Quick Clicks> Domed City, Guggenheim on hold, Google’s Secret Project, No-bin experiment

Daily Clicks
Monday, October 31, 2011
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An architectural rendering of Umka (Via the Daily Mail)

An architectural rendering of Umka (Via the Daily Mail)

City of Scientists. Russian Prime Minister Putin has recently reviewed plans for a potential $6.4 billion project that could build a 5,000-person—scientists and researchers, specifically—domed village in the Arctic called Umka, about 1,000 miles from the North Pole. Plans call for an isolated artificial climate inspired by “an imaginary Moon city or a completely isolated space station.” More on the Daily Mail and Foreign Policy Blogs.

Abu Dhabi Adjourned. The new 450,000-square-foot Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim museum planned in Abu Dhabi has been put on hold pending contract review. A similar fate awaits Jean Nouvel’s Louvre satellite previously scheduled to open near Gehry’s site next year. More at Mediabistro.

Sergey’s Secret. Due to his prolific work ethic, the insider joke at Google is that co-founder Sergey Brin is really Batman. More believable, the latest Google rumor is that one of Brin’s secret pet-projects may very well be architectural, with blueprints and all. Business Insider has details.

No bin, no trash. The NY Times reports on the MTA’s seemingly counter-intuitive enviro-social experiment to remove trash cans from subway platforms. The idea: no garbage bin might be the way to achieve no litter. A trial run in Queens and Greenwich Village left some people very unhappy.

Stage 1 Finalists Announced for National Mall Design Competition

East, National, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The National Mall. (Vlasta Juricek / Flickr)

The Trust for the National Mall has announced the finalists for the first round of its National Mall Design Competition. The 700-acres of parkland have been worn down over the years thanks hoards of visitors (25 million a year), marches, and certain bi-annual decathalons. The scope of the competition includes three distinct areas of the mall: Union Square, the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens. Finalists were selected for each area, and will move on to stage two of the competition (team interviews), and then—finally—a selected few will be asked to envision a design for one of the three designated area.

Check out the finalists after the jump.

CityLights Finally Begin to See Daylight

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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New York City's new street lights are making their debut downtown. (AN/Stoelker

New York City's new streetlights are making their debut downtown. (AN/Stoelker)

Approximately six years after Thomas Phifer and Partners, the Office for Visual Interaction, and Werner Sobek won the CityLights competition for a new standard streetlight, some of the first examples are popping up in Lower Manhattan. The design for LED streetlights was cutting edge at the time, and the technology was very expensive. Prices for energy efficient LED’s have fallen considerably since then, allowing the ultra slim fixtures to find their way onto city streets. Read More

Pictorial> Virgin goes Galactic

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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The Virgin Galactic Spaceport by Foster + Partners. (Nigel Young / Foster+Partners)

The Virgin Galactic Spaceport by Foster + Partners. (Nigel Young / Foster+Partners)

A quick flashback: Back in 2005, Virgin Group’s latest venture, Virgin Galactic, and the State of New Mexico had announced that they had reached an “historic agreement”—that they would build a state-funded $200 million spaceport in New Mexico. Virgin planned to provide sub-orbital space flights to the paying public, along with sub-orbital space science missions and orbital launches of small satellites (and much later, even orbital human space-flights). The facility was to be designed by Foster + Partners, who won Virgin Galactic’s international architectural competition.

Now, the Virgin Galactic Spaceport America—the world’s first commercial spaceport—has officially launched. Aimed to “articulate the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists while making a minimal impact on the environment,” the spaceport is designed to resemble, when viewed from space, Virgin Galactic’s brand logo of the eye, with an elongated pupil–the elevated apron completes the iris. Check out the photos after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Brooklyn Bucket, Rebuilding Libya, House Cycle, Abandoned City

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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Courtesy Civic Center and Caroline Oh

Courtesy Civic Center and Caroline Oh

Brooklyn’s Bucket. An unsightly construction fence along Brooklyn’s Fulton Street has recently been transformed into NYC’s own giant chalkboard installation “Before I Die…,” a public participation project originally started in New Orleans by artist and TED fellow Candy Chang. Locals have been writing up their bucket lists, some as simple as “get paid,” some as serious as “to forget.” More on Artlog and Candy Chang’s blog.

G-oahead-afi. Gaddafi’s death last week was a historic event for Libya, but it also ushers in an era of uncertainty. Among the challenges that the new Libya must face is development, or rather the potential for uncontrolled overdevelopment. Concerned British architects are warning Libyans not to give way to “untrammelled development” during this “dangerous moment,” reported bdonline.

Cyclical Home. A new Philips’ design project called “the Microbial Home” is all about cycles, specifically how one function’s output can be another’s input. For instance, a bio-digestor island converts waste into methane gas that in turn powers a light made of bio-luminescent bacteria fed with methane. Check out the images on psfk.

Modern Ruins. Strange Harvest featured images of the abandoned architectural ruins of Pruit Igoe in St. Louis, which has now become a forest that “grows out of all that socio-political debris.” One image of a lone lamp post protruding from a complete forest is a surreal reminder of the relationship between architecture, politics, and time.

Filed Under: 

Gehry To The Rescue, With a Star-Studded Board

Newsletter, West
Thursday, October 20, 2011
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Gehry Technologies' BIM Model for the New World Symphony in Miami.

Frank Gehry is trying to save architecture, and it’s about time. His company Gehry Technologies, which provides technology and related services to design and construction firms, on Tuesday announced a plan to bring together “the world’s most distinguished architects” in a “strategic alliance” intended to transform the building and design industries through technology.

In other words they’ve put together a really impressive advisory board. The list of architects, designers, and business leaders includes: David Childs, Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, Laurie Olin, Wolf Prix, David Rockwell, Moshe Safdie, Patrik Schumacher, and Ben van Berkel. That’s no joke. Among other things, the group will strive to promote higher quality projects, greater efficiency, and more cost effective techniques.

Continue reading after the jump.

Dean’s List> ASLA Student Awards Reveal the Future of Landscape Architecture

Vegetation House by students from National Chiao Tung University. (Jheng-Ru Li and Chieh-Hsuan Hu)

Vegetation House by students from National Chiao Tung University. (Jheng-Ru Li and Chieh-Hsuan Hu)

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced the winners of its 2011 Student Awards. This year’s student honorees have developed concepts ranging from hillside habitats in Haiti, to vegetated houses in Taiwan, to a reclaimed airfield in Berlin. Entries demonstrate an idealistic and urgent approach to problem solving for today’s and tomorrow’s pressing social issues.

[ Also be sure to check out the winners of the ASLA 2011 Professional Awards. ]

Check out the winners after the jump.

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Quick Clicks> Trip 0˚00, Thinking Gates, Growing Art, and Mapping Pollution

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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Walking the line. Watch artist Simon Faithfull travel both built and unbuilt environments along “the exact longitude of the Greenwich Meridian,” using a GPS device in his documentary project “0˚00 Navigation.”  Above is an excerpt through London, but you can also watch the whole thing here. (h/t Polis.)

At the city gates. In this short article at the Sustainable Cities Collective, Chuck Wolfe muses over what a “city gate” would be in a modern city, contending that Google streetview is one form of a modern gate incarnation. Is a physical gate just an ornament of memories, or do we need the architectural drama only a physical threshold can provide?

Art heals blight. As Elizabeth Currid-Halkett notes in the NY Times, art as a revitalization tool works, but not always. It takes more than just cheap rent and abandoned factory lofts to cultivate the next Soho. Take the case of Red Hook’s art scene from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: art, given its mercurial nature, may be best left alone, like the somewhat-isolated Brooklyn neighborhood.

A map for Captain Planet. SkyTruth, a nonprofit environmental monitoring group, recently launched a real-time, interactive alert system that digitally maps domestic pollution events, such as toxic spills and air & water pollution. More at the LA Times blog.

 

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Neutra’s Kronish Saved at Last

Newsletter, West
Monday, October 17, 2011
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Kronish House (courtesy LA Conservancy/©J Paul Getty Trust)

After a lengthy battle Richard Neutra’s Kronish House in Beverly Hills has been saved. Completed in 1955, the house, considered one of Neutra’s finest (and largest), came very close to its demise this summer after its new owners refused preservationists’ pleas and began the demolition process. But after the outcry got louder, the owners placed the demolition on hold, and now a buyer with an interest in restoring the home has just closed on the house.

Continue reading after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Falwell Booked, Maizes, Seasonal High Line, and Picasso in Black and White

Daily Clicks
Monday, October 17, 2011
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Rendering of the proposed Rev. Jerry Falwell Library. (Courtesy Liberty University)

Build me a library. Jerry Falwell Jr., current president and chancellor of Liberty University, will now see to it that there is also a library constructed in his remembrance. Inspired by Jeffersonian style, a favorite of the former minister, the library will be the largest building constructed on the university’s campus. Liberty University has more info.

It’s that time of year again. Corn mazes are sprouting up all over the country and gaining popularity. The NY Times reports on how one family got lost and phoned in the authorities in order to be retrieved.

Falling for the High Line. It’s autumn in New York and the High Line blog featured a few photos of fall transforming the elevated park.

Let the countdown begin. Picasso returns to the Guggenheim Museum in an exhibit that will exclusively showcase his black and white works. Drawings, paintings and sculptures from around the world will fill the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda, according to the NY Times.

Inside the Building of the Day #13

Other
Thursday, October 13, 2011
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The Francis Martin Library in the Bronx. (Courtesy Ben Kracauer)

The Francis Martin Library in the Bronx. (Courtesy Ben Kracauer)

We are up in the Bronx again today, this time further north in the Morris Heights neighborhood. The Francis Martin Library, named after the first district attorney from the Bronx, was built in 1956, and sits atop a hill on a prominent corner of University Avenue. The University is Bronx Community College, now housed in what was originally the McKim Mead and White Heights Campus for New York University. Be sure to check out the original Hall of Fame there. 1100 Architect has made its own Hall of Fame for the kids’ library. Stanley Kubrick, Chaim Potok, Herman Wouk, Colin Powell even Fiorello LaGuardia himself are part of a graphic game on the warm white walls that undulate around the core of the children’s library renovation on the second floor.

Read More

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City in China Disappears Overnight

International, Newsletter
Thursday, October 13, 2011
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Chaohu city is officially canceled. (Courtesy anhuinews.com)

Chaohu city in China has been canceled. It wasn’t a small city. In fact the population of more than 4 million is comparable to Los Angeles, the Phoenix metro area, and the whole of South Carolina, but that is now irrelevant data, since Chaohu’s official city status was annihilated on August 22. Although buildings and inhabitants remain as proof of a once-coherent city plan and living organism, the land has since been divided into three parts and absorbed by its neighbors, Hefei, Wuhu and Ma’anshan.

Continue reading after the jump.

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