Today’s News - Tuesday, December 22, 2009
• An intriguing essay about the "high cost of ignoring beauty" (that will most likely make traditionalists cheer and infuriate the modern-minded).
• A Dutch architect imagines cities built on water (one may be built soon).
• Heathcote cheers H&deM's Miami parking garage: "This is not a conventional piece of regeneration."
• Pearman compares Zaha's Maxxi and Caruso St John Nottingham Contemporary (they actually do have certain things in common).
• More on Mather's Ashmolean: the "outwardly near-invisible nature of the building" is "crisp, fancy-free and timeless."
• Not all are pleased with Oslo's planned Munch Museum: it "may be so dominant that it simply takes too much attention" from the nearby (and new) opera house.
• Another Gehry for NYC - this one a theater on Theater Row.
• RMIT plans a "green brain" for Melbourne (are Melburnians ready for it?).
• Princeton students measure their campus' exterior lighting with expectations it will be useful to the school's green aspirations and improve campus quality of life.
• Warhol Foundation funds project to turn the row of homes facing the Watts Towers into an aesthetically engaging place to visit and live.
• CABE comes through with funding for 21 British architecture and built environment centers.
• Kamin reports on another major setback for preservationists' bid to landmark Michael Reese Hospital complex.
• Woodman lists his pick of "remarkable buildings" of 2009.
• Long reviews the decade of British architecture (and they both agree on what the best of both is).
• Maurice Cox ruminates on his stint at NEA, winning the Bacon Prize, and much more.
• Charles Renfro and Sarah Morris ruminate on how the Bauhaus legacy has informed their own work.
• Musings on the history, "superb craftsmanship," and continuing engineering mystery of King's College Chapel.
• Has a Duke University engineer solved the mystery of the golden ratio?
• An eyeful of Canadian Architect's 2009 Awards of Excellence winners.
• Charles Rennie Mackintosh graces a new £100 bank note (if you have one, spend it wisely).
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The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty: Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty...The architects who win the big commissions today...design buildings...which stand apart from their surroundings, islands of Ego in a sea of Us. By Roger Scruton -- Jane Jacobs; Frank Gehry; Richard Rogers; Daniel Libeskind; Norman Foster; James Howard Kunstler- The American (American Enterprise Institute)
The city of tomorrow may be built on water: A Dutch architect imagines entire cities being built in water. In The Hague’s hinterland, this vision will soon become reality..."scarless development"...he has been greeted with "typically Dutch" scepticism at home. -- Koen Olthuis/Waterstudio.nl- NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands)
The car park as a way of life: ...Herzog & de Meuron...have produced...a strange sculptural structure, reviving the idea of the car park as a figure in the city...This is not a conventional piece of regeneration...It strips architecture back to its sinewy muscles and [Miami] back to its autopianism...a vernacular derived from local conditions – sun, shopping, views and traffic. By Edwin Heathcote [images]- Financial Times (UK)
Beyond Compare: Two new art galleries – one fluid and dramatic Zaha [Maxxi], the other calm, contemplative Caruso St John [Nottingham Contemporary] – have certain things in common. And that includes the old question: does their art smother their content? This battle between architect and curator will never be won...Time alone will tell who’s got the mix more right. By Hugh Pearman [images]- RIBA Journal (UK)
Seeing is Believing: Rick Mather’s redevelopment of the Ashmolean in Oxford concentrates on bringing the museum’s magnificent collection into the limelight...The outwardly near-invisible nature of the building ensured that the extension avoided the iconic aspirations of many other museum developments...The effect is crisp, fancy-free and timeless. -- Metaphor [images]- RIBA Journal (UK)
Norway’s Munch Museum plan attracts more criticism: “The proposed size and location looks set to affect our new [Oslo Opera House] adversely...may be so dominant that it simply takes too much attention" -- Herreros Arquitectos- The Art Newspaper (UK)
$41 Million Down, $19 Million to Go for Signature Theater Company: ...for its new theater on West 42nd Street, designed by Frank Gehry... By Robin Pogrebin- New York Times
RMIT green brain makes you think: ...watching over Melbourne....the extra (head) space is part of the university's $600 million capital works program..."a kind of primordial Penrose"...On the other side of Swanston Street, RMIT is building a $62 million design hub... -- Ashton Raggatt McDougall; Sean Godsell [image]- The Age (Australia)
Light Mapping: In a quest for sustainability, Princeton students measure their campus' exterior lighting...measuring these conditions and comparing them with factors such as watts used and crime statistics could prove useful to the school's green aspirations while also improving campus quality of life. -- Paul Lewis/Lewis.Tsurmaki.Lewis (LTL) [images]- Architectural Lighting magazine
Andy Warhol Foundation funds bid to rehab homes near Watts Towers as live-in art objects: Watts House Project...to turn the row of homes facing the Watts Towers into an aesthetically engaging place to visit and live..."You don’t hear Warhol and Rodia spoken in the same sentence usually"... -- Edgar Arceneaux [images, links]- Los Angeles Times
CABE has awarded £900,000 to support and strengthen 21 architecture and built environment centres in the next financial year.- CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, UK)
Feds kick Michael Reese Hospital nomination to National Register back to state, citing technical problems: ...a major setback for historic preservationists fighting to save the campus, particularly its buildings associated with architect Walter Gropius... By Blair Kamin -- Schmidt, Garden & Martin (1907); Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett (1950)- Chicago Tribune
BD’s review of the buildings of the year: While the recession howled outside their doors, a handful of architects realised some remarkable buildings in 2009 + 13 industry figures’ cultural highlights from around the world. By Ellis Woodman -- 6a; Landroom; Scabal; Muf; Caruso St John; Tony Fretton; Architecture Research Unit; David Chipperfield/Julian Harrap; etc.- BD/Building Design (UK)
2000-2010: The architectural legacy: The first decade of the 21st century has seen incremental improvement and fantastic successes in British architecture...the story of the last ten years, in a very positive sense, has not really been about individual buildings. By Kieran Long -- Herzog & de Meuron; Edward Cullinan; Bennetts Associates; Foster + Partners; Eric Parry; Simon Conder; Haworth Tompkins; Muf; Feilden Clegg Bradley; BDP; Alford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM); Wilkinson Eyre; Riches Hawley Mikhail; David Chipperfield; Julian Harrap [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Following NEA stint, Maurice Cox returns to University of Virginia architecture faculty: Calls for conversations among disciplines...On receiving the Bacon Prize... working with the NEA’s Mayor’s Institute on City Design...changes in Charlottesville [and] changes at UVA- C-Ville (Charlottesville, VA)
Living the Bauhaus: ...artist Sarah Morris and architect Charles Renfro/Diller Scofidio + Renfro consider the continuously surprising Bauhaus legacy, and how their own work relates. [slide show essay]- Artinfo
What the Late Middle Ages Wrought: King's College Chapel is the product of royal favor, religious politics, civil wars, labor strife and superb craftsmanship...and engineering that has never been replicated and is still not fully understood today...Modern engineers have not been able to work out how the master-mason John Wastell put the fan vault into place...- Wall Street Journal
Mystery of golden ratio explained: ...Duke University engineer Adrian Bejan has found the divine proportion to be a compelling springboard to unify vision, thought and movement under a single law of nature's design.- Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University
2009 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence winners announced -- architectsAlliance /Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects/ atelier TAG + Jodoin Lamarre Pratte; RDH Architects; The Arcop Group; 5468796 Architecture; Consortium Cardin Ramirez Julien + AEdifica Architecture + Design; D’Arcy Jones Design; Saucier + Perrotte; Teeple Architects; Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative [links to images]- Canadian Architect
Bank has designs on £100 Charles Rennie Mackintosh note: A new bank note featuring the Scottish artist and architect goes into circulation- The Scotsman (UK)
Book Review: How to Make Versions of the Past Present: "Robert A.M. Stern Buildings and Projects 2004-2009": Stern might just be "the squarest of the hip, and the hippest of the squares." That might also imply that he is one of the sanest and happiest people in the profession. For that and more, this book warrants our appreciative attention. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
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