Today’s News - Monday, August 1, 2011
• ArcSpace brings us luscious eyefuls of Chipperfield's Hepworth Wakefield gallery, and J. Mayer H.'s Spanish parasol.
• Moore x 2: he offers one of the most thoughtful (and accurate) evaluations of what's been going on at Ground Zero since 9/11: "Is it a symbol? Is it an office block? It is both" (with some rather snarky comments from un-named architects) - your must-read of the day!
• He finds Hadid's Aquatic Centre "is the Olympics' most majestic space" with an interior "that can only be described as stonking" (nary a hint of snark, but lots of other superlatives).
• Booth offers up a bit more detail re: the (sometimes snarky) sparks flying between Finch and classicists re: his "overt prejudice" when it comes to modern vs. traditional.
• Australian architects were none too pleased with competition process for new national pavilion for the Venice Biennale, so organizers have taken a new tack (though "start with design and then deal with credentials" approach doesn't "cut the mustard" with main fundraiser).
• Saitowitz minces no words about why some big names didn't make the cut for shortlist in St. Petersburg, FL, pier competition (he's "Chihulied" and Gehry'd out) - but it's still an impressive shortlist.
• Questions and controversy swirl around Detroit mayor's plans to consolidate neighborhoods and services: just how did the consultants arrive at their recommendations?
• An architect becomes the student in a Caracas barrio, where he learns "that a place with makeshift dwellings and an apparent chaotic fabric can actually be a functional and congruent neighborhood" (some might say the same about Detroit these days).
• Chattanooga kicks off a year-long design challenge in "a new effort to re-engage the public's imagination and participation in envisioning downtown" over the next 25 years.
• Hawthorne x 2: he wanders Santa Monica with Corner to delve into his park plans, and finds "a fascinating interplay of urban design and public engagement" (and city fathers hoping for a High Line redux).
• With Neutra's Kronish House "in the cross hairs" of a wrecking ball, he says it's past time for Beverly Hills to enact "a sensible review process for protecting important architecture" (though "there is a thin line between well-meaning crusades to save individual landmarks and moves to seal entire urban districts in amber").
• Malta faces its own mid-century modern mash-up about the 1974 Manikata church, even though it's considered "an iconic landmark in Maltese architecture."
• Freeman-Greene wonders what's with all the gray in Melbourne's architecture; experts say it's "a risk-averse culture in which developers take advice from real estate agents rather than architects"; "color used creatively can be dangerous"; "many architects simply aren't confident with color"; etc.
• Challenging "optimistic renderings that purport to show actual real-world urban developments but which are in fact visual story-telling, of 'architecture fiction.'"
• Dyckhoff launches a U.K. TV series tonight (developers and architects are responsible for creating "a nation of property porn addicts who overlook function"; Foster & Hadid next week): "Yes it's populist in a catch-your-breath kind of way, but he is to be applauded" + a live web debate tomorrow with Dyckhoff, Angela Brady, Robert Adam, and Liz Peace (should/could be fun!).
• Mack offers a thoughtful tribute to Leonard Parker, whose "designs translated function into handsome form and have stood the test of time."
• Call for entries: 2012 Benjamin Moore Hue Awards (North America).
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-- David Chipperfield Architects: The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK
-- J. Mayer H. architects: Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
9/11 Ground Zero: why has its rebirth turned sour? ...the project to rebuild New York's World Trade Centre site is still riven by political and professional infighting...a jostle of competing interests, in which a combination of money, power and loud voices, tempered to a degree by public opinion, tends to win...For better and worse, the city resembles a giant habitable iPad...For a Londoner, it feels like Canary Wharf. But it will be effective. By Rowan Moore -- Think; Daniel Libeskind; David Childs/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Minoru Yamasaki; Michael Arad; Peter Walker; Snøhetta; Fumihiko Maki; Rogers Stirk Harbour; Santiago Calatrava; Foster + Partners- Observer (UK)
Zaha Hadid's London 2012 Aquatic Centre hasn't come cheap at £269m, but it is the Olympics' most majestic space: The architects' moves are confident and equal to the scale of the place...the interior has a feeling of wholeness. It feels moulded or carved, not assembled. It looks like a body more than something constructed out of pieces. By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
London 2012 park sparks architectural argument between old and new names: Design Council chief celebrates Prince Charles' lack of involvement as traditionalists complain about 'overt prejudice': ..."we have a set of buildings produced not by Quinlan Terry, Robert Adam, John Simpson, but by Hopkins, Hadid, Populous, Make, Heneghan Peng et al"... By Robert Booth -- Paul Finch/Design Council Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment/CABE; Traditional Architecture Group (TAG)- Guardian (UK)
Plan for Venice draws out the critics: The competition for a new Australian pavilion excludes emerging talent: ...after 750 architects signed a petition calling for an open competition and consultations with the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australia Council has announced a new tack. An ''open'' competition will be launched this month...The noise around 'start with design and then deal with credentials' doesn't actually cut the mustard at all with me"...- Sydney Morning Herald
Daniel Libeskind, others rejected in bid to design new St. Petersburg Pier: ...five-member panel narrowed down a list of 23...competing to design a new $50 million Pier to 9 semifinalists. -- BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group; Farshid Moussavi Architecture; Frederic Schwartz Architects; Yann Weymouth/HOK; James Corner Field Operations; Michael Maltzan; Weiss/Manfredi; Adriaan Geuze/West 8 Urban Design; Jerry Van Eyck/!melk urban design- St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Questions dog Detroit Works plan: Advocates want to see long-term strategy: Mayor Dave Bing's signature policy initiative...touted as a plan to make the city more functional by consolidating residents in seven to nine of Detroit's most viable neighborhoods...One concern...points to is a lack of understanding about how the consultants arrived at their recommendations.- Crain's Detroit Business
Redefining Urban Design in Caracas: ...when I first encountered the barrio of La Moran in Caracas, Venezuela. Instead of being the professional, I became the student who learned that a place with makeshift dwellings and an apparent chaotic fabric can actually be a functional and congruent neighborhood. By Leonardo Robleto/Enlace Arquitectura [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Urban Design Challenge begins year-long idea contest for downtown sites: In a new effort to re-engage the public's imagination and participation in envisioning downtown Chattanooga's next 25 years of development...will serve as a knowledge base for future discussions about developments and improvements to downtown. -- River City Company; River Street Architecture; David Barlew Architects; Elemi Architects- Nooga.com (Chattanooga, TN)
Shifting horizons in Santa Monica parks design: Amid the backdrop of the creation of two connected parks near City Hall by the ascendant James Corner Field Operations is a fascinating interplay of urban design and public engagement...Listen to us, the public says...public officials, fully aware of the role that the High Line has played in New York, are saying...Make it bolder. Don't hold back. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Frederick Fisher; John Greenlee; Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle [images]- Los Angeles Times
Richard Neutra's Kronish House in the cross hairs: As the owners weigh its future, it's past time for the city of Beverly Hills to put into place a sensible review process for protecting important architecture...there is a thin line in many cities between well-meaning crusades to save individual landmarks and moves to seal entire urban districts in amber. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Dion Neutra; Rem Koolhaas; Irving Gill; John Lautner- Los Angeles Times
Manikata church controversy: ...considered an iconic landmark in Maltese architecture..."I shouldn’t be the one asking the authorities to schedule the structure because it would be uncalled for for me to boast about my own work. However, that church marked an important shift in the history of church architecture"... -- Richard England (1974)- Malta Independent
Are architects that bright when it comes to the old grey matter? What is it with the colour grey? And why is it so popular in architecture? This is not an argument against medium or high-density housing - it's a plea for bolder, more imaginative, less bland design. Let's not fade to grey. By Suzy Freeman-Greene -- Stuart Harrison; Alan Davies- Sydney Morning Herald
Implausible Futures for Unpopular Places: ...Hypothetical Development Organization works with artists to create fanciful drawings of imaginary developments for vacant city sites — and in the process prompts questions about all those optimistic renderings that purport to show actual real-world urban developments but which are in fact...visual story-telling, of "architecture fiction"... By Rob Walker [images]- Places Journal
The Secret Life of Buildings: Tom Dyckhoff explores how design can have measureable effects on our lives in Channel 4’s new series...Developers are rightly the baddies in episode one, though architects get a ticking off...Yes it’s populist in a catch-your-breath kind of way, but he is to be applauded for getting a neglected and important subject in front of the general viewer.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Leonard Parker: Minnesota Modern: [His] designs translated function into handsome form and have stood the test of time...scores of architects influenced by Parker at the university or in his firm are practicing his brand of architecture-that-works. By Linda Mack- Minneapolis Star Tribune
Call for entries: 2012 Benjamin Moore Hue Awards (North America); cash prizes; no entry fee; deadline: August 15- Benjamin Moore
Book Review: Talkin' 'Bout (Not) My Generation: Uplifting Gen X Architects Showcase Pragmatic Optimism: In "New York Dozen: Gen X Architects" by architect Michael J. Crosbie, the framing of each architectural firm is extraordinary. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
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