Biennale for the People: Landscape Urbanism in Israel

International, Newsletter
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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“On the way to the sea” 121 Ben Gurion Rd., Bat Yam.

“On the way to the sea” 121 Ben Gurion Rd., Bat Yam. Project by Derman Verbakel Architecture.

Biennales have proliferated in recent years marking the redistribution of culture and also its global consumption. Once wed to the rarefied setting of Venice, they can now be found in Barcelona, Rio, Lisboa and… Bat Yam.

“Bat Yam?” you ask. In this unknown and unlikely Israeli town, the curators of the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism have fashioned a wonderful new genre of biennale that is more “urban action” than exhibition. A rather poor, largely Russian immigrant “outer borough” of the elegant white city of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam calls to mind Brighton Beach with palm trees. The city constitutes a frayed but dignified modernist fabric built from an amazing array of gemütlich variations on the Maison Citrohan with a sensitive implementation of the tenets of open space, light, air, and the hierarchy of ways.

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Mr. Peanut, Bring on the Nut Mobile

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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We love food trucks. But none of them have really pushed the design envelope as far as the classics like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. In that spirit we welcome the re-fashioned Nut Mobile, from Planters Peanuts. The truck—an Isuzu with a peanut-shaped fiberglass exterior—features a slew of green features: it runs partially on biodiesel fuel, it has a wind turbine, solar panels, LED lighting, and recycled parts.  The truck, which replaces the company’s yellow hot-rodded Nut Mobile, will be on tour throughout the country in the coming months, including an appearance at the Global Green Oscar pre-party tonight. And just for good measure, below are a few of our other favorite food-shaped trucks. Are you watching, food truck designers? Read More

Quick Clicks> Cooper, Dharavi, Evolution, Charts

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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35 Cooper Square in 1917 (Courtesy Bowery Alliance)

35 Cooper Square in 1917 (Courtesy Bowery Alliance)

Keeping Cooper. There’s a fight brewing over the demolition of the 186-year-old 35 Cooper Square. A demolition permit had been issued and subsequent stop work orders and candlelight vigils. The small federal style structure was once home to descendants of Peter Stuyvesant and beatnik Diane DiPrima. Keep tabs on the little building at EV Grieve and the Bowery Alliance (And in other Cooper Square preservation news, what’s going to happen to the Astor Place mosaics under the planned pedestrian plaza upgrades?)

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Pittsburgh Riverfront Revival

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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Corridors that once separated industry from neighborhoods could become the commercial corridor.

Last week, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl unveiled a plan to resuscitate 2,000 acres of brownfield property alongside the Allegheny River. The report, the Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan, follows a two-year study headed up by Perkins Eastman. Much of the planning sprung from meetings with the resident and business communities, and aims to connect neighborhoods to the river for the first time. Cities throughout the country continue to reclaim their rivers, but Pittsburgh’s situation is unique.

Read more after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Drawing, Green, Aerial, Plans

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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Rivington Street, All the Buildings in New York, by James Gulliver Hancock

Rivington Street, All the Buildings in New York, by James Gulliver Hancock

Block by Block. Brooklyn-based illustrator James Gulliver Hancock is attempting to draw All the Buildings in New York in quite beautiful pen and ink sketches like the one above. Watch a video of the artist explaining his inspirations, style, and how a chained up wheelchair is architecture after the jump. (via Gothamist.)

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Video> Rubik′s Cube House

Other
Monday, February 21, 2011
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Rubik's Cube House by Kenneth Brandon

Rubik's Cube House by Kenneth Brandon

Last Friday, our friends at Curbed spotted this amazing Rubik’s Cube by and puzzle connoisseur Kenneth Brandon and artist Heather Kent. The custom-made creation actually works, as demonstrated in a video after the jump (we imagine things can get pretty surreal inside the house when the twisting gets going). Named House Cube, the puzzle was made with painted stickers, complete with a basement plumbing system.

Click through for a video of the Rubik’s House.

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Quick Clicks> River Metro, Byrne, Reskinned, Jane

Daily Clicks
Monday, February 21, 2011
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Mississippi Metro Map via Something About Maps

Mississippi Metro Map via Something About Maps

Mississippi Metro. Strange Maps pointed out a clever reinterpretation of the Mississippi River basin as a subway system. Check out a bigger version at Something About Maps. (You may also be interested in the Sustainable City Collective’s list of top five urban infographics.)

Byrne-ing Down the House. David Byrne waxes poetic on the arts-and-crafts bungalows of Berkeley after taking a recent bike ride through the city’s early 20th century neighborhoods.

Reskinning. Solve Climate News spotlights Toronto entrepreneur Ron Dembo who is tackling insufficiently skinned buildings to increase energy efficiency. (Via Planetizen.)

Janie’s got a Walk. With warm weather closer on the horizon (despite a fresh blanket of snow across parts of the country), Shareable recommends planning a Jane’s Walk in your city, after the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, to explore the history, ecology, and social issues in your neighborhood.

Pratt Lectures on Architecture and Planning

East
Friday, February 18, 2011
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If you’re an architect interested urban planning issues or a city planner interested contemporary architecture relationship to the city this is a lecture series for you! Created and organized by the Pratt Institute’s Program for Sustainable Planning and Development features planners and architects engaged in rethinking contemporary Preservation, sustainability, and urban design.

Invited lectures include; Jirge Rigau a Puerto Rican preservationist, Andrew Genn project director of New York’s comprehensive waterfront plan and a young Mississippi architect Whitney Grant who founded the Jackson Community Development Center.

They will all be addressing the fundamental questions facing today’s cites and attendees will be encouraged to ask questions of the lecturers. It takes place in room 213 of Pratt’s Manhattan campus at 144 West 14th Street and it starts with drinks at 5:30. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Click through for the lecture schedule.

Design Deeply But Maybe Don′t Breathe Deeply

Midwest
Friday, February 18, 2011
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Chicago may boast one of the country’s largest urban solar installations, but it’s also home to two polluting coal-fired power plants, the Fisk Generating Station in Pilsen and the Crawford Generating Station in Little Village both operated by Midwest Generation. The two plants emit toxins and advocates say they contribute to elevated asthma rates in those neighborhoods. A new competition ask designers propose solutions to the problem, which could be anything from educational campaigns to remediation strategies. Read More

Quick Clicks> Apples, Trains, Fields, Banks

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Friday, February 18, 2011
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Grand Central to get Apple but no glass cube. flickr/Randy Le'Moine

Apple takes another bite. Once famous for its oysters, Grand Central will now be known for its Apples. Cult of Mac reports that the computer giant plans to open their biggest retail outlet yet, which will, no doubt be as busy as Grand Central Station.

High speed posturing. If you don’t want it, we’ll take it! That’s the message being sent out by Democratic governors to their Republican counterparts who are rejecting infrastructure dollars. Huff-Po’s Sam Stein notes that governors from New York, Washington, and California are lining up to take Florida Governor Rick Scott’s rejected $2 billion in federal funding for high speed rail line.

Goal! One more hurdle to go. DNA reports that Columbia’s Baker Field got the green light from the City Planning Commission to build the Steven Holl designed Campbell Sports Center.  Part of the plan includes a James Corner/Field Operations-designed park and 17,000 square feet of restored marsh and shoreline.

Pool Hall Banking. A 1916 bank building on Philadelphia’s Chestnut Street will take on an adaptive reuse that its architect Horace Trumbauer surely never dreamed of. PlanPhilly reports that  developer Paul Giegerich is thinking of turning the architect’s two story cathedral of commerce into a swanky pool hall with food created by a star (Steven Starr to be exact).

Out of Memory: Patrick Tighe Architecture with Machineous

Fabrikator
Friday, February 18, 2011
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A model of the soundscape.

A model of the soundscape.

A site-specific installation at the SCI-Arc Gallery transforms a musical composition by Ken Ueno into a digitally realized built environment.

A robot, a composer, and an architect walk into a gallery. It could be the start of a corny joke, but instead it’s the captivating formula for Patrick Tighe’s new exhibition at the SCI-Arc Gallery. The composer is Ken Ueno, recipient of the Rome and Berlin Prizes, and the robot belongs to Machineous, the Los Angeles-based fabricator hired to realize Tighe’s architectural representation of Ueno’s music.

Read more after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Desert, 3D, Rendered, Drafted

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Design, desert-style. Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today, running through February 27, a sunny celebration of mid-century architecture and design. Find a map of all the sites included in the event at MyDesert.com.

Just press print. The Cooper Hewitt acquires a MakerBot, the open source 3D printer for crafty prototyping, reports the museum’s blog.

Consuming matters. This week Rob Walker signed off from his “Consumed” column in The New York Times Magazine–and just as he was turning his gimlet eye to architectural matters! In case you missed it, here’s his recent article about the mysterious populations of architectural renderings.

Drafted. Mattel‘s new “Architect Barbie” comes complete with black-framed glasses, a model townhouse, and a (pink) blueprint holder, reports Arch Record. Part of the “Barbie I Can Be” line, one hopes Ms. Architect is smart enough to avoid the new “Sweet Talkin’ Ken.”

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