Today’s News - Tuesday, October 13, 2009
• Facebook's new, green HQ (in a recycled 1960s building): employees were hands-on in design process - and not everything is "Facebook blue."
• Q&A with White House Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion, Jr. re: his vision for the office's role in guiding urban policy from the federal level.
• London mayor launches his London Plan to make it the "best big city on earth."
• Majora Carter calls for environmental justice for inner-city communities, and discusses the role designers can play in their revitalization.
• An in-depth (and excellent) examination of the "unexpected boom in architectural experimentation" going on in New Orleans that is "something of a Petri dish for ideas about housing and urban life...at once exhilarating and frightening to behold."
• At the other end of the spectrum, three new houses "treat their respective contexts with respect but preserve a questing spirit."
• Moneo's tower takes shape at Columbia University: "few sites have proved as challenging."
• Hume cheers Office dA's plans to wrap the University of Toronto school of architecture's 19th-century building in green and prove "environmental responsibility and engaging architecture are not incompatible."
• Hawthorne on the paradoxes that arise in preserving 1960s architecture: "Oddly, the green movement could come to the rescue."
• Who stole North Carolina's "design mojo"?
• A recent "open house" was another step in efforts to re-use rather than demolish Saarinen's Bell Labs.
• If FLW designs are constructed after his death, should they be considered authentic?
• Rochon bemoans Toronto's new street furniture, especially the "ugly" garbage cans, a.k.a. "dweebs...nerdish, squat, and, sadly, clad in plastic."
• King doesn't think bright billboards on a few bleak blocks of San Francisco's Market Street would be such a bad thing.
• First look at the newest incarnation for Stonehenge Visitor Centre (should we hold our breath?).
• We couldn't resist: 8 blindingly-colorful new buildings at time when "even the greatest contemporary architecture can seem like a long drive through a gray, wintry rain."
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Eclectic Tech: Facebook Headquarters in Palo Alto, California: Employees were hands-on in designing the new HQ for the social media giant - and not everything is "Facebook blue." -- Studio O+A [images]- ArchNewsNow
Urban Affairs and the White House: An Interview with White House Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion, Jr. - Part One and Two: ...his vision for the office's role in guiding urban policy from the federal level.- PLANetizen
Boris Johnson launches the London Plan: ...unveiled his overarching planning strategy for the capital, pledging to make London the “best big city on earth”...sets out policy from now until 2031... [link to plan]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Majora Carter on Creating Green Community Infrastructure: ...activist and founder of Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group [calls for] environmental justice for inner-city communities + Q&A re: the role designers can play in revitalizing communities.- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Houses of the Future: ...New Orleans is seeing an unexpected boom in architectural experimentation. Small, independent developers are succeeding in getting houses built where the government has failed...spurring design innovations that may redefine American architecture for a generation. -- Global Green; Brad Pitt/Make It Right; Frank Gehry; Workshop/apd; William McDonough; Graft; KieranTimberlake; Pugh + Scarpa; Adjaye Associates; MVRDV; Mayne/ Morphosis; Bingler/Concordia; Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ); William Monaghan/Build Now- The Atlantic
Home Range: Freely adapting from the languages of vernacular, art, and modernism, three new houses achieve a contemporary sophistication, where visual stimulation and creature comforts both settle in with ease...treat their respective contexts with respect but preserve a questing spirit. -- Christoff:Finio; OBRA Architects; Morris Sato Studio [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
New Tower Takes Shape on Columbia Campus: Few sites have proved as challenging for José Rafael Moneo as his latest, a $200 million interdisciplinary science building at Broadway and West 120th Street. By Robin Pegrebin [images]- New York Times
New green building calls for a slick skin: ...dean of the University of Toronto school of architecture, Richard Sommer hopes to raise $40 million to remake the faculty's College St. premises...turn the 19th-century structure into "an exemplar of sustainable reuse of a building"...environmental responsibility and engaging architecture are not incompatible. By Christopher Hume -- Tehrani/Office dA [image]- Toronto Star
1960s architecture: L.A. and the paradox of preservation: Modernism wiped out many historic buildings. Now the newer landmarks are targeted by wrecking balls. Oddly, the green movement could come to the rescue...But the relationship between postwar architecture and preservation is anything but black and white... By Christopher Hawthorne -- Minoru Yamasaki; Edward Durell Stone; Frank Gehry; Gerald Bense; Irving Shapiro- Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed: Better, bolder buildings for North Carolina: ...what has happened to state architecture since 1963? ...something's gone awry. Put another way, who stole Carolina's design mojo? The answers lie within the dynamics of culture and politics here. By J. Michael Welton -- Ithiel Town/Alexander Jackson Davis/David Paton (1840); William Deitrick (1953); Edward Durell Stone (1963)- News & Observer (North Carolina)
Making a Connection at Bell Labs: The historic building in Holmdel may turn into a mixed-use “town center"...Last month...more than 1,000 people showed up and were offered a chance to think about whether the building should live on, and whether anyone should live in it. -- Eero Saarinen- New York Times
Is it wrong to build Wright’s structures? Architects debate if Frank Lloyd Wright designs constructed after his death are authentic...To say that posthumously built structures reflect his full genius rubs some of his admirers the wrong way.- Buffalo News
Toronto street furniture: garbage in, garbage out: Why don't we invest in making our sidewalks look great? As if our narrow sidewalks of concrete and patches of asphalt were not already difficult to negotiate, residents will now be asked to share their turf with...uncommonly ugly garbage cans...I prefer to call them dweebs...nerdish, squat, and, sadly, clad in plastic. By Lisa Rochon- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Signs wouldn't be worst blight on S.F.'s Market Street: ...Proposition D..."Mid-Market Special Sign District"...touts the idea that flashing light will spark the renaissance of an area that has been grim and bleak for decades...My problem with the anti-D argument is the premise that outdoor advertising inherently is bad... By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
First Look: new Stonehenge Visitor Centre...features a perforated undulating canopy, supported by a forest of thin columns, which sits ‘lightly in the landscape above a pair of self-contained pods’ on a limestone pavement. -- Denton Corker Marshall [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Making Candyland Look Bland: Eight Blinding Buildings: Colorwise, even the greatest contemporary architecture can seem like a long drive through a gray, wintry rain...But things are changing. -- BIG; KOZ architects; Balmori Associates; Tezuka Associates; Pichler & Traupmann Architekten; Projektil Architekti; FAT Architects [slide show]- Fast Company
WORDS THAT BUILD Tip #19: Choose words and phrases that depict your architecture as a mysterious promise, as well as a known product. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
-- Morphosis / Gruzen Samton: 41 Cooper Square, Cooper Union, New York, NY
-- EASTERN design office: Slit Court, Sumizome, Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan
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