Today’s News - Monday, May 19, 2014
• Iovine, Russell, and Bevan offer different takes on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: it is "profoundly effective" architecture + "An experience as respectful as it is powerful" + "there are times when an understandable sentimentality tips over into the mawkish," and "too tidy in the tale it tells."
• Saffron cheers Gehry's plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art finally going on view: it is a "fine, thoughtful design, meticulous in its logic" - with one "controversial" element, "but the museum should be allowed one daring move."
• Bozikovic cheers Shim-Sutcliffe's new home for a group of Toronto nuns "that reaches great aesthetic heights" and a major work for the architects.
• Kamin minces no words re: a proposal to build a flyover through a Chicago neighborhood that is "misguided, unnecessary," very expensive, and would demolish buildings in "a neighborhood that's already transit-friendly. Are those 84 seconds worth it?"
• Badger parses a new National Trust for Historic Preservation study that is "an economic defense of old buildings" using a "novel geospatial analysis" - and should give preservationists "new data in fierce development debates" (Chicago and other cities highlighted below should pay heed).
• King is pleasantly surprised that downtown San Jose is "showing signs of life and soul - with "something that feels urban, in a good way" (proving some of NTHP study's points, perhaps).
• Bayl-Smith gives two thumbs-up to the rebirth of a long-abandoned Sydney incinerator (by Walter Burley Griffin, no less) that is a "sensitive renovation of a modest masterpiece" (it's beautiful!).
• Bernstein offers a cautionary tale of how Predock took to Facebook to protest a modification to his University of New Mexico School of Architecture: "Now, he may get his wish."
• Gibson says Manhattan's 42nd Street library should be renamed the Huxtable New York Public Library "in gratitude to the woman who thwarted a misguided renovation plan" by Foster.
• In the 30 years since Prince Charles's "carbuncle" speech, critics claim it "impoverished architectural discourse" and "reduced it to a Punch and Judy show between Quinlan Terry and Richard Rogers."
• Turturo delves into how and why "internet activism works. It is a space for viral advocacy" when it comes to efforts to save Modern architecture, but "should it weed out the worst, too? And who should ultimately decide?"
• Oltermann ponders "a renaissance for Bauhaus as Germany grapples with its past": two of the "school's most significant houses" reopen - they are not a "complete reconstruction" as much as "an artistic interpretation of the Gropius's original ideas."
• Some big names get behind saving Kate Macintosh gem of a sheltered housing development in Streatham from the wrecker's ball: "Demolition is not certain."
• Lamster tells the remarkable tale of the Mad Men-worthy Mid-century Modern Braniff Hostess College in Dallas, and its uncertain future (truly remarkable!).
• A proposal to save Mies's Farnsworth House from flood waters via a hydraulic lift is "proceeding at a rate that has taken even the plans' supporters by surprise."
• Preservationists with hopes to save a historic building in Nova Scotia are up against a report that says, "the building should be demolished as soon as possible."
• Van Alen Institute's star-studded benefit auction ends Friday: your last chance hitch a helicopter ride with Iwan Baan, dine with Paola Antonelli (she's cooking), and lots of other very cool things!
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Excavating Harsh Memories at Bedrock Level: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum demonstrates how profoundly effective it can be when, instead of striving for maximum height, architecture delivers the more visceral experience of the unfolding path. By Julie V. Iovine -- Snøhetta; Davis Brody Bond; Maki & Associates; Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; Santiago Calatrava; Foster + Partners- Wall Street Journal
An Experience as Respectful as It Is Powerful: For some, it may be too soon to review the events of 9/11: The wounds are still raw, the consequences still unfolding, the issues still controversial. But a museum that devotes much of its space to honoring the fallen isn't a place for these issues to be debate. By James S. Russell -- Thinc Design; Local Projects; Layman Design- Wall Street Journal
Two giant rusted supports of the Twin Towers: What is this place...A tomb to the unknown — a cenotaph? A commemoration of the known? An educational attraction? There is fuzzy thinking here, a result in part from trying to satisfy many hard to reconcile interests and purposes...there are times when an understandable sentimentality tips over into the mawkish...For all its complexities and operatic scale the 9/11 museum is too tidy in the tale it tells. By Robert Bevan -- Snøhetta; David Brody Bond [images]- Evening Standard (UK)
Frank Gehry's master plan for the Art Museum emerges: ...plan to expand the museum by burrowing deep into its rocky hillside...It is a fine, thoughtful design, meticulous in its logic and attuned to a city that likes to march to its own drummer...Toying with the iconic steps is sure to be controversial, but the museum should be allowed one daring move. By Inga Saffron [images]- Philadelphia Inquirer
Between city and nature, this residence shelters a group of Toronto nuns: The Sisters of St. Joseph...have commissioned a new home for themselves that reaches great aesthetic heights...a set of principles that included “simplicity, beauty and wise use of materials and spaces"...Those are very good ideas on which to build. And for the architects, this is a major work. By Alex Bozikovic -- Shim-Sutcliffe Architects [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
CTA flyover proposal misguided, unnecessary: $320 million project would demolish buildings, save little time on train: ...$320 million proposal, which would wipe out 16 buildings, is a miniature version of the havoc Moses and other highway builders wreaked on urban neighborhoods decades ago...This is a new kind of battle, with transit upgrades threatening a neighborhood that's already transit-friendly. Are those 84 seconds worth it? By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
An economic defense of old buildings: Jane Jacobs meets GIS: "Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation...novel geospatial analysis...suggests that older, smaller buildings do matter to a city's economy and a neighborhood's commercial life...findings give preservationists...new data in fierce development debates... By Emily Badger [link to report]- Washington Post
San Jose's downtown showing signs of life and soul: When an American city adorns its downtown with banners proclaiming that you're in the middle of the action, it's a good bet that the opposite is the case...I wasn't swayed by the wishful thinking flapping in the wind...But here's the news flash: The downtown that also bills itself as "Silicon Valley's City Center" may finally be coming around as something that feels urban, in a good way. By John King [slide show]- San Francisco Chronicle
Rise Like a Phoenix: The Willoughby Incinerator in Sydney: Designed by a one-time assistant of Frank Lloyd Wright, this once-derelict waste incinerator has...been given new life as a gallery and café...the sensitive renovation of a modest masterpiece. By Melonie Bayl-Smith -- Walter Burley Griffin; Eric Nicholls (1934); SJB Architects [images]- Uncube magazine (Germany)
Architects, Watch Your Backs: When a client modified a hard-won feature of one of his buildings, Antoine Predock took to Facebook to protest: ...asked the dean of University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, Geraldine Forbes Isais, to remove the enclosure. Now he...may get his wish. By Fred A. Bernstein [images]- Architectural Record
The Huxtable New York Public Library: In gratitude to the woman who thwarted a misguided renovation plan: It's fair to say that the NYPL's announcement last week that it is scrapping its controversial renovation plan probably never would have happened but for the efforts of Ada Louise Huxtable... By Eric Gibson -- Foster + Partners- Wall Street Journal
Prince Charles 'impoverished architectural discourse': Carbuncle speech ‘shut down debate’, critics claim at 30th anniversary event...the prince unwittingly unleashed an obsession with style. “He turned the debate from one of quality to one of style – and architecture suffered"..."He reduced it to a punch and judy show between Quinlan Terry and Richard Rogers.” -- Charlie Luxton; Catherine Croft/Twentieth Century Society; Owen Hatherley; Kester Rattenbury; Hugh Pearman; Daisy Froud/AOC- BD/Building Design (UK)
The Concrete Cacophony: How New Media May Save Modern Architecture: As wider appreciation for modern concrete lurches forward and the wrecking ball swings on, new discourse promises a broader lens to curtail future demo-remorse...internet activism works. It is a space for viral advocacy...and distill good design into cities woven from the best of each era. Should it weed out the worst, too? And who should ultimately decide? By David Turturo/Bruner/Cott & Associates -- Le Corbusier; Paul Rudolph; Josep Lluis Sert; M. Paul Friedberg; Bertrand Goldberg; Michael Allen; Alexandra Lange; Michael Kimmelman ; Jeanne Gang [images]- Metropolis Magazine
A renaissance for Bauhaus as Germany grapples with its past: Berlin architects honour Walter Gropius with new take on the meisterhäuser: ...reopens two of the art school's most significant houses...the move is sure to reignite the old debate about what to do with historic buildings damaged during the second world war...neither a complete reconstruction nor "a didactic recreation of pain"...but an artistic interpretation of the Bauhaus directors' original ideas. By Philip Oltermann -- Bauhaus Dessau Foundation; José Gutierrez Marquez; David Chipperfield- Guardian (UK)
Leading architects and historians back campaign to save Kate Macintosh gem: ...have signed a petition to save...sheltered housing development in Streatham from the wrecker’s ball...Lambeth council wants to sell...Demolition is not certain since whoever buys 269 Leigham Court Road could choose to keep the buildings... [images, link to petition]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Where Braniff put flair in the air: ...commuters stream past the anonymous, five-story white building...There was a time, however, when this seemingly unremarkable building stopped traffic...A new life as apartments targeted to the young professionals...who might appreciate its history and design, would seem logical...the future of the Braniff Hostess College, which has been the Park Gate retirement home since 1999, is in doubt. By Mark Lamster -- Pierce, Lacey and Associates (1968); Alexander Girard; Chuck Ax [images]- Dallas Morning News
Farnsworth House Could Soon Get a Lift: Plans to protect Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House by placing it on a hydraulic lift that can be deployed in case of flooding are proceeding at a rate that has taken even the plans’ supporters by surprise. -- Robert Silman; National Trust for Historic Preservation; Dirk Lohan/Lohan Anderson- Architectural Record
Historic Dennis Building in Halifax facing demolition: Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia wants to save it, depsite problems: ...report filed in 2010 says, "given the serious structural issues, the building should be demolished as soon as possible." [image]- CBC (Canada)
Van Alen Institute's Annual Star-Studded Design Soirée and Auction: Wouldn’t it be amazing to ride in a helicopter with photographer Iwan Baan? Or talk design over dinner with thought-leading curator Paola Antonelli? ...These extraordinary experiences and more are all on offer as part of a benefit auctionof design experiences ends May 23...coincides with VAI’s annual Spring Party on May 21...- Architectural Digest
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