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The Latest in the Wright House Demolition Saga: The Developers Tell Their Side

The David Wright House, a hidden gem that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, still stands, but its fate remains precarious.

On October 9th, the Arizona Planning Commission met to discuss the proposed landmark designation for the house, an event which attracted over 100 people. According to The New York Times, only 3 people voted against the designation, including the house's current owners, the developers of 8081 Meridian, John Hoffman and Steve Sells. 

When the pair bought the house back in June for only $1.8 million (from the pair the Wright's granddaughters had sold the house to for $2.8 million), they thought it was "too good to be true." The property alone could make up to $1.4 million; the pair hoped that by splitting the lot they could make even more.

Unfortunately however, Mr. Sells had no idea of the house's architectural significance. As he told The New York Times, he didn't know the difference “between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers. ”

More on the Developers' side of this demolition tale, after the break...

A Sauna / BUREAU A

© Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud

Which Grand Central Vision Is the Best for New York?

The New York Time’s Michael Kimmelman described it as an “ennobling experience, a gift,” a lesson on what architecture, at it’s best, can be. 

Indeed, entering the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal is a pleasure that rivals few others. For me, it took me by surprise: walking, as New Yorkers do, in a determined beeline through an undistinguished tunnel, I was suddenly struck by light. I stopped, as New Yorkers never do, to observe a vaulted, starry ceiling, the changing light, and multitudes of people whipping by. 

Grand Central is one of New York’s most beloved icons, one of the few which tourists and natives share alike. Which is not to say, of course, that it isn’t in need of a face-lift. 

The Terminal’s upcoming centennial, which corresponds with proposed re-zoning laws that would completely change the face of Midtown, makes now the perfect moment to consider how Grand Central’s grandeur can be preserved and its neighborhood reinvigorated. Last week, the Metropolitan Art Society (MAS) invited three firms to share their visions - and while SOM’s gravity-defying “halo” may have stolen the show, only one truly captured the spirit of Grand Central, and explored the full potential of what it could - and should - one day be. 

© Foster + Partners Courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design Courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design Courtesy of 2012 SOM

Landscape Laboratory / Cannatà & Fernandes

  • Architects: Cannatà & Fernandes
  • Location: Guimarães, Portugal
  • Design Team: Riccardo Cannatà, Dario Cannatà, Bruno Silva, Marta Lemos, Nuno Castro, Francisco Meireles, João Pedro Martins
  • Area: 1387.03 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Dario Cannatà, Luis Ferreira Alves, Pepe Barbiere

© Dario Cannatà © Luis Ferreira Alves © Luis Ferreira Alves © Luis Ferreira Alves

Roji / Nadamoto Yukiko Architects

© Seiya Miyamoto © Seiya Miyamoto © Seiya Miyamoto © Seiya Miyamoto

A.M. Qattan Foundation Bulding Winning Proposal / Donaire Arquitectos

Courtesy of Donaire Arquitectos
Courtesy of Donaire Arquitectos

Last week, Donaire Arquitectos was selected as the winner of the international competition, organized by ArchiFolio, to build the new A.M. Qattan Building, which is a charity that has worked towards the development of culture and education, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. Located in Ramallah, Palestine,  the winning proposal for the Quattan Foundation is perceived as a lighthouse bringing enlightenment to the Palestinian people. This role as flagship of Palestinian culture is in need for a recognizable image worthy to represent its social leadership with a physical landmark. More images and architects’ description after the break.

AD Classics: Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium / Kenzo Tange

Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/
Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/

At about the same time as Kenzo Tange’s two huge Olympic arenas for the Olympic Games in the summer of 1964 in Tokyo, there was built in the southern part of Japan a much more modest sports arena of Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture between 1962 and 1964. More after the break.

Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/ © Tange Associates Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/ © Tange Associates

Beton Hala Waterfront Center / Sou Fujimoto Architects

© Sou Fujimoto Architects
© Sou Fujimoto Architects

Sou Fujimoto Architects have shared with us their first place proposal for the Beton Hala Waterfront Centre in Belgrade, Serbia. Contrasting the medieval fabric of the capital city, Sou Fujimoto’s “floating cloud” intertwines an array of social and transportation programs into an organized tangle of suspended ramps that emerge from the static platform of the Beton Hala. It was lauded by the jury to be a “brave proposal” that holds the “highest emblematic potential among all of Beton Hala entries”. Learn more after the break.

AD Round Up: Building of the Year 2009

Zuellig Building / SOM

© Marty Llagan
© Marty Llagan

SOM recently shared with us their new tower located in Manila’s Makati Central Business District that has been shortlisted for a 2012 MIPIM Asia award. Rising 33 stories to height of 160 meters, the Zuellig Building is the first premium office tower in the Philippines to be erected since 2000. It is also the first building in Makati that has been pre-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at the LEED Gold level, and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification by September 2013. More details after the break.

House in Pilar / Estudio Parysow - Schargrodsky Arquitectos + Estudio Tarnofsky - Wilhelm

  • Architects: Estudio Parysow - Schargrodsky Arquitectos, Estudio Tarnofsky - Wilhelm
  • Location: Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Authors: Arq. ROBERTO PARYSOW - Arq. EMILIO SCHARGRODSKY - Arq. JESSICA PARYSOW, Arq. TOMAS TARNOFSKY – Arq. ANDRES WILHELM
  • Project: Arq. Emilio Schargrodsky, Arq. Tomas Tarnofsky
  • Documentation Of Work: Arq. Fabiana Berman, Arq. Veronica Zuvcov
  • Calculation Of Structures: Ing. Jorge Rodriguez
  • Interior: Saban Grin Arquitectas
  • Area: 250.0 m2
  • Photographs: Andres Negroni

© Andres Negroni © Andres Negroni © Andres Negroni © Andres Negroni

Rio 2016: RUA Arquitetos to design Olympic Golf Course Clubhouse

© RUA Arquitetos
© RUA Arquitetos

The Brazilian Institute of Architects and Rio de Janeiro department (IAB-RJ) have announced architects Pedro Évora and Pedro Rivera of RUA Arquitetos as winners of a competition to design the 2016 Olympic golf course clubhouse. The competition, open to professionals who graduated within the last 15 years, attracted entries from 82 teams of architects and landscape architects from across Brazil. RUA Arquitetos’ winning scheme captures the atmosphere of Rio by showcasing the lush tropical landscape of Barra da Tijuca with a large veranda whose lightweight roof collects rainwater to irrigate the course. Continue reading for the architects’ project description.

Video: Gardens by the Bay / Grant Associates

Grant Associates shared with us their just released short film of a walk round Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, which recently received the World Building of the Year Award at the World Architecture Festival. One of the largest garden projects of its kind in the world, Andrew Grant, director of UK landscape architects Grant Associates, walks around Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, reflecting on the ideas and inspirations behind the the design of the spectacular Supertrees, Cooled Conservatories and Themed Gardens. The project is an integral part of Singapore’s “City in a Garden” vision, designed to raise the profile of the city globally whilst showcasing the best of horticulture and garden artistry.

Daegu Gosan Public Library Second Prize Winning Proposal / studio SH

Courtesy of studio SH
Courtesy of studio SH

Most people would imagine libraries being made up of large platforms fully equipped with rows of desks and bookshelves stacked on one another with strict division of programs in the building. However, the second prize winning proposal by Seung Hyun, Yuh and Se Hyeon, Kim from studio SH for the new library typology for Gosan starts by examining and breaking apart this hierarchical inclination. By blurring this strict boundary and providing flexibility in its library program, the ‘White Diamond’ becomes not only a place for exploring knowledge but also a space for meditation with diverse private and public experiences. More images and architects’ description after the break.

modeLab Lattice Lab

Lattice Lab is a two-day workshop put on my modeLab, which takes place November 10-11. The lab will focus on the topic of topological/subdivision modeling with paneling tools and weaverbird. In a fast-paced and hands-on learning environment, they will cover fundamental concepts related to working with mesh geometry, high-order topological smoothing, and grid-based modeling. Drawing inspiration from the patterns found in 3-dimensional lattice structures, they will create geometrical units capable of responding to a range of dynamic contexts. Additionally, they will explore the limits and opportunities of 3D printing while testing the visual and structural effects of their lattices. For more information, please visit here.

The Matchbox House / Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism

© Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography © Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography © Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography © Steve Maylone © Maylone Photography