37 first year SCI-Arc students have just finished a mesmerizing new installation in the school’s parking lot called Sway. The project is made of 228 thin bundled steel rods, bolted into the ground and joined via flexible (and wild) wire units above. The vast and tightly-packed array of bendy rods are responsive to subtle changes in wind force (and not-so-subtle pushing by visitors), enabling the structure to move around like trees in a forest, or a collection of organisms. At night they catch the light in changing and surprising ways.
The 1A Studi0—which produces a large installation every year— was led by professors Nathan Bishop, Eric Kahn and Jenny Wu. Bishop accurately called the piece an “encompassing environment.” Which is what makes it so great: the chance to walk right into the art and interact with it.
The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture announced that Robert A. M. Stern has been named this year’s Richard H. Driehaus laureate. The prize, which comes with a $200,000 purse, “honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world,” according to a statement. Founded in 2003, the prize has previously honored lesser known architects such as Rafael Manzano Martos of Spain and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil of Egypt in addition to marquee American traditional and classicist architects like Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Allan Greenberg (several Driehaus recipients have also won or been involved in the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize).
Click through to see more of Stern’s work
Street artist Blu recently made LA headlines when his commissioned mural for MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary (featuring coffins draped by dollar bills) was subsequently whitewashed by MOCA itself. In a statement, MOCA called the mural, which was across from the LA Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, “inappropriate,” and the move has angered (to say the least) the street art community.
For those of you unfamiliar with Blu, please take a look at this video, called Big Bang Big Boom. There are no special effects, just stop-action animation; a dazzling combination of architecture and art. It’s unclear where he shot this piece, but he obviously needed to find an area with lots of empty, and largely abandoned, walls and lots. We’re blown away, so to speak.
Following a heavy snow storm this weekend, the roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed. This video shows the structure creaking under the weight, the roof fabric tearing, and snow pouring in on the field. It looks like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Blair Kamin was quick to point out that though the stadium was designed by the Chicago office of SOM, the roof was the work of New York-based Geiger Berger Associates. Buffalo, New York-based Birdair Structures maintains and supplies the roof fabric. No one was hurt in the collapse. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, this is the fourth time roof has ripped and deflated. Officials are still determining how low it will take to repair the structure.
Most of us move on from difficult breakups by eating ice cream or going on long walks. Not NBC. They build things. Now that Conan O’Brien has started his own show on TBS, NBC has awarded IA with a commission to redesign his former Tonight Show sound stage in Studio City (which reportedly cost $50 million to build) into a two story newsroom for local and network news. IA has signed a non-disclosure agreement, so they can’t talk about it. But according to the RFP, the 70,000 square foot project, awarded earlier this fall, will include studios, control rooms, edit rooms, offices and and storage. It should be finished by June 2012. So basically they want to obliterate any memory of Conan? Well, yes, our inside source tells us, that’s exactly it…
Bodacious bourbon pours complimented savory vittles at the yet-to-be-opened Hudson Clearwater in Greenwich Village last night. The restaurant’s first event launched Carl Stein’s new book, Greening Modernism: preservation, sustainability and the modern movement (W.W. Norton, $60.00). The affair had a decidedly down to earth flavor, though the elegant crowd resembled intermission at The Met. The venue seemed a natural fit for Stein of Elemental Architecture, since Elemental’s John Barboni designed the space using salvaged material culled from the 180-year-old carriage house. Read More
We’re starting up a new regular feature here on the AN Blog we’re tentatively calling Daily Clicks. For your perusal, a quick selection of architecture and design stories from around the web.
The year’s best. The Chicago Tribune‘s Blair Kamin looks beyond the doom and gloom that was 2010 to find the top ten architectural bright spots. Among his picks? The opening of the Burj Khalifa and a pollution-eating park in Chicago, and [ City Scapes ]
Cincy Streetcar. Cincinnati is one step closer to a new streetcar system, after the Ohio Department of Transportation unanimously recommended $35 million for construction of the system’s first phase, which is expected to open in 2013. [ Urban Cincy ]
Don’t hit print! A new file format, the WWF (after the World Wildlife Fund, of course), aims at saving a few trees as we send around PDFs through e.mail. If you’d like to prohibit your PDFs from being printed, there’s a free software download. [ Core 77 ]
Office Exhibitionism. Artist Stephan Sagmeister has a new web site. Now, you can sit and stare at a live feed from a web cam inside his New York studio to make sure everyone’s working. On this late Friday afternoon, orange balloons were strewn across the floor, leaving us regretting we’d missed the party. [ Creative Review ]
Classical repertory theater A Noise Within (ANW) will find itself occupying some interesting digs next fall, moving from its longtime leased space in Glendale to a new 33,000-square foot facility built into the former Stuart Pharmaceutical building—a historic, mid-century modern complex designed by Edward Durell Stone. The design is being carried out by KKE and John Berry Architects. But before ANW even packs its bags for its new home, the company is giving culture vultures free peeks of the facility in construction every second Sunday of the month, including this Sunday. “It’s one thing to see something already built, but it’s another to see everything that goes into it,” said artistic director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who is on hand for each tour, along with co-artistic director Geoff Elliott and the occasional board member or project superintendent. Contrary to its name—Hard Hat Sundays—guests don’t wear the head gear, but instead gather safely on a viewing deck and peer down at the site in progress. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about rebar than what you’re supposed to, or simply want to enjoy the sunset with other culture lovers, this could be your ticket.
Not many architects can boast being the subject of a pop song, but, then again, Frank Lloyd Wright was always something special. Back in 1969, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel eulogized the architect in the eponymous “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright,” appearing on their Bridge Over Troubled Water album. Garfunkel took an interest in Wright while studying architecture at Columbia and later challenged Simon to write the song while living in California.
While some argue that the song is really a cryptic breakup poem between the two singers on the verge of splitting, I’m sticking with architecture going mainstream. As the song says, “Architects may come and/Architects may go and/Never change your point of view./ When I run dry/I stop awhile and think of you.”
MVRDV just completed “Le Monolithe,” a mixed-use project in Lyon, France featuring social housing, apartments, disabled residences, offices, and retail organized along a central exterior axis of courtyards. The 350,000 square foot structure overlooks the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers and represents a collaboration of several architects and landscape architects.
The SF Chronicle’s John King today shares the shortlist for the new Emeryville Center For the Arts. The six contestants are some of the city’s best young firms. In fact organizer David Meckel—stressing this push for emerging talent— initially said that the winner should not be a fellow of the AIA. The finalists include: Aidlin Darling, Edmonds + Lee, Jensen Architects, Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, Schwartz and Architecture, and Envelope A+D. Their plans are currently on display at Emeryville City Hall, next to which the arts center will eventually sit . All except Edmonds+Lee include the site’s existing 1940′s brick building. Aidlin Darling includes a sloped green roof for film watching; Ogrydziak Prillinger layers spaces in and out of the structure; and Jensen architects opens it up with large, movable glass walls. The winner will be announced next week, so stay tuned.
Witold Rybczynski, smart writer, stupid article.
Last Thursday, Slate‘s respected architecture critic weighed in with the dubious notion that the shorter in height, the greater the architect. This silly notion has gone viral on the web, and we felt it was our job to rebut it with some tall figures. Here they are.