Unveiled> SOM’s Los Angeles Courthouse Is a Shimmering White Cube

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Last month AN reported that SOM had won the commission to design the new $400 million federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Today, designs for the new facility were unveiled (via our friends at LA Downtown News and Curbed LA), showing a cube-shaped structure with a porous white surface. So far only two renderings have hit the web, but SOM has promised to share more with us soon.

More information after the jump.

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Beantown Rising: Big Development On the Horizon In Boston

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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100 Pier 4 (Courtesy of ADD Inc)

100 Pier 4 (Courtesy of ADD Inc)

For Bostonians, cranes and scaffolding have become a common fixture in the city’s landscape. In recent years, there’s been a slew of new developments cropping up everywhere from Roxbury to Fenway, with the bulk of construction concentrated in South Boston’s waterfront, and more specifically in a sub-section that Mayor Thomas M. Menino has dubbed the “Innovation District.” AN has compiled a list of some of the most high profile projects happening in the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Asks Designers to Reinvent the Payphone

East
Monday, December 10, 2012
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A mock-up of City 24/7 new NYC phone booth. (Courtesy NYC Department of Telecommunications)

A mock-up of City 24/7 new NYC phone booth. (Courtesy NYC Department of Telecommunications)

With the current rise of smartphones and tablet technology, it is easy for coin-operated payphones to be cast aside as archaic tools of urban communication, but with over 11,000 functioning payphones dotted across New York City alone, these sidewalk staples have become ubiquitous in the urban landscape. And as was a lesson during Hurricane Sandy and other disasters, the payphone can serve as a reliable back-up when cell phone batteries die.

But can the payphone be updated to thrive in the 21st century? New York City is enlisting designers to rethink the role of payphones in today’s New York City, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially announcing the “Reinvent Payphones” competition last week.

Continue reading after the jump.

In Miami, A Lounge Shows FXFOWLE’s Handiwork

Fabrikator
Friday, December 7, 2012
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FXFOWLE's installation at the Miami Project Fair. (Moris Moreno)

FXFOWLE’s installation at the Miami Project Fair. (Moris Moreno)

At Miami Basel, a digitally fabricated pavilion marries classic origami techniques with advanced technology

For this year’s inaugural Miami Project Fair, the design team at FXFOWLE Architects, led by Sarah Gerber, created a temporary architectural pavilion, the FXFOWLE Lounge, from both cutting-edge technology and good-old-fashioned manual labor. The 24-foot-long pavilion embodies the “duality of this very high-tech and sophisticated fabrication and this very low-tech material and assembly process,” said designer Lucio Santos. Over the next few days, the sculpture will be housed in a lounge and bar area outfitted with beanbag chairs and a carbon fiber bar that FXFOWLE also designed for the event.

In past years, architects such as David Adjaye, Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY, and Rachely Rotem and Phu Hoang (now of Modu), have designed temporary pavilions for Miami Basel—introducing their work to a wider audience. This project is “a first” Santos said, but this might be changing for FXFOWLE, which is trying to branch out on the digital side of architecture.

Continue reading after the jump.

Hudson Yards Breaks Ground as Manhattan’s Largest Mega-Development

East, Newsletter
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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The towers of Hudson Yards. (Courtesy Related)

The towers of Hudson Yards. (Courtesy Related)

Tuesday morning, New York’s top power brokers gathered in a muddy lot on Manhattan’s west side to mark the official groundbreaking of the 26-acre Hudson Yards mega-development. The dramatic addition to the New York skyline will comprise a completely new neighborhood of glass skyscrapers at the northern terminus of the High Line. The South Tower, the first structure to be built and the future headquarters of fashion-label Coach, will rise on the site’s southeast corner at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, where Related CEO Stephen Ross, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others celebrated the first turning of dirt as a large caisson machine bored into the ground.

Continue reading after the jump.

Obit> Oscar Niemeyer: 1907-2012

International, Newsletter
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Oscar Niemeyer at work in 1972. (Courtesy Oscar Niemeyer Foundation)

Oscar Niemeyer at work in 1972. (Courtesy Oscar Niemeyer Foundation)

Famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer died on Wednesday at the age of 104, just days before his 105th birthday. He had recently been hospitalized in Rio de Janeiro, fighting pneumonia and kidney failure. After nine decades designing, the architect couldn’t put aside his work and continued on projects during his hospitalization.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Home, Sweet Four-Foot-Wide Home: Warsaw Welcomes A Tiny New Addition

International
Monday, December 3, 2012
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Inside the Keret House. (Courtesy Dom Kereta / Facebook)

Etgar Keret inside his new home, the Keret House. (Courtesy Dom Kereta / Facebook)

A sliver of a house was completed in late October in the unlikeliest of locations, a leftover space between two buildings in the once Jewish ghetto of downtown Warsaw. At slightly under four feet across at its widest point—and a mere 28 inches at its narrowest—the Keret House, envisioned by Polish architect Jakub Szczensy of Centrala, stands firmly among the world’s slimmest buildings. The unconventional house was commissioned by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, whose mother survived Nazi occupied Warsaw on the very street of the Keret House.

Continue reading after the jump.

Six Architects & Designers Take Home $50,000 Prizes

National, Newsletter
Monday, December 3, 2012
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Today the United States Artists (USA), a national grant-making and advocacy organization, named fifty artists to receive the USA Fellowships, which includes six in design and architecture whose accomplishments, in everything from landscape architecture to digital technology, have distinguished them in their field. These fellows—hailing from New York, Los Angeles, and Arkansas—will receive unrestricted grants of $50,000 each. Among the winners are two architecture firms, a landscape architect, and an academic.

Details about the winners after the jump.

Architecture Students Build a Pavilion to Engage Detroit’s Empty Space

Dean's List, Midwest
Friday, November 30, 2012
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Empty Pavilion installation in Detroit.

Empty Pavilion installation in Detroit.

Detroit’s stark unemployment and population loss have spurred plenty of ideas for redevelopment, from new manufacturing to urban agriculture. A recently unveiled piece of public art meditates on one thing the city has in excess: empty space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Oy, Tannenbaum! Modern Christmas Tree Causes A Stir in Belgium

International
Friday, November 30, 2012
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ABIES-Electronicus, a modern XMAS tree. (Courtesy 1024 Architecture)

ABIES-Electronicus, a modern XMAS tree. (Courtesy 1024 Architecture)

A modern interpretation of a Christmas tree designed by French firm 1024 Architecture lighting Grand Place, the main public square in Brussels, Belgium has some locals seeing stars. Standing 82 feet tall, ABIES-Electronicus, as the modern tree installation is named, is billed as an eco-friendly equivalent of chopping down a living tree, but some politicians in the city say it represents a “war on Christmas” as the symbols of the holiday are abstracted away from tradition. The mayor dismissed the charges, noting this year’s holiday theme was about light, and noting that a nativity scene is set up nearby.

Continue reading after the jump.

SHoP Updates Atlantic Yards Design as Forest City Confirms Prefab

East
Friday, November 30, 2012
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SHoP refines the design of the Atlantic Yards B2 Tower as groundbreaking approaches. (Courtesy SHoP)

SHoP refines the design of the Atlantic Yards B2 Tower as groundbreaking approaches. (Courtesy SHoP)

On Wednesday, Forest City Ratner made it official: the world’s tallest prefabricated building will be coming to Brooklyn with a groundbreaking date set for December 18. As AN outlined in our recent feature on Atlantic Yards, the SHoP Architects-designed B2 Tower will climb, modular unit by modular unit, 32 stories on a slender wedge-shaped parcel adjacent to the new Barclays Center on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street.

Renderings released with the groundbreaking announcement also revealed design revisions to the B2 Tower since it was unveiled in November 2011, and Chris Sharples, principal at SHoP, told AN what’s new.

Continue reading after the jump.

Grow Your Own 3D Printed Protohouse

Fabrikator
Friday, November 30, 2012
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Protohouse by Softkill.

Protohouse by Softkill.

Print your next house in 30 separate snap tight pieces

While events like Maker Faire have done a lot to increase the visibility of 3D printing, the London-based generative and 3D design group Softkill has spoken openly about how they still think “3D printing is a specialized, one-off luxury, rich man’s thing.” But they went on to say that “there really is an interesting future for architecture and 3D printing because you have great cost savings and material efficiency, which architects are really interested in. That’s where 3D printing is really pushing the discipline.” Softkill recently tested the limits of the latest in Selective Laser Sintering technology with Protohouse, a ⅓ scale house completely fabricated by a 3D printer.

Continue reading after the jump.

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