Today’s News - Friday, September 9, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's newsletter is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. A decade. Ten years. Oddly, it feels like only ten minutes. Memories begin rushing back. Conversations become hushed reflections of where each of us was that morning - each of us remembers in minute detail. Today, my city is basking in another gloriously sunny day, and I'm heartened by memories of my recent walk-abouts here and there: the High Line in late summer bloom and the architectural garden rising around it. A Gehry glimmering in a late afternoon sun. A carousel wrapped in a Nouvel about to start spinning on the Brooklyn waterfront. And tourists asking which train goes to Ground Zero. Life goes on, but we will never forget. - Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA
• Schama looks for a friend's name in "cut into the blackened bronze lip that overlooks the cascades" and reflects on "what makes a successful memorial? The world music of those names is perhaps all the eloquence we need."
• Schumacher finds the Ground Zero memorial "an unflinching confrontation with loss" and "the amount of intelligence, investment, innovation and muscle being poured into this place" is unlike anything she's ever seen.
• Nobel bemoans that "the search for meaning at Ground Zero still proves painfully elusive."
• Saffron says the memorial "is a surprisingly effective emotional prompt for our feelings," but what is being built around it reflects "the narrative of the last decade, when corporate greed took precedence over civic good."
• Kennicott x 2: the Ground Zero Memorial "is an extraordinary thing," but to succeed, "it must ultimately merge with the landscape of New York not as a place apart."
• He finds the 9/11 memorial at Shanksville "inspires thoughtfulness and repose, without adding undue pomposity or sentiment," but best to see it soon "if you want to hear the memorial speak softly as it now does, before it becomes blander and generic."
• The Pentagon Memorial is "a quiet lesson for the living" - it is "not a cemetery, at all. Go ahead and sit."
• Gendall x 2 in conversations with Michael Arad re: "Reflecting Absence"; and David Childs re: Ground Zero: "Architects should be particularly proud. This is a truly New York project."
• Iovine's thoughtful take on what has happened in architecture since 9/11: the "intense public focus was pure adrenaline for architects," but, alas, "the moment didn't last."
• Kamin's thoughtful take on how 9/11 changed architecture: "Just as the attacks did not destroy the human urge to build taller, so they did not vanquish our desire to gather in vibrant public spaces."
• Tischler gets into the details of how 9/11 changed the way skyscrapers are designed: at 1WRC, it won't be "how can a flock of stiletto-wearing fashionistas get down 102 stories safely?" But rather, "Where can we park our armada of town cars?" Believe it or not, that's progress."
• A fascinating look at the campaign against the original WTC construction in the 1960s: "The idea of making the towers the tallest in the world came from the Port Authority's marketing department."
• The BMW Guggenheim Lab and "Supertall!" offer two competing ideas of architecture: "Should all architectural projects resort to minimalism out of ecological necessity? Or should those who create them strive for ever-inventive ways to trounce gravity?"
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The remains of that day: Ten years on, the victims of 9/11 have been memorialised...so what makes a successful memorial? I search for Laura’s name, cut into the blackened bronze lip that overlooks the cascades...pouring into the two immense basins of grief that outline the phantom towers...Reflecting Absence...is a model of moral tact and poetic indirection...The world music of those names is perhaps all the eloquence we need. By Simon Schama -- Michael Arad; Peter Walker; Rachel Whiteread; Peter Eisenman/Buro Happold; Maya Ando; Daniel Libeskind- Financial Times (UK)
Ground zero memorial, an unflinching confrontation with loss: ...the amount of intelligence, investment, innovation and muscle being poured into this place is unlike anything I’ve ever seen..."Reflecting Absence"...enormous scale and stark minimalism have a brute force...not only beautiful. It is conceptually poignant. It contributes an iconography of falling...The towers rising...may repair one of the most cherished skylines in the world. By Mary Louise Schumacher -- Daniel Libeskind; Michael Arad; David Childs; Santiago Calatrava [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Memory Holes: Two ongoing wars and many controversies later, the search for meaning at Ground Zero still proves painfully elusive...The touching human habit to seek a vector for emotional resolution in architecture (standing, impending, or lost) can have only one end: disappointment. By Philip Nobel -- Minoru Yamasaki; Michael Arad; Snøhetta; Daniel Libeskind- Metropolis Magazine
9/11 memorial stirring - but backdrop fails to impress: Given the tumult over its design, the eight-acre memorial is a surprisingly effective emotional prompt for our feelings...The new towers already appear to be little more than sleek monuments to corporate power...But the reconfiguration of the overall site should be a victory for urban values...In so many ways, the results reflect the narrative of the last decade, when corporate greed took precedence over civic good. By Inga Saffron -- Michael Arad; Peter Walker; SOM; Minoru Yamasaki [images, links]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Review: 9/11 Memorial in New York: ...voids are flowing with water, a steady cascade of rivulets plunging into pits that are each almost an acre in size. It is an extraordinary thing....ultimately its destiny is to be merely a civic object in the urban fabric of New York..To succeed, it must ultimately merge with the landscape of New York not as a place apart, sacred and full of sentiment, but as a place where people gather because they want to play, flirt, think, read or eat a half-smoke with everything on it. By Philip Kennicott -- Michael Arad; Peter Walker; Daniel Libeskind; Snohetta; SOM; Norman Foster; Rogers Stirk Harbour ; Fumihiko Maki; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); Santiago Calatrava- Washington Post
9/11 memorial at Shanksville is minimalistic but evocative and compelling: They never signed up to save Washington, but they did. One might expect, then, that the memorial to Flight 93 would be the most focused on heroism, perhaps the most bombastic and traditional of the three major Sept. 11 memorials. It isn’t...inspires thoughtfulness and repose, without adding undue pomposity or sentiment. At least, not yet...It’s worth a pilgrimage to Pennsylvania...But make it soon if you want to hear the memorial speak softly as it now does, before it becomes blander and generic. By Philip Kennicott -- Paul Murdoch Architects; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects- Washington Post
Pentagon Memorial a quiet lesson for the living: In its three-year life, this space — the first national Sept. 11 memorial — has become a place for the tourist and the mourner who isn’t intimidated by logistics. It is “not easy to get to"...one of the most compelling in a city packed with memorials — makes the visitor work to figure it out..."it’s not a cemetery"...Not a cemetery, at all. Go ahead and sit.- Washington Post
“Reflecting Absence” Memorializes 9/11 with Voids that Give Shape to Memory: Michael Arad on how his memorial made him feel “like a New Yorker”: "It was very public and sometimes contentious, so it could have become something very different"... By John Gendall -- SOM; Daniel Libeskind; Handel Architects; Peter Walker; Aedas; Snøhetta- AIArchitect
AIArchitect Talks with David Childs, FAIA: "Architects should be particularly proud..." he says. 9/11 "was such a terrible tragedy, but [architects] played a very important role in the recovery...This is a truly New York project." By John Gendall- AIArchitect
The Skyscraper as a Pillar of Confidence: ...what has happened in architecture since 9/11...intense public focus was pure adrenaline for architects...It was their chance of a lifetime to show that what architects do is of more consequence than prettifying boxes. The moment didn't last...Is architecture different now, made better by the events of 9/11? Not really...What has remained strong, however, is the wish among architects to be allowed, even demanded, by the public to participate in shaping the city in ways more subtle and lasting than what can be seen on the skyline. By Julie V. Iovine -- Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill; Rogers Marvel Architects- Wall Street Journal
How 9/11 changed architecture in Chicago and America: Building goes on, but not without a 'new normal' in the tallest towers and beyond: So what happened? After the fear from the attacks ebbed, the world went on the greatest skyscraper building boom in history...Just as the attacks did not destroy the human urge to build taller, so they did not vanquish our desire to gather in vibrant public spaces. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
How 9/11 Changed The Way Skyscrapers Are Designed: The future of high-rises rested on making people feel safe...the big issue facing our future neighbors at 1 World Trade Center isn't "how can a flock of stiletto-wearing fashionistas get down 102 stories safely?" Instead, they're worrying, "Where, in a busy downtown streetscape, can we park our armada of town cars?" Believe it or not, that's progress. By Linda Tischler -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- Fast Company
"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Buildings?": How New Yorkers Tried to Stop the World Trade Center: New York's WTC has been sorely missed since the 9/11 attacks. It's easy to forget, however, that many New Yorkers, such as the small business owners of Manhattan's Radio Row, campaigned against its construction in the 1960s - to no avail...The idea of making the towers the tallest in the world came from the Port Authority's marketing department. -- John Eberson; Robert Moses; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Minoru Yamasaki; Leslie Robertson; Ada Louise Huxtable [images]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
9/11: A Reflection. September 11, 2002: This is not a news-as-usual day for us. By Kristen Richards- ArchNewsNow
One City, Two Visions: Two New York exhibits offer two competing ideas of architecture and reveal conflicting ideologies: Should all architectural projects resort to minimalism out of ecological necessity? Or should those who create them strive for ever-inventive ways to trounce gravity? ...the BMW Guggenheim Lab...personifies a democratic, minimalist approach. "Supertall!" at the Skyscraper Museum...posits that natural boundaries exist to be crushed. By Joshua K. Leon- Metropolis Magazine
Henning Larsen Architects: Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall & Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland -- Olafur Eliasson
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