Today’s News - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
• Richard Florida leads a great 5-part conversation on the future of Motor City: "If you think of a place that was close to death and is now entering into a new life, that's Detroit."
• K. Jacobs delves into Dallas's efforts to remake its downtown, though "enlightened urban planners have to wrestle with impediments" in a city that's finding it a bit "hard to change its spots."
• Vasagar, Minton, Wainwright, and others weigh in on British cities signing over their public spaces to private enterprises - needless to say, despite a few glimmers of enlightenment, the trend does not bode well.
• O'Sullivan bemoans the petty (and hardly Olympic-spirited) "micromanaged brand protection" that bans firms working on 2012 Olympic projects from even mentioning them for 12(!) years: they're "going down about as well as you'd expect with the home crowd in London."
• Roche is more than a bit roiled about the "flawed" Eisenhower Memorial selection process: the powers-that-be should begin again with a public design competition - "current and future Frank Gehrys and Maya Lins should apply."
• Russell gives thumbs-up to re-workings of Yale's Saarinen-designed Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges and SOM's 1954 Manufacturers Trust, bringing "new life to buildings many thought weren't worth preserving or were too difficult to adapt...the results can be extraordinary."
• Kamin gives (mostly) thumbs-up to a new children's hospital in Chicago: the "journey did not prove easy or tension-free" for the design teams, "but it's hard to deny the power of good design to touch the heart as well as please the eye" (and kudos to the city's cultural institutions!).
• Dunlap on the saga of design changes at SOM's 1 WTC: while it is "undeniably impressive and unquestionably a landmark...it is not exactly the building New Yorkers were first led to believe they would see."
• Chaban rides the elevator to the top of Maki's almost-topped-out 4 WTC: "One World Trade Center will certainly be the head of the family, while 4 World Trade will be the beautiful daughter everyone secretly adores."
• An eyeful of Shigeru Ban's big penthouse plans for a Tribeca landmark (not included is news that the Landmarks Preservation Commission just gave it a green light).
• The Architect of the Capitol's office "appears to be taking the brunt of the hits" when it comes to Congressional budget cuts - just "to show it can cut spending": first in line to feel the pinch - repairing the Capitol Dome that the AIA and others claim make it a danger zone.
• On a brighter note, ArtPlace is handing out $15.4 million in new grants to 47 Creative Placemaking initiatives.
• Theodoropoulos, head of the University of Oregon Architecture Department to be dean at Cal Poly's College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
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Detroit Rising: If you think of a place that was close to death and is now entering into a new life, that's Detroit...Richard Florida leads a conversation on the future of the Motor City [5-part video series]- The Atlantic Cities
Instant Urbanism: ...Dallas has been aggressively remaking its downtown...the Calatrava bridge is the most visible symbol...enlightened urban planners have to wrestle with impediments...Apparently, there’s no local appetite for removing the highways...[the city] may find it hard to change its spots...While the attempt to make central Dallas walkable is something of a long shot, the desire seems genuine. By Karrie Jacobs -- Morphosis; Renzo Piano; Norman Foster; OMA; Thomas Phifer; Office of James Burnett- Metropolis Magazine
Public spaces in Britain's cities fall into private hands: Projects such as London's new outdoor space, Granary Square at King's Cross, favour business over community, say critics...designed on a corporate model...while community spirit and sustainability are not a priority...risks erasing local character in favour of corporate sterility... By Jeevan Vasagar- Guardian (UK)
Liverpool One no longer feeds into fears around private estates: The largest privately owned area in the UK has played a part in keeping the city alive...was the original bogeyman in the controversy over newly "private" areas of UK cities...How things have turned out...has huge relevance to London's post-Olympic developments. By Martin Wainwright- Guardian (UK)
Privatising the outdoors: who owns our public space: We are returning to an undemocratic model of land ownership...reducing democracy to an optional extra. By Anna Minton + Scottish people have been losing 'common good' land since 1491. By Andy Wightman + Aberdeen's divisive City Garden project hangs in the balance + more- Guardian (UK)
The Pettiness of Olympic Branding: The micromanaged brand protection strategies of the International Olympic Committee are going down about as well as you’d expect with the home crowd in London...if Britain manages to get these rules softened up, they’ll be helping future hosts by taking one for the team. By Feargus O’Sullivan- The Atlantic Cities
Flawed Selection Process Mars Eisenhower Memorial: Limited or even fundamental revisions of the current design are irrelevant...To restore the public's faith in this project, the Commission should begin again with the proven public design competition it mistakenly rejected. Current and future Frank Gehrys and Maya Lins should apply. By Sam Roche- Huffington Post
Yale Dorms, Classy Bank Display Happy Changes to Landmark: Imaginative interpretations of history can bring new life to buildings many thought weren’t worth preserving or were too difficult to adapt...the results can be extraordinary. By James S. Russell -- Eero Saarinen (1962); KieranTimberlake; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) [images]- Bloomberg News
Building comfort from within; inside a make-do exterior, new Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago contains human touches that will help soothe its young patients...The journey did not prove easy or tension-free...but it's hard to deny the power of good design to touch the heart as well as please the eye. By Blair Kamin -- Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF); Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Anderson Mikos Architects; Mikyoung Kim [images]- Chicago Tribune
1 World Trade Center Is a Growing Presence, and a Changed One: The tower is undeniably impressive and unquestionably a landmark of 21st-century New York, but it is not exactly the building New Yorkers were first led to believe they would see. By David W. Dunlap -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Peter Walker & Partners; Mathews Nielsen [images]- New York Times
Is 4 World Trade Center Better Than the Big One? Inside the Other Tower About to Top Out: If it were possible for a skyscraper to quietly rise nearly 1,000 feet into the sky with little notice, 4 WTC would be the building to do it...One World Trade Center will certainly be the head of the family, while 4 World Trade will be the beautiful daughter everyone secretly adores. By Matt Chaban -- Fumihiko Maki [video]- New York Observer
Shigeru Ban Has Big Penthouse Plans for Tribeca Landmark: The proposal for 361 Broadway, a grand stack of neo-Grecian cast iron...restored by the creative crew at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, is for a two-story addition atop the existing six-story James White Building. -- Dean Maltz [images]- Curbed New York
Danger zone: Capitol Dome rehab delay threatens safety: House and Senate appropriators are trying to cut costs, and the Architect of the Capitol’s office appears to be taking the brunt of the hits. AoC Stephen Ayers had sought money to repair tears and leaks...but Congress is putting that on hold to show it can cut spending.- Washington Examiner
ArtPlace Announces 47 New Grants: Creative Placemaking Initiatives Sweep the Nation...$15.4 Million in Grants...to improve quality of place and transform their communities. -- Local Projects; David Adjaye/SLCE; Thom Mayne/Morphosis Architects; Southern California Institute of Architecture/SCI-Arc; STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM)- ArtPlace
University of Oregon Architecture Department head Named New Cal Poly Architecture Dean: Christine Theodoropoulos...will lead the effort to expand the college’s Learn by Doing programs.- California Polytechnic State University
-- Herzog & de Meuron: Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland
-- Snøhetta: Wolfe Center for the Arts, Bowling Green, Ohio
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