Gehry & Foster’s Battersea Redesign Seeks to Humanize Viñoly’s Original Masterplan

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(Courtesy Battersea Power Station)

Despite having first dibs on the project, Rafael Viñoly is being forced to hedge his vision for London’s Battersea Power Station redevelopment under pressure from fellow power players Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. Responsible for guiding “Phase III” of the project, the latter pair have rejected the two large structures Mr. Viñoly had initially envisioned lining a raised pedestrian thoroughfare in favor of five smaller structures in an attempt to “humanize the scale.”

More after the jump.

Boom or Bust for Phoenix’s Warehouse District?

Phoenix developer Michael Levine won a 2007 Arizona Governor's Heritage Preservation Award for his adaptive re-use of the warehouse at 605 E. Grant Streets. (Courtesy Michael Levine)

Phoenix developer Michael Levine won a 2007 Arizona Governor’s Heritage Preservation Award for his adaptive reuse of the warehouse at 605 E. Grant Streets. (Courtesy Michael Levine)

According to a recent article on azcentral.com, Phoenix’s Warehouse District is in the midst of a renaissance. Or is it? The man behind several adaptive reuse projects in the neighborhood says not so fast. “It’s like every five years someone gets excited about it and writes the same article,” said developer Michael Levine. While he admits there’s been an uptick in interest in the mid-century industrial buildings, he doubts his fellow landowners’ motives. “If you give them enough money…they’d have the [buildings] demolished,” he said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects Propose Parametric “Urban Alloy Towers” Bridging a Train Yard in Queens

The Urban Alloy Towers. (Courtesy AMLGM)

The Urban Alloy Towers. (Courtesy AMLGM)

Why cap a transit hub with traditional, mixed-use towers when it can be topped by an amorphous, alien-like, tubular, metallic structurethat seemingly defies gravity? That, apparently, was the thinking behind AMLGM’s “Urban Alloy” proposal for Queens, New York. Their dramatic proposal, which bends and twists above an existing transportation center, includes retail, office, cultural, and residential space within its metallic skin.

More after the jump.

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Valerio Dewalt Train’s 13-Story Hyde Park Development Advances With Changes

An updated design for Vue53 in Chicago's Hyde Park. (Courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates)

An updated design for Vue53 in Chicago’s Hyde Park. (Courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates)

Last year, Mesa Development and the University of Chicago announced they’d planned a 13-story mixed-use development for the western end of Hyde Park’s 53rd Street commercial strip. The massive project drew opposition to its scale and a lawsuit delayed construction—until now.

See how the design has changed after the jump.

REX’s Joshua Prince-Ramus Unwraps His Approach to Facade Design

REX's Media Headquarters Buildings feature retractable sunshades based on a traditional Arab Mashrabiya pattern. (Courtesy REX)

REX’s Media Headquarters Buildings feature retractable sunshades based on a traditional Arab Mashrabiya pattern. (Courtesy REX)

Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal at REX, has a bone to pick with modernism and its legacy. “For the last 100 years, architecture’s been involved in a silly tension between form and function,” he said. While high modernism privileged function over form, some of today’s top designers argue that architecture is about aesthetics and not much else. REX has a different take: architecture, the firm claims, is both function and form. “We really believe that architecture can do things. It’s not just a representational art form,” said Prince-Ramus. “We talk about performance. Aesthetics are part of performance [as is function.]”

Continue reading after the jump.

Obit> Robert Hull, 1945–2014

Architecture, Obit, West
Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Robert Hull, FAIA. (Courtesy The Miller Hull Partnership)

Robert Hull, FAIA. (Courtesy The Miller Hull Partnership)

Robert Hull, FAIA, founding partner of The Miller Hull Partnership, has died from complications following a stroke. Hull, who was 68, was on sabbatical in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Continue reading after the jump.

Two-Sided Railway Station by Team CS

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The south facade of the new Rotterdam Centraal Station is a soaring construction of stainless steel and glass. (Jannes Linders for Team CS)

The south facade of the new Rotterdam Centraal Station is a soaring construction of stainless steel and glass. (Jannes Linders for Team CS)

Rotterdam Centraal Station’s relationship to the existing urban fabric called for different treatments of its north and south facades.

To call the commission for a new central railway station in Rotterdam complicated would be an understatement. The project had multiple clients, including the city council and the railway company ProRail. The program was complex, encompassing the north and south station halls, train platforms, concourse, commercial space, offices, outdoor public space, and more. Finally, there was the station’s relationship to Rotterdam itself: while city leaders envisioned the south entrance as a monumental gateway to the city, the proximity of an historic neighborhood to the north necessitated a more temperate approach. Team CS, a collaboration among Benthem Crouwel Architekten, MVSA Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten, and West 8, achieved a balancing act with a multipart facade conceived over the project’s decade-long gestation. On the south, Rotterdam Centraal Station trumpets its presence with a swooping triangular stainless steel and glass entryway, while to the north a delicate glass-house exterior defers to the surrounding urban fabric. Read More

Winning Moved to Care Design Brings Mobile Healthcare to Southeast Asia

The winning design. (Courtesy Moved to Care)

The winning design. (Courtesy Moved to Care)

A team of American architects and public health professionals has won an international competition to design a mobile health center for impoverished communities in Southeast Asia. The Moved to Care Design Competition, which received more than 200 entries from around the world, called on designers  “to create an innovative design solution for a relocatable healthcare facility.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Richard Meier In For the Long Haul In Newark

Architecture, East
Monday, April 14, 2014
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The SoMa master plan. (Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners)

The SoMa master plan. (Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners)

As construction continues at Richard Meier’s Teachers Village in Newark, renderings have surfaced for a significant batch of glassy towers that could rise alongside it. At first glance, the master plan looks like Hudson Yards‘ glossy, younger sibling who is vying for attention on the other side of the Hudson. But the project remains as ephemeral as its glassy renderings.

Read More

Updating Washington, D.C.’s Mies van der Rohe Library

The Great Hall. (Courtesy Martinez and Johnson + Mecanoo)

The Great Hall. (Courtesy Martinez and Johnson + Mecanoo)

Earlier this year, the Washington, D.C. Public Library announced that Martinez+Johnson and Mecanoo had won their competition to design  the next phase of the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  Check out AN‘s coverage of the winning design here. The firm beat out two other finalists to revamp van der Rohe‘s iconic work. Here’s AN’s guide to the competition and the runners-up.

More after the jump.

Financing Secured for Manhattan’s First Micro-Apartment Development

Architecture, Development, East
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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My Micro NY to rise in Manhattan. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

My Micro NY to rise in Manhattan. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

One year after nARCHITECTS won a New York City–led competition to design a micro-unit housing development, financing is in place to start construction. The Commercial Observer reports that M&T bank has secured a $10.3 million loan for the project known, which is known as “My Micro NY.” The nine-story building will rise in Kips Bay and contain 55 prefab units—each of which will measure roughly 300-square-feet. Nearly half of these units will rent at below-market rents. The paper reports, “The mini apartments will contain nearly 10-foot ceilings and seven-foot-wide balconies in addition to 16-foot-long overhead loft spaces and full closets.” The apartments are expected to come onto the market next year.

Behnisch Architekten Greens UB’s School of Law

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The John and Frances Angelos Law Center is on track to achieve LEED Platinum status. (David Matthiessen)

The John and Frances Angelos Law Center is on track to achieve LEED Platinum status. (David Matthiessen)

A high-performance facade weaves a diverse program into a single volume.

The School of Law at the University of Baltimore was founded nearly nine decades ago, but for most of that time its classrooms, offices, library, and clinics were scattered among several downtown buildings. That changed last year, with the opening of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center. Designed by Behnisch Architekten with Ayers Saint Gross, the Angelos Law Center unites a diverse program within a single 12-story structure. Its checkerboard envelope, which won Best Facade in AN’s 2014 Best of Design Awards, weaves the building’s three principal components—a classroom and office wing, the library, and a central atrium—into a single volume. In addition, the facade positions the university on the cutting edge of sustainable design. Its integrated approach to energy efficiency has helped the Angelos Law Center win several green-building prizes, and set it on track to achieve LEED platinum status. Read More

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