Fanciful Jack-O-Lanterns from the Oyler Wu Collaborative

National
Friday, October 26, 2012
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(Courtesy Oyler Wu Collaborative)

(Courtesy Oyler Wu Collaborative)

We can’t resist when architects bring out the knives and engage in the fall ritual of pumpkin carving. Jenny Wu of the LA-based Oyler Wu Collaborative shared the results of their annual pumpkin carving contest set in front of the firm’s Screenplay installation. Happy Halloween!

Architects & Engineers in LA Reimagine Billboards as Gardens

West
Friday, October 26, 2012
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Now this looks like a good idea: a group of architects and engineers called Urban Air are trying to turn a billboard next to LA’s 10 Freeway into a suspended bamboo garden. The technique: they remove the signage, install planters and then the bamboo, and then install water misters and sensors to make sure it’s properly irrigated. Voila! If it’s successful with the first sign the group wants to create similar gardens across the country. The ambitious plan is being crowd-funded through Kickstarter and with 46 days left has raised nearly $6,000 of its $100,000 goal as of this publishing. You can check out their Kickstarter campaign and contribute here.

More pix of the scheme after the jump.

Bike Lane Barriers in Brooklyn & Queens Painted to Resemble Antique Wallpaper

East
Friday, October 26, 2012
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Lynch's Barrier Beautification, Flushing Ave, Brooklyn.

Lynch’s Barrier Beautification, Flushing Ave, Brooklyn.

If you ride your bike along Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn on your way to or from Williamsburg, you may have noticed a splash of color along the bike lane’s barrier. Similarly, the Flushing Bay Promenade in Queens got some color recently in efforts to bring art to the public. The New York City Department of Transportation, New York Cares and the Community Affairs Unit organized the event in collaboration with two Brooklyn-based artists Deanna Lee and Kara Lynch.

Continue reading after the jump.

Durst’s BIG Composting Scheme Biggest in New York

East
Friday, October 26, 2012
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BIG's W57 tower. (Courtesy Durst Organization)

BIG’s W57 tower. (Courtesy Durst Organization)

The Durst Organization is launching a composting pilot program for the 600-unit Helena apartment building on Manhattan’s West 57th Street. The program will start in the next few months and, if successful, will be implemented in Durst’s planned 32-story W57 tower designed by Bjarke Ingels and expected to finish in 2015. This composting scheme, potentially serving 1,350 apartments, will be the largest residential composting project in the New York City.

Continue reading after the jump.

‘Cosmic Quilt’ Makes Waves In Interactive Architecture

Fabrikator
Friday, October 26, 2012
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CosmicQuilt1

Cosmic Quilt (The Principals)

Experimental systems and new materials break ground in an untapped field of architecture

Earlier this month, Brooklyn-based design practice The Principals installed Wave Dilfert, an interactive “light-sensitive barrel vault” created for The Feast, a social innovation conference that took place this year in Essex Street Market. With their unique trifecta of talents, the founders of The Principals—Christopher Williams, a metal fabricator, Charles Constantine, an industrial designer, and Drew Seskuras, an architect—seem poised to lead the pack of interactive environmental architects. Interactive design is a quickly growing field thanks to events like do-it-yourself festival Maker Faire and the proliferation of open-source electronics prototyping platforms like Arduino. But before The Principals dominate the design-build world, we wanted to revisit the installation that caught everyone’s eye at NY Design Week: Cosmic Quilt. Read More

Foster, SOM and WXY Explore Grand Ideas for the Next 100 Years at Grand Central Terminal

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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(Courtesy SOM)

(Courtesy SOM)

The neighborhood around Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal is about to undergo monumental change as the Bloomberg administration pushes to upzone areas around Park and Madison avenues. Already, Norman Foster recently unveiled his plans for a new 425 Park tower, viewed as a precursor to what’s bound to be a taller neighborhood and the NYC Department of Transportation announced intentions to close Vanderbilt Avenue to automobile traffic to help with already-overflowing sidewalks.

But in anticipation of Warren and Wetmore‘s Grand Central celebrating its centennial next year, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) asked three firms—SOM, WXY, and Foster+Partners—to re-envision the Beaux-Arts masterpiece and its surrounding midtown neighborhood with an eye toward the train station’s next 100 years. The results of the Grand Central…The Next 100 project were unveiled at this year’s MAS Summit for New York City, which wrapped up on Friday and included both down-to-earth and fanciful visions for the future of Manhattan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Massive Project by Norman Foster could Transform Toronto

International
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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Proposed redevelopment of the Metro Toronto Convention Center. (Courtesy Oxford Properties)

Proposed redevelopment of the Metro Toronto Convention Center. (Courtesy Oxford Properties)

Starchitects are descending on Toronto. First it was Frank Gehry with his plan for three 80-story skyscrapers on top of an art museum, and now Norman Foster with a massive plan to redevelop the Metro Toronto Convention Centre area adjacent to the CN Tower and Rogers Centre Stadium. Developed by Oxford Properties Group and dubbed Oxford Place, the plan calls for upgrades to the current convention center and four new towers for housing, office space, a hotel, and a casino surrounding a five-and-a-half acre park spanning a railroad.

Continue reading after the jump.

2012 World Architecture Festival Winners Boldly Reinvent the Urban Landscape

International
Monday, October 22, 2012
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Garden by the Bay. Courtesy Wilkinson Eyre (Photo Credit: Craig Sheppard)

Garden by the Bay. (Craig Sheppard/Courtesy Wilkinson Eyre)

Several large-scale, eco-friendly projects at the intersection of landscape, architecture, and urbanism were honored at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore. Building of the Year was awarded to London-based Wilkinson Eyre’s Gardens by the Bay (above), designed in collaboration with landscape architects Grant Associates in 2003 for a competition to develop a reclaimed 250-acre site adjacent to a marina in downtown Singapore. Among the other top honorees were AECOM’s Heart of Doha Masterplan, winning Future Project of the Year, and Atelier Dreiseitl’s Kallang River Bishan Park, which took Landscape Project of the Year.

Read about the winners after the jump.

Unveiled> OMA Designs an Academic Village Under a Single Roof in Suburban Paris

International
Monday, October 22, 2012
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Entrance to École Centrale from Metro Station (Courtesy OMA)

Entrance to École Centrale from Metro Station (Courtesy OMA)

OMA has won the design competition for the new École Centrale Engineering school in Saclay, France, a suburb of Paris. The final design calls for an enormous block composed of smaller buildings creating an open plan grid. According to OMA, the concept behind the design is a “lab city” where multiple events can take place while all being simultaneously observed.

More after the jump.

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Doha Tower Named World’s Best by Council on Tall Buildings

International, Midwest
Saturday, October 20, 2012
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Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat held its 11th annual awards symposium Thursday, bestowing architect Helmut Jahn and structural engineers Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti with lifetime achievement recognition and awarding Doha Tower the title of 2012’s Best Tall Building.

Ateliers Jean Novel’s cylindrical landmark for the burgeoning Qatar capital is the first tall building to use a diagonal grid of reinforced concrete columns in a cross shape. This innovation leaves open the central core, creating a stunning space at the tip of the tower that makes perhaps the best use of the building’s intricately detailed facade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Datagrove weaves a tangled electronic web at ZERO1′s Art + Technology Biennial

Fabrikator
Friday, October 19, 2012
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Datagrove installation at ZERO1's Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA. (Future Cities Lab)

Datagrove installation at ZERO1′s Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA. (Future Cities Lab)

Use of cell phones is strongly encouraged for tech devotees flocking to Silicon Valley’s ‘social media whispering wall’

As its name implies, Datagrove is literally a grove of data or a “social media ‘whispering wall,’” if you will, that aggregates locally trending Twitter feeds and parrots them out of speakers and LCD displays woven into the digital branches of the installation. Nonprofit art/technology network ZERO1 commissioned the installation from San Francisco–based experimental design company Future Cities Lab for its Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA, now on view through December 8, 2012. The theme of this year’s Biennial is “Seeking Silicon Valley,” which seems like a particularly appropriate place to plunder data normally hidden away in smartphones and amplify it for all to hear using custom sensors, text-to-speech modules, LEDs, and LCDs capable of responding directly to people in the immediate vicinity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Slideshow> Foster Won, But Check out Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, & Richard Rogers’ NYC Visions

East, Newsletter
Thursday, October 18, 2012
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Norman Foster's winning design. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Norman Foster’s winning design. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Park Avenue in Manhattan is ready to grow taller, and a starchitect-filled competition won by Lord Norman Foster revealed the first of what’s likely to be many new towers along the corridor. But what of the three runners up? Renderings from all four finalist—Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, OMA, and Norman Foster—have now been released by L&L Holdings and Lehman Brothers detailing four distinct visions for the future of the New York skyscraper.

Foster’s final winning design will be presented at the Municipal Arts Society’s Summit for New York City, which begins on Thursday, October 18 (Foster will present on Friday at 9 a.m.). Also during the two day summit, an exhibition displaying the work of all four finalists’ designs will be on view.

Check out all four proposals after the jump.

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