Today’s News - Wednesday, August 19, 2009
• A look at local rebuilding efforts in New Orleans that may not be the fastest or cheapest way to go, but they're working - and could be models for recovery from future disasters anywhere.
• A call to stop mourning the decline of traditional British high streets and return "sacrosanct employment space back to its natural use as residential accommodation."
• Forgey is only half-heartened by "a grand collaborative effort" to revive the National Mall and D.C.'s city center: alas, the vision falls short.
• An ancient Silk Road city in China faces an onslaught of bulldozers; some cheer, some fear.
• Dittmar defends Prince Charles: his foundation is not trying to dictate design, but he "speaks for most people's ideas about buildings, towns and cities, and architects can't stand that."
• Meanwhile, Chelsea Barracks residents voice concern about modernist architects on the new shortlist.
• OMA's Commonwealth Institute plans "significantly reduced" (should we have expected otherwise?).
• SWA Group's big win for 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gets bigger.
• Anderton chats it up with an L.A. architect who goes on an Abu Dhabi version of "The Apprentice"; the co-writer of "(500) Days of Summer"; and a historian who talks about the secret history of the 100-year-old Santa Monica Pier.
• Kamin cheers the return of two Sullivan facades in Chicago's Loop.
• FLW's Guggenheim might never have happened without the intervention of an unlikely champion: Robert Moses: "Damn it, get a permit for Frank, I don't care how many laws you have to break."
• How Wright's love of the automobile inspired his architecture.
• Deadline reminder: Google/Guggenheim Design It: Shelter Competition closes this Sunday.
• We couldn't resist: Glancey waxes oh-so-poetic about Lego.
• de Botton named Heathrow Airport's writer-in-residence (he'd like to do same in a nuclear power plant).
• Floating around NYC is an experiment in self-sustaining community living and artistry: an eco- and art-friendly sphere.
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How Local Rebuilding Efforts are Working in New Orleans: ...many of the most successful and creative solutions are being carried out by smaller-scale operations that allow room for experimentation, pull in neighborhood groups and local businesses...It may not be the fastest, or even the cheapest, way to get stuff built, but New Orleanians don’t want just ‘stuff.’ -- Make It Right; EnviRenew [links]- WorldChanging
Op-Ed: Quality streets: Shops are closing and the high street is in decline. But it’s time to stop mourning the loss...Why have planners not begun to release sacrosanct employment space back to its natural use as residential accommodation? ...a softening of the planning system in this way would have little direct cost and potentially a very large benefit to town centres and shopping parades up and down the country. By Jackie Sadek- Building (UK)
Vision lacking in National Mall, city center plans: Could this be yet another golden age of planning for central Washington...to become an inspiring model for the 21st century? Intimations, yes. Probabilities, no...we are witnessing a grand collaborative effort that, alas, falls short...How do you convince people to create an inspired city without a vision that genuinely inspires? By Benjamin Forgey- Washington Business Journal
China's Ancient Silk Road City Of Kashgar Facing Threat Of Bulldozers: ...old city has survived the centuries, and remains an important Islamic cultural center for the Uyghurs...the government's reconstruction plan is threatening to destroy the picturesque labyrinth that makes up old Kashgar...old town is facing challenges similar to those facing the preservation of other Chinese cities. -- Beijing Cultural Protection Center- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prince Charles's foundation is not trying to dictate design: Yes, we do meet architects to discuss and share ideas – but not to approve their plans...At its core this is an argument about architects and developers wanting to have their way, not about democracy in planning. Prince Charles speaks for most people's ideas about buildings, towns and cities, and architects can't stand that. By Hank Dittmar- Guardian (UK)
Chelsea Barracks shortlist sparks fears among residents: Campaign group voices concern about modernist architects on shortlist..."We are hoping that the chosen masterplanner will produce an outline design that is traditional and sympathetic to the historic context of the area..." -- Allies and Morrison/Porphyrios Associates; Paul Davis/Alan Baxter; Duany Plater-Zyberk; Dixon Jones; Feilden Clegg Bradley; Terry Farrell; Hamiltons Architects/Patel Taylor; Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; Robert A.M. Stern/; Squire and Partners/Kim Wilkie Associates- Building (UK)
OMA's Commonwealth Institute plans 'significantly reduced': ...include a significant reduction in the height of the housing blocks (down from nine storeys in places) and a less dramatic overhaul of the existing 1962 Grade-II* listed building... -- RMJM (1962); Koolhaas/Office for Metropolitan Architecture- The Architects' Journal (UK)
SWA Group Scores Gold with 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games’ Master Plan: ...looked to the past as well as the future — an approach that earned it a much larger commission than anticipated. [image]- Architectural Record
DnA/Frances Anderton: When Architecture Met Pop Culture: When the recession hits a buttoned-up Los Angeles architect Richard Best...goes on a reality show....Scott Neustadter, co-writer of (500) Days of Summer, about the movie's love affair with LA architecture, and James Harris, who tells us the secret history of the 100-year-old Santa Monica Pier.- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Recovering a touch of greatness: Louis Sullivan facades in Loop are now complete: ...represents a happy exception to a rash of Sullivan debacles. By Blair Kamin -- T. "Gunny" Harboe; Douglas Gilbert [images]- Chicago Tribune
Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum: Fifty years after its opening, has the art finally caught up with the architecture? NYC Buildings Department, leery of unconventional designs, would probably have nixed the project were it not for Robert Moses..."Damn it, get a permit for Frank, I don't care how many laws you have to break." [slide show essay]- Slate
The Auto as Architect's Inspiration: Frank Lloyd Wright was an early adopter of the internal-combustion engine and an auto aficionado all his life...[his] love of the automobile inspired some of his most innovative architectural concepts and ultimately his most radical design, the Guggenheim. [slide show]- New York Times
Call for entries reminder: Google and Guggenheim Design It: Shelter Competition; deadline: August 23- Guggenheim Museum
Little bricks that breed: Lego has defied the slump. Little wonder...In a world in which our children are encouraged to demand any amount of luridly coloured (usually pink) bleeping, winking, throwaway electronic plastic tat made by less lucky children in far-away countries of which we choose to know little, Lego is a source of comfort as well as play. By Jonathan Glancey- Guardian (UK)
Waiting at Heathrow, the Literary Experience: Alain de Botton has been named Heathrow airport's writer in residence, and will spend a week writing at a desk in the middle of a terminal...“I’d like to be a writer in residence at a nuclear power station."- New York Times
Life, Art and Chickens, Afloat in the Harbor: Artists have been floating around New York City on the Waterpod, a 3,000-square-foot experiment in community living and artistry...envisioned as a self-sustaining living space, an eco- and art-friendly sphere that could be recreated in the future, when land resources might be scarce. [slide show]- New York Times
Steven Holl Architects: Knut Hamsun Center, Hamaröy, Norway
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