Today’s News - Thursday, July 21, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing yesterday's newsletter - and late postings earlier this week, but the Internet gods (or was it the cable company) were not on our side (maybe the current heat wave is making them grumpy). Fingers crossed things will go more smoothly...
• It's a Stirling (but not very shiny) kind of day: Pearman, Heathcote, Wainwright, Mount, Merrick, and Wigglesworth weigh in on the 2011 shortlist: A "dose of unpredictability needed"; "list looks meticulously calculated to cover all bases"; buildings by the "usual suspects...are clearly not their finest...paying lip service to the safe and generic, rather than celebrating the truly innovative or joyful"; "they don't lift the heart or open the mouth in beauty-struck awe"; none "set the heart, and mind, racing"; "it's all about the beauty of the object and that the architect is merely a stylist who sprinkles magic dust over engineering" (all well worth reading).
• Speaking of big prizes, Goldhagen bemoans Pritzker picks: "When did architecture's top prize become so predictable and boring?" (and leaves her "yawning").
• DSDHA's Saunt bemoans the "Tesco-ification" of profession.
• AIA's ABI doesn't add any shine to the news, either: "This seems to be a case of not thinking it can get any worse - and then it does."
• We're almost done with the down news: it seems Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House is "falling apart"; the good news: it's "not because of the design."
• Glancey gets word that the opera house is not really falling apart - the "the flaws are superficial" + the "Gherkin paternity battle finally ends" and more in the week in architecture.
• Hawthorne revisits Coop Himmelb(l)au's "wildly ambitious" L.A. high school two years later to see how it's actually working - and finds something he didn't expect: the students see "the quirky, somewhat cold, and challenging architecture" as "a reflection of their own emerging personalities as artists-in-training...what kind of campus could be better?"
• Angotti examines NYC's latest plan to meet housing goals: it "gives short shrift to preserving our neighborhoods" and "will not solve the city's more deep-rooted affordable housing problems" (a lesson for other urban centers?).
• King says the prominence of San Francisco's Market Street may make "planners and advocates and policy wonks think big," but "that's too bad."
• Brussat is cautiously optimistic that a forlorn 1911 Providence synagogue will be revived, but fears that "if a grant to finance the temple's renovation falls through, the buyer apparently intends to raze it and build anew."
• 2011 Brick in Architecture Awards honor excellence in style and sustainability + the Eurogroup - Khemka Foundation Architectural Design Competition winners will design a low-cost, eco-friendly school in Punjab.
• Call for entries: Architect Magazine 2011 Annual Design Review + 2011 Canadian Architect Magazine Awards of Excellence.
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The Stirling shortlist 2011: Dose of unpredictability needed. So there is no wild card, no youthful first appearance to celebrate... By Hugh Pearman -- AHMM; Bennetts Associates; David Chipperfield; Zaha Hadid; Hopkins Architects; O’Donnell & Tuomey [images]- RIBA Journal (UK)
Shortlist for Stirling prize announced: ...usually throws up a few surprises but this year’s list looks meticulously calculated to cover all bases...inclusion of a school is a pointed reminder of an ambitious but abandoned school building programme while the absence of any housing points to a wider malaise...No towers or skyscrapers either... By Edwin Heathcote -- Zaha Hadid; David Chipperfield; AHMM; Bennetts Associates; O’Donnell + Tuomey; Hopkins Architects- Financial Times (UK)
RIBA Stirling Prize 2011: a shocking, joyless shortlist: This year’s shortlist honours the usual suspects, at the expense of truly stirring architecture...will be greeted with a great collective yawn — followed by a startled cry. The yawn is prompted by seeing the same old names trotted out once again...the ensuing shock from the realisation that the buildings representing them here are clearly not their finest. By Oliver Wainwright -- AHMM; Bennetts Associates; David Chipperfield; Zaha Hadid; Hopkins Architects; O’Donnell & Tuomey- Telegraph (UK)
The British have lost the art of creating understated beauty: ...shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize...aren’t the hideous monstrosities that have scarred our cities...But they’re still just OK; they don’t lift the heart or open the mouth in beauty-struck awe. By Harry Mount -- O’Donnell + Tuomey; David Chipperfield; Hopkins Architects; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM);- Telegraph (UK)
Olympic Velodrome leads race for gold medal in architecture: Apart from the Velodrome and a cultural centre in Derry, none of the shortlisted buildings set the heart, and mind, racing. By Jay Merrick -- Hopkins Architects; David Chipperfield; Zaha Hadid; O'Donnell + Tuomey; Bennetts Associates; AHMM [slide show]- Independent (UK)
"We were robbed": Sarah Wigglesworth has warned that this year’s Stirling Prize shortlist risks marginalising architects rather than celebrating them..."a failure of nerve" [and] "reinforces their belief that it’s all about the beauty of the object and that the architect is merely a stylist who sprinkles magic dust over engineering."- BD/Building Design (UK)
When Did Architecture’s Top Prize Become So Predictable and Boring? Surveying Eduardo Souto de Moura’s projects...yields much to praise and even to celebrate...So his receipt of the Pritzker Prize could be cause for jubilation. But I’m not dancing, I’m yawning...let’s encourage [jury members] to focus on...the real problems facing contemporary architecture: The ongoing disconnection between...how people actually experience the built environment - and how architects design it... By Sarah Williams Goldhagen -- Peter Zumthor; Glen Murcutt; Alvaro Siza; Kazuyo Sejima; Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA- The New Republic
Deborah Saunt/DSDHA slams the Tesco-ification of profession: ...saying big firms were "hoovering up smaller, niche practices" and "killing off smaller scale competition" by bidding for tiny jobs..."If this [trend] continues unabated there will simply no longer be any smaller practices other than those led by an elite from well-heeled backgrounds, or very small offices covering remote areas."- Architects' Journal (UK)
Another Setback for the Architecture Billings Index: Institutional sector struggling most because of government budget shortfalls...“This seems to be a case of not thinking it can get any worse – and then it does"- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Guangzhou Opera House falling apart: ...has been described as the most alluring opera house built anywhere in the world for decades, with a sleek “intergalactic” form that leaves architecture-lovers swooning...another example of China’s high-speed but often slapdash approach to major building projects..."The problems with the quality of the building are not because of the design of the building..." -- Zaha Hadid- Telegraph (UK)
Constructive criticism: the week in architecture: Yuri Gagarin touches down in Britain, the Gherkin paternity battle finally ends, and typhoons strike Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House...Asif Khan...commissioned to create the Future Memory Pavilion for 2011 Singapore ArchiFest. By Jonathan Glancey -- Ken Shuttleworth/Make; Foster + Partners [images, links]- Guardian (UK)
Starchitecture High: Coop Himmelb(l)au’s wildly ambitious Central Los Angeles High School No. 9 opened to great acclaim and local controversy. Two years later, we ask: how is it actually working? What I hadn’t expected was the degree to which the students would see in the quirky, somewhat cold, and challenging architecture a reflection of their own emerging personalities as artists-in-training. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Wolf Prix; Eli Broad; Gehry; Moneo; Isozaki; Welton Becket; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; AC Martin; Bernard Tschumi ; Foreign Office Architects(FOA); Daly Genik; Michael Maltzan [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Mayor Still Looks to Building and Zoning to Ease Housing Crunch: With housing here reeling from the bubble and the bust, Bloomberg still sees zoning as the key tool for creating affordable homes...gives short shrift to preserving our neighborhoods...will not solve the city's more deep-rooted affordable housing problems. Tom Angotti examines the city's latest plan.- Gotham Gazette (NYC)
Market Street better off where less expected of it: By virtue of its dimensions, and its prominence on the map, [it] inevitably makes planners and advocates and policy wonks think big. And that's too bad because the real cure...isn't some stab for renewed greatness...most promising future lies in a much different direction: as a procession of parts. Overlapping cultures and layers, intersections rather than a whole. By John King- San Francisco Chronicle
Save the old Shaare Zedek temple: ...a buyer said to already have a purchase-and-sale agreement...But if a grant to finance the temple's renovation falls through, the buyer apparently intends to raze it and build anew. That's not a fine idea...those who cannot protect their past might find their future elusive. By David Brussat -- Banning & Thornton (1911); Percival Goodman (1954) [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
2011 Brick in Architecture Awards Honor Excellence in Style and Sustainability -- Mosaic Architecture; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson/Katherine Spitz Associates/Stenfors Associates Architects; TRO Jung|Brannen; tvsdesign; Williams Design Build; LaQuatra Bonci Associates; WDG; Period Architecture [links to images, info]- Brick Industry Association
Eurogroup - Khemka Foundation Architectural Design Competition Winner Announced at Chandigarh College of Architecture's Golden Jubilee Celebration: Siddharth Suri and Shoma Mathew from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi to be awrded a prize money of Rs. 100,000 - Winning design to be utilized for building a Low Cost Eco-Friendly School at Nabha, Punjab.- India PRwire
Call for entries: Architect Magazine 2011 Annual Design Review; projects must have been built in the United States or have been designed by a U.S. firm; deadline: August 31- Architect Magazine
Call for entries: 2011 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence: open to all architects registered in Canada and to Canadian architectural graduates...Foreign architects are permitted if partnered with a Canadian-registered architect; deadline: September 15- Canadian Architect magazine
2011 Rudy Bruner Award Winners Offer Innovative Models for Urban Placemaking: This year's winners reflect a common understanding of the critical role that citizens, institutions, and governments play in the creation of successful civic places.- ArchNewsNow
3XN: Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
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