In Boston, playgrounds are no longer just for kids. Twenty LED-lit circular swings have been installed outdoors as a part of “Swing Time,” Boston’s first interactive sculpture installation. The hanging, glowing orbs are a twist on traditional rubber-and-rope swings, dangling from a minimal steel structure similar to those used in conventional playgrounds. LED lights embedded in the swings activate and change color as each swing moves, returning to a dim white light when static. The piece is designed to blend Boston’s design community with its expanding technology sector while playfully engaging residents.
Take a seat in “Swing Time” with more photos and info after the break.
From the architect. The Salem Harbor Station, built between 1948 and 1951, is a coal fired power station which occupies a 65-acre site in Salem, Massachusetts. One of the region’s dirtiest coal- and oil-burning power generators, the 748 megawatt station sits within the historical maritime hub of Salem’s waterfront. The facility is topped by three towering smokestacks that pierce the skyline, and can be seen from many parts of Salem as well as the neighboring communities of Beverly and Marblehead.
Learn more about the station’s transformation after the break…
Curated by Charles Waldheim, Ruettgers Consulting Curator of Landscape, the ‘Composite Landscapes: Photomontage and Landscape Architecture‘ exhibition opens this Thursday, June 27th, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Examining the montage view, one of landscape architecture’s most recognizable representational forms, the exhibit gathers work from a select group of influential contemporary artists and a dozen of the world’s leading landscape architects. These composite views reveal practices of photomontage depicting the conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscape. The exhibit runs until September 2nd. For more information, please visit here.
Opening tomorrow, June 25th through September 29th at BSA Space, the ‘Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure‘ exhibition celebrates more than 40 examples of imaginative reuse, repurposing and reimagining of urban infrastructure, from physical objects to the city’s most functional systems and surfaces. Curated by Scott Burnham, the new exhibition presents a global overview to serve alternate and expanded functions for urban dwellers and visitors. Featured exhibits will include numerous videos, photos, media stations, renderings, and models. For more information, please visit here. More images after the break.
Taking place this Friday, April 12th, from 4:00pm-8:30pm, the Doctor of Design program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is inviting you to ‘Research as Practice’, their annual Convergence symposium. As the traditional boundaries of design practice are increasingly questioned, broadened, and blurred, scientific research in technology development and application emerges as an essential vehicle for exploration and assessment. In this inaugural year, the symposium will seek to explore the position, relevancy, and sustainability of applied research in design practice across various disciplines with examples from contemporary practitioners. For more information, please visit here. For more information, please visit here.
Free and open to the public, the PhD program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is pleased to invite you to the 7th annual Cambridge Talks conference, which will take place on Friday, March 29, from 9:00am to 4:30pm. This year’s conference seeks to bring fresh historical themes and tools to bear on the problem of ‘Architecture and the Street’. New research promises to enrich and challenge perspectives pioneered by Spiro Kostof, Jane Jacobs, and William H. Whyte. You will be challenged to critically think about questions such as ‘How might we theorize and historicize modern streets as sites of cultural memory and nostalgia? And above all, what are the effects of such social, political, and technological forces on architectural form? For more information, please visit here.
Taking place April 8-9 at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning the ‘Infrastructural Monument’ Conference hosted by the Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), focuses on the development of infrastructural research agendas and projects which is a key mission for MIT’s CAU. This conference is the first in a series, devoted to a series of strategic design challenges facing cities worldwide. The conferences challenges you to answer the question, ‘Can a typical American city be transformed from a collection of fragments assembled regionally by interstate highways, to a more durable regional constitution, using targeted infrastructural investment projects?’ For more information, please visit here.
Summarizing the philosophy and methodology of C+S Architects, the Keller Gallery at MIT Department of Architecture will serve as a new context for the work of C+S Architects. As if lifted from their Treviso, Italy studio and planted directly within MIT, a working table of models and drawings will compose the central space of the gallery, juxtaposed with the firm’s recent built works. Taking place March 14-April 10, C+S re-writes the contexts as a map of the potentialities, where to graft interferences which react with the physical, economic, social and political spheres. These interferences are frames in search for the beauty of the ordinary, open to the flowing of time, energy, people. For more information, please visit here.
By Design is a two-day inaugural event taking place January 25-26 that aims to build a platform of innovation by engaging key stakeholders through the creative process. The event includes a speaker series and a design challenge at the newly constructed Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard Business School, and the Graduate School of Design. With a focus to reframe the future of education, the model and structure of the conference allows participants to unpack tacit, hidden, and evident knowledge from each corner of the university, through simple yet uncommon dialogue between each school. More information after the break.
Produced by the Boston Society of Architects, the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) will take place November 14-16 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boasting the most comprehensive education program and largest marketplace for the design and construction industry in New England, the event offers over 175 professional development opportunities. This covers a range of topics from building technology to design, software, social sustainability and code. The tradeshow and conference launches on Wednesday morning with Speaking of Architecture, an Opening Plenary panel discussion moderated by Renée Loth of ArchitectureBoston Magazine and Robert Campbell FAIA of the Boston Globe. Tours are also provided, allowing attendees an inside look into some of the most unique and interesting buildings in Greater Boston, including the recently re-opened Tea Party Museum, Hostelling International and the MassArt Tower Building.To register and for more information, please visit here.
Design Museum Boston recently announced the call for entries for Street Seats Design Challenge — an international outdoor furniture design challenge that will culminate in new waterfront seating, an outdoor design exhibition, and a walking tour around the channel. The Fort Point Channel links the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston – the seam between the Financial District and the emerging Boston Innovation District. o=Open to local and international artists, designers, and enthusiasts, Street Seats falls into the stated goals for the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan, a 2002 vision to establish the Fort Point Channel as the next great (public) place in the City of Boston. Submissions are due no later than February 1. For more information, please visit here.
Cannon Design recently announced that they are teaming up with Maya Lin and Toshiko Mori, FAIA to design a new, innovative research campus for Novartis, a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry. The new $600 million laboratory and office complex will serve as the centerpiece of the company’s worldwide research operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and change the way Novartis conducts research. Doing so will help in promoting increased collaboration, idea-sharing, and teamwork. The entire project is slated for completion in 2015. More images and architects’ description after the break.
At a time when sustainability is high on the agenda and construction costs continue to soar, many Cambridge residents are questioning a proposal to demolish a sound and respected school building to replace it with a new school one that will strive to be a “green facility”. The Martin Luther King Elementary School (1968-1971) was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert (Sert, Jackson and Associate). As it stands today, the school compliments the many other buildings in Cambridge that Sert worked on while also teaching at Harvard University, including the Peabody Terrace Graduate Housing complex just across the street.
Read on to find out what the community is doing to save the building from demolition and why it can prove to be a more sustainable option for the city.
Khoury Levit Fong shared with us their proposal for the GLOW/SHIFTboston Copley Square Competition. Their concept consists of an urban room, and hanging in the middle of it is a great chandelier. Dewdrop-shaped globes hang from a funicular mesh support, each illuminated by a wick-like row of low-energy addressable LEDs. It is light which is given weight and pulls down upon its supports to produce an inverted dome of scintillating light. Through the middle, the oculus at the center, the unobstructed sky is visible again. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), with Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge (CSS) of Boston, were recently announced as the recipients of the biennial Tucker Design Award for 2012 for their North End Parks in Boston, MA. First presented in 1977, the award is a nationally recognized architectural design award in both the building and landscape industries and honors those whose work demonstrates excellence in concept, design, construction and use of natural stone. More information on the awards after the break.
New York-based architectural photographer Paul Clemence has shared with us recent images and his thoughts on Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s new student residence hall that is being constructed in downtown Boston. The 21-story, $61 million building is planned for completion this year.
Boston is not particularly known as a destination for trendy, contemporary architecture; but some new buildings are beginning to change that perception. From Diller Scofidio Renfro’s Institute of Contemporary Art to Norman Foster’s new wing at The Museum of Fine Arts to the recently completed Renzo Piano addition to the beloved Gardner Museum, the city’s urbanscape is getting a much needed updating. And now, a soon to be finished bold new project by the firm ADD Inc is bringing a colorful twist to the mix. They are the designers behind the new MassArt Students Residence Hall.
Continue reading for more.