All posts in Pictorial

Placeholder Alt Text

Pictorial> Take a look inside Dattner’s 34th St-Hudson Yards subway station, now open to the public
On Sunday, September 13th, New York City got its first new subway station in 25 years. Located at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue, the 34th St-Hudson Yards station extended the 7 train one and a half miles to serve Manhattan's Far West Side. Dattner Architects designed the 364,000 square foot, $2.4 billion station. The new station is ten stories underground, and features the subway system's first inclined elevator. Below the canopied main entrance, designed by Toshiko Mori Architect, a multicolored mosiac mural by artist Xenobia Bailey greets passengers. MVVA designed the park surrounding the main entrance. See the gallery below for images of the new station.
Placeholder Alt Text

Take a trip up onto the Barclays Center’s green roof, where sedum installation is over half complete
When The Architect’s Newspaper first visited the Barclays Center’s green roof, installation had just begun and there was only one strip of sedum running up the arena. Now, six weeks later, sedum covers more than 50 percent of the roof, and, without being too hyperbolic about things, it's looking like a verdant hillside up there. On a visit to the Barclays Center this week, Linda Chiarelli, Deputy Director of Construction for Forest City Ratner, told AN that the roof's 135,000 square feet of sedum should all be in place by the end of July. The green plant is especially hardy and does not need an elaborate irrigation system. (There are four hose bibs on the roof just in case of a drought situation.) The full green roof project, which requires some additional architectural and engineering work, is on track to wrap up in September. The three-acre space will not be open to the public, but rather is designed to absorb rainwater and keep excess noise from escaping the arena. https://vimeo.com/128175007 For much more on the Barclays Center's green roof, be sure to watch our video above, and to see where things stand today, check out the gallery below.
Placeholder Alt Text

Relive the glory of the 1970 Osaka Expo, complete with space frames, Metabolism, inflatables, and geodesic domes
As Expo Milano 2015 continues to wow millions of visitors with stunning architecture and innovative exhibitions about the future of food production, we can’t help but get a little nostalgic for some past Expos. While London 1851 (Crystal Palace) and New York 1939 (The World of Tomorrow) are close to our hearts, it is the 1970 Expo in Osaka that really gets us fired up. Take a look at the seemingly endless stream of fantastic designs after the jump. The fair was initiated in 1965 and realized in 1970. From its conception to its realization, the following events happened: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were assassinated, The Vietnam War started, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and the protests of 1968 erupted. This historically, politically, and socially complex time was matched by its architecture, which experienced a surge in innovation and experimentation in a variety of flavors. The 1970 Osaka Expo showcased many of the strains of technological and social revolutions that were informing the built environment of the time, and the possible futures that architecture could deliver, under the theme “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.” The result was one of the most explosive displays of architectural invention ever. It was master planned by two of the masters of the Metabolist movement in Japan, Kenzo Tange and Uzo Nishiyama. The pair represented two waves of Japanese postwar design, as Tange was a technocrat, and Nishiyama was a Marxist, more socially-driven in his ambitions to fight for the lower classes. The Metabolists saw the fair as the realization of the urban ideas that they had been developing in the 1950s and 1960s. The grounds were conceived as a living, changing organism with a central “spine that could serve as the center of a future city." For more on the plan of the site, visit Kenzo Tange and the Metabolist Movement: Urban Utopias of Modern Japan by Zhongjie Li. The pavilions came from 76 countries, one colony (Hong Kong), three US states, and one German city. The pavilions were a mélange of the incredible experiments that were taking place in the 1960s. Space frames, prefabrication, technological integration, tensile structures, domes, inflatables, metabolism, and space travel were some of the themes shined through, and set a very high bar for future Expos. Dennis Crompton, a founder of Archigram, told the AN that he really enjoyed his time there because “it was the first time many of those ideas appeared in built form.” (They had an exhibition in the show, but more on that later.) Of course, not everyone shares Archigram’s embrace of pop culture and fantastic architecture. Many critics called it an amateurish, over the top celebration of national one-upmanship and consumerism that sacrificed many of architecture’s ideals, succumbing to politics and industry, which used the image of bombastic design to seem progressive. The main festival venue, designed by Tange, was an enormous space frame that could house performances, and each country got time for their own traditions and performances, such as Thailand’s 16-day Elephant Festival. Kiyonori Kikutake designed the Festival Tower, which took on a high-tech aesthetic and loomed above the site. Kisho Kurokawa (of Capsule Tower fame) designed one of the three capsule houses suspended over the Festival Plaza. An enormous fountain designed by Isamu Noguchi rained water down. The National Pavilions took on a myriad of wild and technologically advanced forms. Transportation options included gondolas, a free perimeter monorail, and roller coasters. One of the more unusual parts of the Expo was Arata Isozaki’s “Demonstration Robot,” an enormous "robot" that featured a control booth in its head, arms that moved, and legs that raised it 24 feet off the ground, creating a stage in its base. Not surprisingly, Archigram had an installation in the show. Produced alongside their friend Kurokawa. They shared an affinity for organic shapes and clip-on elements that could expand and re-configure structures easily. Kurokawa collaborated with Archigram on their exhibition as part of the Japanese Pavilion. It include a dimly lit space with a “Futures Peepshow” and a “yes-no” button for audience participation. This is certainly true for one of the Expo’s more prescient projects, the Pepsi Pavilion, designed by the art collective Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). The building was a dome that immersed visitors in projected images, while the exterior featured a cloud-like water vapor sculpture that enveloped the faceted exterior of the dome. It was Diller Scofidio and Renfro’s Blur Building 30 years earlier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yVvBW4p7z8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=438&v=-CritGRvBTI For more, visit Kaput Magazine, Pink Tentacle, or Flavorwire.
Placeholder Alt Text

Pictorial> Twenty-one of the best pavilions from Milan Expo 2015
Milano Expo 2015 is rolling along, with 145 countries and a host of international organizations, civil society organizations, and corporations displaying their food-centric traditions and the latest sustainable agriculture and food production techniques. AN reported on the Expo when it opened:

a handful of designs...stand out as attempts to rethink the way we build and how it relates to modern agriculture and sustainable food production for the next century. Most of the pavilions use sustainable materials and construction methods that utilize national building techniques. Inside, exhibitions—often interactive—showcase biodiversity, culture, and food traditions of each nation.

Beyond the focus on food and agriculture, there is also a wealth of eye-catching architecture at the Milan Expo as well. Here is a collection of some of our favorite pavilions from this year's rendition. And be sure to check out our coverage of the Expo here.
Placeholder Alt Text

Take a tour of Chicago’s newest Green Line stop, Cermak-McCormick Place, designed by Ross Barney Architects
Chicago commuters transiting through the South Loop and Chinatown have had a new stop since early this year, when the Chicago Transit Authority opened its newest train stop: Cermak-McCormick Place. Designed by Ross Barney Architects (the team behind West Loop's lauded Morgan stop for the Pink and Green Lines), the new station employs brawny steel trusses and sleek, curved surfaces. Via the architects, here's a gallery of images from the new station, shot by Kate Joyce Studios:
Placeholder Alt Text

Take a look at the view from the tippy top of Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park, the supertall tower that will soon house the world’s billionaires
AN got a rare look at the penthouse of 432 Park, Rafael Viñoly's soon-to-be-tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. After a six-minute ride on the construction lift, expansive, $95 million views open up in a 360 degree panorama from large square windows along all four sides of the full-floor apartment. While the building is still under construction, it has already topped out some 1,396 feet above New York City's sidewalks below. The 85-story tower is expected to be completed early next year, but some of the lower floors will be available for move-in this fall, if you are interested. Deborah Berke is handling the interior architecture in the building. Here are some pictures from the six penthouses at the top of Viñoly’s incredibly tall building on Manhattan’s Billionaires' Row.
Placeholder Alt Text

Take a tour of FAT’s quirky house-as-narrative collaboration with Grayson Perry
If there was ever a perfect curatorial pairing, Alain de Botton made it when he selected artist Grayson Perry to work with English architects Fashion Architecture Taste (FAT). Architecturally speaking, their so-called House for Essex is a “built story”—a shrine to an Essex woman named Julie who led a life as a rock chick and later a social worker, along the way marrying twice and finding happiness before being tragically killed by a curry delivery moped. https://youtu.be/qQ1hbD28KDY The dynamic duo of Perry and FAT's Charles Holland collaborated for almost four years on the artwork and its integration into building form. Perry wrote a long poem about Julie and her life, and how her second husband, Rob, promised to build a Taj Mahal for her if she were to die before him. This is that shrine to her life. Perry had the dream of making a secular shrine, and he first started by sketching his visions of the precious, small temple-like house. “My first ideas looked a bit Hobbity, or like something from Game of Thrones: ramshackle with lots of turrets.” FAT helped make his design, well, less "Hobbity," and incorporate the narrative imagery of Julie’s life and death into the building. They decided on green and white tiles, hand crafted for the building, each of which has an iconographic reference to Julie’s life. While practically every surface is adorned with some of FAT’s most intense detailing, there is a subtle touch that allows the more ordinary features to shine through as a spatial enactment of the narrative. Arched clerestory windows are carved out of a richly painted ceiling; their curved voids contrast, Aalto-like, with the surface of the ceiling. Mustard- and ketchup-colored built-in furnishings are detailed with a level of precision that only FAT could make work without going way over the top. The proportions of the telescoping volumes make the outside like a Russian nesting doll, but inside, the interiors are intensely proportioned to keep up with the visual narrative. The cozy, cathedral-like main space soars above, giving way to a chandelier made from the moped that killed Julie. The bedroom features a 15-foot high tapestry by Perry that looks over visitors, and, depending on one’s own reading, gives approval, disapproval, a cheeky glance, jealous yearning, comforting presence, or complete indifference. Every aspect of the home is meant to have multiple layers meaning, like all of FAT’s projects. This one just takes the notion a step further than other projects. The house is the sixth installation of de Botton’s Living Architecture program, “a social enterprise…dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of world-class architecture. It has produced outstanding houses such as MVRDV’s Balancing Barn and the Room for London, a boat by David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner, with Artangel that sits on top of Queen Elizabeth Hall and gives stunning views of central London. The building is the last project for FAT, which disbanded in 2013. The House for Essex has had wide-ranging coverage in the UK, including an hour-long special on Channel 4, which got good reviews. More information is available at the Guardian. Perry also gave an interactive tour of the house here, and it is a must-watch.
Placeholder Alt Text

Pictorial> Austin Kelly, 1966–2015
Austin Kelly, truly one of Los Angeles' most talented young architects, sadly passed away last month. He was only 49, and the cause of death was cancer. Kelly studied architecture at Yale and worked for Frank Israel, Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, and DMJM/Keating before founding XTEN Architecture with his wife Monika Haefelfinger in 2000. The firm, based in Culver City, has been praised both for its sophisticated, origami-like forms and its brave interactions with nature, particularly in Southern California. XTEN is working on projects in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and as far away as Spain and Oman. Kelly also taught studios at SCI-Arc and at USC, and had a passion for teaching and mentorship. Explore some of XTEN's residences, below. (Click on thumbnail to begin slideshow.)  
Placeholder Alt Text

The water is so clear right now in Lake Michigan, you can see sunken ships beneath the crystal waves
Winter ice is melting around the Great Lakes, revealing cerulean waters below—and, in northern Lake Michigan, an open graveyard of shipwrecks. Lake Michigan's Manitou Passage is a popular diving destination for shipwreck-seekers, but this year the Spring weather has conspired to produce an unusually plain view of the sunken ships. The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station of Traverse City, Michigan said last week in a Facebook post that an air crew first glimpsed the exposed wrecks during a routine patrol of the northern Michigan coastline. Though still a chilly 38.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will soon warm, welcoming recreational swimmers, divers, boaters and an influx of nutrient runoff from towns and farms in the watershed. That will usher in algal blooms and again obscure the wrecks currently visible through the crystal clear water.
Placeholder Alt Text

Pictorial> Crews taking down Santa Monica’s California Incline for replacement project
On April 20, construction workers began demolishing Santa Monica's California Incline, a longtime connector between the Pacific Coast Highway and the city's overlooking bluffs. The 1,400-foot-long roadway, built in 1930, is getting a $20-million renovation (including a seismic retrofit and a new pedestrian bridge) by Caltrans and the city of Santa Monica that is expected to take year to complete. Below take a last look at the wonderfully weathered incline as we know it. (Click on thumbnail to start slideshow.)  
Placeholder Alt Text

Pictorial> Here’s your first glimpse inside Renzo Piano’s new Whitney Museum
On May 1, the southern terminus of the High Line will have a true anchor tenant. Renzo Piano's towering new Whitney Museum for American Art will throw open its glass doors—or at least unlock the revolving ones—as tourists and eager New Yorkers alike throng in for a look around the highly anticipated gallery spaces. Until then, here's a peek at the the museum, inside and out, from a press junket on Thursday. Inside, a lobby space clad on three sides in a crystal-clear glass curtain wall fills the museum with natural light. The museum's restaurant, Untitled, and its gift store flow seamlessly through the space. Elevators whisk visitors to the galleries above. At the top, a series of skylights diffuse light into gallery spaces and a large outdoor terrace extends from another cafe. A series of highly detailed catwalks provides views of the High Line, New York's skyline, and the museum itself. The overlapping outdoor spaces connected by stairways will surely be a highlight of many high-design soirees in years to come. Moving through the galleries, the museum's white walls and grey metal grids are contrasted with a light natural wood floor. An internal stairway featuring a waterfall of cascading light bulbs guides visitors down through the museum. Take a look at the gallery below for a look of AN's tour through the Whitney on Thursday. Watch for your next print issue of The Architect's Newspaper, where we'll publish our full critique of the museum and delve into its history. [All images by Branden Klayko / AN.]
Placeholder Alt Text

Richard Meier completes first phase of Japanese residential skyscraper project
Construction recently wrapped on Richard Meier's first residential building in Japan—and with its white louvers and glassy facade, it sure has the architect's trademark look. The 49-story, 883-unit building in Tokyo is the first piece of the Harumi Towers, a residential development that will include 1,744 apartments when the second tower opens next April. On Meier's website, Dukho Yeon, the partner-in-charge, described the two buildings as siblings "with two unique designs each with its own character, image and movement, in dialogue and harmony with one another." The residential buildings, which will share amenities, also come with a public promenade along Tokyo Bay.