Boom or Bust for Phoenix’s Warehouse District?

Phoenix developer Michael Levine won a 2007 Arizona Governor's Heritage Preservation Award for his adaptive re-use of the warehouse at 605 E. Grant Streets. (Courtesy Michael Levine)

Phoenix developer Michael Levine won a 2007 Arizona Governor’s Heritage Preservation Award for his adaptive reuse of the warehouse at 605 E. Grant Streets. (Courtesy Michael Levine)

According to a recent article on azcentral.com, Phoenix’s Warehouse District is in the midst of a renaissance. Or is it? The man behind several adaptive reuse projects in the neighborhood says not so fast. “It’s like every five years someone gets excited about it and writes the same article,” said developer Michael Levine. While he admits there’s been an uptick in interest in the mid-century industrial buildings, he doubts his fellow landowners’ motives. “If you give them enough money…they’d have the [buildings] demolished,” he said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects Propose Parametric “Urban Alloy Towers” Bridging a Train Yard in Queens

The Urban Alloy Towers. (Courtesy AMLGM)

The Urban Alloy Towers. (Courtesy AMLGM)

Why cap a transit hub with traditional, mixed-use towers when it can be topped by an amorphous, alien-like, tubular, metallic structurethat seemingly defies gravity? That, apparently, was the thinking behind AMLGM’s “Urban Alloy” proposal for Queens, New York. Their dramatic proposal, which bends and twists above an existing transportation center, includes retail, office, cultural, and residential space within its metallic skin.

More after the jump.

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De Blasio, Schumer Announce A Flood of Cash for Sandy Relief

East
Monday, April 21, 2014
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Houses damaged by Hurricane Sandy (Courtesy of David Sundberg)

Houses damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (David Sundberg / ESTO)

Seventeen months after Superstorm Sandy pummeled New York City, Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced major changes to the city’s Sandy relief efforts. At an announcement in late March in the Rockaways, Mayor de Blasio said that $100 million of federal money has been reallocated into the city’s Build it Back program, which will help storm victims regardless of their income or priority level. The mayor’s office says that funds from this program are already being sent out.

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Valerio Dewalt Train’s 13-Story Hyde Park Development Advances With Changes

An updated design for Vue53 in Chicago's Hyde Park. (Courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates)

An updated design for Vue53 in Chicago’s Hyde Park. (Courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates)

Last year, Mesa Development and the University of Chicago announced they’d planned a 13-story mixed-use development for the western end of Hyde Park’s 53rd Street commercial strip. The massive project drew opposition to its scale and a lawsuit delayed construction—until now.

See how the design has changed after the jump.

Despite Preservation Push, Rice University’s Martel Center Demolished After All

News, Preservation, Southwest
Monday, April 21, 2014
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(COURTESY GLASSCOCK SCHOOL OF CONTINUING STUDIES)

Never mind! After all that fuss to preserve the iconic Texas tin structure, Rice University’s Art Barn met the Grim Reaper on Wednesday, April 16. While a group was able to salvage the building’s corrugated metal siding, wrecking crews tore away at the Martel Center’s structure, marking a definitive end to efforts of preservationists to move the building to another site in Houston. Andy Warhol’s famous oak tree planted in front of the former structure will remain intact, but once the dust clears only a grass lawn will serve as tombstone. A rogue power line temporarily stalled the demolition, thereby buying a commemorative moment for the Art Barn’s historical and cultural import. The building’s spirit will live on through the Menil Collection it once housed, as well as its legacy with other tin houses.

Milan In Review> Interiors & Environments Push the Salone del Mobile Beyond Furniture

CitizenLightIsTime

Light is Time installation for Citizen watches at the Triennale in Milan. (Courtesy Citizen)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the Salone del Mobile and the dozens of related events during Milan Design Week. Luckily there are plenty of visual palate cleansers in form of immersive environments, from new showrooms by Pritzker Prize–winning architects to dazzling installations by up-and-coming designers. There is more to Milan Design Week than just great looking furniture! At the Triennale design museum, for instance, Paris-based DGT architects created a light-catching installation for Citizen watches called Light is Time (above), featuring space dividing curtains made of tens of thousands of watch plates.

Continue reading after the jump.

Photo of the Day: Final Segment of Calatrava’s NYC Transit Hub Arch Set In Place

Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub. (Courtesy AN Tipster)

Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub. (Courtesy AN Tipster)

A tipster shared with us the above view of Santiago Calatrava‘s World Trade Center Transit Hub receiving the final piece of its giant steel arch. According to the tipster, “they JUST set the final tooth on the World Trade Center Transit Hub to complete the supporting structural system. Once welding is complete they will proceed with installing the “wings,” the cantilevered outriggers that complete the structural form.” Looks like this thing is about to soar.

Bjarke Ingels’ Not-Yet-Built LEGO Museum Commemorated in LEGO Architecture Series

Design, International, Product
Friday, April 18, 2014
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big-lego-01

Bjarke Ingels’ LEGO-inspired design for the LEGO House in Denmark is now available to build in LEGOs. (Courtesy LEGO)

LEGO Architecture has released a new box set—and from the looks of it, this isn’t your grandmother’s architectural plaything. The new LEGO set is not the usual plastic-brick model of Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. No, this new set is cutting-edge. It goes where no other LEGO box set has gone before: it’s a replica of an icon so iconic that it doesn’t even exist yet. It’s a limited-edition replica of the Bjarke Ingels–designed LEGO Museum in the company’s birthplace of Billund, Denmark.

Continue reading after the jump.

Congress for the New Urbanism Names Lynn Richards New President

National, Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, April 18, 2014
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Lynn Richards, CNU's next president. (Courtesy CNU)

Lynn Richards, CNU’s next president. (Courtesy CNU)

The Congress for the New Urbanism has announced that Lynn Richards will serve as the organization’s new president and CEO. Richards joins the Congress from the EPA, where she worked in the Office of Sustainable Communities. She has organized with environmental groups in former Soviet Republics and holds a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She will assume her new role on July 1.

“We want to see more great places built. We want to build neighborhoods where more people can walk and bike,” said the incoming president in a statement. “We want to create more vibrant and prosperous places that celebrate great design and development approaches.” To make this happen, Richards wants to “road-test innovative design and polices.”

Richards succeeds John Norquist, who was appointed CNU’s president in 2002. In his previous position as the mayor of Milwaukee, he led the charge to demolish a major highway in the city. And under his leadership at CNU, the organization called on other cities to do the same, with their biennial “Freeways Without Futures” list.

On View> Exploring Maggie’s Centres’ Architectural Approach to Cancer Care

East, On View
Friday, April 18, 2014
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(Courtesy Maggies' Centre)

Piers Gough’s Nottingham centre. (Courtesy Maggies’ Centre)

Maggie’s Centres: A Blueprint for Cancer Care
New York School of Interior Design, NYSID Gallery
161 East 69th Street, New York.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Through April 25, 2014

These are the requirements that were put to Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Piers Gough, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and thus far eleven other architects when asked to design Maggie’s Centres, buildings in the U.K. where “free practical, emotional, and social support to people with cancer, their family and friends” are provided.

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Letter to the Editor> Competition Slayer

SOURCES OF ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION. (COURTESY MARSHALL BROWN PROJECTS)

SOURCES OF ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION. (COURTESY MARSHALL BROWN PROJECTS)

[Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a backpage comment by Marshall Brown, “Kick the Architectural Competition Habit” (AN02_02.19.2014_Midwest). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

Bravo. This “addiction” at the top of the field inspires exploitation of architects all the way down the line. While I was in graduate school, a professor “employed” a classmate to pull all-nighters on a competition entry, which had no relation to his coursework.

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REX’s Joshua Prince-Ramus Unwraps His Approach to Facade Design

REX's Media Headquarters Buildings feature retractable sunshades based on a traditional Arab Mashrabiya pattern. (Courtesy REX)

REX’s Media Headquarters Buildings feature retractable sunshades based on a traditional Arab Mashrabiya pattern. (Courtesy REX)

Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal at REX, has a bone to pick with modernism and its legacy. “For the last 100 years, architecture’s been involved in a silly tension between form and function,” he said. While high modernism privileged function over form, some of today’s top designers argue that architecture is about aesthetics and not much else. REX has a different take: architecture, the firm claims, is both function and form. “We really believe that architecture can do things. It’s not just a representational art form,” said Prince-Ramus. “We talk about performance. Aesthetics are part of performance [as is function.]”

Continue reading after the jump.

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