Today’s News - Monday, April 15, 2013
• McGuigan finds "six ironies of a bad decision" (and then some) when it comes to MoMA's plans to flatten Williams & Tsien's American Folk Art Museum.
• Filler fulminates against "MoMA's act of vandalism - this needless desecration will remain a permanent blot on the reputation of those responsible for it."
• Chaban, meanwhile, discovers that FLW's little-known luxury car showroom on Park Ave. has oh-so quietly bitten the dust (despite pending landmark status).
• Wainwright, on a brighter preservation note, tells us about how it's come about that a French designer is transforming Corbu's Cité Radieuse rooftop gym into an art space (and hopes for the best for this "PR stuntman").
• In Miami, a "dedicated and determined group of preservationists is tantalizingly close to breathing new life" into Candela's "beloved" Marine Stadium - "but hurdles remain" (great read).
• Rochon taps a pollster to find out what urban Millennials want: "Cities plodding along according to post-war principles of planning that privileged roadways for cars - not people - do so at their peril."
• Saffron cheers a Philly developer who has turned from high-end condos to "mission-driven" projects like affordable workforce housing (for young teachers, no less) - without abandoning a commitment to good design.
• Moore isn't much impressed with one of the new crop of "standardized schools" that "resembles nothing so much as a modified shopping shed," and "treats its users like passive consumers, like internet shoppers or Ikea victims" (so much for inspiring educational environments!).
• Hawthorne weighs in on the "ambitious" Piano/Pali plans for the Motion Picture Academy museum in L.A.: "its leaders haven't studied in full the tumultuous history of ambitious architecture at the LACMA site." + Pond ponders: "Is the Academy building a Death Star at its new museum?" (from pix, one might think so).
• Small firms who had high hopes to "carve out a niche as go-to experts for the green ideas" in post-Sandy rebuilding are not having an easy time of it: "The procurement process is so broken."
• Garrison Architects is one that seems to have lucked out, designing 17 new facilities for New York's Sandy-ravaged beaches (pre-fabricated in Chicago).
• Quirk gets into prefab with a Q&A with Romero, whose designs are "more than deserving of the high praise they've garnered."
• We are saddened by the news that Llewelyn Davies Yeang has closed its doors after 53 years.
• Some incredibly ingenious and awe-inspiring entries (having nothing to do with architecture) are on the Design Museum's shortlist for Designs of the Year 2013 (overall winner will be announced tomorrow).
• Also awesome: Aitken's new video installation on the Seattle Art Museum's facade - truly "liquid architecture."
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Editorial: MoMA, Inc. Plans to Crush Williams and Tsien’s Gem: The Six Ironies of a Bad Decision: ...when [the Museum of Modern Art] bought the American Folk Art Museum last year, it was not adding a building to its collection so much as acquiring a coveted piece of real estate...If only the process that led to this decision had been as transparent as that glass aesthetic MoMA loves and not as opaque as those gorgeous bronze panels. By Cathleen McGuigan -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- Architectural Record
MoMA’s Act of Vandalism: The only surprising thing about the Museum of Modern Art’s long-anticipated announcement...is that this deplorable decision took so long to occur...the architects were not asked to adapt their Folk Art gallery to MoMA’s new purposes...At the very least, they would have had ideas worth considering...this needless desecration will remain a permanent blot on the reputation of those responsible for it. By Martin Filler -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien- New York Review of Books
Frank Lloyd Wright wronged on Park Avenue: A luxury auto showroom...said to be the inspiration for his Guggenheim Museum design has been demolished. Move came after phone call from city officials wanting to suggest the space as a landmark...the outcome was likely inevitable...just one of several such cases in recent years. By Matt Chaban -- Alvar Aalto- Crain's New York Business
Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse rooftop gym transformed into art space: Ora-Ïto is converting the famous Marseille roof terrace into a haven for contemporary art: It is a story as unlikely as his own rise to fame. So how did it come about? "I couldn't resist that chance to own such an important piece..." By Oliver Wainwright -- Ito Morabito- Guardian (UK)
Miami Romance: Saving Hilario Candela’s Beloved Miami Marine Stadium: ...a dedicated and determined group of preservationists...is tantalizingly close to breathing new life into the stadium..."nobody thought we had a chance"...Like the stadium itself, though, the group exceeded expectations...But hurdles remain. By Carlos Harrison [images]- Preservation Magazine/National Trust for Historic Preservation
Why the cities of the future belong to the millennial generation: ...the Millennial seeks out spaces with the patina of an undiscovered treasure...Cities plodding along according to post-war principles of planning that privileged roadways for cars – not people – do so at their peril. By Lisa Rochon -- Environics Analytics; Matthew Soules Architecture; Planning Partnership; The Urban Institute- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Cool affordable housing for young teachers: It's easy to imagine the sprawling 19th-century brick mill...as just another high-end apartment complex for twentysomething professionals...although Oxford Mills looks like any number of other rehabs in the trendy corners...it represents a leap into a new residential category called "workforce housing." By Inga Saffron -- Barton Partners [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Michael Gove's standardised schools not such a class act: Oakfield primary in Rugby is the first of a new wave of templated structures for our children's education. It's a shame, then, that it resembles nothing so much as a modified shopping shed...treats its users like passive consumers, like internet shoppers or Ikea victims, whereas Takeley gives value to discovery, invention and finding things out for yourself. By Rowan Moore -- Sunesis; Sarah Wigglesworth Architects [images]- Observer (UK)
Motion Picture Academy unveils ambitious plans for film museum: A gigantic glass dome would dominate the proposed $300-million facility...attached to the May Co. building on Wilshire Boulevard...its leaders haven't studied in full the tumultuous history of ambitious architecture at the LACMA site...fundraising, architectural ambition and curatorial goals have to be in lock step from the beginning of the design process for a project to succeed. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Albert C. Martin (1939); Renzo Piano; Zoltan Pali [image]- Los Angeles Times
Academy Unveils Plans for 'Landmark' Museum: ...Academy Museum of Motion Pictures...six levels will include moviemaking labs and flexible exhibition galleries in the former May Company department store building that is now part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. + Is the Academy Building a Death Star at its New Museum? By Steve Pond -- Renzo Piano; Zoltan Pali [images]- The Wrap
No buildup for architects after hurricane: Firms promote their green expertise, but recovery money hasn't poured in...Small and midsize architecture firms say they've tried to carve out a niche as go-to experts for the green ideas..."The procurement process is so broken"... -- Susannah Drake/dlandstudio; Chris Garvin/Cook+Fox (now CookFox); Kate Orff/SCAPE Studio; Tricia Martin/WE Design; Chad Smith/DesBrisay & Smith Architects- Crain's New York Business
Life Preserver: New facilities landing on New York's Sandy-ravaged beaches...17 new buildings, which will replace destroyed lifeguard stations, restrooms, and offices...broken down into 35 modular units of shipping dimension...being prefabricated in the Chicago... -- Garrison Architects [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Q&A with Rocio Romero, Pioneer in Pre-Fab: ...homes are lightyears away from the Sears catalog homes of yore, and more than deserving of the high praise they’ve garnered..."The biggest challenge is time. The devil is in the details, and having the time to figure it all out..." By Vanessa Quirk [images]- ArchDaily
Llewelyn Davies Yeang goes out of business: ...53-year-old practice...founded as Llewelyn-Davies Weeks in 1960...[has] gone under...In May 2005...made the surprise decision to link up with Malaysian eco-superstar Ken Yeang...the expected raft of work and queue of clients for his much-vaunted green skyscrapers, failed to materialise. By Richard Waite- The Architects' Journal (UK)
London’s Design Museum Announces Designs of the Year 2013: Among the seven category winners include the renovation and reimagining of a faded 1960s tower block in Paris and the ”quiet” graphics of David Chipperfield’s 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Common Ground. -- Frédéric Druot/Anne Lacaton/Jean-Philippe Vassal; John Morgan Studio; Gov.uk; etc.- ArchDaily
Mirror Mirror: Doug Aitken unveils a responsive installation for the Seattle Art Museum’s facade that reflects its context: The artist refers to the installation, his third on or in an Allied Works project, (a loft in New York City and a house in Dutchess County also have Aitken pieces), as “liquid architecture." [video]- Architectural Record
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