Today’s News - Friday, October 15, 2010
• Why Zumthor is perfect for the Serpentine: it will be "a place of architectural pilgrimage" that "will widen the public's narrow definition of 'wow.'"
• Rybczynski finds Thom's Arena Stage in DC allows Weese's original "to maintain its dignity"; it's "an audacious building that breathes fresh air into the nation's capital."
• Lubell on Belzberg's L.A. Museum of the Holocaust: it "delivers a dose of raw emotional impact...bold gestures far outweigh any shortcomings," and proves "the raw emotional impact that architecture's spatial and tectonic qualities can deliver."
• It looks like the controversial Gazprom tower in St. Petersburg is moving ahead, despite protests and UNESCO's objections.
• Architects and designers protest Tallinn, Estonia's plan to sell a design and architecture gallery to a private buyer (where will that leave the city as 2011 European Capital of Culture?).
• USGBC, LEED facing a class-action lawsuit for alleged fraud and deceptive practices.
• Call for entries (deadline looms!): Philips Livable Cities Award (big cash grants).
• Weekend diversions:
• Ouroussoff cheers MoMA's "Small Scale, Big Change": "the big surprise is that so many of the projects are actually good," and "makes a powerful case that it is possible to create work that is both socially uplifting and architecturally compelling."
• Lange came away with a very different take: the exhibition "fails to engage with real-world questions of scalability, accountability and popularity in a forward-thinking way. MoMA is playing catch-up on a decade of design that fell under their radar, and it shows."
• Riano says the show "suggests also the extent to which the field is struggling to regain command of a once familiar set of skills...If architects could quantify the impact of their designs, the discipline would be much more powerful."
• Chaban cheers the Architecture & Design Film Fest in NYC this weekend: even "the festival's trailer should give you goose bumps. If not, check your pulse."
• What went into creating the "lusty" Liquid Wall on display as part of "Innovate : Integrate" at NYC's Center for Architecture.
• LaBarre offers an eyeful of "magically delicious" Irish design at the American Irish Historical Society in New York.
• At Yale, "James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive, Architect and Teacher" explores his legacy: an "eclectic and dynamic style" that "was met with reluctance because it deviated from the monotony of the International Style."
• McGuirk cheers an exhibition of the Design Research Unit, "the firm that branded Britain."
• Caldwell "basks in the modern mystique" of "Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes," in part, "a tragic narrative about a creative man."
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Why Zumthor is perfect for the Serpentine: ...will make the Serpentine Pavilion a place of architectural pilgrimage...there could be no better choice of architect to reinvigorate the decade-old commission...[he] is a strange beast: half artist, half architect...his singular approach is alienating and arrogant, if alluring...my great hope is that [his pavilion] will widen the public’s narrow definition of ‘wow’ By Christine Murray- The Architects' Journal (UK)
A Renaissance in Washington, D.C.: Part 2: How do you breathe new life into the U.S. capital's architecture? Hire a Canadian...the new Arena Stage quite literally envelopes the old...architectural strategy could be taken for impertinence, except that the glass enclosure is almost casually draped over the building, allowing [the original] to maintain its dignity...an audacious building that breathes fresh air into the nation's capital. By Witold Rybczynski -- Harry Weese; Bing Thom- Slate
Crit: Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: Belzberg Architects delivers a dose of raw emotional impact at poignant new home for LA institution...bold gestures far outweigh any shortcomings...a memorable museum that broadens understanding not only of a horrible time but of the raw emotional impact that architecture’s spatial and tectonic qualities can deliver. By Sam Lubell [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Gazprom's controversial St Petersburg tower project to go ahead: ...in the face of opposition is set to be built after a key state body approved the plan...soaring design created an outcry and opposition even from UNESCO who threatened St. Petersburg's World Heritage site status...will become Europe’s tallest tower... -- RMJM [image]- BSR Magazine (Russia)
Architects, Designers Protest City's Bid to Sell Gallery: Tallinn city government’s decision last week to sell a design and architecture gallery to a private buyer has heated tempers in the arts and culture community.- Estonian Public Broadcasting / Eesti Rahvusringhääling
USGBC, LEED Targeted by Class-Action Suit: U.S. Green Building Council and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit...on behalf of mechanical systems designer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving...Alleged fraud and deceptive practices..."it sounds frivolous and it doesn’t have much chance.”- BuildingGreen.com
Call for entries: Philips Livable Cities Award: ideas for "simple solutions" in Well-being Outdoors, Independent Living, and Healthy Lifestyle at work and home; chaired by Richard Florida; grants total €125,000; deadline: October 28- Philips
Real-Life Design: Erecting Solutions to Social Problems: "Small Scale, Big Change" at MoMA looks at projects that have had social impacts in a rebuttal to the complaint that architecture isn’t focused enough on ordinary people’s lives...the big surprise...is that so many of the projects are actually good...makes a powerful case that it is possible to create work that is both socially uplifting and architecturally compelling. By Nicolai Ouroussoff -- Diébédo Francis Kéré; Michael Maltzan; Frédéric Druot/Anne Lacaton/Jean Philippe Vassal; Urban-Think Tank; Alejandro Aravena/Elemental; Estudio Teddy Cruz [slide show]- New York Times
Uncommon Ground: I have no issue with most of the work on view in “Small Scale, Big Change”...main conceptual problem: the diversity of type creates a lack of cohesion and, ultimately, conclusion....The problem is this exhibition fails to engage with real-world questions of scalability, accountability and popularity in a forward-thinking way. MoMA is playing catch-up on a decade of design that fell under their radar, and it shows. By Alexandra Lange -- Michael Maltzan; Rural Studio; Diebedo Francis Kere; Anna Heringer/Eike Roswag; Noero Wolff; Urban-Think Tank; Elemental [images]- Design Observer
Relearning the Social: Leading architects were once fluent in the language and practice of social change. With "Small Scale, Big Change" MoMA is attempting to reengage...the language of the social...If architects could quantify the impact of their designs, the discipline would be much more powerful... By Quilian Riano -- Anna Heringer/Eike Rosway; Druot, Lacaton & Vassal; Urban-Think Tank; Noero Wolff Architects; Jorge Mario Jáuregui/Metrópolis Projetos Urbanos/MPU; Estudio Teddy Cruz; Rural Studio; Diébédo Francis Kéré; Michael Maltzan; Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D. [images]- Places Journal
Curating with a Conscience: “Small Scale, Big Change” grapples with the ethical side of architecture...While Kere's compressed-earth building may not be applicable all around the world, and Rural Studio's $20k house in Alabama might sound like an exorbitant budget for a home in Africa, the exhibition brings these ideas to mainstream attention, and that's a hefty part of the battle. -- Diébédo Francis Kéré; Noero Wolff; Michael Maltzan; Estudio Teddy Cruz; Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D. [images, slide show]- Dwell
Big Screen Buildings: Architecture & Design Film Fest at Tribeca Cinemas This Weekend: ...there are a number of reviting, yes riveting, films, including a beautiful biopic about the unparalleled photographer Julius Shulman, a heartbreaking one about gentleman designer and poverty architect Samuel Mockbee, even one about an aluminum chair...the festival's trailer should give you goosebumps. If not, check your pulse. -- Kyle Bergma [video, links]- New York Observer
Lusty Liquid: Prefab prototype with solar collector: an inside look at the winner of the AIANY's Innovative Curtainwall Design competition..."Innovate : Integrate" on display at New York's Center for Architecture through Jan. 15, 2011. -- Peter Arbour/RFR [video]- Engineering News-Record (ENR)
Irish Design: It's Magically Delicious: Ireland has never stood shoulder-to-shoulder with powerhouses like Holland and Italy. That could change..."MATERIALpoetry" at the American Irish Historical Society in New York through November 18 show an acute appreciation of craft and a penchant for the old Joycean mind-screw... By Suzanne LaBarre [slide show]- Fast Company
"James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive, Architect and Teacher" explores British architect’s legacy: ...[his] eclectic and dynamic style was met with reluctance because it deviated from the monotony of the International Style...incorporation of traditional elements...was a refreshing break from the generic buildings of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier’s successors.- Yale Daily News
Design Research Unit: the firm that branded Britain: You may not have heard of Britain's most successful design group, but signs of its work can still be seen on streets, pubs, railways and tube stations – quite literally...at Cubitt Gallery, London until 24 Oct. By Justin McGuirk [slide show]- Guardian (UK)
Ben Thompson's Retail Love Affair: Kenneth Caldwell basks in the modern mystique of this definitive and nuanced biography "Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes" by Jane Thompson and Alexandra Lange...a book as transparent yet nuanced as Thompson’s own concrete masterpiece of a building for D/R in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In some ways, it is a tragic narrative about a creative man...No doubt there is a larger tale yet to be told.- The Architect's Newspaper
Book Review: "Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship": Yael Reisner exuberantly interviews architects about beauty. Any of you architects seen Mr. Keats Lately? By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Resnick Pavilion, LACMA Expansion - Phase II, Los Angeles
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