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Today’s News - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow is this week's "floating" no-newsletter day - we'll be back Thursday, May 21.

•   Volner evaluates the odds of the Guggenheim winning the hearts of Helsinki, which "has become the latest battleground in an ongoing conflict over how - and whether - small cities should accommodate expansionist mega-museums - the 'Bilbao effect' has proven a difficult formula for the Guggenheim to replicate."

•   Farago totally {hearts} the new Whitney, and "the low expectations before the opening" leading to "the joy bordering on giddiness with which it has been greeted. It is civic, astute, winningly modest in both materials and form. It is glorious."

•   Miami's Historic Preservation Board signs off on Gauld's "massive" expansion plans for the Bass Museum.

•   Bernstein is less than impressed with the Swiss Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015: "the world's most equitable supermarket" may be aiming "to teach a lesson about shortages and waste" with a "big gimmick demonstrated through architecture. But the idea isn't executed in a way that makes sense."

•   Wainwright x 2: Mecanoo's new arts center for Manchester is "a low-slung, dour affair" and "a sorely missed architectural opportunity" that "exhibits all the clumsy hallmarks of the local council design-and-build procurement process," which is "a shame" for a city "whose architecture was once such a source of civic pride."

•   On the other hand, he considers FAT and Grayson Perry's House for Essex, "a tour de force of narrative design, an autobiography wrought in the vessel of a home. The level of detail is truly astounding."

•   Bevan finds A House for Essex to be "a kitsch haven - serious rather than silly in its playfulness and the architecture is sophisticated...a magical shrine in the landscape."

•   Woodman wanders the "deliriously madcap little building" that is A House for Essex: "Pretentious? Absolutely. And yet the project's boundless visual imagination ultimately carries the day."

•   NORD's new home for the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice will be "strangely familiar but curiously new" with four linked villas that "reflect the traditional architecture of that area of Glasgow. Inside, it will be all mod cons" (we wish there were images!).

•   A shipping container village of local restaurants, cultural events, and retail by Gehl Studio and OpenScope Studio opens on San Francisco's waterfront.

•   While "'cargotecture' is all the rage in the architecture world," there are "8 things architects should consider before designing with shipping containers."

•   MVRDV has high hopes of bringing a "High Line effect" to Seoul by turning an abandoned stretch of 1970s highway into "a park on a pedestal. We'll be watching to see if starchitect-designed condos, hotels, and restaurants crop up nearby."

•   Detroit considers "a new future for I-375, America's shortest (and arguably silliest) Interstate" - it's "an opportunity to breathe life back into a portion of the city's urban core that was long ago stripped of culture and vibrancy."

•   The Australian Institute of Architects is feeling the heat from the Building Designers Association of Victoria about the AIA's "Ask An Architect" campaign (on billboards, no less!) that "compares designers and draughtsmen to butchers in a vegetarian world" - and leading to broader discussions.

•   Esperdy offers a most eloquent intro to Douglas Haskell, "once a leading voice in design journalism, now largely forgotten" (though he did coin the term "Googie"), and his 1958 essay "Architecture and Popular Taste" (both are great reads!).

•   Help Wanted: AIANY and Center for Architecture launch a search for a new Executive Director.

•   Eyefuls of the RIBA London Awards.

•   Eyefuls of the Architectural League Prize 2015 portfolio competition winners (great presentation).

•   Call for entries: 2015 Expanded Environment Awards: MONSTER: ideas about how extreme combinations of architectural form, material, and programs can reshape our built worlds and the way we think of them.


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