"It all starts on local farms with waste corn stalks," says Sam Harrington of Ecovative, who will help build this year’s winning entry for the MoMA PS1 Young Architect’s Program. Hy-Fi, designed by the New York-based firm The Living, will be made of bricks that are entirely organic and ultimately, compostable. A good chunk of that material is corn stalks, stained clay-red with an organic dye from Shabd Simon-Alexander and Audrey Louisere . The rest is mycelium—mushroom roots to you and me—that will hold the corn stalks together as they cohere into a molded shape. The technology, developed by Ecovative in 2007, has so far been used as a packaging material. "But we love the chance to try something bold, and that’s what PS1 is all about," Harrington says.
Read more about the bricks behind Hy-Fi after the break
The Woolworth Building, an innovative and elegant early skyscraper completed in 1913, endures today as an iconic form on the New York City skyline. A historicist exterior sheaths a modern steel tower, embodying both the era’s modern spirit of progress and its hesitation to fully break from the past. Cass Gilbert, selected as the architect, believed the designer should “weave into the pattern of our own civilization the beauty that is our inheritance.” An ornate monument to the growing economic dominance of New York City, the building was dubbed the “Cathedral of Commerce.”
Spectrum Magazine, an annual publication by MIT to highlight the work of a cross-section of their professors and alumni, has recently released its 2014 edition. This year, the focus is on cities, with a great selection of architecture, planning and technology based contributions. You can download a pdf of the magazine here - or read on after the break for links to some articles of note.
Construction broke ground last month for ‘The Exchange’ tower in Vancouver, Canada's first LEED Platinum heritage conversion and Harry Gugger Studio’s first North American building. The 31-floor office building resolves the strict urban regulations imposed on high-rise construction downtown and addresses the historical context by preserving and integrating the façade of the city's historic Stock Exchange building.
The Boston Society of Architects has announced the winners of the 2013 Design Awards Program. With programs ranging from accessible design to unbuilt architecture, the following projects were awarded top honors for being Massachusetts and New England's most prized examples of excellent design.