Today’s News - Monday, September 13, 2010
• ArcSpace brings us an eyeful of Meier's Gagosian Gallery expansion in Beverly Hills.
• Ouroussoff sees a silver lining among gray economic clouds: "there will be plenty of new buildings to consider in the coming year, many of them showing off an unexpected optimism."
• Lange and Lamster debate (and sometimes agree) re: Park51 Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, and 15 Penn's view-stealing plans.
• Kennicott gives us a preview (with images) of Safdie's U.S. Institute of Peace on the National Mall: "As Washingtonians begin to make their own peace with this new addition to the landscape, expect much discussion of sheds and ducks."
• Rawsthorn cheers a "global celebration of design" with conventions, festivals, and fairs just about everywhere "to view, debate and rethink the principles of great design" + a spotlight on design fairs in The Netherlands where "a second and third wave of Dutch designers" continues to "reinvent their discipline," proving design can be "both thoughtful and delightful."
• Welton on the woe of losing a Weese in Aspen: "To allow its demolition would mean watching one of the city's own touchstones crumble in a cloud of dust" (others beg to differ: "Harry Weese is not Louis Sullivan," says Tigerman).
• Saffron x 2: the Philadelphia Historical Commission o.k.'s the demolition of a landmark church, marking the latest defeat in the city's "struggle to retain its stock of spectacular, but underused, 19th-century religious buildings."
• On the other hand, a new performing arts high school proves that while "architecture alone won't solve the district's problems...a nurturing design can only help make students feel like they've come to the right place to learn."
• Lubell has a few good things to say about L.A.'s new RFK Community Schools, but for the most part, "the students, and the city of LA, should be getting something better."
• But on the other side of the Big Pond, a free school pioneer says design not necessary: the connection between architecture and learning "is practically zero. Given the limited resources available, free schools are going to have to be pretty creative over the use of their spaces."
• While Nouvel's One Exchange Place hopes to become London's newest shopping Mecca, "at first glance it looks like a big blob next to one of the capital's most elegant landmarks. Seen from the back, it comes close to resembling the architect's inspiration: a US stealth bomber" (ouch!).
• It's only taken 11 years, but the American Revolution Center will finally have a home in Philly's historic heart via a land-swap with the National Park Service; architect still to be determined: "It doesn't have to be a gold-plated Taj Mahal."
• Bullivant cheers Cloud 9's Media-Tic in the emerging 22@Barcelona: it is more than "an aesthetic statement," its "advanced ecological agenda extends to every aspect of this Janus-faced building."
• AIA President Miller sees a bigger picture in improving mass transit systems: attention must be paid to development around it, not just "building more highway guardrails."
• The Dirt offers excellent reviews of a number of presentations made at the 2010 ASLA Annual Meeting re: "the critical role sustainable landscapes play in creating healthier people and communities."
• Call for entries: 25th World Habitat Award for practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues.
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Richard Meier & Partners: Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
Optimism Breeds Opportunity: For those who care about Architecture with a capital A there will be plenty of new buildings to consider in the coming year, many of them showing off an unexpected optimism amid a trying global economy. By Nicolai Ouroussoff -- Frank Gehry; Preston Scott Cohen; Zaha Hadid; Rem Koolhaas; Noero Wolff [images]- New York Times
Lunch with the Critics: Park51 & 15 Penn: Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster visit the Hotel Pennsylvania...site of a planned 67-story office tower...[and] the proposed community center and mosque in lower Manhattan that has become a political target. -- McKim, Mead & White; Pelli Clarke Pelli [images, links]- Design Observer
The architecture of the U.S. Institute of Peace on the mall: ...won't officially be open for business until spring, it is coming together rapidly and will take its place as one of the most prominent new public buildings in Washington...As Washingtonians begin to make their own peace with this new addition to the landscape, expect much discussion of sheds and ducks. By Philip Kennicott -- Moshe Safdie [slide show]- Washington Post
A Global Celebration of Design: From Brussels to Seoul, conventions, festivals and fairs are bringing designers together to view, debate and rethink the principles of great design...in cities such as Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Utrecht in The Netherlands; Brussels and Kortrijk in Belgium, and Lodz in Poland; as well as Helsinki, Paris, Seoul and Verona. By Alice Rawsthorn -- Kram/Weisshaar; Kim Seok-Chul; Alessandro Mendini; Daniel Libeskind; Zaha Hadid; Gerrit Thomas Rietveld; Junya Ishigami- New York Times
A Design Tradition: The Netherlands continues to reinvent its discipline: What was once a trend has now become a tradition, as a second and third wave of Dutch designers have found their voices, and an international following... [images]- Wall Street Journal
In Aspen, the Value of Architecture: "...Harry Weese is not Louis Sullivan. The Given Institute is not the best of his buildings, not by a damn sight. Do you save every Harry Weese building?"
To find a way to save it would mean acknowledging it as an integral part of the community's fabric and soul. To allow its demolition would mean watching one of the city's own touchstones crumble in a cloud of dust. By J. Michael Welton- Huffington Post
Historic Philadelphia church to be torn down: Philadelphia Historical Commission cleared the way Friday for the demolition of a landmark...Church of the Assumption...nonprofit owner testified that it was financially incapable of making crucial repairs...vote marked the latest defeat in [city's] struggle to retain its stock of spectacular, but underused, 19th-century religious buildings. By Inga Saffron -- Patrick Charles Keely (1848) [image]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia learns a lesson in school design: Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School/KCAPA...shows the district has made..."measurable progress" in the way it thinks about architecture and learning...Architecture alone won't solve the district's problems. But a nurturing design can only help make students feel like they've come to the right place to learn. By Inga Saffron -- SMP-SRK Architects [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Crit: Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools: Design by committee creates an awkward oddball at Ambassador Hotel site: While the planning manages the school effectively (no small task), and more carefully crafted spaces...are welcome exceptions...Looking at this building you don't really know what it is, and you can't really tell what time period it's supposed to represent. If anything it's a painful reminder of what was there before... By Sam Lubell -- Gonzalez Goodale [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Free school pioneer says design not necessary: Toby Young dismisses link between good architecture and academic ability..."We will be looking for an architect who doesn’t have too inflated an idea of how important buildings are to educational outcomes because I think the connection between the two is practically zero. Given the limited resources available, free schools are going to have to be pretty creative over the use of their spaces."- BD/Building Design (UK)
City hoping to rival West End with new shopping centre: One New Change may rebrand London's financial district as a place to go for a day out. At first glance it looks like a big blob next to one of the capital's most elegant landmarks. Seen from the back, it comes close to resembling the architect's inspiration: a US stealth bomber. -- Jean Nouvel- Guardian (UK)
Proposed American Revolution Center moved after land swap: ...ARC's “move” from Valley Forge to Philadelphia [former visitors’ center] will be completed this week...puts to rest a prolonged battle between the planned museum and critics of its original location...The board must choose an architect, develop architectural plans and figure out the details.- Philadelphia Business Journal
Media-Tic by Enric Ruiz-Geli, Cloud 9: ...in the emerging 22@Barcelona, fortunately cannot be seen solely as an aesthetic statement...advanced ecological agenda extends to every aspect of this Janus-faced building. By Lucy Bullivant [image]- The Plan Magzine (Italy)
Commentary: A way to fund much-needed public transportation improvements: ...a mass transit system is not complete without attention to development around it. That's where the design expertise of architects matters...Local officials have an obligation to plan communities that meet the changing needs of their populations. Improving the mass transit system is the answer - not building more highway guardrails. By George H. Miller -- David Dixon/Goody Clancy- Washington Post
Nature and Design Are Central to Healthy Communities: At the 2010 ASLA Annual Meeting, a range of U.S. and international speakers presented both concepts and projects...a focus on the critical role sustainable landscapes play in creating healthier people and communities..."beauty is no longer a luxury. Communities have to be beautiful to survive." -- Dr. Richard Jackson; Mithun; Susan Olmsted; Complete Streets; Jerry Van Eyck/Melk!; etc. [links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Call for entries: 25th World Habitat Award: for practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues which are capable of being transferred or adapted for use elsewhere; cash prize; deadline: November 1- Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF)
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