MoMA Announces PS1 Young Architects Finalists

East
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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"Lentspace" by MoMA finalist Interboro at Varick St. & 6th Ave. (photo: Michael Falco, NYTimes)

One of the most sought after awards for emerging architecture firms was announced today. MoMA PS1 selected finalists for the 2011 Young Architects Program. The plum prize is an opportunity to design the garden space for MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. For the next three months the firms will finalize their designs and the winner will be announced in February. Past winners have included Hernan Diaz Alonso, MOS Architects, OBRA, So-Il and Work AC. This year’s firms include three from Brooklyn, one from Boston and a Brit. From Brooklyn the firms are FormlessFinder, Interboro Partners and Matter Architecture Practice. MASS Design Group comes from Boston and IJP Corporation Architects are based in London.  See work from the other finalists after the jump.

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Beauty Bites Back with Peter Cook's Crab

East
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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Peter Cook's scheme for the Taiwan Tower Conceptual Design competition. (Courtesy Crab)

Peter Cook–the real one from England, not the Hampton socialite architect impersonator–was in town last week and showed us some of the work from his firm Crab. Sir Peter was here to appear on a panel at Pratt Institute for the new book by Yael Reisner with Fleur Watson, Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects About a Troubled Relationship. Cook and fellow beauticians including Will Alsop, Gaetano Pesce, Lebbeus Woods, KOL/MAC, and Hernan Diaz Alonso all took the subject head-on, and proved they think about aesthetics and form up front in the design process, though they seldom will admit to it. They did nothing to dispel Reisner’s thesis that even though, since the advent of modernism, only principles of rationalism are allowed to be used in explaining the building arts, architecture is still primarily a formal practice in the spirit of Einstein, who said that for him “visual imagery occurred first and words followed.” Read More

Kids Build Massive Model of the High Line

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Kids build a model of the High Line (Courtesy High Line Blog)

Kids build a model of the High Line (Courtesy High Line Blog)

Children from a school in the West Village love the High Line and they have a giant model to prove it.  Carol Levitt’s second grade starchitects-in-training recently finished their wood-block coup de grâce detailing the story of the famed elevated park – past and present.

Take a closer look at the model after the jump.

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Architects Do Double Duty As Set Designers

East
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Aging is a universal theme. ANCHISES, a new performance premiering at the Abrons Arts Center in New York tonight, explores that amid a striking set from design firm Harrison Atelier (HAt), who are also billed as co-collaborators with choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Central to this latest version of the Greek myth is Anchises’ struggle to salvage memories from the burning city of Troy. This is reflected in the set design, where, according to HAt’s website, “the set creates an environment that scripts the dance.” Blocks, representing both the old and new city, are a central part of this multi-generational performance, and a recent New York Times review championed their use of medical tubing to subtly hint at the struggle of growing old.

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Potential Pyramid Scheme in DUMBO

East
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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photo by Missy S./Flickr

Is NYC’s next architectural adventure shaped like a pyramid? Maybe, if one of the groups competing for usage space in Brooklyn’s historic Tobacco Warehouse has its way. The recently stabilized structure  is currently under the purview of the powers-that-be at the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which sees the Warehouse as “most compelling public spaces” in the city’s quest to spruce up the Brooklyn waterfront.

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Rudolph’s New York Home Passes Landmark Test

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

The latest Upper East Side landmark isn’t another of its signature rowhouses, but rather what’s atop one of those brownstones.  Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved landmark status for mid-century architect Paul Rudolph‘s less-than-context-sensitive home at 23 Beekman Place.

And that’s great news for New York’s modern architectural heritage. Read More.

Is Your Commute Really as Bad as All That?

National
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Photo by Richard Masoner/www.cyclelicio.us

It might not be, according to Driven Apart, a new report from CEOs for Cities. Apparently, the Urban Mobility Report– the nation’s popular source for data about commuting–is “riddled with conceptual problems, data limitations, and methodological errors that render its city-to-city congestion rankings almost meaningless.” And it’s also biased against more compact cities whose residents have shorter commuting distances. Read More

A Sculpture By Any Other Name. . .

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Isa Genzken's installation at New Museum. (Photo: Kubota Photography/New Museum)

Haters of kitsch rejoice!  No longer will visitors to the New Museum be greeted by Ugo Rondinone’s glowing, rainbow affirmation.  Hell, Yes! has been replaced as part of the museum’s ongoing Façade Sculpture Program.  In its place, Rose II, a far subtler work by German artist Isa Genzken.  Growing from the first tier of SANAA’s ethereal Bowery building, the sculpture, a 28-foot tall rose, was created in 1993 and reprised in 2007. Read More

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MEKA Goes Modular with West Village Eco-Home

East
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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The modular unit as seen from Charles and Washington Streets in Greenwich Village. (Tom Stoelker)

On the corner of Washington and Charles streets in Greenwich Village, a modular home has been plopped down in a vacant parking lot. It may seem an unlikely sight—or site for that matter—but what distinguishes this home from most of its tony neighbors is its eye-catching price tag: $35,000. Read More

Norman Foster Tower at CityCenter Might Be.. Imploded??

West
Monday, November 15, 2010
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The Harmon's web site remains hopeful...

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal and Engineering News Record officials at MGM Resorts want to demolish Foster & Partners’ unopened 27-story Harmon Hotel, a major part of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development. The building was originally designed as a 47-story tower, but major construction errors and subsequent time and money issues led to its drastic reduction in size. Lawsuits will prevent anything from happening to the building until at least 2012, says MGM. “Right now, I have a building I can’t do anything with,” CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin told the LVRJ, adding that Harmon has become “the poster child for nonconforming work worldwide.” For the record the Harmon’s web site still says “Coming Soon.” In its recent third-quarter earnings statement, MGM Resorts said it took a $279 million write down for the Harmon and concluded “it is unlikely the Harmon will be completed using the building as it now stands. “Baldwin concludes: “It was one of the most beautifully designed buildings ever, and it’s sitting static for over two years… The most sophisticated of all the architects (Foster) ended up being involved in a building that was our biggest disappointment.” Read More

International Code Council Calls For 30% More Efficient Buildings

Other
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Thermal heat loss graphic shows a building's energy inefficiency.

While the country has been obsessed mid-term elections, local and state building code officials passed another less conspicuous but equally important vote that will reportedly result in 30 percent more efficient buildings than those built to current standards.  During the International Code Council’s (ICC) final action hearings held in Charlotte, North Carolina last month, building officials supported revisions to the commercial section of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), one of the model building codes published by the ICC that establish minimum energy efficiency standards for new construction of residential and commercial buildings.

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Video: Chinese Hotel Climbs Fifteen Stories in Six Days

International
Monday, November 15, 2010
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Chinese hotel built in just six days (DifferentEnergy Video)

Chinese hotel built in just six days (DifferentEnergy Video)

Would you stay in a 15-story structure built in six days?  Through the magic of prefabrication, one new hotel in Changsha, China was built erector-set-style at just such a fantastic pace and recorded through time-lapse photography. The better term might be constructed in six days, however, as the building’s foundation and the factory-made pieces were already finished at the beginning of this architectural ballet, but the feat proves rather amazing nonetheless.

While you might have never heard of Changsha, China, home to the new Ark Hotel, the country’s 19th largest city mirrors the building’s rapid growth.  Changsha tripled in size between the 1940s and 1980s and today contains an estimated population of 6.6 million.

While such a quickly constructed building might seem prone to shoddy construction, the Ark Hotel is reportedly built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake, meaning a quake over 1,000 times more powerful than January’s quake in Haiti.  Call us skeptical, but we’d opt to be out of the building when disaster strikes.

Prefabrication, architecture’s “oldest new idea,” can have its green benefits. The Ark Hotel is thermally insulated and boasts only one percent construction waste. [ Via Gizmodo. ]

Watch the construction footage after the jump.

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