Today’s News - Thursday, September 4, 2014
• Kotkin claims the "people designing your cities don't care what you want. They're planning for hipsters."
• Lewyn takes issue with Kotkin: "his claims miss three realities."
• Lange cheers "strategic architecture," highlighting new urban projects that "are not large-scale institutions but hybrids being constructed in locations not necessarily known for design."
• Schindler offers an in-depth (and fascinating) look at what went into making Adjaye's Sugar Hill housing project in Harlem happen: it "might counter an attitude that 'housing' is oppositional to and incompatible with "architecture'" - and points out its hits - and misses.
• Moore gives thumbs-up to London's first co-housing project: it "strikes an elegant balance between communal living and leafy seclusion" - it may not be the solution to the U.K.'s housing problems, but "it's an appealing model."
• Rudlin wins the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 for a proposal to build garden cities on the green belts surrounding 40 British towns.
• Pogrebin reports that Gehry's design for a performing arts center at Ground Zero has been "scuttled," and a design by one of three unnamed finalists will take its place ("I don't want to go where I'm not wanted," sayeth he).
• Rosenbaum, meanwhile, is quite taken with Gehry's design for the Philadelphia Museum of Art: "The rationale is convincing; the plans are compelling. Now comes the hard part" (raising the moolah to build it).
• Morgan is totally taken by Ando's Clark Art Institute visitor center that "is itself a transcendent work of art" (annoying format, but well worth reading).
• Eyefuls of the winning Foster/Romero design for the Mexico City Airport expansion.
• Brussat cheers Glasgow School of Art officials who "seem firmly inclined to restore it to the original," but fears modernists will claim it would be a "Mockintosh. Copy the glorious past? How retrograde! Beauty be damned!" (We're sad to hear new owners of the Providence Journal have let a number of columnists go - including our favorite curmudgeon, but we'll continue to follow him.)
• A look at how government incentives and research intends to make Singapore a "tropical hub of sustainable design."
• Hawthorne ponders whether turning over L.A.'s Grand Park to a for-profit music festival was a good thing (the audience was "a huge and unwitting landscape-architecture focus group"): "The crucial question is how much of that money will go toward improving the design of this compelling but flawed public space."
• King parses (in more detail this time) the five proposals for the Presidio's Crissy Field, pointing out the good - and bad - points - of each: they "have two things in common. Each has seductive aspects - and each tries too hard to bedazzle, in a setting where flash is not what we need - none knew where to stop."
• ASLA launches a new guide to green infrastructure that offers "a body of evidence to prove that green infrastructure actually works."
• Eyefuls of the 11 winners of the AIA 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Awards.
• Call for entries: AIANY COTE Awards: Proof + Beauty (projects must be within a radius of 100 miles from Central Park) + BWAF's BxW NYC/Built By Women New York City: identify 100 outstanding structures and built environments in NYC, contemporary or historic.
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The people designing your cities don’t care what you want. They’re planning for hipsters: ...reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. It’s city as adult Disneyland or “entertainment machine,” chock-a-block with chic restaurants, shops and festivals...Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want. By Joel Kotkin- Washington Post
Mr. Kotkin talks about what "people really want": Joel Kotkin recently wrote...that unspecified urban planners want "to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers"...his claims miss three realities. By Michael Lewyn- Better! Cities & Towns (formerly New Urban News)
Transforming, but Not Disrupting: Time for Strategic Architecture: Many American urban projects opening in the coming months are not large-scale institutions but hybrids being constructed in locations not necessarily known for design. By Alexandra Lange -- Mecanoo Architecten/Sasaki Associates; Theaster Gates; Deborah Berke Partners; Bing Thom Architects/Wiencek & Associates; Snohetta; Lake/Flato Architects; SWA Group;Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects; Parsons Brinckerhoff/HOK [images]- New York Times
Architecture vs. Housing: The Case of Sugar Hill: ...[it] might counter an attitude...that “housing” is oppositional to and incompatible with “architecture."...Nice architecture, too costly. Sorry. But quality architecture can contribute more than just extra costs...The question remains why the architectural capital was spent primarily to create an iconic building instead of challenging some of the conventions governing apartment configurations and sizes. By Susanne Schindler -- David Adjaye/Adjaye Associates; SLCE; Grimshaw; Dattner Architects [images]- Urban Omnibus
Copper Lane - an appealing, harmonious, cost-effective model for communal living: London's first co-housing project strikes an elegant balance between communal living and leafy seclusion...not to say it's exactly the solution to southern England's notorious housing problems...But...it's an appealing model. By Rowan Moore -- Henley Halebrown Rorrison [images]- Guardian (UK)
Garden cities to save rural villages from being dug up: Proposal for garden cities to be built on the green belt surrounding 40 British towns wins the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize 2014. -- David Rudlin/URBED (Urbanism Environment and Design)- Telegraph (UK)
Arts Center at Ground Zero Shelves Gehry Design: The board of the performing arts center planned for the World Trade Center scuttled Frank Gehry's plan...will instead select a design from a field of three finalists..."I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted.” By Robin Pogrebin- New York Times
Frank Gehry Works His Magic on the Philadelphia Museum of Art: What I most like about his design is its emphasis on restoring and respectfully improving the original building...The rationale is convincing; the plans are compelling. Now comes the hard part. By Lee Rosenbaum -- Horace Trumbauer; Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary (1918-28) [images, video]- ArtsJournal
A Triumph of Serenity: 12 years in the making, Tadao Ando’s visitor center at the Clark Art Institute is itself a transcendent work of art: ...does not overpower the nearly flat landscape by Reed Hilderbrand. The total composition represents the epitome of masterly Modern design — at once contemporary and yet timeless...easily the most elegant museum building in New England. By William Morgan -- Kulapat Yantrasast; Gensler; Selldorf Architects [images]- Design New England
Foster + Romero Alliance Wins Competition to Design the Mexico City Airport Expansion: ...selected because of its focus on environmental conservation, efficiency and the functionality... -- Foster + Partners; FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise; Arup; ADTEC; SPACE; Gustavo Avilés/Lighteam; Saad Acustica [images, video]- ArchDaily
Glasgow School of Art fire update: The good news...school officials seem firmly inclined to restore to the original...But you can never be too sure...there remain some who...want the school to hire an architect who will ensure that “our era” is represented in the building’s reconstruction...Copy the glorious past? How retrograde! Beauty be damned! By David Brussat -- Charles Rennie Mackintosh- Architecture Here and There
Singapore offers a Global Lesson in Green: Government incentives and research bolster this tropical hub of sustainable design: ...aims to green 80% of the city-state’s existing building stock by 2030...Green Mark certification program is tailored to projects in tropical and sub-tropical climates.- Architect Magazine
Grand Park benefits Made in America Festival, but is the reverse true? The decision to close the park for a for-profit event will be redeemed only if the money Live Nation paid the county to rent it out makes it a better place to visit...The crucial question is how much of that money will go toward improving the design of this compelling but flawed public space — and how much will disappear into a budgetary black hole. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Rios Clementi Hale Studios [images]- Los Angeles Times
Unveiled: 5 visions for landscape above Crissy Field; They vary widely in looks, but each...have two things in common. Each has seductive aspects - and each tries too hard to bedazzle, in a setting where flash is not what we need...none of the teams knew where to stop. By John King -- Snøhetta; James Corner Field Operations;West 8; Olin; CMG Landscape Architecture/EHDD [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
ASLA Launches New Guide to Green Infrastructure: Researchers are amassing a body of evidence to prove that green infrastructure actually works: these systems are often more cost-effective than outmoded models of grey infrastructure...and also provide far more benefits for both people and the environment. [link to guide]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
AIA recognizes 11 projects with the 2014 Educational Facility Design Excellence Award -- Ziger/Snead Architects; VMDO Architects;MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle); Wheeler Kearns Architects; Mahlum;SmithGroupJJR; LPA; Clark Nexsen/Snohetta;Mitchell | Giurgola Architects; Bassetti Architects [links to images, info]- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Call for entries: AIANY COTE Awards: Proof + Beauty: All projects must be located within a radius of 100 miles from Central Park, Manhattan, NYC; open to architects licensed in the U.S.; deadline: November 10- AIA New York Committee on the Environment
Call for entries: BxW NYC/Built By Women New York City: identify 100 outstanding structures and built environments in NYC, either contemporary or historic, designed and/or constructed by women (architecture, engineering, or landscape); deadline: October 31- Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF)
ANN Feature: Avoiding the Greenwash: Don't be swayed by eco-friendly claims. Questions to ask, and resources for answers, to help select products that will best meet green projects' - and the planet's - sustainability needs. By Cameron Forte- ArchNewsNow
OMA: G-Star Raw HQ, Amsterdam: Just like the denim that made the company famous, the notion of raw surfaces is also at the core of their new headquarters...it is often debated whether the architecture actually ends up enhancing or conflicting with the company's 'brand values'. In the case of Rem Koolhaas and the Dutch jeans company...the combination seemed like a natural fit... By Ulf Meyer -- Office for Metropolitan Architecture
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