Today’s News - Friday, March 4, 2011
• Christchurch surveys its downtown after the quake: "up to two-thirds of the district may need to be demolished before rebuilding can even begin."
• A much brighter day for Foster with a really big win: the West Kowloon Cultural District; the other two finalists "may also be integrated into the final design" (though not all are pleased: "They've gone for the safest solution") + flythrough of his high-speed railway station at Jeddah.
• Glancey finds the V&A extension shortlist exhibits "a lively intelligence," but hopes the final design doesn't end up "too polite."
• Merrick, on the other hand, thinks they all (with one exception) play it safe by being "quiet, stylish, and verging on the wahey" (wahey? a new one to us).
• Iovine reports on efforts to save Goldberg's 1975 Prentice Women's Hospital tower from demolition: "hope is cautiously alive that the building can be saved."
• Preservationists in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a mad dash to save a 1790 mansion in the heart of the city from being replaced by a hotel tower (the mansion would make a great music museum or even boutique hotel).
• China reopens its main history museum in Beijing after a 3-year revamp: it's now the largest museum in the world (but skips over a bit of history, it seems).
• Lasky sits down with Alex Steffen to find out what life is like after Worldchanging changes: "The big open secret about sustainability work is not how bad things are. It is how good things can get."
• An interesting look at how Corbu and Kahn got their names ("It just doesn't come off the same way when you say, 'Schmuilowsky's Kimball Art Museum'.").
• Weekend diversions:
• Dunlop cheers "Inventory 01" on view in the Miami Design District: "the first-ever exhibition to showcase local design talent - and prove that it exists."
• In Palm Beach, "The Extraordinary Joseph Urban" details the extraordinary breadth of his architecture, illustrations, furniture, and set design.
• In Toronto, "Villanueva: An Extraordinary Alien" presents a major project in Caracas "designed by the most influential Venezuelan architect of the 20th century."
• Lubell offers a luscious eyeful of prize pieces from the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, about to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
• Calys cheers "The Power of Pro Bono" in which he "rediscovers some sense of the idealism that was the reason so many of us chose to be architects in the first place."
• "Success by Design" by Jenn Kennedy "offers great insight for starting a firm, provides inspiration to persevere during difficult times, and truly allows the personalities of the architects to shine through."
• Hawthorne revisits McWilliams's 1946 "Southern California: An Island on the Land" that is "easily the most significant volume ever published on L.A.'s civic and urban character" (and "exceptionalism").
• "Morris Lapidus: The Architecture of Joy" is "strikingly" illustrated and ready to charm a new generation.
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In Aftermath of Deadly Earthquake, New Zealand Surveys Wreckage of Cultural Landmarks: Monumental buildings in downtown Christchurch have been severely damaged, and in some cases destroyed altogether...up to two-thirds of the district may need to be demolished before rebuilding can even begin. [links]- Artinfo
Norman Foster to Design West Kowloon Cultural District: ...$2.8 billion arts hub, making a progress...has been marred by delays and top-level resignations since it was proposed in 1998...The other two proposed plans...may also be integrated into the final design...Not everyone was happy with the decision. “They’ve gone for the safest solution"... -- Foster + Partners; Rocco Design Architects; Rem Koolhaas/Office for Metropolitan Architecture/OMA [slide show]- Wall Street Journal
Foster set to speed into Saudi: This new high-speed railway station at Jeddah is one of four station designs revealed by Foster & Partners’ for the Haramain high-speed railway (HHR) in Saudi Arabia. [images, video]- BD/Building Design (UK)
The V&A goes underground with shortlisted designs for new gallery: Let's hope we end up with a stirring art space...All seven designs exhibit a lively intelligence...Let's hope the new gallery, although largely out of sight, isn't too polite in purpose. By Jonathan Glancey -- Tony Fretton; Amanda Levete; Snøhetta/Gareth Hoskins; Michael Maltzan Architecture; Jamie Fobert; Jun Aoki & Associates; Heneghan Peng [slide show]- Guardian (UK)
After Libeskind, the V&A discovers the art of playing it safe: New extension plans are less 'explosive' than a previous design...With one exception...all safety-first concoctions...The designs fall into three categories: quiet, stylish, and verging on the wahey...Who'll win?...the most important thing, of course, will be to avoid any controversy. By Jay Merrick -- Tony Fretton; Heneghan Peng; Amanda Levete; Snohetta/Hoskins; Michael Maltzan; Jun Aoki; Jamie Fobert [images]- Independent (UK)
Prentice Tower in Critical Condition: Design community rallies round Bertrand Goldberg's threatened Chicago icon...Prentice Women’s Hospital (1975)...is in danger of demolition...Landmarks Illinois has put the hospital for two years running on its Ten Most Endangered Historic Places list...hope is cautiously alive that the building can be saved. By Julie V. Iovine [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Concert Aims to Defend Site of ‘Onegin’ Premiere: ...to draw attention to the plight of another endangered historic building in the city center known as the Abaza Mansion (1790)...planning to demolish the building to make space for a 250-room hotel with an underground parking lot...demolition also endangers three historic buildings...- St. Petersburg Times (Russia)
Revamped National Museum in Beijing skips taboo subjects: China reopened its main history museum on Tuesday after a three-year facelift, but exhibits in the sprawling facility skip over some of the country's most momentous - and sensitive - events..."Go back and look. It is there" [images, link to video report]- AFP
Q&A with Alex Steffen: Worldchanging II: "The big open secret about sustainability work is not how bad things are. It is how good things can get." recognized as a leading resource, the Worldchanging...website closed late last year. Its legacy is continued through "Worldchanging, Revised and Updated Edition: A User's Guide for the 21st Century" By Julie Lasky- Change Observer
What’s in a Name? Part I: Who is Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky and Why Do So Many Architects Change Their Names? Throughout history, some of the most prominent architects of their era have worked under assumed names. Would an architect by any other name be as great? By Jim Atkins -- Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris/Le Corbusier; Louis Isadore Kahn- AIArchitect
The thinkers and makers of ‘Inventory 01’ celebrate art, architecture, craft and construction: ...first-ever exhibition...to showcase local design talent — and prove that it exists...on view through March 12 in the Buena Vista Building in the Miami Design District, offers an exhilarating look at the creative process and proves that good design isn’t necessarily constrained by disciplinary boundaries. By Beth Dunlop -- Luis Pons; Margi Glavovic Nothard; Rita Motta/Michael Perez/Mr. O; Laz Ojalde/LMNOQ; Berge Malikian [slide show]- Miami Herald
Flagler Museum’s "The Extraordinary Joseph Urban" details breadth of his architecture, illustrations, set design: Many have never been exhibited publicly...“When you do shows like this you hope people pay attention, because they won’t get to see them elsewhere"... [images]- Palm Beach Daily News
"Villanueva: An Extraordinary Alien": ...an exhibition highlighting the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas...designed by the most influential Venezuelan architect of the 20th century, Carlos Raul Villanueva. -- Ruth A. Mora; Gaston Soucy; Eduardo Lee- Metro News Toronto
Neon Baby! ...one of the coolest institutions in the world: The Neon Museum, located on the far northern end of The Strip [in Las Vegas]. The museum, about to celebrate its 15th anniversary, and ready to open its new visitors center next year (a rehab of the swooping, Paul Williams-designed La Concha Hotel)... By Sam Lubell -- West Star Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
The Good Fight: John Cary collects stories from architects and their clients in his new book "The Power of Pro Bono"...rediscovers some sense of the idealism that was the reason so many of us chose to be architects in the first place...a collection of photographic enticement and prose engagement. By George Calys -- John Peterson/Public Architecture; SHoP Architects; Samuel Mockbee; David Baker; Gensler- The Architect's Newspaper
"Success by Design" by Jenn Kennedy: ...a focused work outlining the history of 25 architectural firms scattered across California...offers great insight for starting a firm, provides inspiration to persevere during difficult times, and truly allows the personalities of the architects to shine through. [images]- ArchDaily
Reading L.A.: Carey McWilliams and Southern California's 'vast drama of maladjustment': His 1946 book “Southern California: An Island on the Land” is...easily the most significant volume ever published on L.A.'s civic and urban character...knits skepticism with consistent, if always clear-eyed, enthusiasm...the heart of the book remains its effort to document and dissect L.A.'s exceptionalism... By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Buildings That Jump Up And Bite: The ‘Super-shlock’ of Architect Morris Lapidus Gets Its Due In The Age of Comfort: By putting people first, he has charmed a new generation of admirers, that has dedicated recent tributes to his work, such as the strikingly illustrated “Morris Lapidus: The Architecture of Joy” by Deborah Desilets. [images, links]- The Forward (NY)
Architecture as a Social Instrument: Interview with Bjarke Ingels of BIG: cBy Vladimir Belogolovsky [images]- ArchNewsNow
Zaha Hadid Architects: Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China
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