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“INAHO” lighting concept by Tangent. (Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono)
Have you ever found yourself thinking: “If only they had invented a/an—insert really clever device here—my life would be so much better?” For instance, a “clam kayak” that you could serenely float along in after a long week at work, or a “slide bridge” that offered the option to well, slide, rather then walk down a flight of stairs. It sounds too good to be true, but these inventive concepts were just two out of the twelve winning submissions of the first Lexus Design Award competition.
The Capitol Designer Studio in London’s Primrose Hill was recently outfitted with an electrified-looking array of porcelain tiles by architects Lily Jencks and Nathanael Dorent. The installation, called Pulsate, draws from images of Op Art and Gestalt psychology creating an almost dizzying effect, zigzagging from dark gray tiles to light gray tiles and back again. The result is a space where perspective is distorted and where benches are lost along walls.
Proposed facade for the Herald Center mall. (Courtesy Moed de Armas & Shannon)
Located at one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan—and probably the world—the outdated Herald Center has recently been slated for a $50 million facelift by Moed de Armas & Shannon architecture firm. Hailing from the 1980s, the tinted black windows on the first three floors will be replaced with sheer insulated glass, while the façade of the remaining floors is transformed to offer passersby an LED-lit view befitting the luminous Times Square a few blocks north.
Before there was the Kindle and the Sony Reader, there were paperback novels, newspapers, magazines, made of tangible materials, like paper and ink. One could ride the subway and sneak a glimpse into the mind of his fellow passengers without ever exchanging a word; the title printed on the cover of the book you were reading might reveal volumes about your interests and curiosities. With the invasion of e-books and e-readers, there is just no way to tell what people are reading these days. Designers Brian W. Bush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York changed that with their Filament Mind installation that debuted in late January at the grand opening of the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming.
The jurors of the Pritzker Architecture Prize have named Toyo Ito the 2013 laureate. Tokyo-based Ito has long been regarded as one of architecture’s most inventive minds, and he has produced a large and diverse body of work that pushes the limits of technology, materials, structure, and form. His buildings often express a joyful or poetic sensibility, and yet he seems to approach architecture anew with each project. This knack for reinvention and lack of a signature style accounts, perhaps, for the somewhat lower name recognition he has than some of his peers, all while he routinely creates spectacular and unexpected works of architecture.
Once again the courtyards at the USC School of Architecture are bubbling with installations as part of the second-year 2b studio, in which several teams of undergraduate students design and build structures in a very short period of time. Perhaps the most striking is the shimmering pavilion created by the 14-student class of professor Roland Wahlroos-Ritter. The studio focused on glass’ structural, reflective, and refractive qualities.
Guangzhou, China topped the “Gold Standard” list, with Latin American cities (Bogotá, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Guadalajara, and Medellin) monopolizing the rest of those rankings. Some North American cities made the “Bronze Standard” list: Los Angeles; Eugene, OR; Pittsburgh; Las Vegas; and Ottawa.
The Grove at Grand Bay by Bjarke Ingels Group. (Courtesy BIG)
After a tumultuous few years, Miami’s real estate market is on the rise once again. When the recession hit the city in 2007, new developments came to a dramatic halt and abandoned construction sites became ubiquitous. But now, a surge of new projects—running the gamut from residential and retail to hotels and cultural institutions—are cropping up around Miami with many more slated for construction in the next few years. And some heavy hitters, such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, and Bjarke Ingels, have signed up to lend their design sensibility to Miami’s changing landscape. The Miami Herald reported that the city now boasts 20 new condo towers with an additional five towers in the works for neighborhoods just north and south of downtown Miami. AN has compiled a list of the most significant projects taking shape in the Magic City.
Seattle is about to get a new public art installation on the walls of SAM, the Seattle Art Museum. The museum that created the nearby Olympic Sculpture Park—one of the best public art spaces in the country—has commissioned artist Doug Aitken to install a new reflective wall on the corner of their building at First Avenue and Union Street. Aitken calls the wall installation Mirror and it is meant to “reflect the energy and movement of the city.”
David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)
David van der Leer, an associate curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, has been appointed executive director of New York’s Van Alen Institute. He will take over in May. The Institute, which has existed for more than 100 years in various forms, is dedicated to improving the public realm through exhibitions, competitions, and programming initiatives in New York and beyond. Reached by email, van der Leer declined to elaborate on his plans for the Institute.
Houses in Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy. (Anique/Ma Neek/Flickr)
For property owners of Hurricane Sandy-ravaged buildings, the road to recovery just got easier. Starting on Monday, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will offer a new program that provides design consultations to property owners and design professionals who want to reconstruct their buildings. Department officials and technical experts will explain the building code and zoning requirements for properties in special flood hazard areas, as indicated on insurance rate maps or on updated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps.
According to the announcement from the DOB: “This program is designed to accelerate the approval process for these projects, assist homeowners with their decisions on reconstruction and better ensure that new flood recommendations and standards are incorporated into the design and construction of these affected buildings.”
The consultations will be held at the Department’s NYC Development Hub at 80 Centre Street in Manhattan. Property owners will sit down with officials and compile a list of recommendations to apply to the construction plans that they intend on submitting to the DOB.
Frank Gehry’s 22-story tower for Santa Monica. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)
OMA and Robert A.M. Stern are not the only starchitects zeroing in on Santa Monica. Frank Gehry is designing a 22-story, 244-foot-tall tower on a 1.9 acre site on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Plans for the project were submitted to the city yesterday, according to the Santa Monica Planning Department. The tower, located just a block from the beach and around the corner from the 3rd Street Promenade, would house a 125-room hotel, 22 condos, and two stories of retail and restaurants. A 36,000-square-foot art museum, incorporating two landmarked structures, would also be built just north of the tower.