Today’s News - Monday, March 14, 2011
• ArcSpace brings us an amazing chapel in Acapulco.
• We lose Alfred Browning Parker, "the way he built a half-century ago, 'we would now call sustainability. He was the precursor of responsibility to the environment and simplicity of means, and cared so much about beauty'.''
• Architectural renewal in the wake of disasters offers a new way forward in "an emerging movement of process-driven architects and designers to whom the way the community is involved is as important as the end result."
• Farrelly bemoans Sydney's urban sprawl as "the road to madness": it will end up "either like Tokyo, lively, clean, quiet and usable, or like Bangkok, filthy and congested."
• Nusbaum looks at a series of great unbuilt stadiums that "are testaments to our egos, our metropolitan insecurities" - and more.
• A second-tier city in China set to get an eye-popping (what else would you expect?) sports center.
• NYC sets a long-range plan for its waterfront where projects of all sorts "would no longer be considered individually but as a whole, which could protect them in times of cost-cutting" (and Bloomberg "could rightfully be called the waterfront mayor").
• No matter how smart the initiatives (bike lanes, B.R.T., etc.), if they're not "seen as an integral part of society" NIMBYism (even by the most enlightened) will ensue.
• Just ask NYC's transportation commissioner, considered by fans to be "equal parts Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs," but to her critics "she is the equivalent of Genghis Khan."
• Hawthorne finds complicated questions raised by both a supposed Banksy piece in Detroit and pieces of Corbu in Chandigarh, India: "issues related to patrimony and cultural heritage is in need of a serious update for the age of architectural celebrity and a global art market."
• Heathcote finds himself (happily) in "a vortex of movement and swirling space" in Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House.
• In California, new life for a long-forlorn Ford plant designed by "one of the world's greatest industrial architects" is a model of urban revitalization by "a persistent developer with a vision, and the delicate touch of talented, green-minded architects."
• Rochon cheers the new Ottawa Convention Centre, "designed with flare and gusto... an exhilarating reinterpretation of the typically monstrous convention centers that have devoured cities everywhere."
• Campbell cheers a new cancer care center that "puts a beauty mark on Brookline Avenue...the best piece of architecture I've seen in Boston's medical area" that gives "the street an edge of energy and life."
• Zumthor (a.k.a. "the architect's architect") gets lavish NYT Magazine treatment as he drives Kimmelman through the Swiss countryside (an insightful - and often amusing - read!).
• A "still-vigorous" Dan Eytan minces no words about what he thinks his colleagues (many considered friends - for now, anyway) are doing wrong.
• Eisenman invokes Freud and the unconsciousness, and predicts that it will "soon be possible to be avant-garde again," so "rejoice, aspiring architects - your time will come."
• Call for manuscripts for the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, focusing on "contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology and conservation."
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BNKR Arquitectura: Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico
Obituary: Alfred Browning Parker, 94, legendary architect, dies on day he was to be honored: ...the way he built a half-century ago, “we would now call sustainability. He was the precursor of responsibility to the environment and simplicity of means, and cared so much about beauty.’’ [images]- Miami Herald
Rubble offers foundation for architectural renewal: The role of architecture in rebuilding after disaster can be fraught...there has been an emerging movement of process-driven architects and designers to whom the way the community is involved is as important as the end result. -- M3 Architecture; Warren and Mahoney- The Age (Australia)
City sprawl is the road to madness: ...these teen years are crucial for cities and Sydney will grow either like Tokyo, lively, clean, quiet and usable, or like Bangkok, filthy and congested...There's no suggestion...of higher density urban cores, walkable village centres or any of the New Urbanist principles, much less anything really out-there like zero-carbon or energy-positive development. By Elizabeth Farrelly- Sydney Morning Herald
If You Don't Build It ... Seattle's floating dome, Edmonton's Omniplex, and other great unbuilt stadiums...The ballparks we imagine, design, and fail to see through to completion are testaments to our egos, our metropolitan insecurities, our ever-changing sense of aesthetics, and our growing economic expectations. By Eric Nusbaum -- Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); Buckminster Fuller; Philip Bess/Thursday Associates [slide show essay]- Slate
US architects win Shenyang stadium job: ...Civic Sports Centre in the northern Chinese city, which is being developed as part of an effort to expand the PRC’s second-tier cities. -- Emergent [image]- ConstructionWeekOnline
520 Miles of Waterfront to Get Long-Range Plan: NYC has a long-term plan that gives some leeway to the maritime industry while trying to lure New Yorkers to the water’s edge...plans for dozens of parks and piers along the rivers would no longer be considered individually but as a whole, which could protect them in times of cost-cutting...- New York Times
Green Development? Not in My (Liberal) Backyard: Bike lanes? Wind turbines? Mass transit? All great developments for progressives — until they have to live with them...In places where bike lanes or wind turbines or B.R.T. systems are seen as an integral part of society, people tend not protest a new one; if they are not the norm, they will. -- Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)- New York Times
Is NYC’s Bold Transportation Commissioner a Victim of Her Own Success? ...getting things done in a democracy can be bad for your political future...cut traffic deaths to the lowest point in over 100 years due to an intense attention to detail by her and her staff...“equal parts Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs." Yet to her critics she is the equivalent of Genghis Khan... -- Janette Sadik-Khan- The New Republic
Remove art from its architectural context, and what's left? The cases of a reputed Banksy piece in Detroit and Le Corbusier's work in Chandigarh, India, raise complicated questions...as much about architecture as art...Considered together, they suggest that the framework we rely on for sorting out issues related to patrimony and cultural heritage is in need of a serious update for the age of architectural celebrity and a global art market... By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou opera house: For decades architects have speculated on how the city of the future might look. They needn’t fret any more. This juxtaposition of high art and high rise is it...seems to suck the surrounding landscape into a vortex of movement and swirling space...appears both as alien object in a landscape of incomprehensible vastness (and often overwhelming banality), and as an extrusion of the peculiar nature of this landscape. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Richmond's Ford Point Melds Modern Architecture with a Rich History: ...an exceptional design from one of the world’s greatest industrial architects, the historical weight of Ford Motor Company and Rosie the Riveters, the work of a persistent developer with a vision, the delicate touch of talented, green-minded architects...a model of urban revitalization... -- Albert Kahn (1930); Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects [image]- The Bay Citizen (San Francisco)
Ottawa’s new Convention Centre: A glass spaceship on the Rideau Canal: ...the moody, curved archi-body...For the first time, a compelling architectural gesture has danced into the city...an exhilarating reinterpretation of the typically monstrous convention centres that have devoured cities everywhere. By Lisa Rochon -- Ritchard Brisbin/BBB Architects [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Yawkey Center for Cancer Care’s invigorating, optimistic effect: New Dana-Farber building puts a beauty mark on Brookline Avenue...the best piece of architecture I’ve seen in Boston’s medical area, a neighborhood that often feels dismal and crowded...succeeds in giving the street an edge of energy and life. By Robert Campbell -- ZGF (formerly Zimmer Gunsul Frasca); Miller Dyer Spears [image]- Boston Globe
The Ascension of Peter Zumthor: “Normally architects render a service. They implement what other people want. This is not what I do.” By Michael Kimmelman [slide show]- New York Times Magazine
'Design is for people': Instead of approaching the planning of a building with 'awe and reverence...many architects today are more interested in becoming brands, says the still-vigorous Dan Eytan, who turns 80 this year, of his colleague..."There are two types of architects - those who do architecture to live and those who live to do architecture." -- Bracha Hayutin; Ram Carmi; Eri Goshen; Zeev Rechter; Yitzhak Yashar-Dan Eytan Architects; R. Lahav-Rigg Architects- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Freudian Architecture: Peter Eisenman discusses his theoretical approach to architecture, invoking Freud and the unconsciousness...argued that we are currently in a late phase of modernism...on the verge of another very big paradigm shift...predicted that it would soon be possible to be avant garde again. Encouraging students to wait out their time...message was overall promising: rejoice, aspiring architects — your time will come.- Cornell Daily Sun
Call for Papers/Manuscripts: International Journal of Islamic Architecture: IJIA is now soliciting manuscripts in contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology and conservation for January 2012 inaugural issue; first deadline: May 15- International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA)
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