Today’s News - Friday, November 12, 2010
• Kamin on Chicago's major sustainability push, of "eco-toupees and plastic alleys," and why "a little perspective is in order" on the eve of Greenbuild.
• Make's "astonishing" Cube in Birmingham, U.K., a city "happy to embrace 'starchitecture' in order to gain civic kudos" sparkles plenty, but "reveals an insensitivity that betrays the purity of intent so evident in its...core concept."
• Get ready NYC, two Holl buildings are less than two years away (a good read once you get past the star-struck platitudes).
• Viñoly's Battersea Power Station gets green light (again?); key is a commitment to two transit station extensions (and hopes to create more than 3,400 homes).
• An eyeful of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: "Is Norman Foster having the best fall ever?"
• Is RMJ having the worst fall ever?
• Brizzio on then and future Expo's: "Are they still relevant and creative architecture experiments?" (great slide show)
• Brussat's fears are confirmed: traditional options seem to be off the table in finalists' designs for a pedestrian bridge in Providence (remember the Sopwith Camel gas station?).
• Call for entries: 9th Philippe Rotthier European Prize for Architecture 2011 for notable renovations.
• Weekend diversions:
• Goldberger on "Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway" at the Cooper Union: "I'm not sure there has ever been an architect whose work was as seductive, as beautiful, as exhilarating, and as downright frightening...It's hard to say what the exhibition will do to his reputation."
• As Utrecht celebrates "Rietveld's Universe," his grandson is determined to ensure his furniture remains available.
• Lui on Stein's "Greening Modernism": he "makes a good case for the reunification of sustainability and Modernism...They are one and the same."
• Gruber finds "Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans" a "riveting, if necessarily dry, account of the process, or rather processes, for the preparation of plans for the city's recovery."
• In "A Guide To The New Ruins Of Great Britain," Hatherley's "casts a despairing eye" on "an encroaching American-style urban landscape of gated communities and malls."
• Moore is almost bemused by "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World" by Prince Charles et al: "some of his ideas are completely off the wall," but when not being "weird or wonky," they say "things with which only nutters, or Republican candidates for the US Senate, would disagree."
• "50 Beautiful Houses In India" illustrates beautifully how "design in Indian housing has undergone a sea change in the past few decades."
• "Minka": a documentary about the rescue of an ancient farmhouse in Japan is "an intimate story about place, architecture, memory and the meaning of home"; the film is almost ready for its close-up - but could use some help.
• We couldn't resist: Bey lets us know "Devil in the White City" may be coming to the big screen courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio (a.k.a. the book's serial killer H.H. Holmes, perhaps?).
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Eco-Toupees and Plastic Alleys: Despite a major sustainability push...Chicago still has a long way to go in transforming its image from a Rust Belt city to the greenest in the country...the power of Daley’s iron fist backs up the preferences of his green thumb. But a little perspective is in order...It’s impossible to know whether his successor will push green roofs and green alleys with the same passion he did. By Blair Kamin -- Martin Felsen/Archeworks- GreenSource Magazine
Birmingham cubed: The Second City’s Jewellery Quarter inspired the facade of Make’s astonishing £100m Cube development. But as with any box of jewels, its real treasures are inside...clearly a city happy to embrace “starchitecture” in order to gain civic kudos and raise its cultural profile...But in its uncompromising treatment of scale, surface and form, the Cube reveals an insensitivity that betrays the purity of intent so evident in its courtyard and its core concept. [images]- Building (UK)
Get ready New York - Architect Steven Holl brings his brilliant award-winning designs to the city: ...he is what architects were meant to be - there for the public good...Finally, after 33 years in the city, Holl's first two full-scale buildings — a public library on the Long Island City coastline and an athletic center for Columbia - are less than two years away. [images]- NY Daily News
Battersea Power Station gets green light: Proposed scheme includes £200m for a two station extension of the Northern Line from Kennington...key to...plans to regenerate Nine Elms and will help kick start major investment projects throughout the area...scheme hopes to create more than 3,400 homes and 15,000 jobs... -- Rafael Vinoly- Building (UK)
Sneak Peek: Foster for MFA: Is Norman Foster having the best fall ever? Foster + Partners will open their new Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on November 20...it’s early to pass judgement, but we think the spare, flush facade of the building suits the austerity of a Boston winter perfectly. [images, links]- Architizer
RMJM is hit by mass desertion of senior staff: ...suffering an exodus of senior staff with a total of at least 20 leaving or tendering their resignations in recent months...claimed it was “no different to every other major architectural practice worldwide”. This was immediately challenged by a number of its key competitors...- BD/Building Design (UK)
Exposing Culture And Architecture From Shanghai Expo 2010 To Yeosu 2012, Milan 2015: Since their beginnings, World Fairs have been incubators of innovation and visionary architecture...Are they still relevant and creative architecture experiments? What are we doing today and what does this reflect on our culture, ideas and architecture? By Patricia Brizzio -- Joseph Paxton (1851); Mies van der Rohe (1929); Le Corbusier/Iannis Xenakis' (1958); Buckminster Fuller (1967); Diller Scofidio + Renfro (2002); Heatherwick Studio; MVRDV; SOMA; Lee Sang-Lim; Studio Nicoletti Associati [slide show]- Huffington Post
Fishy foot-bridge contest in Providence: In July...I raised an alarm about the design process for a proposed foot bridge to span the Providence River: "[I]t seems that traditional options are gradually being eliminated by the committee before the public is invited to join in the process." My fears have been realized. All 11 designs in the final round are modernist. By David Brussat -- William D. Warner Architects & Planners; Studio Providence/Friedrich St. Florian/3six0 [link to images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Call for entries: 9th Philippe Rotthier European Prize for Architecture 2011: ...will reward notable renovations carried out in Europe during the past five years; cash prizes; no fee; deadline: April 30, 2011- Fondation pour l'Architecture (Brussels)
Paul Rudolph’s Manhattan Megastructure: I’m not sure there has ever been an architect whose work was as seductive, as beautiful, as exhilarating, and as downright frightening...It’s hard to say what the exhibition “Paul Rudolph: Lower Manhattan Expressway"...at Cooper Union...will do to his reputation... By Paul Goldberger [images]- The New Yorker
Only the elite liked Rietveld’s chair: What’s the point of a chair that isn’t comfortable to sit on? Gerrit Rietveld designed his furniture with ordinary people in mind...dreamed of mass production, but instead, his work was embraced by the elite. His grandson Egbert ensures that Rietveld furniture is still available throughout the world. [images]- Radio Netherlands
"Greening Modernism" by Carl Stein reunites architectural theory and construction technology: ...he believes that sustainability and Modernism must join forces...makes a good case for the reunification of two long-separated methodologies...Stop thinking, he seems to say, about design principles and performance ratings as if they were two separate practices. They are one and the same. By Ann Lui- Metropolis Magazine
Making Plans: "Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans" by Robert B. Olshansky and Laurie A. Johnson...a riveting, if necessarily dry, account of the process, or rather processes, for the preparation of plans for New Orleans' recovery. By Frank Gruber- Huffington Post
"A Guide To The New Ruins Of Great Britain" by Owen Hatherley attacks modern Manchester as 'New Labour boom town' that's lost its cultural edge: ...casts a despairing eye across a dozen areas of the UK, bemoaning box-like “luxury” flats and an encroaching American-style urban landscape of gated communities and malls.- Manchester Evening News (UK)
Prince Charles is right to speak up on climate change, but some of his ideas are completely off the wall: "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World" by HRH Prince Charles, Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly...When it is not being weird or wonky...says things with which only nutters, or Republican candidates for the US Senate, would disagree. By Rowan Moore- Guardian (UK)
Bursting with ideas, crafted with love: “50 Beautiful Houses In India”...a reference point to view a house in terms of its aesthetics and technical finesse...Design in Indian housing has undergone a sea change in the past few decades. -- Khosla Associates; Matthew & Ghosh Architects- DNA/Daily News & Analysis (India)
"Minka": a documentary about a farmhouse in Japan: In 1967, an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son rescued the ancient house...and their lives were forever changed...an intimate story about place, architecture, memory and the meaning of home. -- Davina Pardo [video, links]- Kickstarter
The "Devil" you say? DiCaprio gets "White City" role? Leonardo DiCaprio and his team have acquired the film rights to Erik Larson's..."Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America." [He] will play serial killer H.H. Holmes... By Lee Bey- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
Toyo Ito & Associates: Za-Koenji Public Theatre, Suginami-ku,Tokyo, Japan
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