Reference Page: August/September 2005

Back to the Future The Chicago Housing Authority has a video of the Hilliard redevelopment project on its Web site, www.thecha.org/housingdev/hilliard_homes.html, proclaiming that “the era of decaying, isolated housing developments is over” with renderings of Hilliard’s poshly redesigned interiors. You can also follow a link to the agency’s “Plan for Transformation,” which includes PDFs of CHA’s annual portfolios. At www.holstenchicago.com, click on the “Hilliard” button for rental information: three-bedroom flats are renting for a mere $1,050. An extensive interview with the architect Bertrand Goldberg, a part of the Chicago Architects Oral History Project, can be downloaded from the Art Institute of Chicago’s site: www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/caohp/goldberg.html.

Community Impact
The Web site for the Museum that Wal-Mart Built, www.crystalbridges.org, offers information about the institution’s collection, design, and surrounding parkland. Anyone interested in cornering some of the Waltons’ fortune for their own endeavors can go to www.wffhome.com/application.htm to learn about the application process for a Walton Family Foundation grant.

A Green Blueprint
The AIA has a Web site about its Green Project Awards, www.aiatopten.org, where you can click on “selected projects” for an account of the Lloyd Crossing sustainable design plan. You can download a PDF of the plan with renderings, neighborhood photos, and lots of diagrams and graphs from Mithun’s site, www.mithun.com, by clicking on “Expertise” and then “Urban Planning.” Other consultants on the project included KPFF, www.kpff.com, for civil and water systems; SOLARC, www.solarc-ae.net, for neighborhood energy analysis; Greenworks, www.greenworkspc.com, for landscape architecture; Interface Engineering, www.ieice.com, for mechanical and electrical systems; Heartland, www.htland.com, for real estate and financial analysis; Urbsworks, www.urbsworks.com, for zoning and urban vibrancy; and ID, www.id-inc.com, for branding strategies.

Tools You Bake
If reading about Sebastian Summa and Hrafnkell Birgisson’s industrial cake molds makes you hungry for more, go to www.hugo-braeuer.de. Don’t be daunted by the metal-spinning company’s home page in German—the site boasts a comprehensive English-language PDF backgrounder on the molds. Sadly the molds are not yet available for sale in the States, though Birgisson reports that the designers are in negotiations with the Conran Shop about carrying them in their New York store. Meanwhile, those interested in purchasing a Bessy or a Wiesner can try www.thorstenvanelten.com. If, having obtained a mold, readers are wondering what to do with it, chef Bill McCarrick, formerly of Harrods, says he will be happy to answer cake-baking questions submitted at www.billmccarrick.com.

Urban Oasis
Go to Arizona State University’s site, www.asu.edu/cdp/stripscape.html, to see how a rare collaboration between the commercial, academic, and governmental sectors resulted in a “strip” that’s actually habitable by human beings. Metropolis publisher Horace Havemeyer III, who visited 7th Avenue during a recent trip to Phoenix, was struck by the Stripscape components’ ability to provide necessary shade and to generally transform the area. “I was impressed that [Darren Petrucci and his students] had succeeded in creating destinations in a place that would normally have none,” he says.

Oh Brooklyn, My Brooklyn
Lots of pissing and moaning about redevelopment in Brooklyn can be found by clicking on the “Not Just Nets” link at the top of www.brooklynpapers.com. North Brooklyn outsiders can go to the site of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning, www.gwapp.org, to find out to what extent the new waterfront plan is actually an enormous victory for the neighborhood. Astonishingly, even a stadium by internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry in a decrepit section of Atlantic Avenue is being undermined by ultraconservative activists, www.bball.net. Apparently nobody has the right to do anything in Brooklyn unless they’re a crummy artist. Go to www.ci.nyc.ny.us and click on “City Planning” in the pull-down menu to see PDFs, slide shows, and animations related to Williamsburg-Greenpoint and Downtown Brooklyn redevelopment plans.

Aquatic Aspirations
On Aqua’s Web site, www.aqua.net, click on “Aqua Images” for photos, site plans, and renderings populated by black-turtleneck-wearing men and women in long heels—a measure of the condo project’s New York-for-Miami production aesthetic. There’s also a “Virtual Movie” on the site with flying buildings that are void, however, of the fancy people. Lev Leviev—blood diamond baron and West Bank settlement builder through the firm Danya Cebus, www.danya-cebus.com, a subsidiary of his Africa Israel Investments, www.africa-israel.com—is partnering with Brooklyn-based Shaya Boymelgreen to square the circle in their projected $1 billion investment into Miami Beach real estate.

Acts of Remembrance
The firm Pique[‘] takes the cake even among architects for unnecessary use of orthographic symbols, but the Web site, www.piquearchitecture.com, is mercifully simple in its design, apart from links that read backwards and images that are impossible to view unless moused over. The firm is working on three contemporary residences in Oregon and waiting for funding for its Flesh to Spirit columbarium project. When this issue went to press ReThink Tank’s Web site, www.urbanreincarnation.com, was under construction, but it should be up and running by the time you read these words. The group is working on a speculative proposal for 2 Columbus Circle—the Edward Durrell Stone building slated for a radical renovation by the Museum of Arts & Design—as an urban columbarium that would preserve its original facade.

Child’s Work
Forget about design for the real world—the objects created by children who participated in the Fantasy Design program could be the accessories of characters in some unwritten fable. Visit www.fantasydesign.org to see an online exhibition that includes a piggy bank to wear on your head and a bowl that admonishes you to stay on your diet.

Family Reunion
MC2’s Web site, www.mc2architects.com, has a bevy of images from the firm’s portfolio, including renderings of a swanky private pool house under construction near Houston’s Memorial Park. Under “About Us,” click on the arrows to watch the Nguyen brothers in action. Visitors to Houston should be sure to pick up a copy of the Houston Architectural Guide (Herring Press, 1990) by Stephen Fox, the city’s resident architectural historian and a one-man clearinghouse for information on public and private projects under way throughout the city. The Nguyen house is just down the block from a James Turrell skyspace, installed inside Houston’s Live Oak Friends Meeting House. Check www.friendshouston.org for opening hours.

The Peacemaker
The new de Young museum has been documenting the progress of its renovation on its Web site, www.thinker.org/deyoung/index.asp. At press time, recent postings included photos of the original palm trees’ reinstallation—by crane—in front of the museum. To find out how many of Walter Hood’s past projects involved bodily hoisting fully grown palm trees, try Walter Hood: Urban Diaries (Spacemaker Press, 1997). The book includes drawings and models by Hood, as well as suggested design approaches for disenfranchised neighborhoods. Spacemaker Press, www.spacemakerpress.com, lists the book as out of print, so check Amazon or your local library.

Tending the Herd
Claudy Jongstra’s Web site, www.claudyjongstra.com, is not especially up-to-date, but it has contact information and some rather dim images of her past projects. It’s not quite PG-13; expect a few bare-breasted women draped in felt. The International Feltmakers Association, www.feltmakers.com, provides an extensive list of current and upcoming felt-related exhibitions and workshops. FeltCrafts, www.feltcrafts.com, sells felt-making kits and educational videos for kids and provides a brief history of the technique.

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