Today’s News - Friday, February 4, 2011
• The building industry cheers Obama's "Better Buildings Initiative" that "could save businesses nearly $40 billion over the next decade in lower energy costs."
• Holl responds to Curtis's critique of the Glasgow School of Art project: "We welcome criticism as long as it's based on an accurate understanding of our design."
• Duany Plater-Zyberk teams up with The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment to envision "a new, middle-class residential, commercial and governmental district literally built upon the rubble" of Port-au-Prince.
• Re: Vancouver Art Gallery's "edifice complex": Bing Thom's "Washington triumph" (Arena Stage) "should tell Vancouver something about its own overreaching aspirations...if Vancouver so desperately craves to be world-class, there's already a guy in town who can deliver"
• Saffron cheers the renovation of a Rittenhouse Row tower that acknowledges the building's "modernist heritage...one of the rare instances where a major alteration has improved a historic building."
• An eyeful of Niall McLaughlin's "Elgin Marbles" adorning the Athletes Village in London's Olympic Park.
• LaBarre on Google's new office in Pittsburgh that "goes easy on the Google-ness...You could do worse than a big toy of a place in an old bakery."
• AIA announces the 2011 crop of new Fellows + new Honorary Members (a little tooting of our own horn: ANN's editor-in-chief Kristen Richards is among 'em!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Hawthorne finds the "civil unrest in Egypt adds intrigue" to the "Decolonizing Architecture" exhibition in L.A. that is "helping to redefine what political architecture means and can be."
• "Jugaad Urbanism" at NYC's Center for Architecture will offer design lessons from India's poorest neighborhoods with the aim "to uncover innovation in challenging circumstances."
• Bullivant says "Hyperlinks" at the Art Institute of Chicago "tells us that design is a best friend of our times, there not just in need but also provoking interaction...with a friendly, existential, 'coming home to ourselves' agenda."
• Michael Graves "settles into a new niche" as a painter with a show in Lawrenceville, NJ, that "will surprise people."
• Rapp revels in Stoller's photographs on view in NYC that he finds "still surprising: they liberate the architectural photograph from its original client/media context."
• Hawthorne's first installment of Reading L.A.: Adamic and Mayo, "while sometimes a bit loose with the facts and clearly dated in their attitudes toward race and other subjects - make clear that a certain tradition of caustic skepticism also has deep roots here."
• McGuirk on "Sustainism is the New Modernism": sustainable design "needs a shot in the arm. But I don't believe a book full of platitudes and colorful symbols is the necessary serum" (furthermore, "if sustainability is boring, 'sustainism' is just grammatically freaky" - with a touch of Weetabix thrown in).
• Merkel on Balmori's "A Landscape Manifesto": it's "packed with ideas...and a call to arms with a very radical battle plan."
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White House Proposes New Green Buildings Program: ...has launched a package of proposals...that aim to make commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient over 10 years...."Better Buildings Initiative"...targeting commercial buildings...could save businesses nearly $40 billion over the next decade in lower energy costs.- Architectural Record
Steven Holl responds to William J.R. Curtis: We welcome criticism as long as it's based on an accurate understanding of our design. Unfortunately Curtis' article is not knowledgeable about our design...The rich detail of [Charles Rennie Mackintosh] original [Glasgow School of Art] will dominate the new urban space without interference from the silent contrast of the new neighbor. [link to Curtis commentary]- Architectural Record
Miami architect plans new Port-au-Prince: ...envisions a new, middle-class residential, commercial and governmental district literally built upon the rubble of the old...Duany Plater-Zyberk was commissioned by the Haitian government to develop the plan in collaboration with The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment... [link to images]- Miami Herald
Bing Thom, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the 'edifice complex': Our civic genetics are more modest than grandiose, and the...architect rightly argues that a refit would suit us best...[his] Washington triumph should serve as more than just a reflection of his talent.It should tell us something about our own overreaching aspirations here...if Vancouver so desperately craves to be world-class, there's already a guy in town who can deliver.- Vancouver Sun
Channeling TV history: Renovation of a Rittenhouse Row tower shines a spotlight on an old KYW studio...new facade...is as different from the old as dark is from light, yet it still manages to acknowledge the building's modernist heritage...one of the rare instances where a major alteration has improved a historic building. By Inga Saffron -- Tilden & Pepper (1938); Bohlin Cywinski Jackson- Philadelphia Inquirer
Niall McLaughlin unveils ‘Elgin Marbles’ for 2012 Olympics: ...images of soon-to-complete Athletes Village scheme in the Olympic Park, east London...10-storey building features a precast concrete cladding system replicating the Parthenon Marbles...wrapped around an in-situ concrete ‘chassis’ designed by Glenn Howells Architects.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Google Unveils Not-Evil Office in Pittsburgh: ...new Steel City satellite goes easy on the Google-ness...fills the penthouse of a 100-year-old Nabisco factory...if the company is going to keep people in Pittsburgh...it has to offer perks beyond killer stock options. You could do worse than a big toy of a place in an old bakery. By Suzanne LaBarre -- Strada [images]- Fast Company
AIA Elevates 104 Members and Six International Architects to the College of Fellows: Fellowship Recognizes Significant Contributions to Profession of Architecture and Society- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
2011 AIA Honorary Membership to six outside the profession who have rendered distinguished service to the profession of architecture.- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
"Decolonizing Architecture" at REDCAT gallery speculates on what would happen if Israel leaves the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The civil unrest in Egypt adds intrigue...exhibition is part of a new wave of projects and museum shows that are helping to redefine what political architecture means and can be. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Eyal Weizman; Sandi Hillal; Alessandro Petti- Los Angeles Times
Design Lessons From India's Poorest Neighborhoods: "Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities"...aims to uncover innovation in challenging circumstances...represents solutions; at NYC's Center for Architecture -- Kanu Agrawal; Achyut P. Kanvinde [images, links]- Fast Company
"Hyperlinks" at the Art Institute of Chicago: design as humane radar: By fostering cross-disciplinary relations, architects and designers are carving out new avenues for experimentation...tells us that design is a best friend of our times...about design reborn, framing a unity of biological metaphor and process with a friendly, existential, 'coming home to ourselves' agenda that continues to resonate... By Lucy Bullivant [images]- Domus
A Top Architect Settles Into a New Niche: Michael Graves is pursuing art avidly these days...at the Rider University Art Gallery in Lawrenceville, NJ...“Michael Graves: Landscapes and Still Lifes”..."it will surprise people...There’s his beautiful color sense, but it’s also interesting how his space is almost cubist, rather than going back in classical Renaissance perspective.” [slide show]- New York Times
Unseeing Modernism: Ezra Stoller at Yossi Milo Gallery: ...articulation of the various species of heroic modernism...classifies and idealizes them in ways architecture itself would have been unable to achieve without the great architectural photographers of the era...50 images...do something that is still surprising: they liberate the architectural photograph from its original client/media context... By Alan Rapp [images]- Urban Omnibus
Reading L.A.: "The Truth About Los Angeles," by Louis Adamic (1927) and "Los Angeles," by Morrow Mayo (1933): ...while sometimes a bit loose with the facts and clearly dated in their attitudes toward race and other subjects - make clear that a certain tradition of caustic skepticism also has deep roots here. By Christopher Hawthorne [images, links]- Los Angeles Times
Sustainable design is wearing thin: Sustainability – all matronly browns and little green arrows – has drained the sexiness from design. If designers want to do some genuine good, it's time to re-engineer their thinking..."Sustainism is the New Modernism: A Cultural Manifesto for the Sustainist Era" by Michiel Schwarz and Joost Elffers...sustainable design needs a shot in the arm. But I don't believe a book full of platitudes and colourful symbols is the necessary serum. By Justin McGuirk- Guardian (UK)
Diana Balmori Issues Marshing Orders: "A Landscape Manifesto"...packed with ideas...a history of landscape, a study of attitudes toward nature, a monograph, and a call to arms with a very radical battle plan...She is interested in “shaping spaces&hellip not objects within the landscape”... By Jayne Merkel -- Balmori Associates- The Architect's Newspaper
Book Review: "Visual Planning and the Picuresque" by Nikolaus Pevsner. Edited by Mathew Aitchison: A rediscovered manuscript unveils a portrait of the famed architectural historian as neglected urban designer. His commitment to the picturesque aesthetic for buildings and towns is as urgently needed as ever. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Designers of the Year: Q&A with Verda Alexander and Primo Orpilla of Studio O+A: Today Contract magazine named Verda Alexander and Primo Orpilla of San Francisco's Studio O+A Designers of the Year. We asked them about their experiences during the high and low points of the dot-com era and the ways high-tech continues to influence office design today.- ArchNewsNow
-- BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group: Waste-to-Energy Plant, Copenhagen, Denmark
-- MVRDV: Balancing Barn, Suffolk, UK
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