Unveiled> bKL Architecture cooks up a replacement for Chicago’s Howard Johnson Motel

720 N. LaSalle (Courtesy bKL Architecture)

720 N. LaSalle (Courtesy bKL Architecture)

bKL Architecture is going as bullish as any Chicago-based firm in this start-and-stop economy, embarking on big commissions in Beijing and Toronto while committing to more and more work at home. The firm bunks with Magellan Development in ground floor offices at Aqua Tower and has partnered with the Lakeshore East progenitor on a number of buildings including two phases of the new GEMS Academy private school.

And now that kinship is extending into River North. Fresh off the drafting table is a 38-story rental tower slated for 720 North LaSalle Street (at Superior) on the present site of a Howard Johnson Inn, one of downtown Chicago’s last remaining suburban-style motels—and a relic of affordability.

Continue reading after the jump.

Min | Day Unveiling Transformable Furniture For ICFF

East, Product, West
Friday, May 9, 2014
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Min|Day Stones Collection (Min|Day)

Min|Day Stones Collection (Min|Day)

MOD, the newly-created furniture wing from San Francisco architecture firm Min | Day, will be unveiling three new pieces at ICFF next week.  By making use of the human inclinations to rearrange and reconfigure, the pieces grow through a simple geometry of addition and subtraction. All three styles utilize playfulness and improvisation to create topological terrains.  Read More

Christopher Mount to Open Architecture and Design Gallery in Los Angeles

Mies van der Rohe, New National Gallery, Berlin, 1968, photograph by Balthazar Korab. (Courtesy Estate of Balthazar Korab)

Mies van der Rohe, New National Gallery, Berlin, 1968, photograph by Balthazar Korab. (Courtesy Estate of Balthazar Korab)

Having observed the absence of architecture and design materials from the American art collection scene, curator and scholar Christopher W. Mount decided to fill the gap himself. His eponymous Los Angeles gallery, housed in the Pacific Design Center, opens to the public on Friday, May 23 with A Modern Master: Photographs by Balthazar Korab. A second gallery, open by appointment, will be located on the Upper West Side in New York. “I really thought that this was the time,” said Mount. “I thought, ‘Here is a subject matter that major museums collect, and there hasn’t been somebody who opened a gallery.’” Read More

Philly’s Divine Lorraine Hotel Coming Back to Life

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

One of Philadelphia’s most impressive old ruins might be coming back to life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a New Jersey real estate lender is providing  $31.5 million to convert the decaying Divine Lorraine hotel into luxury apartments and commercial space. This is not the first attempt to transform the Lorraine, but it just might be its best.

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Pictorial> Kara Walker Creates a Sugar Sphinx for Domino Sugar factory

The Sphinx. (Henry Melcher / AN)

The Sphinx. (Henry Melcher / AN)

Before the old Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is razed to make way for the massive SHoP-designed mixed-use complex, it has been transformed into a gallery for famed artist, Kara Walker. Inside the 30,000-square-foot space, which stills smells of molasses, she has created a 75-foot-long, 35-foot-high, sugar-coated sphinx (on view through July 6th). The work, which was created in collaboration with Creative Time, is called A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, and according to Walker’s artist statement, it is “an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Foster’s Unopened Vegas Tower Being Dismantled After Lengthy Court Battle

West
Friday, May 9, 2014
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(Greg Phelps)

Norman Foster’s doomed Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. (Greg Phelps / Flickr)

In Las Vegas, you win some and you lose some. Lining up as what must be one of the biggest busts in Sin City history, the exceptionally-botched, Foster + Partners–designed Harmon Hotel, now has a date with the wrecking ball. The stubby 27-story tower—it was originally supposed to measure 49 stories but construction problems  stunted its growth—never opened and no one ever checked in at what would surely have been a posh front desk.

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Friday> Freecell & Pulitzer Foundation turn a vacant lot in St. Louis into a parade of public programs

Conceptual rendering of Lots at the PXSTL site  Image. (Freecell Architecture via Pulitzer Foundation)

Conceptual rendering of Lots at the PXSTL site. (Freecell Architecture via Pulitzer Foundation)

Last year, a vacant lot across the street from the Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis became the site of a design competition for a temporary built-environment installation. New York’s Freecell Architecture won PXSTL’s $50,000 project budget and $10,000 honorarium for a proposal to erect an adjustable canopy for performances and gatherings—an idea Kristina Van Dyke, director of the Pulitzer Foundation, called “both monumental and ephemeral at the same time.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Is Zoltan Pali Out at the Academy Museum?

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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02b-academy-museum-losangeles-renzo-piano-archpaper02a-academy-museum-losangeles-renzo-piano-archpaper

 

In sad but spectacular gossip news, we’ve been informed that Culver City firm SPF:a has been removed from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ new museum project in Los Angeles. SPF:a principal Zoltan Pali had been working with Renzo Piano on the project since 2012.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Quotable Eli Broad Weighs in on Los Angeles

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Rendering of Eli Broad's upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Rendering of Eli Broad’s upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s concrete-veiled Los Angeles art museum and its accompanying plaza, The Broad, named for the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad who commissioned it,  continue to rise in downtown. Meanwhile, across the street, Broad’s longtime project, MOCA, struggles to find its footing. Addressing these two projects, Broad sat down with Los Angeles Magazine, giving an unusually candid interview about the state of the city, his own giving, and much more. Here are some of his most revealing quotes from a man who, this time, departed from his usual tactic of sticking to talking points.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Right On!

san-precarious-archpaper

[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted response to the article “A Manifesto from the Architecture Lobby” (Protest AN 01_01.22.2014_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com. ]

I read the article, “A Manifesto from the Architecture Lobby” and found every single word applicable to my own situation and my own firm. While we architects enjoy the perceived honor of our profession, it undermines the vocation’s viability as an occupation versus a good hobby.

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Want an Original Steven Holl On Your Wall? Drawing Center Hosting Architecture Auction

East, On View
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
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A drawing by Stan Allen is among those being auctioned for The Drawing Center.

A drawing by Stan Allen is among those being auctioned for The Drawing Center.

The Drawing Center, along with the online auction house, Paddle 8, is hosting an auction of architectural drawings in conjunction with its current exhibition, Lebbeus Woods, Architect. The auction is meant to support future exhibitions of drawings at the center, including ones on architecture and by architects.

The auction ends on May 9th, so place your bids right away. Up for bid are drawings by Thom Mayne, Michael Bell, Steven Holl, Stan Allen, WXY/Claire Weisz & Mark Yoes, Neil Denari, Eric Owen Moss, Brad Cloepfil, Michael Maltzan, Annabelle Selldorf, Pablo Castro/OBRA, and James Newton Wines. The drawings all represent important architecture projects and ideas.

Work to begin on Cincinnati’s Central Parkway bike path

Chicago's first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011—is cited as a model for Cincinnati's Central Parkway plan.  (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune)

Chicago’s first protected bike lane—photographed at Kinzie and Jefferson streets Monday, July 25, 2011 for the Chicago Tribune—is cited as a model for Cincinnati’s Central Parkway plan. (Courtesy E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune via City of Cincinnati)

Cyclists in Cincinnati will soon have a separated bike lane along Central Parkway—a major connector between neighborhoods including Downtown, the West End, and Over-the-Rhine—following a narrow City Council vote last week. Read More

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