Kanner Architects′ Impressive Before and After

West
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Rec Center before...

Last week we checked out the opening of the new Lafayette Park Recreation Center, right outside of Downtown LA. Designed by Kanner Architects, the 15,000 square foot, $9.8 million complex represents a complete about-face from what was once a decrepit senior center with a drug and weed infested park.

It includes the airy renovation of 60′s architect Graham Latta’s whimsically modern 1962 senior center (with its barrel arched concrete canopies), a light-infused new gym (thanks to a large double-layered glass curtain wall—why don’t most gyms have those?), and new fields and picnic tables.

Check out the transformation after the jump.

Revealing A City′s Hidden Digital Landscapes

International
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Ever hit a WiFi dead spot when moving about the city? A new visualization project called Immaterials: Light painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen reveals the hidden landscape of digital signals though long-exposure photography and a stick equiped with a WiFi sensor and LED lights. Here’s more from YOUrban.no:

The city is filled with an invisible landscape of networks that is becoming an interwoven part of daily life. WiFi networks and increasingly sophisticated mobile phones are starting to influence how urban environments are experienced and understood. We want to explore and reveal what the immaterial terrain of WiFi looks like and how it relates to the city.

Looks like this project could feel right at home with the upcoming MoMA exhibition, Talk to Me, exploring the feedback of our environments. (Via information aesthetics.)

Watch a video of the project after the jump.

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Space Available on the High Line

East
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Space Available by Kim Beck, 2008 (Courtesy High Line)

Space Available by Kim Beck, 2008 (Courtesy High Line)

This Friday, three massive billboards will debut along the High Line, but instead of blasting consumerism, the art installation by Kim Beck hopes to provoke visitors to think of public space. From the High Line: “Kim’s work will encourage park visitors to reconsider the water towers, exhaust pipes, HVAC systems, roof decks, green roofs, and other building elements that are integral components of the cityscape views along the High Line.”

Called Space Available, Beck will install three “skeletal” blank billboards. Experiencing the signs from different angles can provide the illusion of three dimensionality, when in fact each sign is really flat.

Watch Kim Beck explain the artwork after the jump.

Video> Pick Up The Pace, New York

East
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Still from Josh Owens' NYC - Mindrelic Timelapse

Still from Josh Owens’ NYC – Mindrelic Timelapse

If you thought the pace of life in Manhattan couldn’t get any more hectic, think again. Photographer Josh Owens has compiled a stunning collection of time lapse scenes from around New York. Despite its fast pace, there’s something distinctly calming about the hustle.  (Via swissmiss.)

Watch the video after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Legos, Towers, Loop, Rich Zip

Daily Clicks
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Towering Ambition at the National Building Museum (Courtesy Andrew Bossi/flickr)

Towering Ambition at the National Building Museum (Courtesy Andrew Bossi/flickr)

Towering Ambition. An amazing exhibition that recreates some of the world’s most iconic buildings in miniature is ongoing at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C through September 5th. Design Quarterly has more info on the Lego structures by Adam Reed Tucker (via Notcot) and the NBM has an interview. (There’s also a lecture on architectural toys planned this Thursday.)

Read More

Quick Clicks> Glass, Steel, Foam, Reel

Daily Clicks
Friday, February 25, 2011
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The living area of the 1928 Maison de Verre in Paris, with its modular shelving and ivory rubberized floor. (Courtesy WSJ Magazine. Photo: Todd Eberle.)

Glass wear. Alistair Gordon visits the entrancingly translucent Maison de Verre in Paris, Pierre Chareau‘s 1928 house of glass blocks, and speaks with current owner Robert M. Rubin about his ongoing restoration of the early modernist icon. Here’s a preview of Gordon’s feature that will appear in the next WSJ Magazine.

Steely resolve. The Calatrava-designed PATH hub for the World Trade Center is now over budget to the tune of $180 million, reports DNA. The stratospheric overrun is due in large part to the decision to use extra steel to “harden” the building for security reasons. The Port Authority Board passed the revised budget on Thursday morning, promising to bankroll the extra costs with a contingency fund.

Featuring…foamcore! San Francisco’s Museum of Craft commandeers a space near the Moscone Center for a pop-up installation that presents architectural model-making as a form of craft. The show offers a glimpse into the process of 20 notable SF-area architecture firms, writes the San Francisco Chronicle.

Awards go immaterial. Producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer talk to the Hollywood Reporter about the set design for this year’s Oscars (airing this Sunday), revealing that they’ll rely on projections to create a constantly changing, animated environment within the Kodak Theater. Architect David Rockwell, who designed the sets in 2009 and 2010 (and snagged an Emmy in the process), this year passed the torch to production designer Steve Bass.

Antonelli Talks To Me: Upcoming Design Show at MoMA

East
Friday, February 25, 2011
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WiFi Divining Rod by Designer Michael Thompson

Senior curator in MoMA’s department of architecture and design, Paola Antonelli is also a verb. She said so herself in describing her approach to curating, in general, and particularly preparing for her upcoming summer show, Talk to Me, opening on July 24. Read More

Irving Convention Center Facade: RMJM with Zahner

Fabrikator
Friday, February 25, 2011
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The facade will develop a patina over time (Courtesy Zahner)

A new convention center in Texas is wrapped in a skin of delicate copper circles that appear to float in midair.

Located halfway between sister cities Dallas and Fort Worth, the Las Colinas master-planned community is an ideal place for the newly opened Irving Convention Center. It is also a natural setting for the copper facade that architect RMJM Hillier designed for the 275,000-square-foot, $133 million project. Fabricated by architectural metal and glass innovator A. Zahner Company, its angular walls rise from the ground like a sun-baked geological formation.

Read more after the jump.

World Trade Update: Community Blasts Bus Plan

East
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer pulled together a stellar panel of World Trade movers and shakers to update the community Wednesday night, but the crowd wasn’t impressed. Chris Ward, executive director of the the Port Authority, was joined at the podium by LMDC Chair Avi Schick, DOT Lower Manhattan Commissioner Louis Sanchez, Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger, president and CEO of the memorial Joe Daniels, State Senator Dan Squadron and Congressman Jerry Nadler. Silverstein Properties’ Malcolm Williams breezed through a PowerPoint update detailing progress of the four towers at the site. Ward’s presentation showed the robust ribs of the Calatrava structure from underneath the plaza. But Sanchez’s presentation outlining plans for the accommodating tour buses took on the most scrutiny.

Read More

Quick Clicks> Scanning, Aedas, Retro, Epic Growth

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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Mayor Bloomberg demonstrates how to scan QR codes on building permits. Photo: Edward Reed/flickr.

Vox populi. Complaining just got easier for neighborhood watchdogs in NYC. This week Mayor Bloomberg announced that building permits posted at construction sites will soon have QR (Quick Response) codes that can be scanned by smart phones. A wave of the wrist will bring up all the particulars of the construction site online and allow passers-by to report anything amiss or just find out more about project. More details about digitization of the buildings department on the mayor’s website.

Gardens grows. The Architect’s Journal reports that Aedas, Glenn Howells, and Jestico + Whiles have been selected to design the replacement for Robin Hood Gardens housing complex in east London. The plan for the £500 million development includes the demolition of the early 1970s buildings designed by Alison and Peter Smithson.

Midlife crisis. Owners of mid-century modern homes in Massachusetts are retrofitting aging residences designed by TAC and other firms, equipping them for the future and saving them from the wrecking ball in the process, writes Kathleen Burge in the Boston Globe.

Before and after, epic version. Web Urbanist presents the rise of the modern metropolis through a series of eye-popping images. (Shenzen, China wins for most dramatic transformation, while New York 1954 and New York 2009 look eerily similar.)

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.

Read More

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

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