Today’s News - Monday, November 2, 2015
• ArcSpace brings us Tory-Henderson's take on OMA's Fondazione Prada in Milan: "it is the zenith of the collaboration between the two cultural powerhouses" resulting in "a provocative and totally new kind of art space."
• McKenna reports on an £850 million development plan that could threaten Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage Site status that includes "a massive hotel" (some locals have unlovingly dubbed it "the Turd").
• Heathcote hails the Chicago Architecture Biennial: it is "a serious, internationally focused and intelligent effort to take the pulse of contemporary architecture" - including its "commendable failures."
• Goldhagen offers kudos to the Biennial curators "for orchestrating the most focused, substantive exhibition on contemporary architecture in years, perhaps a generation - a piercing clarion call: Look at all that architecture can do!"
• Meanwhile, the Lucas Museum on Chicago's lakefront gets the go-ahead after revising plans that now include a smaller museum and more parkland (and space for Soldier Field tailgaters); commentary is sure to ensue.
• Russell revels in Gehry's LACMA retrospective and Goldberger's biography that "shed fresh light on an old architect. His best projects are almost uniquely, engagingly lyrical," and "seem unbound by either gravity or the limits of construction technology."
• Hall Kaplan "warily welcomed" news of Gehry being "surreptitiously anointed to master plan" the L.A. River "with the hope his involvement might bring needed attention, and funding" - even though he "had not been even remotely involved in the last 40 years of dogged grassroots efforts."
• Wainwright x 2: He also ponders whether Gehry the right person to revitalize the "51-mile concrete gutter" that is the Los Angeles River: "Should it be redesigned by locals who've campaigned for years - or by the starchitect?"
• He offers a fascinating take on why plans for a mega-mosque in London were rejected - along with some other "religious super-buildings that might have been."
• Revamped plans for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center by "an unnamed architectural firm" will soon be revealed: "From our architect's standpoint, he thinks it's going to be a really glorious building" (hope springs eternal - keeping our fingers crossed).
• Brussat cheers the Prince's Foundation's Beauty In My Back Yard initiative: BIMBY "might serve well as a corrective to the Tool Kit for Developers," so "NIMBY need not be the growth industry that sees stopping growth as the only way to protect communities."
• Graef's team has big plans for Milwaukee's lakefront that would be a "welcoming and accessible" link to the city's downtown.
• WTA Architecture puts forth a proposal to create a cultural district in downtown Manila centered on the restoration of the Art Deco Metropolitan Theater, and would "include the repurposing of other notable buildings and areas" in the city.
• An impressive international shortlist of 10 in the running to revitalize Los Angeles's Pershing Square, the city's oldest park.
• A great take on "a quieter trend that has been steadily chugging along, one project at a time" - architects taking "a DIY approach, working one-on-one with foundations or donors or simply through their own efforts" to build trust - and communities - in Africa.
• Zacks reports from Culture Lab Detroit, which is "instigating potentially paradigm-shifting collaborations - cognizant of a need to move beyond adaptive reuse to pioneer innovative buildings," and using "agriculture and landscape to reclaim the city."
• Miranda cheers a new "unorthodox" architecture school in Tijuana that is "turning the design field on its head - bringing a highly practical approach to education in a field that is often more focused on pie-in-the-sky theory than the nuts and bolts of getting things built."
• Eyefuls of the winners who hail from Australia, China, and Japan in HMMD's Casablanca Bombing Rooms competition to design a library/exhibition space/cultural center.
• A good reason to be in Chicago later this week (besides the Biennial): 22nd annual SOFA CHICAGO, the fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design.
• Call for entries (deadline extended!): Varna Regional Library (Bulgaria) open international architectural competition (no fee; cash prizes!).
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OMA: A new art space for Fondazione Prada located in a former industrial complex [in Milan] may sound like the cliché of the 21st century gallery. It is, however, anything but: ...it is undoubtedly the zenith of the collaboration between the two cultural powerhouses...Totally open to the city and rooted in the existing fabric of the site...a provocative and totally new kind of art space... By Nina Tory-Henderson [images]
Edinburgh’s world heritage status in peril as developers move in: As inspectors tour the city to reconsider Unesco billing...amid a battle for the soul of its most historic quarter... in the shadow of one of the city’s most famous landmarks, Calton Hill...The centrepiece of this £850m development is a massive hotel...Some local people, however, have bestowed on it the uncharitable appellation “the Turd.” By Kevin McKenna -- Jestico + Whiles [images]- Observer (UK)
Chicago broadens its horizons with architecture biennial: The city of skyscrapers and Frank Lloyd Wright looks to the future: But is it still a city of architecture? Is it as much in love with its present as with its past? That’s the question this show might have answered. It hasn’t quite done it. But that isn’t at all to dismiss a serious, internationally focused and intelligent effort to take the pulse of contemporary architecture. By Edwin Heathcote -- Sarah Herda; Joseph Grima; Tatiana Bilbao; Vo Trong Nghia; Moon Hoon;Tomás Saraceno; Sou Fujimoto; Jeanne Gang; Atelier Bow-Wow; Theaster Gates; David Adjaye; Ultramoderne- Financial Times (UK)
Chicago Architecture Biennial: Chicago's first biennial speaks to sustainability, social justice, and the public realm...Kudos to curators Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima for orchestrating the most focused, substantive exhibition on contemporary architecture in years, perhaps a generation...a piercing clarion call: Look at all that architecture can do! By Sarah Williams Goldhagen -- URBZ; Yasmeen Lari; Rural Urban Framework (RUF); RUA Arquitetos; otherothers; Sou Fujimoto; Kéré Architecture; All(zone); MOS; Tatiana Bilbao; Vo Trong Nghia; Besler & Sons + ATLV; SO-IL- Architectural Record
Amended plans for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art approved by Cty of Chicago: Despite the best effort of green space advocates...George Lucas’s legacy project will go ahead...building reduced in size from 400,000sq ft to 300,000sq ft, offering 200,000sq ft of new parkland for open space advocates...will include an eco-park, garden, sand dune field and an event prairie... -- MAD Architects; Studio Gang; VOA Associates; Scape Landscape Architecture [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
A life in shapes: A retrospective and a new biography shed fresh light on an old architect: ...a look-back has become unavoidable. “Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry” by Paul Goldberger...a retrospective...at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)...does a good job of documenting Gehry’s artistic evolution...[His] best projects are almost uniquely, engagingly lyrical...seem unbound by either gravity or the limits of construction technology. By James S. Russell- The Economist (UK)
L.A. River Continues to Roil: ...Frank Gehry had been surreptitiously anointed to master plan the entire 51 mile expanse...Seemingly ignored by the powers that be...celebrity architect had not been even remotely involved in the last 40 years of dogged grassroots efforts...I warily welcomed him with the hope his involvement might bring needed attention, and funding, to the river...He succumbed to that constant equation that for me explains much about our celebrity obsession, that personalities in the public eye are the sum of an equation of megalomania, divided by paranoia. By Sam Hall Kaplan -- Lew McAdams; Mia Lehrer- City Observed
Is Frank Gehry really the right person to revitalise the Los Angeles river? The 51-mile concrete gutter...more famous as a dystopian film backdrop...is finally due for a facelift...Should it be redesigned by locals who’ve campaigned for years - or by starchitect Gehry? ..."[he] knows nothing about the LA river...He’s never shown any interest in it"...What he might prove to be is the funding-friendly, catch-all solution to pulling the river’s statutory partners together to make something happen. By Oliver Wainwright -- Lewis MacAdams/Friends of the Los Angeles River; Mia Lehrer & Associates; Henk Ovink; Olin [images]- Guardian (UK)
The 'mega-mosque' and the 'mega-church': the battle over London's sacred sites: As plans for a 9,000-capacity mosque are rejected, we relive its controversial past - and reveal more religious super-buildings that might have been. By Oliver Wainwright -- Ali Mangera Architects; Allies and Morrison; Nick Ray/NRAP; Sheppard Robson; Kuehn Malvezzi [images]- Guardian (UK)
New Plan, Again, for WTC [World Trade Center] Performing-Arts Center: ...a slimmed-down project that can be built for roughly half the cost...officials have been working with consultants and an unnamed architectural firm to revamp the plan...discarded Frank Gehry’s design in 2014...“From our architect’s standpoint, he thinks it’s going to be a really glorious building.”- Wall Street Journal
BIMBY: Beauty here, too! ...stands for Beauty In My Back Yard. It is a website launched by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community...might serve well as a corrective to the Tool Kit for Developers...If BIMBY takes hold in America as well as in Britain and elsewhere, NIMBY need not be the growth industry that sees stopping growth as the only way to protect communities. By David Brussat- Architecture Here and There
Lakefront Gateway Plaza would link downtown to lakefront: ...designed to make the lakefront area...more welcoming and accessible to the downtown...provides "an opportunity to add a beautiful, defining space to the downtown portion of Milwaukee's lakefront." By Tom Daykin -- -- Graef; PFS Studio; Dan Euser Waterarchitecture; Rinka Chung Architecture; NEWaukee [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Architecture firm envisions cultural district: ...in downtown Manila centered on the rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Theater...Just in time for the initial conservation work on the 85-year-old Art Deco structure...will also include the repurposing of other notable buildings and areas... -- WTA Architecture and Design Studio- Philippine Daily Inquirer
10 Compete to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park: ...practices from around the world have been shortlisted in a competition that aims to transform Pershing Square -- Agence Ter/SALT Landscape Architects; Snohetta; James Corner Field Operations/Frederick Fisher and Partners; W Architecture; PWP Landscape Architecture (Peter Walker)/Allied Works Architecture; Mia Lehrer Associates/!Melk; Petersen Studio + BNIM; Rios Clementi Hale/OMA; SWA/Morphosis; wHY Architecture- ArchDaily
Building Trust, and a Schoolhouse, in a Zambian Community: ...a quieter trend that has been steadily chugging along, one project at a time...It's a more DIY approach, taken on by...architects working one-on-one with foundations or donors or simply through their own efforts - Toshiko Mori, MASS Design, SelgasCano, Diébédo Francis Kéré, Louise Braverman, Sharon Davis, and Shigeru Ban have all taken on these kinds of projects. -- Susan Rodriguez/Ennead; Joseph Mizzi/Sciame Construction/14+ Foundation; Annabelle Selldorf; Good Works [images]- Curbed
Digging into Detroit's Future: Ecological designers use agriculture and landscape to reclaim their city: Culture Lab Detroit...instigating potentially paradigm-shifting collaborations...cognizant of a need to move beyond adaptive reuse to pioneer innovative buildings... By Stephen Zacks -- Jane Schulak; Alice Waters; Will Allen; Patrick Blanc; Walter Hood; Sou Fujimoto; Liz Skrisson/D MET Studio; Design 99; Powerhouse Productions; Archolab; Maurice Cox [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
An architecture school rises in Tijuana's red light zone: ...turning the design field on its head...Escuela Libre de Arquitectura (Architecture Free School)...It is the Tijuana context that shapes everything about this unorthodox school...bringing a highly practical approach to education in a field that is often more focused on pie-in-the-sky theory than the nuts and bolts of getting things built..."Tijuana is our laboratory." By Carolina A. Miranda -- Jorge Gracia; Enrique González Silva- Los Angeles Times
Casablanca Bombing Rooms Architecture Competition Winners: ...3 winning teams from...Australia, China and Japan...Designs for the library/exhibition space/cultural center were evaluated on a number of criteria such as...design’s ability to raise awareness against violence and encouraging group involvement. -- William Song Yuan/Rachel Hurst; Iryna Safonova/Laurène Mousnier; Rina Chinen- HMMD / Homemade Dessert
SOFA CHICAGO returns to Navy Pier November 5-8 with a newly designed look and expanded focus: ...fair dedicated to Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall...Now in its 22nd year... -- Wrap Architecture- SOFA Expo
Call for entries: Varna Regional Library (Bulgaria) open international architectural competition; no fee; cash prizes; deadline (extended!): November 23- Municipality of Varna / Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria
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