Today’s News - Monday, March 16, 2015
• A sad way to start the day, but also inspiring and well worth reading (not boiler-plate obits): eloquent tributes to Michael Graves by Iovine, Hawthorne, Jacobs, Sachs (who met up with him on March 4), and Capps.
• Bozikovic and Glancey pay eloquent tribute to Frei Otto, and Pritzker people gather homages from Pritzker laureates, jury members, and others.
• Another piece of sad news: the Battersea Arts Centre catches fire in the midst of restoration - a ray of good news: "The fire crew managed to save two thirds of the grade II*-listed building, including its 'priceless' octagonal glass dome."
• In the continuing saga of Rudolph's Orange County Government Center, county officials offer legislators opposed to its demolition "more time to negotiate on how much to demolish" (and maybe give it "another chance").
• It's Dunlop vs. Davis re: how to proceed with bringing back Mackintosh's library at the Glasgow School of Art.
• A judge rules that Chicago's Friends of the Parks can proceed with its lawsuit against the Lucas museum's plans to build on the city's lakefront; meanwhile, the museum remains "committed to and focused on building in Chicago."
• Hume hails Foster's design for the 80-story The One that "gives reason to hope for architecture in Toronto. Though there are parts that look like an afterthought - this is as elegant a proposal as the city has seen in awhile."
• Bozikovic x 2: Foster's The One "will be sold with that catchphrase, and it will in some ways earn that title. The design is tall, brawny and complex."
• He sees great promise in redevelopment plans for the Honest Ed's site in Toronto: Mirvish Village "has the opportunity to set a good example and seems to be doing so: this project would feel like it belongs in the city."
• "Overrated Design" x 3: Saffron on "what champions of urban density get wrong: You can't create instant urbanism or fill streets with people simply by throwing up a few tall buildings."
• Capps makes a case against open design competitions: "they're a lot of wasted work by a lot of talented people. Let's stop pretending that it takes a haystack to find a needle" (there are alternatives).
• Pedersen explains why Mies's Seagram Building "is the mid-century modernist equivalent of the gigantic hit record," responsible for generations of "soulless office towers" (with "none of the refinement and charm" of the original).
• One way to end a downer of a news day: a lively Q&A with Hadid: What are your frustrations? "I don't have any frustrations. If you want an easy life, don't be an architect."
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Obituary: Vanguard Architect Who Revered the Past: Michael Graves...was dedicated to a deeply personal exploration of classical forms and an unflagging belief in humanistic traditions...he aimed to make design approachable at every scale. By Julie V. Iovine- Wall Street Journal
Michael Graves, 80; pioneering figure in postmodern architecture: Not many architects can claim to have spearheaded a major design movement. Graves played a prominent role in three...a thread connecting that disparate work...a deeply felt populism...designs themselves...have begun to look fresh to designers, architects, critics and curators in their 20s and 30s, many of them raised on a steady diet of flat-roofed, Dwell-magazine style neomodernism, which now can look conservative or dull. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Richard Meier; Peter Eisenman; Charles Gwathmey; John Hejduk; New York Five- Los Angeles Times
An Ode to Michael Graves: Remembering the remarkably inventive career of the late architect, as summarized by four diverse projects: Considering the direction that Graves later took, it’s fascinating that he was once more Corbu than Corbu. By Karrie Jacobs- Architect Magazine
A tribute to architect Michael Graves and the small-town life he embraced: On March 4, I met with him to discuss his decades-long career...The piece is Graves’s final tribute to his beloved town, but it is also my appreciation of Graves, who shared his talents and whimsy with the world but always kept his heart in Princeton. By Andrea Sachs- Washington Post
Remembering Michael Graves for More Than the Portland Building: While [it] may be his best known accomplishment, the architect should be remembered...for the ways he enlivened parts of life that most people never stop to consider...[his] reputation as a formidable foe of convention will remain untarnished. Advocates for architecture and for the disabled alike will be thinking about his ideas for many years to come. By Kriston Capps- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Frei Otto: an architectural dreamer who was ahead of the curve: Otto’s career offers a lesson: Don’t be evil. Be beautiful – but also useful. By Alex Bozikovic- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Frei Otto: Architect who created structural wonders by borrowing from the natural world: He was...a warm humanist, a man who loved nature, and was an idealist. He was always thinking ahead, building, he said, “castles in the sky”, even as he worked to shape environmentally responsible lightweight structures on the ground. By Jonathan Glancey- Guardian (UK)
Tributes to Frei Otto: from Pritzker Prize laureates, jury members, and others -- Peter Palumbo; Shigeru Ban; Zaha Hadid; Frank Gehry; Thom Mayne; Renzo Piano; Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron; Norman Foster; Richard Meier; Kristin Feireiss; Richard Rogers; Glenn Murcutt; Benedetta Tagliabue; Yung Ho Chang; Stephen Breyer; Alejandro Aravena- The Hyatt Foundation
Battersea Arts Centre fire destroys grand hall: The fire crew managed to save two thirds of the grade II*-listed building, including its ‘priceless’ octagonal glass dome...was undergoing the final phases of a £13.3million restoration programme... -- Haworth Tompkins [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Legislators try to stop Orange County Government Center demolition: Lawmakers who oppose demolition failed to get enough votes, but county officials offer more time to negotiate...on how much to demolish...legislators...have lost faith in Clark, Patterson Lee. They also want to give the government center...treasured the world over, another chance. -- Paul Rudolph- The Chronicle (Orange County, NY)
Mackintosh Library to be restored: A lost opportunity? Alan Dunlop asserts below that Mackintosh himself sought new forms in architecture and that there are architects capable of designing a new Library to live within his original masterpiece. Michael Davis...explains why he believes that restitution of the original Mackintosh scheme is the only credible approach.- BBC (UK)
Park advocates' lawsuit against Lucas museum can proceed, judge rules: Friends of the Parks filed a lawsuit in November against the Chicago Park District and the city of Chicago over the museum plans, contending the proposed site near Lake Michigan violates the public trust...Lucas Museum of Narrative Art said they remain committed to and focused on building in Chicago.- Chicago Tribune
Bloor/Yonge condo tower stands tall, very tall: An 80-storey mixed-used proposal gives reason to hope for architecture in Toronto: ...what matters more than architecture? Norman Foster’s scheme for [The One] would be an impressive addition to any skyline. Though there are parts that look like an afterthought...this is as elegant a proposal as the city has seen in awhile. By Christopher Hume -- Foster + Partners [images]- Toronto Star
New Yonge and Bloor tower would be Toronto’s tallest: Is it The One? The new development...will be sold with that catchphrase, and it will in some ways earn that title. The design...is tall, brawny and complex...places 72 levels of apartments on top of an eight-level luxury shopping mall... By Alex Bozikovic -- Foster + Partners; Core Architects [images]- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Redevelopment of Honest Ed’s in Toronto holds several surprises: “There’s no place like this place&hellip anyplace"...Mirvish Village will live up to that slogan...Not every Torontonian will be happy...has the opportunity to set a good example and seems to be doing so: this project would feel like it belongs in the city. By Alex Bozikovic -- Gregory Henriquez; Janet Rosenberg- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Overrated Design: What Champions Of Urban Density Get Wrong: Just because it's physically possible to squeeze more buildings and people into a city doesn't mean that you should: What gets lost in the conversation is that density is a function of existing transit and infrastructure. You can’t create instant urbanism or fill streets with people simply by throwing up a few tall buildings...density has to be relative to what already exists. By Inga Saffron- Fast Company / Co. Design
Overrated Design: The Case Against Open Design Competitions: ...they're a lot of wasted work by a lot of talented people: Maya Lin gave the nation its greatest war memorial...But today her name is a false flag when it comes to public debates about design...Alternatives to open-ended calls for designs can lead to better outcomes all around...Let’s stop pretending that it takes a haystack to find a needle. By Kriston Capps- Fast Company / Co. Design
Overrated Design: Hate Your Soulless Office Tower? Blame The Seagram Building: Mies van der Rohe's famed New York City skyscraper is the mid-century modernist equivalent of the gigantic hit record: This is especially apparent - almost painfully apparent - on the building’s home turf...All of these buildings loosely employ the same vocabulary (with none of the refinement and charm)...What this has done...is rob the Seagram Building of its visceral punch. By Martin C. Pedersen [images]- Fast Company / Co. Design
Zaha Hadid: It's Tough Being an Arab Woman in the Architecture Business: What are your frustrations? "I don't have any frustrations. If you want an easy life, don't be an architect." By Alain Elkann- Huffington Post
Travel Guide: Taiwan: Taipei City, Taichung City, Kaohsiung: The cities impress; not because of their beauty, but because of their vitality. The architectural qualities do not reveal themselves at first glance - you have to know where to look. By Ulf Meyer -- C.Y. Lee; Toyo Ito; Richard Rogers; Uheiji Nagano (1919); Chen Chi-Kwan/I.M. Pei (1963); Wang Ta-hung; Yang Cho-Cheng; Norihiko Dan; Jay W. Chiu/Chuang Hsueh-neng; Kuo Ying-chao/Bio Architecture Formosana; Er-Pan Kao; LIAO Weili/Ambi Studio; Justus Dahinden; Kris Yao/Artech; OMA/Artech/Projekt; Kerry Hill/TIA Architects [images]
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