I. M. Pei’s Sunning Plaza in Hong Kong to be Demolished by End of 2013

International
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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Courtesy Trevor Patt / Flickr

Sunning Plaza and surrounding structures as viewed from its public courtyard. (Courtesy Trevor Patt / Flickr)

In architecturally crowded Hong Kong, plazas are a rare breath of open air. The luxurious Causeway Bay district, whose retail rental rates surpassed New York City’s Fifth Avenue in 2012, is home to one of these sparse open spaces, Sunning Plaza. I.M. Pei’s 27-story edifice faces a large public courtyard, a hardscape relief within the densely built area devoted to commercial shops and restaurants.

But, such a luxury is always in threat of expansion. Artinfo reported that developer Hysan will soon be converting the space into additional commercial stores and offices. Pei’s 1982 building is to be demolished by the end of this year and the plaza is going with it.

Read More

Explore 150 Chicago Buildings During This Weekend’s Free Open House

Midwest
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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Visit Goettsch Partners' office, located at the top of the Santa Fe building, during Open House Chicago. It's one of 19 design offices open to the public Oct. 19-20. (Chicago Architecture Foundation)

Visit Goettsch Partners’ office, located at the top of the Santa Fe building, during Open House Chicago. It’s one of 19 design offices open to the public Oct. 19-20. (Chicago Architecture Foundation)

Last year’s Open House Chicago sent architecture enthusiasts skittering around the city to explore a fraction of the 150 sites open to the public during one October weekend. This year the Chicago Architecture Foundation presents the third annual Open House, and it will be no less impossible to see all that the free de facto festival has to offer.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Designs A Limited Edition Wine Bottle

International
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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(Courtesy Leo Hillinger)

(Courtesy Leo Hillinger)

From high-end hotels interiors to deluxe dollhouses and state-of-the-art superyachts, Queen of the Curve, Zaha Hadid, has been expanding her signature sinuous style to all corners of the design map. The latest unexpected design to emerge from the architect’s versatile office comes in the form of a limited-edition wine bottle for Austrian winemaker Leo Hillinger.

For the 999-bottle edition of the winery’s 2009 vintage red, Icon Hill, Hadid created a curvaceous form derived from the profile of liquid droplets. A concave indentation along one side of the bottle’s surface matches the curvature of the bottle’s opposite side, so if you happen to be the proud owner of more than one of these bottles, you can create an interlocking conga-line of high-design wine. At the base of the bottle, the architect has designed a small dimple to assist in correct pouring and the collection of sediments. The bottle’s geometries were created using NURB-based CAD software, from which cast iron molds were produced to form the glass.

Eavesdrop> Let Them Drink Champagne, Daddy

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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Studio Gang's design for a massive lamp shade at Expo Chicago. (Courtesy Studio Gang)

Studio Gang’s design for a massive lamp shade at Expo Chicago. (Courtesy Studio Gang)

Art fairs serve three groups of clientele: the rich, who buy the art, curators and museum folks, and the poor—students, freelance writers, party-crashers. You can probably guess that Eavesdrop is in the latter, not the former, so imagine the disappointment when champagne was going for $19 per glass on opening night of Expo Chicago.

Seriously, what happened to the days of all-you-can-drink Grolsch or Basil Haydens way back in Art Chicago’s past? The sticker shock should be from the gallery price lists, not the bar.

While standing in line, Eavesdrop was flattered to be recognized by James Geier of 555 International, who hinted at a slew of new projects and fall openings. Hopefully those openings will allow the 99 percent to imbibe.

The art fair’s environment, layout and scheme, was designed by Studio Gang, although we can’t say that we were able to discern a noticeable imprint.

MoMA Gets Tactical About Megacities

International
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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(Morro do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro. photo: Pedro Rivera, RUA Arquitetos)

(Morro do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro. photo: Pedro Rivera, RUA Arquitetos)

Today MoMA announced the newest exhibition in its “Issues in Contemporary Architecture Series,” Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities. Six teams will examine how tactical urbanism can be used to address challenges in six global megacities: New York, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro. Like the previous exhibitions in the series–Rising Currents and ForeclosedUneven Growth will commence with a series of public workshops, beginning on October 26 at MoMA PS 1. The final projects will be exhibited at MoMA in November 2014. Each team is comprised of a local firm from each study city paired with an international firm. The six teams are: Situ Studio of New York with Cohabitation Strategies from Rotterdam; Rua Architectos of Rio with MAS Urban Design from Zurich; URBZ of Mumbai with Pop Lab from Boston; NLE Architects of Lagos with Intelligencias Colectivas of Madrid; MAP Office of Hong Kong with Network Architecture Lab from New York; and Superpool of Istanbul with Atelier d’Architecture Autogenérée from Paris. Read More

On View> “Of Walking” at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography

Midwest, On View
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography)

(Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Photography)

Of Walking
Museum of Contemporary Photography
660 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Through December 20

The Museum of Contemporary Photography’s exhibition, Of Walking, explores how the simple act of walking gives rise to countless intricate thoughts. Although walking may be perceived as one of mankind’s most simple acts, it triggers a series of emotions and contemplations. Of Walking shows that it is not just about putting one foot in front of the other, nor is it solely the motion from point A to point B. The curators sought to demonstrate how the process of thinking is made possible by the act of walking.

Continue reading after the jump.

House K by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects Makes the Most of a Small Lot

International
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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House K (Courtesy 批给屋, Flickr)

House K (Courtesy 批给屋, Flickr)

Situated on the fringes of Tokyo’s dense urban fabric, House K—designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects—provides an innovative take on the traditional duplex home. The architects were posed with the challenge of creating a joint-living arrangement for two families on a very narrow piece of land. While the structure may look small and narrow from the outside, the thoughtful design demonstrates that a building’s allocated footprint need not be a limiting factor in achieving a feeling of wide, open spaces.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Clock is Ticking! One Week Until Facades+ PERFORMANCE in Chicago

Midwest, National
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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AN and Enclos’ Facades+ PERFORMANCE is only one week away! Register today to join hundreds of like-minded professionals from across the AEC industry as they converge on Chicago from October 24th-25th to discuss the most exciting breakthroughs in high-performance building enclosures. The response has been overwhelming and there are just a few seats remaining, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this groundbreaking event!

Be there for hands-on technology workshops and in-depth discussions of the tools and techniques that are forcing a paradigm shift in the way high-performance architecture is conceived and constructed. Form lasting professional connections with leading innovators from across the industry through our unbeatable networking opportunities. Set new standards for performance in your professional practice. The future of architecture begins at Facades+, so sign up today before the clock runs out!

Johansen’s Oklahoma City Mummers Theater Will Live on in Memory

Southwest
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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John Johansen's Mummers Theater was renovated into the Stage Center in the 1990s. (Courtesy Elliott+Associates Architects)

John Johansen’s Mummers Theater was renovated into the Stage Center in the 1990s. (Courtesy Elliott+Associates Architects)

[Editor's Note: Tracey Zeeck is an Oklahoma native and resident who has been leading the effort to save and preserve John Johansen's classic Mummers Theater in that city. She responds here to a letter to the editor in the Oklahoma Gazette. ]

In 2012, armed with good intentions and a passionate group of friends and family, Farooq Karim of REES Associates and I decided to respond to an RFP and save John Johansen’s Oklahoma City masterpiece, Stage Center (Mummers Theater) from the wrecking ball. We would turn this vestige of 1970s brutalism into a children’s museum and light up downtown with joyful sounds of creative play. We had two months to create the plan, submit the RFP and raise $30,000,000. We didn’t make it.

Continue reading after the jump.

TransformKC Celebrates Public Transit with International Exhibition

City Terrain, Midwest
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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Better Block KC

Better Block KC

TransformKC is underway in Kansas City, and the dozens of projects on display are provoking discussion on topics from public transit to energy infrastructure.

A joint effort between the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance (KCRTA) and the American Institute of Architects Kansas City (AIA KC) Young Architects Forum (YAF), TransformKC curated built and unbuilt work around the topic of “regional mobility” in an attempt to “inspire the public’s imagination.”

Continue reading after the jump.

In Chicago, Toyo Ito Reflects On 3.11 Earthquake

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito visited the Art Institute of Chicago Tuesday, reflecting during two public lectures on how the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated his homeland changed his approach to design.

At 72 years old, the accomplished architect might be expected to rest on his laurels. But Ito said his entire approach began to change during the 1990s. “I used to pursue architecture that is beautiful, aligned with modernism,” he said through an interpreter during a talk with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; Yusaku Imamura, director of Tokyo Wonder Site; and artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Instead, he said, he began to ask what elements of a building make it livable.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Designs a Superyacht

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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(Courtesy Zaha Hadid)

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid)

Taking her sleek, space-age forms to the sea, Zaha Hadid has teamed up with Hamburg, Germany–based master shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to launch a fleet of signature superyachts. Together they have created The Unique Circle Yacht, a family of five distinct 90m yachts based on the design philosophies and sculptural contours of a 420-foot master prototype that was recently displayed in an exhibition of Hadid’s work at the David Gill Gallery in London. The web-like design of the yachts’ distinctively-Zaha upper exoskeleton was supposedly informed by fluid dynamics, underwater ecosystems, and the structural systems of marine organisms, while the hull was the result of intense hydrodynamic research.

Continue reading after the jump.

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