A Worm in the Big Apple

East
Monday, October 25, 2010
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New York's ugly block of 35th Street (Google Maps)

New York’s ugly block of 35th Street (Google Maps)

It’s not all glitz in Midtown Manhattan.  One block of 35th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues was awarded the pernicious title of Midtown’s ugliest stretch on the appropriately named “Ugly Streets” walking tour, headed up last Friday by the Municipal Art Society‘s Frank Addeo.

But is there an upside to being ugly?

Satellite Collages Bring Together Variegated Landscapes

Other
Friday, October 22, 2010
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A satellite collage by artist Jenny Odell (Courtesy Jenny Odell)

A satellite collage by artist Jenny Odell (Courtesy Jenny Odell)

Artist Jenny Odell has created a six-print series of collages comprised of cut-outs from Google satellite imagery that show the great variety present in the built and natural landscapes.  By repeating the same typological elements, Odell’s collections offer astounding simplicity and beauty.  Prints are available for sale on the artists’s web site. Via Lost at E Minor.

More after the jump.

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Feel Wright at Home in Chicago's Riverside

Midwest
Friday, October 22, 2010
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Front view of Frank Lloyd Wright's Coonley House (Courtesy Baird & Warner)

Front view of Frank Lloyd Wright's Coonley House (Courtesy Baird & Warner)

A sprawling Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece could be yours for a cool three mil.  Curbed Chicago digs up the listing for Chi-town’s Coonley House in the historic Riverside neighborhood.  The original clients apparently buttered up Wright, who, flattered, gave the house extra attention to detail.

Check out the Coonley House interior after the jump.

The Morgan Opens the Vault (and the Director&#39s Office)

East
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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(all photos by Graham Haber)

More than four years after opening its Renzo Piano-designed expansion, The Morgan Library & Museum has given its 1906 McKim, Mead & White building a loving restoration, expertly executed by Beyer Blinder Belle. In addition to cleaning the mosaics and marbles, the Museum has opened two new spaces to the public, Pierpont Morgan’s vault and the serene North Room, formerly the director’s office. The renovation allows more of the museum’s permanent collection to be displayed, and allows curators to better display those objects, thanks in large part to the exacting lighting design by Renfro Design Group. Read More

San Diego Crossing Gets Green Lighting Scheme

West
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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The wind-powered project is said to be the greenest large-scale lighting design in the nation. (Courtesy FoRM/S+M/Buro Happold)

California State Route 75 is getting a whole lot snazzier. The 2.5-mile-long San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge is set to undergo the “largest interactive green energy lighting project in North America.” An international team led by London-based artist Peter Fink (FoRM Associates) and lighting designer Mark Major (Speirs + Major) plus the LA-based office of engineering consultant Buro Happold have won a worldwide contest to illuminate the iconic, swooping girder bridge, opened in 1969. Read More

Bunshaft Goes Big-Box While Bertoia Goes Missing?

East
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Forever (Landmarked) 21? (Neoscape)

The rumors about Gordon Bunshaft’s landmarked Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Bank building being transformed into a big-box retail store have been flying around for a while now. In March, Vornado Realty Trust reportedly entered talks to buy the five-story building at 510 Fifth Avenue. Now, we’ve turned up a rendering by 3-D illustration firm Neoscape showing the building as the type of landmark only your high school daughter could love: a Forever 21.

But wait, it gets worse. Until this month the building has been occupied by Chase Bank, and while the changes made to the building for security reasons were lamentable, at least we could rest easy knowing that its site-specific Harry Bertoia sculpture—a 70-foot screen composed of 800 bronze plates—was safe. But not anymore. An AN tipster clued us in today: “Half of it is laying on the otherwise vacant 2nd floor. So far, all I’ve got from Chase is an assurance ‘it’s not going in the dumpster.'”

We confirmed the awful truth:

Read More

Starchitecture: The Next Generation

East
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Between Frank Lloyd Wright’s private homes, Louis Sullivan’s original skyscraper, and Henry Hobson Richardson’s asylum, Buffalo, New York has more famous and historically important architecture than most cities in the country.  Now Buffalo is working hard to churn out its own starchitects—starting in high school.  The new Architecture and Design Academy at the International Preparatory School at Grover celebrated its grand opening this week on Buffalo’s west side. Read More

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Army of Nurturers: Creating Elder-Friendly Cities

West
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Tree city, nuclear-free-zone city, why not "elder-friendly city"? Courtesy Sarah Kuehl of Peter Walker & Partners.

A couple of weeks ago, AIA San Francisco wound up its annual “Architecture and the City” festival with a nice jolt of inspiration. In an event at SPUR, organized in conjunction with GOOD Magazine, designers presented solutions to real-world problems. All of the conundrums were interesting and meaty: The California Public Utilities Commission, for example, wants more people to install solar hot water (Civil Twilight’s proposed marketing campaign included bright-yellow outdoor showers for surfers), and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority wants to get more people to take public transportation in bus-phobic Silicon Valley (Brute Labs suggested a new service based on the corporate shuttle model).  But the most poignant of all the problems was posed by retirement-home developer AgeSong: “To create a forgetfulness-friendly city and environment where many seniors in the early and more moderate stages of forgetfulness can live safely and happily.” Read More

Breaking Bricks at Moynihan Station

East
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Moynihan Station Rendering (Courtesy Moynihan Station Development Corporation)

Moynihan Station Rendering (Courtesy Moynihan Station Development Corporation)

Moynihan Station might not be welcoming its first passengers for years to come, but a heavy-hitting group of officials gathered at the James A. Farley Post Office to sledge-hammer a cinder block wall and declare Phase I ground officially broken.

Read more (with renderings!) after the jump.

Memphis Exhibition Honors Paul Revere Williams, Architect to the Stars

Midwest, West
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Marina del Rey Junior High School (David Horan)

Marina del Rey Junior High School (David Horan)

Love Lucy? Lucille Ball, that is. Then you’ll love her architect, too.  Opening on October 22, the Art Museum of the University of Memphis is hosting the first museum exhibition of African-American architect Paul Revere Williams whose work spans the 1920s through the 1960s.

More after the jump.

Behind the scenes at Canstruction LA

West
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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Gensler and Arup's camera-inspired "Can-on Picture a World Without Hunger." (Tom Bonner)

Gensler and Arup's camera-inspired "Can-on Picture a World Without Hunger." (Tom Bonner)

AN recently took a sneak peak at late night preparations for the fifth annual Canstruction LA, a charitable design competition—whose pieces are currently on display in the lobby of 5900 Wilshire Boulevard— that taps teams of architects, designers, builders and engineers to create large-scale sculptures using canned goods (and even a few water bottles) that will eventually be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. What we found was a furor of activity, many boxes of pizza, and a bit of competitive banter among teams. Read More

Under the High Line, Pop-Up Cave-itecture

East
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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Richard Chai + Snarkitecture's ice-cave under the High Line. (Photo: David Smith)

Lurking under the High Line has been a bit more fun since Building Fashion began its series of architecture-and-fashion installations in September, erecting a new collaboration every two weeks as a means of reusing the former onsite Sales Tin of Neil Denari’s HL23 condos. On Thursday, Brooklyn firm Snarkitecture and fashion designer Richard Chai will unveil the fourth project in the series, a cave carved by hand from architectural foam. Designed to give shoppers the feel of a glacial cavern, the pop-up shop will feature men’s and women’s fashions displayed on shelves, niches, and hang bars embedded in the foam. Read More

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