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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Going Soft: Norman Foster’s London Skyscraper’s Unexpected Cameo

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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foster-soft-gherkin

Lord Norman Foster’s pickle-shaped 30 St. Mary Axe building in London, widely known as “the gherkin,” has been featured in an advertisement for a UK chemist that sells erectile dysfunction pills at £6 a pop. The print ad for Lloyds Pharmacy features the interrogative headline “Lost the perk-in your gherkin,” illustrated with a photo-shopped image of a drooping 30 St Mary Axe. The ad goes on to exhort readers not to “let a hard day stop a hard night.”

Stalled No More? Downtown Los Angeles Developments Could See New Life

Development, Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Julia Morgan's Herald Examiner Building in Downtown Los Angeles. (Floyd B. Bariscale)

Julia Morgan’s Herald Examiner Building in Downtown Los Angeles. (Floyd B. Bariscale)

Speaking of zombies, two of Downtown LA’s most long-stalled projects appear to be rising from the dead. The mixed-use project revolving around Julia Morgan’s beautiful Herald Examiner Building on Broadway is apparently finally getting underway, now developed by Forest City, and no longer designed by Morphosis. The designer has yet to be revealed.

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The Inside Scoop from the West Coast

Eavesdroplet, West
Monday, January 13, 2014
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Aerial view of Los Angeles. (Onny Carr / Flickr)

Aerial view of Los Angeles. (Onny Carr / Flickr)

Gossip about new projects is back! First we hear that Steven Ehrlich and Fred Fisher are teaming up for a major renovation of the Otis campus, on Los Angeles‘ West Side. Next we hear a shortlist is close to being named for Metro’s West Side expansion subway line. We’re all waiting with bated breath to see the renderings of LA firm Johnston Marklee’s addition to The Menil in Houston, which is now set to be unveiled this month. And then there’s the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla campus. A shortlist has indeed been chosen, but museum spokesperson Leah Straub told AN, “We don’t want to damage anyone’s reputation should they not be selected.” Wow, who knew being on a shortlist could be damaging?

Trojan Style? USC Shifts From Romanesque to Gothic

gothic-details-01

USC president Max Nikias is curious. Since taking over in 2010 he has held the torch for past president Steven Sample’s beloved “California Romanesque” style on the campus, resulting in the red brick and tight arches of buildings like AC Martin’s Ronald Tutor Campus Center and George Lucas’s School of Cinematic Arts. Now he’s shifted a few years in the future to Collegiate Gothic. AC Martin has been commissioned to design a Gothic-style building for the business school, and other firms are competing for a similar project, we hear from our moles. Perhaps he will move into French Renaissance next? Get ready for some chateaux!

Wiscombe Planning Zombie Art Museum?  Wiscombe Planning Zombie Art Museum? Hell Yeah! We hear from a little birdie that our friend Tom Wiscombe (pictured) may be designing a new museum in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to Los Angeles art. The details are still left to resolve, but we’ve been told he likens the place to a “zombie hive.” You had us at zombie, Tom. (Photo: Courtesy Tom Wiscombe Design)

 

Tunnel Rats: Does Texas Favor Building Highways Over Subways?

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Monday, November 18, 2013
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The Waller Creek Tunnel in Austin. (Courtesy Lachel & Associates Engineers)

The Waller Creek Tunnel in Austin. (Courtesy Lachel & Associates Engineers)

According to a very confidential source, engineers currently working on the Waller Creek tunnel believe that Austin sits on top of some of the most optimal conditions for tunneling in the entire U.S. These number-crunching problem solvers claimed that a subway tunnel beneath the Texas State Capital’s downtown would cost 1/10th of the amount it would in most places in the country. However, the brainiacs also said that there are those in high places who do not want that knowledge spread around (read TxDOT) because the construction of more freeways is making certain people a great deal of money.

Carpetbagger: Dallas Extends Unconventional Welcome to Critic Mark Lamster

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Thursday, November 14, 2013
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Mark Lamster. (Courtesy Dallas Morning News)

Mark Lamster. (Courtesy Dallas Morning News)

“New York City?!? Get a rope.” That sums up the feelings of some North Texans upon learning the origin and reading the prejudices of the Dallas Morning News’ new architecture critic, Mark Lamster. The Brooklyn-based scribbler—who also happens to be a professor in the architecture school of the University of Texas at Arlington—recently tweeted a love letter he received from one such offended reader. “You’re a carpetbagger reporter with no knowledge of—or sensitivity to—Dallas, our suburbs, or our incorporated cities and towns,” it said. To which Lamster replied, “Thanks!”

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Architect Claims Google Ripped Off His Game-Changing Technology.  Architect Claims Google Ripped Off His Game-Changing Technology Israeli-American architect Eli Attia claims Google stole his life’s work—a visionary design and construction software that the company estimates could generate $120 billion annually. The technology, Google claims, has the potential to cut construction costs and the time from design to completion by 30 percent. “By stealing and bastardizing my technology,” Attie told Israli business daily Globes, “Google has deprived humanity of what it urgently needs. And, in the process, has careless and callously wasted three years of my life.” (Image: Courtesy Google)

 

Look Out, La Jolla: Mitt’s Mega-Mansion Is Coming To Town

Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, October 25, 2013
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Mitt Romney's current house will be torn down to build his new mansion. (Courtesy ABC 10)

Mitt Romney’s current house will be torn down to build his new mansion. (Courtesy ABC 10)

California Republicans (yes, there are a few, we think), your leader has arrived. After a multiyear battle, Mitt Romney has finally gotten permission to tear down their existing beachfront house and build an 11,000-square-foot mansion in La Jolla. Although it was approved in 2008 by the California Coastal Commission, neighbors were able to stymie the project—questioning whether it exceeded square footage allowances—until commissioners upheld their approval. According to the Los Angeles Times, the home is more than four times larger than the median house in the area. (As is this house by Zaha Hadid also planned for La Jolla.) It’s proof that Mitt truly loves the earth. And exploiting resources on top of it.

Watch the local television news report here.

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