Today’s News - Tuesday, August 6, 2013
• For ANN's Nuts + Bolts #5, Bernard and Breuer explain why mid-sized design firms should hire a director of operations (to increase revenues while creating an environment where designers design, not manage!).
• Wainwright weighs in on RIBA shortlisting Hadid's Galaxy Soho for the Lubetkin Prize - which has riled Chinese preservation groups: "If the Chinese government's own heritage department is in thrall to the construction boom, it rests with international institutions to call them out - rather than cheer on the violation of what little historic fabric the country has left."
• Another sign of the times: Nouvel's one-year-old competition-winning design for the National Art Museum of China has yet to be approved: "Adding to the uncertainty" is the new "frugality campaign that has frozen all spending on new government office buildings" (and some Chinese architects weigh in with their own criticism of the project).
• Meanwhile, MAD's China Wood Sculpture Museum is "an object resting awkwardly amidst a residential complex"; sayeth the architect: "We wanted the museum to look a little bit out of place."
• Kamin finds it "refreshing to experience a jolt of broad-shouldered boldness," courtesy of Goettsch's high-rise plan along the Chicago River: it's a "gutsy proposal" that "has the potential to inject much-needed energy - and muscle - into one of the world's great skylines."
• SHoP channels Serra for two new copper-and-glass-clad towers on Manhattan's East River (a sky bridge is "billed as the showstopper").
• Kennicott has a fine time in "a cathedral for art," a.k.a. Amsterdam's made-over Rijksmuseum: "Not everything is beautiful - the minimalist aesthetic is often bland, and inert," but "the goal was to make most of what is new disappear, or fit in seamlessly. Overall the building works, the art is alive."
• Jaffe outlines the yay's and nay's re: St. Louis's "Park over the Highway" plan to reconnect the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River to the city: "some local observers see the 'the lid' as a bandage for the urban interstate, when what's really needed is reconstructive surgery."
• Gluck, on the other hand, finds a "pedestrian paradise" in Rios Clementi Hale's Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.
• Too bad the "'edible landscape' motion is still stuck in L.A.'s City Hall sausage machine - given the thousands of miles of parkway strips...in a city with vast 'food deserts.'"
• A new study "shows that it's possible to quantify what effect Haussmann's plans had" on Paris, offering "a case history of how cities may evolve through a combination of spontaneous self-organization and top-down central planning."
• Davidson on MoMA's departing Bergdoll: he "prodded the architectural profession to confront difficult issues" and "helped the museum's visitors understand not only what architecture is, but also what it could be."
• Williams has a rather intriguing take on the "uncivil civility of Richard Rogers": "The contradiction between his buildings and his rhetoric has never been properly explained."
• There's new evidence that smog-eating building products "might be producing the very chemicals they're supposed to get rid of."
• Adelaide picks the team to redesign Henley Square: "Shying away from a design that would foster 'highbrow gestures,'" it will be a "playful" place (looks like fun to us!).
• A "top-tier shortlist" vies to design a new Calgary Central Library: "the potential for an inspiring temple to free books is enormous" (we can't wait to see pix!).
• Another impressive shortlist vies to re-program and re-design Oxford's social spaces - it's "a fascinating cross-section of British architectural talent ranging from the contextual to the contemporary."
• Chaban is quite taken by some of the proposals presented in the Forum for Urban Design's soon-to-be-published "Next New York" that range from the "sublime to strange" to "some just way out there."
• Call for entries (deadline looms!): Desert Sky Transit Center in Phoenix seeks artist to help design shade features, seating, walkways, etc.
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Nuts + Bolts #5: Why Mid-Sized Design Firms Should Hire a Director of Operations: Hiring a DOO has the potential to significantly increase revenues while creating an environment where designers design, not manage! By Michael Bernard, AIA, and Mary Breuer- ArchNewsNow
Zaha Hadid's mega mall accused of 'destroying' Beijing's heritage: The RIBA's decision to award a prize to the Galaxy Soho shopping centre has incensed Chinese preservation groups...shortlisted for the Lubetkin Prize...If the Chinese government's own heritage department is in thrall to the construction boom, it rests with international institutions to call them out – rather than cheer on the violation of what little historic fabric the country has left. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Huge National Art Museum of China still not approved: Beijing has not approved project nearly a year after Jean Nouvel was commissioned...Adding to the uncertainty is the new administration's frugality campaign that has frozen all spending on new government office buildings...museum was to be the biggest in the world...several Chinese architects and art critics have criticised the project.- South China Morning Post
China Wood Sculpture Museum: Designed by MAD Architects, this amorphous, stainless-steel clad cultural building in Harbin...An object resting awkwardly amidst a residential complex...“We wanted the museum to look a little bit out of place,” says Ma Yansong...One should not underestimate the effect that a new cultural building has on property values in China. [images]- Australian Design Review
Riverside tower proposal would flip the script downtown: ...it was refreshing to experience a jolt of broad-shouldered boldness, courtesy of a high-rise plan for a high-profile spot along the Chicago River. The gutsy proposal...has the potential to inject much-needed energy — and muscle — into one of the world's great skylines. By Blair Kamin -- Goettsch Partners; Ted Wolff Landscape Architecture [images]- Chicago Tribune
High-Rises to Replace an East Side Eyesore: A pair of rental towers, clad in copper and glass, will rise along the East River on a site that has sat empty for more than a decade...The two buildings bend and connect via a sky bridge, billed as the showstopper...copper curtain wall...is a nod to Richard Serra... -- SHoP Architects [images]- New York Times
A cathedral for art: The 10-year renovation Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum gets most things right: Not everything is beautiful about this new building...minimalist aesthetic...is often bland, and inert. But that, obviously, was the point: The goal was to make most of what is new disappear, or fit in seamlessly. Overall the building works, the art is alive... By Philip Kennicott -- Pierre Cuypers (1885); Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos [images]- Washington Post
What's Better Than Turning an Urban Highway Into a Park? St. Louis will cover the highway that divides downtown from the waterfront...some local observers see the "the lid" as a bandage for the urban interstate, when what's really needed is reconstructive surgery. By Eric Jaffe -- CityArchRiver; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; James Carpenter Design Associates; Trivers Associates [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Grand Park: L.A.'s pedestrian paradise: A park in downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill neighborhood transformed an overlooked swath of open space into a lush destination fit for its civic and cultural neighbors. By Marissa Gluck -- Rios Clementi Hale Studios [slide show]- Architectural Record
L.A. still saying parkway vegetable gardens must go: ...two years later..."edible landscape" motion is still stuck in the City Hall sausage machine, with several city agencies quibbling over details..."The city has an amazing opportunity"...given the thousands of miles of parkway strips that are wasted on grass, scrub, rocks or pavement, in a city with vast "food deserts."- Los Angeles Times
The revolution that built the streets of Paris: ...one of the most striking examples of rational urban planning – a new study tries to explain how exactly it changed the city...shows that...it’s possible to quantify what effect Haussmann’s plans had...results offer a case history of how cities may evolve through a combination of spontaneous self-organisation and top-down central planning.- BBC (UK)
Justin Davidson on MoMA’s Departing Barry Bergdoll: With an activist’s sense of urgency and an academic’s insistence on rigor, Bergdoll prodded the architectural profession to confront difficult issues, reaching out to young designers...he helped the museum’s visitors understand not only what architecture is, but also what it could be.- New York Magazine
The uncivil civility of Richard Rogers: The idea of ‘civility’...most clearly represented in his non-architectural work...Pompidou and Lloyds are fantastic buildings precisely because they don’t appear to give a damn...The contradiction between [his] buildings, and his rhetoric has never been properly explained...civility to me often connotes cruelty, albeit of a hidden kind...ultimately diminishes Rogers’s work. By Richard J Williams- Future Cities Project (U.K.)
Smog-Eating Building Products Could Produce Smog: New evidence suggests that coatings designed for smog reduction and self-cleaning might be producing the very chemicals they’re supposed to get rid of.- BuildingGreen.com
Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) with Troppo Architects selected to redesign Henley Square in Adelaide: Shying away from a design that would foster “highbrow gestures”, the site is intended to be playful, offering new outlooks to the beach. [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Top-tier shortlist of architects announced for Calgary’s new library: ...the potential for an inspiring temple to free books is enormous. No images of design concepts are available yet...Calgarians must be eager to see some pictures of what they’ve got in mind... -- 3XN/AECOM; KPMB/BKDI; REX/Group2; Snohetta/DIALOG- Maclean's (Canada)
Oriel College Design Competition Shortlist Announced: ...competition to re-program and re-design...Oxford’s social spaces. The shortlist, a fascinating cross-section of British architectural talent ranging from the contextual to the contemporary... -- AL_A; Allies and Morrison; Caruso St John Architects; Panter Hudspith Architects; Wright & Wright Architects- ArchDaily
Visions for 'Next New York' are sublime to strange: Among the 40 proposals put forward for consideration by the next mayor were extending the Number 7 train to Seacaucus, N.J., and pasting spiffy-looking facades on public housing projects...some new, some old, some just way out there..."This is not a blueprint. It is meant to spark debate about the future of the public realm." By Matt Chaban -- Alex Garvin/Forum for Urban Design- Crain's New York Business
Call for entries: Desert Sky Transit Center: ...seeks an artist to join the design team...to consider unique ways to provide functional integrated elements for passengers...opportunities include...vertical shade features, shelters and seating, walkways, and landscape enhancements; deadline: August 16- City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Program
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