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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.
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.
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.
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.
After creating their 2011 and 2012 graduation pavilions for SCI-Arc, Oyler Wu has once again produced a striking structure LA-based school, this time on the occasion of their 4oth anniversary. Dubbed the Storm Cloud pavilion, the structure salvages the existing steel from the 2011 Netscape, which served as the school’s graduation pavilion two years ago. Looking at Storm Cloud, one can hardly tell it shares much of the bones that made up the older pavilion.
Rendering of James Turrell’s Aten Reign at Guggenheim Museum. (Courtesy Andreas Tjeldflaat)
Beginning June 21, visitors of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will get the unusual opportunity to experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic rotunda like never before. American artist James Turrell is transforming the legendary space with his favorite medium: light. As visitors navigate the spiraling gallery they may feel disoriented. With each step, their perception of the illuminated space will change dramatically, as colorful influxes of artificial and natural light dynamically shift around the rotunda. Throughout this site-specific work, titled Aten Reign, Turrell offers visitors a subjective viewing experience. Each observer will see his or her own vision of the space depending on the location in which they stand, as well as the way in which fluctuating shadows and illuminations highlight their surroundings. Four of Turrell’s other works will accompany the core light installation.
The Biodiversity Nest, part of the new Rainforest Canopy Walkway project, will sit between two 52-foot-tall bridges in the Eden Project’s Humid Tropics Biome. The timber enclosure will provide a shady education space perched in the tree canopy.
Studio Gang Architects won in the architecture category. This is their design for a Lincoln Park Zoo pavilion in Chicago. (Steve Hall / Courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)
Acting director Caroline Baumann of The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has announced the winners of the 2013 National Design Awards. The 14th annual Awards program continues the practice of acknowledging excellence and innovation across an array of disciplines. This year’s winners will be recognized during a gala dinner on Thursday, October 17 at New York’s Pier 60 in conjunction with National Design Week, where they will be presented with trophies created by The Corning Museum of Glass.
Citi Bikes in docking station (Planetgordon.com/Flickr)
The big biking news this week is that the first phase of New York City’s Citi Bike bike share system will finally launch on May 27th to program members (and to everyone else the next week), and New Yorkers’ enthusiasm (and a little controversy) is mounting. Some New Yorkers, over 8,000 according to Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Kahn (with more than 4,000 of them in the first 24 hours), could not wait to start pedaling and have already signed up for annual memberships. Meanwhile, malcontents from across the City have spoken up in attempts to stop Citi Bike from rolling onto their blocks.
The proposed plan for the Seattle Aquarium expansion. (Courtesy Mithun / Seattle Aquarium)
In its over 30 years resting on Pier 59, the Seattle Aquarium has undergone a series of complex renovations, including the restoration of the original 1905 pier (while staying open), and the addition of a 120,000-gallon marine life viewing tank that helps visitors feel like they are immersed in an octopus’ garden in the shade.