Green Monsters.  Green Monsters Isn’t it annoying when you’re trying to do your part to go green and then things catch on fire? In what some are calling a case of “green on green crime,” a low-e glass window has been accused of melting the side-view mirror of a nearby Toyota Prius in Southern California. The Prius owner noticed a concentrated beam of sunlight reflecting off her neighbor’s windows, which had been treated with a highly reflective energy efficient coating, after being told by her Toyota dealership that nothing was wrong with her car. It wouldn’t be the first time good windows turned bad: Las Vegas’ Vdara hotel made headlines when its “death ray” reflected super-hot beams of light onto its pool deck, allegedly burning some sunbathers. Following reports of melted vinyl siding, pool covers, and car parts across the country, the National Association of Home Builders has launched a study about the amount of concentrated sunlight reflected from energy efficient windows. [DailyTech, image via CBS]

 

Video> Take a Fly-By Tour of Renzo Piano’s New Whitney Museum

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Ever since Renzo Piano‘s design for the new Whitney Museum was unveiled back in 2008, we’ve been obsessed with just about anything we could find about the new boat of a museum perched along the High Line on Manhattan’s west side. AN alum Matt Chaban at the Observer spotted this snazzy fly-by video tracing the museum’s progress from its founding in 1931 to its move into its iconic Breuer outpost and finally to its future Meatpacking District home. If you need even more of a Renzo fix, be sure to check out his recently completed addition to the Gardner Museum in Boston and his planned Opera-House-slash-Library in Greece.

California’s Redevelopment Agencies Play the Waiting Game

Newsletter, West
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Curbed LA's image, above, of what downtown LA would look like without the CRA (Dando Guerra)

Right now California’s doomed redevelopment agencies have one hope, and its name is SB 659, a bill proposed in the California legislature to postpone dissolution of the agencies until April 15. The bill will allow the agencies to “address serious issues resulting from the recent state court’s ruling,” as bill sponsor Sen. Alex Padilla puts it. Those issues range from paying off bond debts to orchestrating layoffs to transferring assets and responsibilities to successor agencies. Without the bill, most say there will be chaos.

Read an full update to the demise of California’s redevelopment agencies here.

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On View> Layered SPURA: Spurring Conversations Through Visual Urbanism

East
Monday, January 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Parsons)

(Courtesy Parsons)

Layered SPURA: Spurring Conversations Through Visual Urbanism
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons The New School
66 Fifth Ave.
Through February 25

The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) that occupies 14 square blocks on the Lower East Side has remained one of the largest underdeveloped city-owned parcels of land for more than 40 years. Very few of the originally-planned buildings came to pass, and vast parking lots created by slum-clearance on the south side of Delancey Street symbolize a hotly contested renewal plan. Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani and students of the New School’s City Studio have spent three years investigating the complex issues surrounding the site, and in an exhibition highlighting their research and artwork they propose to instigate a new grassroots conversation rather than a top-down planning vision.

Parklets Spreading Throughout California, Reach Long Beach

West
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Long Beach parklet (courtesy Studio One Eleven)

Our friend Alissa Walker reports in LA Weekly that San Francisco’s Parklet craze (SF now has 23 of the parks built on former parking spaces) has reached the streets of Long Beach. Designed by Studio One Eleven, Southern California’s first parklet is a  30-foot-by-7-foot space with wood decking  just outside of the city’s Lola’s Mexican restaurant. Lola’s owner, Luis Navarro, paid for the $20,000 parklet, plus the cost of the chairs and tables. According to the story two more Long Beach parklets will be opening in the next few months—one at a coffee shop and one at a Vietnamese restaurant. Meanwhile LA is on the way to getting its own parklets (hopefully) thanks to the launch of its Parklets Program at the end of last year.

Studio a+i Takes First Place for AIDS Memorial

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Brooklyn's A+I Studio's winning entry: "Infinite Forest"

Brooklyn's studio a+i winning entry: Infinite Forest.

Brooklyn’s studio a+i walked away with first place for their design, Infinite Forest, in a competition to envision an AIDS Memorial at Triangle Park in Manhattan’s West Village. The memorial is intended to sit on the site of a small garden and garage directly across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, considered by many to be ground zero of the AIDS epidemic. The announcement comes just one week after the plans for the former hospital site by Rudin Management were approved by City Planning. For the memorial, three walls would bind the park with mirrors on the interior and slate on the exterior. The mirrors would reflect a grove of white birch trees. Park entrances are at three corners of the triangle. The space between the mirror and slate walls also act as light wells and entrances for a museum intended to go beneath the park. There are no markers with names or dates for the 100,000-plus New Yorkers who died of AIDS; instead, visitors are encouraged to write on the slate walls with chalk, “creating an ever-changing mural which is refreshed with every rain.”

The Infinite Forest design team included Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel.  The competition, which received more than 475 entries, was a collaboration between the Queer History Alliance,  Architizer.com, and Architectural RecordView the plan after the jump

SHFT+ALT+DEL: January 27

Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, January 27, 2012
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Stephen Cassell, principal of Architecture Research Office, has been elected Chair of the Van Alen Institute Board of Trustees. Cassell takes the reins from Abby Hamlin, president of the real estate development company Hamlin Ventures.

Gretchen Bank, who currently serves as the Marketing & PR Committee Co-Chair at AIA New York, steps into the position of Director of Business Development & Marketing at Cosentini Associates, effective February 6.

Architect and New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) alumnus Peter J. Romano has joined NYIT’s Board of Trustees. With his wife, Jane, Romano established an endowed scholarship fund for students attending NYIT’s School of Architecture and Design.

The bathroom fixtures company Duravit has appointed Frank Richter to succeed Franz Kook as  Management Board Chairman; Kook has retired after 41 years with the company.

 Have news on career moves in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to people@archpaper.com!

Eight Emerging Voices Honored by the Architectural League

International, National
Friday, January 27, 2012
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Anemone, Taipei, TW. (Courtesy Oyler Wu Collaborative)

Anemone, Taipei, TW. (Courtesy Oyler Wu Collaborative)

Eight up-and-coming architecture firms from across North America have been distinguished as Emerging Voices by the Architectural League. The prestigious award is bestowed annually on a group of firms that have established a distinct design voice in their work and have “the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.” This year’s winners are INABA, 5468796 architecture, SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Studio NMinusOne, Oyler Wu Collaborative, SsD, Arquitectura 911sc, and Atelier TAG. A jury comprised of Henry Cobb, Geoff Manaugh, Paul Lewis, Jamie Maslyn Larson, Annabelle Selldorf, Claire Weisz, and Dan Wood selected the firms based on a review of their portfolios. Past Emerging Voices have included many of today’s top-name architects including Morphosis, Enrique Norten, Deborah Berke, Michael Maltzan, SHoP Architects, Jeanne Gang, and Steven Holl.

Each year, the winning firms present their work at a lecture series presented by the League in New York. Beginning on March 2, will take place at the Rose Auditorium in the new Morphosis-designed building at The Cooper Union. Also watch for an upcoming issue of The Architect’s Newspaper where we feature a profile of each Emerging Voices winner.

Check out the lecture schedule after the jump.

Profile> David Fano Explores the Digital Possibilities of Revit

East
Friday, January 27, 2012
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David Fano will lead a special Revit workshop on February 17.

David Fano will lead a special Revit workshop on February 17.

On February 17, David Fano will lead Revit Design, a workshop exploring the possibilities of the digital design program Revit, as part of DAY 2 of COLLABORATION, a conference on fabrication and facades sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper.

In 2008, David Fano established CASE Design, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) consultancy in New York. Prior to CASE, Fano was Director of Technology Research at SHoP Architects, where he managed technology R&D initiatives, worked with project teams to ensure the successful implementation of BIM, and developed “direct to fabrication” initiatives with software manufacturers and fabricators through the use of BIM. He contributed technology expertise on numerous projects, including for a 41-story rental tower in New York City and for The New Seaport, an 860,000-square-feet multi-use development in New York City’s Historic Seaport District.

Since 2006, David has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation where he teaches seminars and workshops focusing on the impact of technology on design processes. David received his Master of Architecture with honors from Columbia University where he was the recipient of the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize and the Computer Aided Design Honor Award.

On February 17, David will present the day-long workshop, Revit Design, building from fundamental Revit design concepts to advanced techniques concentrating on how the formal and organizational potentials emerge from informational modeling. Register here.

Cooper Union’s Toys for the Blind

Dean's List, East
Friday, January 27, 2012
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A construction by Tseng Ling-Li. (courtesy of Dr. Tamar Zinguer)

A construction by Ling-Li Tseng. (Courtesy of Tamar Zinguer)

“How can a construction toy be ‘playful’?” This is the problem that Tamar Zinguer asked her Cooper Union students in a recent seminar focused on the architecture of play.  For this session, Zinguer, who has taught the course before, decided to eliminate the visual aspect, a sensory aspect of toy design highly relied upon in previous seminars’ constructions.  Focusing less on color and more on the experience of the object, the result is a set of innovative and wonderfully textured toys, from blocks to shells, that encourage play for the visually impaired.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bridge 5721: Historic Restoration and Relocation

Fabrikator
Friday, January 27, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The 3-D laser scan allowed engineers to look at the bridge even after it was dismantled (O.N.E.)

Laser scanning technology helped a Minnesota bridge find its third home

One of 24 historic bridges chosen for preservation by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Bridge 5721 is one of the state’s only remaining wrought iron bridge structures. The bridge was originally built to carry pedestrians over a river in Sauk Center, Minnesota, in 1870, before modern steel production methods had become available. In 1937, the bridge was disassembled and moved to span the Little Fork River near the town of Silverdale. But more than two years ago, the structure began its journey to a third incarnation, this time as an equestrian and pedestrian bridge for the Gateway Trail in the town of Stillwater, near Minneapolis. Because of the bridge’s provenance and the desire to keep its wrought iron parts intact, the Minnesota DOT worked with new owner Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and structural engineers at HNTB and Olson & Nesvold Engineers (O.N.E.) to collect crucial data for the rehabilitation using new 3-D laser scanning technology.
Continue reading after the jump.

Too Warm for Winter Jam, says NYC Parks.  Too Warm for Winter Jam, says NYC Parks Hang up those snowshoes. The NYC Parks Department has officially canceled this year’s Winter Jam, an annual event that invites New Yorkers to come try out an array of snow sports in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. What gives? Not only is there no snow in the forecast for the planned February 4 date, but average temperatures are too high for the city to even fake it. “It is simply too warm to make snow, and the long-range weather forecasts and current ground temperatures make it extremely unlikely that snow could be made,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

 

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