Bjarke Ingels’ Hudson River Pyramid Growing on 57th Street

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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.

Resilience and the Building Envelope: Facades+ Chicago, July 24–25

Leading facade design specialists will gather in Chicago July 24-25 for the facades+ Chicago conference.

Leading facade design specialists will gather in Chicago July 24-25 for the facades+ Chicago conference.

As the consequences of climate change become more apparent, “resilience” has replaced “sustainability” or “green building” as the goal of environmentally-sensitive design. The concept of resilience is particularly pertinent to the building envelope—the protective barrier between a structure’s occupants and the environment. But what, exactly, does resilience mean in the context of designing and engineering facades? This question is at the heart of the facades+ Chicago conference taking place July 24–25 at the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

More information after the jump.

On View> The Louvre opens major restoration of its Decorative Arts Galleries

Preliminary sketch for the Bas de Montargis and Oudry galleries by Jacques Garcia.

Preliminary sketch for the Bas de Montargis and Oudry galleries by Jacques Garcia.

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.

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Mikou Design Studio’s Design for Congo’s Africannews headquarter

The Africannews center will be a prominent addition to the Brazzaville skyline. (Courtesy Mikou Studio)

The Africannews center will be a prominent addition to the Brazzaville skyline. (Courtesy Mikou Studio)

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.

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Kohn Pedersen Fox Sprouting Glass Superlatives Around New York City

101 Tribeca's pinnacle. (Courtesy Kohn Pederson Fox)

101 Tribeca’s pinnacle. (Courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox)

Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is racking up an impressive collection of superlatives with a host of new glass towers in New York City. Of course there is Hudson Yards where a glossy KPF-designed building will become the tallest tower at the country’s largest private development site, but that is just the start of it.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Frothing Over Roth

East, Letter to the Editor
Monday, June 23, 2014
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(Roman Kruglov / Flickr)

(Roman Kruglov / Flickr)

[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 SpeciesAN 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 editor@archpaper.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.

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Eavesdrop> SCI-Arc expected to tap Diaz Alonso to succeed Eric Owen Moss

Dean's List, Shft+Alt+Del, West
Friday, June 20, 2014
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Hernan Diaz-Alonzo (whatisarchitecture.cc)

Hernan Diaz-Alonzo (whatisarchitecture.cc)

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.

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Video> Facade design experts discuss sustainability, energy efficiency

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.

Twin Cities celebrate first inter-city rail connection in decades

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

For a metro area as widely praised for its alternative transportation options as Minnesota’s Twin Cities, it’s surprising Minneapolis and St. Paul are only now celebrating a new light rail connection between their downtowns. Read More

Ai Weiwei to exhibit at Alcatraz Island this September

Art, On View, West
Friday, June 20, 2014
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The first floor of the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island. (Jan Stürmann/For-Site Foundation)

The first floor of the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island. (Jan Stürmann/For-Site Foundation)

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.

More information after the jump.

Details of Tadao Ando’s New York City Residential Building Unveiled

The apartments at 152 Elizabeth.

The apartments at 152 Elizabeth. (Courtesy Tadao Ando)

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.

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Billings Index Goes Positive & Architects Licensed At Youngest Age in a Decade

Architecture, National, News
Thursday, June 19, 2014
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BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

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.

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