San Diego Re-Imagines Balboa Park With Car-Free Transportation, Increased Connectivity

NEWSCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN'S "BALBOA PARK EXPERIENCE" ALSO WON A MERIT AWARD (AIA SAN DIEGO)

NEWSCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN’S “BALBOA PARK EXPERIENCE” ALSO WON A MERIT AWARD (AIA SAN DIEGO)

It’s been nearly 100 years since the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the world’s fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal, was held in San Diego. In preparation for the centennial, AIA San Diego and the San Diego Museum of Art recently held an ideas competition for improvements to Balboa Park, the site of the fair. The 1,200-acre park is home to a number of museums and other cultural facilities, including the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art, plus cultivated gardens and family-friendly amusements.

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Second Hinterlands Proposal Poses Urban Snow as an Asset, Not a Nuisance

City Terrain
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Second Hinterlands_NYC_2x

(Courtesy Natalya Egon)

Now that we’re well into this winter’s snow season in New York and elsewhere, Chicago-based designers Natalya Egon and Noel Turgeon offer up some inspiration for alternative means of dealing with the wintery accumulation. The duo calls for an approach to snow clearance more deliberate in nature than the hastily-formed soot-grey masses so often seen lining city streets. Their Second Hinterlands project advocates reshaping snow over outright removal, treating the snow as a material that can be used in the creation of interactive landscapes within designated urban areas.

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Glass Tower May Replace Johansen’s Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City

The 16-story tower will serve as the headquarters of OKC-based OGE Energy Corp. (Courtesy adg)

The 16-story tower will serve as the headquarters of OKC-based OGE Energy Corp. (Courtesy ADG)

Fans of John Johansen‘s legendary Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City have yet another reason to shake their heads in amazement. Not only is the idiosyncratic modern masterpiece set for a date with the wrecking ball, there is now a proposal for the building that may replace it.

Kestrel Investments has filed an application with the Oklahoma City Planning Department to demolish Mummers—now known as Stage Center—and put in its place a 14- to 16-story tower that would become the headquarters of OGE Energy Corp. Designed by local architectural practice ADG, the $100 million proposal master plan also includes a second tower of eight-to-12 stories that would be developed separately.

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Penn State Students Present Visions for Pittsburgh Neighborhood

(Courtesy Jessica Lock)

(Courtesy Jessica Lock)

Fourth and fifth-year landscape architecture students at Penn State’s College of Art and Architecture recently presented their proposals for reshaping a Pittsburgh neighborhood. The twelve participants in the school’s Pittsburgh Studio spent most of the semester focusing on Hazelwood, a neighborhood set to host a new site for a historic branch of the city’s Carnegie Library.

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Review> The Philadelphia Museum of Art Explores the Art & Architecture of Fernand Léger

Art, East, Review
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger’s “The City,” 1919. (Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger is famous for his colorful paintings, many of which feature machine-like forms. He was also at the center of Paris’ avant-garde in the 1920s, not only in painting, but also in graphics, set and costume design, film-making, and architecture.

That is the thesis of Anna Vallye, curator of this fall’s major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis, inspired by the museum’s Léger masterpiece, the monumental 1919 painting, “The City.”

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On View> “Roads of Arabia” Exhibition on Saudi Arabian Archaeology Opens December 19 in Houston

Art, On View, Southwest
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts Houston)

(Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts Houston)

Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston
5601 Main Street
Houston, Texas
December 19 through March 9, 2014

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is hosting an eye-opening exhibition this winter that will uncover the rich history of the ancient trade routes of the Arabian Peninsula. Organized by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., in association with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), Roads of Arabia will feature objects recently excavated from more than 10 archaeological sites, and give insight into the culture and economy of this ancient civilization. Recently discovered objects along the trade routes include alabaster bowls and fragile glassware as well as heavy gold earrings and monumental statues. All of the artifacts are testament to the lively exchange between Arabs and their neighbors, including the Egyptians, Syrians, Babylonians, and Greco-Romans.

Herzog & de Meuron Design for London’s Canary Wharf Towers Revealed

archpaper-herzog-de-meuron-canary

(Courtesy Canary Wharf Group)

British architects Allies and Morrison have submitted their planning applications for the 22-acre mixed-use development for London’s Canary Wharf. Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has designed a 56-story tower that will account for some of the 3,100 residential units planned for the project. London-based Stanton-Williams is responsible for the other two apartment buildings to be included in the new neighborhood, known as “Wood Wharf.” The master-plan also incorporates extensive office space, over 100 shops, and some 39,000 square feet of public space.

Read more about the project after the jump.

Zip Lines Over the Ohio River? Louisville Designer Says It’s Possible

City Terrain, Midwest, Transportation
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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(Russ Renbarger)

(Russ Renbarger)

Louisville, Kentucky has asked its residents for help in determining the future vision for the city, and citizens sent in thousands of ideas on how to improve Possibility City. Among the crowd-sourced suggestions were many promoting alternative transportation, whether improving bike infrastructure to building light rail to, well, even more alternative methods of getting around.

Local Russ Renbarger proposed what he calls RiverZips, a mile-long zip line across the Ohio River that would convey people between Kentucky and Indiana—more of a ride than an adventure, says Insider Louisville.

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Minneapolis City Council to vote on mixed-use makeover for Downtown East neighborhood

Minneapolis Downtown East could get an overhaul from developers looking to turn surface parking lots into mixed-use programming. (Ryan companies/DML)

Minneapolis Downtown East could get an overhaul from developers looking to turn surface parking lots into mixed-use programming. This rendering shows a park that would result. (Ryan companies/DML)

In its last scheduled meeting of the year, Minneapolis City Council could give the go-ahead on a $400 million mixed-use development near the new Vikings stadium. Surface parking lots currently occupy much of that land.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial board called the Downtown East neighborhood “a part of the city’s commercial core in desperate need of new life.” The newspaper stands to benefit from the project, as the editorial announces—they plan to sell five blocks of nearby property, including their current headquarters, and move downtown.

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Public Opinion Keeps BIG’s Kimball Art Center Renovation on Hold

Architecture, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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(Courtesy BIG)

BIG’s log cabin design for the Kimball Art Center is in limbo after being received by an unimpressed public. (Courtesy BIG)

Despite winning the Kimball Art Center renovation commission in February of last year, Bjarke Ingels Group’s design proposal is far from beginning construction in Park City, Utah. After a seven-member jury of officials, architects, and a Park City resident chose the BIG museum revamp from a shortlist of designs from several prominent firms, the public made their dissatisfaction clear. The building is on hold and without community approval it will continue to sit in stasis for an indeterminable amount of time.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

First Mods of World’s Largest Prefabricated Building Assembled in Brooklyn

Architecture, East, Technology
Monday, December 16, 2013
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First modular component of B2 tower hoisted up (Courtesy of DKC Public Relations, Marketing & Government Affairs)

First modular component of B2 tower hoisted up (Courtesy of DKC Public Relations)

Last Thursday, the first mods of the SHoP Architects’ prefabricated skyscraper—the B2 tower at Brooklyn’s megaproject, Atlantic Yards—were hoisted up and assembled into place. The 32-story residential tower, which will be half affordable housing, will rise within the Atlantic Yards development adjacent the Barclays Center. The modular components are being built locally in a 100,000 square foot facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. When construction is complete by end of 2014, it will be the world’s tallest pre-fabricated building.

Synthesis Design + Architecture’s Pure Tension Pavilion Hits the Road for Volvo

Newsletter, West
Monday, December 16, 2013
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SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE'S PURE TENSION PAVILION DISPLAYS, SHADES, AND CHARGE'S THE NEW VOLVO V60 HYBRID CAR (SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE)

SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE’S PURE TENSION PAVILION DISPLAYS, SHADES, AND CHARGE’S THE NEW VOLVO V60 HYBRID CAR (SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE)

When Alvin Huang and his colleagues at Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA) saw the brief for Volvo’s “Switch to Pure Volvo” competition, they decided to give the auto manufacturer more than it had asked for. The competition, which was organized by The Plan magazine, asked architects to design an iconic, yet portable, pavilion for the new Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid electric car. SDA came up with the Pure Tension pavilion, a steel-frame structure that not only assembles in an hour, but is small enough to fit in the trunk of the car. And the pavilion doesn’t just showcase the car: it also charges it, thanks to 252 lightweight flexible photovoltaic panels incorporated into the structure’s mesh fabric surface.

Continue reading after the jump.

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