Janelle Zara
Architecture & Design News

OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News

Posts Tagged ‘News’

Final Section of the High Line Earns Thumbs Up From Critics — and Tourists

The third section of New York City’s High Line opened to the public yesterday, the finale in an landscape saga designed jointly by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations. The last section runs around the massive Amtrak and Long Island railyards, before descending to ground at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

By all accounts — or rather, those of the city’s leading journalistic observers of architecture and the built environment — this final stretch is an understated conclusion to the gritty glamour of the first two sections, which opened respectively in 2009 and 2011. Of the three components, this last one is the most rustic: there’s no electricity (so it closes every night half an hour before dusk) and the design interventions number relatively few (the updated variety of bench installed this time around is the most prominent). Instead, the original rail tracks are actually left exposed and landscaping is decidedly overgrown. And the entire final section will be decidedly different a decade from now, when the Hudson Yards will have populated the now-empty area around 12th Avenue and 34th Street with some of the city’s tallest, glitziest skyscrapers.

Critical responses are, by and large, positive: Michael Kimmelman practically pens a love poem to New York City over at the New York Times. Vanity Fair’s Paul Goldberger and New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson offer less sentimental but equally affirmative takes; only James S. Russell provides a thorough, and somewhat more somber, analysis of the real estate development swarm that is fast redefining the skyline that surrounds the comparably low-hanging High Line. Find choice quotes from each critic after the jump: (more…)

Hernan Diaz-Alonso Takes Over as Director of SCI-Arc

It’s been a rumor for quite some time, but SCI-Arc has finally made the official announcement: professor Hernan Diaz-Alonso takes over as Director of the Los Angeles architecture school from Eric Owen Moss, who officially stepped down in June after 13 years in the post. “I am pleased that the SCI-Arc Board of Trustees at its quarterly meeting [on Wednesday, September 10] approved the contract with Hernan Diaz Alonso as the next Director of SCI-Arc. Hernan will assume this role beginning September 2015…It is my honor to announce that the Board of Trustees has finalized its search for the next Director of SCI-Arc, and after over a decade of extraordinary service by Eric Owen Moss, we are placing SCI-Arc’s future in the amazing mind, heart and hands of Hernan Diaz Alonso,” wrote SCI-Arc board chair Jerry Neuman in a letter published on Archinect. Owen Moss would appear to agree with the appointment and the high regard: “SCI-Arc’s task, in perpetuity, is to go where we haven’t been, and report on what we find,” he said in a press release on the occasion. “Hernan Diaz Alonso is the perfect architect to continue this expedition.”


The Getty Announces Plans to Restore Eames, Kahn, and More

The Getty Foundation will contribute funds to the restoration of Jørn Utzon’s iconic Sydney Opera House as part of its new architecture initiative.

The list of buildings the Getty Foundation plans to help conserve as part of Keeping it Modern, the Los Angeles-based research institute’s latest architecture initiative that was announced yesterday, reads like an abridged greatest hits list of modernist architecture: Eames, Aalto, Kahn, and more. The project aims not only to restore some of the seminal structures of 20th century architecture, but also to develop innovative methods of conservation to deal with buildings constructed using experimental techniques and materials that are holding up poorly with the passage of time. Grants are awarded for the comprehensive planning, testing, and analysis of modern materials, as well as the creation of conservation management plans that determine long-term maintenance and conservation policies. ”This new initiative continues our commitment, but now brings into sharp focus the specific conservation issues of modern buildings. This initial round of grants includes important buildings on several continents,” said Getty Foundation director Deborah Marrow in a statement. (more…)

Argentina Plans to Build Latin America’s Tallest Quarter-Pipe

Architecture as skateboarding paraphernalia.

Argentina may be in the throes of a monumental financial crisis, but that isn’t stopping the cash-strapped country from commissioning monumental architecture. Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner today announced the winning proposal for the Cinematography and Audiovisual Tower that will be built in Buenos Aires by 2018, reports ArchDaily. MRA+A Álvarez| Bernabó | Sabatini’s parabolic design beat out four other competitors for the project, with a curved quarter-circle tower that will have 67 floors, 216,000 square meters of space, and a hotel on the highest 13 floors. Construction is expected to begin later this year on the structure, which will be Latin America’s tallest skyscraper upon completion, soaring to 1100 feet.

In the meantime, however, skateboarder Tony Hawk (who was in Buenos Aires earlier this month) took to Twitter to state the obvious: “Just after we left Argentina, they approve this skyscraper design (1200 feet tall). Coincidence?” We think not.

— Anna Kats (@fortunaviriliis)

Image via Fan Page de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

OfficeUS Proposes Floating Museum Plan for Guggenheim Helsinki

OfficeUS, the American Pavilion at this year’s 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, is operating a design firm for the 6-month duration of the exhibition — and like all budding architects, the partners at OfficeUS are dreaming big. The American Pavilion is currently devoted to examining the global architecture office, so the team is proposing a study in developing the global museum. With a plum commission in mind, the pavilion announced back in July that it might just be considering the possibility of submitting a proposal to the Guggenheim Helsinki design competition — maybe (the office even hosted a Potential Participation Party in Venice). Today, OfficeUS announced in a press release that continues the firm’s flirtation with Guggenheim prospects. OfficeUS suggests a rather innovative vision for the controversial museum: an itinerant Guggenheim, that navigates between Helsinki, Tallinn, and St. Petersburg to store and display visual art for denizens of all three cities. The statement is probably more sendup than it is serious, but we’ll leave you to parse its humor: (more…)

Michael Graves Retrospective Opens on October 18 in New Jersey

Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey will open a retrospective devoted to the architecture and design of seminal post-modernist Michael Graves on October 18, the institution announced in a press release yesterday. The exhibition, entitled “Past as Prologue,” will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Graves’s design firm and its five decades of work. The show will feature Graves’s seminal architecture and product design projects, and will include some of the architect’s original sculptures and paintings. “Past as Prologue” will be on view through April 5, 2015, and aims to reflect the evolution of the core principles of Graves’s design practice — how the past influences the present, wit, and vibrant color. “Reminiscing over 50 years of projects is wonderful for me, but I am most excited about how the future of our practice is evolving from the energetic collaboration of our disciplines,” said Michael Graves in a statement. “I hope that visitors experience the many scales of our designs with the same joy that we feel in creating them.”

Graves’s 1982 Portland Building is among his most controversial designs, and will be treated at length in the upcoming retrospective. (more…)

You Could Curate the Next Oslo Architecture Triennial

Though it’s highly unusual for a biennial, triennial, or n-ennial to issue an open call for curators, the Oslo Architecture Triennial is doing things differently for its fall 2016 edition. The Norwegian architecture festival announced the competition on Monday, inviting English-language applications for individual curators or curatorial teams from any country through October 17, 2014. “The Curator will have primary academic and artistic responsibility for OAT 2016, including the development of its conceptual and thematic framework, research and programming, exhibitions and events,” explains the competition brief. Responsibilities also include fundraising and developing two publications — one catalog ahead of the triennial’s opening (to be determined), and the other a post-triennial book that presents and analyzes the three-month festival’s events and exhibitions.


Chamber, a New High-Design Emporium, Opens Shop in NYC Next Month

It might just be the end-all of New York City’s design retailers: Chamber, a new boutique devoted to rare, vintage, and specially commissioned works of art and design is opening on September 24 on the ground floor of Neil Denari’s HL23 building along the High Line. Founded by Juan Garcia Mosqueda, Chamber’s concept is as uncommon as many of the shop’s wares. Mosqueda is selecting a new curator every two years to redevelop the store’s retail strategy and pick out its offerings, thereby regularly overhauling the shop’s entire program with updated commissions and pieces for sale.

Neil Denari’s 2008 residential HL23 tower, where Chamber will be located on the ground floor. (more…)

Upcoming Exhibition Lets You See the Student Drawings of Starchitects

Most of today’s most famous and successful architects are old enough to have made it through their design student days without technological luxuries like digital rendering software (save for Bjarke Ingels, who, at 38 years old, is practically still a teenager). An upcoming exhibition that opens on September 12 at the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis lays bare the salad days of several high-profile architects, including Peter Cook, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, and Daniel Libeskind. Harking back to a time when hand-to-paper was still the requisite first step in bringing an architectural idea to reality, Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association features illustrations, sketches, and graphic studies from the private collection of former Architectural Association chairman Alvin Boyarsky. While all the designers included in the exhibition are former students of Boyarsky’s at the architectural association, some of the featured works were gifted to the educator after graduation — testament to the strong ties he maintained with many of today’s leading designers.

Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. (more…)

How a Former Priory Went From Divine to Divinely Relaxing

Designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku have given a former priory in northwestern France, in the Loire Valley, an altogether otherworldly makeover. The the industrial design team refurbished the landmark-designated interior of the Saint-Lazare priory at the Fontevraud Abbey, turning the former monastery into a high-end hotel and restaurant complex as part of a larger redevelopment scheme aimed at modernizing Fontevraud and surrounding monasteries that all date to the Middle Ages. By employing a palette of wood, metal and fabric to complement the original stone building, the designers were able to preserve the calm and quiet of the original priory while updating the space to fit the needs of a modern traveler. The renovation process took more than two years and involved rebuilding buttresses and a tower on two sides of the building, rearranging the spaces to accommodate bedrooms and removing flagstone floors to install underfloor heating, all without damaging the original fabric of the priory.