Today’s News - Thursday, August 28, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be partaking of the long Labor Day weekend starting tomorrow; undoubtedly we'll have lots of catching up to do beginning Tuesday, September 2.
• Kamin pays tribute to Chicago architect Gerald Horn, who "found a way to relate to the past without copying it or indulging in architectural in-jokes."
• Wainwright pays tribute to the "gaudy genius" of Deborah Sussman, who "sprinkled her distinctive brand like sugary confetti across America."
• Goldberger weighs in with more than a tweet re: Hadid vs. NYRB/Filler: "she may be technically correct" about architects not being able to fix the problem of construction workers' safety, "but her remark is utterly disingenuous because her fame alone can bring enormous attention to the problem" (never mind her comments make her sound like "a cross between Maria Callas and Leona Helmsley").
• Bevan pens a most thoughtful piece about the destruction of the architectural heritage in Syria and Iraq: "these iconoclastic attacks on monuments are often an advanced warning of worse attacks to come. Saving historic treasures and saving lives are not mutually exclusive activities."
• King parses how safe rising towers are in San Francisco in the wake of the Napa quake: residents may "wonder about the wisdom of adding towers to a city in an earthquake zone. Structural engineers have no such doubts."
• Blumgart offers four lessons in public housing the U.S. could learn from the rest of the world: "The fact is that political-economic factors...were the cause of public housing's troubled history in America. Seen in international context, such failure clearly is not preordained."
• Moore finds much to like (with a few caveats) about the Cheesegrater: "Overlook its crass shape and enjoy instead the dazzling details" and (sort of) public spaces; it's "likely to be the best of the new London towers."
• BIG gets bonked for the second time as Park City, Utah, rejects its second design for the Kimball Art Center for its "lack of compatibility with Main Street" (maybe the third time will be the charm - if there is a third time).
• Harper offers the best review of the 2014 UIA Congress in South Africa: "Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in Durban" (a really good read).
• A round-up of Centers for Architecture that use the adaptive reuse of their buildings to "provide a ready-made example" of the power of design.
• Betsky poses four questions raised by "some of the hottest topics" in the news to spark some debate, including Istanbul's "demolishment of three hideous skyscrapers"; Kimmelman's take on "a fancy hospital in tony Princeton"; "Is it pure male chauvinism making women feel unwelcome?"
• Call for entries (deadline looms!): Design Trust for Public Space Architecture, Engineering & Graphic Design Fellows.
• Weekend diversions:
• Rajagopal offers an intriguing take-away from Rem's Venice Biennale, especially found in the non-European/North American pavilions, that "contradicts every single one of his propositions": "The problem that stands out is the conflation of Modernism, an architectural style, with modernity, a way of life."
• Clemence, meanwhile, finds the National Building Museum's "House and Home" and "BIG Maze" an "interesting counterpoint" to Rem's "Elements" that "seem to question the reductive conclusions drawn in Venice."
• Giovannini is quite taken by "Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment," the Skyscraper Museum's "compelling little show" displaying "brand-name architects" performing "social engineering" on NYC's "sewer of crime and swamp of sin."
• "Infra Eco Logi Urbanism" at Yale School of Architecture is "a head-scratcher that tackles big issues with an architect's detail pencil. The work may inspire wonder, inspiration or just confusion" (if you're not an architect, maybe you should bring one with you).
• In Manila, "The Surface of the World: Architecture and the Moving Image" is an exhibition "rich in contrasts that build to provide a fascinating glimpse of the contemporary metropolis."
• Calys cheers "A Gift of Architecture 2," the Oakland Museum of California's "clever and handsome tandem volume" that offers an "example of a well-executed, recrafted 50-year-old gem, reimagined to better serve its public without in any way damaging its original strength and beauty."
• Rybczynski says Ritchie's two-volume memoir "not only recalls his career as the 'Glass Man,' but it also documents the rise of a much celebrated and technologically savvy group of British architects."
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Obituary: Chicago architect Gerald Horn, 79: ...he found a way to relate to the past without copying it or indulging in architectural in-jokes...Despite his Miesian leanings, he joined forces with the Chicago Seven...But he played a different role than two of the group's formidable intellects, Stanley Tigerman and Thomas Beeby. By Blair Kamin -- Holabird & Root- Chicago Tribune
More is more: the gaudy genius of the late Deborah Sussman: The graphic designer, who died last week, aged 82, sprinkled her distinctive brand like sugary confetti across America, from the Willy Wonka-esque 1984 LA Olympics to Disney World. By Oliver Wainwright -- Sussman/Prejza; Jon Jerde [images]- Guardian (UK)
Zaha Hadid is Still Wrong About Construction Worker Conditions: ...lawsuit got an apology out of The New York Review of Books [Martin Filler]...she may be technically correct in saying that architects cannot fix this problem themselves, but her remark is utterly disingenuous because her fame alone can bring enormous attention to the problem...there is nothing wrong with taking a moral stand. By Paul Goldberger- Vanity Fair
Culture wars: tracking the destruction of Middle East monuments: Who cares about architectural heritage in Syria and Iraq when people are dying by the thousand? Well, more and more people are as it becomes understood that cultural genocide is inextricably linked to human genocide and ethnic cleansing...these iconoclastic attacks on monuments...are often an advanced warning of worse attacks to come...Saving historic treasures and saving lives are not mutually exclusive activities. By Robert Bevan- Evening Standard (UK)
How safe are rising S.F. towers in wake of Napa earthquake? Sunday's North Bay earthquake left no mark on San Francisco, but it was enough to pique the curiosity - or fears - of Bay Area residents who wonder about the wisdom of adding towers to a city in an earthquake zone. Structural engineers have no such doubts... By John King -- Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- San Francisco Chronicle
4 Public Housing Lessons the U.S. Could Learn From the Rest of the World: The fact is that political-economic factors — underfunding, excessive local control, institutionalized racism — were the cause of public housing’s troubled history in America. Seen in international context, such failure clearly is not preordained. By Jake Blumgart- Next City (formerly Next American City)
The Cheesegrater – a tower of no small ambition: Overlook, if you can, its crass shape and enjoy instead the dazzling details...Leadenhall building's claim to be special...rests on the zone beneath its overhanging mass, described as a "public space"...something most skyscrapers don't offer...It's a giant machine that shows itself to be a living, if not exactly a breathing, thing...likely to be the best of the new London towers... By Rowan Moore -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners [images]- Observer (UK)
City Hall Rejects BIG Revisions for Utah’s Kimball Art Center: BIG’s second proposal for the museum in Park City, Utah, has been rejected for lack of compatibility with Main Street...original proposal, which won a P/A Award in 2013, was rejected in large part because its height exceeded local zoning restrictions. -- Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- Architect Magazine
Blurred Lines: The UIA Congress in Durban, South Africa: An irrepressible commitment to architecture which bridges divisions and addresses social concerns across the Global South and beyond defined the 2014 UIA congress: Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in Durban... By Phineas Harper- Architectural Review (UK)
Adaptively Reused Centers for Architecture Show and Tell the Power of Design: In spaces where architects tell the story of what design can do, adaptively reused buildings provide a ready-made example. -- Shulman + Associates; Forbes Architects; Holst Architecture; architecture w; GRA+D; Schooley Caldwell Associates; Elkus Manfredi Architects [images]- AIArchitect
Four Questions Beyond Buildings: ...some of the hottest topics up for debate...that have arisen out of recent news and views: 1. Istanbul, Turkey...demolishment of three hideous skyscrapers; 2. Kimmelman presents a fancy hospital in tony Princeton...Can’t we make hospitals better for patients and staff...and maybe not such eyesores?; 3. Rosa Sheng/Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: Is it pure male chauvinism...making women feel unwelcome? 4. Skyscraper Museum’s resurrection of the 1984 Times Square competition: is it the fate of all good notions in architecture...to be turned into the blandest of copies produced to sell? By Aaron Betsky- Architect Magazine
Call for entries: Architecture, Engineering & Graphic Design Fellows: Design Guidelines for Neighborhood Retail + Design Education and Information Design Fellows: FMCP Creative / Reconnect the Park [Flushing Meadows-Corona Park]; deadline: September 15- Design Trust for Public Space
Whose Modernity? Rem Koolhaas's provocation for the architecture biennale helps expose critical non-Eurocentric histories: What’s now on display in Venice, especially in the pavilions of countries outside Western Europe and North America, contradicts every single one of [his] propositions...The problem that stands out as common to many of the pavilions is the conflation of Modernism, an architectural style, with modernity, a way of life. By Avinash Rajagopal -- NRJA; George Arbid; Bernard Khoury; Karl Henrik Nøstvik- Metropolis Magazine
Both House and Home: Why Architecture Is More Than Just Elements: A recent visit to the National Building Museum (NBM), in Washington D.C., made for an interesting counterpoint to...Rem Koolhaas “Elements” portion of his...Venice Architecture Biennale...“House and Home” and...“BIG Maze" seem to question the reductive conclusions drawn...in Venice...Isn’t what and how we are moved as important as what is around us? Isn’t that what truly makes architecture, versus just construction? By Paul Clemence -- Sarah Leavitt; Donald Albrecht; Thomas Mellins; Ralph Appelbaum Associates; Bjarke Ingels Group/BIG- Metropolis Magazine
Midtown Manhattan Wouldn’t Be the Same: “Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment,” at the Skyscraper Museum, displays attempts to reimagine Manhattan’s central neighborhood...enlisted high-style architecture and brand-name architects to perform social engineering on the “sewer of crime” and “swamp of sin”...compelling little show... By Joseph Giovannini -- Municipal Art Society of New York; Philip Johnson; John Burgee; Venturi and Denise Scott Brown; Fredric Schwartz; Rick Bell/Roger Finney/Bonnie Harken; Chip Sloan; Rodolfo Machado; George Ranalli; Lee Dunnette; David Stein; etc. [images]- New York Times
“Infra Eco Logi Urbanism" at Yale School of Architecture: ...a head-scratcher that tackles big issues with an architect’s detail pencil...focuses on a “megaregion"...as it envisions the kinds of systems that could best serve a cluster of cities in a time of renewable energy, mobility and urban growth. Say what? The work may inspire wonder, inspiration or just confusion. (Maybe bring an architect with you.) By Joe Amarante -- RVTR- New Haven Register (Connecticut)
"The Surface of the World: Architecture and the Moving Image": ...an exhibition rich in contrasts...that build to provide a fascinating glimpse of the contemporary metropolis...investigates the relationship between the built environment and the moving image via a range of filmographic practices...produced in the last four decades; at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila. By Gerard Rey Lico- Uncube magazine (Germany)
Behold I make all things new: "A Gift of Architecture 2: Oakland Museum of California": The clever and handsome tandem volume includes both the original book and the new publication...provides us a glimpse into example of a well-executed, recrafted 50 year old gem, reimagined to better serve its public without in any way damaging its original strength and beauty. By George Calys -- Kevin Roche; Mark Cavagnero- San Francisco Examiner
Engineering a Generation: Ian Ritchie’s new memoir not only recalls his career as the “Glass Man,” but it also documents the rise of a much celebrated and technologically savvy group of British architects...."Being: an Architect" is a two-volume memoir of an architect learning his craft, creating a practice, and discovering himself in the process. By Witold Rybczynski- Architect Magazine
ANN Feature: Avoiding the Greenwash: Don't be swayed by eco-friendly claims. Questions to ask, and resources for answers, to help select products that will best meet green projects' - and the planet's - sustainability needs. By Cameron Forte- ArchNewsNow
ANN Feature: Nuts + Bolts #9: The 80/20 Architect: How to Spend Wisely by Investing in Your Clients: Focusing on your top clients can increase your confidence, stability, and profitability. By Steve Whitehorn- ArchNewsNow
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