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Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Chan’

ARTINFO’s 10 Favorite Architecture and Design Stories of 2013

Parametric Panic: China’s Zaha Hadid Clone and the Limits of Digital Design

Kelly Chan explored the uproar over and implications of a clone of Zaha Hadid’s Beijing Galaxy Soho complex simultaneously being built in Chongqing, China. “This particular incident in Chongqing,” wrote Chan, “seems to have sparked an entirely new debate on the ethics of copying, one that confronts how advances in technology have changed contemporary architectural practice.” Whether it represents a continuation of the tradition of drawing architectural inspiration from preexisting buildings, or whether it is a case of counterfeiting, architectural historian Mario Carpa explained to ARTINFO that the scandal is the result of “the rift between the new media and technologies we use and the old cultural frame of mind we have inherited and not yet updated.” (more…)

Architecture Rumor! Apple Seeks Out Foster + Partners to Revamp Store Design, Maybe

Despite how dry the architecture scene looks to outsiders, the rumor mill is always a-churnin’ there. The latest whisper to be amplified over the internet? Some unnamed sources have let out that Apple has hired Foster + Partners to work on designs for its (recently trademarked) retail outlets.

If this is true, it would mean some serious design matrimony between Steve Jobs and Norman Foster’s respective empires. Foster and his firm are already working on constructing a donut-shaped UFO to house Apple employees in Cupertino, California — a contentious project for a number of reasons, not least of which involves the design team underestimating the budget by billions of dollars. With that debacle yet to be defused, it might be a good idea to keep another Foster + Apple partnership under wraps. While a spokesman for Apple refused to comment on the speculations, according to Marketing Magazine, a spokeswoman for Foster + Partners responded to the rumor by saying “[a]ny project for Apple is confidential and therefore we are unable to comment.”

Photo: Apple’s Upper West Side store in New York City, courtesy Apple, Inc.

- Kelly Chan

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum To Be Demolished for MoMA Expansion

Only the good die young? The catchphrase we occasionally toss around to mourn the loss of a heroic youth doesn’t apply too often to architecture. But in the case of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects‘ 12-year-old former American Folk Art Museum building, the slogan might sadly ring true. As the New York Times reports, the sculptural edifice on Manhattan’s West 53rd Street that housed the American Folk Art Museum for almost 10 years will “take a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.” The adjacent cultural machine, the Museum of Modern Art, recently announced that its campus expansion plans will dispense of the hermetic bronze structure — which was showered with praise upon its December 2001 completion — to make room for more of the museum’s lightweight glass aesthetic.

The architects are, unsurprisingly, heartbroken: “We feel really disappointed,” Billie Tsien told the Times in an interview. “There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.”

Unfortunately, it looks like Goliath is winning this round. The building is expected to be demolished by the end of this year, but protest has already begun, one example being the new @FolkMoMA Twitter account calling for ideas sketching the “possibilities of interaction between the American Folk Art Museum and MoMA buildings.”

Read more about the building and MoMA’s expansion on the New York Times.

Photo: Dan Nguyen/Flickr

- Kelly Chan

OMA Designs Translucent Cube of Window Displays for Tokyo Coach Store

We can always count on OMA to keep us on our toes. While Rem Koolhaas is peddling his black humor theories about a global society vitiated by rampant consumption, his firm is off producing an impressive portfolio of high-end commercial spaces. The latest is a Coach flagship store in Tokyo, for which New York office director Shohei Shigematsu has dissolved the building facade into a series of translucent display boxes stacked in a herringbone pattern. The design at once surrounds shoppers with an immersive environment of Coach products while “simultaneously liberating floor space,” according to a press release. “Viewed from the interior,” Shigematsu explained, “the display units seamlessly provide an active backdrop for merchandise, filtering Omotesando’s streetscape into the shopping experience.” While we’re always game for some interior-exterior boundary-blurring, we definitely don’t want to be the person in charge of dusting and Windex-ing this store. (more…)

Zaha Hadid Unveils Design for Luxury Condominium in Miami

Move aside, Jeanne Gang, Zaha Hadid is coming to America and she wants to bust right through the glass ceiling and build a skyscraper too. While Chicago has its Aqua Tower, Miami is getting a special something called One Thousand Museum, a Hadid-designed condominium complete with helipad, pools, cabanas, private elevators, libraries, and 83 residential units that range anywhere in price from $4 to $30 million, according to the Architect’s Newspaper. One Thousand Museum, expected to finish construction in 2018, will be Hadid’s first skyscraper in the western hemisphere, and it will distinguish itself from the adjacent Miami high-rises with its extraterrestrial exoskeleton, a bimorphic bodice that will illusionistically support 62 stories of pure luxury. See more images on the Architect’s Newspaper website.

- Kelly Chan

Critics Deride Proposals to Redesign Earthquake-Damaged George Gilbert Scott Cathedral

It’s the critics’ time to shine in ChristChurch, New Zealand. Last week, leaders of the ChristChurch Cathedral revealed three design proposals for the restoration of the city’s earthquake-damaged George Gilbert Scott Anglican church, including a restoration of the original design, a “traditional” reinterpretation using modern materials, and a completely new building. Unsurprisingly, the final option — a radically different, unabashedly abstract replacement structure — is also the cheapest option, and incidentally the proposal receiving the most backlash from both Australian and British architecture critics. (more…)

More High-Design Affordable Housing for the South Bronx?

Last year, we felt that unusual tingle of optimism after visiting the Grimshaw and Dattner-designed Via Verde housing complex in the Bronx. Our fingers were crossed that this citadel of high-profile affordable housing would signal good things to come for the oft-neglected New York borough. Well, that optimism might not have been misplaced. As the Architect’s Newspaper reports, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) has issued another request for proposals asking developers to imagine new affordable housing schemes for a similar plot of vacant, city-owned land in the South Bronx. Developers interested in the Bronxchester Project have until July 3, 2013 to submit proposals for only one or both of the parcels allotted for the development, so long as the plans include mixed-income housing, open space, and commercial space or a community facility.

Image: Via Verde in the Bronx, © David Sundberg/Esto

- Kelly Chan

Denise Scott Brown Reveals Shocking Details About Sexism in Architecture

A recent interview with Denise Scott Brown in ARCHITECT Magazine warrants a read, even for those who think they are fully aware of how sexist the architecture industry has been (and continues to be). The 81-year-old architect who co-wrote “Learning from Las Vegas” has made headlines recently for her public response to a question directed to her at a luncheon celebrating women in architecture, in which she voiced her regret that she was not included in husband and firm partner Robert Venturi’s 1991 Pritzker win.

Since then, a petition asking for Scott Brown’s retroactive Pritzker inclusion has been launched, garnering the signatures of Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Robert Venturi, and others. As the ARCHITECT Magazine interview reveals, it was never Scott Brown’s intent to stir the pot, so to speak, but nonetheless, a string of anecdotes detailing some rather appalling comments and gestures point to greater injustices outside of the Pritzker upset.

Here’s just a taste, an excerpt form Scott Brown’s recollection of a party shortly after a dispute with architectural historian Colin Rowe: ”[Rowe] put his arms around me holding his whiskey glass, spilling his whiskey down the back of my neck, and said, ‘Denise, cara mia. Fuck you, bitch!’” The architect then pans her attention to “[a]nother angry New Yorker” named Philip Johnson, whom she says she nicknamed QP for his physical resemblance to a Kewpie doll. “You have to get your revenge somehow!” she added. Read the full interview on ARCHITECT Magazine.

Photo source: Morley Von Sternberg

- Kelly Chan

Norman Foster’s Apple Campus 2 Busts Budget by $2 Billion

How much does the “best office building in the world” according to Steve Jobs cost to build? The answer, right now, is about $5 billion, also known as over $2 billion above the estimated budget two years ago. Yes, money can buy everything, but it’s too bad there’s never enough of it. According to Bloomberg, five sources connected to the Foster + Partners-designed Cupertino Apple headquarters (and unauthorized to speak on the record) have confirmed that the Apple Campus 2 budget has swelled from under $3 billion to almost $5 billion over the course of less than two years. (more…)

Calatrava, DS+R, SHoP, SOM Asked to Imagine a Better Penn Station (Like the One 50 Years Ago)

Asking for a permanent extension of anything in New York City — especially of anything involving Manhattan property — seems a little shortsighted in a city that is in constant flux. But since Madison Square Garden’s 50-year special land-use permit expired this past January, the indoor arena has asked to maintain rights to its midtown real estate atop Penn Station…forever. While this request is being processed for review this spring, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) and the Municipal Art Society (MAS) have put together a public campaign to limit the land-use permit to 10 years, reconsider the location of Madison Square Garden, and envision proposals to overhaul the dismal, congested, and subterranean Penn Station below the arena.

“RPA and MAS are calling on leaders of our city and region to seize a unique opportunity this year to envision substantial changes to Penn Station, where overcrowded and grim public areas have plagued hundreds of thousands of daily commuters for nearly five decades,” the two civic groups announced in a public statement. The concept in mind involves reducing the duration of the potential new land-use permit to 10 years, relocating Madison Square Garden after it expires, and designing a new Penn Station that is not buried beneath the gigantic space where the Knicks play and Justin Bieber sometimes performs.

According to the New York Times Arts Beat, New York City favorites Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SHoP Architects and SOM have been tapped to envision a new station with the space, natural light, and impressive architecture afforded to the transit hub if Madison Square Garden were to be relocated. Perhaps New York City can regain what it lost 50 years ago when the McKim, Mead, and White-designed Pennsylvania Station was demolished. Ameliorating this half-century-long mistake will be a painful process, but living with the mistake for eternity frankly sounds worse.

Image: Photograph of McKim, Mead, and White’s old Pennsylvania Station waiting room, via.

- Kelly Chan