Today’s News - Thursday, December 22, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the last newsletter of 2011 - we're taking a break until Tuesday, January 3 (with undoubtedly lots of catching up to do!). We wish everyone the merriest of Merry Holidays and the happiest of Happy New Years!
• In the spirit of the season we bring you a thoughtful pro-bono renovation of San Francisco's largest homeless shelter by IIDA NC.
• Cary calls for eliminating the barriers facing military veterans who need housing, calling out new pilot projects in New York and L.A. that offer "a viable model for other cities...That we live in a country that allows service people to even come close to being homeless is shameful."
• Brussat, "with all due respect to the undeniably talented Graves," doesn't think he deserves the Driehaus Prize: "Merely rebranding postmodern architecture as classical won't wash...that great sucking sound you hear is modern architecture sniggering into its sleeve."
• Pogrebin cheers architecture students assigned to design a dance theater at Ground Zero (Gehry's conceptual design "struck many of the students as underdeveloped").
• An eyeful of 11 new buildings to visit in 2012 (some real surprises!) + 10 of the "world's most spectacular modern churches" (some real stunners!).
• AIA's November Architecture Billings Index climbs to positive ground (a sign of better things to come?).
• A remembrance of the many notable figures in the architecture and design profession lost in 2011.
• Kamin remembers Garofalo who "was consistently ahead of the curve" in designing "some fabulously exuberant buildings" in "a career that ended much too soon."
• In The House on Chicken Feet, Part 2, Leven Betts reimagines "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Guy Nordenson's fairy tale posts tomorrow - you'll have to check it out on your own).
• Weekend diversions (and lots of 'em!):
• Berg queries Terry Riley about why the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale rejected sustainability as a theme.
• Meanwhile, "Buildings = Energy" at NYC's Center for Architecture "drives home several green points...primarily the fact that buildings consume energy - a lot of it."
• Stairs takes issue with much of what's put forth in "Design with the Other 90%: Cities": "Stop paying attention to propaganda about the greatness of design...Design is only a behavior pattern leading to an activity, not the master metaphor of existence" (an excellent read).
• Iovine reports from the V&A's Postmodernism show that "attempts to rescue postmodernism from its bad rap."
• In "Unbuilt Washington" at the National Building Museum, "the might-have-been monuments and cityscapes on display are beguiling, often strange, and surprisingly varied" (with lots of great images).
• Hawthorne hails the Schindler House for putting the spotlight on the late critic Esther McCoy who "exposed California modernism to the larger world."
• An FLW show at the Phoenix Art Museum ponders: "What does an architect born two years after the end of the Civil War have to say to us in the 21st century?" (a lot!)
• In Prague, "Contemporary Czech Industrial" is "intended as a positive example and encouragement to investors currently considering" new industrial facilities + "Photographing Prague Architecture, 1848-1921" offers a glimpse into the transformation of the city.
• Kamin offers his picks of architecture and urban design books "for stuffing the stocking and raising the IQ."
• Eames documentary draws one thumbs-up - and one thumbs-down ("tepid, pedestrian" - ouch!).
• For your holiday amusement: Rybczynski recalls his boyhood experiments building a crèche + 12 arty parodies of the iconic Christmas tree (on view at Goethe Institute's 25 branches around the world).
• Our most favorite and not to be missed: Darth Vader conducting a Christmas choir flash mob (in a very cool, new academic building).
• See you next year!!!
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Good Deeds: Multi-Service Center South, St. Vincent de Paul Society, San Francisco: Q&A with Susie Jue, vice president of philanthropy for IIDA NC, about the Chapter's pro bono project to renovate the city's largest homeless shelter. By Kenneth Caldwell- ArchNewsNow
Shelter for Those Who Served: The numbers are staggering...17% of the U.S. adult homeless population consists of veterans...We must recognize and eliminate the barriers facing veterans and their families who require help and housing...new pilot projects in New York and Los Angeles...offer a viable model for other cities...That we live in a country that allows service people to even come close to being homeless is shameful. By John Cary -- Community Solutions; 100,000 Homes; Home for Good [links]- Change Observer
A gravely misdirected Driehaus Prize: Giving Graves the 2012 Driehaus makes sense only if you believe that postmodernism was a sort of gateway drug to classicism...with all due respect to the undeniably talented Graves, he doesn't deserve a Driehaus...Merely rebranding postmodern architecture as classical won't wash..."This was a brilliant strategic move." We'll see...that great sucking sound you hear is modern architecture sniggering into its sleeve. By David Brussat -- Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA); Robert A.M. Stern; Andrés Duany; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Architecture Students Think Big for a Small Space at Ground Zero: students from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Utah produced their own designs for the Joyce’s dance theater space...Frank Gehry’s conceptual design...struck many of the students as underdeveloped...“It seemed like it had a lot of potential, like a lot of prereality conceptual renderings"...Gehry described the actual project as “on hold.” By Robin Pogrebin [slide show]- New York Times
11 New Buildings to Visit in 2012 -- ACXT; Jakob+MacFarlane; Antonini + Darmon Architetes; AASB Architecture; Rafael Vinoly Architects; Logon Architecture; Tabanlioglu Architects; Feld72; Cino Zucchi Architetti; Gonzalo Mardones Arquitecto; Zeidler Partnership Architects [slide show]- The Atlantic Cities
Top 10: World's most spectacular modern churches: A Christmas list of avant garde places to worship, from Germany to Japan and America to the Ivory Coast -- Kaestle Ocker Roeder Architekten; CRC Henri Gueydan architect; Coop Himmelb(l)au; Cino Zucchi Architetti; HWKN Abidjan; e|348 Arquitectura; KHR Architects; Trahan Architects; OFIS Architects; Avanto Architects [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Upward March: AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) Regains Positive Territory: ...hitting 52.0 in November, the first positive ground since touching 51 in August...suggests cautious optimism that the index...is finally in a solid swing upwards.- The Architect's Newspaper
In Remembrance: The architecture and design profession lost many notable figures in 2011. -- Ray Anderson/Interface; Larry Bogdanow/Bogdanow Partners Architects; Bernard Cywinski/Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Douglas Garofalo; Sylvia Harris/Citizen Research & Design; Ralph Lerner; Detlef Mertins; Lauretta Vinciarelli- Architectural Record
Chicagoan of the Year in architecture: Doug Garofalo: ...[he] was consistently ahead of the curve in a career that ended much too soon...a leader of the so-called “design digiterati,” using the computer to conceptualize and construct some fabulously exuberant buildings. By Blair Kamin [images, links]- Chicago Tribune
The House on Chicken Feet, Part 2: ...architectural fairy tales, on the theme of magical houses...the second installment, in which New York architects David Leven and Stella Betts reimagine "Jack and the Beanstalk." [Guy Nordenson's fairy tale posts 12/23] -- Kate Bernheimer; Andrew Bernheimer/Bernheimer Architecture; Leven Betts; Bret Quagliara [slide show]- Places Journal
Why the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Rejected Sustainability as a Theme: Curator Terence Riley fielded questions via email about...its intentions and the meaning behind its broad theme..."We chose to emphasize vitality, which, I believe, incorporates sustainability as well as a number of other less quantifiable issues." By Nate Berg -- Jeroen Koolhaas; Dre Urhahn; Jiakun Liu- The Atlantic Cities
"Buildings = Energy" at the Center for Architecture: The show drives home several green points...primarily the fact that buildings consume energy – a lot of it...exhibit takes a holistic approach focusing on the amount of energy needed to extract and make materials, to the energy used to build, and the energy consumed by the completed structure. -- Margaret O. Castillo; Perkins+Will; Pelli Clark Pelli; Helpern Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Demythologizing Design: "Design with the Other 90%: Cities"...is a compilation, and suffers the decontextualized slings and arrows of such an approach...does have its good moments...Once one gets away from the big splashy projects there are some charming small scale ideas...Stop paying attention to propaganda about the greatness of design...Design is only a behavior pattern leading to an activity, not the master metaphor of existence. By David Stairs [images, links]- Change Observer
History, Repeating Itself: Postmodernism cannot easily be pinned down as a practice, a process, a style, an attitude or a gesture. And "Postmodernism: Style & Subversion 1970-1990" doesn't even try...attempts to rescue postmodernism from its bad rap...Rightfully, it gives pride of place to architecture...It was architects who most needed to wrestle free from the straitjacket of modernism. By Julie V. Iovine -- Charles Jencks; Memphis Group; Philip Johnson; Charles Moore; Robert Venturi; Denise Scott Brown; Steven Izenour- Wall Street Journal
"Unbuilt Washington" at the National Building Museum: The might-have-been monuments and cityscapes on display are beguiling, often strange, and surprisingly varied (for a city that seems married to neoclassicism). By Amanda Kolson Hurley -- Eliel and Eero Saarinen; Marcel Breuer/Herbert Beckhard; Hugh Newell Jacobsen; John Russell Pope; Chloethiel Woodard Smith; Morphosis; Leon Beaver; Smithmeyer & Pelz; Jim Allegro/Doug Michels; Edward Durell Stone; etc. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
An Esther McCoy revival tells story of L.A.'s modern architecture: The late architecture critic, the subject of a Pacific Standard Time exhibition at the Schindler House, exposed California modernism to the larger world. By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
"Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century" at Phoenix Art Museum: Architect's principles have much to teach today's practitioners...What does an architect born two years after the end of the Civil War have to say to us in the 21st century? -- Vern Swaback; Marlene Imirzian; Eddie Jones/Jones Studio; Matthew Salenger/CoLab Studio; Victor Sidy- Arizona Republic
Industrial cool: Prague exhibition showcases chic factories: "Contemporary Czech Industrial" turns the spotlight on over three dozen of the most impressive industrial architectural projects seen in the Czech Republic in the post-1989 era...intended as a positive example and encouragement to investors currently considering a new workshop, factory, or plant. -- Josef Plekot/AP Atelier; Zdena Nemcová/Jan Lacina/K4; Stanislav Fiala/DA Studio; Ivan Kroupa Architekti [images]- Czech Position
Prague, through the lens of architecture: "Photographing Prague Architecture, 1848-1921" offers a glimpse into the transformation of the city and the art of photography itself...the first of three in a cycle of exhibitions... [images]- Czech Position
Architecture and urban design books for stuffing the stocking and raising the IQ: "Chicago From The Sky: A Region Transformed," by Lawrence Okrent; "Lost Panoramas," by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams; "Reverse Effect" and "Reveal: Studio Gang Architects" by Jeanne Gang; "Millennium Park Chicago," by Cheryl Kent; "Schlepping Through Ambivalence: Essays on an American Architectural Condition," by Stanley Tigerman; "Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention," edited by Zoe Ryan. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Everyday modern: Charles Eames solved America's woes through architectural genius: "Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter" is the first film made about the Eameses and their cause, as much moral as it was aesthetic: Bringing Modern design into the average American home.- New Jersey Star-Ledger
New Eames Film a Tepid Tribute to Famed Design Duo: ...a fairly pedestrian trip through the lives of these titans of 20th century art and design...we’re left with the impression that the filmmakers want the film to be as unchallenging as possible...visually unambitious...succeeds in presenting a wide audience with a wide view of the Eames legacy, but far too much falls by the wayside in the name of mass appeal. By Dante A. Ciampaglia- Architectural Record
Christmas Architect: My experiments with the crèche. By Witold Rybczynski [image]- Slate
12 Arty Parodies Of The Beloved Christmas Tree: ...all that overconsumption leaves us with a craving for something more: a generous helping of irony. Thank goodness for “Oh Tannenbaum!,” an annual German exhibition of clever, artistic interpretations of the iconic Christmas tree...on display at the Goethe Institute’s 25 branches around the world. -- jjoo design [images]- Fast Company
Darth Vader conducts Christmas Choir Flash Mob: Broadcasting students at Algonquin College wanted to showcase the new Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects) by lightening the mood [video]- YouTube
Best Architecture Books of 2011: 10 books sparking creative inspiration plus escapist fare for financially fickle times. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Competition winner: BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group: Koutalaki Ski Village, Levi, Finland
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