Today’s News - Friday, October 10, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: Monday is next week's "floating" no-newsletter day. We'll be back Tuesday, October 14.
• ANN Feature: Crosbie joins the starchitect debate in defense of Willis, and explains why the discussion isn't stupid: "Starchitecture is just a symptom of a much bigger problem in the profession."
• Speaking of starchitects, Bevan sits down with Piano in Paris to discuss "the Stirling Prize, the Shard, and being a radical - is he still that 1960s hippie radical; is the Shard really avant-garde?" (and gets in his own licks about the tower's "Ministry of Truth quality").
• Green reports from the EcoDistricts Summit that explored urban revitalization and gentrification: "new discussions of turning existing urban neighborhoods into 'ecodistricts' may just be gentrification in a green dress."
• Salt Lake City takes a different tack when it comes to the homeless: instead of jailing them, they're given homes; now the city spends $9.6 million instead of $40 million annually, and chronic homelessness has dropped 72% (wow - they might be on to something!).
• Ivy makes the case that good design "can make a big difference in actual physical as well as mental well-being," and has "a profound impact on the health of individuals and the public at large."
• Providence, RI, "has been trying to figure out how to best utilize" its historic central Kennedy Plaza for about as long as it's been around, but things are looking up.
• A Russian architect and professor of urban development evaluates DS+R's design for Moscow's Zaryadye Park, and is impressed with what he sees.
• Dimendberg is none too pleased with plans to remove a DS+R art project from the façade of the Moscone Center West: "short-sightedness and provincialism may have trumped the commitment to supporting visionaries and cultural innovation on which San Francisco long has prided itself."
• Rael and San Fratello devise a mortar- and rebar-free, quake-proof column made of 3-D-printed concrete that includes an ancient Incan masonry technique (code compliant, load-bearing walls could be next).
• Weekend diversions:
• Another (on- and off-screen) star-studded Architecture & Design Film Festival, New York is about to take center stage (we can't wait!).
• Two firsts Down Under: Adelaide's first ever Festival of Architecture and Design + Brisbane hosts Australia's first Festival of Landscape Architecture.
• World Wide Storefront takes on Los Angeles.
• Bernstein finds out why Ranalli's "La Sagrada Familia" at CCNY isn't really about Gaudi: "The goal wasn't to further canonize Gaudi, but 'to shine a bright light on the collaborative potential of architecture'" (and hopefully make it "less narcissistic").
• Bevan takes on Chinneck's full-scale "melting house" of wax on London's Southwark Street: "It's a fun idea but doesn't bear too close an examination" (but it's a good fit for the Merge Festival).
• Vincent finds out how Chinneck melts and floats his two houses gracing London's streets: his "tricks make the area's street performers look mundane."
• Capps dissects the über-technology behind Rodríguez-Gerada's six-acre portrait on the National Mall that is visible from space (fascinating!).
• Ferro cheers Redstone's "Shooting Space," a "gorgeous" book that "examines the relationship between architect and photographer, man and landscape, imagery, and reality...and all the clutter associated with what buildings are actually for: people."
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ANN Feature: Why the Starchitect Debate isn't "Stupid": Starchitecture is just a symptom of a much bigger problem in the profession. By Michael J. Crosbie- ArchNewsNow
'Architecture is about protest': Renzo Piano on the Stirling Prize, the Shard and being a radical: ...is he still that 1960s hippie radical; is the Shard really avant-garde? No, he concedes. The times are different. But, he adds, with something of the old fire stirring... By Robert Bevan- Evening Standard (UK)
Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible? The supporters of revitalization say rising tides lift all boats. As wealth has come back to cities, everyone benefits. But critics simply call it gentrification...new discussions of turning existing urban neighborhoods into “ecodistricts” may just be gentrification in a green dress. By Jared Green -- EcoDistricts Summit- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Here's What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail: While many cities continue to criminalize the homeless population...Salt Lake City crunched the numbers...for $7,800 a year...the city could provide a person with an apartment and case management services. In 2005, the city was spending $40 million...Several years after starting the Housing First program, in 2013, spending was down to $9.6 million. And more importantly, chronic homelessness has dropped 72%.- AlterNet.org
The Cure for What Ails You? Good Design: ...architecture can make a big difference in America's actual physical as well as mental well-being...can have a profound impact on the health of individuals and the public at large. By Robert Ivy/American Institute of Architects- Huffington Post
Searching for a Center: Providence, Rhode Island, aims to revitalize its central square, Kennedy Plaza: ...has been the historic center of Providence for a century and a half, and the city has been trying to figure out how to best utilize the space for about as long..."it never really lived up to its potential because it’s so fragmented." -- Don Powers/Union Studio Architecture & Community Design; Project for Public Spaces; Klopfer Martin Design Group [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Valery Nefedov: Doctor of Architecture and a professor in the Department of Urban Development at the Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture...discusses the prospects of Zaryadye Park...based on innovative principles of landscape urbanism..."In the concept by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro consortium I am especially impressed by the way that Zaryadye will be filled with nature..."- Architectural Council of Moscow / Archcouncil of Moscow
San Francisco Arts Commission Votes to Remove Diller Scofidio + Renfro Public Art Project: ...a move that has angered critics and scholars, the SFAC voted to remove "Facsimile" from the facade of the Moscone Center West...a project that began in 1996...It raises the troubling possibility that short-sightedness and provincialism may have trumped the commitment to supporting visionaries and cultural innovation on which San Francisco long has prided itself. By Edward Dimendberg- The Architect's Newspaper
Architects Create a 3-D Printed Column That Survives Earthquakes: Quake Column...3-D printed concrete that combines an ancient Incan masonry technique with...manufacturing tools to create a structure...without mortar or rebar...could be used to fabricate building code compliant, load-bearing walls. -- Ronald Rael/Virginia San Fratello/Emerging Objects [images]- Wired
Architecture & Design Film Festival, New York, October 15-19: ...will feature the U.S. premieres of new 3D films by Robert Redford and Wim Wenders, and the world premiere of Gray Matters, a documentary about the designer and architect Eileen Gray.- Architecture & Design Film Festival
Adelaide’s first ever Festival of Architecture and Design to focus on public interaction: ...and the importance of integrated design to shape the city today and in the future. October 10-14- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Australia’s first Festival of Landscape Architecture: Forecast launches in Brisbane, October 16 - 18: ...a platform for professionals, universities, government and the public to engage and exchange ideas. -- Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles: ...part of World Wide Storefront, a Storefront for Art and Architecture project...includes LA Forum’s Out There Doing It series...emerging architects, designers, and writers present work and reflect on Southern California’s cultural landscape. -- Mimi Zeiger/LA Forum; Leonardo Bravo and River Jukes-Hudson/Big City Forum); Sarah Lorenzen/Neutra VDL Research House- Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design/LA Forum
“La Sagrada Familia” Opens at CCNY: Gaudi Isn't the Focus, and That's the Point: Is it a shame that the new sections of the building are so unlike the master’s? “I don’t think it matters,” says George Ranalli...The goal wasn’t to further canonize Gaudi, but “to shine a bright light on the collaborative potential of architecture"...less narcissistic. By Fred A. Bernstein -- Jordi Bonet [slide show]- Architectural Record
A Pound of Flesh for 50p (The Melting House): Not trusting to London’s Indian summer, Alex Chinneck fired up heaters over the weekend to melt the full-sized wax house that he has built on Southwark Street...It’s a fun idea but doesn’t bear too close an examination...a reasonable fit for the Merge festival... By Robert Bevan [images]- Evening Standard (UK)
How do you make Covent Garden float? Alex Chinneck is the artist who makes houses melt, slide and turn upside down. He explains his tricks..."Take my Lightning but Don’t Steal my Thunder"..."A Pound of Flesh For 50p"...are playful, public pieces on a giant scale...The "trick" will make the area's street performers look mundane. By Alice Vincent- Telegraph (UK)
The National Mall's Newest Portrait May Best Be Viewed From Space: Using satellite imagery and mass-agriculture technology, artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada has created a six-acre portrait visible from orbit..."Out of Many, One"... By Kriston Capps [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
"A Photograph Can Appear More Real Than The Building Itself": "Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography"...A gorgeous new book by Elias Redstone...examines the relationship between architect and photographer, man and landscape, imagery, and reality...and all the clutter associated with what buildings are actually for: people. By Shaunacy Ferro [slide show]- Fast Company
-- Anttinen Oiva Architects: Helsinki University Main Library: ...the largest academic library in Finland wedged in between dense city blocks...a truly urban campus...
-- 7 Visionary Zoo Designs -- Berthold Lubetkin (1934); Foster + Partners; LAM-architects; HUT Wood Studio/Ville Hara/SAFA; Schlaich Bergermann & Partner; Hassel; BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group; JDS Architects
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