Today’s News - Thursday, December 18, 2008
• Rybczynski reports on the Urban Design After the Age of Oil conference: scientists are skeptical; planners are hopeful: "there is something of a disconnect between the global-warming problem and the available solutions."
• Mazria takes a 2030 Challenge Stimulus Plan to Capitol Hill (it sounds good to us!).
• A call for Obama to bring architects and design leaders on board.
• An in-depth look at how Behnisch Architekten is pushing architecture into new energy-efficient directions.
• A project that merges neuroscience, architecture, psychology, and virtual reality to "get better architecture before a single brick is ever laid."
• A detailed look at how RPI/SOM's CASE hopes to "to push building science into the 21st century."
• Harvard GSD and BMW team to explore how the car maker's elastic skin technology might be used for low-energy housing.
• A new urbanist future planned for Saarinen's Bell Labs.
• Dyckhoff dishes with Piano re: the London's Shard of Glass: "I like to fight gravity" (yes, it's being built, and could be "strikingly prescient" rather than the predicted "white elephant").
• Kennicott on the National Museum of American History overhaul: the building has "determinedly resisted" being made "more lovable," but architecturally, "mission accomplished."
• Russell is rapturous over the rebirth of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
• Hales isn't quite so happy with the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial (but we're glad to see her!).
• Goldberger makes his pick of Architecture's Ten Best of 2008: "history will probably treat 2008 more kindly than it deserves."
• "Leading lights of British architecture" remember their picks of highs and lows of '08.
• Bad news last: November's ABI is abysmal (and we've not seen the bottom, yet).
• Gehry "drops ax on Atlantic Yards staff" (could mean any number of things).
• Hotel projects being abandoned in record numbers...except in Kolkata.
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Can Cities Save the Planet? Scientists are skeptical. Planners are hopeful. The Dutch are pragmatic...there is something of a disconnect between the global-warming problem and the available solutions. By Witold Rybczynski [links]- Slate
Building stimulus on Capitol Hill: 2030 Challenge Stimulus Plan offers emission reductions, jobs, and economic benefits across the country...a federal investment of $85.56 billion each year for two years will create over 8 million new jobs and a new $1.6 trillion renovation market. By Edward Mazria [links]- Grist Magazine
Editorial: Promises to Keep: In revamping our nation's dying infrastructure, President-elect Obama needs to bring architects and design leaders on board. By Sam Lubell- The Architect's Newspaper
Form Follows Performance: Stefan Behnisch pushes architectural form into new energy-efficient directions. -- Behnisch Architekten [slide show]- Metropolis Magazine
Get lost ... and get better architecture: Testing subjects in a virtual building could lead to improved design: The merging of neuroscience, architecture, psychology and virtual reality...project should provide a more realistic understanding of how people experience real-world spaces — before a single brick is ever laid... -- HMC Architects [images, links]- MSNBC
Making A Case For Innovation: The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) is an innnovative new program in which researchers and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic are working wtih Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to push building science into the 21st century [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
BMW technology tested for use on low-energy housing: Car manufacturer's elastic skin technology is hoped to prove viable as a building material -- Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD); RMJM- Building (UK)
Developer: Future of Lucent building in 'new urbanism': Zucker says Somerset wants to work with community...The first time [he] walked through the former Bell Labs building...he knew the Eero Saarinen-designed building could be revitalized for a new era by adapting it to a mix of pedestrian-friendly uses.- The Independent (New Jersey)
Renzo Piano: the top of his game: "I like to fight gravity"...his Shard of Glass, the tallest building in Europe, is under way...come the Olympics London will be booming again...the Shard will not seem a white elephant but strikingly prescient. Its revival will horrify those who might have hoped the scheme was stone cold dead. By Tom Dyckhoff- The Times (UK)
A History Museum That's Stuck in Modern Times: Heroic efforts to make the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History a more lovable building...and the building has just as determinedly resisted them...$85 million overhaul is an improvement...On a purely architectural level: Mission accomplished. By Philip Kennicott -- Steinmann, Cain & White (1964); Gary Haney/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) [slide show]- Washington Post
Cathedral of St. John, Reborn After 2001 Fire, Glows Once Again: ...awes with the sheer scale of human toil and imagination. This architectural mutt charms because it’s like us: imperfect. By James S. Russell -- Heins & La Farge; Ralph Adams Cram; Building Conservation Associates; Polshek Partnership- Bloomberg News
Raw Ground: The new Pentagon Memorial addresses the events of 9/11 by honoring each of the victims that died there that day...in placing emphasis on the individual rather than the collective [has] created a place of remembrance that is more cemetery than memorial. By Linda Hales -- Kaseman/Beckman/KBAS [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Paul Goldberger: Architecture’s Ten Best of 2008: Architectural history will probably treat 2008 more kindly than it deserves to be treated, only because there was architecture to talk about. -- Herzog & de Meuron; Norman Foster; Koolhaas/Scheeren/Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); Renzo Piano; SANAA; Frank Gehry; Hartman/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Gwathmey Siegel; Walter Sedovic; Olafur Eliasson- New Yorker
I'll remember 2008 for...: Leading lights of British architecture tell which buildings and memories stand out for them. -- Bennetts Associates; East; Theis and Khan; Sheppard Robson; Wilkinson Eyre; Ryder Architecture; Glenn Howells; Hawkins\Brown; Tony Fretton; Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop; Piercy Conner; Sunand Prasad; Gareth Hoskins; Tonkin Liu; etc.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Down We Go: AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) hits new lows for second straight month: "It hasn’t hit bottom yet. It could be some time before we turn this around"...architects nationwide were seeing some serious damage to their portfolios. [links]- The Architect's Newspaper
Architect drops ax on Atlantic Yards staff: Frank Gehry has axed nearly every employee working on the stalled project...It was unclear yesterday whether the relationship between Ratner and Gehry was over or merely put on hold because of the economy.- NY Daily News
More Developers Abandon Hotel Projects: ...the number of guest rooms abandoned in the construction pipeline rose 75% in November..93,219 hotel rooms...in various stages...from early or final planning to construction.- National Real Estate Investor (NREI)
World-class hotel in heart of New Town: ...one of the most contemporary hotel properties in India. The twin towers...will be Kolkata's first. The taller of the two will be 42-storeys and 142 metres high. -- Cervera & Pioz- Times of India
Best Architecture Books of 2008: 10 tomes from the superior to the indispensable. By Norman Weinstein -- Felix Candela; Jerry Yudelson; Bauman Lyons; etc.- ArchNewsNow
-- Competition winner: MVRDV: Gwanggyo Power Centre, Seoul, South Korea
-- Exhibition: Iwan Baan Recent Works: Contemporary Architectural Photographs, AA Gallery, London, UK
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