Austin’s ‘Ghost Tree’ is a Symbol of Drought in the Lone Star State

GHOST TREE ON LADY BIRD LAKE (COURTESY THIRST)

GHOST TREE ON LADY BIRD LAKE (COURTESY THIRST)

Austin’s new temporary art installation, THIRST, is inspired by Texas’ ongoing periods of severe drought since 2011. According to studies conducted by Texas A&M Forest Services, over 300 million trees have succumbed to the state’s extremely dry conditions over the past three years. Located between the Pfluger Pedestrian Crossway and the Lamar Boulevard Bridge, a white-ghostly tree now hovers over Lady Bird Lake and is surrounded by a floating barrier.

Continue reading after the jump.

SiTE:LAB Announces 54Jeff Competition Winners

National
Thursday, October 31, 2013
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1st Prize, Danielle Berwick (54Jeff)

1st Prize, Danielle Berwick, Reforestation (54Jeff)

SiTE:LAB has revealed the winners of 54Jeff, its open ideas competition pursuing compelling concepts for the future of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum in the hopes of educating the community on the unique potential of site at 54 Jefferson. The competition objective was based on repurposing the building as a public space while considering both the surviving showcases from when the museum relocated and the site’s proximity to the neighboring structure in which the museum holds the bulk of its collection. Entries were judged on innovation, quality and clarity of presentation, and sensitivity to the site and its context.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sound Artist Chris Watson Maps the Aural Landscape of Sheffield, England

City Terrain, International
Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sound recordist Chris Watson has returned home for his most recent project: creating an aural map of the contemporary landscape of Sheffield, England. Two years ago, the Guardian reported, Museums Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery asked Watson to undertake the project, mapping the noises of a town he has not lived in for thirty years. Over the past 18 months, the audio artist made a series of ambisonic recordings of the natural and urban environments of the city. The result is a 36-minute sound journey, Inside the Circle of Fire: a Sheffield Sound Map, on current exhibition at the Gallery.

Hear the Sounds of Sheffield After the Jump

Modular Shipping Container Architecture for College Football Tailgating

National
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Modular Tailgating with the Hyundai Field House (Courtesy Boxeman Studios)

Modular Tailgating with the Hyundai Field House (Courtesy Boxeman Studios)

Self proclaimed “Shipping Container Architects,” Boxman Studios, have teamed up with marketing agency Advantage International and Hyundai to bring modular, prefabricated architecture to pre-game parking lots across the country. Consisting of three shipping container units, the 1500 square foot Hyundai Field House will be traveling to 25 different college campuses to provide a flexible environment for tailgating festivities.

The custom-built containers were crafted from recycled materials and outfitted with bean-bag chairs, barstools, couches, and six HD monitors. The structures’ modular design allow them to be adapted to various campus climates and grounds, from Texas to Ohio, as well as the branding of each team. Each of the three units can function independently, or work come together in a variety of forms to suit their environment.

Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House is 40! Celebrate With These 12 Amazing Photos

International
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Courtesy Matt Norris / Flickr

The Sydney Opera House, now a symbol of Australia and the Sydney Harbor, is 40 years old this year. (Courtesy Matt Norris / Flickr)

A big “Happy 40th Birthday” goes out to the Sydney Opera House this year, which is still looking good in its middle age. Completed by Danish architect and Pritzker Prize–winner, Jørn Utzon, in 1973, the iconic performing arts center is now an internationally renowned late modernist architectural marvel. Originally, when Utzon entered the 1956 New South Wales Government sponsored competition to envision two performance halls on the Sydney Harbor, his design was discarded. However, his “entry created great community interest” and the jury was persuaded to choose him as the sole architect in the ambitious project.

Utzon received the Pritzker Prize in 2003 and the building made the World Heritage List in 2007. The architect died one year later in Copenhagen but his vision lives on. Against a Sydney Harbor backdrop, the Sydney Opera House has become a graceful, yet dynamic symbol of Australia.

View the slideshow after the jump.

Artists in Flint, Michigan Revive an Abandoned Funeral Home as a Haven for Designers

Midwest
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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(Spencer's Art House)

(Spencer’s Art House)

Artists in Flint, Michigan are used to morbid analogies, but Spencer’s Art House is literally using a funeral home to “demonstrate Flint’s potential for rebirth.”

The project turned a 120-year-old mortuary in Flint’s historic Carriage Town neighborhood into an alternative space for artists, designers, and engineers. It’s a gut rehab and then some, but the project has attracted the full force of Flint’s artistic community.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Gearing Up For New Bike Lane on Pulaski Bridge.  Pulaski Bridge (Courtesy of Newyorkshitty) Now that Citi Bikes are taking over the streets of New York City, the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is getting ready to pave the way for a new bike pathThe Daily News reported that the NYCDOT plans on creating a new dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, the connection between Greenpoint and Long Island City, by 2014. Currently pedestrians and cyclists share a crowded path, but soon a single traffic lane will be turned into a bike path. An engineering study of the bridge will include this addition and be unveiled to the Community Boards in Queens and Brooklyn in the next few months. (Photo: Courtesy Newyorkshitty)

 

Los Angeles Coliseum and Other REALLY Important RFPs in SoCAL

West
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Alidipix

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Alidipix/ flickr)

The architecture business seems to be—slowly—rounding back into form in Southern California. One indicator? A bunch of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) for major public projects. One of the most significant is the $70 million renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, whose management was taken over by the University of Southern California (USC) this summer. The iconic Parkinson & Parkinson–designed building will undergo long-delayed updates throughout, including improved sight lines, seating, concessions, audio/visual, lighting, restrooms, and much more. The stadium’s last major upgrade came in 1993. The shortlist for the project for now includes Populous, NBBJ, DLR, HNTB, Gensler, and 360 Architecture.

Continue reading after the jump.

Finding Fun in Cities: PLAYscapes Competition Winners Announced

International
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Cape Town Gardens Skatepark (Photo: Building Trust International)

Cape Town Gardens Skatepark. (Courtesy Building Trust International)

Earlier this year, Building Trust International put professional and student architects and designers to work with the hope of turning outmoded city spaces into exciting, imaginative places through its international design competition, PLAYscapes. Winning entries focused on transforming disused, forgotten parts of cities into playscapes have now been announced.

Continue reading after the jump.

Review> MAXXI Takes To the Highway: Exhibition Explores Energy & Architecture

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

One of the most curious artifacts in the current exhibition, Energy: Oil and Post-Oil Architecture and Grids, currently running through November 10, is the one you run into just outside the entrance doors to Rome’s MAXXI museum. It’s one of those ubiquitous mini AGIP filling stations, of the kind you normally would find curbside in any one of Italy’s many town centers. The look is ultra modern, with a cantilevered steel structure sheltering a smartly-constructed metal-and-glass shed designed for the gas station attendant and his stock of replacement windshield wipers and engine oils. Next to one of the pumps is AGIP’s bright yellow icon featuring a black, six-legged, fire-breathing dog. The filling station wouldn’t seem so odd if it were not for where it sits: on the pavement just under one of Zaha Hadid’s flying concrete viaducts. The architecture of Hadid’s MAXXI suggests a series of highway overpasses crashing into one of the remaining buildings preserved on the former barracks site. The miniature service station with all its loaded petro-symbolism seems to fit perfectly under the shadows of this massive Ballardian road wreck.

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Cliff Garten Inserts Sculptural “Ribbons” Into San Francisco’s 50 UN Plaza

City Terrain, West
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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(Jeremy Green)

(Jeremy Green)

Los Angeles–based artist Cliff Garten has just completed his latest commission: Ribbons, a series of landscapes and sculptures in the courtyard of the Beaux-Arts 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco. The symmetrical design riffs on the existing structure’s classical uniformity by inserting a sculptural collage of paving, seating, fountains, and plantings into the building’s 20,000 square foot courtyard.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Rick Cook of COOKFOX Discusses His Proposed Building Along the High Line

East
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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(Courtesy DBOX)

(Courtesy DBOX)

A new “class A” office building adjacent to the High Line, 510 West 22nd Street, is now in the planning stage and the developers have released a video of its designer, Rick Cook of COOKFOX Architects, describing the building. But is anyone worried that the High Line may become a dark walkway through forest of buildings? Not Cook, who bases his design on the public qualities of the old elevated rail line that transformed 10th Avenue from the “end of the world to the center of the universe.” But has there been a bigger boon to real estate development in New York since Central Park?

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