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November 18th, 2007

The Perfect High Street
By Chris in Brand Avenue
An entertaining video produced by Monocle envisions the "Perfect High Street," wherein the world's most delightfully upscale and idiosyncratic retailers populate the main drag of the imagination, in an "Instant City" kind of way. Watch. I had originally thought the video would be about architecture, but instead its focus is economic. (I can't afford a subscription, and therefore cannot read the accompanying article.) The street is characterized by a long succession of retailers you've never heard of. Necessities like groceries, banking, and a pharmacy--the experiences of which are normally rote and forgettable--are supplanted by stores plucked from locales as disparate as Japan and Switzerland that meet needs while also sating the senses.

An Exceptional Paradise
By Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
OK, I dug up some scoop on the migrant detention facility that’s being developed on the “Leeward North” side of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base directly adjacent to the “Windward” side where the terrorist suspects are being held at Camp Delta. I somehow missed a few news articles about this in the Camp Justice post a few days back – so, here’s an update....

A Very Good Week In NY This December
By mediabistro.com: UnBeige
It's getting to be that season again when all the naughties and nices you've accumulated during the last 12 months...

Project7Ten Green House Completed in LA
By Evelyn in Inhabitat
Southern California is adding to its growing collection of uber-green LEED Platinum homes with the recent completion of the Project7Ten House. While the original renderings of this design looked promising, nothing inspires us more than seeing green buildings actually get built. The photographs of this recently constructed green house far surpass the original renderings we saw a few months back, and we are thrilled to see such an elegant eco-house for sale in LA.

Three houses by kochi architect’s studio
By Justin in materialicious
Fascinating….
KOCHI ARCHITECT’S STUDIO

California's Lesson for A Low-Carbon Future
By Mindy Lubber in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Residents of California, land of freeways and belching tailpipes, drive fewer miles per capita than the rest of the country. How's that for turning a stereotype on its head? It's true - and underscores a poignant lesson as the world drags its feet in addressing man-made global warming: While tackling climate change is good for the environment, it may be even better for the economy. The statistic is one of dozens of jaw-dropping nuggets in the inaugural "California Green Innovation Index," an initiative by the non-profit, non-partisan Next 10 group that is designed to track key indicators as California moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Consider this: Despite the state's reputation for high electricity costs, Californians, per capita, pay lower utility bills - less than half of residents in Texas, for example. Tougher building and appliance standards saved the state $56 billion by 2003 and are expected to save another $23 billion in the next five years. Energy efficiency allowed the state to avoid building 24 power plants in the last 30 years. With all the green talk today, the report gives something scientists and policy makers clamor for: Long term data. The Golden State began its... (more)

Casadecor miami 2007 exhibition now open
By Justin in materialicious
My friend JoAnn Locktov of Trendgroup-USA sent me the press release for this event:
CASADECOR ‘07: The urban showhouse hosts innovative ideas and materials from over 60 designers, architects, and manufacturers in a tantalizing array of design solutions and inspirations. Many of the interiors include sustainable materials, from the vertical “living wall” in the green urban oasis to the home office designed for the US Green Building Council. The exhibition takes place from November 9th, 2007 - December 16th, 2007, and is located at 1444 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. Trendgroup-USA is a sponsor with a booth at the show, so you just know this show is worth attending!

Airoots Gets Lost in Deep Urbanmess (Guest Post by Matias Sendoa Echanove and Rahul Srivastava)
By Brendan in Where
We arrive at a narrow commercial street lost somewhere between Bombay and Tokyo. It is crowded with pedestrians, bicycles, street vendors, food stalls, and wandering cows and dogs that don’t allow cars to pass through. Most of the buildings lining the street are two to three stories high, covered either with faded, dusty shop-signs painted in art-deco fonts, or snazzy neon lights. Billboards with smiling Manga faces and Bollywood movie stars eye each other warily. An intricate web of wires, pipes, pathways, and cables connect the buildings, huts, cottages and shop-fronts to each other. They hang overhead or lie snugly underground. They are like masses of snakes intertwined into each other – alive and organic. They buzz with whispering voices, crackle with coded e-mails and crisp exchange of smses, gurgle with water or sewage and are swollen with pornographic images looking for immediate release, along with religious icons that appear on screens of high-tech devotees who bow to them in tiny studios.

hudson residence, stephen atkinson architecture
By Justin in materialicious
Hudson Residence, St. Michael’s, Maryland. Stephen Atkinson is one of my favorite architects around. Some of you might recall his Zachary House, which he did for his parents down in Louisiana. There’s something subtle about his approach, and all his houses fit their environment, perfectly.

clara cabin, bryan meyer and anne ryan
By Justin in materialicious
A while ago, I posted a container cabin in Northern Minnesota (Holyoke Cabin) built by Hive Modular architect Paul Stankey and his wife Sarah Nordby, and now Stankey’s partner Bryan Meyer has posted the cabin he and his wife Anne Ryan built some years ago, called Clara Cabin…. Built on Ryan’s family property, the 220sf off-grid cabin is described as “a glorified tent - a primitive room in the woods”. I’m in love.

Foundation
By Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
Steve Rose of the Guardian this morning greets us with a "magnificent art gallery with a ruined gothic church in the basement."
The gallery is in Cologne, Germany, it's called Kolumba, and it was recently designed by architect Peter Zumthor.
The building's "cavernous ground-floor room," Rose writes, "is dimly lit, but fresh air and dappled sunlight spill in from honeycomb-like perforations high above."
Even better: "Embedded in the light brick walls are the blackened windows and arches of a ruined gothic church, onto which this new building has been grafted." And, "disappearing into the depths and the darkness, are the excavated ruins of crypts, vaults and foundations."

The Smithsonian Collection: 'You're Gonna Love Sitting On Our History!'
By mediabistro.com: UnBeige
There's that old saying, isn't there, when you're saying something negative about something someone owns? You spot a couch...

Zaha Hadid - Interview Part 4, 12/10/07
By Jotis Moore in Zaha Hadid Blog
Zaha Hadid is interviewed by Deyan Sudjic at the Design Museum. Follow the link to view the fourth part of this interview in full.


CLINTON LIBRARY GETS LEED PLATINUM

By Emily in Inhabitat
Gracing the river front of Little Rock, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum has just been been awarded a LEED Platinum rating after a recent round of “back to the drawing board” upgrades to the building. The green features that tipped the scales from the previously held LEED Silver rating to Platinum include more thorough green cleaning and recycling programs, climate-neutral and energy efficiency strategies, water-wise landscaping and a green roof.

New York's Green Future
By John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
By my count about 100 people gathered yesterday in Cooper Union's column-filled Great Hall to attend New York 2030: New York's Green Future, a public discussion among the authors of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC and a panel of urban design experts, organized by the Institute for Urban Design. The morning was reserved for the "authors" of the plan, who gave Power Point presentations on the goals of PlaNYC, its various elements (parks, transportation, water, housing), and some inspirations for moving forward with the plan. What came across as the strongest point to me was that the plan is predicated on growth, specifically the addition of one million more people by 2030.

November 17th, 2007

Green, Green - in Germany and the U.S., and at Chicago Architectural Club Round Table
By Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Even as we head into the annual ceremony of ritual avian sacrifice, we're still adding events to the November calendar. This Tuesday, November 20th at 6:30 P.M., going up against Hernán Díaz Alonso's appearance at the Art Institute beginning a half hour earlier, the Chicago Architectural Club, at the iSpace Gallery, will be holding the first of what it expects to be a series of roundtable discussions, this one exploring the questions of: What is the role of the architect in the Green Revolution? What role does technology play? What about authorship? And what does "Green" mean, anyway? Have we been too quick to define the term?...

Revolving Door Roundup
By mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Another week, another raft of design-related personnel developments and switcheroos. Here's our roundup: Baccarat: The e French crystal firm has named Chafik Gasmi as its first artistic director. Gasmi has previously worked as artistic director at Sephora and watchmaker Ebel....



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