The state of California recently announced the hire of Chet Widom as the new State Architect. Widom, who served as president of the American Institute of Architects in 1995, was a partner at Widom Wein Cohen O'Leary Terasawa from 1964 to 2008. In his new position, Widom will oversee design and construction of schools, colleges and other state owned facilities, as well developing statewide building standards and codes for private buildings.
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Architect Wallace Neff developed Airform construction as a solution to the global housing crisis in 1941—imagine a house constructed in less than forty-eight hours, without using lumber or nails, that is more resistant to fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes than any traditionally built structure. These dome-shaped "bubble houses" were made of reinforced concrete and cast in position over an inflatable balloon. No Nails, No Lumber (DECEMBER 15), by author Jeffrey Head, shows the beauty and versatility of Neff 's design through new and vintage photography, previously unpublished illustrations, archival material, and ephemera. Published by Princeton Architecural Press. 176 pages / 100 color ill +100 b/w; Hardcover / $24.95.
Furniture design gallery Ralph Pucci International is offering the SCARAB Cabinet by Patrick Naggar for Ralph Pucci--an original piece serving as a bar, media cabinet, or simply a precious cabinet. The surface of the SCARAB Cabinet’s doors display a striated relief with a gilded bronze finish, and the of the beetle shaped piece changes from green to gold to deep blue depending on the position of the viewer. The body of the cabinet is lacquered wood, with an interior of gold powder mixed with lacquer. The SCARAB by Patrick Naggar is available exclusively through Ralph Pucci, www.ralphpucci.net (price upon request).
The Foster + Partners and URS team has won an international competition to build The New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building, the first private spaceport in the world. Located in New Mexico, the sleek and winding building can be seen from the El Camino Real trail in all its alluring and dramatic glory, meant to communicate the nature of space travel itself.
LACMA and AIA|LA will be presenting “Irish Architecture Now” at LACMA’s Bing Theater on November 8 as a part of the International Architecture Lecture Series. Top Irish architects Yvonne Farrell—co-founder of Grafton Architects—, Sheila O’Donnell of O’Donnell + Tuomey and Tom dePaor—director of dePaor architects—will be present to address the state of Irish Architecture in modern Ireland. “Irish Architecture Now” is Ireland’s first ever architectural showcase in the U.S. and is part of Imagine Ireland, Culture Ireland’s year of Irish arts in America.