Karen Cilento

Update: Elbe Philharmonic Hall / Herzog and de Meuron

© Jose Campos

Slowly, but surely, ’s beautiful  is nearing completion (according to the Philharmonic’s construction website, the roof construction that seals the large concert hall has just been completed!).  We shared some photos of the concert hall’s innovative and iconic skin system when we visited Hamburg earlier this year, and recently, Jose Campos shared his latest set with us.

Check out Campos’ photos and learn more about the completed ceiling construction after the break.

Park Avenue Armory / Herzog & de Meuron

© . Rendering for exterior expression.

Built in 1861, the Park Avenue Armory Park functioned as both a military facility and a social club for the prestigious Seventh Regiment of the National Guard of President Lincoln’s volunteer militia.  Now, the 210,000 sqf five story building (which occupies an entire city block) serves as the home for a not-for-profit cultural institution where visual and performing arts can take place within a not so traditional setting.  In 2007, the building began a comprehensive revitalization project as it had fallen into a state of disrepair with Herzog & de Meuron as the lead designers (by the way, have you seen their new website?).   Herzog & de Meuron have embraced the history, craftsmanship, and the inherent contrast of the Armory’s spaces to restore the interiors to their original elegance.   “Park Avenue Armory is a richly layered building of outstanding historical significance that we are treating like a monument, revealing the physical traces produced over time, preserving it for the future and above all reinventing it,” explained Herzog & de Meuron.

More about the restoration after the break.

Update: Meridian First Light House Places 3rd / Solar Decathlon

In keeping with our coverage of the Solar Decathlon, we are happy to share Victoria University’s Meridian First Light House third place finish.  Finishing a few point shy of the ’s 951 points, the New Zealand university received 919 points with high standings in several categories, including winning the Engineering contest, gaining first equal in Hot Water and Energy Balance, second for Architecture and third for Market Appeal.     Plus, over the course of the competition, the house managed to produce more energy than it consumed –  achieving net zero energy consumption, despite 10 days of undesirable weather.   Team member Nick Officer exclaimed, “While we may not have won overall we are incredibly proud to have represented New Zealand on the world stage. We had such and amazing response from the US public here along with supporters back home.” Be sure to check out our previous coverage of the house to learn more about the traditional Kiwi bach – a New Zealand holiday home – inspired residence.

More photos of the residence after the break. 

Farshid Moussavi Architecture wins French Residential Complex


© Farshid Moussavi Architecture

Farshid Moussavi Architecture has just shared their winning residential proposal for the La Défense financial district to the west of Paris with us. The new 11,000 + square meter building is part of the larger urban renewal project, La Parvis Jardin de l’Arché, which links La Défense and les Terrasses de Nanterre. The design’s slender volume – which contains 7,500 sqm of residential units, 2,930 sqm of student accommodation and 1,000 sqm of retail space – is comprised of slightly rotated floor plates that produce oblique balconies and loggias. The shifting form builds upon the site’s visual connection to La Grande Axe, providing uninterrupted views down the historic boulevard. The winning project marks Moussavi’s first built work in , as well as FMA’s first major project since the dissolution of her previous firm Foreign Office Architects with co-founder Alejandro Zaera-Polo.

More images of the winning design after the break. 

Kuwait International Airport / Foster + Partners


© Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Just a few days ago, Foster + Partners revealed their plans for the Kuwait International Airport, a project designed to attain a LEED Gold standing for the passenger terminal, marking the first in the world of its kind.  Situated in a desert climate, the environmentally responsive building is sheltered from the sun’s harsh rays with an amazing roof canopy which offers a sense of fluidity and lightness to the terminal.  ”Its design is rooted in a sense of place, responsive to the climate of one of the hottest inhabited environments on earth and inspired by local forms and materials,” explained the architects.

More images and more about the airport after the break.

The Arch Nova Project / Isozaki + Kapoor

© Arch Nova

Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor have joined forces to create a mobile concert hall that will travel across the devastated region of Higashi Nihon, brining a promise of hope to those still suffering from the earthquake of March 2011.  Using music as the means to bring an uplifting message, Ark Nova will provide seating for approximately 700 spectators to watch interdisciplinary artistic projects, musical ensembles and multimedia exhibitions.  The hall will serve not only as a platform for performances but also as a place to meet and find creative inspiration; thus, make a lasting contribution toward returning normalcy to the region.

More about the project, including a video clip, after the break.

Danish Design Interview / Jan Gehl

 

Check out this interview we spotted over on DutchDesign - a research program from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology  at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.  This interview with Jan Gehl, a Danish architect and urban consultant for Copenhagen, is part of the program’s research to understand how cities function on a larger scale.  Within just the first few minutes of the interview – when Gehl explains the importance of the “people scale” of the city and studying human behavior – we were interested and wanted hear more of his thoughts on planning.   Further into the interview, Gehl notes that a successful piece of architecture is not merely creating a form, but rather a project that encourages some kind of interaction with the form.  As Gehl explains, “[At architecture schools] Form is center of attention, and life has been almost forgotten, and the interaction is something we don’t talk about much….”   This interview touches upon large issues of planning such as redefining the streetscape to widen the sidewalks for pedestrian and cyclists access, and the notion of “parachuting the little scale into the big scale” to infuse small structures in bigger spaces to make them more relatable…all within the underlying concept of making the city for the people.

 

 

Update: BOFFO Building Fashion / Irene Neuwirth + Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany

Irene Neuwirth + THEVERYMANY. Photograher: Evan Joseph.

We introduced BOFFO’s fashion + architecture collaborative project, and began the week with the first installment by Nicola Formichetti + Gage/Clemenceau Architects.  As each pair of fashion designer and architect shows their project for  two short weeks, the second team of Irene Neuwrith and Marc Fornes is now in place.  Neuwirth, a leading US jewelry designer, has transformed the 1800 sqf space at 57 Walker Street into a crazy biomorphic playground to display her designs with the hep of  Marc Fornes, one of the leading figures in the development of computational protocols applied to the field of design and fabrication.

More about the temporary gallery after the break. 

Update: Museum of Ocean and Surf / LEAF Awards / Steven Holl

Steven Holl Architects. © Iwan Baan.
Steven Holl Architects. © Iwan Baan.

On June 26 of this year, Steven Holl’s Museum of Ocean and Surf opened in Biarritz, , and we recently learned that the building has been named the Public Building of the Year by the 2011 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards. Designed in collaboration with Solange Fabião, the museum has a strong connection between the sea and the built environment both on the programmatic level as the museum serves as a “teaching tool” to educate people about the health of the ocean, and on a formal level as the massing was conceptually influenced by “ under the sky and under the sea.” Yesterday, we shared an amazing clip from our interview with Steven Holl about the museum – check it out and tell us your thoughts on the project.

 More about the project after the break.

BOFFO Building Fashion / Nicola Formichetti + Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Nicola Formichetti + Gage/Clemeneceau Architects Photograher: Evan Joseph

From the beginning of September until mid-December, BOFFO Building Fashion will feature five amazing collaborative expressions of fashion and architecture just south of Canal Street in Tribeca.  BOFFO, a non-profit arts and culture organization based in , has organized these temporary gallery exhibitions as a way to introduce art and design to the public realm while creating opportunities for artists and designers to explore a subject matter that educates and informs the public.   The first installation of Nicola Formichetti and Gage/Clemenceau Architects manifests Formichetti’s futuristic eye for fashion into a faceted, almost robotic, entity for showing his collection.

More about the exhibit after the break.

Observation Tower / UNStudio + ABT + BAM Utiliteitsbouw + Haitsma Beton

© UNStudio


This past week, the Dutch Society for the Preservation of Natural Heritage received a new observation tower during the mini-symposium ‘Experience Nature with innovative concrete’ in Peize.  A multidisciplinary case study team comprised of UNStudio, ABT, BAM Utiliteitsbouw and Haitsma Beton were experimenting with the characteristics of ultra high performance concrete – a super dense mixture of fine grain structure which contains steel fibers – to manifest their findings in a functional, operative design.  The observation tower will rest in the forested reserves of De Onlanden in Groningen and will extend 5 meters above the tree line to offer amazing views of the landscape.

More about the tower after the break.

In Progress: Via Verde / Grimshaw Architects + Dattner Architects

© Phipps, Rose, Dattner, Grimshaw

After winning the 2007 New York New Housing Legacy Competition, Jonathan Rose and Phipps Houses Group teamed with Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects to make “green” architecture for where it matters most.  Via Verde, the South ’s newest affordable housing development, goes beyond the hype of creating a sustainable building for marketing purposes, and allows design to inform a healthy building for its occupants.    So, what constituents a “healthy” building? Well, in the minds of those from the South , that means a place that can address growing asthma rates, obesity, and the need for fresh produce.  In the 290,000 sqf project at Brook Avenue and East 156th Street,  Via Verde is connecting to its neighborhood’s needs while not shying away from giving a community in the process of urban renewal an iconic piece of architecture.

 More about the project after the break. 

Update: WaterShed Wins Architecture / Solar Decathlon

/ University of Maryland

Yesterday, we shared the news of  Empowerhouse’s win in the affordability contest - the first of ten contests comprising the Solar Decathlon.   The second contest, and one of the most prestigious of the competition, judges the projects’ architecture…and this year’s winner is the University of Maryland’s WaterShed.  Totaling 96 points, Maryland’s WaterShed surpassed New Zealand with 95 points and Appalachian State with 94 points.  Thus far, Maryland has had a strong showing at the competition as the residence has placed first overall for 4 out of the 5 competition days. “WaterShed achieves an elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity. It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment—energy and water—and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch,” said Architecture Contest Juror Michelle Kaufmann.

More about Maryland’s design after the break.  

Update: Empowerhouse Wins Affordability / Solar Decathlon


Continuing our coverage of the Solar Decathlon, the results of the competition’s newest category of affordability are in!  And, this year’s winner is Empowerhouse, a collaborative effort among students from Parsons The New School for Design, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School, and Stevens Institute of Technology.  Of the 19 participating teams, only Empowerhouse and Purdue University’s residence stayed under $250,000; yet, Empowerhouse achieved the lowest construction costs of all at $229,890 – roughly $20,000 less than Purdue.   The project was conceived as a prototype for affordable, net-zero housing as a way to make green technologies available for everyone.   Working closely with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC, and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, the students have developed a scheme that can, and will be replicated, after the Decathlon.

More about the residence, including a video, after the break.

Fall Museum Exhibits

West Hollywood Library / MDA Johnson Favaro

Beginning this October, get ready to experience museums … lots of them!  Whether you’re located in Los Angeles, London, Montreal, Arkansas or , check out some exciting exhibits taking place this Fall.  “It is a group of seasonal offerings that reflect the state of the profession, to be sure. Credit remains tight for commercial and civic projects, for the most part, which means that there is plenty of time for retrospective analysis — and that completed buildings continue to get outsize attention,” explained Christopher Hawthorne for the LA Times.

Check out the list of museums after the break.

Update: CLOG / BIG

Recently, we shared the news of CLOG’s first issue which will focus on Bjarke Ingels Group projects.  The publication seeks to break the fast pace at which architectural projects are thrown upon the public to allow for a pointed discussion and examination on a specific topic. As the editors explain, “ slows things down.”  BIG seems like the perfect firm to examine for this inaugural issue, as the Danish practice has grown so quickly offering architecture lovers a continuous stream of ideas, approaches to form, and flashy visuals – as the editors of CLOG note, “BIG [is]  a firm that keeps pace with the flow of online imagery, but which has largely been left unexamined.”  On October 7th, CLOG’s launch event at the Storefront for Art and Architecture will become an open forum of sorts as a “Collective Interrogation” will allow guests to ask Bjarke Ingels 10 previously selected questions.

Do you have a question for Ingels and his firm?   Well, here’s your chance to have it answered!  Email your thoughts to interrogation@storefrontnews.org and check out the Storefront for Art and Architecture for more info.

The New World Trade Center / Piranha NYC

We’ve been covering the quite extensively, sharing documentaries, time lapse videos, renderings and even news the tower’s first major tenant.  And, today, director Gaspard Giroud shared this amazing clip of the progress on the tower.  Commissioned by Silverstein Properties, Piranha NYC, a motion graphic design and visual effects company, wrote, produced, art directed, filmed, and finished all vfx for this inspiring piece marking the 10th year anniversary of 9/11.   The clip was then presented a few days ago at Tower 7 in the presence of Mayor Bloomberg.  We love how the film condenses the building’s time lapse of construction – especially the reflections of the progress in car windows and even through the glass façade of a neighboring building.   And, of course, it’s a beautiful thing to see people occupying the finished tower.   What do you think of the film?

Update: Erdos Museum / MAD

When we first saw MAD’s Erdos Museum for Inner Mongolia, the renderings teased us with a futuristic blob-like form that was planned for ’ designed, but yet not constructed, urban masterplan. Now, a few years later, the firm is celebrating the museum’s completion and the finished effect of both the form and its materiality can be fully appreciated. MAD shared a video on the finished project with us and we hope you enjoy it!

More info about the project after the break.