Author Archive

Richard Meier Creates a Striking Minimalist Home in the English Countryside (from Architectural Digest)

As they have since the first Bentley took to the road, many Brits still motor into the countryside to weekend in great country houses. But for guests of a family living in the rolling hills of Oxfordshire, the house at the end of a winding, hedge-lined lane is not a Downton Abbey pile or a rambling, thatch-covered cottage. What awaits instead is a bracing specimen of white geometric abstraction designed by American architect Richard Meier, so pristine inside that you can see a pin drop. View this article at ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST.

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design

Pierre Chareau (1883–1950) was a French-Jewish architect, designer and art collector and best known for his Maison de Verre (“Glass House”), the first house in France made entirely of steel and glass, completed in Paris in 1932. He also had an extensive art collection, including works by Picasso, Mondrian and Modigliani, which he sold when he fled Nazi persecution and moved to New York in the 1940s.

The design, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, incorporates Chareau’s furniture, light fixtures, and interiors, as well as examples of the artworks he collected, designs for the Maison de Verre, drawings, ephemera, and archival photographs. In designing the exhibition, the firm utilized video projections, virtual reality, digital installations, and film, to create imagined, atmospheric scenes providing a context for Chareau’s work.

The exhibition features projected shadows creating the illusion of a ghostly visitation. Virtual reality headsets situate the works in their original Parisian environments: Chareau’s personal study; the Grand Salon and Garden of the Maison de Verre. For the final section, DS+R created an impossible view of the Maison de Verre itself: an infill townhouse in a dense urban setting for which no entire view exists.


Diller Scofidio + Renfro is a firm that has truly made an impact on every aspect of the New York cityscape. From the stunning 70-story, LEED-certified, cold bent-glass residential tower at 15 Hudson Yards, and the serenity and detailed parklike agri-tecture of the High Line’s public space, to the Vagelos Education Center—a 100,000 square foot, 14-story glass edifice that will serve as Columbia University’s new, state-of-the-art medical and graduate facility—DS+R uses their signature interdisciplinary design strategy to create functional, uniquely modern structures and spaces that resonate profoundly today, while keeping a thoughtful eye toward the urban landscape of the future.

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, the first U.S. exhibition focused on Chareau, will run through March 26, 2017 at the Jewish Museum.

Architecture’s Identity Crisis (from Co.Design)

The London office of architect Zaha Hadid seems like an unlikely place for a protest. But yesterday, protestors gathered to condemn the statements of the firm’s director, and Hadid’s longtime collaborator, Patrik Schumacher. Holding signs that read “fascist” and “class war,” the protestors railed against Schumacher’s recent manifesto for urban policy, which called for the privatization of all urban space and an end to affordable housing policies. In short, the poor don’t belong in cities anymore. View this article at CO.DESIGN.

ABC Stone’s MA’s Concrete named one of Architectural Record’s 2016 “Record Products”

ABC Worldwide Stone is delighted to announce that MA’s Concrete has been selected as the winner of Architectural Record’s 2016 “Record Products” competition, having been chosen as the Product of the Year in the Finishes & Surfacing category.

Throughout the year, Architectural Record publishes several special features on the best in contemporary architecture-from annual profiles of emerging firms to stand out residential projects and the best new architectural products. The annual Record Products competition invites a jury of six professionals to select the best new products of the year, rating entries for innovation, usefulness, and aesthetics.

ABC thanks Architectural Record for this incredible honor.



Stone Discoveries: Breccia Capraia

Breccia Capraia quarry

Breccia Capraia quarry

Breccia Capraia marble, even in its rawest and least finished state, is a complexly beautiful sight to behold. Owing to its unique brecciation–meaning: its being composed of variously shaped and sized fragments, set against a backdrop of an entirely different material of a radically different appearance—owing to this happy accident of geological formation, millions of years old, the raw material invokes in the beholder a wide array of emotions and mnemonic associations.

While one might be reminded by it of the effect of a setting sun, or the impasto of the French impressionists, another might recognize in its meticulous intricate patterns the topography of the arctic tundra; a tableau of the earth disappearing before you as you ascend into the skies on an airplane.

While this variety of dramatic interpretation may be true of any number of breccias, it is the subdued and subtle forms taken by Breccia Capraia that make the stone’s use such an intriguing premise to architects and designers. Depending on its application, the marble may be showy and ostentatious, or a tasteful complement to more pronounced decorative elements. In the latter case, where the material is intentionally not played to its obvious strengths as a facing stone, it provides an ambient backdrop that seems to almost swirl about imperceptibly.

This mobile nature of the stone contrasts with the muted, near transparent effect of its brecciation: hues of purple, red, grey, and green vein about the warm, pale background, almost in a blur of liminal motion, where one seems to bleed into another, and where the angular forms become increasingly amorphous and difficult to trace with the eye.

Schwarzemberg Hotel, Vienna

Schwarzemberg Hotel, Vienna

Significant structures which incorporated Breccia Capraia in their construction include the former Home Savings headquarters in downtown Los Angeles in Los Angeles, and the Schwarzemberg Hotel in Vienna.

The natural stone currently on view at ABC represents only the finest rocks on earth. Procured from 6 continents, ABC has truly moved mountains across oceans to bring the finest stone on earth to the A&D community. We are honored to bring to you Breccia Capraia, quarried on the Tyrrhenian seaside of the Apuan Alps, in Tuscany.






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Gensler’s Twisting Shanghai Tower Is Named World’s Best New Skyscraper (from Architectural Digest)

Soaring 2,073 feet in the air, the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world, now lays claim to top honors of another sort: the inaugural 2016 American Architecture Prize (AAP) for Architectural Design of the Year. Completed in January, the 121-story mixed-use building is boldly modern yet strongly connected to its area’s cultural identity, making “an immediate and profound impact on the country’s perceptions of how a skyscraper can contribute to a city, a country, and a culture,” according to the AAP. Nine distinct zones create a vertical city rising through the cylindrical structure, which boasts a second exterior façade that spirals 120 degrees and encases a series of public garden spaces. The transparent double skins provide a visual link between the building’s surroundings and its interior while maximizing natural light. View this article at ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST.






The Women Behind Removable Wallpaper Company, Tempaper (from New York Spaces)

bbh_bars_ba401_thatchersofa_zpsk2sjuqmiWhen twins Jennifer Matthews and Julia Biancella and their aunt Kate Szilagyi recognized the decorating world was missing a unique way for homeowners or renters to infuse their space with fun, high-impact décor, the business community was in the midst of 2008 recession woes and tepid about supporting start-up companies. Despite this, Jennifer, Julia and Kate forged ahead with their idea for a new product that filled the overlooked niche—and Tempaper was born. Tempaper is self-adhesive, removable wallpaper that lets DIYers add bold and beautiful designs to walls, dressers, stair risers, cabinets, bookshelves, drawers and headboards. View this article at NEW YORK SPACES.
















ABC Stone attends the 2016 ASLA-NY President’s Dinner Gala

aslany_pd2016_bannerOn Thursday, November 10th, 2016, the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) held its President’s Dinner Gala—and the folks from ABC Stone were delighted to be in attendance!

The President’s Dinner is an annual celebration of landscape architecture in New York, which brings together ASLA-NY members, partner organizations, allied professionals, vendors, and friends of the A+D community, for an evening of dinner, drinks, and revelry.

HONOREES: Senator Gillibrand has been dedicated to improving the lives and environment in New York and a vocal advocate for environmental issues nationally. Specifically, she has been a prime player in improving pollinator health and fighting for bills that help protect the pollinators that we depend on for nearly all of our food sources. As Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM), Brad McKee has brought new spirit to our profession’s leading publication for news, information and inspiration. From the updated graphics and layout to the in-depth interviews and firm profiles to the highly educational species and project details, LAM truly delivers a modern ​approach to media and speaks to the future of our profession. Mary Alice Lee is the Director of the Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playground Program, implementing over 186 playgrounds in New York City public schools​, transforming barren asphalt schoolyards into vibrant, green and safe community playgrounds. Melissa Potter-Ix has been a prime partner with the TPL program, teaching students to put on the hat of a landscape architect over their 10-week participatory design sessions and inspiring a new generation of landscape architects.

AIANY Board of Directors Letter to Membership Regarding the 2016 Election

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boardNovember 15, 2016

Dear AIANY Members,

The statement made post-election by AIA National on behalf of you, the largest chapter within its network of 89,000 members, pledged your support to an administration that many strongly denounce. The Board of Directors of AIA New York was not consulted by AIA National leadership prior to their decision to support President-Elect Trump’s yet undefined infrastructure agenda, and we do not condone their statement.

The leadership of the New York Chapter would like to reassure our membership and extended community that we reject the violent rhetoric that has pervaded the recent presidential campaign and we oppose any association with it. We believe in inalienable rights, regardless of creed or nation of origin; gender or sexual orientation; language of birth or skin color.

Architects, by training, are fundamentally committed to providing shelter and protecting the safety and wellbeing of all people. Civil dialogue, reciprocal respect, and the protection of human rights are essential to this activity and are vital characteristics of the profession.

These principles are not only our human values; they underpin the practice of our profession. We believe in equity in design and its benefits to all, especially in the critically needed areas of affordable housing, safe schools, and accessibility. We will continue to espouse fair and ethical business practices throughout the building industry. And, we remain committed to mitigating climate change and protecting New Yorkers from its unavoidable consequences.

We are fortunate that the New York Chapter functions in one of the most diverse and inclusive cities in the world. To this end, AIA New York is committing to increasing programming and exhibitions that promote a more inclusive America and address the needs, concerns and principles of you, our members.

We are first and foremost a membership organization, and our members are our strength. As members, your insights will drive our future actions. We want to hear from you. Please email membervoices@aiany.org with your suggestions for how this organization can best respond to the challenges you see facing us as a community. We are committed to addressing your concerns.

Sincerely,
The Board of Directors
American Institute of Architects New York Chapter