Today’s News - Thursday, May 21, 2015
• Giovannini thinks "Piano got it right" with the new Whitney: "It opens to the city and takes it inside - open, accessible, energized, urban, fun," and he thoughtfully parses Piano's other American museums (a most excellent read!).
• Szenasy wonders: "Why do we need to segregate social consciousness as a marginal practice in architecture" when it "should be at the center of contemporary architecture and design."
• The Missing 32% survey report "takes a deep dive into the state of equity in the architectural profession, and sheds some new light on the different obstacles female and male designers face."
• We could almost hear a collective sigh of relief with news that the Four Seasons restaurant is safe: new carpeting allowed, but "the planters and pivoting panels were another story" ("I'm going to do what I think should be done. I'm spending 20 million bucks restoring it," sayeth the owner).
• Betsky, meanwhile, ponders the Four Seasons' fate: "My first reaction is that the changes seem so minor that I do not quite understand the depth of their concern - but it makes a larger point: We need to figure out how to protect our best buildings without pickling."
• Brown x 2 re: Calatrava's WTC transit hub ("the world's most expensive train station"): the architect says he's "been treated like a dog" on a project "meant to be a jewel of the 16-acre development site" - not "a budgetary boondoggle" - but not all due to "the complex aesthetic design."
• PANYNJ's problems with Calatrava and Childs "speak to the broader tense and delicate environment that has defined the WTC redevelopment - so much so that the main agency overseeing it is loath to have some of its designers speak freely."
• A veritable who's who of Canadian architecture sign an open letter re: the Memorial to the Victims of Communism on Ottawa's Parliament Hill: given "the widespread public outcry about the planned location" and "the serious nature of that which you plan to commemorate, we ask that you find an alternate site to proceed with this project."
• Froud doesn't begrudge Assemble being shortlisted for the Turner Prize (it does "make beautiful places"), but "if it had been nominated for the Stirling Prize, it would be worth investing time in soul-searching conversations re: the nature of practice, models of practice, the economic viability of practicing in this way."
• Meanwhile, Assemble plans to turn RIBA HQ into a "Brutalist Playground" by recreating (in foam) "some of the elements of the abstract concrete playgrounds that were designed for Brutalist housing estates in the mid-20th century."
• Wainwright is quite taken by the transformation of Buffalo's Silo City: "Derelict for decades, too expensive to maintain or demolish, it is finally being reborn - as a fun-filled leisure-scape" called RiverWorks (a "Stonehenge" beer hall included - beerhenge?).
• Eyefuls of DS+R's "spiraling design" for the U.S. Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs, "inspired by the movement of athletes."
• An impressive team wins the Olympicopolis competition in London.
• A 10,000-room mega hotel is on its way to Mecca (helipads included): it "looks like a semi-futuristic, sand-colored, desert version of a 1930s Manhattan high-rise."
• NCARB ditches the term "intern," and its Intern Development Program will have to be renamed (by a Future Title Task Force, of course).
• Heartfelt, charming (and sometimes amusing) tributes to Michael Graves by some amazing people who knew him.
• Gehry's $4.5 million Winton Guest House auctioned off for $905,000: "It's a bargain for an architectural masterpiece" (until you factor in the cost of moving it!).
• Call for entries: 2015 Detroit Design Festival: North America's Festival of Independent Design seeks large-scale installations focused on the theme of "play" + "Dear Architecture": write a letter about architecture, as a concept, as a social practice, and as a community.
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Unpacking the Museum: Renzo Piano’s American Museums and His New Whitney: ...acknowledges the surrounding environment, a willing participant in the push and pull of buildings high and low, ugly and beautiful...not only looks like the city around it - it behaves like a small city...open, accessible, energized, urban, fun...It opens to the city and takes it inside...Boredom never sets in...Piano got it right. By Joseph Giovannini -- Michael Graves; Marcel Breuer; Cooper, Robertson & Partners- Los Angeles Review of Books
Design Needs a Social Conscience: The drive to improve living conditions for all life should be at the center of contemporary architecture and design. Why do we need to segregate social consciousness as a marginal practice in architecture? By Susan S. Szenasy -- Structures for Inclusion; Bryan Bell/Design Corps; SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design)- Metropolis Magazine
Equity by Design: The Missing 32% Project Releases Complete Findings on Women in Architecture: The report takes a deep dive into the responses from its survey on the state of equity in the architectural profession...sheds some new light on the different obstacles female and male designers face in their careers. -- AIA San Francisco- Architect Magazine
Four Seasons Restaurant's Iconic Modernist Design Is Safe: Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the green light...to install new carpeting...The planters and pivoting panels were another story. -- Philip Johnson (1958); Annabelle Selldorf; Belmont Freeman; Alex Herrera; Robert A.M. Stern; Phyllis Lambert [images]- Curbed New York
The Four Seasons: What to Preserve? ...there are some people who want to keep it exactly the way it is...we should take note of their concerns...My first reaction is that the changes...seem so minor that I do not quite understand the depth of their concern...I think the architecture could handle it...This is a rarefied situation, but it makes a larger point: We need to figure out how to protect our best buildings without pickling... By Aaron Betsky -- Philip Johnson (1958); Phyllis Lambert; Robert A.M. Stern- Architect Magazine
World Trade Center Station’s Troubles Take Toll on Architect: ‘I have been treated like a dog,’ says Santiago Calatrava: ...the project was meant to be a jewel of the 16-acre development site...Instead, it has become a budgetary boondoggle...But the complex aesthetic design was only one of a long list of challenges officials involved said added to the cost...."we’re not quite sure what to make of Dr. Calatrava’s musings"... By Eliot Brown- Wall Street Journal
With Calatrava, Port Authority Struggles With Another Top Architect: ...[he] is frustrated with the public reception thus far of the World Trade Center transportation hub...PANYNJ...telling him to coordinate all press inquiries with the agency [and] revoked site access of his deputy...a not dissimilar situation with David Childs/Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)...The two experiences speak to the broader tense and delicate environment that has defined the WTC redevelopment...so much so that the main agency overseeing it is loath to have some of its designers speak freely. By Eliot Brown- Wall Street Journal
Open Letter: Why the Memorial to the Victims of Communism needs a new site: We trust that the widespread public outcry about the planned location...is a matter of the utmost concern to you. Given the serious nature of that which you plan to commemorate...we ask that you honour the long-standing vision and plan for the judicial precinct, and that you find an alternate site to proceed with this project. -- ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture; Council for Canadian Urbanism; Canadian Institute of Planners; Canadian Society of Landscape Architects; Heritage Ottawa; RAIC/Architecture Canada- Globe and Mail (Canada)
The conversation would be different if Assemble was nominated for the Stirling: ...collaborative model for the production of space has rightly been recognised as something of value...But I no more see this as being about ‘architecture’ the professional activity being nominated for the Turner Prize than I do Assemble as being ‘architects’...would be a whole different conversation if it had been nominated for the Stirling Prize. Then it would be worth investing time in soul-searching conversations re the nature of practice, models of practice, the economic viability of practising in this way. By Daisy Froud- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Assemble to turn RIBA into Brutalist Playground: Turner Prize-shortlisted architects aim for blockbuster summer show...will fill the Carmody Groarke-designed gallery on the ground floor at Portland Place...will recreate in reconstituted foam some of the elements of the abstract concrete playgrounds that were designed for brutalist housing estates in the mid-20th century... [images]- BD/Building Design (UK)
Tubular belles: Derelict for decades, too expensive to maintain or demolish, Buffalo’s Silo City is finally being reborn – as a fun-filled leisure-scape [RiverWorks] By Oliver Wainwright- RIBA Journal (UK)
Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils spiralling design for US Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs: "Inspired by the movement of athletes"... -- Anderson Mason Dale Architects; Gallagher and Associates [images]- Dezeen
Revealed: winner in Olympicopolis competition: The 70,000m² scheme at Stratford Waterfront is set to house new outposts for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells and the University of the Arts London. The Smithsonian Institution is also in discussions... -- Allies and Morrison; O’Donnell & Tuomey; Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia; Gustafson Porter; Buro Happold [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Mecca soon to host the world's largest hotel: $3.5-billion Abraj Kudai will be home to 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, a shopping mall, "royal floors," prayer halls, and a convention center, all spread among 12 separate towers topped with helipads...looks like a semi-futuristic, sand-colored, desert version of a 1930s Manhattan high-rise. -- Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners); Areen Hospitality [images]- USA Today
NCARB to Discontinue Use of the Term "Intern": Controversy has surrounded the use of the term for graduates with degrees in architecture but who have not completed the architectural licensing exams...the board will rename what is now called the Intern Development Program [IDP] Guidelines...- Contract magazine
A Special Tribute to Michael Graves: 1934–2015: Cherished friends, colleagues, and collaborators remember the multifaceted personality and contemplate the architect's legacy. -- Peter Waldman; Kenneth Frampton; Alan Chimacoff; Leon Krier; Karen Nichols; Donald Strum; Fran Lebowitz; Alberto Alessi; Ron Johnson; Robert A.M. Stern; David Mohney; Richard Meier; Peter Eisenman- Metropolis Magazine
Frank Gehry's $4.5 million Winton Guest House (1987) auctioned for $905,000: “It’s a bargain for an architectural masterpiece"...The new owner, an unidentified person from outside Minnesota, will have to move the building, at substantial additional cost... -- Victoria Young/University of St. Thomas- Minneapolis Star Tribune
Call for entries: 2015 Detroit Design Festival: North America’s Festival of Independent Design (international): large-scale public design installations focused on the theme of “play”; up to 10 installations to debut September 22-26; registration and/or submission deadlines: May 27 and July 15- Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3)
Call for entries: "Dear Architecture" (international): write a letter of no more than 500 words about architecture, as a concept, as a social practice, and as a community, with one illustration; cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): May 27 (sabmissions due July 24)- Blank Space
Henning Larsen Architects: Moesgaard Museum: Surrounded by woods on the outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark, the new MOMU...offers a new perspective on the role of the museum as a public space. By Robert Martin [images]
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