Chuggin’ Along

Other
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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As AN reported yesterday, California voters came out in force to favor a handful of pro-transit and planning initiatives, a trend that swept the country on election day. According to a press release from the America Public Transportation Association (APTA), 16 states approved 23 ballot measures on Tuesday, dedicating some $75 billion to transit-oriented projects. Read More

Crumbling Concrete

East Coast, Other
Friday, October 31, 2008
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Yankees Stadium was one of 102 projects identified by the DA as falsely inspected by Testwell.

Yankees Stadium was one of 102 projects identified by the DA as falsely inspected by Testwell.

Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau served an indictment against a dozen employees of a concrete inspection company, which the DA cited for improperly inspecting at least 102 buildings in the city in recent years. According to the Times‘ account, Testwell, of Ossinning, New York, was “the city’s leading concrete-testing firm.” AN picked up a copy of the indictment today, and how right the paper of record is. Read More

Cutting the Nets?

Other
Thursday, October 30, 2008
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Courtesy Forest City Ratner

Courtesy Forest City Ratner

At Monday’s Coney Island charrette kick-off, hosted by the Municipal Art Society, a number of stakeholders from the area gave presentations to the design team to help them form ideas for leading the charrette in a few weeks. (To share your own, visit the imagineconey.com, which just launched today.)

One of the presentations was given by Jon Benguiat, the director of planning and development for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who spoke about Asser Levy Park, a small outdoor amphitheater and park across Surf Avenue from the aquarium, which is getting a dramatic $64 million retractable roof courtesy of Grimshaw. (More on that soon, we hope.)

As with all these things, there was a Power Point presentation, and as with all Power Point presentations, the whole thing took some time to boot up. In the interim, Benguiat decided to tell the story of how he became Marty’s planning direct, during which he let some shocking news about the Atlantic Yards, or at least the fate of the Brooklyn Nets, slide. Read More

Noshing In Style

Other
Friday, October 24, 2008
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Without further ado, here are the winners of the AIA LA’s 4th Annual Restaurant Design Awards. The awards were announced on October 16, and judges included architects David Montalba and Michael Hogdson, Joachim B. Splichal, founder of the Patina restaurant group, and LA Weekly writer Margot Dougherty.

JURY WINNERS:

RESTAURANT
Blue Velvet designed by Tag Front

Eric Axene

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Filed Under: , ,

Report: World Architecture Festival

Other
Thursday, October 23, 2008
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courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group

courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group

The World Architecture Festival in Barcelona is in its second day and it’s great seeing New Yorkers doing so well in this international competition. Read More

Waterfalls of Revenue

Other
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
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Though some people were more than happy to see Olafur Eliasson’s New York City Waterfalls dry up a few weeks ago, one person who will dearly miss them is the mayor. Read More

The Esquire House Bait-and-Switch: A Case Study

Other
Monday, October 20, 2008
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Where a man lives?

How a man lives?

We’ve heard plenty about the annual tradition that is the Esquire House. The mag transforms a chic address into the ultimate bachelor pad or “How a Man Lives”…along with hundreds of his heaviest-drinking C-list celeb friends. Last year the spot was Charles Gwathmey‘s Astor Place Tower, so this year they returned to the west coast, with a location to-be-revealed somewhere in the Hollywood Hills. But when we got the above invite to the Jaguar-sponsored event last Saturday, we took one look at the iconic Julius Shulman shot and gasped in horror.

Was Esquire really going to turn the Pierre Koenig-designed Stahl House, aka Case Study House No. 22, into a den for men? Read More

Pop-Up Hadid

Other
Monday, October 20, 2008
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“Don’t panic, don’t wander off…. Open my bag, as they say in French…” Thus begins the audio-tour of the Chanel pop-up architecture pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid and launched this morning in Central Park (Fifth Avenue and 69th Street). The throaty dominatrix on the tape could have been Zaha herself, Read More

Filed Under: ,

Megastructures Reload

Other
Monday, October 20, 2008
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La Villa Spatiale by Yona Friedman & Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz

La Villa Spatiale by Yona Friedman & Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz

A derelict old German mint in Berlin has been taken over until November 2 by Megastructure Reloaded an exhibit of  1960’s visionary architecture drawings, models, and films. Descending into the mint’s basement/bunker Archigrammer Dennis Crompton has created an installation that includes Yona Friedman’s la Ville Spatiale, a film of the Archigram guys walking around The Centre Pompidou with Cedric Price, and a toy-like model of a Constant Nieuwenhuijs skyscraper. The dilapidated ground floor has series of interpretations of the themes by young megatsructuralists like New Yorkers Tobias Putrih and Katrin Sigurdardottir. Read More

Another one bites the dust

Other
Monday, October 20, 2008
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The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that Jean Nouvel’s 45-story tower in LA’s Century City, 10000 Santa Monica Blvd. (pictured above), has been put on hold. The “Green Blade,” as it had been  nicknamed, was to have an extremely thin 50-foot floorplate, permitting north and south glazing for all of its 177 units. Each unit was also to be wrapped outside with plants, resting on projecting podiums.

“We have been unable to obtain assurances of continued funding that would allow us to move forward with confidence at this point in time,” the building’s developer, SunCal, said in a statement.

According to the Journal’s story, vacancy rates have doubled in parts of Los Angeles, Class A office buildings are opening without tenants, and high-profile marquee projects are “being all but abandoned.” Yikes.

Filed Under: 

Red Stair

Other
Friday, October 17, 2008
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The opening yesterday in Father Duffy Square of the new TKTS booth—conceived 35 years before the current trend in pop-up venues—was attended by Mayor Bloomberg, Bernadette Peters, and loyal members of the 69th, if not the naked cowboy. Even the original designers of the red steps, Australians Tai Ropiha and John Choi, were on hand, although organizers were quick to call their competition winning design (best of 683 entries from 31 countries) of January 2000, just a concept.

Read More

A Most Architectural Trailer

Other
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
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Over the weekend, I caught a screening of Burn After Reading, which turned out to be better than the reviews would have you believe. But the biggest surprise was the trailer for The International. Watching the opening scene, you’re probably thinking the same thing I did: The financial crisis, coming to a theater near you. But beyond the (once?) absurd plot of a the world’s largest bank funding murders and coups, the movie looks like it could be the most architecturally savvy since The Fountainhead. To wit:

Read More

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