Today’s News - Friday, December 17, 2010
• Kamin comments on Arch Record's Bob Ivy heading to D.C. to head AIA (this news should set the rumor mills grinding).
• RIBA makes a bid to take over CABE duties - or will CABE continue by merging with the Design Council?
• Why the climate-change talks at Cancun "might well be a landmark event in the politics of sustainability" (and some very useful links).
• What went wrong with Istanbul's tenure as a European Capital of Culture: it "has been underwhelming to say the least...there is no notable, lasting edifice and scant legacy."
• Jacobs wanders Austin, TX, and finds a city that "isn't quite what it aspires to be."
• More on Gehry's UTS adventure Down Under: "If they still think it's a brown bag when it's done, then I've failed...Do they think I left it out in the rain, or something?"
• His design "defies the unspeakably boring layer cakes and sickeningly unimaginative visual building-swill Sydney has inflicted on itself...Thank you, Mr. Gehry" (how about tearing down "the rest of this garbage and replace with real buildings?").
• Not many will mourn the demise of D.C.'s 33-year-old Dunbar High School: the "combination of riot-proof design and open classrooms in a high-rise" makes it "an exemplar of a generation of 'grim and brutal' structures 'designed to keep occupants in and everyone else out'" (says the school's architect himself).
• Litt x 2: he likes LMN/Gustafson Guthrie Nichol's new vision for downtown Cleveland + Case Western has a shortlist of 4 to design new university center - but they won't say who (we find that a bit weird).
• Three impressive contenders to design a major landmark at the Scotland-England border.
• We couldn't resist: an eyeful of Abu Dhabi's overwhelming Ferrari World Theme Park: "If dear, departed Enzo were reincarnated as Willy Wonka, he'd have built a place like this."
• Weekend diversions:
• Reassessing Stirling: Goldhagen ponders why he failed so often in a very thoughtful review of Yale show that shows "some of his painfully bad misfires alongside some of his best." + Hodgetts "considers the legacy of his tight-lipped mentor."
• In Paris, "Charles Garnier: An Architect for an Empire" demonstrates "the thoroughly modern engineering and metalwork beneath the neo-Baroque orgy of gold and marble" of the city's famed opera house.
• An eyeful of Lori Nix's "stunning, tiny dioramas" that show "a deserted world in miniature being retaken by nature" (in NYC until tomorrow, then heading to Chicago).
• Lamster finds Sudjic's Foster bio-tome "a welcome addition to the architectural biography field, even if it is of the authorized variety" that "generally steers clear of sycophancy."
• A new Hassan Fathy biography is "a genuine and fitting tribute to Egypt's most famous architect since Imhotep" by one of his first disciples.
• Brussat finds Mouzon's "The Original Green" runs circles around Stein's "Greening Modernism" (why are we not surprised).
• Broderick's "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White" tries "to tell so many stories at once" that it ends up struggling "to distill a clear narrative arc."
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Architectural Record editor to head American Institute of Architects: Robert Ivy, the editor-in-chief...will become the chief executive officer...his loss represents a second major blow to the publication, which was rocked earlier this year when the AIA dropped Record as its official publication and awarded its contract instead to the rival Architect magazine...will take the reigns at the AIA on Feb. 1, 2011... By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
RIBA could usurp Cabe in bid to run design reviews: ...to put architects at the heart of the government’s localism agenda...housing minister Grant Shapps...is also considering a proposal from CABE to continue its design review...through a merger with the Design Council...“Cabe merging with the Design Council just continues the malaise of asking everyone except architects about design"... -- Places Matter; Jack Pringle- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Politics of Building Green: Is the built environment implicated enough in the recent climate change agreements at Cancun? The release of the Cancun agreements seems to confirm their fears that governments might be choosing to conveniently ignore how buildings and infrastructure contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. [links]- Metropolis Magazine
Istanbul’s culture blues: The ancient Turkish city’s tenure as a European Capital of Culture has been underwhelming to say the least. What went wrong? If culture is seen as the hand maiden of post-industrial regeneration elsewhere in Europe, the aims of Istanbul 2010 were political, ideological and far more ambitious...has not changed the destiny of the city; there is no notable, lasting edifice and scant legacy.- The Art Newspaper (UK)
Austin, Now What? ...a real gap between the city’s cultural values and its built environment...the city isn’t quite what it aspires to be...what I was seeing was an aversion to authority in built form - not typically the kind of environment in which civic beauty thrives...if the city is going to grow as much as the planning department expects, it will need to know exactly which way it’s going, and it’s going to have to implement a vision. By Karrie Jacobs -- Andersson-Wise; Duda/Paine Architects; Antoine Predock and Cotera, Kolar, Negrete & Reed; Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT)- Metropolis Magazine
Recognition of treehouse design will be in the bag when built, says Gehry: The architect is philosophical about criticism..."If they still think it's a brown bag when it's done, then I've failed. I don't think they will..It's hard to convince people you know what you're doing, when you see something like that. Do they think I left it out in the rain, or something?" By Kelsey Munro [images]- Sydney Morning Herald
Surreal and beautiful - Frank Gehry’s new building meets Dali in Sydney: ...the Treehouse has wrinkles and crinkles. Well, who needed straight lines, anyway? ...defies the unspeakably boring layer cakes and sickeningly unimaginative visual building-swill Sydney has inflicted on itself in recent decades...Thank you, Mr. Gehry. Now, if someone would like to tear down the rest of this garbage and replace with real buildings&hellip?- DigitalJournal.com
Fear, hope and a failed school: Dunbar Senior High School will be razed as soon as 2013...few will lament its demolition just 33 years after its opening...in that building are lessons for politicians and planners and policymakers...combination of riot-proof design and open classrooms in a high-rise made Dunbar an exemplar of...a generation of "grim and brutal" structures "designed to keep occupants in and everyone else out." -- Robert C. deJongh/Bryant & Bryant (1871)- Washington Post
LMN Architects and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol landscape architects propose new visions for downtown Cleveland to Group Plan Commission: ...took no vote, but appeared intrigued by many of the design suggestions...impetus for the proposals comes from the county-led construction of a medical mart and new convention center..."it's all there; it's just a matter of working with what you have." By Stven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Case Western Reserve University to choose an architect from four finalists to design its new Tinkham Veale University Center: ...vice president for campus planning and facilities management, declined to identify the finalists...Ballinger will complete a conceptual plan for the University Center, along with a cost estimate. By By Steven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Gretna border landmark bidders selected: Three international contenders have been selected to design a major landmark to be constructed at the Scotland-England border...winner of the project - entitled The Great Unknown - will be announced in the summer of 2011. -- Cecil Balmond; Ned Kahn; Wilkinson Eyre Architects- BBC (UK)
Ferrari World Theme Park Is a Turbocharged Wonderland: Even the most diehard Ferrari fans might find the 2.2-million-square-foot Ferrari World overwhelming...If dear, departed Enzo were reincarnated as Willy Wonka, he'd have built a place like this. [slide show]- Fast Company
Tarnished Stirling: Why did post-modernism’s most gifted architect fail so often? ...was an uneven practitioner, who produced many more bad buildings than good ones...“Notes from the Archive”...does not aim to be a comprehensive...showing some of his painfully bad misfires alongside some of his best...offers decades of glimpses into the inner workings of the mind of one of the most thoughtful, innovative, and creative architects of the latter half of the 20thh century. By Sarah Williams Goldhagen- The New Republic
Big Jim: Who exactly was James Frazer Stirling? With Yale University hosting two exhibitions on the British architect, a revival seems imminent. Craig Hodgetts, once a student of Stirling’s, considers the legacy of his tight-lipped mentor...he pushed both aesthetic and technological boundaries further into an unknowable future. -- Hodgetts + Fung; Anthony Vidler- Architect Magazine
Hitler's Phantom Lurks in Paris Show on Opera Architect: "Charles Garnier: An Architect for an Empire”...a delightful show at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he had been a student himself. Amazingly, it’s the first ever devoted to his life and work...demonstrates the thoroughly modern engineering and metalwork beneath the neo- Baroque orgy of gold and marble.- Bloomberg News
Lori Nix's Stunning, Tiny Dioramas Depict an Abandoned World: "The City"...a deserted world in miniature being retaken by nature...Take a look at Nix's beautiful/awful vision of the future, and be glad that these scenes only exist in her Brooklyn apartment and not outside your window... yet. [slide show]- Fast Company
A Life Less Ordinary: "Norman Foster: A Life in Architecture" by Deyan Sudjic, director of London’s Design Museum, is a welcome addition to the architectural biography field, even if it is of the authorized variety...generally steers clear of sycophancy. By Mark Lamster- Architect Magazine
An honorable tribute: "Hassan Fathy and Continuity in Islamic Arts and Architecture: The Birth of a New Modern" by Ahmad Hamid...a genuine and fitting tribute to Egypt’s most famous architect since Imhotep...created an alternative model...a sustainable architecture, which responds to social issues as well as the needs of the community...explores his lonely struggle to impose his ideas and noble beliefs, which were so against the prevailing culture during his lifetime.- Arab News
The best examination of how to build cities and towns that will not hasten the demise of their setting - our planet - is "The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability" by Stephen Mouzon...runs circles around Carl Stein's "Greening Modernism"...Preservation plus building anew in styles we preserve would take us a long way toward sustainability, whereas preservation plus building in modernist styles undermines sustainability. Not to mention beauty... By David Brussat- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Saga of three kings of architecture: "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architectural, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age" by Mosette Broderick...painstakingly demonstrates how the cultural strivings of America's elite affected the triumvirate's architectural style...attempts to tell so many stories at once...struggles to distill a clear narrative arc..overall, is remarkably disorganized.- Boston Globe
Alfonso Architects: Tampa Covenant Church Addition & Renovation, Tampa, Florida
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