“Architecture of Consequence” Opens in San Francisco

West
Thursday, September 1, 2011
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Fletcher Studio came up with an intriguing way to reuse the Bay Bridge. (Courtesy Fletcher Studio)

Fletcher Studio came up with an intriguing way to reuse the Bay Bridge. (Courtesy Fletcher Studio)

Last night, the AIA SF launched a new exhibition, Architecture of Consequence: San Francisco, kicking off a whole slew of events in its annual Architecture in the City Festival, the country’s biggest such celebration of the built environment. The exhibit explores important social needs that architects can address and features the work of four San Francisco firms—Iwamoto Scott Architecture, Fletcher Studio, SOM, and Envelope A+D—side-by-side with four Dutch firms—Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten, 2012 Architecten, ZUS (Zones Humaines Sensibles), and OMA.

Continue reading after the jump.

Reflecting the Stars on the Hudson

East
Thursday, September 1, 2011
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"Reflecting the Stars" installation on the Hudson.

With the High Line getting the lion’s share of attention lately, Hudson River Park feels more neighborhoody then ever. Last night’s opening of public art installation by artist/performer Jon Morris of Windmill Factory felt pretty down home with everyone sprawling out on the grass around Morris, who explained the inspiration for his light show which sits out in the water.

Growing up in Beria, Kentucky, Morris could see the stars, but in New York light pollution made the experience impossible.  His idea was to sprinkle a little stardust onto the Hudson in the form of solar powered LEDs attached to the tops of pilings from a long departed pier.

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Quick Clicks> What’s in a Name, Cardboard Construction, and Building Fashion

Daily Clicks
Thursday, September 1, 2011
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U.S. Stream Names. (Derek Watkins via Co.Design)

U.S. Stream Names. (Derek Watkins via Co.Design)

Water Names. Is it a creek, a stream, or a cañada? Looking for patterns behind different names for American waterways, graphic designer Derek Watkins created an infographic that plots more terms for water than we’ve heard of revealing the cultural geography of language. More at Co.Design.

Pop-Up Religion. In February, an earthquake destroyed Christchurch, New Zealand and now Shigero Ban has been invited to design a temporary church for the city. His design takes cues from his popular Paper Dome Church that once stood in Kobe, Japan, incorporating recyclable materials such as “cardboard tube buttresses” and shipping crates in the foundation. Gizmodo has details.

Architecture + fashion. Fashion Week in New York is quickly approaching, and we’re excited about the second annual Building Fashion event, taking place this year in our headquarter neighborhood of TriBeCA. Five architecture teams are collaborating with fashion designers to create original temporary installations for couture design.

Blast of Personal Truth from Port Authority’s Chris Ward

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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From the roof of the Memorial Pavilion on August 29. (Courtesy Tami Hausman)

The memorial as we looked down from the roof of the Memorial Pavilion on August 29. (Tami Hausman)

Far from the expected pablum that these events usually generate, Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority, gave a speech opening the New York Building Congress yesterday loaded to bear with fight, a lot of Good Fight, demanding continued federal funding for infrastructure. Along the way, he recalls his own version of the tortured path from Ground Zero grind to the Memorial Moment of meditation to come.

It’s quite a version and well worth a close read as he “recalls” Libeskind’s master plan as “gardens in the sky” and how that was “replaced with another vision, as realities of the site, the market” set in. Then he talks about “Breaking Away from Monumentalism” and “The Assessment” thanks to the Port Authority, which may or may not be the stinking months of pissing match between PA and Silverstein as they wrangled about responsibility for building the first then the other towers.

Sit back—but fasten your seat belt—You’ll be amazed to read what you went through:

Read the speech after the jump.

A Terreformed Summer

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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Terreform1's Papanek award winner "Urbaneering Brooklyn" (Courtesy Terreform1)

Terreform1's Papanek award winner "Urbaneering Brooklyn" (Courtesy Terreform1)

Last week at the Phaidon Bookstore in Soho, White Box held a benefit for their new sustainable art garden by organizing a panel discussion called “Sustainable Work Lab: new projects in art, architecture and urban design.” Ali Hossaini moderated the discussion between landscape designer Frances Levine, architect David Turnbull, and urban designer Maria Aiolova.

Hossaini yielded to Turnbull’s freewheeling conversation about Socratic love, i.e. the coupling of poverty and invention. Inspired by his fresh-off-the-plane-from-Kenya presentation, the crowd indulged in the philosophical debate. Turnbull balked at biennials and instead encouraged artists “to make artifacts that are useful and have that magical quality that keep them from being thrown away.”  “Sustainability should be the bare minimum,” concurred Aiolova. She should know. Her firm, Terreform1, held a sustainability love fest all summer long, which culminated in winning the Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award on August 17.

Continue reading after the jump.

Design Week> BOOMSPDESIGN in Sao Paolo

International
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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The work of the forum's honored designer, the illustrator Glauco Diogenes.

As we noted while visiting the Center for Architecture back in July, the Brazilian design scene continues to heat up. This week in Sao Paolo the BOOMSPDESIGN International Forum of Architecture, Design and Art is back for its fourth year. In addition to a series of symposia with international and native talent, this design week will also include on-the-street collaborative art and design projects.

Curator Roberto Cocenza has pulled together a diverse mix of talent from Tokyo to Miami. This year Studio Dror, Matali Crasset, Paul Clemence, Cat, Harry Allen, Chad Oppenheim, Mount Fuji, Jade Dressler, and Rene Gonzales will criss-cross the globe to join Brazilians Brunete Fraccaroli, FGMF, Glauco Diogenes, Guilherme Torres, Sergio Matos, and Zoe Melo. An exhibition of Karim Rashid’s work will also be shown, as will a multi-generational exhibition of Japanese architecture titled “reset .11.03.11 new paradigms.” BOOMSPDESIGN runs through September 2.

Quick Clicks> Disaster Prone, Earthquake Averse, and the Melancholy Utopia

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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U.S. Natural Disasters Map (via NY Times)

Mapping Disasters. In and around New York City, we were fortunate Tropical Storm Irene created little more than flooding, fallen trees, and electric outages, and that last week’s tremors left no damage in the city. If these rare northeast natural disasters are getting you down, perhaps it’s time to consider moving to the safest place in the U.S. to avoid natural disasters? A NY Times infographic hasfound just the place: Corvallis, OR. Cities in Oregon and Washington state top the list, while areas in Texas and Arkansas have the highest risk of earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes.

Standing up to Earthquakes. Many of the east coast’s 19th century masonry buildings are not built to withstand a strong earthquake. How do those California skyscrapers withstand the west coast’s dangerous, powerful tremors? Gizmodo featured an array of earthquake-tech such as tuned mass dampers and roller bearings allow tall buildings to move with the earthquake and absorb shock.

Melancholy Utopia. The end of summer and beginning of fall will bring a flood of design events in European cities. Among them, more than forty designers will descend on Rotterdam on September 3rd to showcase their work throughout the city. The theme is Melanchotopia, an examination of the connections between melancholy and utopia, mourning and hope, said e-flux.

Videos> Harmon’s Headaches Signal Thunder in the Vegas Sky

The Harmon Building in Las Vegas. (Courtesy vrysxy/flickr)

The Harmon Building (right) adjacent to the Crystals (left) in Las Vegas. (Courtesy vrysxy/flickr)

It’s official. Norman Foster’s unfinished and beleaguered Harmon Building at Las Vegas’ CityCenter is among the walking dead. Its owner MGM has announced its intention to implode the building, whose construction was plagued by incorrectly-installed rebar. These severe structural flaws led to a decision in 2009 to scrap the top half of the building, and it’s been sitting unoccupied ever since.

But what better way to send off what must be among the biggest buildings never occupied than a collection of the most spectacular implosions Las Vegas can muster? There are fireworks, spotlights, music, and lots of gawking onlookers. This stuff is fun, trust us.

Watch the videos after the jump.

World Trade Center Site Meets Irene’s Challenge

East
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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World Trade Center plaza under construction. (Courtesy Peter Walker)

World Trade Center plaza under construction. (Courtesy Peter Walker)

Hurricane Irene was no match for tenth anniversary preparations at the World Trade Center site. In fact, some are claiming that the storm could have been a good thing for the soon-to-be-open memorial site. Joseph Daniels, president and CEO of the Memorial Foundation, told The Observer that all the trees on the site, including the Survivor Tree, made it out of the storm unscathed. And at a depth of only six feet, the eight-acre plaza “lid” did seem quite vulnerable just a few days ago. While there was some minor flooding and dripping underneath the plaza, Daniels said, there was no major damage. If anything, Daniels was saw Irene’s drips in a glass half full, pushing the project slightly ahead of schedule: “All the preparations we did in preparing for the storm actually helped prepare us for the opening, like removing excess equipment and temporary fencing that had been surrounding the pools.”

Hold the MSG: Renovations Hurting Arena’s Profits

East
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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Madison Square Garden under renovation. (Courtesy Madison Square Garden)

Madison Square Garden under renovation. (Courtesy Madison Square Garden)

The three year cycle of summertime renovations at Madison Square Garden is starting to eat away at its bottom line. The renovation schedule has prevented some big name events booking the arena, resulting in 39 percent drop in earning for the second quarter. At a cost of nearly $850 million (up from initial projections of around $500 mil), renovations won’t be done until 2013. Work that began this past April at the end of the Knicks’ season involved refurbishing the lower seating bowl will wrap up in October. Future work will redo the upper seating bowl and add bridges above the arena’s ceiling. [Deadline via Real Deal]

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Opponents Line Up Against Brooklyn’s Skyscraper Historic District

East
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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Brooklyn Skyscraper Historic District stirs dissent. (Courtesy Scouting NYC)

Some heavy hitters are lining up to knock down a proposal to landmark Brooklyn’s downtown skyscraper historic district. The Brooklyn Newspaper reported that everyone from the Brooklyn Law School to the Real Estate Board of New York say that the proposal will stunt growth in the area. Not surprisingly, as we reported back in December, the folks at 75 Livingston are still raising a stink of what it will cost them as one of the few residential buildings in the district. Proponents say that landlords are posturing to push for a major retail district and don’t want the limitations brought about by landmarking.

Quick Clicks> Treehouse of Worship, Tanked, Frank Llego Wright, & Baking Building

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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Chêne Chappelle. (Via Boing Boing)

Chêne Chappelle. (Via Boing Boing)

Treehouse of Worship. Everyone loves a treehouse, especially one that dates from 1696 (built in a tree that’s over 800 years old, no less). Boing Boing uncovered the chapel in Allouville-Bellefosse, France dedicated to the Virgin Mary that was built in the hollowed out trunk caused by a lightning strike.

Talking Tanks. Who can forget the Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania who, fed up with cars parked in the bike lane, crushed the offending vehicles with a tank. Classic. Transportation Nation couldn’t get enough of the car-crushing crusader, either, and has posted an interview where the mayor warns that tanks may return to the streets of Vilnius.

Frank Llego Wright. Will we ever tire of LEGOs? I hope not. LEGO has already immortalized Wright’s Fallingwater and his Guggenheim Museum in tiny plastic bricks, but Building Design just reported that the Prairie-style Robie House in Chicago is also available for architects and aspirants to assemble and adore.

Baking Buildings. Some of the most beautiful historic (and modern, too!) buildings feature terra cotta facades, but whether they’re ornate or sleek, we seldom have a chance to peek behind the scenes to see how the clay cladding is made. Buffalo Rising took a visit to a local terra cotta factory to check out what’s involved.

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