Today’s News - Friday, May 15, 2009
• Schumacher strolls the Modern Wing: "Don't be fooled by the subtlety of Piano's restrained, light-infused design...He has forged a visual, conceptual and physical connection to the city that is daring"
• Farrelly finds parts of University of Sydney makeover almost heartbreaking: "an irreversible downhill stumble" with two new buildings "one good, one regrettable; and two new landscapes, ditto."
• Jenkins jeers the "carbuncle crew": "It is not for the prince to make his peace with architecture. It is for architecture to make its peace with people."
• Baillieu begs to differ: the prince "came across as an intellectual Luddite" with his rejection of experimentation that "irrationally dismisses our best hope of tackling climate change."
• Levete is worried about a line in the U.S. financial stimulus documen ("No money is to be spent on beautification"), particularly as "what starts over there usually finds its way over here."
• Libeskind lands a big one: to masterplan an international business district for Seoul.
• More bad news for Robin Hood Gardens: it was not successful housing it is of "limited architectural quality" (though some hold on to hope).
• Calatrava speaks about his "Great White Spiny station" (a.k.a. WTC transit hub): "He juggled questions with ease, balancing the answers on the tip of his nose" (and thinks the recession bodes well for younger designers).
• Corner, Hargreaves, and Van Valkenburgh speak re: the role of 21st century parks and the need to renew post-industrial landscapes.
• Weekend diversions: All's Wright with the world: Ouroussoff on "Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward" and the Guggenheim's 50th anniversary: it's "a chaste show... that it puts the emphasis back where it belongs: on the work."
• Why Wright's architecture wows us still, 50 years after his death.
• How could we resist: Frank Lloyd Wright, "World Famous ARCHITECT" on "What's My Line?" June 1956 (it is so worth watching!).
• "Le Grand Paris" plans on view in Paris: "The chances that any of the 10 projects will be realized are dim. To look at them and dream along, however, is fun."
• "Crossing: Dialogues for Emergency Architecture" showcases 16 ingenuous designs at the National Art Museum of China.
• Jacobs channels Holzer at the Whitney to fathom why she's her hero.
• Another Manhattan show examines the intersection and overlap of natural and man-made landscapes, but it's no "Nature equals Good, City equals Bad."
• Maya Lin's "Storm King Wavefield" is a "puzzle to ponder but also a soul-soothing place of retreat" (even "woodchucks have begun converting a wave into an apartment complex").
• Neto's "great spicy, gauzy mother" moves into the Park Avenue Armory: an "ethereal construction glows like a magical destination in a children's movie" (great slide show).
• Page turners: "Oscar Niemeyer Buildings" by Alan Hess: "how quickly modern structures start to look like ancient monuments."
• Filler finds "Conversations With Frank Gehry" offers worthwhile new information for architecture devotees" (and an occasional revealing response); and Gehry gets more love from "The Simpsons."
• Pearman reviews two tomes on the Mini, "the original minimalist motor car" by the "only celebrity British car designer there has ever been."
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Renzo Piano's Modern Wing at the Art Institute: One of the world’s great art museums is about to become new...Don’t be fooled by the subtlety of Piano’s restrained, light-infused design...He has forged a visual, conceptual and physical connection to the city that is daring...mingles the experience of art and existing urban architecture so boldly and directly. By Mary Louise Schumacher [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
University makeover to break your heart: ...all three central-Sydney universities have concocted campus masterplans...University of Sydney's problem - if indeed it had one amid the gardenias - was different...needed little more than a decent spit and polish. The solution is far more final...an irreversible downhill stumble...two new buildings - one good, one regrettable; and two new landscapes, ditto. By Elizabeth Farrelly -- Richard Francis-Jones; John Wardle; Taylor Cullity Lethlean- Sydney Morning Herald
Charles should stick to his guns. The carbuncle crew are still hard at work: The glass boxes, blobs and phalluses thrown up now by architects show little has changed since the prince's 1984 speech...he is clearly plugged into a public mood...It is not for the prince to make his peace with architecture. It is for architecture to make its peace with people. By Simon Jenkins- Guardian (UK)
Prince fails on sustainability: Prince Charles’s rejection of experimentation irrationally dismisses our best hope of tackling climate change...He came across as an intellectual Luddite, whose only solution is to retreat into a Hobbit-like world of earthy buildings and no cars + CABE needs to get mouthy again. By Amanda Baillieu- BD/Building Design (UK)
Op-Ed: We can’t afford cheap and nasty: The recession is turning us, and our politicians, into mean, short-sighted people. And this is exactly the right way to make sure it lasts a long, long time...There is a short but most extraordinary line in the US Financial Stimulus document..."No money is to be spent on beautification"...this is a very worrying line – particularly as what starts over there usually finds its way over here. By Amanda Levete- Building (UK)
Daniel Libeskind to Give Seoul a Facelift: won a design competition to turn the center of the South Korean capital into an international business district...master planner for the $20 billion project, which will include a cluster of skyscrapers in residential, office and retail neighborhoods...cultural and educational facilities and rapid transportation systems. -- ARUP; Martha Schwartz [image]- Wall Street Journal
Culture secretary rejects Robin Hood Gardens listing appeal: ...Andy Burnham turned down an appeal from the Twentieth Century Society to list the estate..."The secretary of state concludes that, on balance, Robin Hood Gardens was not successful housing and consequently not a particularly good example of housing design. He further concludes [it is of] limited architectural quality." -- Peter and Alison Smithson- BD/Building Design (UK)
Calatrava Publicly Speaking: At the opening of "Santiago Calatrava: World Trade Center Transportation Hub" at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute...his presentation was impeccably well mannered. He juggled questions with ease, balancing the answers on the tip of his nose...- The Architect's Newspaper
Corner, Hargreaves, and Van Valkenburgh at the Forum for Urban Design: "The 21st Century Park & the Contemporaty City"...focused on the need to renew post-industrial landscapes and use the opportunities presented by brownfields. Other common threads were designing parks for both people and wildlife, and connecting parks into the greater "green infrastructure."- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Architect Without Limits: As the Guggenheim turns 50, it appraises the visionary who reshaped buildings, cities and lives...“Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward”...a chaste show...The advantage of this low-key approach is that it puts the emphasis back where it belongs: on the work...conveys not only the remarkable scope of his interests...but also the astonishing cohesiveness of that vision... By Nicolai Ouroussoff [images, slide show, video]- New York Times
Always Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture wows us still, 50 years after his death: ...had a reputation for being cantankerous and imperious, he was, at heart, a thrill seeker.- Obit magazine
Frank Lloyd Wright, "World Famous ARCHITECT" on "What's My Line?" June 1956- YouTube
Fantasy Paris Projects Envision Million Trees, Jetson Metro: 10 teams of architects and urbanists, whose projects for “Le Grand Paris” are on view at the Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine...haven’t bothered with the political hurdles...The chances that any of the 10 projects will be realized are dim. To look at them and dream along, however, is fun. -- Richard Rogers; Jean Nouvel; Christian de Portzamparc; Roland Castro; Antoine Grumbach [links]- Bloomberg News
Emergency architecture designs on display: An exhibition marking the May 12th Wenchuan earthquake has opened at the National Art Museum of China. "Crossing: Dialogues for Emergency Architecture" showcases 16 ingenuous designs, aimed at raising awareness over the prevention and relief of natural disasters and epidemics. -- Sou Fujimoto Architects; IK studio; Tham & Videgard Hansson [video]- CCTV/China Central Television
Hero Worship Can Be Strangely Satisfying: Why the great Jenny Holzer is more relevant than ever: So why is she my hero? I think it’s partly the turf she has staked out. She owns that gray area between art and design, where formal aesthetics mingle with the vernacular. By Karrie Jacobs [images]- Metropolis Magazine
At Home in Dystopia: "Et in Arcadia Ego," at the Thornton Room in Chelsea, examines the intersection and overlap of natural and man-made landscapes...roughly translated from Latin, “I am in pastoral utopia,” the show...could easily devolve into a Nature equals Good, City equals Bad equation...any answers are farther off than before viewing the work, and this ambiguity is show’s strength. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Where the Ocean Meets the Mountains: Maya Lin’s “Storm King Wavefield” is a puzzle to ponder but also a soul-soothing place of retreat...Neither fatalistic nor utopian, commemorative nor history-free, natural nor artificial, unstable nor fixed... By Holland Cotter [slide show, video]- New York Times
Into the Embrace of a Great Spicy, Gauzy Mother: Ernesto Neto offers another trip into maternal space with “anthropodino,” a spectacular installation of gauzy Lycra fabric, dangling pods, dinosaurish wooden bones and cavernous interiors. Occupying much of the Park Avenue Armory...ethereal construction glows like a magical destination in a children’s movie. [slide show]- New York Times
Book review: Dirty Moderns: Looking at "Oscar Niemeyer Buildings" by Alan Hess, our writer is struck by how quickly Modern structures start to look like ancient monuments. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Essence of the Architect: “Conversations With Frank Gehry” by Barbara Isenberg...offers worthwhile new information for architecture devotees and an engaging introduction for general readers...Isenberg is no Oriana Fallaci, that fearless guerrilla of take-no-prisoners Q. and A., but she occasionally goads her subject into revealing responses. By Martin Filler- New York Times
Frank Gehry gets more love from 'The Simpsons' [link to episode]- Los Angeles Times
Book review: Sex, spies, the Beatles and the Mini: the original minimalist motor car: "Mini: An Intimate Biography" by Christy Campbell, and "Mini: the true and secret history of the making of a motorcar" by Simon Garfield...Alec Issigonis became the only celebrity British car designer there has ever been. By Hugh Pearman [images]- HughPearman.com (UK)
-- Michael Maltzan Architecture: Inner-City Arts, Los Angeles
-- Building in a Virtual World: Scope Cleaver: MaxMoney Building, Second Life
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