Today’s News - Thursday, May 14, 2009
• Ouroussoff ogles Piano's Modern Wing that weaves Chicago's "rich architectural history into a cohesive vision, one that is made more beautiful by its remarkable fragility."
• Russell, on the other hand, finds that though it is "impeccably proportioned" and "brings an elegant aloofness to the cityscape, it also points to the infatuation of risk-averse trustees."
• Kamin has a high old time on Piano's bridge to Millennium Park, the Modern Wing's "playful sidekick" that "delivers fun with a capital 'F'" (let's hope they fix the wobble).
• Heathcote visits an "extraordinary campus for music" where "the industrial, the agricultural, the vernacular and the modern" are blended to protect "the innocence of the place.'"
• Another showdown looms for Milwaukee's lakefront (same players as its last "battle royal").
• Hume hopes southern Ontario policy-makers will pay heed to a new report to bring retail into line with the provincial goal of greater sustainability (and less sprawl).
• Heathcote on a new British regeneration report: while new public projects will be subject to new design standards, "it remains to be seen whether the mooted improvements will address some thornier issues."
• How two young New York architects are succeeding "without going through the 'right' schools or firms."
• Rose on "probably the crappiest building Mies ever designed" in Chicago - and his amusing solution to how to save it.
• D.C. sides with Third Church of Christ, Scientist and says o.k. to demolishing its "Brutalist atrocity" (but the battle isn't over).
• Brussat's brutal take on Providence's Capitol Cove: "with a traditional look could have boosted the economy. Instead, ugliness drags it down."
• Calys on San Francisco's new Oakland Bay Bridge: "In spite of all the politics and cost snafus," it will be an iconic structure.
• Pedersen takes Ouroussoff to task for neglecting "the messy nature of design authorship."
• Iovine on "the lust of the recent past for limited-edition design objects" and how it is being redirected (a good thing).
• Saffron gives thumbs-up to the "antithesis of the McMansion": urban homes are the smallest, most energy-efficient, and lowest priced...just the sort of house America needs right now."
• Gordon tools around a California eco-architect's house in Big Sur: "Part hobbit hole, part high-tech habitat, it's a perfect blend of old hippie values and the newest in green thinking" (great slide show, too).
• An eyeful of 10 other great green houses.
• Call for entries: Chain of Eco-Homes Green Design Competition: create home design concepts for Greensburg, Kansas.
• Cool news from our favorite online viewing site: TEDTalks Open Translation Project brings subtitles in 40+ languages.
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Renzo Piano Embraces Chicago: The new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago is the closest [he] has come in at least a decade to achieving a near-classical ideal...manages to weave the various strands of Chicago’s rich architectural history into a cohesive vision, one that is made more beautiful by its remarkable fragility. By Nicolai Ouroussoff [slide shows]- New York Times
Renzo Piano’s Flying Carpet, Bridge Dress Up Chicago Art Institute: While the Modern Wing brings an elegant aloofness to the cityscape, it also points to the infatuation of risk-averse trustees...has perfected his way with daylight over the years...and yet the very homogeneity of the light he produces takes the sanitizing tendency of museums to an extreme. By James S. Russell- Bloomberg News
A sidewalk in the sky: The new Nichols Bridgeway joins the Art Institute's Modern Wing and Millennium Park...Chicago, get ready for your latest joy ride...delivers fun with a capital "F," even if it doesn't rise to the level of architecture with a capital "A"...If the Modern Wing is regally self-assured, the span is its playful sidekick...Both take a once-stodgy institution and make it more accessible and inviting. By Blair Kamin -- Renzo Piano; Interactive Design [images]- Chicago Tribune
Bricks, music and big skies: The builders of the original maltings at Snape were sufficiently wedded to the earth and the area to achieve an unselfconscious architecture. Now, architects building anew at this extraordinary campus for music [Aldeburgh Festival]...blends the industrial, the agricultural, the vernacular and the modern..."protecting the innocence of the place." By Edwin Heathcote -- Haworth Tompkins [images]- Financial Times (UK)
Lakefront Showdown: Cudahy’s last attempt to dictate a design for the lakefront became a battle royal. Now he has the whip hand on what could be a far more notable building. -- Jim McClintock; Jim Shields/Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA)- Milwaukee Magazine
It's time to think outside the big box: Though the province has made it clear it wants to control development (sprawl) in southern Ontario, it has yet to address the issue of retail...The Neptis Foundation has moved boldly into this vacuum and produced a report, "Places to Shop and Places to Grow," that examines the effect of retailing on development...attempts to provide policy-makers with data needed to bring retail into line with the provincial goal of greater sustainability. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Regeneration report calls for improvements: All new public projects including housing, schools, and hospitals will be subject to new design standards...begins to acknowledge some big problems in the nation’s built environment...It remains to be seen whether the mooted improvements will address some thornier issues... By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Making It Happen: By developing their own projects, Jared Della Valle and Andrew Bernheimer have succeeded in New York without going through the “right” schools or firms. Now, just as the economy collapses around them, they are completing their first two buildings in Manhattan. -- Della Valle Bernheimer [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Mies van der Rohe: demolish or not? A minor building by modernist architect is under threat in Chicago. It's what he might have wanted: ...it's probably the crappiest building Mies ever designed...makes the usual architectural conservation debate even trickier...My solution to all this: reroute the subway system at colossal expense, thus making the Mies hut world famous as an obstacle of progress and a monument for conservation. Then turn it into a gift shop. By Steve Rose- Guardian (UK)
D.C. Lets Church Tear Down Brutalist Atrocity: ...sided decisively with members of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist...despite efforts by historic preservationists to landmark the much-loathed structure...will be a huge victory for common sense and for the rights of property owners against a small band of preservation extremists. -- Araldo Cossutta/I.M. Pei- Washington Post
Capitol Cove and its just desserts: A Capital Center with a traditional look could have boosted the economy. Instead, ugliness drags it down...Architects, developers and civic leaders in the “Not Very Creative Capital” share much blame for helping the global crisis sink the local economy. By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Bridge over troubled waters: the new SF Oakland Bay Bridge: In spite of all the politics and cost snafus...will be—an iconic structure identifying Oakland and the Bay Area. By George Calys -- T.Y. Lin; Donald MacDonald- San Francisco Examiner
Calling Ada Louise Huxtable! A recent review by Nicolai Ouroussoff neglects the messy nature of design authorship...authorial shorthand does a real disservice to the profession—and misses some interesting stories, too. By Martin C. Pedersen -- Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup [image, links]- Metropolis Magazine
Excess & Success: It’s an awkward time for design. And that’s a very good thing...the lust of the recent past for limited-edition design objets...has been redirected. Recycling is the mantra now, but so are durability, quality, and beauty...recent boom times have restored designers’ cred as creative thinkers. And that’s worth quite a lot. By Julie V. Iovine- The Architect's Newspaper
Building a McMini: It’s the antithesis of the McMansion. Chad Ludeman’s handsome homes are the smallest, most energy-efficient, and lowest priced he can build...it's just the sort of house America needs right now - a tight-as-a-drum box that cost a miserly $100,000 to construct and promises to subsist on $1,200 worth of energy a year. By Inga Saffron -- Postgreen; Brian Phillips/Interface Studio Architects [graphics]- Philadelphia Inquirer
California Grass: Eco-architect Mickey Muennig personifies the green glory of Big Sur: Part hobbit hole, part high-tech habitat, it’s a perfect blend of old hippie values and the newest in green thinking. By Alastair Gordon [slide show]- Wall Street Journal
10 great green houses -- Whole Trees Architecture; Michelle Kaufmann; Lundberg Design; DeBoer Architects; Communitecture; Openspace Architecture; Arkin Tilt Architects; Cobworks; Sparano + Mooney; Pb Elemental Architecture [slide show]- Mother Nature Network
Call for entries: Chain of Eco-Homes Green Design Competition: create home design concepts for Greensburg, Kansas's "Living Laboratory" (international); deadline: August 15- FreeGreen & Greensburg GreenTown
TED's Open Translation Project brings subtitles in 40+ languages to TED.com: ...project offers video subtitles, time-coded transcripts and the ability for volunteers worldwide to translate any talk into any language. -- TEDTalks- TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
-- Michael Maltzan Architecture: Inner-City Arts, Los Angeles
-- Building in a Virtual World: Scope Cleaver: MaxMoney Building, Second Life
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