Today’s News - Friday, November 14, 2014
• We lose David Mackay, the British-Irish architect "best known for projects completed in his adopted home city of Barcelona."
• McGuirk explains why "getting rid of slums won't solve anything"; a brighter sign is that European migrant workers moving to the favelas "suggest that if Europeans can find value, and homes, in the favela, Brazilian politicians might start to see them differently too."
• Russell rounds up a raft of "elite" universities that "have emerged from the recession riding a multibillion-dollar wave of architecturally ambitious arts facilities" (starchitects included). "Not everyone is on board."
• Kennicott finds much to cheer - and much to worry about - in BIG's big plan for a "bold remake" of the Smithsonian Castle grounds on the National Mall with its "curly-chip architectural flourish"; it "has captivating elements, but much that is precious and intimate would be lost" (never mind the price tag!).
• Wainwright looks at some of the "most outlandish projects" by the "Lego-loving, mountain-making hero of Danish architecture" (a.k.a. Bjarke Ingels) as the "wacky wunderkind "descends on London for the first time."
• Betsky makes the case that "architects need to think a little weirder to design better."
• On a more sobering note, Jolliffe makes the case that "public apathy" about the Stirling Prize "is a critical issue for architecture: The opportunity to debate the merit of good architecture, or even to point out what we believe good architecture is, was lost."
• Just when you thought the RIBA/IAUA brouhaha might have simmered down, Palestinian architects are none to pleased with a recent RIBA visit to the region; add to that, the fracas is estimated to have cost the Brits "more than £100,000 in lost donations and bookings."
• On a brighter note, Betsky is quite taken with Stern's "light-footed tower in La Défense, one of the most maligned modernist enclaves in Paris" (it is a welcome "denuding of the modernist traditions").
• Ferro ferrets out the details of just how James Carpenter "gave NYC subway riders a portal to the sky" at Grimshaw's new Fulton Center: it "recalls an era when transit design aspired to great beauty."
• Preservationists cheer a Google/NASA deal for the Internet giant "to take over much of Moffett Field, and restore beloved Hangar One" - but "not everyone was enthusiastic."
• Eyefuls of the Regional Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific winners (fab presentation!).
• International talent in the running as five finalists are named for the 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program + Another five in 2014-2015 Yap Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program.
• Cape Town dons "a disastrous" and "grossly inappropriate" memorial to Nelson Mandela, though it's a "dream come true for Ray-Ban's marketing team" (we find it hard to believe the artist's artsy-babble was taken seriously!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Eyefuls of wonderful in the V&A's "Architects as Artists" exhibition that explores the relationship between art and architecture.
• Anderton's Q&A with Maltzan and Murphy re: the "dreamscape" they designed for LACMA's "Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s" that captures "the anxiety and dreamscape-quality of expressionist film, without mimicry."
• Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center opens with "An Eloquent Modernist: E. Stewart Williams," marking the end of an eight-year journey that began only as 'a crazy dream'" to transform a former Williams-design bank, thoughtfully made over by Marmol Radziner.
• Rotterdam puts the spotlight on Hertzberger and the Dutch Structuralists: "it seems the financial crash has led to a resurgence of interest in the movement - often the inspiration is more related to form than to ideology."
• "Decades of Design 1948-2014" in the West Hollywood Design District explores the city's "history as a design and style mecca."
• Welton is totally wow'd (and so are we!) by Locktov and Christopher's "Dream of Venice" (breathtaking, dream-inducing photos!).
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Obituary: 1992 Barcelona Olympics architect David Mackay, 80: The British-Irish architect is best known for projects completed in his adopted home city of Barcelona...but also worked on regeneration proposals across England... -- MBM Arquitectes [images]- Dezeen
Getting rid of slums won't solve anything: Radical architects, skyscraper slums and informal cities: an interview with "Radical Cities" author Justin McGuirk: More positive, in his view, is the fact that European migrant workers are moving to the favelas...“It does suggest that if Europeans can find value, and homes, in the favela, Brazilian politicians might start to see them differently too.” By Barbara Speed- CityMetric (UK)
On Elite Campuses, an Arts Race: Elite campuses across the country have emerged from the recession riding a multibillion-dollar wave of architecturally ambitious arts facilities, even as community arts programs struggle against public indifference...Not everyone is on board. By James S. Russell -- Renzo Piano; Ennead Architects; Tod Williams Billie Tsien.; Diller, Scofidio & Renfro; Steven Holl Architects; Theaster Gates [images]- New York Times
Is BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group’s bold remake of the Smithsonian Castle grounds mere folly? ...plan has captivating elements, but much that is precious and intimate would be lost...curly-chip architectural flourish is the sort of thing one would like to see happen someplace in Washington, but is this the right place for it? There are many things in this plan worth celebrating, if the money can be found... By Philip Kennicott [images]- Washington Post
Wacky wunderkind Bjarke Ingels to design new 'front door' for Battersea Power Station: As the Lego-loving, mountain-making hero of Danish architecture descends on London for the first time, take a look at his most outlandish projects. By Oliver Wainwright -- BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group [images]- Guardian (UK)
Architects Need to Start Making Nonsense: ...architects need to think a little weirder to design better: Sometimes it makes sense to "stop making sense," as...David Byrne famously put it. By Aaron Betsky -- Thomas Widdershoven/Design Academy Eindhoven/Thonik; Dong-Ping Wong/Family- Architect Magazine
Public apathy in the Stirling Prize is a critical issue for architecture: Biggest night in the architectural calendar? Unfortunately...the public barely noticed: The opportunity to debate the merit of good architecture, or even to point out what we believe good architecture is, was lost. By Eleanor Jolliffe- BD/Building Design (UK)
Fresh Israel row engulfs RIBA: Engineering and architect representatives in Palestine attack recent RIBA visit to region...The issue has dogged Portland Place for much of the year...admitted Angela Brady’s motion has cost it more than £100,000 in lost donations and bookings. -- Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA); Association of Architects in Palestine- BD/Building Design (UK)
Tour Carpe Diem: Robert A.M. Stern Architects creates a light-footed tower in La Défense, one of the most maligned modernist enclaves in Paris: ...this denuding of the modernist traditions is ascending, rather than descending, towards a vision that is, in however incremental a way, more pleasant and hopeful than the one that came before. By Aaron Betsky -- SRA-Architectes; Ronan Gallais/Mutabilis; Christian Fournet [images]- Architect Magazine
How James Carpenter Gave NYC Subway Riders A Portal To The Sky: The centerpiece of New York's new Fulton Center, the Sky-Reflector Net recalls an era when transit design aspired to great beauty..."Our practice is about light in the public realm"...design process lasted for nearly seven years, the actual construction...took just six weeks. By Shaunacy Ferro -- Grimshaw Architects; Arup [images]- Fast Company / Co. Design
Google to take over much of Moffett Field, restore beloved Hangar One: ...would spend more than $200 million to rehab that and two other hangars, create an educational center and assume management for much of the historic air base, drawing cheers from preservationists...NASA plans to continue operating its Ames Research Center...Not everyone was enthusiastic...- Mercury News (California)
Regional Holcim Awards 2014 Asia Pacific: 13 projects share in more than $300,000 prize money, and illustrate how sustainable construction continues to evolve... -- MOS Architects; Architectkidd/Kasetsart University; Robust Architecture Workshop; etc. [images]- Holcim Foundation
Five finalist named for 2015 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program: hail from New York, Madirid, Miami, Los Angeles, and Toronto. -- Andres Jaque/Office for Political Innovation; brillhart architecture; Erin Besler; The Bittertang Farm; Studio Benjamin Dillenburger- The Architect's Newspaper
Five finalists of the 2014-2015 Yap Istanbul Modern: Young Architects Program : hail from New York, Ankara, London, Istanbul. -- Ali Sinan & Hasan Okan; FLAT C; Architecture for All; PATTU; Young & Ayata- Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Cape Town Has Created a Disastrous Memorial to Nelson Mandela: It's a giant pair of Ray-Bans. No, really. Cape Town - and Mandela - got a memorial shrouded in consumerism...grossly inappropriate...A dream come true for Ray-Ban's marketing team. [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
V&A to stage "Architects as Artists" exhibition: ...work from the V&A and RIBA archives plus new work to explore the relationship between art and architecture. [images]- DesignCurial (UK)
DnA/Frances Anderton: Michael Maltzan and Amy Murphy Design a Dreamscape for Expressionist Film at LACMA:...joined forces on the design of the installation for "Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s"...worked to create an abstract backdrop that would capture the anxiety and dreamscape-quality of expressionist film, without mimicry... [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center sparkles for Palm Springs Art Museum debut: ...latest addition to its vast collection...marks the end of an eight-year journey that began only as "a crazy dream" by Sidney Williams...opens with "An Eloquent Modernist: E. Stewart Williams"... -- Marmol Radziner [images]- The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
Revisiting Herman Hertzberger and the Dutch Structuralists: "Structuralism" at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam...it seems the financial crash has led to a resurgence of interest in the movement...often the inspiration is more related to form than to ideology. By Rakesh Ramchurn -- Aldo van Eyck; Piet Blom; Dirk van den Heuvel/Jaap Bakema Study Centre [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
"Decades of Design 1948-2014": First-Ever Exhibit by the West Hollywood Design District explores West Hollywood History as a Design and Style Mecca- West Hollywood Design District
Venice, in Prose and Photographs: If Venice is a dream state, then a new book about the city built on a lagoon is its vivid interpretation..."Dream of Venice" by JoAnn Locktov and Charles Christopher...They capture the essence of the city - its mystery, its lyrical beauty and even the illusionary nefariousness of its narrow passages. By J. Michael Welton [images]- Huffington Post
-- Ma Yansong: Designing an Imaginary Future: ...he seeks to combine cutting-edge technology with ancient Eastern precepts, and in so doing he hopes to forge a balance between the cosmos, humanity and nature. By Kevin Holden Platt -- MAD Archtiects
-- 7 Exceptional Concert Halls -- OMA; Henning Larsen Architects; Gehry Partners; Ateliers Jean Nouvel; Paul Andreu Architecte; Santiago Calatrava; Snøhetta
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