Miami, Florida is booming with new architectural projects by big names: everything from new condominums by BIG,to the new Miami Beach Convention Center. So why are so many big projects migrating to Miami Beach? The city is turning itself into an American cultural and civic center.
Join us after the break for more.
In recent years Downtown Brooklyn has become somewhat of a hub of cultural activity. Just past the triangular intersection of Flatbush Ave and Fulton Street, a high density of cultural buildings, expansive retail, and entertainment exists. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC announced in late November that the city and private companies will be partnering to produce three new projects in this area that will bring affordable housing and additional cultural and community spaces to Downtown Brooklyn. This last city-owned parcel will be developed into mixed use facilities: a 515,000 square foot building at Fulton St, Rockwell Place and Ashland Place; a 32-story mixed use building on Flatbush and Lafayette to be designed by Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos and a third building currently in the RFP stage of development at Ashland Place and Lafayette.
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The power and destruction of Hurricane Sandy made New Yorkers acknowledge just how vulnerable the city is to natural disaster. The storm pummeled Queens’ and Brooklyn’s shores, destroyed and flooded homes while Manhattan’s lower half was submerged and plunged into darkness for a week. But arguably, Staten Island, New York City’s Forgotten Borough, received the brunt of the storm and the slowest level of recovery. In the midst of the controversial clean-up, the New York City Economic Development Corporation decided to plow through the tragedy with pursuant talks of the planned developments on the St. George waterfront in Staten Island. While some residents may be offended that the subject of the talks was not of the EDC’s recovery programs, the real controversy is the way in which the EDC is planning to go forward with its proposal. It is planning to build the world’s largest ferris wheel along a vulnerable coast line that just saw damage from one of the worst storms to hit NYC in recent history.
Read more on this development after the break.
Shipping container architecture has gained a lot of ground over the past few years for its simplicity, affordability and flexibility. Yes the very same containers that make transatlantic voyages and are carted around hitched to trucks have become a tool for architects to design restaurants, to serve as retail or pavilions and even homes. According to an article by Matt Chaban on the New York Observer, NYC plans to prepare for the next disaster with apartments built out of shipping containers to be used as disaster relief shelters.
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New York, San Fran, Chicago…Columbus, Indiana. Which of these doesn’t go with the others? Well, according to the AIA, none. Columbus, Indiana, a small town of about 44,000 has been ranked by the AIA as the nation’s 6th most architecturally important city, right after Washington DC.
So what’s so special about Columbus? Apparently, a 1950s philanthropist by the name of J. Irwin Miller took it upon himself to foot the bill for any new public building in the city. The result? Today, Columbus has more than 70 buildings designed by internationally renowned architects – including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier and Harry Weese.
Check out a Video on Columbus “The Athens of the Prairie,” after the break…
Visit the Kickstarter Campaign here.
A small group of students and architect Tobias Holler of sLAB Costa Rica at the New York Institute of Technology, have teamed up to design and build a communal recycling center for Nosara, Costa Rica – a city that is facing grave problems with sanitation and illegal dumping of garbage on beaches and in wildlife areas. Construction started last summer after a Kickstarter campaign that raised $15,000 helped provide expenses and costs associated with housing the students that assisted with the construction. A relaunch of the Kickstarter campaign will provide the project with additional funds to bring the students back to accelerate the pace of construction. The funds also support the documentary by Ayana de Vos, whose film follows the progress of the project and features waste management and sustainability in Costa Rica.
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Similar to what LEED did for buildings, City Protocol promises to do for cities. The first certification system for smart cities, due to come out in April 2013, is being developed with the guidance of over 30 organizations. It will provide a framework for designing sustainable systems in a model that integrates the vast number of elements that contribute to urban development. This global thinking expands upon the goals of the LEED certification system, which provides a more isolated, building specific agenda for architects.
More about the City Protocal Certification Program after the break.
This interview with professor and author Tom Fisher, Dean of University of Minnesota, is part of a documentary series called “Things May Happen”, in which he describes the dangers of Fracture-Critical Design. This topic is also the subject of his recent book, Designing to Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design. Fisher discusses examples in which our systems, whether they be architectural, structural or even social and financial, fail with disastrous consequences. In a TEDxUMN talk at the University of Minnesota, Fisher spoke about the 1-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007, the failure of New Orleans’ levees during Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill on the Gulf Coast, the Wall Street investment bank failures, the housing foreclosure crisis and now the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Covering a whole spectrum of “when things go wrong” scenarios, Fisher illuminates the failed foresight in designing systems that are resilient to disaster.
Interestingly, he notes that our economic system, as designed, has a tendency to fail and fail big enough to affect the global economy. Our lifestyle, as designed, is unsustainable and requires “five planets to support”. These warnings are part of Fisher’s discourse and is a call for resilient and considered design systems that anticipate failure and avoid disaster.
Sunny & Mild Media presents Part 2 of its Googie Architecture Series, presenting design work at the cusp of technological innovations of the 1950s. Emerging out of an obsession with the fast new world of cars, planes and rockets, Googie Architecture became an ultramodern style that sought to encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century. The new forms – sweeping, cantilevered roofs, starbursts, and flowing forms – became a form of advertisement that caught the attention of motorists, for its vibrance along the stretches of highways and for its distinctive style.
This installment features a closer look at the diners and restaurants that thrived in the ’50s and were designed with the Googie style. Even the one of the first McDonald’s restaurants adapted the style to work with its logo. Many of these buildings stand in ruin now, but the style was used in all kinds of building typologies – most of which emphasized the car: drive-thru’s, drive-in’s, car washes, diners, and gas stations. Even Las Vegas, and our associations with the its architecture today, are a reflection of that style.
Results from the Transforming the Bridge Competition for Cleveland, Ohio, are in. The competition called for an innovative solution for the redevelopment and repurposing of the abandoned Detroit-Superior Bridge. The brief called for a variety of uses, dedicated pedestrian and bike paths, performance spaces, and landscaping solutions. Nine projects made the cut…
Join us after the break for a closer look at the winning projects.
Architect: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Location: Lyon, France
Client: Département du Rhône / Represented by SERL
Landscape Design: EGIS aménagement
Site Area: 20,975 m²
Net Floor Area: 26,700 m²
Gross Floor Area: 46,476 m²
Building Costs: EUR 150 Mio
Scheduled Completion: 2014
The west side of midtown Manhattan is probably one of the more unexplored areas of New York City by residents and tourists alike. Aside from the Jacob Javits Center, and the different programs off of the Hudson River Parkway that runs parallel to the waterfront, there is very little reason to walk through this industry – and infrastructure – dominated expanse of land full of manufacturers, body shops, parking facilities and vacant lots. The NYC government and various agencies, aware of the lost potential of this area, began hatching plans in 2001 to develop this 48-block, 26-acre section, bound by 43rd Street to the North, 8th Ave to the East, 30th Street to the South and the West Side Highway to the West.
The new Hudson Yards, NYC’s largest development, will be a feat of collaboration between many agencies and designers. The result will be 26 million square feet of new office development, 20,000 units of housing, 2 million square feet of retail, and 3 million square feet of hotel space, mixed use development featuring cultural and parking uses, 12 acres of public open space, a new public school and an extension of a subway line the 7 that currently terminates at Times Square-42nd Street, reintroducing the otherwise infrastructurally isolated portion of the city back into the life of midtown Manhattan. All this for $800 million with up to $3 billion in public money.
Join us after the break for details and images.
Imagine driving down a road at night without street lights with the light-emitting road guiding your way. As the temperature outside drops the road starts to reveal images of ice crystals, signaling to you, the driver, that conditions are now icy and slippery. This futuristic concept may soon be a reality as Dutch design firm Studio Roosegaarde and the engineers at Heijmans Infrastructure team up to develop “Smart Highways” – a design agenda for interactive, sustainable and safe roads. The concept won the two firms Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards 2012. Join us after the break for more.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as communities band together to clean up the devastation and utility companies work tirelessly to restore the infrastructure that keeps New York City running, planners and policy makers are debating the next steps to making the city as resilient to natural disaster as we once thought it was. We have at our hands a range of options to debate and design and the political leverage to make some of these solutions a reality. The question now is, which option or combination of options is most suitable for protecting New York City and its boroughs? Follow us after the break for more.
New York-based COOKFOX, formally known as Cook + Fox Architects, has designed a state of the art office tower planned to neighbor the High Line by 2014. Projected to achieve LEED Platinum status, the glass and steel mid-rise offers large, light-filled interior spaces engineered for comfort and high performance, along with spectacular views of the Hudson River and direct connections to the High Line.
Continue reading for the architects’ description.
In light of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, as politicians quabble over the existence of climate change, we cannot escape the reality that our cities are vulnerable to natural disasters. Coastal cities face the threat of flooding as sea levels rise and storms, as we’ve seem over the past few years, have had more severe impacts on our cities. The duty of architects, planners, and leaders is to build resilient cities with infrastructure that can stand up to the forces of natural disasters.
Join us after the break for a list of some of the largest port cities vulnerable to coastal flooding…
The Museum of Modern Art in NYC is launching an exhibit called Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, that investigates the transformation of Tokyo from a war-torn nation into an international center for arts, culture and commerce. The exhibition will run from November 18 through February 25, 2012 and includes over 200 works of various media including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, drawings, graphic design, video and documentary film.
More after the break.