Los Angeles’ First Complete Street On the MyFigueroa Corridor Close To Moving Ahead

West
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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Proposed elements include separated bike lanes, improved crosswalks, new lighting, and enhanced plantings. (Courtesy MyFigueroa)

Proposed elements include separated bike lanes, improved crosswalks, new lighting, and enhanced plantings. (Courtesy MyFigueroa)

It’s been about a year since the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) took the reins over MyFigueroa, a project that hopes to remake the 4-miles in and around Figueroa Street from LA Live to Exposition Park, near USC. But things are quickly wrapping up, because the $20-million Proposition 1C funds it was awarded need to be spent by 2014. On April 9, DOT hosted a community meeting in downtown LA to unveil updated designs for this crucial connective corridor, which when finished, would be the city’s first implemented complete street.

Continue reading after the jump.

Drexel Opens Revamped Venturi Scott-Brown Building in Philadelphia

East
Friday, April 12, 2013
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The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi (Courtesy of Drexel University)

The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi. (Courtesy of Drexel University)

A few years ago Drexel University embarked on an ambitious plan to convert one of Philadelphia’s iconic postmodern landmarks by Venturi Scott Brown Associates (VSBA) into a new home for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Tonight the University will celebrate the official opening of its new building, dubbed the URBN Center, with a series of performances and demonstrations to showcase student work.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sail Away: The Granoff Collection

Fabrikator
Friday, April 12, 2013
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Goetz Composites fabricated the Granoff Collection of modular furniture for a new Diller, Scofidio + Renfro-designed building at Brown University. (courtesy Taylor McKenzie-Veal)

Fiber reinforced plastic forms the shell for a modular sofa unit, a chair, and a table that doubles as a stool.  (Taylor McKenzie-Veal)

Goetz Composites fabricated the Granoff Collection of modular furniture for a new Diller, Scofidio + Renfro-designed building at Brown University.

Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, completed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in 2010, was a direct result of the institution’s studies on how students and faculty interact today. Since most interdisciplinary exchanges were taking place in stairwells over classrooms, the architects designed a central escalier with five landings where the school’s population could meet among rotating student installations. One year after the building opened, the users realized that something was missing on the escalier: a place to sit. To rectify the situation, graduate students from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) collaborated with Brown alumni to design a unique collection of furniture named for the building’s patrons, Perry and Marty Granoff.

The alumni designers—Taylor McKenzie-Veal, Scot Bailey, Ian Stell, and Yumi Yoshida—crafted a line of modular furniture that includes a sofa, a chair, and a table that doubles as a stool. The line caters to local industry in materiality; namely the state’s maritime history. “The boating and composite expertise in Rhode Island has a long-standing history of excellence and [we] consulted and collaborated with a local composites and engineering firm while developing and prototyping the design,” said McKenzie-Veal.

Continue reading after the jump.

Obit> Paolo Soleri, 1919-2013

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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Arcosanti, left, and Paolo Soleri, right. (Doctress Neutopia / Flickr; Courtesy Cosanti Foundation)

Arcosanti, left, and Paolo Soleri, right. (Doctress Neutopia / Flickr; Courtesy Cosanti Foundation)

The visionary architect and artist Paolo Soleri has died. He was best known as the mastermind behind Arcosanti, the ongoing experimental community outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Arcosanti, which has been under construction for more than 40 years, embodies Soleri’s idea of an architecture merged with the environment. More than 7,000 architecture students have worked on Arcosanti, and more than 50,000 people visit the site every year.

Though Soleri has been viewed as an almost mystical outlier in architecture, many of the design principles of Arcosanti mirror contemporary thinking in architecture and planning, including walkability, high density, diversity of uses, urban agriculture, and use of embodied energy. In addition to Arcosanti, Soleri designed buildings in Italy, New Mexico, and several sites across Arizona. According to the Cosanti Foundation, Soleri will be buried at Arcosanti following a private service. A public service will be held later this year.

More of Soleri’s work after the jump.

Museum of the Moving Image Will Burn You A DVD

East, Newsletter
Monday, April 8, 2013
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DVD Dead Drop installation at the Museum of the Moving Image. (Courtesy Aram Bartholl)

DVD Dead Drop installation at the Museum of the Moving Image. (Courtesy Aram Bartholl)

A new permanent work by Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl at the Thomas Leeser-designed Museum of The Moving Image in Queens, New York bridges the gap between digital and physical space, challenging the intangibility of today’s world of cloud computing and instant downloads by adding a sense of materiality to data-transfer. Engaging a medium that is quickly becoming as outdated as the Laser Disc, DVD Dead Drop, a slot-loading DVD burner embedded in the exterior wall of the museum is ready to burn you a hand-picked digital art exhibition, media collection, or another piece computerized content curated by Bartholl. Just insert a blank DVD-R, and let the art begin.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> One Thousand Museum, Zaha Hadid’s First Skyscraper in the West

East, Newsletter
Monday, April 8, 2013
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Zaha Hadid's 1000 Museum Tower in Miami. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects; Via Curbed Miami)

Zaha Hadid’s 1000 Museum Tower in Miami. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects; Via Curbed Miami)

Miami’s real estate market is climbing yet again after a few years of tense halts in new projects following the 2007 recession. Among the towers set to rise in the Magic City’s downtown is a residential high-rise designed by  Pritzker prize-winner Zaha Hadid, who is also designing a dramatic parking structure in the city. Expectations of the new structure are soaring, and a set of renderings of the tower have recently been released. Developed by local hotshots Gregg Covin and Louis Birdman, the One Thousand Museum luxury condominium will be built amid a row of existing condo towers along Biscayne Boulevard just across from what will soon be Museum Park.

Continue reading after the jump.

Could Chad Oppenheim’s Slab Hotel Rise Above the Williamsburg Bridge?

East
Friday, April 5, 2013
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Chad Oppenheim's design for Williamsburghotel. (Courtesy Oppenheim)

Chad Oppenheim’s design for Williamsburghotel. (Courtesy Oppenheim)

After a two-year lull since we broke the story about a potential 440-foot-tall boutique hotel adjacent the Williamsburg Bridge, it looks like developer Juan Figueroa is moving forward with his plans to build a 250-room hotel next to his under-renovation Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The Real Deal reported that the boutique hotel could check in guests as soon as 2015.

Continue reading after the jump.

Southern Philadelphia High School Crowdsourcing Philly’s First Rooftop Farm

East
Friday, April 5, 2013
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philly_roof_garden_02philly_roof_garden_01

Southern Philadelphia High School has teamed up with Roofmeadow, a Philly-based green roof design and engineering firm, and the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association to bring the city its first rooftop farm in a new campus-wide plan to take the school from gray to green. The plan includes rain gardens, street trees, vegetable gardens, and a rooftop farm. These elements will be incorporated into a new curriculum for the school’s culinary and science departments, providing students with a chance to escape the classroom and engage in hands-on learning, while nearby residents will gain access to fresh produce and new green space.

“South Philly High is on the cutting edge of sustainability and innovation,” said Kim Massare, President of the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association in a statement to greenroofs.com. “It is changing the way we think about what a school should be and using technology to drive change in a totally new direction.”

The school is working with Roofmeadow and community representatives to develop the master plan, which targets large, underutilized properties on the school’s urban campus. The project will be crowdfunded through Projexity, an online platform that provides the support and framework for bottom-up neighborhood development projects, from creating proposals, to gathering funding, holding design competitions and getting the final approval necessary to move forward. The first of five stages of fundraising begins here on April 9th.

A Corian Carnival in SoHo

Fabrikator
Friday, April 5, 2013
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Associated Fabrication produced 34 bollard-shaped merchandise displays for Melissa Shoes in SoHo. (Melissa Hom)

Associated Fabrication produced 34 bollard-shaped merchandise displays. (Melissa Hom)

Brooklyn-based Associated Fabrication realized all the merchandise displays, benching, shelving, and cash wraps for Melissa Shoes in Pearl Gray Corian.

Before Kinky Boots came to Broadway, Melissa Shoes opened shop in SoHo. The Brazilian shoe brand, known for its use of brightly colored, recycled PVC material and collaborations with designers like Jason Wu, Vivienne Westwood, and Gareth Pugh, opened its first U.S. boutique in the states last year. With the help of local architecture firm Eight Inc. and Brooklyn-based Associated Fabrication, a distinguished aesthetic was achieved that supports the original Sao Paulo shop’s rotating art theme, but with a much cleaner slate of epoxy floors and Pearl Gray Corian bollard-like merchandise displays.

Working from two-dimensional drawings provided by the architects, Jeffrey Taras of Associated Fabrication used Rhino to model the 34 display platforms. Taras grouped the displays, which resemble blunted stalagmites, into categories of varying heights and configurations—single columns in four different heights, double columns in two groupings, and one cluster of three columns. Read More

Officials Endorse Plan To Restore Rail Service On Abandoned Viaduct in Queens

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Current conditions along the old rail corridor. (Courtesy Friends of the QueensWay)

Current conditions along the old rail corridor. (Courtesy Friends of the QueensWay)

The debate over the future of the abandoned Rockaway Long Island Railroad (LIRR) line is heating up, and while a proposal to convert the viaduct into a version of the High Line called the QueensWay has gained early momentum with support from the likes of Governor Cuomo, it looks like an alternative proposal to restore the long-defunct rail line is picking up steam as well. According to the Queens Chronicle, a source revealed that Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Greg Meeks will call for for federal transportation subsidies to return the line to rail service. For residents, the reactivation of the railroad could mean a significantly faster commute into Manhattan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Opposition to Madison Square Gardens Heating Up

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden has been on the move since its inception in 1879 as a 10,000-square-foot boxing, bike racing, and ice hockey venue in an old railroad depot at Madison Avenue and 26th Street. The facility later moved into an ornate Moorish-style building designed by famed Stanford White, architect of the Penn Station, which the arena notoriously replaced at its fourth and current home on 33rd Street in Midtown (after a brief stop on 50th Street). Now, if community boards, civic and planning groups, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer get their way, the venue will be sent packing once again.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pyramid Scheming with Michigan Architecture Students

Fabrikator
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Four truncated pyramidal units make up Stalactites. (Harold-Sprague Solie and Geoffrey Salvatore)

Four truncated pyramidal units made from Bristol board make up Stalactites. (Harold-Sprague Solie and Geoffrey Salvatore)

Two students in the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning designed a textural, horizontal installation with complete transparency.

When Harold-Sprague Solie and Geoffrey Salvatore developed their decorative 12- by 5-foot ceiling installation Stalactites for a graduate course with Tsz Yan Ng at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, the goal was to produce a design and fabrication process with an accompanying detailed set of documents. “We wanted to take the focus away from just the object at the end and go through a set of drawings to help [the viewer] understand the installation and bring him or her into it,” said Salvatore. He expressed the desire for complete transparency, since architecture tends to conceal the labor details, and explained that this process helps expose some of the hidden logic of the project.

So while the drawings began as aids for viewing and understanding the project, they became useful as Solie and Salvatore went through the design process. “[As we worked] we’d have these drawing to fall back on; to rediscover ideas, to catch mistakes and reveal things we’d have missed,” Solie said. Read More

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