Today’s News - Wednesday, December 4, 2013
• Gisolfi explains that, while architecture is an art, it is a collective art form and a collective endeavor with shared social purpose (as opposed to today's fine arts).
• Heathcote takes on "an old cliché about London - that its one constant is change. Ironically, it is this ad hoc environment and blend of the good, the bad and the ugly that allows constant reinvention."
• Gehl calls London's bike-share plan "laughable" without a cycling infrastructure in place to make it safe: the city has "a very, very strong tradition of letting the traffic planners rule" (he wont' be riding a bike there any time soon).
• On a brighter note, a PPS study finds NYC's bikeshare stations are "adding to the sociability and amenability" of their locations: "the single most prevalent use of the stations was simply as convenient street seating."
• Boston's two parklets have "landed with a thud" - their "lackluster performance" could make "officials wary of experimenting with new ideas in the future" (but they promise to keep trying).
• On brighter notes, Brake reports that Las Vegas is getting its first public park on the Strip (nearly 32 acres!): it "could be the first phase of a larger remake."
• And Gallagher reports that Detroit is considering removing a freeway "in favor of walkable surface street" that "could sprout residential communities anew. Not everybody is so enthused."
• Clemence brings us beautiful pix and eloquent words about H&deM's Perez Art Museum Miami that opens today: "the architecture breaks free from the expected, its subtle charm showing that smarts can be as seductive as dazzling shapes" (though he's not happy about the name change - the PAMM will always be the MAM to him).
• Kennicott hopes Washington, DC's powers-that-be opt for a kunsthalle proposal for a landmarked school building, though "given the city's seemingly relentless focus on tax base and revenue above all else, it may make the plan a dark horse" among four options.
• King cheers the Presidio Trust sending proposals for Crissy Field back to the drawing board: "This was a brave move...it's a fair bet that more surprises lie ahead."
• Adjaye's affordable housing project in Harlem has architecture critics cheering, but locals sneering: "It's just as vile as I thought it would be," says Adams, the author of "Harlem Lost and Found."
• Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios submits revised Southbank plans: "three most controversial elements remain" (comments section proves it).
• Zumthor shares "some of the inspirations behind his greatest projects, giving us insight into his poetic, intelligent, (and some might say) 'nearly divine' mind."
• Wainwright cheers the "fantastically surreal sight" of the Eros at Piccadilly Circus inside the "world's biggest snow globe - elevating the straightforward function of protecting a sculpture into the perfect Christmas decoration for London" (great pix!).
• Bad news/good news: Neimeyer's original plans for his Latin American Memorial in São Paulo may have been lost in the recent fire, but "whatever the damage may be, state officials have confirmed that demolition is not an option."
• BD's Architect of the Year Awards 2013 winners "reflect architects' growing optimism within the profession after years of uncertainty."
• Eyefuls of Winnipeg's Warming Huts competition winners (very cool!).
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INSIGHT: The Place of Architecture as an Art Form in the Changing Cultural Landscape: The fine arts today do not have the shared social purpose they once did. But the built environment is different. Architecture is a collective art form and a collective endeavor. By Peter Gisolfi, AIA, ASLA, LEED AP- ArchNewsNow
The creative tension in London architecture: The appearance of the Shard on London’s skyline has reinforced an old cliché about the city – that its one constant is change...the most impressive new spaces are often...in the carcases of industrial infrastructure. Ironically, it is this ad hoc environment and blend of the good, the bad and the ugly that allows constant reinvention. It never seems in danger of getting too beautiful and, perhaps, that is a good thing. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
London: no city for cyclists: Jan Gehl argues provision for cycling in the capital remains 'laughable', making it an undesirable place to live: ...criticised the idea of introducing an urban bike hire scheme...before the cycling infrastructure to make it safe..."of the three main lists of most liveable cities in the world...none of them is any city from the UK. As far as I'm concerned that's because you have a very, very strong tradition of letting the traffic planners rule."- Guardian (UK)
The Social Life of CitiBike Stations: Are bikeshare stations adding to the sociability and amenability of the places they occupy? ...the answer was a clear and resounding “Yes!” ...not just bikeshare users, but everyone passing by station docks - are adopting the bikeshare system as part of the social infrastructure of the city...the single most prevalent use of the stations was simply as convenient street seating. [images]- Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
Parklets a work in progress after underwhelming debut: ...were supposed to be a social hub...a tiny urban oasis...Instead, Boston’s two parklets...landed with a thud...lackluster performance...speaks to the challenges of innovation by city agencies...makes transportation officials wary of experimenting with new ideas in the future...“We’re learning and we’re going to make modifications if necessary.” [images]- Boston Globe
Bushy Strip: Sin City to get first public park on its famed gambling boulevard...bringing the first public park to the Las Vegas Strip...will transform a private road and parking lots into a new landscape—totaling nearly 32 acres...could be the first phase of a larger remake. By Alan G. Brake -- Cooper, Robertson & Partners; !melk [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
No more I-375? Detroit to study removing freeway in favor of walkable surface street: Removing the 1960s-era freeway could sprout residential communities anew...The coming debate...could be integral in defining Detroit’s development priorities...Not everybody is so enthused...removing freeways from urban downtowns ranks among the hottest trends in urban planning today. By John Gallagher- Detroit Free Press
Herzog & de Meuron's Perez Art Museum Miami Set To Open For Art Basel: ...Miami’s architecture is better known for its whimsical charms and flash...The PAMM, on the other hand, is downright contextual, almost eager to disappear into the cityscape...the architecture breaks free from the expected, its subtle charm showing that smarts can be as seductive as dazzling shapes. By Paul Clemence [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Franklin School is ideal space for art museum: Washington is rich in art museums, but with one salient gap, the want of what is known as a kunsthalle...Dani Levinas has proposed...the Institute for Contemporary Expression...The city owns the building and is about to decide between four competing proposals...given the city’s seemingly relentless focus on tax base and revenue above all else, it may make the Levinas plan a dark horse. By Philip Kennicott -- Adolf Cluss (1869)- Washington Post
Crissy Field plans need overhaul: The decision makers at San Francisco's Presidio have long wanted a major cultural facility...It's time to consider scaling back those plans - or at least reframing them...Presidio Trust has now delayed any decision...This was a brave move...it's a fair bet that more surprises lie ahead... By John King -- WRNS Studio; EHDD/CMG Landscape Architecture; SWA [link to images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Sugar Hill Building Designed by Star Architect Sparks Controversy: Architectural critics have said the building is exemplary of the level of design that should go into affordable housing developments..."It's just as vile as I thought it would be," said Michael Henry Adams, an architectural historian...and the author of "Harlem Lost and Found." -- David Adjaye[image]- DNAinfo New York
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios submits revised Southbank plans: Architect’s plans are most detailed yet for the £120 million redevelopment: A number of changes have been introduced in response to the consultation but the three most controversial elements remain. [image]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Peter Zumthor: Seven Personal Observations on Presence In Architecture: ...shared some of the inspirations behind his greatest projects, giving us insight into his poetic, intelligent, (and some might say) “nearly divine” mind. [images]- ArchDaily
Eros in a snow globe – the perfect Christmas decoration for London: He was placed in a bird cage during the coronation and shielded by sandbags in the war. Now Eros has been turned into the world's biggest snow globe, and it's a brilliant festive sight...At Piccadilly Circus...elevating the straightforward function of protecting a sculpture into a piece of high surrealism... By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Oscar Niemeyer’s Latin American Memorial Consumed by Flames in São Paulo, Brazil: ...blaze originated from a short circuit in the 1,600-seat Simon Bolivar auditorium, which is said to house Neimeyer’s original plans for the building...Whatever the damage may be, state officials have confirmed that demolition is not an option. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Architect of the Year Awards 2013: A record level of entries reflects architects’ growing optimism within the profession after years of uncertainty. -- de Rijke Marsh Morgan/dRMM; Jestico & Whiles;Duggan Morris Architects; Adjaye Associates; Karakusevic Carson; Stiff & Trevillion; Gort Scott; Jump Studios; Patel Taylor; Carl Turner Architects; Peter Barber Architects [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Warming Huts v.2014: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice winners: Every year the architects push the boundaries in terms of inspiration, design, and materials used. -- RAW Design; Workshop Architecture; Kate Busby & Bella Totino; University of Manitoba; Étienne Gaboury [images]- The Forks, Winnipeg
-- Atelier Peter Zumthor: Shelters for Roman Archaeological Site, Chur, Switzerland (1986): It's astonishing to think it was designed and built almost 30 years ago.
-- Choreography of Thought: Dominique Perrault’s Sketches: "The silence, the mystery that surrounds a sketch constitutes a space in which thought is free."
-- Foreign Office Architects (FOA): Yokohama International Port Terminal (2002), Yokohama, Japan -- Farshid Moussavi; Alejandro Zaera-Polo
-- "The Monocle Guide to Better Living" helmed by founder Tyler Brûlé...It is big....global to the bone and filled with stuff of superb quality.
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