If you’re going to unveil a grand plan for development, you might as well do it from a place where you can see a big chunk of it. So it was a clever idea to launch the new Grow Smart Bay Area initiative from San Francisco’s Carnelian Room, 52 stories up, with its splendid panoramic views of the waterfront. The proposal, launched earlier this week, was put together by the Greenbelt Alliance, a Bay Area smart-growth advocacy group that just celebrated its 50th anniversary. It anticipates how the Bay Area can accommodate an anticipated 2 million more residents by 2035 without overflowing into the surrounding open space. Read More
On Wednesday night, the Guggenheim brought together the women behind the man, and apparently the myth of Frank Lloyd Wright, in a program titled “The Architecture of Wright: Wright, Women & Narrative.”
Co-organized with the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, the lecture was accompanied by the premiere of A Girl Is A Fellow Here: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, a 15-minute documentary film produced by the Foundation. Throughout his career, Wright employed over 100 women architects and designers, and the film focuses on the lives of six of these women, including Marion Mahony, Isabel Roberts, Lois Gottlieb, Jane Duncombe, Eleanore Petterson, and Read Weber, who worked alongside Wright during his prolific career from his Oak Park offices to Taliesin West. Read More
Last night we had the pleasure of checking out Last Remaining Seats, the L.A. Conservancy’s series of classic films inside the historic theatres of Los Angeles. Last night featured Cabaret, starring Liza Minelli and Michael York (York gave the introduction to the event) in the unmatchable Los Angeles Theater, a huge baroque palace on Broadway full of crystal chandeliers and impossibly ornate details. Guests were even welcome to visit the crusty old projection room (with its ancient dials and dressing room), the windswept rooftop, the subterranean ballroom, and the luxurious bathrooms. Other classic theaters hosting the event in other weeks include the Orpheum and the Million Dollar, which have been restored in recent years, and host music, theater, and even church services. More pictures of the festivities here: Read More
Maybe Forest City Ratner won’t get a deal on the MTA rail yards after all.
A major part of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s strategy for putting the final nail in Atlantic Yards’ coffin is challenging the ethicality (and legality) of an apparent agreement to allow Ratner to pay less than the agreed-upon $100 million for the rail yards atop which the Atlantic Yards are to rise. DDDB hopes the agreement will be released in advance of a hearing on the matter on June 24, something we inquired about for yesterday’s story. Today, the MTA responded, and depending on your perspective, it is either good news or bad for the project’s opponents. Read More
What happens when an ice cream-obsessed design writer meets two ice cream slinging architects? She makes a video! Our dear friend, colleague, and (now) hero Alissa Walker (aka Gelatobaby) recently swung by the COOLHAUS truck, where she chats with the two proprietors about the inspiration, construction, and popular explosion of their architecturally delicious desserts. One Cinnamoneo, please! (To find out where the truck’ll be, follow COOLHAUS on Twitter.)
As we wrote in our story last week, Frank Gehry might not be involved with any buildings on the Atlantic Yards site and not just the arena. As a Forest City Ratner spokesperson told me, “Frank might design one of the buildings later, I don’t think it’s impossible. But right now, he is just the master planner.” Well, as of yesterday, WNYC reported that the it will be impossible after all: Read More
Artist Mike Boucher was excited to bring American suburbia to the Venice Biennale, constructing a floating McMansion—complete with cheesy yellow vinyl siding—set to grace the city’s famed canals. Unfortunately the house tilted off a failed pontoon and sank; a disaster for the artist (who actually seems to find the whole thing hilarious), but a good symbol for our housing market back in the USA.
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.