Today’s News - Friday, September 24, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: Well, the technology gods decided to muck things up again yesterday, but we're pretty sure we've assuaged them now (fingers crossed!).
• An in-depth look at why Stuttgart 21 plans are "a transportation-policy disaster" (a very, very expensive white elephant in the making?).
• Kamin finds Chicago's South Works plan "full of good ideas," but worries it could also end up as "suburban banality, giving us Generic City, USA."
• Russell roams the gigantic park emerging from Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill as it slowly morphs into what could be "one of the nation's greatest and strangest city parks."
• Hawthorne has (mostly) high praise for LACMA's Resnick Pavilion: it may not "rise to the level" of Piano's other "art-world masterpieces," but it is "undeniably assured" (too bad its airy, pristine state is now pocked with pesky partitions).
• Webb, on the other hand, finds it rounds out LACMA's master plan "with sensuousness and serenity" + "Playing LACMA" video (a must-see/hear!).
• Rybczynski on Richard Rogers' "dazzling" addition to D.C.'s officescape: "it's a doozy" of "structural daring."
• Saffron cheers the new SugarHouse path that "is precisely the tonic the forlorn Delaware River waterfront" needed; she's a bit less sanguine about the neighboring casino, even with its "welcome bit of sophistication...looks are really beside the point."
• Architects the recession claimed (well, not completely: Gehry only lost Atlantic Yards, and Morefield has actually made moolah from his Seattle farmer's market booth).
• An eyeful of the local talent (plus one NYC'er) who made the Architecture Foundation's Olympic kiosk competition shortlist.
• The 5th annual Park(ing) Day sorta fell under the radar this year, but Wired offers a round-up from around the world.
• Weekend diversions:
• Ball-Nogues turns 30 miles of string into "Gravity's Loom" at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
• Smith finds MoMA's "Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen" sprints "with dazzling speed and pinpoint precision across an amazing amount of social and aesthetic history."
• Lupton lauds Schütte-Lihotzky's 1926 Frankfurt Kitchen "that continues to influence domestic architecture even today" - a "utopian manifesto...pushing past utopia to become a reality, however flawed."
• An amazing book of photographs of East Berlin's Palast der Republik that captures its interiors just before it was demolished.
• ICA&CA's Gunther cheers the "Catalogue of the Andrew Alpern Collection of Drawing Instruments": there's "great beauty in these pages, and a sensuality of means" (because "nothing beats a beautiful compass").
• Cast your vote: pick your fave of the urbancanvas Design Competition finalists to develop creative artwork for construction sites around NYC (some cool stuff!).
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White Elephant: Germany Spends Billions on the Wrong Rail Project: Experts have been warning against the plans for years, but they were ignored..."Stuttgart 21 does nothing for long-distance travel...a transportation-policy disaster"...horrendous costs with hardly any appreciable benefits...- Der Spiegel (Germany)
The new plan for old lakefront steel works: Its bold strokes are worthy of Burnham, but God (or the devil) will be in the details...potential potholes extend beyond the battered economy....Will the redevelopment retain the grit of the [580-acre] old steel plant... or will it reproduce suburban banality, giving us Generic City, USA?...The South Works plan...is full of good ideas... By Blair Kamin -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Sasaki Associates [images]- Chicago Tribune
Garbage Mountains Slowly Morph Into $160 Million New York Park: We’re in Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill, one of the largest garbage dumps in the U.S. and a blight to the eyes and nose for more than half a century - and many years from now perhaps one of the nation’s greatest and strangest city parks. By James S. Russell -- James Corner Field Operations [images]- Bloomberg News
The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion at LACMA: Even if it doesn't rise to the level of Renzo Piano's art-world masterpieces...[it] has a restrained confidence and assured posture that reminds us why he has been the world's most sought-after museum architect...it is hardly transporting, if also undeniably assured. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Robert Irwin [images, links]- Los Angeles Times
Renzo Resplendent at LA's Resnick Pavilion: Piano's new gallery rounds out LACMA masterplan with sensuousness and serenity. By Michael Webb -- Renzo Piano; SPF:a; Chris Burden; Robert Irwin; Peter Zumthor [images, links]- The Architect's Newspaper
LACMA as musical instrument: Musician and recent high school graduate Ben Meyers...most recent performance: a song performed with his mallets and drumsticks on Renzo Piano’s new Resnick Pavilion..."Playing LACMA"... [video]- The Architect's Newspaper
A Renaissance in Washington Part 1: Richard Rogers' dazzling addition to the capital's venerable Acacia Life Building: In a city overflowing with office buildings, it's a doozy...Rogers's firm has stayed true to its high-tech roots: structural daring, bright colors, exposed technology...blended into one kinetic whole. By Witold Rybczynski -- Shreve, Lamb & Harmon (1935); Jones Day (1953); Rogers Stirk Harbour [slide show essay]- Slate
SugarHouse's looks are beside the point: new recreation path is precisely the tonic the forlorn Delaware River waterfront has always needed...My only regret is the price of the SugarHouse path: the SugarHouse Casino...a welcome bit of sophistication to [its] exterior...the results are impressive...Yet...looks are really beside the point. By Inga Saffron -- Cope Linder Architects; Floss Barber- Philadelphia Inquirer
Architects the Recession Claimed: Lucien Lagrange...Frank Gehry at Atlantic Yards - and his firm are still alive and kicking...H. Thomas O'Hara - there have at least been signs of life once again...Grad Associates - "Take your computers home"...John Morefield made $50,000 in commission after he set up this booth at the Ballard Farmers’ Market in Seattle. [slide show]- New York Observer
London architects dominate shortlist for Olympic kiosk contest...the Architecture Foundation’s competition... -- Moxon Architects; 42 Architects; Bell Phillips Architects; Studio Octopi; Ginseng Chicken Architecture [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Groups Build Parks From Parking Spaces: Around the world, parking spaces were transformed into miniature public parks and community centers...as the 5th annual Park(ing) Day challenged people to reimagine city streets without cars — if only until the meters ran out. [images, links]- Wired
String Theory: Turning 30 Miles of Yarn Into One Massive Sculpture: Los Angeles-based studio Ball-Nogues has laced an atrium in the Indianapolis Museum of Art with 30 miles - yes, 30 miles! - of colored string. "Gravity's Loom"... By Alissa Walker [images, video]- Fast Company
The Heart That Beats, Heats, Chills and Whips: "Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen" sprints with dazzling speed and pinpoint precision across an amazing amount of social and aesthetic history, and shows how these histories are connected...centerpiece is a stupendous recent acquisition: one of the last surviving examples of a relatively complete Frankfurt Kitchen designed in 1926-27 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky... By Roberta Smith [slide show]- New York Times
The Modern Kitchen (Again): In 1926 Grete Schütte-Lihotzky created a remarkably important design - one that continues to influence domestic architecture even today...I am drawn to both the Ekokook and the Frankfurt kitchens as utopian manifestos that invest design with the power to change the way people live...pushing past utopia to become a reality, however flawed... By Ellen Lupton [images]- Metropolis Magazine
The Twilight of the Palace: "Palast der Republik" Reveals Last Photographs of...a showpiece building in East Berlin, a congress hall as well as a center for public entertainment. By 1993 it had been sealed off to the public. Thorsten Klapsch was the last photographer to capture its interiors before a long period of demolition began. -- Heinz Graffunder and Karl-Ernst Swora (1976) [slide show]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
Drawing Inspiration: Architects have turned to computers to create their work, but...nothing beats a beautiful compass..."Catalogue of the Andrew Alpern Collection of Drawing Instruments"...there’s great beauty in these pages, and a sensuality of means....will prove encouraging and even essential to anyone who seeks to understand how architectural practice landed where it is today. By Paul Gunther/Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Cast your vote: urbancanvas Design Competition: ...innovative contest to develop creative artwork for construction fences, sidewalk sheds, supported scaffolds and cocoons in New York City...vote for your favorite design through October 1 [images]- NYC Department of Buildings/Department of Cultural Affairs
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