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Il Laboratorio del Gelato1 HWKN designs the cleanest, tastiest gelato in the city at Il Laboratorio del Gelato Warm Up all summer long at MoMA/P.S.1 Peter Zumthor will design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion P.S.1 MoMA's Young Architects Program

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EP 06 – ENTRY 03: IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

Article: EP 06 – ENTRY 03: IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS

All the hard labor is over, and so are the injuries that came with it (pink eye, beam-in-the-face, nail-through-the-hand, etc.) The students are down to the wire and they’re working fast, in anticipation of a much-needed summer break. Now it’s all about detail work: Applying a stair runner, sanding the front porch, installing the double-dutch…

EP 06 – ENTRY 04: BETWEEN THE LINES

Article: EP 06 – ENTRY 04: BETWEEN THE LINES

Flying above New Orleans, I’m only just beginning to understand how lucky I’ve been. Years ago, had you told me I’d be coming here to help produce a documentary series, I would have rolled my eyes and said “I wish.” In 2005, I would have imagined the city only through Katrina’s lens and its devastating…

EP 05 – ENTRY 02: CRAWFISH BOIL. YUM.

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 02: CRAWFISH BOIL. YUM.

Crawfish Boils are a Louisiana staple. But thanks to a nasty fever I got from too much Mardi Gras and not enough rest, I missed out on the Cajun festivities at Byron’s house that night. Dan Gilbert, our Associate Producer in New York, came down to help me out just in time for the delicious…

EP 05 – ENTRY 04: KEEPING THE FAITH

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 04: KEEPING THE FAITH

Casey isn’t the only one feeling down. Despite their stoic appearance, the rest of the group has been pretty low on fuel. Byron’s never-ending “Punch List” (the final To-Do’s) is written on a wooden slab that leans against an unfinished living room wall. Every time they cross off a task, two more appear. The students…

EP: 05 – NEW KID IN TOWN BY  STAN BERTHEAUD

Article: EP: 05 – NEW KID IN TOWN BY STAN BERTHEAUD

The TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour at the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, US of A took place a few weeks before “Architecture School” hit the airwaves. It was a classic LA industry event; chock full of agents, industry execs and talent… very organized and very cool. We unveiled “Architecture School”, our Sundance Channel series,…

EP 05 – ENTRY 03: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 03: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

About a month ago, a reporter from a well-respected magazine, ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, visited the build site to write a story about URBANbuild 08. The students were thrilled for the attention, and excited to share their project with the larger architecture and design community. The magazine story itself was glowing, but imagine how disheartened the students…

EP 05 – ENTRY 01: ROTARY DOWNS IN THE HOUSE

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 01: ROTARY DOWNS IN THE HOUSE

Last night we filmed a live show at a popular music venue in the French Quarter called One-Eyed Jacks [www.oneeyedjacks.net]. The Headliners: Rotary Downs [www.rotarydowns.com], a popular New Orleans rock band whose newest release, Sing Like The Sun, has received national attention. Not only was the band incredibly friendly, but a few days before we…

EP: 04 – RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME  BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

Article: EP: 04 – RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

When it comes to film locations, you can’t ask for a livelier, more multi-colored urban backdrop than New Orleans, Louisiana. And we tried to include this vibrant city in our series whenever possible. The obvious place to start is Mardi Gras; the Tuesday preceding Lent, the day before Ash Wednesday. Many cities around the world…

EP 04 – ENTRY 01: NEVERENDING STORY

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 01: NEVERENDING STORY

Guess what, folks? It’s still Mardi Gras. And I hate to ask, but when’s the party over? This little girl is exhausted, and so are we. Yesterday Rob went to the King Arthur parade and got hit in the head with a string of purple beads that actually drew blood. People have been stumbling down…

EP 04 – ENTRY 02: THE SOUND AND THE FURY

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 02: THE SOUND AND THE FURY

Endymion Parade in Mid-Town. Families set up camp all day waiting for this one. A surprise visit from our New York friend. Happy revelers. Mardi Gras ends. Rachel Clift Producer

EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Yesterday someone was shot and killed directly across the street from the build site. Nobody from URBANbuild was there – it was a Sunday and we all had the day off. According to news reports that followed, it was one of the deadliest weekends New Orleans has seen in a long time. The URBANbuild team…

EP 04 – ENTRY 03: A DIFFERENT KIND OF KREWE

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 03: A DIFFERENT KIND OF KREWE

There’s nothing like waking up at four in the morning for work. I’m only being halfway sarcastic. We filmed Kim’s varsity rowing crew practicing on the canal this morning, and got to watch the sun rise slowly over the city. We waited until the crew was about to glide underneath our bridge; then Michael captured…

EP 04 – ENTRY 05: THE GODS OF TV

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 05: THE GODS OF TV

While the students have remained loyal to their labor of love despite the violence, a prospective homebuyer who fell head over heels for the second URBANbuild house now has misgivings. Discrepancies are emerging between those who can afford the URBANbuild homes, those who can appreciate their architectural design, and those who are willing to live…

EP 03 – ENTRY 07: WOOF!

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 07: WOOF!

Remember Coz, our adorable Crew Mascot? He came all the way from New York to keep us company during what is sometimes a difficult five-week stretch away from our friends and family. At the end of a long day, nothing beats coming home to an unconditionally loving pup! So when it came time for Barkus,…

EP 03 – ENTRY 01: GET YOUR BUILD ON

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 01: GET YOUR BUILD ON

Happy New Year! 2008 brings your dedicated Crew back to the streets of “NOLA” for ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL, Spring Semester: THE BUILD! I don’t know about y’all, but we’re ready to put on some serious hard hats. While purple-clad, victorious, and hungover LSU (Louisiana State University) football fans stumbled home Monday morning after a winning championship…

EP: 03 – DOCUMENTARY vs. REALITY   BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

Article: EP: 03 – DOCUMENTARY vs. REALITY BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

“It’s not a reality show–it’s a documentary series,” I’ve heard myself say on countless occasions. Press, students, faculty, crew, have all at some point uttered the baggage-laden phrase “reality show,” and I am always compelled to clarify. “What’s the difference?” asked a journalist, who rolled her eyes when I made the distinction. “Style and purpose…”…

EP 03 – ENTRY 03: LET THEM EAT CAKE

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 03: LET THEM EAT CAKE

Here ye, here ye, Mardi Gras Season has officially begun! (I know, Fat Tuesday is three weeks away but that’s just how they roll in New Orleans. So many parades, so little time.) To ring in the party, the locals annually cut the ribbon with a King Cake. It’s a longstanding tradition, and its history…

EP 03 – ENTRY 02: A CAR NAMED AFTER DESIRE, A STREET NAMED AFTER BOURBON

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 02: A CAR NAMED AFTER DESIRE, A STREET NAMED AFTER BOURBON

I have an exciting announcement to make: The Streetcars are back! Temporarily shut down after the storm, now we hear them every night, that sweet sound of old wood rollin’ down the tracks outside our apartment building on Carondelet St – just three short blocks from Bourbon. Taken from my cell, that’s me on the…

EP 03 – ENTRY 04: DIG ME A HOLE

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 04: DIG ME A HOLE

Well, for all the excitement of the first few days, it turns out one of the most taxing parts of construction happens early on in a build: Digging the foundation. No one has a single nice thing to say about it. Digging a trench deep enough to support the concrete and reinforcement bars that will…

EP 03 – ENTRY 05: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 05: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

The official Mardi Gras street parades are inaugurated every year when one of the city’s oldest – Krewe de Vieux [www.kreweduvieux.org] – marches proudly through the French Quarter at night. Krewe de Vieux rolls weeks before the more famous (read: touristy) events take place, and is filled with adoring local fans who shout out in…

EP 03 – ENTRY 06: WHERE IS THE LAV?

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 06: WHERE IS THE LAV?

It’s not ALL fun and games around here, in case you were beginning to wonder. Today was tough. Carter measured the stringers for the front steps incorrectly and had to redo everything. Byron was not a happy camper. Meanwhile, two of our wireless mikes stopped working so we spent several hours figuring out how and…

EP: 02 – THE BACKSTORY BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

Article: EP: 02 – THE BACKSTORY BY MICHAEL SELDITCH

I’ve produced non-scripted television on a variety of topics: medicine, food, fashion, the environment, child birth, sex, new age practices, even exorcism. But architecture I know better than any of these subjects. I was an architect for 14 years. I practiced mostly in New York where I was licensed. I taught for 10 of those…

EP 02 – ENTRY 01: CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 01: CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Today we met someone who loves that empty blue 07 URBANbuild house on Dryades and Sixth. In fact, she can see it from her living room window. Her name is Tess Lassai, and she lives just a few doors down. A longtime resident of this neighborhood, Tess says the house reminds her of Santa Barbara.…

EP 02 – ENTRY 02: RECHARGE, REBIRTH

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 02: RECHARGE, REBIRTH

The Final Review is on the horizon. Yikes. For a little stress-management and a break from production, the crew had a night out on the town. We ate dinner at the ever popular Juan’s Flying Burrito [www.juansflyingburrito.com], where fiery hot Betty Page-esque waitresses served up Cajun-style burritos, spicy grilled shrimp salads, and margueritas to get…

EP 02 – ENTRY 03: STAND AND DELIVER

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 03: STAND AND DELIVER

Today was it, folks. The Final Review. After weeks of preparation and angst, the students got about 15 minutes to present their URBANbuild designs to a panel of professionals, not to mention their fidgety, nervous classmates. The anticipation in the final hour before the Review was palpable: I’ll be honest: A few people got ripped…