Eavesdrop> AIA/LA Has Architecture Center Envy

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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AN’s annual resource list may be published every year but it is never the same. Painstakingly drawn from extensive interviews by our editors with the architects and builders of the best architecture of 2011, these names are the too-often unacknowledged cornerstones that guarantee the quality and excellence of today’s architecture. We both herald and share them with you.

New York's Center for Architecture: model for LA?

It appears that AIA/LA is serious about opening a new architecture center, a storefront, multi-use space similar to that of the Center for Architecture in New York (above). According to a now expired post on Idealist.org, they’re looking for (and rumored to have already hired) a new fulltime “Campaign Director” for an $8 to 15 million capital campaign to “support the acquisition and renovation of an existing building for the new Center for Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles,” and “create an endowment to maintain this new property.”

According to the post the center will be “a highly collaborative organization that builds strong relationships with other organizations to carry out its mission.” The center is rumored to contain not just AIA offices and exhibition and event spaces, but perhaps spaces for the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and the Urban Land Institute’s Los Angeles chapter.

Ride, Baby, Ride: Senator Chuck Schumer Caught Pedaling in Contested Bike Lane

East, Newsletter
Monday, March 19, 2012
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Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

Senator Chuck Schumer rides on Prospect Park West. (Paul Steely White)

A shocking cellphone pic of New York’s senior Senator has transportation circles abuzz across the Internet today. While not so much a scandal as a beautiful bike ride in the park, Senator Chuck Schumer was photographed pedaling down a contested bike path in Brooklyn on Sunday by Paul Steely White, director of Transportation Alternatives.

Given his close ties to a group fighting the bike lane—his wife and former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall was among the most outspoken opponents to the path—a hypothetical snapshot of the senator biking had previously been called the Holy Grail of livable streets activism and been the punch line of April Fool’s jokes, but Schumer, who had never taken a public stance on the protected lane, sure appears to be enjoying himself in New York’s unseasonably warm weather.

Continue reading after the jump.

Diamond studded Eco-Developer?  Diamond studded Eco-Developer? Having successfully covered the world (or at least all 11 outposts of the global Gagosian empire) in colorful spots, Damien Hirst is turning his attention to architectural matters. The artist is planning to build more than 500 homes on the land he owns in Devon, England as part of a broader expansion of the glam seaside resort town of Ilfracombe. Mike Rundell of London-based MRJ Rundell+Associates is putting his undergrad degree in fine art to good use and working with Hirst on the project. “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings,” said Rundell of his artist client. Pressed for details, Rundell described the houses as modern and possibly incorporating eco-friendly touches such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines nestled in the roofs. Pickled sharks or spin art not included.

 

WTC security extends to streets beyond site..  Downtown Express reports that NYPD will be battening down access to  WTC “campus” in lower Manhattan. This week a new safety plan was presented at Community Board 1’s Redevelopment Committee meeting, and community members were dismayed by the multiple Checkpoint Charlie-like blocks on streets around the site proper. Said one resident of neighboring Cedar Street, “I don’t see a way to go home in a cab in front of my door without going through two checkpoints. We’re not talking about parking – we’re talking about access to the front door the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with a cab full of groceries and 24 people for dinner.”

 

The Great GoogaMooga is coming to Prospect Park

East
Friday, March 16, 2012
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The Great GoogaMooga logo (courtesy of event website).

The Great GoogaMooga (courtesy of event website).

Superfly Presents, the co-founder and producer of mega-festivals Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, is bringing its park-packing swagger to New York City this summer. The Great GoogaMooga, described as “an amusement park of food and drink,” will occupy the Nethermead region of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on May 19th and 20th.

The famed pastoral lower meadow of the park will be transformed into “the ultimate sensory experience” by a collaborative design effort led by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. The design weaves together to over 75 food vendors, 35 brewers, 30 winemakers and 20 live musicians debut festival. General admission is required but tickets are required and available as of March 15. The event intends to leverage the synergy of two of New York City’s most high-energy features: food and music.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Middle Eastern Ambitions at the Center for Architecture

East
Friday, March 16, 2012
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A model of a Frank Lloyd Wright plan for Baghdad. (AN/Stoelker)

A model of a Frank Lloyd Wright plan for an opera house in Baghdad. (AN/Stoelker)

City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982
Through May 5

Change: Baghdad, 2000–Present
Through June 23

Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place

Two complimentary exhibits at the Center for Architecture capture an aspirational past and equally ambitious present in the Middle East. City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 shows a flourishing cosmopolitan city that—whatever the regime—commissioned an impressive array of international design talent for much of the last century resulting in an architecture combing modernist ideas with interpretations of the local climate and culture. Through models and drawings, including Walter Gropius and Hisham A. Munir’s campus building (top) at the University of Baghdad, rather than photographs in order to emphasize the optimistic intentions of the period, City of Miracles sheds light on a significant but rarely seen corner of global modernism. CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000–Present surveys 123 contemporary works from 20 countries in the wider Middle East, including Asymptote and Dewan Architects’ Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi (above), gathered through an open call for submissions. The impact of rapid growth and instant globalization is evident through supertalls, man-made islands as well as UNESCO monument sites under siege.

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Infrared’s Madren 5340 Installation

Fabrikator
Friday, March 16, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The completed installation controls light and opacity between two sides of a room (Infrared)

Temporary structure uses paper to create light-regulating filter

Infrared is a group of architectural researchers and fabricators based in Thessaloniki, Greece. Initiated in 2010, the group’s work has included public installations like the Thess Bic Seat, an amorphously shaped bicycle rack and bench. Another piece called 313 / 315 is a 25-foot-long seesaw installed between two rooms of a derelict hotel created for last year’s XV Biennale De La Mediterranee. For its most recent installation, titled Madren 5340, the team investigated the theme of private space with a digitally modeled screen made with a series of paper tubes.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eating Champ & Starchitect Celebrate Damn Good Advice.  Massimo Vignelli and George Lois. (Courtesy Phaidon) During festivities for the launch of his book Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent), legendary art director and advertising guru George Lois announced that he will donate his professional archive to the Vignelli Center for Graphic Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. At the launch, a star-studded guest list including Massimo and Leila Vignelli, architect Richard Meier, and competitive eating champion Kobayashi packed NYC’s Art Directors’ Club. The addition of Lois’ work bolsters the archive’s reputation as a world-class resource for design researchers.

 

On View> Sarah Morris: Points on a Line

Midwest
Thursday, March 15, 2012
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Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut. (Sarah Morris)

Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut. (Sarah Morris)

Sarah Morris: Points on a Line
The Wexner Center
1871 North High Street
Columbus, OH
Through April 15

Points On A Line, a 2010 film by artist Sarah Morris, takes two iconic buildings as its central characters, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut (above). Commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns both properties, the film is a meditation on the relationship between the buildings—Johnson, an acolyte of Mies and inspired by Farnsworth drawings, happened to complete his New Canaan house first—and the structures as they exist today. But it is the relationship of the architects themselves that becomes Morris’ narrative thread, serving as a springboard to explore their other architectural overlap: Johnson’s glamorized corporate interiors for the Four Seasons, the power-broker restaurant in the base of the Mies-designed Seagram building in Manhattan. Points on A Line underscores how our perception of a space is affected not just by its design but also its mythology.

Lincoln Center LED Steps on Fritz

East
Thursday, March 15, 2012
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The Lincoln Center LEDs were on the fritz Tuesday night.

The Lincoln Center LEDs were on the fritz Tuesday night.

When the construction blockades at Lincoln Center  renovation finally came down down last year, the flowing crowds and fountain crowding returned. The first impression theater-goers get of the Diller Scofido + Renfro renovation are the flashing from LED lights embedded into the steps facing Columbus Avenue. The lights function as an underfoot marquee with titles of various productions flashing and scrolling across the steps, announcing venues and lighting the path. But last Tuesday night the lights seemed to be on the fritz. Elsewhere, the Hugh Hardy 130 seat theater addition atop the Vivian Beaumont Theater is nearing completion…

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Rudin Reaches Agreement for AIDS Memorial

East
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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The AIDS Memorial winner "Infinite Forest" by Brooklyn-based studio a+i will be substantially scaled back for Triangle Park.

The AIDS Memorial Park winner "Infinite Forest" will be substantially scaled back for Triangle Park. (Courtesy studio a+i)

With the prodding of  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Rudin Management Company agreed to hand over the the last smidgen of property at Triangle Park  for use in an AIDS memorial. The park sits across the street from St. Vincent’s Hospital where so many AIDS patients were cared for and died. After months, indeed years, of wrangling, the gateway park to the West Village will move forward largely as originally planned, with M. Paul Friedberg incorporating components of the memorial by AIDS Memorial Competition winner studio a+i into the park design. The 1,600 square foot memorial will sit at the park’s westernmost edge, replacing a triangular building that stored oxygen tanks for the now defunct hospital.

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Big-Name Architects to Help Design a Growing Cambridge

International
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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Northwest Cambridge masterplan (courtesy AECOM)

Northwest Cambridge masterplan (courtesy AECOM)

Cambridge, England is growing, but keeping hold of its urban pattern. A shortlist including some of the biggest names in European architecture has been released for a competition to design an urban extension of northwest quarter of the city. The University of Cambridge owns the 346 acre site, which was masterplanned by AECOM and contains seven individual project sites to be designed by different firms.

Continue reading after the jump.

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