Today’s News - Monday, December 17, 2012
• ArcSpace takes us to Berlin with eyefuls of Libeskind's Academy of the Jewish Museum, and "Coop Himmelb(l)au: 7+ Projects" at Aedes Gallery.
• Capps offers an intriguing take on the new Louvre-Lens: other cities like Lens trying for the Bilbao Effect "have met with failure and frustration"; this new museum, however, "hardly needs to do more than simply succeed - and it was designed to do exactly that."
• Jacobs visits Saint Louis and comes away singing anything but the Blues: "The component parts of a great city are still there" - what's needed are developers "whose vision is more about bricks and mortar and less about harvesting tax credits."
• Bergen takes a long look at Mumbai's ongoing slum rehab program to relocate the city's poor to new high rises: "On paper, the plan is a smart urban policy fix. But the program has been marked by red tape and wrong turns."
• Tracy bemoans that "if we only had more faith in our architect artists" instead of bottom-line developers, Las Vegas's "self-portrait of an often soulless Las Vegas" could have looked very different.
• Saffron is saddened by the "distressing fate" of a Philly church: "What hope have others" when this faces demolition? "In a city that prides itself on its commitment to preservation, why is everyone so eager to tear down a building with so much history and physical presence?"
• On a brighter note, Toronto's Bridgepoint Hospital weaves healing and history into its design.
• Kent minces no words about Chicago's new black glass box on Michigan Ave. "designed to disappear beneath a slipcover of screaming chrome ornament evoking plaid": it's "loud and vulgar. It's the car salesman who won't go away" (ouch! though "there are some things to like").
• Russell and others tackle "big league dreams" and urban identity: are sports venues really the economic engines they're cracked up to be?
• Beha "engages historic preservation with contemporary design" for University of Chicago's Department of Economics and Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.
• Hagberg hails El Cerrito, CA's 40-year-old recycling center's net-zero update.
• Gardner gives thumbs-up to "Gwathmey's final project - as humble as the architect himself."
• Whiting offers a fascinating history of Niemeyer's never-quite-finished international fairground in Tripoli, Lebanon: "a monument of architectural vision silent and unused, like a post-apocalyptic mausoleum...it feels like a failed and evacuated human colony on an alien planet."
• Rykwert on the Brazilian master: "I feel a bit churlish not joining wholeheartedly in the adulation but Niemeyer himself suggested why I hesitate."
• Helsinki Central Library competition picks 6 designs to proceed to Stage Two (images, but entrants remain anonymous).
• Call for entries: Arnold W. Brunner Grant for advanced study in architectural investigation.
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-- Daniel Libeskind: Academy of the Jewish Museum, Berlin
-- "Coop Himmelb(l)au: 7+ Projects," Aedes Gallery, Berlin., through January 24, 2013
With the Louvre-Lens, a Curtain Call for the Bilbao Effect: ...other cities that have tried to follow Bilbao’s lead — cities that resemble Lens, in fact — have met with failure and frustration...Institutions that have chased the Bilbao Effect have a history of shooting too high...The Louvre-Lens hardly needs to do more than simply succeed—and it was designed to do exactly that. By Kriston Capps -- SANAA; Tim Culbert; Imrey Culbert [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Saint Louis Blues: Residents of the River City have nothing to feel inferior about....The component parts of a great city are still there...there’s enough vacant or underused land to build just about anything, especially for a developer whose vision is more about bricks and mortar and less about harvesting tax credits. The Pruitt-Igoe site seems like the right place to erect a 21st-century corrective to the bad old housing projects... By Karrie Jacobs- Metropolis Magazine
A Vision of Vertical Slums in Mumbai: An ongoing slum rehab program seeks to clear relocate poor to new high rises...two towers are slowly rising...will house around 210 families now living in the slums...part of 15-year-old plan, run by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, to relocate thousands of its slum residents...amend its deeply inhuman housing crisis...On paper, the SRA plan is a smart urban policy fix...But the program has been marked by red tape and wrong turns. By Mark Bergen- Next American City
Why architecture matters — even if you don’t care about it: If Las Vegas’ architects had been turned loose to design our city, our self-portrait would have looked very different. Unfortunately, the building profession has developed a powerful firewall between the vision of the designer and the bottom-line demands of the developer...the result is a self-portrait of an often soulless Las Vegas...I can’t help but believe we could have had it all if we only had more faith in our architect artists. By Robert Tracy/UNLV- Las Vegas CityLife
Distressing fate of a church: What hope have others when the Church of the Assumption faces demolition? In a city that prides itself on its commitment to preservation...why is everyone so eager to tear down a building with so much history and physical presence? It seems that the soaring church has become just another piece of valuable real estate, worth more money as raw ground... By Inga Saffron -- Patrick Charles Keely (1848) [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Toronto’s Bridgepoint Hospital weaves healing into its design: All aspects...have been designed to get patients out of their rooms + Historic Don Jail buffed up, refitted for a new purpose -- Diamond Schmitt Architects; HDR; Stantec Architecture; KPMB Architects; +VG Architects [slide shows]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Burberry building review: Plaid bad on Michigan Avenue: ...a black glass box designed to disappear beneath a slipcover of screaming chrome ornament evoking...plaid...This very aggressive, shiny, five-story little building...takes the intertwining of architecture and identity to a distressing new level...loud and vulgar. It's the car salesman who won't go away. Worst of all, it's not architecture — it's a building as billboard...there are some things to like... By Cheryl Kent -- Callison Barteluce Architects [image]- Chicago Tribune
Big League Dreams: Designers tackle sports and urban identity: Economic Engines? Cities forge ahead with plans for new professional sports venues, despite their high cost and the tepid pace of development. By James S. Russell -- NBBJ; HOK Sport; Populous; GBBN Architects; Sasaki; HKS; Snøhetta; AECOM; Gensler; SHoP Architects; Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP); HNTB Architecture [links to features]- Architectural Record
An educated decision: A bold new setting for interdisciplinary research, teaching and global outreach: ...adaptive reuse of the former Chicago Theological Seminary and two historic row houses, and the integration of a 38,000 sq ft new Research Pavilion will create a centralised setting for the University of Chicago's Department of Economics and Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics...engages historic preservation with contemporary design... -- Ann Beha Architects [images]- World Architecture News (UK)
Fresh Purpose: Noll & Tam gives the 40-year-old El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center a net-zero update: The highlight of the center...(aside from the fact that it’s a low-budget, community-friendly facility devoted to saving the earth) is what’s called the Exchange Zone, where people can drop off reusable items... By Eva Hagberg [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Charles Gwathmey’s final project — as humble as the architect himself: ...323 Park Avenue South exhibits a sober classicism within the context of a reinvigorated neo-Modernism...far humbler and far more soft-spoken than the Setai Fifth Avenue hotel...it conveys far more accurately the character of the man who created it. By James Gardner [image]- The Real Deal (NYC)
Tripoli’s Elegy to Oscar Niemeyer: In 1962...he was invited...to design an international fairground...to host a World Fair event, but construction stopped in 1975 with the outbreak of the civil war...has been left empty; a monument of architectural vision silent and unused, like a post-apocalyptic mausoleum...it feels like a failed and evacuated human colony on an alien planet. By Rebecca Whiting [images]- Al-Akhbar (Beirut, Lebanon)
Oscar Niemeyer: The world’s best known Brazilian, apart from Pelé: ...undoubtedly one of the most revered architects of our time but his preference for natural curves over the linear resulted in a conflict that can never be resolved...I feel a bit churlish not joining wholeheartedly in the adulation but Niemeyer himself suggested why I hesitate. By Joseph Rykwert -- Lúcio Costa; Le Corbusier; Roberto Burle Marx- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Helsinki evolves with architectural competitions: An international competition on the Helsinki Central Library proceeds to the second stage. 6 designs have been selected for the second stage of the competition. selected for further design development. [images]- City of Helsinki (Finland)
Call for entries: Arnold W. Brunner Grant for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching or practice of the art and science of architecture (open to U.S. citizens); single award of up to $15,000; deadline: February 1, 2013- Center For Architecture Foundation
Best Architecture Books of 2012: 10 books reflect the changing climate - in every sense - of the profession. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
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