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.
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.
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.
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.
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.