Today’s News - Friday, April 9, 2010
• Two engrossing excerpts from Campanella's "Delta Urbanism: New Orleans" (a "precise and painful narrative" - "plandemonium" indeed).
• Katrina leaves a legacy of green homes "as opposed to apartment complexes, which is more the national trend."
• Detroit's new mayor outlines an "unprecedented relocation plan" that will allow some neighborhoods "to grow fallow as open space, sites for future development and possibly even urban agriculture."
• Saffron says the "stunningly second-rate design" for a new Family Court building "suggests that, when it comes to public architecture, the forces of mediocrity still rule Philadelphia."
• Some museum expansion plans shift gears to homegrown talent: "high-profile architecture may not be a priority" anymore.
• San Francisco expands its Pavement to Parks program that will include a new configuration called a "parklet."
• Move over Lady Liberty: big plans (but no bucks in hand - yet) for a $300 million, 300-foot-high bronze Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast: "Who builds a statue with such dreary symbolic baggage?"
• Hosey's take: "Want to show some responsibility? Don't build that statue" (it's "a million dollars per foot, but who's counting?").
• Weekend diversions (and slots of 'em!):
• Ouroussoff and "Palladio and His Legacy" at the Morgan Library: it "offers glimpses of what made the 16th-century architect so radical and influential" - and corrects some "misperceptions, even if its scope is too narrow to do away with them entirely."
• Zeiger on MoMA's "Rising Currents": it "begins with a grim premise" that is "ultimately more telling of our own time, and all its rising anxieties, than they are of a dampened future."
• In Beijing, Eliasson and Ma Yansong collaborate to combine architecture, fog, and light for "Feelings are Facts" (inspiring or "suffocating," depending on your mood, it seems).
• In Montreal, Lynn, Maltzan, and Poli explore "Other Space Odysseys."
• Hawthorne hails "Las Vegas Studio" on view in L.A., and the photographs "rescued from the cutting-room floor. It just happens to be one of the richest, most revelatory cutting-room floors in architectural history."
• In London, Adjaye "Urban Africa" at the Design Museum is a photographic survey of 53 capital cities (shot mostly from the back of taxi cabs).
• Crosbie finds a treasure trove of Modernist masters in "Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot" in Connecticut.
• Saarinen on view at Yale is a "huge but riveting show."
• A double bill for Halprin's groundbreaking and now-historic Charlottesville Downtown Mall.
• Competition-winning design for new Czech embassy in Washington on view in Prague (though economic realities will delay its construction).
• Who hasn't contributed amusing doodles for "The Hand of the Designer" in Milan?
• Page turners: the re-issue of Robin Boyd's "foot-stamping, finger-wagging harangue, 'The Australian Ugliness'" only proves that a similar provocateur "has not yet emerged for our times."
• Gratz's "The Battle for Gotham" reinterprets the lingering influence of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, and offers "a cogent argument" for adapting Jacob's ideas to a different time.
• Dyckhoff deems Dominic Stevens "the most inspirational architect I've met in years," and new book a "quiet rallying cry for a new type of architecture and a new way of living."
• Pearman on new Pevsner tome: "expect more outrage."
• A look at documentaries on a Bucky Fuller dome and an unfinished art school in Cuba; "Citizen Architect" highlights Mockbee and how the Rural Studio transforms blight into beauty.
• A birthday fete for Isambard Kingdom Brunel is this terrific slide show.
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Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: Before: ...as geographer Richard Campanella makes plain in his new book, "Delta Urbanism: New Orleans," the immediate catastrophe...has given way to the slow-building potential for future catastrophe - one that seems all too easy to ignore...precise and painful narrative of the storm itself... [images]- Places Journal
Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: After: After Hurricane Katrina, the citizens of New Orleans engaged in passionate debate about how to rebuild the city - and more, about how to rebuild to prevent future catastrophe...post-disaster planning efforts - what some locals have called "plandemonium"... By Richard Campanella [images]- Places Journal
A legacy of Katrina: Green homes: In this city on the mend, hundreds of state-of-the-art sustainable, energy-efficient homes are being built in lower-income neighborhoods...it's rare for a city to develop so many sustainable and affordable single-family homes, such as New Orleans is doing, as opposed to apartment complexes, which is more the national trend.- USA Today
Shrink to Grow: New Detroit mayor outlines unprecedented relocation plan: David Bing has vowed to fix the sprawling 140-square-mile urban area...to concentrate resources in certain neighborhoods while allowing others to grow fallow as open space, sites for future development and possibly even urban agriculture. The hope is to create a network of villages within a vibrant city.- The Architect's Newspaper
Family Court verdict: Second-rate: ...approval of a stunningly second-rate design for the new Family Court building...suggests that, when it comes to public architecture, the forces of mediocrity still rule Philadelphia...since when does urgent need justify the utter lack of design ambition? ...if a courthouse doesn't qualify for a rigorous design review, what building will? By Inga Saffron -- EwingCole [image]- Philadelphia Inquirer
San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks Program Expands: ...reclaims unused stretches of streets and turns them into public plazas and parks...It’s not clear whether each project will seek permanence like NYC’s Times Square...Some of the new spaces are also not exactly public plazas, but a new configuration called a “parklet.” [images, links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Local Trumps Global: Museums get going with homegrown talent: The economic downturn is reshaping American museum expansions...High-profile architecture may not be a priority. -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien; DesignGroup; SmithEdwards; UNStudio; Neutelings Riedijk- The Architect's Newspaper
Dream unwillingly deferred: Still lack funding to build Statue of Responsibility: ...$300 million, 300-foot-high bronze...on the West Coast...would symbolize the duty to preserve freedom...If liberty's a candy bar, responsibility is broccoli. Who builds a statue with such dreary symbolic baggage? And how do they get paid for it? -- Daniel Bolz; Gary Lee Price [image]- Washington Post
The Last Monument: Architects have a love/hate relationship with monuments: we like Big Statements, but we snicker at One-Liners...Statue of Responsibility Foundation...trying to raise $300 million to erect a 300-foot-tall monument (a million dollars per foot, but who’s counting&hellip?), a West-Coast companion to the Statue of Liberty...Want to show some responsibility? Don’t build that statue. By Lance Hosey [images, links]- Architect Magazine
He Made Antiquity Modern: “Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey" at the Morgan Library & Museum offers glimpses of what made the 16th-century architect so radical and influential. By Nicolai Ouroussoff [images]- New York Times
Two Feet High and Rising: On Optimism, Speculation and Oysters: "Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront"...begins with a grim premise...the show and its circumstances are ultimately more telling of our own time, and all its rising anxieties, than they are of a dampened future. By Mimi Zeiger -- Barry Bergdoll; Guy Nordenson; Architecture Research Office (ARO)/dlandstudio; LTL Architects; Matthew Baird Architects; nARCHITECTS; SCAPE/Landscape Architecture [images, links]- Places Journal
"Feelings are Facts" – An Exhibition by Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong: ...they have created a unique experience through architecture, fog, and light...at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing ... [video]- CCTV/China Central Television
CCA presents "Other Space Odysseys: Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, Alessandro Poli": ... reveals how the exploration of space has informed the rediscovery of earth, and illustrates the importance of pursuing an architecture based on the production of ideas...through September 6 [images]- Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
The photographs on display in "Las Vegas Studio: Images From the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown" have been rescued, in essence, from the cutting-room floor. It just happens to be one of the richest, most revelatory cutting-room floors in architectural history. By Christopher Hawthorne [images]- Los Angeles Times
David Adjaye’s photographs of Africa’s cities show the continent in a new light: "Urban Africa" at the Design Museum is a vast photographic survey of the continent’s 53 capital cities, all shot by Adjaye himself – and most from the back of taxi cabs. [images]- Telegraph (UK)
Legwork Uncovers Modern Trove In Westport: "Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot" through May 1 covers the highlights of some of the great, classic modern buildings designed and constructed...between 1934 and 1973...Some have been demolished; others are lovingly cared for...while a few sit on the real estate market - fate to be determined. By Michael J. Crosbie -- Anne Binkley Rand; Allan Gelbin; Victor Lundy; John Johansen; Mies van der Rohe; Richard Neurta; Charles Moore; Joseph Salerno; Victor Civkin- Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
Saarinen’s Work, in 2 Parts, at Yale: "Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future" through May 2...huge but riveting show... [images]- New York Times
History of Charlottesville's downtown mall subject of two exhibits: "More Than Just Bricks: A Social and Design History of the Charlottesville Mall/Lawrence Halprin Associates 1973-1976" and ""More Than Just Bricks: Repairing Community/Halprin Associates' Vision for Downtown Charlottesville"...documents and drawings that have not been exhibited for more than 40 years.- News Leader (Virginia)
Winning design of new Czech embassy in Washington on display in the Old Town Hall in Prague: However, the construction of the new seat will not start before 2013 over lack of money. -- Chalupa architekti- Prague Daily Monitor
Sketch Artists: "The Hand of the Designer" at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, April 14-19...462 drawings by 150 international designers. -- Bouroullec brothers; Michael Graves; Hella Jongerius; Karim Rashid; Matteo Thun; Alberto Meda [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Rusty ray of hope in the ugliness: As the finishing touches are put on the Australian Pavilion at the World Expo about to open in Shanghai, a 50th anniversary edition of Robin Boyd's foot-stamping, finger-wagging harangue, "The Australian Ugliness," has just been released...The outspoken architect or designer, who is able to push along the debate begun so provocatively by Boyd, has not yet emerged for our times. -- WoodMarsh; Leslie Wilkinson; Harry Seidler; Ken Maher/Hassell- The Australian
Book review: "The Battle for Gotham": Roberta Brandes Gratz reinterprets the lingering influence of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs...an account of the past crafted to support a claim about the future...and a cogent argument for revisiting her ideas and adapting them to a different time and, inevitably, a different New York.- Metropolis Magazine
Dominic Stevens: ‘Architecture is about making a society’: The architect built his own eco-friendly house for €25,000, and he wants to tell you how you can do it too...as niftily as a flat-pack shelving system...is the most inspirational architect I’ve met in years...His new book, "Rural," is his quiet rallying cry for a new type of architecture and a new way of living. By Tom Dyckhoff- The Times (UK)
Pevsner and the Nazis, round two: "Pevsner - the Early Life: Germany and Art" by Stephen Games...who and what did the great architectural historian want to be? ...More background to the revelations: expect more outrage. By Hugh Pearman- HughPearman.com (UK)
Midcentury Architecture Experiments on Film: A look at recent documentaries on a Bucky Fuller dome in Louisiana and an unfinished art school in Cuba..."A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome" and "Unfinished Spaces: Cuba’s Architecture of Revolution" [videos]- Metropolis Magazine
"Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio" transforms blight into beauty in film- MLive.com (Michigan)
Happy Birthday, Isambard: Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on April 9, 1806 in Portsmouth and is widely considered to have been one of Britain's greatest engineers. [slide show]- Telegraph (UK)
Ron Arad Architects: Design Museum Holon, Holon, Israel
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