Zaha Hadid Reveals a Pleated Vision for the Venice Biennale

International
Thursday, August 16, 2012
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Before the 2012 Venice Biennale opens on August 29, Zaha Hadid Architects has released its own preview of the firm’s pavilion to be displayed at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice. The pavilion will be one of 66 projects in the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale, entitled Common Ground.

Check out the amazing video after the jump.

Lasvit’s Olympic Installation

Fabrikator
Friday, August 10, 2012
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Infitiny, by Lasvit

The London Czech House brims over with gold, silver, bronze – and now crystal

So far the Czech Republic’s Olympic athletes have won a smattering of medals at the Summer games, but this year all the country’s athletes, medal winners or not, will be rewarded for their efforts with a crystal trophy courtesy of Lasvit, the official crystal partner of the Czech Olympic team and the country’s leading manufacturer of custom light and glass installations. The crystal trophies will also be doled out to VIPs visiting the Czech House, which is playing host to a series of events meant to promote Czech culture during the games. Inside, Lasvit is presenting the finer side of Czech culture with their Hydrogene Crystal Bar, an illuminated bar in the VIP section, as well as Infinity, a sculptural glass lighting installation suspended in the public mezzanine.

Like most of Lasvit’s high-end custom jobs, Infinity was designed by Jitka Kamencova Skuhrava, whose long list of projects for the company include several hotels and event spaces in Abu Dhabi, dozens more in China as well as two teal-colored cascades for Tiffany & Co. Her preference for natural forms shows up again and again, in the swirling glass shapes that weave through the air like frenzied schools of fish or the leaf-like forms that twist into a loose interpretation of the figure eight symbol. Read More

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Vives les Plages! Paris Rethinks its Riverbanks by Banishing Cars

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
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Left Bank: Port de Solférino, Musée d'Orsay (Courtesy APUR/J.C. Choblet)

Left Bank: Port de Solférino, Musée d’Orsay (Courtesy APUR/J.C. Choblet)

The “reconquest” of the Seine’s riverside expressways will be ushered in by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, following a long battle with Nicolas Sarkozy’s recently ousted right-wing government. Continuous two-lane motorways have severed Paris from the banks of the Seine, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, since Georges Pompidou opened them in 1967 under the slogan “Paris must adapt to the car.”

Continue reading after the jump.

New Renderings Take A Fresh Look at One World Trade Center

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
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One World Trade as viewed from Spruce Street.

One World Trade as viewed from Spruce Street. (Courtesy Durst)

The Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey released a handful of new interior and exterior renderings of a value-engineered version of original designs for One World Trade. Clearly the long-term maintenance argument won out over David Childs’ proposal for a sculpture-clad spire instead of a simple antenna. The resulting design seems far more efficient, if not aesthetically complete. Noticeably absent is Silverstein’s yet-to-be-leased towers Two and Three, which won’t rise until an anchor tenant is found. But neither collapsed cranes or a fire this morning will slow the tower from its relentless climb.

Check out a slideshow of new renderings after the jump.

Growing Season in Full Swing at New York City’s Largest Rooftop Farm

East
Friday, August 3, 2012
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Mayor Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Strickland, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation CEO Kimball and Brooklyn Grange CEO Ben Flanner today toured the largest rooftop farm in New York City. (Edward Reed)

Mayor Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Strickland, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation CEO Kimball and Brooklyn Grange CEO Ben Flanner today toured the largest rooftop farm in New York City. (Edward Reed)

Urban rooftop farming is on the up-and-up in New York City and across the country. Putting his official stamp of approval on the movement, New York Mayor Bloomberg stopped by the city’s largest rooftop farm, the 43,000-square-foot Brooklyn Grange atop a building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With the growing season in full swing, the plants were towering nearly as high as the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

Continue reading after the jump.

Yayoi Kusama Covers a Meatpacking District Scaffold With Dots

East
Friday, August 3, 2012
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Yayoi Kusama's dotted screen on scaffolding at 345Meatpacking serves a dual purpose.

Yayoi Kusama’s dotted screen on scaffolding at 345Meatpacking serves a dual purpose. (Courtesy DDG)

We already knew that DDG Partners could pull together a classy “product,” as they say in real estate parlance. But now the group has upped the ante by teaming with Yayoi Kusama, the 83-year-old Japanese show-stopping pop artist. Kusama’s blockbuster at the Whitney has already spilled over into cross-marketing at Louis Vuitton with her ubiquitous dots climbing up the facade of their 57th Street Store. Downtown the artist’s Yellow Trees will sprawl across protective netting on construction scaffolding at DDGs 345meatpacking, the group’s new 14th Street project which could rival their comparatively quiet 41 Bond Street project. 345 promises to make a much splashier entrance, but with a hand laid Danish Kulumba brick facade, it could be Bond Street’s equal in craftsmanship. The public won’t see the results until September 30th, when the Kusama curtain will fall and the Kulumba will be revealed.

Check out renderings of the building after the jump.

Northerly Island to Soon Become Lake Michigan Oasis

Midwest
Friday, August 3, 2012
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(Courtesy Studio Gang & Chicago Park District)

Northerly Island will soon begin to take shape as an oasis in Lake Michigan. (Courtesy Studio Gang & Chicago Park District)

Gazing at Chicago from the east, it’s impossible to ignore the city’s towering skyline. But the latest gem on the southwest shores of Lake Michigan won’t be made from glass and steel—it’s prairie grass and wetlands.

Northerly Island, a 91-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan just south of the Loop, was promised a visionary makeover from Studio Gang and landscape architects JJR in 2010. Now the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are preparing to break ground this fall.

COntinue reading after the jump.

FabriKator: Wolf-Gordon’s Escalator Canopy

Fabrikator
Friday, August 3, 2012
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Guild_Wolf-Gordon

How a boutique Brooklyn design-build collective strung up NeoCon’s first major installation.

Attendees of NeoCon in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart rode the escalators and ascended towards Wolf-Gordon‘s large crystalline canopy hanging overhead. Though NeoCon has come and gone, Wolf-Gordon has just begun using the tessellated, prismatic structure for an ad campaign that, for the company’s new Chief Creative Officer, Marybeth Shaw, signifies a renewed approach to design and a willingness to take risks. To announce Wolf-Gordon’s new face to the world, Shaw enlisted the help of advertising agency Karlssonwilker, who has created campaigns for Adobe, the New York Times Magazine, BMW, Vitra and MTV, among others, and The Guild, a Brooklyn-based design and build collective whose clients include Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Hurley and Diane von Furstenberg. It’s a bit of an unexpected mix of talents, to be sure, but Shaw wanted to shake things up.

After developing a concept with Karlssonwilker that was inspired by Bruno Taut’s 1914 Glass Pavilion, Shaw turned to The Guild, where Creative Manager Graham Kelman translated her idea into a spiky, crystalline form onto which Wolf-Gordon’s fabrics, textiles and wall coverings could be displayed. Kelman’s first design had between 650-700 prismatic faces with an area far too small to show off the fabric, so Kelman decreased the amount of faces to around 250 while also increasing their individual size. “I increased the largest spike from three to six feet by using a sheet of material per spike side,” Kelman said. He was able to decrease “the total number of faces by two-thirds and still retain the aesthetic impact, volume and material” he wanted.

Read More

Festival Floats Hundreds of Umbrellas over the Streets of a Portuguese Town

International
Thursday, August 2, 2012
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(Patricia Almeida/Flickr)

Umbrellas float above Rua Luís de Camões in Águeda, Portugal. (Patricia Almeida/Flickr)

On any typical day, the pedestrianized Rua Luís de Camões in the small Portuguese town of Águeda is a charming place to experience the city, but this July, a cultural festival called AgitÁgueda (Stir Agueda) rolled out the green carpet, suspended hundreds of colorful umbrellas overhead, and invited residents to see the city in a whole new light.

More photos after the jump.

A Glowing Moonscape in France is Skateable Art

International
Thursday, August 2, 2012
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Otro, a glow-in-the-dark skate park in France. (Courtesy L'Escaut Architectures)

Otro, a glow-in-the-dark skate park in France. (Courtesy L’Escaut Architectures)

In the middle of a lightly populated island in the middle of a French reservoir—the Ile de Vassivière—an eerie green glow rises from the crest of a hill at dusk, indicating that you’ve found OTRO, a phosphorescent skate park of sinuous bowls and tunnels. Designed by artist Koo Jeong-A, L’Escaut Architectures, and skateboard consultants Brusk and Barricade, the project is described as “skateable artwork” and located near a large chateau housing the International Center of Art and Landscape, a light house designed by Aldo Rossi, and a humanoid piece of land art only visible from high above.

Check out a photo gallery after the jump.

Slideshow> High Time for the High Bridge Pedestrian Bridge

East
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
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Construction is about to start on High Bridge. (Courtesy New Yorkers for Parks)

Construction is about to start on High Bridge. (Courtesy New Yorkers for Parks)

There’s a scene in Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel Custom of the Country, where the wicked vixen Undine Spragg insists on speeding across the High Bridge in a “horseless carriage” before making her grand entrance at a party so as to rouge her cheeks with a cold snap of air whipping up from the Harlem River. The romantic fascination accorded the then-65-year-old bridge quietly slipped from New York’s consciousness as bigger engineering marvels usurped its quiet dignity.

Now approaching 165 years, renovations are about to get underway to finally restore the bridge to its former glory as a 1,200-foot-long pedestrian bridge, uniting neighborhoods of High Bridge and Washington Heights in the Bronx and Manhattan. New Yorkers for Parks stopped by the span Monday afternoon to document current conditions before construction is in full swing, giving us a hint of Undine’s views. Though controversial netting integrated into the design might mildly disrupt the vista, Monday’s photos show it the way it was, albeit slightly overgrown.

View a slideshow of High Bridge after the jump.

Following Leak, Official High Line Renderings Hit the Street

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
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A slightly arched section along 30th Street will provide a brief river vista before the sweeping views of the interim section.

Two slightly arched sections along 30th Street will provide a brief river vista before giving way to the sweeping views of the interim section.

Everyone loves a fresh High Line rendering, prompting a leak of the latest batch—complete with giant “Not for reproduction” text scrawled across the images—last week via DNAinfo. Now that the cat is out of the bag, the High Line released officially approved renderings yesterday that are crystal clear and text free.

Changes from the designs released in March predominantly show refined detailing by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The delightful rubberized I-beam section for the kids has more planting and the final wrap-around interim section features a few new set of scalies, but the temporary solution remains much the same, with a lean walkway overlooking the self-seeded rail bed.

Check out the new renderings after the jump.

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