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Diamonds are Forever
ODA's 10 Jay Street in DUMBO shines with a faceted facade
Close Clerkenwell Shave
Amin Taha wins fight to stop 15 Clerkenwell Close demolition
“We’re pleased that Mr. Taha has finally admitted that the building did not benefit from planning permission. We are also pleased that the inspector has required 15 Clerkenwell Close to be modified to include more employment space, in line with Islington’s development plan. The Inspector also concluded that the building should be modified to mitigate the harm caused to local heritage assets. “We’re of course disappointed that the inspector did not agree with the council’s view that the degree of harm the building caused to the Clerkenwell Green conservation area and the setting of nearby listed buildings warranted further modifications to the building. “The council looks forward to the removal of the unauthorized and visually harmful solar chimney, changes to the roof garden, and alterations to the limestone columns and beams facing Clerkenwell Close, as set out in the Inspector’s conditions. “We’re also pleased that there will be a £420,000 payment towards badly-needed affordable housing, in line with Islington’s planning policies.” Additional notes: Par 1 of the Inspector’s Appeal Decision says: “… the appellant considered that no planning permission exists for the building as erected” Par 24 of the Inspector’s Appeal Decision says: “The appellant has been extremely critical of the failure of the Council officers to resolve apparent inconsistencies in the drawings at the appropriate time, which clearly should have been done. However, the appellant must also share a significant degree of responsibility for the errors made as it was his practice that submitted inconsistent plans in the first place.”
Just before financier and alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died in a New York City jail, New York Magazine published the A-to-Z contents of Epstein's contacts book. Along with business tycoons, foreign royalty, and powerful politicians, there were a number of names from the worlds of art and design—including architects and interior designers.
Perhaps the most prominent of these is Alberto Pinto, the interior designer known for his lavish-beyond-lavish creations for the superrich. According to the magazine, Epstein's $56 million Upper East Side mansion featured silky leopard print armchairs and walls covered in custom-tooled gold-leafed leather. Interior designer and countess-by-marriage Muriel Brandolini—who's dreamed up luxe spaces for the prince and princess of Greece, among other high-profile clients—also made the list. Of course, association doesn't mean guilt by association—rich people hang out with other rich people, especially when working on a commission or reached out to and asked to take on a project.
Joining these A&D professionals in the book were luxury hotel genius Jean-Michel Gathy, Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, Peter Marino, and guitar-shaped Hard Rock Hotel interiors honcho David Rockwell.
The last architect in Epstein's contacts executed one of the most puzzling buildings in the entire Miami–Caribbean–New York City triangle of Epstein's real estate portfolio. For the late financier's private 70-acre island, Little St. James Island, resort designer Edward Tuttle designed the centerpiece "main house" in 2003. However, no designer has yet been named for the most enigmatic structure on the island, a blue-striped, gold-roofed "temple" on a white plinth that is surrounded by a red geometric pattern baked into the white plaza.
AIA and NCARB establish new alliance to push for licensing standards
RIBA sustainability chairman urges London to consider a glass tower ban
BSO in the Berkshires
Boston Symphony Orchestra gets a sunlit series of performance spaces for its Tanglewood campus
Homes for the Domeless
Zappos invests in startup Geoship to build domes for the homeless
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Can you envision a new future for Earth? The converging global crises of ecosystem disruption, democratic dysfunction, unaffordable housing, and increasing chronic disease are clear signals that it's time to dramatically transform where and how we live. Geoship's vision for the future of home is a natural earth sanctuary that calms your senses and restores balance; a place of maximum efficiency, beauty, and resilience. Where the light and electromagnetic environment harmonizes with biological systems. Inside, you feel connected to all that exists outside – nature, community, and the universe. Your dome is calling! #futureofhome #buckminsterfuller #domesweetdome #newparadigm #domehomes #geoship
The Cultural Landscape Foundation launches major international design prize
LMN is bridging the gaps between Washington communities
Tatooine Under Fire
Kanye West's affordable housing prototypes may have to be demolished
Kanye West had big plans to shake up the development market with a new affordable housing community, but it seems like the dream might be short-lived. News of the project in Calabasas, California broke just last month, but TMZ, who also obtained first images of the development from a Los Angeles County Public Works inspector, is reporting that state authorities are threatening its demolition if West does not comply with construction permit laws by September 15.
West, who identifies with the pseudonym Yeezy, has demonstrated his interest in residential architecture and the housing market before, establishing the studio Yeezy Home and unveiling renderings of a stark concrete affordable housing complex in 2018. On a 300-acre forested plot of land in Calabasas, near West and Kim Kardashian’s shared home, his latest endeavor took a less conventional route. Writing for Forbes last month, Zack O’Malley Greenburg compared the prototypes for the development to Tatooine settlements from the first Star Wars movie, which in turn were inspired by vernacular housing design in Tunisia. While images of the interiors of the homes have not been released, it is clear from Greenburg’s account and photos shared online that they are igloo-like in form, with wooden skeletal frames “dozens of feet tall.” According to the photos released by TMZ, that description appears to have been accurate; they show rounded domes framed in timber and slightly sunken into the ground, with holes cut in the top to let in natural light.
Since the inception of the project, though, West’s foray into affordable housing has been mired in local controversy. At least two of his neighbors complained about construction noise, prompting state inspectors to pay the site a visit. While they were initially told that the structures were intended to be temporary and thus did not need a permit for permanent construction, inspectors later returned and noticed the homes’ concrete foundations. Concerned that West and his property managers were building something more lasting, they issued a citation last week that requires West to apply for approval from the city within 45 days or dismantle the buildings altogether. Although West and his team reportedly claimed that the foundations were simply added for increased stability, not longevity, it is unclear what West’s next steps will be.