LA Stadium Designs To Be Unveiled

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Is there another large downtown venue in store?

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!

Quick Clicks: Failing Schools, Hangover, Beekman Boos, Grand Piano

Daily Clicks
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Renzo Piano's London Shard (Courtesy Sellar Property Group)

Renzo Piano's London Shard (Courtesy Sellar Property Group)

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 ]

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USC Reviews Go Way Way Up

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Inside the 50th floor of City National Plaza's North Tower yesterday.

Limited by the constraints of its scattered design buildings, USC’s School of Architecture yesterday held its final reviews on the 50th and 51st floors of City National Plaza’s North Tower in Downtown LA. The giant review, called Blue Tape: Super Review, included 48 studios, about 70 professors, and over 700 students, including those studying architecture and urban design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Yours truly got to sit in on Jennifer Siegal’s studio: Generation Mobile: exploring the deployable free-range cuisine truck culture, which featured some mind-bending re-imaginings of today’s fairly traditional food trucks. The two floors, which used to contain offices for Bank of America (sorry guys) was donated by Thomas Properties, which owns both of the towers at City National. The 52-story buildings, by the way, were designed by A.C. Martin in 1972. We wonder where they’ll do their next reviews? Read More

Metrodome Roof Gets Remixed

Midwest
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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We told you yesterday about the sad state of Minnesota’s snowy Metrodome. Today the deflated dome gets some funk, courtesy of University of Minnesota arch school grad Brice Aarrestad. (Insert your own ‘raise the roof’ joke here.)

Lost In The Architecture

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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37 first year SCI-Arc students have just finished a mesmerizing new installation in the school’s parking lot called Sway. The project is made of 228 thin bundled steel rods, bolted into the ground and joined via flexible (and wild) wire units above. The vast and tightly-packed array of bendy rods are responsive to subtle changes in wind force (and not-so-subtle pushing by visitors), enabling the structure to move around like trees in a forest, or a collection of organisms. At night they catch the light in changing and surprising ways.

The 1A Studi0—which produces a large installation every year— was led by professors Nathan Bishop, Eric Kahn and Jenny Wu. Bishop accurately called the piece an “encompassing environment.” Which is what makes it so great: the chance to walk right into the art and interact with it.

Check out more pix after the jump.

Driehaus Awards the Much-Awarded Stern

National
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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The design for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas (all images courtesy Notre Dame School of Architecture).

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture announced that Robert A. M. Stern has been named this year’s Richard H. Driehaus laureate. The prize, which comes with a $200,000 purse, “honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world,” according to a statement. Founded in 2003, the prize has previously honored lesser known architects such as Rafael Manzano Martos of Spain and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil of Egypt in addition to marquee American traditional and classicist architects like Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Allan Greenberg (several Driehaus recipients have also won or been involved in the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize).
Click through to see more of Stern’s work

The Coolest Video We’ve Ever Seen

International
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Street artist Blu recently made LA headlines when his commissioned mural for MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary (featuring coffins draped by dollar bills) was subsequently whitewashed by MOCA itself. In a statement, MOCA called the mural, which was across from the LA Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, “inappropriate,” and the move has angered (to say the least) the street art community.

For those of you unfamiliar with Blu, please take a look at this video, called Big Bang Big Boom. There are no special effects, just stop-action animation; a dazzling combination of architecture and art. It’s unclear where he shot this piece, but he obviously needed to find an area with lots of empty, and largely abandoned, walls and lots. We’re blown away, so to speak.

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Metrodome Deflated

Midwest
Monday, December 13, 2010
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Following a heavy snow storm this weekend, the roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed. This video shows the structure creaking under the weight, the roof fabric tearing, and snow pouring in on the field. It looks like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Blair Kamin was quick to point out that though the stadium was designed by the Chicago office of SOM, the roof was the work of New York-based Geiger Berger Associates. Buffalo, New York-based Birdair Structures maintains and supplies the roof fabric. No one was hurt in the collapse. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, this is the fourth time roof has ripped and deflated. Officials are still determining how low it will take to repair the structure.

NBC Tries To Forget Conan Through Architecture

West
Monday, December 13, 2010
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Conan's NBC set, before the big breakup..

Most of us move on from difficult breakups by eating ice cream or going on long walks. Not NBC. They build things. Now that Conan O’Brien has started his own show on TBS, NBC  has awarded IA with a commission to redesign his former Tonight Show sound stage in Studio City (which reportedly cost $50 million to build) into a two story newsroom for local and network news. IA has signed a non-disclosure agreement, so they can’t talk about it. But according to the RFP, the 70,000 square foot project, awarded earlier this fall, will include studios, control rooms, edit rooms, offices and and storage. It should be finished by June 2012. So basically they want to obliterate any memory of Conan? Well, yes, our inside source tells us, that’s exactly it…

Bourbon, Banjos and Green Modernism

East
Friday, December 10, 2010
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Stein strums with The Melody Allegra Band.

Bodacious bourbon pours complimented savory vittles at the yet-to-be-opened Hudson Clearwater in Greenwich Village last night. The restaurant’s first event launched Carl Stein’s new book, Greening Modernism: preservation, sustainability and the modern movement (W.W. Norton, $60.00). The affair had a decidedly down to earth flavor, though the elegant crowd resembled intermission at The Met. The venue seemed a natural fit for Stein of Elemental Architecture, since Elemental’s John Barboni designed the space using salvaged material culled from the 180-year-old carriage house. Read More

Daily Clicks: Top Ten, Exhibitionist, Streetcars, Saving Trees

Daily Clicks
Friday, December 10, 2010
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Stephan Sagmeister's new web site. (Courtesy Sagmeister.com)

Stephan Sagmeister's new web site. (Courtesy Sagmeister.com)

We’re starting up a new regular feature here on the AN Blog we’re tentatively calling Daily Clicks. For your perusal, a quick selection of architecture and design stories from around the web.

The year’s best. The Chicago Tribune‘s Blair Kamin looks beyond the doom and gloom that was 2010 to find the top ten architectural bright spots. Among his picks? The opening of the Burj Khalifa and a pollution-eating park in Chicago, and [ City Scapes ]

Cincy Streetcar. Cincinnati is one step closer to a new streetcar system, after the Ohio Department of Transportation unanimously recommended $35 million for construction of the system’s first phase, which is expected to open in 2013. [ Urban Cincy ]

Don’t hit print! A new file format, the WWF (after the World Wildlife Fund, of course), aims at saving a few trees as we send around PDFs through e.mail. If you’d like to prohibit your PDFs from being printed, there’s a free software download. [ Core 77 ]

Office Exhibitionism. Artist Stephan Sagmeister has a new web site. Now, you can sit and stare at a live feed from a web cam inside his New York studio to make sure everyone’s working. On this late Friday afternoon, orange balloons were strewn across the floor, leaving us regretting we’d missed the party.  [ Creative Review ]

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    See A Theater In The Making At Hard Hat Sunday

    West
    Friday, December 10, 2010
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    A Noise Within's construction site

    Classical repertory theater A Noise Within (ANW) will find itself occupying some interesting digs next fall, moving from its longtime leased space in Glendale to a new 33,000-square foot facility built into the former Stuart Pharmaceutical building—a historic, mid-century modern complex designed by Edward Durell Stone. The design is being carried out by KKE and John Berry Architects. But before ANW even packs its bags for its new home, the company is giving culture vultures free peeks of the facility in construction every second Sunday of the month, including this Sunday. “It’s one thing to see something already built, but it’s another to see everything that goes into it,” said artistic director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who is on hand for each tour, along with co-artistic director Geoff Elliott and the occasional board member or project superintendent. Contrary to its name—Hard Hat Sundays—guests don’t wear the head gear, but instead gather safely on a viewing deck and peer down at the site in progress. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about rebar than what you’re supposed to, or simply want to enjoy the sunset with other culture lovers, this could be your ticket.

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