Today’s News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019
● Okamoto's great Q&A with Deamer re: The Architecture Lobby's Just Design fair labor certification initiative: "Whether seeking Just Design certification or not, the questions that we ask within our nomination process are those that our industry should absolutely consider."
● Kamin minces no words about what he thinks of the "travesty" that is an upcoming Chicago Plan Commission vote on Lincoln Yards: "Something smells bad here. If key aspects remain in flux - the revised plan should be presented at a large community meeting - major questions remain unanswered."
● Lam x 2 re: Sidewalk Toronto: It is a "significant experiment in smart city design. There has been political turmoil over the project," but "it's worth looking at the panoply of groundbreaking architectural innovations that Sidewalk has been developing."
● She delves into the details in a great Q&A with Sidewalk Labs' Director of Buildings Innovation Khalifa about the architectural details, including a "kit of parts" to build a dozen mass timber towers, and "innovations in infrastructure to encourage flexibility of use" ("stoas" sound cool!).
● Davidson cheers D.C.'s The Wharf, a "built-from-scratch neighborhood that doesn't gaslight us into pretending it's something it isn't" - instead of "ersatz charm and shrink-wrapped chic," it "has absorbed the latest in place-making wisdom - designed with sensitivity and flair."
● Brussat responds to a Boston Globe story on what Boston's past means for its future: "The story seemed to say that Boston's historic character isn't worth a hill of beans."
● The "Modernist ruin" of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's 1966 St. Peter's Seminary in Cardross is an "albatross around the neck" of the Roman Catholic Church, who can't even give it away, but Alan Dunlop says it "is as important as Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art," and hopes the government will "spend money on saving it" (fab photos!).
● Moore marvels at Witherford Watson Mann's Nevill Holt Opera House: "Its virtues are intense levels of thoughtfulness and discreet wit. It is a place that can make opera feel fresh and alive."
● Sussman finds "revealing" results when she asked more than 500 people to "draw a house as if they were five": 70% drew what she calls a "primal pattern" (symmetrical windows and a central door): "Streetscapes with primal patterning in their architecture will always be easier for us to feel at home in. Tracking primal patterning may even prove useful [in] building successful developments in the future."
● Chris Downey gets the "60 Minutes" treatment: Since going blind 10 years ago, he "says he's actually gotten better at his job": "I just needed new tools. It wasn't about what I'm missing in architecture, it's about what I had been missing in architecture."
● Mithun opens a 3rd office via L.A. merger with Hodgetts + Fung, henceforth Mithun | Hodgetts + Fung.
● Not your typical architecture news story: Gehry gets a 5-year restraining order against a man who sent him death threats via e-mail - and inquired about getting a job at the firm.
● A great profile of Ossipoff, "who brought Tropical Modernism to Hawaii - in learning from his work, a model for a more sustainable future arises."
ICYMI: ANN feature: Plaut pens Part 2 of our "Building Abundance" series, offering 3 keys to abundant design.
ICYMI: ANN feature: Hall Kaplan cheers the 6th edition of "An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles" by Gebhard & Winter (despite its "gloomy" cover).
Winners all (and one cool deadline):
● Speaking of Hawaii, the AIA Film Challenge 2018 People's Choice Award winner is "the story of indigenous architect Francis Palani Sinenci and his efforts to preserve ancient Hawaiian cultural practices."
● Philippe Starck, who "has changed the industry more than once," takes home the 2019 Frame Lifetime Achievement Award.
● The 2019 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition names five finalists - this year, it will rise on Roosevelt Island instead of Governors Island.
● Winners of The Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center architecture competition for an iconic entryway to the park in Latvia hail from the Czech Republic, Uruguay, and France.
● Call for entries (deadline looms!): Tête-à-Tête: Reinventing the Conversation Bench for an exhibition at the Westport Arts Center in Connecticut (categories: Fantastical; Functional; Collaborative).
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Katie Okamoto: The Architecture Lobby Launches Case Studies of Fair Labor Firms: The Lobby’s Just Design initiative, hosted on Archinect, identifies 25 exceptional firms and plans a future certification: ...certification that, like Fair Trade or LEED, would help guide job searchers (as well as potential clients). Q&A with Peggy Deamer re: fair labor in the context of architecture, why recognizing its practice matters..."the transparency and clarity that management can provide an office is really important...Whether...seeking Just Design certification or not, the questions that we ask within our nomination process are those that our industry should absolutely consider."- Metropolis Magazine
Blair Kamin: ...the Rahm Express is about to run over good planning at Lincoln Yards: ...[it] is scheduled - in just two weeks! - for an almost sure thumbs-up vote at the Chicago Plan Commission. Something smells bad here...If key aspects...remain in flux, it should not be going to the commission...revised plan should be presented...at a large community meeting, before the commission meets...Meetings like this...provided essential feedback...to take the bold step of ditching the traffic-clogging stadium and the slick corporate entertainment district...It must show complete plans that will produce a vital public realm...major questions remain unanswered. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- Chicago Tribune
Elsa Lam: Viewpoint: Sidewalk Toronto: A significant experiment in smart city design is being proposed...a mixed-use community on a 12-acre site...There has been political turmoil over the project...But in the meanwhile, it’s worth looking at the panoply of groundbreaking architectural innovations that Sidewalk has been developing...There are significant political, regulatory and practical issues to address...But one can marvel at these ambitious proposals, which together take a wide scope in rethinking the way that neighbourhoods [and cities] might function. -- Michael Green; Equilibrium; Aspect; Snøhetta; Thomas Heatherwick;. Gh3*; Teeple Architects; Dubbledam Architecture; Karim Khalifa/Sidewalk Labs- Canadian Architect
Elsa Lam: ‘Building Innovation’ with Sidewalk Labs’ Karim Khalifa: In December, Google affiliate...unveiled its draft master plan for the Quayside neighbourhood in Toronto...includes a dozen mass timber towers - some up to 30 storeys high...[Q&A with] Director of Buildings Innovation at Sidewalk Labs, about the architectural details of the proposal..."We asked Michael Green to design a kit of parts...to build tall timber buildings." -- Michael Green; Snøhetta; Thomas Heatherwick; gh3*; Teeple Architects; Heather Dubbledam- Canadian Architect
Justin Davidson: A Built-From-Scratch Neighborhood in Washington That Doesn’t Feel Prefab: The Wharf doesn’t gaslight us into pretending it’s something it isn’t: None of this existed a couple of years ago, and already it has a patina of urban romance...When a development team slathers $2 billion and sics a dozen architects onto a half-mile of dilapidated shoreline, you might expect the results to be a “place"...of ersatz charm and shrink-wrapped chic. The Wharf...makes the scare quotes unnecessary...has absorbed the latest in place-making wisdom...a miniature Oslo-on-Potomac with a year-round urban outdoors designed with sensitivity and flair. -- Perkins Eastman; Rockwell Group; SHoP; ODA; Morris Adjmi; Rafael Viñoly- New York Magazine
David Brussat: "A future, or just history"?: A Sunday Globe story...caught my eye. I was arrested by the headline, whose kicker and subhead only added insult to injury: “Trapped in Time” and “No, Faneuil Hall isn’t ‘Boston’ anymore. But even with promised changes, can it ever be again?” The story seemed to say that Boston’s historic character isn’t worth a hill of beans...calls Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market examples of urban renewal, but that is a misnomer. Scollay Square, the West End and other lovely old places demolished to make way for ugly new ones. That is urban renewal...- Architecture Here and There
Modernist ruin is an 'albatross around our neck' says church: ...said they could not even give it away. St Peter's Seminary in Cardross...built in 1966 as a training college for priests...came to be considered a modernist masterpiece but its working lifetime was short...[it] was deconsecrated in 1980...in 1992...was Category A listed by Historic Scotland...Alan Dunlop said: "I would go as far as saying this building is as important as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art"...he hoped the government would look favourably on the building and spend money on saving it. -- Gillespie, Kidd & Coia; Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein [images]- BBC News
Rowan Moore: Nevill Holt Opera - a quiet kind of drama: Subtle and intimate, this opera house within a stable block is perfectly attuned to performers, audience and the elements alike: architects good at putting new things into old things...room retains an exterior air, with a calculated roughness in its surfaces...Diversity achieves wholeness...Its virtues are intense levels of thoughtfulness and discreet wit. It is not radical. It is not trying...to reinvent the nature of theatre. But neither does it simply follow conventional formulas. It is a place that can make opera feel fresh and alive. -- Witherford Watson Mann [images]- Observer (UK)
Ann Sussman: The “Primal Pattern” for Architecture is in Us: What happens when you ask people to “draw a house as if they were five?” ...I asked more than 500 people...The results are in - and they are revealing...In 70% of the cases, people drew...a bilateral symmetrical building with two windows and a centrally placed door...Remarkably, the drawings varied little even if people were born or grew up outside North America or the U. S...31%...came from other continents...Streetscapes with primal patterning in their architecture will always be easier for us to walk down and feel at home in...Tracking primal patterning may even prove useful for understanding urban impact, and...building successful developments in the future.- The Genetics of Design
Lesley Stahl: Architect goes blind, says he's actually gotten better at his job: A social worker tried to tell him about "career alternatives" after he lost his sight, but Chris Downey wasn't about to stop being an architect: What he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision..."the creative process is an intellectual process. It's how you think, so I just needed new tools"...a printer that could emboss architectural drawings..."It wasn't about what I'm missing in architecture, it's what - was about what I had been missing in architecture."- CBS News 60 Minutes
Redesign for Hodgetts + Fung: Firm joins Mithun, broadens focus: Craig Hodgetts and Hsinming Fung...are now partners at Mithun...operation will be known as Mithun | Hodgetts + Fung.- Los Angeles Business Journal
Frank Gehry Granted Five-Year Restraining Order Against Man Who Sent Him Death Threats: ...the man has traveled to Gehry's Los Angeles office multiple times and inquired about employment...visits from the man morphed into more aggressive forms of communication, including multiple death threats against Gehry sent by email. The emails, which are extremely violent...- The Blast
The Architect Who Brought Tropical Modernism to Hawaii: How to design a building in such a place? ...For Vladimir Ossipoff, whose brand of midcentury modernism would define Hawaiian architecture, the answer lay in simplicity. Over a span of more than 60 years and 1,000 projects, he left an enduring imprint on Hawaii...blending of Japanese, native Hawaiian, and midcentury design, his buildings gave form to a new era in Hawaiian history...Famously announcing a “war on ugliness”...he was an early proponent of design attuned to the sensitivities of its surroundings...in learning from Ossipoff’s work...a model for a more sustainable future arises. [images]- Artsy magazine
A Revival in Hawaii: Presenting the AIA Film Challenge 2018 People’s Choice Award winner: "Ka Hale: A Revival," the story of indigenous architect Francis Palani Sinenci and his efforts to preserve ancient Hawaiian cultural practices...Marq Morrison’s film reminds audiences that even as the world moves forward, time-honored methods of building have survived this long for a reason. [video]- Architect Magazine
Frame Lifetime Achievement Award 2019: Philippe Starck has changed the industry more than once: ...a prolific 35-year-long career of reinventing spatial typologies with a nose for what’s next...Yoo brand that he launched in 1999 with John Hitchcox changed the real estate industry- Frame magazine
2019 City of Dreams Competition: FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the AIA New York Chapter, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York are excited to announce five finalists...winning team will then construct its design on Roosevelt Island... -- Hadin Charbel/Patrick Donbeck/Déborah López; Daisy Ames/Julie Perrone/Studio Ames + Heidi Kujawa/Michael Kujawa/ByFusion; Suemin Jeon; Oscar Ulises Ramirez Hernandez; Jessica Colangelo/Charles Sharpless/Somewhere Studio [images]- FIGMENT/ENYA/AIANY/SEAoNY
The Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center architecture competition results announced: ...designs for an iconic entryway to the park in Latvia - one of the largest national parks in Europe. -- Jan Tomas Ciesla/Miroslav Kra´tky´/Iva Potuckova´ (Czech Republic); Rodrigo Zagarzazu/Lucia Rehermann/Renzo Bonina/Christian Flores (Uruguay); Sauvineau Florent/Scape Architecture (France) [images]- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert) / Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia
Call for entries: Tête-à-Tête: Reinventing the Conversation Bench: for concept exhibition will take place at the Westport Arts Center in March 2019; award categories: Fantastical; Functional; Collaborative; deadline: January 25- Westport Arts Center (Connecticut)
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