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!
The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering has announced three finalists in an international design competition for the $401 million Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. The three finalists—AECOM, HNTB, and Parsons Brinckerhoff—will be asked to design an “iconic” cable-stayed bridge across the LA River between the LA Arts District and Boyle Heights. The project is complicated by overhead high voltage lines, a change of alignment that will remove a kink in the roadway, and numerous right of way and jurisdiction issues near the river.
Just a couple months ago, a house by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd—the Moore House—was destroyed in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. AN called its loss the “archi-crime of the year,” but now developers in Phoenix, Arizona could one-up the razing with the demolition of an original Frank Lloyd Wright designed for another of his sons, David. The threatened David Wright House is a spiral-planned textile block masterpiece that predates the Guggenheim (the most famous Wright spiral), and an effort is underway to save the property.
Cincinnati, a city on the move, released a draft of its first master plan since 1980 in anticipation of approval by the planning commission August 30. The 222-page draft identifies five “initiative areas,” dubbed Compete, Connect, Live, Sustain, and Collaborate. Each contain tasks for growth over approximately ten years, according to the plan, although the document will receive annual budget reviews and will be officially updated every five years.
Next time you visit old town Pasadena you may be in for a suprise. When you slink down an alley off of Fair Oaks and Colorado, the next thing you see will be a four-story, 35-foot-tall skyscraper, sitting in the middle of a courtyard. It’s an installation by artist Chris Burden (yes, he’s the one that did the cool lights and all the matchbox cars at LACMA) called Small Skyscraper (Quasi Legal Skyscraper).
Burden collaborated with LA architects Taalman Koch on the open design, which conists of slabs of 2x4s supported by a thin aluminum frame. Burden started envisioning the project back in the 90s, but at that time the idea was for a solid structure made of concrete blocks. This one is lightweight and seems almost like an erector set. Presented by the Armory Center for the Arts, Small Skyscraper will be on display until November.
The way people experience color can be subjective, as preference for a particular color is a personal one. Artists, however, have evoked certain emotions such as pleasure or gloom by manipulating color in value and hue in their pieces. San Jose Museum of Art’s Local Color explores the effects of color through a range of works selected from their permanent collection, displaying over twenty artists who experimented with color. Viewers will be able to experience a myriad of emotions as they venture through this multihued exhibition which will include simple black and white pieces as well as saturated, colorful works. From the modest palette of blue, gray and black in the hypnotic painting Wheel by Barbara Takenaga to the luscious and bright colors featured in Bischoff’s photographs of Barbie dolls, the exhibition’s various pieces will allow visitors to recognize color itself as a medium in art.
Mobile from Architectones at the VDL (Joshua White)
Art’s power can be magnified by architecture. French artist Xavier Veilhan knew that well when he took over two of LA’s most famous houses last week: Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House 21. The installation at the VDL, called Architectones, consisted of VDL-inspired sculptures in the garden, the front yard, in most of the home’s rooms, on the rooftop, and even in the reflecting pool.
Nods to Neutra himself and to the modernist movement included a large steel profile of the architect, as well as an evocative mobile and models of rather menacing-looking boats, flags, rockets, and cars.
A couple of days later came the finale: a haunting performance installation at CSH 21 that transformed reflecting pools with black ink and made the transparent house opaque with dry ice-produced smoke.
Los Angeles is putting a new spin on an old technology, returning to one of the oldest forms of irrigation: the water wheel. Aqueducts have played a significant role in Los Angeles’ history, such as a waterwheel placed on the Zanja Madre—the Mother Ditch—in the 1860s that brought water from Rio Porciuncula to the Los Angeles River. As a dedication for the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a new waterwheel designed by Metabolic Studio‘s Lauren Bon, will be installed near the same site by November 5th, 2013. Bon, an Annenberg heiress, artist, and philanthropist, gained notoriety for her Not a Cornfieldinstallation that involved transforming 32 acres of brownfields into a fertile planting ground.
Wolf Point on the Chicago River. (Courtesy Pelli Clarke Pelli)
The biggest stir caused by the Kennedy’s newest proposal for developing Wolf Point was not obscuring the Merchandise Mart views or initial reactions to the renderings or the stuffing of three very tall towers on one impossibly small piece of land. It was more like, “There’s a living Kennedy with a stake in Chicago real estate?” We all know the family sold the Mart years ago. Fewer of us knew they held on to that little sandbar that sits in front of the the Sun-Times building.
Ready to boost the family fortune, the Kennedys with Hines, Cesar Pelli, and bKL plan to stuff three towers onto the site. Is this the architectural equivalent of a 10 lb. bag of sugar in a 5 lb. sack? Maybe, but development of that scale is also kind of exciting. And that leads to the biggest question. Can this economy support a residential and commercial project of this size? Well, Jean—that’s the last sibling standing, right, so the land must be hers—get out your good-faith checkbook: Google is coming. They’ve leased the top floors of the Mart, which will serve as the new headquarters of Motorola, which Google has acquired. That means thousands of high paying fancy Google jobs just across the street. With that news, Wolf Point is a done deal, no?
The crown of the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan. (dragonflyajt/Flickr)
New York City’s nouveau-tall skyscrapers, like the Christian de Portzamparc-designed One57 which recently topped out at 1,004 feet, have been wooing the world’s richest residential buyers with unimaginable amenities and floor-to-ceiling glass. But if you interested in an address that redefined tall—one hundred years ago—your options are more limited. Now, developers Alchemy Properties have acquired the top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan, the world’s tallest structure when it opened in 1913, with plans to build 40 super-luxury residential units in the sky.
Left Bank: Port de Solférino, Musée d’Orsay (Courtesy APUR/J.C. Choblet)
The “reconquest” of the Seine’s riverside expressways will be ushered in by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, following a long battle with Nicolas Sarkozy’s recently ousted right-wing government. Continuous two-lane motorways have severed Paris from the banks of the Seine, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, since Georges Pompidou opened them in 1967 under the slogan “Paris must adapt to the car.”
One World Trade as viewed from Spruce Street. (Courtesy Durst)
The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey released a handful of new interior and exterior renderings of a value-engineered version of original designs for One World Trade. Clearly the long-term maintenance argument won out over David Childs’ proposal for a sculpture-clad spire instead of a simple antenna. The resulting design seems far more efficient, if not aesthetically complete. Noticeably absent is Silverstein’s yet-to-be-leased towers Two and Three, which won’t rise until an anchor tenant is found. But neither collapsed cranes or a fire this morning will slow the tower from its relentless climb.