Touring The World Of Architecture: Week 3
By Jakob Harry Hybel
This week, some good news for Frank Gehry, some not-so-great news for OMA, and the Shard is about to get a baby brother. Then, Foster proposes a bold scheme for London cyclists and a dreamlike video of LA.
As always, please get in touch and let us know about any news you feel is worthy of mention or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gehry Wins Approval for Long-Awaited Grand Avenue Project
First in, then out, then in again. The story of the Grand Avenue Project has been a tumultuous one.
The plans to develop a stretch of hotels, shops, and public spaces across the street from famed Disney Concert Hall were originally proposed over a decade ago. Frank Gehry was commissioned for the design, but the sudden recession resulted in a proposed, watered-down version of the Gehry project. Last September, however, the Los Angeles City Council abandoned the scheme, deeming it “too commercial” and “extremely disappointing”.
Now Gehry is back in the picture with a re-vamped version of his original proposal – and it just received the blessing of the city council, proving that good things do come to those who wait.
More about the approval here.
Miami Beach Puts an End to Convention Center Project
Back in July of last year, it was announced that OMA had won the bid to redesign the 52-acre Miami Beach Convention Center in a high-profile international competition in which they went up against BIG. Now, after just six months, the recently elected mayor of Miami has announced that a unanimous board of commissioners has struck down the proposal. Instead, the city will now settle with just renovating the existing city-owned convention center, as well as building a nearby hotel.
“A fresh start,” says Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. A breach of trust and a breach of contract, says the developer, South Beach ACE. In a frustrated letter of complaint, the SBACE states that they were encouraged to “spend millions of dollars to produce a grand, iconic master plan for the Convention Center site with the expectation that the city would proceed in good faith.”
As of yet, no official word from OMA on the decision.
Read the full story here.
Baby Shard to be Designed by Renzo Piano
Although much of the office and residential space of London’s The Shard has not yet been leased (not that surprising, considering the hefty £50 mill. price tag per apartment), a neighboring tower that includes 150 apartments, retail space, and a roof garden is now in the works, designed once again by Renzo Piano.
However, with its mere 27 floors, the “Baby Shard”, as it has been dubbed, will not challenge the spectacular 1,004-foot, 87-story glass skyscraper’s dominance of the London skyline.
Read more here.
This Week’s Utopia
High Street Cycling á la Foster
Looking at the renders, it looks decidedly utopian. Hordes of cyclists making their way through London on streets elevated high above the city.
The so-called “SkyCity” project is, however, highly realizable, according to Foster + Partners. Foster, an avid cycling enthusiast himself, has teamed up with Exterior Architecture and Syntax to convert the city’s suburban railway corridors into a massive system of over 117 miles of car free bike routes with over 200 entrance points.
Urban, high-altitude cycling? Potentially inspired, certainly radical.
This Week’s Videos
TimeLAX: Los Angeles in Time-Lapse
This stunning two-part video offers an extraordinary view of Los Angeles and its many landmarks. The time-lapse technique effectively stresses the high velocity the city is known for, while the soft pan of the camera oddly enough adds an air of serenity.