Today’s News - Thursday, April 28, 2011
• Three sad losses: We lose a pragmatic master of Googie architecture who wondered why anyone would want to preserve any of his 4,000 coffee shops (great slide show) + an architect who helped build Hawaii + Kamin's tribute to a Chicago architect who "paid continuing attention and respect to the principles of modernism."
• A look at some ambitious redevelopment plans that "have emerged and fizzled" in post-Katrina New Orleans that "offered the planning community an unprecedented opportunity" (until the "green dots" showed up).
• A look at local Palestinian entrepreneurs preparing for the future of the West Bank, including building a city from the ground up.
• Hawthorne bemoans the relative obscurity of L.A.'s landscape architects and relishes Halprin's Bunker Hill Steps.
• An Indian architect takes on the aesthetics of Indian cities: it's time to "promote and encourage the best in contemporary urban planning and development and bring modern architecture, traditional craft and design closer to people."
• Corbu's Chandigarh is a Mecca for architects and its preservation is "coming out of the books and is now creeping into conversations of architects worldwide."
• Grimshaw tapped to design a mobile Brazilian 2016 Olympic art pavilion.
• A handy round-up of reactions to the new Museo Soumaya - from "really spectacular" to "derivative."
• "Divisive" Chihuly "Museum" in the shadow of Seattle's Space Needle gets the green light, even though "the number one thing that residents wanted was new green space, not a new paid attraction."
• Cheek gives thumbs-up - and down - to Carmel, Indiana's new Palladium, an example of architects and developers trying "to transplant the 'charm' of Europe...It gets pumped up on the steroids of American-style size and ambition. Forgotten is the intimacy of scale that made it appealing in the original."
• Brussat on Block Island (with a gathering of preservationists): its "character depends in no small degree on having avoided, so far, an alien visitation from the likes of Spaceship Gehry."
• An architect turned advocate says urban planners' and health officials' "missions rarely intersect" and "aims to demonstrate an association between design features and good health, and to prove that healthy homes are affordable on a mass scale."
• Environmentalists and energy experts warn that Scotland's green energy goals are ruining the landscape: "more wind farms would 'erode the bonnie aspect of Bonnie Scotland' and could devastate the tourism industry."
• An eyeful of the Edmonton Park Pavilion Design Competition winners.
• RFQ for a new U.S. Courthouse in South Carolina under the auspices of the GSA Design Excellence Program.
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Obituary: Eldon Davis, 94; architect designed 'Googie' coffee shops: Although he had a major role in popularizing what became known as Coffee Shop Modern, he was pragmatic about the lasting value of the more than 4,000 coffee shops his firm designed. "I can't see why they'd try to preserve any of them"... -- Louis Armet; Victor Newlove [slide show]- Los Angeles Times
Obituary: Gerald L. "Jerry" Allison, 78: Architect helped build Hawaii: "In many ways he was the company's conscience, reminding us to focus on lifting people's spirits and providing great design." -- WATG (Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo)- Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Obituary: Ernest A. Grunsfeld III, 81; son of Adler Planetarium designer and father of astronaut; a modernist noted for North Shore houses..."His lifelong practice of architecture paid continuing attention and respect to the principles of modernism..." By Blair Kamin -- Grunsfeld Shafer Architects [link to images]- Chicago Tribune
Do-It-Yourself New Orleans: Since Hurricane Katrina...in 2005, a series of ambitious redevelopment plans have emerged and fizzled....offered the planning community an unprecedented opportunity:..a chance to redesign a city from the ground up...would be a laboratory for testing out big ideas. Then came the green dots. By Stephanie Grace -- -- Ed Blakely; Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP); Project Home Again; Steven Bingler/Concordia [links]- Architectural Record
Dream of a Palestinian Tiger: With a modern, new city [Rawabi] under construction near Ramallah, the West Bank is preparing for the future. Local entrepreneurs speculate that if the Palestinians ever gain independence, their country could become a leader in the region...Masri has hired landscape architects, designers...to invent the sort of city that has never existed here before...- Der Spiegel (Germany)
L.A.'s landscape architects labor in anonymity: How to explain, much less minimize, the relative obscurity of L.A.'s landscape architects? There's no easy answer but our open spaces and preservation efforts give the issue added urgency + Lawrence Halprin's Bunker Hill Steps. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Ruth Shellhorn; Ralph Cornell; The Cultural Landscape Foundation; James Corner Field Operations/Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ken Smith; Peter Walker/Michael Arad; Garrett Eckbo- Los Angeles Times
Making sense of aesthetics in Indian cities: We need initiatives that help people understand the need and importance to improved and aesthetically sensitive built environment...should strive to promote and encourage the best in contemporary urban planning and development and bring modern architecture, traditional craft and design closer to people. By Srinivas Murthy G- Times of India
Chandigarh has become Mecca for architects from across the globe: “The future generations might not be able to enjoy this beautiful work of Le Corbusier...the only way to retain it this way is to term it as a Heritage City"...coming out of the books and is now creeping into conversations of architects worldwide. -- Nuno Grande; Adalberto Dias; Tiago Correia; Joa Serodio- Indian Express (Chandigarh)
Grimshaw wins Brazilian Olympic pavilion contest: ...Mobilizarte...a mobile art pavilion which will tour Brazil in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics...design will be adapted environmentally, economically and socially to every location. -- Arup Rio de Janeiro [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Carlos Slim's Xanadu?: Reactions to the World's Richest Man's Overweening New Museo Soumaya: ... reviews haven't exactly been stellar...(The museum's design...has generally met with more positive reception.)..."call it the 'bustier building'"..."really spectacular"...derivative on the inside...injects some needed artistic muscle into Mexico City..."He's interested in a big museum, not a grand museum." -- Fernando Romero- Artinfo
Divisive Dale Chihuly Glass-Art "Museum" Approved for Former Seattle Amusement Park [Fun Forest]: Fears that the park is yielding to a second half-baked vanity museum...were first raised...when the museum's plans were released last year...the number one thing that Seattle residents wanted to be added to the Center was new green space, not a new paid attraction.- Artinfo
The Palladium - and its place in Carmel: For sheer ambition, expense and audacity, the Magic Kingdom now taking shape...may be impossible to top...reclaiming more serious high-end chunks of history...it's all here, looking more than a little self-conscious on the Indiana sod and wondering what costume party it's so duded up for...Its geometry is dazzling, its detailing fascinating and its sheer chutzpah astounding. By Lawrence W. Cheek -- David M. Schwarz Architects [slide show]- Indianapolis Star
Some food for thought on Block Island: ...the island's character depends in no small degree on having avoided, so far, an alien visitation from the likes of Spaceship Gehry..."it is more important that additions to historic properties...be 'deferential' rather than 'differentiated.' . . . Deference removes the presumption of contrast and emphasizes 'fitting in' rather than 'standing out.'" By David Brussat -- Steven Semes; John Sandor [images, links]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
ARCHIVE Institute Says Home Is Where the Health Is: Peter Williams, an architect turned advocate, touts an unacknowledged connection between design and well-being...The goal...to demonstrate an association between design features and good health, and to prove that healthy homes are affordable on a mass scale. -- Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments- Miller-McCune
Green energy target ruining Scotland's landscape, warn experts: ...environmentalists and energy experts united to condemn the plan...more wind farms would "erode the bonnie aspect of Bonnie Scotland" and could devastate the tourism industry...- The Scotsman (UK)
Edmonton Park Pavilion Design Competition Winners - gh3; Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative; Dub Architects; Rayleen Hill Architecture + Design [links to images]- City of Edmonton (Canada)
Call for entries: Request for Qualifications/RFQ for Lead Design Architect - Architect-Engineer Services for New United States Courthouse, Greenville, SC; deadline: May 20- U.S. General Services Administration / GSA Design Excellence Program
Richard Meier & Partners: W Retreat Kanai, Riviera Maya, Mexico
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