Today’s News - Thursday, August 20, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: These being the lazy, hazy (and horribly hot!) dog days of August, tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, August 25.
• Eyefuls of the five finalists vying to win the National World War 1 Memorial design competition: "Public comment is welcome."
• George Will, not known for architectural commentary, minces no words: Gehry's proposed Eisenhower Memorial "is a monstrosity - societies have traditionally resorted to triumphal arches, temples, colossal columns and obelisks, not because they are ancient but because they are timeless."
• Shepard ponders whether building hundreds of "ecocities" will "solve China's environmental problems" - it "really doesn't have another choice," but "is clearing out massive swaths of farmland, demolishing rural villages, and relocating thousands of nearly self-sufficient peasants actually an effective way to improve environmental conditions?"
• Bevan cheers London's "dull and dreary Victoria Street getting its groove back" with two new buildings that "will help turn a nowhere into a somewhere."
• Goldberger makes the argument for managed change, for careful, measured, respectful change" - not demolition - as the way to go in resolving the inadequacies of the Chautauqua Amphitheater in Upstate New York: "we have not seen any convincing evidence that the only way the Amphitheater can be updated is to tear it down and start over."
• Flint delves deep into the saga of Eileen Gray's Villa E-1027 and its long-in-coming restoration: it "survived Le Corbusier's act of vandalism and decades of neglect. Now this midcentury icon shines again - part of a larger effort to put these two figures on more equal footing - and perhaps set the record straight" (with great pix!).
• Eyefuls of Hadid's construction shed on the High Line (a "swooping canopy" - what else?).
• Arup's "Sky Pool" will link a pair of residential buildings in Nine Elms - 10 stories up ("more akin to an aquarium than a pool," they say).
• H&deM wins the 2015 RIBA Jencks Award: "They seem to have finally squared the circle of large-scale architectural production."
• Call for entries: The Architect's Newspaper 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards.
• One we couldn't resist: WORKac's Dan Wood raps about urban planning in "The Roman City is the Sh*t" (all for a good cause).
• Weekend diversions:
• Giovannini gives (mostly) thumbs-up to "Zaha Hadid at the State Hermitage" (designed by the Dame herself): "In the dense context of St. Petersburg, the exhibition expands our conception of Hadid's career, charging her work with an intense historical dimension."
• Anderton and Zeiger have lively Q&A's with co-curators Lubell and Rago re: "Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles," opening tonight at the A+D Museum's new digs.
• "Mississippi Modern" is the result of an MSU School of Architecture project that highlights 24 structures from the late 1930s to the early 1970s (it was a real treasure hunt).
• Gorlin explores the Kabbalah in the NYC exhibition, "Light and the Space of the Void" (an impressive roster of architects and architects included).
• The Design Trust/NYCDOT's "Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities" is a "toolkit of tried-and-tested strategies" offering lessons "in how to exploit and make good use of underutilized spaces" for cities everywhere.
• Pangburn applauds Meuser's "Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme" and a retrospective in Frankfurt for "bringing her work back into focus" - and gets an e-mail from the 84-year-old architect herself (images are fab!).
• Architect and conservationist Mehrotra talks about his new book, "Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega-City," and "why the notion of smart cities is flawed" (oh - and architects need to "get away from the position of arrogance").
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National World War 1 Memorial design competition Stage II finalists: ...five finalists will...refine their initial design concepts...announce a winning design concept in January 2016. Public comment is welcome. -- Johnsen Schmaling Architects; Kimmel Studio; Joseph Weishaar; STL Architects; Counts Studio [images]- World War I Centennial Commission
The proposed Eisenhower Memorial is a monstrosity: ...long after its perpetrators are gone, it would squat there, representing Washington at its worst and proving that we have forgotten how to nurture our national memory with intelligent memorials...societies have traditionally resorted to triumphal arches, temples, colossal columns and obelisks, not because they are ancient but because they are timeless. By George F. Will -- Frank Gehry'- Washington Post
Can hundreds of new "ecocities" solve China's environmental problems? China really doesn’t have another choice...Is going out to the un-urbanised fringes...clearing out massive swaths of farmland, demolishing rural villages, and relocating thousands of nearly self-sufficient peasants...actually an effective way to improve environmental conditions? If nothing else, China’s ecocities show us what’s wrong with our existing cities and set the bar a little higher for all other cities, everywhere. By Wade Shepard [images]- CityMetric (UK)
Zig Zag and Kings Gate: Dull and dreary Victoria Street is getting its groove back - and two new buildings by Lynch Architects are the stars of the show...They will help turn a nowhere into a somewhere... By Robert Bevan [images]- Evening Standard (UK)
Paul Goldberger on the Proposed Demolition of the Chautauqua Amphitheater: ...the argument for preservation...is not an attempt to maintain the status quo, but is rather an argument for managed change, for careful, measured, respectful change...I am as aware as anyone of the inadequacy of its facilities...But we have not seen any convincing evidence that the only way the Amphitheater can be updated is to tear it down and start over.- National Trust for Historic Preservation/NTHP
Restoring Eileen Gray's Villa E-1027: Gray's seaside retreat survived Le Corbusier's act of vandalism and decades of neglect. Now this midcentury icon shines again...part of a larger effort to put these two figures on more equal footing - and perhaps set the record straight...Cap Moderne...may help to retell history. By Anthony Flint [images]- Architect Magazine
Zaha Hadid's High Line installation protects park visitors from construction debris: ...a swooping canopy...Called Allongé...serves as a "pedestrian tunnel"...that passes by the construction site for 520 West 28th Street – an 11-storey condo tower by Hadid that is slated to open in 2016. [images]- Dezeen
First images emerge of 'swimming pool in sky' at Nine Elms: The 25m-long Sky Pool will link a pair of residential buildings designed by Arup Associates next to KieranTimberlake’s new US Embassy..."will be ‘more akin to an aquarium than a pool'"... [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Herzog & de Meuron wins 2015 RIBA Jencks Award: ...hailed as a champion in ‘the global search for an architecture of pluralism’...award is handed to an individual or practice that has made a major contribution to the theory and practice of architecture..."They seem to have finally squared the circle of large-scale architectural production."- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Call for entries: The Architect’s Newspaper 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards 2016 (international): 18 architectural-based categories that are not covered by other competitions; registration deadline: October 9 (submissions due November 2)- The Architect's Newspaper
WORKac's Dan Wood Debuts New Urban Planning Rap: "I been to the suburbs and it ain't no Garden City.": ...launched a Kickstarter...to fund the third edition of "49 Cities"...In a video to promote the project...says he "was inspired to write a few lines." Here are the lyrics to his rap, "The Roman City is the Sh*t." [video]- Architect Magazine
“Zaha Hadid at the State Hermitage”: A new retrospective in St. Petersburg documents Hadid's early work, and how the computer changed her practice...reveals how she worked with surprising versatility at all scales...In the dense context of St. Petersburg...exhibition expands our conception of Hadid’s career, charging her work with an intense historical dimension. By Joseph Giovannini [images]- Architect Magazine
DnA/Frances Anderton: Sam Lubell and Danielle Rago Rethink How We Live in Los Angeles: ...co-curators of "Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles" at A+D Museum, newly located in downtown LA...features actual and speculative projects by emerging and established Los Angeles firms -- Michael Maltzan; Barbara Bestor; Bureau Spectacular; LA-Más; Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects; MAD Architects; PAR; wHY [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Gimme Shelter: Inaugural A+D Museum exhibition promises to rethink Los Angeles housing: "Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles" new Arts District space...Curators Sam Lubell and Danielle Rago invited local practices to develop proposals... By Mimi Zeiger -- Bureau Spectacular; LA Más; Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects; MAD Architects; PAR; wHY Architecture; Kevin Daly Architects; Michael Maltzan Architects; Bestor Architecture; OMA; R&A; Koning Eizenberg [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Exhibit highlights Mississippi’s modern architecture: ...24 structures...from the late 1930s to the early 1970s in the Mississippi State University School of Architecture-sponsored “Mississippi Modern” project. -- Noah Webster Overstree; Frank Lloyd Wright; Chris Risher; Gunnar Birkerts- The Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi)
Alexander Gorlin explores the Kabbalah in his latest New York City exhibition: "Light and the Space of the Void"...based on Gorlin’s 2013 text, "The Kabbalah in Art and Architecture"...artists and architects represented are Daniel Buren, Steven Holl, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer, Yayoi Kusama, Daniel Libeskind, Gordon Matta-Clark, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Stephen Vitiello and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as Gorlin; through September 12 at Sandra Gering gallery.- The Architect's Newspaper
Reimaging Spaces Under the Elevated: The Design Trust for Public Space and NYCDOT team up to revamp the underused, neglected stretches beneath the city's elevated structures...a two-year research project..."Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities"...a toolkit of tried-and-tested strategies...The study has far-reaching potential, and could serve as a lesson in how to exploit and make good use of underutilized spaces.- The Architect's Newspaper
The Soviet Architect Who Drafted the Space Race: ...the task of designing the look of the Soviet Union's booster rockets, orbital laboratories, space shuttles, and other masterworks of engineering fell to one woman: Galina Balashova. For the budding architect...the work was also a chance to bring the principles of architecture into places it had never been before. ...a new book and a retrospective in Frankfurt are bringing her work back into focus..."Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme" by Philipp Meuser. By DJ Pangburn [images]- Motherboard
Architects have to get away from the position of arrogance: Architect and conservationist Rahul Mehrotra on his new book ["Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Mega-City"], and why the notion of smart cities is flawed.- Indian Express (Chandigarh)
The Best New Guides to Architecturally Famous Cities: Copenhagen; Tokyo; London; Milan; Berlin; Singapore; Barcelona
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