It’s rare that underused structures in Los Angeles get a second chance at life, with most developers opting for the wrecking ball instead of an innovative redesign. In the case of an underused public terrace at the Max Factor Building at Cedars Sinai, Ball-Nogues Studio (who spoke to Archinect about this design at the Arroyo Seco Festival) has transformed the space into a destination spot with their signature blend of eye-catching aesthetics and nuanced materialism in the form of the “Healing Pavilion.”
Ball-Nogues Studio has been playfully enhancing Los Angeles for over a decade with a variety of engrossing, yet contextually appropriate, installations. There’s the pendulous group of steel balls called “Cradle” that’s suspended from the revamped mall on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade, or “Corner Glory,” a vibrant conceptual halo of mirror polished stainless steel and spikes on an apartment building on Santa Monica Bouelvard and La Brea Avenue. Regardless of its locale, each Ball-Nogues installation manages to visually enliven its surroundings without overwhelming them.
Ball-Nogues Studio is hiring!
Healing Pavilion. Image: Sibylle Allgaeir
The Studio’s installation at Cedars Sinai, known as the “Healing Pavilion,” works both to draw attention to the space while distracting visitors from thoughts of illness. In this way, it functions as an ingenious take on public space; although visitors can inhabit the structure alone, the idea is not to privatize the experience of dealing with difficult times, but rather to transform them into something of shared aesthetic worth and value.
When asked if the studio was excited by the idea by taking an underused public space and transforming it into a vibrant and creative site, Benjamin Ball said, “We were definitely excited about the prospect of helping to transform the space and while it was indeed underutilized and an opportunity waiting to be fulfilled, we were primarily drawn to the project by the prospect of making a place for that contributes, in its own small way, to the process of healing. This was a new framework to put around our process and, consequently, it changed how we saw the work. In collaborating with AHBE and the client we were working together to make a place that can, if only for a moment, take one’s mind away from the stress that accompanies illness.”
Cradle. Image: Monica Nouwens
The structure is composed of 352 two-inch diameter mild steel tubes that, according to the architects, “has no hierarchy in a traditional sense. There are no extraneous elements.” The tubes were bent using Ball-Nogues specially calibrated rolling system, which is controlled by a computer. The installation process for the work was also a study in creative logistics. As the architects explain, “Flanked by hospital towers on three sides, the sensitive location demanded that no field welding or finishing could occur on-site. The project had to be completed within seven months, installed in a single day, require no routine maintenance, and meet seismic, wind load, and ADA requirements. In order to address ventilation and noise concerns, the Pavilion was fabricated and finished in its entirety offsite. Overall dimensions of the form were kept within the size specifications needed to qualify as an oversize load for transport. The piece was driven as a singular object via flat bed truck over city streets to the site and then craned into place.”
The resulting structure constantly reacts to its environment
By virute of its numerous tubes, overlapping segments, and overall shape that appears narrow from one vantage point and thick and bulky from another, the resulting structure constantly reacts to its environment. During the day, elaborate networks of shadows form on the sidewalks, while at night the light from illuminated benches and walkways interacts with the steel to produce fascinating, quasi-illusory forms. It’s a perfect setting to inspire the imagination of an exhausted loved one who needs rejuvenation after a grueling day of dealing with illness.
In concert with ABHE Landscape Architects, who added a series of gardens to the redesigned terrace, Ball-Nogues’ work on “Healing Pavilion” has revived this exterior section of the hospital, creating not only a dazzling distraction, but a likely new landmark.
Construction has begun on Penn Station’s fast-tracked Moynihan Train Hall project has begun, announced New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press conference.
Located within the existing James A. Farley Building (across from the existing Penn Station entrance), the new 255,000-square-foot Train Hall will serve as a new concourse for Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers, while an additional 700,000-square-feet will be dedicated to commercial, retail and dining spaces.
“For decades, passengers were promised a world-class train hall worthy of New York – today, we are delivering on that promise and turning that dream into a reality,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are transforming the Farley Post Office into a state-of-the-art transit hub to get travelers where they need to go faster and more comfortably. With better access to trains and subways, vibrant retail and business opportunities and stunning architectural design, we are bringing Penn Station into the 21st century.”
Designed by SOM, the renovation will feature a new 92-foot-tall skylight located within the center of the Beaux Arts building (designed by McKim, Mead and White). The train hall will service nine platforms with 17 tracks. New renderings released with the announcement show the connection between the above- and below-ground areas, as well as a look how the building will look from the street.
While demolition and preparatory work on the project began in September of last year, construction will now begin full speed ahead on the $1.6 billion project, with a completion date targeted for 2020.
According to the 2017 report, cities that score best “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”
The average livability score worldwide fell from 76.1 percent in 2007 to 74.8 percent this year because of economic and political risks, the report said.
“European cities have been dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks, increased unease towards Brexit, and there is still a degree of unease towardsmigrant crisis,” Stefano Scuratti, EIU consulting principal, told CNBC.
Two cities with high-profile terrorist attacked that dropped were Manchester in Britain to 51 and Stockholm, Sweden, to 26.
Sydney, Australia, dropped from seventh to 10th amid growing concerns over possible terror attacks.”
Iceland’s Reykjavik moved up from 50 to 37 from a rise in tourism as well as redevelopment. Amsterdam, which has had declining crime rates in recent years, moved up to 18th.
“Many of the challenges to livability have not gone away, terror attacks have continued and geopolitical posturing has created further international uncertainty,” Jon Copestake, editor of the survey, said to CNN. “Perhaps a turning point has been reached but livability levels remain low by historical standards.”
Melbourne, which broke Vancouver’s record of being No. 1 for six years, scored a perfect 100 in healthcare, education and infrastructure, and 95.1 for culture and environment and 95 for stability.
“The world record is an amazing feat that all Melburnians should be extremely proud of today,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said to theHerald Sun. “The EIU measures factors that make cities great places to live and again we achieved outstanding results in the areas of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.”
Doyle said every city in the world has problems.
“That doesn’t mean we are a perfect city by any means … I would hope that a city like ours would keep a focus on those who are most vulnerable, those who are worried about housing affordability, young people trying to get into education or a job, those who are vulnerable and homeless,” he said.
The world’s least livable cities were the Syrian capital Damascus in last place followed by Lagos in Nigeria, Tripoli in Libya and the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
Abu Dhabi-based Brazilian designer and artist Fábio Araujo has a fascination with abandoned places – the mystery of where the man made clashes with the natural to create unique colors, textures and compositions.
These places are the subject of his series, aptly titled “Abandoned Places,” in which he uses a series of digital manipulations to create small islands floating within and contrasting with their clean, solid backgrounds.
Other works by Araujo include “Favela,” where the Brazilian housing typology has been reimagined as located within the sky, and miniature models of scenes and buildings including the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.
“I create pieces that are related to something I like that I visited or that I’m curious about,” explains Araujo on choosing his subject matter. “I’m a Designer but fascinated by abandoned buildings and places; these places always have some history behind old walls. I like the colors of rust and nature taking care of the place. There is a mystery in abandoned places that attracts me.”
Gunārs Birkerts, the prolific Latvian-American architect best known for designing the “Castle of Light”—the world’s largest library in Riga, Latvia—has died aged 92. The National Library, which was first conceived in 1988 and officially opened in 2014, has become among the most significant, and controversial, contemporary public buildings in Latvia.
Throughout his career, Birkerts completed a number of large-scale projects including the Corning Museum of Glass and the Corning Fire Station in Corning, New York; Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Embassy of the United States in Caracas, Venezuela.
Born on January 7, 1925, Birkerts studied at Riga Gymnasium before fleeing Latvia in 1943, from which he would later commence studies at Stuttgart Technical College. In 1949 he moved to the USA and was subsequently based in Detroit. Birkerts spent time in the offices of Perkins and Will, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki. He later maintained a practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Visdziļākā līdzjūtība Gunāra Birkerta tuviniekiem, no leģendārā arhitekta atvadoties!
The Design Museum in London has announced the shortlist projects in the running for the 2017 edition of their prestigious Beazley Design of the Year award. Now in its tenth year, the award was established to “celebrate design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”
This year, a total of 62 projects have been nominated across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport – including 13 projects from the Architecture category. A winner from each category and the overall winner will be announced on January 25, 2018. Previous winners of the architecture category include: IKEA’s Better Shelter last year (also the overall winner),Alejandro Aravena’s UC Innovation Center in 2015, and Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Center(overall winner in 2014).
The Plugin House is built with a proprietary building renovation system developed as a result of the challenging context of Beijing hutong areas. The price of real estate in central Beijing makes owning a house difficult for many. However, the Plugin House costs 30 times less than a typical apartment. Plugin replaces part of a previously existing dwelling and adds new functions. These prefabricated modules incorporate insulation, interior and exterior finish into one moulded part.
Warka Water / Arturo Vittori
Warka Water is a vertical structure designed to harvest potable water from the atmosphere (it collects rain, harvests fog and dew). It relies only on gravity, condensation and evaporation and doesn’t require any electrical power. At a time when a quarter of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water, Warka Water tower is designed to harvest drinkable water from the atmosphere.
Hegnhuset Memorial and Learning Center / Blakstad Haffner Architects
Response to Norwegian terrorist attacks of 2011 that struck the island of Utøya, where 69 people – mostly teenagers – were murdered in one of two politically motivated attacks by far-right terrorist. The cafe building where 13 people tragically lost their lives during the attack has been enshrined within a new learning centre. The architect’s response was to preserve one section of the cabin-like building – the rooms directly affected during the massacre – but to completely enclose it within a new pine structure. The outer layer is made up of 495 wooden slats, one for every person on the island that survived the attack, while the glazed inside layer is framed by 69 columns that pay tribute to every fatality
Wind and Rain Bridge draws on the long tradition of wooden buildings in the region. Peitian is one of a number of isolated rural villages distributed throughout the mountainous regions of southern China, which, following severe flooding in early 2014 saw much of the infrastructure linking its disparate communities destroyed. This project aims to reconnect Peitian villages to the historic network of routes that link these isolated settlements.
The museum was inaugurated by President Obama in September 2016 and is a long-awaited symbol for the African American contribution to the nation’s history and identity. The museum houses galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space. Sir David Adjaye’s approach created a meaningful relationship to this unique site as well as a strong conceptual resonance with America’s longstanding African heritage. The 313,000-square-foot building comprises a three-tiered structure covered in bronze plates. Designed to shade the glazed facades behind, the filigree cladding is patterned to reference the history of African American craftsmanship.
Sala Beckett Theatre and International Drama Centre / Flores & Prats
The project is a renovation and extension of the former worker’s club “Pau i Justícia”, deeply rooted in the memory of the Barcelona neighbourhood Poblenou, a space where long ago neighbours had celebrated marriages, first communions and parties, which was then abandoned for many years. The new building maintained the spatial characteristics of the original building while also expanding and adapting the space to accommodate a new programme of exhibitions and activities.
The Calais Builds Project / Grainne Hassett with students from University of Limerick
The Calais Builds Project captured the needs, culture and hopes of its residents. In 2016, architectGrainne Hassett along with students from the University of Limerick and local migrants designed and built a major community infrastructure, including a Women’s and Children’s Centre and the Baloo’s Youth Centre. These were demolished in 2016 by the French Government and its inhabitants displaced.
The strategy was not to renovate or repair the 300 year old listed building but to preserve it perfectly. The ruin is protected from the elements within a new high performance outer envelope. The new outer shell, which retains the shape of the existing cottage is clad in black corrugated iron, reflecting the common use of this material in Herefordshire for agricultural buildings.
Located in the third most populated city in Burkina Faso, the Lycée Schorge Secondary School sets a new standard for educational excellence in the region. The design for the school consists of 9 modules which accommodate a series of classrooms and administration rooms in a radial layout which wrap around a central public courtyard. The architecture not only functions as a marker in the landscape, it is also a testament to how local materials, in combination with creativity and teamwork, can be transformed into something significant with lasting effects.
Weltsadt – Refugees’ Memories and Futures as Models
The exhibition features models of buildings made by people from Africa and the Middle East who came to Germany as refugees. The buildings are homes, schools, offices, workshops and houses of prayer which are displayed as a walk-through cityscape, a ‘world city’. Made of cardboard, wood and found materials, the models reflect on the lost spaces and trusted memories but equally of new beginnings of the people who build the models. Visitors can see each of the 1:10 scale buildings up close.
Situated in Ruicheng County, Shanxi Province, the Five Dragons Temple is listed as a class A cultural relic. Built in 831 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty, it is the oldest surviving Taoist temple. In 2015, Vanke Group initiated the “Long Plan” to raise funds to revitalise the environment of the Five Dragons Temple. This plan also helped to raise the public awareness of this historical preservation project. This initiative would then go on to become the first time where the government and private funds cooperated for the preservation of cultural relics, as well as the promotion of cultural protection through the platforms of internet and the international Expo.
The new Port House in Antwerp repurposes, renovates and extends a derelict fire station into a new headquarters for the port – bringing together the port’s 500 staff that previously worked in separate buildings around the city. The waterside site offered sustainable construction benefits, allowing materials and building components to be transported by water, an important requirement to meet the port’s ecological targets. The old fire station is heritage listed so had to be integrated into the new project. ZHA’s design is an elevated extension, rather than a neighbouring volume which would have concealed at least one of the existing facades.
First constructed in 1228, and located at the foot of the Rialto Bridge across from the fish market, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of Venice’s largest and most recognizable buildings. It was used as a trading post for German merchants, a customs house under Napoleon, and a post office under Mussolini. Depicted by Canaletto and other masters, and photographed countless times as the impressive but anonymous backdrop of the Rialto bridge, the Fondaco stands as a mute witness of the Venetian mercantile era, its role diminished with the progressive depopulation of Venice. The Fondaco dei Tedeschi can now unlock its potential as a major destination and vantage point for tourists and Venetians alike; a contemporary urban department store staging a diverse range of activities, from shopping to cultural events, social gatherings and everyday life. OMA’s renovation, both subtle and ambitious, avoids nostalgic reconstructions of the past and it demystifies the ‘sacred’ image of a historical building.