Bjarke Ingels Lays The First Brick at LEGO House in Denmark

Ingels and the LEGO team at the recent groundbreaking. (Courtesy LEGO Group)

Ingels and the LEGO team at the recent groundbreaking. (Courtesy Edith Kirk Kristiansen)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has begun assembling the pieces of its life-size LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. The wunderkind, himself, recently joined the LEGO Group’s brass (er, plastic?) for the ceremonial groundbreaking, which was really more of a brick-laying as six LEGO-shaped foundation stones were unveiled at the site. Imprinted on those stones were the words: “imagination, creativity, fun, learning, caring, and quality.”

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Product> Contract Furnishings & Materials: Six picks from this year’s NeoCon

Design, Interiors, National, Product
Friday, August 22, 2014
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Steelcase4766

(Courtesy Steelcase)

As thinking on workplace design continues to evolve—should we stand or sit? Collaborate or isolate? Specialize or multi-task?—the need for comfortable, well organized, and aesthetic environments remains unquestioned. Here are a few items from NeoCon 2014 that caught our attention.

Soto II Tools
Steelcase

A collection of multi-functional organizers leverages the limited desktop space of the modern office. Includes monitor bridge, shelves, and USB hub.

More after the jump.

Urbana’s Shape-Shifting Parking Garage Facade

Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Urbana Studio designed an interactive aluminum facade for an existing parking structure at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. (Serge Hoeltschi)

Urbana Studio designed an interactive aluminum facade for an existing parking structure at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. (Serge Hoeltschi)

Folded aluminum panels deliver the illusion of movement to passersby.

During their recent expansion, Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis approached Urbana Studio with an unusual request. The hospital wanted the Los Angeles-based art and architecture firm to design an interactive facade for a recently completed parking structure. “With Indianapolis’ really extreme weather patterns, we gave a lot of thought to: how can we make something that’s interactive but won’t be broken in a year?” said Urbana principal Rob Ley. “Unfortunately, the history of kinetic facades teaches us that that they can become a maintenance nightmare.” Urbana’s solution was to turn the relationship between movement and the object on its head. Though the aluminum facade, titled May September, is itself static, it appears to morph and change color as the viewer walks or drives by.
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Construction finally underway on Detroit’s 3.3-mile-long M-1 rail line

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy image - M1 Rail)

The 80-foot, 3,000-pound rails that will become the M1 Rail track have begun to arrive in Detroit. (Courtesy M1 Rail)

After years of planning, Detroit‘s M-1 Rail Line took an important step into physical reality this week, as piles of 80-foot-long, 3,000-pound rails arrived on construction sites that will build the 3.3 mile streetcar line by the end of 2016. Read More

Vintage Glass Blocks For Sale For a Good Cause

Art, Design, National
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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The glass blocks. (Courtesy unearthedgallery)

The glass blocks. (Courtesy unearthedgallery)

AN recently got word of 1,500 vintage glass art blocks that are up for sale over on Etsy. These slabs won’t just add color to your home or garden, they will represent a donation to a great cause as the seller, the Unearthed Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin, is donating 15 percent of its proceeds to Heifer International.

More info after the jump.

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Observers sound off on San Francisco’s 49ers Stadium, the house that tech built

Architecture, West
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Inside Levi's Stadium (Levi's Stadium)

Inside Levi’s Stadium. (Courtesy Levi’s Stadium)

San Jose Mercury News columnist (and frequent AN contributor) Alan Hess took on HNTB’s Levi’s Stadium, the new $1.3 billion home of the San Francisco 49ers. Hess compares the “starkly utilitarian,” 68,500 seat stadium to Silicon Valley’s high tech environments, and even to its high-end gadgets. The building “translates the high-def experience of a game we see on TV—the roaring crowd, the superhuman action of the players, the intense color of the grass under the TV-studio lighting, the camaraderie of loyal 49ers fans celebrating (or commiserating) en masse—into an enormous three-dimensional architectural spectacle,” Hess wrote.

Continue reading after the jump.

Refined Peter Gluck–designed tower to break ground in Philly early next year

205 Race Street. (Courtesy Gluck+)

205 Race Street. (Courtesy Gluck+)

Plans for a 17-story tower at 205 Race Street in Philadelphia are back on track, but what will rise at the vacant site appears to be significantly more restrained than what was first envisioned. In 2012, Peter Gluck, then of Peter Gluck and Partners, unveiled dramatic renderings for a tower that had a facade clad in panels that seemed to disappear as they rose up an increasingly glassy exterior skin. The building, which sits adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, had ground-floor retail and was separated into two distinct volumes by a two-story cutout that opened up about fifty feet above the street. That plan was almost unanimously rejected by the Old City Civic Association.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Architecture Billings Index Is Crushing It

National
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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01-july2014-architecture-billings-index-aia-archpaper

BILLINGS (BLUE), INQUIRIES (RED), AND DESIGN CONTRACTS (GREEN) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

You should probably be sitting down for this because there is some big news regarding the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) that is not for the faint of heart. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s proceed. So everyone knows that the ABI has really been flexing its muscle this summer—it posted a 52.6 in May and then a 53.5 in June. Those are pretty solid scores given that anything above a 50 indicates an increase in billings, but then July happened—and it happened in a big way. Last month, the ABI posted a 55.8. That’s important news considering the index hasn’t been that high since 2007—since before the whole global financial meltdown.

Continue reading after the jump.

How the bankrupt $2.4 billion Revel Casino lost another $21,000

Architecture, East, Eavesdroplet
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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THE REVEL CASINO. (COURTESY REVEL)

THE REVEL CASINO. (COURTESY REVEL)

News recently broke that the $2.4 billion Revel Casino in Atlantic city would be closing just two-and-a-half years after it opened. It’s been a rough week for the casino and a new report from the Press of Atlantic City manages to make things even worse. According to the publication, earlier this month, when armored cars were removing cash from the casino, a bag containing $21,000 in currency was left on top of one of the vehicles. When the car drove off, the bag (obviously) fell off, and nobody has seen it since. Crunching the numbers, that puts Revel back approximately $2,400,021,000—which equals a ton of money.

Product> Furnishings: Milan Revisited in 11 Beautiful Designs

2-Artek_KG002_KG001_Rival_3_s

(Courtesy Artek)

Once again, top-drawer design talents—Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Ingo Maurer, Nendo, and Daniel Libeskind among them—claimed the limelight at the last Salone del Mobile. More than 300,ooo attendees navigated the halls of the Rho exhibition center, while closer to the center of Milan, satellite shows and exhibitions drew crowds to more avant-garde events. Here’s a selection of our favorite pieces.

Rival
Artek

While created as a work chair for the home office, this swiveling seat has a distinctive presence. Fabricated of birch, in high- and low-back styles; leather and fabric upholstery. Designed by Konstantin Grcic.

more after the jump.

Development ramps up in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, provokes class tensions

Development, Midwest
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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The Logan Square lot long home to "Mega Mall," a blighted flea market and two surface parking lots, may become "Logan's Crossing," an updated retail hub along an increasingly busy stretch of Milwaukee Avenue. (Courtesy Antunovich Associates via Curbed Chicago)

The Logan Square lot long home to “Mega Mall,” a flea market and two surface parking lots, may become “Logan’s Crossing,” an updated retail hub along an increasingly busy stretch of Milwaukee Avenue. (Courtesy Antunovich Associates via Curbed Chicago)

Bigger developments are targeting Logan Square lately, sparking local debates about what direction is best for the majority Latino neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side.

Continue reading after the jump.

Back in the game: HOK to acquire 360 Architecture, reenter sports architecture field

Architecture, National, News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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San Jose Earthquakes Stadium (360 Architecture)

San Jose Earthquakes Stadium (360 Architecture)

In a power play for the world of arena architecture, HOK has announced it will acquire Kansas City’s 360 Architecture. Their union marks HOK’s return to the world of sports and entertainment facility design, possibly to compete with Populous, another Kansas City-based firm that spun off from HOK Sports Venue Event in 2008. Read More

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