Today’s News - Tuesday, January 21, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for missing yesterday's posting - stuff happens...now there's lots of catching up to do (as the next Arctic Vortex bears down on us!).
• ArcSpace brings us Fujimoto's university library in Tokyo, and Ban's office building in Zürich.
• And you thought perhaps MoMA/AFAM commentary was kaput? Ha! Horton sees AFAM's lifespan as "ultimately briefer than a McDonald's franchise. Looks aren't everything, I guess," which raises "questions about permanence, memory, and the spatial character of cities (and a hysterical rumor at the end).
• Pogrebin parses the parameters of friendship for DS+R and TWBTA: "In architectural circles, the debate has gone beyond a discussion of the personal relationships to questions of design integrity."
• The Destruction Derby doesn't end on West 53rd Street: Lackmeyer reports that Oklahoma City's Design Review Committee voted to allow the demolition of Johansen's Stage Center, and its defenders "will not seek to appeal the decision."
• Kennicott hopes the citation for Weese's Washington, DC Metro AIA 25 Year Award will be "cited in what will likely be contentious debates about the purity of design" as "dubious plans" for updating stations go forward.
• Corbu's Rochamp chapel has been vandalized: the "overall damage was "priceless.'"
• Is Barangaroo "a tale of boom and bust? Or does it tell a tale of a typical Sydney urban sellout, which ultimately forgets about the people who will be using the public space?"
• An in-depth look at how redevelopment of Beirut's once vibrant old downtown has "eroded its history and privatized its future": "Now it's a kind of no man's land for rich people."
• A Syrian architect bemoans the damage to mosques and churches in Homs that once coexisted in "peaceful harmony."
• Wainwright brightens the news day with a humorous tour of buildings with holes in them (who could resist the "melty hole" or the "sinister Eye-of-Sauron hole"?!!?).
• Xie continues in the same vein, explaining "why China loves to hate its newest skyscraper, shaped like a giant gold doughnut."
• Saffron cheers Philly's first LGBT-friendly, urban-friendly, low-income housing for seniors, with "a stylish new residence cloaked in charcoal brick and pumpkin panels" (complete with walk-in, "drag-queen closets").
• King is concerned that "black is the new black" in San Francisco architecture: "there's a very real danger that the eye-catching exception could spread across some districts like an oil spill."
• Filler's heart melts for Williams and Tsien's ice rink in Brooklyn's Prospect Park: it "reminds us why civic architecture at its best is not an exercise in monumental grandeur but rather a celebration of everyday life enriched."
• A Bulgarian architect returns home to work with others "to enliven the city of Sofia with whimsical, low-cost public art projects" as the city's entry for Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayor's Challenge competition.
• Heathcote's tribute to Findlay: she "was never quite going to be a mainstream architect. Yet she was one of the (still few) great women architects of the modern age...self-deprecating and witty" and so much more.
• Call for entries (deadlines loom!): Expressions of Interest: UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 Design Competition + Design manifestos for the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial (both international).
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-- Sou Fujimoto: Musashino Art University Library, Tokyo, Japan
-- Shigeru Ban: Tamedia Office Building, Zürich, Switzerland
The Floor Plates Just Didn’t Line Up: The American Folk Art Museum is most certainly doomed...it will soon dissipate in a fog of demolition and fading memory, its lifespan ultimately briefer than a McDonald’s franchise. Looks aren’t everything, I guess. This raises a lot of questions about permanence, memory, and the spatial character of cities. By Guy Horton -- Tod Williams Billie Tsien; Diller Scofidio + Renfro- ArchDaily
Building Faces Wrecking Ball. So Does Couples’ Friendship: A long friendship...is under stress after one couple recommended razing a museum designed by the other pair...In architectural circles, the debate has gone beyond a discussion of the personal relationships to questions of design integrity... By Robin Pogrebin -- Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects- New York Times
Panel clears Stage Center demolition: The Oklahoma City Downtown Design Review Committee voted 3-2 to allow the demolition...to make way for a new OGE Energy Corp. headquarters. A coalition of architects and preservationists say they will not seek to appeal a decision... By Steve Lackmeyer -- John Johansen [images]- The Oklahoman
American Institute of Architects honors D.C. Metro: AIA 25 Year Award citation...is worth reading, especially in light of plans to renovate the system...Expect the AIA’s award to be cited in what will likely be contentious debates about the purity of design as these dubious plans for updating Metro stations go forward. By Philip Kennicott -- Harry Weese- Washington Post
Le Corbusier's Ronchamp, Vandalized: ...overall damage was, according to some, "priceless" because the stained-glass had borne an original illustration by Le Corbusier. An initial assessment from the department of historical monuments found the window to be irreparable. [images, links]- Metropolis Magazine
A tale of Barangaroo’s boom and bust: Is this a tale of boom and bust? Or does it tell a tale of a typical Sydney urban sellout, which ultimately forgets about the people who will be using the public space? -- Hills Thalis Architects; Lippmann Partnership; Lend Lease; Wilkinson Eyre Architects; Jan Gehl- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Erasing memory in downtown Beirut: Has the redevelopment of the city's former hub eroded its history and privatized its future? ...the once vibrant old city was reconstructed...as a spectacle to attract foreigners..."Now it’s a kind of no man's land for rich people"... Even for the few whose properties were spared by the bulldozers, Solidere has made the price of holding on very high.- The Beirut Report / Al Jazeera magazine
Rebuild radiant architecture: One feature of the Syrian society is the coexistence of many different religions. Christians have always lived next to Muslims here, mosques were built near to churches with a peaceful harmony, writes Marwa Al-Sabouni in Homs...This place should narrate the 20 centuries of holiness, glory, and even destruction that it has endured. [images]- RIBA Journal (UK)
Holey moley! Architecture's trend for cutting holes in buildings: Lucky coins, a Tetris stack and a ferris wheel 500m up in the air ... take a look at the buildings around the world with holes right through them. By Oliver Wainwright -- Joseph di Pasquale/AM Project; MAD Architects; Zaha Hadid; MVRDV; OMA; Johann Otto von Spreckelsen; BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group; Kohn Pedersen Fox/KPF; Buro Ole Scheeren [images]- Guardian (UK)
Why China Loves to Hate Its Newest Skyscraper, Shaped Like a Giant Gold Doughnut: The Guangzhou Circle Building is perhaps the country's largest single manifestation of Tuhao Jin, or "gold of the unrefined and wealthy." By Jenny Xie -- Joseph di Pasquale [images]- The Atlantic Cities
John C. Anderson Apartments, LGBT-friendly and urban-friendly: ...a stylish new residence cloaked in charcoal brick and pumpkin panels that caters to low-income seniors who are gay...only the third of its type in the U.S...may be a pioneer of its type, but it's also an old-fashioned urban building that fills its lot, comes proudly...open to any eligible senior... By Inga Saffron -- Joe Salerno/WRT [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
S.F. architecture shifts to darker tone: In the world of San Francisco architecture, black is the new black...It's a surefire way to turn heads. But a little novelty goes a long way....there's a very real danger that the eye-catching exception could spread across some districts like an oil spill. By John King -- Handel Architects; Gensler; Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects; David Baker Architects [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Ice Cool Brooklyn: Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s ice rink for New York’s Prospect Park far exceeds what one might imagine possible for this faded urban oasis...reminds us why civic architecture at its best is not an exercise in monumental grandeur but rather a celebration of everyday life enriched through contact with nature. By Martin Filler [images]- New York Review of Books
Bulgarian Architects’ State-Sponsored Whimsy: An architect who studied abroad came home to Bulgaria, where he joined with others to enliven the city of Sofia with whimsical, low-cost public art projects...Recently, the city hired Transformers to assist other groups in creating Sofia’s entry in the Mayor’s Challenge, a design competition sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies... -- Delcho Delchev; Valeri Gyurov [links to images]- New York Times
Kathryn Findlay, 1953-2014: ...[she] was never quite going to be a mainstream architect. Yet...she was one of the (still few) great women architects of the modern age...self-deprecating and witty...lacked the arrogance architects seem to require to become stars. But she had the talent and tenacity that could have merited greater success and wider acclaim... By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Call for entries/Expressions of Interest/EOI: UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 Design Competition: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life; (international, 2-stage); EOI deadline: February 19- Malcolm Reading Consultants
Call for entries: design manifestos for the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial: "The Future is Not What it Used to Be" curated by Zoë Ryan; deadline: February 1- Istanbul Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
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