Today’s News - Friday, June 1, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to post the newsletter yesterday...sometimes stuff happens...
• Lepeska's 4-part series on the "rebuild era" in America is well worth spending some time with: Has it begun? What comes next?
• Oscar picks Piano and Pali for its new museum inside LA's old May Company Building: "there is a chance that Piano could have more impact on Los Angeles's new public architecture than any other contemporary architect," says Lubell.
• Hawthorne offers a Take 2 on TWBTA's Barnes in Philly: it is "sober, handsome, and exquisitely detailed," but because of the "peculiar restrictions," it "suffers from a distinct lack of soul."
• High hopes to turn the to-be-demolished Sydney monorail into another High Line get mixed reviews: "it makes sense to reuse not to remove" vs. "the proposal should be called the Bye Line and quickly forgotten."
• Glancey weighs in on Ai Weiwei/H&deM's Serpentine Pavilion: the "would-be archaeological site is a game of make-believe and fleeting memory. It has an ethereal and even ghostly quality" that "seems apt."
• Herzog "invokes Olympic spirit - but no mention of the disappearing foundations."
• Long takes a long view at artists taking a hand at architecture, though Ai is the only one who considers himself an architect.
• McGuigan reports from the Pritzker Prize ceremony in Beijing where Wang Shu delivered an "architectural manifesto that was an attack on the vast and rapid expansion of China's cities" and "gigantic and iconic architecture" - not to mention "an implied critique" of previous (though unnamed) Pritzker laureates who were sitting in the audience.
• Adler x 2: a report on (and link to) the Eisenhower family's response to Gehry's revised memorial design: they approved of the changes, but are still unhappy with the metal scrims that "remain controversial and divisive."
• He comments on a forum on memorial design as "a one-sided attack on non-classical memorials and monuments. The irony, though, is that even when these curmudgeons get what they want, they remain unhappy."
• The forum sponsors beg to differ: Adler "is wrong to attribute these objections to a reactionary, knee-jerk anti-Modernism...'Classicism-vs.-Modernism' battle was largely irrelevant."
• Menking considers the legacy and future of Brutalist buildings now under threat: in time, they "may not look so bad when compared with the commercial towers and thoughtless bland boxes that will replace them."
• Mattern marvels at "the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerrilla and ad-hoc libraries" showing up in "urban margins."
• Brussat is cheered by news that the exquisitely classical Providence Public Library plans to re-open its grand main doors - and totally "crestfallen" by the details: "the 1% will get to enter the ornate portal for parties, but the 99% will still enter through the basement."
• Call for entries: Berg cheers the "cheekily-named contest" - "Show Us Your Package": design L.A.'s official condom wrapper (NYC did it first, and it was great fun).
• Weekend diversions:
• "Modern Ghost Towns" on view in Berlin explores the eerie phenomenon (great slide show!).
• Cedar Rapids Museum of Art presents its first exhibition "devoted to the art of architecture" chronicling the changing face of the city's downtown after the 2008 floods: "the current building boom is a 'transformative moment' for the city," and "stirs mixed emotions."
• Ball-Nogues Studio steps into the spotlight at the SCI-Arc Gallery with a show that "calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction."
• London's Canary Wharf hosts a large, wind-powered sculpture that "looks like the result of smashing together a pipe organ and a porcupine" - and "mutters breathy" (or "creepy") tunes (some suggest a mute button - you can listen and decide).
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Welcome to the Rebuild Era: America's leaders have talked a lot about the need to rebuild. Has it begun? 2) The Midwest's Rebuild Era: community activism reshaping some of the cities hardest hit by the great recession; 3) Rethinking Our Cities: an explosion of events and organizations aiming to remake our neighborhoods and cities; 4) "Crowd-Sourcing Can't Build Bridges": Cities and citizens are working together to rebuild communities and grow jobs. What comes next? By David Lepeska [images, links]- The Atlantic Cities
May Day: Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali/SPF:a to design new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum inside LA's May Company Building: Since Piano is also shortlisted to design the master plan for...Union Station, there is a chance that he could have more impact on the city’s new public architecture than any other contemporary architect. By Sam Lubell- The Architect's Newspaper
Barnes Storm: After a tempest over its relocation, an acclaimed art collection settles into its spacious new home...sober, handsome, and exquisitely detailed...At the same time, thanks to the peculiar restrictions...suffers from a distinct lack of soul...The design...flows directly from their willingness to go along with that misguided strategy—and even from the belief that they might manage, in the end, to redeem it. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Paul Cret; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Laurie Olin [slide show]- Architectural Record
Sydney High Line Receives Mixed Reviews: Dubbed the ‘Highlane’ the concept would see the to-be-demolished Sydney monorail transformed instead into a 3.6 km public walkway..."it makes sense to reuse not to remove"..."the proposal should be called the Bye Line and quickly forgotten." -- David Vago/Habitation [images]- DesignBuild Source (Australia)
Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei's Serpentine Pavilion: ...rooted in the idea of memory...decided to dig down into Kensington Gardens and to reveal imaginary ruins of the 11 previous pavilions...would-be archaeological site is a game of make-believe and fleeting memory...It has...an ethereal and even ghostly quality. This seems apt... By Jonathan Glancey [images, video]- Telegraph (UK)
Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei's Serpentine Pavilion opens: Jacques Herzog invokes Olympic spirit - but no mention of the disappearing foundations...excavations revealed there were no remains [of foundations of the previous 11 pavilions] to be uncovered since Royal Parks rules insist that all traces be removed. [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Ai Weiwei the architect: ...the latest artist to have a hand — this time, in collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron — in the design of the Serpentine’s summer pavilion. So what form does he have when it comes to building? ...one of a growing number of artists branching out into architecture. By Kieran Long -- Olafur Eliasson; Anish Kapoor; Thomas Demand; FAKE Design- Evening Standard (UK)
A Report from Beijing's Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony: In a surprisingly brief ceremony...Wang Shu had enough time...to declare an architectural manifesto that was an attack on the vast and rapid expansion of China's cities as well as an implied critique of a number of previous Pritzker laureates who - though none were named - were sitting in the audience...questioned a dependence on "gigantic and iconic architecture." By Cathleen McGuigan -- Alejandro Aravena; Yung Ho Chang; Zaha Hadid; Glenn Murcutt; Juhani Pallasmaa; Karen Stein; Frank Gehry; Jean Nouvel- Architectural Record
Eisenhower Family Still Unhappy with Gehry’s Memorial Design: ...thanked Frank Gehry and his colleagues for responding to their concerns and said they approved of the changes..."The scope and scale of the metal scrims, however, remain controversial and divisive"... By Ben Adler- Architectural Record
Commentary: Modernism Takes a Beating at Forum on Memorial Design:...the forum was a one-sided attack on non-classical memorials and monuments...a reminder that certain people will always revile Modernism for both ideological and aesthetic reasons...The irony, though, is that even when these curmudgeons get what they want, they remain unhappy. By Ben Adler -- American Enterprise Institute (AEI); National Civic Art Society (NCAS); Frank Gehry; Bruce Cole/Hudson Institute; Michael J. Lewis; Diana Schaub; Roger Scruton; Maya Lin; Gary Schmitt; Friedrich St. Florian; ROMA Design Group/Lei Yixin- Architectural Record
The American Enterprise Institute responds to Ben Adler’s commentary about a recent forum on memorial designs: Adler is correct that the panel was unanimous in its disapproval of Frank Gehry’s designs for the Eisenhower Memorial. However, he is wrong to attribute these objections to a reactionary, knee-jerk anti-Modernism...“Classicism-vs.-Modernism” battle was largely irrelevant.- Architectural Record
Editorial> Tough Love: William Menking considers the legacy and future of Brutalism: ...in time these Brutalist structures may not look so bad when compared with the commercial towers (slated for the Mechanics Theater site) and thoughtless bland boxes (on the Rudolph site) that will replace them. -- John Johansen; Paul Rudolph; Alison and Peter Smithson; Rick Mather [images, links]- The Architect's Newspaper
Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins: ...the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerrilla and ad-hoc libraries...to reclaim a small corner of public space in our hyper-commercialized cities...that might no longer reflect the civic aspirations of a diverse public. By Shannon Mattern -- Karo-Architekten; Design Trust for Public Space; Architecture for Humanity NY; Höweler + Yoon Architecture [images]- Places Journal
Yes, open the library's doors - to all: ...my heart must've soared when I saw the cover of a pamphlet about a proposed renovation of the Providence Public Library. And how crestfallen I was when I read the details...the 1% will get to enter the ornate portal for parties, but the 99% will still enter through the basement...The most beautiful entrance should be for all. By David Brussat -- Stone, Carpenter & Willson (1900) [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Call for entries: Design L.A.'s Official Condom Wrapper: New York City has one, and soon Los Angeles will as well...cheekily-named contest – "Show Us Your Package" – is accepting submissions through June 17. By Nate Berg- The Atlantic Cities
Leaving It All Behind: When Modern Cities Become Ghost Towns: Urban researchers in Berlin are exploring an eerie phenomenon -- the modern ghost town..."Moderne Geisterstädte" (Modern Ghostowns) at the Architekturmuseum der TU Berlin/Museum of Architecture of the Technische Universität Berlin [slide show]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
"Looking Forward, Looking Back: Architecture of Downtown Cedar Rapids, Then and Now": Art museum exhibits chronicle the changing face of downtown...first exhibition devoted to the art of architecture...the current building boom a “transformative moment” for the city...stirs mixed emotions. -- OPN Architects; Sasaki Associates/Anderson Bogert; Solum-Lang Architects [images]- The Gazette / KCRG-TV9 (Iowa)
"Ball-Nogues Studio: Yevrus 1, Negative Impression": Constructed from non-architectural artifacts...calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction. June 1- July 8- Southern California Institute of Architecture/SCI-Arc
A Public Sculpture That Moans and Howls in the Wind: Luke Jerram's wind-powered "Aeolus" looks like the result of smashing together a pipe organ and a porcupine...harnesses the vagaries of the wind to make spooky music that gets under your skin. Hunkered on a grassy square in London's Canary Wharf district, it mutters breathy tunes... [images, video]- The Atlantic Cities
INSIGHT: Let's Quiet Down: The Case for Places, Regionalism, and Sustainability: Architecture should be concerned primarily with place-making, not object-making. By Peter Gisolfi, AIA, ASLA, LEED AP- ArchNewsNow
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects: The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Olin; Ballinger; Fisher Marantz Stone
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