Today’s News - Tuesday, October 21, 2008
• ArcSpace brings us an Abu Dhabi tower, and a Snøhetta museum in Norway.
• Ouroussoff finds a "wince factor" in Hadid's pop-up pavilion in Central Park, and hopes that "the era of exploiting the so-called intersection of architecture, art and fashion is finally over."
• Iovine finds it "a fine example of the collapse between art and commerce that architecture feeds into so well" (great pix!).
• King on 3 San Francisco affordable housing projects: they make everything around them better.
• An eyeful of Libeskind's shopping mall in Switzerland, a project type not below his "dignity."
• Saffron had high hopes for an outpatient facility; instead, the "Big Driveway rules again" (though "you can't help admiring the many thoughtful touches" inside).
• Hamburg's newest museum space is the "most ambitious," "stunning," and "finely orchestrated."
• Heathcote gives a thumbs-up to Royal College of Art campus plans in a "neglected yet central chunk of south London."
• He finds the new Wexford Opera House "is as much about the town as about the building. It succeeds impeccably."
• Rawsthorn on China becoming the center of innovation - with caveats and questions.
• King tours a massive marshland restoration project that's "beyond any sort of ecological restoration before attempted in an urban region, so much so that planners don't even pretend to know how things will go."
• An eyeful of Weston-super-Mare pier competition winner (and the runners-up).
• Lots of pix of Holcim Prize winners.
• Restoration of FLW house by owners-architects take a prize.
• Architects ally in Calgary.
• SMWM merges with Perkins+Will.
• Descottes: the master of lighting who has had as large an impact on the contemporary New York skyline as any architect.
• The World Architecture Festival launches tomorrow, brought to the rest of us via CNN.
• We couldn't resist: a Swiss nuclear bunker transformed into a "zero-star hotel."
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-- LAVA: Michael Schumacher Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE
-- Snøhetta: Petter Dass Museum, Alstahaug, Norway
Art and Commerce Canoodling in Central Park: The wild, delirious ride that architecture has been on for the last decade looks as if it’s finally coming to an end...if devoting so much intellectual effort to such a dubious undertaking might have seemed indulgent a year ago, today it looks delusional...sets out to drape an aura of refinement over a cynical marketing gimmick. By Nicolai Ouroussoff-- Zaha Hadid- New York Times
Pop-Up Hadid: ..Chanel pop-up architecture pavilion...a fine example of the collapse between art and commerce that architecture feeds into so well. By Julie V. Iovine [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Housing projects benefit more than just tenants: Affordable housing needn't offer shelter alone. It can make everything around it better. By John King -- Rod Henmi/Michael Willis Architects; Herman & Coliver: Architecture; WRT/Solomon E.T.C. [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Shopping Malls Not Below Libeskind's "Dignity": ...Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre, the low-slung 1.5-million-square-foot facility in Bern, Switzerland..."Architects for a long time thought malls were below their dignity. But if you bring nature and culture into the building, you can make it a radically different place." [slide show]- Architectural Record
Penn got a trophy, not a triumph, in hospital design: The Big Driveway rules again...Penn Medicine's $302 million outpatient facility was intended as something nobler: a beachhead in the battle to take back the hospital district's sidewalks for the people. By Inga Saffron -- Rafael Vinoly; Perkins Eastman [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Hamburg's stunning new space to showcase outsiders: Cultural pundits regularly note that Germany has the densest museum landscape in the world...By far the most ambitious of the newcomers is the Falckenberg collection...Phoenix Kulturstiftung, or Phoenix Cultural Foundation...in the former Phoenix Tire Factory...finely orchestrated by the Berlin architect Roger Bundschuh...- International Herald Tribune
Royal College of Art wins approval for £33m Battersea campus...RCA’s new building could be viewed as an attempt to bridge the emerging creative and the once industrial nature of this neglected yet central chunk of south London. By Edwin Heathcote -- Haworth Tompkins- Financial Times (UK)
Well in tune: ...new Wexford Opera House...not a building attempting to stand out but one attempting to fit in, a rare example of architecture acknowledging that a festival is as much about the town as about the building. It succeeds impeccably. By Edwin Heathcote -- Keith Williams Architects- Financial Times (UK)
'Leapfrogging' in China's race to innovate: Tianjin's new traffic lights are great examples of "leapfrogging" design, which solves a problem by skipping the standard solution and inventing a new approach...China will graduate from being the world's biggest workshop, to becoming an innovation center....having opened nearly 1,000 new design schools in the past decade. By Alice Rawsthorn -- Ai Weiwei [slide show]- International Herald Tribune
Restoration offers more questions than answers: This is beyond any sort of ecological restoration before attempted in an urban region, so much so that planners don't even pretend to know how things will go. By John King -- EDAW- San Francisco Chronicle
Angus Meek Architects wins Weston-super-Mare pier rebuild...beating off competition from five firms -- Grimshaw; Ray Hole; Acanthus Ferguson Mann; Stride Treglown; AWW [images, links]- BD/Building Design (UK)
New York City Solar 2 Green Energy, Arts and Education Center Wins $100,000 Holcim Prize
-- Kiss + Cathcart; Nigel Nicholls/Arup; Judith Heintz/Wallace Roberts & Todd; Liz Ogbu/John Peterson/Public Architecture; Peter Busby/Busby Perkins+Will; Jeffrey Laberge/J.L. Richards & Associates [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Honors for Restored Wright House: ...it struck some as quite surprising that the owner-architects of a 1954 house in the borough of Millstone [New Jersey] won a top award at the recent conference for their restoration efforts — even if the house was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. -- Tarantino Architect [images]- New York Times
Architectural firms bring world to Calgary -- Marshall Tittemore Architects; Chernoff Thompson Architects; MTCT Architects- Calgary Herald (Canada)
SMWM and Perkins + Will to merge: ...the move was under consideration long before the current economic turmoil and the merger was not driven by financial hardship.- San Francisco Business Times
The Big Picture: Though you’ve probably never heard of him, Hervé Descottes has had as large an impact on the contemporary New York skyline as any architect working today...has been charged with illuminating major landmark sites around the city... -- L’Observatoire International- New York Times
The Spirit of Architecture: Barcelona hosts the World Architecture Festival during which the great and good will attempt to choose the best building in the world. CNN will get exclusive access to the event- CNN
Who Needs a Swiss Chalet? Spend a Night in a Nuclear Bunker: In the Alpine town of Sevelen, two brothers have transformed one of Switzerland's nuclear bunkers into a "zero-star hotel." The outside world is visible only through monitors, and a wheel of fortune determines who gets to shower with warm water. The buzz, needless to say, is huge.- Der Spiegel (Germany)
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