Today’s News - Thursday, December 6, 2012
• Sad news day: Oscar Niemeyer has passed away a week shy of his 105th birthday. After scanning dozens of obituaries, we selected five very different informative and/or heartfelt tributes by Ouroussoff (with link to Kimmelman's '05 profile), Glancey, and Lord Foster, among others.
• Shortlisted winners in Melbourne's Flinders Street Station design competition are warned to stay away from "long-listers" exhibition of the rejected designs for fear it "might lead to wrangling over intellectual property."
• King parses the shortlisted "head-turners" in San Francisco's Fort Mason design competition.
• Litt x 2: Skeptics who "fretted" that Moussavi's MOCA Cleveland "would be a downer" because "the dark material would look depressing" have nothing to fear: it is "a gorgeous addition to the city...sleek, elegant and mysterious...voluptuous and highly tailored."
• He cheers the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (finally) moving ahead with plans for a bold makeover.
• An eyeful of the winner - and shortlisted losers - in competition to design Basel's new aquarium.
• Lamb Hart launches a new series exploring New Humanism in architecture, landscapes, and urban design, "essentially positive, optimistic acts."
• Q&A with Martha Schwartz re: how creative landscape architecture can help cities become models of sustainability: "If you don't really understand people's cultural values, you'll get it wrong."
• Q&A with Aric Chen re: his curatorial aim for Hong Kong's new M+ museum to place Asia at the center of design history, "a very different perspective than any other museum has taken."
• Loomans illuminates the current status of FLW's David Wright house in Phoenix: "It is moment of reckoning for the city."
• Wainwright, meanwhile, ponders a sticky wicket (a.k.a. authenticity) re: FLW's heart-shaped island north of Manhattan (now for sale): "The design bears all the hallmarks of Wright. But all is not as it seems."
• EPA announces the winners of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement (great presentations).
• A good reason to be in Accra, Ghana, Dec. 21: ArchiAfrika Accra hosts this year's Global Holcim Awards Gold winner, Diébédo Francis Kéré.
• One we couldn't resist: 10 Le Corbusier Facts (#10: Dali was quoted describing Corbu's buildings as "the ugliest and most unacceptable buildings in the world" - and they were friends!).
• Call for entries: 4th Biennial International Trimo Urban Crash Competition: "Bike Base": a challenge for architecture and design students.
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Obituary: Oscar Niemeyer, 104, Brazilian Architect Who Gave Brasília Its Flair: created flowing designs that infused Modernism with a new sensuality and inspired architects worldwide...among the last of a long line of Modernist true believers...who defined the postwar architecture...never wavered from a conviction that, as he once put it, “form follows beauty.” By Nicolai Ouroussoff -- Lucio Costa; Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe; Wallace K. Harrison; Nikolai D. Bassov; Max Abramovitz; Michael Kimmelman [slide show]- New York Times
Obituary: Oscar Niemeyer, famed Brazilian architect, 104: ...brought a daring and dramatic approach to public-works design...protested the “orthodox functionalism” of modern building style that he thought left little room for sensuality...“Form follows feminine"...he went about confronting “the monotony of contemporary architecture"... By Adam Bernstein -- Lucio Costa; Le Corbusier [slide show]- Washington Post
Oscar Niemeyer (1907- 2012): A tribute to the godfather of Brazilian architecture, who brought buildings to life with the stroke of a pen...though he told me on the three occasions we met that he “didn’t like to talk about architecture”, he did. “Walter Gropius came to see me at the house...He said, it’s beautiful, but it can’t be mass-produced. As if I had intended such a thing! What an idiot.” By Jonathan Glancey- BD/Building Design (UK)
Norman Foster pays tribute to Oscar Niemeyer: I was touched by his warmth and his great passion for life and for scientific discovery...He leaves us with a source of delight and inspiration for many generations to come.- BD/Building Design (UK)
After 76 Years Of Work, Oscar Niemeyer Dies At 104: The devoted communist preached solidarity to any journalist who would listen, arguing that life comes before architecture...[his] legacy was partially muddled by the downfall of modernism and the changing socio-economic structure of Brazil and the world at large...exhibited little of the grasping obsession with fame of his peers. By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan [images]- Fast Company
Keep out: Flinders Street Station designers warned of no-go zone: ...finalists were forbidden...from attending an exhibition of the rejected designs...Major Projects Victoria said...having finalists see unsuccessful designs might lead to wrangling over intellectual property. -- Hassell; Herzog & de Meuron; Zaha Hadid; Ashton Raggatt McDougall; NH Architecture; Edwards Moore; Andrew Burns Architect; Fraser Paxton Architects [images]- The Age (Australia)
Unique looks in Fort Mason design contest: The ideas competition...has generated such head-turners as floating pools, a cargo ship filled with hotel rooms and a people-mover perched above the bayside enclave...found in the trio of proposals...to map out a future for the 35-year-old center and its collection of aged piers and warehouses. By John King -- AMP Arquitectos; Bruner/Cott; West 8- San Francisco Chronicle
Despite minor flaws, Farshid Moussavi's new MOCA Cleveland is an architectural gem: Skeptics fretted...the building would be a downer...The shape was fascinating, but doubters worried that the dark material would look depressing...it’s clear that [it] is a gorgeous addition to the city...The building’s blackness is sleek, elegant and mysterious...The effect is voluptuous and highly tailored... By Steven Litt- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Museum of Natural History launches a $125 million campaign to pay for a radical transformation: Lucy, Steggie, Balto and other beloved exhibits...are about to get a much nicer home...a bolder makeover than the one originally envisioned [in 2008]... By Steven Litt -- Fentress Architects [images, video]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Swiss firm beats UK teams to design Basel city centre aquarium: Zaha Hadid loses out for thin visitor aisles and “dynamic” interior..."Seacliff" by Zurich-based Boltshauser Architekten was chosen...out of 15 shortlisted entries... -- David Chipperfield Architects; Caruso St John Architects; MVRDV [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
A New Humanism in architecture, landscapes, and urban design - Part 1: Introduction: How evolved human biology interacts with the environments we build, in architecture, landscapes, and urban design...essentially positive, optimistic acts. By By Robert Lamb Hart/Hart Howerton; drawings by Albrecht Pichler- Metropolis Magazine
Designing the Urban Landscape To Meet 21st Century Challenges: Martha Schwartz...explains how creative landscape architecture can help cities become models of sustainability in a world facing daunting environmental challenges..."If you don’t really understand people’s cultural values, you’ll get it wrong.”- Yale Environment 360
“For us, Asia is in the centre” – Aric Chen, curator of art and design for the new M+ museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, says the museum will take an unprecedented stance in “placing Asia at the centre” of design history..."a very different perspective than any other museum has taken.” -- Business of Design Week- Dezeen
The Fight to Save Frank Lloyd Wright's Phoenix Legacy: ...architects and historians say [the David Wright house] one of the 20 most significant Wright buildings...Phoenix does not put much value on preserving its historic buildings...It is moment of reckoning for the City... By Taz Loomans- The Atlantic Cities
Heart-shaped Frank Lloyd Wright island up for sale: ...questions of authenticity have been raised about this posthumous project...11-acre Petre island rises out of the middle of Lake Mahopac, 50 miles from Manhattan...The design bears all the hallmarks of Wright...But all is not as it seems. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
EPA announces the seven winners of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement -- BLVD Transformation Project, Lancaster, CA; Mariposa District, Denver, CO; The Cooperative Building, Brattleboro, VT; Destination Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA; Northwest Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Larkin District, Buffalo, NY; Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund, San Francisco [links to images, info]- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
ArchiAfrika Accra Hosts Holcim Foundation with Global Holcim Awards Gold winner 2012, Diébédo Francis Kéré December 21- ArchiAfrika
In Pictures | 10 Le Corbusier Facts: To celebrate Le Corbusier's 125th anniversary, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of his inaugural studio in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland...10 facts about the man himself...Dali was quoted describing Le Corbusier‘s buildings as “the ugliest and most unacceptable buildings in the world." [images]- AnOther Magazine (UK)
Call for entries: 4th Biennial International Trimo Urban Crash Competition: Bike Base challenges students of architecture and design to design a Bike Service and Coffee Shop in the center of Ljubljana, Slovenia; first prize the realization of the winning project in Ljubljana and an all-expense paid summer school term; deadline: January 31, 2013- Trimo Urban Crash (Slovenia)
Books: "Tadao Ando: Conversations with Students"
-- "Sou Fujimoto – Sketchbook"
-- "Wang Shu – Imagining the House"
-- Hans, His Chairs and The World" by Anne Blond, illustrated by Birgitte Haahr Lund
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