One Billion Gallons One Drop at a Time

East, Sustainability
Friday, October 15, 2010
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(Photo by flickr user eflon used under a Creative Commons license.)

(Photo by flickr user eflon used under a Creative Commons license.)

New York City Council passed legislation Wednesday that aims to save the city one billion gallons of drinking water a year. Four bills slated to be implemented by summer 2012 will curb bottled water usage, reduce leaks, refine water efficiency standards, and ban some water-inefficient equipment.

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Flowers and Recycled Planters Transform a Step Street in the Bronx

City Terrain, East
Friday, October 15, 2010
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Dedication ceremony for the Bronx's ARTfarm.

The dedication ceremony for the Bronx’s ARTfarm brought together students from PS 73, NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, lead architect Valeria Bianco, and Bronx Museum executive director Holly Block.

A formal dedication for a creative urban intervention called ARTfarm brings flowers and greenery to a formerly barren step street in the Bronx.  Architects Valeria Bianco, Christian Gonsalves, Shagun Singh, and Justin Taylor designed and built the project  with help from Architecture for Humanity and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

More info and photos after the jump.

Stars Aligned at Serpentine

International
Thursday, October 14, 2010
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Zumthor (Photo: Gary Ebner)

Increasingly, the architects chosen each year to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London hail from a pool of the usual suspects. This past summer, it was Jean Nouvel. SANAA, and Frank Gehry ran up the mast in 2009 and 2008 respectively. The 2011 pavilion, we hear, will be by Swiss mystic architect, Peter Zumthor.

There’s certainly abiding fascination in a series of heavyweights forced to design a lightweight structure on the double-quick (about six months) but the young and restless might actually have more to explore and certainly more to gain than the big names. Then again, more than most, Zumthor has maintained his mystique as an architect. Lightweight he is not: For the 2002 Venice architecture biennale, he submitted a six ton concrete model of his Cologne museum that was too hefty to be contained in the vast Arsenale.

Lisbon's Next Up on the Triennale Trail

International
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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Talking about houses at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

There are so many architecture exhibitions today that call themselves “biennales” and “triennales” that the words have little meaning anymore. In most cases, rather than use the vernacular local word for an every two- or three-year exhibition (say, biannual) they use the Italian word, hoping I guess that the special magic of Venice will rub off on their event. Thus I am in Lisbon, Portugal today for the Architecture Triennale that the organizers are calling “Let’s Talk About Houses.” Read More

Louisville Opens Waterfront Arena

Midwest
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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Exterior of the new KFC Yum! Center (Courtesy Louisville Arena Authority)

Exterior of the new KFC Yum! Center (Courtesy Louisville Arena Authority)

Basketball fans in Louisville gathered Downtown Sunday on 10.10.10 for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the just-finished $238 million KFC Yum! Center designed by Populous architects, formerly HOK Sports, Venue, Event.  The 22,000 seat venue is the home of the University of Louisville Cardinals. Read More

Artist Scratches A Building's Surface To Reveal Murals

Other
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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Scratched mural on a building facade in Moscow (Alexandre Farto)

Scratched mural on a building facade in Moscow (Alexandre Farto)

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, sculpts architecture.  Using mallets, picks, and jackhammers, Vhils chips away layers of plaster to create large murals in relief.  His series of wall etchings called Scratching the Surface appears around the world from Moscow to Italy to the United States.  Via Today and Tomorrow.

See more after the jump.

House Proud: AIA-HUD Awards for Excellence

West
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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Arbor Lofts in Lancaster, California by PSL Architects (Courtesy AIA)

Arbor Lofts in Lancaster, California by PSL Architects (Courtesy AIA)

Four housing projects were spotlighted today by the American Institute of Architects‘ Housing & Custom Residential Knowledge Community and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development as laudable examples of affordable housing architecture, neighborhood design, participatory design, and accessibility.

Read more about the winners after the jump.

New York City’s 15 Penn Plaza Catches a Wave

East
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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Pelli Clark Pelli's 15 Penn Plaza (Courtesy Pelli Clark Pelli)

Pelli Clark Pelli’s 15 Penn Plaza (Courtesy Pelli Clark Pelli)

The battle for Midtown Manhattan has taken a new twist.  Radio broadcasters located in the nearby Empire State Building have raised concerns that Vornado Realty Trust‘s proposed 15 Penn Plaza will swat their signals from the sky.

Read More

Irish Eyes Are Designing

International
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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Erosion Table by Joseph Walsh (photo: Andrew Bradley)

While it’s doubtful anyone would think of Ireland as a design powerhouse, a new show at the American Irish Historical Society on New York’s Upper East Side suggests the Emerald Isle deserves a second look. Curated by Brian Kennedy, the show includes furniture, ceramics, accessories, jewelery, a wall installation, as well as some models and sketches, and is an engaging crash course in Ireland’s emerging design scene. While there’s no one overriding style, an interest in organic shapes and natural materials is common in much of the work. Read More

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Seeper Projects Gehry

East
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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IAC Building projection by seeper. (Via Dan Ilic / Vimeo)

IAC Building projection by seeper. (Dan Ilic / Vimeo)

Friday night, Frank Gehry‘s Manhattan IAC Building was transformed into the canvas for a fantastical display of light by London-based artists seeper.  The video projection plays off the distinct angles of the IAC Building to create the illusion of three-dimensional transformation and playful animation.

“Our aim is to recreate a Victorian sense of magician-ship,” said Evan Grant, founder of seeper.com, in a press release. “I love the IAC building, its stunning lines and immediate reference to water. It looks as if it’s about to set sail on the Hudson. The opportunity to make this structure take on a new ‘seeper’ form is an honor and a challenge.”

Seeper has undertaken other projection mapping projects across the globe, but this New York example represents one of the most ambitious projection mapping displays in the United States. The event marked the end of the Vimeo Festival, a celebration of global creativity.

Click through to watch seeper’s video projection.

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Croatian Fiasco? No way!

International
Friday, October 8, 2010
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Croatia's floating pavilion suffered structural damage on the way to this year's Venice biennale. (Courtesy Katarina Olujić)

“The biggest fiasco…in the history of Croatian architecture?” Well, not really, but there seem to be some architects in Croatia who are angry that their floating pavilion built for the current Venice biennale was destroyed before it reached its intended mooring at the Giardini. Read More

Switzerland In Fall

International
Thursday, October 7, 2010
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USM's Haller system in brown.

In late September, the Swiss furniture company USM unveiled three fall colors for their iconic Haller shelving and storage system. First selected in the 1970s, the reissued orange, brown, and beige colors offer warmer options for the system, which is probably most often seen in black or white. A sunny yellow option was unveiled last year. An installation of the new colors on view at USM’s showroom at 28-30 Greene Street in New York. Read More

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