Quick Clicks> Winded, Juiced, Stripped, TOD-IMBY

Daily Clicks
Monday, February 7, 2011
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Rendering of an Italian viaduct with wind turbines (Via Popular Science)

Rendering of an Italian viaduct with wind turbines (Via Popular Science)

Winded. Popular Science has the story of a bridge concept in Italy called Solar Wind featuring an array of wind turbines capable of generating 40 million kilowatt hours annually. If that weren’t enough, the proposal also incorporates a solar roadway for an added green boost.

Juiced. The Times of Trenton reports that Princeton University is converting 27 acres in West Windsor, New Jersey into a field 16,500 photovoltaic panels able to generate 8 million kilo-watt hours of clean, green energy every year. The project will begin in 2012 and is expected to generate 5.5% of electricity for the university.

Stripped. Citiwire considers the downfall of the suburban commercial strip and it doesn’t look good for sprawl. As shopping trends evolve and consumer taste retreats from the generic strip landscape, hybrid shopping centers resembling main streets could be the future.

TOD or not TOD. Residents of an award-winning transit-oriented development in Maryland featuring a wide median where a light rail line was planned have turned their backs to their neighborhoods original lofty goals. StreetsBlog sums up the latest high-profile case of NIMBY-ism.

Unveiled> BIG News From Hell′s Kitchen

East
Monday, February 7, 2011
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BIG's 57th Street Tower (BIG via New York Magazine)

BIG's 57th Street Tower (BIG via New York Magazine)

Surf-and-turf sure is delicious! We’ve been eagerly awaiting news from Bjarke Ingels’ New York debut on 57th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, and today, the Durst Organization, project developer, has released new details of New York’s mountain-to-be. New York magazine got the exclusive, this weekend revealing a new rendering of the 450-foot-tall apartment tower poised to redefine the architecture of the stodgy box.

More after the jump.

Hyatt Takes It Higher in Union Square

East
Friday, February 4, 2011
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The new hotel at the corner of 13th Street and 4th Ave will be run by Hyatt.

Gene Kaufman is putting the finishing touches on designs for the new Hyatt Hotel intended for the southwest corner of 13th Street and Fourth Avenue. Though its interior will be gutted, a century old limestone face will remain to sheath a two-story atrium/lobby. Just behind the facade the building sets back to form a large terrace holding a hydroponic bamboo garden, then continues to climb another eleven stories.

But what does Kaufman and the neighborhood say about preservation?

Extreme Makeover Paul Williams Edition

West
Friday, February 4, 2011
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Photo by Sam Lubell

Yesterday we got a sneak peak at the Paul Williams Showcase House in La Canada Flintridge, which 25 (yes 25) designers are working to completely restore and open for tours from April 17 to May 15.

Read more after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Cycle, East, Out, Opposites

Daily Clicks
Friday, February 4, 2011
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Solar Cycle. The Dutch dream up a ways to capture latent energy beneath bike tires.

Go East Young Man. With the economy in the States still somewhat sour, the good news for West Coast firms is in the East, the Far East, writes AOL’s Daily Finance.  AIA’s Scott Frank spills the goods for Danny King.

Walled Out. It was hard to miss the spirited crowd on Chambers Street yesterday as three City Council committees held a joint hearing on Wal-Mart’s proposed move into New York  held. Wal-Mart was a no show. The line to get in stretched down the block. And Council Speaker Quinn blasted away. Today’s Daily News editorial found the whole drama, well, dramatic.

Polar Opposites. Ben Thompson and Paul Rudolph were cut from the same Modernist cloth, under the influence of Gropius, but the two took different paths. One was from the north the other from the south, one standoffish, the other a team player. One a sculpture, the other an entertainer. In Architecture Boston, David N. Fixler explores how their forms function.

Competing Visions for Chicago, Big and Small

Midwest
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Two new competitions of note explore possible futures for Chicago‘s public realm. The 2011 Burnham Prize ideas competition sponsored by AIA Chicago and the Chicago Architectural Club calls for new visions for the McCormick Place East building, the 1971 modernist covention center on the lakefront designed by Gene Summers of C.F. Murphy Associates.

The massive, Miesian building has a powerful presence on the lakefront, and a vast column-free interior, but parks advocates have long contended it should be removed. Meanwhile, the building’s owner, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, says it needs $150 million in repairs and is functionally obsolete.

The competition aims to inspire new dialogue around the future of the building and site. The Street Furniture 2011 competition sponsored by Architecture for Humanity‘s Chicago chapter aims for something more universal, new street furniture that could be deployed to activate almost any vacant site.

More info after the jump.

Partying for the World Architectural Festival

East, East Coast
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Paul Finch welcomes the New York crowd to the launch of World Architecture Festival 2011

The 2011 World Architecture Festival was in town beating the drum for their international competition at the Van Alen Institute last night. Paul Finch, the festival’s program director, was joined by AN Editor-in-Chief William Menking and Van Alen Chair Abbey Hamlin in hosting the star-studded event.

The frigid weather did not deter a distinguished crowd—white maned Richard Meier, red scarved Bernard Tschumi, man of the hour Thomas Leeser, Parks Commish Adrian Benepe—from celebrating what promises to be a hot ticket this November in Barcelona. With his English lilt Finch thanked the crowd for coming and promised his remarks would steer clear of Ricky Gervais territory.

He briefly outlined some of the goals for this year’s program, which included a bigger tent to incorporate interior architecture as well. While no hat was passed, Finch did say that the organization would be happy to take donations in any denomination. Jan Berman of MechoShade promptly offered to make a donation in lira.

Check out a gallery of the festivities after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Distorted, Glaeser, Cincy, Gowanus

Daily Clicks
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Kyung Woo Han's distorted-room installation, Calibration II (Via Today and Tomorrow)

Kyung Woo Han's distorted-room installation, Calibration II (Via Today and Tomorrow)

Distorted. In a nod to fun-house architecture, artist Kyung Woo Han created a physically-distorted room that’s made to look normal through a fish-eye camera lens. Today and Tomorrow has more photos.

Cities Rule. Economist Ed Glaesar talks with Grist‘s Sarah Goodyear about why cities rule the fate of humanity. He has a new book out called Triumph of the City in which he calls for, among other things, rethinking policies like highway subsidies and the mortgage tax credit.

Districted. Cincinnati is currently rebranding itself, and UrbanCincy suggests the city focus on an emerging core of design called the 8th Street Design District, home to 336 creative professionals including architects and designers.

Superfunded. Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to take a dip in the Gowanus Canal, but just how dirty is the Brooklyn waterway and Superfund site? A new EPA report lets us know and the Brooklyn Paper has the details. In short, its still going to be contaminated, even after the cleanup.

Woods Bagot′s Hong Kong Tower on the Rocks

International
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Cubus building by Woods Bagot in Hong Kong (Courtesy Woods Bagot)

Cubus building by Woods Bagot in Hong Kong (Courtesy Woods Bagot)

Australian architecture firm Woods Bagot has completed a new tower in Hong Kong inspired by an ice cube.  The aptly named Cubus Tower utilizes angular glass shards and a bright lighting scheme at night to help differentiate itself from the city’s dense collection of high-rises.

Read more after the jump.

Pictorial> Modern Airport in an Ancient Town

International
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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A new airport by J. Mayer H. in Mestia (Courtesy J. Mayer H. Architects)

A new airport by J. Mayer H. in Mestia (Courtesy J. Mayer H. Architects)

A small, twisting airport in Mestia, a medieval town in the Democratic Republic of Georgia manages to capture the essence of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s ancient stone defensive towers while still standing on its own as a skyward-reaching modern structure.

More after the jump.

Books, Beautiful Books

Other
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Here’s a bandwagon worth jumping on: designers and books. The new website launched yesterday and is dedicated to sharing the reading lists and the commentaries of book-loving architects and designers from all over. Starting with 50 well-known designers naming their favorite books. (Example: High Rise by J.G. Ballard. Why? “I do have a tooth for dystopia and this is a coolly familiar one,” writes Michael Sorkin), it makes for compulsive skimming, and not a little inspiration.  Guess how many architects are Lolita fans?

The site will be updated constantly. Right now, the list is already 677 strong. Additional features include five invited commentators—one each for architecture, product design, fashion, graphics, interior design—describing their must-reads for those in the field. Commentary is encouraged at every turn.  And future pages will establish connections with not only readers but bookstores, too.

A paean to books in print, designerandbooks.com is also an education in what makes the mind of the architect tick.

Filed Under: 

World Trade Weekly: Lunch Break Edition

East, East Coast
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update. ]

Lunchtime at the World Trade Center site is a colorful sight even on an overcast and foggy day. Hundreds of construction workers in bright yellow and orange safety vests pour into neighborhood delis and pizza joints, but most crowd into the tiny local gourmet food store, the Amish Market. There, burly gents in hard hats hum to the Nat King Cole soundtrack while choosing prosciutto over pastrami. Make no mistake, these guys know food.

Back at the site, just two bays of the Deutsche Bank remain to tear down, a row of windows appeared on the northwest corner of One World Trade, and the steel mullions for a glass curtain wall began to wrap their way around Snøhetta‘s Museum Pavilion.

A photo tour of the construction site just after the jump.

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