Monday, November 30
Totaling over 1.9 million sf, Aqua Tower is an 82-story mixed-use high-rise that includes a hotel, apartments, condominiums, parking and offices. Unlike a tower in an open field, new towers in urban environments must negotiate small view corridors between existing buildings. In response to this, the Aqua Tower is designed to capture particular views that would otherwise be unattainable. Among the building’s notable features is the green roof terrace atop its plinth—which at 80,000 sf is one of Chicago’s largest—that contains an outdoor pool, running track, gardens, fire pits and yoga terrace.
A series of contours defined by outdoor terraces extends away from the face of the tower structure to provide views between neighboring buildings. These outdoor terraces, cantilevered up to twelve feet, differ in shape from floor to floor. The terraces inflect based on criteria such as the view, solar shading and size and type of dwelling. When viewed together, these unique terraces make the building appear to undulate, presenting a highly sculptural appearance that is rooted in function. Aqua creates a strong identity through its architecture and has become a landmark addition to the Chicago skyline.
“Aqua Tower was shaped by an organic, site-specific design process. Rather than starting out with the goal of creating an icon, we let the climate and views shape the building, weaving it into its surroundings and treating the building and its environment as interconnected not separate. Even though it may appear to be formally expressive, it is equal parts data and imagination.” – Jeanne Gang, Design Principal Architect
Architect of Record: Loewenberg & Associates
Owner: Magellan Development
Program: Hotel and Residential High-rise with retail and commercial spaces
Size: 1.9 m SF including parking, 823 feet high
Completion: Summer 2009, currently under construction
A couple of weeks ago, Zac Posen announced the launch of his lower priced line, an increasingly common business strategy for young designers in the recession. Posen has a new strategy to reach an even wider consumer base than he might with the $78 T-shirts from his lower-priced "urban hipster" Z Spoke line: a Target collection, yet another increasingly common business strategy for young (and old) designers in These Times.
(from the cut)
Monday, November 23
Emma Cook releases her sixth collection with Topshop featuring a mini collection of knitwear with classic 80s names and some of her friends names on it. According to the Topshop blog, the collection took inspiration from a 1950s photograph with a teenager wearing a jumper with boys’ names on it. The collection consists of a dress, cardigan and jumper in black, red and navy blue respectively. You can buy it online now on the Topshop UK site, the collection should be releasing on the Topshop US site soon.
Designed by Jeremy Walton, Designed by Komplot Design
Designed by Steen Dueholm Sehested,Designed by Johannes Foersom & Peter Hiort-Lorenzen:
Designed by Andreas Lund:
Designed by Niels Gammelgaard:
see lots more here.
Tuesday, November 17
If you’ve been lusting after that slinky little Proenza Schouler dress you saw in Vogue last month but the $1,800 price tag makes you sick to your stomach, all hope may not be lost. Rent the Runway, a new website which ended its test phase and is live as of today, offers four-day designer dress rentals for $50 to $200. Their inventory includes frocks by everyone from Lela Rose to Christian Siriano; the dresses arrive right at your door and come with a pre-paid return envelope. There is, however, a catch.
You have to be a member in order to rent. There’s no apparent enrollment cost, but unless you’re invited directly, you’ll just have to join the wait list and bide your time. The by-invitation-only thing is, no doubt, an attempt to add a mystique and exclusivity to the service, bitchy though it may seem. But, given the fact that you could end up wearing a designer dress at a Topshop price to your ex’s wedding, the wait may very well be worth it. [New York Times]
Monday, November 16
From November 9th to December 5th, these photos will be on exhibition and on sale at Colette - 100% of profits from the sale of the book will be donated to an association selected by each person (Marc Jacobs / AmfAR; Naomi Campbell / White Ribbon Alliance; Olivier Theyskens / CARE ...)
Visit Colette here.
Up-and-coming Chicago neighborhood Pilsen homes a handful of off-beat boutiques and restaurants, fitting right into this eclectic, far-flung landscape.
1. Golden Age, 1744 West 18th Street; www.shopgoldenage.com
Raw wood and white walls create a beautifully simple platform for the graphic limited-run prints adorning the walls here, but it's all the rare and unexpected zines, artist books, CDs, and periodicals that could have kept us here for hours. Look for titles like The Incredible Journey to Consciousness, Hamburger Eyes 12, and Greek Daddy. Basically, if you're in the market for some stunning works to make you think, this is your destination.
2. Knee Deep Vintage, 1425 West 18th Street; www.kneedeepvintage.com
Focusing on ridiculously cheap but good-quality vintage, Knee Deep is a great stop if you need a little retail fix without the buyer's remorse. Extra Credit: The shop-keeper's angelic pup Auggie, and the spectacular—but gone by the second—estate pieces like a vintage Anne Klein corset skirt.
3. Frei Designs, 818 West 18th Street; www.freidesigns.com
To our delight, her soothing boutique felt like an Adirondack oasis amid the big city outside with pretty tree-branch displays and cozy lighting. Of course, the real draw here is Novotny's sustainable designs (she spent time studying with designer Gary Graham and it shows). Dreamy sheer silk tights and the kind of organic cotton trousers we could wear until the end of time really impressed. In fact we have a pair of those cloudy gray tights on order!
Thursday, November 12
A drop of water creating a series of ripples became the metaphor for transforming space through movement. Just as the ripple causes intricate moiré patterns in water, Corian® Super Surfaces is about revealing the moment of change through visual complexity, creating dynamic kinetic effects.
Moving through the space appears to animate it. Views are revealed and concealed as the surfaces transition between active and passive states creating countertops, display shelving, seating and a partition that seamlessly morphs from solid to transparent.
The project embodies opposites; simple yet complex, solid yet apparently kinetic, sculptural though not monolithic. The voids between the surfaces become as essential as the form and structure itself. Revealing the physical presence of the void creates maximum visual input with minimum means.
Click here for the rest of the WAF category winners.
The two cylindrical white towers are located in the Bay of Algeciras in Southern Spain.
Architect Rafael de la Hoz completes the “Torres de Hercules” in Cadiz. They are a symbol of the legendary Pillars of Hercules and the tallest buildings in Andalusia. Two cylindrical, white towers rising from a flat pool of water. On the façade-a giant lattice-appears the mythical motto from the legend of the Pillars of Hercules, “Non Plus Ultra” (nothing further beyond), warning sailors in the Mediterranean of the edge of the known world. At a height of 126 meters, the “Torres de Hercules” rise up from the Bay of Algeciras, as a new benchmark in the Campo de Gibraltar and the transition of the Straight, as their uniqueness changes the area’s landscape.
Friday, November 6
Klein Bottle House, Rye, Australia
McBride Charles Ryan
Civic and Community
Emergency Terminal, Zagreb, Croatia
Produkcija 004, Croatia
The Met, Bangkok, Thailand
WOHA, Republic of Singapore
The Pearl Academy of Fashion, Jaipur, India
Unileverhaus, Hamburg, Germany
Behnisch Architekten, Germany
Thursday, November 5
This survey is MoMA’s first major exhibition since 1938 on the subject of this famous and influential school of avant-garde art. Founded in 1919 and shut down by the Nazis in 1933, the Bauhaus brought together artists, architects, and designers in an extraordinary conversation about the nature of art in the age of technology. Aiming to rethink the very form of modern life, the Bauhaus became the site of a dazzling array of experiments in the visual arts that have profoundly shaped our visual world today.
The exhibition gathers over four hundred works that reflect the broad range of the school’s productions, including industrial design, furniture, architecture, graphics, photography, textiles, ceramics, theater design, painting, and sculpture, many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States. It includes not only works by the school’s famous faculty and best-known students—including Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Lucia Moholy, Lilly Reich, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gunta Stölzl—but also a broad range of works by innovative but less well-known students, suggesting the collective nature of ideas.