Today’s News - Tuesday, April 21, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: We have a busy two days ahead of us, with the AIANY Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, and the new Whitney media zoo - 'er - preview on Thursday. ANN will return to your inbox on Friday, April 24.
• Anderton pays eloquent and heartfelt tribute to the Annenberg Foundation's Leonard Aube, gone much, much too soon: he "brought a humility and street smarts to his position, coupled with a polite tenacity. His public engagement was also part and parcel of the Foundation's growing role in creating civic, 'place-based initiatives.'"
• Lubell pays tribute to Asa Hanamoto, a "pioneering post-war landscape architect" who "blazed a trail for then-nascent fields of environmental and community planning."
• Pearson parses Piano's Whitney: it "doesn't represent a bold new direction in architecture. But it combines the maturity of an architect who has been honing his craft for five decades with a jolt of big-city energy" (with good and "less photogenic" sides).
• Kamin cheers Gang's second version of Chicago's "Big Wanda" tower that has "has moved from disappointing to very promising," and could end up "as a worthy skyline gal-pal for "Big John" (a.k.a. Hancock Center).
• Bozikovic gives thumbs-up - and down - to the University of Toronto Mississauga Innovation Centre that "shows the fine design line between good and great. I wonder whether the builders and architects could have produced a great one" (a few bushes would help).
• Litt lets us in on what the "misgivings" were re: Fentress's Cleveland Museum of Natural History's expansion plan - before it won design review approval.
• James Fallows offers his lively take on how "nice downtowns" got that way: it's "tempting" to think they happened naturally, but it's a "long, deliberate process."
• There's nothing natural about plans for a $1 billion, 420-acre mega-mall at the Grand Canyon, and critical war cries are already being heard.
• A look at the reasons why wooden skyscrapers aren't catching on the way one would expect (lack of experienced designers and builders included).
• Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Michael Green's timber T3 tower "is moving ahead at a glacial pace. The issue may be one of perception."
• Hawken reviews Sydney's new Barangaroo Point park and its "rocky history": "some promising initial designs appear to have been compromised. The division of the disciplines of architecture and landscape, in a structure that so evidently calls for their close integration, is a major loss" for the city.
• An L.A. kind of day: Heathcote considers how "drought threatens the fragile paradise of Los Angeles. The desert might be coming back to haunt the suburbs."
• Gold, meanwhile, lauds LA's Sustainable City pLAn: "There's something for everyone" - it "puts the region on the right track for us all to thrive in a denser, hotter LA."
• Tuhus-Dubrow's take on L.A.'s Sustainable City pLAn: it "could have been drafted by Al Gore - an emerging mythology of a more sustainable, responsible, and communal city could serve as a model for other not-so-green cities."
• Stephens cheers L.A.'s 50 Parks Initiative: "with a handful of vacant lots, Los Angeles - the city of big egos and big dreams - has finally realized that small is beautiful."
• The Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria calls for the government to "prioritize land design," and recognize landscape architecture as a profession (a good idea in our book!).
• Sadik-Khan talks about her tactical urbanism-style approach to her success as NYC DOT Commish: "The new blueprint is not anti-car. It's pro choice" - and the "speed of delivery was new."
• Two takes on the young Tehran architect making her(!) mark with a stunning pedestrian bridge: despite sanctions, she's "garnering awards and paving the way for a new, more avant garde generation of Iranian designers."
• Eyefuls of the AIA 2015 Housing Awards (great presentation) + RAIC Innovation in Architecture awards to two British Columbia projects "that demonstrate new ways to use wood and steel" (MGA, again).
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DnA/Frances Anderton: Remembering Leonard Aube (1959-2015), a Maker of Civic Space: was Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation...Before his untimely death...brought a humility and street smarts to his position, coupled with a polite tenacity...His public engagement was also part and parcel of the Foundation’s growing role in creating civic, “place-based initiatives”...- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Obituary: ASA HANAMOTO, 1923–2015: Pioneering post-war landscape architect...over a career that lasted more than five decades...blazed a trail for then-nascent fields of environmental and community planning. By Sam Lubell -- Eckbo, Royston & Williams; RHBA (now RHAA) [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Talk of the Town: ...the Whitney builds a new home that reaches out to its neighbors: ...it has its good side and its less photogenic profile...The one thing Piano took from the Breuer building was “the unpretentious spirit of its spaces. We didn't want it to be snobby"...doesn't represent a bold new direction in architecture. But it combines the maturity of an architect who has been honing his craft for five decades with a jolt of big-city energy. By Clifford A. Pearson -- Marcel Breuer; Michael Graves; Rem Koolhaas; Renzo Piano [images]- Architectural Record
Jeanne Gang Does Better in Second Version of New Chicago Skyscraper: Wanda Vista Tower would be Chicago's third-tallest skyscraper and the world's tallest building designed by a woman-owned firm...“Big Wanda” tower has moved from disappointing to very promising...Further refinements might even make her a worthy skyline gal-pal for "Big John," the X-braced John Hancock Center. By Blair Kamin -- Studio Gang Architects; Olin [images]- Chicago Tribune
University of Toronto Mississauga Innovation Centre shows the fine design line between good and great: ...announces itself with a flash...a balance between assertiveness and politesse...Under its remarkable surface...is fairly modest in its aspirations...delivered with a high level of workmanship in...a remarkably short timeline...Still, it is no bargain...A $30-million building, and no money for some shrubs? ...a good building: I wonder whether the builders and architects could have produced a great one. By Alex Bozikovic -- Moriyama & Teshima Architects- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Cleveland Museum of Natural History's $150 million expansion plan wins design review approval, despite misgivings: ...calls for adding a new lobby and exhibit wing that would replace the museum's drab existing facade facing Wade Oval... By By Steven Litt -- Fentress Architects [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way? Lessons via places ranging from Fresno to Shanghai: It's tempting, if you haven't seen the varied stages of this process, to imagine that some cities just "naturally" have attractive and successful downtowns, and others just don't...But in every city we've visited with a good downtown, we've heard accounts of the long, deliberate process that led to today's result. By James Fallows- The Atlantic
Critics battle plan to build $1bn mall at the Grand Canyon: ...plan to erect an IMAX cinema, shops, hotels and fast food cafes...420-acre Grand Canyon Escalade would cater to the 5 million tourists...and include a Gondola Tramway, designed to take travelers from the rim to an "elevated riverwalk" along the canyon's floor.- International Business Times (IBTimes)
What’s Holding Back the Wooden Skyscraper? They offer robust carbon sequestering and have the potential to reach skyscraper heights, so why aren’t we building more...impediments: limited awareness of emerging timber technologies, maintenance costs and fire risk...limited legislative support from government...lack of experienced designers...lack of experienced builders...- Sourceable
Big Wood: Michael Green Architecture and Hines back engineered lumber in Minneapolis: T3 office tower would be the tallest mass timber building in the United States...Despite the advantages associated with mass timber, T3 is moving ahead at a glacial pace...The issue may be one of perception. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Rocky history: Barangaroo Point: As the “natural” sandstone headland and associated park...nears completion, Scott Hawken finds some promising initial designs appear to have been compromised...The division of the disciplines of architecture and landscape, in a structure that so evidently calls for their close integration, is a major loss for Sydney...the story of past and present is all the weaker for it. By Scott Hawken -- Hill Thalis; Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture; Paul Berkemeier Architecture; Johnson Pilton Walker/JPW; Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture/PWP; Peter Emmett [images]- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Parched earth and a doomed Californian dream: Drought threatens the fragile paradise of Los Angeles...All topography is shaped by water but, in California, the cities were made by water too. The question is how different they might need to look when it runs out. The desert might be coming back to haunt the suburbs. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Optimism Trumps Reality: Mark Gold Lauds LA Sustainable City pLAn: Despite our tough grading, I'm optimistic that implementation of the city's ambitious and comprehensive plan could move them to the honor roll in the next decade or two...There's something for everyone...Mayor Garcetti's pLAn puts the region on the right track for us all to thrive in a denser, hotter LA. -- UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability- The Planning Report
L.A. Existential: Los Angeles wants to shed its image as an auto-dystopia. In the era of the drought, can it sell the myth of a green, sustainable city? ...new sustainability “pLAn” could have been drafted by Al Gore...a place known for defying natural limitations is beginning to try to honor them...an emerging mythology of a more sustainable, responsible, and communal city...could serve as a model for other not-so-green cities. By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow- Slate
L.A. Builds Tiny Parks at Furious Pace: 50 Parks Initiative...to promote the development of 50 parks in underserved areas of the city...now more than halfway to its goal...with a handful of vacant lots, Los Angeles - the city of big egos and big dreams - has finally realized that small is beautiful. By Josh Stephens- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN) Urge Government to Prioritise Land Design: "Landscape Architecture should be embraced by all as a profession of our time in the design of outdoor spaces and places. At the moment, [it] is not found in the civil service scheme of service." -- Deborah Wanya Nenchi- Daily Trust (Nigeria)
Janette Sadik-Khan: Work Fast to Change the Status Quo: Former NYC DOT Commissioner says a nimble, tactical-urbanism-style approach was key to her success...“The new blueprint is ... not anti-car. It’s pro choice."...None of the projects...were particularly new ideas, but she said, “the speed of delivery was new...We changed the mindset of the status quo.”- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Take it to the bridge: the Tehran architect striking the right chord in Iran and beyond: Leila Araghian was 26 when she came up with Tabiat bridge. Five years on, the 270-metre structure is a reality, despite sanctions, garnering awards and paving the way for a new, more avant garde generation of Iranian designers. By Saeed Kamali Dehghan -- Diba Tensile Architecture [images]- Guardian (UK)
The award-winning bridge connecting Iranians: Project dubbed as 'the third symbol of Tehran' earns international recognition for architect Leila Araghian: Pol-e-Tabiat, or Nature Bridge...has won three awards in Iran...picked its first international recognition, winning a 2015 Popular Choice prize in...Architizer A+Awards. -- Alireza Behzadi; Diba Tensile Architecture [images]- Al Jazeera
AIA Selects 10 Recipients for the 2015 Housing Awards: ...promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life. -- David Baker Architects; Kevin Daly Architects; Jonathan Segal, FAIA; William Rawn Associates, Architects; WRT; Studio Twenty Seven Architecture/Leo A Daly; Joeb Moore & Partners; HGA Architects and Engineers; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design/Applied Research; Olson Kundig Architects [images]- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
RAIC names winners of Innovation in Architecture award: Two British Columbia projects that demonstrate new ways to use wood and steel...Wood Innovation Design Centre and One Fold... -- MGA | Michael Green Architecture; Patkau Architects [images]- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
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