Today’s News - Monday, September 29, 2008
• ArcSpace brings us an eyeful of a new museum in Austria, and Ma Yansong's new book.
• A rather contentious day for architecture: Ouroussoff's wish list of NYC buildings he'd like to seen torn down because they bring us down (who "us," kemo sabe?!!?).
• Rosenbaum calls him on it, saying his call to obliterate new MAD is nothing short of "critical malpractice."
• Speaking of MAD, Campbell finds its IKEA carton exterior "a huge disappointment," but likes what he sees inside.
• Kamin calls it "sweetly, but imperfectly, transformed," holding lessons "about breathing new life into oddball architecture."
• Kennicott seems most pleased to see the Stone building gone: "a building that was hard to love has been turned into a building that is hard to hate."
• McGuigan muses that while it's not flawless, MAD "manages to both echo the past and breathe new life into a long-derelict little block."
• Hawthorne offers an amusing annotated reading of Huxtable's famous "lollipop" review (even though he respectfully disagrees).
• Dietsch on Pei's new China chancery in DC: "more diplomatic than daring...possesses all the requisite qualities of a Washington government building - solidity, dignity and monumentality."
• Gunts has high hopes for Baranes's plan to save the Mechanic Theater "as long as the owners and the city don't settle for anything less."
• Heathcote heaps high praise on Hadid: "the most astonishingly original figures in contemporary design."
• King on Piano's clear vision for the Academy of Sciences.
• Behind all the Academy hoopla is the too under-heralded Gordon Chong finally given a voice.
• Big plans for a sculpture park in Des Moines.
• New study says don't blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions (they're not as polluting as you think).
• The details that take buildings from being wonderful to genius.
• Kaplan calls for L.A. to let loose the neon.
• With 10% of its membership overseas (and depressing home-front downturn), RIBA moves into Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Gulf.
• An eyeful of the winners in Jordan's Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence.
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-- querkraft architekten: Museum Liaunig, Neuhaus/Suha, Carinthia, Austria
-- Book: MAD Dinner by Ma Yansong
New York City, Tear Down These Walls: Instead of crying over what can’t be built, why not refocus our energies on knocking down the structures that not only fail to bring us joy, but actually bring us down? By Nicolai Ouroussoff -- Pei Cobb Freed (1986); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) (1976); Gwathmey Siegel (2006); Edward Durell Stone [slide show]- New York Times
Critical Meltdown: Ouroussoff Recommends Demolition for Cloepfil's Just-Completed Museum of Arts and Design: An architecture critic is supposed to evaluate and analyze buildings, not preemptively design them...But [his] published desire for the obliteration of the reclad and reconfigured museum facility on Columbus Circle unequivocally IS critical malpractice. By Lee Rosenbaum [images, links]- ArtsJournal
A surprising package: At Museum of Arts and Design, it's what's on the inside that counts: The building looks like an upended carton...There's a lot to like about MAD once you penetrate the carton...But at the urban scale, as a presence on a key site in the streetscape of New York, MAD is a huge disappointment. By Robert Campbell -- Edward Durell Stone (1964); Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture- Boston Globe
'Lollipop building' at New York's Columbus Circle sweetly, but imperfectly, transformed into Museum of Arts and Design: ...this is a second act worth seeing — and worth pondering for the lessons it teaches, both pro and con, about breathing new life into oddball architecture...while no masterpiece, turns out to be a better example of architectural recycling than its critics predicted. By Blair Kamin -- Edward Durell Stone (1964); Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture- Chicago Tribune
A Halfhearted Fare-Thee-Well to a Middling Design: Museum of Arts and Design...A building that was hard to love has been turned into a building that is hard to hate. By Philip Kennicott -- Edward Durell Stone (1964); Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture [slide show]- Washington Post
Love the New Skin You’re In: The quirky 'lollipop' building is finally reborn...Though not flawless, the Museum of Arts and Design manages to both echo the past and breathe new life into a long-derelict little block of the city. By Cathleen McGuigan -- Edward Durell Stone (1964); Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture- Newsweek
Close reading: Annotating Ada Louise Huxtable's infamous 'lollipop' review: I decided to try dealing with Huxtable the way Cloepfil dealt with Stone...should be taken in the spirit in which it was produced: as a sign of respect for Huxtable’s forceful criticism -- even though we happen to disagree on the value of this particular building... By Christopher Hawthorne -- Allied Works Architecture [links]- Los Angeles Times
China's new chancery: East meets West in an elegant building by I.M. Pei and his sons: ...more diplomatic than daring, blending Eastern and Western elements in subtle ways, and possesses all the requisite qualities of a Washington government building — solidity, dignity and monumentality. By Deborah K. Dietsch -- Pei Cobb Freed; Pei Partnership [slide show]- Washington Times
Saving the Mechanic Theatre: Shalom Baranes preserves the structure while modifying its faults...design shows that the Mechanic can live on as part of a nationally significant combination of adaptive reuse and new construction - as long as the owners and the city don't settle for anything less. By Edward Gunts -- John Johansen (1967)- Baltimore Sun
A true original: Innovation in architecture can be a risky business...buildings are required...to last, to function, to adapt to changing uses. If they can be beautiful, sculptural or surprising, that is a bonus – but one that can also prove a hindrance...no one makes better sculptural, innovative and extraordinary buildings than Zaha Hadid...the most astonishingly original figures in contemporary design. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Academy architect Piano had a clear vision: He wanted it to feel rooted in Golden Gate Park, with a green roof and glassy walls..."If I was making the roof like a beautiful Swiss landscape, it would have no soul"... By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Gordon Chong Behind New Academy of Sciences: "This is the most exciting project I have ever worked on"... -- Renzo Piano; Chong Partners Architecture (now Stantec Architecture)- AsianWeek (San Francisco)
Carving an outdoor museum: Iowans...will have plenty to say about the artwork in the future Pappajohn Sculpture Park...it's possible the landscape itself will face an equal dose of scrutiny...[of] a detailed plan to transform the flat lawn into an outdoor gallery... -- Agrest and Gandelsonas Architects; RDG Planning and Design- Des Moines Register
Study: Don't blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions: ...unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change...cities are often blamed for 75% to 80% of emissions...true value is closer to 40% percent...the potential for cities to help address climate change is being overlooked because of this error.- Environmental News Network (ENN)
The Fillips That Take Buildings From Merely Wonderful to Genius: It's the fillips, or flourishes, that really count in the great paintings...For architects, however, the real badges of honor are often more obscure...Two such occurrences have recently cropped up. -- Cook + Fox Architects; Moed de Armas & Shannon- New York Sun
Let There Be Lights: Neon Plan Would Help Entertainment District Shine...dazzling, diverting and distinctive dancing diode displays that distinguish Downtown Los Angeles...time to sparkle with an imaginative array of brilliant, blinking conceits that will mark it as the creative capital of the world. By Sam Hall Kaplan- LA Downtown News
RIBA moves into Hong Kong, Singapore and the Gulf: ...in response to a rise in expatriate membership...RIBA now has over 4,300 members overseas, just over 10% of its membership....international move comes as the downturn in the UK forces architects to seek more work in secure international markets. -- Goh Chong Chia; Simon Crispe/Atkins- Building (UK)
The Omrania l CSBE Student Award for Excellence for the best Jordanian Architecture Graduation Project in 2008. [images, links]- Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE)
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