Today’s News - Friday, March 9, 2012
• Hawthorne looks at what's happening in Japan a year after the earthquake and tsunami: "Architects are ahead of the government in planning," but "their efforts have so far garnered little support from politicians in Tokyo."
• Hanscom on FEMA's push for disaster-proof green buildings along with a new report that looks at "climate resiliency" and identifies "the risks associated with a changing climate. The list looks like the 10 Plagues."
• London's Shard will soon be trumped by Paris as home to Europe's tallest building (actually, there will be two).
• Rose reviews the week (with much tongue-in-cheek): Foster's Paris towers; controversial Liverpool Waters scheme closer to reality; Aberdeen's vote on DS+R's Granite Web ("or "Teletubby Park", depending on whose side you're on"); the new Ferrari Museum is "vintage Kaplický"; and more.
• Dvir looks at what might be in store for Tel Aviv's abandoned Dolphinarium that faces the wrecking ball to make way for waterfront towers (what else?!!?): "an unfortunate end to a fantastical architectural dream that never managed to fulfill its potential"; the architect is "hurt and pessimistic."
• Olympic architects better play by the rules re: no publicizing their projects, or they could face prosecution: they "should have made more of a fuss two years ago."
• Two NYC firms tapped to design two art fairs, hoping "to mitigate viewer fatigue and boost sales by bringing some clarity to the aisles upon aisles of art."
• MoMA's Gadanho delves deeply into the "performance architecture of Didier Fiuza Faustino" (a long read; great pix).
• U.K.'s 2012 Civic Trust Awards winners announced (a long list).
• Weekend diversions:
• Kamin finds strengths (and weaknesses) in Tigerman's show at the Graham Foundation and the 81-year-old enfant terrible's "cleverly-titled" new book: his forte is commentary rather than construction...His whole career has been a revolt against 'build, don't talk.'"
• King cheers early Golden Gate Bridge sketches at the California Historical Society that "are fun cultural artifacts that in real life would have been deadly," and prove "a truth that is never out of style: The best architecture knows when to leave well enough alone."
• Speaking of bridges, the Dallas Center for Architecture is celebrating the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge with a Calatrava exhibition.
• Two takes on NYC's Center for Architecture's two shows on Baghdad, 1952-1982, and current Middle East architecture: they "challenge assumptions about the region and provide some startling revelations" + models were built by students and professors at the University of Baghdad's architecture school - "their work was shrouded in secrecy."
• Two (not so positive) takes on MoMA's "Foreclosed" show: Lerner is pleased to see "serious proposals...readily buildable" instead of "mile-high farming machines or magically floating street grids," but the unsatisfactory aspect "is its vagueness about the economic arrangements that would supposedly underpin these projects...The challenge is that it's not just about design."
• While MoMA "wisely seized the chance to imagine a new future for the suburbs, the result, unfortunately, is absurd."
• Rappaport's "Vertical Urban Factory: East Asia" at NYU's East Asian Studies Department asks: "can new factories and manufacturers present solutions that are economical, ecological, and socially sustainable for future East Asian cities?"
• London's Royal Academy celebrates Hawksmoor 350th anniversary with an exhibition "exploring not the architect's working methods but his cultural legacy"; it's too bad its "hustled such promising material into what it optimistically calls its 'Architecture Space.'"
• The two-volume "Pyongyang: Architectural and Cultural Guide" offers "a startling contrast between propaganda and the reality of life in North Korea - it could hardly be more timely" (amazing images!).
• We couldn't resist: an eyeful of Sonja Hinrichsen's Snow Drawings in Colorado (also amazing).
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A Year Later: Without a blueprint: Japan, a year after a disastrous earthquake and tsunami, has seen recovery stall in the cleanup stage. Architects are ahead of the government in planning...sketching out thoughtful plans for new housing and civic architecture, their efforts have so far garnered little support from politicians in Tokyo. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Kumiko Inui; Toyo Ito; Kazuyo Sejima; Masashige Motoe; Shoko Fukuya; Hitoshi Abe; Archi-Aid; Yasuaki Onoda [images]- Los Angeles Times
Gimme bomb shelter: FEMA pushes for disaster-proof green buildings: ...a new report by University of Michigan researchers and the U.S. Green Building Council that looks at “climate resiliency”..."Green Building and Climate Resilience" [identifies] the risks associated with a changing climate. The list looks like the 10 Plagues...“no regrets” measures include everything from heavily insulated walls and ceilings to reflective and green roofs. By Greg Hanscom [link to report]- Grist Magazine
Paris to trump London's Shard with Europe's tallest buildings: ...93-story Hermitage Plaza...two buildings - which will house offices, luxury apartments, a shopping complex and a hotel - will dominate the skyline in the western business district of La Defense. -- Foster + Partners [images]- Telegraph (UK)
Constructive criticism: the week in architecture: Paris is full of tall talk as Norman Foster delivers his designs for two new skyscrapers [Hermitage Plaza], while Jan Kaplický's Enzo Ferrari Museum is unveiled in Modena and Aberdeen votes on City Garden (aka the Granite Web, or "Teletubby Park", depending on whose side you're on)... By Steve Rose -- Foster + Partners; Richard Rogers; Chapman Taylor; ; Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Keppie Design/Olin Studio; Future Systems; Andrea Morgante/Shiro Studio [images, links]- Guardian (UK)
Tel Aviv postpones demolition of abandoned Dolphinarium: ...to make way for a link between city's northern and southern beachfront promenades in place of the crumbling  venue...an unfortunate end to a fantastical architectural dream that never managed to fulfill its potential...architect Nahum Zolotov sounded hurt and pessimistic..."Anyone who thinks [it] blocks the sea is forgetting that the new towers to be built across from it will block it even more." By Noam Dvir [image]- Ha`aretz (Israel)
Architects who break Olympic rules may be prosecuted: Asked whether he had sympathy for those firms complaining about the rules, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson told BD “No. When people signed the contracts they knew what they were letting themselves in for...I can understand the frustration but it won’t last forever. Once the Games are over, they will be allowed to do so.” And he added practices should have made more of a fuss two years ago.- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Art of Designing for Art Fairs: Two New York firms help organize the Armory Show and Frieze...to mitigate viewer fatigue and boost sales by bringing some clarity to the aisles upon aisles of art...."It’s kind of like urban life, where there are so many things happening, so we approached it like city planning." -- Bade Stageberg Cox; Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu/SO–IL [slide show]- Architectural Record
Bordering on the Illegal: The Performance Architecture of Didier Fiuza Faustino: While constantly hopping in-between two fields - and while remaining at the fringes of mainstream practice - he is able to momentarily acquire positions of legitimacy from where to destabilize and undermine the conventional authority of architecture. By Pedro Gadanho/MoMA [images]- Huffington Post
2012 Civic Trust Awards Winners Announced: From 27 Award winning schemes, 6 Special Awards were given to...projects that have demonstrated outstanding credentials in specific areas. -- Gareth Hoskins Architects; Studio Weave; Adam Khan Architects; Eric Parry Architects; David Chipperfield Architects; Petersen Williams [links to images, info]- Civic Trust Awards (UK)
Chicago's 81-Year-Old Enfant Terrible: "Stanley Tigerman: Ceci n’est pas une reverie (“This is not a dream”)" charts his role in the revolt against orthodox Modernism...elegant drawings...reveal how he broke free from the Miesian grid and neutral palette...cleverly-titled new book, "Schlepping Through Ambivalence: Essays on an American Architectural Condition" shares the show’s strengths and weaknesses...his forte is commentary rather than construction...His whole career has been a revolt against “build, don’t talk.” By Blair Kamin [images]- Architectural Record
Early Golden Gate Bridge sketches' flight of fancy: "A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge" at the California Historical Society show us what could have been...The images are fun cultural artifacts that in real life would have been deadly, and they illustrate a truth that is never out of style: The best architecture knows when to leave well enough alone. By John King -- John Eberson; Irving Morrow; Joseph B. Strauss [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
In celebration of the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the Dallas Center for Architecture presents "Nature & Motion: The Architecture of Santiago Calatrava"- Dallas Center for Architecture
Assumptions of Middle East Architecture Challenged in Two New York Exhibitions at the Center for Architecture: ...trace mid-century planning in Baghdad...and the building boom of the last decade in the broader Middle East..."City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982" and "Change: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000-Present" challenge assumptions about the region and provide some startling revelations. -- Pedro Azara; Hassan Radoine; Le Corbusier; Josep Lluís Sert- International Business Times
The Baghdad the Could Have Been: At New York’s Center for Architecture, an exhibition of models quietly constructed in Iraq shows 20th-century dreams for the city..."City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982"...curator Pedro Azara...began working with students and professors at the University of Baghdad’s architecture school...their work was shrouded in secrecy. -- Frank Lloyd Wright; Le Corbusier; Walter Gropius; Alvar Aalto; The Architects’ Collaborative; Hisham A. Munir; Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown; José Luis Sert; Ricardo Bofill; Doxiadis Associates; Willem Marinus Dudok [slide shows]- Architectural Record
Dreaming of Home: “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream”...no mile-high farming machines or magically floating street grids...They are serious proposals with recognizable components—more and less radical, but readily buildable...Surprisingly, the unsatisfactory aspect of the exhibition is its vagueness about the economic arrangements that would supposedly underpin these projects...we need alternatives to sprawl that can really work. The challenge is that it’s not just about design. By Jonathan Lerner -- Visible Weather; WORKac; Zago Architecture; Studio Gang Architects; MOS [images]- TraceSF (San Francisco)
Pomp and paternalism: Every exhibition aspires to make a strong impression. “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream”...is disappointing largely because its premise is so fascinating...MoMA wisely seized the chance to imagine a new future for the suburbs. The result, unfortunately, is absurd. ..The suburbs may be in need of change, but surely not the changes proposed here. -- Barry Bergdoll; Reinhold Martin; MOS; Zago Architecture; Studio Gang; WORKac [images]- The Economist (UK)
"Vertical Urban Factory: East Asia" at NYU's East Asian Studies Department features architecture in the development of urban industrial regions in China, Korea, and Japan...the exhibition asks: can new factories and manufacturers present solutions that are economical, ecological, and socially sustainable for future East Asian cities? -- Albert Kahn (1913); Giacomo Matte-Trucco (1926); Toni Molkerei (1977); Henn Architekten (2006) [images]- Vertical Urban Factory/Nina Rappaport
Nicholas Hawksmoor: Architect of the Imagination: A new exhibtion at the Royal Academy marks the 350th anniversary of a master of medley: ...a small exhibition exploring not the architect’s working methods but his cultural legacy...It’s a shame, then, that the RA has hustled such promising material into what it optimistically calls its "Architecture Space." [images]- Telegraph (UK)
Pyongyang's Architecture on trial: A two-volume "Pyongyang: Architectural and Cultural Guide" offers a startling contrast between propaganda and the reality of life in North Korea: ...this book, with its revealing images and stimulating discussion, could hardly be more timely. By Hyunjoo Lee [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Sonja Hinrichsen’s Snow Drawings: ...a massive drawing stomped into the drifts at Rabbit Ear Pass, Steamboat Springs, Colorado...creates a temporary landscape with a sense of movement. [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Allied Works Architecture: Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, Colorado
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