Red Wagons Help Illustrate Green Infrastructure in Seattle.  Red Wagons Help Illustrate Green Infrastructure in Seattle In an effort to manage excess rainwater and sewage spills at Seattle’s Barton Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO), officials have pulled out a small army of little red wagons to help illustrate green infrastructure improvements for residents. According to Sightline Daily, officials presented residents with rain garden maps and rolled out life-size tarps along the road to show the dimensions of planned bioswales and how they would interact with residents’ front yards and sidewalks. These swales can soak up large quantities of stormwater, helping prevent discharges of polluted water from the combined rainwater and sewage system. (Photo: Vineyard Adventures / Flickr)

 

Ultra-Sustainable Mushroom-Based Packaging Wins 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

(Courtesy Ecovative)

(Courtesy Ecovative / Flickr)

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, co-founders of Ecovative, want the world of material packaging to enter “The Mushroom Age” and they have the approval of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. Founded in 2009, the upstate New York company has developed biocompatible, strong, lightweight, and fireproof fungi-based packaging as a sustainable replacement for polystyrene foam, widely used but made of environmentally harmful plastics. In August, AN reported Ecovative’s Mushroom Packaging project as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge. This week, BFI awarded the entry first place in its $100,000 competition for socially responsive design.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rojkind Arquitectos’ Mexican Treehouse

Fabrikator
Friday, October 25, 2013
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Fabrikator
Templates for a 14-foot wooden treehouse were printed on an HP Designjet T920. (courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

Templates for a 14-foot wooden treehouse were printed on an HP Designjet T920. (courtesy Rojkind Arquitectos)

Francisco Saavedra fabricates a template to scale with large-format, Designjet printers from HP.

Founded in 2002, Rojkind Arquitectos is leaving an imprint across its native Mexico through a combination of civic, retail, residential, and hospitality projects. Its innovative design and production methods have garnered international recognition, particularly for projects like Nestlé’s Chocolate Museum is in Toluca and innovation lab in Querétaro, and Mexico City’s Tori Tori Japanese restaurant, but the firm also engages in smaller projects and creative diversions that explore new avenues of the design/build process.

Casa del Arbol is one such example. Conceived as an add-on for a venerable client, the project is a tree house for the family’s three young daughters. “There was a bird’s nest in the garden when we visited the site,” said Gerardo Salinas, partner at Rojkind. “And a 2-meter space between two trees in the yard was an ideal location that wouldn’t damage the existing trees.” Read More

New York Post on Politically-Charged Public Space and Priestly Palaces

City Terrain, East, International
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

We don’t normally look to the New York Post for stories on architecture and planning. But while getting our shoes shined for tonights black tie Heritage Ball we had a chance to read the paper’s Late City Final. There in the middle of stories on JonBenet Ramsey, a lawyer “ripping a Jet Slugger,” and Lady Gaga’s thigh tattoo was a smattering of the latest in design spectacle.

Next to a story on Mitt Romney’s new 5,900 square foot “secret hideout” in Holiday, Utah (which will apparently feature a bookcase that swivels open and leads into hidden room), there is a long story on Midtown Manhattan street plazas that both Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota are apparently thinking of “yanking…out,” according to the paper.

Continue reading after the jump.

Saturday> Unfrozen Music Concert Pairs LA Architects and Music

Other, West
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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UM_logo

Unfrozen Music
Santa Monica Main Library
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
7:00-9:00pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA

It’s that time of year again: time for local architects to put down their laptops and pick up their musical instruments. This Saturday, October 26, Shimahara Illustration will hold its fifth annual Unfrozen Music concert at the Santa Monica Main Library. The concert program includes six short sets performed by Los Angeles architects. AN‘s West Coast Editor, Sam Lubell, will MC the event.

More information after the jump.

2013 MAS Summit Revealed Big Thinking Taking Place in New York City

East
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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Vin Cipolla. (Courtesy MAS)

Vin Cipolla. (Courtesy MAS)

At the National Design Awards Ceremony at the White House on September 20, Michelle Obama confessed that Barack really wanted to be an architect—but he wasn’t talented enough. This was recounted by Henk Ovink, senior advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, at the 4th Municipal Art Society (MAS) Summit, held October 17-18 in New York City. During the event, the themes of Innovation and Leadership heralded the upcoming New York mayoral election and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

The Summit is a testing ground for MAS’s current and future work, and there couldn’t be a clearer indication that this institution has moved beyond the shadow of its most historic achievement—the saving of Grand Central Terminal—decades ago. MAS’s commitment to New York as a livable, globally-competitive city that is socially, economically, and environmentally resilient—note that last watchword—is a hallmark of President Vin Cipolla’s leadership. In more than 40 sessions over 2 days, here are some of the highlights of the Summit.

Continue reading after the jump.

Studio Gang’s Boathouse Opens, Celebrates Chicago River

City Terrain, Midwest
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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Gang's WMS Boathouse at Clark Park engages the Chicago River. (Chris Bentley / AN)

Gang’s WMS Boathouse at Clark Park engages the Chicago River. (Chris Bentley / AN)

Amid the clamor to take advantage of Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House this weekend, some may have missed the opening of Studio Gang’s boathouse along the Chicago River’s north branch. The WMS Boathouses at Clark Park opened Saturday to fanfare led by the Chicago Rowing Foundation, who were eager to celebrate the first of four new boathouses to be built along the Chicago River. Read More

September Billings Report Show Steady Positive Growth for Architecture Economy

National
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

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

The slow days of the recession are long gone. Recent figures indicate that September was another robust month for the architecture industry. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose from 53.8 in August to 54.3 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said that this upswing in the demand for design services is a reflection of the industry’s new and advanced design and business practices. “The prolonged economic downturn that has affected the design and construction industry has actually resulted in the increased productivity levels as reported by architecture firms,” Baker said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> BIG Opens Underground Maritime Museum in Denmark

International, Newsletter, Pictorial
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed its latest cultural offering in its homeland: the Danish Maritime Museum in the city of Helsingør. Located a mere 1,600 feet from the historic Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the museum honors Denmark’s historic and contemporary role as a leading maritime nation. Faced with the challenge of establishing a fitting facade while preserving the views from the nearby castle, BIG principal Bjarke Ingels tucked the 65,000-square-foot museum 23 feet below grade by carving out space around an existing, decommissioned dry dock.

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles Earthquake Report: Be Afraid

West
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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Hospital in Sylmar destroyed by the San Fernando Earthquake.  (US Geological Survey)

Hospital in Sylmar destroyed by the San Fernando Earthquake. (US Geological Survey)

If you live or work in one of LA’s many older concrete buildings and happened to read the  Los Angeles Times recent story, “Concrete Risks,” your building, as swanky and detailed as it may be, may never be experienced in quite the same light. The report sounds the alarm on over 1,000 concrete buildings in the city and throughout the region that “may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Sorkin Salutes Lebbeus Woods, Marshall Berman at National Design Awards

National
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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Michael Sorkin. (Courtesy National Design Awards)

Michael Sorkin. (Courtesy National Design Awards)

In AN‘s recent article on the winners of this year’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards, we mentioned that Michael Sorkin accepted his award for “Design Mind” with a powerful tribute—as only he can—to his late friends and intellectual mentors, Lebbeus Woods and Marshall Berman. Sorkin, like the other awardees, was only allowed a 2 minute acceptance speech, which he has shared with AN. Read the statement in full below.

Continue reading after the jump.

Rashid Karim–Designed Vodka Bottle Looks Like a Piece of Ice

International
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
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(Courtesy Anestasia)

(Courtesy Anestasia)

It seems booze is on high-design minds. The latest in AN‘s series of high-end liquor bottles by top-tier designers comes from the prolific Prince of Pink, New York’s own Karim Rashid. Teaming up with American luxury vodka brand Anestasia, Karim has delivered a jagged, crystalline container that differs from his usual globulous rose creations. The bottle’s angular forms were supposedly drawn from word “vodka” itself, or more specifically the shapes of the letters V and K. Aside from the asymmetrical bottle design, Rashid is also responsible for the brand’s logo, typeface, and visual identity.

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