Today’s News - Tuesday, July 29, 2014
• Sad news from opposite ends of the globe: Heathcote and many others pay tribute to Richard MacCormac, who was "never cynical and always open to new ideas. But the BBC experience bruised him. It was a painful and undignified end to a generous and public-spirited career" (and he was "a cherubic giggler").
• A "farewell to a legend of Australian architecture," Blair Wilson, who headed "Australia's longest running architecture dynasty."
• A great debate among some of our faves re: whether starchitects are ruining cities' skylines: "Starchitects aren't the problem," says Arieff; "Here's to the demise of star architects," says Willis (Chakrabarti and Borrego Cubero weigh in, too).
• Speaking of starchitects, Kamin x 2: Lucas picks MAD/Gang team for his Chicago lakefront Museum of Narrative Arts: if the "star-studded team produce a design gem...it could soften, or at least blunt, opposition" (maybe the Presidio would have been happier if this team had been on board from the get-go?).
• He cheers Van Valkenburgh's new Chicago park: it "will be different from Millennium Park, but they'll still be 'best friends.'"
• Miranda ponders whether Gehry signing on to design a campus for a social services not-for-profit can "help change the dynamic" of L.A.'s Watts neighborhood: "the scale of this project may be small. But in some respects it's as important as anything he's built in Bilbao."
• Heatherwick "joins Maggie's Centre A-listers" to design the charity's first Yorkshire center.
• King parses Foster's plan for San Francisco's second-tallest tower: it "needs to go on a diet" - its scale is "more daunting than dynamic. It needs to be uplifting, not overstuffed."
• Meanwhile, Hughes delves into Foster's "New York moment," with four Manhattan buildings in the works: "His buildings might not be the tallest, priciest or zaniest. So what's fueling the current Foster fad?" (being a starchitect has something to do with it).
• Pritchard ponders whether Ingels' Danish Maritime Museum, an "invisible icon," is a sign that "the notorious architectural prankster may be growing up" (don't bet on it).
• Kats explores the growing trend of architecture leaping "from commodity to collectible," with buyers who "now see that historic homes can be collected, preserved, and appreciated much like fine art."
• Cahill pens an eloquent "ode to the humblest building" on Chicago's Wacker Drive: "The squat gray 1956 office building won't win any beauty contests or architectural awards," and a wrecking ball may be heading its way, but it has "beaten the odds before - the little building has staying power."
• Berlin's newest retail complex in a landmarked Modernist building hopes to revive a neighborhood as "a doggedly hip shopping and design hub" with "a scrappy authenticity - shorthand for the city's seedy-chic, poor-but-sexy ethos."
• Canberra's new shipping-container pop-up venue for arts, sports, and culture hopes to connect residents to the waterfront: "Steering away from the traditional stereotype of a 'quiet, clean and tidy Canberra,' the space will be 'real' and 'grungy.'"
• A Prussian - now Russian - city considers "rebuilding the city center to reflect some of its historical German architecture" in the "desolate Soviet landscape" (Fishing Village "turned out very kitschy").
• Jaffe looks at "how to keep our buildings from making us fat": stairs with flair and slow elevators are a start.
• A good reason to plan to be in Chicago mid-August: 2014 Symposium on Technology for Design and Construction.
• Murphy/Jahn's Post Tower in Bonn wins CTBUH 10-Year Award: it "paved the way for the next generation of high-performing tall buildings."
• Call for entries: Lisbon Open Room competition for students and young graduates.
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Obituary: Former RIBA president Richard MacCormac, 75: ...his oeuvre represented an attempt to create a language that melded modernism and tradition in a manner that was less brash than the excesses of postmodernism – and less tongue-in-cheek. Never cynical and always open to new ideas...But the BBC experience bruised him. It was a painful and undignified end to a generous and public-spirited career. By Edwin Heathcote -- MJP Architects- Financial Times (UK)
Tributes pour in for Richard MacCormac, former RIBA President and founder of MJP Architects -- Stephen Hodder/RIBA; Catherine Croft/Twentieth Century Society; Ricky Burdett/LSE Cities/Urban Age Programme; Chris Dyson/Chris Dyson Architects ("A fine, fiercely intelligent architect, passionate, and a cherubic giggler." - Hugh Pearman)- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Obituary: Farewell to a legend of Australian architecture: Blair Wilson of Wilson Architects, 83: ...Australia’s longest running architecture dynasty...He was National President of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA)...Wilson Architects recently celebrated 130 years as a continuous architectural practice.- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Room for Debate: Are the ‘Starchitects' Ruining Cities? Are superstar architects ruining city skylines? Witold Rybczynski; Allison Arieff; Vishaan Chakrabarti/SHoP Architects; Beverly Willis/BWAF; Angel Borrego Cubero/"The Competition"- New York Times
George Lucas to announce architects for lakefront museum: ...star-studded team, a surprise given Lucas' penchant for traditional designs...If the architects produce a design gem that upgrades the landscape of the Museum Campus, the cluster of shoreline museums to which the Lucas Museum would belong, it could soften, or at least blunt, opposition. By Blair Kamin -- Ma Yansong/MAD Architects; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; VOA Architects- Chicago Tribune
Architect brings fresh spin to Maggie Daley Park: Pastoral, playful at work in Michael Van Valkenburgh's new design...landscape architect is on a tear in Chicago...new park will be different from Millennium Park, [he] said, but they'll still be "best friends." By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Can a Frank Gehry design help change the dynamic of Watts? ...has signed on to design a campus for the Children's Institute, Inc. (CII), a social services not-for-profit...If all goes according to plan...will represent an intriguing architectural addition to a neighborhood best known for...iconic Watts Towers - as well as some pretty dour institutional architecture...the scale of this project may be small. But in some respects it's as important as anything he's built in Bilbao. By Carolina A. Miranda -- (fer) studio- Los Angeles Times
Thomas Heatherwick joins Maggie's Centre A-listers: Designer selected for cancer charity’s first Yorkshire centre -- Heatherwick Studio- BD/Building Design (UK)
S.F.'s proposed First Street tower needs to go on a diet: The immense tapered shaft would be the city's second tallest, perched on 70-foot-high stilts rising amid an open plaza at street level. But from there up the vision turns into a real estate deal, at a scale more daunting than dynamic...It needs to be uplifting, not overstuffed. By John King -- Foster + Partners; Kathryn Gustafson/Gustafson Guthrie Nichol; Heller Manus Architects [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
An Architect Gets Busy: Norman Foster Enjoys a New York Moment: His buildings might not be the tallest, priciest or zaniest. But in New York, the British architect seems to be having a moment all the same. Four major creations...are under construction or close to breaking ground in Manhattan...So what’s fueling the current Foster fad? By C.J. Hughes -- Foster + Partners- New York Times
Bjarke Ingels Group: The BIG founder broke the competition rules to win the Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør. But the finished project, an “invisible icon” mostly concealed behind the walls of a dry dock, suggests that the notorious architectural prankster may be growing up. By Owen Pritchard [images]- Icon (UK)
Edifice Complex: Architecture Leaps From Commodity to Collectible: Crystal Bridges acquisition reflects an increasingly popular attitude toward architecturally significant homes among private collectors. Such buyers now see that historic homes can be collected, preserved, and appreciated much like fine art. By Anna Kats -- Bachman Wilson House/Frank Lloyd Wright; Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino; Farnsworth House/Mies van der Rohe’- Artinfo
An ode to the humblest building on Wacker: The squat gray office building at 110 N. Wacker Drive won't win any beauty contests or architectural awards...I've come to appreciate its individuality and perseverance as its surroundings change...Perhaps [it] is on its way out. On the other hand, it has beaten the odds before...the little building has staying power. By Joe Cahill -- Graham, Anderson, Probst and White (1956)- Crain's Chicago Business
Revive City West? The recently-opened retail complex combines fashion, high culture, and a resourceful spirit to reinvent the shopping experience...housed in a landmarked Modernist building called Bikinihaus...the centerpiece of Bikini Berlin, a doggedly hip shopping and design hub...purports to a scrappy authenticity, what is called the “Berlin attitude” and shorthand for the city’s seedy-chic, poor-but-sexy ethos. -- SAQ Architects- Metropolis Magazine
Shipping containers to activate the city: Canberra’s West Side Story: A new pop-up venue for arts, sports and culture by Stomping Grounds Collective...‘Westside @ Acton Park’...to better connect CBD to Lake Burley Griffin...to get residents to experience the waterfront...Steering away from the traditional stereotype of a “quiet, clean and tidy Canberra”...space will be “real” and “grungy.” -- Cox Architecture [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Resurrecting Königsberg: Russian City Looks to German Roots: The Allies bombed the Prussian city into the ground in 1944. Residents of what is today the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, a desolate Soviet landscape, are considering rebuilding the city center to reflect some of its historical German architecture...Fishing Village isn't historically accurate, it's based on Fyodorov's vision of a German place. It also turned out very kitschy. -- Alexander Popadin/Heart of the City; Vyacheslav Genne; Arthur Sarnitz [images]- Der Spiegel (Germany)
How To Keep Our Buildings From Making Us Fat: Central stairs, slow elevators, smaller waistline: ...when a staircase is designed to compete with an elevator, both in terms of style and location, walking can beat riding... By Eric Jaffe [images]- Fast Company
NOW AND NEXT: 2014 Symposium on Technology for Design and Construction, Northwestern University’s Downtown Chicago Campus, August 13-15- Northwestern University
Post Tower in Bonn, Germany, Wins CTBUH 10-Year Award: Completed in 2002, it remains one of the world’s lowest energy-consuming tall buildings. Paved the way for the next generation of high-performing tall buildings. -- Murphy/Jahn Architects; Heinle, Wischer und Partner [link to details + finalists]- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
Call for entries: Lisbon Open Room competition for students and young graduates: design a unique, flexible pavilion for multiple uses; cash prizes; early registration deadline (save money!): September 15 (submissions due October 31)- ArchMedium
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