Today’s News - Wednesday, March 19, 2014
• Bayley offers a thoughtful view of the "view-corridor" debate: "Britain's landscape isn't scarred by development, but by its poor quality": many buildings are "rude architectural one-liners" with "nursery names" that are "advertisements for corporate greed and municipal short-sightedness. Great buildings enhance our views. We just don't have enough of them."
• A satirical take "on the proliferation of branded, large, brightly colored sheds" dominating Australia's rural cityscapes: "Could the nature of an outdoor public space be obsolete in contemporary society?"
• Lewyn thinks "the NIMBY veto has outlived its usefulness," and "has been so widely abused that it should be eliminated."
• Lubell questions ballot box planning in San Francisco (and elsewhere) that "can be used by developers and the wealthy and powerful to stop projects - this kind of approach will inevitably slow the city's new architecture to a crawl."
• On a brighter San Francisco note, an "island of poverty" is being transformed "with sophisticated architecture and a coherent urban design" - without displacing its current low-income residents.
• Kamin x 2: a new Chicago apartment tower "wins high marks for a posh interior, but its urban presence is bland and forgettable"; sadly, it's "an undistinguished, could-be-anywhere glass box."
• He cheers the "Navy Pier Flyover" raised bike and pedestrian trail finally getting underway: "Great cities don't rest on the laurels of their great public spaces. They make them greater. That's what Chicago is doing here, despite the objections of naysayers."
• Jaffe digs into the details of building land over an active rail yard: "The phrase 'only in New York' is probably overused," but it certainly applies to Hudson Yards.
• Proposals for floating cities may no longer be "the stuff of utopian sci-fi" as the idea "is finally enjoying political momentum - and serious investment."
• Rinaldi gives thumbs-up to H&deM's Perez Art Museum that "raises the possibility of a new vernacular for Miami. Most museums could be dropped into" any other city. "This museum, on stilts, on the water, could be nowhere else."
• Braverman's Centro Nadir Afonso in Portugal "fuses a light contemporaneity with the rich materiality and sustainability of Portuguese design to honor the artist."
• Ban beats a lot of competition to bag the Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, "an inversely shaped latticed cone, said to evoke the image of seeing the iconic mountain reflected in water."
• Down Under, the University of Newcastle's NeW Space "is expected to take the teaching, learning and research landscape beyond the lecture theatre or office."
• They're meeting today re: the RIBA motion "calling for the UIA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects while building continues in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories," but apparently those "who signed a letter opposing the motion have been told they cannot attend the meeting."
• Bernstein has an amusing Q&A with Viñoly re: talking to the media, the Walkie-Talkie, and whether there should be more women in the profession: "If you ask me, there should be more architects in the profession."
• A good reason to head to Austin, TX, in April: the Society of Architectural Historians 67th Annual International Conference that will explore the "Place of Historic Architecture in Rapidly Growing Cities."
• The American Architectural Foundation names eight public-private development teams as 2014 Sustainable Cities Design Academy Grantees.
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Protecting our views is simple – in architecture, new must mean better: Britain's landscape isn't scarred by development, but by its poor quality: Not all development is bad...cities that do not develop are dead ones. Who wants to live in a dead city? ...The task in future is not to maintain “views”...but to believe that new architecture should always mean better architecture...Great buildings enhance our views. We just don’t have enough of them. By Stephen Bayley- Telegraph (UK)
Candy Land: A satirical piece...on the proliferation of branded sheds (consumer ‘icons’) and how they have come to dominate the cityscape of Australia’s rural cities and townships...Like a giant version of the board game...the gateway and main strip of each regional establishment seems to be dominated by a population of large, brightly coloured sheds...Could the nature of an outdoor public space be obsolete in contemporary society? By Wesley Perrott [images]- Australian Design Review
The Theory Behind NIMBYism: Why should people have veto power over anything built in their neighborhood? ...It seems to me that the NIMBY veto has outlived its usefulness, and that neighbors' "right" to veto nearby development has been so widely abused that it should be eliminated. The more difficult question...what procedural mechanisms do we create to eliminate this veto? By Michael Lewyn- PLANetizen
Editorial> Pitfalls of Democracy; Sam Lubell questions ballot box planning in San Francisco: On the surface it seems logical that voters should be able to vote on large projects...But when you start to drill down it is not that simple...The ballot...can be used by developers and the wealthy and powerful to stop projects...this kind of approach will inevitably slow the city’s new architecture to a crawl.- The Architect's Newspaper
A Troubled Neighborhood’s Revival in San Francisco: Bayview Hunters Point is getting a new design and homes that will continue to shelter its current low-income residents...Not so long ago, the public housing project being replaced...was ranked worst in the nation...The goal...is to reinvent an isolated island of poverty into a “mixed-income” neighborhood with sophisticated architecture and a coherent urban design. -- Mithun | Solomon; WRT Solomon Etc.; Paulett Taggart Architects- New York Times
New apartment tower in Chicago fails to impress from the outside: Where less isn't more: A glass box along Lake Shore Drive is a missed opportunity...500 Lake Shore Drive...wins high marks for a posh interior, but its urban presence is bland and forgettable....Given a showcase site, they've produced an undistinguished, could-be-anywhere glass box... By Blair Kamin -- Solomon Cordwell Buenz- Chicago Tribune
There's reason to celebrate lakefront path project: ...“Navy Pier Flyover"...a raised bike and pedestrian trail...Great cities don’t rest on the laurels of their great public spaces. They make them greater. That’s what Chicago is doing here, despite the objections of naysayers who argued...that the project was an unnecessary and unaffordable extravagance. By Blair Kamin -- Muller+Muller [slide show]- Chicago Tribune
How New York Is Building an Entire Neighborhood on Top of a Rail Yard: Hudson Yards: The phrase "only in New York" is probably overused, but there are times when it still applies. A plan to build an entire 26-acre neighborhood with 17 million square feet of buildings atop two platforms suspended over an active rail yard...is one of those times...."It's very rare that you build land. Normally you just build on it." By Eric Jaffe [images]- The Atlantic Cities
Has the time come for floating cities? From schools at sea to a city that perpetually sails the oceans, is climate change creating a bold new era of floating urban design? ...After decades of speculation and small-scale applications, the floating solution is finally enjoying political momentum – and serious investment. -- Kunlé Adeyemi; Buckminster Fuller; Phil Pauley; Jacque Fresco; Seasteading Institute; DeltaSync [images, links]- Guardian (UK)
Crit> Perez Art Museum: Herzog & de Meuron's design blurs the distinction between inside and out: ...raise the possibility of a new vernacular for Miami...breathable, stripped-down style suits the beach town’s sultry personality...Most museums could be...dropped into another city with little loss of their design integrity. This museum, on stilts, on the water, could be nowhere else. By Ray Mark Rinaldi -- Patrick Blanc [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Centro Nadir Afonso: For the design of the new art centre Nadir Afonso in Boticas, Portugal, Louise Braverman sliced a steep hillside, creating a museum divided into two distinct, but connected, parts: ...the museum fuses a light contemporaneity with the rich materiality and sustainability of Portuguese design to honor the artist Nadir Afonso (1920 – 2013). [images]- Domus
Shigeru Ban to design upside down Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre: 4,300 square metre structure is based around an inversely shaped latticed cone, said to evoke the image of seeing the iconic mountain reflected in water. The project celebrates Mount Fuji’s recent status as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site... [image]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Early concepts for $95m University of Newcastle education precinct released: NeW Space is expected to take the teaching, learning and research landscape beyond the lecture theatre or office. -- Lyons Architecture; EJE Architecture [images, video]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Row breaks out over Angela Brady's RIBA Israel motion: ...calling for the UIA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects while building continues in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories...26 architects and designers who signed a letter opposing the motion have been told they cannot attend the meeting.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Newsmaker: Rafael Viñoly: Has the controversy over the Walkie-Talkie hurt you? "It’s already hurt me, or else you wouldn’t have asked the question"...do you think there should be more women in the profession? "We have lots of women here. If you ask me, there should be more architects in the profession." By Fred A. Bernstein- Architectural Record
Society of Architectural Historians 67th Annual International Conference, Austin, Texas, April 9-13- Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)
American Architectural Foundation Announces the 2014 Sustainable Cities Design Academy Grantees: ...eight public-private development teams will receive leadership training and technical assistance...- American Architectural Foundation (AAF)
Magnusson Architecture and Planning: Looking back at the last 30 years and toward the future: MAP has worked hard to create affordable communities that people actually want to live in – not just containers for living. Q&A with the senior leadership...- ArchNewsNow
Coop Himmelb(l)au: European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Germany may be the biggest country in the European Union, but so far it has been devoid of any major EU-institutions...ECB) is one notable exception. By Ulf Meyer [images]
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