Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak have sought permission from federal regulators to conduct the first test of high-speed rail in Illinois. A 20-mile track between the cities of Dwight and Pontiac could be a proving ground for the 110 mph passenger train starting October 1.
They would be testing a new system of triggers for highway crossing gates — one that uses radio signals to raise gates 80 seconds before a crossing in order to give the faster trains more time to slow down or stop if necessary. The current system uses track circuits to communicate, and allows the normal 79-mph trains 30 to 35 seconds of clearance before a crossing. The Illinois Department of Transportation will conduct a survey to determine whether motorists will tolerate the longer wait times.
Funding for high-speed rail was narrowly approved in California earlier this month, as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and others continued to build on growing excitement for high-speed rail in the heartland.
The State Department’s Overseas Building Operations (OBO) released new renderings by KieranTimberlake of the United States Embassy to be located near London’s Vauxhall neighborhood. The project has acted as something of a petri dish for the development of OBO’s Design Excellence program, which was modeled on a similar program at the much-beleaguered GSA. The London project has been watch closely by federally commissioned architects who must comply with design requirements that combine energy efficiency, sustainably, intense security, and high design. “They continue to use this project as a test case for sorting that stuff out and to continue to achieve really high levels of refinement and design excellence,” concurred James Timberlake.
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
Through July 28
Storefront for Art and Architecture presents 30 newly commissioned drawings of its gallery space by emerging and established architects, now being auctioned on the Storefront website through Saturday. The gallery is plastered in wallpaper composed of images sourced from architectural drawings produced in the past ten years and describes graphic tools deployed to express properties of drawing that the architectural drawing itself cannot represent, such as birds suggesting movement or green surfaces conveying ecologic awareness.
Curator and director of Storefront Eva Franch writes in a statement, “An image (and its after-image) carries within itself a history or performative script of characters, discourses, and conventions. During the last ten years there has been a resurgence of certain representational devices and clichés that operate almost as placeholders or decorative devices to an architecture unable to draw itself.”
The airline industry was hit hard by the recession—2011 had fewer takeoffs than any year since 2002. Airports in cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Oakland are feeling the effects of that contraction, leaving one-time regional hubs and smaller airports with vacant and underused terminals.
A report on airport building reuse commissioned last year by the Transportation Research Board found enplanements were down more than 60 percent in St. Louis over the last decade. Growing interest in regional rail transit could place further pressure on smaller airports to get creative with their extra space, especially as they face costly demolition bills and shrinking revenue.
When Libeskind’s radical spiral proposal for Victoria and Albert Museum (V+A) extension went under after eight years, the V+A has literally gone underground. The newest proposal for V+A by British architect Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A, won in 2011 after a design competition, calls for an extension project that includes a 16,200 square foot underground gallery space for temporary exhibitions. The addition will feature a public courtyard with an entrance into the museum from the adjacent Exhibition Road. Last week, the project was awarded planning permission allowing the project to move forward.
The hanging gardens inside the atrium of Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue sound idyllic: “From planting boxes built into the structure, trees soar upward and plants cascade down the walls, lending their scent to the atmosphere,” states the building’s website. But the smell may not be so sweet. A source familiar with the project told AN that the huge suspended planters lack proper drainage, leading to standing water and the early onset of rust. Maybe Nouvel can argue that he’s taking a cue from the Cor-ten laden High Line next door?
OHNYopenstudios in Red Hook
Saturday, July 28, 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Reception to follow at the Red Hook Winery, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Tickets $30 / $20 for students and seniors.
Purchase tickets here.
As part of the Open House New York openstudios series, artists’ studios in Red Hook will throw open their doors this weekend. In addition, metalworkers, furniture designers, and glassblowers will be thrown into the mix, making it a good fabrication tour as well. The self guided event kicks off Saturday at noon and a wine reception will quench thirst around 5:00 p.m. at the Red Hook Winery.
Quentin Bajac will become the chief curator of photography at MoMA in January 2013. Bajac is currently at Centre Pompidou, Musée Nationale d’art moderne in Paris, where he has led the photography department since 2007. He will succeed Peter Galassi, who retired from MoMA as chief photography curator in 2011.
Mason Currey joined Print magazine as executive editor. Previously, he was managing editor at Metropolis.
Trinity Simons has been named director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD), an organization that helps mayors prepare for the role as chief urban designers of their cities. Simons previously was a program officer in the Wellesley, Massachusetts office of Enterprise Community Partners.
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Asensio_mah & Harvard’s Graduate School of Design’s moss-covered installation is architecture on the cellular level
When visitors stroll through Quebec’s Redford Gardens, the first of many large installations they come upon is Surface Deep, an undulating, moss-covered structure designed by international architecture firm asensio_mah in collaboration with students from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. It was built last summer, but with this year’s Metis International Garden Festival, Surface Deep is once again getting major foot traffic in the most literal sense of the word. Surface Deep is a mountable, climbable series of snaking panels that invites visitors to explore it in its entirety, from its long, sweeping form to its small, mossy nooks.