April 08 - Blog Articles Print
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:00

These are the articles and blogs that we selected in April.

 


April 30th, 2008

A Narratorium Forum
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Portland lacks a proper contemporary art museum. There is also an argument to be made for a design museum. But professor Clive Knights and his Portland State University architecture students have something different in mind. Continuing their explorations of the relationship between urban environments and storytelling, these Vikings are forging onward with discussions of an institution built around verbal storytelling: the Narratorium. Knights and his department are hosting an upcoming event to take the idea forward: You are invited to participate in an open public discussion to consider the viability of a new form of civic institution for Portland dedicated to the art of storytelling and the traditions of oral history: The Narratorium. Sixteen architecture students proposed many different versions of such an institution this recent Winter term and this work will act as a prompt for conversation and strategizing.

Verb Police: To Architect or Not to Architect?
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Yesterday we were intrigued and slightly befuddled to read on our sister mediabistro.com blog FishbowlNY of Backpacker magazine editor-in-chief Jonathan Dorn's description of recent work on the magazine's website: "Since last September, we have been architecting what our readers said they wanted: more multimedia content, GPS-enabled hikes, current gear reviews, and loads of interactive trip tools." While "GPS-enabled hikes" sound like something we'd like to try, we had trouble getting past Dorn's use of the verb "to architect" when describing web design. To get a better handle on the verb, we looked to that dictionary of dictionaries, that settler of many a lexical cage match, the Oxford English Dictionary. Here's what it had to say under architect, v. To design (a building). Also transf. and fig. Hence architected ppl. a., designed by an architect; architecting vbl. n. and ppl. a.

Like a forest of wire
Eric in MoCo Loco
I had the chance to meet South-Korean designer Kwangho Lee right before the recent opening of a solo-exhibition of his recent work at Montreal's Mile-End Commissaires. The design boutique/gallery is showcasing Lee's series of light installations, lamps made and shaped by knitted and purposefully tangled electric wire. Lee has been making these lamps for two years now. His initial idea was simple, to turn the lamp inside-out, getting rid of the lamp shade and body, keeping only the essentials, thus exposing the customary hidden wires. He studied wire weaving, exploring traditional techniques and the subtleties of electric wiring for his final grad project in design school. Combining that knowledge to the lamp sculpting came instinctively, treasuring fond memories of his mother knitting sweaters or gloves, he tackled and tweaked the traditional techniques to suit his craft.

The Architecture of Ascent
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
In what would merely have been an article about camping equipment in almost any other situation, revamped Italian architecture magazine Abitare recently took a fascinating look at portable mountain climbing shelters. Viewed architecturally, these examples of high-tech camping gear – capable of housing small groups of people on the vertical sides of cliffs, as if bolted into the sky – begin to look like something dreamed up by Archigram: nomadic, modular, and easy to assemble even in wildly non-urban circumstances. This is tactical gear for the spatial expansion of private leisure.
There are about a million implications here – including, at the very least, the question of whether or not architects should be involved in designing tents for North Face or for REI. If Zaha Hadid can design desk lamps and Frank Gehry, jewelry – and Michael Graves, teapots – then why can't, say, Jean Nouvel design a new series of outdoor recreational equipment, including tents, portaledges, platforms, and hammocks?

Rat Pack Aficionados Take Note
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
New development has the caught the ire of preservationists and architects intent on keeping the original, modern look of Palm Springs, Calif., according to the latest issue of Preservation Magazine. One of those architects is Donald Wexler, 82, and Elizabeth Edwards Harris owner of the famed Kaufmann house in Palm Springs.
"Our cultural identity is tied to some of these places," says Harris, also vice president of the board of trustees of the California Preservation Foundation and owner of the Kaufmann House. "You can only go so far before you diminish your visual identity to the point where people say Palm Springs isn't modernist anymore."

Wilson and Hill Architects | Garden Road House
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This is another project on residential architecture work for private clients of Wilson and Hill Architects. They believe that high quality design results from the continuity of the design process and the intensive dialogue with the client, consultants, contractors and end users.
This Residence was built on an established site and designed to ...

Deconstruction Grows in Popularity, Spawns New Businesses
Preston D K in Jetson Green
In her Teardown Diary, Wall Street Journal columnist Nancy Keates forgoes the common practice of demolition and instead opts for "unbuilding."  Usually referred to as deconstruction, unbuilding is when you disassemble an old structure piece by piece and salvage the usable parts.  Ms. Keates found that the deconstruction of her home will cost about $4,000 more than straight demolition, but costs can vary project to project. Ms. Keates references the tax consequences associated with her deconstruction.  You can donate the salvagable parts and take an income tax deduction, or if available, let the local fire department burn down the house as practice and take a deduction on the whole value of the house (probably not the greenest thing you could do!).

NATURAL RETREATS Luxury Eco-Getaways in the UK
Bridgette Steffen in Inhabitat
Combining the highest levels of luxury and sustainable development with beautiful locations, Natural Retreats offer a chance to explore beautiful national parks, bask in luxury, and feel confident that your holiday has a low environmental impact. Built with sustainability in mind, these eco-getaways can be found within four of the UK national parks, with plans to acquire sites in, or alongside, ten more. At current, green-minded travelers can escape to Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, Lake District, and North York Moors - all beautiful landscapes and perfect settings for an eco-friendly nature retreat.

UN Studio in NYC
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Today UN Studio unveiled its design for Five Franklin Place, the latest celebrity-architect-designed Manhattan condo. Potential buyers will need to shell out between $2 million and $16 million for one of the 55 residences, comprised of apartments, duplex lofts, or duplex townhouses.

April 29th, 2008

The Next Street Art
Brendan in Where
Say there was a place that had some special meaning to you. It could be the alcove where you had your first kiss, the alley where you were mugged, the square where you participated in an important rally, or the location of an historic uprising. Good or bad, we all infuse places with our memories. This is what makes physical places so powerful, and why peoples' opinions and experiences of the same place can be vastly different. Places are what people make of them. Now, technology could be making it easier for tech-savvy street artists to etch their own experiences and opinions onto physical places, communicating the artists' own sense of a place to others who pass through it.

Virgina Plat House - a quick update
lavardera in LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog
At the Virginia Plat House everything has been trimmed and is ready for the siding to go on. HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work should be under way as well. The color stain on the trim looks like a nice natural cedar. The owner told me that the siding boards were pre stained to make the finishing go a bit faster. You can also observe the steel brackets for the overhang in the photos of the back side. One thing that is different in this build is the owner has opted for shingle roofing - obviously more affordable than the metal roofing shown in the illustrations. For that they had to extend the plywood deck out to the end of the overhand, and I am guessing they did this with a double layer to build up strength and some bite for the roofing nails. The underside of the plywood deck is exposed at the overhangs. I'm not sure what their plan is for this. They may put up soffit boards, or go with the ply face which is cool too.

Emmons Architects' Deschutes Brewery and the Magic of Chainsaw Art
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
 Last week at architect Stuart Emmons' invitation I visited the new Deschutes Brewery brew pub on Southwest 11th Avenue near the Brewery Blocks. The building was a familiar one: the former Jim Stevens Auto Body building, where my car was repaired a few years ago after being hit by a Tri-Met bus. I was very happy with the body work, but I think most people will get more out of this building now that Deschutes is here. The pub is right next door to Portland Center Stage's Gerding Theater at the Armory, so this would make an ideal pre- or post-theater stop. (As would, admittedly, any number of other nearby outlets from Sushiland to Henry's Tavern to Pizza Schmizza.)

Green Roof - A Case Study
ArchitectureMNP
Who wouldn’t want a green roof? Nice to look at, fun to hang out on [in the case of roof gardens], they probably smell great [must be better than rubber+tar] - and oh yeah, they’re super for the environment. They reduce urban heat island effect, reduce water runoff/contamination, protect the existing roof from harmful UV rays, encourage [supposedly] the return of some indigenous species [birds, insects, etc.], and they clean the air. Super - if only there were a book released in late 2007 from PA Press that both gave a history of green roofing, an explanation of how they work, and provided an in-depth example of an existing roof that was converted to a green roof…

Book Review: Construction Site
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Construction Site: Metamorphoses in the City (2008) edited by Marie Antoinette Glaser
Lars Müller Publishers
Hardcover, 144 pages. One of the paradoxes of growth is construction. A city without the din and inconveniences of building could be said to be a dead city. A city filled with the sounds, smells, and impasses created by demolition and construction are likewise the most alive. It's as if the city is working towards some sort of ideal, an unattainable Utopia where one building begets the next, or where the death of one building begets a replacement. But given the undeniable presence of construction sites in thriving cities, surprisingly little literature is given to the subject.

Green from the Ground Up Review and Giveaway
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
I've just received an excellent new book, and as is the tradition here at JG, I'll be giving the book away to one random commenter.*  Published by The Taunton Press, Green from the Ground Up is incredibly thorough and more helpful than I ever imagined it would be (to be entirely frank about it).  I really shouldn't have been surprised, though, because one of the authors, David Johnston, has another book out on green remodeling that's very popular.  So I expect Green from the Ground Up to be just as successful.  It has over 300 pages and 300 color images that provide a way for the reader to see that (1) green building actually works and (2) green buildings don't have to be ugly.

The Wrigley Company is Dead! Long Live the Wrigley Building!
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Contrasting local presences: Left, Global Headquarters, William Wrigley Jr. Company, Michigan Avenue; Right, Metra Station serving Mars candy plant, west side of Chicago [Metra photo]
It may shock some people to learn that the 1921 Wrigley Building, arguably one of Chicago's half-dozen most recognizable buildings, has never been afforded official landmark protection. The argument has always been made that the Wrigley family, throughout the decades, has been a responsible steward for a structure that, like Marina City, has become a symbol for Chicago throughout the world. And they have. Just as, for over a century, the William Wrigley Jr. Company has been a bedrock component of Chicago's economy and culture. But in today's hyper-volatile, hyper-scaled, aggressively globalized world, all that can change in a snap of the fingers.


April 28th, 2008

Torture Space: Architecture in Black
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Well, no better way to measure secret space then through first hand account, right? These renderings were based on drawings by a Yemeni man, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, a former ghost detainee in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program for a nightmarish19 months. His story is grim, to say the least – difficult to even read. But who knows, maybe even more common than we know. In fact, I think the whole rendition universe has got to be one of the most unfathomable realities ever to stalk the planet – it is impossible for me to even reason. Anyone who has been following details of the whole thing probably knows his story by now.

Rem Koolhaas’s Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre
admin in mirage.studio.7
Known as the Disneyland of architecture, Dubai has lost it all, to quote Tropolism: "Koolhaas and OMA have officially lost their marbles", a rather extraordinary big marble. Taken from George Lucas’s Rem Koolhaas’s drawing board, the Death Star like 44-story sphere shaped building appears to be floating on the water is the proposed Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre in the UAE, news had it that the project was shelfed due to some unknown reasons. Just like every large scale building in dubai, it holds a convention centre, hotel rooms, apartments, offices, retail space, and a man made oasis.

The Most Sustainable Future Community in the US
Janel Sterbentz in Green Options
Treasure Island is a 400 acre island built from fill dredged from the bay for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. It is connected to land by the Bay Bridge on both sides leading from San Francisco to Oakland. Loosing money due to the depression and WWII, it was converted into a naval base in 1940. In 1996 it was decommissioned and opened to public control. Today San Francisco’s Department of the Environment is transforming it into the most sustainable community in the US by 2020. The streets are going to be reoriented at an angle to maximize solar and minimize wind. It will include 6,000 units of high-density housing, without any single detached residences. ...

Los Angeles Passes Ambitious Green Building Law
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The past month has seen shock waves resonating throughout the world of sustainable architecture with two monumental reports on green building backed by some serious changes in public policy. First, the CEC released “Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges”, which lauded sustainable buildings as the quickest, cheapest, and most substantive way to cut down on North American greenhouse gas emissions. ...

 Little Bit Ombre...
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Martha Stewart might be a little bit behind the curve since the ombre (shaded fabric) trend has been with us for more than a few nanoseconds already this year, but if you're not sick of skirts, dresses, and shoes that look like they've been dipped into an ink bottle, here are some crafty projects for your home with that same theme. While this shot here it is just a little too blue and depressing for our taste, we did like the simplicity of dyed linen panels hanging on a wall in another picture on this page. Go take a look, you know you want to. (Thank you, Craftzine.com, for the heads-up.)

AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Building Projects of 2008
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Every year we look forward to the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment’s (AIA/COTE) top picks for the best green building projects of the year. This year’s selections are a showcase of sustainable design approaches that balance functional aesthetics with environmental consciousness. Each winning design has been evaluated under a comprehensive list of measures from community connectivity, to energy efficiency, to longevity of purpose. Those that have risen to the top of the AIA/COTE list for 2008 are examples of successful programs that, through extensive collaboration, have achieved low-impact structures that fuse architectural excellence with environmental stewardship.

Energy efficiency and Renewable Energy
Young in Architecture
U.S. Department of Energy had a website of 'Energy efficiency and renewable Energy' as topic, providing tools, programs, systems, components and studies in related of building an energy saving environment. A very useful website to understands more of Eco-friendly buildings and environments. There are tools for analysis for energy simulation, inclusive of free sketchup energy design plugin. "The Energy Design Plugin is a free plugin for the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp"[1] to find out more...

April 26th and 27th, 2008

Green Isn't the Only Color Driving This Innovative Tower Design in Sydney [S2]
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Soon there could be a new, sustainable tower rising in the Sydney skyline at 8 Chifley Square.  Subject to council approval, the colorful building would seek both a six-star Green Star and five-star ABGR rating, the highest level of certification available under both systems.  With design like that, it won't surprise many that 8 Chifley is expected to use 50% less energy than a comparable Sydney CBD building. In addition, other green design features include a tri-generation system for onsite electricity generation, architectural sun shading, blackwater treatment and water recycling systems, and sub-floor chilled air conditioning.

LEAF Awards
Design Build Network
ViB Events is delighted to announce the return of the 5th annual LEAF Awards to central London in October 2008. Year on year the LEAF Awards recognises, encourages and rewards excellence in architecture and design. With new award categories and more than 250 key industry figures lined up to attend, the LEAF Awards 2008 is set to be one of the most influential architectural and design events on this year's calendar. Whether your project is a new building or has yet to be completed, you will be eligible to enter. LEAF awards are open to all companies, individuals and technologies that have made an outstanding contribution to international architecture. Winning a LEAF award or appearing in the shortlist can set your firm apart from the rest, giving the featured project both credibility and publicity.

City as "Family Portrait"
Chris in Brand Avenue
TED ("Technology, Environment, Design") is a yearly exchange of ideas from influential thinkers and doers in many fields, and many participants' talks are available online, on TED's excellent website. One of the more germane to this site is a presentation by Jaime Lerner, architect, planner, and well-known former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, touted as "the most innovative city in the world." One of the more interesting points that Lerner makes in his presentation are that of the "metronization" of the Curitiba bus system; that is, the establishment of stations that are more akin to subway stations in their design and form, but serve the city's vaunted bus rapid transit (BRT) system instead. For their part, the buses also act more like trains, serving a greater capacity with increased length and larger door openings.

Absolut Mexico!
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
[Image: Meant to post this earlier in the month when I came across it; a pretty ballsy add by Absolut Vodka that ran in Mexico. I guess it caused quite a stir from the American consumer market though (as if Absolut were trying to inspire some vodka-infused borracho 'reconquista' of the Southwest -- what a joke). So, it was pulled. Too bad. With all the border security madness going on I like the timing. Just shows how paranoid Americans can be. Unfortunate that Absolut caved in. The ad used a map of the border as it existed before the Mexican-American War of 1848. The whole thing actually speaks to me about the U.S.'s fondness for forgetting history, and through some good old fashioned alcoholic labeling, nonetheless. I don't know, there's some drunken historic amnesiac message in a bottle there to decode.]

Four from Artropolis 2008
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Artropolis is on the scale of the kind of things Chicago used to do just to prove it could. The art show, which closes on Monday, takes up more than half a million square feet in the gigantic Merchandise Mart, and includes thousands of works from thousands of artists from all over globe, in no fewer than five different shows, from insider artists, to outsiders, to the undiscovered, and the antique. You could camp out at the Mart for every one of the 28 hours the show is open and still not do it justice. (But you wouldn't starve - there's a wide selection of often high-end food and drink.)

Sally Kitt Chappell reads from Chicago's Urban Nature (twice) on Wednesday
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
In what will undoubtedly be the last late listing to the April calendar of architectural events, author Sally Kitt Chappell will read from her book, Chicago’s Urban Nature: A Guide to the City’s Architecture and Landscape, twice, this coming Wednesday, April 30th. The first event will be at 12:00 P.M. in the Millennium Room of the Chicago Cultural Center, the second at Access Living's award-winning new headquarters at 115 West Chicago, designed by LCM Architects. Chappell's book provides an "illustrated guide to Chicago's stunning blend of nature and architecture. At the heart of the city's urban concept is the idea of connection, bringing buildings and landscapes, culture and nature, commerce and leisure into an energetic harmony. Packed with maps and recommended tours, and bursting with splendid photos, this is an essential guidebook for day-trippers, lifelong Chicago residents, and professionals in landscape architecture, urbanism, and design."

AE4: Vertical Garden
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
The seemingly impossible vertical gardens -- vegetation growing on soil-less vertical surfaces -- that are finding popularity in the ever-more-green-minded media and public are the almost single-handed product of one person: Patrick Blanc. Contributing to the architecture of many high-profile architects and their commissions, and the author of a forthcoming book on the subject, it's hard to deny the appeal of vegetation appearing to take over an architect's creation, something that might have only seemed possible with Photoshop until very recently. The Musée du quai Branly in Paris, France by Jean Nouvel is one of Blanc's most well-known installations, overshadowing the architect's formal bravado on the museum's other faces. It makes the relationship between old and new striking, even though Nouvel picks up on the regular openings of the neighbor. It seems to indicate that now real vegetation is architectural ornament, where the old building only represented nature in the engaged Corinthian capitals.

Our city needs a booster shot of imagination
The Globe and Mail - Lisa Rochon Columns
OLD CITY HALL: BECOMING THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE CREATIVE CITY Most of us know Old City Hall by its triple-arched entrance and the clock tower that guides us north from the bottom of Bay Street. But walk inside, past the intricate ornaments carved into the rugged arches of stone and up the grand stairs - you will be shocked to discover the lightness of democracy gracing its golden entrance hall. Here, a monumental stained-glass window floods the entire two-storey room with light. One of Toronto's most stylish halls is also the city's best-kept secret.

April 25th, 2008

Visiting PNCA's 511 Broadway Building
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today I took a tour of the circa-1916 federal building at 511 NW Broadway that is being taken over by the Pacific Northwest College of Art with the school's president, Tom Manley, and Becca Biggs from the school. The tour was a few minutes late getting started, which actually was good news, because after passing through the security x-ray machines, I was free to peruse the ground floor lobby a little bit on my own. 511 is going to be a magnificent space for PNCA, which was evident as soon as I entered the thin but cavernously high-ceilinged lobby. There is marble everywhere, lots of ornate detailing, and even ceiling panels that have tons of artful workmanship put into them. Upstairs doors and door panels are clad in unpainted stained wood; the doors even have these frosted-glass windows that look they should have the name "Philip Marlowe" stenciled on them. And there is lots and lots of space here. PNCA ought to have plenty of room to grow.

langston hughes library, maya lin
Justin in materialicious
I have always loved looking at the Langston Hughes Library by Maya Lin, located on the former Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. It belongs to the Children’s Defense Fund and houses a 5,000 volume reference collection that specializes in the Civil Rights Movement and books written by Black authors. Lin remodeled an 1860’s cantilevered barn, which is typical of that area and period, and remade it into a masterpiece. It’s not residential, of course, but after posting House K by YES Architecture yesterday, I wanted to post this project as another source of inspiration. I mean, just look at it! I’d live in that!

Urban Green Building
Kelly Hart in Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
I recently received two emailed questions about the seeming lack of attention to green building in urban settings: "I happened to notice that very little, if not at all, mention of urban dwellings and how small urban homes are practically the greenest you can get when you factor in transportation. Green homes spread out in the country, unless you're living off the earth and have no use for a car, may counteract your carbon footprint savings if you have to drive on a continuous basis. A vast majority of Americans live in a metropolitan area, it would be nice if your information can include an aspect to the benefits of small homes in urban dwellings." "I am curious about building an earth covered or underground home in the future. Can these houses be built on a small lot within a city? I think being close to your neighbors etc., is one way to help achieve sustainable living, however, the green homes I have seen always appear to be on a large parcel of land."

Ecocity World Summit 2008
Keith Rockmael in Green Options
The 7th International Ecocity World Conference continues this week in San Francisco, California and if a positive aspect exists about globalization, it can be seen at this conference. A buzz exists in what feels like a combination of the World Cup (the passion), the U.N. (the international flavor) and something like Greenpeace (the Green aspect). [...]


PREFAB FRIDAY: PLUS HOUSE in Sweden
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Tending away from the industrious (and eponymous) prefabricated square, the Plus House embraces its Nordic roots and rural setting as a thoroughly modern take on the Swedish barn house. The two-story prefab is situated in Tyresö and was designed by the award winning Claesson, Koivisto, and Rune architects for Arkitekthus. We love how their distinctive design melds a classic wood-paneled profile with ethereal day-lit interiors, synthesizing traditional structure with the best in ultra-efficient modern construction.

Method Homes Debuts Modern, Green Prefab Design
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
We have a new company here, Method Homes, that just announced the construction of their first prefab model, The Method Cabin.  Method Homes is targeting LEED-H Gold certification for the five-module abode, which will be about 1811 sf with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  I've been navigating through the blog a little bit, studying the details of this first design, and I definitely like what I see so far.  Designed by Seattle architectural firm, Balance Associates, The Method Cabin will have that trendy cantilevered roof and efficient, functional floor plans.  It will also have some nice green touches with Kliptech Ecotop countertops, Bamboo Hardwoods cabinets and flooring, and the Warmboard radiant sub floor.

Staggered Truss: Not as Painful as it Sounds
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
A new hotel brings an innovative engineering technique, pioneered by the American Institute of Steel Construction, to Chicago for the first time. Iconic architecture, via Valerio Dewalt Train, to follow. Read all about it, and see how the thing will look when it's finished, and a lot more images. here.

April 24th, 2008

Herriot Melhuish Architects | Davenport Townhouses
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The Davenport Townhouses project by New Zealand Architects Herriot Melhuish Architects has won the NZIA Local Award on 2003. “Careful design on a tight site with a modest budget has produced two very small and clever houses… Light and open with generous proportions in the living areas, these houses are an excellent example of how infill housing can work”, NZIA Awards jury’s

Parti Wall, Hanging Green
ArchitectureMNP
In January of 2008 ten architecture firms in the Bean formed the Young Architects Boston Group - Ground, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LinOldhamOffice, Merge Architects, MOS, over,under, SsD, Studio Luz, UNI, and Utile. A non-hierarchical group, YAB gives these firms the opportunity to come together to develop projects that they might not otherwise undertake - like their Parti Wall, Hanging Green installation. The project - a prototype green wall installation for the 2008 AIA convention that will be in Boston in May - aims to transform a blank brick wall into ‘a lush green environment’, both bringing attention to underutilized sites in Boston and providing a green solution to improve public space in the city.

The City is the Solution: The EcoCity World Summit
Holly Pearson in WorldChanging
"Cities are part of what it means to be human. We need to build cities as much as birds need to build nests. And if we want to have a future, then EcoCities must be part of who we are." —Paul Downton, Architect, Adelaide, Australia
Delegates from around the world are gathering this week in San Francisco to share ideas and innovations, network, and advance the international movement for sustainable cities. This is the 7th international EcoCity Summit, hosted by Oakland-based EcoCity Builders and partner organizations. The conference is back in the Bay Area for the first time since the first EcoCity Summit took place in 1990, having been hosted since then in Australia, Senegal, Brazil, and China.

Heritage Toronto walking tours this weekend: downtown terra cotta and westside Indian Road and Grove
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
This weekend’s Heritage Toronto walks (free + no reservation required): Terra Cotta Design in Toronto’s Historic Architecture Saturday, April 26 – 1:30 PM
Terra cotta, a once-popular clay building product used in design and construction, has long been out of fashion. Fortunately, many fine examples still exist in Toronto. Toronto’s first skyscrapers, erected in the 19th century and early 20th century, provide the backdrop for this tour.

Proje(c)t(ions)s urbain(e)s
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
WHAT? Ideas for the Van Horne/Rosemont viaduct and its surroundings WHERE? Dare-Dare’s art space at St. Laurent and Van Horne WHEN? Tuesday, April 29 at 8:30pm
Earlier this month, on the year’s first truly warm evening, I needed to get from my apartment to Rosemont metro, the closest orange line station. I decided to walk, which involves a pleasant saunter down Bernard Street and a stroll over the Van Horne Viaduct, also known as the Rosemont Viaduct, which bridges the CPR tracks and brings you straight from Bernard to the metro. It had been awhile since I had made the journey and, when I climbed up the stairs to the top of the viaduct, a familiar feeling struck, and I was reminded that it is one of the most romantic places in Montreal.

Game/Space: An Interview with Daniel Dociu
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Seattle-based concept artist Daniel Dociu is Chief Art Director for ArenaNet, the North American wing of NCSoft, an online game developer with headquarters in Seoul. Most notably, Dociu heads up the production of game environments for Guild Wars – to which GameSpot gave 9.2 out of 10, specifically citing the game's "gorgeous graphics" and its "richly detailed and shockingly gigantic" world. Dociu has previously worked with Electronic Arts; he has an M.A. in industrial design; and he recently won both Gold and Silver medals for Concept Art at this year's Spectrum awards.

The Commons Strives to be Nation's First Living Building Challenge Residence
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
In Portland two brothers, Dustin and Garrett Moon, have been getting some serious attention for their project, The Commons -- it could just be the first residence in the nation to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge.  The Living Building Challenge is about getting to something that's truly sustainable, which is what I think the Moons are going after here.  If you look at their plans, The Commons will use green tech that you might not see in other so-called green homes.

A New Book of Architect Interviews from PSU
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Portland State University's Department of Architecture has published a new book of interviews with several architects called Verge: Between Education and Practice. There are Portlanders represented here such as Jeff Kovel of Skylab, Logan Cravens of SERA Architects, Robert Frasca of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, and Brian White of Architecture W. There are also several prominent designers from Seattle, Vancouver, and a few other places in the region. I've been perusing the book over the last few days and thought I would pass on a few random questions and answers.


April 23rd, 2008

Wilson & Hill Architects | Scarborough Heads House
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Another Wilson & Hill Architects works on residential project called The Scarborough Heads House, the black beauty House that located on the site which offers uninterrupted views of the sea and the coastal headlands of Banks Peninsula. The layout of the house is largely determined by the available vehicle access and maximising the coastal views and sun...

the urban homestead
Justin in materialicious
Urban Farming: Jules Dervaes and three of his adult children live on one-fifth of an acre in Pasadena, Calif., a block away from a multilane highway. On this tiny sliver of land, they manage to be mostly self-sufficient. “This is our form of protest,” says Dervaes, who is 60, “and this is our form of survival.” From the article in the New York Times, by Charles Wilson (which failed to include their web site!). Also, see a terrific 5 minute video: LIFE (MOSTLY OFF THE GRID) by David Clair NY TIMES

MILAN 2008: Photoreactive Sun Canopy by Christoph Klemmt
Adele Chong in Inhabitat
Visitors to this year’s Salone del Mobile were in for a treat when they strolled through Zona Tortona into a quaint, Italian courtyard on Milan’s Via Borgospesso to encounter Christoph Klemmt’s stunning vortex-shaped OR installation. Composed out of polygonal, photoreactive segments which respond to ultra-violet light, OR’s captivating powers lie in its capacity to correspond its appearance to changes in weather and daylight. Its ’skin’ emits flourishing hues of blue and green when exposed to sunlight and maintains a subtle translucency when the installation is overcome by shade. Best of all, OR’s effects are not limited to daytime - at night, it generates ample atmosphere by becoming a ‘chandelier’ which lavishly floods its surrounding areas with a dramatic dispersement of light.

Green Ribbons
Snell in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
An example of another green approach to city living, the Green Ribbons project connects a number of high rise condominiums in the Heping neighbourhood of Tianjin.

Bloomberg's Russell Finally Gets Around to Hating John Silber
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
We're not exactly sure why Bloomberg's architecture critic, James S. Russell, is just now reviewing John Silber's book Architecture of the Absurd, seeing as it's been out for months and months now (maybe the publisher new he'd give it a lousy review? or his stack of mail is absurdly large?). Whatever the case, although it's kind of old news, Silber's book we mean, Russell spins it in a kind of unique way, turning the criticism onto writer himself, showing all the buildings that Silber thinks are the cream of the crop, like Boston University's School of Management or the Sydney Opera House, and saying, in effect, "You really think these buildings are so great?! Ha! I laugh because these are certainly not great buildings! And here's why..." then proceeding to give the details of their various failings.

Beijing Lights.
Christoph in anArchitecture
In several projects Herzog and de Meuron increasingly pay attention to light design and its orchestration. Needless to mention because everyone might know the impressive colour changing of the Allianz Arena in Munich or the illuminated façade of the St. Jakob Station in Basel. Likewise HdM has also done custom designed lightnings: Commercial successful products like the “pipe sospensione”, produced by Artemide or the “Jingzi” hanging lamp by Belux. A Beijing-based friend has recently uploaded interior photographs from the Beijing National Station's (Bird’s Nest) opening. Again some innovative lightining: futuristic chandelier in the stadion's middle zone and downscaled mini versions of the bird's nest as outddoor lights.

April 22nd, 2008

Warhol, Basquiat,...Neutra?: Kauffman House Sale Positions Architecture as Art
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Earlier this month, we told you that Christie's will auction off the legendary Richard Neutra-designed Kauffman House on May 13, as part of its major evening sale of postwar and contemporary art. For those planning on bidding, the house is Lot 42--sandwiched between a 1987 Richard Prince joke painting and a Damien Hirst butterfly canvas (and my, but those dead butterflies would look smashing in Palm Springs). In last weekend's Financial Times, the front page of the House & Home section was given over to Edwin Heathcote's piece on the Kauffman House as art and the burgeoning market for modernist architecture.

Zooming to A New Art Center
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
A couple years ago, while attending a Third Angle classical music performance, I met a woman named Carole Zoom and her husband Brett, both recent Eugene transplants. We've stayed in touch since then, which is easy because they're culture vultures who enjoy making it to plays, film screenings and concerts. Brett is also an accomplished journalist who has written frequently about architecture for publications like the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, for whom he did a nice Thom Mayne profile last year.

underlite flooring, concrete blond
Justin in materialicious
The underlite flooring system from Concrete Blond is made from polished or textured concrete with varying sized glass lenses cast into the surface of the concrete. The lenses are lit by fiber optics that are laid into the adhesive as the tiles are placed onto the existing floor. This allows the whole floor to be lit by one bulb, which can be easily replaced. The color of the lights can be changed at the touch of a button.

Book Review: Green Roof
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Green Roof - A Case Study: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates' Design For the Headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2007) by Christian Werthmann. The roof of the book's title sits atop the American Society of Landscape Architects' (ASLA) headquarters in Washington D.C. It is a relatively small roof of 3,300 sf (305 sm), but one that merits case study treatment from its design, construction, and the intentions behind these two. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in collaboration with Conservation Design Forum, the roof is unlike other well-known American examples like the Ford Rouge Plant or Chicago's City Hall, in that it is accessible. It is a social space as much as an ecological one. It is a roof garden as well as a green roof.

Jetson Green: Skinners Playground
ArchitectureMNP
Philip, writer over at Jetson Green, writes: The Skinners Playground project by Phooey Architects of Melbourne, Australia is a project that makes compelling use of shipping containers. Many container architecture projects do little that breaks out of the strong rectilinear form of the component boxes. While only four shipping containers were used for Skinners Playground, they are cut and amended in such as way as to make much more of them than simply four box-shaped rooms. Even if the exteriors had been painted over, it would be immediately obvious that this was built from shipping containers. But, at the same time, this is a case of the whole being far more than merely a sum of its parts.

April 21st, 2008


Wilson and Hill Architects | Carlton Mill Road "House 1"
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Another Residential Project by Wilson and Hill Architects in Carlton Mill Road "House 1" which also has won the New Zealand architecture Awards just like the other project ( Clyde Road House ). The layout of the house was largely determined by the arrangement of the garaging, the views south to the river and maximising the sun on the site.

thermique heated window glass
Justin in materialicious
Thermique™ heated glass technology transforms ordinary glass into a heating device for eliminating cold areas near windows. A transparent coating on the glass generates heat when subjected to an electrical current. The current is supplied by two buss bars located on opposite sides of the glass. All electrical components are hidden within the window frame. A patented controller mounts on the wall like a light switch, and allows adjustment of the window temperature. The coated glass radiates heat uniformly, with precise temperature control, and remains completely transparent, without any distortion or discoloration. Heated windows offer the added benefit of a clear view by eliminating condensation, fogging, and frost.

First Look: Jeff Koons Sculptures Debut atop Metropolitan Museum
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
The rooftop of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is now home (at least through October 26) to three large sculptures by artist Jeff Koons. We got a sneak peek this morning and can confirm that Koons' yellow chrome balloon doggie prefers the view over Manhattan to canal-level Venice, where his magenta sibling spent the summer of 2006 perched on a platform in the Grand Canal guarding the Palazzo Grassi. More Koons news to come (including what the man himself had to say when not being monopolized by an astounding number of German film crews), but for now, click "continued..." for our photos of each of the works -- at least until you can get to the roof yourself when the museum opens tomorrow.

Le Corbusier. Still Modern.
Christoph in anArchitecture
Maison La Roche today and the Weissenhofsiedlung in 1927. Both in 1927 at the Weissenhofsiedlung and in 2008 at the Maison La Roche cars make a big contrast to Corbusier’s architecture. Corbusier’s buildings simply succeed to appear timeless - whatever car parks in front.
content by anArchitecture

LAN 2008: Flocks Hand Knitted Woolen Poufs
Antonia Halse in Inhabitat
Is it a giant stuffed animal? A piece of furniture? Both? These cuddly hand knit woolen poufs were one of the first things to catch our eye on opening day of Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Promoting transparency in natural materials and production as their ethos, Dutch knitwear brand ‘FLOCKS’ is the brainchild of Rotterdam based designer Christien Meindertsma. We went nuts for these cozy ‘Urchin’ plush chairs which were on display at the Tuttobenne exhibit in Milan this year. We love the look, the playful attitude and the way that an Urchin owner can trace the path of their soft seat’s origins.

Two Lectures and a Fountain
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
This week the University of Oregon and Portland State University each will host a prominent architect for a lecture. On Wednesday, April 23 at 6PM, PSU will welcome Canadian architect Gregory Henriquez to Lincoln Hall (1620 SW Park, room 75). Henriquez's firm, Henriquez Partners, has been around for 34 years in Vancouver and has been responsible for a host of different project types. But the architect is best known for several pioneering mixed use and social housing projects. In his book, "Towards An Ethical Architecture", Henriquez explores the role of ethics, activism and critical commentary and argues that architecture must be a poetic expression of social justice."

URA Singapore
Young in Architecture
" 'Singapore 1:1 Island' is a follow-up exhibition to “Singapore 1:1 City” launched by President S R Nathan in 2005. It is curated along 3 themes: the Provision / Production (1965 – 1975); Communication / Connection (1976 – 1985) and Innovation / Distinction (1986 – 2007). The architectural productions weave a story on the distinct character in the history of Singapore architecture. The variety of works exhibited, ranging from residential and commercial buildings to public institutions, demonstrates the diversity and creative energy of architectural talents in Singapore.

Thinking about Earth Day
Asa Bergman in Spacing Montreal
Montreal seen from the top of the Olympic Stadium. A few weeks ago, on March 29, Earth Hour challenged people to shut off their lights in thousands of cities all over the world, including Montreal. On April 22 it is time to celebrate a larger event: Earth Day. It all began back in 1969 when the U.S Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a nationwide protest day to make politicians aware about the critical state of the environment. Earth Day was born and it grew rapidly. Fast forward to 1990. An article in Time Magazine asks if Earth Day really matters and refers to it as a “marketing monster”.

At Home with Hadid
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Every day it's Zaha this and Zaha that, largely because we believe Zaha Hadid to be some sort of super productive robot from the future who doesn't need any of our silly human sleep. But maybe we've either been wrong about our hypothesis all along or she just invested in a new robot publicist, as this piece in the Times yesterday, "Inside Zaha Hadid's East London Apartment" takes a look at the starchitect at home and how arguably one of the biggest names in architecture and design at the moment likes to decorate. Strangely, while it's a great piece with lots of interesting detail, not a single photo is included (at least online), which is sort of a let down. But maybe that adds a little bit to our conspiracy, because when they say "her East London apartment" maybe they're talking about the East London in space, where robots come from.

FRASERS BROADWAY: Australia’s Most Sustainable Development
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
Big things are happening in Sydney. First Earth Hour, which began in Sydney, went global last month. Then, the city unveiled its brand new 2030 vision, which outlines the steps that the city will take to reduce its emissions by 60%. And now, a new project planned for the outskirts of the city will become the most sustainable development in Australia. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the new 5.8 hectare (14+ acre) development - a mix of commercial, retail, and residential space - will have contributions from none other than Pritzker Prize winners Foster + Partners and Ateliers Jean Nouvel!

Horizons of Sze Tsung Leong
ArchitectureMNP
I just learned about the work of Sze Tsung Leong over at the New York Times - a 38 year old New Yorker, he studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and then Harvard. His photographs - of landscapes and cities all over the world - are composed with a unique play on the horizon that seemingly connects all of the pieces in his ‘Horizons’ series [view them side by side here]. Shooting with an overcast sky brings the viewer’s focus to the landscape and architecture/cityscape itself - which, along with ensuring that the horizons of each image line up, creating a visual connection between these locations from all over the world.

Does This Make My Butt Look Fat?
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
All of us have body parts that, while fully functional and probably essential, don't always show us in our best light. Seen from the south, the bustle building pictured here forms a perfectly proportioned element of the composition of 1955's Prudential Building. Seen from the southeast, however, the complex appears to be packing a big trunk. (Originally there was supposed to be a twin bustle along the west side of the building.) Probably back in 1955, when the Prudential marked the easterly point where building ended, no one envisioned how new construction would push further and further east, putting the Prudential in the shadow of newer, larger, taller towers, and the bustle on more conspicuous display.

 

April 19th and 20th, 2008


Control Shift
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
I've been going through old magazines to find articles that I hope to read, re-read, or even incorporate into the final edits of the BLDGBLOG Book – and so tonight I came across the January 2007 issue of Metropolis.
There, we read about the ten greatest engineering feats of architectural history – including this short blurb about Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul:
The building was constructed of masonry, which shifted constantly during construction and thereafter. Today we use "switch-on gravity analysis," where we imagine a structure built on the Moon and then digitally move it over to the Earth in a fraction of a second, and suddenly it's loaded. But a structure like this changed its characteristics during construction, almost minute by minute. I can't image [sic] how people could have had the courage to construct it.

Pinconsult Associates Ltd
Ugo Okafor in African Architecture and Design
According to their websitePINCONSULT ASSOCIATES "..was established in 1985 to provide highly competent professional consultancy services in the fields of civil engineering, structural engineering, and building management. This practice became a limited liability company PINCONSULT ASSOCIATES LIMITED in 1993 for a wider coverage of engineering activities and a better corporate image. The collective experiences of the partners embrace a wide variety of engineering problems and, therefore, are able to make an important contribution to the success of every project for which the Practice is commissioned. PINCONSULT ASSOCIATES LIMITED is based in Lagos, Nigeria, to serve clients throughout Nigeria, but is able to establish sub-practice bases throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Wow! Industrial Container Home in New Zealand
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Sure, this New Zealand home is heavy on the industrial, nuclear reactor look, but it has a certain draw to it, don't you think?  I was pointed to these images in a flickr photoset owned by petraalsbach and was struck by the interesting use of containers -- as you can tell, the home was built right up to, and possibly into, the hill.  Containers are strong and stackable,and it seems like lots of people are using them right now in home design.  Container homes may just become more popular than modern prefab ...

Jean Nouvel, Winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2008
admin in mirage.studio.7
On Jun. 2, Nouvel will receive the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, in a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington. The Paris-based architect has won the profession’s highest honor - Pritzker Prize 2008, for a career of memorable buildings. This is undoubtedly Jean Nouvel’s moment, aside from winning the Pritzker, his offices in Paris, New York, London, Copenhagen, Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona are busy with more than 40 active projects in 13 countries (My design lecturer claimed that he has 30 projects in hand, and I would assume that he has about 15 - 25 staffs, probably more, Jean Nouvel has something to learn from him).


April 18th, 2008

Talent Runs in the Family
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Maybe you all already knew this... but I just found out. Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel is the nephew of Moshe Safdie! Moshe's daughter Taal is also talented architect with her own firm.

A New LEED Office
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Its great to see architectural firms actually following their own advice... GGLO has recently finished a new expansion to their Seattle office, and kept it green in the process! Their new expansion has achieved Silver LEED status, and looks like a healthy (in the non-toxic sense!) and fun place to work!

0751 Suburban House - second scheme
lavardera in LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog
Today, the second scheme first shown on the original post introducing the Suburban House project. In this scheme the house takes on a "T" shaped massing, with the garage front and forward creating an entry courtyard between itself and the house.

222 Residence by Elliott + Associates Architects
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
During the past thirty two years, Elliott + Associates Architects has received a total of 202 Architectural, Interior, Lighting and Graphic Design Awards. Here is just one of their project in residential called "222 Residence". Enjoy yourself.
The design philosophy of Elliott + Associates is shaped from the theory that a space reflects the...

Remembering Robert Gaede
Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic in Architecture and the Urban Landscape with The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt
Cleveland architect Bob Gaede evokes three words for those who knew him well: "preservationist," "gentleman" and "courtly." In a career spanning six decades, Gaede built a small but influential architectural practice that had a big impact on Northeast Ohio. Courtesy...

mod house range, prebuilt
admin in materialicious
The Prebuilt Mod House Range is for those who like their homes clean and crisp with a modernist edge. These finely detailed, timber clad pavilions are based on a modular system offering the ultimate in flexibility. Designed in partnership with Pleysier Perkins, the Mod house range is based on a modular system and extends from a one bedroom Single Mod through to a five bed Quad Mod and can encompass almost any combination in between. The flexibility of the Mod range extends from country and beach living through to urban allotments and small commercial buildings. For more images see their Precom Sandhurst project.

Urban-bicycle schemes in Vienna and Paris.
Christoph in anArchitecture
The threat of climate change makes alternatives to motorized transportation in metropolitan areas increasingly important. Overloaded subways can hardly handle more commuter and thus different means of transportation are needed. Recently both cites – Paris and Vienna – have introduced a self-service bike rental system: “bike-hire” stations distributed over the city allow you to pick up your bike from one service point and drop off to another. People simply register with their bank card and cycle one hour – in Vienna – or half an hour – in Paris - for free. The registration will guarantee that cyclists return the bike and keep the system running. Who could imagine that the good old bike is currently experiencing a comeback?

Richard Meier and Friends Win Academy Awards
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Elsewhere in the world of starchitecture, while Renzo was busy talking about sad and disturbing things, Richard Meier must've been living it up, as he was just awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture by the American Academy of Art and Letters (which is just about the coolest award you can get, if just so someone like Meier can legitimately be able to say, "Well, as a man of arts and letters..."). Along with Meier were a whole slew of other winners, from Yo-Yo Ma and Salman Rushdie taking home Honorary Memberships to a slew of other miscellaneous people winning things like awards for light verse, musical theater, various types of art and Neil Denari, Jim Jennings, James Carpenter and Kenneth Frampton, each of whom took home a cool $7500 and four Academy Awards in Architecture (which we're guessing the whole group quickly spent on cocaine and strippers with Calvin Trillin and William T. Vollmann, who also won their share of cash and prizes).

PREFAB FRIDAY: Clara Cabin by hiveMODULAR
Jason Sahler in Inhabitat
As spring pushes forward and lazy, summer nights begin to envelop us, many people will daydream of the great outdoors and when they will be able to camp in tents and hike again. For those who prefer a little more accommodations and accoutrements, the Clara Cabin from hiveMODULAR is a perfect solution. You get all the comforts of cabin life - a bed, reprieve from the bugs, and weather - while still being able to connect to the surrounding nature. Designed and built by hiveMODULAR partner Bryan Meyer and his wife, Anne Ryan, this little woodland getaway is a great example of how versatility makes small spaces livable.

Torpedo Hall
Dominic Roberts in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
We have been corresponding with an architect member of the the design team for this project at Danish practice Tegnestuen Vandkunsten. The scheme involved stripping back the existing building, a hangar for the maintenance of torpedo boats, and inserting apartments and car parking. Jens Kristian...

Jean Nouvel, Community Boards and their proper interaction
David Sucher in City Comforts, the blog
Sandy Ikeda raises an interesting question here in relation to a dispute over a proposed building. (I know the neighborhood but not the proposal.) He says: Now, we’re not talking about construction inconveniences or environmental problems or the like, which are indeed the legitimate concerns of a community board, but rather how the structure fits in with the existing built environment – a purely aesthetic judgment. The Empire State Building certainly didn’t “fit” its neighborhood in the on Fifth Avenue...

April 17th, 2008

Terreform at BOOST (Building Open Opportunity Structures)
Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. in Mitchell Joachim: Archinode Studio
BOOST to host Mitchell Joachim of Terreform, on sustainable architecture. June 7th 2008 117 South Warren Street, Trenton, NJ. Green, Smart, and Sustainable Stakeholder Education and Training 2008-09 (GSS-SET) are the natural outgrowth of our past efforts for community benefits by way of engaging redevelopment and economic growth-producing activities. GSS-SET will contribute to fighting global warming and pollution by stimulating the green building and clean energy economy and positioning local community leaders to help their constituencies capture a good portion of green collar jobs, develop or expand green businesses, and conduct advocacy and policy work to the benefit of populations with barriers to employment.

Heritage Toronto walking tours begin Saturday
Shawn Micallef in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Spacing Magazine is pleased to announce the commencement of this season’s Heritage Toronto walking tours. The first tour begins this Saturday, April 19, in Rosedale, and kicks off the 14th year of these free tours. Have you ever wondered about the story behind that building on the corner, the creek that used to run through that ravine, or your neighbourhood’s most infamous resident? Heritage Toronto Walks take you to the streets to hear the stories our City can tell. The tours are researched, designed and led by local historians, community groups and professionals, who volunteer their time and energy. Covering all areas of the City, our walk leaders bring Toronto’s past to life.

Popular Tower
Snell in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
The strategy based architectural firm Popular Architecture has created a scheme that takes on the spread of cities.

Zero Carbon ‘Floating World’ for Northern England
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
A set of zero-carbon floating buildings has been chosen by RIBA as the winning design for the visitor center at the new Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve in Preston, northern England. Nicknamed ‘A Floating World’ and chosen over five other shortlisted entries, this design from Adam Khan Architects uses buildings made of low embodied energy materials such as thatch, willow and timber, drawing on the heritage of wetland dwellings and embodying a sustainable agenda.

Buzz Combines Style, Sustainability and Accessibility
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
I used to drive by Buzz Lofts all the time and check out the construction progress.  It's a modern, green, and affordable condo-loft community immediately south of downtown Dallas.  The development is in what you may call an up and coming neighborhood, but the location is great: near the DART rail and all those downtown jobs.  Buzz has been popular, too, with most units nearly sold out. Owners walk away with a new eGO electric rechargeable moped, bamboo flooring, energy efficient appliances and HVAC, low-E double pane windows, and a condo that's zero energy ready (wired for solar for future).  That butterfly roof also acts to reclaim water for use in the drought-tolerant landscaping.

April 16th, 2008

Eye Candy: Ville Spatiale
ArchitectureMNP
For this week’s edition of Eye Candy I couldn’t help but find some images related to our review of Yona Friedman’s Pro Domo - so here we have some collages and drawings done by Friedman of his ‘Ville Spatiale’ polemic. In 1960 Friedman published his two seminal manifestos, Architecture Mobile and La Ville spatiale. He defines the function of the space frame as follows: Critical for the Ville Spatial is what I call ‘spatial infrastructure’: a multi-storey space-frame-grid, which is supported by widely-spaced piles […]. This infrastructure forms the fixed element of the city. The mobile element consists of walls, base-surfaces and dividing walls which make the individual division of the space possible; it could be called the ‘filling’ for the infrastructure. All elements which come into direct contact with the users (i.e. those they see, touch etc.) are mobile, in contrast to the infrastructure, which is used collectively and remains fixed [via].

Arthur House in Santana de Parnaíba
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Arthur Casas graduated from the FAU/Mackenzie in 1983. His practice covers architecture, interior design and furniture. One of his most famous works being the Hotel Emiliano (São Paulo) and the remodelling of the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires. Well awarded he has offices in São Paulo and New York.
This is just another best residential project by Arthur

Blue Sky on Canal Street
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
New York asked four architects to come up with ideas for the odd-shaped block at Canal and Varick Streets, recently cleared by owner Trinity Real Estate (to be used as a sculpture park until long-term plans are made). The magazine "required only that the result include a residential component and that it more or less meet zoning requirements."

Designing Sebastian + Barquet
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Since its 2005 opening, design gallery Sebastian + Barquet has been one of our favorite Chelsea stops, and we confess to dragging numerous people there last year to admire the rivets on Marc Newson's Lockheed Lounge. Up through May 24th at S+B's West 24th Street gallery is "Formes and Couleurs," featuring works by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouve, and Pierre Jeanneret. Meanwhile, Artkrush's recent interview with S+B founder and art dealer Ramis Barquet reveals some of the gallery's backstory....


More on Storefront's LA Transplant
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Last week, we'd talked up all the various happenings and goings-ons surrounding the LA Art Weekend, including mention of the Pop-Up Storefront. Now the LA Times has heard a bit of the buzz surrounding the limited-time-only gallery and put together a pretty interesting piece about it. In it, they describe what's being shown there out until May 17th, as well as Steven Holl and Vito Acconci's work on the space itself, but also some good background on how a gallery from one coast happened to find its way over to another. Here's a bit: The idea is to expand the influence of what Grima calls "a unique space, one of the first where the concept of merging art and architecture was addressed and explored by means of radically experimental shows on a shoestring budget.

Prince Charles’ Environmental Education Treehouse Center
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Prince Charles has been invited to open the New Forest Study Centre’s new educational treehouse, a sustainable building that places city kids right in the middle of nature. The Countryside Education Trust (CET) has commissioned two classrooms-on-stilts to be built, enabling 10,000 children a year to learn about rural life and build a connection to nature - an experience that some one million children in the UK that have never had. With an eco-minded design and purpose, the treehouse project will be a catalyst for environmental awareness.

The taller towers of tomorrow
A new record has been set for how high we can build. Some day soon, will architects break into the mile-high club?
The world has a new tallest building. Last week it was announced that, rising above the desert coast of the Persian Gulf, the Burj Dubai became taller than any other structure on the planet. And it's not even due to stop climbing until 2009. According to a press release issued by its developers, Burj Dubai currently stands at 629 meters, at least one meter taller than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, which has held the mantle of world's tallest structure on and off since 1963. Burj Dubai is already taller than the CN Tower (553.33m), the tallest free-standing structure in the world and Taipei 101 (508m), the world's tallest building which has floors throughout.

PNCA's At It Again: Going From Rent to Own at Cloepfil-Redesigned Goodman Building
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
It's another week, time for the Pacific Northwest College of Art to secure ownership of major Pearl District real estate at little or no cost. They can't keep it up at this pace, surely, but fresh off the news a few days ago of securing the 511 Broadway building, the school has reached an agreement with the family of the late Edith Goodman, the building's owner, to purchase the school's home since 1997 on an full block between Northwest 12 and 13th Avenues, Johnson and Kearney Streets. The agreement is accompanied by announcement from PNCA of accompanying financial news, summarized thusly (as Alton Brown would say) by DK Row: The college also publicly launched a historic capital campaign targeting $32 million in pledges by the end of June 2009, when the college celebrates its centennial.

A Killer Pool
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I kind of feel like I'm done with infinity edge pools... everybody wants one and everybody has one... so they've lost a lot of the allure for me. But, in the right place, an infinity edge pool is really worth all the extra detailing. This pool (and house) by Corona y P. Amaral Arquitectos is phenomenal. You don't feel like you're perched on the cliff... you actually feel like you're floating in the sky.
Amazing.

Holy Cross Project Show House Now a Reality [NOLA]
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
We talked about renderings and plans for the Holy Cross Project back in August last year, but it's now becoming a reality.  The first home is finished and Global Green plans to open it to the public this coming May.  When finished, the entire project will have four more homes and a 18-unit apartment complex -- all of it low-income and green, too.  Global Green is shooting for LEED Platinum on everything and expects homes to use 75% less energy than a similar, typical building.

April 15th, 2008

MATERIALECOLOGY Talk @ SGH
Neri Oxman in MATERIALECOLOGY: Neri Oxman
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) is an engineering firm dedicated to the design, investigation, and rehabilitation of structures and building enclosures. The practice is located across 44 states and 19 countries in five offices around the world including Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. SGH’s diverse team members include engineers, architects, scientists, and many other technical professionals. Delighted by an opportunity to present my body of work and reflections on contemporary design practice – I will be giving a talk at the Boston branch this Tuesday, April 16th, 2008. The talk will be moderated by Paul Kassabian, lecturer at MIT’s Department of Architecture. Paul Kassabian is a structural engineer with interests in design, dynamic control, and deployable structures.

LEED Gold Eco-friendly Live/Work Townhomes in Sebastopol, CA
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
IBIS’ (Intelligent building = Integrated + Sustainable) latest live/work town homes in Sonoma County, California lends sustainable style to the county’s largest gray water bio-remediation system while securing LEED Gold. The Florence Lofts Project is a 12 unit development that integrates a myriad of environmentally friendly practices into welcoming, livable spaces furthering the IBIS ideology that sustainability can yield a stylish way of life.

Cairo Sound City
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday about noise and the city of Cairo. "We’re not just talking typical city noise," the article says, "but what scientists here say is more like living inside a factory." This is not like London or New York, or even Tehran, another car-clogged Middle Eastern capital. It is literally like living day in and day out with a lawn mower running next to your head, according to scientists with the National Research Center. They spent five years studying noise levels across the city and concluded in a report issued this year that the average noise from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. is 85 decibels, a bit louder than a freight train 15 feet away...

Nau Examines the Pros and Cons of LEED
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Nau is a budding clothing products company that is committed to sustainability and social awareness in various facets of its business.  They build very cool stores (pictured above) and build them green.  I noticed their website has some info on LEED certification, and just had to use their conversation as a partial vehicle to continue to discuss the green building certification system.  Here's what they said: We are committed to constructing more sustainable store options, and providing healthy spaces for our employees and our customers.  We choose to pursue LEED certification when the circumstances make sense (our Boulder store has received LEED Gold certification). 

ComplexCity
Harry in MoCo Loco
Granada Design is producing Lee Jang Sub's Complexcity wall art collection inspired by the patterns found in cities and nature. Per the artist, "This project is an exploration to find a concealed aesthetic by using the pattern formed by the roads of the city which have been growing and evolving randomly through time, thus composing the complex configuration we experience today.". The ComplexCity collection will eventually include 10 famous cities that grew into complex cites starting with Paris, Rome and Seoul.

Green Buildings and Smart Grids
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging by Pat Mazza
A new energy ecosystem is emerging that connects smart, green buildings with a smart, green grid to optimize energy flows.  Since commercial and industrial buildings represent around 40 percent of U.S. energy use, and homes another 30 percent, this represents the most significant opportunity for energy efficiency and mass-scale renewable generation. But creating this new green energy ecosystem means linking what are today heavily “stovepiped” separate systems within buildings and between buildings and the grid.  It also means expanding the definition of green buildings to include the digital smarts that connect diverse systems.  The Green Intelligent Buildings Conference in Baltimore April 2-3 focused on ways to cut through “stovepipes” and build those new linkages.


April 14th, 2008

Toronto artistique”: hors de prix?
Leah Sandals in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Today in the Toronto Star’s op-ed section, Martin Knelman argues that Toronto is finally getting the funds it needs to compete with Montreal as Canada’s seat of cultural avant-garde. He even ups the urban-rivalry ante by writing that “Toronto’s cultural all-stars [by which Knelman means the AGO, Luminato and the ROM, all of which have received millions from politicians of late] are upstaging Montreal’s, which is the equivalent of the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup by beating the Canadiens in overtime.” Millions or no, I have to say that from where I sit, Toronto still has a long ways to go before it snatches Montreal’s cultural crown. In terms of cultural access, Hogtown is way behind La Belle Ville, even more so than our beleaguered pucksters are lagging the Habs.

Yona Friedman: Pro Domo
ArchitectureMNP
Yona Friedman, probably best known for his ‘Ville Spatiale’, has been developing his theories on ‘mobile architecture’ for 50 years - and has now compiled a personal sampling of these works into one hardcover monograph: Pro Domo. As Friedman states on the very cover of the publication, Pro Domo isn’t so much a ‘book’ as it is a collection of ‘fragments on scattered topics produced in different periods of [his] life’. The resulting monograph gives the reader a look into the mind of Friedman - providing samplings of his work spanning the past 50 years. Filled with insightful anecdotes, design proposals, photos, collages, plans, sketches, and descriptive storyboards, Pro Domo is both visually rich a great read.

Zerofootprint Cities
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging
(In response to my earlier post about why we need better city rankings, Ron Dembo of Zerofootprint wrote telling me about the progress of his organization's Zerofootprint Cities, which we covered earlier. I asked him to write up a note about their concept and how it's unfolding. - Alex) Imagine a tool that could link the citizens of large world cities around issues involving climate change. Imagine further that these citizens could be mobilized to reduce their environmental footprint and their collective actions could be measured and celebrated.

Rustic Reuse Cabin
admin in materialicious
Paul Stankey (of hive Modular prefab fame) and his brother Scott (and their wives) have completed the container cabin they’ve been building on their family property in northern Minnesota for the past nine years. I blogged this a while ago, and I’m really impressed with how it turned out! And it only cost 15,000 bucks!

Transparent Solar Windows Set to Energize Homes
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The Queensland University of Technology recently announced that it has been working with Dyesol to develop an innovative solar cell technology that re-envisions windows as clear, clean energy providers. Professor John Bell has said that these dye-infused solar cells would significantly reduce building energy costs, and could even generate surplus energy to be stored or sold. The development has been touted as the most promising advance in solar cell technology since the invention of the silicon cell.

Chicago Generates Twice the Energy for a Third of the Carbon
Sarah Lozanova in Green Options
When generating electricity, roughly two-thirds of the energy is lost. Heat is created as a byproduct to spin turbines and later wastes away in cooling towers. Chicago has committed to produce 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity by 2010 with a process call [...]

Shangri-La Car Park - Curse of the Danish Love Girl?
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Once upon a time, in a world where millionaires were as numerous as the apples on the trees, and the market for high-end condo's as inexhaustible as the very heavens, there was Shangri-La, an ultra-luxury hotel that was meant to anchor Waterview Tower, a 90-story skyscraper raising along the south bank of the Chicago river at Clark Street. It was a beautiful dream, but one whose ending may be anything but a fairy tale....

Resort Houses
Harry in MoCo Loco
Resort Houses = country houses on this side of the Atlantic. A collection from from fave publisher Links International featuring 13 holiday homes from both sides of the Atlantic. Includes houses by Strindberg Arkitekter AB, JAHN Associates, Bellemo & Cat, Pierre Thibault and others. Thirteen isn't many homes for a book this size, but each is particularly well chosen and well covered. You can see for yourself with Amazon's Search Inside. Softcover, 165 pages, well illustrated, from $18.88 at Amazon.

Modern Furnishings No. 03
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Today we feature two pieces of furniture of Japanese designer, nosigner. The Arborism Table shown will be offered by Italian furniture maker COVO and will be released this month for resale. Below is a the written explanation from the designer for the inspiration for the design: Arborism is a table with treeform arms. The design of the unique arms has been configured by the fractal algorithm called "Tree Curve". So the design is the same as the branch structure of a real tree. The interesting point of this design is that it was completed not by the arbitrary work of the designer but by the logic of nature itself.


April 12th and 13th, 2008


And the Winner is...
Brendan in Where
"As a way of improving safety and bridging the gap between the city core and the bulging periphery, the city has launched a Defense of Modern Ruins program, stringing together blighted sights that range from industrial sights to downtrodden art-déco buildings to bureaucratic baroque whales. The program includes low-rent housing schemes, urban wilderness tours and itinerant party circuits."

Missin' the AAG '08
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Sadly, I will not be able to attend this year's Association of American Geographer's meeting in Boston all next week, due to my craptastic back injury, which is finally beginning to make some progress distancing me further from the freaky prospect of having to have disc surgery. Finally, whew!
Nevertheless, I was scheduled to appear on a panel this coming Tuesday afternoon entitled Architectures of Security: Border/Space in a Mobile World. Was super excited (for obvious reasons) but, also to be presenting with the likes of Louise Amoore, Alexandra Hall and Stephen Graham from Durham University in the UK, Deborah Cowen out of the University of Toronto, and Keller Easterling from Yale. A roundtable on borders and militarism with these folks is an absolute privilege for this little blogger, let me tell ya.
Check out everyone's abstract:

Posta Aerea 05
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
Today we feature a few excerpts from our voluminous mailbag:
a+t magazine is offering an outstanding read featuring Dutch Architecture called, "DBook". The magazine itself comes from Spain and is also translated in English. Another fine architectural periodical from Europe. NAi the Netherlands Architecture Institute is featuring a symposium of designers, artists and intellectuals similar to TED in the United States. Wiel Arets is assisting the NAi in their efforts and the program in entitled "Happening". The review runs through May 4, 2008 at the NAi in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Half Dose #46: Accordia, Cambridge
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Since featuring Feilden Clegg Bradley's (FCB) award-winning Westfield Student Village four years ago, the studio has completed many more projects and won many more awards. One project that's garnering much awards and attention is Accordia, Cambridge (England), "a scheme of 212 houses and 166 apartments on a 9.5 hectare (23 acre) site adjacent to the Botanic Garden on the southern edge of the city."

The Fantasy of Architecture, Asia’s Ideal City
admin in mirage.studio.7
Two most significant urban prototypes produced by Modern Movement are Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City - where every family with its own separate home on its own separate acre of land. Wright’s Broadacre City is a prescription for today’s suburbia on a bigger scale. At first glance, these two prototypes appears to have absolutely nothing in common, but they do share one significant flaw: neither can possibly work without elaborate transport systems. The ‘Walking City’ seen here approaching Manhattan Island, technically in the real world, supercarriers or also known as aircraft carriers loosely fit the definition of a walking city.


April 11th, 2008

Intriguing Earth Architecture 47
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
San Jose City Hall, San Jose, California, USA - Richard Meier & Partners

Artist Hub on 82nd: Visiting Milepost 5
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
If developer Ted Gilbert, the architects at Works Partnership and creative director Gavin Shettler have anything to say about it, 82nd Avenue in Portland may no longer be seen as the armpit of Portland with its an unpleasant melange of traffic, big-box chain stores and prostitutes. Recently I made the trek out to 82nd near Burnside to see Milepost 5, an ambitious but welcome live-work development intended for artists and other creative types. The  development consists of two renovated buildings: a new just completed structure designed by Works that consists of for-sale loft condos and work space, and a to-be-renovated old brick retirement home next door, Baptist Manor, that will offer rental units to live and work in. Both the old and new structures will also endeavor to create a strong sense of community and collaboration.

CO2 SAVER: Sustainable Lakeside House in Poland
Jason Sahler in Inhabitat
Optimizing passive solar gain and using untreated local wood, this sustainable home on Lake Laka in Poland was designed by architect Piotr Kuczia. The south side soaks up the sun reducing the amount of active heating, while the north side opens up to vistas of the lake. Many of the materials were locally sourced, reducing the amount of unnecessary transport required for construction, hence the moniker CO2 saver. But there are many other ways that this home saves on CO2.

Desert Getaway
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
The Guardian reports this morning that Donna Vassar, "part of the Vassar education dynasty, has launched plans to build a $300m (£150m) private getaway for stressed-out presidents and prime ministers who want to 'reconnect with their unique purpose in life'." And it might look like this. Referred to as the Universitas Leadership Sanctuary – or Destination Universitas – Vassar's desert complex, if built, will be "part monastery and part conference centre," and it will take the shape "of a four-storey globe on the shores of Lake Las Vegas, a privately-owned lake in the south Nevada desert."
The site will then be nothing less than the place "where the most powerful men and women on the planet can get away from it all with a combination of reading, contemplation and even a spot of gardening."

David Serero, the Man Behind the Great Eiffel Tower Hoax of '08
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Remember a couple of weeks back when the internet was all abuzz with the news that a firm had been selected to redesign the Eiffel Tower and everything was already set in motion and in no time would we all be making mass pilgrimages to Paris to see this amazing new creation? And then, of course, you'll also recall when everyone found out it wasn't for real? Well, by way of Archinect, we found this great interview with David Serero, the person responsible for the whole debacle. In it, he explains how a simple idea snowballed into a gigantic hoax, a brilliant PR stunt, or just a weird accident. He also has some interesting things to say about how blogs did a much better job at figuring out the truth than conventional media outlets who were eager to believe the story.

PREFAB FRIDAY: Custom Designed Wieler Home by Dustin Ehrlich
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
Architect Dustin Ehrlich has created a custom prefab home near Chapel Hill, NC. Commissioned by his parents and constructed by WIELER, the structure mixes stone, wood, stainless steel and rusted corrugated metal to create an extraordinary first, and lasting, impression. While undeniably modern, the structure’s aesthetic also draws on the local architectural styles of nearby tobacco barns from previous centuries.

Residential Building by ILG Architekten
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The house is bordered by agricultural land on the outskirts of Sion Bach and guarantees unobstructed view of meadows, forests and the village church. The building closed to the neighbouring buildings open to the landscape. Through two-glazed air space, opening up the stairs to the area below the roof slope unites the interior space and offers numerous views relations.

Swift Small Wind Quietly Coming to Market in July
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Swift Wind Turbine is a quiet, rooftop mounted wind turbine.  Unlike some designs you've seen previously, this one has an outer ring and five blades.  The outer ring acts as a diffuser -- the wind travels down the blades and is dispersed along the ring, therefore eliminating noise and keeping the turbine quiet.  The company estimates a noise of less than 35 decibels for all wind speeds.  The 7 foot diameter ring needs a roof line clearance of a couple feet and in good winds, can generate up to 2000 kWh of power (1.5 kW @ 14 m/s).

Jagged Icebergs and Open Pit - the Brutalist Design the Chicago Children's Museum seeks to force into Grant Park.
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
You can scarcely tell it's there, can you? Renderings the Chicago Children's Museum have been desperately hiding from the public reveal the scarring intrusiveness of the structures it wants to build in Grant Park. See them, and read a critique of Krueck and Sexton's design

Tautra Mariakloster
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
This is a really lovely wood construction church in Norway, but architecture firm Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor. The light and shadows are really amazing... Personally, I've always been a big fan of churches that celebrate the natural world around them.

April 10th, 2008

0738 Palo Alto - Done! Construction Prints available now
lavardera in LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog
Construction Prints for the 0738 Spirit of Palo Alto House are done, ready for order, catalog page updated and ready to roll. Thank you everybody for your interest, and my apologies for the wait on this one.

The Desert Pearl of Privatopia
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
Floating amidst some yet unseen mirage aglaze over the pink Nevada floorscape is a proposed new retreat for the world’s top brass to quietly converge and unwind within the pleasant confines of this preeminent orb of privatopic escape. Reminiscent perhaps of a fallen Death Star, or a desert pearl settled in the valleys of some of America's most remote real estate, The Universitas Leadership Sanctuary is hailed by the Guardian as a globular sphere of monkish architecture, a miniaturized vacation planet that is “part monastery and part conference centre” intended to strip presidents, prime ministers and the most powerful people on Earth of their monumental stresses, and restore them to proper world governing condition.

garbage architecture
admin in materialicious
Jan Korbes’ Garbage Architecture in The Netherlands focuses on: “objects interiors research and workshops based on recovered waste materials”. Among the many interesting projects they’ve done, I’m loving these stairs they’ve created: above is a set of stairs made from woods reclaimed from an old castle, and below is a stair carved from a 50 year old pole recovered from Scheveningen Harbor, originally taken from the Amazon rainforest.

BEIJING BIRDSNEST: New Pics of Herzog + deMeuron’s stadium
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
The 2008 Olympics have found China caught in the center of a heated nexus of political and social controversy, with human rights and of course the Tibet issue popping up to disturb Olympic revelers’ idealist visions for the celebration. While originally commissioned as a monument to Beijing’s might, Herzog and deMeuron’s stunning Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, (looking as spectacular as we imagined it), perhaps now better symbolizes the complex web of problems and paradox assailing modern China. Photographer Andy Ryan has recently released a eye-catchign set of photos depicting the structure silently weathering its storm-ridden cultural context. Divorced from scenes of social turmoil, these frames capture the architectural marvel’s complex and implacable beauty.

Bahrain World Trade Center Activates Wind Turbines
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
You may remember that about a year ago we brought you news of the Bahrain World Trade Center, which was designed to have three giant turbines provide power to the building. Well, this past Tuesday, the project was finally completed, with the final testing and installation of the enormous wind turbines which power the building. This week, Bahrain WTC has, for the first time, activated all three 29m-diameter turbines at the same time!

Wacso
Zolton in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
I like the sense of escapism in the offbeat work of illustrator, Wacso. By his own admission, his illustrations are ‘all about getting out there and finding cool stuff — a hot dog stand, a cool old building, an old bar, a county fair, a rusted out truck, old people, dogs. Whatever it is you groove on’.

World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Coming To CA Mojave Desert
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
With California utilities expanding rapidly into renewables, the Mojave Desert is one of the hottest spots for solar energy. Last year, plans for the world’s largest solar array got underway in this ideal energy harvesting setting and the latest news is just as groundbreaking. Pacific Gas and Electric recently signed the world’s largest solar deal to date, teaming up with BrightSource Energy to produce three new solar-thermal electric plants for a whopping 500 megawatts of clean green power. The $2 to $3 billion dollar deal provides options for additional plants (up to 900 megawatts total), which would be enough to power 375,000 Californian homes!

The Real World Hollywood's Green Digs
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
In a break from the blue suit and red tie mentality here at JG, I thought I would share this news about The Real World Hollywood's green digs.  Think MTV teamed up with Bunim-Murray Productions to green the next, certain-to- be-dramatic installment of the show.  It'll be the first time they've gone with green finish outs for the show.  The greenly decorated house includes environmentally friendly products ranging from solar panels and hybrid cars, to bamboo flooring, energy efficient appliances, and a number of recycled and reused products around the house.  No word on product specifics, but here you go -- feel free to play name that green product in the comments if you notice something in the pictures.

Dutch Preparing for Climate Change With Floating Houses
Sarah Lozanova in Green Options
With rising sea levels and more extreme weather events on the horizon, the Dutch are building houses modeled after arks. These houses become buoyant during floods. There is a string of 37 houses located along the Maas River in Holland that were designed and built by Dura Vermeer. Such houses can rise 16 feet without [...]

Skyline Brides
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
So here's a little relief from the hot and heavy coverage on the Chicago Children's Museum increasingly corrupt campaign to grab land in Grant Park. How many couples have found Chicago's lake and architecture to be the perfect backdrop for celebrating the most important day of their life? Click on the link to see just a few we've stumbled across over the last few years.

April 9th, 2008

Protest Urbanism and the Art of Misdirection
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Thousands of people descended on San Francisco's SoMa and Mission Bay neighborhoods today to protest against/for China/Tibet, see the Olympic torch, skip work, or just plain people watch. 3 of those 4 groups weren't disappointed. The torch route was announced earlier this week, with the caveat that it may "slightly" change. Well, as you can see in the above map, the route more than "slightly" changed due to the fear of another London or Paris-like protest. In the above map, blue is the...

It Takes a Vilnius: Zaha Hadid to Design Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Congratulations citizens of Vilnius, not only are you getting your own Guggenheim/Hermitage Museum, but it's going to be designed by none other than Zaha Hadid! Hadid's office has just informed us that it was chosen today to design a new center for international art in the Lithuanian capital that will house pieces from the collections of both the New York-based Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the St. Petersburg-based State Hermitage Museum. The design of Zaha Hadid Architects (pictured above) triumphed over those of Studio Daniel Libeskind and Studio Fuksas in an international competition judged by a six-member jury that included Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky, and former Guggenheim Director Thomas Krens. As for the design, it's a Hadidian mix of fluidity, velocity, and lightness that Hadid's office likens to "a mystical floating object that seemingly defies gravity."

Newseum Makes Headlines with "Up-to-the-Second" Infotainment, Terrible Name
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Do you know of a cultural institution with a worse name than that of the Newseum, the 250,000-square-foot "museum of news" set to open Friday in Our Nation's Capital? (If so, drop us a line at unbeige AT mediabistro.com, we've launched a formal study.) The Newseum, which utterly mocks your inability to correctly pronounce its name on the first try, is housed on the first seven floors of a building designed by Polshek Partnership Architects that is also home to a sprawling Wolfgang Puck restaurant (newsily named "The Source"), a conference center, and 140,000 square feet of residential apartments that are probably out of most journalists' price range.

Arkitekthus
admin in materialicious
This just in from Scott Hedges, who writes the “Letters from Sweden” posts over at Greg La Vardera’s blog: Arkitekthus is a firm building and selling houses designed by some well-known Swedish architects - Thomas Sandell, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Gert Wingårdh, and Tham & Videgård Hansson. Scott lives in Sigtuna, Sweden, and says there are a few already built near him, with more to come. These houses are goooorgeous! See the site for lots more images, including interiors……. (sorry, it’s in Swedish, and there ain’t no way I’m translating that!).

How deep should a retail space be?
David Sucher in City Comforts
The right depth which means deep enough to accomodate the expected or hoped-for users. In a discussion on Slog about some proposed neighborhood development in Seattle, one of its most sophisticated commenters criticized a project because its retail spaces were not deep enough. He wrote: Maybe it goes way back, but if it does it would be highly unusual. And note that the description says 3500 sq ft of retail, and that strip looks 100 feet long, which means an...

SETON MAINS HOUSE, by Paterson Architects
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
A Contemporary Interpretation of traditional rural buildings, the proposal for seton mains aim to provide a modest home for a family of four. The buliding is sited to take advantage of spectacular views to the north whilst also maximising natural daylight and minimising overlooking of neighbouring properties. Designed by Paterson Architects
An autonomous volume, the...

First LEED Certified Parking Structure Generates Most Its Own Power
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
I realize that by blogging about this, I'm risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green.  I think it can, but I've heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts.  After giving it some thought, I just can't imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.  They're going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible.  This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building's energy needs. But it's not just energy efficient, it's green, too.

Future Super-Cities
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Yesterday, Paleo-Future pointed out a map from 1961, produced by the Chicago Tribune, in which the future urban landscape of the U.S. has been speculatively mapped – as it was projected to exist in the bright and futuristic year of 1975.
Ahead of its time in predicting the urban condition within which most of us now live, the map and its accompanying short article suggest that the "'regional cities' of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be 'satellite towns' around a nucleus core."

New Liverpool Observatory Aims for Carbon Neutral
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Invoking the shape of myriad objects, this futuristic architectural design is shortlisted in an international contest to create a new observatory in Liverpool, England, reminding us that space-age proposals have a great way of stirring the imagination. Charged with reinventing the Mersey riverbank, Duggan Morris Architects‘ structure will supplant an obsolete radar tower with a luminous cathedral-like shell that offers unparalleled views of the heavens while keeping its environs in close consideration.

American Plaster, a Natural Solution to Wall Treatment
Sarah Roe in [jetson.green]
American Clay Plaster creates a natural plaster product for your walls, ceilings, and even fireplaces.  It's a wonderful, environmentally friendly alternative to cement, gypsum, acrylic, and lime plasters. American Plaster is made in the USA from American materials including natural clays, recycled and reclaimed aggregates, and vibrant natural pigments.  The look is a beautiful, textured, earthy, simple, and elegant.

Curtain Wall Extraordinaires
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
You'll have to excuse me if you already know all about Permasteelisa, but I just heard about them when reading a Slate article today... I don't have much experience working on large structures, so my curtain wall knowledge is fairly limited... and its especially limited when it comes to particular manufacturers. For those of you, like me, who aren't exposed to different curtain manufacturers... Permasteelisa is basically one of the premier building envelope and cladding manufacturers, based out of Italy.

Innovative Water Heater: The Magic of Heat Pumps
WorldChanging Team in WorldChanging
By Clark Williams-Derry
This is promising:  Ecogeek reports on a new GE water heater that could cut energy consumption in half.  The trick:  it uses a heat pump to preheat the water coming into the tank.
I've waxed rhapsodic about the magic of heat pumps before. Start with a glass of lukewarm water, and a heat pump can turn it into a half glass of warm water, and a half glass of cold water, in a process that takes less energy than warming up a half cup of water on a stove top.  If done right, heating your home with a heat pump -- particularly one that draws heat from water that's circulated underground -- can be more climate-friendly than even the most efficient gas furnace.  So this new heater is really just an application of a tried-and-true technology, but in a slightly new way.


April 8th, 2008


Continuing Kahn's Legacy: Cutler Leads Latest UO Lecture
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
 This Thursday (April 10) at 6PM, the University of Oregon Department of Architecture will welcome Seattle architect James Cutler, FAIA, principal with Cutler Anderson Architects.  He will speak at the new White Stag Block facility at 70 N.W. Couch Street in the public event room on the first floor. From the press release: For over three decades Cutler’s attention to detail, to material qualities and to context and place have put him at the forefront of the Pacific Northwest Regional movement, creating architecture that is at once environmentally sensitive and deeply humane.  Projects such as Grace Episcopal Church, the S’Klallam Tribal Center and residences like the Long House in Orcas Island serve not merely as expressions of client and place, but of Cutler Anderson’s rigorous pursuit of a holistic architecture.  Cutler has taught at the UO as the 1999 Pietro Belluschi Distinguished Visiting Professor as well as at the University of Washington, UC Berkeley, Harvard GSD and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied under Louis Kahn."

Seed Conference Moves to Mies' "Cathedral of Modernism"
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
The third time's a charm for the Seed Conference, which this year will take place on June 6 in Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall on the Chicago campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. And there's sure to be more to swoon over than those dreamy exposed steel trusses. The one-day conference will focus on design, entrepreneurship, and inspiration with presentations and discussions led by the founders of 37signals (Jason Fried), Segura Inc (Carlos Segura), and Coudal Partners (Jim Coudal). The event will also feature a lunchtime talk on Crown Hall by NPR correspondent Edward Lifson and a presentation by Jake Nickell and Jeffrey Kalmikoff of skinnyCORP, the company born from the community-based t-shirt design concept that is Threadless.

Ralph Rapson and the Fight Against 'Un-Design'
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Starting to make the rounds a bit, with surely more to follow, is the Minneapolis StarTribune's recent republishing of Ralph Rapson's 1958 piece "The New Architectural Disorder." Rapson, the famous architect and brilliant mind behind the original Guthrie Theater (before Jean Nouvel gave it a redesign), passed away last week, as you likely heard, and this republished essay is one of those short bits of writing that can explain one person's career, his mindset and what their intentions were in just one quick read. It's great. Here's a bit: Yet it is difficult to reconcile the top-flight individual architectural accomplishment with the unbelievably low level of over-all environmental performance. For every bit of excellence there are countless examples of ugliness.

T House - an Off-Grid, High Desert Prefab
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
So I stumbled upon the iT House construction blog and was completely blown away by the documentation they're posting.  It's an incredible little home that was designed by Taalman Koch for a five-acre lot in the high desert.  It'll be a model home and completely off-grid.  There's an on-site septic tank, 2500 gallon domestic water tank, and eight solar PV panels by Evergreen -- and the home is just the right size, too. Design is paramount with the iT House.   There's Bulthaup cabinets, a Fireorb chimney, 3form backsplashes, and Polygal cladding.  I really like the Sarah Morris / Liam Gillick panels, too.

Cloud City
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Cloud City is a new pendant lampshade by Phil Cuttance, inspired by paper folding techniques found in pop-up books. The die-cut polypropylene shade folds flat, but then takes it form when placed over a bulb. In all its 360º glory, Cloud City evokes images of a pixelated city in the clouds. Cloud City will be presented at Charles and Marie in Milan, along with the Trophy Hangers that debuted in Milan last year.

Paper House By Shigeru Ban
Frame Magazine
During an art and design auction in London one could offer money on a paper tea house, designed by....

Metro Cabin Maximo
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Metro Cabin Maximo. This Metro Cabin is using exposed curved steel beams to support the 2 x 6 tongue and groove roof deck. The Metro Cabin line is a series of high efficiency, modern-style prefab BUILDINGS designed by Andrew Kelly and Architect Dan Owens.
Each Metro Cabin is assembled on your site from a kit of prefabricated components, and currently is available in two sizes; 16 x 20

Dr Weigel House by ILG Architekten
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
The house lies in a residential district next to the town centre of the Rosenheim/Bayern. Designed by ilgarchitekten. As a result of the form an outside and an internal side of the building arise. The outside, the road turned side remains almost closed and forms the backs of the house. The internal side orients itself to the garden with large glass areas.

Building Asia Brick by Brick.
Christoph in anArchitecture
Building Asia Brick by Brick Photo by MADA s.p.a.m. People's Architecture Foundation is a New York based non-profit educational organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between China and the United States thru architecture, urbanism, arts and culture. The "Building Asia Brick by Brick" project - a series of public interactive programs - is designed to raise urban awareness in a playful way. Read an interview with the currators ot the

Schindler's Houses at Facets this Sunday
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
A film by Heinz Emigholz, Schindler's Houses, will play for one performance at 12:30 P.M. this Sunday, April 13th, at Facets Multi Media, 1517 W. Fullerton, 773/281.9075. It looks like it could be interesting:
Heinz Emigholz, the premier purveyor of architectural oddities (D'Annunzio's Cave; Goff in the Desert), offers a stunning portrait of urban Los Angeles through the houses of Austrian-American architect Rudolph Schindler. Using no voiceover, archival photos, or other conventions of standard documentaries, the film presents beautifully composed shots of 40 of Schindler's houses in the order in which they were built. . .

Cyprus Full Circle - a Fluid Four-Home Project
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
Something about this project is just too compelling to not blog about it.  Designed by Iosa Ghini Associati for the distant island of Cyprus, the plan calls for four family houses in the residential district in Nicosia.  The fluid, organic shape of the project ties each unit together.  When complete, Cyprus Full Circle will have a number of green design elements, including low-E glass panels, adjustable solar panels, rainwater capture and recycling, and heating storage for the winter.  The external walls also will be treated with photo catalytic concrete, which will transform harmful organic and non-organic matters into harmless compounds.  Anti-VOC architecture?  Incredible.

Children's Museum Announces Grand Coalition - Poll Respondants Remain Underwhelmed
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
The Chicago Children's Museum called a big press conference Monday morning to unveil its All Chicago Children's Museum Committee, which, according to the Chicago Tribune report on the event, CCM President Jennifer Farrington heralded as proving the CCM's proposed land grab enjoyed wide support from both "well known folks and unsung heroes," but the unsung heroes appeared to be there mostly as window dressing. In the museum's press advisory for the event, published in Trib architecture Blair Kamin's Skyline blog, the only names listed as being available for interviews were very familiar...

April 7th, 2008


Neighborliness, Innovation and Sustainability
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging
Two approaches have tended to define the debate about sustainable prosperity in recent years. The first is conscious consumption, which manifests at the shallow end as green shopping (even greenwashing) but can prove out at a deeper level as strategic consumption. The second is green technology, which is a topic that we tend to cover here in great depth, and which covers everything from energy to transportation, housing to product design. Sometimes that technology is trivial, sometimes it is profound. These approaches are complimentary, and both have a lot to offer as we try to negotiate our way to a bright green future. But there is a danger in thinking that all we have to do is design better substitutes for the products we already consume, and then convince people to buy them.

Fellowship Opens Walker Art Center's Doors
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Have a year to spend in Minneapolis and get in real good with the Walker Art Center? Now's your chance, as our pals over in the design department over there where kind enough to drop us a line letting us know that they've just started accepting applications for the 2008/2009 Walker Art Center Design Fellowship. It's a year-long, paid program where you get to work with their fantastic design group, creating identities for exhibitions, building whole campaigns and working on their print projects. It's a pretty incredible opportunity, should you be selected, so why not just give it a shot?...

Monday, Monday
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
My weekly page update: Badajoz Congress Center and Auditorium in Badajoz, Spain by SeglasCano Arquitectos. The updated book feature is Architecture and Suburbia: From English Villa to American Dream House, 1690-2000 by John Archer, and Blubberland: The Dangers of Happiness by Elizabeth Farrelly.

A Rundown on the Showdown at the Brooklyn Museum
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
A little round up of last week's fracas surrounding the Brooklyn Museum's star-studded event, honoring developer Bruce Ratner, which led to a large protest outside the museum, filled with people angry with Ratner's plans to bulldoze and build like crazy in Brooklyn and that the museum would celebrate such a person. And to get a full picture of the whole thing, we thought we'd take you on a little tour. ...

Solar America Cities Chosen
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 12 new Solar America Cities, bringing the number from 13 to 25 in total, and moving along the $2.4 million initiative to provide up to $200,000 per city to build solid solar infrastructures. The announcement came at the New Frontiers in Energy Summit 2008 in Denver, Colorado, which is among the 2008 Solar America Initiative (SAI) cities. The overall program goals are to facilitate adoption of solar technology by individuals and businesses and to make solar electricity from photovoltaics a cost-competitive energy choice by 2015.

AIA Convention 2008 in Boston
ArchitectureMNP
This year the AIA Convention is coming to the Bean! On behalf of the AIA and the Boston Society of Architects/AIA, we’d like to invite you to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in May to attend the AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition. In our first visit to the East Coast in almost nine years – and our first to Boston in 16 years – the AIA will host its convention in one of the most dynamic cities in America. And what a perfect place to immerse yourself in this year’s theme, We the People, which will explore the power of architecture on behalf of all people and society. It’s the right topic for a growing profession that has been challenged to engage the public in designing a more sustainable world.

How Green Can Monster Homes Be? Topic Renewed.
Preston D K in [jetson.green]
The topic pops up every month or two.  Last month, the issue of big green homes came up in the context of eco-terrorism.  Five luxury homes priced over $2 million each were set on fire by the ELF, who left a sign saying: "Built green?  Nope Black!  McMansions + RCD's R Not Green"#  The luxury homes were advertised as green, but clearly the ELF disagreed.#   The burnt homes were about 4200 to 4750 sf in size, which isn't that bad, when compared to some so-called luxury green homes we've seen (this one being 9800 sf).#  The incident highlights the tension between big homes and sustainability.

Uptown Theater Rots as Rival Promoters Battle Over It's Future
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
In this past Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times, pop music critic Jim DeRogatis has a terrific account of the tangled story of efforts to save the 4,300 seat Uptown Theater. For years after its 1981 shuttering, it was the palace that no one wanted, trashed and decaying under the ownership of a succession of leading slumlords. When it became known, several years ago, that not one, but two major concert promoters, local Jam Productions and national Live Nation, reportedly had the hots for acquiring the historic venue, it looked like a can't lose proposition that would finally lead to the Uptown's rescue.

April 5th and 6th, 2008


MATERIALECOLOGY at AIANY
Neri Oxman in MATERIALECOLOGY: Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman will be giving a talk at the American Institute of Architects, the New York Chapter.
The talk is titled: Making Difference and will cover MATERIALECOLOGY's most recent work and research now on display at the MoMA, Museum of Modern Art.

Book Review: Pocket Gardens
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Pocket Gardens: Contemporary Japanese Miniature Designs (2007) by Michael Freeman
Universe. Hardcover, 224 pages
The term "pocket garden" brings to mind pocket park, those roughly lot-size public spaces scattered about Manhattan that are small in stature yet have a wider impact that makes them successful urban design elements. Perhaps the most well-known is Paley Park in Midtown Manhattan. The tiny space is defined by ivy-covered walls on the sides, a canopy of trees overhead, and at its rear a waterfall drowning out the noises of the city. Although small it successfully creates an oasis from the city -- perfect for workers on their lunch hour, as they try to relax for that all-too-brief hour. While this book does not reference pocket parks, the pocket gardens present here work along similar lines: providing residents small oases within their houses.

Meow Cottage, Franklin, Tennessee
Zolton in Lost At E Minor: Music, illustration, art, photography and more
Draped in a charming rustic veneer, the Meow Cottage at the Old Marshall House in Franklin, Tennessee, is a self-contained cottage situated on the grounds of a sprawling — and quite beautiful — B&B. (more…)

[Video] Peter DeMaria Talks About Cargo Container Design and Sustainability

Preston D K in [jetson.green]
In this super informative interview, G Living sits down with Peter DeMaria to talk about his work using containers in modern home design and construction.  I was really impressed with DeMaria -- he tells you everything you ever wanted to know about container architecture and talks about scalability, sustainability, mold, termites, insulation, design, etc.  If you're thinking about using containers in your project, the ones mentioned in this interview cost about $900 - $2500 and are about 320 sf per unit.  Great video! Peter received significant exposure for his design of the Redondo Beach House, a modern home built with containers.  He's also working on Logical Homes and explains in the above video that Logical Homes will be launching soon.  The images below are of a multi-use, container project in Venice under construction right now.

Canada Unleashes First Carbon Tax in N. America
Clayton B. Cornell in Green Options
British Columbia will be the first in North America to institute a comprehensive carbon tax on nearly all fossil fuels. It’s a groundbreaking move that could prove the feasibility of taxing greenhouse-gas emissions. Beginning July 1st, 2008, businesses and residents of British Columbia will be taxed $10 per metric ton of carbon emitted by fuels [...]

Tower Building Competition Using Sugar Cubes
admin in mirage.studio.7
 For those that are not familiar with Curtin University’s Architecture building, here is a photo of the interior known as the blue carpet, according to the lecturers; it was blue many years ago but not any more. Last year I had a conversation with a non-architecture friend of mine about Curtin University, during the conversation, another friend of mine asked which block am I studying in, when I was about to reply him, the other friend of mine shouted: “The ugliest building in the University.” And the best part is, he understood.

Pineapple Paper Furniture by Yothaka
Tylene Levesque in Inhabitat
The Nut Bench is fun, colorful and made from pineapple paper to boot! Bangkok-based Yothaka International creates hand-woven, modern Asian designs using local natural fibrous materials available in Thailand. The firm that pioneered the use of water hyacinth and Yan Lipao (a fern-like vine found in the South of Thailand) in furniture making has introduced a Pineapple Paper collection made from locally produced pineapple paper fiber. Pineapple leaf fibers are pressed, dyed and made into eco-friendly chairs, stools and benches.

Today's archidose #195
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
CFIA_JMNZ_003, originally uploaded by monarqui.
Federal College of Engineers and Architects of Costa Rica in Curridabat, San José by Hernán Jiménez (1980).

Denver_Modern
Harry in MoCo Loco
Angelo wrote us yesterday to let us know that he and Nancy are building a compact modern home in Denver, Colorado. "This house project is for our family, and in our mind a great test in realizing the many concepts we’ve been intrigued with. Angelo’s background is architecture and Nancy’s is historic preservation/ adaptive reuse.". The website has all the details from interior and exterior renderings (seen at different times of day) through to the latest construction, the cedar siding installation above. Thanks Angelo!


April 4th, 2008


Billowing in the Wind
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
 I've seen this project in print many times... but I just love this image of Shigeru Ban's Curtain Wall House. On a rainy day in Seattle, it sure makes me long for spring days!

Chanel Contemporary Art Container, Zaha Hadid
architect studio in architect studio
Chanel Contemporary Art Container, a travelling art space designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, has opened in its first destination, Hong Kong. Then Tokyo > New York > London > Moscow > Paris. “I think through our architecture, we can give people a glimpse of another world, and enthuse them, make them excited about ideas. Our architecture is intuitive, radical, international and dynamic. We are concerned with constructing buildings that evoke original experiences, a kind of strangeness and newness that is comparable to the experience of going to a new country. The Mobile Art Pavilion for Chanel follows these principles of inspiration ...... The fascination of the Mobile Art Pavilion is the challenge of translating the intellectual and physical into the sensual – experimenting with completely unexpected and totally immersive environments for this global celebration of the iconic work of Chanel. I see the Pavilion as a kind of a total artwork that continually reinvents itself as it moves from Asia, to the USA and Europe,” states Zaha Hadid.

OLD STONE HIGHWAY HOUSE: Modern future forward design
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Founded in 2001, Berg Design offers gorgeous sustainable solutions to residential projects. Their Old Stone Highway house was designed by John Berg as a “Single Family Residence with Environmentally Low Impact Building Technology”. We totally dig their uncompromising approach to housing that is luxurious, super green, and chock full of mid-century charm.

Green Investment Grants and a Resurrected One Waterfront
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Earlier this week the City of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development and the Energy Trust of Oregon announced $425,000 in grants to several sustainable developments as part of its Green Investment Fund. The projects include Mercy Corps' global headquarters being built in Old Town, with a design from Thomas Hacker Architects; 14th & Everett, the old Meier & Frank warehouse in the Pearl District being renovated by Gerding Edlen Development from a GBD Architects design; Park Avenue West, the Tom Moyer-developed and TVA Architects-designed condo tower just west of Pioneer Courthouse Square; an addition an aquatics center in east Portland that will make innovative re-use of water; Simpsons Commons, an affordable housing project; 12W, a new mixed-use tower; and One Waterfront Place, developer Jim Winkler's BOORA Architects-designed office building.

Landmarks Illinois Redesigns Michigan Avenue Streetwall
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
. . . all in a good cause, of course. On Wednesday, Landmarks Illinois dramatized its Ten Most Endangered list for 2008 by providing several views of what they fear the landmarked Michigan Avenue Streetwall might become in the current climate where hard won protections are being chipped away by "compromises" that are undermining the most basic tenets of landmarks preservation. It began with highrises like the Heritage at Millennium Park towering behind the Chicago Cultural Center, and the under-construction Legacy rising behind the Gage Group and University Club. Now, says Landmarks Illinois, with proposals to demolish all but the front third of the Chicago Athletic Association and placing another tower behind a former YWCA at 830 South, developers are threatening to turn the historic street into a sequence of false fronts, a Potemkin preservation.

Love These Planter
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
I really love both of these planters, although they are both out of my price range. Still, perhaps C and I can cast something similar for the backyard/deck area.... but first we'll have to build it!

April 3rd, 2008

PSU Seeks Accreditation...Again
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
This just in from FOPA (friend of Portland Architecture) Matt Jansen: Although the effort has been in the works on and off for years, this coming weekend, Portland State Uuniversity kick starts the process of becoming only the second accredited architectural program in the state of Oregon. The National Architectural Accrediting Board is sending a team to begin the multi-year long evaluation process whereby PSU could/should have a graduate program in place in the fall of 2009 with full accreditation coming in the summer of 2011. There will a reception (read: free beverages and food) occurring this upcoming Monday at 6:00pm at the AIA Center For Architecture at 403 NW 11th Avenue. As Matt reminds us, "A strong show of support from the architecture community would go a long way in letting the NAAB team know that you/we believe in the creation of a second venue for architectural education within Oregon."

The Greening of Greensburg
SarahKuck in WorldChanging
Last May, an EF 5 tornado hit western Kansas. In Greensburg, the storm leveled every building, picked up cars and tossed them into rooftops, demolished the streets, left more than two-thirds of the town’s population homeless and killed 11 people. Out of this tragedy, an opportunity arose to reconstruct and rejuvenate not only the buildings but also the town itself. As is the story for many small farm towns, the future of Greensburg looked bleak. Even before the tornado, jobs were growing scarce and the population was shrinking by two percent every year. So, the people of Greensburg decided not only to stay, rebuild and provide aid but also to take a revolutionary approach to doing so -- the environmentally sustainable way. City leaders saw their chance to change the city into a place where everyone would want to be, an environmentally sustainable place that would serve as an example for towns everywhere.
We’ve written about our hopes for the heartland before, and the inspiring ways the Great Plains could turn away from business as usual and start imagining what a bright green farm belt would look like. Now, Greensburg is doing just that.

A Closer Look at the New Parrish
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
And for those who are more interested in Herzog & de Meuron's design for the new Parrish Art Museum than artfully folded paper in the current one, we direct you to the Architectural League of New York's exhibition of the Pritzker Prize-winning architects' plans for the 64,000-foot museum. "Studio as Muse: Herzog & de Meuron's Design for the New Parrish," on view through May 2, is part of an ongoing series of Architectural League exhibitions that investigate the design process of a single significant building.

Perspektiva Lamp
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
The Perspektiva Lamp is a new concept from Transparent House (full disclosure: one of our advertisers), based on an idea of incorporating an iconic item into the form and function of a useful everyday object while maintaining certain artistic qualities. Transparent House chose a vintage camera and flipped the whole notion behind the camera: instead of taking in light, the camera is now the source.

The mathematics of preservation and the future of urban ruins
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
For a variety of reasons, it seems worthwhile to do a kind of combined recap of my recent talks for the AIA in Baltimore and at the University of Pennsylvania. If you were present at either one of those events, then this should hopefully serve as a nice trip down memory lane; if you weren't there, this should give at least some idea of the topics covered, themes discussed, images seen, and so on. Of course, if this sounds even remotely interesting, I'd be more than happy to give a similar talk at a venue near you... I've been having a blast doing these things.
In any case, I was in Baltimore two weeks ago on a joint invitation from the AIA and Preservation Maryland, to discuss architectural preservation, broadly conceived, with at least some relation to Baltimore proper.

< 40 Architects.
Christoph in anArchitecture
20 essential young architects- as seen by the April issue of Icon: From Joshua Prince Ramus (REX - 37 years) to Bjarke Ingels (BIG - 33 years). For the first time, according to Icon magazine, “young actually means young, but architect may no longer mean architect”. Frankly, stressing the architect’s age doesn't make you feel comfortable - especially for people in their thirties. How much time have you got left?

EcoDEEP HAUS, Green Conversion from 1940s Cape Cod to Modern Home
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I recently received an email from reader Roxanne Nelson about her green transformation of a 1940s cape cod home in St. Paul, Minnesota.  When done, it's going to be a modern green knockout.  Roxanne and her husband, Kevin Flynn, both architects, are documenting the transformation at EcoDEEP Haus, which I've been following for the past couple weeks.  Check it out. The renovation will seek Minnesota Greenstar Remodeling Gold Level Certification, and to top that, will try to do it on a normal budget. Nelson and Flynn hope EcoDEEP Haus becomes a model for other homeowners that want to incorporate sustainability in their remodels.

A Little More on 'French Man' Jean Nouvel's Pritzker Win
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
More bits and piece about the biggest design news story of the week, Jean Nouvel's winning of the Pritzker Prize. First comes Slate's architecture critic, Witold Rybczynski, asking why we award these Pritzkers to just this one guy when architecture, from concept to completion, is never about just one person, and rarely does it even involve just one company, it's a whole bunch of people acting together as a team in order to build something. But, his argument continues, unlike things like the Nobel Prize, which awards everyone involved in a process, the Pritzker ignores the more than a hundred people who work in Nouvel's firm.

Andrew Maynard’s Suburb-Eating Robots
ArchitectureMNP
Andrew Maynard has what some may consider to be a peculiar vision for the future of the Australian suburb - lush forest wilderness, or otherwise natural untouched land devoid of cookie-cutter human settlements. And it would all be thanks [if he had his way, perhaps?] to something resembling the image above.

China’s First Carbon Neutral Hotel Hits Shanghai
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Environmentally conscious visitors to Shanghai who are looking for the luxury experience can stay carbon-free and enjoy green living on the go at URBN Hotels. Designed to attract ‘urban world travelers’, the 28-room full-service hotel fuses Western and Chinese influences and a host of green-minded practices to create an urban eco-oasis for tourist and business travelers. From the building’s design and materials to cleaning products to energy-efficiency, URBN Hotels is an eco-friendly refuge amid the bustle of Shanghai.

Curve and countercurve: Zaha Hadid in Rome
Aventinus in CONTINUITY IN ARCHITECTURE
The continuity of the urban grid of northern Rome is relieved by an infrequent series of curved structures, Pier Luigi Nervi’s Palazzetto dello Sport, Renzo Piano’s Auditorium di Roma and Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI , due for completion in 2009. The first two exploit the circular and...


 

April 2nd, 2008

CityFlats Hotel Stylishly Seeking LEED [Michigan]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
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...

Eye Candy: MVRDV’s WOZOCO
ArchitectureMNP
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
mediabistro.com: 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
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
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
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
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
mediabistro.com: 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 conceived...in 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
ArchitectureMNP
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]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
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