Today’s News - Thursday, September 29, 2011
• He said/he said: Glaeser claims skyscrapers are (or could be) the "saviors of our cities," but they won't save the environment, says Mehaffy.
• Syrett says the Solar Decathlon is a "wakeup call for professional designers. If NZEBs can be designed by students, why aren't architects and engineers designing them?"
• Campbell returns from his summer break (yay!) with a thoughtful take on the update of Pei's 1981 Linde wing at Boston's MFA: except for a couple of reservations, it's "an example of how much can be accomplished in architecture by a few deft moves...the improvements are striking."
• Mays has an enlightening conversation with Sauerbruch about why he's "a crusader for color" in architecture.
• Pogrebin gets into the legal/political details that have preservationists pitted against each other re: how much should be allowed to change in Bunshaft's landmarked Manny Hanny building.
• The Yale Center for British Art gets serious about laying out guidelines for any future work on Kahn's final masterpiece.
• Kracauer makes a long-overdue pilgrimage to Kahn's Trenton Bath House: "In architecture school during the 1970s, we thought we knew the sweet little plan and thought we didn't need to see the building in the flesh. We were so wrong."
• Cincinnati unveils big plans to reduce the size of its acclaimed Music Hall that will also see bricked-up windows re-opened and glass doors removed to really "make this place part of the community."
• That might just be the ticket composer Crabtree, who finds many performance halls' "outdated architectural language...so impregnated with self-importance and loaded with coded signals of class," could applaud. + His own plans for an operatic treatment of "The Ghost Train" - to be performed in abandoned rail stations.
• Inspired by their 2009 Solar Decathlon entry, the Menil Collection taps Rice University students to design a café (inspired by taco trucks, no less).
• ASLA announces the 2011 Professional Awards (great presentation!).
• The Green Building Certification Institute names 34 professionals as inaugural LEED Fellows.
• Call for entries: 2012 Palladio Awards for excellence in traditional design + re:CONNECT: an international open ideas competition to dream new possibilities for the future of Vancouver's Viaducts.
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Phenomenal cosmic skyscrapers — itty bitty environmental savings: Ed Glaeser, in his book The Triumph of Cities, goes so far as to say they're the saviors of our cities...they won't save the environment. Michael Mehaffy at the New Urban Network has written an extensive paper explaining why. On a pound-for-pound basis, skyscrapers don't make a lot of environmental sense. By Tim De Chant [links]- Grist Magazine
Witnessing Evolution at the Solar Decathlon: Wakeup call for professional designers. If net zero energy buildings can be designed by students, why aren't architects and engineers designing them? ...NZEB’s are not only achievable but they are being built by teachers, artists, and political scientists. By Peter Syrett/Perkins+Will [images, links]- Metropolis Magazine
At the MFA, a look that feels contemporary: Updated Museum of Fine Arts Linde wing is more open and welcoming...an example of how much can be accomplished in architecture by a few deft moves.
A lot of what was best about the  I.M. Pei wing remains untouched...though, the improvements are striking. By Robert Campbell -- Acentech; cbt architects; Bergmeyer; Foster + Partners- Boston Globe
An architect speaks out for cities in colour: Why do cities need colourful homes and buildings? I asked Matthias Sauerbruch this question...a crusader for colour...his campaign is part of a larger struggle to change basic attitudes toward the ways we inhabit cities...."Like music, colour can be horrible, it can be noise. But it can also be a symphony." By John Bentley Mays -- Sauerbruch Hutton [slide show]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Modernist Landmark Behind a Court Battle: A New York City court case pits preservationists against each other over how much the Manufacturers Hanover Trust building, a city landmark, should be allowed to change. By Robin Pogrebin -- Gordon Bunshaft (1954); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM [slide show]- New York Times
Galleries plan for future: New plans for the preservation and restoration of the Yale Center for British Art have prioritized the original designs and themes of architect Louis Kahn...“Each [change] doesn’t seem so sinful on its own...But over time, you realize the spirit of the place really has been lost.” -- Peter Inskip/Stephen Gee/Peter Inskip + Peter Jenkins Architects- Yale Daily News
And You Call Yourself an Architect: A long overdue visit to a Louis Kahn masterpiece proves to be an enlightening experience...In architecture school during the 1970s, we thought we knew the sweet little plan of the Trenton Bath House...I guess we thought we didn’t need to see the building in the flesh. We were so wrong. By Cynthia Kracauer -- Vincent Scully; Anne Tyng [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Music Hall plans call for fewer seats, new stage: The size of Springer Auditorium will be reduced...Carriage ways...will be turned into garden courts. Glass doors, now separating the North and South Wings from the main lobby, will be removed...myriad bricked-up windows will be reopened. -- Samuel Hannaford (1878); Jaffe Holden Acoustics; Duncan Hazard/Ennead Architects- Cincinnati Enquirer
Locus Focus: A night at the symphony or the opera is one of the pinnacles of western artistic experience, yet these corporate arts institutions...have recently begun to close down in record numbers. The albatross around the neck...is the performance hall’s outdated architectural language...so impregnated with self-importance and loaded with coded signals of class...The time is right...sweep away the old architectural and anthropological barriers... By Paul Crabtree [images, links]- Next American City
An Opera About A Phantom Train, Set In Abandoned Rail Stations: Oakland composer Paul Crabtree has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund an operatic adaptation of "The Ghost Train" in the perfect - and perfectly spooky - setting...a 1923 play, and later a horror film...With its sensational, vaguely campy plot, it was practically begging to get turned into an opera. By Suzanne LaBarre- Fast Company
Rice University students design new Menil Collection addition:Rice Building Workshop...to build a cafe near the museum to serve both visitors and the surrounding neighborhood...was inspired by the style of taco trucks. [images]- The Rice Thresher (Houston)
ASLA Announces 2011 Professional Awards: 37 projects honored for innovation, design and sustainability. -- ZGF Architects; Klopfer Martin Design Group; Reed Hilderbrand; Siteworks; BNIM; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects;CTOPOS DESIGN; Van Atta Associates; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture; Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture; Design Workshop; AECOM; Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects; GLS Landscape / Architecture/Daniel Solomon Design Partners; Wallace Roberts & Todd; etc. [images, info]- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
GBCI Announces LEED Fellows of 2011: 34 of the world’s most distinguished green building professionals were selected for the the inaugural class [link to details]- Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI)
Call for entries: 2012 Palladio Awards Honoring Excellence in Traditional Design; deadline: November 23- Traditional Building Magazine / Period Homes
Call for entries: re:CONNECT: an international open ideas competition to dream new possibilities for the future of the Viaducts and the Vancouver's broader Eastern Core; cash prizes; registration deadline: November 2; submission deadline: November 4- City of Vancouver
INSIGHT: Small-Scale Solution to Alternative Energy Resistance: Why the assumption that an industrial-scale response is required to produce green energy in the vast quantities required to power this country is wrong. By Peter Gisolfi, AIA, ASLA, LEED AP- ArchNewsNow.com
Book Review: Pencils that Refuse to Die: Meditations about New Books on Architectural Drawing: Three recent books dealing with architectural drawing by pencil you need to read. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Moshe Safdie: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri
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