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Lecture: Designing an Institute for Performance Art / Marina Abramović and Shohei Shigematsu

00:00 - 15 March, 2013

Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) recently held a lecture featuring performance artist Marina Abromović alongside OMA principle Shohei Shigematsu in the anticipation of the Marina Abromović Institute for the Preservation of Performing Art (MAI) 2014 opening. In the lecture, Shigematsu speaks about the process in which they transformed a former theater in Hudson, New York, into a structure that's capable of assisting the institute's mission to develop new kinds of performance, while functioning as a space for preserving and hosting historic performance pieces. Shigematsu references OMA’s history of designing spaces that combine architecture and art, such as the Quebec National Museum and a recent collaboration with Kanye West.

More on this discussion after the break...

Exhibition for Frank Gehry Prints and Sculpture

00:00 - 14 March, 2013
Exhibition for Frank Gehry Prints and Sculpture, © Chris Santa Maria
© Chris Santa Maria

On view now until April 13, is the Stamberg Aferiat + Associates designed exhibition for Frank Gehry prints and a sculpture for the Los Angeles-based artists’ workshop Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl in New York City. The exhibition celebrates architecture, a more than ten-year collaboration with the renowned architect, and their one-year anniversary in a designed space by architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat. The exhibit features a newly editioned sculpture and an enlarging of Gehry's Marques de Riscal Winery image. More images and description of the exhibition after the break.

Postcard from Roosevelt Island, New York

00:00 - 6 March, 2013
© Hassan Bagheri
© Hassan Bagheri

This text was provided by San Francisco-based writer Kenneth Caldwell

One friend said, “It looks a bit austere.” At first glance, it probably is. But like so many great minimal environments, it asks for patience and generosity. You give, and in turn it gives back.

This is also what the artists Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, and, more recently, Olafur Eliasson ask. Trust them with your time and you may be rewarded with a small measure of serenity—perhaps even with the connection between art and the divine that Dominique de Menil was so focused on. 

Designed by Louis Kahn, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is an outdoor sanctuary at the southern tip of what is now called Roosevelt Island, created as a memorial to FDR. The park opened last fall. Kahn’s gift took 40 years to be realized, but it presents a path for human beings to treat each other to peace.

Continue reading after the break...

'Frank Gehry At Work' Exhibition

00:00 - 5 March, 2013
'Frank Gehry At Work' Exhibition, Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Feely Fine Art, LLC.
Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Feely Fine Art, LLC.

On display at Leslie Feely Fine Art in New York from April 11 to June 30, 2013, the Frank Gehry At Work exhibition features a selection of over 30 diverse process models by Gehry, which are drawn from significant constructions and concepts of the architect’s prolific career. These organic forms, which consist of a wide array of materials, stand as testament to Gehry’s tactile approach, enhancing our perception of this sculptural architect and his work,  illuminating the subtleties of Gehry’s thought—and working—process. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Queens Museum of Art Expansion / Grimshaw Architects

01:00 - 4 March, 2013
Queens Museum of Art Expansion / Grimshaw Architects, Courtesy of  Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art
Courtesy of Grimshaw and the Queens Museum of Art

Originally constructed for the 1939 World’s Fair, the resilient structure of New York’s Queens Museum of Art has been undergoing its fourth and most ambitious renovation since April 2011. This $68 million renovation, designed by Grimshaw Architects, will double the institution’s size, expanding the museum to a total of 105,000 square feet upon its completion in October 2013. 

Beyond New York: Organic vs Geometrical Context Lecture

00:00 - 4 March, 2013
Beyond New York: Organic vs Geometrical Context Lecture, Basket Apartments in Paris by OFIS Architects / © Tomaz Gregoric
Basket Apartments in Paris by OFIS Architects / © Tomaz Gregoric

Coming up this Friday, March 8th, at the Center for Architecture in New York, the 'Beyond New York: Organic vs Geometrical Context' lecture is part of the Architecture Dialogue Committee’s on-going series to introduce the next generation of architects not practicing in New York City. For this event, they have invited Spela Videcnik from OFIS arhitekti of Ljubljana, Slovenia to share insights about architectural and urban design from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Videcnik will present OFIS’s design approach through their most recently built projects, such as the Basket Apartments (Paris) and The Cultural Centre for Space Technologies (Slovenia), and how these different geometries inform their current work. For more information, please visit here

MoMA PS1 Call for Ideas: Rethinking Post-Sandy Rockaway

01:00 - 2 March, 2013
MoMA PS1 Call for Ideas: Rethinking Post-Sandy Rockaway, Courtesy of MoMA PS1
Courtesy of MoMA PS1

Architects, artists, and designers are invited to participate in the competition to Rethink the Post-Sandy Rockaway.  MoMA PS1’s Young Architects program is seeking ideas for alternative housing models, creation of social spaces, urban interventions, new uses of public space, the rebuilding of the boardwalk, protection of the shoreline, and actions to engage local communities and to aid in the effort to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy. Judges will be selecting 25 proposals to be displayed on Rockaway Beach in April. The deadline for submissions is March 15. For more information, please visit here.

Films & Architecture: "The Fifth Element"

09:30 - 1 March, 2013

Last week, our latest featured film showed New York in the ’60s - this time we move to the future, about 200 years from now. This film, directed and co-written by Luc Besson, shows a New York City with flying cars and technological systems applied all around the human environment.

Enjoy and let us know your thoughts of how our cities will look in the next century!

Pratt Explores the Importance of Cold War Era Pre-Fabricated Building Systems

00:00 - 28 February, 2013
Pratt Explores the Importance of Cold War Era Pre-Fabricated Building Systems , Housing Prototype Systems; Courtesy of Pedro Alonso
Housing Prototype Systems; Courtesy of Pedro Alonso

Pratt Institute's School of Architecture will present "COLD war COOL digital," an exhibition of 20 scaled prototypes of modernist, pre-fabricated, and globally-distributed Cold War era housing systems that were created using contemporary 3D printing technologies (opening reception 2/18 at 6:15, details below). The exhibition will investigate architectural modernism and its global influence and will connect with contemporary prototype pre-fabrication methods and digital research in housing and skyscraper design. A symposium that explores the technical, aesthetic, and political aspects of prototyping and pre-construction in architecture will be held tonight in conjunction with the exhibition.

NYC’s Union Square in 1828

00:00 - 25 February, 2013
NYC’s Union Square in 1828 , 'Painting the Town' via Business Insider
'Painting the Town' via Business Insider

Can you imagine the intersection of Broadway and the Bowery in lower Manhattan as sparsely populated “Uptown” used as a burial ground for indigent people? Well, according to the the book Painting the Town by The Museum of the City of New York (via Ephemeral New York), this scene painted from memory by Albertis Del Orient Browere in 1885 depicts what Union Square used to look like back in 1828 - just 20 years before this area started to transform into the bustling, concrete jungle we know today. 

‘White Noise’ YAP MoMA PS1 Proposal / French 2Design

01:00 - 23 February, 2013
‘White Noise’ YAP MoMA PS1 Proposal / French 2Design, Courtesy of French 2Design
Courtesy of French 2Design

White Noise (or The Buzz) reveals the latent potential of the community. It is the sound of the talent and value around us. The installation harnesses this latent value with an interactive sound environment (a collaboration with ARUP Acoustics) embedded in a playful series of figural abstractions, clad with white synthetic turf. The foregrounded backdrop of the architecture highlights the project’s main event, sharing and exchange among the people in the space, and manipulates readings of scale.   

Films & Architecture: "North by Northwest"

09:30 - 19 February, 2013

Our latest movie in our Films & Architecture series is another ’60s classic, this time by the master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest we see a New York in the heyday of its architectural glory, with one scene taking place at a newly constructed United Nations building. In fact, the last scene takes place in a “house” that, under Hitchcock’s instructions, was meant to seem designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (in reality, the house was just another set design). The film shows a variety of urban spaces, and puts special emphasis on the contrast between the densities of  urban and rural realms.

As always, enjoy and comment!

Ezra Stoller: Beyond Architecture

01:00 - 17 February, 2013
Ezra Stoller: Beyond Architecture, McMath Solar Telescope, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kitt Peak, AZ, 1962 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York
McMath Solar Telescope, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kitt Peak, AZ, 1962 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Now on view at the Yossi Milo Gallery through March 2, rarely-seen images by modernist architectural photographer Ezra Stroller (American, 1915-2004) captures a Post-War American landscape with stunning images of industry, technology, transportation and working class Americans. 

Beyond Architecture covers the full range of Stoller’s work, including photographs commissioned by Fortune, Architectural Forum, and House Beautiful magazines in the 1940s and for commercial projects for IBM, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals and CBS in the 1940s and 1950s. Included are photographs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Building, Chicago, and the United Nations Headquarters, designed by an international team of architects led by Wallace K. Harrison and including Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

A selection of these images after the break...

Preservationists Prevail: Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist Landmark Spared from Destruction

00:00 - 13 February, 2013
Preservationists Prevail: Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist Landmark Spared from Destruction  , Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph © New York Times – Tony Cenicola
Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph © New York Times – Tony Cenicola

Although preservationists continue to mourn the seemingly inevitable demise of Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, a solid victory for Brutalism has finally been confirmed. Lawmakers in Goshen, New York, have passed a proposal to renovate Paul Rudolph’s iconic Orange County Government Center, authorizing $10 million in design funding. The 15-6 vote was secured by the overwhelming evidence that an upgrade would be more cost effect than County Executive Ed Diana’s fallback plan to replace two-thirds of the building and preserving only the court section. In addition, lawmakers felt the pressure of a March 12 deadline that would risk losing up to $2.7 million in federal funds to repair water damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. 

More after the break...

Situ Studio's 'Heartwalk' Opens in Times Square

00:00 - 13 February, 2013
Situ Studio's 'Heartwalk' Opens in Times Square, © Ka-Man Tse, Times Square Alliance
© Ka-Man Tse, Times Square Alliance

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Situ Studio has unveiled the fifth edition of Times Square’s annual Heartwalk installation - a heart-shaped “room within the city” made of salvaged Sandy debris. Inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” Heartwalk begins as two weathered ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift to form an illuminated heart enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square. 

People are already falling in love, as you can see Instagram's #heartwalktsq is filling up with images of elated New Yorkers standing within the “heart of New York City”.  

More images after the break...

BIG’s West 57th Pyramid Wins Final Approval

00:00 - 7 February, 2013

After an “arduous” public review and a heated debate over affordable housing, New York’s City Council has unanimously awarded final approval to BIG’s tetrahedral-shaped West 57th apartment building in Manhattan. As reported by Crain’s New York Business, a compromise has been made to include 173 affordable housing units within the 32-story, 750-unit residential building and the neighboring industrial building that will be converted into 100 additional rental apartments. As you may recall, the community board and Councilwoman Gail Brewer initially threatened to “torpedo the project” if the apartments were only made affordable for a 35 year period. However, Durst apparently won them over by contributing one million dollars into an affordable housing fund. 

"The good news, which is the matra of my office and community board No. 4, is there will be, yes, by law, 35 years of income-restricted affordable housing," stated City Councilwoman Brewer, who represents the area.

Foster Responds to Kimmelman’s “Offensive” Diatribe Regarding the New York Public Library

00:00 - 6 February, 2013
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue, is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by architects Carrère & Hastings. Image via Flickr User CC wallyg. Used under Creative Commons

When applying “major surgery” to a beloved, 20th century “masterpiece”, you’re going to face some harsh criticism. Such is the case for Norman Foster, as the legendary British architect has been receiving intense backlash from New York’s toughest critics for his proposed renovation to the New York Public Library. First, the late Ada Louise Huxtable exclaimed, “You don’t “update” a masterpiece.” Now, the New York Time’s architecture critic Michael Kimmelman claims the design is “not worthy” of Foster and believes the rising budget to be suspect. 

More on Kimmelman's critique and Foster’s response after the break...

'The City That Never Was' Symposium

03:00 - 4 February, 2013
© Ricardo Espinosa
© Ricardo Espinosa

Organized by Christopher Marcinkoski and Javier Arpa, in cooperation with the Architectural League of New York, ‘The City That Never Was’ symposium will be taking place Friday, February 22, from 9:00am-5:30pm EST at the Scholastic Building in New York. The one day event will use the current economic and housing crisis in Spain as a lens to reconsider how planners, designers, politicians, and financiers conceive of and realize large-scale contemporary urbanization and settlement. It will be organized through four primary themes — infrastructure, waste, landscape, and instant urbanism – in order to explore new possibilities for how future patterns of urbanization can be conceived, financed, planned, deployed, and inhabited. For more details, including the complete itinerary and speaker information, please visit here.