Page 6 of 13
May 16th, 2008
Using Disasters for Systemic Change
Matthew Waxman in WorldChanging
After reading Justus Stewart’s recent article about a BIM collaboration I immediately thought of the Earthquake in China, the Cyclone in Myanmar, Hurricane Katrina and the SE Asian Tsunami, and last year’s mini-disaster in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, the collapse of the “MacArthur Maze” Interstate 580 connector ramp. All of these disasters could benefit from a process to redesign the destroyed urban environment and its infrastructural systems and to not just re-create what was there before. What if we could accompany a collaborative design process with some sort of policy framework tying together disaster-response to designing for systemic change? What if we could plan to use the future's inevitable disasters as opportunities for change and innovation?
The Risks and Rewards of Hotel Redesigns
An interesting piece that serves as a nice follow-up to a post we put up a while back about Motel 6 redesigning their room interiors: BusinessWeek's "Hotel Rooms by Design." The focus is on a local stop, Chicago's The James hotel, which has pulled out all the stops in making their rooms, and the entire building interiors itself, swanky and modern, in the hopes of capturing that higher-end market willing to spend $400 a night for a well-designed room (as opposed to the inexpensive $350-a-night rooms at the Chicago Best Western, we guess). But the larger reach of the story is whether or not all of this new trend of redesigning and uniqueness in the hotel industry is a good idea or if it's going to lead to a world of hurt as the economy struggles. It's an interesting piece, from all angles.
Canühome Shows Smart Sustainability at Home
Preston D K in Jetson Green
Canühome is an impressive 850 square foot home with a smart design that includes a kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room and bedroom. Designed by Institute Without Boundaries, canühome is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable home. Perhaps, it is best suited for young couples, seniors, singles, and/or small families as either a “starter” or “finisher” house, but the possibilities are truly infinite. The home pictured above and below is the display prototype used at the Green Living Show in Toronto. Bloggers Mariela Campo of Green Design Girl and Lloyd Alter of Treehugger both had pretty interesting things to say of the Toronto exhibit.
How to Preserve Saarinen's Bell Labs HQ?
We love a good postwar corporate campus, and in our dictionary, under "postwar corporate campus" is a picture of the 472-acre swath of Holmdel, New Jersey that was once home to Bell Labs. At the core of the campus is an 1.9-million-square-foot building designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed the site's transistor-shaped water tower. In 2006, the property was sold to a developer who intended to raze the building and replace it with corporate offices, but ultimately scrapped the plan in the face of public outcry calling for the preservation of the original six-story Saarinen structure, built between 1959-1962 and later expanded.
reinke shakes, a corrugated metal shingle
lavardera in materialicious
This is just one of those only in america stories. Small manufacturer, family run business, in Nebraska that makes a head-scratching range of different things, including precast concrete for mausoleums, cnc services, racing trailers, an odd mix. Well they also make these unique corrugated shingles. The owner Bob Reinke’s father started making them, and now he continues. Its one of these products that you would have expected to disappear long ago, or to have been overtaken by similar products from large manufacturers. But it hasn’t. I don’t know of any other metal shingle with this small corrugation pattern. And I have to say that I think it looks cool as hell. They make them of prepainted aluminum, they’ll do copper too. I think zinc, or galvalume would be awesome.
FAB FRIDAY: Method Homes’ Modular Cabin
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
This month we’re welcoming a brand new builder to the prefab scene as Method Homes launches its first house! The wood clad wonder is currently nearing completion in Seattle, Washington and boasts an array of customizable features backed by a steadfast commitment to sustainable materials and building practices. The “down to earth” prefab’s sleek modern lines and LEED gold aspirations make it the latest modular cabin to catch our eye.
miniLOO, Saving Water With Small Style
Preston D K in Jetson Green
I know it's just a toilet, but this miniLOO is quite the attractive alternative when it comes to taking care of your primary and secondary business. MiniLOO utilizes a water-efficient, dual flush, in-wall tank with either a .8 or 1.6 gallon flush. The compact off-floor mounting allows easy cleaning and accessibility in either the residential or commercial setting. It's perfect for a smaller space and available in a variety of finishes, including recycled stainless steel and white powdercoat.
May 15th, 2008
Preservation Chicago's New President Not Fine
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
On May 6th, the grass roots activists group Preservation Chicago became a bit more rooted when it named Bill Neuendorf, 40, an engineer whose work includes the preservation of historic structures, as their new President. Neuendorf takes over from long-time president Jonathan Fine, who co-founded the organization with ongoing VP Mike Moran in 2001, with Fine now assuming the title of Executive Director. The final sentence of the press release gave us a bit of pause. "Previously an all-volunteer organization, this new leadership team is ready to propel Preservation Chicago into the next chapter of its professional life.
TU-Delft: Arch School Endures Major Fire
Bradley in east coast Architecture review
The architecture program at TU-Delft in the Netherlands suffered a serious loss on Tuesday the 13th of May when the eight story Faculty Building was engulfed by flames. The pictures below tell the story and illustrate the partial collapse of the structure. We first learned of this tragedy from our neighbors at SPAN and it was later reported by Archinect. The TU-Delft website reports that classes will resume on the 19th of May in makeshift tents set up on campus. No word on the cause at this time.
Wrightstyle Goes Back to School in Groundbreaking Project
Design Build Network
One of the country's leading technology colleges has reopened following a £28.5 million project that utilised specialist glazing systems to create a stunning new approach to the school environment. Leigh Technology Academy in Dartford, Kent, which first opened in 1990, is rated academically as one of highest-achieving schools in England and Wales, with a school roll of over 1200 pupils - a flagship establishment that is pioneering new ways of learning in business, sport and science. Underlying that difference in teaching approach, glass and glazing systems from leading supplier Wrightstyle were used within the building to form transparent linkages between classrooms and common areas, and between exterior and interior spaces.
Peter Eisenman Talks Tough to Get Architecture Back on Track
Perhaps in the face of the struggling architecture industry, Peter Eisenman offered up some thoughts at the recent Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland event (RIAS 2008) and Building Design was there to catch the whole thing, offering up a complete transcript of the six points he made to help get architecture back on track. It's an interesting list, which does everything from say that computers have made architects lazy, schools are letting students become passive and how we're at the end of a style of architecture, so we'd better prep for what's to come and start approaching the coming change now, so that our current work doesn't look so passe in the near future. It's a really terrific, very frank read from a really interesting architect, so well worth your
Theatre Maurice Mentjens
Situated in the southern part of the Netherlands, Maurice Mentjens designed the ground floor of the NWE theatre in Tilburg.
On the Ground with Renzo Piano at the Broad Museum Opening
Dropping in on the recent start-studded opening of the LACMA's new Broad Contemporary Art Museum in LA was The Independent's Karen Wright who was more interested in telling the tale of Renzo Piano and his newest creation than rubbing elbows with the likes of Tom Cruise, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. Wright is clearly not a student of James S. Russell, as she oohs and ahhs over all the specifics of the architect's latest flashy museum. And without any of that hostility or worry that Piano has lost his edge, the piece provides a nice tour of the new building, which should be valuable until you get a chance to check it out for yourself. Plus, if anything, it's always fun to hear Piano talk: The building was completed in a speedy three years. One triumph during construction was the closure of a street and removal of a garage, which was replaced underground. As Piano said, "In LA, to take away a street is a miracle, to take away a garage is like destroying the Colosseum in Rome!".
My Jeddah talk on megaprojects
David Sucher in City Comforts, the blog
A while ago I wrote that I'd post the talk I prepared for the 2008 Jeddah Economic Forum. So here it is as a PDF: Why & How to civilize the mega-project. It's a good talk but only if you are interested in the subject. Now that I know more of the development taking place in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and have even seen some of it, I believe that the suggestions in the talk are all the more on point. Probably the key one — and one of the most difficult to implement because of the close relationship everywhere in the world between local politicians and large developers — is as Massengale in the immediately prior post suggests: break-up the megaproject site into streets and blocks and sell off lots and not to many to one entity.
May 14th, 2008
Stevens Lawson Architects on Hobson Bay House
Mohammad Fahmi Tri Wahyudi,ST in Best House Design
This is an amazing Stevens Lawson Architects project called Hobson Bay House. This Hobson Bay House was awarded as the Winner of NZIA New Zealand Award for Architecture in 2004. This award-winning house sits majestically on a north sloping section with a dramatic outlook to Hobson Bay, in Auckland, New Zealand, adjacent to an enclave of iconic New Zealand modern houses.
Design Build Network
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At first glance these ‘Solar-Shades’ look pretty cool - but after thinking about it for a little while I’ve decided that I’m not convinced they’re not a part of some clever plot by Cobra Commander to take over our power grids… Melbourne-based Büro North has teamed up with the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab [VEIL] to design the ‘Solar-Shade - “a future possibility for the integration of solar-energy harvesting technologies into a form that is pragmatic (providing shade & energy), evocative and educational”. The project is intended to engage students - making an exhibit out of the PV technology being used.
The Last of Koolhaas' Las Vegas Guggenheims Set to Close This Weekend
In a move that's of no real surprise to anyone, the final Venetian Hotel-based Guggenheim museum ("The Hermitage") will be closing in Las Vegas this Sunday. Following the two others closed in 2003 after abysmal attendance, this will be the final nail in the coffin for the Rem Koolhaas-designed museums in that steamy city of debauchery. But, like we said, we can't imagine that this is coming as a shock to anyone -- building a genuine museum in Las Vegas, not one built upon a strong foundation of irony, is like building a learning annex right next to a water park and a free candy store.
Six Reasons Why the Chicago Children's Museum doesn't belong at Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park
Lynn Becker in ArchitectureChicago PLUS
As the Chicago Plan Commission's consideration of the Chicago Children's Museum proposed move to Grant Park grows near, we offer an extended summary argument on why putting it there would be a very bad thing. Read it all
Cloepfil Plays Jimmy Mak's
Brian Libby in Portland Architecture
With a book on Allied Works being published next winter, Brad Cloepfil told Randy Gragg during their interview Monday evening at Jimmy Mak's jazz club that he’s been looking back on the firm’s early career. “The last thing we need is more buildings, but we certainly need more architecture,” he said. The essential question for Allied Works, he added, has been, “What can the work heighten or reveal…that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see?”
Following are some notes I took over a Stella Artois. Talking about Allied’s Museum of Art & Design at 2 Columbus Circle in New York, currently finishing up construction (and looking quite dazzling, I think), he said the design approach working with the decades-empty but architecturally significant Edward Durrell Stone original building was “removing structure as a way of creating experience.
Book Review: Building London & Paris 2000+
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Building London: The Making of a Modern Metropolis (2008) by Bruce Marshall Universe Hardcover, 304 pages
Paris 2000+: New Architecture (2007) by Sam LubellMonacelli Press Hardcover, 240 pages
These two image-drenched coffee table books focus on what can be seen as Europe's two most cosmopolitan cities, using photographs to tell the story of London and Paris, each in its own way.