Today’s News - Tuesday, May 24, 2011
• Let's get the bad news over with first: Last week it was AIA's billing index looking glum; this week it's RIBA's Future Trends survey that shows "positive growth seen since December appeared to be 'running out of steam'."
• Lewis on why we insist on living in known natural disaster areas, and the motivations that "explain our persistent defiance of Mother Nature. Hope fueled by optimism tops the list."
• Fracking for gas in Pennsylvania is turning a quiet tourist destination into an industrial town: the "drilling boom is affecting the landscape and the people who call it home" (should we be surprised?).
• High-rise apartment blocks could be heading for leafy Auckland suburbs, but meeting "the demand for housing and the call to restrain urban sprawl to achieve a compact city would call for a substantial shift in the mindset of the coming generation of citizens."
• Litt x 2: he sees promise in the Center for Neighborhood Technology study that urges Cleveland to rebuild around its transit lines and port.
• He sees less promise in change of plans for new casino that would sacrifice a landmark building (for parking, no less), and see another overhead walkway: "Instead of a royal flush, it feels like a royal switcheroo."
• Pringle takes us on "a whistle-stop tour" of construction trends around the world: "Moscow's in a hell of a hurry, New York is a devil for speed" (and could teach London a thing or two).
• Kuma wows the crowd re: his V&A Museum at Dundee: "the simple act of making the effort to come to Dundee...was proof the project mattered as much to the architect as it did to the city" (cool video flyover/flythrough of waterfront projects, too).
• An eyeful of a very cool pavilion for London's Chelsea Flower Show that uses "bio-mimicry engineering to evoke the cell structures of plants."
• Bey continues his "Harry Weese kick" with a walk-about of his 1969 Time-Life Building that "at first glance...seems less Weese and more Mies. Then a closer look reveals his unique touch...there is an elegance to be found" (great pix).
• Singapore's Minister of National Development sees "immense opportunities for Singapore architecture" and spells out "three key strategies to develop the industry: nurturing local talent, innovation in architectural design and branding Singapore architecture."
• "Jugaad Urbanism" show at NYC's Center for Architecture may have closed, but PBS offers a great video tour.
• Bike sharing comes to Tel Aviv: now "urbanites with the tiniest of apartments can bike around without the storage hassle."
• Cornell AAP students are "outraged" over dismissal of staffer! Dragon Day in jeopardy! (Comment section a most interesting read!).
• Who'da thunk: Glancey on the poetry of pylons, "the armored knights of the National Grid" + Could pylons ever be pretty? We might just find out...
• Call for entries: Pylon Design Competition (international): "Proposals should be both grounded in reality and be beautiful" (what a concept!).
• Deadline extended: Call for entries: Design for the Real World Redux.
• We couldn't resist: Rival cities battle for leaning tower title: Italy's world famous tower isn't even close.
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Pessimism over future work grows: RIBA’s Future Trends survey shows more practices expect falling workloads...positive growth seen since December appeared to be “running out of steam”.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Big risk of living in known natural disaster areas: ...scarcity of land that is intrinsically safe and appropriate for development is usually not the reason people settle in places at risk. Other motivations explain our persistent defiance of Mother Nature. Hope fueled by optimism tops the list. By Roger K. Lewis- Washington Post
Gas Drilling Turning Quiet Tourist Destination into Industrial Town: Elizabeth McGowan traveled to Northeastern Pennsylvania to find out how the gas drilling boom is affecting the landscape and the people who call it home.- SolveClimate News
The dying backyard dream: Many Auckland suburbs will become home to high-rise apartment blocks...Auckland Council is seeking views [on] Auckland Unleashed...will influence the draft Auckland Plan...the task of meeting both the demand for housing and the call to restrain urban sprawl to achieve a compact city would call for a substantial shift in the mindset of the coming generation of citizens.- New Zealand Herald
Center for Neighborhood Technology study urges Cleveland to rebuild around transit lines, port: “We need to change public policy so we take advantage of the assets in place"...study was funded by Living Cities... By Steven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Rock Gaming changes course on Cleveland casino by asking for an overhead walkway and demolition of the Columbia Building: Instead of a royal flush, it feels like a royal switcheroo...It’s unfortunate...Rock Gaming didn’t work harder with potential partners...to come up with a plan for parking that didn’t require sacrificing a landmark building...It’s also discouraging to see another overhead walkway in Cleveland. By Steven Litt -- KA Architects [images, links]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Around the world in construction projects: Moscow’s in a hell of a hurry, New York is a devil for speed; while Geneva and Montana take the slow lane. On a whistle-stop tour around the world...Manchester is no Moscow, but it is another straightforward town...Geneva, or rather London-on-the-lake...is having its first building boom for ages... By Jack Pringle/Pringle Brandon- Building (UK)
From first sketch to final design — Kengo Kuma takes audiences on an architectural journey: ...present his vision of the new V&A Museum at Dundee...the simple act of making the effort to come to Dundee and speak to its public was proof the project mattered as much to the architect as it did to the city...Kuma is a breath of fresh air — just what Dundee has been waiting for...his vision will give the city the new life it so richly deserves. [images, video]- The Courier (Scotland)
NEX Architecture and Buro Happold create pavilion for Chelsea Flower Show: ...uses bio-mimicry engineering to evoke the cell structures of plants. It sits within a garden designed by Marcus Barnett Landscape Architects and developed with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
The architectural 'Time and Life' of Harry Weese: The former Time-Life Building...completed in 1969...At first glance the tall steel-and-glass building seems less Weese and more Mies. Then a closer look reveals Weese's unique touch...a forceful, powerful. no-nonsense building. But there is an elegance to be found... By Lee Bey [images]- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
Develop talent in architecture: Minister of National Development Mah Bow Tan: He sees "immense opportunities for Singapore architecture"...spelt out three key strategies to develop the industry: nurturing local talent, innovation in architectural design and branding Singapore architecture. -- Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA)- TODAYonline (Singapore)
Jugaad Urbanism: Making it work: Urban designers are finding inspiration in the creative solutions city dwellers in India have for basic problems...Need to Know visited an exhibit at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan which showcases these designs-for-change. [video]- PBS
Tel-O-Fun (Finally) Brings Bike Sharing to Tel Aviv: ...now Tel Aviv urbanites with the tiniest of apartments can bike around without the storage hassle. [images, links]- Green Prophet (Middle East)
Outraged by Dismissal of Staffer, Architects Doubt Dragon Day’s Future: Student protesters demand University rehire Brian Beeners, laid-off tech shop supervisor...Dagmar Richter, chair of the Department of Art, Architecture and Planning, blasted the University for its decision...AAP Dean Kent Kleinman...will consider rehiring Beeners.- Cornell Daily Sun
Loved and loathed – the armoured knights of the National Grid: New generation of pylons carrying UK power supply will have to be very good to match up to designs of the 1930s...an American design by the Milliken Brothers...that strode across Britain from the 1930s were a compelling compromise between raw function and aesthetics...an object of loathing despite having a haunting beauty of its own. By Jonathan Glancey- Guardian (UK)
Could pylons ever be pretty? Since more are to be built, what should they look like? For some, the transmission tower is already a thing of stark beauty...second only to motorway networks, pylons are the biggest manmade addition to the landscape. -- Reginald Blomfield (1927); Choi + Shine- BBC
Call for entries: Pylon Design Competition (international): explore the potential for a new generation of pylon within our landscapes...Proposals should be both grounded in reality and be beautiful; cash prizes; registration deadline: July 5- RIBA (UK)
Deadline extended: Call for entries: Design for the Real World Redux: An international design competition and the launch of the Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award...submit innovative and radical examples of ecologically responsible and/or socially responsive designs that address everyday problems or social needs; deadline: June 15- Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Crooked Competition: Rival Cities Battle for Leaning Tower Title: Officially the title of world's "farthest leaning tower" belongs to a church in the German village of Suurhusen. But the distinction turns out to be the envy of a number of other cities with crooked towers of their own. Italy's world famous tower isn't even close. [slide show]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
Foster + Partners: Bodegas Portia, Ribera del Duero, Spain
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