New York City Targets Buildings’ Heating Oil to Improve Air Quality

East
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Hazardous smoke rises from a building using heavy oils. (Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund/Isabelle SIlverman)

Hazardous smoke rises from a building using heavy oils. (Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund/Isabelle SIlverman)

What’s your building burning? Some 10,000 buildings in New York City are stuck on the dirty stuff—heavy heating oils—to keep warm, which is polluting the air across the city. But as of the first of this month, the city has begun to phase out these feuls in favor of more environmentally-friendly and health-conscious alternatives. As part of plaNYC’s initiative to remake New York City with the cleanest air of any major U.S. city, NYC Clean Heat aims to achieve a 50 percent reduction in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by the end of 2013.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine Celebrates Opening of Washington Park

Midwest
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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INTERACTIVE WATER ELEMENTS ARE AMONG THE MORE POPULAR UPDATES. (COURTESY WASHINGTON PARK VIA FLICKR)

INTERACTIVE WATER ELEMENTS ARE AMONG THE MORE POPULAR UPDATES. (COURTESY WASHINGTON PARK VIA FLICKR)

Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is surging back from disrepair, becoming the poster-child for Porkopolis’ return to progressive urbanism. After two years of construction, the historic neighborhood’s Washington Park reopened to the public Friday.

The $48-million renovation is the latest investment by Cincinnati in its urban character—much was made of Washington Park’s likelihood to attract and sustain investment nearby. A number of amenities were added, including a children’s playground, a dog park, a fountain, an event plaza and a stage for live performances.

Continue reading after the jump.

Form. Function. Gloves.

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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Courtesy Renee Verhoeven

For her graduation project at Dutch art and design school ArtEZ, Renee Verhoeven explored the relationship between function and materialization with Concealed Layers of Product Life. Anatomy, movement, and utility are translated through fabrication in a collection of gloves that attempt to tackle one of the fundamental projects of Modern design and architecture. As Verhoeven explained in a statement, “It was an idea I nurtured for a long time: making the outer layers of a product expressive for its interior, the way it functions and the scientific knowledge that it materializes.”

Continue reading after the jump.

James Turrell Captures a Slice of the Vast Texas Sky with Twilight Epiphany Pavilion

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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(Courtesy Rice University)

(Courtesy Rice University)

For many, work by American artist James Turrell is instantly recognizable. Using light and basic geometric forms as the material of his compositions, Turrell subtly alters space and perception for visitors, creating weight and depth through visual experience that evokes meditation and contemplation.

Turrell’s work is at its height when gazing skyward. Multiple iterations of his Skyspace series have appeared around the world framing a dramatic slice of the heavens in his pristine geometry. The work is, essentially, a skylight: an opening above a room or pavilion for viewing the sky above, but to reduce the work to its function would disregard the transformative power of a simple yet moving experience. In each installation, a confined aperture begins to decontextualize the sky, featuring the color and texture of what is seen as an element of the art.

Continue reading after the jump.

Nation’s First Rooftop Community Garden Prepares to Open Atop a Seattle Parking Garage

West
Friday, July 6, 2012
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Fresh sod in front of a repurposed Airstream tool shed. (Courtesy UpGarden P-Patch)

Fresh sod in front of a repurposed Airstream tool shed. (Courtesy UpGarden P-Patch)

Installation of the first community rooftop garden in the United States—UpGarden—is almost complete. Located in the shadow of Seattle’s Space Needle, the project will convert close to 30,000 square feet on the top of the Mercer parking garage into an organic, edible, herb and flower garden with 100 plots for lower Queen Anne neighborhood residents. Landscape architecture firm Kistler Higbee Cahoot is leading the design, organizing community workshops and construction of the garden with a volunteer crew.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tea Time Pavilion Made From 250,000 Plastic Coffee Stirrers

East
Friday, July 6, 2012
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Jean Shin and Brian Ripel's "Tea House" is at the DeCordova sculpture park through the fall (Courtesy Clements Photograph and Design)

Jean Shin and Brian Ripel's "Tea House" is at the DeCordova Sculpture Park through the fall (Courtesy Clements Photography and Design)

Rarely do red plastic coffee stirrers conjure notions of Walden Pond, but for architect Brian Ripel and artist Jean Shin, the notion is not that far fetched. The duo’s Tea House rooftop installation at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts sits about a mile from Thoreau’s retreat. Ripel pointed out that the connection is somewhat difficult to discern in isolation, but the gabled pavilion frames pristine views absent of any evidence that the museum sits a mere twelve miles from downtown Boston.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Tree Canopy

Fabrikator
Friday, July 6, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

Colombiere1

A tree grows in the Colombiere Center Chapel

It all started with a beech tree that has lived for the past hundred years on the Colombiere Jesuit Brother’s bucolic 14-acre site in Baltimore, MD.  The tree stands in plain view of the brothers’ new chapel, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ). Alfred Dragani, an associate with the firm and the lead on the project, said that “as our Jesuit clients expressed a greater desire for privacy, we began to study ways of designing a shroud behind the south and north facing glass walls of the chapel that would operate like light-modulating screens. Our hope was that we could simulate the effect of an actual tree canopy, resulting in a dappled and serene light.” Dragani and his team used digital modeling (Rhino and Grasshopper) to simulate daylight conditions in the chapel throughout the year and create an interior installation in the chapel made from perforated wood panels in an organic arrangement of overlapping planes within a repetitive steel framework.

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German Lego Bridge Part of 10-Mile Pedestrian & Cycle Network

International
Thursday, July 5, 2012
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A Lego-bridge in Germany by MEGX. (Rolf Busch/Courtesy MEGX)

A Lego-bridge in Germany by MEGX. (Rolf Busch/Courtesy MEGX)

As children love to imagine, what if we actually built our cities out of Legos? A bridge in Wuppertal, Germany, a city of 350,000 to the northeast of Cologne, offers one vision of what that city might look like. Street artist Martin Heuwold, or as he tags, MEGX, created the grand illusion last fall when he painted a dingy concrete span in the bright hues of every architect’s favorite toys.

The city appears to be banking on the High Line Effect. Faced with the prospect of a declining population, Wuppertal has been looking for ideas to reinvigorate the city and increase residents’ quality of life. The Lego Bridge is part of a 10-mile pedestrian and cycle path called Wuppertal Bewegung e.V. being built through the city on what was once the Wuppertal Northern Railway. Plans are also on the boards for a heritage trolley to run atop the viaduct. [H/T Colossal.]

Check more photos of the bridge after the jump.

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A Mobile Sound Booth Disguised as a Silver Orb for Los Angeles

West
Thursday, July 5, 2012
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(KCRW)

Angelenos might soon see a “silvery orb” roving around their neighborhood. Don’t worry, it’s not an alien visitation, it is radio station KCRW’s newest portable sound booth for Sonic Trace, a new media and radio series project that charts the Mexican and Central American immigrant experience in Los Angeles. After a few weeks of deliberation, KCRW chose California-based Mat-ter Design+ Build Studio’s La Burbuja as the winning entry. Translated as “the bubble,” the design is a highly reflective orb that encloses its subjects in “a non-space that is elegant but not intrusive,” said Hugo Martinez, who co-founded the studio with Christin To.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tennis Architecture from Newport to the Bronx

East
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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The multi-level Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx is decidedly democratic. (Courtesy Peter Gluck and Partners)

The multi-level Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx is decidedly democratic. (Courtesy Peter Gluck and Partners)

Teddy Roosevelt once remarked on the commercialization of sports: “When money comes in at the gate, the game goes out the window.” With Wimbledon in high gear and tennis at the Olympics looming, tennis is getting more than its share of commercial attention lately. Just last month the United States Tennis Association announced it would spend a half billion dollars to upgrade the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Queens, where the U.S. Open is played. The project is linked to the $3 billion Willets Point project.

A roundup of tennis architecture news after the jump.

Z World Detroit, A Neighborhood Made Undead

Midwest
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
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When RoboCop replicas and community gardens just can't cut it, legions of the undead may supply a solution. (Courtesy Z World Detroit)

As community groups and government agencies in Detroit struggle to find a solution to the depopulation and economic problems facing the city, one group sees opportunity in the city’s abandonment. A rather imaginative new proposal seeks to create a destination out of dereliction—a morbid amusement park out of a moribund neighborhood. A zombie experience park!

Z World Detroit proposes to transform a 200-acre blighted area of the city into an interactive zombie park where abandoned warehouses become sanctuaries and condemned homes into hideouts as visitors run for their lives through city streets while the undead hordes trail closely behind. As you and a group of friends forage for food and water in this surreal over-night adventure, empty stores and forgotten factories may house the last supplies and provisions.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Unveiled> BIG Joins the Supertall Ranks in China with Rockefeller Center-Inspired Tower

International
Monday, July 2, 2012
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Many details of BIG's supertall tower in Tianjin are still shrouded in mystery. (Courtesy BIG)

Many details of BIG's supertall tower in Tianjin are still shrouded in mystery. (Courtesy BIG)

Bjarke Ingels, architect of mountains, now has set his eyes on Everest. The New York and Copenhagen-based architect’s firm BIG has been tapped by the Rockefellers to design one of the world’s tallest buildings at 1,929 feet for a new commercial development in Tianjin, China, a city of nearly 13 million people. Ingels revealed a cryptic, fog-shrouded rendering of the tower on his web site—indicative of the scarcity of detail yet released on the tower—but this being the information age,  AN found more information and views of the tower on a clear day.

Continue reading after the jump.

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