In opposition to the controversial master plan that SHoP Architects designed for Williamsburg’s abandoned waterfront Domino Sugar Factory, young Brooklyn collective Holm Architecture Office has developed an adaptive reuse proposal dubbed Domino Culture Factory, ArchDaily reports. Commissioned by community activist group Williamsburg Independent People, HAO produced renderings of the Domino site scaled to the surrounding buildings — not, as SHoP has done, to the Williamsburg Bridge.
OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News
Your run-of-the-mill A-listers — Harrison Ford, Helena Christensen, and Christy Turlington among them — flocked to Sotheby’s on Saturday night to rub elbows with stars of the design world and Silicon Valley (plus a few of Sotheby’s bigwig regulars) at Jony and Marc’s (RED) Auction, a charity sale co-curated by Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson to benefit Bono’s Project (RED). With their star powers combined, the 1,000-person crowd raised $13 million — to be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — to combat global AIDS.
Famous friends pitched in their promotional services. Turlington, for example, modeled a pink Alaïa gown before it sold for $149,000, the Telegraph reports. The top lot, a white Steinway grand piano with a flourish of red under its hood, sold for $1.9 million after Coldplay frontman Chris Martin took to the keys for a duet with Bono; not far behind were Ive and Newson’s custom collaborative designs. Their Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera sold for $1.8 million, and their single edition aluminum desk went for $1.7 million. The auction moved a total of 44 lots, an immaculate execution of what Bono describes as “the fine art of separating people from their money.” [Vanity Fair, The Telegraph, Sotheby's]
— Janelle Zara
As the U.S. real estate market is slowly rebuilding its momentum, abandoned houses continue to pose obstacles on the road to recovery. Making up 10 percent of the total American housing market, according to the Wall Street Journal, boarded-up, derelict spaces tend to attract looters and drive potential buyers out of the neighborhood. A few urban organizations, from the privately owned Home Illusions of Flint, Michigan, to Cincinnati non-profit Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, have come up with a solution: ditch the plywood and use paint and decals instead. Home Illusions, for example, offers a line of decals from $40-$100 that include “fake screen doors and stained-glass windows” to make it look like someone’s home. [Wall Street Journal]
— Janelle Zara
Image via Wall Street Journal
Saturday promises big things from Marc Newson, one of contemporary design’s most prolific figures. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there’s the opening of “Marc Newson: At Home,” the first stateside survey of the designer’s 30-year career. At Sotheby’s New York, there’s also Jony and Marc’s (RED) Auction, a design sale curated by Newson and Apple’s Jonathan Ive to benefit Bono’s non-profit Project (RED).
Isamu Noguchi’s Cloud Ottoman, designed for Herman Miller in 1948, is a rare gem. “This is one of only five examples of this form that were made,” Richard Wright, who founded Chicago auction house Wright in 2000, explains of the functional extension of Noguchi’s lyrically organic sculpture. “Three of them are already in museum collections, one of them was destroyed, and this seems to be the last one that could be available.”
Standing on four delicately tapered wooden legs, the Cloud Ottoman boldly announces Wright’s arrival in New York; it’s the headliner at “Design,” the inaugural exhibition at the house’s new 980 Madison gallery, directed by former Christie’s vice president Brent Lewis. On view from November 22, the show touts 60 highlights from the like-titled Chicago auction schedule for December 12: a 1950s, double-tiered Carlo Mollino glass coffee table, the wooden base of which has been sculpted into a gesture of offering; a 1979 architectural model of Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s postmodern icon, the AT&T tower; and works by George Nakashima, Eco and Luisa Parisi, Harry Bertoia, the Campanas, and Pierre Chareau, among others.
In October, when Santiago Calatrava released renderings of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, he also revealed what the New York Times describes as the “World Trade Center’s best-kept secret”: Liberty Park, an acre of trees, plants, and amphitheater seating to rise 25 feet above Liberty Street.
For years the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey refrained from publicizing the park in order to sort out the details of its design, the Times reports, but Calatrava’s renderings offered the public a subtle sneak peak. The authority last week confirmed AECOM chief innovation officer Joseph E. Brown as its architect and revealed a few of the park’s proposed features: a panoramic view of the National September 11 Memorial; a 20-foot-high living wall; a “monumental” staircase; stellar pink dogwood; and other plants “chosen to present a variety of colors through the seasons,” although much is still subject to change. “Contractors may propose changes in plant types, for instance,” the Times warns. Costs are projected at $50 million.
“Because it’s elevated, it’s out of the flow of the street. There’ll be a sense of calm,” Catherine McVay Hughes, chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, told the Times, describing Liberty Park as “much needed public space for the community.” [New York Times]
— Janelle Zara
Image via the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Bjarke Ingels Group won the international competition to design the Museum of the Human Body in Montpelier, France, according to ArchDaily. The winning complex will provide the city’s historic medical school, which dates to the 10th century, with 84,000 square feet of exhibition space. Inspired by the human body, Bjarke Ingels describes his design as, “a series of seemingly singular pavilions that weave together to form a unified institution – like individual fingers united together in a mutual grip.” Combining architecture and landscaping, the complex will include rooftop gardens that connect to the surrounding pavement, establishing a continuous sense of space over the entire museum complex. Likewise, transparent façades will heighten the visual and physical connection between the museum’s disparate buildings. Construction is scheduled to start in 2016, and the building will open its doors to the public in 2018.
— Anna Kats
Image courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group
“For the quality of life I would say that this trend towards megacities is really not good,” photographer Michael Wolf said last month in an interview with the New Republic, articulating what his work demonstrates on its own. The images in his book, “The Architecture of Density” (Peperoni Books, 2013), zoom into Hong Kong’s densely packed high-rises in a way that renders their enormity and compression almost tangible — suffocatingly so.
Wolf provides no captions for his “Density” series. “The pictures are a metaphor for all megacities. So they are simply numbered from 1 to 225.” To see more, visit the New Republic.
Oh, a stadium by any other name…
Zaha Hadid, the world’s most prominent contemporary female architect, conceived the form of the Qatar 2022 World Cup’s 40,000-seat Al Wakrah stadium to echo the nation’s maritime heritage.
“[T]he design is supposed to resemble the sails of a dhow boat which is traditionally used for pearl fishing by Qataris,” the Independent reports, yet international media have stuck to other descriptions: “uma vagina,” “stade du vagin,” “a fanny,” “yonic structure,” or “accidental vagina,” depending on where you live. Press outlets ranging from O.Canada.com to Malaysian Digest to Jeune Afrique to Correio da Bahia to La Razón to Le Monde have, for a second, pushed aside the human rights violations of the stadium’s construction to point out that the architectural misstep heard ’round the world has an unfortunate resemblance to female genitalia.
Annabelle Selldorf’s oeuvre includes some of the art world’s most lauded exhibition spaces and installation designs — think David Zwirner’s New York gallery space or the display design for the Carlo Scarpa glassware retrospective that opened this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The rarefied minimalism of Selldorf’s typical commissions is not exclusive to arts institutions, however. Though it’s less highbrow than Selldorf’s usual work, the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn bears her elegant aesthetic restraint, reports the New York Times.