SOM Unveils Second Station for Florida’s Commuter Rail System

All Aboard Florida's Ft. Lauderdale station. (Courtesy SOM)

All Aboard Florida’s Ft. Lauderdale station. (Courtesy SOM)

In May, SOM released renderings for Miami Station—a 1,000-foot-long, multimodal transit hub that would anchor the Sunshine State’s impending high-speed commuter rail system known as All Aboard Florida. The firm floated the station 50 feet atop reinforced concrete trusses to allow for restaurants and retail, and an uninterrupted street grid. Now, with the Miami station getting underway, SOM has unveiled plans for the system’s Ft. Lauderdale station, and it appears that a design trend is emerging down in Florida.

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Chinese developer releases plans for Chicago tower that would be the city’s third tallest

Though the news is still unconfirmed by local sources, Chinese developer Wanda Group said it would soon begin construction on a 1,150-foot-tall tower in Chicago's Lakeshore East neighborhood. It would be the city's third tallest building.  (Wanda Group)

Though the news is still unconfirmed by local sources, Chinese developer Wanda Group said it would soon begin construction on a 1,150-foot-tall tower in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood. It would be the city’s third tallest building. (Wanda Group)

Chinese real estate developers Wanda Commercial Properties announced Wednesday plans to build an 89-story mixed-use tower in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood that would unseat Aon Center as the city’s third tallest building. Read More

Cleveland lands 2016 Republican National Convention

Midwest, National, News
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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Located adjacent to the Burnham Malls, Cleveland's Medical Mart is surrounded by early-twentieth-century limestone structures. (Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography)

Located adjacent to the Burnham Malls, Cleveland’s Medical Mart is surrounded by early-twentieth-century limestone structures. The Republican National Committee will host its 2016 convention in the city of Cleveland. (Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography)

The Republican National Committee (RNC) selected Cleveland this week for the site of their upcoming convention. Cleveland beat out Dallas with a bipartisan lobbying effort that lasted months. At their 2016 convention Republicans will nominate a candidate for President, hoping to regain the White House after eight years of Democratic leadership.

But what does it mean for Cleveland?

Wrigley Field renovation saga goes into extra innings as neighbors reject latest plans

In 2013 The Cubs proposed a "Triangle Building" to the west of Wrigley. (The Cubs)

In 2013 The Cubs proposed a “Triangle Building” to the west of Wrigley. (Chicago Cubs)

Chicago’s Wrigley Field turns 100 years old this year. To many neighbors and architectural historians, however, the ballpark’s centennial celebrations are an afterthought to the real action: the years-long debate over how to update the landmark park without corrupting its beloved 1914 character. Read More

BNIM’s Entrepreneurial Envelope for the University of Missouri-Kansas City

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BNIM and Moore Ruble Yudell wrapped the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall in multicolored terra cotta and glass. (James Ewing)

BNIM and Moore Ruble Yudell wrapped the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall in multicolored terra cotta and glass. (James Ewing)

A tight budget and short timeline inspired an innovative concrete and terra cotta facade.

BNIM and Moore Ruble Yudell approached the design of the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with two objectives. The first was to express the creative spirit of the university’s program in entrepreneurship, which at that point lacked dedicated support spaces. The second goal was to tie the contemporary structure to its historic surroundings. Moore Ruble Yudell, who developed many of the project’s interior concepts, tackled the former, creating flexible classroom and laboratory spaces and a multi-story amphitheater that doubles as casual seating and a venue for school-wide gatherings. As for the latter, BNIM designed a multicolored terra cotta envelope that balances singularity with connection. “The idea was to create a building that sat by itself, but somehow bring it into context in terms of materials,” explained BNIM senior project architect Greg Sheldon.
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SCI-Arc student group questions “secretive” hiring process for Diaz Alonso

Dean's List, Shft+Alt+Del, West
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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Hernan Diaz Alonso (Xefirotarch)

Hernan Diaz Alonso. (Xefirotarch)

A collection of anonymous students at SCI-Arc calling themselves SCI-Arc Community have taken to Tumblr to express their concern over the hiring process for future school director Hernan Diaz Alonso. Their biggest complaint: the “extreme secrecy of the Director Search Committee.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square Returned to Its Modernist Roots

The refurbished fountain and stairway. (Courtesy Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy)

The refurbished fountain and stairway. (Courtesy Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy)

After five years and $10 million, Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square has been returned to its mid-century splendor. Dedicated in 1955, the Square served as a modern, green oasis in a city choked by pollution. But only a few decades after opening, the modern masterpiece had fallen into disrepair, its former glory hidden by cracked pavement, broken fountains, pigeons, and empty planters. As Pittsburgh has transformed itself in recent years, so to has Mellon Square. Now, the reborn space is yet another example of the Steel City’s promising future.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Design Commission Announces Excellence in Design Winners

Architecture, Awards, Design, East
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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LeFrak Center at Lakeside. (Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects)

LeFrak Center at Lakeside. (Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects)

Winners of the 32nd Annual Awards for Excellence in Design were announced last night at the Thomas Leeser–designed BRIC Arts Media House in Brooklyn’s emerging Cultural District. Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand to honor the winning projects, which were selected by the city’s Design Commission. “While Brooklyn is my home borough, I am proud to be awarding a diverse group of projects representing all five New York City boroughs,” the mayor said in a statement. “This year’s winners exemplify the Design Commission’s mission to enhance every New Yorker’s quality of life through public design, regardless of their size or location of the project.”  The 10 winning proposals are all unbuilt, but two special recognition awards were awarded to Tod Williams Billie Tsien’s LeFrak Center in Prospect Park and Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island.

On to the winners…

Detroit doubles down on startups and young creatives with new “innovation district”

Detroit, on the water. (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr.)

Detroit (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr)

As Detroit nears the one year anniversary of the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, creative professionals in a busy downtown corridor are the target of a Washington, D.C.–funded “innovation district” that hopes startups will rev Detroit’s stalled economic engine. Read More

On View> Connecticut’s Bruce Museum presents “Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing”

Other
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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(Chen Shaoxiong)

(Chen Shaoxiong)

Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT
Through August 31

The Bruce Museum’s newest exhibition examines two of the world’s greatest art capitals: New York and Beijing. The show compares works by five New York–based artists and five Beijing-based based artists. The ten creators have been engaged in five different global, cross-cultural, artistic dialogues over the course of two years via email, Skype, and in person, sometimes with translators, about issues ranging from political and social upheaval, the concept of global culture, and questions about materials and techniques.

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Dutch Architects Propose Floating Island Made of Recycled Plastic

Recycled Island (Courtesy Design Villa)

Recycled Island (Courtesy Design Villa)

Considering how much trash Baltimore’s solar-powered Trash Interceptor scoops out of the city’s harbor—50,000 pounds a day!—these floating islands made from found plastic waste might just stand a chance. With the support of the Creative Industries Firm NL, WHIM Architecture is developing a prototype of their project, the recycled island, built primarily from recycled plastic waste gathered from the North Pacific gyre and the North Sea.

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Architect proposes a pedestrian bridge in Israel built from discarded shipping containers

3-ecocontainer-bridge-arielsharonpark-yoavmesserachitects-iftahhayner-hagaradmin-archpaper

(Yoav Messer Architects)

There is an ongoing architectural quest to find new and innovative sustainable materials. Some products could appear in the next science fiction film, such as the fungus-grown packaging material by Ecovative. Other materials have been with us for a long time, under guise of other uses. Some products—like the lowly shipping container—have served one function for so long they beg to be reinvented.

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