Today’s News - Thursday, August 9, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're taking Fridays and Mondays off for the rest of August. We'll be back Tuesday, August 14. Happy Weekend!
• McGuirk weighs in on the Olympic Park experience: "Britain might have launched the industrial revolution but now we specialize in post-industrial chic...it's a strange landscape indeed where McDonald's plays the arbiter of good taste."
• Hurst hails - and assails - Olympic designers: the logo looks like "somebody dropped it, and it broke," the "creepy one-eyed mascots," and "the architecture serves many masters" (and some thoughtful observations from Nicholas de Monchaux).
• Jones takes on Rosenthal's enthrallment with the Shard: "Why has Piano departed so violently from the civilized standards I associate with his architecture?"
• Meier's federal courthouse in Phoenix may be "a visual triumph of modern architecture," but inside it can be a "solar oven."
• Chaban posts bunches of brand new renderings of 1WTC that "show a building that looks a little sharper, perhaps a little less striking, but something still bound to dominate the skyline" (too bad about the spire, though).
• What a bout the birds, we wondered, then NPR offers a series on architects and researchers looking to build bird-friendly buildings + bird-friendly glass debuts in the U.K.
• King cheers a new rec center in San Francisco's Chinatown - not so much for its architecture, but how well it fits the neighborhood (and designed by Department of Public Works architects, no less).
• Melbourne is about to get an apartment building that makes every effort to "fight urban monotony" with a "show-stopping façade akin to a surrealist painting."
• BIG takes on Miami's Coconut Grove - with two luxury towers and a Jungles landscape (we can't wait to see better pix!).
• The New England Conservatory taps Beha/Gensler to create "a striking transformation of the mostly brick campus."
• Davidson's fascinating slide show essay re: some surprising sources of some of the "most amazing and era-defining architectural inventions" in recent years that prove they really "aren't innovations at all."
• Brussat cheers Alexander, Signorelli, and Salingaros: modernism and classicism "are based on vitally different world views" (with a little good vs. evil thrown in).
• Heritage Malta's Bondin doesn't hate contemporary architecture, he just wishes there was more dedication to "ensure that modern buildings have at least a good design."
• Columbus, Indiana, is the "Midwestern Mecca" of Modern masters: "We don't build anything that isn't attractive."
• A great profile of Pritzker-winner Wang Shu: his win "astounded the powerful construction professionals who greeted his award with public silence."
• And a profile of Palafox, who is "changing the landscape of the Philippines - and the world" with a triple bottom line approach: "People first or social equity, then planet earth or the environment, and finally profit or economic goals. If one of the three legs is missing then we don't take the project."
• Scruton's "How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism" argues that "no large-scale environmental project will succeed if it is not rooted in small-scale practical reasoning."
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Cheers galore for the velodrome and the world's biggest McDonald's, or gasps of despair? Justin McGuirk gives his verdict on the Olympic Park experience: Britain might have launched the industrial revolution but now we specialise in post-industrial chic...When industry is mostly a memory...it's a strange landscape indeed where McDonald's plays the arbiter of good taste.- Guardian (UK)
FAIL! Why Olympic Designers Got It So Wrong (and Occasionally Right): London 2012 logo...“somebody dropped it, and it broke”...some designs that aren’t even worth defending. The creepy one-eyed mascots...for one...As with the overall packaging, the architecture of the games serves many masters. By Nathan Hurst -- Wolff Olins; Anish Kapoor; Nicholas de Monchaux; Zaha Hadid; Hopkins Architects [images, links]- Wired
Why Renzo Piano's Shard is out of tune with London's historical heart: His innovative buildings in Genoa are deliberately invisible from the city's atmospheric medieval and baroque district. So why has London let him break his own rules? Why has he departed so violently from the civilised standards I associate with his architecture? By Jonathan Jones- Guardian (UK)
Where Indoors Can Become Too Much Like Outdoors: The Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse is a visual triumph of modern architecture...But inside...“hot” is not employed lightly...has acquired a handful of nicknames...“Greenhouse” is one; “solar oven” is another. -- Richard Meier- New York Times
In Updated Designs for 1 World Trade Center, Does the Spire Still Look Like a Spire? By Matt Chaban [slide show]- New York Observer
Building For Birds: Architects Aim For Safer Skies: ...trying to find new designs that preserve aesthetics — without killing birds...cities are voluntarily adopting guidelines for bird-friendly buildings + A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds: Researchers are trying to learn what birds can see, in an attempt to build bird-friendly buildings. -- Guy Maxwell/Ennead Architects; FLAP/Fatal Light Awareness Program [images, links]- National Public Radio (NPR)
Bird-friendly glass makes UK debut: Glass manufacturer looks to biomimicry for design inspiration. A lookout tower in Lindisfarne...to use a new glazing designed to save the lives of birds. -- Arnold Glas; Icosis [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
SF's Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center a good fit: ...the best contextual buildings pick up on the cues around them...and then make their own confident presence felt...The impressive thing is that the city's architects in the Department of Public Works responded so well. By John King [slide show]- San Francisco Chronicle
Fighting Urban Monotony: Orbis Apartments’ show-stopping façade has been described as being akin to a surrealist painting. Formed with almost the same whimsy as a modernist sculpture... -- ARM Architecture [images]- DesignBuild Source (Australia)
Miami's Newest Luxury Condo Towers Announced: ...Grove at Grand Bay located in the burgeoning Coconut Grove neighborhood...encompasses two towers that will showcase 96 highend and expansive residences. -- Bjarke Ingles Group/BIG; Raymond Jungles; Nichols, Brosch, Wrust, Wolfe + Associates- World Property Channel
New England Conservatory to expand campus: ...a pair of modern glass buildings that would shake up a dated section of the Fenway...a striking transformation of the mostly brick campus... -- Ann Beha Architects; Gensler [image, video]- Boston Globe
The 10 Innovations That Changed Architecture Forever: The past 25 years have seen the creation of some of history’s most amazing and era-defining architectural inventions...A number of these...aren’t innovations at all. Here are some of the architectural trends...along with where and when they really started, and where to see the best examples of them today. By Justin Davidson -- Thomas Jefferson; Robert A. M. Stern; Joseph Paxton; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Le Corbusier; Alsop Sparch; Shreve, Lamb & Harmon; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/SOM; Frank Lloyd Wright; Zaha Hadid; Eero Saarinen; Gehry Partners; Buckminster Fuller; Foster & Partners; Daniel Libeskind; Shigeru Ban; Diébédo Francis Kéré; Nox/Lars Spuybroek; Peter Cook/Colin Fournier [slide show essay]- Condé Nast Traveler
Three men in a tub: ...modernism and classicism are not just different styles but are based on vitally different world views...Modernist architects do not see themselves as evil, of course, but they might reconsider the nature of modernism if they gave objective thought to the subject. By David Brussat -- Christopher Alexander; Mark Anthony Signorelli; Nikos Salingaros- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Contemporary architecture: I have been fascinated with contemporary architecture and its place in cities. Yet, there is an enormous difference between good and simply bad contemporary architecture.
in a country with so much heritage...we do not even dedicate time to ensure that modern buildings have at least a good design. By Ray Bondin/Heritage Malta -- Alex Torpiano; Simone Mizzi/Din l-Art Helwa/National Trust of Malta- Times of Malta
Columbus, Ind.: A Midwestern Mecca Of Architecture: More than 60 public buildings were designed by a veritable who's who of modern masters..."This is Columbus. We don't build anything that isn't attractive." -- I.M. Pei; Eero and Eliel Saarinen; Cesar Pelli; Richard Meier; Harry Weese; Robert Venturi; James Polshek; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM); Don M. Hisaka; Paul Kennon [images]- National Public Radio (NPR)
An Architect’s Vision: Bare Elegance in China: In emphasizing the value of what is distinctively Chinese, Wang Shu is not one of the new breed of nationalists...That such an unconventional architect should win the Pritzker...astounded the powerful construction interests. He calls them the “normal group,” professionals who greeted his award with public silence. -- Lu Wenyu; Amateur Architecture Studio- New York Times
The architect as nation builder: ...Felino Palafox, Jr. has been changing the landscape of the Philippines – and the world – brick by brick...triple bottom line approach...“People first or social equity, then planet earth or the environment, and finally profit or economic goals. If one of the three legs of this triple bottom line is missing then we don’t take the project.” -- Palafox Associates [images]- The Philippine Star
In "How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism," Roger Scruton argues that no large-scale environmental project, however well-intentioned, will succeed if it is not rooted in small-scale practical reasoning.- American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
-- von Gerkan, Marg and Partners/gmp: Tianjin West Railway Station, Hangzhou South Railway Station, China
-- Aedas: West Kowloon Terminus, Hong Kong
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