I’m a Times Square avoider. It’s too crowded, clogged with slow moving tourists, for me to get where I need to go without being so frustrated that I swear to never return. On rare occasions, I succumb to the charm of the lights, but those moments are usually glimpsed from a distance, down a street corridor or out the window of a cab. But yesterday, on my way to an event in midtown, I chose to go through Times Square to see how it had changed since Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s recent street closure plan had been implemented. Read More
My In Detail article in the current issue covers Rafael Moneo’s Northwest Corner Building at Columbia University. In addition to filling the final vacancy in the 1890 McKim, Mead & White master plan, the building had to bridge a subterranean recreation center with a 120-foot clear span. In answer, Moneo—along with executive architect Davis Brody Bond Aedas and structural engineer Arup—designed the building’s steel framing system as one big truss, with diagonal members bolstering the perimeter moment frame. The majority of the gravity loads, however, are supported by three gargantuan trusses that run the length of the building four levels above the street. These trusses are so big and heavy that Turner Construction had to assemble them on site, on a shed built above the sidewalk, and then slide them into place. The above stop-action video was also assembled by the construction manager, documenting its elegant solution to this seriously heavy erection.
Today we got an email from the fine folks at Archphoto announcing that one of its trio of photographers, Paúl Rivera, has been featured in the current issue of the Japanese architecture magazine, A+U. The featured work was of the MASterworks award-winning TKTS Booth, including the above photo. In addition to being an unexpected and breathtaking view of the structure and surrounding environs, it made us realize something we hadn’t yet about the much-talked about closure of Broadway in the square: While all those cars whizzing by may have been a pedestrian and congestion nightmare, they sure brought wonderful life to the countless photos that have come to define the Crossroads of the World.
Saturday night’s Beaux Arts Ball was a smash! Hundreds of architectural enthusiasts and even the Dosa guy from Washington Square Park trekked to Brooklyn to attend the Architectural League’s annual benefit for their exhibition and lecture programs. Read More
We just got our invitation to the Municipal Art Society’s annual MASterworks awards. Contained therein are the heretofore unannounced winners, as well. (You can find all four after the jump.) Sadly, the party is invite only, but it’s at the new glassy, glamorous Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, so if nothing else, you can wander by Tuesday night and press your face to the glass, making puppy-dog eyes at we revelers therein. It’ll be the perfect Oliver Twist/recession moment. If you’re lucky/pretty, we might even sneak you in the side door. Read More
Construction projects are dropping like flies everywhere you look, falling in the water deader than Air France Flight 447. It’s gotten to the point that when a major milestone is met on a significant piece of architecture there is cause not only for rejoicing, but commentary by the architectural press. And lo, our latest great happiness comes (yet again) from the Arabian Desert: In the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, work has completed on the structural frame of O-14, an office building somewhat redolent of a block of swiss cheese. Designed by the New York City firm Reiser + Umemoto, the structure makes a significant departure from the otherwise glass-curtain walled edifices of this arid city by the sea. It’s exterior is composed of a perforated concrete bearing wall, which does double duty as a shading device, protecting the building from the blazing middle-eastern sun. For a full low down on O-14′s uncommon framing system, as well as more construction photos, see our 2008 feature on concrete.
The Architectural League’s Beaux Arts Ball 2009 this Saturday night has a dress code, but not the kind you might expect. “No stilettos please,” warns the invite, because in addition to the standard drinks and dancing, this ball features a vast factory where guests will be “building, binding, stitching and printing.” Read More
Silver Lake’s newest restaurant is certainly unexpected. First of all Territory is a Barbecue joint, not exactly a So Cal specialty (luckily the owners are from North Carolina and Texas, so they’re legit, and they serve some of the best pulled pork and ribs we’ve had in LA). Second they sell rare and vintage records; and third is the architecture part: it’s located inside one of the strangest buildings in LA. The bright green restaurant is fun, and relatively normal, on the first floor, wth a pleasant patio for noshing with fellow hipsters. But above rises a tall green appendage that makes half the building resemble a lighthouse. One of the owners, chef Curtis Brown (who only uses his grandmother’s recipes), isn’t sure why the building was designed that way when it went up years ago. But he theorizes that it may have originally been a seafood restaurant, hence the nautical theme (it’s most recent incarnation was as a pizza joint.)
Unlike Vegas, Tokyo, or–dare we offend our brehtren?–LA, much of the Manhattan skyline remains signage free. In fact, outside of Times Square, they’re all but illegal. One exception is 444 Madison Avenue, long-home to New York magazine. Well, the the publication moved headquarters in 2007, and part of the deal included the icon sign atop the building. Read More
Yesterday, we posted the feature from our current California issue, “On Their Mark,” about a new show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego highlighting seven local firms. While sending over the pictures of the exhibition, Mix: Nine San Diego Architects and Designers, that went into our slideshow, the fine folks at MCASD also sent along these nice photos from the opening party, which were taken by Lauren Radack. In case, like us, you couldn’t make it. (And if you know anyone in these photos we may not have mentioned, do tell). Read More