Today’s News - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
• Hou offers a most thoughtful exploration of the "recent wave of citizen protests" that "has brought renewed attention to the role of public space in democratic society," from Occupy Wall Street to Tahrir Square.
• O'Sullivan observes "how Spanish urbanism lost its leading edge": the country's "planners approved spectacular projects that wowed the public but ended up becoming loathed monuments to pork barrel sleaze."
• Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum (finally) reopens: "It has not been an easy ride," and the end result? "Hideous...a narcissistic architectural disaster" - a.k.a. "the bathtub" or "flying nun" (ouch!).
• Panero finds the "temporary hijacking of Columbus Circle is but the latest chapter" of what is a "monumental problem": "neither the progressives nor the traditionalists excel at monument design on their own," which may explain "why the bad designs and the ridicule of monuments seem bound to continue."
• Kennicott raises similar - and even more pressing issues when it comes to the proposed Ukrainian Famine Memorial in Washington, D.C.: "We don't really know whether a memorial should be an argument, or a statement, an act of provocation or consolation."
• He also weighs in on proposals for renovating DC's MLK Library: The "dream big" approach "was probably intended to generate momentum toward solving one of the District's most fraught architectural sagas" - and "will raise serious philosophical issues about what is essential to the Mies design."
• A young architect conducts her own survey to find out why "there's a renaissance happening among young architects - and it's not in architecture...to maintain the health of the profession, a fundamental change in how young interns are integrated into the design environment needs to occur."
• Hopkirk waxes nostalgic about London's Commonwealth Institute - until she tours it with its original architect, Cunliffe: "He was persuaded that the interior was not fit for its 21st-century purpose, so I guess I have to be too. Over to you, John Pawson."
• New renderings released for Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail: the elevated linear park "will be recontoured to connect with the street and provide a dynamic experience throughout the park."
• Duggan Morris Architects wins Floating Cinema competition with "A Strange Cargo of Extra-Ordinary Objects," slated to set sail next June.
• Stephen Hawking calls KPMB's Quantum Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo "a work of architectural genius."
• Canada launches a federally-funded program that will streamline the licensing process for internationally trained architects.
• AIA launches a 10-year commitment to make design a catalyst for public health, and announces the recipients of the first-ever Decade of Design research grants.
• TCLF's Bridging the Nature-Culture Divide II conference next week will undoubtedly include some "interesting debates about man and nature in urban parks."
• 2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards winners announced (alas, not much info).
• One we couldn't resist: an artist collaborative in Osaka is transforming rusty old phone booths into goldfish aquariums (with great pix to prove it!).
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Beyond Zuccotti Park: Making the Public: The recent wave of citizen protests...has brought renewed attention to the role of public space in democratic society...The Occupy movement...was a powerful example of insurgent public space...an effort to produce and protect public space — both physically and politically. By Jeffrey Hou -- Center for Architecture; Ronald Shiffman; Rick Bell; Lance Jay Brown; Lynne Elizabeth- Places Journal
How Spanish Urbanism Lost its Leading Edge: The country has long been a model for flashy, absurd infrastructure, but austerity is finally slowing it down...planners approved spectacular projects that wowed the public but ended up becoming loathed monuments to pork barrel sleaze. By Feargus O’Sullivan -- Frank Gehry; Santiago Calatrava; Felix Candela; Peter Eisenman; Espegel-Fisac Architects- The Atlantic Cities
Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum Reopens. But Will Anybody Care? It’s taken eight years, three architects, four governments, and three directors, but [it] is finally ready for action...It has not been an easy ride...And the end result? Hideous...narcissistic architectural disaster...“the bathtub"...a kind of oversized “flying nun”...something of an embarrassment in a country celebrated internationally for its design. By Ann Goldberg -- Benthem Crouwel Architects [images]- Artinfo
"Discovering Columbus": A Monumental Problem: The struggle over what it means to remember great people...The temporary hijacking of Columbus Circle is but the latest chapter...We barely agree on what we should remember rather than forget...That all helps explain why neither the progressives nor the traditionalists excel at monument design on their own—and why the bad designs and the ridicule of monuments seem bound to continue. By James Panero -- Tatzu Nishi; Frank Gehry; National Civic Art Society; Léon Krier; Philip Kennicott; Friedrich St. Florian; Lei Yixin- Wall Street Journal
Ukrainian Famine Memorial raises questions over payment and content: ...may turn out to be a beloved new fixture...But the process whereby it was authorized, designed and built suggests that we have made little progress in bringing order and rationality to the building of monuments in Washington, D.C...We don’t really know whether a memorial should be an argument, or a statement, an act of provocation or consolation. By Philip Kennicott -- Hartman-Cox Architects; The Kurylas Studio- Washington Post
District weighs proposals for renovating MLK Library [Martin Luther King Memorial Library] while preserving historic status: At stake is the future of one of the city’s most important examples of mid-century modern architecture...The “dream big” approach...was probably intended to generate momentum toward solving one of the District’s most fraught architectural sagas...will raise serious philosophical issues about what is essential to the Mies design. By Philip Kennicott -- Mies van der Rohe; Freelon Group [images]- Washington Post
How the economy upended young architects' hopes: Frustrated architecture grads are dropping out of the profession...There’s a renaissance happening among young architects - and it’s not in architecture...a lack of respect...was the biggest origin of disappointment...to maintain the health of the profession, a fundamental change in how young interns are integrated into the design environment...needs to occur. By Caela J. McKeever- Crosscut (Seattle)
Dry your eyes: The architect of the Commonwealth Institute has no time for nostalgics, finds a misty-eyed Elizabeth Hopkirk...He was persuaded that the interior was not fit for its 21st-century purpose, so I guess I have to be too...Over to you, John Pawson. -- Roger Cunliffe [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Bloomingdale Trail Plans Come Into Focus With New Renderings: ...an elevated linear park...on a former rail viaduct running through Chicago...will be recontoured to connect with the street and provide a dynamic experience throughout the park. -- ARUP; Ross Barney Architects; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates [images, links]- The Architect's Newspaper
Duggan Morris Architects wins Floating Cinema job: Practice wins Olympic legacy competition...to animate waterways close to the Olympic Park...A Strange Cargo of Extra-Ordinary Objects – is planned to launch in June 2013... -- The Architecture Foundation; UP Projects; vPPR; OBRA; Nilsson Pflugfelder [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Lazaridis Quantum Nano Centre creates 21st century 'mind space' at the University of Waterloo: ...Canada's newest science research showcase...Stephen Hawking...commented that [it] "is a work of architectural genius. -- Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB) [image]- Nanowerk News
International architect job find in Canada enhanced: ...a result of a recently launched federally funded program. The Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects Program (BEFA) will streamline the licensing process for internationally trained architects... -- Architecture Canada; Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA)- Daily Commercial News (Canada)
Architects Launch Ten-Year Commitment to Make Design a Catalyst for Public Health: ...to develop design and technology solutions for cities that address challenges faced on public health, sustainability, and resiliency to natural disasters...recipients of the first-ever Decade of Design research grants announced at Clinton Global Initiative Conference.- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Bridging the Nature-Culture Divide II: Stewardship of Central Park’s Woodlands conference and TCLF’s free What’s Out There tours, October 5-7: ...the challenges involved in crafting a sustainable future stewardship program...interesting debates about man and nature in urban parks...- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Winning projects announced at the 2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards -- Steven Holl Architects; Architectureburo Govaert & Vanhoutte; Rafiq Azam; Studio Daniel Libeskind; DCA Architects; WOW Architects; Billard Leece Partnership/Bates Smart/HKS; Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects; Magma Architecture; Marco Guarnieri; Stephen Marshall Architects; Arup Associates; Skidmore Owings + Merrill (SOM); MZ Architects- Arena International
Turn Your Old Phone Booths Into Aquariums: A Japanese artist fills an old phone booth with water and goldfish, to the delight of passers-by...artist collaborative called Kingyobu in Osaka...The group’s transformation turns rusty old phone booths around the city into a fun and simple art installation for everyone to enjoy for free. [images]- The Atlantic Cities
"Just Trying to Do This Jig-Saw Puzzle": How architecture's and urban design's practice can change through studying of a little-appreciated Renaissance art, intarsia. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow.com
-- Coop Himmelb(l)au: Busan Cinema Center, Busan, South Korea
-- Amateur Architecture Studio/Wang Shu/Lu Wenyu: China Academy of Art, Zhuantang Town, Hangzhou City, China
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