Down The Drain In That Other Venice

Other
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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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.

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Oh, James!

Other
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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Not a bad table, really, though beware the PR trap. Its more dangerous than laser-wielding sharks. (Courtesy SUITE New York)

Not a bad table, really, though beware the PR trap. It's more dangerous than laser-wielding sharks. (Courtesy SUITE New York)

As you can probably imagine, we get some stupid, some silly, and some just jawdropping press releases around the office, especially for overly highly designed products. In a new blog feature called Bizarre PR, we’ll bring you the best of them. First up, SUITE New York’s Girevole table. Read More

Dry Line

Other
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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DVFs High Line Towel

DVF's High Line Towel (Courtesy DVF)

Unless you’re living under a rock, you already know the High Line officially opened its first section to the public on Monday. One of its highly styled neighbors and our favorite designer happens to also be one of its biggest supporters, not just financially speaking! Read More

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Times Square, Slightly Tamed

Other
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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(Katy Silberger/flickr)

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

In Turner We Truss

Other
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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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.

Fleeting Image

Other
Monday, June 8, 2009
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Something New, Something Old: The TKTS Booth has brought new life to Times Square. The absence of cars, however, just might rob it from photographs. (Paúl Rivera/Archphoto

Something New, Something Old: The TKTS Booth has brought new life to Times Square. The absence of cars, however, just might rob it from photographs. (Paúl Rivera/Archphoto)

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.

Architecture Party

Other
Monday, June 8, 2009
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View of courtyard from The Old American Can Factory

View of courtyard from inside The Old American Can Factory

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

A MASterwork Outing

Other
Friday, June 5, 2009
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See you Tuesday...

See you Tuesday...

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

A Hole In Dubai

Other
Friday, June 5, 2009
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Reiser + Umemoto's O-14 tops out in Dubai.

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.

Welcome to Biodome

East Coast, Other
Friday, June 5, 2009
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Reef, an installation by Rob Ley and Joshua Stein, just opened at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. (All photos by Kevin Greenberg)

Reef, an installation by Rob Ley and Joshua Stein, just opened at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. (All photos by Kevin Greenberg)

Architect and man about town Kevin Greenberg sends along this dispatch from Kenmare Street.

Reef, a new kinetic installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, exists at the intersection of “the super-exclusive and the trite,” according to its creators, Rob Ley and Joshua Stein. Composed primarily of densely-packed rows of lightweight fins anchored by Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) across a metal armature, Reef simulates the unmistakable movement of muscle on bone, eschewing the jerky mechanical inelegance of a previous age in favor of bio-mimesis and the “semi-conscious willfulness” of a school of startled guppies or a field of flowers in thrall to the sun. Read More

Drinks, Dancing, and DIY

Other
Thursday, June 4, 2009
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(images courtesy of the Architectural League)

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

In Her Shoes

Other
Thursday, June 4, 2009
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Womens limited edition boot

Women's limited edition boot

London-based architect Zaha Hadid’s latest project explores futuristic vessels of movement in relation to the human body, or in non-archispeak she’s designed a pair of shoes! Read More

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