Legoland, NY

East Coast, Other
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
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(Courtesy NYTimes.com)

(Courtesy NYTimes.com

For those of you who haven’t already seen Christoph Niemann’s great blog for the Times, “Abstract City”–the expat illustrator renders the city we love in terms of its subway lines and coffee stains–today’s post proves to be his best work yet. Read More

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Stay at Home Weekend

Other
Friday, January 30, 2009
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Courtesy Porsche

You probably haven’t been invited to the opening of Delugan Meissl’s spectacular looking new Porsche museum tomorrow afternoon in Stuttgart… Read More

Keep Your Eye on the Oculus (UPDATE)

East Coast, Other
Thursday, January 29, 2009
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Should I stay or should I go now? That remains to be seen.

Should I stay or should I go now? That remains to be seen.

Even before the recession hobbled the MTA, the fate of the Fulton Street Transit Center was much in doubt. There had been talk of simply capping the site with a park, or building Grimshaw’s pavillion but without Jamie Carpenter’s signature oculus.

But according to a report this morning on WNYC, the MTA has decided to go forward with an above-ground building, though it could be sans oculus. And, for better or worse, there will be more retail opportunities (read: a mall), which, given Richard Ravitch’s contention that the MTA lacks a consistent, reliable funding stream, might not be such a bad idea. Read More

Astroland, Gone But Not Forgotten

Other
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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Down but not out, the Astroland rocket will someday return to Coney Island. (Barry Yanowitz/Flickr)

Down but not out, the Astroland rocket will someday return to Coney Island. (Barry Yanowitz/Flickr)

Astroland may be gone, and much of Coney Island with it, but it least its most iconic symbol will be saved. (No, not the Tilt-a-Whirl.) As per a press release we just received, Carol Hill Albert, a co-owner of Astroland, has donated the amusement park’s namesake rocket, which once rested atop Gregory & Paul’s hot dog stand (an AN favorite). Read More

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

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