Today’s News - Monday, August 17, 2009
EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for our unexplained absence...an unexpected family emergency took us to a land of limited Internet access with no opportunity to notify ArchNewsNow readers. Many thanks for the numerous notes of concern - it's nice to know we were missed - and even better to be back! So much to catch up with...
• ArcSpace offers an eyeful of Holl's Knut Hamsun Center in Norway.
• Glancey finds it "as challenging as it is hauntingly beautiful."
• Why Beijing "may see itself rising up the list of livable cities" (thanks to architects "seeking to prioritize" people - what a concept!).
• Ouroussoff thinks H&deM's new design for the Parrish Art Museum "will be a perfectly nice place," but fears it is a sign of "a creeping conservatism...that leaves little room for creative invention."
• Russell fears that putting Penn Station's makeover on the back burner will prove "skimping on inspiring architecture is millions wise, billions foolish."
• Rochon is betting on Calgary's "ambition to grow a city with beauty as a matter of dignity" that will include Calatrava's bridge; and an impressive shortlist for new music center proves "the city is ready to take risks."
• Prince Charles does it again: this time he has Nouvel in his crosshairs.
• An impressive new shortlist for Chelsea Barracks (and nary a prince's favorite among 'em).
• GSA decides to forego Foster and buy American for 50 UN Plaza renovation in San Francisco.
• Hawthorne gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Rotondi's Madame Tussauds in Hollywood: "It is iconoclasm as infill."
• A new report aims to help companies avoid greenwashing.
• Finch named as new chairman of CABE.
• Hume says Alsop's "excellent Toronto adventure is about to get even more excellent."
• Pogrebin on the diminishing ranks of the New York Five.
• Brussat is brutal about most of the Reburbia competition finalists; and today is your last chance to vote for readers' choice: "just like in high school, the sexy designs are getting the attention while the zoning-policy proposals sit all by themselves in the cafeteria" (time to vote for an underdog?).
• Peters hangs out at one of the design world's best kept secrets: a summer camp for designers.
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Steven Holl Architects: Knut Hamsun Center, Hamaröy, Norway
Norwegian wood: Knut Hamsun is both hailed as the father of modern literature and reviled for his Nazi sympathies. On the 150th anniversary of his birth...a new centre that is as complex and challenging as the controversial author...the building is as challenging as it is hauntingly beautiful. By Jonathan Glancey -- Steven Holl- Guardian (UK)
Beijing's buildings get user-friendly: ...furious construction craze shows no sign of abating...A growing number of architects are now seeking to prioritize the people in their modern creations...more emphasis on building smarter, smaller and more sophisticated...the capital may see itself rising up the list of livable cities... -- Dynamic City Foundation; DnA_Design and Architecture_; Steven Holl; Henn Architekten; China Construction Design International (CCDI); Kengo Kuma- Asia Times
When Creativity Diminishes Along With the Cash: The new design for the Parrish Art Museum...will be a perfectly nice place to view art...Yet the design is also a major step down in architectural ambition...suggests the possibility of a worrying new development...a creeping conservatism — and aversion to risk — that leaves little room for creative invention. By Nicolai Ouroussoff -- Herzog & de Meuron [images]- New York Times
Sordid Penn Station Needs Overhaul for $9 Billion Tunnel Link: ...9-mile rail link...was supposed to feed a spruced-up Penn, but the station’s long-awaited makeover has gone on the back burner...The tough economy will tempt officials to strip these projects of architectural grace and urban significance...Skimping on inspiring architecture is millions wise, billions foolish. By James S. Russell- Bloomberg News
Is Calatrava the future of Calgary? Let's hope so: A breathtaking bridge by the Spaniard is causing controversy, but designs for Cantos Music Foundation centre prove the city is ready to take risks...I'm betting on those Calgarians and their ambition to grow a city with beauty as a matter of dignity. By Lisa Rochon -- Jean Nouvel; Diller Scofidio + Refro; Saucier + Perrotte; Allied Works; Studio Pali Fekete Architects (SPF:a)- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Prince of Wales tried to topple architect over St Paul's: ...lobbied for one of the world's leading architects to be dropped from One New Change, the £500m office and shopping complex...Sunand Prasad, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, described the intervention...as "brazen" and "pernicious" and last night called for him to "step back" + how Prince Charles tried to stop a modern 'masterpiece.' By Robert Booth -- Jean Nouvel- Guardian (UK)
Impressive new shortlist for Chelsea Barracks: Leading British modernists and US traditionalists have made the 10-strong shortlist..."a very politically sensitive list. It placates almost every single position – apart from Richard Rogers of course." -- Alan Baxter/Paul Davis; Porphyrios/Allies & Morrison; Duany Plater-Zyberk; Dixon Jones; Feilden Clegg Bradley; Terry Farrell; Hamiltons Architects/Think Place/Patel Taylor; Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; Robert A.M. Stern; Squire & Partners/Kim Wilkie- BD/Building Design (UK)
Buy American? After first selecting ELS/Foster + Partners for SF project, GSA goes back to shortlist of Americans...agency awarded a $7.9 million contract to San Francisco–based Architectural Resources Group (ARG) with HKS, one of the four teams on the original shortlist.- The Architect's Newspaper
Madame Tussauds in Hollywood: The wax museum is an attempt by an architect known for sharp-elbowed, go-it-alone buildings to knit one of his designs into an increasingly crowded urban fabric. It is iconoclasm as infill...has an inherent playfulness and theatricality...a piece of architecture that very much wants to be liked. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Rotondi/RoTo Architects; John Ash; J.R. Miller & Associates [images]- Los Angeles Times
Preventing Greenwashing, One Company at a Time: With the rise of environmental awareness among businesses and shoppers alike comes a rise of greenwashing -- intentional or not...a new report...aims to help companies avoid those mistakes...lays out a "greenwash matrix" of the different types of poor communication... [link to report]- GreenBiz.com
Paul Finch to succeed Sorrell as Cabe chairman- BD/Building Design (UK)
Underdog Ryerson nets star architect: Will Alsop's excellent Toronto adventure is about to get even more excellent...when he takes up a teaching position in the architecture department at Ryerson University...he won't be leaving architecture any time soon. By Christopher Hume -- Archial- Toronto Star
Gwathmey’s Death Further Diminishes ‘New York Five’: Along with Gwathmey and John Hejduk, the group included Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman and Richard Meier...friends and colleagues from within and outside the New York Five spoke about the group. By Robin Pogrebin [slide show]- New York Times
How to (or not to) fix the 'burbs: Dwell has just published the 20 finalists in its Reburbia contest, and they are hum-dingers...all but three...suffer from the illness that has laid the design world low, especially architecture...Until utility and beauty regain their status as the ingredients of success rather than road kill on the highway to celebrity, suburbs and cities will continue to suffer. By David Brussat -- Tahchieva/Duany Plater-Zyberk/DPZ; Light+Space [images, links]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Fill it In, Trick it Out: Dwell and inhabitat’s REBURBIA competition...want your votes to pick a “readers’ choice” winner from the 20 finalists...just like in high school, the sexy designs are getting the attention while the zoning-policy proposals sit all by themselves in the cafeteria...consider parking your lunch tray next to some of the underdogs. [images, links]- The Architect's Newspaper
Summer Camp for Designers: Our correspondent attends Boisbuchet, an idyllic design retreat on a sprawling estate in the French countryside...summer workshops are among the design world’s best kept secrets...a meeting ground for fellow design “aliens” from around the world... By Terri Peters [images]- Metropolis Magazine
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