Today’s News - Thursday, April 16, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, April 20.
• Seward cheers Houston's quest for its "first comprehensive vision statement. But without spirited leadership to see its provisions through, and a little watch-dogging, it will just be a piece of paper."
• Kamin cheers seeing construction cranes on Chicago's skyline again, but the apartment building boom "has yet to give us architecture with a capital 'A,'" and two new towers make his point that they should be "assessed as much for their public presence as for the private amenities."
• King, meanwhile, takes us on a whirlwind tour of the Windy City "where the built terrain trumps anything that nature has to offer. Context meets kapow" (with a dash of Trump and hubris thrown in).
• Wainwright weighs in on London's "great garden swindle," with developers "using green garnish as a decoy to soften the blow of steroidal overdevelopment."
• Lindsay checks out San Francisco's Market Street Prototyping Festival, "a three-day trial run of more than 50 projects vying to become permanent additions to the city's most prominent thoroughfare."
• Baillieu has more than a few issues with open source architecture: "While many would agree the profession needs a good kicking, the idea that anyone can be an architect belongs with those other fruitcake utopian movements like the Metabolists and CIAM."
• Godsell's inaugural MPavilion lands at its permanent home at Melbourne's Hellenic Museum.
• 12 projects land on the AJ Building of the Year shortlist.
• One we couldn't resist: "5 most angry architects" (Herzog calls the H&deM-master planned 2015 Milan Expo a "bore and waste of money").
• Weekend diversions:
• Farago finds a few faults with MoMA's "Latin America in Construction": it "captures the grandeur of their vision, but unfortunately glosses over the period's nasty bits" - but he still thinks it's pretty terrific.
• "Chatter: Architecture Talks Back" at the Art Institute of Chicago "features five young architects who are shifting how building design engages the architectural canon" (comics and neon included).
• Rus revels in Gregory Ain taking center stage at L.A.'s WUHO gallery in a show that "celebrates an architect who did more than just talk about design for the so-called common man."
• "100 New Objects" at the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin celebrates the museum's 100 new acquisitions (including some great toys!).
• "Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks" at the Museum of the City of New York highlights "examples of the law's achievements as well as its controversies."
• Stephens ponders whether the world needs another tome about Robert Moses, "America's greatest dictator-planner": "It does when that book is Christin's and Balez's engaging, unexpected graphic novel - a human portrait of a hardened man and a stirring rendering of his works."
• Q&A with Locktov re: her "enchanting" book "Dream of Venice," and her love affair with La Serenissima (and lots of Charles Christopher's dreamy pix!).
• Acciavatti's "Ganges Water Machine" is "a magnificent portrait of the Ganges River Basin, and a timely and relevant volume of encyclopedic ambition and exquisite design."
• Merkel cheers "Saarinen Houses": apart from being "beautifully illustrated," it is "important because most writing about Eero pays far too little attention to the influence of his father, Eliel, or to the collaborative nature of both their practices."
• In an excerpt from "WOW: Experiential Design for a Changing World," Wow Architects "explain that anything is possible if you incorporate context into the building's form."
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Editorial> Houston at a Crossroads: America's fourth largest city is poised to leap ahead in its quest for world-class status: ...General Plan...first comprehensive vision statement...But without spirited leadership to see its provisions through, and a little watchdogging, it will just be a piece of paper, or web page rather, a declaration of aspirations. By Aaron Seward- The Architect's Newspaper
Chicago's apartment boom needs more top-shelf architecture: ...has restored construction cranes to the skyline but has yet to give us architecture with a capital "A"...the underwhelming Arkadia Tower...and the better-than-average JeffJack Apartments...ought to be assessed as much for their public presence as for the private amenities...And that's what separates them. By Blair Kamin -- FitzGerald Associates; Thomas Roszak Architecture [images]- Chicago Tribune
16 views of Chicago - where architecture reigns: ...the one American city that takes pride in all types of buildings, the old and new and short and tall. Devoted to art, shaped by hubris...where the built terrain trumps anything that nature has to offer - and puts The Donald in his place...Context meets kapow. By John King -- VOA Associates; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Adrian Smith/SOM; SCB; John Ronan Architects [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
The great garden swindle: how developers are hiding behind shrubbery: From trees on bridges to magical parks, London’s most damaging developments are using green garnish as a decoy to distract from what’s really going on...green dressing is being used to soften the blow of steroidal overdevelopment... By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Will San Francisco’s Market Street Be Redesigned Into a Place for Play? Market Street Prototyping Festival, a three-day trial run of more than 50 projects vying to become permanent additions to the city’s most prominent thoroughfare. By Greg Lindsay -- Lawrence Halprin (1970s); Jan Gehl/Gehl Studio [images]- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Architect-free architecture? I can see a few problems: Open source architecture has to be about more than giving away blueprints: While many would agree the profession needs a good kicking, the idea that anyone can be an architect...belongs with those other fruitcake utopian movements like the Metabolists and CIAM. But this time it comes with an internet connection. By Amanda Baillieu -- Carlo Ratti/MIT Senseable City Lab- BD/Building Design (UK)
Hellenic Museum's shifting dynamics: ...has welcomed a new architectural addition to its lawns after being gifted the Sean Godsell-designed MPavilion.- Neos Kosmos (Australia)
AJ120 Awards: Building of the Year shortlist announced: From a distillery in Scotland to a yacht club in Monaco...12 projects... -- BDP; Grimshaw; Reiach and Hall; Allies and Morrison; tb bennett; Page\Park; Haworth Tompkins; Foster + Partners; HTA Design; NORR; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios;Allford Hall Monaghan Morris [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
5 most angry architects: ...have been causing quite a stir lately, from Frank Gehry’s infamous middle finger to Zaha Hadid’s recent law suit...David Chipperfield has disowned a museum he designed...Jacques Herzog/Herzog & de Meuron...launched a scathing attack on the 2015 Milan Expo calling it a “bore and waste of money”...Jean Nouvel snubbed the opening of his new Philharmonie de Paris...- designMENA (Middle East)
"Latin America in Construction" at MoMA - a view on utopian dreams realized: Latin America’s rapid modernization in the mid-20th century led the region’s finest architects to push boundaries. This show captures the grandeur of their vision, but unfortunately glosses over the period’s nasty bits. By Jason Farago- Guardian (UK)
Architecture Talks Back at the Art Institute of Chicago: "Chatter: Architecture Talks Back" features five young architects who are shifting how building design engages the architectural canon...deploy a variety of new architectural media from comics to cinema to installations in neon. -- Bureau Spectacular; Erin Besler; Fake Industries Architectural Agonism; Formlessfinder; John Szot Studio- The Architect's Newspaper
How Midcentury Architect Gregory Ain Mixed Social Responsibility With Great Design: “Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and the Construction of a Social Landscape" at Woodbury School of Architecture’s WUHO gallery in Los Angeles, celebrates an architect who did more than just talk about design for the so-called common man. By Mayer Rus [images]- Architectural Digest
Little-Known Legends from the Bauhaus: "100 New Objects" at the Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin celebrates the museum's 100 new acquisitions...highlights among the additions to the collection are photographs and toys. [images]- Metropolis Magazine
New York City’s Landmark Preservation Movement Exhibited: "Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks" at the Museum of the City of New York will highlight examples of the law’s achievements as well as its controversies... -- Donald Albrecht; Wendy Evans Joseph; NR2154 [images]- Architect Magazine
"Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City": ...retells tale of America’s greatest dictator-planner...Does the world need yet another account of his crusade to build the 20th century's greatest city (and Jacobs' efforts to save its soul)? It does...when that book is Pierre Christin’s and Oliver Balez’s engaging, unexpected graphic novel...a human portrait of a hardened man and a stirring rendering of his works. By Josh Stephens [images]- PLANetizen
JoAnn Locktov on the enchanting new book, "Dream of Venice": ...answers our questions on the book's conception and her love affair with Venice, Italy. Photographs by Charles Christopher. [images]- New York Spaces
"Ganges Water Machine: Designing New India’s Ancient River": Anthony Acciavatti orchestrates a magnificent portrait of the Ganges River Basin, and its continuous reinvention as a test-bed for infrastructural innovation...a timely and relevant volume of encyclopedic ambition and exquisite design. By María Arquero de Alarcón [images]- ArchDaily
Father and Son, Together and Apart: "Saarinen Houses" by Jari Jetsonen and Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen: ...beautifully illustrated book...is important because most writing about Eero pays far too little attention to the influence of his father [Eliel] or to the collaborative nature of both their practices. By Jayne Merkel- Architectural Record
Asian hotels: a lesson in design: Singapore's Wow Architects explain that anything is possible if you incorporate context into the building's form: excerpt from "WOW: Experiential Design for a Changing World" by Darlene Smyth, Lyndon Neri, Oscar Riera Ojeda [images]- Independent (UK)
Interview: Enrique Norten/TEN Arquitectos: ...his recent projects and general approach to architecture..."It's a process and a lot of it is trial and error...It is not, as you say, a magical inspiration. It's not a doodle on a napkin. It's a lot of work...architecture is a group effort." By Morten Wilhelm Scholz [images]
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