Welcome to The Architect's Newspaper Blog! It looks like you're new here, so you may want to consider joining the discussion on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Stay up to date with the latest blog stories by subscribing to the AN Blog RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
Curbed LA's image, above, of what downtown LA would look like without the CRA (Dando Guerra)
Right now California’s doomed redevelopment agencies have one hope, and its name is SB 659, a bill proposed in the California legislature to postpone dissolution of the agencies until April 15. The bill will allow the agencies to “address serious issues resulting from the recent state court’s ruling,” as bill sponsor Sen. Alex Padilla puts it. Those issues range from paying off bond debts to orchestrating layoffs to transferring assets and responsibilities to successor agencies. Without the bill, most say there will be chaos.
Brooklyn's studio a+i winning entry: Infinite Forest.
Brooklyn’s studio a+i walked away with first place for their design, Infinite Forest, in a competition to envision an AIDS Memorial at Triangle Park in Manhattan’s West Village. The memorial is intended to sit on the site of a small garden and garage directly across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, considered by many to be ground zero of the AIDS epidemic. The announcement comes just one week after the plans for the former hospital site by Rudin Management were approved by City Planning. For the memorial, three walls would bind the park with mirrors on the interior and slate on the exterior. The mirrors would reflect a grove of white birch trees. Park entrances are at three corners of the triangle. The space between the mirror and slate walls also act as light wells and entrances for a museum intended to go beneath the park. There are no markers with names or dates for the 100,000-plus New Yorkers who died of AIDS; instead, visitors are encouraged to write on the slate walls with chalk, “creating an ever-changing mural which is refreshed with every rain.”
The Infinite Forest design team included Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel. The competition, which received more than 475 entries, was a collaboration between the Queer History Alliance, Architizer.com, and Architectural Record. View the plan after the jump
Novus International Inc. Headquarters receives three stars. (Courtesy of ASLA)
Landscape projects now have the option to shoot for the stars. Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) has announced the first three projects to be certified by what is to-date the most comprehensive system for rating the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of built landscapes. SITES is a collaborative effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the United States Botanic Garden designed to fulfill a critical need for sustainable guidelines in this environmentally sensitive field.
Seven young and creative architecture firms were named as recipients of AIANY’s New Practices New York awards for 2012. Now in its fourth iteration, the biennial award established in 2006 and sponsored by Hansgrohe ”honors firms that have utilized unique and innovative strategies, both for the projects they undertake and for the practices they have established.” This year’s New Practices honorees are SLO Architecture, Holler Architecture, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, Marc Fornes and the Very Many, Formless, The Living, and Christian Wassmann. Winners will be featured in an exhibition opening June 14 at the Center for Architecture, participation in the AIA national convention, and, of course, a free subscription to The Architect’s Newspaper (the competion’s media sponsor).
(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)
While the city has kept Walmart at bay—for now—banks and/or drugstores continue to consume two, three, and sometimes four or five consecutive storefronts in many parts of the city. The Upper West Side has been particularly hard hit because most of its side streets are residential. The neighborhood primarily relies on the north/south corridors of Broadway, Amsterdam, and Columbus for its shopping needs. After hearing citywide complaints about the problem, City Planning has begun to address the issue through the West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets Initiative.
Find out on February 17, when SKYLAR TIBBITS will lead Scripted Design, a workshop focused on exploring the potentials of RhinoScript, as part of DAY 2 of the upcoming COLLABORATION conference on fabrication and facades in NYC.
A trained architect, designer, and computer scientist, Tibbits’ research currently focuses on developing self-assembly technologies for large-scale structures in our physical environments. He was recently awarded a 2011 TED Fellowship, a 2012 TED Senior Fellowship, and was named a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine’s 2008 Design Issue.
Tibbits currently resides in Boston and is the founder and principal of a multidisciplinary research-based practice, SJET LLC, and an instructor for MIT’s Architecture Department. Previously, he has worked at a number of design offices including: Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture, SKIII Space Variations, and Point b Design. He has designed, collaborated, and built large-scale installations around the world and his work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum and the Beijing Biennale. He has lectured widely, including at MoMA and SEED Media Group’s MIND08 Conference.
Scripted Design, Tibbits’ COLLABORATION workshop, will provide an introduction to Python for Rhino. Topics covered will include: Running Scripts, Syntax, Data Types, Variables, Flow Control, Tuples/Lists/Dictionaries, Points/Vectors, Functions, Paneling and Recursion. The training will concentrate on IronPython within Rhino.
The workshop has a limited number of spots; register here!
Vernon Davis. (Montage with images by MCD and John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr)
Vernon Davis the San Francisco 49er tight end who caught a spectacular pass in the end zone in the final seconds of Saturday’s game with New Orleans is more than just a football player. Not only is he an avid curling fan and player (he was honorary captain of the Men’s U.S. Olympic Curling team for the for the U.S. team in the 2010 Olympics) but he is also an interior designer. Davis is the co-owner of MCD or Modern Class Design along with music industry executive Antone Barnes. MCD focuses on designing interior spaces for “athletes and other clients that are suited to the client’s taste, but still affordable.” He tells his athlete clients, “You don’t have to break your bank to live well and have style,” and “this moment won’t last forever, so plan for the future.”
Ken Kellogg's GG's Island restaurant before the fire. (Keith Daly / Flickr)
Southern California critic Alan Hess tells us more about Ken Kellogg’s GG’s Island Restaurant (formerly the Chart House), which was ravaged by fire on Tuesday morning. The extent of the damage and the potential for repair have not yet been determined.
Palm Springs may be best known for sleek steel and glass Modern architecture, but the 1978 Chart House by San Diego architect Ken Kellogg (one of a series he designed for the restaurant chain) makes it impossible to ignore the fact that Organic Modernism is just as much a part of the Coachella Valley heritage. Set along Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, Chart House’s low-slung, serpentine shape hugs the contours of a small, rocky butte.
Outside, it’s the image of protective desert shelter: the taut vaulted roof stretches down, like the fabric of an umbrella or the shell of a crab, almost to touch the landscape berms rising to meet it. Inside, however, the heavy timber columns, curving glu-lam roof ribs, and rubble stone walls wind their way through the restaurant like a well-designed forest. They create layers of space, naturally lighted by a skylight curving along the spine, with an appealing complexity. Kellogg’s fifty-five year career, including residences, churches, and commercial and institutional buildings, continues to show the vitality of organic design.
FXFOWLE'S SAP Americas Headquarters (David Sundberg/Esto)
They seem hesitant to call it a merger, but architecture biggies FXFOWLE and CO Architects announced today that they are joining forces in a “joint venture.” The New York and Los Angeles firms made the move, they said in a release, “In order to expand each firm’s geographic and expertise reach.” The companies will maintain their individual identities, with the exception of joint projects, under which they’ll be called CO/FXFOWLE.
CO Architects, it should be noted, is known for its institutional and healthcare work, while FXFOWLE’s portfolio, marked by its focus on sustainability, is a little more wide-ranging, from architecture to interior design to planning.
The move actually took place in December, and the firms are emphatic that both will remain on equal footing. The deal, said the announcement, “represents a genuine collaboration between the two firms in all project services, rather than the customary design architect/associate architect relationship.”