Lost in Translation

Other
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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An urban gap in Madrid. (Heart Industry/Flickr)

An urban gap in Madrid. (Heart Industry/Flickr)

While searching for competitions on a number of architecture websites, I came across a misleading description of an international competition in Madrid, Spain, sponsored by the COAM (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid). Read More

The Skyway’s the Limit

Other
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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Thats not just any glass house. Its a converted skyway. (Courtesy City Desk Studio)

That's not just any glass house. It's a converted skyway. (Courtesy City Desk Studio)

As architects struggle to find work, a good place to turn has been the “green” market, especially adaptive re-use (“weatherizing,” as the president likes to call it). Well, here’s an extreme case: On Friday, Curbed noticed a proposal by Minneapolis firm City Desk Studio to transform a skyway into, among other things, a lakeside retreat. Better yet, it was being offered on Craigslist. For $79,500. Our jaws firmly dropped, we decided to call the firm up to find out more. Read More

Spacey Times In Pasadena

Other
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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Roland Halbe

Roland Halbe

Yesterday we toured Morphosis’ new Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. The 100,000 square foot, $50 million building’s most notable architectural features are its cracks, fissures, tilts, and expanding and contracting walkways and apertures; elements that seem to suit it more to a seismology building, but also work to represent the epic tumult of space. Read More

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Atlantic Yards Gets Contextual

Other
Monday, January 26, 2009
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Ratner Gehry Atlantic Yards Brownstone Brooklyn

The Post has put a design to Marty Markowtiz's "proposal" for Atlantic Yards. (Rendering by the New York Post/Original Aerial Photograph by Jonathan Barkey/Courtesy the Post)

The Atlantic Yards has been through a number of iterations, including one by the Post entitled Atlantic Lots, which was developed with the MAS. But today’s rendering by the paper is perhaps its slyest yet, taking a proclamation by “biggest cheeleader” Borough President Marty Markowitz, who called for the project to be clad in brownstone as a cost-saving measure. Read More

He Sure Knew How To Say Goodbye

Other
Thursday, January 22, 2009
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The final work by Future Systems founder Jan Kaplicky is a concert hall in his home country of the Czech Republic. (Courtesy AJ)

The final work by Future Systems founder Jan Kaplicky is a concert hall in his home country of the Czech Republic. (Courtesy AJ)

When Jan Kaplicky passed away last week, we couldn’t help but think that there was some odd symmetry to what it seemed would be his final work, an Oscar Mayer-inspired London Routemaster. After all, it was to England that Kaplicky fled when he left Communist Czechoslavakia, and he practice there all his life. But AJ reports today that Kaplicky’s real, final, realized work, will be in his nation of origin. Read More

Another Planner Down

Other
Thursday, January 22, 2009
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Just weeks after LA City Planning Commission President Jane Usher resigned, Southern California is down another major planner: The LA Times has reported that LA County’s chief planner Bruce McClendon (pictured) was just fired by County Chief Executive Officer William T. Fujioka.

McClendon told the Times that he believed the firing was likely in retaliation for becoming a whistle-blower against the Board of Supervisors. He said he had told Fujioka that supervisors’ aides often tried influencing hearing officers’ decisions on whether to permit development plans. “It was illegal, and they can go to jail for doing it,” McClendon told the Times. Read More

The Alfa Architect is Back!

Other
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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Alfa Romeos Giulietta Spider.Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta Spider.

Buried deep in a New York Times article on Fiat’s proposed alliance with sad old Chrysler is a detail that will make many architects happy. As part of the deal, Chrysler will build small cars for the American market, like the Cinquecento-styled Fiat 500. But more to the design point, Chrysler will also start building Alfa Romeos for the domestic market. As it has long been the favorite of architects—from the Italian Futurists to Craig Hodgetts—let’s hope the design of the new Alfas remains in Italy with Bertone and Pininfarina. And not in Detroit.

Permission to Come Aboard

Other
Friday, January 16, 2009
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Instead of a marketplace, the Great Hall at the Battery Maritime Building will now become an arts and events space. (Courtesy Downtown Express)

Instead of a marketplace, the Great Hall at the Battery Maritime Building will now become an arts and events space. (Courtesy Downtown Express)

 
In addition to the news about further delays at the World Trade Center site, this week’s issue of Downtown Express also reported on a deal brokered by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that guaranteed public access to the “Great Hall” on the second floor of the Battery Maritime Building, and thus Stringer’s ULURP blessing. That this was billed as a victory took me by surprise, because, from what I remember about the project when I was writing about its review and subsequent passage by the LPC, this had always been the plan. Read More

A Picture Worth 1,000 World Trade Centers

Other
Friday, January 16, 2009
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Wed say more, but whats left to say?

We'd say more, but what's left to say? (Courtesy Curbed)

Downtown Express has a lengthy and informative interview with PA executive director Chris Ward about the pace of development at Ground Zero, which, unsurprisingly, may be delayed in some capacity by the current recession. The interview is worth a gander, but really, Curbed says it all with one of its signature red arrow-laden graphics.

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R.I.P. Z Train

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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The Straphangers Campaign even brought a special train to lay to rest the Z-Train this morning (Courtesy Straphangers Campaign)

The Straphangers even brought a special train to lay to rest the Z-Train this morning (Courtesy Straphangers Campaign)

As if last night’s hearing about the MTA’s “austerity budget” wasn’t scary enough, the Straphangers Campaign held a mock funeral today for the Z Train to drive the point home, complete with a memorial wreath and a bagpiper playing taps below Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan. The transit advocacy group chose the line especially because it meant many commuters on the J Line would see their commutes rise upwards of an hour. Read More

Your Chance To Fix LA’s Transit Mess!!!!

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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image courtesy Benny Chan

Isn't she beautiful? NOT! (Courtesy Benny Chan)

What do Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Neil Denari, LA Planning director Gail Goldberg, and Aspet Davidian,  engineering director at the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have in common? They’re all on the jury for The Architect’s Newspaper and SCI-Arc’s new competition, A NEW INFRASTRUCTURE: Innovative Transit Solutions for Los Angeles. Read More

Drive Me To The Moon

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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NASAs new rover will allow astronauts to explore the moon in the safety of a pressurized cabin. (Courtesy NASA)

NASA's new rover will allow astronauts to explore the moon in the safety of a pressurized cabin. (Courtesy NASA)

Few of mankind’s feats have inspired more awe than the Apollo moon missions of the late 1960s and early 70s. Well we’re going for it again, and this time we’re bringing a cooler car! NASA, which plans to put its boots back on earth’s lone natural satellite in 2020, recently unveiled it’s updated moon buggy—a 12-wheeled, electric-powered, fully-pressurized extraterrestrial vehicle that can house two astronauts for up to 14 days of no-holds-barred lunar exploration. Architects take note: With the way the economy is going, your next commissions may be anywhere, even on the moon. (Just check the video after the break.) Read More

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