John Johansen Is 93!

Other
Friday, June 19, 2009
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Johansen at his Dutchess County house.

Johansen at his Dutchess County house. (Photo by Hae-In Kim)

On June 27, Open House New York celebrates one of our last links to the early history of modern architecture with a birthday tribute to John Johansen. Long admired for his intricate concrete forms like the U.S. Embassy in Dublin (1963) and far-out assemblages like Oklahoma City’s Mummers Theater (1970), Johansen has blazed a highly original trail over a career spanning more than a half-century. Read More

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Moussavi the Architect

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Thursday, June 18, 2009
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The architecture of Mir-Hussein Moussavi (Photos courtesy Tehran24)

The architecture of Mir-Hussein Moussavi (Courtesy Tehran24)

I first remembered reading about it in The Economist, arching an impressed eyebrow, and then forgetting about it. After all, this was before the Iranian elections had even taken place, let alone led the country into its current near-revolt. But there, at the heart of it all, was an architect. Read More

View From The Top

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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Yesterday we took a construction tour of Gensler’s new 55-story  Marriott/ Ritz Carlton tower at LA Live, at the south end of downtown LA. A  great tour overall, with plenty of spectacular vistas and an opportunity to see the innards of what will be one of LA’s most iconic buildings (stay tuned for an “In Construction” feature on the project in our next issue). The highlight was checking out the scene from the helicopter pad on top. The lowlight was checking out the sign on the first floor noting “this job site has worked 0007 days without any accidents.” Read More

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Far Far Away

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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According to Architects Journal, the second Death Star evinces a pleasing return to Classical symmetry.

According to Architect's Journal, the second Death Star evinces a "pleasing return to Classical symmetry."

Yesterday, New York real estate blog Curbed picked up a rather nerdy feature in the UK-based Architect’s Journal: their top ten list of the most important buildings from Star Wars. In addition to judging each project by aesthetic and programmatic merit, the journal draws parallels between the architecture of that galaxy and that of earth. Notables include the Cloud City of Bespin (“a well-appointed luxury resort… complete with hotels and casinos”), the Bright Tree Village on Endor (“rated BREEAM Excellent, the development—by architect Wicket W Warrick—makes use of locally sourced materials, is carbon neutral, and far exceeds Endor’s notoriously strict building regulations”), and Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine (“originally built as a monastery by  the B’omarr Monks”). The “run-away winner” however is the second Death Star (“a menacing spherical chunk of Brutalist infrastructure”).

NeoCon Notables

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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LIM lighting from Haworth (all images courtesy of respective manufacturers).

LIM lighting from Haworth (all images courtesy of respective manufacturers).

The mood was noticeably subdued at this year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago, which ends today, but many attractive and innovative new products were introduced. For our special Midwest issue we offered a preview of things to look for at the show. Here are a few additional products that stood out at the Merchandise Mart. Read More

Wearable Architecture

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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Tricolor Wedge Platforms With Leather Straps (Images Courtesy Sergio Rossi)

Tricolor Wedge Platforms With Leather Straps (Images Courtesy Sergio Rossi)

We’ve heard the story now and again, designers being influenced by art and architecture, but just when we thought architects were the ones taking cues from designers – think Zaha – Italian shoe company Sergio Rossi’s Creative Director Francesco Russo, in a related press statement, cites specific references to the work of Hadid and photographer David Zimmerman in his latest shoe collection. Read More

Beautiful Maybe, But Not Bold

Other
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Fixer-upper. (mr.seymour/Flickr)

Fixer-upper. (mr.seymour/Flickr)

Yesterday, the Bloomberg administration released an RFQ for a “BQE Beautification Study.” Now that’s a tall order, if ever there was one, as the borough-bisecting biway is one of Robert Moses’ many “most reviled” memories. But the RFQ also signals a diminishment of sorts for the once ambitious mayor. After all, it was only three years ago that, with the help of Alexander Garvin, the city had envisioned decking over the roadway, not only restoring long-separated and suffering neighborhoods but also creating opportunities for considerable amounts of housing. Then again, maybe it was an obvious decision. After all, those grand plans haven’t gone so well of late.

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Emerald City

Other
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy LIttle)

Named after a line in Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy Little)

What if one block in Texas became the sustainable model for the world? Such was the question posed recently by Urban Re:Vision, a California-based group bent upon creating better cities through rethinking the components that make up a city block. Earlier this month, the organization unveiled the three finalists in one of its latest design competitions: Re:Vision Dallas. Contestants were asked to create proposals for a mixed-use development near downtown that would do “no harm to people or place.” Find out more about the finalists after the jump: Read More

Hiding in Spammed Sight

Other
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Reader Jill J.s uncanny take on the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. (daily pleasure/Flickr)

Reader Jill J.'s uncanny take on the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. (daily pleasure/Flickr)

We’ve been bombarded on the blog with increasingly insidious spam over the past few months, which led us to installing CAPTCHA to filter out the bots from the peeps. Hopefully it doesn’t cause too much of a problem to all you commenters out there.

Meanwhile, as we tried to clean out much of that spam, we came across two particularly compelling comments (not that the rest of you aren’t special). The first were these great photos of the Baldwin Hill Scenic Overlook and the second was a particularly poetic remembrance of Max Bond that appeared some three months after his death. You can find both after the jump. Read More

Straight and Narrow at the Globe

Other
Monday, June 15, 2009
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KPFs proposed Boston Arch (Courtesy KPF).

KPF's proposed Boston Arch (Courtesy KPF).

This past week, the Boston Globe‘s editorial page has been enthralled with the Greenway and Don Chiofaro’s proposed Boston Arch thereon. (We’d like to think they were inspired by us.) It began with an editorial criticizing the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s apparent foot-dragging on its Greenway development study, followed by an encapsulation of the comments from said editorial–many in favor of the project–and now an op-ed calling for greater density on the Greenway. While the Globe‘s editorial board is welcome to its opinions, it should not be as disingenuous as the power brokers it attempts to lampoon. Read More

A New-vel Skyline

Other
Monday, June 15, 2009
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Bon jour, neighbors.

Bon jour, neighbors.

After both impressing and frustrating the Landmarks Preservation Commission last year, Jean Nouvel’s Torre de Verre is making its way through the public review process in order to secure a few zoning variance to allow the funky Moma-ttached tower to be built. Curbed reports the tower was panned by the local community board (it’s a largely symbolic vote, however), but the most striking thing to us was this new rendering, which shows how the now-1,250-foot tower would look from Central Park. Quelle horror!

Art Galleries Growing?

Other
Monday, June 15, 2009
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New Blum + Poe Gallery, Culver City

New Blum + Poe Gallery, Culver City

At a time when most art galleries are struggling, it seems some of the big guys are doing just fine. First our friends at Escher Gunewardena, who designed the Blum + Poe gallery in Culver City, tell us they are opening a much larger Blum + Poe  space down the street (rendering above) this fall. And now we hear from Art News (and thanks to a link from LA Curbed), that Richard Meier is doubling the size of the Gagosian Beverly Hills Gallery to 11,600 square feet. The project is set to open next year. Meier designed the original Gagosian gallery in Los Angeles in 1994-95 by converting an existing storefront.

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