The New York Public Library has abandoned its plan to hollow out its central building and eliminate its research stacks. It was undone by critical and public opposition, and possibly by the fact that the whole scheme—for which Sir Norman Foster took home $7.9 million regardless—was structurally unfeasible.
The annual Evolo skyscraper award celebrates novel, bizarre, and whimsical designs for vertiginous buildings. In its aim to award innovative use of materials, building organization, aesthetics, and technology, Evolo often opts for the most beautifully outlandish structures you ever did see. This preference is obvious in the three winning proposals and the 24 honorable mentions.
This plan from the New York Public Library to have Sir Norman Foster gut its beloved central building and rework it, getting rid of the pesky "books" there in the process, all in the name of modernization and The People and prudent money-management—Michael Kimmelman, holder of the office of New York Times architecture critic, has reviewed the plan, and he has delivered the verdict, and the verdict is: DEATH. The library and its "celebrity architect," Kimmelman writes, have cooked up a plan for a "money pit," an "Alamo of engineering" that will pointlessly deform a vital and important structure to no good or useful end.
MVRDV, the Rotterdam-based architectural firm that caused an uproar last week when they unveiled plans for a building that reminded a lot of people of 9/11, would like it very much if you would stop calling their offices and threatening their lives, please. Well, not you per se — because you presumably do not breathe exclusively through your mouth and have a "United We Stand" tattoo etched across your torso — but whoever has been leaving those kinds of messages, kindly stop.
"AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!" was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream Hub corporation had in mind when they unveiled their plans today for an ambitious new construction project: Two high-rises connected by a "pixelated cloud" structure that, tragically, calls to mind the kinds of images you don't really want to call to mind when looking at a new set of twin towers. The design is by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, who seemingly had no ill will when they envisioned the cloud as a kind of oasis in the sky, with "a large connecting atrium, a wellness centre, conference centre, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes." (Rendering here.) Actually, now that I've sat with it for a little while, a floating sauna inside a pixelated cloud sounds pretty relaxing — the kind of place Mario and Luigi might go to unwind after a hard day...
Forty-three years after his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr., has taken his place on the National Mall: the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C., was unveiled to the press today, in advance of its official dedication next week. It captures the great civil rights martyr just as he was in life: Trapped in a big white rock, like Han Solo frozen in carbonite, with some other rocks piled up behind him.
Did you know Chicago has an architectural boat tour that sends visitors around—and through—the city? You don't need to make a trip to the Windy City to experience it. Just watch this time-lapse video that Philip Bloom made, who whittled the nearly four-hour adventure down to a cool three minutes. [via Doobybrain]