, 2013
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(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

Whoever said that one needs to leave the city to experience nature hasn’t seen French architect Stephane Malka’s striking facade proposal for the Parisian restaurant EP7, an unusual site that is sure to stand out in the urban setting of the city. Amidst a city of man-made concrete and glass structures could rise a building essentially comprised of an organically growing “forest.

Continue reading after the jump.

Six Outstanding Libraries Honored by the AIA and American Library Association

National, Newsletter
Monday, June 3, 2013
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South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

South Mountain Community Library. (Bill Timmerman / Mark Boisclair)

As cities across the country struggle to bring new life to aging athenaeums and cash-strapped local libraries, the AIA has honored six outstanding examples of library design in this year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. In the past we have seen a Walmart transformed into a library, a controversial starchitect renovation in New York, and an interactive, LED light-show—now take a look at these honored projects. From democratic design in the nation’s capital to a stunning Beaux-Arts restoration in St. Louis and high-tech solutions in North Carolina, this year’s winning projects present a range of answers to the challenges facing our fading repositories.

View the winners after the jump.

Four Firms Radically Re-Envision a New Penn Station and Madison Square Garden

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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SOM Reimagines Penn Station for MASNYC Design Challenge (Courtesy of SOM)

SOM Reimagines Penn Station for MASNYC Design Challenge (Courtesy of SOM)

When Madison Square Garden’s 50-year special permit expired last year, it launched a fiery debate over the future of the arena atop Penn Station.  Critics, urban planners, and government officials have called for a 10-year term limit to encourage the relocation of MSG allowing for an overhaul of the crowded station. Today the Municipal Art Society of New York unveiled four different visions for a re-imagined Penn Station and MSG from firms Diller Scofidio + Renfro, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, SHoP Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

Continue reading after the jump.

Registration Open> facades+ PERFORMANCE Coming to San Francisco this July

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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Banner_Image-Tempate_630x160_v2

Keynote Speaker, Ken Yeang's vision for a green skyscraper.

Keynote Speaker, Ken Yeang’s vision for a green skyscraper.

Whatever your plans may be for this summer, be sure to check out this year’s second facades+ PERFORMANCE conference, symposium, and workshops in San Francisco on July 11th-12th, hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper in collaboration with Enclos. Registration is now open!

Facades+ is an ongoing series of conferences that has traveled to cities across the nation, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Each year the event focuses on a new theme, this year we have selected Performance.

Continue reading after the jump.

Homerun for Fenway Center: First Phase of Boston Project Could Break Ground This Year

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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First phase rendering of Fenway Center in Boston. (Courtesy Meredith Management Corporation)

First phase rendering of Fenway Center in Boston. (Courtesy Meredith Management Corporation)

It was several years in the making, but plans for the massive $500 million Fenway Center project in Boston are finally coming to fruition. According to the Boston Globe the development would bring housing, office space, retail, parking, and a new commuter rail station to the neighborhood. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration sketched out a preliminary 99-year lease with John Rosenthal, President of Meredith Management Corp., which enables the developer to move forward with his plans for a sprawling 4.5-acre complex near the ballpark. Once the state board green lights the project, Rosenthal could break ground by the end of this year.

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