Today’s News - Monday, August 31, 2009
• Cities weigh green features vs. expense: "The question is, should you spend more up front if it saves money in the long term?"
• USGBC ramps up efforts to be sure green buildings really are green (racking up LEED points with bike racks just won't cut it anymore).
• Giant carbon-eating fly swatters and algae-growing buildings could be important weapons in the climate change war - or are they only "painfully expensive ideas to give us a few more years of safe CO2-spewing"?
• A more probable weapon: ink-thin solar cells that can be spray-painted onto just about anything.
• Some Connecticut communities are planning ahead for mixed-income housing, with hopes to "'short-circuit' the usual NIMBY concerns about affordable housing down the road."
• Jones calls for the word "heritage" to be consigned to history as "a dismissive and patronizing word that smothers great art in deadening nostalgia."
• MAK Vienna wins one for Rudofsky in Spain.
• Evidence abounds that good parks are good for the economy (even in hard times).
• Add to the list the U.K.'s Kielder Water and Forest Park and its six new shelters by five firms.
• Saffron takes to the tree tops in Philadelphia's Morris Arboretum - and likes the view from an architecture of "imagination, whimsy, and style."
• Kamin's take on Chicago's newest lakefront "gem": it "elevates the ordinary to something special" (though many comments beg to differ).
• The Standard straddles the High Line with "grim muscularity and determined assertion"; inside, "a feeling of lightness and spacious Barbarella whimsy" (with shades of Monica Vitti).
• Calys gives (mostly) thumbs-up to the newest addition to San Francisco's Japantown: "a pleasant, although not architecturally great, addition to the streetscape... it begins to lift the spirit of what was once a vibrant ethnic enclave."
• A British architect breaks the silence on payment problems in Dubai that "will probably cross his name off many Dubai developers' list. But he appears not to care."
• Many thoughts on why The Lighthouse failed - and what might become of it ("a private members' club for the creative industries"? sounds a bit off-putting to us).
• Baillieu calls to "keep The Lighthouse shining...it's the only real architecture centre we have."
• Lots of images of shortlisted designs for Glasgow School of Art "leaked" to AJ (how'd they do that?).
• Carbuncle Cup 2009 winners announced; jurors mince no words.
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Cities weigh green features vs. expense in new buildings: Cities are looking for green building methods they can cost-justify and bypassing those they cannot...What's the difference between being sustainable and common sense? "The question is, should you spend more up front if it saves money in the long term?"- Minneapolis Star Tribune
USGBC Confronts Challenges of Green Building Performance: Ramping up efforts to ensure that green buildings deliver on their promise, the U.S. Green Building Council rolled out a sweeping initiative...to amass data on all LEED-certified structures and use the information to help close any gaps between expected and actual performance. [links]- GreenerBuildings.com
Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label: Builders covet a green certification, but many buildings do not save as much energy as their designs predicted...the gap between design and construction...and how some buildings actually perform led the [LEED] program to announce that it would begin collecting information about energy use from all the buildings it certifies. -- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)- New York Times
Giant fly swats could suck up motorway fumes: Engineers call for manmade 'trees' that absorb carbon emissions to lead fight against climate change...report also says that growing algae down the sides of buildings or making buildings more reflective could be important weapons...- Building (UK)
Can Forests of Artificial Trees Stop Global Warming? ...maybe we should spend more time on long-term solutions and less time thinking of painfully expensive ideas to give us a few more years of safe CO2-spewing.- Fast Company
Plan to turn rooftops, walls and windows into cheap solar cells: ...thanks to a manufacturing procedure that uses nanoparticle ‘inks’ to print them like newspaper or to spray-paint them onto the sides of buildings or rooftops. Even windows could become solar cells...- Gizmag (Australia)
Towns Accommodate ‘Affordable’: Several Connecticut communities are planning ahead for mixed-income housing — before a developer picks out a site for them...Giving residents advance input into siting and design standards should help “short-circuit” the usual Nimby concerns about affordable housing down the road...- New York Times
Heritage: let's consign it to history: It's a dismissive and patronising word that smothers great art in deadening nostalgia – we should strike it from our vocabulary...Why not inheritance – a much more forceful and imperative word? But that's the point: to call historic art and buildings our inheritance would suggest a heavy burden of debt. By Jonathan Jones- Guardian (UK)
Bernard Rudofsky's "La Casa" put under preservation order: MAK Director Peter Noever succeeds to secure preservation of landmark building by Austrian architect in Frigiliana, Andalusia, Spain [pdf]- MAK (Vienna)
Good Parks Are Good for the Economy: The surge in development spurred by the High Line is the latest exhibit in the growing stack of evidence that having beautiful, well-maintained parks is much more than a nice amenity cities can ignore when times are hard. [links]- Gotham Gazette (NYC)
Six shelters at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland: Five practices have built structures for Northumberland’s forward-thinking Kielder Water and Forest Park -- - Adjaye Associates; Studio Weave; SIMPARCH; Ryder; Sixteen*(makers); Charles Barclay Architects; James Turrell [links to images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Getting a bird's-eye view of the trees: Some structures change the way you look at architecture. Others make you see the world in a new way...the creators of "Out on a Limb"...do more than simply bring us up to the level of the treetops. They apply time-honored architectural tricks to enhance nature's drama... By Inga Saffron -- Metcalfe Architecture & Design [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Chicago lakefront gains a gem; architect thinks beyond box for DuSable Harbor Building: Unglamorously named and utterly prosaic in function, [it] elevates the ordinary to something special, in the finest tradition of Chicago architecture. By Blair Kamin -- David Woodhouse [images]- Chicago Tribune
Standard Deviants: Voyeurism and Design Above New York’s High Line: It’s a beautiful statement...rare in contemporary New York...From the outside, an impression of grim muscularity and determined assertion. From the inside, a feeling of lightness and spacious Barbarella whimsy. By Lawrence Osborne -- Polshek Partnership Architects; Shaun Hausman; Roman and Williams [images]- The Faster Times
New People: new investment in SF Japantown: ...the retail side of Japanese pop culture (or as those in the know call it, J Pop)...a pleasant, although not architecturally great, addition to the streetscape...Together with its neighbor, the renovated Hotel Tomo, it begins to lift the spirit of what was once a vibrant ethnic enclave. By George Calys -- Torafu [image, links]- San Francisco Examiner
My Dubai hell: David Marks breaks the silence on payment problems: Many UK firms are owed money by Middle Eastern developers, but few are willing to talk about it...one man...prepared to break the silence...Marks’ decision to tell his story will probably cross his name off many Dubai developers’ list. But he appears not to care: “I would think very hard about working in Dubai again; it has done us a lot of damage.” -- Marks Barfield- Building (UK)
The Lighthouse ‘failed to spark creative professions’: ...alienated the very professions it was designed to champion and promote, according to industry figures. Architects and designers have used [its] plight to highlight the need for a new institution in Scotland, suggesting the building be turned into a private members' club for the creative industries, or that the brand should re-emerge as a leaner architectural champion.- Sunday Herald (Scotland)
Keep The Lighthouse shining: Glasgow’s Lighthouse may be in difficulties but it’s the only real architecture centre we have...This is something that other cities have failed to emulate. While New Labour thinks architecture centres are there to act as a rather feeble form of community consultation, the Scots grasped that they need to have serious cultural content too; RIBA must retain Stirling’s fairness. By Amanda Baillieu- BD/Building Design (UK)
Revealed: Leaked images of Mackintosh shortlist: ...drawings and images submitted by the six finalists in the competition to design a new £50 million building for the Glasgow School of Art -- Elder & Cannon; Francisco Mangado Architects; Grafton Architects; Hopkins; Benson + Forsyth; John McAslan and Partners/Nord Architects; Steven Holl Architects/JM Architects [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Liverpool Ferry Terminal wins Carbuncle Cup 2009: ...a shining example of bad architecture and bad planning. By Amanda Baillieu -- Hamilton Architects; Make; Dyer Associates [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
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