Friday, December 11, 2015



The Pavilion at Brookfield Place in New York City, has been called, ‘the connective tissue between transportation hubs in Lower Manhattan.  The intricately woven steel tube columns that reside in the building were the brain-child of the Kuger Ning’s team.

The project brings an intriguing and whimsical look to a typically structured environment – day or night.

The initial design concept placed the lights on the inside of the columns, but after being rejected by the maintenance company the team went back to find a solution to their concept dilemma.  A model was created and the solution became clear…put the lights around the columns.

The lights used for the project are energy-efficient metal halide lamps that offer a lighting load 58% lower than the ASHRAE requirements.  The project won an Award of Excellence from IESNYC.

1.       METROPOLIS magazine, November 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

AnnMarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center

TGIF to the viewers!

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center is located in scenic Solomons, Maryland, where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay.  The sculpture garden features a 1/4 mile walking path that meanders through the woods past permanent and loaned sculpture, including over thirty works on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.  Artists in the collection include:  Antonio Tobias Mendez, Barbara Hepworth, Cesar, Robert Engman, Jean Arp, Kenneth Snelson and Fransisco Zuniga. The award-winning Arts Building includes rotating exhibition space, a gift shop, and a sunny patio.  Annmarie presents a variety of popular annual festivals, rotating exhibitions, family activities, and creative public programs.  The Studio School offers classes for all ages and abilities - from pottery to dance - taught by professional artists and arts educators.  Come explore this special place where art and nature meet!

 Who is Annmarie?
Francis and Ann Marie Koenig first came to Calvert Count y in 1955 seeking a retreat from his career as an architecht/builder/developer in Washington, DC. They quickly fell in love with the area and in 1956 built a beach house in Long Beach. Soon they became avid sailors and could often be found heading out of Flag Harbor Marina on their sailboat, "Annmarie." As an investment opportunity in 1960, Francis and Annmarie Koenig purchased 30 acres of land in Solomons, Maryland. After thirty-two years and many offers from developers, Fran began to see his investment as a unique opportunity to give something back to an area that he loved.In 1991, the Koenig family donated this property to Calvert County with the intention that it be developed into a sculpture park. Named after Fran's wife, Mrs. Ann Marie Koenig, the Garden began to take shape over the next decade as six permanent works of art were installed.Francis and Ann both passed away in the 1990s, but their dream lives on. Today, Annmarie Garden stands as a gesture of the gratitude that the Koenigs felt for the years spent at their beach home on the Chesapeake Bay. Their generous and precious gift provides a unique setting in Calvert County for visitors to explore a place where art and nature meet.

From Washington DC (about 60 minute drive): Take Route 4 South, Exit 11 off Capital Beltway (to Prince Frederick). Continue on 4 South, following signs to Solomons. Left on Dowell Road at Hilton Garden Inn and Rudy Duck. Garden is less than 1/4 mile on left.

From Annapolis: Follow Route 2 South towards Prince Frederick/Solomons. Left (South) onto Route 2/4 at Sunderland light. Left on Dowell Road at Hilton Garden Inn and Rudy Duck. Garden is less than 1/4 mile on left.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Pratt Institute

Cool New Film/ Video Department

Pratt Institute, a renowned New York City-based college that educates creative thinkers from around the world, recently opened a new home for its Film/Video Department: a state-of-the-art facility in the former Pratt Store building at 550 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. The 15,000-square-foot facility, designed by architect and Pratt alumnus Jack Esterson, is located in close proximity to Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and contributes to the expanding presence of motion media in the Borough of Brooklyn. 
“Brooklyn has emerged as the hot new destination for television and film production," said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Anchored by stunning interior architectural features, Esterson designed independent volumes that either seem to float or, in some cases, actually do in order to create acoustical separation.  To give the volumes their own identities, he turned to his long-ago teacher Haresh Lalvani, now a Pratt architecture professor and sculptor. Lalvani used algorithms to devise a series of shapes that could be cut out of the aluminum now wrapping each volume, reflecting the activity within. Shapes for the recording studio’s panels, for instance, suggest sound waves. Installing the aluminum 1 1⁄2 inches away from the supporting walls, then lighting the perforations from below, also creates depth.  In contrast to the opaque aluminum compositions, the volumes’ upper levels and the mezzanine’s offices and classrooms are all fronted in translucent glass.
The new space gives faculty and students access to a 96-seat screening room; one large soundstage (capable of being converting into two) and a second, smaller soundstage that together comprise 3,000 square feet; a sound recording studio with surround-sound capability; and two high-end color grading and post production suites.
The project was recognized with a citation award in the 2015 American Institute of Architects New York State Design Awards.
A building for filmmakers should reflect different ways of using light, Esterson explains, adding that there’s a reason he chose mostly grays for the interior: “The color in a film school really needs to come from the students’ films.”


In the film and video department at Pratt Institute. CNC - cut aluminum wraps a corner of the screening room.

Maple (more commonly used for flooring) clads the underside of the screening room's enclosure where it faces the lobby.

Aluminum frames the front of spaces including the screenwriters' classroom, set on top of the recording studio.

Animation and video have become like the written word. Whatever field you’re in, you’ll need them to communicate,” Jorge Oliver says.

PRATT website
ARCHITECT magazine

Friday, November 6, 2015

"New Mobility"

London’s Oxford Street in 1965.

Gilles Vesco calls it the “new mobility”. It’s a vision of cities in which residents no longer rely on their cars but on public transport, shared cars and bikes and, above all, on real-time data on their smartphones. He anticipates a revolution which will transform not just transport but the cities themselves. “The goal is to rebalance the public space and create a city for people,” he says. “There will be less pollution, less noise, less stress; it will be a more walkable city.”

Image result for bike shareVesco, the politician responsible for sustainable transport in Lyon, played a leading role in introducing the city’s Vélo’v bike-sharing scheme a decade ago. It has since been replicated in cities all over the world. Now, though, he is convinced that digital technology has changed the rules of the game, and will make possible the move away from cars that was unimaginable when Vélo’v launched in May 2005. “Digital information is the fuel of mobility,” he says. “Some transport sociologists say that information about mobility is 50% of mobility. The car will become an accessory to the smartphone.”
Vesco is nothing if not an evangelist. “Sharing is the new paradigm of urban mobility. Tomorrow, you will judge a city according to what it is adding to sharing. The more that we have people sharing transportation modes, public space, information and new services, the more attractive the city will be.”

Pedestrian-friendly central Lyon, on the banks of the River Rhone.

The Vélo’v scheme is being extended, car clubs that use electric vehicles are being encouraged, and what Vesco calls a “collaborative platform” has been built to encourage ride-sharing by matching drivers with people seeking lifts. There is, he says, no longer any need for residents of Lyon to own a car. And he practices what he preaches – he doesn’t own one himself

The number of cars entering the city has fallen by 20% over the past decade, without even a congestion-charging scheme (Vesco says it would impose a disproportionate burden on the less well-off, who tend to drive higher-polluting vehicles). And even though Lyon’s population is expected to rise by more than 10% over the next decade, he is targeting a further 20% drop in car use. The car parks that used to run alongside the banks of Lyon’s two rivers have already been removed, and human parks opened in their place. Vesco says someone returning to Lyon for the first time in a decade would barely recognize the city.

To put it more bluntly: many city developments are now predicated on there being no car spaces for residents. Developers worried about this initially, but have come to realize it doesn’t pose a problem for the young professionals likely to be buying their flats, so have accepted the demands of council planning departments.

Walthamstow Village has seen a 20% drop in vehicle numbers since trialling its cycle-friendly neighbourhood scheme.

This model of denser, less car-dependent cities is becoming the accepted wisdom across the developed world. “The height [of buildings] is going up; density is going up; borough policies and London plan policies are all about intensification and densification of land uses,” explains Ben Kennedy, Hackney’s principal transport planner. “We’re probably going the way of Manhattan. People live very close and they don’t travel at all because everything is on their doorstep; the population in one block is so high, it can support all the amenities you could ever want. We’re slowly going in that direction in London.”

Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Floating Sculpture


A monumental, aerial sculpture is suspended over Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway from May through October 2015 as the signature contemporary art installation in the Greenway Conservancy’s Public Art Program.

The sculpture for Boston spans the void where an elevated highway once split downtown from its waterfront. Knitting together the urban fabric, it soars 600 feet through the air above street traffic and pedestrian park.

The form of “As If It Were Already Here” echoes the history of its location. The three voids recall the “Tri-Mountain” which was razed in the 18th-century to create land from the harbor. The colored banding is a nod to the six traffic lanes that once overwhelmed the neighborhood, before the Big Dig buried them and enabled the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life.




The sculpture is made by hand-splicing rope and knotting twine into an interconnected mesh of more than a half-million nodes. When any one of its elements moves, every other element is affected. Monumental in scale and strength yet delicate as lace, it fluidly responds to ever-changing wind and weather. Its fibers are 15 times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight, making the sculpture able to lace directly into three skyscrapers as a soft counterpoint to hard-edged architecture. It is a physical manifestation of interconnectedness and strength through resiliency.

In daylight the porous form blends with sky when looking up, and casts shadow-drawings onto the ground below. At night it becomes an illuminated beacon. The artwork incorporates dynamic light elements which reflect the changing effects of wind. Sensors around the site register fiber movement and tension and this data directs the color of light projected onto the sculpture’s surface.



“Here in Boston, I’m excited to visually knit together the fabric of the city with art,” said Echelman. “The creation of the Greenway was a seminal event in the unfolding of our city, so I’m delighted and humbled to be a part of its transformation into a vibrant cultural destination.”

The work invites you to linger, whether seen amidst the skyline from afar, or lying down on the grassy knoll beneath. It embraces Boston as a city on foot, where past and present are interwoven, and takes our gaze skyward to feel the vibrant pulse of now. It invites you to pause, and contemplate a physical manifestation of interconnectedness – soft with hard, earth with sky, things we control with the forces beyond us.


By the Numbers:
– The sculpture includes over 100 miles of twine
– Longest span is 600 ft
​- Highest point of attachment is 365 ft​
– There are over half a million knots (~542,500)
– The sculpture weighs approximately 1 ton
– The sculpture can exert over 100 tons of force
– Projected plan area of the sculpture is 20,250 sq ft, or almost half an acre




Friday, October 23, 2015

Missouri Botanical Garden

TGIF to the viewers!


For this week’s YEOW, we’d like to share with you the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis was founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw. Today, 154 years after opening, the Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display — widely considered one of the top three botanical gardens in the world.

The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education of international repute, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis, with 79 acres (32 ha) of horticultural display. It includes a 14-acre (5.7 ha) Japanese strolling garden named Seiwa-en; the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory; a children's garden, including a pioneer village; a playground; a fountain area and a water locking system, somewhat similar to the locking system at the Panama Canal; an Osage camp; and Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home. It is adjacent to Tower Grove Park, another of Shaw’s legacies. In 1983, the Botanical Garden was added as the fourth subdistrict of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District.

For part of 2006, the Missouri Botanical Garden featured "Glass in the Garden", with glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly placed throughout the garden. Four pieces were purchased to remain at the gardens. In 2008 sculptures of the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle were placed throughout the garden. In 2009, the 150th anniversary of the Garden was celebrated, including a floral clock display.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fort Washington Park in Fort Washington, Maryland

TGIF to the viewers!

For this week’s YEOW, we’d like to share with you Fort Washington Park (25 mins from our office!)

The first Fort Washington was completed in 1809 and guarded the Nation’s Capital until it was destroyed by its own garrison in 1814. Twelve days later Major Pierre L’Enfant was sent to construct new defenses but worked on the fort for only a brief period before Lieutenant Colonel Walker K. Armistead replaced him. The fort was completed on October 2, 1824. Extensive remodeling was performed in the 1840s and the first guns were mounted in 1846. The masonry fort was occupied by soldiers from the First, Third and Fourth U.S. Artillery during its early history. Except for a few guns at the Washington Arsenal, Fort Washington was the only defense for the Nation’s Capital until the Civil War when a circle of temporary forts was built around the city. Battery Rogers and Fort Foote were the only seacoast forts in the system and armed with large Rodman and Parrott cannons. Fort Washington was garrisoned as the outer defense for the city. Companies of the First and Fourth Artillery as well as numerous state artillery units passed through the post during the war. In 1872 the garrison was removed and additional property purchased to construct a new defense system. Funds for the project was withdrawn and the post was abandoned for the next twenty years.
A new defense system, consisting of rifled steel guns in concrete emplacements was authorized in 1886 and work began at Fort Washington in 1891. The next year ground was broken for Battery B, later named Battery Decatur and the guns were mounted in 1896. Eventually eight concrete batteries at Fort Washington and four at Fort Hunt made up the Potomac Defense Command. Prior to World War I Fort Washington was downgraded to harbor defense and the large guns removed. During the war the post was used as a staging area for troops being sent to France. The 8th Provisional Artillery Battalion was organized at the post and sent to France where they became the 53rd Railroad Artillery Regiment. After the war the 3rd Battalion 12th Infantry moved in and became the ceremonial unit for the Military District of Washington.
In 1939 the post was abandoned and turned over to the Director of Public Buildings for use as a terminal point for a bridge across the Potomac and a parkway to be built along the shore. Before the transfer was complete the United States entered World War II. Fort Washington was returned to the army and became the home of the Adjutant General’s School. After the war the Veterans Administration managed the post hospital and other government agencies occupied some of the buildings. In 1946 Fort Washington returned to the Department of the Interior.