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January '08 - Blog Articles - Page 4 Print E-mail
Monday, 31 December 2007 19:00
 

January 24th, 2008

Big changes ahead for Mile End’s garment district
Christopher DeWolf in Spacing Montreal
The old industrial area in the east part of Mile End, between St. Laurent and Henri Julien is set for a makeover. Yesterday, the city announced that $8.8 million will be invested in a two-year project meant to polish the district’s streets and improve its connections with surrounding neighbourhoods. Later this year, overhead electrical wires will be buried, new lampposts installed and sidewalks widened along St. Viateur from St. Laurent to de Gaspé. Then, next year, the city will extend St. Viateur from de Gaspé to Henri Julien....

The Ruins of the Unsustainable
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
I've been thinking about the fate of declining suburbs, bombed out shrinking old industrial cities and the drying up ghost towns of the high plains, when I came across a journal note mentioning something Bruce Sterling said to me this fall in San Francisco: "The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century's frontier."

GlassKote
Young in Architecture
" There are essentially three ways to colour glass; by coating one surface, through adding minerals and other pigments to molten glass during manufacturing, and by laminating two or more pieces of glass with a coloured material sandwiched in between. The problem with laminated technologies is that their appearance isn't always good (the depth and quality of the color), the edges are not attractive, the material can be difficult to work, the types of glass are limited and may not support tempered glass, and most importantly, it is very expensive. Colouring molten glass is often not suitable since it is translucent, there are only a handful of color options, and it's also very expensive.
When it comes to colour coatings for glass, several have come and gone, but none stand up to GlassKote.

hood residence, robert mellin architect
Justin in materialicious
Hood Residence, Middle Arm, Newfoundland. Built: 2005. Robert Mellin, MRAIC, is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture at McGill University and a registered architect. He has also received a Manning Award and seven Southcott Awards (Newfoundland Historic Trust) for his heritage conservation work in Newfoundland.
Of particular interest to me is the use of red ochre paint, an old Newfoundland tradition. The contrast between the red ochre and yellow paint is striking, and I love the vernacular shed form.

New Landmarks Commission Officers Elected With Little Debate
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
As Fred Leeson reported in a small blurb from today's Oregonian, last week the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission elected its new officers. Member Carrie Richter nominated fellow member and developer Art DeMuro as chairman, and DeMuro nominated Richter as vice chairwoman. They won approval in a unanimous vote. For a commission that has perhaps been the most controversial entity in Portland design and construction, I was surprised to see that this vote happened with so little advance notice and public participation.

House K Project by Tham & Widegärd Hansson Arkitekter
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This K House project by Tham & Widegärd Hansson Arkitekter that is build in Stocksund, Stockholm is a thin block with some cut-outs for light, This house have a double-height and a roof terrace area. The light entering the house from several directions thru the shallow block that provides spaces. This is enhanced by the two double-heights that also guide views diagonally through the interior. The plan is simple: entrance and stairs fits into one box on ground level, a central passage on the upper floor gives access to bedrooms. The interior is one continuous space in two levels.

Richard Meier, Budding Garmento
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
You loved his buildings! You swooned after his collages! Now get ready to cozy up to your very own Richard Meier-designed cardigan! That's right, the architect is the newest guest designer for Lutz & Patmos, the seven-year-old label that...

from 3form: the pressed glass and poured glass collections
Justin in materialicious
3form now offers the Poured Glass and the Pressed Glass collections. See how they compare to the Varia (ecoresin) collection, here. Very cool and very useful.

‘Air Tree’ Structures in Madrid produce Oxygen and Energy
Karim Yergaliyev in Inhabitat
The city of Madrid soon plans to add a striking new structure that will “climatically transform” its urban architecture. Designed by Urban Ecosystems, the Air Tree pavilion is to be built from recycled materials and will be 100% energy self-sufficient. Using photovoltaic cells, the Air Tree produces a substantial amount of energy, which is then sold back to the local electric companies, the profits being used for maintenance of the structure. The second byproduct is of course oxygen - hence the name ‘Air Tree’!

World’s Nicest KFC?
architecture.MNP
Could this be the world’s nicest KFC [well, nicest looking - they’re all pretty gross, really]? Commissioned by KFC Iceland, the 450 square meter building was designed by pk arkitektar [yes, designed to be a KFC - they didn’t just move in later] and completed in 2005. My ninjas, PLEASE! Honestly, I think it looks ‘cold’ from the outside and that the concrete is a little overbearing - for a fast-food restaurant. That being said, I wouldn’t be complaining if they started replacing their US locations with buildings like this. I wonder what made them spend the money?

Aquarius Tower: Greenest Skyscraper on the Atlanta Skyline
Mahesh Basantani in Inhabitat
Just when you thought green towers couldn’t get any greener (or more towering), there’s a new kid on the block. The Aquarius Tower, a 500-foot tall condominium to be built in Atlanta, is the latest to join the burgeoning ranks of iconic green hi-rises. The building is designed around the four elements of life: sun (solar panels), water (reclamation systems), air (wind turbines) and earth (a minimal footprint).

Artful Project Documentation
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Today, 1:04 AM
The architectural photography of Kurt & Walter Photographies: Amazing compositions and almost surreal environments.

Hyde Park Gangs Up on Solstice
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Today, 1:01 AM
Nineteenth century, meet the 21st. Just across from the Museum of Science and Industry, the last surviving structure from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Solstice on the Park, a 26-story condo tower designed by Studio/Gang Architects is set to begin construction this coming summer (June 21st groundbreaking, anyone?) The project has already won Chicago Plan Commission approval, and has reportedly also received a fairly warm reception from local community groups....

January 23rd, 2008

Magic of America Image Database Goes Live
Brendan in Where
The digitization of Marion Mahony Griffin's The Magic of America made a small splash several months ago, but the extensive image library, which contains all 650+ illustrations from the original book, has just gone live this week. If you like what you see here, don't miss the electronic archive, which is full of drawings, maps, and photographs of buildings from the US, Australia, Japan, and India. It is most definitely worth some perusal.

Subtopia at the border...
Bryan Finoki in Subtopia
So, I am headed off to San Diego where (as mentioned before) I will be delivering – at best – an epic Subtopia post on global migration and the architectures of control used to contain it; or, at worst – a massive sequence of overworded sentences and depressing images of border fences and detention halls linked together by sweaty palms and the unpredictable tones of an insatiably dry cotton mouth. Sound fun? Ha!
Well, it should be, regardless. So if you are in the neck of the woods this Thursday evening, around 7PM, zip on over to the Woodbury University School of Architecture. It’s all part of their ongoing lecture series -- The Young and the Restless -- that certainly neither starts nor ends with me, so if you can’t make it on the 24th then you still have some time to check out other presentations who’ll be passing through until April.

Eco-Friendly Single Family Residence by AKA Architetti
Abigail Doan in Inhabitat
Italian designers are surely global frontrunners when it comes to cutting edge fashion and innovative design (as evidenced by our previous coverage of the 2007 Milan Furniture Fair. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that AKA Architetti has just won an international competition for their development of a single-family, green home prototype that’s energy efficient, site adaptable, and incredibly stylish in its integration of interior and exterior architectural features.

Sweden, the E.U. and Renewables
Alan AtKisson in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
For those of you who are still thinking of Sweden as the country planning to become "Fossil Fuel Free" by 2020, today's announcements from Brussels -- where the European Commission has just released its proposed new compromise policy for climate change action, to grumbles from both the greens and browns -- should puncture any illusions, and remind you that a new government is in charge in this Nordic land. Sweden had been asked by the EU to increase the share of its electricity produced from renewable energy sources from today's 40% to 55% by the year 2020.

more houses by kamil mrva architects
Justin in materialicious
Just a few more houses by Kamil Mrva and his team. Previously: Family House in Dolní Bečva, Czech Republic. There’s a lot of good stuff happening in the Czech Republic.

TVA Unveils Revised UO Arena Design
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Bob Thompson and his firm, TVA Architects, have released a new design for the University of Oregon's arena that is more transparent -- arguably making it, to the project's benefit, a little more like Portland's Memorial Colisseum and less like the Rose Garden. I was a fan of the previous, more boxy design, but this clearly seems to be a step up. There will be a lot more light entering the arena now, especially at the perimeter. A building of this massive scale needs to be transparent, I think, to avoid the common problem of being a closed-off, monolithic presence on the landscape. One of the new features beside the glassier exerior and more curving form, according to a report in today's Oregonian, will be a wooden seating bowl that harkens back to Duck fans' beloved Mac Court. This would also add some greater natural materiality to TVA's work, which is always very sleek and modern.

Visualizing Change: Upcoming Workshops Blend Design & Civic Engagement
Colin in blog like you give a damn
With two annual design charrettes that focus on important aspects of our local built environment: homelessness and sustainability, February is one month Twin Cities designers can really get involved with the community. First up is the 3rd Annual Greenlight Design Workshop on February 1st and 2nd. Sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Design, Covanta Energy Recovery Center, and Hennepin County, the workshop will take a look the waste-to-energy facility located directly next to the new Twins Ballpark. The ballpark will soon bring thousands of people to site so there are many opportunities to design a more sustainable and hopefully inviting public interface. Additionally, necessary roof replacement and site work will allow us to provide options for new sustainable interventions....

Amazing Green Roof Art School in Singapore
Ali kriscenski in Inhabitat
If art school was in our future we might opt to study under, or on top of, the amazing green roof at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This 5 story facility sweeps a wooded corner of the campus with an organic, vegetated form that blends landscape and structure, nature and high-tech and symbolizes the creativity it houses.

pencils down
architecture.MNP
CADsmart is a program designed to measure the CAD abilities of a user being ‘tested’ by his/her office, rating the skills and efficiency of AutoCAD and Microstation users. In the UK, the average score after 1 hour 15 minutes is 66% - how would you rate?

Half Dose #43: Tile for Yu-un
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
With all the hoopla last week around Olafur Eliasson's "four man-made waterfalls, 90 to 120 feet high, [that] will punctuate New York’s waterfront for three months starting in mid-July," it seemed like an appropriate time to look at the Icelandic artists other environmental installations.

The Future of (Urban) Shopping
Brendan in Where
"Describe your street. Describe another street. Compare." That suggestion, originally made by Gorges Perec, is part of a longer quote sourced in a recent post at Pasta & Vinegar by blogger Nicholas Nova. Nova examines Perec's suggestion that we should "question [our] teaspoons," or look critically at things that we consider mundane or take for granted. "Make an inventory of you pockets, of your bag," the quote continues. "Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out."

January 22nd, 2008

So Where Is It?
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Yesterday, 11:41 PM
This 'Room for Art in Zumikon' is an interesting project by andreas fuhrimann, gabrielle hächler architects (afgh). Designed to appear as a monolithic carving in stone or concrete, the interior and exterior finishes as well as the structure are a seamless extension of one another. The stopped in glass eliminates the need for any materials other than concrete or glass... While the lighting is quite dramatic, I have to wonder where are the art is? If this is a room for art, then why can't I see any? In fact, the only thing I see other than concrete in glass are light switches, which is an unfortunate focal point in one of the photographs. While these images are quite appealing, like with other projects, I wish that I could see the building occupied. After all, without program, what separates architecture from sculpture?


Recent news on Griffintown redevelopment
Chris Erb in Spacing Montreal
Griffintown has graced the pages of the local media a great deal over the last couple weeks. Here is a rundown of many of the stories concerning the neighbourhood and Devimco’s proposed redevelopment: Jan. 9: La Presse reports that the Conseil du patrimoine is deeply critical of the “Village Griffintown” project. They’re worried that a development that is to be carried out by demolishing all but a few historically significant buildings may completely erase the area’s Irish and industrial heritage that goes back well over 200 years.
Jan. 10: The Gazette accuses Devimco of conflict of interest due to their pushing for a rail link between downtown to the South Shore which would have stops in the Griffintown development as well as near Devimico’s Dix30 shopping centre in Brossard. Furthermore, there is some major overlap with Devimico and Bombardier who would likely be building the trains and trams that would go through the redeveloped Griffintown. Neath at the Walking Turcott Yards blog gives his opinion on the whole debacle....

Seed Architecture Ready to Sprout
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Along with major trends like sustainability and condo building, the rise of more studio-sized firms in Portland over the last several years has been encouraging. One of the latest to take root is Seed Architecture, which is headed by Darin Dougherty, whose resume includes two other first-rate local firms, Skylab Design and Architropolis. His business partner Greg is a contractor, so Seed anticipates being able to handle both design and construction, a very enticing package. As if that weren’t enough, Greg also has founded on the side a sustainable surface (counter tops, tile) manufacturing company, Fuez.

Mass Studies: Torque House
architecture.MNP
We’ve all seen Mass Studies all over the internets recently [the firm was featured on MNP a while back - although I was a little harsh] - the Ann Demeulemeester’s store in Seoul, South Korea in particular. I first came across this project, the Torque House, in the February issue of Dwell Magazine - who feature a full page image [the shot below] of the home as a ‘house [they] love’ - and I was compelled to find out more. Located in, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, the project is a three-story, 134-pyeong [I’ve learned from Mass Studies that 1 pyeong equals 3.3 square meters - cool to know] house for a family of four.

Harry Allen Has a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates
mediabistro.com: UnBeige
Yesterday, 1:28 PM
But they're sold separately! Harry Allen & Associates, the design firm that brought you that iconic porcine conversation piece/bank "cast from a pig that died a natural death" and a bookshelf made from resin-cast books has just added some...

red cabin by the sea, staffan strindberg
Justin in materialicious
Staffan Strindberg’s modern interpretation of the Swedish “Red Stuga” - this project was nominated for the Swedish Red Paint Prize in 2004, using traditional Swedish Falu(n) Red Paint (linseed oil paint). Nicely photograped by Gudrun Thielemann

beautiful kitchen, nicholas budd dutton architects
Justin in materialicious
Remodelista sure can pick ‘em. There is absolutely no reason that Modern can’t be Warm and Bright.. Go see more at Nicholas Budd Dutton Architects

Jetson Green: GreenMobile
architecture.MNP
Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green writes: GreenMobile was a Lifecycle Building Challenge winner in the Professional Unbuilt category.  Now, mounting success upon success, Michael Berk, creator of the concept, has a prototype in the works to be unveiled in March 2008.  Can’t wait to see that!  GreenMobile was awarded $5.8 M from FEMA to further develop the prototype and roughly 80 units are in the pipeline right after that prototype comes through.
 
Newsbits: Driehaus Profiled, White House Redesigned, Internet Censored
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Driehaus Profiled. The New York Times' Robert Sharoff has a great profile of Chicago's congenial anti-modernist, investment guru Richard Driehaus. “Modern architecture has become totally homogenized and uninteresting,” Driehaus is quoted as saying “One streetscape in Prague is worth all of Dubai, visually.” It's an observation that, knowing Dubai only through pictures, I might be inclined to agree with, but to call modern architecture "homogenized" is statement more of inattention than judgement. ...

January 20th, 2008

House for Sale in Venice, California
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
Yesterday, 10:40 PM
The sale House, Designed for a typical residential lot in Venice, California, engages a historic building, Morphosis' 2-4-6-8 Studio, existing on the property, to produce a new variation of residential courtyard architecture. Maximizing the use of a small lot, transparent walls and windows together with an interiorized courtyard turn the typical single-family house inside out, creating an expanded landscape for living and working.

Hang Your Coat Before You Sit Down
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
Living in a teeny tiny house, I can really appreciate this multi-purpose design by Erohina Yulia. Even though this particular chair is meant for cafes and such, I think it would be really useful as a bedside chair. C is always throwing his clothes for the next day over the side of a chair... so much so in fact, that I've often thought about getting him a valet. Of course, they're not exactly modern in design, so this chair would be a great alternative!

Contemporary West Capitol Hill Residence by Stuart Silk Architect
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This Contemporary 1950’s West Capitol Hill Residence architectural renovation project is the great challenge for the Stuart Silk Architects, The challenge in adding a second story while preserving a sunroom, glass-walled den, and garage at either end of the house. They begin to give their best solution for this West Capitol Hill Residence by giving a new two-story entrance atrium, which floods the house with light and takes advantage of views of the city, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. Clerestory windows open the living room and master bedroom suites to the expansive views. And wing-shaped metallic roofs make it seem the home is soaring above the surrounding trees.

Merzbau in the Zeitgeist
jimmy in Life Without Buildings
Last week while cruising the internets (or "surfing the web," if you like), I couldn't help but notice a few Merzbau-like projects making the rounds on the blogsphere. First, let's take a look at Kurt Schwitters' original live/work environment. As photos were prohibited, this first shot was discreetly the Sprengel Musuem in Hannover, where a portion of the Merzbau has been reconstructed. [Merzbau money shot via] This next project, El fin del Muundo al techo, was designed and built by...

Conservation Easements, Climate Foresight and Resilience
Alex Steffen in WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future
Back in 1930, Anna Fahey's grandfather bought 100 acres on Washington's remote and stunning Cypress Island, for a $50 down payment at an auction. In a story that many native Westerners will recognize, that land became her family's anchor place, and a place they came to care enough to fight for. It's one of the great untold stories of the American West, that for thousands and thousands of regular families who wanted a place in the beauty that surrounded them, owning land came to mean being in some fundamental sense owned by it. A great number of the staunchest, brightest and most visionary rural sustainability advocates in the West are these folks. Anna wrote a great piece, My Grandfather's Legacy about how her family has moved to protect their own parcel through a conservation easement, which is a legal strategy that more people ought to know about....

World’s Greenest Building Going Up In Paris - Energy Plus
Jorge Chapa in Inhabitat
The home of the Eiffel Tower is getting a new architectural innovation- and a green one at that. The Energy Plus office building, to be located outside of Paris, is designed to consume no electricity other than that which it creates itself. This zero-energy building, according to the designers, will be the greenest office building ever created.

Three on Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Drive
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
In 1885, when architect William Wilson Clay built the mansion for real estate developer D. Henry Hammer at 3656 south, it was called Grand Boulevard, a great, tree-lined urban processional of prominent houses. According to the AIA Guide to Chicago, it was laid out in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as one of two great boulevards (the other being Drexel Boulevard, a half mile to the east), to link Washington Park in Hyde Park, then a Chicago suburb, with the city proper. When John T. Long designed the great Richardson Romanesque house of worship that opened a few blocks to the south in 1889, it was called the 41st Street Presbyterian Church.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 01:48
 
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