Today’s News - Wednesday, September 24, 2014
• McGraw Hill Construction is sold to Silicon Valley equity group (we sure hope this bodes well for our friends at Arch Record, ENR, BuildingGreen, etc.).
• Pearman, Heathcote, and Wainwright all give eloquent cheers to the 5-time Stirling Prize-shortlisted dynamic Dublin duo O'Donnell + Tuomey: the "Irish magicians of brick and poets of concrete" are taking home the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal.
• Skene Catling pens one of the best ponderings we've read re: the "moral duty of the architect": they're "ridiculed if they take a moral position, and attacked if they don't," so just "what are architects for in the 21st century?" (a must-read!)
• Four leading academics offer a manifesto re: "How to build a fairer city" (another totally fascinating read).
• Davies ponders the fate of Sydney's Kings Cross: the city's "historical bohemian heartland and den of iniquity is reported to be dying; and it's fading fast. I wonder if the romantic version of The Cross even exists any more" (gentrification and lock-out laws involved).
• Hume has high praise for Toronto's first "woonerf": "The unquestioned acceptance of vehicular dominance comes to a halt here" (though "one woonerf does not an enlightened city make").
• Ulam digs deep into NYC's $2.4 billion green infrastructure initiative, which, for some, "does not go far enough, and they are hammering away at the city's bureaucracy for approvals and funding."
• MIT picks a great mix to design its East Campus/Kendall Square Gateway.
• Eyefuls of Shepley Bulfinch's makeover of an iconic, mid-century Phoenix landmark as its own office - and to make it more accessible to the public: "It feels like a totally public space that we happen to work in" (we could work in a space like that!).
• A profile of the woman behind the design of Istanbul's truly "spectacular" Sakirin Mosque and a few others (when she's not designing London restaurants, New York stores, or her own line of furniture).
• Kats considers Rem's plans for the Garage Museum's new home inside a long-defunct Soviet-era eatery in Moscow's Gorky Park that will be "an exercise in abstinence" (Rem + abstinence?!!?).
• King cheers the new stadium for the "so-called" San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara: "Easily navigated drama is the aim, not nuanced architecture. But the architectural ambitions are real."
• Initial drawings for the Golden State Warriors arena, on the other hand, are likened to a toilet (or a George Foreman Grill in another post): "With porcelain not part of the project's scope, expect a significant makeover from these drawings to the actual renderings."
• SCI-Arc names Hernan Diaz Alonso as new director to succeed Eric Owen Moss: he has big plans, but isn't "ready to go into detail" about what they are.
• Good news: the AIA's Architecture Billings Index indicates there "continues to be an increasing level of demand for design services" (may it grow and grow!).
• Call for entries: 2015 Rome Prize + Call for proposals: EDRA Fall 2015 Symposium.
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McGraw Hill Construction Sold to Symphony Technology Group for $320 Million: Brands include Architectural Record, GreenSource and Engineering News-Record.- Folio:
Royal Gold Medal 2014: O’Donnell + Tuomey: There’s gold at the end of the rainbow for the five-times Stirling-shortlisted Dubliners: ...one of the most welcome Royal Gold Medal announcements of recent years...they produce some of the most innately satisfying, deeply thought and intriguingly crafted buildings of our times....They, like their buildings, are architecture all the way through. By Hugh Pearman- RIBA Journal (UK)
O’Donnell+Tuomey wins Riba lifetime achievement award: ...Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, are among the least starry names to have received the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal, their committed, carefully crafted architecture and thoughtful approach...and their recent buildings beyond their native Dublin have impressed and delighted...Their commitment to the public realm has won them international and domestic respect... By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
RIBA awards Royal Gold Medal to Irish magicians of brick and poets of concrete: Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, the pair behind Belfast’s Lyric Theatre and LSE’s new student centre, join illustrious list: ...they are among the youngest architects to win the gong...At a time when buildings are...assembled like flimsy clip-together kits of production-line parts, O’Donnell + Tuomey’s approach is refreshingly medieval, using materials that are cast and moulded, baked and ground. By Oliver Wainwright- Guardian (UK)
Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: What is the Moral Duty of the Architect? Architects, it appears, can’t win. They are attacked if they don’t take a moral position, and ridiculed if they do...Fundamentally, what are architects for in the 21st century? The social agenda is back, with a new energy and sharpened by the brutality of late capitalism...The direction has never seemed clearer or more urgent: architecture as revolution. By Charlotte Skene Catling/Skene Catling de la Peña -- Martin Filler; Zaha Hadid; Dan Hancox; Urban-Think Tank; Alejandro Zaera-Polo; Alejandro Aravena/Elemental; Teddy Cruz- Architectural Review (UK)
How to build a fairer city: ...four leading academics propose the ‘grounded city’ – where sustainable transport, accessible broadband and modest housing take precedence over ostentatious tower blocks: Fairness is not summed up in Gini coefficients of income inequality, but in access to the foundational goods and services that all citizens should enjoy. By Ewald Engelen, Sukhdev Johal, Angelo Salento, and Karel Williams- Guardian (UK)
Can (traditional) Kings Cross be saved? The traditional role of Sydney’s...place to walk on the wild side is said to be under threat. But if the forces that created it no longer apply, it’s unlikely that idea of The Cross can be saved...Business owners blame the state government’s new lock-out laws...a more likely explanation is “gentrification”...I wonder if the romantic version of The Cross even exists any more... By Alan Davies- Crikey (Australia)
With first ‘woonerf’ in West Don Lands, Toronto is learning to share its streets: The city's first complete street — meant for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike — doesn't look so different, but it changes everything...The unquestioned acceptance of vehicular dominance comes to a halt here...One woonerf does not an enlightened city make, but it’s a start. Ultimately, though, what will be needed is a cultural shift... By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Stemming the Tide: Streetscapes and plazas are being transformed into high performance sites for stormwater management...New York City...initiative includes an ambitious plan to spend $2.4 billion on green infrastructure...for some designers, planners, and neighborhood leaders...plan does not go far enough, and they are hammering away at the city’s bureaucracy for approvals and funding. By Alex Ulam -- The Trust for Public Land; Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects; WXY Architecture + Urban Design; Quennell Rothschild & Partners; Piet Oudolf; eDesign Dynamics; AECOM [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
An update on MIT’s East Campus/Kendall Square planning process: ...area represents a tremendous opportunity to create a vibrant cluster of activity...blending of an array of uses...architectural teams have been identified and design work...will commence. -- Elkus|Manfredi Architects; Perkins+Will; NADAAA; Weiss/Manfredi; nARCHITECTS- MIT News
Architects renovate, move into Phoenix landmark: ...the iconic Phoenix Financial Center turns 50 this year. And its new tenant plans to celebrate by making it more accessible to the public, just as this growing architecture firm plants itself firmly in public view...Shepley Bulfinch...has spent months sprucing up the center's distinctive features..."It feels like a totally public space that we happen to work in." -- Wenceslao Alfonso "W.A." Sarmiento (1964) [images]- Arizona Republic
Divine design: The mosque architect breaking the mold: Behold Istanbul's spectacular Sakirin Mosque. Believed to be the first mosque designed by a woman...When not creating grand places of worship, Zeynep Fadillioglu...turns her hand to everything from London restaurants, to New York retail stores, and most recently her own line of furniture. [slide show]- CNN World
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Teaches an Old Building New Tricks: ...its forthcoming permanent home inside the Soviet-era eatery in Moscow’s central Gorky Park is due to open in June 2015...leaving it largely untouched...the new Garage edifice is an exercise in abstinence. The 1968 building’s structural core...will be kept intact...displaying weathered Soviet mosaics with ideological imagery... By Anna Kats -- Rem Koolhaas/OMA [image]- Artinfo
Levi's Stadium both structurally and architecturally impressive: The new home of the so-called San Francisco 49ers resembles nothing so much as a supersized erector set. That's not a bad thing. What rises from the hazy sprawl of Santa Clara is a triumph of structural engineering, muscular and lean...Easily navigated drama is the aim, not nuanced architecture. But the architectural ambitions are real... By John King -- HNTB; Magnusson Klemencic Associates [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Proposed design for new Golden State Warriors arena definitely looks like a toilet: “We are still very much in the design phase"...With porcelain not part of the project’s scope, expect a significant makeover from these drawings to the actual renderings. -- Snøhetta; Manica Architecture [images]- Sports Illustrated
SCI-Arc's newly announced director sees growth and a global presence: Hernan Diaz Alonso will succeed...Eric Owen Moss...said he was thrilled but added that he wasn't ready to go into detail about his plans...- Los Angeles Times
AIA Architecture Billings Index Exhibits Continued Strength: On the heels of recording its strongest pace of growth since 2007, there continues to be an increasing level of demand for design services signaled in the latest AIA ABI...- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Call for entries: 2015 Rome Prize: six-month to two-year Fellowships in Architecture; Design; Historic Preservation and Conservation; Landscape Architecture, etc.; open to U.S. citizens in the early or middle stages of their working lives; deadline: November 1- American Academy in Rome
Call for entries: Call for proposals: EDRA Fall 2015 Symposium: translational research symposium, scheduled to take place in the fall of 2015; deadline: October 15- Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
-- Travel guide: Tokyo: Like Kenzo Tange and his fellow Metabolists famously noted, Tokyo has the appearance of a sophisticated organism with a highly developed metabolism, constantly modifying its own urban fabric. By Ulf Meyer
-- Herzog & de Meuron: What truly distinguishes them is their commitment to challenging the Modernist ornament-aversion. By Jakob Harry Hybel
-- 7 Sharp-Eyed Architectural Photographers -- Åke E:son Lindman; Thomas Mayer; Michael Wolf; Ken Konchel; Andrew Prokos; CphCph; Pygmalion Karatzas
-- 7 Unmistakable Architect's Sketches: ...remarkable architects, who are using the freedom of the hand drawing to express their particular architectural vision. -- Dominique Perrault; Frank O. Gehry; Santiago Calatrava; SANAA; Jørn Utzon; Álvaro Siza; Steven Holl
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