Today’s News - Monday, January 16, 2012
• ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of MAD's museum in Inner Mongolia, and Situ Studio's Brooklyn Museum installation.
• Haiti two years after the quake: the "optimistic rallying cry to 'build back better' has turned out to be much harder to achieve than anyone imagined."
• McKnight meanders through a "housing expo gone bad...There are many rebuilding success stories in Haiti; from what I can tell, this is not one of them" (incredible photos).
• Right after the quake, Haiti filled with urban planners, but their big plans "are still just drawings on tables at architecture firms in Miami, which played an outsize role in the planning."
• On a slightly brighter note, Sinclair and Stohr offer "plenty of reasons to be optimistic" about what's happening in Haiti.
• Pearman offers high praise (and high wit) for the Room for London: "it's more than a little mad. But it is also very ingenious and endearing...what might also be described as a monument to English eccentricity" (and great pix!)
• Baillieu thinks all the ballyhoo about architects not being able to flaunt their Olympic projects is "hardly catastrophic" - they'll get lots of publicity (eventually).
• Are arts venues being designed and programmed to encourage the next generation? (maybe it's time to start encouraging younger design talent).
• Turning to Texas: Simek wonders: Will Calatrava's soon-to-open bridge lead "to new models of development and forward-thinking urban practice? Or will it serve as yet another symbol of Dallas' bloated ego?"
• Meanwhile, the city's bicycle advocates "win a game of chicken" with City Hall in a "standoff between the old Big-Hair Tail-Fins Dallas and the new Gen X Thirty-something Back-to-the-City Dallas. Don't look now, but Big-Hair just blinked" (a great read - and there will be bike lanes!).
• A plan to convert a 1937 Art Deco shopping center "to forgettable generic" is raising Houstonians' hackles.
• Chicago students scour suburban towns "that aren't generally known for cutting-edge modern architecture" for examples of good mid-century design.
• University of Colorado students head to South Dakota, launching "an interdisciplinary service-learning project to address a reservation's housing woes."
• DS+R trumps Foster in "contentious " Aberdeen City Garden competition - not all are pleased (but lots of pix).
• The first buildings in the $1 billion Brisbane River Waterfront, Newstead project are ready for their close-up: "both buildings reflect contemporary Queensland architecture."
• Heathcote hails to us from a Balinese resort (lucky him!) and finds "a new language of luxury": it's "seductive, thoughtful...hugely, and enjoyably, theatrical."
• RIBA's Future Trends survey finds a decrease in female architects and less confidence in future workloads (why are we not surprised?).
• A New Zealand architect broods over being bamboozled by a bogus competition.
• One we couldn't resist - it's totally off topic, but totally ticking us off: Arizona bans Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and a whole lot more (could Harry Potter be far behind?!!?).
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-- MAD: Ordos Museum, Kang Ba Shi City, Inner Mongolia, China -- Ma Yansong
-- Exhibition: Situ Studio: reOrder: An Architectural Environment, Brooklyn Museum, New York -- Ennead Architects
Few major Haiti reconstruction projects have begun: ...marks the second anniversary of the earthquake...Half a million people are still living in crowded camps. And only four of the 10 largest projects funded by international donors have broken ground...The optimistic rallying cry...to "build back better," has turned out to be much harder to achieve than anyone imagined. (AP)- Bloomberg/BusinessWeek
Haiti Dispatch: A Housing Expo Gone Bad: ...“Building Back Better Communities” expo opened last July and is still on view...While certainly noble in intent, the expo has faltered...dozens of decent houses...sit in a barren field, locked and unoccupied, while people are living in tattered tents a short distance away...There are many rebuilding success stories in Haiti; from what I can tell, this is not one of them. By Jenna M. McKnight [slide show]- Architectural Record
Two years after quake, signs of progress in Haiti: Advances are visible...but they happen at “painfully slow” pace...Progress is not coming easily...In the first year after the earthquake, Haiti was filled with urban planners who imagined broad avenues and seaside promenades rising from the slums. But those dreams of new office towers here are still just drawings on tables at architecture firms in Miami, which played an outsize role in the planning. [slide show]- Washington Post
10 Reasons Why You Should Pay More Attention to Haiti: Media coverage has not been particularly kind...“stalled” seemed to be the word of choice in 2011 to describe the pace of progress in rebuilding here...However, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. By Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair- Architecture for Humanity
Le Roi des Belges: the boat that’s a house on top of a London concert hall: ...even by the somewhat outré standards of Living Architecture, the Room for London is an oddity...it’s more than a little mad. But it is also very ingenious and endearing...with the eyes of the world on...London in 2012, how appropriate to have...what might also be described as a monument to English eccentricity. By Hugh Pearman -- Artangel; Alain de Botton; David Kohn; Fiona Banner [images]- HughPearman.com (UK)
Good architecture sells itself: Whatever the Olympics’ restrictions on marketing, 2012’s successes won’t lack for publicity: ...it’s now payback time. But...for architects’ marketing departments, [it] isn’t that easy because of Locog’s rules banning firms from publicising their work. This is seen as unfair by some...but it’s hardly catastrophic...architects lucky enough to have a slice of the Olympic action should relax and slow down. The glory is still to come. By Amanda Baillieu- BD/Building Design (UK)
What is the future of arts buildings? Architects must consider the ways in which future audiences will interact with arts venues...are our venues being designed and programmed to encourage the next generation? ...we'll have to wait and see (or encourage younger architects to develop new practices for designing future art venues). By Jake Orr/A Younger Theatre -- Rob Harris/Arup; Liaz Foir/MUF Architects- Guardian (UK)
Will 2012 Deliver Promised New Frontiers? The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge: Part sculptural “eye candy"...part real estate development play for West Dallas, the bridge is a piece of architecture weighted with expectations and symbolic connotations...Will its legacy mark a shift in civic thinking, leading to new models of development and forward-thinking urban practice? Or will it serve as yet another symbol of Dallas’ bloated ego... By Peter Simek -- Santiago Calatrava; Trinity River Corridor Project; CityDesign Studio- D Magazine (Dallas)
Bicycle Advocates Win a Game of Chicken: City Hall turns back on fudged numbers for bike lanes.
The bike plan now is the emblematic, frontline, eyeball-to-eyeball standoff between the old Big-Hair Tail-Fins Dallas and the new Gen X Thirtysomething Back-to-the-City Dallas. Don't look now, but Big-Hair just blinked...It means this city is getting smarter...And it's going to have bike lanes. By Jim Schutze- Dallas Observer
Don't Mess With River Oaks: Houston has always prided itself as a city...that operates without memory, regret, or nostalgia. But when developers began messing with the historic River Oaks Shopping Center, Houstonians raised their hackles...The conversion from Art Deco  classic to forgettable generic has occurred just as Houston...has begun preserving a tiny fraction of its historic structures. By Mimi Swartz- Texas Monthly
Students make it their mission to preserve mid-century architecture: ...scouring Chicago suburbs to find examples of good architecture...including towns...that aren’t generally known for cutting-edge modern architecture. At least, not yet...often encounter people who are puzzled as to why anyone is interested in preserving these buildings. -- Art Institute of Chicago; Recent Past Survey [links to images]- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
University of Colorado Students to Design and Build Native American Housing in South Dakota: ...launch the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative, an interdisciplinary service-learning project to address the reservation’s housing woes. -- Rob Pyatt- Architectural Record
Diller Scofidio + Renfro beats Foster + Partners to win contentious Aberdeen City Garden: ...the controversial contest to transform Union Terrace Gardens...However, the winning design concept will now be subject to a referendum to find out if the public supports the regeneration project... -- Keppie Design; OLIN; Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Designs materialise at $1 billion Waterfront master plan: ...the first buildings in the $1 billion Brisbane River Waterfront, Newstead project now complete...Waterfront, Newstead is being built on 10.4 hectares of the Newstead Riverpark site...Both buildings reflect contemporary Queensland architecture... -- Mirvac Design [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Suite seduction: The bold architecture of a Balinese resort points to a new language of luxury: Alila Villas Uluwatu...seductive, thoughtful...a sublime cocktail of slick modernist design, complex waterways and lush vegetation...somehow combined an intricate complexity with a minimal purity, and at the same time engineered the whole experience to be hugely, and enjoyably, theatrical...Clever, beautiful buildings that enrich rather than destroy the landscape are among the greatest, and rarest luxuries we have. By Edwin Heathcote -- WOHA Architects [images]- Financial Times (UK)
RIBA reports decrease in female architects: Future Trends survey also shows less confidence in future workloads.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Competition scam angers designer: ...purportedly run by the British Biological Architecture Foundation...tracked down David Greenburg, the original...organiser of a previous legitimate treehouse competition, whose concept had been duplicated by the site. "He had been trying, along with National Geographic, to get the bogus site exposed" -- Graham Roebuck/Structural Integrity- Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Who’s afraid of “The Tempest”? Arizona's ban on ethnic studies proscribes Mexican-American history, local authors, even Shakespeare...the books “will be cleared from all classrooms, boxed up and sent to the Textbook Depository for storage.”- Salon
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