On Second Try, Robert Stern’s Proposal for Philly’s American Revolution Museum Approved

Development, East, Newsletter
Monday, April 7, 2014
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Stern's new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Stern’s new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects)

Weeks after the Philly Art Commission slammed Robert Stern’s proposal for the Museum for the American Revolution, he’s back with a new design. And good news for the starchitect—the commission likes it. They really, really like it. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the new plan was unanimously approved and building permits should be issued in the next few months. Unsurprisingly, Stern‘s altered design does not include the features, which the Commission called “Disneyesque.”

See the old design after the jump.

Philadelphia Green Lights New Riverside Park, Bartram’s Mile

Bartrams Mile1

(Courtesy Andropogon)

Consider it a mile-long step in Philadelphia’s ongoing architectural renaissance. Local landscape firm Andropogon recently received approval for the plans to re-work a vacant stretch of land beside the western banks of the tidal Schuylkill River. The goal is to convert the plot located between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street into public green space that provides riverfront access and recreational opportunities for local residents.

More after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Northern Liberties Ascendant

East, Letter to the Editor
Thursday, March 6, 2014
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The Piazza at Schmidt's by Erdy McHenry Architecture. (Courtesy Erdy McHenry Architecture)

The Piazza at Schmidt’s by Erdy McHenry Architecture. (Courtesy Erdy McHenry Architecture)

[ Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a recent feature article, "City of Designerly Love." It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN03_03.05.2014. Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

As president of Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, I was pleased to see William Menking review our city’s innovative architectural scene (“City of Designerly Love,” AN 14_12.04.2013).

Yet I was surprised to see my community dismissed as the “troubled surrounding neighborhood” of the Piazza, a large mixed-use development anchored by a central plaza.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philly Art Commission Pans Stern’s Revolution Museum Design as “Disneyesque”

Stern's Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution.  (Rendering NC3D.)

Stern’s Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution. (Rendering NC3D.)

Philadelphia might be the City of Brotherly Love, but it’s not showing any affection for Robert A.M. Stern these days. According to Philly.com, the city’s Art Commission is  “deeply dissatisfied” with the architect’s proposal for the new Museum of the American Revolution. The newspaper’s critic, Inga Saffron, reported that “the commission asked the architects to remove a Disneyesque cupola, add eye-level windows on Chestnut Street, and reconsider the building’s composition.” It’s not quite the shot heard around the world, but, “Disneyesque cupola!?” The Philly Art Commission pulls no punches.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.

Review> The Philadelphia Museum of Art Explores the Art & Architecture of Fernand Léger

Art, East, Review
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger’s “The City,” 1919. (Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger is famous for his colorful paintings, many of which feature machine-like forms. He was also at the center of Paris’ avant-garde in the 1920s, not only in painting, but also in graphics, set and costume design, film-making, and architecture.

That is the thesis of Anna Vallye, curator of this fall’s major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis, inspired by the museum’s Léger masterpiece, the monumental 1919 painting, “The City.”

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> “Marc Newson: At Home” Opens on November 23 at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

East, On View
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Nearly three decades after he was launched into design stardom by his biomorphic, aluminum Lockhead Lounge (above), famed Australian industrial designer Marc Newson will soon receive his first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Marc Newson: At Home” will collect furniture, clothing, appliances, and Newsons’ 021C Ford concept car within a mock, six-room home in the museum’s Collab Gallery. Gathered from collections across Europe, Japan, and the United States, in addition to Newson’s personal cache, the objects on display will highlight the various facets of the designer’s distinctive style of flowing lines, bulbous forms, bright colors, and industrial references which helped to define an era of industrial design. The exhibition opens November 23rd and runs until April 20, 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Vision for Penn’s Landing Unveiled, Now How to Fund It

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
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(Courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Hargreaves Associates renders the South Street Pedestrian Bridge as a landmark arched suspension into the new Penn’s Landing. (Courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Plans for Penn’s Landing have been floating around for several years now, but at a public meeting in Philadelphia last month, they finally began to crystallize. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), which oversees the 6 to 7 mile strip of waterfront property outlined in the Central Delaware Master Plan, has hired Hargreaves Associates—the firm responsible for the overhaul of Houston and Louisville’s waterfronts—to revive the deserted stretch along the Delaware River. New renderings revealed at the event connect Old City to the waterfront with a large promenade park featuring green space, mixed-use residential and retail buildings, and an expansion of the existing South Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

New Mixed-Use Complex to Join Philly’s Logan Square

East
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Rodin Square. (Courtesy MV+A Architects)

Rodin Square. (Courtesy MV+A Architects)

Philadelphia‘s Logan Square, home to the Penn Center and much of the city’s cultural district, is now experiencing an influx of commercial and residential development. The city just gave developer Neal Rodin the green light to move forward with his eponymous three-acre mixed-use project, Rodin Square.

Read More

Drexel University Breaks Ground on Perelman Plaza Campus Center Redesign

East
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
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Perelman Plaza is hoped to become the new social campus center of Drexel University. (Courtesy Andropogon Landscape Architecture)

Perelman Plaza is hoped to become the new social campus center of Drexel University. (Courtesy Andropogon)

The 32nd Street corridor at Drexel University in Philadelphia has become a hub for student gatherings, interaction, and events. Situated between Chestnut and Market Streets in the campus center, the corridor’s current design, however, does not serve the social and functional needs of its college population. In March, landscape architecture firm Andropogon released primary renderings and plans for a complete redesign of the space now known as Perelman Plaza. In August, more comprehensive images were revealed, and now the project is underway. Two weeks ago, Andropogon broke ground in Phase One on the site, razing the existing awkwardly angled hardscape to begin construction of a practical design for the coexistence of human traffic and nature.

Continue Reading After the Jump

Comcast Expansion Could Bring Norman Foster to Downtown Philly

East
Friday, September 13, 2013
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(Courtesy Bing Maps)

(Courtesy Bing Maps)

Norman Foster is expected to design a new skyscraper in downtown Philadelphia, according to sources cited by the Philly Inquirer. Media company Comcast has outgrown its current home in the city’s tallest building—Robert A.M. Stern‘s 975-foot-tall Comcast Center. Details of the planned tower are being guarded, but architecture critic Inga Saffron reported that Comcast is exploring plans to build a “vertical campus” including several new towers, potentially beginning with a new structure on a 1.5-acre vacant lot at the corner of 18th and Arch streets (indicated above). The site was previously approved for a 1,500-foot-tall tower in 2008 but Saffron said the new tower would likely be shorter. Developer John Gattuso of Liberty Property Trust told the Inquirer, “The tower will be as big as it needs to be.”

1970s Benjamin Franklin Museum Re-Opens as High-Tech Biographical Exhibit

East
Monday, September 9, 2013
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Benjamin Franklin Museum (Courtesy Quinn Evans Architects)

Benjamin Franklin Museum. (Courtesy Quinn Evans Architects)

The Benjamin Franklin Museum at Independence National Historical Park (INHP) in Philadelphia has bid adieu to the 1970s. Closed by the National Park Service (NPS) for a $23 million, two-year renovation, the historic site has re-opened as an 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to learn about the “relevant revolutionary.” Quinn Evans Architects (QEA) was tasked with renovating the original 1976 underground museum designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (VSBA). The museum now involves interactive displays, personal artifacts, and a glass pavilion, also known as the ghost house, operating as the main entrance from Franklin Court.

Continue reading after the jump.

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