Today’s News - Thursday, May 21, 2009
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a long Memorial Day weekend beginning tomorrow - we'll be back on Tuesday, May 26.
• A sad day: we lose Arthur Erickson, the "elder statesmen of world architecture" (though "he was not always diplomatic").
• Forget bollards and blast walls in Baghdad - use terrorist-proof trees and bushes instead.
• Merrick muses on Piano's Modern Wing: a "deliberate elegance" that is "so refined that to pass through its glacially cool volumes is like stepping into the ruled lines of a blueprint."
• A vetty, vetty British day for news: An eyeful of Heatherwick's crinkled stainless steel-clad Aberystwyth arts center.
• Brussat cheers Prince Charles's RIBA lecture: the "stiletto subtlety of this speech left modern architects with no place to hide."
• Blueprint's Richardson has no regrets about heckling the Prince: "the deferential silence when 400 architects stood as a mark of respect for the prince was too much to bear."
• Score one for Rogers: his Maggie's Centre bags top London Building of the Year prize ("why are more modern buildings not as delightful as these?" asks Moore).
• A long list of 2009 RIBA Awards; Woodman is pleased they're not dominated by arts and civic buildings (we'll know who makes the Stirling shortlist in July).
• A Detroit Design Center architecture professor combines hip hop ideas with mentoring young African-American students.
• A Frank fix for the long weekend: Debate about building Wright designs posthumously may be a moot point: FLW Foundation has shut down the program for licensing plans for contemporary use (it doesn't want to "contribute to over-deification of the man").
• FLW gets Smithsonian magazine treatment (plan to spend some time with this one).
• His reborn Martin House bringing architecture buffs back to Buffalo.
• Weekend diversions: Hume offers sneak-peek video tour of Doors Open Toronto.
• In London, photographs of Italian modernism show off a "magic period for Italian design"; and urban farming takes center stage at the Building Centre.
• Smash Palladio show lands in Barcelona.
• In Birmingham, AL, "The Architectural Legacy of TVA" examines the international architects who used TVA's formative years as a way to explore design in the public sphere.
• In NYC, "Amsterdam/New Amsterdam" explores they city's early Dutch heritage: "the diverse pursuit of commerce and contentment."
• "The Story of Stuff" video is a "cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste."
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Obituary: Arthur Erickson dead at 84: ...might have been one of the elder statesmen of world architecture, as some admirers have described him, but he was not always diplomatic.- Vancouver Sun
Anti-terrorist trees for Iraq? ...a modest proposal: to replace Baghdad's vast network of concrete blast walls with terrorist-proof trees and bushes...'natural defensive weaved hedges' - walls made from tightly bound thorny plants. (AFP)- The Straits Times (Singapore)
Renzo Piano: The world's finest architect: The architecture of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago is so refined that to pass through its glacially cool volumes is like stepping into the ruled lines of a blueprint...deliberate elegance...is embedded in a very simple processional format. By Jay Merrick [slide show]- Independent (UK)
First look: Heatherwick Studio unwraps foil-clad Aberystwyth arts centre: ...eight buildings, housing 16 ‘affordable creative business units’ clad in a crinkled stainless steel system which was ‘fabricated on site using a contraption similar to a Victorian mangle’- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Architects are not obsessed by cash and glass boxes: I wish Simon Jenkins'column was as informative as it is entertaining...[his] pen plays fast and loose with facts...All this would be comic were it not for the desperate need today to do something about the low quality of design of our public buildings, housing estates and urban spaces. By Sunand Prasad- Guardian (UK)
‘Off with their heads!’ But gently: Perhaps Charles began with an apology because he really wanted his audience to listen...The stiletto subtlety of this speech left modern architects with no place to hide. No prince or potentate ever used a more civil tone to cry, “Off with their heads!”...modern architecture is the visible manifestation of all that is wrong with the world. By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Why I heckled the Prince of Wales: She’s been branded a ‘naughty girl’ for shouting ‘Abolish the monarchy!’ during Charles’s RIBA lecture. But Vicky Richardson has no regrets...I hadn’t even planned the heckle, but the deferential silence when 400 architects stood as a mark of respect for the prince was too much to bear...a reaction against the defensiveness of the architecture profession, who will not stand up for their own ideas...- Spiked (UK)
Royal institute gives top prize to architect derided by Charles: Leading British architects escalated their row with Prince Charles today when they gave their top London Building of the Year prize to his bête noire Lord Rogers ("why are more modern buildings not as delightful as these?," says Rowan Moore) -- Rogers Stirk Harbour- Evening Standard (UK)
RIBA 2009 awards winners unveiled: ...just over 100 projects that will now go forward for consideration for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize...Allies & Morrison and Niall McLaughlin Architects are the big winners in this year’s RIBA Awards, collecting four prizes each... [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Hip Hop Meets Architecture in the Work of University of Michigan Detroit Design Center Professor: Craig Wilkins was struck by how people define space at hip hop raves. In the midst of dance, human presence defines architecture, not the other way around...has combined his hip hop ideas with mentoring young African-American students in an innovative book, "The Aesthetics of Equity"...- Model D (Detroit)
The Wright Way: Frank Lloyd Wright's Unbuilt Designs Spark Debate: Though the boathouse project sparked enormous local interest, some preservationists aren't sure Wright would have wanted his unbuilt plans built posthumously. -- Anthony Puttnam Architecture [image]- Preservation magazine
The Triumph of Frank Lloyd Wright: The Guggenheim Museum showcases the trailblazer's mission to elevate American society through architecture...[he] said that his architecture always aimed to serve the client's needs. But he relied on his own assessment of those needs.- Smithsonian magazine
Buffalo's Wright Stuff: The restoration of the Martin complex should help bring students of architecture back to Buffalo, which once contended with Chicago, New York and Detroit as a modernist outpost. -- Frank Lloyd Wright; Toshiko Mori- Wall Street Journal
Doors Open Toronto - city-wide open house, showcasing up to 175 venues of architectural, historic, cultural or social significance May 23-24 + Video tours with Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Photographs of Italian modernism are on a mission to influence: A magic period for Italian design is depicted in "Framing Modernism: Architecture and Photography in Italy 1926-1965" at the Estorick Collection in London- BD/Building Design (UK)
London Yields: Urban farming is a ubiquitous topic at the moment..."London Yields," the Building Centre's exhibition on the topic...an interesting overview of some recent urban farming projects. -- Bohn & Viljoen; Front Studio; AOC- Icon (UK)
Smash Palladio show reaches Spain: ...starts its eight-month period at the Caixa Forum in Barcelona, where it opens on May 22.- ANSA (Italy)
Exhibit shows TVA's architectural influence: "Power and Domesticity: The Architectural Legacy of TVA" at the Shoals Conference Center examines the international architects who used TVA's formative years as a way to explore design in the public sphere.- TimesDaily (Alabama)
Voyaging Up the Hudson to Rediscover the Dutch: “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson,” at the Museum of the City of New York...demonstrates that the Dutch heritage...Instead of high ideals, it held out another powerful possibility: the diverse pursuit of commerce and contentment. By Edward Rothstein- New York Times
A Cautionary Video About America’s ‘Stuff’: “The Story of Stuff,” a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit...a cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste, and it has its detractors.- New York Times
-- Architects Collective & at.103: Ozuluama Residence, Mexico City
-- GRAFT: Gleimstrasse Loft, Berlin, Germany
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