Thomas Balsley Reaches Destination with Landscape Forms

Fabrikator
Friday, December 13, 2013
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The Transit Bench was fabricated in Landscape Forms custom project division, Studio 431. (Michael Koontz/Thomas Balsley Associates)

The Transit Bench was fabricated in Landscape Forms custom project division, Studio 431. (Michael Koontz/Thomas Balsley Associates)

Aerodynamics of transit inform the design for new public seating in busy pedestrian areas like train platforms.

Landscape architect Thomas Balsley has been shaping public spaces in urban settings for more than 35 years, from the Bronx to Dallas to Portland. Even at large scales his work underscores attention to detail, all the way down to the furniture that adorns his sites. As a resident of New York since the 1970s, Balsley is all too aware of the way public benches and seating function in densely populated cities. For Transit Bench—fabricated by Landscape Forms custom project team at Studio 431—he designed a seating option for busy pedestrian areas, like train platforms and street-side parklets, where movement engulfs stationary seating.

“I started thinking of the aerodynamic aspects of transit and airline design, where the skin of the plane is an important structural component,” Balsley told AN. “I had the idea that this folded piece of skin could be the structure.” The bench, which rests on two sled base legs, is one solid form, made from a single sheet of stainless steel with laser cut perforations that suggest motion.

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Unsitely: Submit Case Studies for Improving Construction Site Aesthetics

Urbanism
Thursday, December 12, 2013
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01-unsitely

Architects are probably the only people who like to see a construction site. We love to see building cranes, steel workers, and scaffolding—if only because it means architects are working and paying the rent. But for most urban dwellers these work places are “unsitely” disruptions to daily life and noisy irritations.

Now Montreal’s Design Bureau, in collaboration with the city’s downtown Ville-Marie borough and the Saint-Étienne Cité du Design (France), are launching an effort to correct this situation and asking architects for help. They will host a colloquium called “Unsitely! Leveraging Design to Improve Urban Construction Sites” on October 8-9, 2014. They are asking architects to submit proposals on how design can improve individual and collective experience, and the overall communication strategy of major worksites, or at least to contribute to reducing their negative impact on daily life.

Architects (and others) should submit cases studies that address these issues by Tuesday, December 17, 2013. For additional information, contact colloquium executive producer, Laetitia Wolff.

Architect Elena Manferdini Completes the Colorful, Laser-Cut “Nembi” Installation in South Los Angeles

Architecture, West
Thursday, December 12, 2013
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(Atelier Manferdini)

(Atelier Manferdini)

Until recently, talented Los Angeles–based architect Elena Manferdini had practiced all over the world, but barely  in her own city. That has definitely changed. Earlier this year she worked on two shops in Venice, and her latest project is an art installation at the entry way of the Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center in South Los Angeles. The colorful project is part of the LA County Art Commission’s Civic Art project, a one percent program for county facilities.

Read more after the jump.

MAS NYC Seeks Nominations for 2013 Brendan Gill Prize.  MAS NYC Seeks Nominations for 2013 Brendan Gill Prize The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is accepting nominations for the 2013 Brendan Gill Prize. Each year the MAS presents the honor, which carries a cash prize, to a creator of a work of art from the past deemed to embody the spirit and energy of New York City. Former MAS chairman Gill spent more than 60 years as a critic of architecture and theater for the New Yorker and the prize was established in his honor in 1987. Past winners within the field of architecture include Louis Kahn and Michael Van Valkenburgh (pictured).  MAS will be accepting nominations until January 6, 2014. (Photo: Courtesy MAS)

 

RIBA Halts Lubetkin Prize Honoring International Projects.  RIBA Halts Lubetkin Prize Honoring International Projects Building Design Online reports that 2013 will be the last year of the Lubetkin Prize, an honor the Royal Institute of British Architects has awarded annually since 2006 to the best new building outside of the European Union.  Whereas RIBA members and fellows were the only candidates eligible for the honor, in 2015 the organization plans to launch a new International Prize open to all architects. In September, London firm Wilkinson Eyre received what now becomes the last Lubetkin Prize for their Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore (pictured). (Photo:  Nimrod Bar / Flickr)

 

Payette Designs a Curvy Research Building, Parks for Boston’s Northeastern University

Architecture, East, News, Newsletter, Unveiled
Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Northeastern University's new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (Courtesy of Payette and Northeastern)

Northeastern University’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building. (Courtesy Payette and Northeastern)

Boston is well known for both its thriving biotech industry and for its high concentration of universities, and now the city’s two largest economic sectors are overlapping with several academic institutions shrewdly expanding their science departments. Northeastern University is one of several schools to hop on this bandwagon. The school just announced that it will build a 180,000-square-foot academic facility, called the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (ISEB). Boston-based firm Payette won the commission to design the six-story building along with adjoining green spaces after participating in a six week design competition.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> 2013 Architect’s Holiday Gift Guide

National, Newsletter, Product
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

As architects, we know you’re overworked and probably underpaid, and we’re guessing you haven’t had time to draft your holiday wish list quite yet. But don’t despair. AN has compiled a list of high-design, unique gift ideas for you and your colleagues, friends, and family members with good taste, most of which are also attainable for budget-conscious buyers.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kickstarter> Spacemaker VR: Virtual Reality for Architects

National, Technology
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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MILES KEMP, THE CREATOR OF SPACEMAKER VR, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

SPACEMAKER VR’S FOUNDER, MILES KEMP, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

Miles Kemp, the brains behind a new virtual-reality visualization software for architects, has been around architects and builders for as long as he can remember. The son of a contractor, Kemp took his first job with an architect at the age of 14. By age 21, he was on a team at SOM. Kemp eventually made his way to SCI-Arc, where he completed an M.Arch2 in 2006 with a thesis on robotics. Since then, Kemp, the founder and president of Variate Labs, has worked on over 100 interactive media projects. “I’ve always been into this idea of user-experience design, of being able to create almost like a conversation between people and the built environment,” Kemp said.

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Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation Appoints James Hanley Director

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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James Hanley. (Courtesy BWAF)

James Hanley. (Courtesy BWAF)

The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF), a non-profit dedicated to “changing the culture of the building industry, for women, through education and research,” just announced that after a national search it has chosen a new executive director: James T. Hanley, formerly the senior associate director of development at Barnard College. Hanley has undergraduate and advanced degrees in architecture along with an MBA and an MA in Art History and claims he will use his “skills in program development and financial management to broaden the role of the organization throughout the United States.”

Beverly Willis, the founder of BWAF, said that Hanley is “keenly aware of the issues encountered by women in the design industry” which will “enable BWAF to build on its prior successes and help women achieve their professional and personal goals through our programs and outreach.”

Under Hanley’s leadership, the organization is launching a number of new initiatives in 2014. These include the exploration of a program for women as emerging leaders and the impact of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as factors in success. Another new initiative is “Built by Women: New York City,” a focused collection within the Foundation’s Dynamic National Archive (DNA), which BWAF plans to use as a pilot for similar projects for cities around the country. Finally In 2014, it will complete its project entitled “Women of 20th-Century American Architecture,” to highlight the contributions of 50 outstanding women who significantly shaped the built environment in America.

McDonald’s Development Flares Urbanist Tensions in Cleveland

Midwest, Urbanism
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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cleveland's lorain avenue would include the city's first two-way bike path under a plan from the ohio city development corporation. (Behnke Associates, Inc., and Michael Baker Corp.)

cleveland’s lorain avenue would include the city’s first two-way bike path under a plan from the ohio city development corporation. (Behnke Associates, Inc., and Michael Baker Corp.)

Cleveland’s conflicting development pressures came to a head last week over one avenue on the city’s West Side, and whether its future holds car-oriented businesses like McDonald’s or lanes for public transit and bike paths.

The Plain Dealer’s Steven Litt reported on developers’ plans to suburbanize the area around Lorain Avenue at Fulton Road: “Residents hate the idea with a passion,” he wrote.

Continue reading after the jump.

Baltimore’s Hopscotch Crosswalk Colossus

City Terrain, East, Urbanism
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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BALTIMORE'S HOPSCOTCH CROSSWALK (COURTESY GRAHAM CORELL-ALLEN/ VIA FLICKR)

BALTIMORE’S HOPSCOTCH CROSSWALK (COURTESY GRAHAM CORELL-ALLEN/ VIA FLICKR)

Crossing the street in Baltimore just got a lot more fun. The city has just unveiled its newest dispatch: a “hopscotch crosswalk” transforming the downtown street crossing at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard streets into an entertaining diversion for pedestrians. The project was a component of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for the Bromo Seltzer Arts & Entertainment District’s desire in incorporate public art in various areas of the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

Koolhaas Flag Inspires Designer Skateboard Deck Pattern

Design, International, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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(Courtesy Dufarge x OMA)

(Courtesy Dufarge x OMA)

Since 2011, skateboarders from all over Europe have flocked to a large concrete slab in OMA’s Museum Park in the city center of Rotterdam as a local spot for tricks and meetups. Nicknamed “Rem’s Flag,” the spot is painted with a massive 492-foot version of the EU Barcode, a multi-colored barcode design by architect Rem Koolhaas, conceived as an equal display of the flags of the European Union. Various objects have been “barcoded” with the Koolhaas flag. The most recent is a set of 80 limited edition skateboard decks, a collaboration between surf-inspired skateboard brand Dufarge and AMO, an OMA think tank, in honor of the Rem’s Flag skating experience.

View the Gallery After the Jump.

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