Today’s News - Wednesday, March 30, 2011
• Why Souto de Moura won the Pritzker + with Portugal beleaguered by so many problems, the prize is "a morale booster for the entire country."
• Merlin says architects have moved beyond the "outdated caricature" of being "out-of-touch client-ignoring Hooray Henrys."
• Rybczynski on the price paid by depending too much on the computer: "more time at the keyboard, less time thinking" (more time with a pencil and paper recommended).
• Why we're all designers: it's a sobering thought "because it is dependent on proper education."
• Lewis says fear of "long-range development plans are often unfounded. The challenge is not to stop change but to manage it wisely" (informed by facts - what a concept!).
• A drama unfolding in Tucson has all the "caricatures and trappings of a NIMBY tale" - with a twist.
• A rock star wants to build green (and huge!) mansions in Malibu: "an example of how developers can follow the rules, but still violate the spirit" of LEED (worth clicking through to project info/images).
• Russell cheers Mori's Syracuse Center of Excellence that shows off "its construction-innovation mission with an angle here, a kink there."
• A stalled Safdie project in Kansas City, sans roof and with "awesome" interiors and pools of stagnant water, is "a perplexing blend of hope and headache" (finish it or just tear it down and start over).
• Lasky offers an in-depth look at how so much of Corbu's Chandigarh is landing on auction blocks everywhere.
• An architect offers "provocative ideas" for the U.S.-Mexico border wall that would slow illegal immigration and "transform it in an economically, environmentally and socially beneficial way, to benefit both countries."
• Qatar invents artificial clouds to beat the heat at 2022 World Cup (hopefully).
• SWA's bike-and-pedestrian bridge is now the "favorite new thing about Houston...Given the project's lousy start, we didn't expect the bridge to amount to much. But against all odds, it turns out to be wonderful."
• Lamster takes on Filler in a defense of the architectural monograph.
• Obama appoints Edwin Schlossberg to U.S. Commission of Fine Arts overseeing DC architecture.
• Call for entries/nominations: 11th Annual MASterworks Awards honoring NYC's top projects of 2010.
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Why Souto de Moura Won the Pritzker: The designation of this mid-career architect confirms the Pritzker's commitment to the more subtle values of craft, local scale, and sensibility over architectural extravagance in recent years...confirms the jury's promotion of architects who explore the more intimate and poetic qualities of architecture, as opposed to the extroverted formal experimentation... [slide show]- Architectural Record
A Portuguese Pritzker: Eduardo Souto de Moura's buildings, and his Pritzker win, mean a lot to his country. By Vera Sacchetti [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Architects have moved on from this outdated caricature: A discussion on the profession revealed that many still regard us as out-of-touch client-ignoring Hooray Henrys...The emerging generation ARE changing the face of architectural practice, but it’s not in some big flowery new way. We are just doing our jobs. By Tarek Merlin/Feix and Merlin Architects- BD/Building Design (UK)
Think Before You Build: Have computers made architects less disciplined? ...the fierce productivity of the computer carries a price - more time at the keyboard, less time thinking...This is not a question of turning back the clock but, rather, of slowing it down - and recognizing that rigor of thought is as much a part of design as making shapes. By Witold Rybczynski- Slate
Why We're All Designers: Question for MBA students: “How many of you think design will be a big part of your next job?” Follow-up question: "Can we see a bigger show of hands?" The idea that everyone is a de facto designer is a sobering one because it is dependent on proper education. By Laura Weiss/Taproot Foundation- Change Observer
Concerns about long-range development plans are often unfounded: The challenge is not to stop change but to manage it wisely...Visionary, long-term planning entails risks...by definition, must transcend solving today’s problems...public opinion should be informed by facts, free of unwarranted bias and open to the prospect that diligent, creative planning will yield desirable change. By Roger K. Lewis- Washington Post
City [Tucson] needs to stand up to mini-dorm developers: ...this drama comes with all of the caricatures and trappings of a NIMBY tale...This isn't really about NIMBYs, it's about a man who chose to make a quick buck at the expense of others...Give [the developer] credit, though. He read the rule book and he followed it to the letter...It's just that he never followed the intent or spirit of the rules.- Arizona Daily Star
U2 guitarist's proposal for green mansions in Malibu raises questions about LEED certification: ...an example of how developers can follow the rules, but still violate the spirit of the national green building program...want to build five homes averaging 10,500-square-feet each on a 156-acre site in the Santa Monica Mountains. -- Wallace E. Cunningham; Pamela Burton & Company [link to images]- Greenfield Daily Reporter
Syracuse Builds $41 Million Incubator for Green Ideas: ...the Syracuse Center of Excellence...is the most ambitious of just a few American incubators of advanced building technology...Mori stretched and pushed the conventional laboratory slab, advertising its construction-innovation mission with an angle here, a kink there. By James S. Russell -- Toshiko Mori Architects [images]- Bloomberg News
Unfinished West Edge project continues to perplex: It’s a perplexing blend of hope and headache...there are at least a dozen ways to recast the development. They range from finishing the office building as designed by Moshe Safdie to tearing it down and starting over. [slide show]- Kansas City Star
Chandigarh on the Block: Furnishings designed for Le Corbusier's urban masterpiece are being sold at auction. How outraged should we be? In 2006, the “urban and architectural work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh” was placed on UNESCO’s “tentative list”...the first step in a long and quite possibly fruitless process. By Julie Lasky -- Pierre Jeanneret; Alice Rawsthorn; Manmohan Nath Sharma; Theo Prudon/Docomomo- Change Observer
Architect envisions border wall as good neighbor: The U.S.-Mexico border wall may be here to stay...“Border Wall as Infrastructure"...provocative ideas about how to redesign the barrier to slow illegal immigration and at the same time transform it in an economically, environmentally and socially beneficial way, to benefit both countries. -- Ronald Rael/Rael San Fratello Architects [images, video]- UC Berkeley News (University of California Berkeley)
Pie in the sky! Qatar invents artificial clouds to beat the heat at 2022 World Cup: ...will air condition the stadia via solar power...scientists at Qatar University have designed the 'cloud'...made from a lightweight carbon structure carrying a giant envelope of material containing helium gas. Four solar powered engines move the structure via remote control. [image]- Daily Mail (UK)
Yes we span: ...when the Rosemont Bridge opens to the public, it will officially become our favorite new thing about Houston. Just thinking about the bike-and-pedestrian passageway over Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Drive makes us smile...Given the project's lousy start...we didn't expect the bridge to amount to much. But against all odds, it turns out to be wonderful. -- SWA- Houston Chronicle
The Architectural Monograph: A Defense: Martin Filler laments what he describes as the "steady devaluation" of the format...the quality...is dependent on the value of the ideas expressed by its subjects, and not the originality of its format...alternative directions will emerge as a new generation of practitioners takes on the medium. By Mark Lamster -- Le Corbusier; James Stirling; Rem Koolhaas; Rural Studio; SHoP;Thomas Heatherwick; BIG; Ada Tolla/Giuseppe Lignano/LOT-EK; Della Valle Bernheimer- Places Journal
Obama appoints Edwin Schlossberg to US arts panel overseeing DC architecture: Members of the arts panel play a key role in shaping Washington architecture, including the design of new memorials or museums added to the National Mall or other parts of the city. -- ESI Design- Washington Post
Call for entries/nominations: 11th Annual MASterworks Awards Celebrating New York City’s Top Projects of 2010 for Their Innovation in Architecture and Urban Design; deadline: April 20- Municipal Art Society of New York
Book Review: "Immaterial World: Transparency in Architecture": Marc Kristal crystallizes increasingly complex notions of transparency with a light touch...invites additional research, reflection, and archi-tourism. By Norman Weinstein -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Alejandro Aravena; Toyo Ito; Christian de Portzamparc- ArchNewsNow.com
A Tale of Two Pools: Q&A with Paulett Taggart: It was the sunniest of pools, it was the foggiest of pools, but the architectural approach is similar: there is nothing unnecessary. -- Paulett Taggart Architects; Mark Cavagnero Associates [images]- ArchNewsNow
Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter: Charlottehaven, Copenhagen, Denmark
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