Pop-Up Park, In Action!

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The Brooklyn Bridge Pop-Up Park, the very same park where we coined the term "Pop-Up Park", is suddenly open! Just in time for Olafur's Waterfall Day 2008.

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Like a pop-up store, the pop-up park builds brand awareness. Except in this case, it's more like public-space-useability awareness. And nothing says public space awesomeness than the bare bones of what's there now: Lawn, benches, some plants, and a great place to get summer eats. And, refreshingly, it's all low tech, yet modern. We mean this as a compliment: it's not some overwrought construction for PS1 Warmup (SHoP, nArchitects, and Work AC's entries being the exceptions, of course). It has the feeling of a summer deck the community put together, BYO Lawnchair.

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Pictures from special correspondent Susannah Drake, founder of dlandstudio, designers of this episode of Pop-Up Park.

Tropolism Exclusive: Pop-Up Park Updates

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The Brooklyn Bridge Pop-Up Park--our favorite platform for viewing, er, lower Manhattan and whatever else might be down there--is getting refined as it gets closer to getting built (click the above image for full-sized goodness). What you're seeing there is painted asphalt (minus the multi-colored action in the previous renderings), grassy mounds, and the tree/sandbox area on the right. It's essentially the same plan, minus the super colors. Beyond is the asphalt wasteland that where the warehouses used to be, blocking the public's access to the water.

The inside story is as interesting as the design: almost all of the materials are being donated. The paint, trees, plantings, planter boxes, hay bales, plexiglas (on the perimeter fence) and some labor is all being donated. So not only is this a pop-up park, but it's becoming more open-source too.

Milliken Definitely Being Demolished

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The Milliken Building, the 1958 box by Carson + Lundin Architect, appears to be in the process of full-on demolition. Our inside correspondant is Dam Trader, who sends along two photographs from last Friday's progress. Hopefully the Springs Building isn't going down too, we love these two. Again, if anyone knows what is happening on this site, drop us a line.

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Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

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Tipped off by a reader to the VM Mountain in Copenhagen, we began to explore the website of Bjarke Ingels Group Architects (BIG for short). While the VM Mountain is impressive, we were drawn to the Psychiatric Hospital in Helsingor, Denmark, pictured. Wade into their delightfully cute website to find it yourself (code name PSY).

Click Continue Reading for another picture of the Hospital.

Tropolism Exhibitions: Vanishing America

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We are midwesterners, so we understand how fragile most of these structures are. They are remote. They are owned by people who use them for a purpose, not fawn over them for their aesthetic value. They have no publicity machine behind them.

Michael Eastmen captures decaying vernacular American architecture in his new show and book Vanishing America. The show runs through July 19 at DNJ Gallery in Los Angeles.

Milliken Building Going Down For Hotel?

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We like to post news, not ask questions, but here is one people have asked us about recently: is the work happening at the Milliken Building (pictured here in 2004) a full-on demolition, or a renovation? One person who wrote us said the building had been sold to a developer, and an alleged hotel was being constructed on the premises. But we have been unable to discover what is actually happening. Any news, please drop us a line. We'd hate to see this one go.

Tropolism Is MoPo's #9

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We were happy and surprised to learn that Tropolism is #9 in the 2008 MoPo, the list of Most Popular architecture blogs in the world. Ah, the power of a great publicist. Kidding! Eikongraphia uses a bunch of internety measures to determine their list.

But it wasn't the fact that we coined the term pop-up park last week (a friend overheard people using that phrase on the Brooklyn Bridge two days later, after seeing it on television, after coming from us). Or our awesome book reviews. It's you, dear reader. You are the ones that truly make Tropolism great!

Tropolism Exclusive: The Waterfalls Get A Park

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Olafur Eliasson's waterfalls have created a rush of art tourism. The number of ways to see the waterfall, created specifically for the waterfalls, is growing fast. One approach is the generically luxury boat cruise for only $50,000. Another is potentially coming to Brooklyn: our friends and favorites at dlandstudio have designed a temporary observation deck at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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The 26,000sf site had a Strober Brothers Lumber warehouse on it until a week ago, and has recently been deeded by the Port Authority to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy asked dlandstudio to develop a temporary park for the waterfalls. On a Brooklyn budget! Dland's design includes wide swaths of color painted in stripes over the asphalt to create both a more comfortable walking surface for pedestrians and add color and texture. The design is like a pop-up shop for the future Brooklyn Bridge Park on the waterfront. The park includes grass mounds for lounging (the future park will be lots of mounds), a sand area retained by wood beams with umbrellas for shade, and our favorite, hay bales that get seeded and grow grass like a chia pet as the summer progresses. The pop-up park is going to invite people to use the former warehouse-blocked waterfront as a park, allowing people to discover vistas of New York that were previously blocked. Way better than a cruise.

Click Continue Reading for another exclusive image from dlandstudio.

Tropolism Books: Minka: My Farmhouse In Japan

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Title: Minka: My Farmhouse In Japan
Author: John Roderick

Publication Date: November 1, 2007

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

ISBN: 978-1-56898-731-6

John Roderick leaves his metier of journalism (he was an Associated Press correspondent in Asia for almost forty years) and enters the much trickier realm of architectural memoir with Minka: My Farmhouse In Japan. It is his experiences as an American journalist in post-war Japan who purchases a minka, reconstructs it, and makes new home out of it.

Click Continue Reading for the full review.

Furniture Friday: Platform's Occasional Tables

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Platform Furniture and Fabrication's Occasional Tables: Shaker-simple design, with all the zen freshness that that reference implies.

Furniture Friday: Gio Ponti Coffee Table Makeover

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Tropolism means design by doing it yourself.

Materialicious gives us a great coffee table makeover, inspired by Tropolism favorite Gio Ponti's Paolo console table. It's not in screen-printed leather like the original, but it's an inspired idea regardless. Stay tuned with them for how-to instructions.

The Glass From Terminal 8

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In February the 1960 stained glass window at JFK's terminal 8 was demolished. The window was over 300 feet long and 23 feet tall; it was designed by Robert Sowers for the 1960 American Airlines terminal. Our picture is of the terminal when it opened.

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What the articles at the time neglected to mention is that most of the window was salvaged by Olde Good Things in Manhattan. That link has lots of juicy demolition details. We happened to spot one of the pieces in their store window while passing by. Some of the window was destroyed before OGT jumped in and took the remaining window to their warehouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania. They numbered the sections and it is now possible to buy large sections of the window for reassembly elsewhere. So while the window did not find a permanent home, and it will undoubtedly be broken up, at least it's in good hands. And it's possible to put large swaths of it back together, if you have the spot for it.

Flower Machine Continued

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Pruned continues the thread about flower factories in Europe, starting with this stunning picture of tulip fields in the Netherlands.

Frank Sinatra's House

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For your next Palm Springs vacation, rent Frank Sinatra's house! The house was designed in 1947 (1946?) by E. Stewart Williams, who was also featured in the Julius Shulman show I wrote about a few months ago.

Via Materialicious.