OldNYC is a new app that allows tourists and locals to explore New York City through the eyes of those who came before them. Creators Orian Breaux and Christina Leuci geotag photographs obtained from the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection allowing users to access historic images as they are walking through the city. OldNYC enables the past to intersect with the present, revealing to the user the layers of history embedded in the cityscape. The app is free on iTunes here.
Image Credit: NBC News
99 Percent Invisible reports about a Durham, North Carolina, bridge that “has been nicknamed ‘the can opener’ for its uncanny ability to regularly scrape the tops of of oncoming trucks.” A resident from the area installed a camera to capture the frequency of the accidents caused by this 11-foot, 8-inch overpass. While this is clearly an infrastructural problem that requires a more thorough resolution than the latest edition of signage that senses tall vehicles approaching, this resident’s videos are undeniably mesmerizing.
Source: 99 Percent Invisible
The 1970s Sirius building, designed by architect Tao Gofers, is in danger of being sold to developers. Currently, the brutalist building is home to 79 low-income social housing tenants. The building’s sale is being protested by the group Save Our Sirius, a nonprofit that aims to prevent the redevelopment of the site. Australia’s largest construction union, CFMEU, has called upon its members to not participate in the demolition of the building.
Read more about Save Our Sirius here.
Source: The Guardian
Image Credit: James Hawkes,Getty Images, via Wired
Next City has reported that transit-oriented development has been a topic of discussion at the White House. The Obama administration’s new Housing Development Toolkit recommends development that does not abide by parking minimums, which have sustained the parking lot typology across the country for many years. This recommendation, some say, promises to facilitate Smart Growth in American cities, which many city planners have advocated.
Source: Next City
Inflatable architecture is making a comeback! And this time even practitioners with clout—like those at BIG—are trying their hand. Dezeen reports that the firm DOSIS—designers of an inhabitable transparent event space—said, “pneumatic structures are unique—no other type of structure can be assembled so quickly and also have the capacity to span large areas with a thickness of less than a millimetre.” This may mean that we can dust off the old Inflatocookbook!
Skateboarding magazine Transworld Skateboarding credits Finnish Modernist architect Alvar Aalto with changing the sport of skateboarding forever. Alto is credited with building the world’s first kidney shaped swimming pool in 1939, which also featured a rounded floor that formed a bowl rather than four sharp corners. Transworld claims that during the 1975 California drought, hundreds of these popular swimming pools remained empty—providing an opportunity for skateboarders to co-opt empty pools to practice new tricks on their sloped concrete floors. Without Aalto’s first kidney-shaped pool at Villa Mairea, the sport of skateboarding as we know it might not exist.
Source: Transworld via Dezeen
ArchDaily recently asked its readers to submit sketches of their offices to illustrate and celebrate the differences in work cultures across the field of architecture. They have compiled 42 of their favorite drawings here. Ranging from ornate libraries to disheveled dorm rooms, the stunning sketches and diagrams reveal the different ways architects around the world create and relax among organized chaos.
In a photo essay originally commissioned by Lobby Magazine, Laurian Ghinitoiu captures the fascinating secrets of the 1972 Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Germany. Designed by Gottfried Bohm, the church is constructed of 7500 cubic meters of concrete and 510 tons of steel rebar. The structure’s jagged peaks form high, austere ceilings that look like concrete mountains behind the town’s historic homes and shops.
There has been a recent surge in the number of libraries that allow patrons to check out more than merely books. 99 Percent Invisible reports that the Sacramento Public Library now loans objects such as “a laminating machine, music instruments, digital cameras, sewing machines and other appliances and technologies.” Many libraries across the country have joined this craze, beginning to check out seeds, tools, and more.
Source: 99 Percent Invisible
In an effort to repair part of the Great Wall of China, a portion of this monumental structure was filled to the brim with mortar. Formerly-missing bricks and crenelations were filled with new bricks as well. Although this effort occurred two years ago, it has recently sparked outrage across cyberspace as images began to circulate. The New York Times reports that park officer Liu Fusheng stated, “This was vandalism done in the name of preservation … Even the little kids here know that this repair of the Great Wall was botched.”
Source: New York Times
The New York City Public Art Fund, the Save the Redwoods League, and artist Spencer Finch have collaborated to recreate a California redwood forest in downtown Brooklyn–at a 1:100 scale, of course. While “California’s Lost Man Creek is 380 feet tall, the Brooklyn version will stand around 4 feet high.” The trees representing the redwoods are metasequoias, which will be trimmed down periodically to maintain their height at the appropriate scale.
Source: City Lab
Carquero Arquitectura has won an A+ Architizer Award for its controversial reconstruction of the Matrera Castle near Cadíz, Spain. The firm used lime plaster similar to that found in the castle’s stone walls to render the building’s new addition, which takes the form of a modern white cube with the same dimensions of the original structure. Although the restoration has been called “truly lamentable” by Spanish cultural heritage organization Hispania Nostra, architects and preservationists around the world have commended the project for its unique approach to preserving the building’s original fabric while differentiating between old and new.