Page 5 of 11
March 18th, 2008
A City on the Move
Chris in Brand Avenue
Narrated by then-Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh, a 1965 video touting the virtues of Detroit (both parts, below) is fascinating, not only for how dated and problematic it is. Yes, it misses large parts of a story everyone knows; one about a city in steep decline, wracked by economic loss and racial strife. It predates the riots that tore the city apart two years later, and makes little mention of how the city's dependence on its automobile industry that has and will continue to shape it, for better and worse. I am greatly simplifying here--you have to turn to the pages of Middlesex or Them to get a more qualitative, experiential sense of Detroit's modern rise and fall; and to sites like Detroitblog to understand the city's unreal physical fabric. You have to look to things like the Michigan Land Use Institute, Cool Cities, and Model D to get some hope for the area's future.
Weekly Architecture Film, Part 8, Koyaanisqatsi.
Christoph, anArchitecture in anArchitecture
Koyaanisqatsi (1982) is a film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass. The film shows primarily slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and natural landscapes across the United States. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance." The film shows the collision of two worlds: urban life and technology versus the environment.
Second "Designs On Portland" Talk Features Skylab, Works Partnership
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 19) brings the second installment in a new bi-monthly discussion series I've partnered on with Design With Reach called Designs On Portland. In January our first guest was Portland Spaces editor and former Oregonian architecture critic Randy Gragg. This time we'll have a trio of visitors to the DWR second floor studio to talk architecture and design: Jeff Kovel of Skylab Design Group, and Carrie Schilling and Bill Neburka of Works Partnership. All three were part of the "Dreamers + Builders" story I wrote for The Oregonian recently on the city's top names in architecture and design. In particular, I think of Works and Skylab, along with Holst Architecture, as representing the best in local design by emerging studio-sized firms. There are many others, of course, but this will be an opportunity to learn about the inspirations, passions, and ideas behind these excellent firms and designers.
Whitehead-Elniski Residence, Green Adaptive Reuse!
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
This is a refreshing story of a another innovative green home in Chicago. Frances Whitehead and James Elniski recently had their green home featured in NY Times. It's a fantastic rendition of green adaptive reuse. Check the images of the living rooftop and two twirling turbines (by Windside). Those turbines cost about $40,000,including installation, and provide about $500 per year in savings. Still, the owners don't mind the payback of 80 years because their perspective is guided by the realities of a carbon cluttered world. Drastic times require drastic actions?
Speed Bumps on the Road to Utopia
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
Even as we marvel at Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren's spectacular CCTV tower in Beijing, take a moment to remember that their client is CCTV, the Chinese television monopoly. So? Here is a Sunday headline from the BBC: Eighty killed' in Tibetan unrest. Here's the headline from the China People's Daily: 12 policemen gravely injured in Lhasa riot. According to Monday's Wall Street Journal, CCTV's coverage consisted of pictures of Tibetan protesters "pulling down the iron gates of a Bank of China office....
Book Review: Cost-Effective Buildings
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Cost-Effective Building: Economic concepts and constructions (2007) edited by Christian Schittich
Birkhauser The latest in Detail Magazine's in DETAIL series presents what could be called "un-Bilbao" buildings; those commissions not blessed with the almost limitless budgets that allow for expensive materials, formal invention, and a HUGE scale. Where previous books in the series looked at building types (single-family housing) or architectural elements (building skins), this one focuses on the less-thrilling aspect of architectural production: the budget. Building types in these pages range from single- and multi-family houses to schools and factories, with the book loosely arranged where essays and interviews partition the various projects into types. In this manner the book moves from small scale to large, from timber and masonry structure to concrete and steel, from private to (quasi-)public, from individual to collective. The essays and interviews act as markers, orienting the reader to the general goal at hand: expressing ways of creating unique architectural solutions with small budgets.
Many Moons Design, Reclaimed Handcrafted Furniture
Sarah Roe in JETSONGREEN.COM
Many Moons Design is a small, craftsmanship-based company in Lexington, Kentucky. They salvage wood and other materials to make beautiful furniture with designs ranging from rustic to modern. They also use a beautiful selection of woods, including colored woods, walnut and white oak. Some of the wood even comes from famous landmarks such as the Jim Beam distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Pretty neat! The furniture designs are unique, especially the more modern pieces, which give such a wonderful contrast to the aged woods. One of my favorite pieces from their website is a maple butcher-block table (pictured below) made from "reclaimed 3" attic flooring from a circa 1845 cottage in the heart of Lexington". The top is complimented by the cylindrical, chrome legs, which were also salvaged.
Pretty Organic for Brick
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
The organic forms of both these projects (Canadian Museum of Civilization, top and St. Mary's Church, bottom) by Douglas Cardinal Architect both make wonderful use of a modular building material like brick. While many people don't expect such sensual curves to be created with bricks, DCA proves adept at pushing the usual material expectations while designing monumental structures. In practice since the 60s, this Canadian firm has got a bit of a mod look to it... and I really like it!
Cute and Useful
Michelle Linden in Atelier A+D
This Mr. and Mrs. coat rack available at Bodie and Fou is probably a little too cute for my taste... but its been a while since I posted a coat rack (and I know you've been anxiously waiting for a new hook!)
March 17th, 2008
Pascal Arquitectos: Da Vinci Tower
We’ve recently received an update from our ninjas at Pascal Arquitectos, letting us know about one of their most recently completed projects - the Da Vinci Residential Tower in Mexico. The tower is fit for a ninja - complete with lounge, gym, indoor lap pool, and rooftop terrace/swimming pool. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any images of the units themselves - which would have been nice to see - either way, the project [and others by Pascal Arquitectos] is worth checking out.
APRIL DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MONTH
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has proclaimed April 2008 as National Landscape Architecture Month. ASLA chapters across the country will celebrate with public outreach activities to help school-aged children and educators “Discover Careers in Landscape Architecture,” the theme for 2008. The month encompasses Earth Day on April 22 and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted on April 26, who founded the American landscape architecture profession.
Exploring the City of Tomorrow
Brendan in Where
A hypothetical Aura Map of Istanbul's Golden Horn. Google Transit wants your city to get on their bus. At the American Public Transportation Association's recent TransITech conference the web giant's mass trans-tracking maps app (say that five times fast) challenged every transit agency in attendance to upload their schedules and information to the site by Earth Day of 2008. If Google's effort at TransITech is successful, live, up-to-date GPS-powered transit tracking for every major city in the country (and beyond) could be a reality much sooner than one might imagine.
Social Housing, Making Small Seem Large
admin in mirage.studio.7
This semester’s design class is about social housing, before we jump into the design stage, we need to understand what is social housing? I bet 9 out of 10 people would have projected an image of a stripped-down subsidized housing. House, be it for the poor or rich must bestow on its inhabitants a sense of dignity, a sense of belonging, having said that, social housing should fits comfortably into the community, allowing it to assimilate into the surrounding community.
Super-Insulating Vacuum Glass
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
In terms of energy efficiency, windows are one of the biggest contributors to heat loss from buildings. However, a new window technology being developed by Guardian Industries could allow for windows that can provide insulation values comparable to a standard insulated 2×4 stud wall, with a new double-pane glass and a vacuum between the [...]
Civil Court for Madrid from Zaha Hadid
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
It is difficult to ignore the designs of Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid. Bold, brave, often controversial - her ambitious experiments in form always seem to stir discourse and debate. Hadid’s design for the new civil courts building in Madrid is no exception. Planned as part of the new Campus de la Justicia at Valdebebas in the Spanish capital city, Hadid’s Civil Court is expected to become a focal point among works from Norman Foster, IM Pei and others. While we are not always big fans of Hadid’s obsession with form, we are intrigued by the “intelligent” façade of this Madrid courthouse, that in addition to being extremely eye-catching, is intended to regulate the building’s indoor environment.
louis i. kahn’s esherick house for sale
Justin in materialicious
“…The Esherick House is definitely one of Kahn’s most important works which defined lessons he’d go on to use in later projects.” – David Adjaye The Esherick house stands as one of the most important houses realized by Kahn throughout his luminous career, and is the first residence to illustrate his mature architectural ideals. As one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Kahn created a distinct style that was rigorous yet transcendent, geometric yet sensuous.
The house will be offered as a single lot Wright’s Important Design sale on May 18, 2008 in Chicago. With an estimate of $2–3 million, the Esherick House is a true collectible work of art: smart, conceptual, serene, and transcending.
High Line 23 - Critically Acclaimed, Chasing LEED [S2]
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
There's a new green project under construction in New York's West Chelsea Arts district that just so happens to be the first free-standing project for Neil M. Denari Architects. Known as High Line 23, or HL23, the design is defined, at least in part, by the small ground floor footprint of 40' x 99'. As you can tell from the images, the building starts small and hovers 14 floors into the air over abandoned railroad tracks (note: those tracks will soon be a thriving green park area). The $22 million, 39,200 sf condo tower will have a private garden at the building's base and 11 condo homes -- nine full floor residences and a duplex penthouse on the top floor. Residences range in size from 1,850 - 3,600 sf and price from $2.7 - $10.5 million.