German artist EVOL recently completed an interesting interactive installation just outside of Hamburg, Germany for the MS Dockville music and art festival. The ‘Rural City’ is comprised of thin trenches about 1.5 meters deep in an ‘X’ shape that were dug out over the course of 8 days. Earth is held back with retaining boards made of Eternit and spray painted to resemble the facades of skyscrapers. More photos after the break. (more…)
Venice is commonly regarded as one of the wonders of the world, attracting over 17 million tourists each year. However, the city of Venice faces ongoing problems that threaten its ability to stay above water. The city’s flooding issues are notorious around the world. Every year water surges through its legendary labyrinth of streets wreaking havoc on architectural gems such as the Palazzo San Marco. With its architecture under threat, and dwindling population as many young people flock to the mainland, it is appropriate to think of Venice as a dying relic. (more…)
As billings continue to decline in the US, the nation of Vietnam is quickly emerging as a hot spot for Western architecture firms seeking new work. About two dozen North American and European firms now have projects in the Southeast Asian country, including Foster + Partners, HOK, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Some are even reportedly opening permanent offices there.
The traditional wooden construction of Japanese architecture is extremely detailed. Its exacting precision and craftsmanship has stood the test of time for centuries. However, the process of handcrafting each wooden beam with mortises and tenons is quite labor intensive, and with an aging workforce, automation of the production process is key to continuing the tradition. (more…)
The statistics are in for the ABI July, and as we shared in our coverage for June, the numbers are quite bleak. After June’s 46.3, July measured in more than a full point lower at 45.1. The new projects inquiry index dropped dramatically from 58.1 in June down to 53.7.“Business conditions for architecture firms have turned down sharply,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Late last year and in the first couple of months of this year there was a sense that we were slowly pulling out of the downturn, but now the concern is that we haven’t yet reached the bottom of the cycle. Current high levels of uncertainly in the economy don’t point to an immediate turnaround.” Regional averages include the South at 46.9, West at 46.6, Northeast at 46.4, and the Midwest at 44.9. Hopefully, for our coverage of the ABI August, we’ll have more positive data to share.
As we reported on Wednesday, rumors were circulating about a new Apple retail store at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Wednesday evening the proposal, a transparent glass ceiling commercial building by an unnamed retailer, went before the Santa Monica Planning Commission. Peggy Clifford of the Santa Monica Dispatch reported that the ‘Apple Glass House’ was approved without even a second thought.
“The surprise was that the staff put the project on the Consent Calendar. I cannot remember any large, complex commercial project ever going on the Consent Calendar. Apple was the only item on last night’s Calendar. And, under the rules, the Consent Calendar is approved as a whole – unless someone wishes to pull at item for discussion.
And in that crucial blink, the commissioners approved the Consent Calendar (aka Apple Glass House), and that was that – except for a staff report on the redesign of the Project Case List, after which they adjourned.”
The 8,000 sqf proposed one-story 34-foot high glass structure would take the place of an old Borders Bookstore on the Third Street Promenade.
(via Santa Monica Dispatch)
A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
Community pressure has swayed the owners of Richard Neutra‘s Kronish House to postpone plans for demolition, and has also prompted the city of Beverly Hills to draft legislation to preserve its architectural history. The house been spared until at least October 10 in order to give community activists time to devise a plan for its restoration. In a related, ground-breaking action the Beverly Hills City Council has asked the city’s Planning Commission to enact a first-ever historic-preservation ordinance.
In June we shared with you a first look at Zaha Hadid Architects‘ Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. Opened officially on June 21st the museum in a short seven week time period has already welcomed over half a million visitors!
“It is wonderful to see that the new museum has captured everyone’s imagination,” said Zaha Hadid. “Such passion for innovation and discovery from all members of the community is very exciting.”
“The Riverside Museum has been a huge hit since the day it opened to the public. We knew just how much visitors loved the old Museum of Transport at Kelvin Hall but even so, the reaction to the Riverside Museum has been phenomenal. The feedback from people has been overwhelmingly positive and we are already seeing visitors returning time and again to enjoy Glasgow’s latest attraction,” shared Councillor Gordon Matheson.
More about the Riverside Museum, photographs and drawings following the break.
The new Surrey City Centre Library, designed by Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects (BTA), is set to open on September 24, 2011. This new building marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the area that will continue the transformation of downtown Surrey, from sprawling suburb to the Region’s next great downtown, which began with BTA’s Central City project. Creating dynamic environments that look to the future of Surrey is nothing new to BTA. Nearly a decade ago, the firm designed the incredibly vibrant Central City, which sits down the street from the new Surrey Library. The architectural and social innovation evident at Central City—a fusion of office space, a shopping center and a university—is further exemplified in BTA’s library design.
Architect: Bing Thom Architects Inc.
Location: 10350 University Drive, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Project Team: Bing Thom, Michael Heeney, Venelin Kokalov, Ling Meng, Francis Yan, John Camfield, Shinobu Homma, Robert Sandilands, Marcos Hui, Lisa Potopsingh, Harald Merk, Berit Wooge, Dan Du, Michael Motlagh, Nicole Hu
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 82,000 sqf
Photographs: Courtesy of Bing Thom Architects
The Board of Trustees of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has chosen Laurie Olin as the recipient of the 2011 ASLA Medal, the highest honor the organization bestows upon a landscape architect. The Medal is given to those whose lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of the public and the environment. Olin will accept the award at the ASLA’s annual meeting to be held in San Diego from October 30 through November 2.
Last year, we had great feedback when we proposed the question of which books to include in an architecture library. After spending the better half of the year in Scandinavia, I have found my architecture library to be filled with new additions.
While back in New York, I had enjoyed these firms’ work and theories, only once I took residence in Scandinavia did I feel a strong urge to totally immerse myself in the local talent of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, educating myself as much as possible about their sensitivity toward the environment, their sophisticated aesthetics and material choices.
Now, my architecture library includes pieces about contemporary firms such as Dorte Mandrup, Cebra and JAJA, in addition to classic names of the region like Arne Jacobsen. I’ve found myself comparing projects of larger firms – take, for instance, Snohetta and Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Henning Larsen Architects. Plus, I’ve developed a new interest in Finnish architecture as many young firms, such as Avanto Architects, K2S Architects, Verstas, Anttinen Oiva Architects and so on, are producing dynamic work that should be better known internationally for the country’s architecture is more than just Aalto and Saarinen.
My collection also includes a great museum book from the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen. We’ve featured the exhibit, Living: Frontiers of Architecture, and the book is a great summary of the exhibit and a perfect addition to my library.
So, what new books does your architecture library hold? Whether you need some inspiration or have some inspiration to pass along, share your thoughts with us!
We’ve reported two Apple stories this week so why not a third! Rumors have surfaced that tonight the proposal for a transparent glass ceiling commercial building on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica by an unnamed retailer could be the newest Apple Store. According to the Santa Monica Planning Commission report, “The proposed one-story, 34-foot high commercial building will feature an expansive floor-to-ceiling height accentuated by a transparent glass ceiling. The front façade will consist entirely of transparent glass panels that will project five feet from stone paneled side walls.”
Other signs it may be Apple; the report continues, “The applicant will offer all full-time retail employees a $100 monthly transit subsidy towards the purchase of transit fare and a $20 per month bicycle reimbursement subsidy for improvements, maintenance, and service. In addition, secure bicycle parking for employees of the building will be located in the basement level.”
Earlier this week we shared with ArchDaily readers that Apple has revealed their plans for the iconic Fifth Avenue Cube in NYC. As the sign surrounding the cube states, “We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.”
And we also shared with readers that Foster + Partners are indeed the architects for the new Apple Campus in Cupertino. Take a look at Apple’s latest innovative design, a circular almost spaceship looking object that won’t even have a straight piece of glass in the building. Steve Jobs shared, “We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building… It’s pretty cool.”
Therefore, with its signature use of glass and employee perks could the rumors be true? We will be sure to keep you up to date.
Last Fall, we introduced the collaborative effort between the Guggenheim and BMW to create a modern day public form exploring a variety of urban issues. The New York Lab, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow, has just opened in the East Village on a leftover 2,000 sqf plot squished between two existing buildings. With the ground level open to passersby, the museum focuses on creating a transparent and welcoming atmosphere to house discussions, lectures and the like. “We wanted the Guggenheim Labs to be in the middle of an urban environment where people live, work and hang out,” Mr. van der Leer, a curator for the Guggenheim, told the Times.
Back in 2008, a rash of falsified concrete testing reports on major projects in New York including the Yankee Stadium and the Second Avenue subway station had construction executives scrambling to find replacements. American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories were selected as the replacement company. However, the owner and five other employees have currently been arraigned on charges stemming from exactly the same things they were hired to rectify. (more…)
Last summer, we shared SHoP’s 270,000 sqf office and research building for Botswana, Africa, a winning proposal that surpassed 17 international competitors. The Innovation Hub is a huge investment for the Botswanan government as an attempt to diversify its ecomony which is primarily based upon diamond extraction to move toward a more “knowledge-based economy.” A lot is at stake for this $50 million project. With thousands of sqf of office space to fill, many wonder if the building and its location can attract the latest researchers; yet, SHoP’s initiative to create an environmentally friendly haven attempts to do just that. “The goal was to create an incubator to invite new startups and other companies into Botswana,” says SHoP principal William Sharples, “and get the country into another economic line besides just diamonds.”
More about the project after the break. (more…)
The new documents confirm Foster + Partners as the architects, working with ARUP North America and Kier & Wright, a local civil engineering firm that has worked on Apple’s current campus and buildings for other tech companies (eBay, Nvidia, Cisco, Netflix and Sun, among others).
About the program:
- An Office, Research and Development Building comprising approximately 2.8 million square feet for up to 13,000 employees
- A 1,000 seat Corporate Auditorium
- A Corporate Fitness Center
- Research Facilities comprising approximately 300,000 square feet
- A Central Plant
- Associated Parking
It’s a pretty amazing building. It’s a little like a spaceship landed. It’s got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle… It’s a circle. It’s curved all the way around. If you build things, this is not the cheapest way to build something. There is not a straight piece of glass in this building. It’s all curved. We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building… It’s pretty cool.
- Steve Jobs
The round shape has also been cited as an important part of the campus’ security (better perimeter control) and to improve internal circulations.
It’s interesting to see that the objectives of the project are focused on reducing the use of electricity by generating its own energy on an on-site Central Plant, provide open green spaces “for Apple employees’ enjoyment” and to “exceed economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals through integrated design and development”. It seems Jobs choose the right firms for this.
By looking at the drawings it seems that the project is ready to go, and now it’s waiting for city approval. The city has revealed that they are very likely to approve the project, so it seems everything is on route for an opening in 2015.
Drawings and renderings after the break:
The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA San Francisco) and Center for Architecture + Design present the eighth annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, family programs and more. Taking place every September 1-30, the month-long celebration offers individuals an unparalleled opportunity to engage with the local architectural community, explore the crossroads of planning and contemporary culture, and experience design in a myraid of ways throughout the city. More information about select events after the jump.
Imagine taking your Google Sketchup creation for a house and having it milled out and assembled all within 24 hours. WikiHouse, an Open Community project that puts you in the driver’s seat of design and construction has recently unleashed the opportunity for anyone to realize their own vision of architecture. (more…)
When the iconic Apple glass cube on Fifth Avenue was shroud in barriers in preparation for renovation in June, the future of the flagship Apple store was unclear. It was only revealed that Apple would be removing the glass cube and working on drainage, pavers, and bollards on the plaza, but just what changes were to be made to the cube itself remained elusive.
Apple has now revealed that the glass panels as we have known them will be replaced with larger panels to create a seamless appearance. A sign now states, “We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.” There will be three panels per side of the cube, running the full length. During the day the store is faintly recognizable as a glass encasing for an underground world; at night the store glows from the inside out. With this new structural detailing, the building will likely appear even more subtle during the day and more brilliant at night.
This original design is an innovation by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and structural engineers Eckersley O’Callahan. The glass cube and subterranean glass staircase were trademarked in 2010, associating the vision of the architecture with Apple’s own innovations.
We recently reported that according to documents released by the city of Cupertino, Foster + Partners will be the architects of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California. Steve Jobs shared the following, “We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use.”
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast predicts that spending for nonresidential and commercial construction will continue to decline before a modest recovery in 2012. The reason for the continued decline, of course, is due to the overall uneven economic recovery. The hesistency on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities all restrain the nonresidential and commercial construction sectors.
Overall, many sectors of the building industry are seeing a decline this year followed by a slight rebound. The nonresidential sector is projected to decline 5.6 percent this year and recover at 6.4 percent in 2012. The commercial sector will see a 6.5 percent decline this year and rebound approximately 12 percent next year. Manufacturing facilities will see a steep decline at almost 16 percent, with a rebound of 8 percent. While the stable institutional sector will see the least amount of decline at 3 percent and rebound at 4 percent.
With such a week recovery, most businesses and institutions are refraining from building new facilities. However, spending on renovations of existing facilities has remained strong. Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. This also threatens international markets that have seen rapid growth in recent years.
For a more thorough breakdown of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast refer to this chart by following this link: http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/2011/charts/consensus-survey/july/july.html
A new set of tools have been developed by researchers at MIT in collaboration with China’s Tsinghua University that will evaluate the performance and energy consumption of large-scale projects. Led by Dennis Frenchman and Christopher Zegras from MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning, these new set of guidelines and tools are a proactive response to the rapid urbanization of China and its ever-increasing development and infrastructure projects. The main goal is to introduce sustainable methods of implementation and construction, and responsible energy patterns one neighborhood at a time.