Today’s News - Friday, March 2, 2012
• Weinstein considers books on Adolf Loos and Jennifer Post: with "this unlikely couple, we can air out that beleaguered term 'architectural minimalism' and trace a trajectory of what might be better identified as 'essentialist architecture.'"
• Aberdeen votes thumbs-up for DS+R's City Garden Project - "albeit by a small majority."
• Cary puts out a call for a Global Design Service Corps: "there is a massive appetite for these kinds of opportunities among the next generation of designers, but precious few opportunities."
• McGuigan ponders: "Can public-interest design become a viable alternative to traditional practice?" + Arch Record rounds up a slew of "goodwill buildings that have both pragmatic and aesthetic appeal" (plan to spend some time here).
• LeBlanc cheers a Toronto community center expansion that "isn't just a stylish architectural confection - it's become a primer for Toronto on how to involve youth in 'priority neighborhoods' in the construction process."
• U.K. architects and academics are none too pleased with education secretary's list of 30 buildings school children should see: none is more recent than WWII era.
• Heathcote hails a shift in architecture for commercial buildings that "is cheaper, much more useful and hopefully represents the future" (great slide show, too!).
• Hume gives two thumbs-ups to the Balsillie School of International Affairs: "an elegant affair that will bring new depth to the city" that "does a nice job balancing new and old - bell towers meet solar panels."
• Four notable critics discuss the state of architectural criticism today (there is an elephant in the room).
• A lively excerpt from Lange's new book about how to be an architecture critic, focusing on Ada Louise Huxtable's classic review of SOM's Marine Midland Bank Building in NYC (great slide show).
• The winning entry in The Unfinished Grid essay competition is a lively read, too.
• More on the high hopes some folks have for the Low Line on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
• Weekend diversions:
• Moore is taken by "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History" that "shows how an idealistic postwar housing project went disastrously wrong" (it wasn't necessarily the architecture at all).
• Arch Digest picks 10 must-see documentaries about architecture, design, and urban planning.
• "Life Architecturally" follows an "architect duo through their journey in life and in practice as directors of one of Melbourne's leading architect firms."
• Britain's Network Rail has posted part of its beautiful archive of Victorian and Edwardian infrastructure diagrams on the web: "the architectural drawing of Paddington station looks like a dome-shaped doodle, all exuberant sprays of ivy-like shoots."
• "Celebrating Pugin" at the Irish Architectural Archive in Dublin includes drawings on view to the public for the first time.
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Book Review: Tracing a Hidden Track from Adolf Loos as Modernist Architect to Jennifer Post as Modernist Interior Designer: "The Looshaus" by Christopher Long, and "Jennifer Post: Pure Space: Elegant Minimalism" by Anna Kasabian...with this unlikely couple, we can air out that beleaguered term "architectural minimalism" and trace a trajectory of what might be better identified as "essentialist architecture." By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
Residents vote for Aberdeen Gardens scheme: City referendum backs Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Granite Web..."We are thrilled that the public have come out in favour of the City Garden Project, albeit by a small majority." -- Keppie Design- BD/Building Design (UK)
Calling for a Global Design Service Corps: Only a sliver of the world’s population currently benefits from well-designed spaces in which to live their best lives...there is a massive appetite for these kinds of opportunities among the next generation of designers, but precious few opportunities. By John Cary -- Enterprise Rose Fellowship; Design Corps; IDEO.org; MASS Design Group- Stanford Social Innovation Review
Architecture for Everyone: Can public-interest design become a viable alternative to traditional practice? By Cathleen McGuigan- Architectural Record
Building for Social Change: ...goodwill buildings that have both pragmatic and aesthetic appeal; Does “Doing Good” Pay the Bills?; etc. -- G Ateliers Architecture; Ludens; ELEMENTAL; Elisa Marin/Manfred Barboza; Planb arquitectos/Ctrl G; RUFproject/MMA Architects; Kéré Architecture; Architecture for Humanity; Field Architecture; MASS Design Group; Mark Cavagnero Associates; ELS Architecture; BNIM; Corner Greer/DLR Group; WASA/Studio A; Auburn University Rural Studio; ; Michael Maltzan; Studio H/Project H Design; Bryan Bell/Design Corps; John Peterson/Public Architecture [slide shows]- Architectural Record
Teen clients become design partners in Scarborough: “The Commons” expansion of the McGregor Park Community Centre in Dorset Park...isn’t just a stylish architectural confection...although it most certainly is that – it’s become a primer for Toronto on how to involve youth in “priority neighbourhoods” in the construction process...While small, [it] is a delight. By Dave LeBlanc -- Bortolotto Architects [slide show]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Academics favour modernist school trips: ...education secretary Michael Gove’s list of 30 buildings...to show school children our “rich island story” misses out modern architecture...none is more recent than the second world war. Now architects have come up with their own suggestions...- BD/Building Design (UK)
The new architecture of commercial buildings: For a long time now, the focus...has been the iconic...might now healthily shift towards interiors and the modest but critical creation of semi-public spaces that encourage unintended meetings and serendipitous conversations. It is cheaper, much more useful and hopefully represents the future. By Edwin Heathcote -- Hawkins\Brown; Stanton Williams; PLP/HOK; Renzo Piano; SOM [slide show]- Financial Times (UK)
New Waterloo school gets high marks: The Balsillie School of International Affairs is an elegant affair that will bring new depth to the city...does a nice job balancing new and old. It refers to historical models while using the language of modernity — bell towers meet solar panels...Though it hardly qualifies as invisible, [it] is as well-behaved a piece of architecture as one could hope to find in any city. By Christopher Hume -- Shirley Blumberg/KPMB Architects [images]- Toronto Star
Q+A> Architecture Criticism Today: Architecture + Media series launches with a discussion of the state of criticism...highlights from the two-hour conversation. -- Julie V. Iovine; Justin Davidson/New York magazine; Paul Goldberger/New Yorker; Cathleen McGuigan/Architectural Record; James Russell/Bloomberg- The Architect's Newspaper
How to Be an Architecture Critic: We need more citizen critics equipped with the desire and the vocabulary to remake the city. By Alexandra Lange (excerpt from "Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities") -- Ada Louise Huxtable [images, slide show]- Places Journal
Winner in The Unfinished Grid essay competition: Trangressing the Grid: Adventures On (and Off) Manhattan Island by Philip Kay [images]- Urban Omnibus
Make Way, High Line: Former NASA Engineer Kickstarts “LowLine” Underground Park: The new project embodies several key trends in urban planning, including the idea of using publicly raised funding to create a park for all. -- Dan Barasch; James Ramsey [images]- Fast Company
"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History": death of the American urban dream: A new film shows how an idealistic postwar housing project in St Louis, Missouri went disastrously wrong...If it was vain of modernist architects to think they could change people for the better, there is also vanity in their critics to think that design alone can change them for the worse. By Rowan Moore -- Minoru Yamasaki (1956)- Observer (UK)
Must-See Design Documentaries: AD’s editors select ten essential films from the past decade dealing with architecture, design, and urban planning: Architecture & Design Film Festival’s Kyle Bergman, recommended a handful of favorites from this year’s lineup, and we’ve included three... -- Charles & Ray Eames; Pruitt-Igoe; Unfinished Spaces; etc.- Architectural Digest
"Life Architecturally" documentary with Rob McBride and Debbie Ryan: ...follows architect duo through their journey in life and in practice as directors of one of Melbourne’s leading architect firms...The most successful element...is the revelation of architecture as a passion and way of life for some. It assists in forming a bridge between the general public and the architectural process. -- McBride Charles Ryan- Architecture & Design (Austrailia)
Railway engineering: the nuts and bolts of hidden beauty: Network Rail has just put part of its beautiful archive of Victorian and Edwardian infrastructure diagrams on the web...an invitation to anyone, anywhere, to contemplate such images out of sheer curiosity and love of beauty...The architectural drawing of Paddington station looks like a dome-shaped doodle, all exuberant sprays of ivy-like shoots. By Sarah Bakewell -- Isambard Kingdom Brunel [links]- Guardian (UK)
Changing the faces of Irish churches: "Celebrating Pugin": To coincide with the bicentenary of Pugin’s birth, an exhibition of his drawings opens at the Irish Architectural Archive (IAA) today. These drawings are being shown to the public for the first time.- Irish Times
-- Exhibition: "Alturas de Macchu Picchu: Martín Chambi - Álvaro Siza at work," The Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
-- UNStudio: Kutaisi Airport, Kutaisi, Georgia
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