Rudolph’s New York Home Passes Landmark Test

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

The latest Upper East Side landmark isn’t another of its signature rowhouses, but rather what’s atop one of those brownstones.  Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved landmark status for mid-century architect Paul Rudolph‘s less-than-context-sensitive home at 23 Beekman Place.

And that’s great news for New York’s modern architectural heritage. Read More.

Is Your Commute Really as Bad as All That?

National
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Photo by Richard Masoner/www.cyclelicio.us

It might not be, according to Driven Apart, a new report from CEOs for Cities. Apparently, the Urban Mobility Report– the nation’s popular source for data about commuting–is “riddled with conceptual problems, data limitations, and methodological errors that render its city-to-city congestion rankings almost meaningless.” And it’s also biased against more compact cities whose residents have shorter commuting distances. Read More

A Sculpture By Any Other Name. . .

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Isa Genzken's installation at New Museum. (Photo: Kubota Photography/New Museum)

Haters of kitsch rejoice!  No longer will visitors to the New Museum be greeted by Ugo Rondinone’s glowing, rainbow affirmation.  Hell, Yes! has been replaced as part of the museum’s ongoing Façade Sculpture Program.  In its place, Rose II, a far subtler work by German artist Isa Genzken.  Growing from the first tier of SANAA’s ethereal Bowery building, the sculpture, a 28-foot tall rose, was created in 1993 and reprised in 2007. Read More

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MEKA Goes Modular with West Village Eco-Home

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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The modular unit as seen from Charles and Washington Streets in Greenwich Village. (Tom Stoelker)

On the corner of Washington and Charles streets in Greenwich Village, a modular home has been plopped down in a vacant parking lot. It may seem an unlikely sight—or site for that matter—but what distinguishes this home from most of its tony neighbors is its eye-catching price tag: $35,000. Read More

Norman Foster Tower at CityCenter Might Be.. Imploded??

West
Monday, November 15, 2010
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The Harmon's web site remains hopeful...

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal and Engineering News Record officials at MGM Resorts want to demolish Foster & Partners’ unopened 27-story Harmon Hotel, a major part of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development. The building was originally designed as a 47-story tower, but major construction errors and subsequent time and money issues led to its drastic reduction in size. Lawsuits will prevent anything from happening to the building until at least 2012, says MGM. “Right now, I have a building I can’t do anything with,” CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin told the LVRJ, adding that Harmon has become “the poster child for nonconforming work worldwide.” For the record the Harmon’s web site still says “Coming Soon.” In its recent third-quarter earnings statement, MGM Resorts said it took a $279 million write down for the Harmon and concluded “it is unlikely the Harmon will be completed using the building as it now stands. “Baldwin concludes: “It was one of the most beautifully designed buildings ever, and it’s sitting static for over two years… The most sophisticated of all the architects (Foster) ended up being involved in a building that was our biggest disappointment.” Read More

International Code Council Calls For 30% More Efficient Buildings

Other
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Thermal heat loss graphic shows a building's energy inefficiency.

While the country has been obsessed mid-term elections, local and state building code officials passed another less conspicuous but equally important vote that will reportedly result in 30 percent more efficient buildings than those built to current standards.  During the International Code Council’s (ICC) final action hearings held in Charlotte, North Carolina last month, building officials supported revisions to the commercial section of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), one of the model building codes published by the ICC that establish minimum energy efficiency standards for new construction of residential and commercial buildings.

Read More

Video: Chinese Hotel Climbs Fifteen Stories in Six Days

International
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Chinese hotel built in just six days (DifferentEnergy Video)

Chinese hotel built in just six days (DifferentEnergy Video)

Would you stay in a 15-story structure built in six days?  Through the magic of prefabrication, one new hotel in Changsha, China was built erector-set-style at just such a fantastic pace and recorded through time-lapse photography. The better term might be constructed in six days, however, as the building’s foundation and the factory-made pieces were already finished at the beginning of this architectural ballet, but the feat proves rather amazing nonetheless.

While you might have never heard of Changsha, China, home to the new Ark Hotel, the country’s 19th largest city mirrors the building’s rapid growth.  Changsha tripled in size between the 1940s and 1980s and today contains an estimated population of 6.6 million.

While such a quickly constructed building might seem prone to shoddy construction, the Ark Hotel is reportedly built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake, meaning a quake over 1,000 times more powerful than January’s quake in Haiti.  Call us skeptical, but we’d opt to be out of the building when disaster strikes.

Prefabrication, architecture’s “oldest new idea,” can have its green benefits. The Ark Hotel is thermally insulated and boasts only one percent construction waste. [ Via Gizmodo. ]

Watch the construction footage after the jump.

Have Your Say On the Future of the BQE Monday Evening

East, East Coast
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Final BQE Community Meeting This Evening, Monday, November 15

Final BQE Community Meeting This Evening, Monday, November 15

It’s not too late to join community leaders from the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods along with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to discuss the future of the Bronx-Queens Expressway.  The third and final BQE Community Design Workshop takes place this evening and will cover refined designed proposals aimed to reconnect areas surrounding the urban expressway.
More information after the jump.

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Dancing in LA City Hall (for once)

West
Friday, November 12, 2010
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Tomorrow LA City Hall—usually the scene of budget battles and slow, somber legislating—will host two uplifting performances by Collage Dance Theater, a group that specializes in making the most of  architectural settings. The company, started in 1987, has performed in laundromats (yes, dancers did fit inside of dryers), a jail, vacant lots, art galleries, an ice rink, architects’ homes, a courtroom, a church, a locker room, the former Ambassador Hotel, and many more locales. The show, called “Governing Bodies,” will, according to founder Heidi Duckler, take advantage of the 1928 Art Deco building’s beautiful interiors: from its grand rotunda to its echoing, narrow hallways to its cold, bureaucratic council chambers; not to mention allowing dancers to break out and quickly contort in otherwise buttoned-up government attire. Could be a lesson for the real bureaucrats, no?

Architecture Publishers Restructure In Soft Economy UPDATED

National
Friday, November 12, 2010
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While signs of economic recovery are beginning to show for architects, design publishers continue to struggle to adjust to the changing media landscape and the soft economy. The parent companies of The Architect’s Newspaper‘s two major competitors, Architectural Record‘s McGraw-Hill and Architect‘s Hanley Wood, both announced major restructurings this week. According to Folio,  McGraw-Hill is folding New York Construction, Midwest Construction, and its other regional titles into Engineering News-Record and turning ENR into a regional publication while eliminating up to 2,000 jobs across the company. At Record, this also meant letting go of some senior editorial staff, AN learned yesterday. Meanwhile, Hanley Wood’s president, Peter Goldstone, has been let go and his position has been eliminated, Folio also reported.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for McGraw-Hill wrote to dispute that the company is eliminating 2,000 jobs. While she declined to give a number, she said that the 2,000 figure is, “completely inaccurate.” She also clarified that ENR will “continue to be a national publication, but now it also has regional supplements.”

Gehry Gets Frank With Pratt Students

East
Thursday, November 11, 2010
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Julie V. Iovine with an introspective Gehry. (Photo: Jennifer K. Gorsche)

Famed architect Frank Gehry enthralled a packed auditorium of students and community members at Pratt Institute yesterday afteroon. Speaking with The Architect’s Newspaper’s own executive editor Julie V. Iovine and Yael Reisner, author of Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship, Gehry reminded the budding architects in the audience that his job involves more than just sitting around and creating curvy buildings from crumpled paper–it’s about delivering a finished product to a client, albeit a unique one.

Read More

Exclusive: Art Center Renovation Shortlist

West
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
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A historic image of Ellwood's masterpiece for Art Center

AN has managed to get its hands on the shortlist for Art Center College’s renovation of its iconic Craig Ellwood building in the hills of Pasadena. Completed in 1976, the dark structure, with its expressive exposed steel frame and amazing glass and steel bridges, is one of our favorites in California, but certainly needs a facelift. According to the RFQ the renovation includes reshaping and expanding the academic building, updating it seismically, installing new sustainable energy systems, and improving its roof and glazing systems. The four finalists are…. drumroll please… Michael Maltzan Architecture, Behnisch Architekten (LA office), Barton Myers Associates, and Krueck + Sexton. That’s three local firms and a Chicago firm, Krueck + Sexton, that renovated a similar project: Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall at IIT. The winner, according to competition organizer David Meckel, will be announced early next year. Make sure to take a look at these amazing historic images of the building (including campus construction shots) below, from the Art Center exhibition Hillside Campus. Read More

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