Today’s News - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• A Tel Aviv suburb rebrands itself around kids and culture, becoming "an international model for urban renewal" (pigtails in the park look fun!).
• Once known as the "Paris of the Middle East," Cairo is in danger of becoming "a grindingly ugly city" as many of its architectural gems are being left to crumble.
• Hatherley on the new ruins of Great Britain: "For all their bright colors and cladding, the new urban regeneration schemes of the last property boom represent a new kind of bleak."
• Though Olcayto has to explain to Hatherley that he did not mean "Cabe-ism" as a compliment (perhaps "a winking smiley" would have made it clearer).
• King x 2: he cheers plans for the Exploratorium's new home on the San Francisco Embarcadero that ties public waterfront access to a private project: "The trick is to goose along the worthy projects, and to make sure that the public benefits are as attractive in real life as on paper" + East Bay's "elegant new icon" is a pedestrian bridge that proves society can - and "should aim to produce civic works on par with cherished landmarks from the New Deal."
• Birkerts' Latvian National Library is finally under way (only 19 years late).
• Kèrè (of "Small Scale, Big Change" fame) tapped to build an opera village in Burkina Faso.
• Rochon relishes a "radical new kind of concrete...that can make us believe again in the poetry of architecture - that might even make us fall in love with infrastructure and what should be the thrill of city-building."
• Litt cheers three Oberlin graduates' 8-year effort to transform a "tattered eastern flank of downtown Oberlin" with "with street-smart, environmentally friendly architecture."
• Hume cheers North Toronto Collegiate Institute's "lesson in city-building."
• Mays, on the other hand, is a bit dismayed by a new Toronto tower: "Even what's novel...is a step backward in the design of tall buildings" - and no place "for people who want to rear families in the downtown core."
• Is Majorca home to first ever green cathedral? Who says?
• We couldn't resist: Brussat muses on Steve Jobs' "iHouse in the iWoods" (will it be a wannabe Phillip Johnson's Glass House "on steroids"?).
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Cultural Exchange: Israeli city reviving itself as an arts attraction: The Tel Aviv suburb of Holon has rebranded around kids and digital arts, with a dozen new museums, theaters and other centers, and more are in the works...has become an international model for urban renewal..."It's a very ambitious little town," said Ron Arad...- Los Angeles Times
Cairo's architecture gems left to crumble: ...once known as the "Paris of the Middle East"...The adventurous architecture was a synthesis of European and Middle Eastern. It became an expression of the city's self-confidence..."What has happened since the 1950s has been the growing of Cairo as a grindingly ugly city...If a city is ugly people don't tend to take care of it." [video]- BBC (UK)
A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain: For all their bright colours and cladding, the new urban regeneration schemes of the last property boom represent a new kind of bleak...If Modernism was about...attempting to transcend the divide between architect and engineer, now the architect draws a shape and asks the engineer to make it stand up. By Owen Hatherley -- Will Alsop; Daniel Libeskind; Michael Wilford; Capita Percy Thomas; Norman Foster; Hamilton Architects; Benoy; Carey Jones; Aedas- Guardian (UK)
Cabe-ism isn't meant as a compliment: When I coined the term Cabe-ism to describe the mode of expression most British architects used to shape the "luxury" housing and mixed-use developments...it was not meant as a compliment as Owen Hatherley states in his otherwise thoroughly agreeable article...I suppose a winking smiley at the end would amplify the tone, but I really don't think it's necessary, LOL! By Rory Olcayto/The Architects' Journal- Guardian (UK)
Public access to S.F. bay tied to private projects: The long-awaited start of...the Exploratorium's new bayside home shows that the San Francisco Embarcadero will only grow more alluring in the decade to come. It also shows the difficulty we face in achieving such goals as public access to the waterfront...The trick is to goose along the worthy projects, and to make sure that the public benefits are as attractive in real life as on paper. By John King -- EHDD Architecture [slide show]- San Francisco Chronicle
Footbridge an elegant new icon in East Bay: ...when cynics say government's only role should be to cut costs, the Bay Area's provocative riposte is a publicly funded footbridge...sends a message naysayers choose to ignore: our society should aim to produce civic works on par with cherished landmarks from the New Deal...That may sound like a heavy load for a 10-foot-wide span, but Robert I. Schroder Overcrossing is up to the task. By John King -- Arup; Donald MacDonald [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Latvian Library By Gunnar Birkerts Finally Gets Built: ...won the commission to design the Latvian National Library in 1991 - the same year the country gained independence from the Soviet Union...Now, nearly two decades later, construction...is finally under way in the capital city of Riga. [images]- Architectural Record
Burkina Faso's "crazy opera" is rising: Diébédo Francis Kèrè "thought it was a joke" when he was commissioned to build an opera village in the Burkinabe countryside to host the African parallel of Germany's famous Bayreuth Festival. Not any more...Building schools and providing culture education became key parts of the project...will need long-term support and donations to be viable.- afrol News (Africa)
A concrete retort to the glass-and-steel cliché: Once derided as the stuff of flat-slab residential towers and chunky bridges, a radical new kind of concrete is bringing grace to urban buildings...a new brand of high-performance concrete that can make us believe again in the poetry of architecture – that might even make us fall in love with infrastructure and what should be the thrill of city-building. By Lisa Rochon -- Reiser + Umemoto- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Oberlin College graduates bridge town-gown divide: ...it took three freshly minted graduates starting in 2002 to see the potential in a vacant former Buick dealership on the tattered eastern flank of downtown Oberlin. Eight years later...the widely acclaimed East College Street Project, which blends apartments and retail shops with street-smart, environmentally friendly architecture. By Steven Litt -- Integrated Architecture [images, links]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
North Toronto Collegiate Institute a lesson in city-building: ...contrast between the old North Toronto and its recently opened replacement couldn’t be more startling. It’s not just the difference in architectural language, but the very way architecture has been used. By Christopher Hume -- CS&P; Burka Architects [image]- Toronto Star
Turning the corner on University Avenue’s institutional facade: Even what’s novel about this tower – evidence of the city-inspired craze for recycling traces of antiquated architecture into new structures – is a step backward in the design of tall buildings...No parking, plus the small sizes of the apartments...adding nothing to the inventory of high-rise properties for people who want to rear families in the downtown core. By John Bentley Mays -- Zeidler Partnership [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Is Majorca home to first ever green cathedral? ...the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Palma has been declared the first green cathedral in the world. Who says? ..Palma’s famed Catalan gothic style cathedral...has been awarded an energy efficiency certificate by the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR)...scores of other cathedrals around the world that are also practicing great energy efficiency...- Telegraph (UK)
iBehold the iHouse in the iWoods: After a long fight against preservationists...Steve Jobs now has permission to bulldoze the graceful old Jackling mansion and build his own...The house seems to embrace Apple's minimalist corporate modernism...the house seems to want to imagine itself as Phillip Johnson's Glass House on steroids. Well, why not? By David Brussat -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson [images, links]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Exhibition & Symposium: "Image. Architecture.Now," Julius Shulman Institute, Woodbury University
Burbank, California: Photographer Iwan Baan was presented with the 1st annual Julius Shulman Photography Award. [images]
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