Today’s News - Tuesday, June 21, 2011
• An important piece of U.S. immigration history, long abandoned with wrecking balls looming, is saved by writings on the wall.
• A tortuous history haunts plans for a National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.
• Germany debates what to do with the "Colossus of Prora," a seaside "behemoth of the Nazi era" that is "too big and too laden with symbolism to destroy, but too enormous to be easily put to use."
• On a brighter note, Amery cheers Spain's City of Culture: "His marvelous new architectural landscape...is a masterly and vigorous achievement" (and "something quite revolutionary" for Eisenman).
• Kamin x 2: he gives (mostly) thumbs-up's to Chicago's "building boomlet": it's "good news for the recession-battered building trades," but also "equal parts enthralling and exasperating" (hopefully without to much "stacking graceless concrete towers atop parking garages on steroids").
• He cheers Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail plans moving ahead (and calls Rybczynski on the carpet for his recent "tut-tutting" other cities' attempts to duplicate the success of NYC's High Line).
• The Windy City is also beginning to take steps to be more pedestrian-friendly by changing a culture in which "pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users have almost become second-class citizens."
• Chelsea Barracks gets a green light (it's only taken two years and barrels of ink to cover the Lord Rogers/Prince Charles brouhaha).
• King has high hopes for San Francisco's America's Cup building and its afterlife as a cruise terminal - if the city doesn't "pinch pennies in the final round of design decisions."
• Bristol, UK's new M Shed museum "is no shed" - it's more like the city's "very own Smithsonian...unpretentious and vastly enjoyable."
• Gruber keeps an eye on Santa Monica's Landmarks Commission as it considers the fate of a pink Spanish Colonial Revival house Gehry wants to remodel, and he cheers City Council telling the Town Square design team "to ignore the commission's instructions about what was 'appropriate'."
• Litt sees plans for three pedestrian bridges in Cleveland as something that "could make circulating around the city on foot a pleasure, even a joy."
• In Ireland, the about-to-open Derry Peace Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that "will breath life and help create a new look and vibrant city centre in the run up to the 2013 City of Culture."
• An eyeful of the five (impressive) finalists' designs in the President's Park South Design Competition for one of the most popular tourist destinations in Washington, DC.
• Q&A with Congresswoman Edwards (a.k.a. "Ms. Green Infrastructure") re: her bill to establish regional Centers of Excellence for green infrastructure in the U.S.
• Former RIBA president Pringle dons a new hat as Construction Industry Council chairman.
• World Design Capital 2014 shortlisted cities announced.
• Deadline looms: Call for entries: 2011 World Architecture Festival Awards (special €50 discount using code WAFNYC).
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Poetry as Rescuing Angel: The Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay: Long abandoned and near demolition, an important part of American immigration history was saved by writings on the wall. -- Architectural Resources Group; Tom Eliot Fisch; Daniel Quan Design- ArchNewsNow
Dark Past as Torture Center Haunts a New National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul: Some have objected to the decision to rehabilitate [the 1928 Kimusa], rather than raze, a building with such a disturbing history, but the South Korean government is moving ahead... -- mp_Art Architects; SIAPLAN Architects & Planners- Artinfo France
Germany Debates New Life for a Behemoth of the Nazi Era: ...what to do with a seaside complex, designed as a place for the Third Reich workers to vacation...With some justification, people still call the five surviving blocks...the Colossus of Prora...What do you do with a Nazi relic that is too big and too laden with symbolism to destroy, but too enormous to be easily put to use? -- Clemens Klotz- New York Times
A Gleaming Vision on the Hill: City of Culture, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain: ...collision of grids may sound a touch pretentious, but it is, in fact, visually challenging and enjoyable...a spatial sensuality that is almost Baroque - something quite revolutionary for Eisenman...His marvelous new architectural landscape, though still unfinished, is a masterly and vigorous achievement... By Colin Amery -- Peter Eisenman- Wall Street Journal
City undergoes apartment-building boomlet; as recession eases, developers aim for both the boring and the bright: The renewed activity...is good news for the recession-battered building trades...But for the urban environment, the likely outcome has all the makings of a typical Chicago construction surge - equal parts enthralling and exasperating. By Blair Kamin -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Lucien Lagrange; Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture; Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch; Laurence Booth/Booth Hansen; Berkelhamer Architects; Antunovich Associates [images]- Chicago Tribune
Despite tut-tutting from New York, the Bloomingdale Trail chugs ahead: ...Witold Rybczynski predicted that it would be difficult for other cities, including Chicago, to duplicate the success of Manhattan's acclaimed High Line...design work on the Bloomingdale Trail is moving ahead...still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality...yet this eminently worthy project appears to be anything but dead. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Chicago Pedestrian Plan: City strives to be more pedestrian-friendly city: Whatever decisions are ultimately made, the city as well as the nation must change a culture in which "pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users have almost become second-class citizens"...- Chicago Tribune
Chelsea Barracks redevelopment gets go-ahead: Plans approved by council two years after Qatari Diar withdrew planning application following intervention by Prince Charles... -- Rogers Stirk Harbour; Dixon Jones, Squire and Partners; Kim Wilkie- Guardian (UK)
America's Cup building to be S.F. cruise terminal: ...in 2013...San Francisco's Pier 27 becomes the center of the yachting world...The architecture needs to be flexible inside and out - and the design that is evolving does so with contemporary ease, an element the Embarcadero now lacks...City budgets and historic guidelines keep the architects from striving for something more flamboyant, and that's not a loss... By John King -- KMD Architects; Pfau Long Architecture [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
M Shed: This new museum on Prince's Wharf in Bristol is no shed, rather a community attic over two floors, like Bristol’s very own Smithsonian...offers an unpretentious and vastly enjoyable narrative of the city. -- Lab Architecture [images]- Telegraph (UK)
The Grade is Gradual, but It’s Icy Up There: ...Landmarks Commission considered the fate of...the pink Spanish Colonial Revival house ...that Frank Gehry wants to turn into a new house for his family. Would the commissioners...lower further the standards of what qualifies as a landmark in Santa Monica? ...City Council told James Corner...to ignore the commission’s instructions about what was “appropriate” [for Town Square in front of City Hall] By Frank Gruber- The Lookout News (Santa Monica, CA)
A trio of pedestrian bridges proposed by Miguel Rosales could change the face of Cleveland: What it lacks are the physical connections that could make circulating around the city on foot a pleasure, even a joy. Boston bridge architect...aims to change all that - and he's in a good position to do so. By Steven Litt -- Rosales + Partners [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Derry Peace Bridge to breathe life into city: ...will help transform the city centre culturally and economically...“A pedestrian bridge will breath life and help create a new look and vibrant city centre...in the run up to the 2013 City of Culture"...official opening of the £14m bridge on June 25... -- Michael Hegarty/Hegarty Architects; PLACE (Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Community and Environment); Wilkinson Eyre [image]- Derry Journal (Ireland)
President's Park South Design Competition Finalists: five firms to develop proposals to beautify the security components and improve the visitor experience at ...popular destination is located between the White House Grounds and Constitution Avenue, NW...includes Sherman Park, the First Division Monument, the Ellipse... -- Hood Design Studio; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects; Rogers Marvel Architects; SASAKI [link to images, info]- National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC)
Q&A with Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland: Your proposed legislation would incentivize the use of green infrastructure...Do all types of communities benefit? "Yes, absolutely...H.R. 2030 would establish up to five regional Centers of Excellence for green infrastructure in the United States."- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Jack Pringle to be new Construction Industry Council chairman: Former RIBA president takes up top role at CIC in 2012...the low carbon agenda and squeezing construction costs among the issues set to dominate his in-tray..."[His] background will be useful on how the government reduces the cost of construction without detracting from the quality of design"...- BD/Building Design (UK)
World Design Capital 2014 shortlisted cities announced: Blbao (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa) and Dublin (Ireland)...distinguished themselves not only by demonstrating their individual approaches towards design...three very unique visions for how design will continue to reinvent their urban landscape.- International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid)
Deadline reminder: Call for entries: 2011 World Architecture Festival Awards; special €50 discount if you quote WAFNYC when entering; deadline: June 30- World Architecture Festival (WAF)
-- Kengo Kuma & Associates: V&A at Dundee, Scotland, UK
-- Book: "Architect for Art: Max Gordon" by David Gordon, Nicholas Serota, Kenneth Frampton and Jonathan Marvel
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