Review> If/Then, the Musical, Follows the Life of an Urban Planner

Art, East, On View, Review
Monday, April 14, 2014
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Idina Menzel and the cast of If/Then. (Joan Marcus)

Idina Menzel and the cast of If/Then. (Joan Marcus)

If/Then
Richard Rogers Theater
226 West 46th Street, New York
Scheduled to play through October 12, 2014

THINK OF EACH PLAZA, PIER, AND PUBLIC PARK—
HOW MANY SIT THERE EMPTY, LONELY, DARK—

The Broadway musical If/Then starts in Madison Square Park with its unmistakable folding seats, tables, and umbrellas, a signature of Janette Sadik-Khan’s overhauling of public spaces during the Bloomberg administration. In this musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (the team behind Next to Normal) city planner Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) returns to New York from Arizona where she’s just gotten out of a failed marriage—and urban sprawl.

Continue reading after the jump.

Designed in Chicago, Made in China: Blair Kamin, Chicago designers mull Chinese urbanization

Chinese new year flags and lanterns in Shenzhen, the poster-city for rapid urbanization in China. (Flickr / dcmaster)

Chinese new year flags and lanterns in Shenzhen, the poster-city for rapid urbanization in China. (Flickr / dcmaster)

Blair Kamin convened a panel of designers at the Chicago Architecture Foundation last Wednesday for a discussion around themes explored in his recent series “Designed in Chicago, Made in China,” in which the Chicago Tribune architecture critic assessed the effects of that country’s rapid development on urbanism and design. Read More

Rebuild By Design> BIG’s “BIG U” for Lower Manhattan

The "Big U" wraps around Battery Park. (Courtesy BIG)

The “Big U” wraps around Battery Park. (Courtesy BIG)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s BIG’s “Big U” that could save Lower Manhattan from the next superstorm.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rebuild By Design> Waggonner and Ball, unabridged Architecture’s Plan For Bridgeport, CT

The plan for Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Courtesy Waggoner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, Yale, and Arcadis)

The plan for Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Courtesy Waggoner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, Yale, and Arcadis)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s how Waggonner and Ball, unabridged and Yale ARCADIS’ team plans to create a more resilient Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Read More

Rebuild By Design> HR&A’s Commercial Corridor Resiliency Project

Resiliency in Red Hook. (Courtesy HR&A/Cooper Robertson)

Resiliency in Red Hook. (Courtesy HR&A/Cooper Robertson)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s how the team led by HR&A/Cooper Robertson plans to bring resiliency to the East Coast from the Rockaways to Red Hook.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Rebuild By Design> Sasaki’s Plan To Save the Beaches of the Jersey Shore

The Jersey shore in Sasaki's plan. (Courtesy Sasaki)

The Jersey shore in Sasaki’s plan. (Courtesy Sasaki)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s Sasaki’s plan to save the Jersey shore.

Read More

Rebuild By Design> Penn Design/OLIN’s Plan for South Bronx Resiliency

The Hunts Point Lifeline. (Courtesy Penn Design / OLIN)

The Hunts Point Lifeline. (Courtesy Penn Design / OLIN)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s Penn Design and OLIN’s plan for the South Bronx.

Continue reading after the jump.

Major Rejection for Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Threatens Project’s Future

The NCPC rejected Gehry Partners' building and site plans for the Eisenhower Memorial on Friday. (Courtesy NCPC)

The NCPC rejected Gehry Partners’ building and site plans for the Eisenhower Memorial on Friday. (Courtesy NCPC)

The road to fruition for the Frank Gehry–designed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial has been full of twists and turns. And now, it seems, the Los Angeles architect’s plans may have reached a dead end. Last week, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) voted seven to three to reject the preliminary site and building plans for the memorial. The vote followed five hours of testimony from the proposal’s supporters and detractors, including House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). Issa spoke against one of the design’s most (but not only) controversial features: the massive stainless-steel “tapestries” meant to depict scenes from Eisenhower’s life.

Continue reading after the jump.

Financing Secured for Manhattan’s First Micro-Apartment Development

Architecture, Development, East
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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My Micro NY to rise in Manhattan. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

My Micro NY to rise in Manhattan. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

One year after nARCHITECTS won a New York City–led competition to design a micro-unit housing development, financing is in place to start construction. The Commercial Observer reports that M&T bank has secured a $10.3 million loan for the project known, which is known as “My Micro NY.” The nine-story building will rise in Kips Bay and contain 55 prefab units—each of which will measure roughly 300-square-feet. Nearly half of these units will rent at below-market rents. The paper reports, “The mini apartments will contain nearly 10-foot ceilings and seven-foot-wide balconies in addition to 16-foot-long overhead loft spaces and full closets.” The apartments are expected to come onto the market next year.

Demolishing Dallas’ I-345 To Make Room for Economic Growth

(Courtesy A New Dallas)

(Courtesy A New Dallas)

Big spaces, big cities, big freeways. This equation has held ground since the boom of major road developments in the 1970s. But a Dallas group lead by urban designer Patrick Kennedy is fighting that conception. He and his initiative, A New Dallas, are pushing a proposal that has been steadily gaining support since it began two years ago. Interstate 345 is an eight lane, 1.4 mile stretch of elevated highway that serves roughly 200,000 commuters weekly. Kennedy wishes to demolish the structure completely, replacing it with a major surface street, four new parks, $4 billion in new private investment, and homes for 25,000 Dallas residents.

Continue reading after the jump.

Behnisch Architekten Greens UB’s School of Law

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The John and Frances Angelos Law Center is on track to achieve LEED Platinum status. (David Matthiessen)

The John and Frances Angelos Law Center is on track to achieve LEED Platinum status. (David Matthiessen)

A high-performance facade weaves a diverse program into a single volume.

The School of Law at the University of Baltimore was founded nearly nine decades ago, but for most of that time its classrooms, offices, library, and clinics were scattered among several downtown buildings. That changed last year, with the opening of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center. Designed by Behnisch Architekten with Ayers Saint Gross, the Angelos Law Center unites a diverse program within a single 12-story structure. Its checkerboard envelope, which won Best Facade in AN’s 2014 Best of Design Awards, weaves the building’s three principal components—a classroom and office wing, the library, and a central atrium—into a single volume. In addition, the facade positions the university on the cutting edge of sustainable design. Its integrated approach to energy efficiency has helped the Angelos Law Center win several green-building prizes, and set it on track to achieve LEED platinum status. Read More

Rebuild By Design> WXY and West 8′s “Blue Dunes” for New York and New Jersey

The Blue Dunes. (Courtesy WXY/West 8)

The Blue Dunes. (Courtesy WXY/West 8)

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s WXY and West 8′s plan for “blue dunes.”

COntinue reading after the jump.

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