Today’s News - Tuesday, August 9, 2011
• ArcSpace brings us BIG's big mission "to create a true alternative scene to the remaining urban space of Copenhagen."
• We are incredibly saddened by the news that we've lost Ray Anderson - one of the truly most amazing and inspiring people we've ever met; of the many tributes, we've selected two.
• And doubly saddened by loss of two Australian talents.
• Alsop and Lawrie leave RMJM to fend for themselves in their own practice (should we be surprised?).
• John Cary offers our must-read of the day with his take on "the systemic problems" with the gender gap in architecture: Barbie may have gotten her dream house, "but her profession needs a makeover."
• The style vs. substance debate continues: Woodman wonders: "What exactly is 'good design', Mr Finch?" (and is he being "being a tad disingenuous"?) + Modernist Michael Taylor "talks pastiche and passion" with traditionalist Robert Adam.
• Gratz grumbles about NYC Landmarks Commission's playing loose with its own rules when it comes to makeover of Bunshaft's 1954 Manny Hanny Bank in Manhattan: "Is yet another ho-hum big box retail store more important than a singular landmark?"
• More grumbling about "open" competition to design the Australian pavilion for Venice Biennale: even Glenn Murcutt wouldn't be able to enter under the current rules.
• Staying with news Down Under: $6 billion Barangaroo getting "the all-clear" is a "slap in the face for the residents' lobbies, Greens groups and local councils" + Former Prime Minister Keating gives decision kudos for being "a triumph for common sense" (and a deserved slap in the face to SMH - his feelings, not ours).
• King has high hopes for the Bay Area's Grand Boulevard Initiative for El Camino Real - but with reservations: the "underlying tone shows little appreciation for the energetic, if sometimes chaotic, architectural diversity that now exists."
• In Jakarta, a developer "wages war" on what he considers the city's "high-rise horrors" to "to create a refuge more in tune with nature."
• The new director of Texas Tech University's "budding college of architecture" in El Paso has big dreams for a school that could help drive downtown development.
• Perhaps they'd all benefit from a physicist's findings that "simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities."
• Moore's review of the week in architecture: though "it doesn't need a frilly plastic skirt," the Olympic stadium will get its wrapper after all (sadly, memory of the Bhopal gas leak is casting shadows); and Arad and Dyckhoff' and Foster - oh my!
• We're delighted by the news that AIANY's Center for Architecture is spreading its wings to add a new space next door.
• And we'd like to be in Vienna today for the opening of "Deadline Today! 99+ stories on making architectural competitions": Is the prize worth the effort?
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BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group: Superkilen, Outer Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Obituary: Ray Anderson, sustainable business pioneer, 77: ...pioneered the goal of achieving zero impact through a change in the business paradigm...he saw sustainability as a matter of morality, too. He referred to himself as a "recovering plunderer"... By John Elkington/Volans/SustainAbility- Guardian (UK)
Ray Anderson: An Appreciation: ...founder and chairman of Interface...set what may well be the highwater sustainability benchmark of any industrial company. That benchmark was Anderson’s doing... By Joel Makower [links]- GreenBiz.com
Tragic crash kills eminent architects: The Top End has been shocked by the tragedy which struck a husband and wife team who championed the Territory's unique Troppo-style architecture. -- Lena Yali /Greg McNamara/Troppo Architects; Kevin Taylor/Taylor Cullity Lethlean- NT News (Australia)
Will Alsop leaves RMJM to set up new practice with fellow RMJM principal Scott Lawrie: "It became apparent that our vision of an inter-disciplinary design studio functioning as the hub of an experimental creative community was not a priority for RMJM."- BD/Building Design (UK)
Architect Barbie builds a dream home, but her profession needs a makeover: ...contest misses the point that the severe gender gap in architecture is a problem of retaining women – not one of recruiting them...the systemic problems...will not be fixed with a doll and a dream.
By John Cary/PublicInterestDesign.org -- American Institute of Architects/AIA; Rosanne Haggerty/Common Ground/Community Solutions; Ting Li; Maja Paklar [links]- Christian Science Monitor
Style over substance: What exactly is ’good design’, Mr Finch?: Through his remarks, the chairman of Design Council Cabe has...ensured that the public discourse on architecture is yet again framed in terms of a battle of styles...But is Finch guilty of the Traditional Architecture Group’s central allegation... By Ellis Woodman- BD/Building Design (UK)
Architecture – modernism v traditionalism: Is there an establishment bias against traditional architecture? Modernist Michael Taylor talks pastiche and passion with traditionalist Robert Adam..."Most traditionalist architects know there is no point going in for competitions if they are going to be judged by other architects." -- Paul Finch/CABE; Traditional Architecture Group (TAG); Hopkins Architects- Guardian (UK)
When Is a Landmark A Landmark? Appreciation for the enduring value of mid-century modern architecture has been growing...Now comes the case involving the 1954 Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank...designed by one of the 20th century's most notable architects, Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)...Is yet another ho-hum big box retail store more important than a singular landmark... By Roberta Brandes Gratz- Huffington Post
Grand designs collide over Biennale base: Glenn Murcutt...won't be able to get near the competition to design a new Australian pavilion in Venice for the Biennale...would not be eligible to enter the ''open'' competition under the plans devised by the Australia Council...Pritzker Prize winner is part of a groundswell ...calling for a rethink of the competition process for the $6 million building.- Merimbula News Weekly (Australia)
Report's all-clear lets Barangaroo go full steam ahead: Australia's largest urban development project has received a clean bill of health from an independent planning review...The all-clear for the $6 billion waterside project, east of Sydney's Darling Harbour, is a slap in the face for the residents' lobbies, Greens groups and local councils... -- Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners- The Australian
Barangaroo decision a triumph for common sense: ...the release of the independent planning review report...is very much welcomed by me...amount to a complete rebuttal of the distorted and fallacious claims by the organisation, Australians for Sustainable Development...The last time Sydney did something of world importance was when it chose Jorn Utzon's design for the Sydney Opera House. By Paul Keating -- Peter Walker; Richard Rogers/Rogers Stirk Harbour- Daily Telegraph (Australia)
El Camino Real: Can planners take the high road? It's a jumble of styles and scales, but the jumble is part of the allure. And as the 19 cities...pursue their vision...it's important that today's charismatic clutter be recognized for what it is: the Bay Area's best overview of mainstream American architecture of the past century...The Grand Boulevard Initiative...underlying tone shows little appreciation for the energetic, if sometimes chaotic, architectural diversity that now exists. By John King [slide show]- San Francisco Chronicle
Housing Developer Wages War on Jakarta's High-Rise Horrors: Tar and concrete are slowly eating up the city’s green spaces...Ronald Akili, saw his chance to create a refuge more in tune with nature. He named the property Tanah Teduh, the Land of Calm...hired a team of eight architects... -- Andra Matin; Yori Antar; Zenin Adrian; Antony Liu; Adi Purnomo- The Jakarta Globe
Can architecture school transform Downtown? Robert González’s theory about how to give Downtown El Paso a makeover is simple...It’s worked to transform other U.S. cities like New Orleans, Miami and Savannah...By integrating an architecture school into downtown, creating a studio where students can work on projects – plan parks, uses for neglected historic buildings and the like – you unleash the creativity of students and drive downtown development.- El Paso Inc. (Texas)
The surprising math of cities and corporations: Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities - that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population...he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations. [video]- TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)
Constructive criticism: the week in architecture: The Olympic stadium wrapper is saved from the rubbish heap, there's silicon spaghetti on Ron Arad's menu and Norman Foster's wife reconstructs his life for television...the world of architecture is not exactly rocked, but mildly vibrated, by Tom Dyckhoff's series "The Secret Life of Buildings"... By Rowan Moore- Guardian (UK)
Center for Architecture Grows in the Village: ...AIANY signed the lease for 532 LaGuardia, an empty retail space one door south of the AIANY’s current home...helping ease the strain of hosting more than a thousand programs each year. -- Rick Bell; Rogers Marvel; Mary Burke [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
"Deadline Today! 99+ stories on making architectural competitions": Is the prize worth the effort? at the STEINHAUSSOMMER 2011 at Steinhaus of Günther Domenig, Steindorf, Austria, August 9-28- Wonderland (Vienna, Austria)
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