Today’s News - Friday, February 13, 2009
• Of public spaces and bicycles: a look and what's right - and wrong - with privately-owned public spaces.
• Are the British any good at designing public space? No, says Martha Schwartz; yes, says Sarah Gaventas.
• Louisville has high hopes to build a bike commuter station with "some really cool architecture" (showers included).
• NYC's latest road war: bike lanes; "We would never have predicted that bike lanes could provoke so much upset."
• Jacobs' take on a $20K house: "Can well-designed dwellings really be built for this price?" - and the heroes who are trying.
• Morrish takes on aging trailer parks as part of a new urban housing model.
• In Ohio, a steady diet of church work offers architects a chance to fill their plates.
• Weekend diversions: Hawthorne on the future of "The Infrastructural City" of L.A.: "maybe there's room in this new political climate for a productive hybrid from teams of talented architects and engineers."
• King revisits the "drolly definitive" "How to Look at Buildings" (1932), and finds value "beyond its retro charm."
• We thought we were Palladio'd out, but along comes Williams: "an unintended consequence of this exhibition might be to reinforce the common perception that plagiarism has its merits."
• Would Palladio "have wanted his classical toolbox to be exploited so slavishly" by Prince Charles's "posse of 'New Palladians'."
• Palladio and Foster: both architects understand the importance of brand.
• Saffron on "The Women": the "lurid story line of Wright's life makes him red meat for novelists...might it be a sign that the architectural profession is finally registering on America's cultural radar?"
• Dissecting Frank Lloyd Wright's love life: furniture flies, but then what?
• An eyeful of Gage/Clemenceau's "Valentine to Times Square" is truly a spectacle (we saw it, and it is!).
• We couldn't resist: a garbage truck that's powered by the garbage it collects (an idea we hope catches on); and a unique way to find a job (might put car at risk).
• Happy Friday the 13th (it's always been good luck for us).
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Improving On The Ambiguity of Privately Owned Public Spaces: Cities are filled with spaces intended for the public -- but many of them are clearly owned and operated by the private sector...the public benefit is often outweighed by the cost. The challenge now is to make them better. -- San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR); Jerold Kayden; Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris- PLANetizen
Are the British any good at designing public space? They are under-advocated, under-funded and under-appreciated, argues Martha Schwartz; but Sarah Gaventas/Cabe Space thinks this view is out of date and out of touch- BD/Building Design (UK)
Louisville aims to build center for bike commuters: ...would be patterned after a popular bike facility at Millennium Park in Chicago..."We would hope to have some really cool architecture"- Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Road Wars: Bike Lanes Run into Opposition: "We would never have predicted that bike lanes could provoke so much upset"- Gotham Gazette (NYC)
The 20K House: Can well-designed dwellings really be built for this price? Pam Dorr is championing the cause. By Karrie Jacobs -- HERO/Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization; Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee/D.K. Ruth/Andrew Freear/David Buege/Rural Studio [slide show]- Metropolitan Home Magazine
Hard times: The trailer park as a 21st-century housing model? Seriously: Bill Morrish wrote "Planning to Stay"...an architectural guide to retrofitting city neighborhoods...when "new urbanism" and "smart growth" became orthodox concepts and cities got cool again [he] shifted to the suburbs..."Growing Urban Habitats, Seeking a New Housing Development Model"...begins with a proposal to refashion an aging trailer park...- MinnPost.com (Minneapolis)
Steady diet of church work offering architects a chance to fill their plates: ...church work remains a constant for the architectural industry. Some congregations are growing, others are shrinking and some are trying to make their buildings more energy efficient. In any case, they need help renovating existing structures or building new ones. -- Keiser Design Group; McKnight Group; Sullivan Bruck Architects; Rogers Krajnak Architects- Columbus Business Journal (Ohio)
Book review: What's the future of "The Infrastructural City" of L.A.: With funding now in sight, a new book [edited by Kazys Varnelis/Network Architecture] reminds us of the unseen physical pieces and a designer's role...maybe there's room in this new political climate for a productive hybrid from teams of talented architects and engineers...Are you willing to trade notoriety, present or future, for work? By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Book review: Author's ideas on simplicity hold true today: ...Darcy Braddell, whose drolly definitive "How to Look at Buildings" was first published in 1932....there's value to the book beyond its retro charm: Nestled amid the tweedy British prose are insights that still hold true. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Andrea Palladio: His life and legacy: ...[his] pattern-book approach became bastardised in later years to mean a pick-and-mix catalogue of parts...an unintended consequence of this exhibition might be to reinforce the common perception that plagiarism has its merits...this brief snapshot of his life...distorts [his] intellectual genius and artisitic integrity... By Austin Williams- Future Cities Project (U.K.)
From riches to Wags: Palladio's classical aesthetic is now beloved...current followers include many Premiership footballers and - worse - Prince Charles's posse of "New Palladians", led by Robert Adam and Quinlan Terry, who insist that nothing much else has happened in architecture in the 500 years since [he] was born...Would he have wanted his classical toolbox to be exploited so slavishly?- New Statesman (UK)
Architecture and patronage from Palladio to Foster: According to Robert Adam, Norman Foster would learn “f*ck all” from the Palladio exhibition. Maybe that’s because he knows it all already. Both architects understand the importance of brand.- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Wright stuff for a novel: "The Women" by T. Coraghessan Boyle...His scandalous love life is more the writer's focus than his buildings...the lurid story line of Wright's life makes him red meat for novelists...might it be a sign that the architectural profession is finally registering on America's cultural radar? By Inga Saffron- Philadelphia Inquirer
"The Women": T.C. Boyle Dissects Frank Lloyd Wright’s Love Life; Furniture Flies: The destruction is vintage Boyle, and after its demented exuberance a reader waits in anticipation to see what he’ll do with the climactic mayhem. Not much, it turns out.- Bloomberg News
A Love-Themed Spectacle for Times Sq.: "Valentine to Times Square"...will the heart definitely be removed after just a few weeks? "Who knows? The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be temporary" -- Gage/Clemenceau Architects [slide show]- New York Times
Electric garbage truck is powered by garbage by the garbage it collects...and pump another ten megawatts back into the power grid. [images]- Gizmag (Australia)
The car in front is... a great way to find work in Dubai: Project manager who won fame by scrawling advert on Porsche gets a job – but his car gets impounded.- Building (UK)
Loud on the Outside, Quiet on the Inside: Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) by Grimshaw and Davis Brody Bond Aedas: How do you "ground" a 221,200-square-foot building on a 30-degree slope? By By Craig M. Schwitter, P.E./Buro Happold [images]- ArchNewsNow
-- Concept Design; Renzo Piano Building Workshop: SNFCC, Athens, Greece
-- KK Letter: Architecture, Art and Design, Berlin, Germany
-- Design Hotel: The Mandala, Berlin, Germany
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