Today’s News - Monday, September 27, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: We couldn't resist mentioning today's milestone: this is the 2,000th posting of the ArchNewsNow newsletter! Here's to the next 2,000!!!
• ArcSpace brings us an eyeful of Pawson at the Design Museum + good news for his plans for the museum's new home.
• Ouroussoff takes us on an intriguing tour of the first completed phase of Foster's Masdar: a cross between a "medieval fortress and an upgraded version of the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland," but it is "something more daring and more noxious" (he sorta likes it - we think; the underground driverless cars are cool).
• Seattle selects Corner's team because they showed "an understanding of the city's grittiness and affinity" for its waterfront ("We do not want this to become Miami Beach").
• Hinshaw cheers the Seattle waterfront design team's bold vision: it "has been in need of a good dose of quirkiness."
• Kennicott x 2: amidst the "urban clutter of Southwest Washington" Bing Thom's new Arena Stage says "more, with more humor and poetry, than anything around it" (we agree!) + it "demands better neighbors" that should "force the city to rethink the usual ways it does business" (great pix, videos, etc.).
• Q&A with head of NTHP's Green Lab re: preservation and sustainability, and how important they can be to cities' overall quality of life.
• If your new museum is already falling apart, "just sue the architects: It seems to be the very nature of showbizzy modern architecture that it entails costly fixes" (Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing is only the latest).
• Russian architect Boris Pasternak "rages against design of Moscow museum" opposite the Kremlin; it looks like "a Central Asian regional communist party headquarters" (alas, no pix or architect named).
• Meet the architect behind the new Chelsea Barracks: he "defines success as being popular with his clients" (and local residents "are delighted with the new, low-key approach" - no pix - yet).
• Glancey seems a bit gaga over BSkyB's new HQ: the "colossal TV factory" is "part ocean freighter, part James Bond set, part Darth Vader battleship" - a green and "mighty machine" that would be fun to work in.
• Kamin cheers Ronan's new, "ruggedly handsome" Chicago prep school that "shines as a beacon of optimism: Without speaking a word, the architecture sends a message to students: You are safe here."
• Meanwhile, back in the U.K., Toby Young is at it again: "pupils need teachers, not touchy architects" (blame "the involvement of vainglorious architects" if BSF schools tend to cost way too much).
• Betsky bemoans the "evil of banality": America "can't even do tacky right anymore."
• Blind architect Chris Downy sits down with our friend Peter Slatin (himself almost completely blind) to talk about the sensory world of design..."I like to think of the front-door handle as the handshake of the building - the feel of the grip speaks volumes."
• Did Koolhaas's Milstein Hall have something to do with Cornell's bachelor and masters degree programs being re-accredit? (depends on who you talk to).
• Call for entries: Housing and Health in Haiti (5 winning proposals will be built) + Call for contributions: Candide. Journal for Architectural Knowledge.
• We couldn't resist: Hadid is #42 on New Statesman's 50 People who matter 2010: "Awe-inspiring cities of our future are in her head."
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Exhibition: John Pawson: Plain Space, Design Museum, London, UK- ArcSpace
Lottery boost for John Pawson's Design Museum project: Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £300,000 towards the Design Museum’s relocation into the former Commonwealth Institute building...part of a wider plan drawn up by Dutch practices OMA and West 8. [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises: ...when the government here announced its plan for “the world’s first zero-carbon city” on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, many Westerners dismissed it as a gimmick...conjured both a walled medieval fortress and an upgraded version of the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Well, those early assessments turned out to be wrong...it was clear that Masdar is something more daring and more noxious. By Nicolair Ouroussoff -- Foster & Partners [slide show]- New York Times
Seattle chooses NY design firm for new waterfront: "We do not want this to become Miami Beach": Corner showed an understanding of Seattle's grittiness and an affinity for it, and was able to fuse the concepts of creating an urban space with a working waterfront. -- -- James Corner Field Operations; Mithun;The Berger Partnership; Herrera; Jason Toft [links to images]- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle's waterfront design team brings a bold vision: This may be a bit of a risk, but the selection means that the waterfront planning effort could get a valuable dose of quirkiness. By Mark Hinshaw -- James Corner Field Operations; Mithun;The Berger Partnership; Herrera; Jason Toft- Crosscut (Seattle)
Arena Stage's new building: a brilliant addition, and a challenge, to the city: ...takes seriously the moral imperatives of contemporary architecture - sustainability, preservation, social transparency and fidelity to the needs of the client - without falling into cliche, empty bombast or hollow functionality...that should function well as a performing arts center and even better as a catalyst to the neighborhood around it. By Philip Kennicott -- Harry Weese (1961, 1971); Bing Thom [video, links to images, other coverage]- Washington Post
As it redevelops Southwest, the District should follow the lead of Arena Stage: ...it is a powerful enough architectural presence to force the city to rethink the usual ways it does business...and the reflexive habits of uninspired development that have marred so much of Washington...Bing Thom's new building demands better neighbors. And it calls for a more holistic approach to the waterfront... By Philip Kennicott- Washington Post
Preservation and Sustainability: The District Approach: Q&A with Liz Dunn of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Green Lab...."existing buildings can be made to perform very well environmentally...but they also contribute to social and economic uses that cities care about when they think broadly about sustainability — including affordability, walkability, opportunities for local businesses, and overall quality of life."- Metropolis Magazine
Pardon Us, But Our Museum Is Falling Apart: So let's just sue the architects: It seems to be the very nature of showbizzy modern architecture that it entails costly fixes, during construction and after...Lawsuits notwithstanding, owners of impossible modern buildings are simply getting what they pay for, and pay for, and pay for. -- Ove Arup & Partners; Renzo Piano; I.M. Pei; Frank Gehry; Mies van der Rohe; Frank Lloyd Wright- Wall Street Journal
Boris Pasternak rages against design of Moscow museum: Author's grandson likens plans for new museum in Borovitskaya Square to 'Central Asian regional communist party headquarters'...Opponents say the city government has altered the Unesco-approved plan...almost four metres higher than agreed. "Even the contractors say it looks like the Reichstag"...- Guardian (UK)
Meet Michael Squire, the new Chelsea Barracks architect: Drawings I have seen tell me that the difference will be overwhelming, and local residents tell me they are delighted with the new, low-key approach which respects and blends in with the existing Victorian streets... -- Squire and Partners; Dixon/Jones; Kim Wilkie- Evening Standard (UK)
James Murdoch's Sky scraper: What does this building say about BSkyB?...a colossal TV factory...It is not hard to see how this mighty machine would be fun to work in. Part ocean freighter, part James Bond set, part Darth Vader battleship... By Jonathan Glancey -- Declan O'Carroll/Arup Associates [images]- Guardian (UK)
Gary Comer College Prep shines as a beacon of optimism: Without speaking a word, the architecture sends a message to the school’s 510 students: You are safe here — and you will be challenged...It is all ruggedly handsome, which is just right for this industrial-strength section of Chicago. Yet the straightforward exterior is simply a warm-up for the light-filled spaces that await inside. By Blair Kamin -- John Ronan [images]- Chicago Tribune
Building Schools for the Future: pupils need teachers, not touchy architects: ...architects are extremely sensitive if you raise doubts about the value of their work. Anyone doing so is branded a philistine or worse...the cost of rebuilding a school under BSF was three times greater than that of an equivalent commercial project, in no small part because of the involvement of vainglorious architects. By Toby Young- Telegraph (UK)
The Evil of Banality: America can’t even do tacky right anymore...has been evident for at least a decade: the sanitization and appropriation of what used to be the exuberance of the underclass has proven unstoppable...Unless we continue to invent, nurture, and make room for what the Atlantic City boardwalk used to be, we are doomed as a culture and a society. By Aaron Betsky- Architect Magazine
Q&A: Architect Chris Downey Finds Second Sight: After brain surgery left him blind at 45, a San Francisco architect rediscovered the full sensory world of design..."I like to think of the front-door handle as the handshake of the building - the feel of the grip speaks volumes." By Peter Slatin -- Design Partnership; SmithGroup; Starkweather Bondy Architecture; Magnusson Architecture and Planning [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
AAP Accreditation in the Clear as Milstein Hall Construction Continues: College of Architecture, Art and Planning received re-accreditation for its bachelor and masters degree-granting programs in the field of architecture in late August. -- Rem Koolhaas/Office for Metropolitan Architecture/OMA- Cornell Daily Sun
Call for entries: Kay e Sante nan Ayiti (Housing and Health in Haiti) international competition...from design, construction, and habitation, HEALTH is a driving factor; cash prizes; 5 winning proposals will be built in 2011; registration deadline: October 18- ARCHIVE (Architecture for Health In Vulnerable Environments)
Call for entries/contributions: Candide. Journal for Architectural Knowledge: Essay, Analysis, Project, Encounters, and Fiction; deadline for Issue 04 (April 2011): October 15- RWTH Aachen University Department of Architecture Theory
50 People who matter 2010: #42 - Zaha Hadid: "Awe-inspiring cities of our future are in her head."- New Statesman (UK)
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