Archtober Building of the Day #17> East 34th Street Ferry Terminal

Architecture, East, Transportation
Friday, October 17, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #17
East 34th Street Ferry Terminal
E 35th Street at FDR Drive
KVA Matx

Public architecture is alive. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal, designed by KVA Architects, integrates structure, social use, the natural environment, and digital technology to realize an architecture that is sensitive and responsive to its surroundings.  This approach, called “soft” or “resilient” infrastructure, creates a dynamic civic space in which flows of water, people, and information are manifested in the structure.  Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1900 poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the design emphasizes the fecundity of the waterfront and the multiple uses of the pier, not only that of the commuter but also that of the wanderer, viewer, or fisherman.  Technology accentuates elements of nature so that the commuter might slow down, absorbing the light, water, and the beautiful terminal, before entering or re-entering the city.

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Facades+ Dallas Co-Chair on the Big D’s Coming-of-Age

As Dallas comes of age, its built environment is a subject of debate among designers, city leaders, and residents. (David Herrera / Flickr)

As Dallas comes of age, its built environment is a subject of debate among designers, city leaders, and residents. (David Herrera / Flickr)

Dallas is growing up. And just like the rest of us, the city is doing some soul-searching on its way from adolescence to adulthood. “Growing up doesn’t necessarily mean growing out; bigger isn’t necessarily better,” said Heath May, director of HKS LINE and co-chair of the upcoming Facades+ Dallas conference. “People are starting to understand that it’s time to start thinking about public policy and the way it relates to placemaking.”

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Pratt Students Raise an AAC Wall

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School of Architecture students designed and fabricated a portion of an AAC facade for display in the lobby of Higgins Hall. (Courtesy Lawrence Blough)

School of Architecture students designed and fabricated a portion of an AAC facade for display in the lobby of Higgins Hall. (Courtesy Lawrence Blough)

Installation investigates the future of facade design and fabrication.

Unlike some student projects, AAC Textile-Block v2.0 was shaped by both practical and speculative concerns. In back-to-back courses at Pratt, undergraduates designed and fabricated a prototype section of a screen wall system made from autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC). Co-taught by Lawrence Blough and Ezra Ardolino, the design studio and prototyping seminar encouraged students to look beyond their computer screens to real-world constraints including block size and light and air circulation. “The idea was that we wanted to make something that has an application later on,” said Blough. “It was more than a run-of-the-mill digital fabrication project,” added Ardolino. “It was really a comprehensive fabrication project.” Read More

Archtober Building of the Day #16> Post-Disaster Urban Interim Housing

Architecture, East
Thursday, October 16, 2014
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(Julia Cohen)

Archtober Building of the Day #16
Post-Disaster Urban Interim Housing
Cadman Plaza East & Red Cross Place
Garrison Architects

Nearly three million residents live in New York City’s six emergency evacuation zones. After a natural disaster ravages communities, displaced people often leave their neighborhoods never to return, causing catastrophic economic and social upheaval. The Prototype for Urban Interim Housing Units is an attempt to remedy this condition after the storm. Instead of dispersing, residents could begin to regain what they lost, starting with a safe, resilient home.

Continue reading after the jump.

Take a tour inside the under-construction Empire Stores in Dumbo, Brooklyn

The Empire Stores' facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The Empire Stores’ facade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Over the weekend,  AN joined an Open House New York on a tour of the under-construction Empire Stores warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The old coffee bean warehouse was built in the 1870s, but has been sitting empty along the East River for decades. By next fall, though, the Empire Stores will have been transformed with all the Brooklyn-type fixings you’d expect. Yes, there is an artisanal Brooklyn market featuring local purveyors. And office space for tech and creative companies. And cafes, restaurants, and beer gardens. Included in the mix is also a rooftop public park and a museum focused on New York City‘s waterfront.

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Rios Clementi Hale’s IAC lattice tilts the traditional green roof on its side in West Hollywood

Rios Clementi Hale's Green Grid for IAC (RCH)

Rios Clementi Hale’s Green Grid for IAC (RCH)

What’s a cross between a green roof and a living wall? IAC, the company that brought you Frank Gehry’s billowing building by the High Line in New York, is commissioning Rios Clementi Hale to “drape” its white brick building on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with a six-story sculptural steel lattice—like a living roof turned 45 degrees— containing native plantings irrigated by recaptured underground water.

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Tour 150 of Chicago’s architectural gems this weekend for free at Open House Chicago

The 190 South LaSalle building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1968 as an homage to Burnham & Root’s demolished 1892 Masonic Temple Building. (Eric Allix Rogers)

The 190 South LaSalle building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1968 as an homage to Burnham & Root’s demolished 1892 Masonic Temple Building. (Eric Allix Rogers)

Open House Chicago is this weekend, October 18 and 19, when 150 of the city’s architectural gems—both new and old, well-known and obscure, public year-round and off-limits but for now—open their doors to enthusiasts of the built environment, free of charge. Read More

Shanghai talks: How to avoid homogenous skylines

Shanghai sunrise, before the construction of the Shanghai Tower. (Jose Maria Cuellar via flickr)

Shanghai sunrise, before the construction of the Shanghai Tower. (Jose Maria Cuellar via flickr)

In September, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for their Shanghai symposium, entitled “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.”

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Archtober Building of the Day #15> Red Bull Studios

Architecture, East, Interiors
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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(Berit Hoff)

Archtober Building of the Day #15
Red Bull Studios
220 West 18th Street
SLAB Architecture/INABA

Jeffrey Inaba didn’t have wings, but guided a big group of Archtober enthusiasts and pick up party goers on a tour of Red Bull Studios in Chelsea. Introduced by Lance Jay Brown, 2014 AIANY President, the former Angelino, via OMA, presented a slick 38,000 square foot music studio/gallery/corporate office that spans all trends. With a psychedelic installation curated by Phong Bui and Rail Curatorial Projects, the public spaces, cleverly planned with acoustics and crowd control in mind, sang out with raucous voices of overstimulation—not INABA’s work.  The planning, though, underlying the funk and festivity was rock solid, creating a diversity of public space, engaging from the street, clear divisions of public and private, and fantastic core toilets.

Continue reading after the jump.

Long-vacant grain silos in Chicago up for auction, future uncertain

One of Chicago‘s most visible rust-belt remnants is up for sale, just in time for its cameo in the Transformers 4 movie. The derelict Santa Fe grain elevator has been a favorite hangout for squatters, graffiti artists and ruin-porn enthusiasts since 1977, when a fire and explosion ended 70 years of industrial history there.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philip Johnson’s Farney House in Sagaponack, New York has been demolished

Architecture, East, Newsletter, Preservation
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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The Farney House. (© Ezra Stoller/Esto)

The Farney House. (Ezra Stoller/Esto)

The village of Sagaponack, New York has confirmed to AN that Philip Johnson’s Farney House has been demolished. A Robert A.M. Stern–designed home is expected to rise in its place. Johnson completed the home in 1946, just three years before his world-famous Glass House in New Canaan. The now-disappeared Hamptons home is believed to have inspired that later work.

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Rem Koolhaas’ Biennale: Or how the Tempest Swept Venice

Architecture, International, Review
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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peter-lang-biennale-02

[Editor's Note: The Venice Architecture Biennale is still on through November 23 and it's still proving to be controversial. Professor Peter Lang shares his thoughts on Rem Koolhaas' event here.]

A Tale about the Magician Koolhaas who plays Prospero, lives on an island in the Venetian Laguna, and brings a Tempest to the Venice Biennale.

Miranda:
O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206[5]
(Aldous Huxley quoted this line from the Tempest for the title of his dystopian novel Brave New World published in 1931)

In choosing to take a different perspective on the 14th edition of the Architecture Biennale in Venice directed by Rem Koolhaas, I decided to skip the standard blow-by-blow critique, and instead confront what I believe is the greatest enigma behind this controversial event. Up till now, the majority of critics taking a look at this year’s exhibition find fault with Koolhaas’ method, not so much with his madness. But the key to the exhibition is not in its studied aloofness, but in its insubordination—Koolhaas is determined to shake up the Biennale institution by any means possible.

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