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Today’s News - Friday, May 22, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be observing Memorial Day (U.S.) on Monday, and will return Tuesday, May 26. Happy (long) weekend!

•   ANN feature: Bongiorno explains how DesignGroup worked with the Columbus Museum of Art on an expansion, opening in October, that will make the museum more visible, relevant, and connected to the community.

•   Davidson x 2: Why the proposed Four Seasons renovation "was a test of the Landmarks Preservation Commission's willingness to stand up to an influential and relentless developer who acts as though the very fact that he's chosen to spend his money on something makes it by definition good."

•   His take on newly released image of Smith + Gill's Nordstrom Tower in Manhattan: "It's really freaking huge. I have no beef with raising the skyline of midtown, but super-tall skyscrapers don't necessarily belong where developers choose to put them."

•   The City of Sydney slams proposed modified plans for Barangaroo South: it "is not in the public interest and reduces the quality and quantity of public open space (by manipulating what is classed as public open space)," and appoints a review panel - with actual architects on board (what a concept!).

•   Saffron minces no words about what she thinks of redevelopment plan for Philly's "exuberant, art deco" Boyd Theatre that includes a "generic, charmless, bulky stack of rentable units" wrapped in metal panels. "That isn't architecture; it's a colorful form of weatherproofing."

•   King, on a brighter note, is quite taken with the new SFO control tower: "The expressive show brings a smile. But the hidden exertions deserve a nod, if only to remind us that it takes more than hitting the 'print' button to conjure up architectural moves that look so easy on a computer screen.

•   BIG's next Manhattan adventure won't "aspire to touch the clouds," but it will be "nestled" between the High Line and Gehry's IAC - and condos "will start at less than $4 million" - a bargain, these days! (alas, no images yet).

•   What architects and preservationists are doing to assess how to help Nepal.

•   Eyefuls of BTI's Cool School: Design for an Extreme Climate Competition winner and honorable mentions (very cool, indeed!).

•   Goldberger's take on critical relevance in the social media age: "One has to be nimble" (we do enjoy his often ironic/sardonic tweets!).

•   The NEA releases Creative Placemaking Guidelines, which include 2016 Our Town Grant and Technical Assistance Guidelines (deadline: September 21), and Report on Performing Arts and Transforming Place.

•   Gehry's just-auctioned Winton Guest House is moving 1,200 miles from its current Minnesota home to somewhere in the Hudson River Valley; the anonymous new owners "have pledged to preserve it."

•   More good Gehry news: he just won the 2015 Getty Medal for leadership in visual art.

•   The American Architectural Foundation honors Roche with the 2015 George M. White Award for Excellence in Public Architecture.

•   Sonja Bata receives an RAIC Lifetime Contribution Award for being "a strong advocate of design excellence and benefactor of architecture worldwide."

•   Scott Marble is named new chair of Georgia Tech's School of Architecture.

•   A good reason to head to California next week: Dwell on Design Los Angeles (wish we could go!).

•   Weekend diversions:

•   Eyefuls (and videos) of Danish artist Jeppe Hein's 1.3-mile-long installation "Please Touch the Art" in Brooklyn Bridge Park - "and man, did people take his invitation to heart!"

•   Part of the AIA's three-year public awareness campaign, "Look Up" includes "An Architect's Story: Chris Downey," a short film about how the blind architect's work serves a broader audience: "I'm without sight, not without vision."

•   Welton's "Drawing from Practice, Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" is proof that drawing "is still very much a part of the architectural profession today - and drafting by hand will never become a redundant skill in architecture, design, and beyond."


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