Andropogon’s Dual Design for Sustainability, Recreation in Philly

City Terrain, East
Friday, November 22, 2013
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(Courtesy Andropogon)

Water maintenance and feature within an urban community playground transforms Lower Venice Island in Philadelphia. (Courtesy Andropogon)

The Philadelphia Water Department wanted a 3 million gallon sewer overflow tank. Neighbors wanted maintenance of current community recreational space. Now, landscape architecture firm Andropogon has split the difference for Philadelphia residents concerned with the fate of Lower Venice Island. Using high performance landscape design, the firm has envisioned the 5-acre island between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal as a space for both water maintenance and for community promenade and play.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

Serenity now! Studies question trend toward open offices

National
Friday, November 22, 2013
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Open offices, like the Toronto office of Bruce Mau Design, have come under fire in several recent studies. (Courtesy SparkCBC via Flickr)

Open offices, like the Toronto office of Bruce Mau Design, have come under fire in several recent studies. (Courtesy SparkCBC via Flickr)

The open office trend is rooted in some good ideas: encourage communication by breaking down barriers; give workers more space to breathe without confining cubicles. But a wave of new research is questioning the efficacy of the open strategy.

Continue reading after the jump.

Perkins+Will Canada’s VanDusen Gardens Orchid

Fabrikator
Friday, November 22, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
StructureCraft fabricated 71 timber roofing panels for Canada's first Living Building Challenge-targeted new construction project. (Nic Lehoux)

StructureCraft fabricated 71 modular roofing panels from timber for a Living Building Challenge-targeted new construction project. (Nic Lehoux)

StructureCraft fabricates an orchid-shaped roof that supports vegetation and Living Building Challenge principles.

After serving patrons at one of Vancouver’s oldest botanical gardens for nearly 100 years, the VanDusen Gardens Visitors Centre had fallen dangerously into disrepair. Perkins+Will Canada conceived of a new, orchid-shaped center that meets CaGBC’s LEED Platinum ratings, and is the country’s first structure to target the International Living Building Challenge with features like geothermal boreholes, a 75-square meter photovoltaic array, and a timber roof that supports vegetation. To help fabricate the wooden structure to Perkins + Will Canada’s vision, the team contracted StructureCraft, a Vancouver-based design-build studio specializing in timber craftsmanship and structural solutions.

Initial designs for the 19,000-square-foot building were delivered to StructureCraft as Rhino files. The uniquely shaped rooftop, which mimics an outline of the indigenous British Columbia orchid, had to be economically fabricated in a way that took net carbon effects into account. Within Rhino plugins—mainly Grasshopper—and with the help of strucutral engineers Fast + Epp, the StructureCraft team sliced the shape of the building into 71 long, curved panels of repeatable geometries. “Each curve is unique, so there’s a different radii for each beam,” said Lucas Epp, a structural engineer who worked on the project. “We optimized the global geometry of the roof so the radii of all the beams were in our fabrication tolerances but still achieved the architect’s desired aesthetic.” Read More

University of Oregon Students Propose Sustainable Wood Housing in Brooklyn

Dean's List, East, West
Thursday, November 21, 2013
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Courtesy Grow Your Own City

Courtesy Grow Your Own City

With their winning design for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s “Timber in the City” competition, three students from the University of Oregon have imagined wood’s viable potential in prefabricated low-cost housing. Wood construction has been a popular topic at AN recently and the topic of our recent feature, Timber Towers. Benjamin Bye, Alex Kenton, and Jason Rood entered the design competition last year with the mission to create a community of affordable housing and wood technology manufacturing in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Awarded first place, Grow Your Own City proposes the use of CLT (cross-laminated timber) for construction of nearly 183,000 square feet of mid-rise housing, a bike share and repair shop, and a wood distribution, manufacturing, and development plant.

Read more about the proposal after the jump.

MIT Media Lab Creates a Digital Interface That Reaches Into the Real World

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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(Courtesy Tangible Media Group / MIT Media Lab)

(Courtesy Tangible Media Group / MIT Media Lab)

Do you dream of a world in which your touch-screen could touch back? Where you can shape digital models with your hands, physically reach out to friends hundreds of miles away, and once again tangibly interact with the people and objects around you?

The Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab has begun to probe this future of 3D interactive interfaces with their latest creation: inFORM. Functioning similarly to the metal pinscreen toy, inFORM combines a state-of-the-art table-mounted “screen” of 900 movable “pixels,” a hacked Microsoft Kinect, projector, and nearby computer to transmit palpable content back-and-forth between the digital and physical realms.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Zaha Hadid’s First Hong Kong Building Nearing Completion

International
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

In 2007, Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition to design an Innovation Tower for Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Six years later, students and faculty are beginning to settle into the glacial, 130,000 square foot, 250 foot tall design-education center as it nears completion. The space-age, striated structure will be a “creative multidisciplinary environment,” that, according to the architects, “dissolves the classic typography of a tower and podium to create a seamlessly fluid new structure,” meaning that the Pearl of the Orient will soon welcome a curving, difficult-to-decipher, new educational building. Set to fully open next spring, the tower will be Hadid’s first permanent structure in Hong Kong.

Continue reading after the jump.

Three Designs Shortlisted for Nobel Center in Stockholm

International
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Nobelhuset  (Courtesy Nobelhuset AB)

Nobelhuset, a shortlisted entry by David Chipperfield Architects (Courtesy Nobelhuset AB)

The Nobel Foundation has officially launched an international design competition for the creation of a Nobel Center Headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. An architectural idea in existence since the 1990s, the Center will serve as a venue for the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, as a space for exhibition, public education, and meetings, and as a symbol of the honorable achievements of Nobel Laureates.

Previously, the Foundation released its list of twelve architectural concept winners. These anonymous entries were judged on general building design, structural relationship with the waterfront site on the Blasieholmen peninsula, and shaping the urban context for the proposed functions of the Nobel Center.

View the Designs After the Jump.

Video> Architect vs. Contractor Rap Showdown

International
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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YKKAP has released its second “I am an architect” rap battle video, this time mashing up architects and contractors in an epic throw-down. Who won? Vote at YKKAP’s Facebook page. And don’t forget to participate in the “Celebrate the Art of Architects” twitter contest!

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On View> “Marc Newson: At Home” Opens on November 23 at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

East, On View
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Nearly three decades after he was launched into design stardom by his biomorphic, aluminum Lockhead Lounge (above), famed Australian industrial designer Marc Newson will soon receive his first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Marc Newson: At Home” will collect furniture, clothing, appliances, and Newsons’ 021C Ford concept car within a mock, six-room home in the museum’s Collab Gallery. Gathered from collections across Europe, Japan, and the United States, in addition to Newson’s personal cache, the objects on display will highlight the various facets of the designer’s distinctive style of flowing lines, bulbous forms, bright colors, and industrial references which helped to define an era of industrial design. The exhibition opens November 23rd and runs until April 20, 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

Koolhaas’ CCTV Headquarters Crowned Best Tall Building in The World

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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OMA's CCTV Headquarters in Beijing wins Best Tall Building Worldwide (Courtesy CTBUH)

OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing wins Best Tall Building Worldwide (Courtesy CTBUH)

One World Trade may officially be the tallest building in the West, but according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the honor of the Best Tall Building in the World goes to OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing–a fitting birthday gift to the architect who previously declared war on the skyscraper (Happy 69th Rem!).

Continue reading after the jump.

New Film, Reaching for the Moon, Traces Life of Poet Elizabeth Bishop and Architect Lota de Macedo Soares

National
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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MIRANDA OTTO as Elizabeth Bishop and GLÓRIA PIRES as Lota de Macedo Soaresin the movie “Reaching for the Moon“ (Lisa Graham / Courtesy L.C. Barreto)

MIRANDA OTTO as Elizabeth Bishop and GLÓRIA PIRES as Lota de Macedo Soares in the movie “Reaching for the Moon“ (Lisa Graham / Courtesy L.C. Barreto)

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.*

At this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Reaching for the Moon by Bruno Barreto, one of the most celebrated filmmakers from Brazil (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) was originally titled “The Art of Losing.” That is the refrain of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “One Art” which chronicles ever-increasing losses—keys, names and places; then personal mementos; escalating to homes, cities and continents; and finally love. The love and then loss of this film is Bishop’s affair with self-taught architect Lota de Macedo Soares, the woman behind Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Morphosis Selected To Design New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

International, West
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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Aerial view of Beirut, Lebanon. (Omar Chatriwala / Flickr)

Aerial view of Beirut, Lebanon. (Omar Chatriwala / Flickr)

Three years after an unsuccessful bid for a chance to design the U.S. Embassy in London, Morphosis Architects has won a different Department of State project: a new Embassy for Beirut, Lebanon. The firm was selected from a shortlist that also included Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam/AECOM. Read More

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