Hariri & Hariri’s Harlem Terrace

Fabrikator
Friday, September 2, 2011
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The terrace's geometry creates planters and seating (Hariri & Hariri)

A 13th-floor terrace becomes a floating, geometric sculpture

Outdoor terraces are a special thing in New York City, but often the best thing about them is the view. Such was the case with one 13th-floor outdoor space in Harlem with a bird’s eye view of Central Park. “It was one of the standard, banal roof terraces with concrete pavers and a stucco knee wall as a railing,” remembers Gisue Hariri. “But it had fabulous views.” The apartment’s owner is a modern art collector, and he asked the dynamic team of Hariri & Hariri if they could create a design that would not only provide the necessities—seating, shading, and landscaping—but also act as another piece of art in his collection. “The minute I heard the challenge, I became interested in taking the project,” says Hariri.

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Blast of Personal Truth from Port Authority’s Chris Ward

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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From the roof of the Memorial Pavilion on August 29. (Courtesy Tami Hausman)

The memorial as we looked down from the roof of the Memorial Pavilion on August 29. (Tami Hausman)

Far from the expected pablum that these events usually generate, Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority, gave a speech opening the New York Building Congress yesterday loaded to bear with fight, a lot of Good Fight, demanding continued federal funding for infrastructure. Along the way, he recalls his own version of the tortured path from Ground Zero grind to the Memorial Moment of meditation to come.

It’s quite a version and well worth a close read as he “recalls” Libeskind’s master plan as “gardens in the sky” and how that was “replaced with another vision, as realities of the site, the market” set in. Then he talks about “Breaking Away from Monumentalism” and “The Assessment” thanks to the Port Authority, which may or may not be the stinking months of pissing match between PA and Silverstein as they wrangled about responsibility for building the first then the other towers.

Sit back—but fasten your seat belt—You’ll be amazed to read what you went through:

Read the speech after the jump.

A Terreformed Summer

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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Terreform1's Papanek award winner "Urbaneering Brooklyn" (Courtesy Terreform1)

Terreform1's Papanek award winner "Urbaneering Brooklyn" (Courtesy Terreform1)

Last week at the Phaidon Bookstore in Soho, White Box held a benefit for their new sustainable art garden by organizing a panel discussion called “Sustainable Work Lab: new projects in art, architecture and urban design.” Ali Hossaini moderated the discussion between landscape designer Frances Levine, architect David Turnbull, and urban designer Maria Aiolova.

Hossaini yielded to Turnbull’s freewheeling conversation about Socratic love, i.e. the coupling of poverty and invention. Inspired by his fresh-off-the-plane-from-Kenya presentation, the crowd indulged in the philosophical debate. Turnbull balked at biennials and instead encouraged artists “to make artifacts that are useful and have that magical quality that keep them from being thrown away.”  “Sustainability should be the bare minimum,” concurred Aiolova. She should know. Her firm, Terreform1, held a sustainability love fest all summer long, which culminated in winning the Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award on August 17.

Continue reading after the jump.

Videos> Harmon’s Headaches Signal Thunder in the Vegas Sky

The Harmon Building in Las Vegas. (Courtesy vrysxy/flickr)

The Harmon Building (right) adjacent to the Crystals (left) in Las Vegas. (Courtesy vrysxy/flickr)

It’s official. Norman Foster’s unfinished and beleaguered Harmon Building at Las Vegas’ CityCenter is among the walking dead. Its owner MGM has announced its intention to implode the building, whose construction was plagued by incorrectly-installed rebar. These severe structural flaws led to a decision in 2009 to scrap the top half of the building, and it’s been sitting unoccupied ever since.

But what better way to send off what must be among the biggest buildings never occupied than a collection of the most spectacular implosions Las Vegas can muster? There are fireworks, spotlights, music, and lots of gawking onlookers. This stuff is fun, trust us.

Watch the videos after the jump.

Pictorial> MTA Perseveres through Hurricane Irene

East
Monday, August 29, 2011
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Tree limbs cover tracks in the Bronx. (Courtesy MTA / Leonard Wiggins)

Tree limbs cover tracks in the Bronx. (Courtesy MTA / Leonard Wiggins)

So Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene has come and gone, leaving most of New York City unscathed. It looks like some 700 trees were downed across the city and we’re sure a few patio chairs ran away from home, but luckily for the city, the storm lost its might as it raged toward Gotham. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority prepared for the worst before the storm, shutting down the city’s transit system electively for the first time (the system was also shut down after 9/11 and a power blackout). The agency has released an amazing set of photos of its preparation and cleanup after the storm including dramatic views of an abandoned Grand Central Station, mudslides, and flooded tracks. Take a look after the jump.

View the gallery after the jump.

Architects Leading Charge for Disaster Preparedness

East
Friday, August 26, 2011
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Worst-case flood projection for Lower Manhattan. (Via WNYC)

Worst-case flood projection for Lower Manhattan. (Via WNYC)

After going through 9/11,  the importance of disaster preparedness and relief hit home with New Yorkers. “Everyone was focusing on the fact that New York had been damaged,” said Lance Jay Brown, AIANY board member and co-chair of the recently formed Design for Risk and Reconstruction committee of the AIANY. “The architectural community was galvanized to respond.” Just coming off a jolt from a rare, if small, earthquake and with Hurricane Irene on its doorstep, New York is once again focused on planning for disaster.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zeilgalerie Media Facade: 3deluxe

Fabrikator
Friday, August 26, 2011
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The glass and aluminum facade is illuminated by 42,000 white LEDs (Emanuel Raab)

Frankfurt’s Zeil gets another facelift with an ever-changing media installation

The Zeil is Frankfurt’s main shopping district, a pedestrian-only street bordered by two large plazas. In 2009, Massimiliano Fuksas’ vortex-clad Mab Zeil mixed-use center brought a new face to the street. Not to be outdone by its neighbor, the Zeilgalerie shopping mall began its own facelift the same year. Designed by Wiesbaden, Germany-based interdisciplinary collective 3deluxe, its LED-illuminated black facade brings a new sense of unity to the street and was recently given the Red Dot 2011 design award in the category of Information Design/Public Space.

Watch the video

Excerpt> Cityscapes by John King Rewards the Careful Observer

West
Thursday, August 25, 2011
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A shed for kayaks is one of 50 buildings highlighted in Cityscapes. (Courtesy John King/Heyday)

As the San Francisco Chronicle‘s urban design critic for the last decade, John King is one of the Bay Area’s most influential champions of good architecture. He chronicles the city’s projects, both large and small, with an eye to how they how they affect the city. (Most recently, he sounded the alarm about how the America’s Cup, with its proposed yacht dock, could change the waterfront for the worse.) His new book of short essays, Cityscapes (Heyday, 2011, $14.95), is based on his weekly column of the same name.

Continue reading after the jump.

Churches Squabble as Furness Falls

East
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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The crumbling facade of the Furness designed 19th Street Baptist Church. (Courtesy of Naked Philly)

The titan of Titan Street is mighty no longer. On the corner of Titan and 19th streets in South Philadelphia, a robust Frank Furness-designed church has been crumbling for some time, but now the Department of Licensing and Inspections has threatened to tear the building down and send a bill to the owner, the 19th Street Baptist Church. Calls to the church went unanswered—the phone is disconnected. After Naked Philly broke the demolition news on Friday, readers identified the architect as Furness, and preservationists began to rally the troops on Facebook.

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Pictorial>Henning Larsen in Reykjavik

International
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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(all images courtesy Henning Larsen)

On Saturday, Icelanders celebrated the opening of the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. Designed by Henning Larsen, the building features a colorful, prismatic  facade, developed in consultation with the artist Olafur Eliasson. The architects and the artist drew inspiration from basalt stone formations found along the Icelandic coast. The building has both a rugged power, and yet the colorful facade, which changes throughout the day according to light conditions, is inviting. Read More

Open-Source Architecture: Download Your Own WikiHouse

Wikihouse prototypes. (Courtesy Wikihouse)

Wikihouse prototypes. (Courtesy Wikihouse)

Want to make your own home in 24 hours? Meet WikiHouse, a way to design and assemble a model structure within a single day. Wikihouse is designed to be easy to use with an online design community posting and editing open-source plans with Google Sketchup. Template plans can be downloaded and cut out with a CNC mill and then easily assembled with minimal skill.

From WikiHouse:

The first WikiHouse will be constructed in South Korea at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. We are now looking for architects, furniture designers, product designers, craftsmen, and makers from around the world who are interested in contributing to the WikiHouse process. If that’s you then please drop us an line on hello@wikihouse.cc!

Could downloaded design and “fabrication on the fly” be the future of architecture? How will open-source design impact the profession? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Check out the construction process after the jump.

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Slideshow> Foster & Apple Render the Cupertino Ring

West
Friday, August 19, 2011
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Apple's planned Cupertino campus. (Courtesy Foster & Partners)

Apple's planned Cupertino campus. (Courtesy Foster & Partners)

The official Foster + Partners design has (finally) been released for the new Apple campus in Cupertino. At a recent Cupertino City Council meeting Steve Jobs said he was excited to centralize his campus with a building for 12,000 employees on a site currently dominated by parking lots. In the time since the Cupertino meeting, the not-so-secret news that Foster & Partners designed the giant ring has also been confirmed. The low-lying complex, described as being built at a “human scale” and largely off the grid, is expected to open in 2015. In reference to the overall design and the building’s glass curvature Jobs noted, “It’s a little like a spaceship landed.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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