NYPL Debate Rages On.  Half of the research books will be available on demand at the Rose Reading Room (Courtesy Flickr Austin_YeahBaby) There seems to be an air of the inevitable in the city’s plans to renovate of the New York Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue. The New York Times is all over debate on whether the New York Public Library should send half of its 3 million research books to New Jersey to make way for circulation libraries after the Mid-Manhattan Library and the Science, Industry and Business Library are closed. The Times got the debate rolling with an online forum last week and continued with coverage of yesterdays real world panel held at the New School.

 

Two Exhibitions Recall the Inspirational Work of Lauretta Vinciarelli

East
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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(Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art)

Orange Sound Project. (Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art)

Lauretta Vinciarelli was a quiet but powerful presence on the New York architecture scene since the 1980s when she began producing “imaginary architectural settings” of buildings and landscapes. I considered it a great honor to be invited to her Soho loft to look and talk about her latest work 10 years before her death in 2011. It’s too easy as an architectural journalist covering the daily rough and tumble of urban architecture to get jaundiced about the profession, but Vinciarelli’s extraordinarily beautiful and quiet drawings and paintings remind me why we still believe in the power and hope of great architecture.

Continue reading after the jump.

Plotting Urban Art Around the World.  Plotting Urban Art Around the World Public art enthusiasts, rejoice: An online project called Mural Locator is committed to map and catalog public murals around the world. MuralLocator.org has information on murals in 40 countries, although the U.S. accounts for the bulk of the data so far. Not surprisingly most are clustered in major urban areas. Philadelphia leads the pack, boasting 76 so far. Tags in Alva, Oklahoma and Ely, Nevada attest to the diversity of locales mapped by mural locator contributors. A typical user-submitted entry includes location data, artist information and an image of the work. But it’s the description and historical context that make this tool an asset. As the catalog grows, Mural Locator could serve as a digital museum for public art worldwide.  

 

Digitizing Saarinen’s Miller House

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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The Miller House (Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Even if Columbus, Indiana is not on your travel itinerary Eero Saarinen’s Miller House and Garden may come to you via the internet. Last week, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) announced a $190,000 grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) to digitize its Miller House and Garden Collection. The house—a celebrated collaboration between architect Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard, and landscape architect Dan Kiley—opened for tours last year , and the museum reports more than 6,500 tour tickets were sold. With the increased interest comes a growing number of requests from researchers asking for access to the home’s archives. While in good condition, the museum writes in their NEH proposal that “repeated handling would quickly degrade these important and unique materials.”  Read More

Who Builds Your Architecture?

Dean's List, East
Monday, May 21, 2012
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Moderator Reinhold Martin, Andrew Ross, Fred Levrat, Bill Van Esveld, Peggy Deamer (Courtesy Vera List Center)

Moderator Reinhold Martin, Andrew Ross, Fred Levrat, Bill Van Esveld, Peggy Deamer (Courtesy Vera List Center)

Who builds your architecture? “Not architects,” said Reinhold Martin. “By definition, architects do not build; they make drawings, write contracts, and do all these other things.” At New School’s Vera List Center on May 3, a roundtable facilitated debate and speculation on the rights of the lesser-discussed “workers” that make architecture happen.

Read More

Stop Dumping on Hadrian’s Villa

International
Monday, May 21, 2012
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The Maritime Theatre at Hadrian's Villa. (Courtesy Wikimedia)

The Maritime Theatre at Hadrian's Villa. (Courtesy Wikimedia)

Hadrian’s Villa—the real one, the 2nd century site of pilgrimages by architects, classicists, and any human interested in the origins of culture—has been selected as the site of a new garbage dump by a Berlusconi-appointed sanitation minister. That stinks!

Continue reading after the jump.

Cooper Hewitt Open for Business.  Cooper Hewitt Open for Business While the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s headquarters at the Carnegie Mansion is under renovation (set to reopen in 2014), the museum is popping up in locations across New York City to keep design in the eyes of the public. In the digital world, the Cooper-Hewitt launched its new online store, allowing design enthusiasts to bring a curated selection of products into their homes. The site was launched on Monday by Cooper-Hewitt director and famed industrial design Bill Moggridge at a swanky party in Manhattan’s Norwood Club hosted by the museum and party aficionado and Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby. The Cooper-Hewitt also recently launched a website detailing events happening at Design Week NYC.

 

YKK AP Enlists Students to Rap About Green Facades

National
Friday, May 18, 2012
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“The Energy Tour” is a music video and performance tour premiering at the AIA 2012 convention, happening now in Washington D.C. Produced by YKK AP America, the video introduces the new YUW 750 XT unitized wall system, part of the company’s enerGfacade product line.

Part advertisement, part SNL Digital Short, part amateur YouTube upload, the video features two Ohio State students in suits rapping about new YKK AP products, “Listen up the saving starts now,/ Come and roll with us and we’ll show you how./ To minimize costs and reduce heat gain,/ What they say is we’ll make it rain.”

YKK AP America has used YouTube before, including a “Building a Better Tomorrow, Today” video competition and another enerGfacade product release video, both in 2010. With a simple beat and scenes of dancing architects excited about energy efficiency, this new video is a novel, youth-oriented addition to advertising for the design community.

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Retail Reality at WTC.  Westfield will partner with the Port to lease the podium of Tower Three. (Coutesy Silverstien) The Westfield Group made it official yesterday: They will be curating the 450,000 square feet of retail space at the World Trade Center, the New York Post reported. The group made a $93 million payment to the Port Authority toward the $612.5 million deal that will bring retail to the podia of Towers Four and Three, the transportation hub, and along Church & Dey streets. If all goes as planned, an additional 90,000 square feet will be added in Tower Two as well, but first an anchor tenant for Tower Three seems to be the most pressing bit of unmet business.

 

Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud City

Fabrikator
Friday, May 18, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

One of 16 steel and acrylic modules is hoisted by crane to the Met's rooftop (Tomás Saraceno)

The artist’s first major U.S. commission lands at the Met

On Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a preview of the latest installation to take root in its Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Designed by Tomás Saraceno, the installation is the largest of the artist’s Cloud Cities/Airport Cities series, and his first major commission in the United States. Under overcast skies and a sprinkling of rain, the installation’s first visitors—or at least those wearing rubber-soled shoes—clamored through its 16 interconnected modules. Some paused to sit or lie in the structure’s uppermost areas, while others were content to view the constellation of mirrored acrylic forms and nylon webs from the ground. The experience of boarding the structure is disorienting, and the piece gives visitors the impression that it would float away from the rooftop and over Central Park if not tethered to the Met by steel cables.

Watch a video of the installation

Public Art, If It Holds Up

East
Thursday, May 17, 2012
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ARO's prototype art display in Bogardus Plaza. (Branden Klayko/AN)

ARO's prototype art display in Bogardus Plaza. (Branden Klayko/AN)

If all the world is a stage, according to Shakespeare, all the city is a kunsthalle in the eyes of the New York City Department of Transportation. Bogardus Plaza, a tiny pedestrian plaza carved out of a little-used block of Hudson Street in Lower Manhattan and named for architect James Bogardus, the inventor of the cast-iron building, just received a well-deserved facelift and has now been chosen to host a prototype art display case designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO).

More after the jump.

The Architectural League’s Folly

East
Thursday, May 17, 2012
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“Curtain,” a project by Jerome Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp

“Curtain,” a project by Jerome Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp

The word “folly” is derived from the French folie, or “foolishness.” Also known as an “eyecatcher,” a folly was traditionally an extravagant, non-functional building, which was meant to enhance the landscape. Rooted in Romantic ideals of the picturesque, a folly often acted as an ornate small-scale intervention which transformed and visually dramatized the landscape around it. The winners of this year’s Folly Competition sponsored by The Architectural League of New York and Socrates Sculpture Park, competition winners Jerome Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp proposed a new interpretation of the folly, “Curtain.”  Read More

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