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March 7th, 2008
The Governor and The Sliver
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today on a walk downtown, I happened upon two spruced up old buildings with goings on. The Governor Hotel on SW Tenth Avenue, across from the Galleria building, is coming upon its 100th anniversary. To celebrate, the hotel is having an open house this Sunday, March 9, from 12:30 to 4:30PM. It's a chance to see inside places you'd normally have to pay for, in the form of overnight lodging. Built in 1909, the Governor was originally called the Seward Hotel and was designed by William Knighton, who also was the first State Architect for the State of Oregon.
Hakatai Launches Ashland-e Series Recycled Glass Tile
Justin in materialicious
Hakatai Enterprises, importer and distributor of glass mosaic tile, has improved and expanded its popular Ashland series. The new Ashland-e series is comprised of between 30 and 70 percent recycled glass from bottles and/or other waste glass that would otherwise enter the solid waste stream. In addition to the new content, Hakatai has added new colors, sizes, and finishes. The new series offers architects, specifiers, designers and homeowners an environmentally-friendly glass mosaic tile option for commercial or residential projects.
Beauty and elegance combine with recycled content to give this tile a unique appeal. With a large selection of transparent and opaque colors, iridescent hues, and new matte finishes, the Ashland-e series is suitable for many applications, including interior and exterior walls, countertops, and backsplashes. The series can also be used in Hakatai’s innovative online Custom Blend and Custom Gradient tools. Hakatai has added a selection of warm and cool earth tone colors to the series, including Silver, Crystal, Darjeeling, Light Olive, Toscana Iridescent, and Sun Tea Iridescent Blend. Most colors are available in more than one finish. Opaque colors are mesh-backed; translucent colors are paper-faced.
nader khalili dies at 71
Justin in materialicious
Iranian-born Nader Khalili, architect, educator and author, passed away at the age of 71 on Wednesday, March 5th. Khalili was known for his innovation into the Geltaftan Earth-and-Fire System known as Ceramic Houses and the Earthbag Construction technique called Super Adobe. He had been involved with Earth Architecture and Third World Development since 1975, and was a U.N. consultant for Earth Architecture.
I am (not) lovin’ it
Thomas Wicks in Spacing Toronto • understanding the urban landscape
Another one bites the dust. Not that the potential loss of a McDonald’s restaurant causes me any particular heartache, but this particular McDonald’s always tugs at my heartstrings. Across from the ROM just west of Avenue road sits (in my opinion) the nicest McDonalds around, and a fine piece of 1970s retail architecture. During a closed-door session, city council voted to accept a (bargain) $3.38 million offer for the site from McDonalds who will in turn sell it to Kazakhstan-based developer Bazis International Inc. That’s the developing firm that is building the 80 storey condo at 1 Bloor Street East and already owns the property adjacent to McDonalds. There are now plans in the works for a 100-meter condo tower to be built on the site (which will include a new McDonalds restaurant).
Pasadena EcoHouse: First LEED Certified Concrete Home
Evelyn Lee in Inhabitat
Adding to the growing LEED Platinum collection of homes in southern California including Project7Ten House and the Living Homes design by Ray Kappe, the Pasadena EcoHouse designed by StudioRMA is cited to become the first concrete LEED Platinum home in the USA. Built primarily of a green SCIPs (Structural Concrete Insulated Panels) similar to Green Sandwich Bio Panel used by William McDonough + Partners and made of 60% recycled material, the designers believe this home will be a landmark project and will have a camera crew and production team on hand to document the construction process every step of the way.
Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, a Living Building
Preston D K in JETSONGREEN.COM
I'm not going to write too much about this project because it's under construction and we'll end up doing more when it comes to life. Here, though, is the design for a living building -- one that gives something back. It's the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too). Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC's registered buildings. How? The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines. Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment.
"Dreamers + Builders" In The Oregonian
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
Today in The Oregonian's A&E section is a story package I wrote called "Dreamers + Builders", highlighting the key players on Portland's architecture/design scene. The piece has two principal components: an overall feature story about how the local scene has changed over the last decade, and a list (with portraits by Motoya Nakamura) of 11 people making it happen. It's actually a list of 10, but one entry on the list consists of two people: Bill Neburka and Carrie Schilling (at left) of Works Partnership Architecture.
Geoff Manaugh in BLDGBLOG
"The next time a moth alights on your window sill," New Scientist warns, "watch what you say. Sure, it may look like an innocent visitor, irresistibly drawn to the light in your room, but it could actually be a spy – one of a new generation of cyborg insects with implants wired into their nerves to allow remote control of their movement." What fascinates me about this, though, much more than simply pointing out how advanced surveillance technology has become, is the fact that such statements would have been dismissed as absolute schizophrenia as little as two decades ago.
Pointing out the window at insects as you whisper: They're listening...
PREFAB FRIDAY: iPAD by Andre Hodgskin
Ali Kriscenski in Inhabitat
We’ve been waiting and hoping for more from New Zealand architect Andre Hodgskin who first wowed us with BACHKIT™, a gorgeous holiday home of prefab pavilions designed in 2000. Hodgskin’s newest design is every bit as enticing. With the iPAD™, Hodgskin brings a stylish, versatile option to the prefab world with a bevy of possible configurations, finishes and even a choice in how you’d like it to arrive – it can be manufactured off-site and transported whole or shipped as a kitset for on-site assembly.
March 6th, 2008
Piano to build at Ronchamp - WHAT?!!?!?!!
That’s right folks. Hallowed ground [both spiritual AND architectural] is about to get a bit of an overhaul…maybe. But before you take to your modern day ninja-mob weapons [throwing stars, nunchaku, bo staffs, etc.] and incite riots all over some asses, take some time to read both sides of the coin. Apparently, this isn’t far off Le Corbusier’s original ideas for the site after the initial chapel was completed in 1955.
Alanah in Spacing Montreal
This image caught my eye as I was browsing the Plan D’Urbanisme…No, it isn’t plans for the some-day domed city of Montreal. A Ville-Marie Borough regulation requires all buildings to fit within the silhouette of the downtown area, even if they surpass the height of their neighbours. The goal is to maintain the importance of Mount Royal within the urban landscape. The urban plan doesn’t make it clear whether neighbourhing boroughs are expected to squeeze new developments under the same curve.
MATERIALECOLOGY in Design News
Neri Oxman in MATERIALECOLOGY: Neri Oxman
A decorously comprised collection of the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at MoMA is now online from Design News.
Be "Still" For Cloepfil & Allied Works' New Denver Museum
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
As reported this week by Architectural Record magazine (and then yesterday the Port blog), local architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm, Allied Works, have unveiled their new design for the Clyfford Still museum in Denver. Devoted to the seminal painter Clyfford Still, the museum will sit in the shadow of Daniel Libeskind's massive expansion for the Denver Art Museum. But only in scale will the Allied buidling acquiesce to Libeskind's angular titanium edifice; it's quite possible the Still, with its more subtle, restrained form, will better stand the test of time. Jeff Jahn at Port makes an interesting observation about Cloepfil's work: that there is a "heavy" Brad, seen in projects like the Wieden + Kennedy headquarters, and a "light, dematerializing" Brad, evidenced in newer work like the Museum of Art and Design at New York's Columbus Circle or the 2281 Glisan building here in Portland. Jeff likes the "heavy" Brad better.
World’s First Positive Energy Building in Masdar, Abu Dhabi
Cate Trotter in Inhabitat
Not settling for mere zero-energy, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s Masdar Headquarters are setting new design standards for green building, with their scheme that generates more energy than it consumes. The Masdar Headquarters building outside of Abu Dhabi is also the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, using a solar roof pier that will be built first to power the rest of the construction.
DS 2008: Fishbol
sabine7 in MoCo Loco
Fishbol is a Canadian design team that got its start in Ottawa, but is now based in Toronto. Bookseat, a bent plywood chair that combines shelving with seating was presented at IDS08 and will be available (with a felt cushion) this spring. Bookseat is only one of a selection of unusual chair designs by this young company, including the Lobster Trap Chair and the Gazebo Chair. Also of interest is Fishbol’s Wine Bottle Shelf.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault Opens in Norway
Kate Andrews in Inhabitat
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is now officially open as of last week, after nearly thirty years of planning. The facility is not only a storage space for seeds from all over the world, it’s a gorgeous structure to boot, built in the permafrost of a mountain on Spitsbergen Island in the Arctic Island Svalbard, that is part of Norway. The Global Seed Vault has been designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe and from nearly every variety of food crop on the planet, such as wheat, rice or maize. So in the event of global catastrophe, we’ll be agriculturally prepared!