Today’s News - Friday, January 9, 2015
• Five firms in the running to rebuild Glasgow School of Art's fire-ravaged Mackintosh building amidst the growing debate re: "whether the restoration should be faithful to the original, or as modern and clever as the original once was."
• Greenfield pens a most thoughtful take (and one of the only pieces we've read) that questions whether "smart cities" are the smart way to go: "by turning a city onto autopilot, are we in danger of losing what makes it human?"
• Massengale on the starchitecture debate: "more and more architects are getting tired of this narrow emphasis, and more and more of the public are catching on too."
• Jenkins minces no words about what he thinks of London's mayor riding roughshod over residents' preferences by waving through Royal Mail's plan for 10 "ghastly slabs" of luxury flats: "There is an alternative."
• With Boston's mayor calling for "bold design," developers "will now be looking at how to create a revenue benefit from the extra expense of creating better designs to add to the skyline."
• Hartman has a few issues with de Portzamparc's "massive, much-maligned" Cidade das in Rio: it is "a forbidding performing-arts complex of Piranesian proportions," though its "elevated veranda may be its saving grace."
• Dunlap and Branch each give two thumbs-ups to Helpern's restoration/reimagination of Yale's Sterling Memorial Library nave, now "more stunning than ever."
• A fascinating Q&A with Speer re: the efforts - and promise - to build the Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiums sustainably.
• One we couldn't resist (it made us laugh - and sigh - out loud!): Sorkin's 250 things an architect should know: #14: How to lay bricks; #18: How to unclog a rapidograph; #200: What rusts.
• Eyefuls of the AIA 2015 Honors & Awards: Twenty-five Year Award to SOM's 1990 Broadgate Exchange House, London (great presentations of all the winners!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Kats x 2: a round-up of "the best architecture and design shows opening in the U.S. in 2015."
• She cheers "Shadow Architecture" book and exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw by Wasilkowska, VP of the Polish Architectural Association, and "at 36, the most promising architect in Poland."
• Bernstein cheers "New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America," a "sweeping and rewarding exhibition" at Manhattan's MAD (though he bemoans the current trend of shows being more like elaborate dissertations).
• King cheers the Presidio's "Gallery + Ideas Forum" show of the finalists in the recent competition that brings "city planning to the people who live with it" by presenting "the rarefied topic of urban design in a downright friendly way."
• Rawsthorn hails "Ways to Modernism: Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, and Their Impact" at Vienna's MAK that illustrates the "designers' conflicting visions of modernity at a time of renewed interest in their work."
• Dabrowski is quite taken by "Olafur Eliasson: Contact" at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, that "complements the architecture of the strikingly sculptural building" by Gehry (fab photos by Baan, too).
• "Rethinking the Urban Landscape" at The Building Centre, London, "argues the case to commit investment to 'green infrastructure' in the early stages of city and regeneration planning" with 50 case studies.
• Silverstein gives thumbs-ups to Thoren's new tome, "Landscapes of Change: Innovative Designs and Reinvented Sites."
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Glasgow School of Art: Firms bid to restore Charles Rennie Mackintosh library: ...five architecture firms...shortlisted to lead the restoration of its fire-damaged building...The debate has already begun about whether the restoration...should be faithful to the original, or as modern and clever as the original once was. -- Avanti Architects; John McAslan and Partners; LDN Architects; Page\Park Architects; Purcell- BBC
Can we outsmart the smart city? A new generation of cities are being wired up to control themselves by harnessing huge quantities of real-time data. But by turning a city onto autopilot, are we in danger of losing what makes it human? ...virtually everything we hear of places like Masdar or Songdo originates with an interested party...there are at least four substantial reasons for thinking the paradigm itself is fundamentally flawed... By Adam Greenfield -- IBM Smarter Cities; Foster + Partners; Hitachi; Siemens; Cisco- Icon (UK)
The Problem Is Not The Starchitecture. The Problem Is What Gets Left Out Of The Discussion: ...iconic glass towers are the face of Global Capitalism, which becomes more and more unpopular...more and more architects are getting tired of this narrow emphasis, and that more and more of the public are catching on too. By John Massengale -- Roman and Williams; Frank Gehry; Taavo Somer; Robert A.M. Stern- Massengale.com
Must these ghastly slabs be Boris's legacy to London? The Mayor has defied all opposition to allow yet more towers and rectangles for foreigners to buy-to-leave: ...waved through Royal Mail’s plan for 10 slabs of luxury flats...The form of the development is essentially 1980s...No respect is shown for contour or urban context...There is an alternative. By Simon Jenkins -- Create Streets- Evening Standard (UK)
Developers take note as Mayor Walsh seeks bold design: Boston is enjoying a major building boom, yet the design of many recent buildings is bland and boxy...“Developers will now be looking at how to create a revenue benefit from the extra expense of creating better designs to add to the skyline.” -- Cesar Pelli; Tim Love/Utile/Boston Society of Architects (BSA); Elizabeth Whittaker/Merge Architects- Boston Herald
Behemoth on the Beach: Christian de Portzamparc's massive, much-maligned Cidade das Artes is a grandiose emblem of Rio de Janeiro's ambitions: ...a thoughtful response to the original brief, though it is overscaled and overly complex...a forbidding performing-arts complex of Piranesian proportions...this is not a forward-looking building...elevated veranda...may be its saving grace. By Hattie Hartman [images]- Architectural Record
A Piece of Yale’s Library Is Brought Back to Life: Stained-glass and ceiling vaults that had all but disappeared under 80 years of grime are back on display at Sterling Memorial Library’s entrance hall, known as the nave. By David W. Dunlap -- James Gamble Rogers (1930); Helpern Architects- New York Times
Sterling restored: The heart of the university as you’ve never seen it before: Sterling Memorial Library has always been one of the main attractions on anyone’s Yale tour...the nave reopened after an 18-month restoration, and it is more stunning than ever. By Mark Alden Branch -- Helpern Architects [images]- Yale Alumni Magazine
Interview with Albert Speer: The Search for Sustainability at the Qatar World Cup: Does it make sense for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup? ...Speer, whose office is in charge of the project, says yes - and is doing all he can to ensure sustainability...he says how. -- AS&P/Albert Speer & Partner- Der Spiegel (Germany)
Comment> Michael Sorkin: Two hundred and fifty things an architect should know: #1: The feel of cool marble under bare feet. #18: How to unclog a rapidograph. #127: Scissors, stone, paper. #242: Your neighbors.- The Architect's Newspaper
AIA 2015 Honors & Awards: Twenty-five Year Award: Broadgate Exchange House, London, by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) + Institute Honor Awards in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Regional & Urban Design -- BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; KieranTimberlake; Davis Brody Bond; Studios Architecture; Trahan Architects; CBT Architects; EE&K, a Perkins Eastman company; etc. [links to images, info]- AIArchitect
The Best Architecture and Design Shows Opening in the US in 2015: "Ron Arad: Pressed Flowers"; "Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio"; "Latin America in Construction: Architecture from 1955-1980"; "Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today"; "David Adjaye"; Chicago Architecture Biennial; Cooper Hewitt National Design Triennial. By Anna Kats- Artinfo
Shadow Architecture: Political Toilets and Makeshift Bazars: ...Aleksandra Wasilkowska, vice-president of the Polish Architectural Association in Warsaw, about her new book "Shadow Architecture" and future projects: At 36, the most promising architect in Poland is making a name for herself by focusing on the small-scale constructions of the so-called informal economy. By Anna Kats- Artinfo
Exhibition Review: "New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America" at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC: ...one almost longs for the days when a design museum could display beautiful objects, without having to come up with elaborate themes and theses. Must an exhibition always be a dissertation? ...sweeping and rewarding exhibition. By Fred A. Bernstein [images]- Architectural Record
Bringing city planning to the people who live with it: If you want to see how the rarefied topic of urban design can be presented in a downright friendly way, check out the Presidio’s current exhibition on its recent competition for a unique park above Crissy Field...“Gallery + Ideas Forum”... By John King -- James Corner Field Operations [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
Two Architects, Two Visions, One Diptych of Early Modernism: “Ways to Modernism; Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, and Their Impact,” an exhibition at MAK in Vienna, looks at the contrasting styles of two early Modernist architects...illustrates their designers’ conflicting visions of modernity at a time of renewed interest in their work. By Alice Rawsthorn [images]- New York Times
"Olafur Eliasson: Contact" at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris: A monographic exhibition devoted to the Danish-Icelandic artist complements the architecture of the strikingly sculptural building designed by Frank Gehry. By Magdalena Dabrowski [images by Iwan Baan]- Architectural Record
"Rethinking the Urban Landscape": ...argues the case to commit investment to 'green infrastructure' in the early stages of city and regeneration planning...Curated by The Building Centre and the Landscape Institute...includes many of the best international projects in its presentation of more than 50 schemes. [links to images, info]- The Building Centre, London
Landscape Architecture for a Changing World: "Landscapes of Change: Innovative Designs and Reinvented Sites" by Roxi Thoren...profiles 25 landscape projects that meet hybrid needs in response to the “changing context of landscape architectural design.” By Yoshi Silverstein- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Travel Guide: Seoul: South Korean capital has...assertively managed to attract vast amounts of culture and commerce. By Ulf Meyer -- Rafael Viñoly/Samoo; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); MASS Studies; Daniel Libeskind; Nikken Sekkei (with Archiban Architects, Jung Lin Architects); Thom Mayne/Morphosis; Kim In Cheurl/Archium; SO-IL Architects; Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF); Platoon and Graft Architects + Baik Jiwon; MVRDV; Kim Joong-up; Kim Swoo-geun; Kim Seok-jai; Lee Hee-tae; Haeahn Architecture + H Architecture; Yoo Kerl/iArc Architects; GAP Architekten; Dominique Perrault; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Iroje Architects/Seung Hyo-sang; Steven HollArchitects/E.rae Architects; etc. [images]
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