It’s odd when the symbol of a building becomes more important than the structure itself. That’s certainly the case with the newly completed President’s House in Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia. George Washington and John Adams lived there when the city was still the nation’s capitol. Unlike Independence Hall, The President’s House didn’t garner importance over time. Actually, there wasn’t a physical structure left, just ruins hidden below ground a few feet from the entrance to Liberty Bell Center and discovered in 2002.
Today Extell Development got the green light from City Council to build Riverside Center on one of the last major parcels of land at the edge of the Upper West Side. Among several concessions made to the community, the developer agreed to sink $17.5 million into Riverside Park, build a 100,000 square foot school, renovate a recreation center on West 59th Street and build 500 affordable housing units (though much of it offsite).
The 3.1 million square foot project includes a series of towers designed by Christian de Portzamparc between 59th and 61st streets and will provide as much open space as Lincoln Center, the architect told AN last year. Portzamparc worked with landscape designer Signe Nielsen to break up an existing superblock and create a view corridor that extends toward the Riverside Park. Like most mixed-use projects, the developer said public amenities, such as grocery stores and the school, would fill the base of the towers.
Since opening in 2008, The Green Building in Louisville, Kentucky has been quietly awaiting the verdict on just how sustainable the three-story adaptive reuse project really is. As expected, the 115-year-old former dry goods store designed by California-based (fer) studio announced that the project received LEED Platinum certification, becoming the city’s first Platinum building.
Have you got the Billings Index Blues? Are code approvals sucking the air out of your Christmas spirit and punch lists preempting your shopping list? Take cheer! The Architect’s Newspaper has located all the architect-worthy toys and treasures to meet your most pressing deadline of the year: Gifts for your Loved Ones (and a few clients, too).
Happy Holidays from all of us at The Architect’s Newspaper.
Architects, designers, and a few sharp Irish guys who knew someone at the door converged on the Tribeca Grand Hotel last Wednesday night when Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics and Cinzia Fama-Agnolucci of CFA Design threw a bash in The Salon.
The Archi-Tectonics-designed space, provided a sultry backdrop to this family affair. Fama-Agnolucci’s mother kept watch from a low perch at the entrance as someone’s toddler made a beeline for Dubbeldam’s dog, who promptly snubbed her, preferring the company of a low-lying plate of hors d’oeuvres.
Shortly after street artist BLU’s installation on the wall of the Geffen Contemporary in downtown LA was whitewashed, we learn via Curbed LA what our Eavesdrop column had rumored weeks before: that another street artist, Shepard Fairey, is in the architecture news as well.
The legendary/notorious “Hope” poster creator was just chosen by the West Hollywood city council to design an art piece for the almost-complete West Hollywood Library (MDA Johnson Favaro’s really really big white structure across from the PDC with an equally big garage ) more than a year after the council un-selected him amidst controversy.
This is getting confusing… The library is also working with artist David Wiseman, whose swoopy white forms seem well matched to the building’s swoopy white aesthetic.
Robert Ivy, FAIA, is preparing to step down as Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Record to become Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C.
Ivy presided over Record during a time of change, establishing the magazine as the official publication of the AIA between 1997 and 2010. Next year, Architect magazine will assume the same role.
“Being editor of Architectural Record fulfilled a lifelong ambition,” Ivy said in a release. “I was privileged to serve as a steward for the publication during a fascinating time, from the challenges of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to the digital transformation of architecture and even of publishing.”
On February 1, Ivy will succeed former AIA chief Christine McEntee who stepped down in July to assume leadership of the American Geophysical Union.
Architectural Record is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2011.
Many have lamented the disappearance of so many architecture book stores in recent years, chief among them the much-missed Prarie Avenue Books in Chicago. The Graham Foundation is doing their part to begin to fill that void by selling a selection of books at their stately home, the Madlener house.
Tonight, the Foundation is hosting a holiday party and book store launch, from 5-8pm. The delightful exhibition, Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown, is also on view. Stop by and stock up. The Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place, Chicago.
The Architect’s Newspaper‘s main office is just two blocks from the Word Trade Center site, so we’re keeping a photographic eye on increasingly visible developments at the site. One World Trade will soon break the skyline and all throughout the site there are signs of vigor. Over the last couple of weeks, windows began to appear on some of the structures.
It’s hard not to be awed, regardless of how unfashionable that may be in an area where locals studiously observe a nonchalant protocol, as though the massive tower were just another visiting celebrity. So don’t mind us as we join the out-of-town gawkers and snap away.
In a breathless press release, developer AEG and its partners have revealed that they will be unveiling renderings from the three finalists for the proposed downtown LA stadium tomorrow evening at 5pm (December 15).
According to Sports Business Journal, the three firms chosen via an RFP are HKS, HNTB, and Gensler (who designed the Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott where the press conference will be held.. hmm..).
The stadium’s proposed location is the site of the LA Convention Center’s West Hall. We will of course share the renderings with you after the presser, so stay tuned.
Of course, LA still has no football team, nor does it have an approved location for a stadium. But this is Hollywood! We know how to dream!
In other downtown news, City Council on Thursday will vote on the fate of the proposed Wilshire Grand redevelopment, which would include two large towers designed by AC Martin. Stay tuned everybody!
Failing schools. Fast Company isn’t pulling any punches with a title like “American Design Schools are a Mess, and Produce Weak Graduates.” Designer Gadi Amit laments in his lengthy critique, “I’m finding that the impressive academic credentials of most students don’t add up to the basic skills I require in a junior designer. Simply put, the design education system today is failing many aspiring young students.” [ Fast Company ]
Hangover. It’s difficult to imagine how such a thing could happen, but an architect working for the US government in Japan managed to rack up a tab of $36,890 at a Tokyo bar. (If you’re curious, that’s 3,011 shots!) The bill is the result of a drum-based bar-competition, and architect Kaz Miura now holds a title previously held by bankers and movie stars. [ The Australian via UnBeige ]
Booing Beekman. James Gardner delivers a scathing review of Frank Gehry’s yet-to-be-completed 8 Sprice Street née Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan. Opening with a question, Gardner asks why the tower is “so thoroughly sad and unimpressive.” Ouch. And it doesn’t get much better further in. At the root of it, the problem seems to be that the tower is rather conventional despite its curvaceous titanium skin. [ The Real Deal ]
Grand Piano. Renzo Piano’s London skyscraper dubbed the Shard (rendered at top) has topped out, or at least its central concrete core. Standing over 1,000 feet tall, the Shard will be the tallest tower in the UK and the tallest commercial tower in Europe. (And, if you recall, Renzo Piano is pretty tall himself.) Construction started in early 2009 and the tower is expected to be complete by the summer of 2012. [ BD Online ]