Today’s News - Wednesday, July 29, 2015
• ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of seven "outstanding transformations" of buildings that changed their "original program or structure, or both."
• Leigh adds to the clamor to kill Gehry's "awful, comic-opera anti-monument," a.k.a. Eisenhower Memorial.
• Heathcote explains why "cities need boring bridges not celebrity self-indulgence. These are baubles for celebrities and developers: expensive and unnecessary" (blame the trend on Calatrava).
• Meanwhile, the Garden Bridge Trust executive director goes into spin-control, making the case that Ritchie's "animosity towards the 'flawed and unnecessary' bridge is not shared by most Londoners" (comments are even more enlightening).
• Hadid blames the Japan Sport Council for the "high cost that doomed" her 2020 Olympic stadium design.
• Speaking of spin-control in London, the mayor seems to agree with Wainwright's report that financial viability assessments are "something of a dark art" and concedes developers are sometimes "getting away with it" when it comes to avoiding including affordable housing.
• Cramer cheers Chicago (finally) releasing redevelopment plans for the Cabrini-Green site, but says "what architecture needs more of now are smarter, smaller-scale solutions to knit our communities back together - a sort of noble quest to right historical wrongs."
• Lincoln Institute takes a long look at the "evolution" of manufactured housing: Though they "have long been cast aside as a housing choice of last resort, today's models are robust, efficient, and inviting, with the potential to help alleviate the nation's shortage of safe, affordable housing."
• Eyefuls of Ban's solution for modular emergency housing in post-earthquake Nepal that re-uses brick rubble - when tragedy strikes, "humanity is lucky to have an architect like Shigeru Ban."
• Wainwright minces no words about UNESCO's "impotence": "after 43 years of bestowing its sought-after seal on the world's most precious landscapes," it is "beginning to seem more ineffectual than ever" - mayors and marketing managers "should be careful what they wish for."
• Bartnick offers a solution for "a much-needed makeover" of Boston's Brutalist City Hall (demolition not included).
• LAVA comes up with a stylish (though probably expensive) solution to save a Sydney Brutalist landmark that could appease both those who would like to see it demolished, and those who call for preservation.
• Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki talk about winning the Guggenheim Helsinki competition: "With big projects like this one, there's always going to be controversy."
• Dittmar calls for London mayoral candidates to get behind a "walker's charter": "A safe and inviting pedestrian realm is essential to London's quality of life."
• Froud and Harriss look at evolving architectural education, and what "pedagogic pioneers (or guileless guinea pigs) can look forward to."
• Sorg Architects merges with DLR Group (the firm's New Delhi office not included).
• A longggg shortlist for LEAF Awards 2015.
• One we couldn't resist: Piano pens instructions for "how to build the perfect sandcastle."
• Call for entries: CHIDESIGN International Ideas Competition for new HQ for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, CTBUH, and more (registration deadline looms!).
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7 Outstanding Transformations: Society changes but buildings remain firmly in their place...most buildings will at some point inevitably face a conversion of either its original program or structure, or both. -- MVRDV; OMA; Herzog & de Meuron; Atelier Peter Zumthor; Tegnestuen Vandkunsten; Sambuichi Architects; Eduardo Souto de Moura [images]
Congress Needs to Kill Frank Gehry’s Awful Eisenhower Memorial Once and For All: The current plans will insult Ike’s memory with a comic-opera anti-monument to Gehry’s histrionics and the arrogant incompetence of Washington’s political and cultural elites...Cutting-edge postmodern though he is, Gehry has inherited Romanticism’s ruins fetish. By Catesby Leigh- National Review
Cities need boring bridges not celebrity self-indulgence: The new crop of crossings are expensive follies not real infrastructure: ...at the end of the last century something changed. And that something was Santiago Calatrava...Bridge design was transformed into a celebration of the crossing as a symbol of a city’s modernity. Other architects followed...These are baubles for celebrities and developers: expensive and unnecessary in a city where real infrastructure could make a serious difference. By Edwin Heathcote -- Foster + Partners; Knight Architects; Thomas Heatherwick; OMA/Rem Koolhaas/Reinier de Graaf- Financial Times (UK)
Londoners overwhelmingly want the Garden Bridge: Ian Ritchie’s animosity towards the ‘flawed and unnecessary’ Garden Bridge is not shared by most Londoners, argues executive director of the Garden Bridge Trust Bee Emmott...surely we must be bolder, go beyond simply function and seek out the ideas, opportunities and the inspiration it presents. -- Thomas Heatherwick- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Architect blames government for high cost that doomed 2020 Olympic stadium design: Zaha Hadid Architects issued a statement criticizing the Japan Sport Council for choosing contractors before they submitted cost estimates...JSC attributed about two-thirds of the increase in price...to Hadid's unusual design. [link to ZHA statement]- Japan Times
Developers getting away with viability dodges, admits mayor: Boris Johnson has admitted financial viability assessments are “something of a dark art” and conceded developers are sometimes “getting away with it”...Viability assessments...were condemned as “a wholesale fraud on the public purse”...in a recent Guardian investigation...- BD/Building Design (UK)
Editorial: A Different Kind of Hero: The Chicago Housing Authority has finally released a plan for the redevelopment of the Cabrini-Green site, signalling an end to the grand promises of urban renewal. What architecture needs more of now are smarter, smaller-scale solutions to knit our communities back together...a sort of noble quest to right historical wrongs... By Ned Cramer- Architect Magazine
From Stigma to Housing Fix: The Evolution of Manufactured Homes: Though [they] have long been cast aside as a housing choice of last resort, today’s models are robust, efficient, and inviting, with the potential to help alleviate the nation’s shortage of safe, affordable housing...Though the pre-1976 stock is virtually unrelated to its present-day counterpart, these older, dilapidated dwellings dominate the general public perception of manufactured homes... By Loren Berlin- Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
These Emergency Shelters Made From [Nepal] Earthquake Rubble Will Inspire You: When large-scale, whole-region-engulfing tragedy hits, humanity is lucky to have an architect like Shigeru Ban...he went to work outlining a series of blueprints for modular shelters made of wooden frameworks filled in with brick rubble...“transitional houses” are just step two in VAN’s three-stage relief plan... -- Volunteer Architects Network [images]- GOOD Magazine
Op-Ed: Give Boston’s City Hall a much-needed makeover: As a massive and complex outdoor “sculpture,” [it] really does have its merits...There are those who would like to see the building demolished...Proposals to alter the exterior have ranged from the superficial to the esoteric and hypothetical, with some practical and exciting possibilities in between...Sheath the building with a tinted glass curtain wall — but not to create another modernist glass box. By Harry Bartnick [images]- Boston Globe
LAVA architect Sirius about saving Sydney’s brutalist landmark: Some have called it a "brutalist eyesore" and for its demolition, others an essential part of Sydney’s architectural history and for its State Heritage listing. But there is one plan on the table to save Tao (Theodore) Gofers’ Sirius apartment building at The Rocks...that could appease both sentiments. -- Chris Bosse [images]- Architecture & Design (Australia)
Unesco impotence takes shine off world heritage status: Organisation faces criticism for not only failing to protect sites from fanatics and planners but also accelerating their destruction by encouraging tourism...after 43 years of bestowing its sought-after seal on the world’s most precious landscapes...beginning to seem more ineffectual than ever...As mayors and marketing managers compete for recognition in the heritage hall of fame, they should be careful what they wish for. By Oliver Wainwright- Guardian (UK)
Exclusive: Moreau Kusunoki discuss winning controversial Guggenheim Helsinki contest: “With big projects like this one, there's always going to be controversy,” said Nicolas Moreau, co-founder of the Paris-based practice...- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
London needs a walker's charter: The first two London mayors championed buses and bikes. The next one should put pedestrians first: Pedestrian issues have received less attention than public transport and cycling, although they account for 40% of all London trips...Targeting hot spots through redesign...has to continue to be a priority for the next London mayor...A safe and inviting pedestrian realm is essential to London’s quality of life... By Hank Dittmar- BD/Building Design (UK)
So you want to be an architect: But what is it that you’re actually working towards becoming? And how will you get there? ...pedagogic pioneers (or guileless guinea pigs) can look forward to qualifying as an architect in six years or fewer...an equally desirable output of a (perhaps abbreviated) architectural education will be practitioners, unconcerned with title, who are able to think creatively and collaboratively... By Daisy Froud/Bartlett and Harriet Harriss/Royal College of Art- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Sorg Architects Merges with DLR Group: ...will henceforth be known as DLR Group | Sorg...the transaction does not include the firm’s New Delhi location...Suman Sorg, FAIA will retain her design leadership...Nikki Sorg will manage the office’s operations and Principal Rachel Chung, AIA, will lead the design studio.- Contract magazine
12th annual LEAF Awards 2015 Official Shortlist: ...projects include buildings that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural community.- Arena International
Renzo Piano: how to build the perfect sandcastle: He’s most famous for designing the Shard in London but the Italian architect learned to dream big as a little boy on the beach- Guardian (UK)
Call for entries: CHIDESIGN International Ideas Competition: Center for Architecture, Design and Education (CADE), new headquarters, visitor center and exhibition spaces of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH); a design and allied arts high school, and flexible learning spaces; cash prizes; registration deadline: August 7 (submissions due September 9)- Chicago Architecture Foundation
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