Going Green in Ghana: Mario Cucinella’s One Airport Square

International
Friday, July 22, 2011
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One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana. (Courtesy Mario Cucinella Architects)

One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana. (Courtesy Mario Cucinella Architects)

Of Sand and Stone. On September 8th, Milan-based architect Mario Cucinella will break ground on his One Airport Square project in Accra, Ghana’s capital city. The 230,000 square foot structure of irregular cantilevered floor plates embraced by a web of diagonal concrete supports meant to evoke traditional African patterns. Plans call for a dynamic pedestrian plaza with shops and cafes topped with commercial space. Solar panels are integrated among cantilevered terraces with indigenous fauna to protect the building from the scorching sun.

Check out a video and gallery after the jump.

Video> Welcome to Cloquet, Home of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Only Gas Station

Midwest
Friday, July 22, 2011
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Gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Screen Capture)

Gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Screen Capture)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of Broadacre City may have been the prototype for the modern American suburb, but in Cloquet, Minnesota, a small piece of the original plan was actually built and is still in operation. The R.W. Lindholm Service Station, the only gas station ever designed by the architect, was commissioned after the Lindholm family previously hired Wright to design their house. Finished in 1956, the service station offered a futuristic vision of the gas station as place of community and culture with a novel waiting room prominently perched overlooking the filling bays. Wright took the structure’s design seriously, even specifying that gas be dispensed from the ceiling to avoid obstacles to auto traffic flow, an innovation that didn’t make it through history.

Watch the videos after the jump.

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On View> Weightless Pull at Superfront Public Summer

East
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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Weightless Pull (Courtesy CO)

Weightless Pull (Courtesy CO)

Christina Ciardullo and Naomi Ocko
Superfront Public Summer
2nd Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets
Industry City / Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Through August 28

Christina Ciardullo and Naomi Ocko‘s (CO) winning design Weightless Pull for Superfront Public Summer opened Sunday, July 17th and will be on view through August 28th. Christina Ciardullo and Naomi Ocko designed the space with a focus on geometry, mechanics, and materials. With a particularly specific method of installation, the collaborative studio observed the conditions of the space and calculated needs for the project based upon the presence of wind between two industrial buildings.

Weightless Pull, constructed much like a series of slender sails, creates a vertical wind field composed of plastic wrap, nylon rope, and 600 different knotting systems. The resulting movement emphasizes the scale of the location. As the architects noted, “a volume is created by the blowing out of long horizontal lengths of plastic rising from the ground to 80 feet above at the height of the surrounding buildings.”

Check out a video of Weightless Pull after the jump.

On View> Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945, an exhibition and a mystery

East
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945, International Center of Photography.

Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945
International Center for Photography
1133 Ave. of the Americas at 43rd St.
Through August 28

An abandoned suitcase, a house fire, strange markings on old photographs. These were the key clues in a mystery that Adam Harrison Levy began to unravel almost ten years ago when researching a BBC documentary about the bombing of Hiroshima. Levy’s intriguing narrative now serves as the backdrop for the black-and-white photographs in Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945, an exhibit running through August 28 at the International Center for Photography in New York. On July 20 at the Van Alen bookshop, Levy read from his essay in the exhibition catalogue while ICP curator Erin Barnett discussed her research for the show of 60 photographs, all drawn from an ICP collection of almost 700 images that once belonged to Robert L. Corsbie.

Continue reading after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Music Under Foot, Village Underwater, Carmageddon On Bike, & Destruction Online

Daily Clicks
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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The Chimecco Bridge (via Gizmodo)

Chimes Bridged. It seems there’s something to making music while we walk. First a Swedish architect designed piano stairs and now an artist has created a musical bridge. Blending the sculptural, auditory, and kinetic, artist Mark Nixon designed a whimsical bridge that “sings.” Chimes hidden below the span are activated as visitors walk across, Gizmodo says. The musical creation was last displayed at Sculpture by the Sea, an exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark.

Village Uncovered. Villa Epecuen, a town located on Lake Epecuen, southwest of Buenos Aires, was flooded in 1985, but now after more than two decades, the water is receding. Photographs by The Atlantic uncover a strange, haunting landscape: aerial views expose the original street layout of the town, while others reveal original trees and cars visible amid the rubble.

Carmageddon Averted. For two days last weekend, the busiest stretch of highway in America—the 405 Freeway in LA—was shut down for construction. While many feared disastrous traffic jams bringing life in LA to a halt, it turns out that life went on without incident, according to the LA Times. During the traffic-non-event, JetBlue offered to fly residents between two of the city’s airports in Burbank and Long Beach, sparking a challenge from cyclists who said they could make the trip faster. As reported in Slate, it turns out the bikes were right, making the trip nearly an hour-and-a-half faster than by plane.

Destruction Archived. Information Aesthetics points us to the “Hiroshima Archive” which documents the extensive societal and structural devastation the atomic bomb caused 66 years ago. Using Google Earth’s virtual globe, the digital archive exhibits topographical maps, contemporary building models, photographs, and personal accounts from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Jogakuin Gaines Association, and the Hachioji Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) Association.

Competition> Envision a Future for the Pruitt-Igoe Site

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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Pruitt-Igoe as planned. (all images courtesy Pruitt-Igoe Now)

Building on the renewed interest in the destruction of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis, a new competition looks to engage the history and inspire possible future uses for the 33 acre site. Nearly 40 years after the demolition–which Charles Jencks claimed signaled the death of Modern architecture itself–most of the site remains cleared, filled in with trees and grasses that have sprung up over time. Organized by the newly formed non-profit Pruitt-Igoe Now, the competition brief asks, “Can this site itself be liberated from a turbulent and mythologized past through re-imagination and community engagement?” Read More

Quick Clicks> Airy Museum, Printed Organs, Supermarket Scents, & Going Oil Free

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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Aerial view of the Teshima Art Museum, lower left. (ArchDaily)

Open to the Elements. A recent collaboration between architect Ryue Nishizawa and artist Rei Naito produced an elegantly curved open-air art museum. Located in Takamatsu, Japan, the Teshima Art Museum is built from concrete and gently mirrors the hilly topography it sits upon. More info at ArchDaily.

Printed Organs. Three-dimensional printing sure is popular. We recently spotlighted the use of printing technology to create chocolates and solar cells, and now, 3D printing is crossing into the realm of medicine. The Wall Street Journal highlights technology that may soon enable printing of self-derived organs—think kidneys. While medical researchers have successfully “grown” organs through 3D printing, they are only structural and not yet functional, but scientists believe a breakthrough is nigh.

Olfactory Aisles. In a strange effort to boost sales, Brooklyn supermarket chain, NetCost Market, is now infusing its store aisles with food scents, such as strawberry in the fruit section and smoky bacon in the meat section, according to PSFK. While scenting clothing stores and movie theaters has been commonplace for a little while now, NetCost’s “food perfume” is taking olfactory branding to the next level.

Transport without Oil. The upcoming issue of Colors, a magazine published by clothing retailer, United Colors of Benetton, will center on transportation in a future without oil. Opening up submissions to the public, the Benetton website Colors Lab invited web users to upload artwork, photography, designs, and stories, envisioning new possibilities for transportation.

Eureka! California Redevelopment Agencies Sue To Save Selves

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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Eureka is right!

As we recently predicted, the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities yesterday filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court over the recent passage of bills to eliminate, or at least “ransom” its more than 400 redevelopment agencies. AB 1X 26 eliminates redevelopment agencies while AB 1X 27 allows agencies to exist if they agree to pay their share of $1.7 billion this year and $400 million annually.  Read More

Video> Bright Lights, Big Bus Terminal…Unveiled!

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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The Port Authority's MediaMesh billboard is up and running. (Courtesy GKD-USA)

As AN reported back in early May, the Port Authority Bus Terminal was set to get a Bright Light makeover. Well, the Authority flicked on the switch of its GKD MediaMesh display this month, and as an enticement to advertisers A2a MEDIA, an advertising agency specializing in digital displays, created a promotional video using some of their established clients’ advertising.  It’s a snazzy little number that doesn’t necessarily interest us for its ad content, but rather for the intriguing alternating opacity and transparency of the screen. (There are some pretty cool moments in the video below where the giant Xs of the Port Authority facade shows through the lights.) While the advertising applications are obvious, there’s definitely some untapped potential for public art/architecture, as we saw at play in California State University’s Madden Library.

Video after the jump.

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Helsinki Park By Robert Wilson To Pay Tribute to Tapio Wirkkala

International
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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The planned park designed by Robert Wilson (courtesy The Art Newspaper)

The famed stage designer Robert Wilson is trying his hand at park design with a new commission in Helsinki dedicated to the memory of the designer Tapio Wirkkala, according to The Art Newspaper. The rectangular park–a garden, really–will be divided into nine rooms, each symbolizing different domestic spaces. One outdoor room, for example, will feature a small fireplace surrounded by stone seating.  Read More

Quick Clicks> Ando’s Silence, Solar-Jet Printing, Attn:Birds, & Post Post

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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SILENCE BY TADAO ANDO (COURTESY DEZEEN)

SILENCE BY TADAO ANDO (COURTESY DEZEEN)

Ando’s Silence. According to Dezeen, UK developer Grosvenor has partnered with the Westminster City Council on a project to open public space in Mayfair, London. The project aims to reduce unnecessary visual elements like signage and expand pedestrian areas. Architect Tadao Ando collaborated with firm Blair Associates to design Silence, an installation that intermittently produces fiber-optically illuminated vapor rising from the bases of trees.

Power Plant Printer. MIT News has revealed an exciting new technology: printable solar cells. According to MIT: “The basic process is essentially the same as the one used to make the silvery lining in your bag of potato chips: a vapor-deposition process that can be carried out inexpensively on a vast commercial scale.” So, not quite as easy as, say, printing out a power station on your inkjet, but still able to revolutionize the future of solar installations.

Building for Birds. The City of San Francisco is making an example of a new California Academy of Science building. It’s design for the birds. The San Francisco Chronicle notes the building’s innovative fabric screen deterring bird-on-building collisions could be applied to other structures in the city. “Bird-safe design” is a growing part of the conversation, but the question remains: will altering the transparency of urban glass structures detract from the design intent?

Déjà vu Design. Does that new building look strangely familiar? A new website called Post Post bills itself as the “comparative architecture index.” By juxtaposing projects of similar design languages or forms, the site hopes to “to illuminate the interwoven and complex relationships of congruous trajectories within contemporary architectural practice.” Have a look!

New Practices Sao Paolo

East
Monday, July 18, 2011
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An interior view of PAX.ARQ model for an adaptable gallery in London, 2008.

Though a bit more sedate then the previous night’s party, where copious amounts of caipirinhas were consumed, the New Practices Sao Paolo panel discussion on July 15 was not without its own fireworks. Toshiko Mori and José Armenio de Brito Cruz  moderated the panel which was preceded by presentations from the ten winners. A strictly enforced ten-minute time limit made presentations feel like the Oscars when the orchestra music begins to swell. Though each presenter struck an distinct note, one could pick up on a few common threads.  I certainly wouldn’t call it anti-green, but a few presenters markedly pointed out that there are other immediate matters in Brazil that compete with sustainability. “We didn’t want to create a green building,” said Triptyques’ Carolina Bueno, when describing her building, which, oddly enough, included “pores” in the facade for plants to grow. More to the point, Arkiz’s Rafael Brych  questioned whether “green demagogical discourse” shaping the architectural discourse fully represented what was needed in Brazil.

Read More

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