Today’s News - Monday, February 28, 2011
• ArcSpace brings us Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House (with miles of great pix).
• Saffron on the hits - and missed opportunities - of Philly's new, massive Convention Center: the city's hopes "are as enormous as the structure"; perhaps it expects too much from a work of architecture (perhaps too many bean counters at work, too).
• Litt finds much to like in a new Cleveland-area medical center's interiors designed with evidence-based principles; too bad they "really have little to do with humanizing sprawl" on the outside.
• From Australia: a review of a decade of new civic spaces in Melbourne and Brisbane, and the rich culture of RMIT Architecture + Design's impact on "a genuine education revolution."
• Hume cheers a young architect's bold vision for high-density suburbs (of course it would mean dealing with some pesky re-zoning issues).
• Rochon cheers some very cool warming huts, and how Winnipeg is coming into its own "as an incubator of edgy architecture."
• NYC's push for bike lanes is hitting some serious bumps in the road.
• Hawthorne x 2: Maltzan (finally) scores a large-scale commission with a university arts center + How "architectural symbolism is abundant among" this year's Oscar nominees for best picture.
• In Russia, "some of the world's splashiest architects" have a shot at designing an arts complex on St. Petersburg's New Holland Island ("the exact nature of which has not yet been revealed").
• A Pakistani architect's eloquent ode to Richard Neutra's U.S. Consulate Building in Karachi, and the opportunities presented in the decommissioning of "this modern masterpiece."
• Gordon takes us on an great tour of Paris' Maison de Verre, where a fastidious restoration has made sure that all the "rust and tarnish and dents and dings are intact" (terrific slide show!).
• Harry Mount mounts an ode to Wren, and "wishes that more of London's architecture would possess such lasting beauty...All those Shards, Gherkins and Walkie Talkies aren't necessarily bad...But Wren's aesthetic skill remains light years ahead of his modern descendants."
• Groves grooves on the restoration of George Gilbert Scott's church in Shanghai.
• Chicago and Jerusalem to sign a "green" MOU focusing on green building and planning that "will hopefully set the stage for similar agreements elsewhere."
• We couldn't resist: eyefuls of Don Justo's Madrid cathedral made entirely from trash: now it's topped out, it "just needs a few finishing touches - like a roof, some windows and permits."
• Call for entries: ONE PRIZE 2011: Water as the Sixth Borough (in NYC) open international design competition.
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Zaha Hadid Architects: Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China
Design meets needs but misses opportunities: The hopes that have been invested in the $786 million Convention Center are as enormous as the structure...the city...also believes the building can awaken the sleeping beauty that is North Broad Street...may be too much to expect from a work of architecture, never mind one that will be dark more than 170 days this year. By Inga Saffron -- TVS Design; Vitetta; Kelly/Maiello; Synterra [slide show]- Philadelphia Inquirer
University Hospitals' Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood tries to balance evidence-based design with sprawl: The $298 million, 144-bed facility is an intensely rational and compassionate effort to create a state-of-the-art healing environment...grapples with all the forces that led to its creation, but with mixed success. By Steven Litt -- Shannon Kraus/HKS [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
A decade in review: Stuart Harrison, Simon Knott, Christine Phillips and Rory Hyde on new civic spaces in Melbourne and Brisbane, and the rich culture of RMIT Architecture. -- Donovan Hill; Architectus/Kerry + Lindsay Clare; Lab Architecture Studio- Australian Design Review
Better designs that lead to better learning: "If we truly believe that creativity is an essential ingredient in a child's development, then we need to shift completely away from the 'cells and bells' model of school design"...such sharing of knowledge is the key to a genuine education revolution. -- Jens Guldbaek/LOOP; Richard Leonard/Hayball; Debbie Lyn-Ryan/Charles McBride Ryan- The Age (Australia)
An architect’s vision for high-density suburbs: Young architect Drew Adams has a bold vision for increasing density in the suburbs. The move would require some contentious rezoning. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Very cool comforts against the Manitoba cold: Warming huts stationed along Winnipeg’s Forks are just the latest architectural leaps...We all know that sophisticated metropolises are magnets for cool, unpredictable movement in design. But, these days, Winnipeg can also be counted as an incubator of edgy architecture. By Lisa Rochon -- Patkau Architects; 5468796 Architecture; Sputnik Architecture- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Push for Bike Lanes Hits Some Bumps: As the Bloomberg administration seeks to make it easier for New Yorkers to bike around town, it faces a backlash from critics who want to slow down the cycling program -- and the cyclists. -- Janette Sadik-Khan- Gotham Gazette (NYC)
In San Francisco State University arts center, a potential breakthrough for Michael Maltzan: ...larger commissions...have stalled or fallen through...[his] wait on that score may be coming to an end...$268-million Mashouf Performing Arts Center...the complex would be more than six and a half times the size of Inner-City Arts. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Yasuhisa Toyota [images]- Los Angeles Times
Best picture nominees use buildings and spaces as symbols: That decrepit room where King George VI received speech therapy in 'The King's Speech' was no accident. Architectural symbolism is abundant among the best picture nominees...more than half of this year's 10 best picture nominees qualify as unusually reliant on spaces where architecture and psychology are tough, if not impossible, to separate. By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich Calls a Starchitect Search for Dasha Zhukova's Art Island: ...would invest $400 million in creating an arts complex on St. Peterburg's New Holland Island...he has invited some of the world's splashiest architects to have a shot at designing the project, the exact nature of which has not yet been revealed. -- David Chipperfield; Dixon Jones; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; MVRDV; Alexander Brodsky; Studio 44; Yuri Avvalcumov; Work AC; Lacaton & Vassal- Artinfo
Remembering Neutra’s Embassy in Karachi: The old US Consulate Building is one of the few buildings by an accomplished master of the late Modern Movement...decommissioning...raises questions about the future of this modern masterpiece and perhaps presents opportunities for promoting US-Pakistan relations...[could] be converted into a civic institution promoting art and culture. By Arif Belgaumi- Express Tribune (Pakistan)
The Court of Modernism: A passionate collector and restorer of modernist artifacts, Robert M. Rubin brings a purist's eye to the genius and intricacies of Paris' Maison de Verre, the house of glass he lives in...More than just preserving, in keeping with all his restorations, he goes to pains to ensure that all the Maison's rust and tarnish and dents and dings are intact. By Alastair Gordon -- Pierre Chareau/Bernard Bijvoet/Louis Dalbet [images, slide show]- Wall Street Journal
The beauty of the domes that Wren built: With St Paul's Cathedral celebrating its 300th anniversary, Harry Mount wishes that more of London's architecture would possess such lasting beauty...All those Shards, Gherkins and Walkie Talkies aren't necessarily bad – their curves are occasionally pleasing...But Christopher Wren's aesthetic skill remains light years ahead of his modern descendants.- Telegraph (UK)
Shanghai's Red Church rises once again: A $3-million conservation plan is returning the Holy Trinity church, built in the 1860s, to its former glory and signals yet another transformation in Chinese history. By Martha Groves -- George Gilbert Scott; William Kidner (1863-69); Jonathan Yardley/Harold D. Kalman/Commonwealth Historic Resource Management; Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group [image]- Los Angeles Times
The Holy City & The Windy City To Form Historic Environmental Partnership: ...Jerusalem and Chicago will sign a “green” MOU [Memorandum of Understanding]...explicit focus on green building and planning...will hopefully set the stage for similar agreements elsewhere.- Green Prophet (Middle East)
Elderly Madrid Man Builds Incredible Spanish Cathedral Entirely From Trash: The massive undertaking...now topped out at 131 feet the cathedral just needs a few finishing touches - like a roof, some windows and permits. -- Justo Martinez (Don Justo) [images]- Inhabitat
Call for entries: ONE PRIZE 2011: Water as the Sixth Borough (in NYC): Open International Design Competition; cash prizes; registration deadline: April 30- Terreform ONE
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