Koolhaas’ Miami Convention Center Plan Sent Back to Drawing Board

Development, East
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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archpaper_miami1

(Courtesy OMA)

New Miami mayor Philip Levine has positioned himself as a major roadblock in the way of OMA‘s proposed Miami Beach Convention CenterSouth Beach ACE, a team lead by Rem Koolhaas, local developer Robert Wennett, and New York City developer Dan Tishman narrowly edged a design by Bjarke Ingles Group in a hotly contested competition held last year to re-design the campus.

Levine has now raised questions about the proposed $1 billion cost of the project and is calling for a new set of candidates offering smaller-scale and more affordable renovation options. On Wednesday, the city officially killed the project.

Read more after the jump.

Quest to Save A Mysterious Hudson River Castle

East, Preservation
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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bannerman_archpaper1

(Dan Dvorscak/Flickr)

Preservationists are at work attempting to salvage what remains of a New York architectural oddity. The strange medieval-looking structure known as Bannerman’s Castle is located on Pollepel Island, a small stretch of land about 60 miles north of Manhattan on the Hudson River. Scottish-American Arms mogul Francis Bannerman IV built the series of buildings in the early 20th century to act as a personal residence and home to his extensive arsenal. Since the 1920s, however, the castle has suffered from neglect and a series of devastating storms and fires that contribute to its current dilapidated state.

Continue reading after the jump.

2014 will be a big year for streetcars in Kansas City and Cincinnati

City Terrain, Midwest, Transportation
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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Car 1056 of Kansas City's historic streetcar fleet. The city is currently in the process of reviving the system. (Nick Fisher via FLickr)

Car 1056 of Kansas City’s historic streetcar fleet. The city is currently in the process of reviving the system. (Nick Fisher via FLickr)

Although it hasn’t yet broken ground, Kansas City plans to revive a long-dormant streetcar network. Voters approved a ballot measure in 2012 to fund a 2-mile starter route from Union Station to the River Market, nearly 55 years after the city halted its original streetcar service in 1957.

Now Kansas City residents are likely to vote again to help pay for streetcar construction, this time to approve taxes that would help fund a new streetcar taxing district. The measure goes to City Council on Jan. 23. Read More

Louisville Looks to Fill Vacant Lots With Design Competition

City Terrain, Midwest, Urbanism
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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The city's Park Hill district is among the areas with vacant land targeted by the competition. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

The city’s Park Hill district is among the areas with vacant land targeted by the competition. (Courtesy Bing Maps)

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer started 2014 off with a call to citizens: Help the city come up with creative ideas to redevelop vacant land. Local and far-flung designers are invited to re-imagine the land in a new competition. The winners of the Lots of Possibility competition will be awarded a total of $38,000 to put their vision into action.

Continue reading after the jump.

Colorful Carbon Footprint Maps Illustrates Energy Usage Trends

New!_Carbon_Footprint_Maps_CoolClimate_Network_-_2014-01-16_03.40.47

Source: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network, Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint (2013)

University of California, Berkeley has released a new set of interactive maps illustrating national energy usage.  The visually striking if troubling images reveal a stark urban/suburban divide regarding carbon footprint, with the latter contributing far more in emissions than their city-dwelling counterparts.

Continue reading after the jump.

London Firm Wants Swimming Pools in the Thames

London-based firm Studio Octopi has a vision for a system of swimming pools that would make use of water redirected from the Thames.  The proposal comes on the heels of Thames Water‘s controversial plan to revamp the city’s Victorian sewerage system in order to prevent the flow of excess sewage into the river. Octopi developed the project in collaboration with fellow locals Civic Engineers and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects.

Read more

Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve Frank Gehry’s Grand Avenue Project

Development, West
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Gehry Partners' newest proposal for Grand Avenue. (Related Companies)

Gehry Partners’ newest proposal for Grand Avenue. (Related Companies)

Yesterday the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved Gehry Partners’ and  Related Companies’ long-stalled Grand Avenue Project, all but assuring that it will go ahead after years (and years, and years) of delay. The only remaining vote comes later today as the Grand Avenue Authority, the city-county agency overseeing the project, votes on the project.

Continue reading after the jump.

Walmart-Town Gets Classy With Help From Deborah Berke

Awards, Design, Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Courtesy 21c)

The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Courtesy 21c)

Speaking of hotels, 21C Museum Hotels continue to rake in the accolades. We noticed every dang travel magazine has rated the new Cincinnati and Bentonville (aka, Walmart-town) outposts as Super Number One Hotel In America. We jest, but seriously, the point we previously made about good design in Chicago has been successfully executed multiple times now by Deborah Berke Partners in lesser cities, creating destinations for locals and travelers alike.

Filed Under: 

Bing Thom Architects Takes the Stage in Washington, D.C.

Envelope
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Brought to you with support from:
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Bing Thom Architects designed a 650-foot long timber-backed glass curtain wall to envelope three theaters. (Nic Lehoux/courtesy Bing Thom Architects)

Bing Thom Architects designed a 650-foot long timber-backed glass curtain wall to envelope three theaters. (Nic Lehoux)

A timber-backed glass facade provides transparency, acoustical isolation, and resiliency for a historic theater complex in the nation’s capital.

When the Mead Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. hired Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects to double the institution’s square footage without disturbing two historic theaters designed by treasured architect Harry Weese, it was clear to firm principal Michael Heeney that standard solutions would not suffice. For one, the theater facilities were insufficient and outdated. More troublesome, however, was the fact that passenger jet liners taking off and landing at Regan National Airport across the Potomac River were so loud they were interrupting performances. The architects had to find a solution to mitigate this cacophony both for the existing structures as well as for the expansion—a new theater called Arena Stage.

“We had to achieve acoustical separation and isolation from exterior noise in a way that was respectful and maintained the integrity of the original structures,” Heeney told AN. Building off an approach that originated from a project in Surrey, British Columbia, the design team decided to wrap the triangular-shaped complex in glass with timber column supports, topped off with a 500-foot cantilevered roof. With the help of structural engineers at Fast + Epp and facade consultancy Heintges, the team extrapolated the Surrey solution to provide even greater transparency for the existing Weese theaters, Arena Stage, and a variety of mixed use spaces totaling 200,000 square feet. Read More

Is Chicago’s After Party In The Hotel Lobby?

Development, Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Chicago viewed from the top of the Willis Tower. (Andrew Langdal / Flickr)

Chicago viewed from the top of the Willis Tower. (Andrew Langdal / Flickr)

During Chicago’s last real estate boom it was all condos, and during the following bust developers were all about building apartments. The buzzword during this modest recovery, if you can call it that, is hotels.

Read more after the jump.

Filed Under: , , ,

Going Soft: Norman Foster’s London Skyscraper’s Unexpected Cameo

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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foster-soft-gherkin

Lord Norman Foster’s pickle-shaped 30 St. Mary Axe building in London, widely known as “the gherkin,” has been featured in an advertisement for a UK chemist that sells erectile dysfunction pills at £6 a pop. The print ad for Lloyds Pharmacy features the interrogative headline “Lost the perk-in your gherkin,” illustrated with a photo-shopped image of a drooping 30 St Mary Axe. The ad goes on to exhort readers not to “let a hard day stop a hard night.”

Pittfalls in New Orleans: Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” Houses Need Repair

Architecture, News, Newsletter, Southwest
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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(Muskegon Habitat/Flickr)

(Muskegon Habitat/Flickr)

The houses built by Brad Pitt’s charitable organization, Make it Right, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are already in need of refurbishing. The foundation is part of an effort to restore New Orleans‘ 9th Ward through the construction of 150 architect-designed homes featuring modern design, but the timber used on the exteriors of many of the homes is proving no match for the area’s moisture and is beginning to rot.  The charity has said it will work with their provider TimberSIL to solve the problems with the rapidly decaying wood.

More Brad

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