Q+A> Daniel Libeskind on Cosentino’s Dekton, Architecture, and Music

East, Features, Newsletter, Product
Friday, October 18, 2013
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Left: Daniel Libeskind (Ilan Besor); Right: Off the Wall (courtesy Cosentino)

Left: Daniel Libeskind (Ilan Besor); Right: Off the Wall (courtesy Cosentino)

At Cosentino’s launch of Dekton, AN had an opportunity to sit down with Daniel Libeskind. The world-renowned architect designed an outdoor sculpture, Off the Wall, made from the new material that weathers like stone but has manufactured advantages of specialized color, texture, and form, thanks to Cosentino’s particle sintering technology (PST) that simulates metamorphic rock formation at a highly accelerated rate. It originally debuted this spring at Salone del Mobile in Milan.

AN: You studied music in Israel. Do you find any of your classical music training to inform your design and architecture work?
Daniel Libeskind: Totally. Even though I was a virtuoso performer I continue to use that sense of my relationship to music very deeply in my work. Architecture and music are closely related in many ways. They’re both very precise: In music, even a vibration cannot be off by a single half note. And it’s the same with architecture; the geometry, the spatial character of a building must be accurate.

Continue reading after the jump.

Blurred Lines: SOFTlab and Cosentino

Fabrikator
Friday, October 11, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
SOFTlab's ATRIUn model is on view through the month of October, as part of an ongoing exhibition featuring designs with Dekton. (Creative Whirlwind)

SOFTlab’s ATRIUn model is on view through the month of October, as part of an ongoing exhibition featuring designs with Dekton. (Creative Whirlwind)

A new exhibition helps a New York-based firm explore indoor and outdoor applications of a new building material.

Cosentino is celebrating Architecture Month with Surface Innovation, a multi-media exhibition at the Center for Architecture in New York that presents innovative applications of its new Dekton material. A combination of raw, inorganic materials found in glass, porcelain, and natural quartz, the new indoor/outdoor surfacing material is made with particle sintering technology (PST) that recreates the natural process of stone formation. The company invited six local architecture firms to design unique projects featuring the material, including SOFTlab, a design/build firm known for its mix of research, craft, and technology in large-scale installations and building projects.

For SOFTlab, working with a product that could be used for both interiors and exterior applications was an opportunity to reconcile the growing inverse relationship between the skin and volume of large buildings. “We came up with the idea of building something a little more dense than a single story or residentially scaled building, where Dekton may be used,” said Michael Svivos, founder and director of SOFTlab. “We went to a larger scale building, that blurs the inside and outside.” Read More

Archtober Building of the Day Grand Finale

East
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
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The Archtober team outside of the Official NYC Info Center.

The Archtober team outside of the Official NYC Info Center.

With Archtober fading away with the fall leaves and buckets of Halloween candy, here’s one last look at the last three Archtober Buildings of the Day from Halloween weekend!

Building of the Day #29: NYC Information Center
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY

Neither snow, nor rain… your intrepid Archtober team made it through the snowy October nor’easter to visit the Official NYC Information Center at the Times Square Alliance, designed by WXY architecture + urban design and Local Projects and run by NYC & Company. Alas, our architect tour guide didn’t.

Continue reading after the jump.

Inside Archtober “Building” of the Day #24: Subway Vent Benches

East
Monday, October 24, 2011
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An MTA flood mitigation filter in Queens. (Courtesy Laura Ann Trimble/Center for Architecture)

An MTA flood mitigation filter in Queens. (Courtesy Laura Ann Trimble/Center for Architecture)

Even though Hurricane Irene blew through on August 27th without flooding the subways, which were rendered prophylactically still and silent for a day, a pesky summer storm in 2007 dumped so much water onto the M and R lines that they were forced out of service. Governor Spitzer took immediate action to mitigate the problem, and boldly mobilized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Transportation to do something about it. Solving a range of engineering problems while at the same time providing a streetscape element with some wit and whimsy, Rogers Marvel Architects created banks of raised stainless steel grates that rise up into an undulating wave of slats and hammered speckled side walls.

Continue reading after the jump.

Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #20: 41 Cooper Square

East
Thursday, October 20, 2011
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41 Cooper Square by Thom Mayne. (Brandon Thomas / Flickr)

41 Cooper Square by Thom Mayne. (Brandon Thomas / Flickr)

Building of the Day #20: 41 Cooper Square
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
New York, NY

Often “stats” and awards are known well before the public appreciates a new building’s urban role. Cooper Union’s 41 Cooper Square, designed by Thom Mayne, FAIA, of Morphosis Architects with Gruzen Samton as Associate Architect, is more than a volume for a multi-disciplinary academic building with a co-generation plant, cooling and heating ceiling panels, low V.O.C. materials, green terraces, and “Fit-City”-worthy vertical circulation. While these stats did help the client claim the first LEED Platinum-certified academic laboratory building, Cooper has also revived a former traffic triangle and extended its identity southwards along the new Bowery. At a time when both NYU and Columbia’s building goals face sharp scrutiny, it pays to have a tough skin. Make that a gritty double skin!

Continue reading after the jump.

Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #19: East Harlem School

East
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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East Harlem School by Peter Gluk and Partners. (Coutesy Peter Gluk and Partners)

A rainy day couldn’t dampen the spirits of the fourth graders that we met playing hoops in the brightly lit gym of the East Harlem School. It looks to me that there are two geniuses behind this wonderful building: Peter Gluck, the acerbic and seasoned architect/builder and Ivan M. Hageman, co-founder and Head of School.

Gluck led the tour, but Ivan was ever-present—in the cafeteria leading an appreciation of the chef and servers, and in the reception area meeting with parents. He welcomed us into his office, which is perched at the east end of the building with a clear glass open view up 103rd Street to the Public School embedded in the nearby housing project. Jane Jacobs eyes on the street.

Continue reading after the jump.

Inside the Archtober Building of the Day #18: 200 Fifth Avenue

East
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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200 Fifth Avenue. (Cynthia Kracauer/Center for Architecture)

200 Fifth Avenue. (Cynthia Kracauer/Center for Architecture)

Building of the Day #18: 200 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

Beautiful weather continues to make Archtober the best month ever to enjoy great architecture. Madison Square, where 200 Fifth Avenue is located, is a palimpsest of the northward expansion of commerce and civilization in Manhattan. A public space since 1686, it first became a park in 1847. With the construction of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, (Griffith Thomas with William Washburn Architects, 1859) on the site of the current 200 Fifth, the area became the social, cultural, and political hub of elite New York in the years after the Civil War—think Edith Wharton. And it has the monuments to prove it.

More after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #12: Betances Community Center

East
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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The Betances Community Center in the Bronx (Courtesy Stephan Yablon Architect)

The Betances Community Center in the Bronx (Courtesy Stephan Yablon Architect)

When is a Center really a center? Well first of all it’s got to have a center, don’t you think? The Betances Community Center has a splendid gym holding strong in the middle of the plan, full of warm, white light modulated by the south-facing glass block wall and monitor side walls of Kalwall. Originally intended to house a boxing ring and bright orange bleacher seating, the space is now multi-purpose with the bleachers accordioned to the walls; the famous boxing program moved elsewhere. Even without the ring, the architecture packs a wallop of clarity, modesty, attention to detail, and programmatic resolution.

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Archtober Building of the Day #7: IAC Headquarters

East
Friday, October 7, 2011
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Frank Gehry's IAC Building in Manhattan. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

Frank Gehry's IAC Building in Manhattan. (Drew Dies / Flickr)

IAC Headquarters
550 West 18th Street
New York, NY

The IAC Headquarters is Frank Gehry’s first building in New York. Neither a symphony hall nor an art gallery clad in riveting titanium that creates its own economic system, it is rather a diminutive swell of faceted glass with a graded white frit. Compared to most big-name office buildings, the IAC is built at a much more personal scale. Built as-of-right and opened to little in the way of the usual starchitect fanfare, some might notice it’s hard to find the front door. What you may not know, however, is how bird friendly the building is.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #6: Hearst Tower

East
Thursday, October 6, 2011
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The Hearst Tower. (Mike Dunn / Flickr)

The Hearst Tower. (Mike Dunn / Flickr)

Hearst Tower
959 8th Avenue
New York, NY

As written in the AIANY Design Awards issue of Oculus, Summer 2007:

With its efficient use of resources, abundant natural daylight and fresh air, and modern technologies, this 856,000-square-foot building designed by Foster + Partners and completed in 2006 is the first in New York City to receive a LEED Gold rating for its core, shell, and interiors. Most notably, it was constructed using more than 80% recycled steel. The diagrid framing uses 20% less steel than conventionally framed towers, and it was designed to consume 25% less energy than most Manhattan towers.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #4: Top of the Rock

East
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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Top of the Rock (Courtesy Gabellini Sheppard).

Top of the Rock (Courtesy Gabellini Sheppard).

It’s hard to imagine that the cool and suave young architect who launched Minimalism on Park Avenue with the Jil Sander Store in 1983 is the same man who brought us the modern apotheosis of Art Deco at Top of the Rock. Is it a space? Is it a ride? It certainly has a chandelier!

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #3: Seven World Trade Center

East
Monday, October 3, 2011
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Seven World Trade Center at right.

Seven World Trade Center at right. (Courtesy Center for Architecture)

The view from LaGuardia Place includes the symphony of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s 7 World Trade Center at 250 Greenwich Street and its ever-rising companion, One World Trade Center, beyond. I see the buildings every day from the Center for Architecture, and have become a fan of 7 WTC’c magical properties, both geometric and optical. It is a building made out of reflections, refractions, inflections, and colors, expressed in glass and stainless steel.

Continue reading after the jump.

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