With their sticky floors and seats sprinkled with popcorn crumbs, today’s movie theaters are often not much to look at. But rewind a few decades to the golden age of cinema, and you’ll find theaters as glamorous as the Hollywood films they showcased.
"Somehow SHoP has managed to please both architecture critics and real estate developers—perhaps its most impressive trick of all."
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SHoP Architects, a young New York firm, has grand designs. The firm’s seven partners say they won’t be content to merely leave a mark on America’s most important skyline; they also want to transform the business of creating buildings. “Sometimes we joke,” says one partner, Vishaan Chakrabarti, “that the nearest precedent is McKim, Mead & White.”
It’s a nervy comparison for a New York architect to make, even in jest—a little like a pop group invoking Mozart—but SHoP has begun to back its ambitions with big commissions. Over the past few years, the firm has become the city’s go-to designer for complex, civically important projects. In November, when the owner of a controversial Manhattan waterfront scheme unveiled plans for a 50-story hotel and marina, SHoP was his architect. When Michael Bloomberg, the city’s previous mayor, announced a $1.1 billion mixed-income housing development, SHoP partners were at his side. There’s also an ultra-luxury midtown condo tower, 100 feet taller than the Empire State Building; a dockyard redevelopment around an old Brooklyn sugar factory; and even an outlet mall in blue-collar Staten Island, to be adjoined by the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.
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Check out these amazing plans to make the world’s best airport even better. South Korea’s Incheon International Airport already has one gigantic terminal, but Terminal 2 needs to be finished for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The terminal’s two million-plus square feet will be big enough to contain a shopping district.
Co.Exist has a slideshow