Today’s News - Friday, May 17, 2013
• We'll let the grumpy guys go first: Gardner weighs in on the MoMA/AFAM (Bambi vs. Godzilla) debate: "Tear it down" - why preserve "a poorly designed and poorly executed structure that should never have been built in the first place."
• Brussat raises the question: "Why is so much modern architecture so violent in spirit?"
• From the other side of the Big Pond, Mount agrees: "No wonder we all become Nimbys - who can blame us when we say, don't build anything new until you learn how to build beautifully?"
• Heathcote reassesses an "optimistic moment" in the 1960s with visions for modular housing and the "legacy of the pod-fathers."
• Farrelly reassesses the Seidler/Dusseldorp (of Lend Lease) partnership: "Together, the two made a formidable team," with Sydney as their "sandpit."
• Foundation stones are laid for Heneghan Peng's Palestinian Museum on the West Bank: "it is not without cross-border support."
• Eyefuls of BIG and OMA's competing visions for the Miami Beach Convention Center district (we'll know in a few weeks who gets the plum job).
• Moss and others discuss urban revitalization as he plays a real-life Sim City.
• Bey reports on a hopeful plan to restore and maintain FLW's Unity Temple, "but the plan is conditional."
• A 2-part Q&A with Pritzker-winner Wang Shu: "If you listen carefully, you will find out that your clients have no idea what they are talking about."
• One we couldn't resist: Carbuncle Cup 2013 ("the competition that architects love to hate") is now open for nominations.
• Weekend diversions:
• Hawthorne offers a great, in-depth take on the Getty's "Pacific Standard Time" series (and other shows): "Is the city of eternal youth finally embracing its past?"
• Tylevich thinks so: "L.A. is noisy with observations and opinions. The shows that make up PSTP in Los Angeles suggest that someone's listening."
• Brake explains why SCI-Arc's "A Confederacy of Heretics" resonates: "While architects in the East and in Chicago were puzzling over the in-jokes of postmodern historicism, these West Coast radicals were redefining architectural form and practice in ways that remain bracingly contemporary."
• Yale's "Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment" lands in Toronto.
• Adler gives (mostly) thumbs-up to Heller's Ed Bacon biography: "Ironically for a master builder, Bacon's true legacy is not so much in what he built as what he refrained from building."
• Calys cheers Wels's "Arts for the City": it's "a coffee table book that actually deserves to be read" (great slide show, too).
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Tear the American Folk Art Museum down!: When MoMA announced its plans to raze the structure, many in the architectural community were up in arms...Neutered and hobbled by this misplaced respect, the new building would have to preserve a poorly designed and poorly executed structure that should never have been built in the first place. By James Gardner -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien- The Real Deal (NYC)
You are not going to believe this: Why is so much modern architecture so violent in spirit? ...the world's built environment continues to suffer...So many people...when they're not cowering from it, are embracing the brutalism, the ugliness, the banality and the tedium that modern architecture inflicts on us. By David Brussat -- Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Zhou Qi; Oliver Wainwright; MVRDV; Herzog & de Meuron; Daniel Libeskind; Thom Mayne/Morphosis; Andres Duany [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Modern architects have forgotten how to build beautiful new houses: ...No wonder we all become Nimbys....the British public – with far better taste than most architects – have gone on buying beautiful, old buildings...Who could possibly defend the modern horrors inflicted on our cities by architects over the last half century? ...who can blame us when we say, don't build anything new until you learn how to build beautifully? By Harry Mount- Telegraph (UK)
Legacy of the pod-fathers: A 1960s vision for modular housing is reassessed: The twin poles of this optimistic moment occurred a few years apart in Montreal and Tokyo...All of these contemporary currents expressed desires to abandon the confines of the fixed city...[excerpt from "The Meaning of Home"] By Edwin Heathcote -- Moshe Safdie; Kisho Kurokawa; Archigram; Constant Nieuwenhuys- Financial Times (UK)
Lifecycle: When Harry met Dick: Elizabeth Farrelly explores how the meeting between Harry Seidler and Gerardus Jozef ('Dick') Dusseldorp [Lend Lease] dramatically altered both their lives and Sydney...Together, the two made a formidable team...over a dozen or more projects, Sydney was their sandpit. [images]- Australian Design Review
Director outlines vision for new Palestinian Museum: Jack Persekian emphasises giving a voice to local history, as foundation stones are laid...in the West Bank town of Birzeit...it is not without cross-border support. -- Heneghan Peng [image]- The Art Newspaper (UK)
BIG Proposal Brings the Heat in Miami: A proposal by Bjarke Ingels Group for a 52-acre redevelopment for Miami Beach would bring the convention center in line with the rest of America's hippest city. -- West 8; Fentress; JPA [images]- Architect Magazine
OMA Proposes Radical Redevelopment Plan for the Miami Beach Convention Center: The vision involves bringing to life one of Miami Beach’s most underutilized public sites... -- South Beach ACE; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Raymond Jungles [images]- ArchDaily
Real Life Sim City: Eric Owen Moss gets to play a real-life game...The architect's 1986 master plan for Culver City proposed 43 buildings and half are completed today...he and others from across the country discuss urban revitalization. -- Charles R. Wolfe/"Urbanism Without Effort"; Fred Kent/Project for Public Spaces (PPS); Jennifer Taylor/American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)- Huffington Post
Congregation mulls yielding ownership of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed church: Under $10m restoration plan, congregation could yield ownership of Oak Park's Unity Temple...to an organization that would be responsible for maintaining the church...But the plan is conditional. By Lee Bey [image]- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
Wang Shu interview (parts 1 and 2): “if you listen carefully, you will find out that your clients have no idea what they are talking about” -- Amateur Architecture Studio- MPTF [masterplanning the future] (China)
Carbuncle Cup 2013 open for nominations: The UK’s most controversial architecture prize is back. The competition that architects love to hate...- BD/Building Design (UK)
L.A. Historical: The Getty is sponsoring an ambitious series of shows that attempts to unravel the complicated architectural legacy of Los Angeles. Is the city of eternal youth finally embracing its past? "Pacific Standard Time"...What the PSTP project will mean for the city’s understanding of itself is still an open question. By Christopher Hawthorne -- “Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990"; “A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979"; “Everything Loose Will Land"; “A New Sculpturalism"; “Never Built: Los Angeles" [images]- Architect Magazine
Why L.A. is important: The Getty’s mega-initiative “Pacific Standard Time” gives substance to a city’s swagger: The L.A. of the last decade (and especially the last five years) seems acutely aware of a past inferiority complex...and it’s vigorously trying to shake it off..."Overdrive: L.A. Constructs The Future 1940-1990" is careful to take an approach that’s not all Googie Lite..."A Confederacy of Heretics"...has a “Behind The Music” feel... By Katya Tylevich- Uncube magazine (Germany)
LA's Radicals in Retrospect: SCI-Arc exhibition "A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979"...While architects in the East and in Chicago were puzzling over the in-jokes of postmodern historicism, these West Coast radicals were redefining architectural form and practice in ways that remain bracingly contemporary. By Alan G. Brake -- Thom Mayne; Frederick Fisher;, Robert Mangurian; Eric Owen Moss; Coy Howard; Craig Hodgetts; Michael Rotondi; Frank Gehry [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
"Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment": ...at the Eric Arthur Gallery, University of Toronto...reflects Roche’s understanding of architecture as a part of a larger context, both human-made and natural... -- Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates- Canadian Architect
The Philadelphia Story: "Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia" by Gregory L. Heller explores Bacon's role...as a third way between the visions of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses...Ironically for a master builder, Bacon’s true legacy...is not so much in what he built as what he refrained from building...worth learning about, especially now that his ideas have come into fashion. By Ben Adler [images]- Architect Magazine
Arts for the City: civic art and urban change: Susan Wels, in her new book "Arts for the City," explores public art in San Francisco against the backdrop of historic change in America’s most socially progressive city...from 1932 to the present...it’s a coffee table book that actually deserves to be read. By George Calys [slide show]- San Francisco Examiner
Nuts + Bolts #4: Spring into Growth Mode: Organize Your Process to Maximize Your Potential: Internal organization, clearly defined workflows, and a focused approach to the things you do best will put you on the right track to long-term growth. By Steve Whitehorn- ArchNewsNow
-- Foster + Partners: Musée de Préhistoire des Gorges du Verdon, Quinson, France
-- Hotels: Tree Hotel, Harads, Sweden
-- Richard Meier & Partners: Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain
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