Today’s News - Thursday, December 12, 2019
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, December 17. Also of note: Tonight's full moon (known as the Cold Moon) is the last full moon of the decade (how time flies!).
● ANN double feature: Lesson Plan #7 by Dalrymple: An Implicit Rather than Explicit Model for Teaching Architecture: I would institute an annual prize for architecture students who would be given the task of designing a building that surpasses an iconic monstrosity in ugliness.
● ANN feature: Locktov, on the one-month anniversary of the devastating floods in Venice, describes the damage wrought on the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, including Scarpa and Botta interventions, and calls for support of fundraising for the restoration of its architectural and cultural treasures.
● Miranda brings us "mammoth news!" The La Brea Tar Pits chooses a design team led by Weiss/Manfredi (L.A.'s "beloved mammoths will not be going extinct" - as DS+R's plan would have done).
● Davidson tours S.F.'s Transbay district with King, "and found a neighborhood that aspires to be the apogee of the early-21st-century city," but "reveals how limited and banal our urban imagination has become - this fresh crop of architecture feels already wilted" (though he likes the elevated park that "feels deliciously private.").
● Eyefuls of MVRDV's competition-winning (and "ambitious") plan for a stretch of Seoul's riverfront that includes altering "the path of the river from a straight canal to a more natural-looking meandering waterway," and turning an existing highway ramp into an elevated park.
● Franklin reports on "the U.S.'s next largest mass timber office building" by Hacker Architects, part of a 28-acre development on San Francisco's historic Pier 70.
● Moore raises issues about Christmas markets, like the one in Trafalgar Square, that Stephen Bayley, in Grinch mode, "calls a 'hurdy-gurdy of kitsch' and 'an assembly of tat' - it's possible to see what he is complaining about."
● The 2020 AIA Gold Medal goes to Marlon Blackwell, and Architecture Research Office (ARO) takes home the 2020 AIA Firm Award - our heartiest congrats!
● Call for entries deadline reminder (next week!): 2020 Fairy Tales Competition: Tell us a bedtime story that will keep us up at night.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Top Architecture and Design Books of 2019: 10 books offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests.
Year in review:
● Kamin picks his "Best in architecture in 2019: Building boomed. Quality was hard to find. Here are the projects and events that stood out. Plus some notable losses."
● AN round-up x 2: The "funniest, most important, and most controversial stories that illuminated some shadowy status-quo practices, as well as fails by some worldwide favorites."
● AN looks back "on the great architects, designers, and curators we lost in 2019. The world is a little less bright without" them.
● Rodkin rounds up 2019's "five architectural standouts" in Chicago "that rose above the rest" - they "enhanced the look and character of the neighborhoods around them - some of them in surprising ways."
● Todd cheers "Gio Ponti: Loving Architecture" at the Zaha Hadid-designed MAXXI in Rome that narrows in on the polymath's architectural legacy - he "had a lot of tricks up his sleeve."
● Frearson cheers "The Architect's Studio: Tatiana Bilbao Estudio" at Denmark's Louisiana Museum that showcases her "socially minded architecture" + Frearson's Q&A with Bilbao: "'We banned renders' from the design process."
● "Structuring Form: Innovative Rigour of Mahendra Raj" at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi showcases the legacy of the 95-year-old engineer "who showed that walls can be finger-thin, and roofs can fly."
● Chandler cheers Kuang & Fabricant's "User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live and Play" that "doesn't require a degree from design school to appreciate. It's erudite and steeped in big ideas. But its main strength is great storytelling."
● In McCormack's "The Art of Looking Up," "the world's most spectacular ceilings are celebrated for their aesthetic power and examined for what they mean to those who created them - an alternative look at art where we might not expect it."
● Kohlstedt gives kudos to Schuster's "Swiss Cat Ladders" that presents cat ladders in Bern, Switzerland, "as a sociological, architectural and urban phenomenon - these complex creations reflect a reverence of cats but it also requires a level of community participation and acceptance" (our must-have tome!).
● Walker, Sisson & Polsky round up "101 books about where and how we live. Urban classics and new favorites to read and give."
● Wallpaper*'s round-up of "architecture books to lose yourself in - photographic tomes, architects' monographs and limited editions that we couldn't resist."
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ANN feature: Dr. Theodore Dalrymple: Lesson Plan #7: An Implicit Rather than Explicit Model for Teaching Architecture: I would institute an annual prize, with substantial cash awards, for architecture students who would be given the task of designing a building that surpasses an iconic monstrosity in ugliness.- ArchNewsNow.com
ANN feature: JoAnn Locktov: Scarpa and Botta Interventions Severely Damaged in Venice Floods: Fondazione Querini Stampalia initiates fundraising for restoration of its architectural and cultural treasures.- ArchNewsNow.com
Carolina A. Miranda: Mammoth news! La Brea Tar Pits chooses its design team: Los Angeles’ beloved mammoths will not be going extinct...Late this summer, their future appeared uncertain...Diller Scofidio + Renfro...plan called for the removal of one of Los Angeles’ most striking scene...The job goes to Weiss/Manfredi...within the tar pits, there is no sight quite like the mammoths...“Loops and Lenses" creates a series of looped pathways to highlight the park’s functions as active dig site, public park and museum. -- Willis Fagan & Frank Thornton (1977); Dorte Mandrup; Karin Fong/Imaginary Forces; Robert Perry,; Carole Gee; Mark Dion; Michael Bierut/Pentagram; Brenda Levin/Levin & Assoc.- Los Angeles Times
Justin Davidson: A Transit Hub for an All-Corporate-Sponsored San Francisco Future: Transbay Transit Center now bears the name of an especially vaporous entity: Salesforce...I recently toured the area with...John King, and found a neighborhood...that aspires to be the apogee of the early-21st-century city and reveals how limited and banal our urban imagination has become....[park] a highly managed, thoroughly surveilled civic space that, even full of people and security cameras, feels deliciously private...It’s disheartening, though, to raise your gaze...this fresh crop of architecture feels already wilted. -- Pelli Clarke Pelli; Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture/PWP Landscape Architecture; Heller Manus; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Goettsch Partners- New York Magazine
MVRDV to turn Seoul waterfront from gray to green: The Weaves is the result of an architecture competition...working alongside NOW Architect and Seoahn Total Landscape Architecture, will alter the path of the river from a straight canal to a more natural-looking meandering waterway... It's an ambitious project...will include a mixture of parks and interconnected pedestrian and bicycle paths...plazas, more viewing points, amphitheaters, cafes...an existing highway ramp will be turned into an elevated park... -- Winy Maas- New Atlas (formerly Gizmag)
Sydney Franklin: Hacker Architects reveals the U.S.'s next largest mass timber office building, in San Francisco: ...part of a 28-acre development on historic Pier 70...six-story, 310,000-square-foot structure will be among the first new buildings...to anchor the city’s newest waterfront destination...85-foot-tall office building will feature cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glulam columns and beams...- The Architect's Newspaper
Rowan Moore: Britain’s great urban spaces are made for celebrations. Let’s keep them special: Christmas markets, like the one in Trafalgar Square, need much greater thought or they become just another retail outlet peddling kitsch: Every Christmas needs its Grinch. This year, the elegantly clad form of Stephen Bayley...has stepped on to the stage...The object of his dislike is the Christmas market in Trafalgar Square, which he calls a “hurdy-gurdy of kitsch” and “an assembly of tat”...it’s possible to see...what he is complaining about....At the very least, there needs to be more intelligence and design in the way that temporary elements go together...- Observer (UK)
Antonio Pacheco: 2020 AIA Gold Medal goes to Marlon Blackwell, ARO receives 2020 AIA Firm Award: Blackwell is being recognized specifically for a "body of transcendent work" in Northwest Arkansas...chair of the E. Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design...recently named as one of the "30 Most Admired Educators" by DesignIntelligence...founded in 1993...[Architecture Research Offic] has a reputation for producing work that is "simultaneously humanistic and analytical" -- Stephen Cassell/Kim Yao/Adam Yarinsky/Architecture Research Office- Archinect
Call for entries deadline reminder: 2020 Fairy Tales Competition: Tell us a bedtime story that will keep us up at night; cash prizes; deadline: December 19- Blank Space
Blair Kamin: Best in architecture in 2019: Notre Dame saved, Wright honored, Old Post Office revived: Building boomed. Quality was hard to find. Here are the projects and events that stood out in 2019. Plus some notable losses. -- Harboe Architects; Gensler; Farr Associates; Woodhouse Tinucci Architects; John Ronan; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Perkins+Will; MASS Design Group; Krueck + Sexton Architects; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Rafael Viñoly; David Rockwell; Stanley Tigerman; Franz Schulze; I.M. Pei; Cesar Pelli; Kevin Roche- Chicago Tribune
Here are 2019's most controversial moments in architecture: ...this year’s funniest, most important, and most controversial stories...that illuminated some shadowy status-quo practices as well as fails by some worldwide favorites...LACMA up to Zumthing; Santiago Calatrava continues to have constant kerfuffles with infrastructure work; etc. -- Peter Zumthor; Junya Ishigami; Thom Mayne/Morphosis- The Architect's Newspaper
In Memoriam: Looking back on the great architects, designers, and curators we lost in 2019: The world is a little less bright without these iconic designers, but from the Louvre pyramid to a series of architecturally-diverse cancer care centers, their legacies live on. -- I.M. Pei/Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (formerly I.M. Pei & Associates); Kevin Roche/Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates; Florence Knoll Bassett; Phil Freelon/The Freelon Group,/Perkins+Will; Henry Urbach; Cristiano Toraldo di Francia/Superstudio; César Pelli/Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Charles Jencks; Stanley Tigerman/Tigerman McCurry Architects- The Architect's Newspaper
Dennis Rodkin: Five architectural standouts that rose above the rest in 2019: These new buildings enhanced the look and character of the neighborhoods around them this year - some of them in surprising ways. -- Rafael Viñoly; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; John Ronan Architects; SCB/Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Juan Moreno/JGMA Architects; Farr Associates; Woodhouse Tinucci; Theaster Gates- Crain's Chicago Business
Laura May Todd: Gio Ponti Had a Lot of Tricks Up His Sleeve: A new show at MAXXI proves the influential Italian contributed as much to architecture as he did to design: [He] seems to encapsulate the phrase Dal cucchiaio alla città - "from the spoon to the city"..."Gio Ponti: Loving Architecture" seeks to shed light on the polymath's lesser-known feats...narrowing in on his architectural legacy...from his home...to the Pirelli skyscraper...to the Denver Art Museum - one of his last works . Rome, thru April 13, 2020 -- Maristella Casciato- Architectural Digest
Amy Frearson: Louisiana Museum [Denmark] showcases the socially minded architecture of Tatiana Bilbao: "The Architect's Studio: Tatiana Bilbao Estudio" includes an imaginary city, a cabinet of curiosities and four full-size architectural mockups...[and her] social-housing prototypes, a botanical garden, a pilgrimage route and an aquarium...aims to show how Bilbao focuses on site-specificity and collaboration in her design process... + link to Frearson's Q&A: "'We banned renders' from the design process" says Tatiana Bilbao'"; thru April 5, 2020 -- Kjeld Kjeldsen; Mette Marie Kallehauge- Dezeen
The engineer who showed that walls can be finger-thin, and roofs can fly: With his genius for manipulating brick and concrete, Mahendra Raj has been the man behind much of India’s modern architecture. A retrospective examines his engineering legacy: “Structuring Form: Innovative Rigour of Mahendra Raj” at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in Delhi...At 95, he continues to recall...how he stood up to Corbusier in changing some of his designs and why concrete became the material he embraced. thru December 25 -- Studio VanRO- Indian Express (Chandigarh)
Clay Chandler: The Design Fail Behind the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire: "User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live and Play" by Cliff Kuang with Robert Fabricant offers a lucid account of the rise of human-centric design - one that doesn't require a degree from design school to appreciate...reminds us that when the people who build the machines don't try hard enough to understand the people who use them, the results can be catastrophic...It's erudite and steeped in big ideas. But its main strength is great storytelling. -- Bauhaus; Raymond Loewy; Norman Bel Geddes; Henry Dreyfuss; IDEO- Fortune magazine
"The Art of Looking Up": the world's most spectacular ceilings: In a new book, guided by the art history expert Catherine McCormack, 40 ceilings from around the globe are celebrated for their aesthetic power and examined for what they mean to those who created them. From the Senso-ji temple in Japan to the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas...offers up an alternative look at art where we might not expect it.- Guardian (UK)
Kurt Kohlstedt: "Swiss Cat Ladders": Documenting & Deconstructing Feline-Friendly Infrastructure: In her book German author, graphic designer...Brigitte Schuster ambitiously examines cat ladders as a sociological, architectural and urban phenomenon [in Bern, Switzerland]...the prevalence of these complex creations reflects a reverence of cats but it also requires a level of community participation and acceptance.- 99% Invisible
Alissa Walker, Patrick Sisson & Sara Polsky: 101 books about where and how we live: Urban classics and new favorites to read and give: Urban Classics | Why We Build | Cities We Love | Changing Places | Planning the Future | Understanding People | How We Live Today- Curbed
Shelf love: architecture books to lose yourself in: These are the photographic tomes, architects’ monographs and limited editions that we couldn’t resist. -- "Slacklands 2: A Guide To Rural Contemporary Architecture Of The Twentieth Century" by Corinna Dean; "Edge of Order" by Daniel Libeskind & Tim McKeough; "Snøhetta: Collective Intuition"; "Eric Mendelsohn Synagogues"; "Contours & Horizons: Reiulf Ramstad Architects"; "Midwest Architecture Journeys" by Zach Mortice & Alexandra Lange; "Architects’ Houses" by Michael Webb; "Archigram – The Book"; "Rene Gonzalez Architects: Not Lost in Translation"; "Post-Modern Buildings in Britain" by Geraint Franklin & Elain Howard; "A New History of Modern Architecture" by Colin Davies; "Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums" by Maryam Omidi; etc.- Wallpaper*
ANN feature: Norman Weinstein: Top Architecture and Design Books of 2019: 10 books offering historic sweeps, global visions, and heroic quests. -- Friederike Hollander & Nina Wiedemeyer; Austin Williams; Jane Hall; Philip Jodidio; Izabela Cichonska, Karolina Popera, & Kuba Snopek; Don Barasch; Charles Lockwood & Patrick W. Ciccone w/ Jonathan D. Taylor; Rowan Bain; Ben Stevens; Philip Jodidio & Aga Kahn Historic Cities Programme- ArchNewsNow.com
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