Today’s News - Tuesday, March 4, 2014
• Pearman is much kinder than yesterday's critics re: Holl's "conversation with Mackintosh": it "is simultaneously a plum job and the commission from hell...give it time."
• Horton says it's about time to stop waxing lyrical and finding the exotic in "romantic fables" about slums (and comments really take him to task!).
• Pedersen explains why he doesn't see taking down the elevated I-10 in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans as necessarily the right thing to do (even though on CNU's top 10 list of "Freeways without a Future"): "residents grew to embrace it as their own," and those "with longer institutional memories are understandably suspicious."
• Bayley and White "are appalled" by an economist's suggestion that Manchester and Liverpool unite into one supercity (Manpool? Liverchester? Really?!!?): "let's just say there have not been many who share his vision."
• Melbourne's "looming" battle to save "ugly" post-war buildings: ''If it's ugly, we can do better" - as the bulldozers circle.
• Davies x 2: "Debates about the value of extending heritage listing to 1960s buildings highlight the fact protection isn't free," and "most of the claims to historical significance verge on the inconsequential."
• He has high hopes that the current "Architecture Is Sculpture approach" is on the wane: "When your shtick is to astonish, wackiness becomes more and more predictable - the real puzzle is why it's taking so long for architecture to return to connecting with the people."
• Architects "call for more green in the grey of Brisbane's urban jungle," though "'if there's a choice between a road, a tree and a building, we know which one will win.' And we know who will lose."
• On a brighter note, Toronto's "shopworn" Grange Park, flanked by Gehry's AGO and Alsop's "outlandish OCAD on stilts," is about to get some much-needed TLC.
• Eyefuls of the 20 shortlisted proposals in the Royal Docks competition to transform the world's largest enclosed docks (we'll know the winner tomorrow).
• Arendt offers a rebuttal to "a recent scholarly article" re: the definition of conservation subdivisions: "Unfortunately, the article is seriously flawed because it combines and conflates three related but entirely different kinds of subdivision design."
• Chaban reports that the might-be-on-again-might-be-off-again Domino Sugar development on the Brooklyn waterfront is on again - with the developer agreeing to "an unprecedented number" of affordable housing units (though "unprecedented" may be the new normal).
• Are temporary structures an answer to the U.K.'s housing crisis? Yes, says Gelder; no, says Dorling.
• The "Tiny House Movement" is thinking big as in being a solution to chronic homelessness (we can't decide whether to cheer or jeer - some look like over-sized dog houses - but at least they're colorful).
• London's mayor "courts" the Guggenheim to help create a "world-class cultural quarter" in Olympic park; the Gugg's "terse response": "At the moment, the Guggenheim has no engagement in this project" (a bit of he-said-they-said?).
• Hawthorne explains why artist and filmmaker McQueen's films (like "12 Years a Slave") have "already done more to make me rethink the relationship between the built environment and the camera than almost anybody in Hollywood."
• A good reason to head to Houston next week: Docomomo US National Symposium 2014: Modernism in Texas.
• Call for entries: Karosta, Latvia: War Port Microtecture: small-scale architecture forms - playground areas, bus stops, benches, etc.
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Seona Reid Building: Conversation with Mackintosh: Building directly opposite Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s famed Glasgow School of Art, as Steven Holl has done, is simultaneously a plum job and the commission from hell...Internally it feels just right: externally its brittle slickness...feels odd in tough old shipbuilding Glasgow. But give it time: gently glowing at night, Holl’s hilltop lantern could become something of a cultural beacon too. By Hugh Pearman -- jmarchitects [slide show]- Architectural Record
The Slum Exotic and the Persistence of Hong Kong’s Walled City: The extreme conditions of systemic poverty become eclipsed by romantic fables from afar...it is one thing for former locals to have their memories and quite something else for outsiders to wax lyrical as if it were some sort of bizarre garden blooming with weird yet enticing intellectual flowers. By Guy Horton [images]- ArchDaily
Highway Down? Why plans to remove a downtown highway in New Orleans's Treme neighborhood are easier said than done: Removing I-10 in Treme might, on paper, seem like textbook urban design...an unmistakable barrier, but it’s one that subsequent generations...adapted to and, to some extent, grew to embrace as their own...residents with longer institutional memories are understandably suspicious. It was, after all, white people who built the highway 50 years ago, and now it’s white people who want to tear it down. By Martin C. Pedersen- Metropolis Magazine
Unite Manchester and Liverpool? You must be joking: As an economist suggests combining the two into one supercity, proud writers who hail from each area are appalled: He would call the new entity Manpool, or possibly Liverchester...These were cities that developed in fervent competition. They owe their past wealth in part to an urgent sense of one-upmanship. By Jim White and Stephen Bayley- Telegraph (UK)
New battles looming over Melbourne's 'ugly' postwar office buildings: ''If it's ugly, we can do better.'' But as the bulldozers circle, heritage advocates are vowing not to let the developers in without a fight. The National Trust has created a list of 13 especially ''challenging'' relics from the postwar period it believes are ripe for protection, including some of the city's first concrete high-rise offices. -- Bogle Banfield; Peter Muller; J A La Gerche; Mussan, Mackay & Potter; Bates, Smart & McCutcheon; Yuncken Freeman; etc. [images]- The Age (Australia)
Protecting historic buildings costs nothing, right? Debates about the value of extending heritage listing to 1960s buildings highlight the fact protection isn’t free; it comes at a social cost that needs to be measured and balanced against the benefits...most of the claims to historical significance are arcane; they’re only significant to a tiny section of the population. Most of them...verge on the inconsequential... By Alan Davies- Crikey (Australia)
Will Figurative Architecture be the next big thing? The ability of high profile ‘starchitects’ to capture our admiration is limited by the Law of Diminishing Shock Value: ...the Architecture Is Sculpture approach is on the brink of exhaustion...After almost a century of modernism, the real puzzle is why it’s taking so long for architecture to return to connecting with the people. By Alan Davies- Crikey (Australia)
City architects call for more green in the grey of Brisbane’s urban jungle: Harry Seidler’s [1983 Riverside Centre] revealed to Brisbane people that they had their own Grand Canal, worthy of care and celebration. Until then, the Brisbane River had been a “dirty secret at the bottom of suburban back yards”..."If there’s a choice between a road, a tree and a building, we know which one will win.” And we know who will lose. -- Kevin Hayes; Kevin O’Brien; Catherin Bull- News.com (Australia)
‘Shopworn’ Grange Park — Toronto’s downtown oasis of green — to get a needed facelift
has become a vital oasis of green in our increasingly crowded city. The trees are stately. Respectable neighbours flank the park, including Frank Gehry’s reimagined Art Gallery of Ontario/AGO, Will Alsop’s outlandish OCAD on stilts...And it needs some TLC. -- Greg Smallenberg/PFS Studio- National Post (Canada)
Shortlist revealed for Royal Docks competition: ...the 20 most exciting water-sensitive design ideas...to transform the world’s largest enclosed docks...winner will be announced at Ecobuild...5 March... -- Studio Engleback; B|D landscape architects; Baharash Architecture; Gensler; The Ecology Consultancy/The Green Roof Consultancy/Charlotte Harris Landscape Design/Marianna Magklara Architecture; Greysmith Associates; GAAM Architectes; Metrostudio UK; HWP Planungsgesellschaft; etc. [images]- Landscape Institute (UK) / Ecobuild
Clarifying the Conservation Subdivision Design Approach: After a recent scholarly article raising questions about the definition of conservation subdivisions, Randall Arendt, author of "Conservation Design for Subdivisions" and "Growing Greener" responds: Unfortunately, the article is seriously flawed because it combines and conflates three related but entirely different kinds of subdivision design...- PLANetizen
30% of homes at Williamsburg redevelopment to be affordable housing units: After butting heads...with City Hall over the Domino Sugar redevelopment along the Brooklyn waterfront, Two Trees Management has agreed to up the count of affordable units...an unprecedented number for a private development....but only if it could build towers as tall as 50 stories...proposal was applauded by community groups and planners as far superior. By Matt Chaban- NY Daily News
Are temporary structures an answer to the housing crisis? Will homes like Rogers’ Y:Cube help make housing more affordable or should we be exploring the potential in existing buildings? Yes: Alison Gelder/Housing Justice; No: Danny Dorling, author -- Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners [image]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Tiny Houses: A Big Idea to End Homelessness: The “Tiny House Movement,” once an architectural component to a downsized life, is now becoming something much bigger: an escape from chronic homelessness. [images, links]- NBC News
Mayor of London courts Guggenheim: Boris Johnson approaches New York foundation to help create "world-class cultural quarter" in Olympic park...Guggenheim Foundation gave a terse response...“At the moment, the Guggenheim has no engagement in this project”- The Art Newspaper (UK)
Oscars 2014: Architecture's precise role in Steve McQueen's films: In '12 Years a Slave' and his other works, artist and filmmaker...has already done more to make me rethink the relationship between the built environment and the camera than almost anybody in Hollywood. By Christopher Hawthorne- Los Angeles Times
Docomomo US National Symposium 2014: Modernism in Texas: Join Docomomo US and our local hosts Houston Mod for the second annual Docomomo US National Symposium in Houston, Texas, March 13-15- DOCOMOMO US
Call for entries: Karosta, Latvia: War Port Microtecture (international): small-scale architecture forms - playground areas, bus stops, benches, etc.; cash prizes; registration deadline: March 12 (submission deadline: April 13)- Homemade Dessert
-- Shao Weiping: Phoenix International Media Center, Beijing, China. By Kevin Holden Platt
-- Sergei Tchoban & Sergei Kuznetsov: Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin, Germany. By Ulf Meyer
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