Today’s News - Thursday, August 22, 2013
EDITOR'S NOTE: Just a reminder that we're taking Fridays and Mondays off through August. We'll be back Tuesday, August 27. Happy Weekend!
• Badger has a most interesting conversation with an urbanist/researcher who explains why "few groups are more hypocritical than urbanists discussing gentrification (the "elephant sitting in the academic corner").
• Gilsinan delves into Kabul, Afghanistan's "utterly mundane urban planning crisis - the city's biggest problem isn't suicide bombers or militants - it's the traffic" - and what the city hopes to do about it.
• A Japanese architect is spearheading a project to get Pakistani women into architecture (not an easy task).
• Brake cheers Chipperfield's "SLAM dunk" in St. Louis as "an object lesson for other U.S. museums pondering expansions" - start with a "principled but not ego-driven architect."
• Farrelly offers an amusing musing on Fujimoto's Serpentine Pavilion that "promises infinite climbability": is it art or "just play equipment for grown-ups? I'd trade all climbability for more beauty and subtlety, any day."
• Waning support for Libeskind's Maze Peace Centre in Northern Ireland raises questions about consensus.
• Local architects are bellying up to the bar in the Twin Cities brewpub boom: there are lots of cool wineries in the world, so "why shouldn't breweries and their architects have some fun, too?"
• A new park in Uptown Charlotte, NC, is ready for its close-up with high hopes it will "revitalize the area's currently dull after-work scene."
• Hoboken, NJ, offers some best practices and lessons learned for other cities looking to implement on-street bike parking (don't call them "bike racks" - and "bolt them down, and firmly").
• Stephens has a lively Q&A with Meier as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of his firm re: his career and sticking with a Modernist vocabulary: "It never occurred to me to do anything else" (and his title on the company's website is incorrect?).
• Corbu x 2: Betsky says it's time to "face up to the sexism" in the work of Corbu and other "Masters of the Modernist Universe - myopic men who achieved beautiful things and dreamed of even better ones by suppressing reality and complexity - and at least half the human race."
• Gordon looks into the history of Corbu's "role in the controversy over Eileen's Gray's E.1027 - how one of the 20th century's most important historic houses was nearly destroyed," and how the "promised rescue was compromised - much of the effort has been botched."
• Zara explains why, though it may be architectural enthusiasts' fantasy to live in an FLW house, "living in art" can end up being "much more tedious than living with it."
• Our heartiest congrats to High Line co-founders David and Hammond on receiving this year's Vincent Scully Prize for "one of the most successful urban revitalization projects to date."
• Call for entries: "Russia" Theme Park just outside of Moscow (they want a big one!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Juergen Mayer H queries curator of "Draft Urbanism" for the Biennial Of The Americas in Denver re: architecture, urbanism - and beer.
• Treu's: "Signs, Streets, and Storefronts" offers "vivid descriptions and ample photographs" to "support his even-handed entreaty to please, please, consider the sign."
• In "Almost Home: The Public Landscapes of Gertrude Jekyll," Miller "extends our knowledge of the famed landscape architect" who "imbued landscapes with what she believed to be therapeutic properties."
• Brussat discovers a "real and unreal" Providence in H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth": one "riveting description, nine pages long...might be the most extraordinary passage of literary urbanism in the annals of fiction, horror or otherwise."
• One we couldn't resist: a 72,000-square-foot, zoo-themed mural to brighten three buildings in a sprawling concrete Berlin housing estate hopes to enter the Guinness Book of Records.
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How Many Gentrification Critics Are Actually Gentrifiers Themselves? Few groups, two researchers argue, are more hypocritical than urbanists discussing gentrification...it might be OK to talk about this "elephant sitting in the academic corner." By Emily Badger -- John Joe Schlichtman; Jason Patch- The Atlantic Cities
Kabul, Afghanistan's Utterly Mundane Urban Planning Crisis: The city's biggest problem isn't suicide bombers or militants... it's the traffic...now estimated to be the fifth fastest-growing city in the world...The war's legacy is still shaping the city, though not in the ways one might expect. By Kathy Gilsinan [images, links]- The Atlantic Cities
Architect fights for Pakistani women: Minoru Ito is spearheading a project to accept female architecture students at a public junior college of technology and engineering in Lahore...- Yomiuri Shimbun / The Japan News
Crit> David Chipperfield's SLAM Dunk: Sophisticated expansion at the St. Louis Art Museum exhibits deferential monumentality...offers an object lesson for other U.S. museums pondering expansions...A principled but not ego-driven architect... By Alan G. Brake -- Cass Gilbert (1904); HOK [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Artistic leaps give way to baby steps: ''No,'' she tells the small, freckled boy. ''You can't climb here"...To him, the large, gridded edifice...promises infinite climbability...The climbing frame in question is in fact art...Serpentine Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto...is this engagement a good thing for art? Does such evident public ease make it successful art? Or is it just play equipment for grown-ups? ...I'd trade all climbability for more beauty and subtlety, any day. By Elizabeth Farrelly- Sydney Morning Herald
Future Uncertain for Daniel Libeskind’s Maze Peace Centre: ...dealt a major blow last week, when First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson retracted his support for the controversial building, saying that it would be wrong to continue with the build without achieving a consensus. -- McAdam Architects [links]- ArchDaily
Brewers and Architects Spark the Next Brewpub Boom - Along the Green Line: ..."I Googled ‘cool breweries,’ and there was nothing...There were lots of great wineries. So why shouldn’t breweries, and their architects, have some fun, too?” -- RoehrSchmitt Architecture; Alchemy Architects; DJR Architecture; HGA Architects and Engineers [images]- The Line (Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Charlotte Prepares To Open Romare Bearden Park On Labor Day Weekend: In the business-oriented district of Uptown Charlotte...a new 5.4-acre park...will serve as a venue for concerts and cultural events in effort to revitalize the area’s currently dull after-work scene. -- LandDesign landscape architects; Norie Sato [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Taking Bicycle Parking to the Streets: In 2012, walk- and bike-friendly Hoboken, New Jersey joined the growing ranks of bike-corralled cities...where every inch of on-street parking is at a politically-perilous premium...a summary of best practices and lessons learned in Hoboken...for other municipalities interested in following suit. By Ian Sacs [images]- PLANetizen
Q&A: Richard Meier: As he celebrates the 50th anniversary of establishing his own practice, he reflects on his career and sticking with a Modernist vocabulary..."It never occurred to me to do anything else...by now at least clients come to us with their eyes open. They don’t expect something we don’t do." By Suzanne Stephens [slide show]- Architectural Record
Le Corbusier and the Sexism of Architecture: MoMA retrospective...strives to reveal his active association with landscape, but instead it shows a tortured relationship with women. Let's face up to the sexism in [his] work and the other modern masters...myopic men who achieved beautiful things and dreamed of even better ones by suppressing reality and complexity—and at least half the human race. By Aaron Betsky -- Denise Scott Brown; Jean-Louis Cohen [images]- Architect Magazine
Le Corbusier's Role in the Controversy Over Eileen's Gray's E.1027: How one of the 20th century's most important historic houses...was nearly destroyed: ...the promised rescue was compromised...much of the effort has been botched..."but mistakes can be fixed"... By Alastair Gordon -- Michael Webb; Renaud Barrés; Pierre-Antoine Gatier; Burkhardt Rukschcio; Jean-Louis Cohen [slide show]- Wall Street Journal
Real Estate or Live-in Art? A Fractious Market for Frank Lloyd Wright: It would seem to be every architectural enthusiast’s fantasy to live in one...yet not even his houses are immune to the housing slump...By architectural wonks, Wright houses are indeed considered works of art, but...potential buyers expect living in art to be much more tedious than living with it. By Janelle Zara [images]- Artinfo
National Building Museum Awards High Line Co-Founders 15th Vincent Scully Prize: Joshua David and Robert Hammond will receive the Vincent Scully Prize for their New York City urban revitalization project...."one of the most successful urban revitalization projects to date."- Architect Magazine
Call for entries: "Russia" Theme Park, Moscow Region (international): the first amusement, recreational and educational park capable of entertaining its visitors for several days; cash prizes; registration deadline: September 1- Russian Green Building Council (RuGBC)
Architecture, Urbanism, And ... Beer? Juergen Mayer H Interviews Biennial Of The Americas Curator Carson Chan: “Draft Urbanism" in Denver...a city-wide exhibition of art and architecture shown completely in public spaces..."the version of the cities we live in today are drafts of future versions to come...also refers to draft beer...I was struck by how integral beer was to the city’s and the state’s cultural identity." -- plan:b arquitectos; Pezo von Ellrichshausen; Federico and Felipe Mesa; June14 Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff; Alex Schweder [images]- Architizer
Cultural Artifact or Eyesore? Martin Treu reconsiders the architectural significance of commercial signage along America's Main Streets: "Signs, Streets, and Storefronts: A History of Architecture and Graphics along America's Commercial Corridors"...vivid descriptions and ample photographs support his even-handed entreaty to please, please, consider the sign. By Ann Weiser [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
"Almost Home: The Public Landscapes of Gertrude Jekyll" by Kristine F. Miller: A new book extends our knowledge of the famed landscape architect by examining her public spaces...She responded to what she thought was the “debasement of public taste” brought on by modern production and she imbued landscapes with what she believed to be therapeutic properties. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
H.P. Lovecraft's Providence, real and unreal: "The Shadow Over Innsmouth"...a riveting description, nine pages long...It might be the most extraordinary passage of literary urbanism in the annals of fiction, horror or otherwise. But did anxiety and decrepitude reflect how one who so loved Providence truly saw it? By David Brussat [images]- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Plattenbauten Trompe L'Oeil: Berlin is known for its sprawling concrete housing estates...As a part of local efforts to brighten three buildings in the eastern district of Friedrichsfelde, a group of artists covered 22,000 square meters (72,000 square feet) of concrete with a zoo-themed mural...will be officially unveiled on August 22. [image]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
Architects EAT Melbourne: How things are panning out on Melbourne's burgeoning skyline is questionable. But in the shadow of those weird towers, firms like Architects EAT are doing work that is subtle, refined, location-appropriate, and very beautiful. By Jonathan Lerner [images]- ArchNewsNow
-- "Bike Town Tokyo": Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow Wow and Danish architect René Kural present an inspiring collection of bicycle facts, ideas and suggestions to create bicycle friendly cities.
-- Laura Stamer - STAMERS KONTOR: Her focus is to show the tactility of the architecture and its spaces letting them unfold in a rarely seen playful manner.
-- Robbrecht en Daem architecten & Marie-José Van Hee architecten: Ghent Market Hall, Belgium.
-- Morris Adjmi Architects: Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn, New York- ArcSpace
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