Minneapolis Riverfront Redesign Team Selected

Midwest, Newsletter
Friday, February 11, 2011
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(Courtesy TLS/KVA)

(Courtesy TLS/KVA)

The Berkeley, California and Boston-based team of Tom Leader Studio and Kennedy & Violich Architecture has won a competition for the potential redevelopment 5.5 miles of the Minneapolis Riverfront. Their proposal, called RiverFIRST bested those by rivals Ken Smith, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, and Turenscape, and includes constructed wetlands for stormwater management, manmade islands for habitat, new districts for green industry among other features.

While no specific segment of the plan has yet been identified for development, the team will be given a commission by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

A project video and gallery await after the jump.

Quick Click> Islands, Dykes, Riverside, Stateside

Daily Clicks
Friday, February 11, 2011
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View of New York Harbor, 1999, from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, courtesy Design Observer.

Double Dutch. First Manhattan, now Governor’s Island–the Dutch just can’t get enough of New York Harbor. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 talks with author Brian Davis about West 8′s proposal for a new public park on “the island next to the island at the center of the world,” via Design Observer.

No more Jersey Shore? Speaking of the Dutch, oceanography professor Malcolm Brown told WYNC that residents of the New York-New Jersey area should brush up on their dyke-building skills, warning that higher sea levels may come sooner than we think, via Transportation Nation

City Center. Planetizen pointed us to a fascinating post on Per Square Mile about Cahokia, a pre-Columbian settlement on the Mississippi, which, until Philadelphia surpassed it ca. 1800, was the largest city in North America.

Start Spreading the News. New York: If you can make there…well, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it in Moscow. For whatever it’s worth, New York now ranks as the most affordable of the four cities that the world’s wealthiest citizens are likely to call home. New York beats out Moscow–yes, Moscow–as well as Hong Kong and London. The Real Deal quotes a study conducted by Savills PLC, an affiliate of Stribling.

Quick Clicks> Barrios, Shopping Atlantic, Blah, Egypt

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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A section of the barrios in Bogata from Harry Murzyn and David Varon.

Barrios with Altitude. A poetic study of the organically evolving perimeter of Bogotá, via Lebbeus Woods.

Atlantic Aspirations. Forest City Ratner is still on the hunt for Atlantic Yards funding, but has sweetened the deal by tapping SHoP–who is already spiffing up the stadium and public plaza–to design B2, the first apartment building in the complex, says The Observer.

Sterile Street. Blair Kamin calls out developer Joe Sitt for obliterating “bracing history” in exchange for “bland consistency” on State Street, in The Chicago Times.

Impromptu Planning. In Egypt, protesters have organized a mini-city in Tahir Square, complete with urban planners. Listen to an NPR audio clip or read the related transcript.

Jugaad Urbanism: More Than Just Making Do

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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The window at the Center for Architecture, projecting street fair festivity.

There is no direct English translation for the Indian word ‘jugaad,’ but the gist of it is to “make do.” But simply “making do” does not aptly describe the clever and resourceful strategies on display in Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities, a new exhibit at the Center for Architecture that opens tomorrow night. For the most part the exhibit shirks high design in favor of “design by the people, for the people.”

Read More

Quick Clicks> Related, Tickets, Comics, Rogue Signs

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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Hunters Point South Concept Plan (Courtesy NYC EDC)

Hunters Point South Concept Plan (Courtesy NYC EDC)

Relating. Mayor Bloomberg announced today that the Related Companies has been selected to lead the first phase of Hunters Point South on the Queens waterfront. City Room has more on the project which will initially include two new buildings with 900 apartments.

Glass Tickets. The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut will begin selling tickets for 2011 tours on February 15. A variety of tours running from May through November explore the art, architecture, and landscapes at the house. You may also want to check out their weekly curated Glass House Conversations.

Comic Architecture. BldgBlog is running an interview with comic artist Mike Mignola, discussing the intriguing buildings, landscapes, and spaces that fill his graphic novels and create distinct moods for his stories.

Rogue Signs. Cranston, RI realized last year that 587 “undocumented stop signs” had been installed on its streets by a mysterious, unknown party. Lowering the Bar says the town has finally come up with a solution: legalize them.

AAF Says Brava to Burden with Keystone Award

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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Last weekend in Washington, D.C. the American Architecture Foundation (AAF) presented New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden with its 2011 Keystone Award. The annual accolade is bestowed upon an individual or organization from outside the architectural discipline for exemplary leadership in design, specifically design efforts focused on improving lives and transforming communities.

Burden, who has served as chair of the City Planning Commission and director of the Department of City Planning since 2002, recently returned from travels abroad, and AN caught up with her just before the awards ceremony to hear what she thinks New York can learn from cities like Barcelona and other street smarts.

Read More

Quick Clicks> Microbes, XLVI, ARC Jr., Ben van Bistro

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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Thomas Kosbau & Andrew Wetzler's proposal for sandstone roads (via Yanko Design)

Thomas Kosbau & Andrew Wetzler's proposal for sandstone roads (via Yanko Design)

Microbe Road. Designers Thomas Kosbau & Andrew Wetzler have proposed scrapping asphalt in favor of a more eco-friendly sandstone paving surface created with locally harvested sand and cemented together by a common microbe. Yanko Design points out that the Incheon International Design Awards entry would save oil and help relieve the urban heat island effect.

Super-circle XLVI. While the buzz surrounding this year’s Superbowl has yet to subside, Indianapolis has focused its eyes to next year’s big game. Urban Indy reports that the city’s iconic Monument Circle will be pedestrianized during the week-long festivities, which could bode well for future car-free endeavors.

ARC Resurrected. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have derailed the proposed ARC train tunnel connecting Manhattan and NJ last year, but a new plan floated by Amtrak could provide a new tunnel opportunity. The Transport Politic has details on the so-called Gateway Project.

Ben van Bistro. Just in time for spring, the New Amsterdam Pavilion designed by UN Studio principal Ben van Berkel in Manhattan’s Battery Park will offer eco-friendly food, craft beer, and organic wine. DNAinfo says the pinwheel-shaped restaurant will be called Battery Bistro.

Video> Amazingly BIG Fly-By at 57th Street Tower

East, Newsletter
Monday, February 7, 2011
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(Courtesy BIG)

(Courtesy BIG)

We told you this morning about new details surrounding the Durst Fetner Residential’s Bjarke Ingels-designed West 57th Street tower, but now there so much more to share. BIG’s Danish office has released additional renderings, detailing Manhattan’s surf-and-turf hybrid tower in all it’s mountainous glory. And you won’t want to miss the fly-by video, either!

Much, much more after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Winded, Juiced, Stripped, TOD-IMBY

Daily Clicks
Monday, February 7, 2011
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Rendering of an Italian viaduct with wind turbines (Via Popular Science)

Rendering of an Italian viaduct with wind turbines (Via Popular Science)

Winded. Popular Science has the story of a bridge concept in Italy called Solar Wind featuring an array of wind turbines capable of generating 40 million kilowatt hours annually. If that weren’t enough, the proposal also incorporates a solar roadway for an added green boost.

Juiced. The Times of Trenton reports that Princeton University is converting 27 acres in West Windsor, New Jersey into a field 16,500 photovoltaic panels able to generate 8 million kilo-watt hours of clean, green energy every year. The project will begin in 2012 and is expected to generate 5.5% of electricity for the university.

Stripped. Citiwire considers the downfall of the suburban commercial strip and it doesn’t look good for sprawl. As shopping trends evolve and consumer taste retreats from the generic strip landscape, hybrid shopping centers resembling main streets could be the future.

TOD or not TOD. Residents of an award-winning transit-oriented development in Maryland featuring a wide median where a light rail line was planned have turned their backs to their neighborhoods original lofty goals. StreetsBlog sums up the latest high-profile case of NIMBY-ism.

Quick Clicks> Cycle, East, Out, Opposites

Daily Clicks
Friday, February 4, 2011
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Solar Cycle. The Dutch dream up a ways to capture latent energy beneath bike tires.

Go East Young Man. With the economy in the States still somewhat sour, the good news for West Coast firms is in the East, the Far East, writes AOL’s Daily Finance.  AIA’s Scott Frank spills the goods for Danny King.

Walled Out. It was hard to miss the spirited crowd on Chambers Street yesterday as three City Council committees held a joint hearing on Wal-Mart’s proposed move into New York  held. Wal-Mart was a no show. The line to get in stretched down the block. And Council Speaker Quinn blasted away. Today’s Daily News editorial found the whole drama, well, dramatic.

Polar Opposites. Ben Thompson and Paul Rudolph were cut from the same Modernist cloth, under the influence of Gropius, but the two took different paths. One was from the north the other from the south, one standoffish, the other a team player. One a sculpture, the other an entertainer. In Architecture Boston, David N. Fixler explores how their forms function.

Quick Clicks> Distorted, Glaeser, Cincy, Gowanus

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Kyung Woo Han's distorted-room installation, Calibration II (Via Today and Tomorrow)

Kyung Woo Han's distorted-room installation, Calibration II (Via Today and Tomorrow)

Distorted. In a nod to fun-house architecture, artist Kyung Woo Han created a physically-distorted room that’s made to look normal through a fish-eye camera lens. Today and Tomorrow has more photos.

Cities Rule. Economist Ed Glaesar talks with Grist‘s Sarah Goodyear about why cities rule the fate of humanity. He has a new book out called Triumph of the City in which he calls for, among other things, rethinking policies like highway subsidies and the mortgage tax credit.

Districted. Cincinnati is currently rebranding itself, and UrbanCincy suggests the city focus on an emerging core of design called the 8th Street Design District, home to 336 creative professionals including architects and designers.

Superfunded. Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to take a dip in the Gowanus Canal, but just how dirty is the Brooklyn waterway and Superfund site? A new EPA report lets us know and the Brooklyn Paper has the details. In short, its still going to be contaminated, even after the cleanup.

Books, Beautiful Books

Other
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Here’s a bandwagon worth jumping on: designers and books. The new website launched yesterday and is dedicated to sharing the reading lists and the commentaries of book-loving architects and designers from all over. Starting with 50 well-known designers naming their favorite books. (Example: High Rise by J.G. Ballard. Why? “I do have a tooth for dystopia and this is a coolly familiar one,” writes Michael Sorkin), it makes for compulsive skimming, and not a little inspiration.  Guess how many architects are Lolita fans?

The site will be updated constantly. Right now, the list is already 677 strong. Additional features include five invited commentators—one each for architecture, product design, fashion, graphics, interior design—describing their must-reads for those in the field. Commentary is encouraged at every turn.  And future pages will establish connections with not only readers but bookstores, too.

A paean to books in print, designerandbooks.com is also an education in what makes the mind of the architect tick.

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