Huggable high-rises? Chicagoans look to kickstart a line of plush skyscraper replicas

squeeable skylines

Skyscrapers are usually admired for their mighty feats of structural engineering. Respect though you might the elegance with which Chicago’s Willis Tower lifts steel and glass 1,451 feet into the sky, you probably wouldn’t want to nuzzle it.

But a Chicago startup is out to change that.

On Second Try, Robert Stern’s Proposal for Philly’s American Revolution Museum Approved

Development, East, Newsletter
Monday, April 7, 2014
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Stern's new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Stern’s new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects)

Weeks after the Philly Art Commission slammed Robert Stern’s proposal for the Museum for the American Revolution, he’s back with a new design. And good news for the starchitect—the commission likes it. They really, really like it. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the new plan was unanimously approved and building permits should be issued in the next few months. Unsurprisingly, Stern‘s altered design does not include the features, which the Commission called “Disneyesque.”

See the old design after the jump.

Barclays Center’s Bald Spot to Get Green-Roof Toupee

The Barclays Center green roof. (Courtesy SHoP Architects)

The Barclays Center green roof. (Courtesy SHoP Architects)

Over one-hundred-thousand-square-feet of sedum will be implanted into the Barclays Center’s massive, logo-emblazoned, bald-spot of a roof. According to the Wall Street Journal, SHoP is designing the green topper for the one billion dollar arena. Plans for a public green space on top of the arena date back over a decade, but were later scrapped due to cost constraints.

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Holl’s Pricey New Library in Queens Must Tone it Down a Notch

Development, East, News, Newsletter
Friday, April 4, 2014
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Rendering for Hunters Point Community Library. (Courtesy Steven Holl Architects)

Rendering for Hunters Point Community Library. (Courtesy Steven Holl Architects)

Looks like Steven Holl’s impressive design for a new library in Queens, New York costs quite a bit more than expected. DNA Info reported that bids for the 21,000-square-foot project came in about $10-20 million over budget. But that doesn’t mean the project is dead just yet. While the city has nixed a planned geothermal heating and cooling system, is swapping customized interior fixtures for standard ones, and is replacing the aluminum façade with painted concrete, they say the library will stay true to its original design.

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Canstruction LA: The City’s Most Architectural Food Drive Has a Record Year

Art, Design, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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"FOOD FIGHT!" by PCL Construction Services, Inc., KPFF Consulting Engineers, and Callison won Jurors' Favorite at Canstruction LA 2014. (Benjamin Ariff Photography)

“FOOD FIGHT!” by PCL Construction Services, Inc., KPFF Consulting Engineers, and Callison won Jurors’ Favorite at Canstruction LA 2014. (Benjamin Ariff Photography)

Every year at about this time, Los Angeles’ design community comes together for a good cause—and a chance to show off their ingenuity working with an unusual building material. We’re talking Canstruction LA, which just wrapped its eighth outing. Like other Canstruction events nationwide, Canstruction LA invites teams of architects, engineers, builders, and designers to design and build sculptures entirely out of canned food. The 2014 competition produced an array of impressive designs and—most importantly—donated 28,551 cans of food to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

More after the jump.

Pier Carlo Bontempi and Ruan Yisan accept Driehaus awards for classicist architecture and preservation

Place Toscane in Val D'Europe, France by Bontempi.

Place Toscane in Val D’Europe, France by Bontempi.

Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi and Chinese preservationist Ruan Yisan last weekend received the highest honors in the world of classicist design—a school of though that AN previously examined alongside the more widely known Pritzker Prize.

The 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Prize went to Bontempi, an architect from Parma, Italy whose work includes a block recovery plan for that city’s historic center, as well as the Place de Toscane and the “Quartier du Lac” resort in Val d’Europe near Paris.

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On View> Doug Wheeler’s Light Installation Shines at David Zwirner Gallery Through April 5

Art, East, Lighting, Newsletter, On View
Monday, March 31, 2014
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(Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery)

(Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery)

Doug Wheeler
David Zwirner Gallery
537 West 20th Street, New York
Entry limited to 6 people at a time
Reservations to view the exhibition are available, 212-517-8677
Through April 5, 2014

When you enter the immersive Doug Wheeler installation at David Zwirner Gallery, it’s like daybreak. A domed space with a flat apex meets the horizon with a hidden line of LEDs that shed light in a gradual, two-minute cycle in what the artist calls a “rotational horizon work.” The effect is like looking into a clear blue sky, that on closer inspection has subtle gradations that change as the earth revolves. The floor is the same color and is coped so you are slightly off balance as you advance and retreat towards this unreachable horizon.

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Q&A> Shigeru Ban, The 2014 Pritzker Prize Laureate

International, News, Newsletter
Monday, March 24, 2014
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Cardboard Cathedral. (Stephen Goodenough)

Cardboard Cathedral. (Stephen Goodenough)

The Pritzker Architecture Prize has named Shigeru Ban its 2014 laureate. AN executive editor Alan G. Brake sat down with Ban at the Metal Shutter Houses, a luxury apartment building he designed in Manhattan’s Chelsea gallery district. He discussed influences from California to Finland, the social role of architecture, and what the recognition means for his work.

As a former Pritzker juror did you ever expect to be in the position of being a laureate yourself?
Not this soon. Also I know I have not made such achievements yet compared to other laureates, so I was not expecting it at all.

Continue reading after the jump.

Joseph Eichler’s Mid-Century Homes Reborn in Palm Springs

Realtor Monique Lombardelli purchased the rights to 65 original Joseph Eichler plans. (Thomas Sylvia of Modern Homes Realty)

Realtor Monique Lombardelli purchased the rights to 65 original Joseph Eichler plans. (Thomas Sylvia of Modern Homes Realty)

A few years ago, Realtor Monique Lombardelli fell in love with the work of Joseph Eichler, the developer whose architect-designed tract homes proliferated throughout Northern and Southern California in the decades following World War II. “[The Eichler homes] provide such a great environment, more of a relaxing, open feel,” she said. Lombardelli’s passion led her to produce a documentary on Eichler’s legacy, which in turn piqued her clients’ interest. “I started getting a lot of clients who wanted one, and there wasn’t anything to show them,” said Lombardelli. “Then I sold one that was a remodel, and everyone said, ‘I want an Eichler.’”

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Construction Underway at Norman Foster’s 610 Lexington Avenue Tower

(Courtesy Foster + Partners)

(Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Norman Foster has broken ground on a skinny residential tower in Midtown Manhattan. Situated adjacent to the 1958 Seagram Building on the site of a former YWCA, Foster + Partners‘ 61-story white luxury tower at 610 Lexington Avenue will dwarf Mies van der Rohe’s 38-story bronze-clad landmark.

“It’s not simply about our new building, but about the composition it creates together with one of the 20th century’s greatest,” said Foster + Partners’ Chris Connell in a statement. “In contrast to Seagram’s dark bronze, our tower will have a pure white, undulating skin. Its proportions are almost impossibly slim and the views will be just incredible.”

Architects of Air Build Inflatable Cathedrals of Psychadelic Space

(Courtesy Architects of Air)

(Courtesy Architects of Air)

To build an inhabitable luminaire you need little more than colored plastic sheeting and an air compressor and the ability to expose said construction to natural light. The finished products are far greater than the sum of the parts, producing results that seem to suggest a series of more elaborately ornamented James Turrell installations. They are the brainchildren of Architects of Air (AoA), a British company that has erected temporary luminaires throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

More after the jump.

Shigeru Ban’s Mt. Fuji Visitors Center Flips the Mountain Upside Down

Fujisan

(Courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects)

In the summer of 2013, Mt. Fuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The designation was of the cultural rather than the natural variety, in part because of the way the mountain has “inspired artists and poets.” Japanese architect Shigeru Ban plans to add a quite literal architectural chapter to this legacy of inspiration in the form of a visitor center commemorating the mountain’s recently-minted status.

More after the jump.

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