After three decades at LA firm Altoon + Porter, founding partner James F. Porter is leaving to become a principal at the Jerde Partnership. Porter, who met business partner Ron Altoon while working at Frank Gehry’s office in the ’70s, co-founded Altoon + Porter in 1984. Hoping to leave more room for young partners, Altoon + Porter included a clause in their partnership specifying that they retire at age 65. “Sixty five came along in a nanosecond,” said Porter, who managed to adjust the agreement to stay on a little longer. But at age 70, it was time to go, he said.
Who wouldn’t want buy into an eco-conscious, sustainable, and affordable apartment building whose Grimshaw/Dattner-designed architecture received rave reviews on the front page of the New York Times? With more than 40 of the 75 co-ops still available at Via Verde, the gang at developer Jonathan Rose Co. and Dattner are giving the project the full media push. Jonathan Rose’s Ari Goldstein and Dattner’s Bill Stein were on New York 1 this morning promoting the design and high living standards. The 151 rental units of this muli-income complex were snapped up right away. But while the co-ops sales aren’t exactly flagging, they’re not exactly flying off the shelves in this economy.
Chinese architect Wang Shu has been named the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, marking the first time a Chinese architect has been honored prize which brings a bronze medal and $100,000 purse. Wang Shu is known for building with traditional Chinese forms and materials, often recycling bricks and tiles to form a patchwork mosaic in his buildings, which demonstrate a distinct modern sensibility. He is professor and head of architecture at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China and founded Amateur Architecture Studio with Lu Wenyu in 1998 where he has taken an outspoken stance against architecture that he perceives as destroying vast urban and rural landscapes across China.
Manhattan Community Board 2 unanimously voted against the NYU expansion plan in Greenwich Village last night citing the impact its scale would have on the neighborhood. Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori designed four of the proposed towers and Michael Van Valkenburgh designed the landscape for the 2.4 million square foot expansion. The plans were set within two superblocks that sprang from Robert Moses-era urban renewal projects that featured buildings by I.M. Pei, Paul Lester Weiner, and a garden by Hideo Sasaki.
Last weekend at Palm Springs Modernism Week we stumbled upon a treasure for architecture fans. The Palm Springs Art Museum is renovating E. Stewart Williams’ 1960 Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building, turning it into the future home of the Edward Harris Center for Architecture and Design. Williams’ International Style bank, featuring floating slabs, floor to ceiling glazing, and ultra thin columns, will contain exhibit space, public program areas, offices, an archival study center and a museum store (located in the former bank vault). On its lower level it will contain a 2,700 square foot area for the museum’s collection. The center is scheduled to open in Fall 2013, says the museum. We can’t wait! Historic pictures and renderings of the future space after the jump.
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A traditional brick condo gets unconventional in Chicago
If such a thing as Gonzo Architecture exists, Kujawa Architecture has made a small contribution to the genre on Oakdale Avenue in Chicago. Their client, Ed Hoban, was a longtime confidant of journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and conventional proposals had fallen short of his desire for a balcony that would project from the second-story bedroom of his brick condo, allowing him to enjoy a blossoming crabapple tree in the garden below. The firm’s principal, Casimir Kujawa, took matters into his own hands after looking at unsatisfactory plans from a contractor Hoban had initially hired. The team, including firm members Mason Pritchett and Patrick Johnson, started calling the project the Gonzo Balcony. “The title seemed apt because of Ed’s friendship with Hunter, but primarily in the sense that the building itself as well as the balcony are a bit unconventional. For us the entire experience of working closely with Ed, and with Bill Tellmann and Collin Smith, of the metal fabricator Active Alloys, allowed for a more experimental approach which also seemed to resonate with the ‘gonzo’ term.”
This Monday, February 27 at 6:30p.m., the Van Alen Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum are hosting a panel discussion on urban mapping and participatory public discourse in the city at the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York. The event celebrates the publishing of Sophie Hochhäusl’s new book Otto Neurath – City Planning: Proposing a Socio-Political Map for Modern Urbanism (Innsbruck University Press, 2011) and Otto Neurath, an Austrian philosopher and economist who studied maps in search of “humanizing knowledge.”
**2/27 Breaking news: The New Yorker‘s Paul Goldberger will be joining the panel discussion. Critical mass!
Monday, February 27
Architecture Criticism Today
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Who is best served by criticism? Who is the proper audience? Can it simultaneously serve the profession and the wider public, or are they mutually exclusive? How has role of general-interest media critics evolved? As a project comes to life, at what point(s) should critics weigh in?
The first of a four-part series on Architecture and the Media will address some of these questions, when architecture critics discuss the role of criticism in the field of architecture today and how it informs the general public’s understanding of design.
AN‘s executive editor Julie Iovine will moderate a panel discussion among architecture critics at consumer, business and trade publications: Justin Davidson (New York Magazine), Cathleen McGuigan (Architectural Record), and James Russell (Bloomberg), with audience Q&A to follow.
1.5 CEUs; $10 for members and students; $20 non-members. TICKETS
Organized by the Oculus Committee, the AIANY Marketing & PR Committee, and The Architect’s Newspaper.