U of C addition updates old seminary for modern economics department

Other
Thursday, December 13, 2012
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University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute (courtesy ann beha architects)

University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute (courtesy ann beha architects)

The University of Chicago’s ongoing development is a balancing act of preserving its collegiate gothic badge of architectural honor and making bold contemporary bounds ahead. One project that maintains that equilibrium with grace is Ann Beha Architect’s conversion of the University’s old Theological Seminary into a new economics building.

The area surrounding the site at 58th and University is on the preservation watch list, so the new steel-and-glass research pavilion along Woodlawn Avenue is likely to ruffle a few feathers. But most of the work treads lightly on the site. Glass infill will create a new entryway between the seminary building’s two main wings.

While historic facades remain throughout much of the building, designers hope a new staircase will improve vertical circulation. And a 90-seat classroom anchors an expansion below grade that improves access to existing space, drawing in light from openings to a new loggia above. Placed atop a terra cotta base, the modern addition jives tastefully with the former seminary.

World Trade Center Antenna Being Hoisted Into Place

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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Antenna segments lifted to the top of One World Trade. (Courtesy Governor Cuomo)

Antenna segments lifted to the top of One World Trade. (Courtesy Governor Cuomo)

After a 1,500-nautical-mile voyage from Canada, half of the World Trade Center‘s antenna has arrived in New York, and, this morning, the first segments were hoisted 104 stories—over 1,300 feet above the streets of Lower Manhattan—for installation. During AN’s site tour in September, the “roots” of the antenna were clearly visible, ready to accept the structure. Building this antenna is no small effort, either. Like the scale of everything at the World Trade site, the structure is gigantic, measuring in at 408-feet tall, higher than most skyscrapers in the rest of the country. Once finished, the antenna will bring the building’s overall height to 1,776 feet.

There remains some contention on how to describe the antenna structure—as simply an antenna or, more poetically, a spire—and despite what seems a semantic argument, the results could have tall repercussions. The Port Authority and the Durst Organization—both who use the term spire—opted to remove an architectural cladding designed by SOM and artist Kenneth Snelson from the antenna earlier this year, trimming millions from the building’s price tag. Without that sculptural finish, however, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the organization charged with ranking building heights, could opt to exclude the antenna from the overall building height, where an integrated spire would count. That would mean One World Trade won’t clock in as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, or even the tallest in New York City.

Read More

Unveiled> SOM’s Los Angeles Courthouse Is a Shimmering White Cube

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Last month AN reported that SOM had won the commission to design the new $400 million federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Today, designs for the new facility were unveiled (via our friends at LA Downtown News and Curbed LA), showing a cube-shaped structure with a porous white surface. So far only two renderings have hit the web, but SOM has promised to share more with us soon.

More information after the jump.

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Beantown Rising: Big Development On the Horizon In Boston

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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100 Pier 4 (Courtesy of ADD Inc)

100 Pier 4 (Courtesy of ADD Inc)

For Bostonians, cranes and scaffolding have become a common fixture in the city’s landscape. In recent years, there’s been a slew of new developments cropping up everywhere from Roxbury to Fenway, with the bulk of construction concentrated in South Boston’s waterfront, and more specifically in a sub-section that Mayor Thomas M. Menino has dubbed the “Innovation District.” AN has compiled a list of some of the most high profile projects happening in the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Views at Nouvel’s Tower Verre

Other
Monday, December 10, 2012
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(Courtesy Adamson Associates / Atelier Jean Nouvel)

(Courtesy Adamson Associates / Atelier Jean Nouvel)

Even after it was lopped off in 2009, Jean Nouvel’s Tower Verre, aka the MoMA Tower, still remains one of New York City’s tallest planned residential towers, sited adjacent to MoMA’s headquarters on West 53rd Street. After fights with the neighbors, Nouvel’s tower has been keeping a low profile, but Curbed (via NY YIMBY) has spotted a few new renderings of the tower at Adamson Associates Architects, the architects of record for the project. While the exterior changes are minor, fans of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s now empty American Folk Art Museum can breathe a sigh of relief, for now, as the small, bronze-clad structure remains standing in the rendered views. Also of interest are a couple new renderings of the building’s interior spaces.

More renderings after the jump.

Hudson Yards Breaks Ground as Manhattan’s Largest Mega-Development

East, Newsletter
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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The towers of Hudson Yards. (Courtesy Related)

The towers of Hudson Yards. (Courtesy Related)

Tuesday morning, New York’s top power brokers gathered in a muddy lot on Manhattan’s west side to mark the official groundbreaking of the 26-acre Hudson Yards mega-development. The dramatic addition to the New York skyline will comprise a completely new neighborhood of glass skyscrapers at the northern terminus of the High Line. The South Tower, the first structure to be built and the future headquarters of fashion-label Coach, will rise on the site’s southeast corner at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, where Related CEO Stephen Ross, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others celebrated the first turning of dirt as a large caisson machine bored into the ground.

Continue reading after the jump.

Obit> Oscar Niemeyer: 1907-2012

International, Newsletter
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Oscar Niemeyer at work in 1972. (Courtesy Oscar Niemeyer Foundation)

Oscar Niemeyer at work in 1972. (Courtesy Oscar Niemeyer Foundation)

Famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer died on Wednesday at the age of 104, just days before his 105th birthday. He had recently been hospitalized in Rio de Janeiro, fighting pneumonia and kidney failure. After nine decades designing, the architect couldn’t put aside his work and continued on projects during his hospitalization.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Six Architects & Designers Take Home $50,000 Prizes

National, Newsletter
Monday, December 3, 2012
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Today the United States Artists (USA), a national grant-making and advocacy organization, named fifty artists to receive the USA Fellowships, which includes six in design and architecture whose accomplishments, in everything from landscape architecture to digital technology, have distinguished them in their field. These fellows—hailing from New York, Los Angeles, and Arkansas—will receive unrestricted grants of $50,000 each. Among the winners are two architecture firms, a landscape architect, and an academic.

Details about the winners after the jump.

Metal Mesh Screens Passively Cool Equatorial New Guinea’s Sipopo Congress Center

Envelope, Hide
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
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SipopoCongressCenter

Sipopo Congress Center in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial New Guinea

By tracking the sun’s trajectory, Tabanlıoğlu Architects created a shading system to cool and camouflage a high traffic building in a tropical climate

In their overview of the Sipopo Congress Center that Tabanlıoğlu Architects built last summer in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial New Guinea, the Istanbul-based firm noted its importance as the first of what they predict will be a wave of “new innovative and prestigious buildings” constructed as a result of the country’s growing oil revenues and wealth of natural resources. Prescient though that may be, we noted its stunning facade, a staggered system of metal mesh screens designed to protect the building from the area’s intense heat and solar radiation. Not only do the screens deter direct sun while still allowing in a pleasant amount of sun-dappled light, the web-like pattern of the screens and their careful arrangement around the building act like camouflage, making it seam as if the Sipopo Congress Center is part of the landscape. Read More

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Days After Major Renovation, Sandy Shutters Statue of Liberty Indefinitely

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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The Statue of Liberty the day after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

The Statue of Liberty the day after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

In October, AN reported on new accessibility improvements at the Statue of Liberty, including installing a new HVAC system, improved ventilation, and a fire stair climbing through the 126-year-old statue. After remaining shuttered for a year during the improvements, Lady Liberty triumphantly reopened this fall.

Until Hurricane Sandy. The New York Times reports that the statue itself suffered no major damage during the storm (despite any fake Twitter photos you may have seen), but the grounds surrounding the “Mother of Exiles” suffered quite a bit of damage. Among the problems is damage to the large dock where ferries would unload visitors. Additionally, the promenade surrounding the island lost more than half of its brick pavers during the storm. There’s also some worry that the new mechanicals just installed might have suffered damage when the statue’s basement flooded. No timeline has been given as to when the monument will reopen.

Architects Build A Times Square Pavilion to Promote Dialogue for Veterans Day

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Matter's "Peace & Quiet" installation in Times Square. (Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Matter’s “Peace & Quiet” installation in Times Square. (Ka-Man Tse / Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Opening today for Veterans Day, a new pavilion designed by Brooklyn-based Matter Architecture Practice aims to bring a little Peace and Quiet to the hectic liveliness of Times Square. The new temporary pavilion, built yesterday and set to remain standing through November 16 is described as a “dialogue station” by its architects. “It is a tranquil place to meet, share stories, leave a note, shake hands, or meet a veteran in person,” Matter continues on its website. Times Square “seemed the ideal circumstance (or mad challenge) to initiate and inform a poignant exchange of ideas, to will intimacy in an instance of its opposite.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Massive New Development on the Brooklyn Waterfront Sparks Last Ditch Protest Effort

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Handel Architects' Design for Greenpoint Landing.

Handel Architects’ Design for Greenpoint Landing.

When it comes to waterfront development in New York City, there’s always a battle to be waged, and this time, it is over 22 acres near Newtown Creek in north Greenpoint, Brooklyn where developers, Park Tower Group, plan to break ground in the summer of 2013 to build Greenpoint Landing. Curbed reported on Election Day last week that someone circulated a flyer protesting the development’s ten 30-to-40-story luxury residential towers to be designed by Handel Architects. This protester’s main gripe is the scale and density of the project, which the flyers state is much larger than “most of the buildings average 5 stories” and doesn’t allow for much “green space.” But the plans for Greenpoint Landing are well on its way, and could include a pedestrian bridge by Santiago Calatrava.

More images after the jump.

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