Today’s News - Friday, October 30, 2009
• Weinstein cheers "Gunnar Birkerts: Metaphoric Modernist": a major architect in the history of Modernism finally receives recognition.
• California architects (and elsewhere, we're sure) grapple with underbidding - and even working for free - to get jobs.
• Long says the idea of building "a stupidly large sculpture" in East London's Olympic Park "proves how little we know about public space."
• Does too much consultation inhibit great architecture? Yes, says Alex Lifschutz/Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; no says Anna Minton (sort of).
• Brussat wonders who killed the American Renaissance in architecture (literally and figuratively); it could be headed for a revival if "wrongheaded thinking" architects would stop putting "innovation ahead of beauty as the primary aesthetic purpose of architecture."
• Glancey challenges Traditional Architecture Group (TAG) survey re: the public's preference for "traditional" over "modern" architecture: "Better modern butter than traditional margarine."
• Q&A with Chipperfield re: museums and cemeteries (he's also lost his 2001 win to design British Film Institute center).
• Holl's Linked Hybrid wins CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Overall.
• Kamin cheers AIA Chicago winners (which include the now "moot Olympic plan").
• AIA picks some interesting applied research projects for 2009 Upjohn Research Initiative grants.
• Weekend diversions:
• A long over-due Zeev Rechter retrospective in Tel Aviv puts the spotlight on "one of the harbingers of Modernism in Israel."
• In NYC, Matthew Ritchie teams up with Arup and Aranda/Lasch for his new solo show.
• Ben Thompson's Design Research returns to its Boston digs - to be enjoyed from the sidewalk only.
• Page turners: "The Secret Life of Buildings" is "beautifully written,' reveling in "buildings steeped in improbable histories."
• "Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture" is a "welcome new book" that takes "a different approach to the work of one of the modern movement's undisputed masters.
• "The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism" is "filled with well-turned anecdotes and blissfully free from art-historical jargon."
• In London, a month-long film series explores "Of Dreams and Cities - Architecture in Film."
• It's Halloween, so how could we resist: an eyeful of extreme jack-o-lanterns (someone has too much time on their hands); and Wal-Mart is now selling coffins online (just in time for yard decor?).
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Book Review: "Gunnar Birkerts: Metaphoric Modernist" by Sven Birkerts and Martin Schwartz: A major architect in the history of Modernism finally receives recognition - and sundry asides about why Modernism never exited. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Stoop to Conquer: Architects wrestle with underbidding to get jobs...economic downturn continues to pressure California architects to secure commissions however they can....[some] offering clients lower project cost estimates than they can deliver, reducing services, and even working for free. “I think some people’s attitude right now is to just get the job and worry about the consequences later."- The Architect's Newspaper
The Olympic Park art proposal proves how little we know about public space: the announcement of the shortlist to build a stupidly large sculpture there reveals how little they understand of the creation of meaningful monuments. By Kieran Long- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Does too much consultation inhibit great architecture? Yes, tough decisions can be necessary, says Alex Lifschutz/Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; while Anna Minton argues that democracy means the people affected must have a say- BD/Building Design (UK)
Who killed the American Renaissance? The death of beauty in America over a couple of decades was in historical terms almost instantaneous. A revival could be just as swift if architects would re-examine outmoded and wrongheaded thinking that puts innovation ahead of beauty as the primary aesthetic purpose of architecture. By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Age of margarine classicism: People might not have noticed the difference between margarine and butter in those old ads, but they do see the difference between traditional and modern...results of a YouGov survey...deserve to be challenged. By Jonathan Glancey- BD/Building Design (UK)
Of Museums and Cemeteries: Q&A with David Chipperfield re: the Neues Museum, why architecture should be ordered, and his extension of Venice's San Michele island cemetery- Wall Street Journal
CTBUH named Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects the “Best Tall Building Overall” for 2009. [images]- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
At least the plan gets a gold medal: Chicago architects recognize city's moot Olympic plan in annual design excellence awards. By Blair Kamin -- Daniel Burnham/Edward Bennett; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Perkins+Will; Murphy/Jahn; DCH Global; Ross Barney; David Woodhouse; OWP/P; Holabird & Root; Goettsch Partners; etc. [images]- Chicago Tribune
AIA Picks 2009 Upjohn Research Initiative Projects: The grants, which provide base funds for applied research projects that advance professional knowledge and practice, went to teams from Yale University, University of Utah, University of Nebraska, and a joint team of faculty from SCI-Arc and Woodbury University.- Interior Design magazine
Sliding up the Rechter scale: Zeev Rechter...was a talented and prolific architect and one of the harbingers of Modernism in Israel..."Zeev"...in Tel Aviv...is a small and pleasant mini-retrospective...An archive of this type is not merely a collection of beautiful freehand sketches...is above all an important source of information...to architects. -- Rechter Architects- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Ritchie Engineering: Matthew Ritchie opened his new solo show, Line Shot, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery [NYC]....most notable is...“The Morning Line”...uncanny sense of and attention to detail...aided in part through a partnership with ARUP’s Advanced Geometry Unit, led by Daniel Bosia, and Aranda/Lasch. [images, video]- The Architect's Newspaper
Through a glass, brightly: Design Research is back - as an installation - in its old home...a temporary D/R installation only, not open to the public but meant to be enjoyed from the surrounding streets and sidewalks. -- Ben Thompson- Boston Globe
Book review: From flying buttresses to modernistic mini-towns: We should enjoy great buildings for what they are not what they used to be..."The Secret Life of Buildings" by Edward Hollis...Beautifully written and produced...appears to revel in buildings steeped in improbable histories.- The Catholic Herald (UK)
Book review: Toward a Jewish Architecture? "Louis I. Kahn’s Jewish Architecture: Mikveh Israel and the Midcentury American Synagogue" by Susan G. Solomon...welcome new book, which takes yet a different approach to the work of one of the modern movement’s undisputed masters.- The Forward (NY)
Book review: “The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism” by Nicholas Fox Weber: Filled with well-turned anecdotes and blissfully free from art-historical jargon...an excellent introduction to the personalities responsible for some of the 20th century’s most innovative experiments in art and design. -- Walter Gropius; Mies van der Rohe; Paul Klee; Wassily Kandinsky; Josef and Anni Albers- Entertainment Daily (India)
Of Dreams and Cities - Architecture in Film: A season of films at the BFI explores the role of architecture in the movies...To mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)...will run from 30 October to 29 November.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Extreme Pumpkins: Which Would Make You Scream This Halloween? [slide show]- Huffington Post
Now Wal-mart sells the American way of death: From 'Dad Remembered' to 'American Patriot', coffins now available online...categorised as "household products"...customers will not be able to "try before they buy"- Independent (UK)
-- Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura: W Barcelona Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
-- Cox Rayner + Arup: Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane, Australia
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