Today’s News - Friday, December 3, 2010
• Weinstein's witty and wise words once again grace his 3rd annual Best Architecture Books of the year picks.
• We received word that Ponce de Leon responded to the Boston Globe report of alleged bad blood at Office dA: it's "a small business dispute" headed to arbitration (our fingers are crossed it ends well for all).
• Qatar wins bid to host 2022 World Cup with plans for "a revolutionary" zero-carbon cooling system for modular stadiums that will then be dismantled and rebuilt "in third world countries who can't afford their own" (wow!).
• LaBarre offers an eyeful of Moscow's stadium for the 2018 World Cup: "a bubbly confection that grows off a historic structure like a parasitic UFO" that will not be the typical "white elephant smack dab the middle of nowhere."
• Heathcote weighs in on Foster's Museum of Fine Arts Boston addition: he "avoided the pitfalls" inherent in an architecture that often "treads a delicate, occasionally ill-defined line between the corporate and the sublime."
• Litt lauds local talent for making constructive suggestions for stitching together Cleveland's downtown instead of just whining about out-of-towners leading the city's big development projects.
• Saffron minces no words about what she thinks of plans for a parking garage near the almost-completed convention center expansion in Philly: "It may be human nature to seek a garage close to your destination, but it's sure not good planning."
• Sustainability Awards 2010 indicate some good news: "the downturn hasn't killed innovation if this year's winners are anything to go by."
• Some real surprises in the 30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World: Istanbul ranks at the top (and nary a European city in sight).
• Rybczynski has us reeling in riotous laughter re: tall buildings and short architects: "it's hard not to see a psychological compulsion at work when short people design tall."
• Weekend diversions:
• Farrelly offers serious observations about lessons to be learned from "The Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney" exhibition on view outside of Sydney (urban agriculture really could be a solution).
• Food and architecture are also the focus of "Journeys: How Traveling Fruit, Ideas and Buildings Rearrange Our Environment" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
• Waxman still finds lessons to be learned in "Las Vegas Studio: Images From the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown" at Chicago's Graham Foundation - and a chance "to revel in a bit of good old American kitsch along the way."
• Kapoor x 2: re: returning to India with two shows: why it's important they're free to the public (a great interview) + His homecoming is "indeed being heralded almost as the return of an extremely successful prodigal son."
• "Westernized Istanbul's Greek Architects" sheds light on the city's unique 19th- and 20th-century architectural history, where many examples "still survive gorgeously in these districts."
• King offers up his faves with his annual list of architecture books well worth gift-giving.
• Q&A with Stanley Greenberg re: "Architecture Under Construction," issues of access and security, the role of the photographer in inspiring transformation, and the public's right to know.
• A half-hearted cheer for "Icons and Reflections of Architecture": it's "to be lauded" because tomes on present-day Indian architecture are rare, but too bad it's not "presented far more substantially than this volume."
• "The New Modern House" offers "an international group of architect-designed houses" that represent "New Functionalism" (i.e., they favor substance over style).
• "Building Paradise: An Architectural Guide to the Magic City" offers an architect's view on the buildings and places that make Miami Miami.
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Best Architecture Books of 2010; Ten books pointing the way to larger professional horizons. By Norman Weinstein -- Eric J. Cesal; Thomas Fisher; Mark Garcia; Philip Jodidio; Charles Jencks/Edwin Heathcote; Giovanni Curatola; George Ranalli; James P. Cramer/Jane Paradise Wolford; etc.- ArchNewsNow
Ponce de Leon Responds: "Office dA continues to thrive": "The Boston Globe article is grossly inaccurate and one sided. I did not give an interview to the Globe and I did not make any of the statements attributed to me. I did not use my majority stock to terminate [Nader Tehrani's] position with Office dA. This a small business dispute and the matter is scheduled for arbitration before the end of the month."- The Architect's Newspaper
Qatar: From obscure desert kingdom to 2022 World Cup host: Central to their bid was a revolutionary cooling system that would use solar power to provide zero-carbon air conditioning to cool the stadiums...has promised to dismantle the modular stadiums and rebuild them in third world countries who can't afford their own. -- Albert Speer & Partner/AS&P [slide show]- CNN
Here's Moscow's Showpiece Stadium for the 2018 World Cup: ...a bubbly confection that grows off a historic structure like a parasitic UFO...Instead of inserting a white elephant smack dab the middle of nowhere, the architects are taking care to preserve - and expand on - what's already there. By Suzanne LaBarre -- Erick van Egeraat; Mikhail Posokhin/Mosproekt-2 [images]- Fast Company
A new wing in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts: ...an emerging trend in big US institutions for tasteful surgical intervention, a counterbalance to the self-consciously expressive icon...This kind of architecture treads a delicate, occasionally ill-defined line between the corporate and the sublime...Foster has avoided the pitfalls...The modernist language...is nearly as old now as was that Beaux Arts language then. It will be intriguing to see how well they last together. By Edwin Heathcote -- Foster + Partners- Financial Times (UK)
Cleveland designers brainstorm downtown ideas on Mall, lakefront and riverfront for Group Plan Commission; Local architects have definitely noticed that all the big development projects planned for downtown Cleveland...are being led out-of-town designers. Instead of whining about it, local practitioners are making constructive suggestions. By Steven Litt -- Kent State University Urban Design Collaborative [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Parking-garage proposal threatens Convention Center area: ...with the Convention Center in the final months of an expansion...developers have begun circling overhead...Unfortunately, the first project to land is exactly what Arch Street doesn't need: a parking garage....It may be human nature to seek a garage close to your destination, but it's sure not good planning. By Inga Saffron- Philadelphia Inquirer
Sustainability Awards 2010: The winners and runners up: Good news: the downturn hasn’t killed innovation if this year’s Sustainability Awards are anything to go by. -- Arup Associates; Bruges Tozer Partnership Architects; etc. [images]- Building (UK)
30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World: Which metropolis is leading the world out of the recession? The answer is Istanbul - and the rest of the list is equally surprising...cities are overwhelmingly in...China and India, Southeast Asian islands, and Latin America. Only three cities from what economists consider the developed world appeared on the list: Montreal, Austin and Melbourne. There are no European cities in the top 30.- The Atlantic
Tall Buildings, Short Architects: Why are so many great architects short of stature? Could shortness be a job qualification for an architect...it's hard not to see a psychological compulsion at work when short people design tall...On the other hand, the tallest architect I know, Boston-based Bill Rawn, who is 6 feet 7 inches, designs decidedly understated buildings, so go figure. By Witold Rybczynski -- Allan Temko; Bernard Maybeck; Louis Kahn; Julia Morgan; Raymond Hood; Ely Jacques Kahn; Ralph Walker; I.M. Pei; Robert A.M. Stern; Daniel Libeskind; Norman Foster; Frank Gehry; Frank Lloyd Wright; Deyan Sudjic; James Stewart Polshek; Bill Rawn- Slate
When fields yield to houses per hectare: Urbanisation will put our food supplies under pressure...What should we be doing about it? Changing the shape of our cities, if the exhibition "The Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney" has its way...Suburbia was always going to prove an expensive conceit. The answer? Urban agriculture. By Elizabeth Farrelly- Sydney Morning Herald
"Journeys: How Traveling Fruit, Ideas and Buildings Rearrange Our Environment" looks at people - and fruit - in motion: Effects on built environment deemed mostly positive by curators at Canadian Centre for Architecture...provokes questions about how the movement of people - and fruit -across borders affects the built environment, mostly enriching it, but also creating such absurdities as cucumbers lose their identity.- Montreal Gazette
When Vegas had something to teach: ..."Las Vegas Studio: Images From the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown"...on view at the Graham Foundation...In the tasteful rooms of the foundation's prairie-style mansion exists a unique opportunity to revisit the couple's discoveries unprogrammatically, and to revel in a bit of good old American kitsch along the way. By Lori Waxman- Chicago Tribune
Anish Kapoor: Look out India, here I come: ...he is fast becoming a household name. But not in India...to which he returns with a new exhibition..."If I have an ambition it is to reach well beyond the art world and do something in India which will have a much, much bigger public. But most exhibitions are not free. So what do you do? Do you let street people in? My argument is that you let them in"- Guardian (UK)
Anish Kapoor’s Homecoming: ...twin shows in Delhi and Mumbai are indeed being heralded almost as the return of an extremely successful prodigal son...it’s like no other show he’s ever laid out before....[he] seemed genuinely moved by what he described as his “coming home.” [images]- Wall Street Journal
"Westernized Istanbul’s Greek Architects" sheds light on Istanbul's unique architectural history: ...displays the life stories of Greek architects who made great contributions to the modern structure of the city in the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries...and still survive gorgeously in these districts. -- Vasilaki Ioannidis; Yanko Ioannidis; Perikles Fortiadis; Konstantinos Dimadis; Achille Manoussos- Hürriyet Daily News (Turkey)
Holiday books: Architecture: "Designing Tomorrow: America's World's Fairs of the 1930s"; "American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture" by Alice T. Friedman; "John Margolies: Roadside America"; "The Architecture of Harry Weese" by Robert Bruegmann; "Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age" by Blair Kamin; "City Building: Nine Planning Principles for the Twenty-First Century" by John Lund Kriken; "Kuth/Ranieri Architects"; "Float!: Building on Water to Combat Urban Congestion and Climate Change" by Koen Olthuis and David Keuning. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Stanley Greenberg: City as Organism, Only Some of it Visible: author of "Architecture Under Construction" and "Invisible New York" talks about issues of access and security, the role of the photographer in inspiring transformation, and the public’s right to know. [images, slide show]- Urban Omnibus
Book Review: "Icons and Reflections of Architecture": Hettich is to be lauded, simply because tomes on Indian architecture are rare. Rarer still are books dedicated to present-day architecture. What would be welcome is a series of contemporary works by Indian architects but presented far more substantially than this volume. -- Brinda Somaya; CN Raghavendran; CP Kuckreja; Gopi Bhawnani; Manit Rastogi; Mohit Gujral; Ranjit Sabikhi; Ratan Batliboi; Shakti Parmar; Sonali Bhagwati- moneycontrol.com (India)
Is this the new face of the modern home? Grand designs can be architectural wonders, but they are not always the easiest homes to live in. Now a new generation of housebuilders is starting to favour substance over style..."The New Modern House" by Jonathan Bell and Ellie Stathaki...corrals an international group of architect-designed houses...citing them as indicative of what the authors call the New Functionalism. -- Lynch Architects; Cassion Castle Architects; Jonathan Tuckey Design; Charles Barclay Architects [images]- Independent (UK)
"Building Paradise: An Architectural Guide to the Magic City" by Marilys Nepomechie...“an in-depth look from an architect’s view” on the buildings and places that make Miami Miami...- Miami Herald
Putting Colors Together: An Interview with Will Alsop: For Alsop, it is the act of painting, the state of losing control - its imprecision and intuitiveness - that best define his initial vague intentions - and what ultimately brings him close to the mystery of inventing new architecture. By Vladimir Belogolovsky- ArchNewsNow
-- Saunders Architecture: Fogo Island Artist Studios, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada
-- Zaha Hadid Architects: Evelyn Grace Academy, London, UK
-- Book: DINKA: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan, By Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith
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