A greenhouse-inspired park to bring new public space to Miami’s Wynwood Arts District

Wynwood Greenhouse Park  (Courtesy Azeez Bakare)

Wynwood Greenhouse Park (Courtesy Azeez Bakare)

A straight-forward, standard-issue park just won’t do for the uber-trendy, graffiti-covered streets of Miami‘s Wynwood Arts District. Instead of merely carving up green space within the artsy district, Tony Cho, a local real estate broker and developer, launched an international design competition to turn a parking lot into a public space worthy of its distinguished neighborhood.

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Another Brutalist Wonder Bites the Dust: Johansen’s Mechanic Theatre

Architecture, East, Preservation
Friday, September 26, 2014
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Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore (photo: Edward Gunts)

Despite pleas for preservation from some of the nation’s top architects, demolition work has begun on  a nationally significant example of “Brutalist” architecture in north America, the 1967 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, designed by the late John M. Johansen.

A  yellow backhoe with a spike-like attachment began chipping into the theater’s concrete exterior earlier this month, ending any chance that the building could be saved. One local preservationist was able to salvage the original letters from the  building, but nothing else. Read More

Milwaukee breaks ground on new 32-story tower complex

Northwestern Mutual's updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Northwestern Mutual’s updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Construction has begun on the latest addition to Milwaukee’s lakefront skyline, a sleek curving tower from Pickard Chilton. Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt broke ground in August on the new 32-story headquarters of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. Read More

GLUCK+ Screens a Modern Great Camp

Architecture, East, Envelope
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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The two main buildings at GLUCK+'s Lakeside Retreat feature sliding wooden screens over massive glass curtain walls. (Courtesy GLUCK+)

The two main buildings at GLUCK+’s Lakeside Retreat feature sliding wooden screens over massive glass curtain walls. (Courtesy GLUCK+)

Custom sliding wood shades maximize privacy and views in Adirondack Mountains retreat.

Architect-led design build firm GLUCK+ designed the Lakeside Retreat in the Adirondack Mountains on an historic blueprint: the Great Camps, sprawling summer compounds built by vacationing families during the second half of the nineteenth century. “The clients wanted to hold events there, and to make a place where their kids—who were in college at the time—would want to spend time,” said project manager Kathy Chang. “They wanted to create different ways of occupying the space.” GLUCK+ carved the hilly wooded site into a series of semi-subterranean buildings, of which the two principal structures are the family house and the recreation building. These buildings are, in turn, distinguished by massive lake-facing glass facades, camouflaged by wooden screens designed to maximize both privacy and views. Read More

Cadillac to leave Detroit for New York City

Midwest, News
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Detroit's Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

Detroit’s Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

While its product development teams and manufacturing facilities will remain in Michigan, Cadillac will move its headquarters to downtown New York City from Detroit, parent company General Motors announced Tuesday. Read More

Jeanne Gang’s first Miami project unveiled

Architecture, East, Unveiled
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Gang's Miami tower. (Courtesy DACRA via Curbed Miami)

Gang’s Miami tower. (Courtesy Dacra via Curbed Miami)

With Jeanne Gang bringing her architectural brand to so many cities across the country, it was only a matter of time until she landed in Miami. Local real estate blog ExMiami was the first to uncover the architect’s plan for the city, which calls for a 14-story condo project in the Design District.

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Architectural Record sold to West coast private equity group

Media, National, News
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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arch-record-sold

Architectural Record along with its sister construction publication, Engineering News-Record, and other products, Dodge and Sweets, have been sold to Symphony Technology Group (STG), a “strategic private equity firm” in Palo Alto, California, for $320 million. McGraw Hill Construction, the current owner of these publications, announced in a market-jargon-filled press release today that, while there were multiple prospective buyers, they sold to STG because that company understands how to build on McGraw Hill’s “storied past of nimbly adapting to changing market conditions and pursuing new growth opportunities in the construction market.” STG has a global portfolio of 22 companies with a combined revenue of $2.7 billion and 17,000 employees. Will Cathleen Mcguigan and her editorial team be leaving their Pennsylvania Station tower for the green lawns of the Silicon Valley soon?

Antoine Predock’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights Opens In Winnipeg

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by Antoine Predock Architect, opened last Saturday. (Jessica Sigurdson/CMHR-MCDP)

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by Antoine Predock Architect, opened last Saturday. (Jessica Sigurdson/CMHR-MCDP)

The Antoine Predock–designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened in Winnipeg last Friday with a ceremony featuring an indigenous blessing, performances by Ginette Reno, The Tenors, Maria Aragon, and Sierra Noble, plus remarks by several Canadian government officials as well as representatives of the museum. Read More

Bjarke Ingels returns to Denmark with “Aarhus Island”

Aarhus Island at night. (Courtesy BIG via Design Boom)

Aarhus Island at night. (Courtesy BIG via Design Boom)

With Bjarke Ingels’ pyramid-like tower—dubbed the “courtscraper”—rising quickly on Manhattan’s West Side, the globe-trotting architect has unveiled plans for his latest sloping project. And this one has the Dane back in Denmark. In his home country, in the city of Aarhus, Bjarke has created “Aarhus Island,” a mixed-use development along the water.

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Product> Dinner with Zaha: Hadid Launches New Housewares Collection

Design, International, Product
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Zaha-Hadid-chess_Harrods-4

(Courtesy ZHD)

During last week’s London Design Festival, Zaha Hadid introduced a collection of housewares and tabletop items created exclusively for the posh Harrods department store. No stranger to merchandising opportunities—the architect has produced a bevy of brand extensions, including furniture, swimsuits, wine bottles, jewelry, and shoes—this latest venture is described as a “luxury homeware line.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Marlon Blackwell on the Power of Everyday Design

Marlon Blackwell Architects' Vol Walker Hall and Steven L. Anderson Design Center. (Timothy Hursley)

Marlon Blackwell Architects’ Vol Walker Hall and Steven L. Anderson Design Center. (Timothy Hursley)

Marlon Blackwell, principal of Marlon Blackwell Architects and distinguished professor and department head at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, practices in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the temptation to design according to a derivative vernacular—and the risk of descending into quaintness—is great. Blackwell seeks instead to operate in the space between the vernacular and the universal, to create buildings that are simultaneously both and neither. “What emerges is something that I like to call the strangely familiar,” he said. “We’re working with forms in a cultural context that have a first reading of being familiar, but on a second, third, or fourth reading are clearly transgressive to either the local typology or the vernacular. What we try to do is kind of de-typify things—it’s really about trying to find or develop an idea about performative surfaces.” Read More

Martha Schwartz’ Hillside Mountain Range

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Fengming Mountain Park features a series of metal pavilions imagined as abstracted mountains. (Terrence Zhang)

Fengming Mountain Park features a series of metal pavilions imagined as abstracted mountains. (Terrence Zhang)

Illuminated steel pavilions mimic Chinese peaks.

The hillside site of Fengming Mountain Park, in Chongqing, China, presented Martha Schwartz Partners with both a practical challenge and a source of inspiration. Asked by Chinese developer Vanke to design a park adjacent to the sales office for a new housing development, the landscape architecture and urban planning firm quickly gravitated toward the metaphor of a mountain journey. “That’s why in the plans you see a zig zag pattern” to the path leading down to the sales center from the car park, said associate Ignacio López Busón. Steel pavilions scattered along the walkway pick up on the theme, taking the form of abstracted mountain peaks. “That’s something the client really liked,” said López Busón. “Once the idea was clear, it was all about developing the shape of them, and trying to make them look special.”
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