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Looking down Lafayette at Adjmi's designs for the southwest corner of Great Jones Street. (Courtesy Morris Adjmi Architects)
Morris Adjmi seems to be on something of an inversion kick as of late. His design proposal for a building on Walker Street, which was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in June, used an inverted bas relief effect that made the concrete facade seem as though a cast iron building was pressed into a large piece of clay. The new proposal for the southwest corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Street uses a similar technique, but in aluminum sections. But at a public hearing on Tuesday LPC put the breaks on the Lafayette proposal, saying the architect needed more depth and detail. “In general, they asked for the addition of more variety, depth and articulation of the facade, particularly the long facade,” Landmarks spokesperson Elisabeth de Bourbon wrote in an email.
After Apple unveiled its plans for a spaceship-like new headquarters by (we think) Norman Foster at a recent Cupertino city council meeting, it appears that their chief rival Google is now looking, as usual, to outdo the Apple-ites. We hear from our sources that edgy—and super green—German architect Christoph Ingenhoven is set to design the Google HQ addition, supplementing the massive GooglePlex in Mountainview (which already contains more than 65 buildings).
According to the San Jose Mercury Newsthe company has already leased an additional 9.4 acres from Mountain View at a price of $30 million and is planning to build the new office space there, accommodating new recruits, among others. Perhaps the offices will do a better job of engaging their Silicon Valley environs? Stay tuned. Or just keep Googling it. And check out some Ingenhoven designs below:
Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania crushing a car in the bike lane. (Video still)
A few days ago on July 30, Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, became fed up with cars illegally parked in the city’s bike lanes. To prove his point, he ordered in a tank and proceeded to crush a Mercedes-Benz stopped not only in a bike lane but partially in a crosswalk. The mayor then takes all scofflaw motorists to task, declaring, “That’s what will happen if you park your car illegally!” Perhaps, best of all, the Zuokas swept the broken glass from the bike lane and hopped on an electric bike and rode off into the horizon. Can you imagine such a thing happening in America? (Via Urban Velo.)
Architects Taalman Koch reimagine LA's Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant as a recreation area and animal habitat.
Los Angeles is a shifty creature, ever-changing and re-inventing itself. As memories of the perfect weekend (aka Carmageddon) fade into memory, a collaboration of creative professionals is looking to re-focus our collective consciousness on Los Angeles’ past, present, and what it might look like in fifty years. Opening this Thursday at the A+D Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, Rethink/LA’s Perspectives on a Future City captures the voices of local Angelenos—writers, city planners, policymakers, and artists—through sound installations, collages, and videos.
Museum Plaza would have extended Louisville's skyline. (Courtesy REX)
The first line of a press statement sent out by developers of the REX-designed Museum Plaza tower in Louisville, Kentucky put it bluntly: “Museum Plaza will not be built.” The 62-story hyper-rational tower—part kunsthalle museum, part residential and commercial hub, part art school—was hoped to signal the rejuvenation of the city’s urban core, but like so many iconic buildings proposed in the days leading up to the great recession, the vision succumbed to the realities of the financial markets.
Rendering of Woods & Kumpusch's Light Pavilion. (Courtesy MAK)
Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods and Christoph A. Kumpusch: Construction Drawings & In-Process Photographs at the Mackey Garage Top MAK Center at the Schindler House
835 North Kings Road
Through August 6
The Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods and Christoph A. Kumpusch was created for Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block project now under construction in Chengdu, China, and will be Lebbeus Woods’ first built work of architecture. A physical intervention into Holl’s rectilinear structure, the pavilion consists of a series of columns and stairs that are illuminated from with and change color, and the luminous effect will be amplified by the pavilion’s mirrored interior walls. The MAK exhibition includes construction drawings and process photographs of the installation, as well as conceptual renderings of this project, above, and other work of Woods and Kumpusch.
Petrova Gora, the sculptural memorial to the partisan victims of World War II in Croatia, is being dismantled as we speak.
As reported on the AN Blog last year, the memorial was already abandoned and in disrepair, but new photographs taken on July 24th show that Petrova Gora has largely been stripped of its metallic skin. It is not clear yet who ordered or approved such dismantling of the memorial. Nor is it known to what extent or to what purpose this is being done.
When folks wait in line for the Adler Planetarium’s rehabbed space theater, they won’t be staring at a bland hallway. The new Clark Family Welcome Gallery, designed by Thomas Roszak Architecture, corrals the queue at the theater’s entrance. The goal for its design: “We wanted people to stop thinking about driving and parking, and start thinking about the mysteries of the universe,” says Adler president Paul Knappenberger. Read More
Pruitt-Igoe as planned. (all images courtesy Pruitt-Igoe Now)
Building on the renewed interest in the destruction of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis, a new competition looks to engage the history and inspire possible future uses for the 33 acre site. Nearly 40 years after the demolition–which Charles Jencks claimed signaled the death of Modern architecture itself–most of the site remains cleared, filled in with trees and grasses that have sprung up over time. Organized by the newly formed non-profit Pruitt-Igoe Now, the competition brief asks, “Can this site itself be liberated from a turbulent and mythologized past through re-imagination and community engagement?” Read More
As we recently predicted, the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities yesterday filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court over the recent passage of bills to eliminate, or at least “ransom” its more than 400 redevelopment agencies. AB 1X 26 eliminates redevelopment agencies while AB 1X 27 allows agencies to exist if they agree to pay their share of $1.7 billion this year and $400 million annually. Read More
The Port Authority's MediaMesh billboard is up and running. (Courtesy GKD-USA)
As AN reported back in early May, the Port Authority Bus Terminal was set to get a Bright Light makeover. Well, the Authority flicked on the switch of its GKD MediaMesh display this month, and as an enticement to advertisers A2a MEDIA, an advertising agency specializing in digital displays, created a promotional video using some of their established clients’ advertising. It’s a snazzy little number that doesn’t necessarily interest us for its ad content, but rather for the intriguing alternating opacity and transparency of the screen. (There are some pretty cool moments in the video below where the giant Xs of the Port Authority facade shows through the lights.) While the advertising applications are obvious, there’s definitely some untapped potential for public art/architecture, as we saw at play in California State University’s Madden Library.
Studio Gang's design for a 30-story tower in Lexington, Kentucky (Courtesy Studio Gang)
Developer Dudley Webb of the Webb Companies didn’t make any friends when his company razed an entire block of Downtown Lexington, Kentucky for a massive mixed-use tower that ended up stalling in the recession. Now, though, after bringing on Chicago-based Studio Gang to help reimagine the project at the behest of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design Michael Speaks, the community is regaining excitement over new plans to revamp the CentrePointe site.