Blurred Lines: SOFTlab and Cosentino

Fabrikator
Friday, October 11, 2013
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SOFTlab's ATRIUn model is on view through the month of October, as part of an ongoing exhibition featuring designs with Dekton. (Creative Whirlwind)

SOFTlab’s ATRIUn model is on view through the month of October, as part of an ongoing exhibition featuring designs with Dekton. (Creative Whirlwind)

A new exhibition helps a New York-based firm explore indoor and outdoor applications of a new building material.

Cosentino is celebrating Architecture Month with Surface Innovation, a multi-media exhibition at the Center for Architecture in New York that presents innovative applications of its new Dekton material. A combination of raw, inorganic materials found in glass, porcelain, and natural quartz, the new indoor/outdoor surfacing material is made with particle sintering technology (PST) that recreates the natural process of stone formation. The company invited six local architecture firms to design unique projects featuring the material, including SOFTlab, a design/build firm known for its mix of research, craft, and technology in large-scale installations and building projects.

For SOFTlab, working with a product that could be used for both interiors and exterior applications was an opportunity to reconcile the growing inverse relationship between the skin and volume of large buildings. “We came up with the idea of building something a little more dense than a single story or residentially scaled building, where Dekton may be used,” said Michael Svivos, founder and director of SOFTlab. “We went to a larger scale building, that blurs the inside and outside.” Read More

Get Hands on Experience with Cutting-Edge Technologies at Facades+ Performance

Midwest, National
Friday, October 4, 2013
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Mode Lab explores Grasshoper V9 (Mode Lab)

Mode Lab explores Grasshoper V9 (Courtesy Mode Lab)

Attention all AEC students and professionals: AN and Enclos’ Facades+ PERFORMANCE Chicago, the premiere conference on high-performance building envelopes, is less than three weeks away! Don’t miss your opportunity to work side-by-side with the industry’s leading innovators in our series of full day, hands-on technology workshops, intimate dialogs, and engaging symposia October 24th- 25th.

Gain the knowledge and skills to work with the latest in cutting edge design and analysis technologies that are revolutionizing contemporary architecture, and transform your professional practice. Registered architects can earn 8 AIA LU credits. Space is limited, so reserve your seat before it’s too late!

Watch a video after the jump.

Minneapolis’ Peavey Plaza escapes demolition after preservationist lawsuit

City Terrain, Midwest
Friday, October 4, 2013
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Peavey Plaza's fountains have fallen into disrepair.

Peavey Plaza’s fountains have fallen into disrepair.

Minneapolis’ Peavey Plaza, a classic but poorly maintained “park plaza” (to borrow the term its designer, landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, coined to describe it), has escaped demolition, preservationists announced Friday.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation said they’d reached a settlement to preserve the 1975 public space, ending a lawsuit brought by TCLF and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in June 2012. It awaits the signature of Mayor R.T. Rybak. Read More

Solar Decathlon Goes So Cal

West
Friday, October 4, 2013
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Solar Decathlon Village in Assembly (U.S. Department of Energy)

Solar Decathlon Village in Assembly (U.S. Department of Energy)

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has officially moved west. The bi-annual event, in which college teams vie against each other to build top-tier solar powered homes, opened yesterday at the Orange County Great Park. After a decade in Washington D.C. the competition had overstayed its welcome on the National Mall, and was looking for a new place to get the word out about sustainability, said event founder Richard King. The Great Park beat out sites in 20 cities around the country.  Read More

W Seattle Hotel’s Parametric Pilings

Fabrikator
Friday, October 4, 2013
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Each column measures approximately 36 inches in diameter. (Boone Speed/Skylab Architecture)

One dozen columns are wrapped in a CNC milled wood solution that recalls Seattle’s cultural and maritime history. (Boone Speed/Skylab Architecture)

LIT Workshop fabricated sleek lodge poles to complement the city’s heritage.

When Starwood Properties began to reimagine a new living room concept for the W Seattle, the existing first floor space featured a disconnected bar, restaurant, and lounge area, much like the traditional layout of a formal home. Portland, Oregon–based architecture firm Skylab Architecture was charged with knocking down the visual barriers for an open floor plan that resembled a more modern, casual living space.

Several preexisting columns could not be removed for structural reasons, so a truly open plan had to be amended. “In some ways you could see them as a negative, or they could be seen as a positive,” Skylab principal Brent Grubb told AN. “We try to turn those perceived negatives into a design element and make it unique.” Researching the city’s cultural and maritime history inspired the architecture team to combine the water-worn patina of shore-front pilings with the physical mass of wooden totem poles. The solution was a parametrically streamlined form that was fabricated in modular sections for swift installation. Read More

Unveiled> Chicago’s Newest Loop ‘L’ Stop Could Be Best Yet

Midwest
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
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Renderings show Chicago's first new Loop 'L' stop since 1997. (exp / CTA)

Renderings show Chicago’s first new Loop ‘L’ stop since 1997. (exp / CTA)

Move over Morgan—the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) released renderings Monday of a redesign for the ‘L’ station at Washington-Wabash whose modern look could unseat the sleek Morgan as CTA’s most handsome stop. The so-called “Gateway to Millennium Park” will serve the Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple lines by consolidating two Loop stations: Randolph-Wabash and Madison-Wabash. Replacing two century old stops, it will be the first new ‘L’ stop in the Loop since the Library/State-Van Buren station was built in 1997.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Puts her Curvilienear Spin on the Serpentine’s New Sackler Gallery

International, Newsletter
Monday, September 30, 2013
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Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Architect Zaha Hadid is finally putting her stamp on the city she has called home for over 30 years with one of her signature curvaceous designs. The London-based architect has designed the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens consisting of both a $14.5 million curvilinear extension and the renovation of the The Magazine, a brick building originally built as a Gunpowder Store in the early 19th century.

Continue reading after the jump.

Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries Commissions Third Chair in 400 Years

International
Monday, September 30, 2013
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Bodleian Library Chair Winner (Courtesy Jamie Smith)

Bodleian Library Chair Winner (Courtesy Jamie Smith)

Designing for a specific space can be a challenge, but try designing a chair predestined to become a contemporary statement in the newly-refurbished Weston Library, part of the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, which has commissioned only its third new chair in 400 years. Earlier this year, three partnerships—Amanda Levete and Herman Miller, Barber Osgerby  and Isokon Plus, and Matthew Hilton and SCP Ltd—were shortlisted to compete for the prestigious prize, which has officially been awarded to Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with Isokon, for their low, round-backed design.

Continue reading after the jump.

Richard Meier Opens First Phase of New Complex in His Hometown of Newark

East, Newsletter
Friday, September 27, 2013
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Rendering of Teachers Village (Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

Rendering of Teachers Village (Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects)

Richard Meier has returned to his roots with the opening of his latest project in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey.  Government officials gathered Thursday to cut the ribbon on the first phase of a mixed-use development called Teachers Village. The 90,000 square foot structure is now home to two charter schools, with retail planned for the ground floor.

The sprawling development—part of of revitalization program to revive downtown—will consist of retail space, a daycare center, three charter schools, and 200 apartment units for teachers. The Newark-born architect was tapped to design five of the eight buildings in the complex with KSS Architects in charge of the remaining three.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Snøhetta and Architexas Make Leaves of Steel

Fabrikator, Southwest
Friday, September 27, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator

 
The pavilion's design is inspired by the surrounding tree canopy. (Courtesy Architexas)

The pavilion’s design is inspired by the surrounding tree canopy. (Courtesy Architexas)

A Dallas pavilion’s exposed structure demanded extremely tight tolerances of Irving, Texas–based fabricator, CT&S.

Ten years ago, the Dallas Parks & Recreation Department launched a revitalization project to update 39 decrepit pavilions throughout its park system. One of them—which was to be designed by the New York office of Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta in partnership with local practice Architexas—sat at the mouth of a meadow lined by old pecan and oak trees on the southern side of College Park. Speaking about the site, Snøhetta director Elaine Molinar said, “You’re aware you’ve left the surrounding neighborhood and entered a more rural setting.” This is the feeling that the team wished to encourage in its design for a new pavilion.

Continue reading after the jump.

More Time with Norman, Please: Foster + Partners’ New Manhattan Tower Fails To Impress

East, Unveiled
Thursday, September 26, 2013
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Rendering showing facade detail of Norman Foster's 551 West 21 Street. (Hayes Davidson /  Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Rendering showing facade detail of Norman Foster’s 551 West 21 Street. (Hayes Davidson / Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Foster + Partners likes to think of itself as a high-design firm with glamorous projects all over the world. But the banal rendering accompanying this week’s announcement of a new 19-story, “luxury” residential tower, 551 West 21 Street, belies their design skills. Could it be that they have a two-tier design strategy in their office where glamorous cultural institutions get “Sir Norman” and commercial towers get, well, something less?

Continue reading after the jump.

Getting in on the Ground Floor: Collective-LOK Wins Van Alen’s Ground/Work Competition

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
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Winning Proposal (Courtesy of Collective-LOK/Van Alen Institute)

Winning Proposal (Courtesy of Collective-LOK/Van Alen Institute)

The Van Alen Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to public realm improvements in New York City, has announced Collective-LOK as the winner of its Ground/Work competition. The winning team—a collaboration between Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under)—was selected from a pool of over 100 applicants, and beat out two other finalists: Of Possible Architectures and EFGH. The competition called on designers to re-imagine the ground floor level to accommodate new offices, bookselling platform, galleries, and event and programming space.

Continue reading after the jump.

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