Today’s News - Wednesday, May 27, 2015
• An unconfirmed (but likely plausible) video claims that ISIS will not bulldoze Palmyra's historical structures, but "we will pulverize the statues that the heretics used to worship in the past."
• SANAA wins Art Gallery of NSW's Sydney Modern competition with a series of pavilions that is "unconstrained, cultured and stimulating."
• A grumpy group of Brits today (and all must-reads!): Meades minces no words about "the nomenklatura of the regeneration racket" (including "suppliers of witless bling") who have had a ball riding the most extravagantly appointed of gravy trains - the sainted market has itself contrived feats of social engineering worthy of a capricious dictatorship."
• Heathcote x 2: "the city has been monetized as a futures market. We have all become data," with "a marked shift from the city as public realm to a new conception of its streets and squares as a massive mall without walls. An overdose of success can kill a city."
• He zeros in on how civic spaces "are coming under control of the private sector," with new spaces "based around consumption, not civic activity" - the latest being London's Garden Bridge, with "public money going towards private space."
• With "Superdensity: the sequel" architects fire their latest salvo demanding "the end to the unbridled rise of 'super-dense' developments in London driven by a 'frenzy of avarice.'"
• Partridge is left disheartened by a recent program "Can architecture be (im)moral?" that chronicled "the architect's diminishing status" - there were lots of "suits" who "all thought they had answers, and they do have power" - but where were the architects? "If architects don't engage...and stand up for our profession we soon won't have a voice at all."
• Chicago Athenaeum's Narkiewicz-Laine explains why Good Design is a human right - based on freedom and democracy, instead of fear and control - freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right."
• A look at how Ban "reshapes disaster zones" - proving that "not all notable architects are demanding divas or money-sucking leeches."
• Simpson can barely contain herself in describing the "indigestible banquet of overblown audio-visual gimmicks and kitsch excess" at Milan Expo 2015. "And yet there was much to intrigue and entertain."
• Merrick finds much to marvel over at Hadid's "Daliesque" library in Oxford: some may call it a "beached whale" or a "giant ear trumpet," but "this is undoubtedly her most intriguing small building."
• Hawthorne hails Gehry's "remarkably restrained" Facebook HQ that is more like "a crowded, upscale indoor village," with an emphasis "on directness and an unapologetic practicality. When executed at this level, lack of polish is very much a kind of polish."
• Kamin cheers the transformation of the 1893 Chicago Athletic Association, "erected by and for rich white guys," into a welcoming-to-all hotel: "This is a triumph, not just of historic preservation, but contemporary reinvention."
• Horton hails Hariri Pontarini's Bahá'i Temple of South America outside Santiago, Chile: "a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising, at once high-tech and organic - a building that defies rational thought and veers into the realm of the emotional."
• Litt lauds the unveiling of the "visionary concept" for the Red Line Greenway, "Cleveland's answer to the High Line."
• As TOD is about to take off in Australia, a new report highlights the challenges.
• Call for entries: National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, Washington, DC + Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship that partners early-career architectural designers with community development organizations.
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BREAKING: ISIS Vows Not to Bulldoze Palmyra Architecture (Just Statues): The veracity of the message cannot be independently confirmed..."we will pulverize the statues that the heretics used to worship in the past. In the case of the historical structures ... we will not harm them with bulldozers, as some believe we might.”- Artinfo
SANAA wins Art Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern design competition: ...design consists of a series of pavilions reaching out towards neighbouring cultural landmarks...“It creates a respectful, refined and balanced dialogue with the existing gallery building as well as the larger park setting...overall atmosphere...is unconstrained, cultured and stimulating." [images]- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
The Northern Powerhouse should be about more than fancy buildings in big Northern cities: ...the nomenklatura of the regeneration racket have had a ball riding the most extravagantly appointed of gravy trains...no wheeze which might smack of such dirty, near unspeakable words as social engineering and architectural determinism is politically admissible...Yet the sainted market has itself...contrived feats of social engineering worthy of a capricious dictatorship...Instead of gestural engineering – landmark ahoy! – regeneration should be achieved by countless small scale interventions. By Jonathan Meades- Telegraph (UK)
Eccentricity is the vital ingredient for a city’s success: ...the city has been monetised as a futures market...reconceiving its inhabitants as consumers rather than citizens. We have all become data...compounded by a marked shift from the city as public realm to a new conception of its streets and squares as a massive mall without walls...When cities become too successful, they marginalise exactly the eccentricity and experimentation that lead to new ideas. An overdose of success can kill a city. Perhaps the message is to be careful what you wish for. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Civic space in cities cedes to commercial interest: What we take to be ‘public’ places are coming under control of the private sector...Today’s new spaces are based around consumption, not civic activity...London’s latest blockbuster is the Garden Bridge...This is not public infrastructure, but a privately owned and maintained tourist attraction...It is a regeneration project for a part of the city that is doing just fine: public money going towards private space. By Edwin Heathcote -- Anna Minton/University of East London; Michael Sorkin- Financial Times (UK)
Superdensity driven by 'frenzy of avarice': Leading architects have demanded the end to the unbridled rise of ‘super-dense’ developments in London...HTA, Levitt Bernstein, PRP and Pollard Thomas Edwards...fired their latest salvo in their campaign to raise worries about accommodation cramming...."Superdensity: the sequel"...report aimed to warn Londoners that vibrant street life...put in peril by high-density developments. [link to report]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The revolution will not be built until the people with power and the people with ideas learn to talk: A debate on morality in architecture was let down by the failure to engage both sides: It was likely to be divisive: architect Charlotte Skene Catling giving a talk...Can architecture be (im)moral? ...an impressive chronicle of the architect’s diminishing status...those suits all thought they had answers, and they do have power. If architects don’t engage in the debate with them...and stand up for our profession we soon won’t have a voice at all. By Harriet Partridge- BD/Building Design (UK)
Good design is a human right: Chicago Athenaeum museum president Christian Narkiewicz-Laine: Good Design is a system of organisation that is based on freedom and democracy, instead of fear and control...integrity is the name of the game, and...freedom takes discipline and also doing what is morally and ethically right.- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Shigeru Ban, the Architect Who Reshapes Disaster Zones: After helping disaster survivors in Japan, Rwanda, India, and Sri Lanka, he will next use his building expertise to aid those affected by Nepal’s deadly earthquakes...Not all notable architects are demanding divas or money-sucking leeches. -- Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN)- The Daily Beast
Milan Expo 2015: from Blueprint’s point of view: ...an indigestible banquet of overblown audio-visual gimmicks and kitsch excess, with huge inconsistencies of architectural and design innovation and liberal helpings of blatant self-promotion. And yet there was much to intrigue and entertain. By Veronica Simpson- DesignCurial / Blueprint Magazine (UK)
Zaha Hadid’s modernist library inspires shock and awe in Oxford: £11m Daliesque library and archive building at St Antony College has been called a 'beached whale' and a 'giant ear trumpet'...This is undoubtedly Hadid’s most intriguing small building..."I asked Zaha to design a building that would be a Zaha’s Zaha. She liked that.” By Jay Merrick [images]- Independent (UK)
A low-key Facebook building? In Frank Gehry's hands, Zuckerberg has it both ways: ...an appealing throwback to the unfussy, ad hoc, quickly made experiments of Gehry's early career...remarkably restrained, a kind of non-building...a crowded, upscale indoor village...a kind of interior urbanism...This kind of architectural choreography...is tricky to pull off and deftly handled here...emphasis is on directness and an unapologetic practicality...When executed at this level, lack of polish is very much a kind of polish. By Christopher Hawthorne -- CMG [images]- Los Angeles Times
Chicago Athletic Association Now a Hotel with Ceilings Like an Ice Cave: How can a building erected by and for rich white guys be transformed so it makes everyone feel welcome? ...The designers have delivered, bringing new zip to the slumbering club without destroying its historic integrity...This is a triumph, not just of historic preservation, but contemporary reinvention. By Blair Kamin -- Henry Ives Cobb (1893); Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture; Roman and Williams [images]- Chicago Tribune
Sacred Structure: The poetic form of the Bahá’i Temple of South America is a triumph of engineering and material innovation: ...just outside Santiago, Chile, a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising...at once high-tech and organic, combining digital design and fabrication technologies with the personal sensitivity of craft and the rough imperfections of nature...a building that defies rational thought and veers into the realm of the emotional. By Guy Horton -- Hariri Pontarini Architects [images]- Metropolis Magazine
Red Line Greenway advocates plan 'unveiling' of visionary concept: ...a three-mile linear park that could significantly brighten the future of the city's West Side...would become part of an expanding network of regional trails and bike paths...Cleveland's answer to the High Line. By Steven Litt -- Urban Land Institute (ULI); LAND Studio [images]- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Transit oriented development set to take off: TOD is set to make an enormous impact on Australia’s urban landscape over the next 50 years, as governments seek to tackle social and economic pressures in large cities...statistics in the CBRE Research Centre report describe the challenges Australia is facing.- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Call for entries: National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, Washington, DC (international); two-stage design competition; deadline: July 21- World War I Centennial Commission
Call for entries: Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship: partners early-career architectural designers with local community development organizations; includes 3-year fellowship position, $52,000 annual stipend and benefits, etc.; deadline: July 10- Enterprise Community Partners
INSIGHT: A Focus on Local: Structure and Design of the Columbus Museum of Art Expansion: How DesignGroup worked with the museum to become more visible, relevant, and connected to the community as a meeting point between art, the public, and the physical city. By Michael Bongiorno, AIA, LEED AP BD+C [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
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