The High Roller: A Party in the Las Vegas Sky

West
Thursday, February 27, 2014
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THE HIGH ROLLER IS A 550-FOOT OBSERVATION WHEEL DUE TO OPEN IN LAS VEGAS THIS SPRING (HETTEMA GROUP)

THE HIGH ROLLER IS A 550-FOOT OBSERVATION WHEEL DUE TO OPEN IN LAS VEGAS THIS SPRING (HETTEMA GROUP)

The Las Vegas skyline just got a lot taller. The 550-foot High Roller, set to open this spring, is the world’s highest observation wheel, towering above both the London Eye (443 feet) and the Singapore Flyer (541 feet). A project of Caesars Entertainment, the High Roller is the anchor of the new shopping and nightlife complex known as The LINQ. “As we settled on the idea of a giant wheel, we just began brainstorming: well, what does that really mean?” said Phil Hettema, whose Hettema Group designed the structure. “We looked at the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer and tried to understand those. We really talked about what we liked about those, and also about what we wanted to do differently.” Read More

Transparency by Design: Weiss/Manfredi’s Nanotechnology Center

Envelope
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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Brought to you with support from:
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UNLIKE MOST LABORATORY BUILDINGS, THE KRISHNA P. SINGH CENTER FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY IS DESIGNED AROUND A COURTYARD, WITH GLASS TO ALLOW IN DAYLIGHT (ALBERT VERCERKA/ESTO)

UNLIKE MOST LABORATORY BUILDINGS, THE KRISHNA P. SINGH CENTER FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY IS DESIGNED AROUND A COURTYARD, WITH GLASS TO ALLOW IN DAYLIGHT (ALBERT VECERKA/ESTO)

Multiple layers of glass combine with corrugated metal panels to balance visibility and privacy in the University of Pennsylvania’s new research center.

As an experiment in interdisciplinary research, the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania is not a typical science center. It follows, then, that the university would not want a typical laboratory building, with a central corridor and minimal public space. Instead, the University of Pennsylvania asked Weiss/Manfredi to design the Singh Center around two principles. First, the building should create a new campus green for the school of engineering and applied sciences, in keeping with both the university’s and the city’s tradition of building around open quads. Second, the building should maximize natural light and visibility without compromising the integrity of the research itself. Read More

Public’s Tree-Like Transit Shelters for UBC

Fabrikator, West
Friday, February 21, 2014
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
THE TRANSIT SHELTER'S DESIGN WAS INSPIRED BY THE TREES LINING UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD (PUBLIC: ARCHITECTURE + COMMUNICATION)

THE TRANSIT SHELTER’S DESIGN WAS INSPIRED BY THE TREES LINING UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD (PUBLIC: ARCHITECTURE + COMMUNICATION)

An abstracted version of a street tree, a canopy of tessellated irregular polygons balances atop slim steel posts.

When Public: Architecture + Communication visited the site of the transit shelters the University of British Columbia had asked them to design, they found that something was missing. The main point of entry to the campus, University Boulevard is lined with trees—except where the bus shelters would go. “There was this language of gaps that we noticed,” said Public’s Christopher Sklar. The shelters themselves, they decided, should fill in the tree line. The designers were left with a question, articulated by Sklar: “How does it be a quiet piece but also something interesting and unusual that relates to its surroundings?”

Read More

Ten Roads Whose Time Has Come: Congress for the New Urbanism Releases List of Freeways Ripe for Removal

highways_to_boulevards_2

Detroit's I-375 made the list.

Detroit’s I-375 made the list. (gab482/flickr)

The Congress for the New Urbanism has released their annual list of Freeways Without Futures. The organization selected the top 10 urban American (and one Canadian) highways most in need of removal. The final list was culled from nominations from more than 50 cities. Criteria for inclusion included age of the freeway, the potential that removal would have to positively effect the areas where the roadways are currently situated, and the amount of momentum to realize such removals. Additionally the CNU highlighted campaigns in Dallas, the Bronx, Pasadena, Buffalo, and Niagra Falls, that are taking significant steps towards removing freeways (some of which have been included in past lists) as illustrations of broader institutional and political shifts on urban infrastructural thinking.

The dubious list after the jump.

Calatrava Must Pay: Spanish Architect Loses Latest Legal Saga

Development, International, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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Calatrava_archpaper1

Calatrava’s Palacio de Congresos in Oviedo (Nacho/flickr)

Santiago Calatrava has been ordered by a Spanish court to pay $4 million for problems plaguing a municipal building he designed in Oviedo in Northwest Spain. While the final fee is lower than an initial ruling, such legal problems have become something of an unfortunate calling card for the Spanish architect.

Read more after the jump.

Montreal Hopes a Soaring New Boardwalk Will Activate the St. Lawrence River

Architecture, International
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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RFA Archpaper 5

(Courtesy Ruccolo + Faubert Architectes)

The Plage de l’Est, a heretofore unoccupied site along the shores of the St. Lawrence River will now be recast as a recreational gathering area for Montreal residents.  The overhaul of the vacant area has been mooted since 2010, but in 2013 the city put out a call for ideas for the project. Ultimately the submission from Ruccolo + Faubert Architectes & Ni conception architecture de paysage emerged from a field of 5 finalists in a recent decision.

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.

On View> “Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory” at the Bechtler

East, On View
Friday, February 14, 2014
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(Courtesy Bechtler Museum of Modern Art)

(Courtesy Bechtler Museum of Modern Art)

Mario Botta: Architecture and Memory
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Charlotte, NC
Through July 25, 2014

The architect Mario Botta is known for his postmodern or idiosyncratic country houses, churches, and institutional buildings in the Ticino region of Switzerland and Europe. He actually worked in the studio of Le Corbusier as a young man and his work is clearly indebted to Carlo Scarpa and, like many Italian architects of his generation, Louis Kahn. He has workedthroughout his career in a small regional outpost of Lugano and has stood against the mainstream of modern, commercial and avant-garde ideas and trends and produced buildings that can only be called “Bottan.”

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA NY Announces Winners of Queensway Design Competition

Qway PresRelease Winners-4

Queens Bilboard by Nikolay Martynov (Courtesy Nikolay Martynov/ENYA)

The winners of the AIA New York‘s biennial design competition have been been announced. The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee selected from 120 proposals submitted as a part of QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm, which was intended to drum up ideas that would contribute to the proposed re-purposing of an elevated railway in Queens. Entrants were tasked with designing a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of the 3.5 mile–long track currently under consideration for the High Line treatment.

More winners after the jump.

Civic group calls on Chicago to expand car-free zones

Harry and Guenter Kempf Plaza in Chicago's Lincoln Square. (Google Maps)

Harry and Guenter Kempf Plaza in Chicago’s Lincoln Square. (Google Maps)

The jostle of potholes notwithstanding, motorists might find nothing unbalanced about Chicago’s public streets. But the Active Transportation Alliance points out while nearly a quarter of the city is in the public right-of-way, cars dominate practically all of it.

Citing the city’s Make Way for People initiative, which turns over underused street space to pedestrians, the group released 20 proposals Wednesday, calling on City Hall to create car-free spaces from Wrigley Field to Hyde Park. Read More

Among the Sequoias, a 3D-Printed Refuge by Smith|Allen

Fabrikator
Friday, February 14, 2014
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
ECHOVIREN IS THE WORLD'S FIRST FULL-SCALE 3D PRINTED ARCHITECTURAL INSTALLATION (SMITH|ALLEN)

ECHOVIREN IS THE WORLD’S FIRST FULL-SCALE 3D PRINTED ARCHITECTURAL INSTALLATION (SMITH|ALLEN)

Smith|Allen’s 3D-printed forest refuge is inspired by the site’s patterning and historical cycle of deforestation and regeneration.

When Brian Allen and Stephanie Smith first visited the sequoia forest in Gualala, California, they saw patterns everywhere. “We were really intrigued by patterning at many scales, from bark on the trees to light through the trees and also, at a micro scale, [the cells of] the sequioas,” said Allen. Two months later the pair was back, this time with 580 sculptural bricks forming the world’s first 3D-printed architectural installation. Translucent white and 10 by 10 by 8 feet in size, Echoviren resembles a cross between a teepee and a tree stump, a mass made light by the organic porosity of the bricks.

Echoviren is intimately tied to its site on the grounds of Project 387, the residency in which Smith|Allen participated last fall. Besides the sequioas’ patterning, the designers drew inspiration from the primitiveness of their surroundings. “The overall form was driven by what is the most basic space we could make,” said Allen. “It turns [out to be] just a small oblong enclosure with an oculus, a small forest hermitage.” The oculus draws the eye up, to the natural roof formed by the sequioas’ branches. In addition, Smith|Allen address the history of the site as a place where regrowth followed the trauma of deforestation. Built of bio-plastic, Echoviren has an estimated lifespan of 30-50 years. “The 50 year decomposition is a beautiful echo of that cycle” of deforestation and resurgence, said Allen.

Read More

Folk Art Facade to be Preserved, Though Likely Not on 53rd Street

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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The white bronze facade of the American Folk Art Museum. (Dan Nguyen / Flickr)

The white bronze facade of the American Folk Art Museum. (Dan Nguyen / Flickr)

The New York Times is reporting that MoMA has decided to disassemble the white bronze facade of the American Folk Art Museum building, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. A controversial expansion plan, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, calls for the demolition of the building to make way for a new “art bay” and circulation to new galleries in an adjacent tower designed by Jean Nouvel.

Continue reading after the jump.

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