Today’s News - Wednesday, September 2, 2009
• Gretes' Market Research Strategies in Uncertain Times #3: Preparing for the Rebound.
• Good news/bad news for eco-city plans around the world.
• Austin Williams x 2: a no-holds-barred take on why Dongtan is "the eco-city that never was...not because it was too ambitious, but because it wasn't ambitious enough"; and his musings about whether there is such a thing as Communist architecture: "We should not confuse Brutalist architecture with brutal political legitimacy."
• The 98-page IOC report on the four cities vying for 2016 Summer Olympics notes problems with all the bids.
• Plans for a "two-speed" (pay more, move faster) planning process by a U.K. council is panned by architects and planners.
• Lawsuits filed to halt construction of Hadid's library in Seville (we'll see how far they get).
• Rose re: Britain's first tailor-made homeless hostel - a "cool modernist building" that should be a model for the future, but will it "end up being a one-off?"
• Ron Arad's Design Museum in Israel could be a "model for a new kind of Middle Eastern museum" - or a "rusty Guggenheim" (great pix).
• Kamin cheers Chicago's newest charter school housed in a 1905 power station: "a model for recycling historic buildings" as a "palace of steam is now a palace of learning" that harnesses "architecture's aesthetic power to a broader social purpose."
• The new Times Square Info Center organizes information in a whole new way.
• The traditional Filipino dwelling, a.k.a. bahay kubo, inspires contemporary architects.
• The Dirt has more (good) dirt on Israel's massive Ariel Sharon Park.
• Profiles in design: Jeanne Gang brings the "sensuousness of nature," sustainability, and "the thrill of the new to Chicago and beyond." - A Q&A with David Dillard of Project Sleepover. - Mack is back with a review of Ellerbe Becket's 100 years.
• An eyeful of London's Athenaeum hotel sprouting a forest façade (an amazing piece of art - let's hope it stays green).
• Call for entries: 57th Annual P/A Awards for unbuilt projects.
• Winners all: 2009 R+D Awards: the bad economy is actually "motivating a major boom in architectural technology" - AIACC Off-Grid 2.0 Ideas Competition. - INDEX: Awards for designs that improve life.
• We couldn't resist: a font war over IKEA changing its typeface (some people must have too much time on their hands).
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Market Research Strategies in Uncertain Times #3: Strategic Market Research - Preparing for the Rebound: ...now is the time to sketch out your blueprint of where you are and where you want to go. By Frances Gretes- ArchNewsNow
Eco-Cities: Building a Comeback? Plans to construct "eco-cities" around the world were stunted by recession. But green developments are again luring governments and investors...government-funded Masdar city in Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam's "smart city" are continuing. Meanwhile a host of other efforts from Finland to Arizona are in the works... -- tecArchitecture; ARUP; Battle McCarthy; dcarbon8- BusinessWeek
Dongtan: the eco-city that never was: China’s first big eco-city has been put on hold, not because it was too ambitious, but because it wasn’t ambitious enough. By Austin Williams -- Arup- Spiked (UK)
Non-Public Public Space: Is there such a thing as Communist architecture? ...Capitalist architecture is glittering glass and steel; communist architecture is just drab, damp and depressing....We should not confuse Brutalist architecture with brutal political legitimacy. By Austin Williams- Future Cities Project (U.K.)
IOC report notes problems with Chicago's bid: An International Olympic Committee document assessing the bids of the four cities vying for the 2016 Summer Olympics...runs 98 pages... [link to report]- Chicago Tribune
Profession pans 'EasyCouncil' two-speed planning proposals: Plans by Barnet Council to introduce a faster planning process for applicants who pay more have been condemned by architects, planners and consultants...could create a two-tier planning system.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Lawsuits Threaten to Halt Zaha Hadid's Central Library for the University of Seville: ...a court decision that declares the urban plan permitting its construction illegal. The competition-winning design of 2006 has been under construction since last October.- Architectural Record
The grow-your-own homeless hostel: Boasting maple floors and individual gardens, this cool modernist building is Britain's first tailor-made homeless hostel. But will Spring Gardens end up being a one-off? By Steve Rose -- Peter Barber Architects [slide show]- Guardian (UK)
Ron Arad’s Design Museum for Holon, Israel: ...huddled and low, its bands of Cor-Ten steel acting as a cloak from the glare around it...a building that stands in opposition to the world around it...Arad could just have created the model for a new kind of Middle Eastern museum. [images]- Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Power play: architects help turn old Sears power plant in Chicago into new [Shaw Technology and Learning Center] charter school...A palace of steam is now a palace of learning...likely to emerge as a model for recycling historic buildings -- and for harnessing architecture's aesthetic power to a broader social purpose. By Blair Kamin -- Nimmons & Fellows (1905); Farr Associates; MacRostie Historic Advisors [images]- Chicago Tribune
Local Tourists: Times Square Info Center and some of its implications for information design, geographic awareness, and the shifting distinction between tourist and local...Both the space and the user experience...are designed to organize information in a new way. -- Claire Weisz/WXY Studio; Local Projects [images, video]- Urban Omnibus
The bahay kubo goes eco: Because [it] is the ubiquitous Filipino dwelling and still stands for bayanihan, resourcefulness and architectural ingenuity, many architects have been inspired by it in creating their own design...The carbon-neutral part is of course an amplification of, and not an addition to, the traditional bahay kubo. -- Francisco Manosa; Michael Pena; James Jao [image]- Manila Bulletin (Philippines)
Israeli Park Built on Garbage Dump Will Now Include 50,000-seat Amphitheater: Hiriya was Israel’s largest landfill...now being redeveloped as Ariel Sharon Park...Much like Fresh Kills in development in New York City...collects bio-gas for clean energy, controls leachate (liquid that drains from landfills), and includes man-made wetlands and water recycling facilities. -- Latz + Partner; Broida-Maoz; Moria Sekely [links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Name to Know: Architect Jeanne Gang: She's bringing the sensuousness of nature, the sustainability of LEED building, and the thrill of the new to Chicago and beyond -- Studio Gang Architects- BusinessWeek
Newsmaker: David Dillard of Project Sleepover: ...has been designing senior-living communities since the early 1990s, came away with a refreshed understanding of how these spaces function...now requiring most of his firm’s 60 staff members, including non-designers...to go undercover and spend the night at a similar institution around the country. -- CSD Architects- Architectural Record
Shaping a century from Minnesota to the Mideast: Over a remarkably long time, the architecture firm Ellerbe Becket has changed the environment from Minnesota to the Mideast. By Linda Mack [images]- Minneapolis Star Tribune
8-Story Antigravity Forest Facade Takes Root: ...recently completed facade for the Athenaeum hotel in London...Looming over Green Park, it's an eight-story antigravity forest composed of 12,000 plants. -- Patrick Blanc [images]- Wired
Call for entries: 57th Annual P/A Awards for unbuilt projects; open to architects and other design professionals practicing in the United States, Canada, or Mexico; deadline: September 28- Architect Magazine
2009 R+D Awards: Research and development may seem like luxuries right now...[but] the bust is motivating a major boom in architectural technology. -- Office for Visual Interaction; Dean/Wolf Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Barkow Leibinger Architects; Perkins Eastman; IwamotoScott Architecture [links to details, images]- Architect Magazine
California Architectural Foundation Announces the Recipients of the William Turnbull Jr., FAIA, Off-Grid 2.0 Ideas Competition: ...[and] recognition as the "2009 William Turnbull Prize" winners at the 2009 Monterey Design Conference (in October). -- EHDD Architecture; Anderson Anderson Architecture; Cal Poly Pomona; NewSchool of Art and Architecture- BusinessWire
INDEX: Award 2009 Winners Announced: ...a competition that focuses on designs to improve life...Here’s a rundown of the five winners... [links]- Metropolis Magazine
The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Verdana: ...has switched to what it sees as a more functional typeface: Verdana. In the process, it has provoked an instantaneous global backlash..."It's a sad day." [images]- Time Magazine
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