Today’s News - Thursday, June 9, 2011
• The iShip has landed!: Jobs unveils new Apple HQ in Cupertino: a 3 million+ square-foot home for 12,000 employees "designed for maximum awe" by Foster that has "city officials giddy" + "The word spectacular would be an understatement" (says one of those giddy folks).
• In Georgia, the Serenbe Community offers an alternative to suburban sprawl with "an unprecedented land use plan" (urban/suburban utopians and new urbanists rejoice; others, no so much).
• Hume ruminates on why not all cities necessarily need revitalized downtowns (especially those where there never was a there there).
• The Center for an Urban Future issues a "report on the economic impact and potential of the architecture and design sectors in NYC" (good news for other urban centers as well, we hope!).
• Holon, Israel has a plan to "protect the city's past from dueling dangers of development and neglect": "...this doesn't mean that because of preservation we stop renewing."
• Brussat cheers the rebirth of Providence, RI's Mercantile Block that "reprises its original role as an urban Ajax" and "would easily put most modern commercial buildings to shame, if they were capable of any such feeling."
• Designs for new and renovated churches is "trending to traditional" with clients seeking "beauty, verticality, and traditional iconography" instead of "consistently dull" modern designs "spawned" by the "misinterpretation of Vatican II."
• Sokol reports on efforts to preserve Haiti's gingerbread houses and a new report that looks at why they "withstood seismic loads far better than more recent structures" in the January 2010 earthquake (great slide show).
• In Palm Springs, it looks like preservationists are heading towards a showdown in the desert over plans to demolish the mid-century modern Desert Fashion Plaza (even though everyone agrees it was/is "a flop").
• Dvir gets an extensive tour of Chareau's La Maison de Verre: "it does not abide by any of the accepted standards of architecture, engineering, interior decoration or product design."
• U.K. architects "hit out at Tory 'smear tactics'" and expose "massively exaggerated figures" that could be an effort "to justify the claim that the Conservative Party doesn't need architects to design schools."
• Does the outcry over trophy homes of "gargantuan scale" in Perth "reek of hypocrisy, or worse - racism"?
• Kuma reflects on his expansion plan for the Portland Japanese Garden: "This is a small project for me, but it is an important cultural exchange."
• Three teams shortlisted in the Brisbane CityCat ferry terminal competition.
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Apple unveils plans for new Cupertino headquarters: "It looks a little like a spaceship landed," Jobs admitted...with room for 12,000 employees - and designed for maximum awe by star British architect Sir Norman Foster...if ever there was a project with its skids greased right out of the box, this is it...City officials giddy -- Foster + Partners [images, videos]- Mercury News (California)
Steve Jobs makes surprise presentation on new hi-tech Apple headquarters: "The word spectacular would be an understatement." [images]- Yahoo News
Serenbe Community in Georgia Offers Alternative to Suburban Sprawl: ...one hour’s drive from downtown Atlanta, a 900-acre utopian community is taking shape...changed the zoning of a 40,000-acre area...to an unprecedented land use plan that clusters development in dense hamlets and preserves 70% of the area’s open space...all homes must be “Earthcraft Certified"... -- Phillip Tabb; William Lewis Oliver; Randall C. Miller; Ryan Gainey; Mack Scogin Merrill Elam; Reed Hilderbrand; Sean J. Murphy/Amenity Architects; Peter Block Architects; Butler Architecture [slide show]- Architectural Record
Downtown Brampton and other illusions: There’s no use trying to build a core in a city that has no need for one...Rather than parks, there are parking lots...Economically and socially, its demands are taken care of. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Growth by Design: David Giles of Center for an Urban Future (CUF) discusses the findings and implications of a recently launched report on the economic impact and potential of the architecture and design sectors in New York City. [images, links]- Urban Omnibus
Holon seeking to preserve 18 historic sites: Plan would protect the city's past from dueling dangers of development and neglect..."this doesn't mean that because of preservation we stop renewing. Preservation has to be a part of the renewal process. Along with the new buildings, we must not forget the past." By Ilan Lior -- Mandel & Mandel Architects; Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites; Pnina Kol [images]- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Mercantile Block blooms for AS220: Newly renovated, the Mercantile reprises its original role as an urban Ajax...Leading the way in this renaissance is AS220, the arts cooperative...would easily put most modern commercial buildings to shame, if they were capable of any such feeling. By David Brussat -- Durkee Brown Viveiros & Werenfels Architects [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Trending to Traditional: New churches and renovations are going old school: The "misinterpretation of Vatican II was like Pandora’s box"...spawned...“consistently dull” suburban churches...rejecting radically sloped floors, auditorium seating in the round, a “big-box-church type of mentality” and other fare of modern architecture...clients are seeking “beauty, verticality and traditional iconography.” -- McCrery Architects; HDB/Cram & Ferguson Architects; Ralph Adams Cram; Duncan Stroik- National Catholic Register
Haiti's Gingerbread Houses Focus of Preservation Efforts: ...researchers estimate than only 5% of these beloved buildings partially or fully collapsed during the January 2010 earthquake...withstood seismic loads far better than more recent structures made with rigid Portland cement. By David Sokol [slide show]- Architectural Record
Desert Showdown: Palm Springs revamp proposal puts historic Town and Country center at risk: Everyone agrees that the Desert Fashion Plaza...is a flop...a plan that would break apart much of the mall, level the Town and Country...Making the art museum an anchor...preservationists gearing up for a pubic hearing on June 15... -- A. Quincy Jones; Paul R. Williams; E. Stewart Williams [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
A machine for living: The Dalsace family home, known as the "House of Glass," La Maison de Verre...Widely regarded as a 20th-century masterpiece, it does not abide by any of the accepted standards of architecture, engineering, interior decoration or product design. By Noam Dvir -- Pierre Chareau- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Architects hit out at Tory 'smear tactics': Practices expose how Conservative Party cited massively exaggerated figures on BSF fees..."In reality the fees paid to architects are a fraction of the overall design costs"...[the party] might be trying to justify the claim that it doesn’t need architects to design schools.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Racism: An Architectural Litmus Test? Pankaj Oswal’s trophy home in Perth has attracted a blizzard of criticism for its ostentation and gargantuan scale...the censure reeks of hypocrisy, or worse – racism. By Christopher Vernon- Australian Design Review
The Architect: ...by hiring Kengo Kuma for the next major expansion, the Portland Japanese Garden is aiming to stretch the boundaries of design...[he] reflects on Japanese garden design and its meaning in light of the recent earthquake..."This is a small project for me, but it is an important cultural exchange." By Randy Gragg- Portland Monthly (Oregon)
Brisbane Ferry Terminals shortlist announced: ...in the design competition to create a series...iconic ferry terminals for the Brisbane CityCat...part of the effort to rebuild the city’s infrastructure damaged in the devastating Queensland floods in January...a winner will be selected in July. -- Second Nature Collaborative (Candalepas, Owen&Vokes, Richards & Spence Architects)/ARUP; Shane Thompson Architects/LAT27/Bill Short Engineers; Cox Rayner Architects/Alexander Lotersztain (Derlot)- Australian Design Review
Book Review: Diving into Architecture from Every New Angle: Reading Guillevic's "Geometries": Why an obscure book of French poetry in a flashy translation goes to the heart of every architectural practice. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
-- Steven Holl Architects: Nanjing Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China
-- Olafur Eliasson: Your rainbow panorama, ARoS Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark
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