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.

Rare Architecture’s Perforated Skin Design

Envelope
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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The custom design provide sun and privacy shading, while unifying three disparate volume. (Sue Barr)

The custom design provides sun and privacy shading, while unifying three disparate volumes. (Sue Barr)

A bespoke aluminum building skin transforms an abandoned war bunker into a high-performing boutique hotel.

Restoration hotelier Unlisted Collection recently acquired a historically listed, vacant municipal building in London’s East End that served as a set favorite for film luminaries like David Lynch. The 1910 Edwardian fore building and its utilitarian 1937 addition had served as the town hall of Bethnal Green before World War II. In order to convert the complex into a boutique hotel, Unlisted hired London-based architecture practice Rare and tasked the firm with designing an addition to the existing buildings to add space for more guest rooms and amenities, while unifying the three disparate elements into a single entity. Rare directors and founders Nathalie Rozencwajg and Michel da Costa Gonçalves answered this last charge with an ornamental screen facade that visually ties together the historic and modern buildings while also improving user comfort and environmental performance.

Read more after the jump.

An Inland Beach for Los Angeles’ Silver Lake Neighborhood?

City Terrain, West
Monday, February 3, 2014
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Thanks to new EPA regulations, Silver Lake is saying goodbye to it reservoir. But resident Catherine Geanuracos hopes the community will soon be saying hello to something new: a body of water repurposed for recreation, complete with lap lanes, an open swim area, and a miniature beach.

Continue reading after the jump.

Small Town, Big Bus Stops: International Architects Convene on Austrian Village for BUS:STOP Project

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Sou Fujimoto’s bus stop design (Courtesy kulturkrumbach)

A slew of internationally-renowned architects have convened on the unlikeliest of sites. Krumbach, Austria, a town of less than 3,000 may soon be the location of bus stops designed by Sou Fujimoto and Pritzer Prize Winner Wang Shu among others. The BUS:STOP initiative is the brainchild of kulturkrumbach which managed to entice the heralded names to participate in a bus stop design project with the promise of a free vacation and little else.

Read more after the jump

Mayors, Philanthropies Team Up for Energy Efficiency Blitz

National, News, Sustainability
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

A team of mayors and nonprofit foundations said Wednesday that they’ll spend enough retrofitting major U.S. cities to save more than $1 billion per year in energy costs. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation pledged $3 million each year for three years to provide technical advisers for 10 cities across the country: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. Read More

Before & After> 25 of New York City’s Most Transformative Road Diets

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New York City has been adjusting to its new Mayor Bill De Blasio, who took office at the beginning of the year. The new mayor has been slowly revealing his team of commissioners who will guide the city’s continued transformation. As AN has noted many times before, De Blasio’s predecessor Michael Bloomberg and his team already left a giant mark on New York’s built environment.

With little more than paint, planters, and a few well-placed boulders, Bloomberg and former Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan‘s street interventions have been some of the most evident changes around the city. Whether it’s at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, above, or at Snøhetta’s redesigned Times Square, these road diets shaved off excess space previously turned over to cars and returned it to the pedestrian realm in dramatic fashion as these before-and-after views demonstrate.

As we continue to learn more about our new Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, take a look back at 25 of the most exciting road diets and pedestrian plaza conversions across New York City from the Bloomberg era.

See more transformations after the jump.

Snøhetta’s Lacy Envelope in Oslo’s Barcode District

Architecture, Envelope, International
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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The Deloitte Building envelope is composed of 650 white aluminum and glass panels. (courtesy Snøhetta)

The Deloitte Building envelope is composed of 650 white aluminum and glass panels. (courtesy Snøhetta)

A custom designed, prefabricated panel system of white aluminum and glass brings a softer aesthetic to a new development in Norway.

For the Barcode district in Norway—a new, mixed-use high-rise development along the waterfront in central Oslo—the architectural arm of design firm Snøhetta recently completed a 215,000-square-foot building. Two retail levels and 12 levels of workspace for real estate firm Deloitte are wrapped in a prefabricated aluminum and triple-glazed glass facade. Designed to establish a new presence in the Oslo skyline, the firm developed the facade to stand out within the guidelines of the rectilinear master plan and maintains the overall rhythm of the district’s high rises.

Continue reading after the jump.

Across the Los Angeles River, A Statement in Steel Reconnects the City’s Urban Fabric

THE TAYLOR YARD BRIDGE WILL LINK CYPRESS PARK AND ELYSIAN VALLEY (STUDIO PALI FEKETE ARCHITECTS)

THE TAYLOR YARD BRIDGE WILL LINK CYPRESS PARK AND ELYSIAN VALLEY (STUDIO PALI FEKETE ARCHITECTS)

“We got very attracted to the project, and to the idea of making something that reconnects Los Angeles,” Zoltan Pali said of Taylor Yard Bridge, the pedestrian and bicycle bridge designed by his firm, Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a). Originally introduced as part of a mitigations package twenty-two years ago, the bridge, which will span the Los Angeles River between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley, should be completed within two years at a cost of $5.3 million. Read More

On View> MoMA Presents “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal”

Art, City Terrain, East, On View, Urbanism
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City. (Courtesy MoMA)

Model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City. (Courtesy MoMA)

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street, New York, NY
February 1 to June 1

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal will represent the first exhibit resulting from the recent join acquisition of the architect’s archives by MoMA and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. The models, drawings, and films found within the extensive collection will allow the museum to illustrate the tension in Wright’s urban thinking in the 1920s and 30s.

Even as he undertook projects that contributed to the increasingly vertical nature of American cities, he created a radical horizontal vision of urban life known as Broadacre City. The elaborate model of this agrarian metropolis created by Wright and his students will be displayed alongside the architect’s designs for the San Francsico Call Building, Mahattan’s St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Towers, and a largely theoretical mile-high skyscraper.

Stunning Site and Stunning Shortlist at UC Santa Cruz

Architecture, Newsletter, West
Monday, January 27, 2014
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Capacity studies for the Institute and the surrounding arts area.The Institute will be on the site of the red buildings in the center.  (Walker Macy)

Capacity studies for the Institute and the surrounding arts area.The Institute will be on the site of the red buildings in the center. (Walker Macy)

For weeks we’ve been hearing murmurs about the hottest RFQ in California: the UC Santa Cruz Insitute of Arts and Sciences, a hilltop museum, research center, and innovation hub on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. Finally the shortlist has been announced, and it features a group of very heavy hitters from around the country.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architecture Bookstores Are Dead. Long Live An Architecture Bookstore?

Interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

Interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

Last week news broke that the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street  is doomed. The owners of the well-loved building, which is not officially landmarked, plan to demolish it to to make way for another luxury residential tower. This set off another round of fretting about the future of bookstores, especially art and design bookstores.  But the news for bookstores might not be all bad. We hear that a new Urban Center may be brewing that would join together at least 11 New York civic organizations that have been adrift in hidden offices all over the city into a single “center” with an exhibition space and an architecture book store. Stay tuned.

Watch a video of the Rizzoli Bookstore after the jump.

Nervous System’s 4D Printing Software

Fabrikator
Friday, January 24, 2014
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A proprietary hinge design connects rigid panels of various sizes and configures pieces to fold like fabric. (courtesy Nervous System)

A proprietary hinging system connects rigid panels of various sizes and configures to fold like fabric. (courtesy Nervous System)

A new program prints folded shapes to achieve large finished products that move like fabric.

Digital design dynamo Nervous System has released proprietary 4D printing software that allows 3D-printing enthusiasts to produce flexible, three-dimensional shapes on selective laser sintering devices. The concept came from a partnership with Motorola to design a fast and efficient platform to print anything, anywhere, but the company’s designer and founder, Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, said the technology is just not there yet. “You’ve got the tools to make anything, but speed doesn’t afford dimensionality, so it’s counter-intuitive.” To push against those boundaries, their system prints complex, foldable shapes from articulated modules that can unfold into a larger form. Read More

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