Today’s News - Thursday, May 28, 2015
• Mock takes a long look at the "failures and merits of place-based initiatives. Neighborhood revitalization projects are trivial when what's really needed is an extreme makeover of capitalism. In short: We need a revolution."
• Slade minces no words about why she thinks Boston is building "the most mediocre architecture in its history" in "a sugar rush of development" with "click, copy, paste" architecture that is "profoundly banal" - it certainly isn't for lack of local talents who "are designing beautiful, exciting buildings. Just not in Boston."
• King gives (mostly) thumbs-up to San Francisco's new Public Safety Building that is "Mission Bay's first serious work of architecture, dense yet refined - an architectural machine of carefully balanced parts."
• Eyefuls of SHoP Architects/Studio O+A's Uber HQ in Mission Bay that will house a "small corporate army of 3,000 workers" (and "some amenities for the little guy at street level").
• Big plans for a $139m revamp of Sydney's Walsh Bay Arts Precinct that "will see Dawes Point Park at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the new Barangaroo Point Park connected via a reinvigorated waterfront."
• Bernstein's very interesting Q&A with billionaire Barry Diller re: the High Line, his "Heatherwick-designed island [Pier55], disagreeing with Gehry, and why he hates Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue."
• Dunlap and Pilkington parse the "time-lapse rocket ride" to the Observatory atop 1 WTC, opening tomorrow: "the plan to confront sightseers with an image of the old tower spurred a lot of debate" + "New York is back up in the clouds, the message clearly states, so let's celebrate. The designers have thrown in every bit of whizz-bang digital innovation they can think of."
• Toronto's just-opened Aga Khan Park, which took "a painstaking 10 years" for Lebanon-based landscape architect Djurovic to create, "is nothing short of spectacular."
• On a sadder garden note, Oberlander and Katz stroll through their 1970s Marine Gardens townhouse complex - soon to be replaced by condo towers (what else?): "It may be faded and weary, but it is testament to design principles aimed at making people feel good about where they live," and "a deal between the city and the developer could have been struck. 'We flew a man to the moon. This is not rocket science.' But it is Vancouver."
• Zeiger delves into the Getty's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative that hopes "to develop a holistic approach" to preserving our midcentury architectural heritage - "the research will help revive buildings whose future is far less certain."
• Caldwell delves into the past - and future - of Sea Ranch at 50: "How does an aging community renew itself? There are challenges - as with the original place itself, a dash of youthful genius could move it forward for the next 50 years."
• Lange laments the impending loss of her Sert-designed modernist elementary school in Cambridge: it was "a city in miniature" that "made children comfortable - the grown-ups were another story. Its legacy instead becomes part of a chain linking too many other postwar buildings felled by longstanding prejudice, green-washed replacements, and the promise of the new."
• Watch now (live!): NYC's IDEAS CITY Festival Conference: "The Invisible City" (quite an impressive line-up!).
• The Graham Foundation's 2015 Grants to Individuals go to 63 "outstanding projects" (great presentations of projects, too [yay Shumi Bose]!).
• Monica Ponce de Leon heads to Princeton as dean of the School of Architecture.
• Colomina and Wigley to curate the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial in 2016.
• One we couldn't resist: Bucky's FBI file: "he was a counterculture icon. And as we know, the FBI has historically been rather uncomfortable with counterculture icons" (curious redactions included).
• Call for entries: Entrepreneurs Meeting Point Student Competition to reimagine Barcelona's formerly industrial area as a technological and innovation district.
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The Failures and Merits of Place-Based Initiatives: Targeting select low-income communities for an infusion of resources isn’t the answer to the problem of urban poverty. But what is? Peter Dreier argues that...what government and philanthropy should focus on is system-wide reform of the market system that perpetuates economic inequality. Neighborhood revitalization projects are trivial when what’s really needed is an extreme makeover of capitalism. In short: We need a revolution. By Brentin Mock- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Why Is Boston So Ugly? How we built the most mediocre architecture in history, and how we’re going to fix it: ...a sugar rush of development...it’s profoundly banal...Click, copy, paste...It doesn’t have to be this way....Boston is now home to a handful of world-class architecture firms...that are designing beautiful, exciting buildings...Just not in Boston. By Rachel Slade -- Hacin + Associates; DesignLab; Merge Architects; NADAAA; Anmahian Winton; Machado and Silvetti; Merge Architects; Höweler + Yoon Architecture; Safdie Architects; SSD Architecture + Urbanism; etc. [images]- Boston Magazine
New S.F. police headquarters commands respect, if not love: San Francisco’s new Public Safety Building, an imposing mosaic of concrete and glass...partly wrapped in a loose-fitting gray zinc screen...form a meticulous whole, civic and strong. But they’re daunting as well...The chilly tone probably is inevitable, given the reality of what’s inside...Mission Bay’s first serious work of architecture, dense yet refined...an architectural machine of carefully balanced parts. By John King -- HOK; Mark Cavagnero Associates [images]- San Francisco Chronicle
SHoP Architects' Uber HQ Will Arrive in Approximately One Million Minutes: ...planned Mission Bay headquarters...should be ready to receive the...small corporate army of 3,000 workers by the end of 2017 or early 2018...there are some amenities for the little guy at street level... -- Studio O+A [images]- Curbed San Francisco
Sydney’s Walsh Bay Arts Precinct gets $139m revamp: The masterplan, prepared by NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet for Arts NSW, will see Dawes Point Park at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the new Barangaroo Point Park connected via a reinvigorated waterfront. The redevelopment will create hub for home-grown performing and creative arts. [images]- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Newsmaker: Barry Diller: The billionaire chats about his Thomas Heatherwick-designed island , disagreeing with Frank Gehry, and why he hates Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue: ...public spaces can be civilizing. I guess that’s why you supported the High Line and why you are going to build Pier 55. "We do them for the future, and for New York. And because I like being part of the process." By Fred A. Bernstein- Architectural Record
On Time-Lapse Rocket Ride to Trade Center’s Top, Glimpse of Doomed Tower: An imposingly realistic vision of the old 1 World Trade Center...will begin appearing in...elevators servicing the observatory atop the new 1 WTC...in a seemingly three-dimensional time-lapse panorama...as if one were witnessing 515 years of history...the plan to confront sightseers with an image of the old tower spurred a lot of debate...Whether the public regards the depiction as a tribute, as sacrilege or as a simple matter of fact awaits the opening of One World Observatory on May 29. By David W. Dunlap -- The Hettema Group; Blur Studio; Montroy Andersen DeMarco [images, video]- New York Times
The Observatory: One World Trade Center looking squarely to the future: Trip to the top is no 9/11 history lesson – it’s all about the views of Manhattan and beyond, the human feat that is New York...a paean to height. New York is back up in the clouds, the message clearly states, so let’s celebrate...The designers have thrown in every bit of whizz-bang digital innovation they can think of... By Ed Pilkington -- The Hettema Group; Montroy Andersen DeMarco [images]- Guardian (UK)
A decade in the making, Toronto’s newly inaugurated Aga Khan Park brings 17 acres of greenery to the public: ...is nothing short of spectacular...now links the Ismaili Center and the Aga Khan Museum...Lebanon-based landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic spent a painstaking 10 years designing and creating the verdant expanse... [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
As its designers watch, Marine Gardens gently fades away: ...townhouse complex – including the forest of trees and shrubs...are coming down to make way for more condo towers...It may be faded and weary, but it is testament to design principles aimed at making people feel good about where they live...A deal between the city and the developer could have been struck...“We flew a man to the moon. This is not rocket science.” But it is Vancouver. -- Cornelia Hahn Oberlander; Michael Katz- Globe and Mail (Canada)
Inside the Getty's Initiative to Save Modern Architecture: Projects at the Salk Institute and Eames House are part of a larger effort to preserve our midcentury heritage...to develop a holistic approach to maintaining the architectural integrity of buildings in the face of deteriorating materials...if CMAI is successful, the research will help revive buildings whose future is far less certain. By Mimi Zeiger -- Louis Kahn; Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative; Escher GuneWardena Architecture [images]- Architect Magazine
Sea Ranch is 50: Kenneth Caldwell looks at the history and future of the iconic California site: ...what matters...is not so much the widely published architecture, but the landscape...This has been a central attraction and source of conflict for 50 years...How does an aging community renew itself? There are challenges...beyond creating gathering places, meeting seniors’ needs, and overseeing the ever-changing natural environment...as with the original place itself, a dash of youthful genius could move it forward for the next 50 years. -- Linda Jewell; Lawrence Halprin; Will Bruder; Christopher Hawthorne; Donlyn Lyndon/Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Never-Loved Buildings Rarely Stand a Chance: Josep Lluís Sert in Cambridge: Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School checked all the boxes of modernist school orthodoxy: abundant natural light, flexible plan, access to the outdoors, spatial complexity...a city in miniature...made children comfortable - the grown-ups were another story...[its] legacy instead becomes part of a chain linking too many other postwar buildings felled by longstanding prejudice, green-washed replacements, and the promise of the new. By Alexandra Lange; photos: Lee Dykxhoorn/Gund -- Sert, Jackson & Associates [images]- MAS Context (Chicago)
Watch Now: IDEAS CITY Festival Conference Livestream: "The Invisible City"- New Museum (NYC)
Graham Foundation's 2015 Grants to Individuals: ...will award over $490,000 to support 63 outstanding projects by individuals around the world that present new and challenging ideas in architecture. [links to projects]- Graham Foundation (Chicago)
Monica Ponce de Leon named dean of Princeton University's School of Architecture: A recipient of the prestigious National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum, she co-founded Office dA, in 1991, and in 2011 started her own design practice, MPdL Studio, with offices in New York, Boston and Ann Arbor.- Princeton University News
Curators Announced for 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial: Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley appointed curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, 22 October to 4 December 2016. The conceptual framework...will be announced in December- Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)
We Got Buckminster Fuller's FBI File: ...remembered fondly today for his geodesic domes and his three-wheeled cars...Why would the FBI have a file on Bucky Fuller? Well, for one thing, he was a counterculture icon with unconventional ideas about resource allocation, environmental conservation, and globalization. And as we know, the FBI has historically been rather uncomfortable with counterculture icons.- Gizmodo
Call for entries: Entrepreneurs Meeting Point Student Competition (international): imagine 22@ District, Barcelona's formerly industrial area of Poblenou, as the city's technological and innovation district with leisure and residential spaces; cash prizes; earlybird registration (save money!): June 30 (submissions due September 4)- Archallenge
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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