Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Respond to DS+R Plan to Tear Down Folk Art Building at MoMA

Architecture, East, Preservation
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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Conceptual sketch of DS+R's plans for MoMA. (Courtesy DS+R)

Conceptual sketch of DS+R’s plans for MoMA. (Courtesy DS+R)

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro announced today that their reorganization of the Museum of Modern Art will include the replacement of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s former American Folk Art Museum at 45 West 53rd street. Liz Diller said in her briefing that DS+R hoped to save the Folk Art building and repurpose it into a usable exhibit space or a connecting bridge between the new Jean Nouvel tower (which will have three floors of MoMA galleries) and the older parts of MoMA. However, “saving” the structure with its misaligned floors (to MOMA existing galleries) would mean compromising the integrity of the Williams Tsien structure.

One can imagine the logic of DS+R’s decision, but Williams and Tsien are, like any architects, sad to see the demise of their 2001 building that Herbert Muschamp said “transcend(s) cultural categories even as it helps define them.”

Read Williams and Tsien’s statement after the jump.

Silent Light Installation Illuminated Sound Pollution in Brooklyn

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Silent Lights at Night (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

First proposed in 2011, Brooklyn’s Silent Light installation has finally become a reality.  Located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Navy Street under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) in Red Hook, the series of gates frames a pedestrian walkway that passes through an area of heavy vehicular traffic. The structures are covered in LED lights activated by surrounding noise from cars to create fleeting light shows of various colors and patterns.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bikers Go Airborne: Foster + Partners’ SkyCycle Would Wind Through London

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SkyCycle (Foster + Partners)

Foster + Partners have collaborated with London landscape architecture firm Exterior Architecture and urban planners Space Syntax in developing a proposal for an extensive system of elevated-bike paths in London.

The project entails the construction of over 130 miles of pathways along routes that parallel those of an existing system of rail lines that already weaves in and around the city. Suspended above the train tracks, cyclists would access SkyCycle through the over 200 hydraulic platforms and ramps that would act as entry points.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sunday> Special Screening of “The Human Scale” Announced

Design, East
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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This Sunday the Tribeca Grand Hotel will be hosting a screening of Andreas Dalsgaard’s documentary, The Human Scale.  Sponsored by the Tribeca Trust, the film will be followed by commentary from architectural critic and author Michael Sorkin. The movie examines human happiness within the context of urban life and was screened in New York last year as part of the Architecture and Design Film Festival.  Tickets for the event can be purchased here with all proceeds benefiting Tribeca Trust’s public space initiative.

 

LEGO Adds Eiffel To Its Architecture Series Roster.  LEGO Adds Eiffel To Its Architecture Series Roster The Eiffel Tower is the latest piece of iconic architecture now easily replicated in miniature. Gustave Eiffel’s creation joins The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Big Ben as famous European towers incorporated into LEGO‘s Architecture series. This is not the Danish company’s first crack at the building. They also offer a 1:300 scale model of the tower requiring 3,248 pieces to reach a finished height of 3 1/2 feet.  The giant size of the toy is matched by that of its price tag, which towers over over the $34.99 being charged for their newest version of the Parisian landmark.

 

Brooklyn Hotel Bossert Conversion Shuffles Architects, Takes Step Forward

Development, East, Preservation
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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(Courtesy Reading Tom/Flickr)

After several false-starts, plans to re-open the landmark building as a hotel appear to be underway. Jeffrey Holmes of Australian Architecture firm Woods Bagot is the latest figure attached to the project. Developers David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group purchased the Brooklyn property for $81 million from Watchtower Society in November 2012 but progress subsequently stalled.

Selldorf Architects and Gene Kaufman have both at times been tipped to lead the rennovation, but neither is currently affiliated with the project.  While initial prospects looked grim, the city has recently approved plans to change the building’s certificate of occupancy, allowing for construction to begin with an eye towards a summer re-opening, a year later than expected.

LSU’s Building Design Renaissance

Architecture, Envelope, Southwest
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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Viracon manufactured a custom double-pane insulated glass unit ceramic fritting and one-way mirroring. (Brad Feinknopf/Feinknopf)

Viracon manufactured a custom double-pane insulated glass unit ceramic fritting and one-way mirroring. (Brad Feinknopf/Feinknopf)

ikon.5 Architects designs a reflective, fritted facade in the visual tradition of the campus’ original craftsmanship.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Jersey–based ikon.5 Architects had an opportunity to reinvent the image of Lousiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business. The original campus, designed in 1928 by the Olmsted Group, was planned as an Italian Renaissance village, which functioned as the economic engine of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico region for nearly 75 years. ikon.5 and local firm Coleman Partners Architects, used the circumstances of Katrina’s aftermath to give the business school a progressive image, while staying true to the University’s prescriptive aesthetic guidelines.

Maintaining the classical layout of the main square—head houses at either end with smaller classrooms lining an expanse of lawn—the design committee made several concessions in the 2012 update. In the past, guidelines dictated that all buildings feature the original craftsmen’s stucco formula, which was made from crushed white pebbles and seashells. But for the 21st century, LSU’s Design Committee decided that updating materiality would be a forward-thinking representation of the school’s influence and thus approved a new glass skin for the business school’s graduate and undergraduate classroom buildings. Read More

Designer Pleads No Contest To Manslaughter In Los Angeles

West
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
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The home, repaired after the fire, sits in the Hollywood Hills (MLS)

The home, repaired after the fire, sits in the Hollywood Hills (MLS)

In a case being watched closely by architects, German designer Gerhard Becker last week pleaded no contest to a charge of involuntary manslaughter for his “disregard for public safety and building codes” in the construction of a Hollywood Hills mansion whose ceiling collapsed in a 2011 fire, killing one fireman.

Continue reading after the jump.

Out of Chaos, Japanese Designers Shape a Pop-Up Bar Made From Reed-Grass

Exterior view of Yoshi bar, courtesy Takeshi Asano

Exterior view of Yoshi bar, courtesy Takeshi Asano

Designer Naoya Matsumoto and her peers at Seian University of Art and Design have created a unique meeting space for students on the Japanese campus. Their creation, a pop-up bar, is created from six panels of locally-sourced reeds called Yoshi. The chaotic construction resembles a traditional gabled roof structure in abstract form. Each year, students of the design school are challenged to create objects from the Yoshi reeds which grow freely around Lake Biwa, an area close to the university campus.

Continue reading after the jump.

At SCI-Arc, the Magic is Inside the Box; Eric Owen Moss Explains Why

SCI-ARC IS PLANNING A NEW DIGITAL FABRICATION LAB KNOWN AS THE "MAGIC BOX" (SCI-ARC)

SCI-ARC IS PLANNING A NEW DIGITAL FABRICATION LAB KNOWN AS THE “MAGIC BOX” (SCI-ARC)

“Actually, the box isn’t magic, so don’t be disappointed you didn’t get ahold of Merlin the Magician,” Eric Owen Moss said at the start of a recent interview. Moss, director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), was referring to the school’s new digital fabrication lab.

Dubbed the Magic Box, the two-story, prefabricated steel structure will be constructed at the south end of the SCI-Arc building. But Moss didn’t want to focus on the laboratory itself, which was designed by several architects affiliated with SCI-Arc (including Moss’s own firm). Instead, he said, “the game is, what’s inside is magic. It’s not so much the object, but what the object contains.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Cincinnati Art Museum seeks new director; Aaron Betsky steps down

Art, Midwest, Shft+Alt+Del
Monday, January 6, 2014
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The cincinnati art museum. (Erica Minton via flickr)

The cincinnati art museum. (Erica Minton via flickr)

Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum for seven years, announced Thursday he’ll step down.

Cincinnati’s WVXU reported that the museum’s board will set up a search committee, and that Betsky will help pick his successor. Betsky, an architect, oversaw the first phase of a renovation for which he helped raise more $13 million, and increased the art museum’s endowment by 18 percent. His leadership was at times controversial, as when he oversaw an exhibit by artist Todd Pavlisko that included firing a .30-caliber rifle in the 132-year-old museum’s Schmidlapp Gallery.

Read More

Wiscombe Planning Zombie Art Museum?  Wiscombe Planning Zombie Art Museum? Hell Yeah! We hear from a little birdie that our friend Tom Wiscombe (pictured) may be designing a new museum in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to Los Angeles art. The details are still left to resolve, but we’ve been told he likens the place to a “zombie hive.” You had us at zombie, Tom. (Photo: Courtesy Tom Wiscombe Design)

 

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