Inside the Spire's Demise

Midwest
Monday, October 18, 2010
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(courtesy Business Week)

The Chicago skyline is one of the most impressive in the country. Those who dreamed of a twisting new tower at its pinnacle, however, will have to turn to new skyscraping schemes. The Anglo Irish Bank is seizing control of the stalled Chicago Spire’s site from Shelbourne Development. This detailed feature on the rise and fall of Santiago Calatrava’s unbuilt tower in the Irish Independent calls the project’s developer, Garrett Kelleher, emblematic of the jet-setting “Irish Tiger.” In today’s real estate environment, that label sounds more like slur than a compliment.

Buffalo Unbuilt as Entropic Urban Art Project

East
Monday, October 18, 2010
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Dennis Maher's installation "Animate Lost/Found Matter (001-)," at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo. (Courtesy Burchfield Penney)

With some 10,000 buildings languishing on the official demolition list, Buffalo is a landscape in the losing—a city coming to grips, like others in the Rust Belt, with the postindustrial present and its architectural aftermath. As part of that collective quest, the city’s detritus is now improbably on view in a pair of exhibitions that consider the fate of shrinking cities, thanks to artist and architect Dennis Maher and his ongoing project Undone-Redone City, an extended meditation on urban fabric in an entropic state of flux. Read More

Veni, Vici Furniture

East
Friday, October 15, 2010
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Italian Suits from COSMIT, the Italian trade Commission, FederlegnoArredo et al.

Chef Mario Batali stopped by a group of diners at a press event today at Eataly to say that everyone who came into the new high-end Italian-theme eating court is ‘Italian.” But he was actually right, as sprinkled among the journalists sat the upper ranks of the Italian furniture industry all come to New York to announce one of those commercial-turned-cultural events that only the Italians can pull off without seeming crass. Read More

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Lisbon 2010> Portugal Talks Housing at 2nd Triennale

International
Friday, October 15, 2010
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The Brazilian section featured the city of Recife. (Fred Jordão)

Under the banner Let’s Talk About Houses, the second Lisbon Architecture Triennale opened last night in three different venues around the Portuguese capital. A beautifully renovated electric generating plant featured the results of two competitions: one for the low-income immigrant Portuguese community Cova da Moura, and a second for a house in Luanda, Angola. Meanwhile, a second exhibit on artists working in the realm of architecture is being staged at the contemporary Museo do Chiado (I’ll have more on these two shows in a subsequent post). The most ambitious of the three exhibitions, however, is on view at the Museu Coleção Berardo along the city’s architecturally fascinating waterfront in a district called Belem. Read More

Night Lights on the Schuylkill

East
Friday, October 15, 2010
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Light Drift (Courtesy Eric Höweler)

Light Drift (Courtesy Eric Höweler)

An array of glowing orbs has descended on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River to interact with curious passers-by.  Light Drift, a temporary installation by Meejin Yoon and Eric Höweler of MY Studio, will pulse blue and green on land and just off shore through Sunday, October 17.

More after the jump.

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.

Read More

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.

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