Today’s News - Friday, June 14, 2013
• A landscape architect bemoans the state of affairs in his homeland re: Gezi Park and Taksim Square in Istanbul: the "sad developments can be linked to the top-down planning style, and finds "the proposed overall plan sophomoric at best" that makes "this meaningful landmark look as insignificant as an ant."
• Capps reports on a bill making its way through Congress that, if passed into law, would launch an Eisenhower Memorial design competition from scratch.
• Malouff mulls the demise of the Hirshhorn Bubble and ponders: "Is the National Mall the place for risk-taking architecture?"
• Do design competitions exploit architects? Yes, says Ramus; No, says Kaucky (some interesting comments, too).
• Police find no evidence of criminality in Glasgow's George Square competition probe.
• Lackmeyer looks at some of the reasons local architecture firms are losing work to out-of-towners.
• Stott on the 99% Invisible's Mars who "bravely takes on a very sensitive topic: the design of prisons" and "whether architects have a moral duty to decline these commissions."
• Russell on Pritzker-winner Wang Shu bucking China's megacity trend.
• Moore marvels at Ricciotti's museum in Marseille: it "makes a dazzling statement," but it is "a spectacular wrapper" for exhibitions that "are something of a muddle" (great slide show).
• Bevan's Q&A with Herzog re: H&deM's new hall for Art Basel and the fading of Modernism: What is that "new"? "Who knows?"
• Green offers an in-depth (great!) look at the history and current goings-on with the Atlanta Beltline.
• Wainwright weighs in on the RIBA Awards and finds "wealth of worthy competitors," with "two of the strongest contenders" for the Stirling in Northern Ireland.
• Weekend diversions:
• Davidson and Flint are (mostly) impressed with MoMA's Corbu show and its "most chilling image" and "terrifying beauty."
• Stephens' Q&A with Corbu curator Cohen: "He invented a vocabulary and syntax for a battery of forms that could still be successfully applied now, but under careful medical prescription."
• On the other side of the Big Pond, you can stroll through a life-size model of Mies's never-realized golf clubhouse in Germany.
• A Turrellian "skyspace" takes over the Guggenheim's rotunda - fittingly beginning on the summer solstice (we can't wait!).
• In Upstate New York, Cooper Union architecture students explore "the relationships between time, perception, drawing, working at the scale of a model and the scale of architecture" in "Drawing in the Woods (For Lebbeus)."
• Seidler show lands in Asheville, NC, where he studied with Josef Albers.
• Johnson finds Bosker's "Original Copies" to be "fascinating": "Part of the reason that fakes have an appeal in China is that the country lacks cultural self-confidence."
• Merrick gives two thumbs-ups to Hollis's "Cities Are Good for You": it's a "deftly detailed portrayal of city life as it is, and may become."
• Nobel cheers Petroski's "To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure" and his "attempt to understand 'the nature of failure itself.'"
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Turkish Prime Minister Is Practicing Landscape Architecture Without a License: I have been under stress watching the recent events...began with peaceful demonstrations...to preserve one of the last remaining green spaces in Istanbul...these sad developments can be linked to the top-down planning style...I would call the proposed overall plan for the square and the park sophomoric at best...make this meaningful landmark look as insignificant as an ant. By Sadik Artunc [images, links]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
House Committee Approves Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act: ...a bill that, if passed into law, would launch a design competition from scratch....would give the Eisenhower family significant say in a new memorial design...Should it pass the Senate and be signed into law, it will be many more years before a design for the memorial is finalized. By Kriston Capps -- Frank Gehry- Architect Magazine
Is the National Mall the place for risk-taking architecture? DC's art community was chagrined to see the Hirshhorn cancel plans to build an inflatable "bubble"...This is a good time to ask, "what now?" [It] would have been a striking sculptural statement, but is that what the National Mall should be? By Dan Malouff- Greater Greater Washington (Washington, DC)
Do design competitions exploit architects? Clients have been accused of abusing the system to stockpile ideas on the cheap — at great expense to the designers. Yes: Andy Ramus/AR Design Studio; No: Barbara Kaucky/Erect Architecture- BD/Building Design (UK)
Police find no evidence of criminality in George Square probe: An investigation was sparked...after the competition collapsed in farce when Glasgow City Council leader George Matheson declared that John McAslan & Partners winning design would not be built. A separate probe by the public standards commissioner, at the behest of RIAS, is still ongoing...- Urban Realm (Scotland)
Uncomfortable Question: Why are Local Architecture Firms Losing Work to Out-of-Town Firms? The ability and willingness to adapt, change, and throw out prior thoughts on urban design may not be the only reason for the influx of out-of-state firms – but an embrace of such qualities certainly won’t hurt the chances of our talented locals to stay in the competition. By Steve Lackmeyer -- TAP Architecture; Fitzsimmons Architects; GTF Design; AHMM; HSE Architects; Jack C. Irwin; ADG Inc.- The Oklahoman
Should Architects Follow a Code of Ethics? In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars bravely takes on a very sensitive topic: the design of prisons...discusses whether architects have a moral duty to decline these commissions and whether, as a profession, architecture should have a code of ethics which prevents registered architects from participating in such designs. By Rory Stott -- American Institute of Archite (AIA); Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) [links]- ArchDaily
Pritzker-Winning Architect Bucks China’s Megacity Trend: The day after Wang Shu was awarded the $100,000 Pritzker Architecture Prize...he returned to the old Beijing neighborhood where he grew up and found it in the process of being demolished. By James S. Russell -- Lu Wenyu/Amateur Architecture Studio; Ma Yansong/MAD [images]- Bloomberg News
Museum of the Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM): Marseille's new museum makes a dazzling statement, but the exhibitions are something of a muddle...a questionable display has been given a spectacular wrapper...I have higher hopes of another Marseille project, Mamo, where...design prodigy Ora-Ïto has restored the derelict gymnasium on the roof of Le Corbusier's majestic Unité d'Habitation of 1952. By Rowan Moore -- Rudy Ricciotti [slide show]- Observer (UK)
Art Basel’s new hall: Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron architects on remodelling Messe Basel and the fading of Modernism...What is that “new”? "Who knows? Modernity has lost its ideological persuasiveness...has become one instrumentarium and one vocabularium next to others." By Robert Bevan [slide show]- The Art Newspaper (UK)
With the Beltline, Atlanta Wants to Become a New City: A bit more than 10 years ago, Ryan Gravel,...delivered a whopper of a thesis...to transform the mostly abandoned railroad lines that circle Atlanta into a new network of transit, parks, and pedestrian and bike trails. While that vision would have died in other cities, it actually took root in Atlanta and is now becoming a reality...Atlanta Beltline... By Jared Green -- Kevin Burke; James Corner Field Operations; Perkins+Will [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Riba awards 2013: buildings for nuns, pupils, tourists &hellip and Ferraris: The 52 projects take in schools, private houses, art galleries and parks. Two of the strongest contenders this year come from Northern Ireland...wealth of worthy competitors. By Oliver Wainwright -- Heneghan Peng; Hackett Hall McKnight; dRMM; Future Systems/Jan Kaplicky/Shiro Studio; HAT Projects; Witherford Watson Mann; Peter Barber; Allies and Morrison- Guardian (UK)
Twin Legacies of Le Corbusier: The most chilling image in MoMA’s essential and long overdue show is an aerial view of Paris from 1937, with all of the inconveniently tangled bits between the monuments neatly whited out..."Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes" makes clear that both he and his architecture always reacted forcefully to his surroundings...Jean-Louis Cohen builds a lawyerly case... By Justin Davidson- New York Magazine
MoMA Pays Tribute to the Terrifying Beauty of Le Corbusier; This summer's sweeping retrospective is a deep dive on the controversial architect...One leaves the show with a thorough sense of the man, and that may be its greatest accomplishment. By Anthony Flint [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Jean-Louis Cohen: Q&A with with the eminent architecture historian and architect who organized the comprehensive new Le Corbusier exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art..."He invented a vocabulary and syntax for a battery of forms that could still be successfully applied now, but under careful medical prescription." By Suzanne Stephens [slide show]- Architectural Record
"Mies 1:1 Golf Club Project. A Walkable Architecture Model": Mies van der Rohe designed this golf clubhouse in 1930 for the countryside surrounding Krefeld, Germany, but it's only just been constructed..."The pavilion is temporarily enriching the architectural heritage of a city..." [images]- Frame magazine
James Turrell Guggenheim Return: Light Artist Takes Over Rotunda: Beginning on the summer solstice (June 21), Turrell will take over the Guggenheim's epic rotunda, turning Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece into a Turrellian "skyspace." [slide show]- Huffington Post
"Drawing Us Out: Drawing in the Woods (For Lebbeus)" by Architectonics Design Studio at the Cooper Union School of Architecture...at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York, opening June 15- Architecture Omi
"Harry Seidler: Architecture, Art and Collaborative Design": ...studied with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College in the mid-1940s...I’m sure it will be interesting look inside this complex, creative process; at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, NC, June 14 – August 21 -- Vladimir Belogolovsky- Asheville Citizen-Times (North Carolina)
Faking It in China: What drives this obsession with foreign styles? Bianca Bosker gives some answers in her fascinating new book, "Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China"...copies and mimicry of the innovations of others do not carry any negative connotations...Part of the reason that fakes have an appeal in China is that the country lacks cultural self-confidence. By Ian Johnson -- Wang Shu [images]- New York Review of Books
"Cities Are Good for You" by Leo Hollis: ...takes us on inquisitive walks and journeys...to build up this deftly detailed portrayal of city life as it is, and may become...joins a small and important group of humanist writers, including Jane Jacobs, Michael Sorkin and Richard Sennett, who understand the importance of the fine-points of perception and connection in relation to metropolitan life. By Jay Merrick- Independent (UK)
Oops: Understanding Failure: Fifty people are killed off in the first chapter of Henry Petroski’s "To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure"...he has chosen to examine failure in the widest professional and cultural sense, with the aim of preventing it, but also in an attempt to understand ‘the nature of failure itself’. By Philip Nobel- Change Observer
The Untouchable City: Rome, the indisputable mecca for architects...I decided to...zoom in on two contemporary projects that...have tried to shoulder the heavy burden of adding to the city's accumulated architectural legacy: Richard Meier's Ara Pacis Museum and Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum. By Jakob Harry Hybel [images]
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