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!
Rendering of Zaha Hadid’s Pleated Shell Structures installation at SCI-Arc. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid)
Prepare yourselves Angelenos: Zaha is coming to town. Her installation Pleated Shell Structures will be on display at the SCI-Arc gallery beginning October 12. The installation’s details are still limited, but it appears that it will further push Hadid’s and partner Patrik Schumacher’s legendary experimentation with parametric design, giving smooth forms a more tactile, imbedded surface. So if parametric design is 3D, could this be 4D? Which dimension are we in now, anyway?
Goettsch Partners designed the Al Hilal bank flagship office tower for a new business district planned in Abu Dhabi. (Courtesy Goettsch Partners)
Abu Dhabi’s dizzying building boom slowed down somewhat after the 2008 financial collapse dried up the liquidity that inspires big projects. The damage appears not to have been permanent, however, as the UAE capital will forge ahead with a 24-story speculative office tower—part of a new central business district on Al Maryah Island.
Cathedral of Brasilia. (Vicente de Paulo/Courtesy Paddle 8)
Grab your 3D glasses, the artists at Visionaire, an art and fashion publisher, have added dramatic new depth to architectural photography. The work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who brought Modern design to Sao Paolo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro, has now been optimized for viewing through stereoscope lenses. Just as Niemeyer innovated architectural design, making soft, delicate curves out of his concrete buildings, the international team of artists at Visionaire are advancing stereoscopic design and traditional ways of viewing cities, neatly packaging 3D scenes of modern Brazil against Niemeyer’s landscape into lenticular cases featuring the art of Fernando and Humberto Campana and Beatriz Milhazes on its exterior.
A rendering of the stair atrium, shows region where the teaching wing meets the research wing.
Next month Lehman College CUNY will dedicate its $70 million Science Hall designed by Perkins+Will. The new Bronx facility will abut Gillet Hall, one of the campus’ depression-era gothic buildings, while sparring with Raphael Viñoly’s massive metallic wave-like gymnasium called the Apex. “We tried an elegant yet simple form that enhances the sculptural quality of the Viñoly building, so as not to try to compete against it, but to act as a foil,” said Robert Goodwin, design director at Perkins+Will. “And we maintained a strong relationship to Gillet Hall.”
Imagine taking the fundamental unit of digital imaging—the pixel—and making it a dynamic part of physical reality. This is precisely what Seoul-based media arts group Jonpasang accomplished at the 2012 Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition. Comprised of what at first appear to be three blank white walls, Jonpasang’s Hyper-Matrix installation quickly comes to life as thousands of individual cubic units forming a field of pixels begin to move, pulsate, and form dynamic images across the room.
(Courtesy Guggenheim / Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)
A Long-Awaited Tribute: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
Through February 13, 2013
In the years just before Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum forever altered the face Fifth Avenue, the directors of the museum went on a charm offensive. In 1953, they presented the exhibition Sixty Years of Living Architecture: The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The show introduced Wright’s Usonian House to New Yorkers by building the Prairie-style home on the construction site of where the architect’s tour de force museum would soon rise. Now through February 13 the museum presents a scaled-down version of the exhibition, which originally included the Usonian and a dramatic Wright-designed pavilion holding models, drawings, and watercolors by the master. This exhibition, A Long-Awaited Tribute: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion, celebrates the two structures that won over a somewhat skeptical New York audience to the work of America’s modern master.
Big-time sports architect Dan Meis, who has designed, among other projects, LA’s Staples Center and Seattle’s Safeco Field, is on the move yet again. In the span of just a few years he has shuffled from his own practice to Aedas, then back to his own firm to Populous, to his own firm again, and now he is joining Australian firm Woods Bagot Sport to become its global director. Exciting opportunties? Commitment issues? “I’m not crazy about having been with a couple of different firms in a short time period,” admitted Meis. But he sees it differently: “For me it feels like I’ve been in the same practice all along. It just feels like I’ve been associated with a lot of firms.”
Though the ten-year-old design firm Roman and Williams has worked on high profile projects for NYC’s Ace Hotel and the Breslin restaurant, The Standard Hotel and its “iconic” Boom Boom Room, the new food hall for Facebook’s campus, celebrity homes for Ben Stiller and Gwyneth Paltrow as well as their own two homes/design laboratories, founders Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch have never launched a product line of their own. For their very first collection they collaborated with Waterworks on R.W. Atlas, a series of industrial yet elegant bathroom fixtures inspired by traditional American craftsmanship.
A marble slab tops the Metal Two Leg Single Washstand (below), an Unlacquered Brass stunner that speaks to the collection’s overall masculine/feminine power play. “R.W. Atlas is part of our ongoing interest in embracing the idea of American utility, but imbuing that with a sense of glamour and sophistication,” explains Standefer, principal of Roman and Williams. Like the rest of the collection, its primary components are made from brass and are available in a variety of finishes, including Burnished Nickel and Carbon. Read More
Retail will wrap around the proposed tower’s base at Second and Race Street (Courtesy Peter Gluck and Partners).
Last week Philadelphia’s new zoning code went into effect, but projects nurtured under the old code may still be rising. Just yesterday, architect Peter Gluck presented a tower proposal to the Old City Civic Association for a 16-story building adjacent to the Ben Franklin Bridge. Because the zoning permits were filed last month the building is subject to old code.
Gluck’s presentation of 205 Race Street soured when new renderings revealed that an early proposal by SHoP Architects, initially approved at a 100-foot height, had morphed into a 197-foot tower that sets back from Race Street, PlanPhilly reported. The group voted 11 to 1 to oppose the project.
With Hudson River Park languishing, Douglas Durst is weighing in on dilemmas at Pier 40 (at left). (Stoelker/AN)
As AN recently reported, Hudson River Park is still in the weeds, both literally and figuratively. Now Douglas Durst is pointing to a possible solution to the beleaguered Pier 40. The pier was once one of the few money making sources for the self-sustaining park, but it is now deteriorating and costing $2 million a year to maintain. Durst, chair of the park’s friends group, toldThe New York Post that the park should consider stacking up the existing parking to free up valuable space and in turn rent the pier as lofts to the area’s expanding tech sector. The notion could avoid a lengthy State Legislature battle and an uphill ULURP processes for the proposed hotel/residential complex.
This streamlined Scandinavian stunner is not your granddaddy’s rocking chair.
We have lounges, chaises, day beds and a range of other seating options designed for nesting, curling up, reclining and relaxing, yet the rocking chair, that front porch symbol of lazy day languor, has been mostly forgotten by modern design. In fact, Design House Stockholm, the self-described publishing house for contemporary Scandinavian design, noted that “at some time in the 20th century the design development of the rocking chair stopped” altogether. With that in mind, Stockholm-based furniture designer Fredrik Färg created Rock Chair, a rocking chair that “continues the traditional rocking chair’s comforting function but in a modern design.”