Today’s News - Thursday, November 5, 2015
EDITORO'S NOTE: Tomorrow will be a no-newsletter day. We'll be back Monday, November 9.
• Kimmelman cheers Gang's $325 million addition to the American Museum of Natural History that is "part Dr. Seuss, part Jurassic Park. Within the park, it aspires to be a kind of good new son-in-law, handsome yet accommodating."
• Pogrebin calls the AMNH design "both cautious and audacious" - a cross between Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao and Turkey's subterranean city of Cappadocia.
• Weder is less optimistic about H&deM's design for the Vancouver Art Gallery: the conceptual design "ignited debate over its form and cladding, but very little discussion about public space. Perhaps because there isn't a lot of it."
• Dunlap reports on another setback to "bedevil" Calatrava's $3.7 billion WTC transit hub: leaking water, so no Christmas season for retailers, but "once the hub finally opens, an awe-struck public may forget the tribulations."
• Kamin sees "cause for celebration, or at least guarded optimism" about the Chicago Architecture Biennial pavilions, despite some problems: "They serve up delicious eye candy" and "remind us of the value of architectural experimentation."
• Evans-Cowley considers three "topics planners don't often think about, but should: microclimates, airport expansions, and planning as improv comedy."
• SOM "steals the show" with the once-splendiferous, long-decayed 1917 The Strand theater, now A.C.T.'s gem of a satellite theater in San Francisco.
• Mortice cheers the new National Public Housing Museum rising in the last standing house in one of the first public housing projects in Chicago, which "fittingly chose a local public housing architect - not a globetrotting museum designer."
• Sutherland Hussey Harris takes home the 2015 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland award for an "uncompromisingly contemporary" housing scheme.
• Weekend diversions:
• "Designing Affordability" at NYC's Center for Architecture "opens many more areas for engagement between architecture and activism" with projects that "tackle problems in ways much deeper and potentially more effective than number crunching."
• "Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas" is "a compact and enlightening" show at the Met in Manhattan: "a wonderfully curated collection of artifacts - a resurrection of the daily lives of long-ago civilizations, in imperfect miniature."
• In Montreal, the CCA's "The Other Architect" offers 23 case studies that "emphasize the potential for architecture to identify the urgent issues of our time," and "challenge the concept of individual authorship in favor of collaborative networks or partnerships with permeable roles."
• Shaw talks counterculture, techno-utopia, and hippies with Blauvelt, curator of the Walker Art Center's "Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia."
• Tigerman updates his 1978 "Titanic" at the Chicago Architecture Foundation with "The Epiphany": the "new image, somewhat ironically, is a protest against what he sees as a contemporary infatuation with icons."
• In Paris, "Architectural & Minimalist: French Design of the Fifties" explores "French minimalism's love affair with 1950s architecture."
• Before heading to the Eames show at the Barbican in London, check out "10 things you might not know about Charles and Ray": #7: "They saw innovation as a 'last resort'" (fab images!).
• Heathcote is fascinated by "Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme": "from its logos to its satellites - Balashova did it all."
• Walker wades into "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" that "explores how Boston became an unlikely home for many of the world's great concrete buildings authored by a stellar roster of talent."
• Moore cheers Harwood's "Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-1975": an "authoritative study of postwar architects reveals their grand vision. Yet if these architects were mostly not the megalomaniacs of caricature, many of them liked to think big."
• Russia's "palaces and metro stations are hard to tell apart" in Burdeny's "A Bright Future": they're all "supremely decadent, with high arched ceilings, opulent gold leaf, and glittering chandeliers" (fab photos!).
• Dunlap can't say enough about Stokes's "The Iconography of Manhattan Island," rare tomes finished in 1928 and "still considered one of the most important works on New York" - and now available online via Columbia University and the Internet Archive.
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Natural History Museum’s Expansion: Part Dr. Seuss, Part Jurassic Park: The $325 million addition bids to be the city’s next architectural spectacle: ...some good news - a museum expansion that for once seems as if it could work...What the center doesn’t do is occupy nearly as much parkland as critics feared...Within the park, it aspires to be a kind of good new son-in-law, handsome yet accommodating...Sometimes change is good. By Michael Kimmelman -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang Architects; Reed Hilderbrand [images]- New York Times
American Museum of Natural History Reveals Design for Expansion: ...$325 million addition...an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious...consumes less coveted park space...while introducing a contemporary aesthetic that evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior. By Robin Pogrebin -- Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang Architects [images]- New York Times
New Vancouver Art Gallery Design 'A Form that Can Be Controlled': What 'porous' but not quite 'open' space means for civic health: When [H&deM] unveiled the future gallery's conceptual design...it ignited debate over its form and cladding, but very little discussion about...public space. Perhaps because...there isn't a lot of it...What we are promised, actually, is semi-private courtyard space marketed as public space. By Adele Weder -- Herzog & de Meuron- The Tyee (Vancouver)
Another Setback for World Trade Center Transit Hub: Leaking Water: It is the latest setback to bedevil the...$3.7 billion rail terminal that will also house Westfield’s $1.4 billion shopping center. The problems of building such a complex, if spectacular, structure have swollen its price tag...Once the hub finally opens, an awe-struck public may forget the tribulations. But at the moment, they seem never-ending...The latest word...was that Santa will arrive in January. By David W. Dunlap -- Santiago Calatrava [images]- New York Times
Chicago Architecture Biennial pavilions bring stylish shelter to the lakefront: Despite...problems, these little buildings...are cause for celebration, or at least guarded optimism. They serve up delicious eye candy, explore new uses of materials, create a showcase for up-and-coming architects...They remind us of the value of architectural experimentation...And they raise fascinating issues about small park structures... By Blair Kamin -- Ultramoderne; Paul Andersen/Paul Preissner/University of Illinois at Chicago; Mauricio Pezo/von Ellrichshausen/IIT; Kunle Adeyemi/School of the Art Institute of Chicago [images]- Chicago Tribune
Topics Planners Don't Often Think About, But Should: ...there are number of areas of planning that aren't always front of mind, yet are of critical importance in our communities. I highlight just three examples: microclimates, airport expansions, and planning as improv comedy. By Jennifer Evans-Cowley- PLANetizen
ACT's New Satellite Theater by SOM Steals the Show: Prospects were bright for San Francisco’s Strand Theater when it opened in 1917...A vice squad raid shuttered [it] in 2003. Years of decay and squatters followed. With the neighborhood now revitalizing, the Strand caught the eye of the American Conservatory Theater...hunting for an intimate venue to complement their 1,000-seat Geary Theater. -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill [images]- Interior Design magazine
A New National Public Housing Museum Begins in the Gap Between “House” and “Housing”: ...fittingly chose a local public housing architect - not a globetrotting museum designer...will adaptively reuse the last standing Jane Addams Home - one of the first public housing projects in Chicago...A museum dedicated to a stigmatized building type isn’t an intuitive choice...on view at the Addams building as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial..."House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate"... By Zach Mortice -- John Holabird (1938); Landon Bone Baker Architects [images]- Architectural Record
Sutherland Hussey Harris housing scheme wins 2015 Doolan Prize: The ‘uncompromisingly contemporary’ West Burn Lane...has been named...RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland...Page\Park and Elder and Cannon’s Laurieston Transformational Area and the Arcadia Nursery in Edinburgh by Malcolm Fraser Architects received special mentions. [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
A Roof for Everyone: The Center for Architecture's "Designing Affordability: Quicker, Smarter, More Efficient Housing Now" opens many more areas for engagement between architecture and activism: ...the projects collectively reach beyond the typical pro forma-based approach...they tackle problems in ways much deeper and potentially more effective than number crunching. By A.J.P. Artemel -- Marc Norman; nARCHITECTS; SsD/Dyne Architects; Larry Sass; Marvel Architects; LOT-EK [images]- Metropolis Magazine
"Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas": ...a compact and enlightening exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art...an architectural record of civilizations whose structures - and customs - are mostly vanished...a wonderfully curated collection of artifacts...offer a unique encounter with ancient American cultures - a resurrection of the daily lives of long-ago civilizations, in imperfect miniature. By Dante A. Ciampaglia [images]- Architectural Record
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal: "The Other Architect" presents 23 case studies that emphasize the potential for architecture to identify the urgent issues of our time. These international and often multidisciplinary groups, with examples from the 1960s to today...challenge the concept of individual authorship in favor of establishing collaborative networks or partnerships with permeable roles.- e-flux
Q+A> Andrew Blauvelt: Matt Shaw talks counterculture, techno-utopia, and hippies with Walker Art Center curator: We delve into the tumultuous era and the technology, design, and ideals surrounding "Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia." [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
Stanley Tigerman’s Epiphany: New photomontage update of “Titanic”  unveiled at the Chicago Architecture Biennial: ...marking the 130th anniversary of the Chicago Architecture Club and as part of the ongoing Chicago Architecture Foundation‘s "Currencies of Architecture" exhibition...Entitled “The Epiphany,” the new image, somewhat ironically, is a protest against what he sees as a contemporary infatuation with icons. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
French Minimalism’s Love Affair With 1950s Architecture Explored at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, Paris: French minimalistic design and architecture have been married for years. “Architectural & Minimalist: French Design of the Fifties" examines the motivation behind the close love affair and its influence. [images]- Artinfo
Ten Things You Might Not Know About Charles and Ray Eames: As a major retrospective of the lauded designers' work opens at the Barbican, we reveal ten little-known facts about their life and creative practice: 4. They designed revolutionary leg splints for soldiers; 7. They saw innovation as a "last resort" [fab images]- AnOther Magazine (UK)
"Galina Balashova: Architect of the Soviet Space Programme" by Philipp Meuser: One architect defined the look of the whole Soviet space programme, from its logos to its satellites. Edwin Heathcote is fascinated by her personal archive: Balashova did it all.- Icon (UK)
Boston's Most Controversial Buildings Prove That Concrete Can Be Beautiful: "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" by Mark Pasnik, Chris Grimley and Michael Kubo explores how Boston became an unlikely home for many of the world’s great concrete buildings...authored by a stellar roster of talent... By Alissa Walker -- Marcel Breuer; Henry N. Cobb; I.M. Pei; Paul Rudolph; Le Corbusier; The Architects Collaborative; Sert, Jackson & Associates; Eduardo Catalano; Kallman, McKinnell & Knowles [images]- Gizmodo
"Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-1975" by Elain Harwood - the romantics who reshaped Britain: This authoritative study of postwar architects reveals their grand vision...Yet if these architects were mostly not the megalomaniacs of caricature, many of them liked to think big. By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
In Russia, Palaces and Metro Stations Are Hard to Tell Apart: The stations, like the palaces, are supremely decadent, with high arched ceilings, opulent gold leaf, and glittering chandeliers. Photographer David Burdeny takes us inside with "A Bright Future" and leaves you wondering just what you’re seeing. [images]- Wired
A Visual Banquet of Manhattan Has Its Own Compelling Past: I.N. Phelps Stokes published the first of his six volumes of “The Iconography of Manhattan Island” in 1915 and the last in 1928. It is still considered one of the most important works on New York...the first truly definitive history of Manhattan - unrivaled to this day...Hundreds of historical images...rendered in sumptuous color...Now, the Iconography is available online through Columbia University and the Internet Archive. By David W. Dunlap [images]- New York Times
A More Active Approach to Design Can Save Lives: Businesses are investing billions to make their workspaces more environmentally sustainable. But they should also consider how sustainable those workspaces are for the human beings who work in them. By Jonathan Webb- ArchNewsNow.com
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]
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