Eavesdrop> Libeskind & Son’s Big Bang. Physicist Noam Libeskind collaborated with his father Daniel on a new Zumtobel light fixture. Daniel Libeskind’s latest project promises to illuminate your living room and the origins of the universe. He has joined the likes of Zaha Hadid and Hani Rashid in collaborating with Zumtobel, the Austrian lighting company. Libeskind’s chandelier, “eL Masterpiece,” debuted last month at Art Basel Miami Beach and while its name evokes a dodgy canvas proffered on the streets of South Beach, the design is actually an LED-studded feat of quantum complexity. Enter Libeskind fils, Noam, a rocket scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, who was tapped by his father to whip up an algorithm that controls the chandelier’s 1,680 twinkling LED modules and tells the story of how light came into being. “By turning on the eL and watching it through its loop, you’re actually recreating 14 billion years of cosmic history,” explains Herr Doktor Libeskind.
Eavesdrop> Smoke and Mirrors. Architect and set designer David Rockwell will be waving his wand over a new Broadway production based on the life of Harry Houdini. But this time, Rockwell won’t just be creating the sets, he’ll also be co-producing. The idea has been in the works for years, and now Rockwell and a glitzy team—Hugh Jackman in the leading role, Aaron Sorkin on the script, Jack O’Brien as director, and Kurt Andersen, who helped develop the project, as creative consultant—will conjure HOUDINI into reality by 2014.
Gehry Residence Wins AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. The Gehry Residence in Santa Monica, CA has been granted the AIA’s coveted Twenty-five Year Award. In 1978, Gehry transformed the modest frame bungalow with angled forms of plywood, corrugated metal and chain-link mesh, radical interventions within its leafy, residential surroundings. The house was a precursor of Deconstructivist architecture that came to the forefront in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as a the architect’s own exuberant formal inventions at the Bilbao Guggenheim and elsewhere.
Landmark SoCal Restaurant Up In Flames. Architect Kendrick Kellogg’s landmark GG’s Island Restaurant in Rancho Mirage, CA burst into flames this morning. The 3,000 square foot eatery, once home to the Chart House, is famed for its twisting, seashell-like design. Kellogg’s organic designs can be found throughout Southern California, particularly around San Diego and in the Mojave Desert. According to Cal Fire, more than 50 firefighters and 12 engines from the Riverside County Fire Department and the Palm Springs Fire Department were on scene at the peak of the blaze. [Mercury News]
Bjarke Ingels Begins 2012 with an AIA Honor Award. After roaring into New York last year, BIG is reaping rewards from the American Institute of Architects who bestowed an Honor Award on the firm’s aptly-named “8 House” in Copenhagen (it looks like a figure-8 in plan). The AIA jury lavished praise: “people really ‘live’ in this newly created neighborhood,” which “provides an invigorating sculptural form while creating the ramped ‘pedestrian’ street system.” Ramps around 8 House make it bikable—from the street up to its 10th level penthouses—and two sloping green roofs total over 18,000 SF where the building reaches down to the ground.
Stone-itecture: Behold the All-Foyer Mansion. Our friends at The Onion go architectural by “reporting” on a stoner architect who designed a mansion out of just foyers. The same Minneapolis-based architect, the story describes, had won past admiration for a subterranean ranch house and a roofless A-Frame. Unfortunately “The work of stoner architects is tragically underfunded, and few, if any, of their designs have ever actually been built outside of the annual Burning Man festival,” said Doug “Bong Hit” Cirillo, an Austin, TX, stoner architect. Where can we get a subscription to the Stoner Architectural Digest?
The Twelve Days of Architecture. While it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a white Christmas here in New York, we can still try to spread a little holiday cheer. Architect Jody Brown at the blog Coffee with an Architect has come up with a new carol, “The Twelve Days of Architecture.” Here’s a sample from day four: “On the Fourth day of Christmas,/ my Architect gave to me/ a four-sided building,/ Three French Curves,/ Two turtlenecks,/ And a study guide for the A.R.E.” Click on over to Coffee with an Architect to check out the entire song.
MAXXI & PS 1 announce shortlist for 2012 Young Architects Program in Rome. The Italian website Tafter reports that the finalists are 6mu6 (Turin, Italy), Rural Boxx (Sacile, Italy), Urban Movement (New York, USA / Rome, Italy), and Yellow Office Yellow Office (Milan, Italy), and a team composed of John A. Salvator Liotta, Matteo Belfiore with Taichi Kuma and Yuta Ito (Naples, Italy / Tokyo, Japan). The winner will be announced early in 2012, with the installation opening at the MAXXI in June simultaneously with New York’s YAP installation at MoMA PS 1. In bocca al lupo!
Open House New York: This Weekend!. The OHNY launch party to be held in the offices of HOK (above) on Friday, October 14. There is no organization in New York that has done more to publicize this city’s hidden and out of the way architecture and infrastructure than Open House New York (OHNY). One weekend a year, it opens up buildings and spaces normally closed to the public for tours, lectures, and site visits. The yearly event happens this weekend—October 15th and 16th—and to celebrate its 10th year, OHNY is hosting a launch party at the beautiful new offices of HOK across from Bryant Park. The party is on Friday, October 14 from 7pm to 9pm at HOK, and you can purchase party tickets (and support OHNY) at the new Open House New York event website.