West Coast Park(ing) Day Diary

Standard's park on Sunset Blvd in LA's Silver Lake neighborhood. (Carren Jao)

What if we could transform part of the massive space we dedicate to urban parking into public parks, and what would it look like? On Friday, over 100 cities worldwide participated in the sixth annual PARK(ing) Day, where citizens and designers temporarily converted metered parking spots into open public space. While we couldn’t jet set around the world, a couple of our reporters checked out the happenings in California, where the concept was born.

Before you check out the parks, we should mention that these grassroots efforts are slowly influencing permanent change. In San Francisco, a City Planning Department collaboration with design firm Rebar, which helped begin PARK(ing) Day, has led to the creation of the “Parklets” program, where parking spots around the city are being converted into permanent plazas and outdoor seating.  And on Friday, LA City Council members Jan Perry and Jose Huizar announced a partnership with local neighborhood groups in downtown LA and Eagle Rock to begin a Parklets pilot program in Los Angeles.   Read More

Quick Clicks> Bird Troubles, Liters of Light, Road to Africa, Parc de Paris

Daily Clicks
Monday, September 19, 2011
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Death toll of migratory birds soars as glass structures continue to be erected. (Courtesy NY Times)

Death toll of migratory birds soars as glass structures continue to be erected. (Courtesy NY Times)

Migration melee. Migratory birds continue to fall victim to the glass facades comprising invisible and impenetrable forest of buildings in New York City. Bird advocacy groups and planning and building commissions are beginning to take notice. The New York Times investigated this ecologically sensitive dichotomy.

Let there be light. MIT students and the MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit aimed at creating sustainable communities, have joined forces to light up the Phillipines. This capable collaboration has created an innovative way to bring light to notoriously dark cities outside of Manila. The result? The Solar Bulb. Core77 explained this simple and ingenious amalgamation of water, sealant, bleach and a plastic bottle.

Road to Africa. While perhaps not on the immediate horizon, urban thinkers and This Big City are looking at Africa and its potential for economic development. With all of our hindsight in the world of urban planning, is it any wonder that we do not know where to begin? The photo says it all.

Parking Paris. French and Swiss architecture outfits AWP and HHF have collaborated to out-design competitors and take home the privilege of creating all of the infrastructure buildings at Paris’ Parc des Bords de Seine. DesignBoom looked at this series of low-cost, modular structures that will bring new residents to the park to eat, play, and watch birds from a second-story platform.

The Justice is on the Jury, Oh Yeah and Zaha Too

International, Midwest
Friday, September 16, 2011
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Justice Stephen Breyer and Zaha Hadid (courtesy Pritzker Prize)

File under: “Say What?” Retired  Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has joined the jury for the Pritzker Prize. Prize organizers say the Justice has a long and demonstrable interest in architecture. Who knew? Also joining the jury is 2004 laureate Zaha Hadid. Is it just us, or does it seem strange for Zaha to be upstaged by a guy in a black robe known for his rigorous legal scholarship and even temperament?  Read More

Slide Show> A Carousel of Urban Design

East
Friday, September 16, 2011
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The launch of Urban Design Week at the BMW Guggenheim Lab.

The launch of Urban Design Week at the BMW Guggenheim Lab. (AN/Stoelker)

The season got off to wet and windy start with the launch of Urban Design Week.  We started in Brooklyn and while the opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Jane’s Carousel wasn’t on the official agenda, there were plenty architecture world heavyweights in attendance. AN‘s Julie Iovine got there early to chat with the architect of the carousel’s pavilion, Jean Nouvel. Later, we popped over to the BMW Guggenheim Lab and with minutes to spare even got to hear a lecture over at the Neighborhood Preservation Center.

Check out the party pics after the jump

What’s Out There Weekend San Francisco: September 17-18

West
Friday, September 16, 2011
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At the Oakland Museum of California, Dan Kiley's roof terraces are on the tour circuit in What's Out There Weekend San Francisco. Courtesy T.L. Cheung

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to many landmark works of  modern landscape architecture. While the names of Lawrence Halprin, Robert Royston, and Dan Kiley may not be known to a general public that just recently latched on to Eames and Neutra, the Washington, D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation is trying to change that. This weekend, it is holding What’s Out There Weekend San Francisco, free tours of publicly accessible landscapes across the region, from San Francisco proper to Oakland down to Santa Clara. Read More

Filed Under: 

Nicola Formichetti & Gage/Clemenceau Architects Concept Store

Fabrikator
Friday, September 16, 2011
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The kaleidoscopic pop-up shop marks the grand opening of the second annual BOFFO Building Fashion event (Evan Joseph)

Mirrored acrylic and strategic lighting transform a temporary space at 50 Walker Street in New York

A collaboration between Nicola Formichetti, fashion director for Lady Gaga and creative director for Mugler, and Gage/Clemenceau Architects, launched Boffo Building Fashion’s second annual installation series on September 8. A reflection, literally, of Formichetti’s work, the two-week installation is a kaleidoscope of nearly 600 mirrored facets that create a 360-degree reflective environment in which to showcase limited edition Mugler fashions and other merchandise from emerging designers. With help from the series’ sponsors and the fabrication lab at Yale, where Mark Foster Gage is an assistant dean, the design team created a new way to see the store’s stock by “dematerializing the fashion into a pattern on the walls,” said Gage.
Read More

Taking a Spin With Nouvel

East
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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Jean Nouvel and friends on Jane's Carousel. (Photos: Stoelker/AN)

The man in black designing a Merry-Go-Round seems a jarring fit. But out on the Brooklyn waterfront buffeted by winds on a raw point between the muscular grandeur of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, Nouvel seems just the right man to insinuate something as delicate as a life-size interactive music box into a setting as tough as the Brooklyn waterfront. Read More

EVENT> Opening tonight: The Critical Moment at Cooper Union

Other
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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"Manipulated Life Cycles: The Bearing Strait," by Melanie Fessel, graduate of the Master of Architecture II Program at Cooper Union.

The Critical Moment: Architecture in the Expanded Field
Opening reception: 7:00pm,Thursday, September 15 (TONIGHT!)
Cooper Union
The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
7 East 7th Street

Urban Design Week kicks off today, and on your rounds of events, you may want to stop by Cooper Union’s latest show, which features the thesis projects of its first graduating class of the school’s new  MArch II program. The exhibition opens tonight with a reception at 7:00pm and runs through November 5.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 12-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm
Gallery Closed: Sunday and Monday

Filed Under: 

London Design Festival

International
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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London Design Festival
September 17–September 25

This year’s theme for the London Design Festival is “Design from all Angles.” Home base for the event will be the main exhibition hall at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but design projects will also be scattered at 150 sites throughout the city. A three-story red oak latticework spiral called Timber Wave (above) will frame the V&A entrance; the installation is by Amanda Levete, who was recently commissioned to design the museum’s courtyard and expansion. Elsewhere: at St. Paul’s Cathedral, John Pawson creates an optical allusion that distorts distance and depth through lenses and mirrors; this year’s Size and Matterinstallation at the Royal Festival Hall, an annual event highlighting design and technology, is a collaboration between David Chipperfield and Arup, who are sandwiching reflective metal-coated fabric mesh between glass to explore translucent and reflective properties.

More images after the jump.

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Gehry’s Signature

East, Newsletter
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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Time to hit refresh on another Gehry project that is opening within these city walls. There was a time when Gehry couldn’t get a Big Apple commission off the ground: no mega-Gugg on the Eastside, no New York Times across from the Port Authority.  Now they are popping up all over, with IAC a Chelsea fixture, the public school at New York by Gehry on Spruce Street pumping out sassy little brats from day one. Today, we are reminded that the Signature—once part of the performing arts package at ground zero—is opening in February in Times Square. And it’s only spent $6 million over the original $60 mill cost (with $25 from the city). Read More

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Quick Clicks> Bike Sharing, Ford Reviving, Bangkok Sinking

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
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Share, and share a bike: Alta-run program coming to NYC summer 2012.

Bike On, NYC. This afternoon the mayor’s office announced that the company Alta would run the city’s new bike sharing program, which is set to begin next summer. In Manhattan south of 79th Street and in select neighborhoods in Brooklyn, 10,000 bicycles will be available for pick up at 600 stations. More details at The New York Times.

Back to the future? Ford Motor Company has somehow navigated its way through the Great Recession by focusing on its core values and eliminating the fat. This gaunt American icon is now beefing up and hedging its bets on design of the new, “Evos” in an attempt to blow the DeLorean-esque doors off its profit margins. More at Motortrend.

Bangkok Underwater. Thailand’s capital city is slowly sinking, and may even be submerged as soon as 2030, unless drastic planning measures are taken, reports The Guardian.

Arquitectonica Cozies Up to DS+R in LA

West
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
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Arquitectonica's potential addition to Grand Avenue in LA. (courtesy blogdowntown)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Broad center for contemporary art features a distinctive structural honeycomb facade. It may be getting a neighbor with another notable facade, a new 19 story apartment building with staggered windows in a variety of sizes designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica. According to blogdowntown, the building would include 258 units with 52 set aside for affordable housing and 308 parking spaces in a three level below-grade garage. Developed by Related Companies, the tower would share the plaza with DS+R’s museum and back up to the planned Regional Connector light rail station.

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