Today’s News - Friday, March 8, 2013
• Lubell calls for a smarter, more transparent building process in Los Angeles if "we want a more innovative, visionary urban environment" (a good idea for any city).
• An "especially well-informed political and humanistic observer of local government" newly arrived in L.A. doesn't see a problem: the "mayoral forums have been very revealing. Consistent with my forefather's values, I would classify each as forums for uncovering opportunities for good graft or getting in line for a comfortable job" (we know who TJ really is - but we can't tell you).
• Murphy fears that the "brutalist spirit of the Southbank Centre may be lost" in translation: "Standard notions of conservation may not apply, but a big glass extension and generic retail offerings? Really?"
• Saffron, on the other hand, says "the architecture gods have smiled on Philadelphia" with a new Cheesecake Factory - it "promises to be one of the city's finest new buildings."
• New seismic rules in New Zealand means older buildings may have a very different look: "the choices will be either to show off what's making the building stronger or disguise it in favor of character or heritage elements" (or just demolish it).
• Ingersoll has a fascinating conversation with Garatti re: his ballet school in Cuba: now that Foster is on board to revive it (and not answering his letters), "how much influence he will have on the project remains uncertain."
• An equally fascinating encounter with Hadid re: how she runs her business - you can't be a "doormat"; "those who know her (and prefer not to be named) characterize her as volcanic - she blows up but then it's over" ("I make allowances for people if I like them" - poor kids).
• Active Design "could benefit employers to the same degree that green strategies have, but it's a harder sell"; still, "there are larger and more important societal costs that it can help bring down" (we're glad to see the subject being seriously discussed beyond A/E media pages!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Coming to a screen near you: In RIBA's "Designing for Champions," London 2012 Olympics architects (finally!) get to speak out about their designs + A "sizzle reel" form "Cool Spaces," an architecture docu-reality show being developed for public television; first up - Las Vegas (bike riding included!).
• Menking marvels at Cooper Union's "Lessons From Modernism": it's "the smartest and most compelling exhibition ever mounted in New York (and maybe anywhere) on the influence of nature and the environment in architectural design...run to see it before it vanishes."
• Stephens sits down with Bergdoll to talk about MoMA's Labrouste show: "He's an Architect's Architect...it is valuable to see how an architect pushes experimentation but keeps control over it."
• Davidson has a most interesting take: you may have never heard of Labrouste, "yet, indirectly, he reshaped New York" via Corbu, Stern, Foster, and Gehry (like we said - a most interesting take!).
• Merrick cheers Powell's "Cult Buildings" that "digs into the phenomena of these rare architectural beasts" by "a tramp-like Catalonian vegetarian, and a young Italian with Mussolini on his mind."
• The future of flight takes wing at three Los Angeles museums.
• Rago raves about Iwan Baan's one-man show, also in L.A., that "chronicles the artist's prolific career...he seems to captivate the current ethos of the time whether it be the starchitecture of the 2000's or the more socially and politically engaged practice of today" (great pix - of course).
• Libeskind's drawings on view in Rome are "free-form, elaborate, textural artworks that hypnotically draw the eye into a maze of shades and angles" offering "a peek into his painstakingly intense visioning process."
• Benfield just finished reading "a very good - no, make that fantastic - book: Campoli's "Made for Walking" - "it's the best-illustrated book on neighborhood-scale urbanism that I have ever seen."
• An excerpt from Hilderbrand's "erudite and accessible essay" from "Visible/Invisible" that "examines modernists' humble approach to lands
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Editorial> Can't We All Just Get Things Built? Sam Lubell calls for a smarter, more transparent building process in Los Angeles...The constraints...are never-ending. If we want to work our way back to a more innovative, visionary urban environment we’ll need to fix all of those hindrances.- The Architect's Newspaper
LA Roast - Thomas Jefferson Plunkitt explains it all: ...exclusive interview of a new arrival to Los Angeles, an especially well-informed political and humanistic observer of local government...TJ spoke in a stilted accent hinting of his New York City past..."mayoral forums...have been...very revealing. Consistent with my forefather’s values, I would classify each as forums for uncovering opportunities for good graft or getting in line for a comfortable job."- The Planning Report
The brutalist spirit of the Southbank Centre may be lost to this redesign: Standard notions of conservation may not apply to this building, but a big glass extension and generic retail offerings? Really? ...while it might not be for the wrecking ball yet, the spirit of this complex may well still be lost... By Douglas Murphy -- Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios- Guardian (UK)
New Cheesecake Factory in Center City: A creamy-rich glass box: What kind of building do you get when you cross the über-cool, urban minimalism of the Apple stores with the indulgent, diet-busting excess of the [restaurant]...the architecture gods have smiled on Philadelphia. By Inga Saffron -- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson [image]- Philadelphia Inquirer
NZ buildings will have a very different look in the future: As owners and architects introduce new seismic safeguards, the choices will be either to show off what's making the building stronger or disguise it in favour of character or heritage elements.- New Zealand Herald
Defender of the Faith: Vittorio Garatti’s revolutionary ballet school in Cuba has sat unfinished for nearly 50 years. Now, as Norman Foster prepares for a major renovation, Garatti is trying to preserve his project’s legacy...How much influence he will have on the project remains uncertain. By Richard Ingersoll -- National Art Schools; Ricardo Porro; Roberto Gottardi; John Loomis; Universo García; Carlos Acosta; Foster + Partners [slide show]- Architect Magazine
Unlikely ‘pushover’ who doesn’t play safe: Dame Zaha Hadid says you cannot run business and be a ‘doormat’...Those who know her (and prefer not to be named) characterise her as volcanic – she blows up but then it’s over. There are no lasting grudges...“I make allowances for people if I like them.” By Emma Jacobs- Financial Times (UK)
Active Design Spurs People Toward Movement and Exercise: ...could benefit employers to the same degree that green strategies have, but it's a harder sell, since its connection to a company's bottom line is less immediately apparent...there are larger and more important societal costs that active design can help bring down... By Andrew Cohen -- Hastings + Chivetta Architects; Jack L. Gordon Architects; Cambridge Seven Associates; Opsis Architecture; Rick Bell/AIANY; Fit-City; Active Design Guidelines- Athletic Business
London 2012 Olympics architects speak out on designs in new RIBA film: "Designing for Champions" marks the lifting of a banning order...which prevented many architects and engineers from promoting and marketing their Olympic designs... -- Hopkins Architects; Wilkinson Eyre Architects; Asif Khan; Flanagan Lawrence (previously BFLS Architects) [video]- World Architecture News (UK)
Watch This Sizzle Reel: Architect Stephen Chung Hosts "Cool Spaces": ...an architecture docu-reality show being developed for public television, showcases the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health by Frank Gehry in Las Vegas. There's more than just that project to see... By Kriston Capps -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Preston Scott Cohen; Daniel Libeskind [video]- Architect Magazine
Cooper Union Exhibition Explores Environmental Design in Modernism: "Lessons From Modernism" is the smartest and most compelling exhibition ever mounted in New York (and maybe anywhere) on the influence of nature and the environment in architectural design. By William Menking -- Le Corbusier; Paul Rudolph; Ralph Twitchell; Jean Prouvé; Oscar Niemeyer; Atelier 5 [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Newsmaker: Barry Bergdoll: We speak with the chief curator of architecture and design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art about his new exhibition devoted to the 19th-century French architect Henri Labrouste (1801-1875)..."He’s an Architect’s Architect...As his first solo exhibition in the U.S., it is valuable to see how an architect pushes experimentation but keeps control over it." By Suzanne Stephens [images]- Architectural Record
The Spirit of Your Block: Most of us have never heard of Henri Labrouste...yet, indirectly, he reshaped New York...With a fine sense of posterity and an appreciation of his own gifts, he would not be surprised to learn that MoMA is devoting an exhibition to him...though he might be annoyed to learn that it is America’s first. By Justin Davidson -- Mies van der Rohe; Norman Foster; Robert A.M. Stern; Frank Gehry- New York Magazine
What makes a cult building? Every city in the world is commissioning architects to design iconic architecture – a production line of ever flashier-looking objects of grim bread-and-circuses banality. Why does it takes a tramp-like Catalonian vegetarian, and a young Italian with Mussolini on his mind to remind us that...really engrossing architecture – is worthy of cult worship..."Cult Buildings" by Kenneth Powell digs into the phenomena of these rare architectural beasts. By Jay Merrick -- Antonio Gaudi; Giuseppe Terragni- Independent (UK)
Airport of the Future | Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight at the A+D Museum, the Museum of Flying, and the Flight Path Museum, Los Angeles- A+D Architecture and Design Museum (Los Angeles)
"Iwan Baan: The Way We Live": chronicles the last eight years of the artist’s prolific career from his early glossy images of iconic buildings to more recently his gritty depictions of socially-driven projects...he seems to captivate the current ethos of the time whether it be the starchitecture of the 2000’s or the more socially and politically engaged practice of today; at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. By Danielle Rago [images]- Abitare
An Intimate Look At Daniel Libeskind’s Creative Process: ...his drawings–free-form, elaborate, textural artworks that hypnotically draw the eye into a maze of shades and angles. Hardly resembling architectural sketches, these blueprints offer a peek into his painstakingly intense visioning process; “Never Say the Eye Is Rigid: Architectural Drawings of Daniel Libeskind” at the Ermanno Tedeschi gallery in Rome. [images]- Architizer
Not All Density Is Created Equal: I just finished a very good – no, make that fantastic – book by Julie Campoli called "Made for Walking"...isn’t so much about urban density as about the other things that we need in city neighborhoods...to make city living attractive and sustainable...it’s the best-illustrated book on neighborhood-scale urbanism that I have ever seen. By Kaid Benfield [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Working With Nature: "Visible/Invisible: Landscape Works of Reed Hilderbrand" examines modernists' humble approach to landscape architecture: Gary Hilderbrand’s erudite and accessible essay is an inspiring guide through a modernist’s commitment to rationality and abstraction... [excerpt, images]- Metropolis Magazine
Architects Opposing Prisons Gain Support: AIASF and international groups endorse human rights changes to AIA Code of Ethics. By Raphael Sperry, AIA -- Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)- ArchNewsNow
-- "Tietgen Dormitory / An imaginary journey around a real building" edited by Torsten Bløndal
-- Richard Meier & Partners: Italcementi i.lab, Bergamo, Italy
-- Coop Himmelb(l)au: UFA Cinema Center, Dresden, Germany
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