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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Park Avenue Armory Will Revitalize its Tiffany-Designed Veterans Room

A historic photo of the Veterans Room at the Park Avenue Armory.

The Park Avenue Armory is beginning revitalization work on its Veterans Room – one of the only surviving interiors designed by Louis C. Tiffany and Co., Associated Artists, in the world. A monument of late 19th-century decorative arts, the Veterans Room will be reanimated through Herzog & de Meuron’s intervention, which will transform the space into a state-of-the-art room for intimate cultural encounters, including performances, recitals, lectures, and a range of other small-scale events. The project is expected to be complete in December 2015.

The work beginning on the Veterans Room marks the next phase in the ongoing $200-million renovation and restoration of the Armory’s five-story landmark building, which to date has included the Armory’s Board of Officers Room, and two period rooms on the second floor. Since being awarded stewardship of the building in 2006, the Armory has worked to transform its building into a groundbreaking cultural institution presenting outside-the-box artistic experiences within its historic and nontraditional spaces.

The room was initially built in 1880, and the current design team wants to retain its original feature while bringing the space decidedly into the 21st century. “What makes the Veterans Room different from all other period rooms of the Armory is its level of inventiveness and playfulness,” explained Herzog & de Meuron Senior Partner Ascan Mergenthaler. “It is a collage of diverse influences and inspirations, reflecting the collaborative efforts of an outstanding team of designers. Their approach on the decorative scheme goes beyond what was typical at that time and explores methods and means that are still fascinating today.”

In addition to advancements such as temperature regulation, the firm’s current work on the room will focus on the wallpaper, originally designed by Tiffany and Wheeler and removed in the mid-20th century, which will be reinterpreted in a conceptualized reconstruction; and the lighting, which will be upgraded in order to illuminate the space in its holistic quality, recreating and augmenting the radiance that was originally intended for the room.

“The Veterans Room is among the most significant surviving interiors of the American Aesthetic Movement—an opulent room resulting from the collaborative work of artists and artisans led by a young, visionary Louis Comfort Tiffany and including Stanford White, Samuel Colman, and Candace Wheeler. Our revitalization of this room brings into dialogue two of the most talented designers of the 19th and 21st centuries, Associated Artists and Herzog & de Meuron,” said Armory President and Executive Producer Rebecca Robertson.

— Anna Kats (@coldwarcasual)

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Jacques Herzog: Milan Expo is a “Vanity Fair”

Though Jacques Herzog — he of Herzog & de Meuron — was invited to design the masterplan for the Milan Expo, which opens on May 1, the architect (who left the project in 2011) is none too thrilled that the fair is happening at all.

As Dezeen points out, Herzog, Stefano Boeri and Ricky Burdett are still credited on the official expo website as the designers, but Herzog doesn’t believe this year’s event will be much different from its predecessors.

In a recent interview with Uncube Magazine, he expressed strong doubts about the quality and organizational structure of this year’s fair. “We decided only to accept the invitation to design the Milan masterplan if our client would accept a radically new vision for a world exhibition,” explained the architect, calling on the Expo to abandon, “these monuments of individual national pride that have turned all expos since the mid-19th century into obsolete vanity fairs.” Below are some of the highlights of his interview. (more…)

Tadao Ando Reveals New Renderings for his First NYC Building

Japanese Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando has revealed new renderings of his first NYC project, a luxury apartment tower on the corner of Kenmare Street and Elizabeth Street in Nolita. “The design primarily features glass, concrete and steel materials found in many of Ando’s projects, including the art and design school at the University of Monterrey and a house on the edge of a cliff in Sri Lanka,” notes Dezeen. 152 Elizabeth Street will contain seven residences ranging from 570-square-foot two-bedroom apartments to a 1475-square-foot penthouse apartment. (more…)

Chicago Architecture Biennial Partners With Local Schools for Lakefront Competition

Iwan Baan, “Chicago,” 2014

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is expanding the scope of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, the organization announced in a statement. “Late last year, the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, organized in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. The competition calls for the inventive design of a new kiosk that will be installed on Chicago’s lakefront, one of the city’s most vibrant public spaces,” reads the missive. The winner will receive the BP Prize — a $10,000 honorarium for design development and a $75,000 construction budget to realize the design. The most recent statement also announced that the Chicago Architecture Biennial is partnering with local schools of architecture to commission three additional kiosks. The competition jury includes architects David Adjaye, Jeanne Gang and Sharon Johnston, as well as Chicago Architecture Biennial Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda, BP’s Retail Design Director Michael O’Brien, and Rob Rejman, Chicago Park District’s Director of Planning and Construction. (more…)

Renzo Piano: Future Of Europe’s Cities is in the Suburbs

Pritzker winner Renzo Piano is best known for his civic-scale buildings that define urban centers — think the LACMA expansion, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, or the forthcoming new Whitney Museum building in Chelsea. Yet the architect’s concerns have increasingly turned to the peripheries of cities, according to an interview with NPR published yesterday. “In the 1960s and ’70s, like many of his contemporaries, Piano was involved in the battle to revive forlorn and decaying historic centers of cities. Now he’s fighting to save their often desolate outskirts,” explains the article. (more…)

Norman Foster Wins Stadium Competition for Qatar World Cup 2022

A preliminary rendering for Foster + Partners Lusail Stadium.

Foster + Partners has won the competition to design a stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the Qatar World Cup in 2022, reports Dezeen. “The British architecture firm has won an international competition to design Qatar’s 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium, after developing a previous scheme for the site as part of the country’s winning World Cup bid in 2010. The stadium will be the centerpiece of a project by developer Qatari Diar to build a new city called Lusail on the western coast of the country, 15 kilometers north of Doha, at an estimated cost of $45 billion,” explains the design news site. (more…)

In L.A., a Googie Landmark Saved From Demolition

A new article from L.A. Magazine tackles the difficult issue of what will happen to one of the city’s preeminent landmarks of Googie architecture, Norm’s Restaurant on La Cienega. The site was purchased by developer Jason Illouian of Faring Capital in December, who now reveals that he plans to convert the site into a luxury strip mall-style development. “This week he told me his plan: To build a community of shops’ where the parking lot now stands,” writes author Chris Nichols. (more…)

Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House Goes to Auction in May

Frank Gehry’s 1987 Winton Guest House will go up for sale at auction on May 19, according to the seller, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The building currently stands on a 180-acre site in Owatonna, Minnesota that the university sold to a health clinic last summer; the seller has until August 2016 to move the house from the new owner’s land. Chicago auction house Wright is organizing the sale, and is noted for previous sales of historic architecture — in particular for the successful 2006 auction of Pierre Koenig’s 1959 Case Study House #21 in Los Angeles. (more…)

Plans Cancelled to Rebuild the Crystal Palace in London

A Chinese developer that had earlier been eager to build an exact replica of the Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton in 1951, has seemingly pulled out of the project, according to the BBC. “The ZhongRong Group wants to rebuild Crystal Palace, which burnt down in 1936, but has failed to meet a deadline set by the council to produce plans,” explains the news outlet. (more…)

Patrik Schumacher Decries Public Funding for Arts Education

Serial social media provocateur and and Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrik Schumacher has denounced art school, and public funding for art, as an “indefensible anachronism” in a lengthy Facebook post. His comments, first reported by Dezeen, have drawn the ire of an erstwhile academic colleague, the architectural theorist, historian, and critic Bart Lootsma. In a riposte also published on the social-networking site, Lootsma chastised Schumacher for his hypocrisy, noting that “until recently he earned a salary good as a professor” in publicly funded universities in Innsbruck and Vienna. “Just months ago he desperately tried to get a professorship there,” Lootsma added.

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