Eavesdrop> AIA/LA Has Architecture Center Envy

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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AN’s annual resource list may be published every year but it is never the same. Painstakingly drawn from extensive interviews by our editors with the architects and builders of the best architecture of 2011, these names are the too-often unacknowledged cornerstones that guarantee the quality and excellence of today’s architecture. We both herald and share them with you.

New York's Center for Architecture: model for LA?

It appears that AIA/LA is serious about opening a new architecture center, a storefront, multi-use space similar to that of the Center for Architecture in New York (above). According to a now expired post on Idealist.org, they’re looking for (and rumored to have already hired) a new fulltime “Campaign Director” for an $8 to 15 million capital campaign to “support the acquisition and renovation of an existing building for the new Center for Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles,” and “create an endowment to maintain this new property.”

According to the post the center will be “a highly collaborative organization that builds strong relationships with other organizations to carry out its mission.” The center is rumored to contain not just AIA offices and exhibition and event spaces, but perhaps spaces for the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and the Urban Land Institute’s Los Angeles chapter.

Ride, Baby, Ride: Senator Chuck Schumer Caught Pedaling in Contested Bike Lane

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 19, 2012
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Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

A shocking cellphone pic of New York’s senior Senator has transportation circles abuzz across the Internet today. While not so much a scandal as a beautiful bike ride in the park, Senator Chuck Schumer was photographed pedaling down a contested bike path in Brooklyn on Sunday by Paul Steely White, director of Transportation Alternatives.

Given his close ties to a group fighting the bike lane—his wife and former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall was among the most outspoken opponents to the path—a hypothetical snapshot of the senator biking had previously been called the Holy Grail of livable streets activism and been the punch line of April Fool’s jokes, but Schumer, who had never taken a public stance on the protected lane, sure appears to be enjoying himself in New York’s unseasonably warm weather.

Continue reading after the jump.

LA Kicks Cars to the Curb, Opens First Pedestrian Plaza

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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Sunset Triangle Plaza opens to the public. (Alissa Walker / Flickr)

Sunset Triangle Plaza opens to the public. (Alissa Walker / Flickr)

You’d better get used to it, Los Angeles is remaking itself from a one trick pony town where car is king into a multimodal city for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. The latest improvement is Sunset Triangle Plaza, the city’s first pedestrian plaza created by a new collaboration called Streets for People (S4P) that hopes to churn out dozens new pedestrian-oriented spaces a year across the city. The green-on-green polka dot plaza officially opened this month to crowds of gleeful pedestrians in the hip enclave of Silver Lake, northwest of Downtown LA.

Continue reading after the jump.

3-D Printer Creates a Cathedral Fit for a Flea

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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St. Stephan's cathedral, courtesy Vienna University of Technology

Or maybe a dust mite. New 3-D printing technology developed by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology can fabricate intricate objects smaller than a grain of sand. This technology is made possible by a laser directed through a series of mirrors and a liquid resin that hits the surface and leaves a polymer line that is a few hundred nanometers thick; at 200 lines per layer, the printer can print 100 layers in just four minutes.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Design for Final Segment of High Line Revealed!

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 12, 2012
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The 30th Street Passage will move through Hudson Yards Tower C and lead visitors toward the offshoot section of the High Line called the Tenth Avenue Spur.

The 30th Street Passage will move through Hudson Yards Tower C and lead visitors toward the offshoot section of the High Line called the Tenth Avenue Spur.

Tonight, the design team from the High Line will present plans for Section 3 to the community.  Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe will introduce James Corner from the project’s lead team, James Corner Field Operations, and Ricardo Scofidio from Diller Scofidio + Renfro. High Line co-founder Robert Hammond will moderate a post presentation discussion.

Unlike the last two sections of the High Line, Section 3 will be intimately integrated with one major developer, as opposed to a variety of property owners and stakeholders. From 30th to 34th Street, the High Line wraps around Hudson Yards, the 12 million square foot office and residential district being developed by Related Companies. Much of the new section will be built cheek by jowl with Related’s construction. At the westernmost section overlooking the Hudson River, an interim walkway will span the existing self-seeded landscape, so as coordinated design efforts alongside Related’s development and give Friends of the High Line time to raise more funds.

The estimated total cost of capital construction on the High Line at the rail yards is $90 million. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2013 with a full public opening in spring 2014.

Check out more renderings after the jump.

AIANY Honors 2012 Design Award Winners: Architecture

East, Newsletter
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Structure for Long Dock Park, Architecture Research Office.

Structure for Long Dock Park, Architecture Research Office. (James Ewing)

[Editor's Note: This the first in a four-part series documenting the winners of the AIANY's 2012 Design Awards, which are broken down into four categories: architecture, interiors, unbuilt work, and urban design. This list covers the architecture awards, but additional segments spotlight winners in interiors, unbuilt work, and urban design.]

On March 5, the AIA New York released its list of 2012 Design Award winners, honoring the best design by New York-based architects and built work in New York City. The awards in the architecture category cover a wide spectrum of scales and locations from a portico gallery at New York’s Frick Collection to a pedestrian bridge in France to a hospital in Boston. A jury consisting of Thomas H. Beeby, Anne Fougeron, and Carme Pinós selected the winners, awarding the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver by Allied Works and the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan by Handel Architects and Davis Brody Bond with Peter Walker Partners top prize, the Architecture Honor Award. An official awards luncheon will take place on April 18 at Cipriani Wall Street to honor all the winners.

Check out all the winners after the jump.

Seattle to Study Self-Funded Arena for a New NBA Team

Newsletter, West
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Seattle's Key Arena, former home of the Seattle SuperSonics (via Flickr by jscatty).

Thanks to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise, Kobe Bryant’s broken nose, and Blake Griffin’s dunks, basketball is once again on everybody’s mind. Now Seattle, missing an NBA team since the 2008 departure of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City (renamed the Thunder), has a concrete plan to bring the NBA back. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine have announced plans for a self-funded arena sponsored by private investor Christopher Hansen, according to King County.

Continue reading after the jump.

Mies’ Gas Station Gets Refueled

International, Newsletter
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Courtesy Les Architectes FABG

Designed a year before his death in 1968, Mies van der Rohe’s Esso station on l’Île des Sœurs in Montreal has been vacant and shuttered since 2008. The station, intended to serve nearby apartment blocks also designed by Mies, was built during the early urbanization of the island and closed when another station opened closer to the island’s main thoroughfare. Having been declared a historic monument in 2009, the community eventually decided to restore the structure and convert it to an intergenerational community center.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail Taking Shape

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, March 1, 2012
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(images: CDOT)

Next week a framework plan for the abandoned elevated rail embankment known as the Bloomingdale Trail will be released. Curbed Chicago has posted some preliminary images from the Chicago Department of Transportation that were shown in public meetings last fall. While advocates have stressed that the project is not a copy of New York’s High Line, these very preliminary study images look a lot like the High Line, minus the bells and whistles like the bleachers for traffic viewing. Read More

Calatrava’s First U.S. Vehicular Bridge To Open

National, Newsletter
Thursday, March 1, 2012
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Dallas' Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. (Marco Becerra)

Dallas' Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. (Marco Becerra)

The latest bridge from Spanish tension-element guru Santiago Calatrava, renowned architect behind the Milwaukee Art Museum, Puente del Alamillo, and the upcoming World Trade Center Transportation Hub, will be his first vehicular bridge in the United States. Construction has been completed on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the first in a series of Calatrava-designed crossings over Dallas’ Trinity River. It will act as a literal and metaphorical gateway to the city.

Read More

Michael Graves Designs Dignity for Wounded Veterans

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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Front facade of the Patriot Home in Fort Belvoir. (Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

Front facade of the Patriot Home in Fort Belvoir. (Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates)

In speaking to wounded veterans and their families, the Wounded Warrior Home Project found that soldiers returning home face a cumbersome and costly adaptation to their environment. A private-public partnership, including Michael Graves and Associates, global design firm IDEO, and Clark Realty Capital, has unveiled two universally-accessible prototype houses at Fort Belvoir in Virginia where every element is designed for ease of use. Sinks and stovetops are on motorized lifts, halls and doorways accommodate a wide turning radius for navigating wheelchairs, sliding doors open with a light touch.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rice + Lipka and Field Operations to Remake MOCA Detroit

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, February 23, 2012
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(courtesy Zago Architecture)

When it opened in 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit became known as a cutting edge venue for showing contemporary art. Designed by Zago Architecture, the museum’s raw interior and graffitied exterior seemed to fit its mission and speak to the Motor City’s gritty present. How quickly museums grow up! Today, the museum announced it had selected Rice + Lipka Architects and James Corner Field Operations to renovate the building and redesign its adjacent public space.  Read More

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