Eavesdrop> Grimshaw and Gruen Take Union Station

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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Grimshaw and Gruen's vision plan for Union Station. (Courtesy Grimshaw/Gruen)

Grimshaw and Gruen's vision plan for Union Station. (Courtesy Grimshaw/Gruen)

This is big: Our sources divulge that UK firm Grimshaw and LA-based Gruen Associates have won the commission to master plan the six million square feet of entitlements at Union Station in Los Angeles. A formal announcement is expected this coming Monday on Metro’s web site (our leak is unconfirmed), with the Metro board approving the firms after that.  Grimshaw has made a name for itself designing infrastructure and transit stations around the world, including Lower Manhattan’s upcoming Fulton Street Transit Center and London’s Waterloo Station. Gruen recently completed design on phase one of the Expo Line and has served as executive architect on several recent projects, including the Pacific Design Center. The site around Union Station encompasses about 38 acres and is anticipated to become a transit and commercial hub for the city. It will likely include offices, residences, retail, entertainment, parks and a potential high speed rail station.

SCI-Arc Receives $400,000 Placemaking Grant

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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(Courtesy waltarrrrr/Flickr)

SCI-Arc's Los Angeles headquarters. (Courtesy waltarrrrr/Flickr)

SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, will be extending its reach into the community with the creation of three public venues made possible by a $400,000 grant awarded by ArtPlace. The grant, funded by private foundations and public agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, seeks to encourage creative and locally focused placemaking; $15.4 million in grant funds is allocated to 47 projects located across the country. SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss wrote in a statement, “If architecture, as SCI-Arc has always proclaimed, speaks by building, the ArtPlace contribution affords us two special construction moments to ratify what we preach.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Spatial Ops’ Optical Architecture Engages with Disorientation

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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(Courtesy Spatial Ops)

(Courtesy Spatial Ops)

Occupying a room in the abandoned Federal Screw Works factory in Chelsea, Michigan, General Manifold is an immersive environment that aims to disorient as well as engage. The installation is set in an 80,000 square foot factory, founded in 1913, that once employed 250 people. When it was shuttered in 2005, only 37 remained. Spatial Ops, with students from their Meta Friche seminar at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, engage the factory’s history, showcasing the ruin and rendering its inverse. Their insertion is an attempt to cultivate enthusiasm for the ruin and to gain support for its transformation, the first step in a forthcoming master plan for Chelsea Common. Read More

PROFILE> Bill Kreysler Explores Composite Facades with Joshua Zabel

Fabrikator, Newsletter, West
Thursday, June 7, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Bill Kreysler of Kreysler and Associates. (Photo Jorgen Gulliksen)

Bill Kreysler of Kreysler and Associates. (Photo Jorgen Gulliksen)

Composite materials, a.k.a. “composites,” are the result of the two different materials being combined but remaining physically and chemically distinct. For over 40 years Bill Kreysler, founder of the Napa County-based Kreysler Associates, has been leading developments in molding and application of composites for architectural use. On July 27 Kreysler and his associate Joshua Zabel will lead a special workshop on how composites are used in facades today as part of the AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco.

After getting his start in manufacturing sailboats, Kreysler founded his own firm in 1982 and brought his knowledge of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) to bear on  architectural and industrial products as well as large scale sculpture (his workshop boasts three CNC-milling machines). Currently chair of the committee to write Guide Specifications and Recommended Practice for FRP Architectural Products and a founding member of the newly formed Digital Fabrication Alliance, Kreysler is also co-author of Composites, Surfaces, and Software High Performance Architecture with Greg Lynn.

Through lectures and a rare opportunity for hands-on learning, the upcoming July 27 workshop will provide participants with both the creative and technical knowledge to design and prototype composite based building components. Participants will also be eligible to compete in a limited competition to have a small component fabricated full-scale by Kreysler & Associates to be exhibited at ACADIA 2012, a conference on computer-aided design. To register for the Collaboration conference, click here.

 

CB4 Votes Conditional No for Chelsea Market Expansion

East, Newsletter
Thursday, June 7, 2012
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Before and after images of Chelsea Market latest expansion proposal.

Before and after images of Chelsea Market latest expansion proposal. (Courtesy Jamestown)

Last night Community Board 4  voted not to support  Jamestown Properties proposal to add 330,000 feet to the Chelsea Market building. The design morphed significantly from the initial multi-volume glass box approach introduced in 2010, to a steel-trussed cantilever form fronting Tenth Avenue shown late last year, to its current terracotta clad contextual approach. Throughout, Studios Architecture principal David Burns has presented plans before a resistant community who cherish the market and are suddenly overrun with High Line tourists. Read More

With Few Changes City Planning Passes NYU Expansion

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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Mature trees on the DOT strips will be preserved. (Courtesy NYU)

Mature trees on the DOT strips will be preserved. (Courtesy NYU)

In a 12 to 1 vote this morning, City Planning approved NYU’s Core expansion plans for two superblocks in Greenwich Village designed by Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori and Michael Van Valkenburg. In slow and deliberative pace, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden read from a prepared text that included several aesthetic and few programmatic changes to the proposed plan. The new plan will reduced the size of the overall project from 2.47 million square feet to 2.1 million.

Read More

Gage/Clemenceau Goes Gaga with Nicola Formichetti in Hong Kong

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
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Courtesy Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Courtesy Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Nicola Formichetti, best known as fashion and creative director and collaborator for brands including Mugler, Uniqlo, and Lady Gaga, has teamed up with Gage/Clemenceau for the second in a series of concept stores. The collaboration was brought about by BOFFO Building Fashion 2012, a program that paired fashion designers with architects in a series of pop-up spaces. The first installation, in New York, featured a mirror-paneled ceiling and walls in kaleidoscopic crystalline formations, an ambitious and visually arresting space to showcase Formichetti’s work. The new collaboration in Hong Kong houses a collection of original garments from the personal collection of Lady Gaga as well as Formichetti’s own line and products from his new “Nicopanda” brand.

Continue reading after the jump.

Strange Sentence for Phonehenge Creator

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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(Flickr user RuggyBearLA)

(Flickr user RuggyBearLA)

For those of you that don’t know “Phonehenge,” it was one of California’s classic DIY creations (right up there with the Watts Towers and Salvation Mountain), created by former phone company repairman Kim Fahey out of old telephone poles in the Mojave Desert. Unfortunately the structure, in Acton, CA, was demolished last year because of code violations, and according to the Washington Post a judge recently sentenced Fahey to pay the $83,488 it cost to demolish it.

In an even stranger demand, the court sentenced Fahey to 63 days of community service, five of them in the county morgue. “The judge thought it was an extreme fire danger and I guess she just wanted him to see dead people,” defense attorney Jerry Lennon told the Post. But there’s a silver lining. A group called Save Phonehenge West is raising donations both to pay for Fahey’s legal bills and to rebuild Phonehenge in Kern County, to the north.

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Chicago Loop Alliance to Coat Sidewalks, Streets, & Buildings with Color

Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

From May 29th through June 4th, sheets of vinyl will be layered over the intersection of State and Adams streets in Chicago’s Loop in a site specific installation entitled Color Jam. The public installation, commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance through their Art Loop public art program, is the work of multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder. The exhibit will be an ongoing piece of public art, covering sidewalks, buildings. and the intersection itself with contextually abstract shapes and colors. The work will be on display from its “official” completion on June 5th through September 30th of this year.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Moss out in WeHo? Or maybe not?

Newsletter, West
Thursday, May 24, 2012
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Rendering of Moss' Sunset Strip Hotel (courtesy Eric Owen Moss Architects)

Rendering of Moss' Sunset Strip Hotel (courtesy Eric Owen Moss Architects)

While it was approved by the city of West Hollywood back in 2009 (and again in 2010), it looks like Eric Owen Moss’ large hotel on the Sunset Strip might be in trouble. Curbed LA reports that the property containing the 11-story project, which was also to include condos and retail, has been bought by Marriott hotels’ “Edition” brand of luxury hotels, which WeHo Patch has said “doesn’t seem inclined to use the Moss designs.” Our calls to Marriott were not returned.

The Moss scheme was originally proposed by developer Richard Weintraub (with no hotel operator), and Marriott’s involvement became clear when the West Hollywood planning department approved the company’s modifications (slightly increasing size, adding a nightclub) to the project last Thursday. But wait. According to West Hollywood Planning Manager John Keho, Marriott has not yet told the city who the architect of their proposal will be, nor have they given a timeline for when they might submit architectural plans. According to Moss principal Eric McNevin, “Nothing has been confirmed yet. It’s not known yet. What was reported was speculation.” Stay tuned.

Figment 2012 Livens Up Governors Island

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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Face of Liberty by Zaq Landsberg

Figment NYC is an annual celebration of arts and culture that takes place on Governors Island from June 9-10. Now in its sixth year, Figment provides New Yorkers with an interactive space to participate in the arts, with volunteer artists collaborating on works that transform the environment and the public’s perception. With visual art, music, performance, and installation works, the event will provide the community with a forum for emerging artists to engage with the public.

Continue reading after the jump.

Digitizing Saarinen’s Miller House

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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The Miller House (Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Even if Columbus, Indiana is not on your travel itinerary Eero Saarinen’s Miller House and Garden may come to you via the internet. Last week, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) announced a $190,000 grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) to digitize its Miller House and Garden Collection. The house—a celebrated collaboration between architect Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard, and landscape architect Dan Kiley—opened for tours last year , and the museum reports more than 6,500 tour tickets were sold. With the increased interest comes a growing number of requests from researchers asking for access to the home’s archives. While in good condition, the museum writes in their NEH proposal that “repeated handling would quickly degrade these important and unique materials.”  Read More

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