Frank Gehry Goes Contextual in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

National, Newsletter
Friday, July 13, 2012
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(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s development of contemporary, LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward—an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina and still far from recovered—has a new addition: Frank Gehry. Gehry’s new duplex on the site was completed this week. The surprisingly simple design (especially considering some of the expressive homes in the development) features a waterproof solar canopy, a roof terrace and six covered porches. Still one could argue that Gehry’s stilt-raised design, with its fiber cement siding (that looks like local clapboard siding), metal roofs and focus on outdoor space, is one of the most contextual of the bunch.

PROFILE> Kevin McClellan + Andrew Vrana Decode Parametric Facades, July 27

Newsletter, West
Friday, July 13, 2012
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Winning entry by Vlad Tenu by TEX-FAB's REPEAT competition.

Winning 2011 entry by Vlad Tenu by TEX-FAB's 2.0 and REPEAT competition.

Kevin McClelland and Andrew Vrana of TEX-FAB, the Texas-based fabrication think tank, are also pioneering members of the Digital Fabrication Alliancean international network of  digital fabricators, academics, architect, designers, and developers of hardware and software with a goal of sharing information and knowledge. The TEX-FAB partners bring their expertise into the classroom at Texas A&M, and also host the annual REPEAT conference and competition.

On July 27  McClellan and Vrana will delve into the making of such facades in “Parametric Facade Tectonics,” a special workshop that is part of AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco.

Continue reading after the jump.

Adaptive Reuse, Aisle 7: How An Empty Big Box Can Give Rise to Community

Midwest, Newsletter
Friday, July 13, 2012
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THE MCALLEN MAIN LIBRARY, ONCE A WALMART. (IMAGE COURTESY MEYER SCHERER & ROCKCASTLE)

THE MCALLEN MAIN LIBRARY, ONCE A WALMART. (IMAGE COURTESY MEYER SCHERER & ROCKCASTLE)

An average Walmart tops 100,000 square feet. With more than 600 stores nationwide, the company has a mighty footprint. And when a store goes under, it can be somewhat of a crater in the local real estate market.

One Walmart in McAllen, Texas—about 15 miles from the Mexican border—got a major facelift from Minneapolis-based Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, who also have an office in Marysville, Md. They won an ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award for their work converting the defunct big box store into a library.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York CityVision 2012 Competition Results Announced

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Second Prize: E. Pieraccioli – C. Granato (Courtesy CityVision)

Second Prize: E. Pieraccioli – C. Granato (Courtesy CityVision)

The New York CityVision competition posed the question: “If the future is gone, what past is expecting us?” Sponsored by Rome-based architecture journal and laboratory CityVision, the competition aimed to find links between our past, present, and future cities. The winners of the 2012 competition speculated on possible futures for New York while commenting on the effects of today’s development with a mix of humor, anxiety, and a bit of eccentricity.

Check out the winners after the jump.

Form. Function. Gloves.

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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Courtesy Renee Verhoeven

For her graduation project at Dutch art and design school ArtEZ, Renee Verhoeven explored the relationship between function and materialization with Concealed Layers of Product Life. Anatomy, movement, and utility are translated through fabrication in a collection of gloves that attempt to tackle one of the fundamental projects of Modern design and architecture. As Verhoeven explained in a statement, “It was an idea I nurtured for a long time: making the outer layers of a product expressive for its interior, the way it functions and the scientific knowledge that it materializes.”

Continue reading after the jump.

James Turrell Captures a Slice of the Vast Texas Sky with Twilight Epiphany Pavilion

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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(Courtesy Rice University)

(Courtesy Rice University)

For many, work by American artist James Turrell is instantly recognizable. Using light and basic geometric forms as the material of his compositions, Turrell subtly alters space and perception for visitors, creating weight and depth through visual experience that evokes meditation and contemplation.

Turrell’s work is at its height when gazing skyward. Multiple iterations of his Skyspace series have appeared around the world framing a dramatic slice of the heavens in his pristine geometry. The work is, essentially, a skylight: an opening above a room or pavilion for viewing the sky above, but to reduce the work to its function would disregard the transformative power of a simple yet moving experience. In each installation, a confined aperture begins to decontextualize the sky, featuring the color and texture of what is seen as an element of the art.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> New Practices New York 2012 Exhibition and Lecture Series Gets Underway

East Coast, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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Abruzzo Bodziak's window installation at the Center for Architecture. (Branden Klayko / AN)

Abruzzo Bodziak's window installation at the Center for Architecture. (Branden Klayko / AN)

2012 New Practices New York
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Through September 8

When Joe Aliotta took over chapter presidency for AIANY in January he said he wanted to bring fresh faces to the profession. New Practices New York (NPNY) and the Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) competitions became the cornerstone of his Future Now theme for 2012. New Practices opened on June 14 and ENYA’s Harlem Edge show is opening on July 12 at the Center for Architecture. The NPNY competition was open to multidisciplinary firms undergoing the process of licensing. This year’s brought seven firms to the winner’s circle: ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS,  Christian Wassmann, formlessfinder, HOLLER architecture, The Living, MARC FORNES & THEVERYMANY, and SLO Architecture.

View the winner’s work after the jump.

Álvaro Siza Wins The Golden Lion

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
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Álvaro Siza Vieira to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement . (Courtesy Álvaro Siza office)

Álvaro Siza Vieira to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement . (Courtesy Álvaro Siza office)

Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The announcement was made today by Biennale board director Paolo Baratta and director David Chipperfield, who noted Siza’s authority on designing with bold forms, shaping light, and creating reflective compositions. “Secured by his isolated location, he exudes worldly wisdom. Experimenting with forms of extreme geometry he manages to produce buildings of great rigor. Developing an architectural language that is uniquely his, he seems to speak to all of us. While his work exudes the security of judgment, it is clearly intensified through cautious reflection. While we are dazzled by the lightness of his buildings, we feel the seriousness of their substance,” Baratta and Chipperfield said in a statement.

View a gallery of Siza’s work after the jump.

On View> Unseen City: Designs for a Future Chicago

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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Clean Tower by Kyle Bigart & Peter Binggeser.

Clean Tower by Kyle Bigart & Peter Binggeser.

There were about as many ideas for development on Chicago’s high-profile real estate at Wolf Point as there are Chicagoans. One you didn’t hear about during Alderman Brendan Reilly’s initial public meeting was The Clean Tower—a supertall that would return filtered wastewater to the Chicago River beneath its slanted profile.

The Clean Tower wasn’t actually on the table for Wolf Point, but it does occupy real estate on the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s model of downtown. That’s because it’s part of Unseen City: Designs for a Future Chicago, an exhibition of imaginative projects from Illinois Institute of Technology’s “Hi-Rise, Lo-Carb” studio.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers 2012: No Precedent

East, Newsletter
Thursday, June 21, 2012
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MMX Studio's temporary pavilion for the Fashion Night Out exhibition, Mexico City. (Courtesy MMX Studio)

MMX Studio's temporary pavilion for the Fashion Night Out exhibition, Mexico City. (Courtesy MMX Studio)

Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers 2012: No Precedent
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue
June 21–August 3

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the Architectural League Prize for Young Designers and Architects. Each year, up and coming talent, defined as less than ten years out of school, is recognized for excellent and inspiring work. This year’s theme was No Precedent, and reflects the committee’s perception of young architects’ careers as “suggestive, speculative, and on the brink,” according to a statement. The exhibition includes Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio, Emmanuel Ramirez, and Diego Ricalde, MMX Studio, Mexico City; Jimenez Lai, Bureau Spectacular, Chicago; Sean Lally, WEATHERS/Sean Lally (above), Chicago; Seung Teak Lee and Mi Jung Lim, STPMJ, Brooklyn; Michael Szivos, SOFTlab, New York; Koji Tsutsui, Koji Tsutsui & Associates, San Francisco and Tokyo.

The World’s Best Tall Buildings Combine Curves and Sustainability

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

On June 13th the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced their choices for this years best tall buildings in the world. The CTBUH, an international not-for-profit association, picked four regional winners, including the Absolute Towers in Mississuaga, Canada for the Americas; 1 Blight Street, Sydney for Asia and Australia; Palzzo Lombardia, Milan, representing Europe; and Doha Tower, Doha, Qatar for the Middle East and Africa. These four buildings were recognized for making “an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for achieving sustainably at the broadest level,” according to a statement from the CTBUH. Additionally, the Al Bahar tower in Abu Dhabi won the first ever Innovation Award for its high-tech computerized sunshade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> SOM and Cavagnero Take San Francisco’s Moscone Center Expansion

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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(Courtesy Moscone Center)

(Courtesy Moscone Center)

Here’s one thing we know: No matter how gigantic convention centers and airports grow, they’re never big enough. Now we’ve heard through the grapevine that San Francisco will be the latest to loosen its belt a couple notches with the help of SOM and Mark Cavagnero Associates. The city is jumping on the expansion bandwagon with the addition of 200,000 to 450,000 square feet to the Moscone Convention Center in the South of Market neighborhood. The original center opened in 1981 and its first expansion, Moscone West, followed in 2003.

More after the jump.

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