Detroit Pick Me Up

Other
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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The new Mercury Coffee Bar designed by Zago Architecture with the abandoned Michigan Central Station in the distance (all photos by Corine Vermeulen-Smith)

The collapse of Detroit has been a subject of fascination for artists, architects, and urbanists. In the current economic environment, the symbolism of the city’s decline threatens to overshadow the human and physical realities of the place. And while few would argue that the city will ever return to its height, it is nice to be able to show a project that disrupts the city-in-free-fall narrative, such as the new Mercury Coffee Bar, designed by Andrew Zago. No architect has been more closely associated with working on and thinking about contemporary Detroit’s plight than Zago. In his latest project, he’s created a bright, cheerful refuge in the city’s desolate landscape. Read More

How Unappealing

Other
Thursday, February 26, 2009
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Exhibit A. (horseycrazy/Flickr)

Exhibit A. (horseycrazy/Flickr)

The folks over at Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn have been paper-cutting Forest City Ratner for years now, with lawsuit after lawsuit, but they may almost be out of legal options. Today, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ESDC had not erred in its environmental review filing for Atlantic Yards. Read More

Up, Up, & Away

Other
Thursday, February 26, 2009
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Up she goes. (TOKEN FYP./Flickr)

Up she goes. (TOKEN FYP./Flickr)

No, we’re not talking about the progress on Tower 1, though that is impressive. We’re talking about news of the building’s new, fastest-in-the-hemisphere elevators. Call it jealousy: We’ve been having horrible problems lately at A/N HQ with the elevator. First, it was grinding and creaking. Then it was getting stuck between floors. They say it’s fixed but we’re still taking the stairs. Can we be blamed for looking longingly to the south from 21 Murray Street after this ecstatic report from tomorrow’s Times: Read More

HSM: Warped on Wooster Street

Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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Smith-Miller Hawkinsons proposed designs for 27 Wooster Street, which have been replaced by KPF. (Coutesy Smith-Miller Hawkinson)

Smith-Miller + Hawkinson's proposed designs for 27 Wooster Street, which have been replaced by ones by KPF. (Courtesy SMH+)

Yesterday, Curbed got the scoop on the new 27 Wooster Street, designed by KPF. Just as they were hitting publish, Henry Smith-Miller, principal of Smith-Miller Hawkinson and the designer of the proposal KPF is replacing, had written us about the project–and his apparent consternation. We asked to know more, and he gamely responded, even encouraging us to air his grievances here-in: Read More

Industrial Chic

Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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XRTs new home

Partygoers enjoy XRT's new home

Last Saturday LA’s new X Repertory Theater Company (XRT) celebrated the opening of its mammoth headquarters—which they call Location X— on 1581 Industrial Street in the city’s Arts/Warehouse District. Members of the company spent weeks prior to the party sandblasting  (yes, they did it themselves, respirators and all..) the 10,000 square foot former warehouse’s plaster walls to reveal gorgeous brick; Read More

Ray Kappe Remembers Marvin Rand

Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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(Courtesy the Rand family

(Courtesy the Rand family

We ran a rememberance of Marvin Rand yesterday by Larry Scarpa of Pugh+Scarpa. Here’s another from Ray Kappe, the founding director of Sci-Arc: Read More

Gov’s Island: I’m Not Dead Yet

East Coast, Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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GIPECs budget coming into focus. (jglsongs/Flickr)

GIPEC's budget--coming into focus. (jglsongs/Flickr)

While it is well known that the recession has hobbled both the city and state’s budgets for the coming fiscal year, one project has already been left for dead by certain press outlets. Which seems strange because one of the designers behind the recreational magnet that will one day become Governor’s Island works in the same building as us, and they seem as busy as hell. So is it really sink or swim time? Read More

Sitting Pricey

Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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(courtesy Christie's)

Economic uncertainty has done little to dampen enthusiasm at the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Collection auction at Christie’s in Paris. Multiple sales records have been broken, including the highest price for a piece of 20th Century design, Eileen Gray’s Art Deco “dragon chair” from 1917-1919, which fetched $28,341,909, far surpassing the high estimate of $3,833,040. Read More

Not Exactly Glass Slippers…

Other
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
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(Images courtesy Kartell)

Reminiscent of the ever-so-popular jelly shoes of the 1980s, and more recent incarnations such as Marc Jacobs Rubber Ballet Flat Shoes which debuted in 2007, Italian furniture powerhouse Kartell, internationally renowned for modern furniture design in plastics, and young Italian fashion label .normaluisa recently released a shoe collection of plastic ballerina flats aptly called “Glue Cinderella.” Combining Kartell’s innovative technology with .normaluisa’s youthful design sensibility their latest collaboration offers classic style with an edgy vibe. Read More

Billboards: WAIT a minute…

Other
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
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A collection of LA signs from the site stopbillboardblight.com

A collection of LA signs from the site banbillboardblight.org

Today  AIA/LA’s Director of Government & Public Affairs, Will Wright,  testified to LA’s planning commission regarding a revised sign ordinance controlling the erection of billboards in the city. A moratorium on all new signs was passed by LA’s city council in December, while the city’s original sign ordinance—considered by many to be ineffective— was passed in 1986. Wright requested that the commission delay a vote and consider a revised  ordinance “until comprehensive visual analysis of the proposed regulations is completed.” A vote on the revised ordinance is expected in the next few weeks. Read More

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Who Designed These Buildings?

Other
Monday, February 23, 2009
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On Friday, the prolific New York Times metro reporter Jennifer 8. Lee, whose beat seems to include everything from fortune cookies to urban planning, covered a new mixed supportive and moderate-income housing development in Harlem, co-developed by the Fortune Society. Unfortunately for the architects involved, she misattributed the design of the project, and of another recent affordable housing development in Harlem, David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens, to the other co-developer, Jonathan Rose Companies. Read More

Real Estate Without Us (+Rendering)

Other
Monday, February 23, 2009
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(All cellphotos by Matt Chaban)

There have been countless symbols for the end of the real estate boom, both literal–the collapse of Countrywide, the Fannie & Freddie takeover, the unfinished tract homes and decaying “For Sale” signs–and figurative–the Eastside crane accidents, the TVCC Fire. But we think this back-to-nature scene spotted over the weekend in Williamsburg takes the, uh, mortgage. Read More

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