Today’s News - Wednesday, June 3, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical difficulties beyond our control, we were unable to post the newsletter yesterday (oh, those pesky technology gods!). Sorry 'bout that...
• Vanderbilt dissects the psychology of skyscrapers: "There seems to be a lingering, Babel-inflected mixture of awe and unease with the idea of 'living the sky'" (totally fascinating read!).
• Some cheer the approval of towering development plans for Australia's "largest urban renewal site" in Melbourne's Fishermans Bend.
• Others consider the approval of Fishermans Bend to be "scandalous": "With no mandatory height limits or minimum dwelling sizes, developers will only be after the tallest and most upmarket apartment blocks."
• Moore minces no words about what he thinks of the "lamentable, regressive" Tory housing policy: "There will be no social justice in the fact that it will give some people huge benefits and make life worse for others. It gets worse."
• The first installments of a great series on Seattle: is it "a model for sustainable cities, or just a mess?"; it's "on the front lines" in the battle against climate change; and "the rent is too damn high."
• Architecture now "wants to trick you into taking the stairs. Active design principles may be sneaky and compelling, but will they be effective?"
• Kamin practically kvells over Chicago's "bold and potentially brilliant reinvention" of the 606 that, along with NYC's High Line, "symbolize the movement to soften hard-edged urban areas without turning them into watered-down versions of suburbia."
• Keegan, on the other hand, wonders: "Is that all there is?" when it comes to the 606: it's a "simple, clear and modest design," but could have been "bolder" in spots (though he does like "the focus on the experience rather than stuff").
• An extensive take on building Calatrava's Margaret McDermott Bridge in Dallas, where "two cranes perform a precise pas de deux" in a "heavy metal ballet."
• A survey of British landscape professionals and landscape architects finds that "sustainability is a low priority for landscape clients."
• Dunne brings us eyefuls of LinkedIn's new digs in the Empire State Building that is "a departure from the industry's tech-bro playground approach to real estate," but even without slides, the company "still went all out" with the design.
• Wilson seems to be a bit cynical about Uber's planned San Francisco digs: it is "building a giant glass campus to prove it has nothing to hide. Ha! If architecture has ever manifested as a piece of much-needed PR, it's Uber's new campus."
• The second largest waterfall in the U.S. that's been "haunted by empty industrial buildings" for years is about to get a Riverwalk by Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta, and DIALOG (looks cool!).
• An impressive international shortlist vies to master plan a massive site near Hadid's MAXXI in Rome.
• Mao mulls the VAI/GSD design competition survey results: yes, they can be flawed, but "adapting them as a public tool can play a part in making the changes in the urban environment that much more understandable."
• The WMF taps co-founder and former president of Friends of the High Line Joshua David to be its next president.
• Populous teams up with U.K.-based Jump Studios.
• Architecture 00 and Studio Weave merge "to grow a super studio with even bigger ambitions."
• Call for entries: National Museum of Memory, Colombia, international design competition.
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The Psychology Of Skyscrapers: Could living in the sky subtly influence our perspective of space, distance, and height? There seems to be a lingering, Babel-inflected mixture of awe and unease with the idea of "living the sky"...The high-rise form is endlessly skewed by social extremes. By Tom Vanderbilt [from The Future of the Skyscraper; SOM Thinkers Series, 2015]- Fast Company
Architects delighted as $570 million of Melbourne apartments approved at Fishermans Bend: ...will ease the pressure on established subjects as Melbourne’s urban crawl continues. “As the largest urban renewal site in the country, [it] is conducive to this level of density"... -- Rothelowman; Carabott Holt Turcinov [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
The folly of Fisherman’s Bend: With no mandatory height limits or minimum dwelling sizes, the rezoning of the country’s largest urban renewal site has been called “scandalous” by planning experts: ...the largest urban renewal site in the country...developers are unlikely to volunteer the affordable housing or mixed-land uses without government intervention...will only be after the tallest and most upmarket apartment blocks. -- Rothelowman; CHT Architects- Australian Design Review
The Tory housing policy with no redeeming features: Extending right to buy is a lamentable, regressive policy making affordable homes ever scarcer: There will be no social justice in the fact that it will give some people huge benefits and make life worse for others...It gets worse. By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
Seattle: City of the Future: ...can the Emerald City maintain its Jetsons-in-Ecotopia image as it barrels into the mid-21st century? Is Seattle a model for sustainable cities, or just a mess? + In the battle against climate change, Seattle is on the front lines + In Seattle, the rent is too damn high.- Grist Magazine
This Architecture Movement Wants to Trick You Into Taking the Stairs: The choices we make while navigating cities are influenced by subconscious factors that planners, architects and designers are beginning to mine and leverage...Active design principles may be sneaky and compelling, but will they be effective? -- Center for Active Design; AIANY; Ennead Architects- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Chicago's new 606 trail a boon for open space, neighborhoods it links: ...a bold and potentially brilliant reinvention of a dormant and derelict elevated freight line that blighted Northwest Side neighborhoods...symbolize the movement to soften hard-edged urban areas without turning them into watered-down versions of suburbia...seeks to integrate art and science, pleasure and provocation. But its simple pleasures are the ones that matter most. By Blair Kamin -- Collins Engineers; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Frances Whitehead [images]- Chicago Tribune
The 606: Is that all there is? It's an example of simple, clear and modest design being almost the right answer...in a few places...should have been bolder...Gently curving light fixtures...a modest touch that keeps the focus on the experience rather than stuff...success won't ultimately be based on its promising design...It doesn't suggest that capital “D” design will solve all our city's problems. It's just a starting place for the more complicated task of living well together. By Edward Keegan -- Michael van Valkenburgh- Crain's Chicago Business
Heavy metal ballet: To assemble Dallas’ newest Santiago Calatrava-designed arches, two cranes perform a precise pas de deux with up to 100 tons of steel: Margaret McDermott Bridge...art runs headlong into industry...Bridges are not like snowflakes...there is some similarity among them. But the larger the bridge, the more distinctive it is. Cue Calatrava. -- Adam Roebuck/American Bridge; Charles Quade/Huitt-Zollars [images, video]- Dallas Morning News
Sustainability low priority for landscape clients: A survey of 100 landscape professionals, garden designers and landscape architects showed less than a fifth of clients (19%) are asking for 'sustainability' to be part of the brief.- Horticulture Week (UK)
Inside LinkedIn’s Playful New Digs: Inspired by social clubs, the Empire State Building office includes a ‘20s speakeasy lounge and a conference room named Meg Ryan...a departure from the industry’s tech-bro playground approach to real estate (looking at you, Google)...even though there are no slides, LinkedIn still went all out with their new design. By Carey Dunne -- IA Interior Architects [images]- Fast Company / Co. Design
Uber Is Building A Giant Glass Campus To Prove It Has Nothing To Hide: Ha. ...with its invisible walls, plans to reach out to the community to fix it up...If architecture has ever manifested as a piece of much-needed PR, it’s Uber’s new campus. By Mark Wilson -- SHoP Architects; Studio O+A [images]- Fast Company / Co. Design
Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG Selected to Design Oregon’s Willamette Falls Riverwalk: The second largest waterfall in the US...after the bankruptcy of the Blue Heron Paper Mill, the site has been inhospitable to the public, haunted by empty industrial buildings...design aims to enhance the marks through atmosphere, light, sound, and space. [images]- ArchDaily
Caruso St John shortlisted for MAXXI neighbour masterplanning job: ...international design competition for a 5.1 ha plot [Precision Electrical Components Factory]...will feature up to 2,000 dwellings and a new home for Rome’s proposed ‘City of Science’ museum. -- Juan Navarro Baldeweg; Studio 015/Paola Viganò; KCAP Architects&Planners; Labics - Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos; Ian+- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Is There a Winning Formula for Design Competitions? ...survey highlights the flaws with public challenges: ...true public engagement remains as challenging as ever. Learning from design competitions and adapting them as a public tool can play a part in making the changes in the urban environment that much more understandable. By Jefferson Mao -- Jerold Kayden/Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD); Van Alen Institute- Next City (formerly Next American City)
World Monuments Fund (WMF) Names Joshua David President: ...co-founder and former president of New York’s Friends of the High Line...will replace current president, Bonnie Burnham- ARTnews
2012 Olympic design practice Populous teams up with Jump Studios: A global player in the world of sport and entertainment architecture has just joined forces with the award-winning architecture and interior design practice in a strategic merger.- DesignCurial (UK)
Architecture 00 and Studio Weave announce merger: Award-winning practices say move is based on staff friendships...joining forces “to grow a super studio with even bigger ambitions.”- BD/Building Design (UK)
Call for Entries in Competition to Design Colombia’s National Museum of Memory (international); a.collaboration with the Colombian Society of Architects; registration deadline: June 19 (sumbissions due July 29)- ArchDaily
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