Toshiko Mori Comissioned to Redesign Center for Maine Contemporary Art

East
Thursday, November 7, 2013
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toshiko-mori-archpaper-01

Architect Toshiko Mori Will Update CMCA with New Museum Building. (Courtesy Michelle Andonian / Flickr)

With strong architectural ties in Maine and an interest in cultural building design throughout her career, New York City–based architect Toshiko Mori has been chosen to redesign the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA). Currently in the same historic Rockport firehouse since 1967, the Mori-designed CMCA will move the arts center to a larger site in the city of Rockland and update it with a building contemporaneous to the art it houses.

Work on the project is set to begin as soon as environmental and engineering tests are completed at the museum’s current site. The new center in Rockland plans an opening in time for the 2015 museum season. Of the commission, Mori stated: “I have been associated with mid-coast Maine in the last thirty years, and I am especially excited to make a contribution to promote contemporary arts in Maine.”

With Few Changes City Planning Passes NYU Expansion

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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Mature trees on the DOT strips will be preserved. (Courtesy NYU)

Mature trees on the DOT strips will be preserved. (Courtesy NYU)

In a 12 to 1 vote this morning, City Planning approved NYU’s Core expansion plans for two superblocks in Greenwich Village designed by Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori and Michael Van Valkenburg. In slow and deliberative pace, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden read from a prepared text that included several aesthetic and few programmatic changes to the proposed plan. The new plan will reduced the size of the overall project from 2.47 million square feet to 2.1 million.

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Poe Visitor Center Void to be Filled.  Toshiko Mori's Poe Park Visitor Center may finally get staffed. (Courtesy Iwan Baan) The Parks Department is looking to fill the brand new, but vacant Edgar Allan Poe Visitor Center that was left empty after a funding feud between Parks and the Bronx County Historical Society.  Parks anticipated that the society would run the Toshiko Mori-designed center, but the society balked. Now, it appears as though Parks is looking for a coordinator to run seasonal programing through January 2013.

 

CB2 Votes Unanimous Nay on NYU Expansion

East
Friday, February 24, 2012
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Arial view of NYU's expansion plans.

Arial view of NYU's expansion plans.

Manhattan Community Board 2 unanimously voted against the NYU expansion plan in Greenwich Village last night citing the impact its scale would have on the neighborhood. Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori designed four of the proposed towers and Michael Van Valkenburgh designed the landscape for the 2.4 million square foot expansion. The plans were set within two superblocks that sprang from Robert Moses-era urban renewal projects that featured buildings by I.M. Pei, Paul Lester Weiner, and a garden by Hideo Sasaki.
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Video> Toshiko Mori on Poe Park

East, Newsletter
Thursday, November 3, 2011
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Poe House before restoration. (AN/Stoelker)

Poe Cottage before restoration. (AN/Stoelker)

On October 25 the New York Times reported on vandalism and closed bathrooms at the Toshiko Mori-designed Poe Park’s Visitor Center, but today a Parks Department spokesperson told AN that bathrooms were reopened and that the vandalism has been addressed. The late October report marred what had otherwise been a stellar week for the neighborhoods along the Grand Concourse nearby. Earlier in the week, a good chunk of the boulevard was landmarked and over the weekend, the Bronx Museum hosted Beyond the Super Square, a conference on mid-century Latin American and Caribbean architecture. However, the Poe Park Visitor Center itself still sits on shuttered while Parks and the Bronx County Historical society wrestle with how to staff the place. For now, a Parks’ video tour starring Toshiko Mori will have to suffice…

Watch the video after the jump…

Grand Concourse Discourse: Rosenblum on a New Landmark

East
Friday, October 28, 2011
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The Bronx County Courthouse falls within the new district. (Lehman College Art Gallery/Stoelker)

The Bronx County Courthouse sits within the new district. (Lehman College Art Gallery/Stoelker)

Shortly after the Landmarks Preservation Commission declared a section of the Grand Concourse an historic district on Tuesday, New York Times columnist Constance Rosenblum  received a call with the news. Walking down Montague Street near her home in Brooklyn Heights, the usually unflappable writer burst into tears. When it comes to the Concourse, Rosenblum wrote the book. Her 2010 chronicle of the corridor, Boulevard of Dreams (NYU Press, $20), played a significant role in calling attention to the plight and promise of the neighborhood. “It was notable day,” she said in a phone interview in reference to the announcement. “It wasn’t easy for the Bronx, and the stigmas will remain for a long time.”

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New Practices Sao Paolo

East
Monday, July 18, 2011
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An interior view of PAX.ARQ model for an adaptable gallery in London, 2008.

Though a bit more sedate then the previous night’s party, where copious amounts of caipirinhas were consumed, the New Practices Sao Paolo panel discussion on July 15 was not without its own fireworks. Toshiko Mori and José Armenio de Brito Cruz  moderated the panel which was preceded by presentations from the ten winners. A strictly enforced ten-minute time limit made presentations feel like the Oscars when the orchestra music begins to swell. Though each presenter struck an distinct note, one could pick up on a few common threads.  I certainly wouldn’t call it anti-green, but a few presenters markedly pointed out that there are other immediate matters in Brazil that compete with sustainability. “We didn’t want to create a green building,” said Triptyques’ Carolina Bueno, when describing her building, which, oddly enough, included “pores” in the facade for plants to grow. More to the point, Arkiz’s Rafael Brych  questioned whether “green demagogical discourse” shaping the architectural discourse fully represented what was needed in Brazil.

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A Sobek Sausage, Anyone?

Eavesdroplet
Thursday, December 10, 2009
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Sobek, at a 2006 talk. (No sausage in sight.)

Sobek, at a 2006 talk. (No sausage in sight.)

On December 2, Werner Sobek, IIT professor and founder of Werner Sobek Engineering and Design, delivered the third annual Franzen Lecture for Architecture and the Environment at the Cooper Union. Sobek, who is also head of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart, discussed experiments at the institute to develop an inflatable-fabric-structural-envelope-system-prototype, or “sausage” to be economical. Our eyewitness reports that after much exposition about inflatable fabric membranes, New York architect Toshiko Mori, who moderated the discussion, offered that she had sat on Werner’s inflatable sausage, because he wanted her to test the resistive properties to make sure it could withstand the pressure. Tittering spread through the audience, said our witness, who admitted that he lost track of the discussion. Yes, folks, this is what passes for randy double entendre in the academy.

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