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Archtober Building of the Day #20A> The Metropolitan Museum of Art David H. Koch Plaza
Archtober Building of the Day #20 The Metropolitan Museum of Art David H. Koch Plaza 1000 5th Avenue OLIN Do you know the difference between hedging your trees and pollarding them? Thanks to the enlightenment provided by our tour guides from OLIN’s design team, Partner Dennis McGlade and Associate Scott Dismukes, those who attended yesterday's Archtober tour do now. The London Plane trees in the bosques adjacent to the ground level entrances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be pollarded—trimmed each winter to the same height.  The Little Leaf Lindens, which form the two flanking rows of sidewalk trees will pruned annually to form aerial hedges, thus distinguishing them from the fluffy naturals of Central Park. As a long-time resident of the Upper East Side neighborhood, I commend the Met, and its landscape architects at OLIN for creating a new welcoming public space—the newly opened David H. Koch Plaza—in place of the arid old pair of linear fountains that had occupied the front of the museum since 1970. (Roche Dinkeloo—they enlarged the steps, too, which we all agree are fantastic.)  Filled with great insights from schemes of the past, OLIN’s meticulously detailed design of Canadian Autumn brown granite, old fave Deer Isle granite, and Nordic Café in the fountain is a symphony of paving patterns, each with a functional designation. There’s even a rumble strip to foil the skateboarders. There are many things to like about the new fountains, too. My favorite feature is the drip edge, which makes it possible for dogs to sip from the fountain without arousing the ire of security guards. So too can plenty of toddling three year olds run their hands through the shiny sheeting water, unbeknownst to their nannies. A fountain for man and beast! Making trees thrive in granite takes a lot of subsurface infrastructure, and there is plenty of it hidden from view.  Enlarged tree pits, run-off control, underground tunnels, and retention basins make the expanse of granite an environmental asset.   It takes a long time to achieve the full effect—McGlade said it might take about fifteen years before the hedging of the trees makes them into the trapezoidal masses of the renderings. It will be fun to watch them grow, and I’m sure I’ll spend many a happy hour sitting with my dog, Glow, under the bright red parasols. Come back at night to see the magnificent new illumination designed by L’Observatoire.  It glows, too.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater. ckracauer@aiany.org 
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On View> LACMA Takes “Metropolis II” For a Spin
Metropolis II Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California Ongoing Metropolis II is a kinetic sculpture by American artist Chris Burden, who is probably best known for his 1971 performance piece Shoot, in which an assistant wielding a .22 rifle shot him in the left arm. Part of LACMA’s permanent collection and on view multiple times per week, the sculpture is modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. In it, Burden used steel beams to construct an intricate system of 18 roadways—including one six-lane freeway—and several train tracks. When set in motion, miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour. Every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings. According to Burden, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city.”
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On View> Dan Graham’s Rooftop Pavilion at the Metropolitan Museum Reflects on Public Space
Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Avenue, New York Through November 2. 2014 One of the great gifts bestowed on New York in the summer is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s roof garden. You are thrust into Olmsted’s Central Park from a promontory surrounded by the perimeter skyline on all sides. The trick with the rooftop art commissions is to play with the space, the views, and the interrelationships between the two. The goal is to make the viewer see them differently—you want to feel like the rooftop is your personal terrace in the sky while sharing it with others in a magnificent secret shared space. Dan Graham’s Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout plays with what he calls this “leftover space” of rooftop by framing the viewer's “elliptical experience” with various man-made and natural elements: glass, steel, stone, hedgerows, chairs, and ForeverLawn (definitely not AstroTurf). Stepping from the fake grass that covers the rooftop—green mixed with yellow and brown in different blade thicknesses—one climbs almost imperceptibly onto a slightly-raised platform of granite slabs that forms a square. These pavers support a sinuous bisecting slab of steel-trimmed, S-shaped, mirrored glass, a staple of modern skyscrapers, that is supported on the east and west sides by hedges, that, as Graham noted, demarcate property lines. If you enter from the north side, you can gaze through the glass barrier to those on other side and to Central Park South beyond. When you approach from the south side, you are struck by the reflections of the skyline behind. It’s a concave/convex funhouse, where one is constantly catching glimpses oneself. Graham has been working with “pavilions” for a long time, and Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout feels like a more rural version of his much-missed Rooftop Urban Park Project (1991) atop the Dia Center for the Arts on West 22nd Street. You want to sit on the lawn and have a picnic. At the Met, Graham worked with Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt, who also designed the stainless steel moveable chairs with recycled rubber coating manufactured by Burri. On the museum’s second floor are related projects by Graham which attest to his long-standing interest in architecture and public space. A 20-minute video called Two-Way Mirror Cylinder inside Cube and a Video Salon (1992), commissioned by Dia, investigates atria, shopping arcades, and winter gardens, both historical and contemporary ranging from the Crystal Palace, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Ford Foundation, Citicorp Park Avenue Atrium, Charles deGaul airport,  Parc de La Villette, World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, and the IBM Building. Graham narrates, as he does in Two-Way Mirror Hedge Labyrinth (1991), a short video centered on a pavilion installed at a private home in La Jolla, CA, where he muses on the city—how landscape architecture redefines it, how the labyrinth is a metaphor for it, and how two-way mirrored glass’ transparency and reflectivity mimics it. Graham’s concerns with movement and time, human interplay and asymmetrical procession, all take place on a mirrored stage.
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Re-Imagine the Metropolis
Matthew T. Rader

This summer, designers, academics, politicians, and advocates from around the globe will gather in Dallas for the third annual New Cities Summit (NCS), a project of the New Cities Foundation. AN is the media sponsor for the event, which takes place June 17–19 at the Foster + Partners–designed Winspear Opera House.

Themed “Re-imagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis,” NCS 2014 will examine strategies and tactics that enable lasting urban change through a series of keynotes, workshops, and site visits. Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, will deliver the opening keynote address. Other keynotes include a look at global air hubs, a re-examination of the “smart city” trope, and a conversation on inclusive cities. Joel Allison, CEO, Baylor Health Care System; Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth; Alex Krieger, Principal, NBBJ and Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; and Sean Donohue, CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, are among the confirmed speakers.

NCS workshops will cover topics like technology and the green city, the shared city, financing transformation, and innovations in urban data. Other highlights include the WhatWorks series of inspirational short talks, featuring urban innovators like David Auerbach, the founder of Sanergy (Nairobi) and Meenu Vadera, of Sakha Consulting Wings (Delhi). On day two of the conference, attendees will select the winner of the annual AppMyCity! Prize, which rewards new apps targeting the urban experience.

The role of culture in cities is a major theme of NCS 2014, which spotlights the Dallas Arts District. The Global Cultural Districts Network, which formed at NCS 2013, will convene during the conference. Arts leaders slated to speak include Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America. Participants will also have access to local events coinciding with the conference, including the Dallas debut of Shen Wei Dance Arts on June 19 at Winspear Opera House.

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Rebuild By Design> MIT’s Plan to Save New Jersey and Metropolitan New York
In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Hurricane Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, here is a closer look at each of the final ten proposals, beginning with the team led by MIT. The New Meadowlands plan—by MIT, ZUS, and Urbanisten—aims to protect New Jersey and Metropolitan New York from future storms, and increase development at the same time. Using existing marshlands, the team proposes Meadowpark—a new public space that can provide a natural barrier against rising sea levels and storms. This park, and specifically its berms, will mitigate storm surge and reduce flooding. Surrounding Meadowpark is Meadowband, a ring of public space and bus-rapid transit routes that separates the marshland from proposed development. "The park and the band protect existing development areas," explained the team. "In order to be worthy of federal investment, it is imperative to use land more intensively. We propose shifting land-use zoning from suburban (single story, freestanding, open-space parking around structure) to more urban."
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Beatrice Galilee Appointed Architecture Curator at the Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced the appointment of Beatrice Galilee, 31, as associate curator of architecture and design. She will work within the department of Modern and Contemporary Art. According to a job posting in The Art Newspaper, the curator will develop collection and research strategies for the department as well as organize collection and special exhibitions, among other duties. Galilee is a writer and curator, most recently of the Lisbon Design Triennial in 2013, called Close, Closer. She was co-curator of the Gwangju design biennale in 2011 and 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. She was previously the architecture editor of Icon magazine, and holds a MSc in the History of Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. Galilee will have a wonderful piece of architecture to work in. The Met is taking over the Marcel Breuer–designed Whitney Museum building uptown to show works from the Modern and Contemporary Art department. “Beatrice Galilee will join the staff of our Department of Modern and Contemporary Art as it expands to embrace a more global program and mandate,” stated Thomas P. Campbell, the Met's director, in a statement. “She brings to the position her strong international experience in the presentation and study of architecture and design-related work. Hers is one of two positions in the department that were endowed recently by Dan and Estrellita Brodsky. Their commitment to modern and contemporary art at the Met has been visionary, anticipating the new opportunities for programming in the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue that will be vacated by the Whitney Museum in 2015 and then occupied by the Met.”
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On View> Metropolitan Museum Presents “Ken Price: A Retrospective” Through September 22
Ken Price’s colorful, sensual ceramic sculptures have always posed the question as to whether they are art or craft. But the blur may also include the architectonic. His signature forms—cups and eggs—set up a tension between exterior and interior. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith has written: "Their forms oscillated between the biomorphic and the geometric, the geological and the architectural." Price’s friend, Frank Gehry, designed the installation of the exhibition, Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through September 22. He lives with Price’s ceramics, his first purchase being a cup festooned with snails. Gehry wrote of Price’s work, "They were like buildings." He cited a cup with a twisted piece at the top, and sees the similarity to his California Aerospace Museum, 1982-84, featuring an airplane jutting out of the structure. "I think the similarity of form was totally unconscious. Now I think a lot of architects must have been looking at those cups…the relationships are amazing." The relationship was probably both ways. The catalogue makes compelling visual analogies between Price’s Untitled (Slate Cup) from 1972-77 with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater; the blocky orange flats perched on yellow sides of Hawaiian from 1980, are compared with cliffside pueblo dwelling (both have small dark cutout “windows” set into rectangles) as well as OMA’s Seattle Public Library. Think of the openings into his sculptural forms, whether small or large, as the mysterious entrance to a darkened, monumental temple. With Price, scale is relative—Price quoted artist Joseph Cornell, whose boxes he admired: “Tiny is the last refuge of the enormous.” Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., through September 22.
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Carry a Piece of the Minneapolis Metrodome Wherever You Go
What's sure to become the ultimate tailgating accessory for Minneapolis Vikings football fans this year has hit the market at the Minnesota State Fair. Thanks to Duluth Pack, makers of bags and tents, the collapsed roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome has been reborn as a duffel and shell bag, appropriately part of the "Domer" collection. The stadium's white fabric dome collapsed in 2010 under the weight of Minneapolis' plentiful snow, the fourth time such an event has occurred. The torn remnants of the roof were put up for sale and businessmen, Jim Cunningham and Tim O’Phelan, picked up the inner of two layers of the roof on a "total whim" for $4,000, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The roof's outer layer was sold to farmers to cover their fields and a small portion went to sports fans looking for a momento. After a few years in storage, the three-acre inner layer of the Teflon-coated fiberglass covering has been cleaned and sliced into panels for the limited edition bags. Cunningham and O'Phelan approached Duluth Pack realizing the material's rugged potential. "You can’t rip it. It’s waterproof. It’s kind of like the materials Duluth Pack uses," O'Phelan told the News Tribune. If you can't make it to the Minnesota State Fair, the bags are also offered for sale online at Duluth Pack's website. Bags range in price from $160 to nearly $500. Minneapolis is currently moving forward with plans for a dramatic new Vikings stadium designed by architecture firm HKS. AN recently sat down for a Q+A with the architect working on the project, Bryan Trubey. [H/T Ballpark Digest.]
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Snøhetta to Design Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Snøhetta has been selected to design the Qasr Al Hukum Downtown Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which will operate as a transfer point between two metro lines and a bus network.  The Norwegian architecture firm's design covers the station with a large stainless steel bowl, distinguishing it from the metropolitan framework, providing shade, and conducting light deep underground with its reflective surface through a central oculus. At night, light from retail shops and the subway platform shimmers across the metal's surface. A garden occupies the center of the main pedestrian circulation area, which includes concourses and escalators that connect the lower platforms to the street. This oasis is an effort to convey the value of natural resources in the country’s desert environment. The station stands prominently above ground with distinct entrances at the center of the bowl and at the Eid Mosque to the southwest. These aspects are connected materially and spatially by palm trees and irrigation channels running toward Mecca. Zaha Hadid is also taking part in the Qasr Al Hukum Downtown Metro Station development and is designing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) metro line. The Riyadh Public Transportation network is the world's largest urban transport program in development.
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On View> Cambodian Rattan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cambodian Rattan The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue New York, NY Through July 7 Sopheap Pich is a contemporary Cambodian painter and sculptor known particularly for his unique rattan and bamboo sculptures. He uses these two culturally meaningful materials to create organically flowing, three-dimensional, open-weave forms. Most of his works emulate the naturally fluid forms of human anatomy and plant life. For example, “Morning Glory,” a mesh sculpture inspired by the blooming vine that served as an important source of nourishment for the Cambodian population during the 1970s, gently slinks across the floor before gracefully opening into a delicate flower. This exhibition features ten of the Cambodian artist’s most important works, which appear to be weightless, but deliver deep and complex statements about culture, faith, nature, the rich, and the sometimes-tragic history of Cambodia.
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Notes from The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness Through Sustainable Urban Design
Covering ground from Sao Paulo to Copenhagen, a set of multi-disciplinary discussions were convened in Washington, DC yesterday by the Brookings Institution and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis, to explore the synergies between urban design, policy, and finance required to realize innovation in the way we construct our environment. The discussions focused on global case studies relative to urban mobility, technology, and environmental adaptation, against the backdrop of global urbanization and climate change. While lessons were gleamed, it was clear that what was needed was "not one urbanism," as Dean Moshen Mostafavi of the Harvard GSD put it, but "Urbanisms," tuned to the "logic" of a given geography, climate, and culture. While existing within larger ecologies that, as Valente Souza of Mexico City asserted, may contain "their own solutions," cites are, as Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution emphasized "complex economic systems" and any sustainable initiatives must address consumer demands. As Alex Washburn, Chief Urban designer for New York City summarized, "all change is driven by desire." Watch videos of the proceedings of "The Innovative Metropolis" on the Brookings Institution website.
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2012 Metro New York CSI Trade Show & Education Day
(Courtesy CSI) The Metropolitan New York Chapter of Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) announces its 2012 Trade Show and Seminar Event. The 2012 Annual Metro New York Chapter, CSI Trade Show and Education Day will explore the ways in which you can contribute to better building. Come learn, share your knowledge, and interact with others who share your quest for doing a better job of designing and constructing buildings.