Huggable high-rises? Chicagoans look to kickstart a line of plush skyscraper replicas

squeeable skylines

Skyscrapers are usually admired for their mighty feats of structural engineering. Respect though you might the elegance with which Chicago’s Willis Tower lifts steel and glass 1,451 feet into the sky, you probably wouldn’t want to nuzzle it.

But a Chicago startup is out to change that.

Dispatch from Vegas’ Design and Construction Week

Product
Thursday, February 6, 2014
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Caesarstone's Motivo wall surface. (Caesarstone)

Caesarstone’s Motivo wall surface. (Caesarstone)

What happens in Vegas, stays in… winds up on the AN blog. Yes, we’re in Sin City this week attending the first-ever Design and Construction Week, which includes both the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Builders’ Show (IBS). Two mega-conventions in one provided us with lots to see, from high-performance materials to innovative technologies. We’ve rounded up some of the many highlights here. If you need proof that kitchens, baths, and building products can be sexy, keep reading.

View our finds from the floor after the jump.

Product> Scratching the Surface

International, Product
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Phenomenon by Mutina

Phenomenon by Mutina

A surfacing material has to offer more than strong aesthetics to suit today’s interiors: It must also support occupancy health and sustainable resource management. Whether made from repurposed post consumer materials or designed to dampen noise, the following products support a healthy environment from the 
factory floor to the finished project.

Phenomenon
Mutina

Designed by Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka, the Phenomenon collection (features natural textures for walls and floors. Air, (pictured above), is a multidimensional mosaic of 1-inch unglazed porcelain tiles on a square foot of mesh backing. It comes in four neutral colorways with coordinating trim.

More after the jump.

Product> Grethe Sørensen for Wolf-Gordon Textiles and Wallcoverings

Product
Monday, January 20, 2014
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Millions of Colors by Grethe Sorensen for Wolf-Gordon

Millions of Colors by Grethe Sørensen for Wolf-Gordon

This March, Wolf-Gordon will launch a collection of upholstery and wallcoverings featuring the designs of Danish textile designer Grethe Sørensen. The offerings highlight the artist’s ground-breaking technique of translating pixels to threads, most recently displayed in her exhibition Rush Hour/Shanghai 5 at Fuori Salone in Milan. Sørensen’s work often features variations of light and color found in night settings and urban landscapes, which she manipulates in Photoshop before translating on to fabric. Cooper-Hewitt plans to acquire her work once its new building opens in late 2014.

Read More

Product> Master Glass Solutions for Interiors and Facades

Product
Friday, January 17, 2014
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3form-strand-iron-Master-Glass-archpaper

Strand by 3form

As the buzzword “transparency” gains greater meaning in product specification, glass is an energy-saving, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing option.

Strand
3form
3form’s Pressed Glass is newly available in the Strand pattern (above), a compressed interlayer of fine gauge threads in three monochromatic colorways. It can be further customized through color matching, etching, and fritting options. Available in widths as large as 
48 inches and lengths of 120 inches, it can be specified in either a 5/16-inch or 1 5/16-inch gauge thickness. Its inherent strength meets ANSI Z97.1 standards.

Read More

Zaha Hadid Shapes a Christmas Tree Ornament for Charity

Art, Design, International, Product
Thursday, December 19, 2013
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ornament

(Courtesy ebay)

A Christmas tree ornament designed by Zaha Hadid currently on display in London restaurant aqua shard will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the year. The object hangs amongst 19 other ornaments designed by the “celebrity friends” of Matthew Williamson, a British fashion designer responsible for curating the tree. The proceeds generated by the subsequent sale of the items will go towards British charity Kids Company.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> 2013 Architect’s Holiday Gift Guide

National, Newsletter, Product
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

As architects, we know you’re overworked and probably underpaid, and we’re guessing you haven’t had time to draft your holiday wish list quite yet. But don’t despair. AN has compiled a list of high-design, unique gift ideas for you and your colleagues, friends, and family members with good taste, most of which are also attainable for budget-conscious buyers.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Designtex Collaborates with 3M Architectural Markets

Product
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes from Designtex

3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes by 3M (courtesy 3M Architectural Markets)

Designtex, a domestic supplier of textiles and wallcoverings, has announced a collaboration with 3M Architectural Markets as the exclusive distributor of its DI-NOC Architectural Finishes for North America. While it has been a major success in the Japanese market for the past 15 years, 3M launched the product at this past NeoCon, held annually at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Available in more than 500 patterns and colors, the finish can achieve the look of materials in unexpected places to meet building codes, fire codes, even standards for weight restrictions on cruise ships.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid

Product
Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Pantonen's 2014 Color of the Year, 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (courtesy Pantone)

Pantonen’s 2014 Color of the Year, 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (courtesy Pantone)

De facto color authority Pantone announced the 2014 Color of the Year is 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, a shade of purple with undertones of pink and fuchsia. The Color of Year is determined through popular culture and socio-economic research. The institute recommends Radiant Orchid for interiors as the anchor color, as well as accents and detailing.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Warhol x Flavor Paper

Product
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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Queen Elizabeth II in Deep Purple, Warhol x Flavor Paper

Queen Elizabeth II in Deep Purple, Warhol x Flavor Paper

For some, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth hearkens to days of “Long live the Queen!” but a recent design intervention could edit that phrase to “Long live Warhol!” Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper recently launched a collection of proprietary designs from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts‘ store of works in PVC-free, water-based ink formats that can be customized for a variety of applications.

Read More

Product> Finds from the Floor at Greenbuild 2013

East, Product
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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Green Roofing by XeroFlor America

Green Roofing by Xero Flor America

In the midst of Greenbuild’s International Conference & Expo, held from November 18–22 in Philadelphia, AN sought out the newest and most innovative sustainable building products. We found attractive new finishes and furnishings, including a new chair derived from carbon polymers, and a plethora of building components that aim to harness the Earth’s energy for optimal building performance.

Green Roofing
Xero Flor America
This vegetated green roofing solution (above) rolls out in a mat system for easy application, as well as rapid access for repairs. Each 40-inch wide panel is comprised of a root barrier, drain mat, water retention fleece, growing medium, and pre-vegetated layer of sedum. Also known as stonecrop, each order is grown in one of Xero Flor’s six regional fields, so living roofs are acclimated to the installation environment and contribute to local LEED credits. Read More

Product> Water Retention Materials That Are Happy When Wet

Product
Friday, November 1, 2013
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Hybrid Green Roof System by Liveroof

Hybrid Green Roof System by Liveroof

The following selections can substantially aid in stormwater management, along roofs, walls, plazas, and more.

Hybrid Green Roof System
LiveRoof
This modular roofing system features Moisture Portal technology and hidden tray lips that connect the roots of each vegetation unit for even water and nutrient distribution across the entire system. In times of excess precipitation, drain channels disperse water at seven gallons per minute for each linear foot. LiveRoof features mature grasses and perennials for a monolithic appearance, but with modular benefits for maintenance and ease of installation. It comes with a 20-year module warranty.

Continue reading after the jump.

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