Search results for "swa"

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Lispenard Line

Introducing Herman Miller’s “street” sofa
Lispenard is Tribeca’s northernmost street, just parallel to and south of Canal Street a short block away. It’s only two blocks in length and the last one in Triburbia (or Tribeca, a neighborhood in transition on the lower west side of Manhattan) to be gentrified with fancy shops and expensive loft residences. It’s one of the few Manhattan streets that long-time cabbies have never heard of, but that is about to change. Not only is the street finally gentrifying, but it now has a line of beautiful furniture named after it. Herman Miller's Lispenard sofa line is designed by architect Neil Logan. The collection by Herman Miller is elegant and contemporary, befitting its Manhattan origins. Emphasizing balance and proportion, the stumpy round legs keep it real—offsetting the sleek, cushioned seating proportions—like the street: funky and a little grody. Looking back, I have lived on the street since the 1970s and have always appreciated the streets: narrow, dirty, and raffish. Images come to mind of the dilapidated marble and weathered brick buildings at Canal Street, so many that drew little attention from most at the time. What we now see as routine storefront and luxury residences, I lament as corroboration of the loss of the former Tribeca. Fortunately though, Miller’s Lispenard sofa line reads to me like a kind of tribute to that bygone era. Swathed in a rough-hewn upholstery, the collection comprises a club chair, three-seat sofa, sectional, and ottoman. I think it would look perfect in my polyurethaned oak floored loft, the place I have called home for nearly five decades. More so, I like to see the series not as an impediment to the character of the neighborhood, but actually as a part of the character of the neighborhood, only in a contemporary context.    
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Hot Dog

Public Art Fund announces three solo, mobile summer commissions
Public Art Fund has announced a series of projects to be on view this summer across New York City. First to be unveiled on June 9 will be Austrian artist Erwin Wurm’s Hot Dog Bus, an overstuffed converted Volkswagen Microbus that will distributing free hot dogs at multiple Brooklyn Bridge Park locations. Hot Dog Bus uses the visual language of Wurm’s Fat Car series and adapts the concept behind his 2015 Curry Bus, presented during his solo show at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, to serve one of New York’s defining street foods. The project continues Wurm’s interest in eliding the notions of “viewer” and “participant” by creating sculpture that invite action and involvement. Another mobile and participatory installation, Tauba Auerbach’s Flow Separation, will follow Wurm’s on July 1. Inspired by the angular and energetic “dazzle” camouflage used on ships in World War I and culling upon her experience as a sign painter, Auerbach will redesign the exterior of the historic fireboat the John J. Harvey with abstract patterns inspired by experiments with fluid dynamics. The boat will be anchored at various points around the harbor and will even offer free public trips onboard. The project was co-commissioned with 14–18 NOW, a British arts organization working to commemorate the centenary of WWI. The final project to be unveiled this summer will be B. Wurtz’s Kitchen Trees, opening on August 7th. Wurtz has devised “trees” of common kitchen products growing to as much as 18 feet high and 12 feet wide, designed to respond to the specific environment of City Hall Park. The whimsical sculptures not only play with the sense of value in art by leveraging everyday objects, but also highlight Wurtz’s concern with recycling and reuse. Kitchen Trees will be Wurtz’s first public commission.
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Solid Works

Luhring Augustine’s sculpture survey celebrates a half-century of the form
Spread across Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea and Bushwick locations, Sculpture explores its namesake form with work from 17 artists—living and dead—made over the past six decades. Given that sculpture already shares a fuzzy boundary with other spatial practices, the exhibition unsurprisingly features a number of artists working explicitly with architecture and the built environment. Perhaps the most well-known artist who deals with architecture and one of the biggest living names in the exhibition is British artist and Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread, famous (or infamous, depending who you ask) for her three-story sculpture, House (1993). Whiteread has two pieces on display in Sculpture. In Bushwick, there is the ghostly cast plaster and polystyrene work Untitled (Double) (1998). The long, monumental prism is simultaneously unitary—a single long form—and an identical pair, defined by deep symmetrical grooves. A visual paradox, it uncannily uncouples precisely through its coupling. Untitled (Double) continues Whiteread’s use of casting and molds to trouble the binaries of absence and presence and constructed and negative space, exploring the entanglement of memory and built worlds. In Chelsea, Whiteread’s Untitled (Amber Floor) (1993) is on display. The rubber slab is nearly eight feet long, invading the viewer’s space while its small fold crawls up the wall, calling attention to the gallery’s form as a whole. It forces one to notice the unnoticed—the very floor they are standing upon. Complementing Whiteread’s work in Bushwick is a sculpture by Los Angeles-based Oscar Tuazon, who the gallery will be presenting in a solo show at its Chelsea location beginning April 28th. Though primarily self-identifying as a sculptor, Tuazon occupies a space between artist, architect, and activist. He creates sculptural work, installations, and public sites that are constantly in flux, their maintenance and use thus becoming part of their artistic production. Tuazon’s contribution, Condenser (Venta Contracta) (2015), is a tilted pyramid of concrete and fiberglass tubes that reconfigure the familiar, if often hidden, forms of urban infrastructure. Like Whiteread, German artist Reinhard Mucha explores the intersection of memory and the built world, often simultaneously recalling personal and political meanings.The diptych Untitled (“Pearl Paint” New York West Side Highway 1977) (1998) (displayed in Chelsea) and the two-part “ensemble” of works Before the Wall Came Down (2008) and Lennep (2009) (on view in Bushwick) are bricolages of found materials, enamel, oil paint, readymade objects such as stools and rulers, and images which memorialize the artist’s own collaborative urban interventions. The work in Sculpture takes many scales and styles. Some are decidedly smaller, such as the mononymous artist Zarina’s wall-mounted sculpture Memory of Bangkok (1980–2011) which exhibits an architectural interest rendered with a printmaker’s sensibility. Glenn Ligon takes language itself as his material, while some artists like Cady Noland and Tunga rely on everyday objects—construction barriers, oversized lamps, vases, beer cans—in their work. The show has nearly too many artists to mention, as Simone Leigh, Janine Antoni, Tom Friedman, Roger Hiorns, Steve Wolfe, Phillip King, Jeremy Moon, Martin Kippenberger, Pipilotti Rist, and Christopher Wool are all also featured in the two-gallery, two-burrough exhibition. Not only expansive in its roster, Sculpture displays work produced over a wide swath of time (Phillip King’s Ripple was originally produced in 1963 and Jeremy Moon’s Untitled is from 1964 while Simone Leigh’s Opuwo is from this year). Despite (or, perhaps, precisely because of) the range in dates of the objects’ creations, Sculpture makes no attempt at organizing a clear trajectory or historical narrative. However, many of the artists are represented by Luhring Augustine or have shown with the gallery before, suggesting that the exhibition is a self-portrait of the gallery of sorts. In this way, we perhaps can see Sculpture as a look at the gallery’s history rather than at the history of a form. Even still, with its wide-reaching constellation of work, Sculpture highlights the plurality of materials, means, and motivations behind sculptural practice of the past six decades. Sculpture Luhring Augustine 531 West 24th Street, New York, NY and 25 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY On view in Chealsea until April 14 and in Bushwick until May 5
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Frick Yeah

Frick Collection reveals expansion by Selldorf Architects

Today the Frick Collection released a new set of renovation designs by Selldorf Architects that will increase the museum's square footage by ten percent.

The Upper East Side institution faced stiff opposition for the redesign scheme it unveiled in 2015, with critics condemning a six-story building by Davis Brody Bond that would have supplanted the museum's garden on East 70th Street. The new plans preserve the garden, while adding 27,000 square feet of space within the Frick's home, a 1914 Gilded Age mansion designed by Carrère and Hastings.

Instead of looming over the greenery, some of that new space will be underground. The institution is building a 220-seat auditorium under the garden, which was designed by Russell Page, one of the last century's most renowned landscape architects. In concert with the additions, New York garden designer Lynden B. Miller is redoing the greensward to honor Page's original design intent.

Above the ground plane, the tallest addition will sprout in two stories from the building's music room, while the lobby won't rise more than five feet above where it sits now. Another building behind the seven-story library will top out at the library's height. Collectively, these additions should preserve more expansive sightlines into the garden, and add much-needed room for the Frick's growing collection.

“The Frick has always been one of my favorite museums because you get up close to the art and you can respond to the domestic spaces in your own way,” firm principal Annabelle Selldorf told the New York Times. “You’ll be able to come to the museum and do the exact same thing you do today, except that you’ll be able to go up the stairs and see these rooms.”

The museum selected Selldorf Architects to lead the project in December 2016 after a string of failed expansion attempts.

Selldorf is using contextual materials like Indiana limestone to integrate the 27,000 square feet of new programming, exhibition, and reception space into the Frick's existing 60,000 square feet. Her New York firm is removing a circular stair in the reception area, and moving the gift shop up a floor to open up the reception area and improve circulation between the first, second, and lower levels. New York's Beyer Blinder Belle is the executive architect on the project.

If all goes according to plan, construction is expected to begin in 2020, at a cost of $160 million.
Correction 4/4/18: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the 27,000 square feet will increase the Frick's footprint by ten percent, not 50.
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Suburban Palette

Artist Cj Hendry makes it all about the art in a monochrome-hued house
Australian-born artist Cj Hendry has dropped a full-sized house inside of a 22,000-square-foot warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as part of a new solo exhibition that probes the relationship between art and interior design. MONOCHROME will run from April 5 through 8, and features seven different rooms, each painted in single color palettes in deference to the art hanging in each. MONOCHROME, Hendry's fifth solo exhibition, is a departure for an artist known for her hyperrealistic black-and-white pen drawings of pop and kitsch items. The show centers around a series of crumpled Pantone swatch painting in each room of a 10,000-square-foot house, from which the surrounding environment draws its singular color scheme. Seven rooms throughout the exhibition, each playing off of a typical housing typology, have each been painted in their own bold color. The kitchen is green, the bedroom is fully yellow, a bathroom has been rendered in purple, the lounge in blue, the office in orange, the dining room in red, and a woman’s bedroom in pink. “People generally buy art as the last item, they find art to match their home,” said Hendry in a statement sent to AN. “I have become close with my collectors over the years and have noticed how differently they live their lives. Art is the first thing they add to a space and they design their entire home around their collection. I have taken this concept to an extreme level. Each room has been designed to emulate the art on the wall. The art is the focus, everything matches the art.” Hendry added that the drawings of crumpled color cards and resultant painting of each room was meant to give color itself a “physicality”. The interplay between familiar forms and unconventional color–an Eames Lounge Chair painted orange, yellow blue jeans–lends the items within a heightened air of artificiality. Monochrome will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. at 276 Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint from April 5 through April 8.
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State of the State

NY state budget declares Penn Station area an “unreasonable” public risk, and other shakeups
After a tumultuous series of negotiations over New York State’s 2018-19 budget that came down to the wire, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a finalized $168 billion bill late last Friday. While a congestion pricing plan and the removal of density caps for NYC residential developments failed to pass, sweeping changes that could preclude a state seizure of the Penn Station area have made it through. The finalized budget provides a bevy of changes and funding initiatives that will affect New York-based architects and planners. In a move to stabilize city’s deteriorating subway system, $836 million was authorized for the MTA’s Subway Action Plan–with the requirement that the city government would have to foot half of the bill. As AN has previously reported, the money would go towards stabilizing the subway system by beefing up track work, replacing 1,300 troublesome signals, tracking leaks, and initiating a public awareness campaign to reduce littering. At the time of writing, the de Blasio administration which has repeatedly claimed that the city already pays more than its fair share, has agreed to contribute their $418 million portion. Congestion pricing, proposed by Governor Cuomo’s own transportation panel, failed to make it into the final legislation. The plan would both reduce traffic on Manhattan’s streets and could potentially raise up to $1.5 billion for subway repairs, but couldn’t muster enough support to pass. Instead, a surcharge on for-hire cars will be enacted below 96th Street in Manhattan; $2.75 for for-hire cars, $2.50 for yellow cabs, and $0.75 for every pooled trip. The terminally underfunded New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will also be getting a boost, as Cuomo has pledged $250 million for repairs across the agency’s housing stock. However, the boost is somewhat undercut by the federal government’s recent decision to restrict NYCHA’s access to federal funds as a result of the lead paint scandal rattling the agency. To save time and money, the budget has implemented design-build practices–where the designer and contractor operate as one streamlined team–for future NYCHA projects, the forthcoming Rikers Island transformation, and the delayed Brooklyn-Queens Expressway restoration. While one controversial plan to remove Floor Area Ratio caps in future New York City residential developments didn’t make it into the final draft, another even more contentious proposal did. According to language in the final budget, the area around Penn Station has been deemed an “unreasonable risk to the public". This formal declaration could be used in future negotiations between the state and Madison Square Garden as leverage, or even as a pretext for eventually seizing the area via eminent domain. The budget, which the New York Times described as a broadside against Mayor de Blasio, ultimately exerts greater state intervention across a swath of local issues, from education to urban planning. More information on the final 2018-19 budget can be found here.
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Smash the Patriarchy

How the “Shitty Architecture Men” list can address abuse in architecture
How "The List" works  Thanks to the #MeToo movement and the Shitty Architecture Men list, many survivors of harassment and assault in the architecture industry will, for the first time, experience the sense that they are believed and validated. They can recognize that the abuse of power follows recognizable patterns, and is neither unique nor deserved. While discrete "whisper networks" in the field have long helped people avoid or confront misconduct, now people can find each other and realize they are not alone. For many on the receiving end of intimidation, bias, assault, and harassment in architecture, the scope of what has been revealed is old news. But some people have told me that it has already deepened their understanding of the systematic nature and urgency of the problem. As a compendium of case studies identifying specific behaviors as misconduct, the list rejects the normalization of bullying, coercion, and abuse of power as standard architecture culture. By describing a wide range of behavior beyond clear-cut instances of sexual harassment and assault alone, the list also signals how institutions and workplaces can respond to the full spectrum of issues. For example, a university administration’s acceptance of one professor’s casual bullying and racism might predict a tendency to dismiss complaints about sexual harassment and assault. The experiences shared on the list also reveal how some benefit from the current culture, while others are constantly doing the work of avoiding, processing, recovering from, or confronting misconduct. These dynamics play out unequally along gender, race, class, and disability lines, all of which constitute a profound burden on those who bear the brunt of impact. That labor is layered on top of all of the other work that comprises being an architect. The list’s impact is immeasurable; it might alter where someone decides to study (and invest their money) or work (whom they allow to benefit from their labor). Ideally, harassment and abuse will diminish, and it will become typical to practice active consent and foster environments of mutual respect so we can all equally focus on design.   So you are on the list...  For those who find themselves named on the list, or who are not named but recognize therein behaviors they have enacted or defended, there are many resources to support one’s accountability and transformation. Cooper's 6 Levels identifies a spectrum of harassing behavior. The Predator Within shares the account of someone who reins in predatory tendencies by intentionally declining positions of authority over his target population. So You've Sexually Harassed or Abused Someone: What Now? provides a step-by-step accountability plan that applies to many situations not only sexual harassment and abuse, but other types of harm. Before taking any action, activating your PR defense, or beseeching the moderators to remove your name, take the time to steep yourself in the fact that you are on the list. You are on it because you have harmed someone so deeply that they are compelled to warn others about you. Your inclusion means that someone doesn't trust you enough to confront you directly. Acknowledge all of the feelings that arisefear, guilt, indignation, griefbefore you do anything else.   Some of you must admit that you are unfit to hold power over the populations you target for harassment and abuse. This includes those who have not harassed or abused anyone outright, but who protected or minimized such behavior. Some of you must resign from your positions, and transfer authority and decision-making powers to others. Return your awards and honors. Decline your funding so others can benefit from it. Move out of the way. You must pay your debts. Apology is not enough. Ijeoma Oluo’s So You've Sexually Harassed or Abused Someone: What Now? discusses the toll of misconduct in terms of lost resources. Multiple contributions to the list describe faculty and administrators who undermined their students’ education through sexist and racist harassment, bullying, intimidation, and assaultor who allowed perpetrators to continue unimpeded. This is, in effect, a theft of their tuition. The list also describes many types of workplace harassment. If your colleague takes a sick day to seek medical attention after you assault her, then you've stolen hours from her employer and you’ve stolen her pay while making her appear less dedicated to the work compared to you. If he avoids spaces where you might be present after you bully or harass him, you are depriving him of vital networks. In the long run, you have activated trauma, leading to depression and anxiety, which can lower capacity and cause many other distressing effects. All of this can accrue into a lifetime of suppressed wages and promotion denials, in addition to medical and therapy bills, on top of the immeasurable impact of the psychological and physical harm. This is how to calculate the cost of your misconduct. The personal, professional, and financial burden of recovering from harassment and assault typically falls upon survivors. To reverse this pattern, actual cash reparations from aggressors, institutions or workplaces will materially restore some of what was nonconsensually taken. Make student loan payments for the student you assaulted or bullied, commensurate with the tuition for the class or degree in which your misconduct foreclosed their opportunities. Pay the medical and therapy bills of the colleague you harassed. Do this without expecting forgiveness, or forcing any interaction beyond the barest logistical minimum. Money cannot undo trauma, but it can eliminate some stressors that compound it. What everyone (especially bosses, clients, and institutions) can do:  Many have been saying, “The culture must change,” but what does that actually mean? It means that the institutional conditions that encourage aggressors to flourish need to be eliminated. It means that we must all share the work of confronting harassment and assault, whether on the spot or over the long term. It means we cannot address sexual harassment and gender disparity as if they exist in a vacuum — we must simultaneously confront racism, classism, and other forms of systemic oppression that make architecture a source of displacement and exclusion. Changing the culture means fostering an environment where openness and support are normalized. Supervisors and administrators should open dialogue with people who seem to be struggling, rather than penalizing them. Offer to revisit workloads and move deadlines so impacted people don’t have to ask. State upfront that if someone must leave due to personal circumstances, they can still reach out for introductions and references. Offer to serve as a reference for a colleague who was unfairly fired, or a student who drops a class due to harassment or similar misconduct. Allocate funds for survivors who drop classes or take time off work due to violence and assault. Model asking for support, to normalize such behavior. All of us (especially those who are disadvantaged in a power dynamic) should be able to approach a colleague or supervisor with a problem, and trust it will be taken seriously and addressed promptly without risking one’s livelihood. Changing the culture means devoting time and resources to designing actionable processes. People who have been impacted by bullying, harassment and assault should know what steps they can take and what resources are available to have the time to recover individually. And cultural recovery requires that those who perpetrated sexual misconduct or other kinds of violence must also have restorative processes available to them. Accountability processes cannot continue a carceral culture of “throwing transgressors away.” Instead, they must focus on fostering transformation. Otherwise we risk simply moving the problem to another school or workplace. These are just some suggestions and ideas. Much more can be done, and architects, who address complex issues in their work, are more than capable of orienting themselves to the task of cutting out their own “shitty” behavior. You teach in the world’s most elite institutions. You figured out how to construct unprecedented skyscrapers. You master-planned entire swaths of major cities. You can figure this out. S. Surface is a Seattle-based curator of art, architecture and design. ​
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Cribs: Kitchen Edition

What’s in chef Wylie Dufresne’s kitchen?
Formerly of wd~50 and Alder, Chef Wylie Dufresne, once cooked with scientists and served Lou Reed. These days he is making doughnuts in unexpected flavors at his newest culinary outpost, Du's Donuts & Coffee, and admiring the recently remodeled kitchen of his boyhood Manhattan apartment. AN spoke to Dufresne about how he created his ideal home kitchen. The Architect’s Newspaper: As a chef, how did you want to remodel your home kitchen? Chef Wylie Dufresne: As a professional chef and as a father, I had a lot of decisions to make when planning the renovation of my childhood apartment in NYC for my own family’s needs. You’re well-accustomed to appliances, surfaces, and cook areas; what was most important for you to include in the renovation? I decided to feature stainless-steel countertops, rich wood accents, and True Residential appliances. Since so much about functionality of a kitchen is tied to movement within it, I decided to utilize my island not just as a worktop, but also as a home for my True Dual Zone Wine Cabinet (which my wife and I love). The main event of the kitchen is, of course, the True 42-inch side-by-side refrigerator, which offers hygienic and attractive stainless-steel interiors, incredibly sturdy drawers, and the true commercial strength that I rely on at work and now in my home! Here are six of Dufresne’s picks from his personal and professional kitchen: Flint Gold 30 Inch Bar Stool CB2 Not your typical science room stools! Featuring a gold powder coated satin finish, this factory-inspired alternative is handcrafted from steel. Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer KitchenAid With 10 speeds, this Googie-looking mixer whips, mixes, and kneads with brawn and beauty. There are 10 tool attachments, including a grinder and pasta maker. As a nod to the era it spawned from, it is available in countless Populuxe colorways. Full Size 42-Inch Refrigerator True Swathed in silvery stainless steel, this refrigerator chills and stores a chef-sized assortment of provisions. It can accommodate any cook with adaptable shelves, drawers, and baskets illuminated by ramp-up lighting. Meurice Rectangle Chandelier Johnathan Adler Inspired by bamboo, the Maurice Chandelier is outfitted with 42 candelabra bulbs attached to both ends of each reed. It is offered in nickel, bronze, and brass. Round Dutch Oven Le Creuset This cast-iron Dutch oven is enameled with the same technique developed by Le Creuset at the turn of the 20th century. The colorful exterior is notoriously chip and crack resistant. Meanwhile, the dome-shaped lid creates continuous heat and moisture circulation. Dual Zone Wine Cabinet True It’s wine-o-clock somewhere! This dual-zone wine storage system features independent climate zones that separate temperature ranges from 40 to 65 degrees between glide-out, vibration dampening racks.
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Jerome Avenue

City Council approves major Bronx rezoning
The New York City Council has approved a major rezoning of the Bronx’s Jerome Avenue, a vital thoroughfare in the East Bronx that’s lined with auto body shops and crowned by the elevated 4 and 5 trains. The rezoning has been in the works since 2016 and is the first in the Bronx under Mayor Bill de Blasio. The 92-block-long rezoning of the North-South street is meant to encourage the construction of up to 4,600 new housing units in the area, 1,150 of which will fall under the city’s affordable housing programs. The city will subsidize new construction, because it says rents in the area are too low to lure market-rate developments. The rezoning unanimously passed votes by both the City Planning Commission in January and the City Council’s Land Use and Zoning and Franchises Subcommittees in March, and was again unanimously approved by the City Council yesterday. The basic outline of the rezoning follows that of East Harlem, which passed in December of last year; the city had initially wanted to rezone the major commercial spine of the Bronx to allow for the densest development possible under the zoning code (R7, R8, R9). Opponents who felt that the rezoning would displace local businesses and drive up rent costs throughout the area were opposed, as was Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who negotiated with the de Blasio administration to preserve more than 2,000 units of affordable housing. As part of the new conditions of the final deal, the city will include $189 million for improving the area’s parks and streetscapes, including pedestrian safety upgrades and lighting, cameras and crosswalks under the elevated subway tracks. The construction of two 458-seat elementary schools are also part of the package, as is an anti-harassment bill–to prevent landlords from pushing out tenants–and a $1.5 million grant for retraining and relocating displaced businesses. The Bronx rezoning, the fifth of 15 planned neighborhood rezonings under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, follows those in East New York, Far Rockaway, Midtown East, and East Harlem.
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Drone Dramas

Cyprien Gaillard’s 3-D “Nightlife” offers mesmerizing look at cities and their histories of resistance
Marcel Duchamp Prize-winning artist Cyprien Gaillard’s film Nightlife (2015), currently on view for the first time in the United States at Gladstone Gallery in New York, is a portrait of the living city. Gaillard, who was born in Paris and lives and works between New York and Berlin, practices across media, including photo, film, and sculpture. He is known for his meditations on memory, history, and failure—including work on the legacy and present of modern architecture. His latest film, Nightlife, was filmed with advanced imaging techniques and drones, and the camera flows and glides between close-up, abstract shots to floating arial views with ease. Upon entering the gallery, a nautilus shell in a recessed light box mounted in a black wall marks the entrance to the screening area. Viewers are offered 3-D glasses, which enhance the hallucinatory, ecstatic nature of the piece. Though comprising seemingly abstract shots—swaying trees, fireworks, city streets, aerial views of buildings, all, of course, shot at night—the film is deeply allegorical, telling a complex history of revolution and resistance through objects, plants, and buildings that live and breathe as characters. Presented without caption or narration, the film advances in what might be described as four acts through Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Berlin, coming full circle in Cleveland again. The film opens on an almost indiscernible closeup of a plant before moving on to Rodin’s The Thinker, outside the Cleveland Museum of Art. The spinning camera revels in the sculpture’s apparent decay, the result of a 1970 bombing by the radical left-wing organization the Weather Underground. Nightlife then advances to Los Angeles, where it depicts dancing, rioting trees on the streets of the city—primarily the Hollywood Juniper, a non-native species that has been a recurring motif in Gaillard’s work. Shored up against the architectural forms, the trees not only trouble the boundaries of natural and artificial, but also evoke notions of indigeneity, migration, and belonging. The trees' movements might also be read more explicitly as a reference to the so-called L.A. riots of 1992 and to other forms of civil action and resistance. Though arguably all of Nightlife depicts the city as protagonist, the most explicitly architectural moment is the third act, which features the Berlin Olympiastadion. Built for the 1936 Olympics, the stadium served as a monument to the Third Reich. It now functions as a space for a variety of events, including an annual fireworks competition, the Pyronale, which is displayed in the film in explosive technicolor. The film returns to Cleveland, landing on American runner Jesse Owens's Olympic oak tree planted at the Ford Rhodes High School. Owens, whose four gold medal wins as a black athlete at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany flew in the face the Third Reich’s extensive racist propaganda campaign, was awarded an oak sapling for each of his gold medals (the oak tree serves as a symbol of Germany). In lieu of the sound of its settings, the film loops a sample of Alton Ellis's Blackman's Word (1969) throughout, its repetition pulling the viewer into Nightlife’s self-contained world even more completely and unifying the disparate scenes. (Originally featuring the refrain “I was born a loser,” it was re-recorded in 1971 as “I was born a winner.” Critically, both versions feature in the film.) Not merely a vibrant portrait of cities at night, Nightlife traces the residue of history left on the landscape—be it "natural" or built. Nightlife originally appeared at Sprüth Magers in Berlin and is on view at Gladstone Gallery through April 14th. Cyprien Gaillard: Nightlife Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street,New York, NY Through April 14th
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Über Bad

Uber self-driving car fatally strikes Arizona pedestrian
A self-driving car has killed a pedestrian in Arizona, a grim first in the field of autonomous vehicles.

The car, which was operated by Uber and staffed by a human driver, was motoring through the city of Tempe when it struck a woman on foot. The New York Times reported that the woman was crossing the street but not at a crosswalk late Sunday night or early Monday morning. The woman's identity was not revealed.

Uber has suspended self-driving vehicles on public roads in Tempe and three other cities—Toronto, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh—where it was testing its autonomous vehicles.

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Second City Assembly

A modular apartment factory is set to touch down in Chicago
Chicago-based general contractors Skender are getting into the modular manufacturing game, with an announcement that they will be building a factory on Chicago’s southwest side that can crank out hotel rooms and entire apartments. Skender is going all in on the new factory and modular fabrication startup, which they claim will put 100 people to work (an impressive number, as Skender only has 300 employees), and is using the opportunity to shift towards a design-build model. The company has bought out local firm Ingenious Architecture and will use the 10-person studio to guide the design and manufacturing of the modular units. Tim Swanson, formerly the head of CannonDesign’s Chicago office, will be joining as Skender’s chief design officer, Kevin Bredeson has been named the chief technology officer, and the company is hunting for a CEO to lead its factory. The move represents a huge expansion in scope for Skender, which has also changed its name from Skender Construction as part of the new direction the company is pursuing. “We are asking new questions,” said Skender President and Partner Justin Brown in a statement. “Why can’t we apply sophisticated design principles to modular manufacturing? How can we eliminate weather delays by bringing large parts of the process indoors? How can we significantly boost productivity without sacrificing quality?” Skender is expecting to roll full apartments, hotel rooms, and pieces of both multi-family residences and healthcare buildings off its new assembly line. Everything can be fabricated at the factory by tradespeople, from cabinets to light fixtures to units that have been pre-wired and set up for plumbing, then shipped to the potential construction site and unloaded via crane. Besides being able to construct modular buildings from the ground up (similar to New York’s Carmel Place), Skender plans to use the factory to work on both the interior and exteriors of its projects simultaneously, and standardize production. To say that modular architecture has had its ups and downs in recent years would be an understatement. While the world’s largest modular hotel, the Stephen B. Jacobs Group-designed CitizenM, is nearly complete in New York, the industry is still smarting from the bruising battle it took to complete 461 Dean Street in Brooklyn. The Pacific Park tower eventually became the world's tallest modular building, but was mired in lawsuits between Skanska and developer Forest City Ratner until the latter cut their losses and sold their modular manufacturing factory to architect Roger Krulak and his company, FullStack Modular. It remains to be seen if Skender can make the model work for them, but their smaller scope should help. If all goes as planned, Skender expects to pick a site for the factory in the coming months and to begin production in the fourth quarter of this year.