Today’s News - Monday, May 13, 2013
• Kimmelman and de Monchaux weigh in on MoMA's re-thinking of AFAM's future now DS+R is on board: "Last week was a good one for common sense and manning the barricades" + "The "weather-beaten and shimmering" building "looks like it has been - and will be - there forever" (both great reads).
• You offers a nifty round-up of the decade-long work by innovative mayors of Medellín: "who in the world would have used a ski lift to connect slum dwellers with the backbone of a city" or "planted a world-class library at the apex of a slum?"
• Chaban reports on the "Post-Sandy Initiative Report" (spearheaded by AIANY): a key focus is protecting the waterfront without abandoning it" (other cities would do well to give it a read).
• A new smart growth guide offers the "how" of doing all the great things other smart growth guides tell us to do.
• Jacobs is more optimistic than she thought she'd be re: the evolution of Two Trees plans for NYC's Domino Sugar site: "it's this weirdly old-school quality, more than the eye candy, that makes me think Dominotown could be the first credible piece of 21st-century urbanism on either side of the East River." (another great read!)
• Rochon bemoans some big development scandals in Montreal, but is heartened by some "modest, meaningful works of architecture and joyous pop-up landscapes that are left standing with integrity fully intact."
• An old Rotterdam department store restored as the plinth of a new housing block: "New life for an old grande dame under a new protector? Or a tough old bird providing a nest for a huge new cuckoo?"
• Bozikovic cheers Quadrangle's "gutsy" design for Enigma Lofts: "It reflects some smart city-building and also a mad spirit of invention" - it is "in a sense a lab for the future of Toronto housing."
• Meanwhile, Pei Partnership teams with Quadrangle and others for a 56-story modernist condo tower in midtown Toronto.
• Wainwright x 2: he muses on OMA's "big underpants" CCTV HQ's (fitting?) new neighbor: does it remind you of anything?
• He cheers a Dutch city's initiative to give first-time buyers a "chance to get on housing ladder" with flatpack homes that also gives young architects a chance to get into house-building - the "momentum is beginning to build in the UK."
• Viglucci reports on "architect, thinker, provocateur" Koolhaas in South Beach: "When it comes to Miami, he's is no parachuting starchitect."
• Calys hopes the Presidio takes notes on Cavallo Point and the redevelopment of Fort Baker: it is "one of those all-too-rare developments where developer, design team, and the National Park Service collaborated" to perfection.
• Ulam digs deep into the "murky ethics and uncertain longevity of privately financed public parks": can these public-private partnerships (i.e. High Line, Millennium Park, etc.) "be financially self-sustaining without completely selling out"? (good question!)
• Rawsthorn cheers because the "world of architecture finally appreciates the art" of Bucky's geodesic domes.
• Bernstein lunches with Lambert (at the Four Seasons - where else?).
• Bernaskoni - apparently "Russia's most in-demand architect - laments the fact that the discipline has become infected with popularism."
• Call for entries: AIASF's 3rd Annual Architecture at Zero international open ideas competition.
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Defending a Scrap of Soul Against MoMA: West 53rd Street needs the character of the former home of the American Folk Art Museum...threatened by a Museum of Modern Art expansion plan: The stakes go beyond the Modern to civic health. Midtown and MoMA could both use more variety, serendipity and soul. The former [AFAM], having all those things, isn’t an obstacle to progress but an opportunity. By Michael Kimmelman -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro- New York Times
Memory Palace: The building at 45 West 53rd Street looks like it has been—and will be—there forever...Weatherbeaten and shimmering...it’s more like a stray piece of nature than a work of architecture...The story of why the building may be demolished features the familiar churn of art and commerce on a densely-inhabited island. By Thomas de Monchaux -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- New Yorker
Medellín Shows the Power of Innovation and Inclusion: Nicholas You recounts the decade-long work by a series of innovative mayors...Many of the solutions implemented look...like logical responses to a desperate situation. But who in the world would have used a ski lift to connect slum dwellers with the backbone of a city...planted a world-class library at the apex of a slum...resolved the “last mile” connection for the urban poor with the world’s largest open-air escalator?- Citiwire
Architects dream up rebuilding innovations: The ideas by planners and designers, led by AIA New York, come as the federal government approves $1.7 billion in Sandy spending...A key focus of the Post-Sandy Initiative Report is protecting the waterfront without abandoning it...also tackles the knotty questions that drive zoning and building codes... By Matt Chaban [link to report]- Crain's New York Business
A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth: ...designers and planners...all appear to be on the same page...they tell us “what” but they do not tell us “how”. 10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth by Bill Adams of UrbDeZine San Diego enumerates how to achieve the various design goals and principles that these various guides encourage. -- NewUrbanism.org; AIA Local Leaders: Healthier Communities through Design; NYC Active Design Guidelines- ArchDaily
DUMBO Principle: A Brooklyn developer asks for more height in exchange for a livelier public realm. A good deal? ...[Walentas] family’s decidedly hands-on, curatorial—and oddly medieval—approach to urbanism...a testament to the power of enlightened self-interest...here’s a guy embarking on a billion-dollar-plus development based on gut instincts and anecdotal evidence. And it’s this weirdly old-school quality, more than the eye candy, that makes me think Dominotown could be the first credible piece of 21st-century urbanism on either side of the East River. By Karrie Jacobs -- SHoP; James Corner Field Operations- Metropolis Magazine
In Montreal, delicate design gestures help us forget the big scandals: ...it’s the modest, meaningful works of architecture and joyous pop-up landscapes that are left standing with integrity fully intact. By Lisa Rochon -- Luc Laporte; WANTED landscape; Daily tous les jours; Cardin Ramirez Julien & Aedifica- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Saviour or Parasite? Re-use in Rotterdam: An old Rotterdam department store, slated for demolition, has instead been saved and restored to form the plinth of a new 16 storey housing block. New life for an old grande dame under a new protector? Or a tough old bird providing a nest for a huge new cuckoo? By Anneke Bokern -- Van den Broek en Bakema (1951); Ibelings van Tilburg- Uncube magazine (Germany)
Architect angles a Toronto condo for a difficult urban spot: ...a three-dimensional pile of blocks that will look different from every corner. It reflects some smart city-building and also a mad spirit of invention...Enigma Lofts is in a sense a lab for the future of Toronto housing. By Alex Bozikovic -- Quadrangle Architects [image]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Tower Hill unveils 56-storey condo tower project: ...modernist condominium tower in midtown Toronto that...will transform the district with its “stunning, cantilevered” terrace design. -- Pei Partnership Architects; Quadrangle Architects; Ferris + Associates; Munge Leung [image]- Daily Commercial News (Canada)
Does Beijing's new People's Daily building remind you of anything? Its state TV headquarters has been called the big underpants. Now China's official newspaper has a phallic tower to match..."Our way of expression is kind of extreme...different from the culture of moderation that Chinese people are accustomed to." By Oliver Wainwright -- Zhou Qi [image]- Guardian (UK)
Flatpack homes offer Dutch first-time buyers chance to get on housing ladder: Self-build kit homes in Nijmegen in the Netherlands can be assembled within six to eight weeks...the city's "I build affordable in Nijmegen" initiative (IbbN) has paired 20 architects with building companies...For young architects...the scheme also provides an opportunity to get into housebuilding...And momentum is beginning to build in the UK. By Oliver Wainwright -- Exs Architects; LRVH architects- Guardian (UK)
Architect, thinker, provocateur Rem Koolhaas brings his talents to South Beach: When it comes to Miami, Koolhaas is no parachuting starchitect. By Andres Viglucci -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture/OMA/Shohei Shigematsu; Andres Duany; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk; Arquitectonica; Laurinda Spear; Jean-Francois LeJeune; Bjarke Ingels Group/BIG- Miami Herald
This is how we do it: Cavallo Point: ...the redevelopment of Fort Baker...is one of those all-too-rare developments where developer, design team, and the National Park Service collaborated so well that the retreat center feels lightly inserted into the park. One can only hope that the proposed Presidio developments would take note. By George Calys -- Leddy Maytum Stacy; Architectural Resources Group; Brayton Hughes; Office Of Cheryl Barton- San Francisco Examiner
The Murky Ethics and Uncertain Longevity of Privately Financed Public Parks: The problem? It's unclear whether these kinds of public-private partnerships can be financially self-sustaining without completely selling out...This new generation of parks has led to growing concern about the equitable distribution of public resources. By Alex Ulam- The Atlantic Cities
The Prescient Vision of a Gentle Revolutionist: The world of architecture finally appreciates the art of Richard Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes...a recurring obsession...was to optimize the earth’s resources by “doing more with less,” which now seems prescient rather than wacky. Few of his endeavors fulfilled this objective more effectively than his geodesic domes, and the Fly’s Eye Dome in particular. By Alice Rawsthorn [images]- New York Times
Design Doyenne: At 27, she commissioned the Seagram Building. Now, a half-century later, Phyllis Lambert deconstructs its legacy in "Building Seagram"...“I’ve always cared not so much about the building but about how it impacts the life of the city"...[she] runs the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), perhaps the world’s most carefully curated architecture museum. By Fred A. Bernstein- W Magazine
Intelligent design: the interactive architecture of Boris Bernaskoni: Russia's most in-demand architect believes that buildings should have a voice...Reflecting on the state of architecture today, he laments the fact that the discipline has, in his mind, become infected with popularism. -- Zaha Hadid; Peter Zumthor- The Calvert Journal (UK)
Call for entries: 3rd Annual Architecture at Zero international open ideas competition: design a zero net energy (ZNE) mixed-rate housing complex in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood; cash prizes; deadline: October 1- AIA San Francisco / PG&E / Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
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