Today’s News - Thursday, December 15, 2011
• A number of must reads today: A fascinating look at how the need for security has led to better public spaces because "architects and landscape designers are transforming necessity into opportunity."
• Norquist makes the case for congestion: cities "should recognize that traffic is often a sign of dynamism."
• Meanwhile, Vega-Barachowitz makes the case for bike lanes: "City street design, though perhaps the least glamorous subfield in the dialogues surrounding landscape urbanism, just might be its most highly contentious and politically volatile element - and therefore one of its most interesting."
• Berg offers a baleful tale of L.A.'s paint-bedraggled bike lanes that don't "sit well with a public increasingly skeptical about even meager investments of public money in projects that, for example, take away a lane from car traffic."
• On a brighter note, some fab graphics that illustrate "how bikes can solve our biggest problems, and how to make cyclists safer without making drivers feel like they're under attack."
• Glancey x 2: he looks back at the year in architecture: "No building summed up 2011 quite like the Shard, a sky-high hymn to optimism...perhaps it is an Empire State Building for our times."
• He tools around Central Saint Martins to find out if the students are happy with their "spectacular new home...Here is a rugged yet heroic place, a fusion of modern design and 19th-century industry" (students weighing in with comments are not so rosy).
• Zandberg minces no words about what she thinks of the new wing of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque: it's "marred by minor, annoying, and even amusing flaws - along with one very major one."
• A snapshot of some favorite new buildings in South Africa.
• Rothstein reviews the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center (a.k.a. internment camp museum) in Wyoming: it "is not uniformly successful in its ambitions, but its impact is still considerable."
• The BLDG 92 museum and visitors center in the Brooklyn Navy Yard has a mission beyond education and sustainability.
• BIG's big new project is a ski resort in Finland, where folks will be able to ski away from the resort via the rooftops (we kid you not).
• Stanford University is adding to its arts district with two new buildings by DS+R, Boora, and Ennead.
• An eyeful of a stunning roadside church inspired by E. Fay Jones in the middle of nowhere.
• Happy 104th Birthday to Niemeyer; with no plans to retire he remains happy, but also aware of life's difficulties. "The future is problematic and uncertain for us all."
• A not so happy birthday present: his name is to be removed from the Centro Niemeyer in Spain because of a very public feud.
• Palm Springs approves a multi-colored hotel (despite an objection that it "has less to do with 'desert hues' than with branding Palm Springs 'Gay'" - now we've heard everything).
• Call for entries/RFQ: New U.S. Embassy Compound in Mexico City.
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Designing for disaster: How the need for security leads to enhanced public spaces: The mission facing architects today...is to design defensively without offending aesthetically...Architectural first responders erred on the side of bulk...Gradually, architects and landscape designers are transforming necessity into opportunity...One sweet result of the bitter reality is...new public spaces, planted plazas for pedestrians. By Carol Strickland -- Blair Kamin; Leonard Hopper; American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); Finegold Alexander & Associates; Rogers Marvel Architects; KieranTimberlake; Carol Willis/Skyscraper Museum- Christian Science Monitor
The Case for Congestion: Traffic provides cities money and robust street life - why should we do away with it? This doesn’t mean that cities should strive for congestion, but they should recognize that traffic is often a sign of dynamism. By John Norquist/Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)- The Atlantic Cities
Cycle Tracks and the Evolving American Streetscape: City street design, though perhaps the least glamorous subfield in the dialogues surrounding landscape urbanism (or ecological urbanism), just might be its most highly contentious and politically volatile element — and therefore one of its most interesting. By David Vega-Barachowitz/National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)- Urban Omnibus
L.A.'s Bike Lane Blues; After two coats of paint, a new bike lane in Los Angeles is struggling to take hold...Being a pilot program, it’s understandable for the bike lanes to hit a few hurdles...hitting the same hurdle twice doesn’t help projects like these sit well with a public increasingly skeptical about even meager investments of public money in projects that, for example, take away a lane from car traffic. By Nate Berg- The Atlantic Cities
Infographics: How Bikes Can Solve Our Biggest Problems; How do you make cyclists safer without making drivers feel like they're under attack? The answer to that question could hold the key to our biking future. By Cliff Kuang [images]- Fast Company
Jonathan Glancey looks back at the year in architecture: Symbols of hope for better times ahead: No building summed up 2011 quite like the Shard, a sky-high hymn to optimism...Whatever you think of the design...and its impact on London's skyline, perhaps it is an Empire State Building for our times... -- Shreve Lamb and Harmon (1931); Renzo Piano- Guardian (UK)
Central Saint Martins: Inside the art factory: Its entrance is a restored granary, its main thoroughfare a vaulted street. But are Central Saint Martins students happy with their spectacular new home? ...students slowly making sense of the vast architectural canvas enveloping them...Here is a rugged yet heroic place, a fusion of modern design and 19th-century industry... By Jonathan Glancey -- Stanton Williams[images]- Guardian (UK)
Comedy of errors: The new wing of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque is marred by minor, annoying, and even amusing flaws - along with one very major one...When it comes to the details...silence is golden...the only thing left to do is wait and see if something good comes out of the renovations...which now has nothing appealing about it... By Esther Zandberg -- Salo Hershman- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Built perfection: Architecture we love: There has been great excitement about South African buildings this year -- Fiona Garson/Nina Cohen/William Martinson; Gapp Architects/MMA Architects/Mashabane Rose Associates; Rural/ Urban/ Fantasy; Castle Rock Design; Kotlowitz Marais [images]- The Times (Johannesburg)
The How of an Internment, but Not All the Whys: The Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center in Wyoming tells the stories of Japanese internees during World War II...meant to honor those whose lives were so overturned, explain how the internment happened, give some sense of camp life and suggest lessons for the future. The museum is not uniformly successful in these ambitions, but its impact is still considerable. By Edward Rothstein -- Schutz Foss Architects; Split Rock Studios [images]- New York Times
BLDG 92: ...the new museum and visitors center for the Brooklyn Navy Yard...mission is not limited to education and sustainability...serves as a way for the BNYDC to maintain good will with the surrounding community in the face of contentious debate about the redevelopment of the site...and to promote the viability of industry-led development. -- Thomas Ustick Walter (1857); Beyer Blinder Belle; workshop/apd [images]- Urban Omnibus
BIG to design Finland ski village: Design features access to curved roofs allowing visitors to ski away from the resort via the rooftops. -- Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Stanford's Board of Trustees approves sites for two new arts buildings: The Anderson Collection at Stanford University...and the McMurtry Building...will join the Bing Concert Hall...and the Cantor Arts Center as cornerstones of the new arts district. Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Boora Architects; Ennead Architects- Stanford University
A Stunning Roadside Church Rises, Collapses, Then Rises Again: Inspired by the work of E. Fay Jones, a group finds a way to build a gorgeous shrine in the middle of nowhere. -- BCDM Architects [images]- Fast Company
Brazilian star architect Oscar Niemeyer turns 104 on Thursday, and he still has no plans to retire: ...he remains happy, but also aware of life's difficulties. "The future is problematic and uncertain for us all."- The Times (Johannesburg)
Centro Niemeyer closes but row over arts complex continues: Architect's name to be removed from centre in Avilés, Spain, as a result of legal action from the outgoing board...celebrations of Oscar Niemeyer's 104th birthday have been overshadowed by a very public feud over one of his most recent creations...- Guardian (UK)
Colors OK'd for Saguaro Hotel: Palm Springs Planning Commission voted 5-0-1 to approve the use of 14 colors to repaint the former Holiday Inn..."We need something that's vibrant and full of life that will put us back on the map...We're not putting stripper poles in the street. We're bringing world-class architecture, world-class coloring, making a statement." -- Stamberg Aferiat Architecture [image]- The Desert Sun (Palm Springs)
Call for entries/Request for Qualifications/RFQ: New U.S. Embassy Compound, Mexico City; requests for clarification deadline: December 21; submission deadline: January 18, 2012- U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
One-on-One: We architects are politicians: Interview with Giancarlo Mazzanti: "Now is the time to think of how architecture can change the world. We architects can assume that role and make a real difference in how people live and behave." By Vladimir Belogolovsky [images]- ArchNewsNow
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture: Steel Hut & Silver Hut, Imabari, Japan
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