Today’s News - Friday, December 19, 2008
• Dubai's latest excesses are enough to make conservationists weep.
• Litt on the shaky "architectural marriage" at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
• China still the destination for architects looking for large-scale work.
• Kamin handicaps the just-announced shortlist for Eisenhower Memorial.
• Mies van der Rohe Award 2009: 340(!) projects compete.
• OMA's plan to revamp of the Commonwealth Institute dismays conservation groups.
• Brussat calls for a revival of Rhode Island's historical-preservation tax credits to save architectural gems from becoming "icons of deterioration, demolition and, most likely, uglification."
• Four-wheeled gas guzzlers rule: they "bloom like viruses in our public spaces and they attach themselves like barnacles to our expressways, streets and laneways."
• Woodman - and 18 other notable names - chime in with their Year in Review: "We might have had a bleak end to 2008, but it was actually a good year for splendid buildings."
• Weekend diversions: 1970s "Ecotopia" speaks "to our ecological present."
• An eyeful of Hodgetts' 1978 drawings for the Hollywood version that never made it to the silver screen (wow!).
• King on Huxtable's "On Architecture": "she never loses sight of architecture's uniquely high stakes...the backdrop is the real-world implications of what takes shape."
• "Le Corbusier: A Life" paints a "detailed and often disturbingly inhuman portrait of the man."
• Rykwert makes a "graceful contribution" to his life's work, and a "history of how some have resisted the loss of our common ground with artists."
• A tome on Deborah Berke's work "demonstrates admirably" that she is "is among the best American architects practicing today."
• WSJ round-up of books well worth a read: Pei, Gabellini Sheppard, skyscrapers, and cars included.
• Tabanlioglu Architects on view in London shows "Turkey has more to offer than domes and amphitheatres."
• "The Prisoner's Dilemma" is a must-see at Miami's CIFO (the building is worth the trip, too).
• "Lost Landscapes of San Francisco" investigates "how "models of the past inform models of the future."
• Mixed results in sale of Empire State Building archive, and concerns institutional collectors "who fear it will encourage designers to break up drawing sets rather than donate them as intact archives."
• How could we resist: a 20-minute shopping spree with Philippe Starck on the loose in a Big Lots.
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Chilling developments in Dubai: A refrigerated swimming pool and an artificially cooled beach - Dubai's latest excesses are enough to make conservationists weep.- Guardian (UK)
When an architectural marriage doesn't quite work out: The Cleveland Institute of Art has been finding out with the proposed $55 million expansion...Instead of focusing on...worrying about preserving an architectural marriage that didn't quite work out...might be wiser to focus on refining the facades... By Steven Litt -- Winy Maas/MVRDV; Burt, Hill- Cleveland Plain Dealer
China Express: Despite the downturn, China is still the place to be for Western architects..., including many of California’s top firms looking for large-scale work...technology helps them thrive... -- F + A Architects; Yazdani Studio/Cannon Design; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); DMJM Design; Morphosis; NBBJ; Nadel Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Time for architectural handicapping: Krueck & Sexton join odds-on favorite Gehry as finalists for Eisenhower Memorial...The other finalists are Rogers Marvel Architects of New York City and Berkeley, Calif. landscape architect Peter Walker. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Mies van der Rohe Award 2009: 340 Projects Compete for The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture...€60,000 prize is the highest award in European architecture [links to nominated works]- Mies van der Rohe Foundation
‘Only roof is safe’ in OMA revamp: Commonwealth Institute plans not acceptable to conservation groups...Twentieth Century Society has responded with dismay...“seven or eight” possibilities for the grade II* listed structure...as no occupier for the building has been found, despite discussions with the Design Museum. -- RMJM (1962)- BD/Building Design (UK)
Save Pawtucket’s Read-Ott Mansion: To raze it would be shameful. It argues strongly for reviving the state’s historical-preservation tax credits as soon as feasible. Without them, the mansion and other architectural gems at risk in Rhode Island could become icons of deterioration, demolition and, most likely, uglification. By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Take this name and Chev it: Anyway you slice it, the four-wheeled gas guzzlers rule. They define our cities and ...dictate where we live and work, bloom like viruses in our public spaces and they attach themselves like barnacles to our expressways, streets and laneways. Someone asked...Lewis Mumford to nominate the national flower. "The concrete cloverleaf" he replied glumly.- Orangeville Citizen (Canada)
The Year in Review: Designs to beat the architecture downturn blues: We might have had a bleak end to 2008, but it was actually a good year for splendid buildings and inspiring architectural exhibitions...18 major players in the business to pick out their highlights. By Ellis Woodman.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Book Review: The Novel That Predicted Portland: “Ecotopia,” a 1970s cult novel by Ernest Callenbach...now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present...much of Portland, Ore., with its public transport, slow-growth planning and eat-local restaurants, can seem like Ecotopia made reality...a blueprint for the future.- New York Times
Green ’70s Flashback with Smiles and Shades of Blue: Craig Hodgetts’ 1978 vision for the cult novel “Ecotopia”...a wondrous set of drawings for a Hollywood movie adaptation...drawings were exhibited and published, but alas, the project never made it to the silver screen. -- Hodgetts + Fung [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Book Review: "On Architecture" hits the right angle: ...concerns the work or specific designers...an equal emphasis on pieces that kept track of how certain types of buildings shaped our urban landscape...For all of Huxtable's palpable love of the art of design, she never loses sight of architecture's uniquely high stakes...the backdrop is the real-world implications of what takes shape. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Book Review: "Le Corbusier: A Life" by Nicholas Fox Weber: The guru of modernism is now revealed through a rich trove of letters...to paint a detailed and often disturbingly inhuman portrait of the man known as “Corbu.”- Christian Science Monitor
Book Review: "The Judicious Eye" by Joseph Rykwert...makes a 'graceful contribution' to his life's work...author of most of the important books about architecture published since the war...a history of how some have resisted the loss of our common ground with artists...reveals both the poison and the cure, and it is up to us which one we choose to take. [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Book Review: Deborah Berke's architectual impact: ...is among the best American architects practicing today, as a new book by Tracy Myers demonstrates admirably.- Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Book reviews: A Wedding of Skill and Style: Finding rarefied beauty in buildings, interiors, embroidery and even cars..."I.M. Pei: Complete Works" by Philip Jodidio and Janet Adams Strong; "World Architecture: The Masterworks" by Will Pryce; "Skyscrapers: A History of the World's Most Extraordinary Buildings" by Judith Dupré; "Gabellini: Architecture of the Interior" [Gabellini Sheppard]- Wall Street Journal
Modern Turkish: Turkey has more to offer than domes and amphitheatres, as "Istanbul and Beyond: Selected Projects of Tabanlioglu Architects at RIBA Gallery shows...Now there's no excuse for overlooking Turkey's contribution to contemporary practice.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Voluntary Prisoners of Downtown Miami: "The Prisoner's Dilemma"...a potent and compelling exhibition [at] the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation...The CIFO building itself...is also impressive...The show...is a must see. -- Rene Gonzalez- The Architect's Newspaper
Rick Prelinger’s Land of the Lost: "Lost Landscapes of San Francisco": You know a film screening is going to be good when...the presenter refers to things like "this incredible document about civil engineering."...collages a range of "unofficial documents" to explore the history and built environment of the City by the Bay...to investigate how "models of the past inform models of the future."- Metropolis Magazine
Going Once, Going Twice, Sold! Empire State Building drawings auctioned: wooden massing model was the auction's top seller, bringing in $72,000...results of the sale were mixed...caused concern among institutional collectors of architectural materials who fear it will encourage designers to break up drawing sets rather than donate them as intact archives.- The Architect's Newspaper
Thrifty shopping with Philippe Starck: In 20 minutes, the designer pulls together an elegant yet economical look at a Big Lots in Hollywood...Total: less than $50.- Los Angeles Times
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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