Today’s News - Thursday, December 20, 2012
• Maxwell pays tribute to his old friend, architect and critic Colquhoun, who was "an authority on architecture, but one who, having practiced it, really knew what he was talking about."
• Brussat hands it to Niemeyer for having been "the world's oldest active modernist architect. Alas, his buildings survive him."
• Russell and Bernstein weigh in on Foster's plans for the NYPL: the architect "said he was still studying the ceiling and walls. I hope so"; the plan "has been called sacrilegious...new renderings don't help its case."
• Rosenbaum notices something missing in the Met Museum's final plaza renovation design: "two minor structures by a major architect" (added bonus: video of fab street singers!).
• ULI's new report, "Shifting Suburbs," focuses on "the growing trend for suburbs to be redesigned and redeveloped to be more people-oriented than car-dependent."
• Bentley reports on a green infrastructure project in Chicago that "should have the ear not just of eco-friendly city planners, but of budget-conscious politicians as well."
• Q&A with Speck re: the importance of walkability for ailing cities: "We're gonna keep losing this argument as long as it's some sort of moralistic hair shirt to ride a bike or walk" (zombies included).
• Kent gives (almost) two thumbs-ups to Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church's new Gratz Center: it is "a brave, unapologetically contemporary piece of architecture" that plays well with its historic neighbor.
• 'Tis the season of Top 10's of the year; our favorite: Top 10 Architecture Controversies (meows included).
• Hill takes a look back at events, projects, and passings - and what we have to look forward to next year.
• Birnbaum proffers this year's notable developments in landscape architecture.
• Top 10 news stories from across the Big Pond and Down Under.
• Final two entries in this year's Fairy Tale Architecture: "The Little Match Girl" and "Monkey King."
• Of note (but sadly behind a paywall), Zandberg reports that Rafi Segal has been "unceremoniously booted out" after winning the competition to design Israel's National Library: "There is enough material here for a dissertation, or a soap opera" (it boils down to a rather bizarre-sounding "copyright spat").
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Obituary: Robert Maxwell remembers architect and critic Alan Colquhoun, 91: ...the emeritus professor of architecture at Princeton University, remembers his old friend...He was drawn towards an alternative career - not doing architecture, but evaluating it...an authority on architecture, but one who, having practiced it, really knew what he was talking about.- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The 'Samba with Oscar' mumbo-jumbo: Oscar Niemeyer died...at age 104, working from his hospital bed as the world's oldest active modernist architect...For that, he deserves praise...Alas, his buildings survive him...[they] make the best case against not just his modern architecture but against modern architecture generally, before him and after him. By David Brussat [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
New York Public Library, Norman Foster Evict a Million Books: ...layout would make more of the building’s splendors publicly accessible...But real-estate deals always pose risks for a cultural institution...And the renovation is complex...Foster said he was still studying the ceiling and walls. I hope so...his work should energize not enervate. By James S. Russell -- Carrere & Hastings (1911); Foster + Partners [images]- Bloomberg News
New York Public Library Unveils Foster + Partners' Renovation Designs: ...plan to insert a 100,000-square-foot circulating library into its guts has been called sacrilegious...new renderings don’t help its case...Foster made a stronger case...Even more convincing is the contention that, as beautiful as the stacks are, almost no one gets to see them... By Fred A. Bernstein [images]- Architectural Record
Mather Matters: Famed Architect's Kiosks Axed from Metropolitan Museum's Plaza Renovation: Neighborhood resistance caused Met to downsize construction plans, eliminating two minor structures by major architect. By Lee Rosenbaum -- Rick Mather; Olin [images, videos]- ArtsJournal
A New ULI Publication, "Shifting Suburbs: Reinventing Infrastructure for Compact Development"...focuses on the growing trend for suburbs to be redesigned and redeveloped to be more people-oriented than car-dependent, offering more options for walking, cycling or using public transit to get from one place to another. [link to report]- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Editorial> Blue in Green: Chris Bentley on the increasing importance of sustainable infrastructure to solve cities' problems: Chicago’s Cermak Road is an industrial artery...now it is the “greenest street in America”...14 blocks cost 21% less than similar projects they considered...as more data emerges on the benefits of green infrastructure...its potential return on investment should have the ear not just of eco-friendly city planners, but of budget-conscious politicians as well. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Foot forward: Walkability is the key to fixing cities: City planner Jeff Speck has found the panacea for our ailing cities, something that could make even Detroit come to life again: walking..."Walkable City"...is not as platitudinous as one might think..."We’re gonna keep losing this argument as long as it’s some sort of moralistic hair shirt to ride a bike or walk."- Grist Magazine
Fourth Presbyterian Church's new Gratz Center a welcome and brave grace note: Good buildings are like jugglers: They do lots of things at once without dropping any balls...a brave, unapologetically contemporary piece of architecture...Modern sacred spaces are difficult. Sometimes minimalism is just minimal; it can go mute when it means to evoke the divine. That did not happen here. By Cheryl Kent -- Gensler [image]- Chicago Tribune
Top 10 Architecture Controversies Of 2012: Copycat architecture, greedy developers, threatened buildings, student protests...with all the egos involved is that really surprising? -- Pharrell Williams/Chad Oppenheim; Architects Registration Board/ARB//Renzo Piano/Daniel Libeskind; Zaha Hadid; Wolf D. Prix/Venice Architecture Biennale; Alejandro Zaera-Polo; Frank Gehry/Eisenhower Memorial; Frank Lloyd Wright; Paul Rudolph; John M. Johansen; Ulrich Franzen; Bertrand Goldberg; Philip Nobel [slide show essay]- Architizer
Year in Architecture 2012: ...taking a look back at the events, significant projects, and passings...while also taking a look ahead at projects expected to be completed next year. By John Hill -- OMA; Wang Shu/Lu Wenyu/Amateur Architecture Studio; James Corner Field Operations; John McAslan + Partners; Santiago Calatrava; Diébédo Francis Kéré; Urban Think Tank; realities:united; Tod Williams Billie Tsien; Herzog & de Meuron; Ai Weiwei; Mario Bellini; Rudy Ricciotti; Wilkinson Eyre Architects/Grant AssociatesSHoP Architects/Ellerbe Becket; Zaha Hadid; SANAA; ; Morphosis; Oscar Niemeyer; etc. [images]- World-Architects.com
2012's Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture: ...it's clear that the repercussions of Hurricane Sandy...will have a profound impact on the planning, development and redevelopment of our coastal cities and communities... By Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation -- Kate Orff/SCAPE / Landscape Architecture; Susannah Drake/dlandstudio; Claude Cormier & Associés; ASLA; Marta Fry Landscape Associates; SurfacedesignInc.; Stephen Wheeler Landscape Architects; Frederick Fisher and Partners/The Office of James Burnett; Rios Clementi Hale Studios; Long Island Modernism/Caroline Rob Zaleski; M. Paul Friedberg; Richard Haag; Garrett Eckbo; Lawrence Halprin [images, links]- Huffington Post
The Top 10 architecture stories of 2012: The articles you’ve read the most over the past 12 months including Carbuncle Cup, Arb’s Renzo Piano declaration, Hadid’s Aquatic kerfuffle and RMJM chaos.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Architecture & Design's Top 10 news articles for the year: Flinders Street Station Design Competition; plans for world's tallest timber apartment building in Melbourne; billion dollar tower over Sydney's Wynyard Station; global design names compete for Barangaroo master planning job; etc.- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Fairy Tale Architecture: "The Little Match Girl": ...on the theme of magical spaces, we present Andrew Bernheimer’s vision for the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale — which is not the heartwarming story he thought he was getting himself into. -- Kate Bernheimer; Bernheimer Architecture [images]- Places Journal
Fairy Tale Architecture: "Monkey King": ...a reimagining by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu of the firm Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO – IL). -- Andrew Bernheimer/Bernheimer Architecture; Kate Bernheimer [images]- Places Journal
Best Architecture Books of 2012: 10 books reflect the changing climate - in every sense - of the profession. By Norman Weinstein- ArchNewsNow
-- Daniel Libeskind: Academy of the Jewish Museum, Berlin
-- "Coop Himmelb(l)au: 7+ Projects," Aedes Gallery, Berlin., through January 24, 2013
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