Today’s News - Monday, November 16, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our hearts are heavy with news from Paris, Europe, and just about everywhere else - it seems anxiety rules, at least for the moment, but with no sign of receding any time soon (read Hume). One can always hope. On a more mundane note, we've been invited to participate in an NCARB panel early tomorrow morning, so it will be a no-newsletter day. We'll be back Wednesday, November 18.
• ANN Feature: Lauer describes the Rebuilding Union Beach demonstration project that has returned 14 families who lost everything to Superstorm Sandy to new, affordable, sustainable homes, and the newly-launched online Project Guide for other communities needing to rebuild in the wake of a natural disaster.
• Hume tackles what makes cities truly vulnerable to unspeakable violence: "As the Paris banlieues make clear, cities contain the seeds of their own destruction. What the forces of density bring together, they can also tear apart."
• Cramer (in a pre-Paris editorial) discusses the growing demand for mosques that is bringing "NIMBYism in Europe to a new level" - and a possible solution "with sound political, architectural, and even theological precedents: sharing."
• How a French graphic designer's "raw reaction becomes a global symbol of peace and solidarity" with his "Peace For Paris" symbol following Friday's nightmarish events: "It's an image for everyone. I don't really care about ownership."
• Capps minces no words about why Reguly's rant about skyscrapers ruining cities is "flawed": "no building is as ugly as inequality. It's looking at demand and saying, 'Let them eat cake.'"
• Hatherley takes an in-depth look at Kiev, "one of the most fascinating, beautiful and conflicted cities in Europe," and ponders whether the city should "erase its Soviet past or learn to live with history - the contemporary built environment is an increasingly desperate vision of extreme inequality."
• Green ponders the role architects and landscape architects play in gentrification, and how they "can ensure they don't further contribute to the problem"; one thought: avoid "'bright shiny object' designs that trigger adulation."
• Stephens cheers visioning exercises that "are blurring the lines between technology and earth and between designer and public" with "a dazzling array of new visualization tools," but warns "they must be used with discretion."
• Kamin cheers Gang's "Polis Station" as "an audacious attempt to address the tensions between police and African-Americans - she is not a formalist obsessed with the way buildings look at the expense of how they work," which she calls "actionable idealism."
• Schumacher's previous doubts about the Milwaukee Art Museum's new lakefront atrium have been (mostly) laid to rest: it is "a gracious, rugged success and full of industrial grit. It asserts itself beside powerful architectural statements with poise and a quiet intelligence."
• Capps delves into some of the not-so-welcome surprises found when contractors tore into the walls for the restoration of the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery: there were "tons and tons of band-aids" left over from "renovations and shortcut repairs done over the course of more than 150 years" - "a pair of long-forsaken shoes" included (fascinating!).
• Roche says that while the Eisenhower Memorial may seem "stuck," it's "merely on the wrong track - it's a problem that has more to do with policies on the memorial commission than with Gehry."
• On a brighter note, Philadelphia is the first American city to be named a World Heritage City by the OWHC; the mayor "hopes that the designation will increase investment in the city and strengthen its (already lucrative) heritage tourism sector."
• Eyefuls of Collective-LOK's "Heart of Hearts" that will be stealing hearts as the 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition winner.
• CTBUH names Boeri's Bosco Verticale/Vertical Forest in Milan the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide for its "extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height" (along with awards for other impressive people and projects).
• Eyefuls of both the 2015 Association of Licensed Architects Design Awards + AIBC 2015 Architectural Awards.
• Call for entries: Tokyo Pop Lab International Architecture Competition: design an institution that will teach students the history of popular culture.
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Hurricane Sandy Victims Return to Resilient, Sustainable, Affordable Homes on Raritan Bay in New Jersey: The Rebuilding Union Beach demonstration project returns 14 families to new homes, and launches an online Project Guide for other communities needing to rebuild in the wake of a natural disaster. By Scott Lauer [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Cities make us strong, but leave us vulnerable: Fighting violence with violence will solve nothing. The real battle is fought in the banlieues - of Paris or Toronto - where the dispossessed are confined: These bleak concrete communities have become synonymous with generational poverty and systematic alienation...As the Paris banlieues make clear, cities contain the seeds of their own destruction. What the forces of density bring together, they can also tear apart. By Christopher Hume- Toronto Star
Editorial: Freedom of Worship: A growing demand for mosques brings NIMBYism in Europe to a new level: While such tremendous demand may look like a bonanza for architects, the design brief is politically charged, because neighborliness and the humanitarian needs of Middle Eastern and North African refugees seem to be irreconcilable with security concerns...exacerbated by demagogues, about cultural change...may lie a solution applicable in Europe and beyond...with sound political, architectural, and even theological precedents: sharing. By Ned Cramer- Architect Magazine
The Making Of An Icon: How The "Peace For Paris" Sign Spread Around The World: Following the terrorist attacks on Paris Friday, one graphic designer's raw reaction becomes a global symbol of peace and solidarity: "If [the illustration] can be useful in such a tragic moment, then my job is done...It’s an image for everyone. I don’t really care about ownership." -- Jean Jullien [images]- Fast Company / Co.Design
Of Course Skyscrapers Aren't Ruining Cities: The argument that skyscrapers spoil cities is flawed. And no building is as ugly as inequality: Density is not like failing to keep to a diet; it’s not the cookies’ fault. The argument against density is much closer to wishing for a castle. It’s a failure of imagination and a failure to grapple with reality. It’s looking at demand and saying, “Let them eat cake.” By Kriston Capps -- Eric Reguly- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
The long view: Should Kiev erase its Soviet past or learn to live with history: The contrasts the routes through the city create cannot but inculcate nostalgia for Soviet Kiev, because the contemporary built environment is an increasingly desperate vision of extreme inequality...if Soviet Ukraine can't be wished away, what should be conserved, and what should be rejected? ...one of the most fascinating, beautiful and conflicted cities in Europe. By Owen Hatherley [images]- The Calvert Journal (UK)
Ethical Design Practices May Help Slow Gentrification: There are many reasons why gentrification has been happening across American cities...but there are ways landscape architects and other designers can ensure they don’t further contribute to the problem...the solution for communities may be to “just green enough"...avoid “‘bright shiny object’ designs that trigger adulation.” By Jared Green -- Winifred Curran; Quenell Rothschild & Partners; Dan Pitera/Detroit Collaborative Design Center; Kathleen King/Design Workshop [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Making by Seeing: New (and old) visualization tools change the face of landscape architecture: Visioning exercises...are blurring the lines between technology and earth and between designer and public...The revolution in computer technologies has given architects and landscape architects a dazzling array of new tools...they must be used with discretion. By Josh Stephens -- Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; Heatherwick Studio; Arquitectonica; SCAPE landscape architects; Arid Lands Institute- The Architect's Newspaper
Jeanne Gang's vision expands from the skyscraper to the police station: ...an audacious attempt to address the tensions between police and African-Americans...["Polis Station"] would be more like a town center than a fortress...she is not a formalist obsessed with the way buildings look at the expense of how they work...cutting-edge qualities are tempered by a traditional concern for the craft of architecture and a desire to address social goals through an approach that Gang calls "actionable idealism." By Blair Kamin -- Studio Gang Architects [images]- Chicago Tribune
Milwaukee Art Museum's new lakefront atrium a gracious, rugged success: ...and full of industrial grit...It brings a fourth voice into an already raucous architectural conversation, which includes Kahler and heavyweights Saarinen and Calatrava...it corrects one of the great mistakes made 15 years ago...accomplishes a lot for a little building. It asserts itself beside powerful architectural statements with poise and a quiet intelligence. By Mary Louise Schumacher -- HGA Architects + Planners; David Kahler (1975) [images]- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
How America's Oldest Art Museum Building Got a High-Tech Makeover: The restoration of the Renwick Gallery in D.C. to its original state has involved some advanced engineering work...When contractors tore into the walls...they found all kinds of unexpected surprises...What workers didn’t expect...was so much extra construction. ..“We were finding tons and tons of band-aids"...referring to halfway renovations and shortcut repairs done over the course of more than 150 years. By Kriston Capps -- James Renwick(1861); Westlake Reed Leskosky [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
A way forward for the Eisenhower Memorial: The 16 years and $40 million spent planningl...represent more time and money than past memorials took to build...the whole project seems stuck. In fact it’s merely on the wrong track; the exclusive (and unprecedented) association of one designer with President Eisenhower’s memorial is the problem, and it’s a problem that has more to do with policies on the memorial commission than with Frank Gehry. By Sam Roche- The Hill (Washington, DC)
Philadelphia is the United States’ first World Heritage City: ...by the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC)...UNESCO named Independence Hall...a World Heritage Site in 1979...Mayor Michael Nutter hopes that the designation will increase investment in the city and strengthen its (already lucrative) heritage tourism sector.- The Architect's Newspaper
Collective–LOK steals hearts to win 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition: "Heart of Hearts" is a circle of nine, 10-foot-tall golden hearts that reflect the lights and the goings-on of Times Square...balancing private and public space in one of the world’s busiest pedestrian plazas. [images]- The Architect's Newspaper
CTBUH Names Bosco Verticale, Milan, “Best Tall Building Worldwide” for 2015: The jury applauded ...“Vertical Forest” for its extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height...Awards Jury also recognized numerous other impactful projects... -- Boeri Studio Architteti; WOHA Architects; antiago Calatrava; Minoru Mori; Nicholas E. Billotti/Turner International [images]- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
2015 Association of Licensed Architects Design Awards: ALA 17th Annual Design Awards recognized 30 projects in 13 states. -- Dewberry; INVISION Architecture; JGMA; ASK Studio; Halflants + Pichette Architects; etc. [images]- Association of Licensed Architects (ALA)
The AIBC Announces the Winners of Its 2015 Architectural Awards: ...Architectural Institute of British Columbia's program honors 10 projects in four categories, and one firm led by a local architect. -- ABC Architecture Building Culture; HCMA Architecture + Design; Michael Green Architecture; Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers; Perkins+Will; Public Architecture + Communication; Hemsworth Architecture; Measured Architecture; Bruce Carscadden Architect & IBI Group; Matthew Soules Architecture [images]- Architect Magazine
Call for entries: Tokyo Pop Lab International Architecture Competition: design an institution that will teach students the history of popular culture and prepare them for future ones; cash prizes; earlybird registration deadline (save money!): December 2; registration closes February 3 (submissions due February 17)- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert)
A Filtered View #2: Ubiquitous Stuff - Why is Most of it so Ugly? Maybe Apple should design all of this stuff; or maybe Philippe Starck. By Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA [images]- ArchNewsNow.com
Atelier Christian de Portzamparc: Cidade das Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Paying homage to an archetype of Brazilian architecture, [it] is seen as a large house - a great veranda above the city...The building is a small city contained in one big structure... By Kirsten Kiser [images]
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