Today’s News - Tuesday, May 19, 2009
• An economist warns instead of bemoaning megacities and getting misty-eyed about village life, work to improve the quality of infrastructure in growing urban areas.
• Risen is roiled about Ground Zero developments: "The original WTC was a travesty of development interests over civic interests...It's no different today."
• Hill agrees (somewhat) with London mayor (a.k.a. the "Blond") and his aversion to tall buildings.
• Kelly takes an in-depth look at how the interweaving of politics and architecture are making things pretty difficult for architects - especially young talent - in Rome.
• Falconer will surely fan some flames by pointing out the "twin dangers of 'starchitecture'" in Chicago.
• Two things stand out on a light rail ride from Phoenix to Mesa: "how ugly most of the human landscape is; the other is how much better the architecture is getting."
• Hume on the upside of mall closings: forget the buildings - their "oceans of asphalt are a rebuilding opportunity."
• Metropolis's 2009 Next Generation winners have visions of harvesting the wind: "an ingenious plan to use existing infrastructure to create clean energy."
• Bill Clinton hails Elephant & Castle as a global template for sustainable development: if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.
• Rochon rallies behind a Vancouver architect whose "practice is guided by a rare compassion."
• Q&A with Alminana of Andropogon: his minimal approach to landscape architecture and the need for a "fundamental paradigm shift" in how people relate to the environment.
• Next up for the Cultural Landscape Foundation's Pioneers Oral History Series: M. Paul Friedberg.
• Cornell and UVa tap new leaders for schools of architecture; director of UA's Drachman Institute steps down.
• A good reason to head to NYC in early June: Urban Age Institute's Meeting of the Minds 2009.
• PepsiCo World Headquarters wins ASLA 2009 Landmark Award.
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Why Has Globalization Led to Bigger Cities? The right response to the problems of megacities is not to get misty-eyed about village life, but rather to work to improve the quality of infrastructure in those growing urban areas. By Edward L. Glaeser- New York Times
Getting what we pay for at Ground Zero: The World Trade Center site was to be refilled with boring, profit-maximising office space. Now, it won't even get that much...The original WTC was a travesty of development interests over civic interests, of commercial profit over public benefit. It's no different today...the question, when it is all done...What could have been? By Clay Risen -- Rogers; Foster; Libeskind- Guardian (UK)
Flatten tall buildings with a single Blond: As London's buildings continue to gain in height, Boris Johnson seems keen to demonstrate his skyscraper aversion...The Gherkin, though, is the exception that proves the rule...Phallus worship has its place, but very rarely is it London's streets. By Dean Hill -- Simon Jenkins; Foster [links]- Guardian (UK)
Politics and Architecture: In Rome, politics and architecture are always deeply interwoven. Yet as Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI, and other ambitious buildings, reach completion...the city’s architects have been thrown into deeper uncertainty by a radical change in administration. By Peter Kelly -- IAN+; Stalker Lab; Labics; Koolhaas/OMA; Fuksas; Piano; Meier; MaO; ABDR architects; Archea Associati; Decq Cornette; Andrea Stipa; Nemesi Studio; N!Studio; Francesco Garofalo [images, links]- Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Is Chicago's Art Institute showing the dangers of ‘star-chitecture’ ...the designs that Gehry and Piano have supplied...point to the twin dangers of “star-chitecture”: bombastic, signature gestures on the one hand, predictable products on the other...it is telling that the most exciting building...is the first skyscraper by Jeanne Gang...Sometimes, genuine innovation needs new blood. By Morgan Falconer- The Times (UK)
New rail, new view of architecture: The best way to take the architectural pulse of the city is to...is to ride the light rail from end to end...Two things stand out: One is how ugly most of the human landscape is; the other is how much better the architecture is getting...from Phoenix to Tempe to Mesa... -- Will Bruder; Eddie Jones; John Chonka; Antone Predock; Richard Meier- Arizona Republic
The writing is on the mall for those vast parking lots: Turns out that malls are as disposable as the stuff they sell...hundreds of shopping centres have closed and been abandoned...The good news, however, is these centres can be remade...These oceans of asphalt are a rebuilding opportunity. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Harvesting the Wind: Three young French designers hatch an ingenious plan to use existing infrastructure to create clean energy. The winning concept of Metropolis’s 2009 Next Generation competition [Wind-it] weds...electrical-transmission towers and wind turbines. -- Nicola Delon; Julien Choppin; Raphaël Ménard [images]- Metropolis Magazine
The redevelopment of Elephant & Castle has been lauded by former US president Bill Clinton as a global template for sustainable development: "If you can do a carbon positive development that big, then no-one in the world will have any reason not to do it..." -- Allies & Morrison; Rogers Stirk Harbour- BD/Building Design (UK)
How to build hope? Start with plywood and guts: All is apparently happy and sustainable in West Coast Paradise. Except for the grapes of wrath being played out in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside...Call the idealist designer naive or ignorant...I call him a gutsy architect whose practice is guided by a rare compassion...has designed temporary shelters...Stop Gaps. Handsome, wooden prefab units [with] a front door that declares to the world, "I have an address." By Lisa Rochon -- Gregory Henriquez/Henriquez Partners Architects- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Q&A with Jose Alminana, ASLA, Principal, Andropogon: ...discusses [his] minimal approach to landscape architecture, how quantifying ecosystem services can’t “replace the value of the aesthetics of a landscape,” and the need for a “fundamental paradigm shift” in how people relate to the environment. [images, links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Pioneers Oral History Series Celebrates M. Paul Friedberg: ...who shaped the post-World War II urban landscapes of New York City and beyond. [images, video]- LAND Online / American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
AAP [College of Architecture, Art and Planning] Taps Dagmar Richter as New Architecture Chair- Cornell Daily Sun
Professor picked to lead University of Virginia’s School of Architecture: Kim Tanzer, who will begin July 1, will succeed Karen Van Lengen...- Charlottesville Daily Progress (Virginia)
Drachman Institute's director is retiring [from] the outreach arm of the University of Arizona's College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture...involves students and faculty in "social- justice-based design" and community planning and has a design/build component that specializes in affordable, sustainable housing. -- Poster Frost Architects; R. Brooks Jeffery- Arizona Daily Star
Meeting of the Minds 2009: Two days of intensive exchange for leaders – creating more sustainable cities using smarter design tools, sounder environmental practicies and cleaner energy systems; June 2 - 3, New York City- Urban Age Institute
PepsiCo World Headquarters Wins 2009 Landmark Award: One of the world’s top corporate campuses labeled “a masterpiece.” -- EDSA (1970) [link to images, info]- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
-- Architects Collective & at.103: Ozuluama Residence, Mexico City
-- GRAFT: Gleimstrasse Loft, Berlin, Germany
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