Selldorf Rumored To Be Winner at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Expansion

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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MCASD's La Jolla Campus.  (UC Davis Arts Club)

MCASD’s La Jolla Campus. (UC Davis Arts Club)

It’s not confirmed, but we hear from a source that the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)  has named New York–based Selldorf Architects to design its upcoming expansion. The approximately $25 million project would add about 30,000 square feet of exhibition space to the museum’s La Jolla location.

Continue reading after the jump.

Alphabet Soup: Architecture Firm Acronyms Gone Wild

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Monday, February 17, 2014
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(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

What do architects, attorneys, and accountants have in common? Naming firms after themselves. Architecture firms are some of the worst offenders and Eavesdrop is constantly consulting Wiki to figure the names behind those initials. After decades of ego, leadership changes, and acquisitions, one would think that global design would be dominated by a firm called SOMHOKBKLMNOP.

So it should not come at any surprise that St. Louis–based HOK recently acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality firm BBG-BBGM. Eavesdrop refuses to do any research on the provenance of that cluster of initials, but, luckily, it appears the combined firm will just be HOK. BBG should add an impressive, high-end roster of clients—think St. Regis and Peninsula hotels—to HOK’s portfolio of marquee projects.

OMA Gosh, What a Disaster! Cornell Professor Pokes Koolhaas

East, Eavesdroplet
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Interior of Rem Koolhaas' Milstein Hall at Cornell. (Unexplained Bacon / Flickr)

Interior of Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall at Cornell. (Unexplained Bacon / Flickr)

Cornell architecture professor Jonathan Oschorn has taken Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall—an expansion of the university’s architecture school—to task in a critique, calling it “by virtually any conceivable objective criterion, a disaster.” While Oschorn admitted that the building possesses great aesthetic interest, his quibbles lie in the project’s functionality. He calls out no less than seven fire safety issues, including that the auditorium only has a single means of egress and that there are no fire walls separating it from the existing buildings that it connects—Sibley and Rand halls.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bronze on Your Hands: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Faces Folk Museum Backlash

The doomed Folk Art Museum. (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

The doomed Folk Art Museum. (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

Liz Diller faced down a hostile crowd at the recent “MoMA Expansion Conversation,” hosted by the Architectural League, the Municipal Art Society, and AIA New York. Apparently she’s had some practice.

One elder statesman of the New York architecture community reports that Diller made a series of phone calls to prominent architects prior to the public release of MoMA’s plans asking for their advice and support. This gray eminence apparently told her the firm should resign from the commission. At which point Ric Scofidio apparently chimed in, saying, succinctly, “Never!”

An editor from another publication reports rumors of dissent within Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Apparently some associates in the firm have asked not to work on the project, fearing a Scarlet Letter on their resumes.

Penn-ultimate? Never! Norman Foster’s Superstitious Plans for Philly

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, February 6, 2014
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Rendering of Norman Foster's new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Rendering of Norman Foster’s new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

In life, by all accounts, William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, was a good man. In death, however, this portly, English-born idealist has turned nasty—if the good sports fans of Philadelphia are to be believed. But Norman Foster has a plan to appease the spirits.

Get the whole story after the jump.

Ten Pounds of Sugar in a Five-Pound Sack: Studio Gang Growing Out of Their Own Space

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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(Montage by AN)

(Montage by AN)

We are not talking about Jeanne Gang or Mark Schendel, that’s for sure, but their practice, Studio Gang. Word on the streets is that they’re shopping for a new home. If you visit their website, you can see why, as the list of people requires you to scroll through dozens of names. That can only mean one exciting thing: projects are under construction! Just one or two years ago, Eavesdrop was at an office party where the entire firm could’ve comfortably fit in the office’s quaint second story courtyard. What unfortunate timing for the office to grow out of its britches, as one of the new (Gensler-designed?) outposts of Intelligentsia is opening across the street next month.

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AECOM Surprise: Zellner Named Head of Southern California Architecture.  AECOM Surprise: Zellner Named Head of Southern California Architecture Our friends at one of the largest firms in world, AECOM, have made a move we never anticipated: signing Peter Zellner, known as a maverick architect of galleries and houses, to be their new head of design in Southern California. Zellner said it best: “I think my hire suggests they want to move things in a different direction.” Indeed it appears with the hire of Zellner and former SOM principal Ross Wimer that the firm is ready to further embrace design. (Photo: Courtesy Peter Zellner)

 

Architect Andrew Wolfram Joins TEF in San Francisco.  Architect Andrew Wolfram Joins TEF in San Francisco Up in Northern California, Andrew Wolfram has bolted Perkins + Will’s San Francisco office to become a principal at TEF (Tom Eliot Fisch). Wolfram was project architect for the SF Ferry Building, and also worked on the renovation of 140 New Montgomery, Timothy Pflueger’s art deco skyscraper for Pacific Telephone. (Photo: Courtesy Andrew Wolfram)

 

Architecture Bookstores Are Dead. Long Live An Architecture Bookstore?

Interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

Interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

Last week news broke that the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street  is doomed. The owners of the well-loved building, which is not officially landmarked, plan to demolish it to to make way for another luxury residential tower. This set off another round of fretting about the future of bookstores, especially art and design bookstores.  But the news for bookstores might not be all bad. We hear that a new Urban Center may be brewing that would join together at least 11 New York civic organizations that have been adrift in hidden offices all over the city into a single “center” with an exhibition space and an architecture book store. Stay tuned.

Watch a video of the Rizzoli Bookstore after the jump.

Revolving Dean Door: Schools Coast to Coast In Search of New Leadership

Clockwise from top left: Thom Mayne, Barry Bergdoll, Greg Lynn, Mark Wigley, Daniel Libeskind, Aaron Betsky. (Montage by AN)

Clockwise from top left: Thom Mayne, Barry Bergdoll, Greg Lynn, Mark Wigley, Daniel Libeskind, Aaron Betsky. (Montage by AN)

There is a rumor making its way around the West Coast that Thom Mayne may have more than a new building in New York. He may be headed east to become dean of Columbia University, replacing the departing Mark Wigley. But we have also heard—despite his protests that he is happy sailing to Catalina—that Greg Lynn may also be interested in the Morningside Heights position.

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Walmart-Town Gets Classy With Help From Deborah Berke

Awards, Design, Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Courtesy 21c)

The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Courtesy 21c)

Speaking of hotels, 21C Museum Hotels continue to rake in the accolades. We noticed every dang travel magazine has rated the new Cincinnati and Bentonville (aka, Walmart-town) outposts as Super Number One Hotel In America. We jest, but seriously, the point we previously made about good design in Chicago has been successfully executed multiple times now by Deborah Berke Partners in lesser cities, creating destinations for locals and travelers alike.

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Is Chicago’s After Party In The Hotel Lobby?

Development, Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Chicago viewed from the top of the Willis Tower. (Andrew Langdal / Flickr)

Chicago viewed from the top of the Willis Tower. (Andrew Langdal / Flickr)

During Chicago’s last real estate boom it was all condos, and during the following bust developers were all about building apartments. The buzzword during this modest recovery, if you can call it that, is hotels.

Read more after the jump.

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