The so-called “courtscraper“—a marriage of the European courtyard block and the American skyscraper—by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is rapidly rising on New York City‘s Hudson River waterfront. Officially called West 57 and under development by the Durst Organization, the 870,000-square-foot rental tower will stand 32-stories tall on the western edge of the starchitecture-studded 57th Street. BIG recently shared this construction view showing progress as of June 9, and we overlaid a model of the finished tower over top of it to give it a little more scale. View the before and after by sliding back and forth on the image above. The building is expected to be complete in 2015.
If you like French decorative arts you should make your way this summer to the Louvre’s newly restored and reinstalled 18th century Decorative Arts Galleries. The collection is housed in 35 galleries spanning 23,000 square feet. Over 2,000 design pieces “in object-focused galleries and period-room settings” are on display.
Mikou Design Studio has unveiled the design for the Africanews headquarters in Brazzaville, Congo. Mikou proposed a large expressive tower on stilts during a competition for the site. The tower mass floats on massive pillars over a two-story podium with an interstitial patio between the pieces, topping out at 174 feet over the city.
[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted response to a back-page comment written by Pamela Jerome (“The Mid-Century Modernist Single-Glazed Curtain Wall Is an Endangered Species”AN 05_04.09.2014). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email email@example.com. ]
I applaud Pamela Jerome’s comment piece, “The Midcentury Modernist Single-Glazed Curtain Wall is an Endangered Species.” As for Emery Roth’s output of iconic single glazed curtain wall buildings, they brightened the cityscape, especially on Park Avenue. Their output reflects a design that designates a specific period in our Architectural History, no different from the Palladian Buildings that are adjacent to the Brenta Canal.
It’s not official, so don’t tell anyone we told you it was. But… It looks like SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair and Principal of Xefirotarch Hernan Diaz Alonso is going to be the next director of SCI-Arc, taking over for Eric Owen Moss in September 2015. According to SCI-Arc spokesperson Georgiana Ceausu, the school’s Executive Search Committee yesterday recommended Diaz Alonso to the school’s board, which is now “in the process of making the decision.” There won’t be any official appointment until July or August.
Today’s facade designers cannot afford to ignore the question of sustainability, and in particular energy efficiency. James O’Callaghan (Eckersley O’Callaghan), William Logan (Israel Berger & Associates), and Will Laufs (LaufsED) sat down with our partners at Enclos during April’s facades+ NYC conference to talk about the push and pull between aesthetics and environmental performance in building envelopes. Top AEC professionals will continue the conversation at facades+ Chicago on July 24–25. For more information or to register, visit the conference website. Early Bird registration ends June 29.
Known for his political activism and for art that spans east and west, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will hold an exhibit on Alcatraz Island this September. The show will include seven works at the notorious former federal prison—with partners including the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the For-Site Foundation.
Since news about a Tadao Ando–designed residential building in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood broke in March, anticipation has been building about what the Pritzker Prize–winning starchitect had planned for his first large-scale project in New York City. Now, renderings of the seven-story project have been published by Dezeen, but they offer a frustratingly vague sense of what’s in store for Elizabeth Street.
And there it is, after months in negative territory the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped into positive territory in May with a score 52.6—that’s up from 49.6 in April. Any score over 50 signals an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry also jumped from 59.1 to 63.2. Rounding out the positive news is the AIA’s new design contracts indicator, which posted a 52.5. Nice job by all.