Today’s News - Friday, November 20, 2009
• We lose the most amazing Jeanne-Claude, who "was much more than simply Christo's muse or manager. Her tenacity was legendary and forbidding."
• We couldn't resist revisiting our own encounter with The Gates.
• Maxing out on Maxxi: Woodman calls it "bombastic in the extreme...that addresses its nominal function with such seeming cynicism."
• Moore x 2 re: Hadid: the Maxxi may be a "bold, demanding and provocative...knottier work, in good ways and bad," but will its "architectural magnificence crumple when faced with the art it is meant to serve"?
• He also says it's not time for a Hadid backlash: she "was a talented architect before the hoopla of the boom years, and she is still one now" - and her meeting with the Pope is probably "one of the stranger celebrity encounters."
• Brussat, not surprisingly, has a very different take: "a papal embrace of the likes of Zaha Hadid should cause a global trembling among the faithful," though "faith is not required to fear the ill effect of modern architecture on the spirit of mankind."
• More swipes and snipes of a different stripe: Corbu's "totalitarian" and "baleful influence" has left many cities "wrecked by architects and planners inspired by his ideas, so why is he "still revered...rather than universally reviled"?
• Krier thinks the danger of Modernism "is that it thinks it should replace everything else."
• On a welcome, more positive note, in Australia, landscape architecture is no longer the "parsley on the pig."
• A park "unlike anything Dallas has ever seen...holds the promise of a maturing city anchored in a vibrant and urbane downtown."
• Massey offers five ways to change the world with a guide to "how architecture can contribute to social reform."
• Weekend diversions:
• Russell says MoMA's Bauhaus show "shatters the tidy narrative of industrialized progress constructed by its chief exponents and abetted by historians," letting it "breathe outside the agendas of advocates and skeptics."
• "Marvels of Modernism" at The Andy Warhol Museum celebrates landscape architects' "experimental and innovative" public and private spaces that, until recently, "have been misunderstood and under appreciated."
• An eyeful of artists who are using Libeskind's Denver Art Museum as their canvas (so much for the critics claiming it's not architecture for art; perhaps a lesson for the Maxxi?).
• At 82, the Philippine's own master of modernism Lor Calma showcases a new body of work in Manila.
• "Architectural Photography: 1860 to the Present," in Hudson, NY, is an impressive display of architect Stan Ries's collection.
• Page turners: Bernard Tschumi's tome about his farther is "a rigorously and thoroughly historical book...an evocative reminder of the brute power of useful and usable design" (and "a remarkably sweet" homage).
• "Next Houses" features photogenic, "fine houses to admire, deride or discuss, but hardly places you'd want to live."
• Dolkart's admirable "The Row House Reborn" explores what's good and sad about NYC brownstone restorations: "replacements are often unconvincing recreations."
• Meyerowitz offers "a glamorous celebration of NYC's unspoiled open spaces"; and "Mapping New York" is "an intriguing and fanciful overview" of the city's "unceasing mutations" from 1642 to 400 years from now.
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Obituary: Jeanne-Claude, 74: She was much more than simply his muse or manager...spearheaded the lengthy campaigns to obtain permits. Her tenacity was legendary and forbidding.- Guardian (UK)
Wild about Saffron: New York City: a February Tuesday in Central Park; 55 degrees and sunny... By Kristen Richards -- Christo and Jeanne-Claude [images]- ArchNewsNow
Roman horror day at Zaha Hadid's Maxxi: ...its gesturalism feels ill supported, not to say bombastic in the extreme...what art can possibly benefit from being exhibited in such conditions? Frankly, I can’t think that I have ever encountered an art gallery that addresses its nominal function with such seeming cynicism. By Ellis Woodman [images, links]- BD/Building Design (UK)
True to form, Zaha Hadid’s long-awaited MAXXI museum in Rome is bold, demanding and provocative...a knottier work, in good ways and bad, than the imagery of dynamism and flow would imply...The obvious question is whether it will be any good at showing art or whether...the architectural magnificence crumples when faced with the art it is meant to serve. By Rowan Moore [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
It's not time for a Zaha Hadid backlash: She is meeting the Pope this week...it will be one of the stranger celebrity encounters...Watching people promenade and swarm about the MAXXi's surfaces is to witness pleasure in using space...the Aquatics Centre will do its job of being 2012's most potent architectural landmark. It's not surprising really: Hadid was a talented architect before the hoopla of the bubble, and she is still one now. By Rowan Moore [images]- Evening Standard (UK)
Appeal to the Vatican for artistic sanity: If a church is the spirit visible, then a papal embrace of the likes of Zaha Hadid should cause a global trembling among the faithful. Faith is not required to fear the ill effect of modern architecture on the spirit of mankind. By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
The Architect as Totalitarian: Le Corbusier’s baleful influence: Hardly any town or city in Britain (to take just one nation) has not had its composition wrecked by architects and planners inspired by his ideas...A Corbusian building is incompatible with anything except itself...It is a sign of the abiding strength of the totalitarian temptation...that [he] is still revered...rather than universally reviled.- City Journal/The Manhattan Institute
Architect speaks out against modernism: Leon Krier doesn't mince words about what he sees as the pitfalls of pledging allegiance to the more brutalist aspects of Modernism...Modernism's danger "is that it thinks it should replace everything else."- Pasadena Star-News (California)
New park life: Landscape architecture, once the "parsley on the pig," must be all things to all people...Across town, and around the world, landscape architects are helping to redesign our public spaces...It's a form of socialism increasingly welcomed by local councils who insist on shared amenity and public spaces. -- Site Office; Jackson Clements Burrows; Convic Design; Hassell; Karres and Brands- The Age (Australia)
Main Street Garden Park sprouting downtown: a 1.7-acre park unlike anything Dallas has ever seen...on the once all but forgotten eastern edge of downtown...The first of four planned downtown parks...holds the promise of a maturing city anchored in a vibrant and urbane downtown. -- Thomas Balsley Associates- Dallas Morning News
Five Ways to Change the World: Start by changing the built environment. Buildings shape our experience and open up or close down possibilities for life...activism through architecture is a place to start...a guide...to how architecture can contribute to social reform. by Jonathan Massey- Places Journal
Mad Housewife, Billion-Mark Note Renew Bauhaus at MoMA: "Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity"...shatters the tidy narrative of industrialized progress constructed by its chief exponents and abetted by historians...Bergdoll and Dickerman let the Bauhaus breathe outside the agendas of advocates and skeptics - if that’s possible. By James S. Russell- Bloomberg News
"Marvels of Modernism": iconic Modernist landscapes at The Andy Warhol Museum: ...experimental and innovative expressions became a catalyst for inserting Modern design sensibilities into newly minted public and private spaces...until recently, many of these designs have been misunderstood and under appreciated. -- Herbert Bayer; Thomas Church; M. Paul; Friedberg; Lawrence Halprin; Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles; Dan Kiley; I.M. Pei; Robert Royston; Osmundson & Staley; Hunter Randolph; Hideo Sasaki; Simonds & Simonds; Minoru Yamasaki [images, links]- The Cultural Landscape Foundation
In Denver, Artists Embrace Libeskind’s Controversial Museum Addition: For " Embrace!"...17 artists use the architecture itself as a canvas for their work. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
In praise of Lor Calma’s architectural forms: ...the vanguard of Philippine modernism...at 82, Calma is no old fogey about to rest on his laurels. He is showcasing a new body of work - this time in the field of visual arts - in...“Architect Lor Calma: Paintings and Sculptures” on view until January...- Manila Bulletin (Philippines)
Focal Points: "Architectural Photography: 1860 to the Present" at Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson, NY...Photographs from Stan Ries’ collection range from English cathedrals to American skyscrapers, from antiquated architectural relics to minimalist interiors. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Book review: "Jean Tschumi: Architecture at Full Scale" by Bernard Tschumi: ...a rigorously and thoroughly historical book...an evocative reminder of the brute power of useful and usable design...also a remarkably sweet book, operating simultaneously as homage to an influential architect, and as thanks to a father for those weekly afternoon strolls. [slide show]- Wallpaper*
Book review: It may be modern, but is it original? ...in "Next Houses: Architecture for the Twenty-First Century" by Ron Broadhurst, the houses featured are very photogenic, devoid of any furniture that might obscure the architecture, and owned by people who acquiesce to whatever their architects suggest. In other words, fine houses to admire, deride or discuss, but hardly places you'd want to live.- National Post (Canada)
Book review: Which to Preserve, the Chicken or the Egg? “The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908-1929” by Andrew S. Dolkart...deteriorated high-stoop brownstones have been restored...What’s sad is that the replacements are often unconvincing recreations...based on defective research. What happens in the future will be one measure of the success or failure of this admirable book.- New York Times
Book review: Wild Spaces, Street Patterns: “Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks” by Joel Meyerowitz...a glamorous celebration of the city’s unspoiled open spaces...
-- “Mapping New York”...an intriguing and fanciful overview...from a 1642 survey ...to an imagined aerial vision of how New York would look in 400 years if it were reshaped by sustainable development...“unceasing mutations”...- New York Times
-- Tadao Ando: Punta della Dogana, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy
-- Book: "Eye of the Leopard" by Dereck Joubert & Beverly Joubert
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