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April 08 - Blog Articles - Page 11 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

April 2nd, 2008

CityFlats Hotel Stylishly Seeking LEED [Michigan]
Eco-boutique CityFlats Hotel is a modern spot in Holland, Michigan that expects to get LEED Silver within the next month.  When certified, it'll be one of only a few green hotels in the country, which is weird because hotels focus so much on energy and water efficiency.  Some of the bigger hotel companies have announced trendy green hotel brands, but they're moving slow and in the mean time, we're seeing eco-boutiques pop up in various locations.

Boulder, CO: America’s First Smart Grid Town
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
The Smart Grid and all of its energy-saving intelligence is coming to Boulder, Colorado, making this picturesque town at the foot of the Rockies poised to become the nation’s first fully integrated Smart Grid City within the next few years! Chosen by Xcel Energy for its location, ideal size and current infrastructure, Boulder was also chosen because of in-place smart grid initiatives through University of Colorado and several other nearby institutions. Xcel Energy and its Smart Grid Consortium will start research over the next few weeks and the first phase of Smart Grid City could be in place as early as August 2008!

Seattle: a city where this design isn't good enough
David Sucher in City Comforts
Yesterday, 3:33 PM
More here, including my own comments, both there and cross-posted here, below: Overall I think it's a good urban building. In fact from what I can see in the drawing I like the way it looks and the way it behaves in terms of meeting the sidewalk and thus is largely in compliance with the City's Design Review principles. And I'd like to testify to that should -- God forbid -- this case ever come to trial. (And fwiw I...

To still provide adequate sunlight into the surrounding only 87 of the 100 units could be realised within the block. Where could the remaining 13 dwellings be positioned? If they were put elsewhere on the site, the open space would be further reduced. By ‘cantilevering’ the remaining 13 units from the north façade, they are literally suspended in the air. The hanging East-West orientated types complete the North-South dwellings in the block with a view over the adjacent polder. By hanging the extra units on the north façade, the ground plane is kept as open and green as possible. A prototypic increase in density for the garden cities is achieved

AE3: Habitable Bridges
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Using a bridge for something more than the movement of people and goods is not a new thing, as Italy's surviving Rialto Bridge (Venice) and Ponte Vecchio (Florence) attest. But their use for more than small kiosks, as habitable bridges, if you will, is a recent concept most overtly embraced by Steven Holl. Back in the late 70's and early 80's Holl created a couple speculative projects for the Bronx and Manhattan, published as Pamphlet Architecture 1 and 7, respectively. The Gymnasium Bridge project linked the South Bronx to Randalls Island and the former, the Bridge of Houses project, sited dwellings on the High Line, which is being reused in a much less "habitable", but no less ambitious way. About a decade later, in Holl's winning but unfortunately unbuilt entry to the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek competition for Berlin's main library, he made a massive bowstring truss spanning from one arm of the building to the other the children's library, where the sloped floor would allow kids to lie down while reading. Unlike the two projects above, this design makes a strong formal statement with the bridge, emphasizing the importance of it in the project and Holl's thinking on this architectural element.

Coastal Fog Tower Harvests Chilean Mist
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
In the spirit of Daekwon Parks’ Symbiotic Superstructure, we’re continuing coverage of the eVolo Competition with another incredible entry. This dispatch from the future of skyscraper technology takes us to the northern coast of Chile, where Alberto Fernández and Susana Ortega have conceived of a Fog Tower that absorbs and channels water from its mist enshrouded environs. This pristine helical structure would allow for the development of a sustainable agriculture environment at the edge of the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth.

A Modern Life
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
You've gotta love these '60s Motorola ads... Intended to depict the possibilities of a modern lifestyle. Part fantasy, part kitcsh, and a whole lot of fun, these images by Charles Schriddle don't exactly represent our current modern lives. The screens aren't nearly big enough, and the tvs are more of a background entertainment, rather than the focal point of each room!!! Imagine that, a world where tv is only one of the many forms of entertainment!

April 1st, 2008

Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Readies Blank Checks UnBeige
We've never had the pleasure of visiting Abu Dhabi or Dubai, but we imagine those oil-soaked emirates to be rococo playgrounds concocted from the wildest dreams of Walt Disney, Steve Wynn, Alfred Taubman, and Willy Wonka. And so we were delighted to read that Abu Dhabi's new Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim museum will have a "potentially unlimited" collection budget (wait -- isn't that the opposite of a budget?), at least that's how Abu Dhabi Authority culture advisor Zaki Nusseibeh described it to The Art Newspaper, in a special edition of the paper distributed at The Armory Show in New York City. Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Tourist Authority, also seemed to struggle with the idea of a budget, describing it as "flexible" before noting, "If something we really want is two or three times the annual amount, then we will buy it."

BRAZO, a Green Modern LED Task Lamp
Early in grad school, I purchased a halogen task lamp for my desk studies, but I grew tired of it for two reasons: it was too hot and the light was unbearable.  So recently, I started looking around for a new, energy-efficient task lamp and Haworth was kind enough to send me a Brazo Task Lamp designed by Pablo Pardo of Pardo Designs.  Brazo is a real award winner, taking both Best of Competition and Gold in Lighting for Best of NeoCon 2007.   I knew it was going to be nice, but I really had no idea.  Here's my review ...

Bridge Over Troubled Potter
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
It's a funny, audacious idea: take the old Sauvie Island Bridge that was recently replaced by a new span, and recycle the structure into a new bike and pedestrian bridge over I-405. It also may be an indication of the risk and reward of Commissioner and mayoral candidate Sam Adams, a proponent of the idea, versus current/outgoing mayor Tom Potter. The bridge has been discussed for a few years, but originally the idea was to make it a simple, cheap concrete crossing. That's what Mayor Potter still supports, according to an article in today's Oregonian, because it's about $1.5 million cheaper than recycling the Sauvie Island Bridge. But $1.5 million is practically pocket change to a major metropolitan city like Portland, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't choose, money aside, the Sauvie span for its superior aesthetics and the message it sends about Portland's values.

The Sound of Evolution
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
City birds have begun to sing new songs. "Gone is the familiar dawn chorus, with its rich mix of enchanting melodies and calls," New Scientist writes. "In its place is a strangely depleted music – abrupt, high-pitched and sometimes ear-piercing." It seems that constant background sound in cities is having an alarming effect on bird species. Some species simply are not able to make themselves heard above the ever-growing racket and are finding themselves squeezed out of the city. Others are beginning to change the way they communicate.

The New Gehry Residence in Los Angeles
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
It is not often that an architecture master reinvents himself, but that is precisely what Pritzker Prize winning architect Frank Gehry has done. Gehry, who first won international recognition with his own residence, a masterpiece of post-modern architecture, has revealed what can only be described as the first post post-modern architectural work, the New Gehry Residence, completely confounding both his critics and promoters alike.

Daley Center In Line for $250 million Makeover?

Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Municipal Architect reported today that a required quarter billion dollar restoration to the facades of architect Jacques Brownson's 1965 Daley Center may be taking the iconic building in a radically different direction. MA's website version of the story includes a blurry photograph, reproduced here, of a rendering of the rehab taken by a cell phone camera during a confidential presentation by architect Henry A. Douglas to a meeting of top-level city officials.

Pilgrimage to Fallingwater
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Sunday I made a trip that for any architecture fan or architect must be akin to a Muslim's pilgrimage to Mecca: to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, which the American Institute of Architects ranked in 2000 as the greatest work of American architecture of the 20th century. No argument here, folks. There isn't anything around it. We'd started the day at a low-quality Quality Inn in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Visiting a nephew-in-law at school there.)

City Center Lofts, Green Container Condos by Kalkin
I opened up the local newspaper today, and much to my surprise, there's news that the first, mid-rise container building in the U.S. is planned for downtown Salt Lake City.  The project was designed by none other than Adam Kalkin, container architecture expert, and will be called City Center Lofts.  The green, ultra-modern condo building will have eight units and a ground level art gallery.

March 31st, 2008

Jean Nouvel Named 2008 Pritzker Prize Laureate UnBeige
We're still recovering from last week's art fair overload, but the Pritzker Architecture Prize waits for no one. Your 2008 winner? Jean Nouvel! The 62-year-old Frenchman will be presented with a $100,000 grant (a paltry 63,347 Euros) and a...

Starchitecture is easy
David Sucher in City Comforts
It's a nice idea, The Serpentine Pavilions:. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission was 2000. It is an ongoing programme of temporary structures by internationally acclaimed architects and individuals. It is unique worldwide and presents the work of an international architect or design team who, at the time of the Serpentine Gallery's invitation, has not completed a building in England....Each Pavilion is sited on the Gallery’s lawn for three months and the immediacy of the process - a maximum of...

Engineering Architects.
Christoph in anArchitecture
In the 2007 survey among Austrian self employed architects (Berufsfeld Architektur 1.0) nearly half of the participants identify building construction classes as the only practical teaching at University. Consequently courses like art history, architectural theory, art, design and even energy design are far behind. Austrian architectural practices seem to be primarily focused on engineering – other competences seem unnecessary. This attitude is mirrored in Austrian job offers: offices are exclusively looking for people doing approval planning (“Einreichung”) and construction documents (“Polierplanung”).

Grand Rapids Art Museum: First LEED Gold Certified Museum
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
One of the oldest museums in the Mid-West was recently relocated to an elegant new LEED Gold certified structure, garnering accolades from art aficionados and sustainability advocates alike. Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture designed the new Grand Rapids Art Museum to be as beautiful as the artworks within, placing a premium on public space and ultra-efficient modern design. Situated downtown amid Maya Lin’s “Ecliptic” park and Alexander Calder’s “Grand Vitesse”, the museum is an impressive addition to the renowned architecture of the “sculpture city”.

Kithaus K3
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Kithaus recently installed one of their K3 Modernist modules in Big Sur, California. Designed by Tom Sandonato and Martin Wehmann, the K3 is a 9’ x 13’ pre-wired prefab module that is made of a lot of lightweight anodized aluminium that does not require heavy equipment to get it to the installation site. Interestingly, along with the Airstream CCD, the Kithaus K3 is available through DWR.

How modern art became history
Michael Archer in Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - art
For today's audiences, 20th-century art is old and 19th-century art - ancient. Can galleries overcome this challenge?

Ellsworth Residence
Designed by architect Michael P Johnson, the Ellsworth residence sits on a desert hillside in Cave Creek, Arizona. With no neighbors in site, Johnson was able to take a modernist approach - creating a long rectilinear volume resting on the hill, with two long walls made entirely of glass. These movable partitions open the house to the desert landscape, creating views to the surrounding hillside while blurring the lines between ‘in’ and ‘out’.

Escraper, Imbuing Green in Vertical Design [S2]
Imagine you are tasked with creating an innovative skyscraper that takes into consideration historical and social context, the existing urban fabric, human scale, and the environment.  Your skyscraper design can take any height or shape on any site in the world, but it must be technologically feasible and environmentally responsible.  Any ideas?  Evolo Architecture held a skyscraper competition with the above constraints and announced three winners and six mentions.  Of those nine, Daekwon Park has received some attention in the last week.  It's a pretty interesting concept.  I also like the escraper by Sohta Mori and Yuichiro Minato.

Tribune slams Children's Museum land grab "travesty", Germania on Landmarks agenda
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The Chicago Tribune's Sunday editorial The Grant Park land grab capably dissects the Chicago Children's Museum's curdled campaign to deploy raw political muscle to ram a new building into Grant Park against overwhelming "public revulsion . . . Is there no voice of reason and courage in their ranks?" the Trib asks. The editorial's final paragraphs puts the situation in a clear light.



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Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 08:24
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