Today’s News - Thursday, December 17, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow will be a no-newsletter day - we'll be back Monday, December 21. (Just a heads-up: we'll only be posting Monday and Tuesday next week.)
• ANN feature: In Bloszies' A Filtered View #3, he tackles the paradox of a socially progressive but architecturally conservative San Francisco: "'Disruption' is the new buzz-word, but our new architecture (with a few exceptions) is anything but disruptive."
• Cuff takes on L.A. NIMBYs objecting to a new Saitowitz project who use the D-word "hurled at every project Angelenos want to defeat. Density is inevitable; the only questions are how we build it and where we want it."
• Wainwright parses the two new designs (by Ito and Kuma - perhaps) for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium: "they look like a fried egg and a stack of saucers," and "might seem a bit bargain-basement - the whole process has been a sorry but familiar saga."
• Scharmen has some issues with Assemble's Turner Prize win: "No one seems to have asked 'but is it architecture?'"
• Lamster and Lange pen a most amusing year in review, handing out lots of hilariously-named prizes "with no shortage of material, focusing on works demanding praise and damnation - sometimes both."
• Anderton offers a great Q&A with Herda re: the Chicago Architectural Biennial: "don't expect to find showy formal experiments or a definitive new architectural 'ism.'"
• Canada names its team for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
• Sisson rounds up "10 neighborhoods that have influenced U.S. architecture."
• We'll find out in January which of five teams will be tapped to design the Canadian Canoe Museum (it won't be easy - it's an impressive list).
• Saffron has more than a few quibbles with how Philly is portrayed in the film "Creed": the city "is in the midst of its own Rocky-like comeback. Yet [it] leaves you with the impression that the city is still a dysfunctional, hard-luck place" that it was in the 1970s.
• Green, on a more glamorous Hollywood note, finds out from Chip Sullivan what landscape architects (and architects, for that matter) can learn from Tinsel Town. Why? "Because they are 'creating the landscapes we all want to be in.'"
• Hall Kaplan, usually one of our favorite curmudgeons, ends the year on a positive note, finding inspiration in UCLA Landscape Architecture graduate student presentations.
• One we couldn't resist: A town in North Carolina (pop. 809) "bans solar for fear it will 'suck up all the energy from the sun'" (written by an NC native who is totally embarrassed - and funny).
• Call for entries (deadline reminder): Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge ($15,000 prize).
• Weekend diversions:
• Landon lauds "Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie" at NYC's National Academy: "the architectural world has begun embracing with renewed interest the ideas he first articulated in the 1960s. Again and again, the show returns to themes that first took shape in Habitat 67."
• Byrnes cheers "Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc: Une architecture du Québec moderne, 1958-1974" at UQAM in Montreal: "If there's one group of architects that best represents the Quiet Revolution that swept through 1960s Quebec, it's PGL."
• Josef Frank takes center stage at the MAK in Vienna: "his work has been little known up until recently, perhaps because of his anti-doctrinaire, middle-ground approach" (great pix!).
• Aliento cheers Michler's "Hyperlocalization of Architecture" for being "a richly textured exploration of how design responds differently and very much regionally in achieving sustainability."
• Webb is (mostly) wow'd by "China Architectural Guide" by Chakroff, Godel, and Gargus: "Jinhua is overrated: an architectural zoo curated by Ai Wei-Wei, which has become a neglected folly and is no longer worth traveling to see."
• King offers his annual round-up of architectural books that would make most excellent gifts (McCarter's "Steven Holl" is an "uncommonly intelligent monograph").
• Ananthanarayanan's "The Fold" offers origami architecture that showcases heritage buildings in India; it "combines the skills of an artist with that of an architect and a sculptor."
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A Filtered View #3: Socially Progressive, Architecturally Conservative: A San Francisco Paradox: "Disruption" is the new buzz-word, but our new architecture (with a few exceptions) is anything but disruptive. A hallmark of a socially progressive environment is diversity - we need diversity in architecture, too. By Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA- ArchNewsNow.com
Op-Ed: L.A. badly needs housing, and Palladium Residences more than fits the need: Lacking better ammunition, detractors mainly use the D-word...“density,” the term hurled at every project Angelenos want to defeat...No new development is ever perfect, but the critics have the Palladium's problems all wrong...Density is inevitable; the only questions are how we build it and where we want it. By Dana Cuff/cityLAB-UCLA -- Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects- Los Angeles Times
Bye bye Zaha, hello fried egg! New designs unveiled for Tokyo Olympic stadium: Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo 2020 stadium was declared a national joke then scrapped. Now, its proposed replacements have been revealed - and they look like an egg and a stack of saucers: ...designs might seem a bit bargain-basement...believed to be the work of...Kengo Kuma and Toyo Ito...Local reaction has been lukewarm so far...the whole process has been a sorry but familiar saga. By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
But is it Architecture? What does Assemble's Turner Prize say about the state of architectural practice today? ...press loves to ask “but is it art?” No one seems to have asked “but is it architecture?”...Assemble worked with a community land trust...Is it architecture? No one’s saying, no one’s asking. The coyness exhibited by Assemble, in their public statements, and in their installation, isn’t constructive. By Fred Scharmen- The Architect's Newspaper
Architecture in 2015, A Year in Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Potato Chips: ...handing out prizes with no shortage of material (some of it food-related), focusing on works demanding praise and damnation - sometimes both. By Mark Lamster and Alexandra Lange [images]- Curbed
DnA/Frances Anderton: The State of the Art of Architecture, According to Sarah Herda: ...check out the Chicago Architectural Biennial...don’t expect to find there showy formal experiments or a definitive new architectural “ism"...architects are “really carving out new ways to practice and challenging the notion that an architect is sitting at a desk waiting for the phone to ring." -- Joseph Grima [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
Canada’s Team for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale Revealed: ...produced by the Art Gallery of Alberta...spearheaded by landscape urbanist Pierre Bélanger and members of his Toronto and Boston design research practice OPSYS... -- RVTR; Ryerson University Ecological Design Lab; Studio Blackwell- Azure magazine (Canada)
10 Neighborhoods That Influenced U.S. Architecture: ...have made significant impacts on American architecture, either by pushing innovation, showcasing historical development, or influencing designers... By Patrick Sisson -- Chicago Loop; Palm Springs; New Canaan, Connecticut;Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District: Oak Park, Illinois; Levittown, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; National Mall; Beacon Hill, Boston; Garden District, New Orleans; South Beach, Miami [images]- Curbed
Canadian Canoe Museum design to be chosen in January: ...the board will either vote to accept the design or not...Only five firms made the cut...10-member committee that is making the recommendation to the board...is chaired by Lisa Rochon... -- Provencher Roy/NORR; Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF); 5468796 Architecture/Moriyama and Teshima Architects; Heneghan Peng; Bing Thom/Lett Architects- The Peterborough Examiner (Canada)
Yo, Rocky, 'Creed' doesn't show Philadelphia's own comeback: The original Rocky movie arrived in 1976, just as Philadelphia was hitting bottom...Forty years have passed and Philadelphia is in the midst of its own Rocky-like comeback. Yet the newest movie...leaves you with the impression that the city is still a dysfunctional, hard-luck place...If we continue to see ourselves as we were in the 1970s, we'll keep making policies based on that self-image and borne out of desperation. By Inga Saffron- Philadelphia Inquirer
What Landscape Architects Can Learn from Hollywood: Hollywood studio backlots...have been used to build whole worlds for the big screen for decades...Chip Sullivan...revealed how they do it...Why learn from Hollywood? Because they are “creating the landscapes we all want to be in.” By Jared Green [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
UCLA Landscape Architecture Students Excel: To end the year on a positive note - there be no bemoaning star architecture today...I take heart in some graduate student presentations I recently juried...What made many of the student projects so appealing was that they were particularly site and user sensitive, with several addressing the challenge of derelict locales in under-served communities... By Sam Hall Kaplan -- Brian De Paz; Tricia O’Connell; Elisabeth Miller-Weinstein- City Observed
North Carolina town bans solar for fear it will “suck up all the energy from the sun”: ...Woodland (population 809) has rejected a solar farm and put a moratorium on new solar construction, due to some ... unconventional concerns from local residents. By Katie Herzog- Grist Magazine
Call for entries (deadline reminder): Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge: redesign the facade of 200 Park Avenue (formerly the Pan Am Building), one of New York City’s most recognized landmarks, with the goal of achieving greater energy performance; open to professionals and students; Prize: $15,000; deadline: February 1, 2016- Metals in Construction magazine
Moshe Safdie and the World: New York Retrospective Finds the Architect Adopting a Global Perspective: ...the architectural world has begun embracing with renewed interest the ideas he first articulated in the 1960s..."Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie"...Again and again...returns to themes that first took shape in Habitat 67: the desire to cultivate thriving communities while making often surprising connections between architecture and its urban, historical, cultural, and natural environments. By Robert Landon [images]- Metropolis Magazine
A Look Back at Quebec's Masters of Modernism: The firm behind some of the province’s biggest public projects of the ‘60s and ‘70s is the subject of a new show: If there’s one group of architects that best represents the Quiet Revolution that swept through 1960s Quebec, it’s PGL. "Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc: Une architecture du Québec moderne, 1958-1974” at UQAM Centre de Design, Montreal. By Mark Byrnes [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
"Josef Frank: Against Design" Adds Kitsch, Comfort to Design in Vienna: Despite his relevance as a leading figure of modernity and a herald of Postmodernism, his work has been little known up until recently, perhaps because of his anti-doctrinaire, middle-ground approach; at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna [images]- Artinfo
"Hyperlocalization of Architecture - Contemporary Sustainable Archetypes" by Andrew Michler...a richly textured exploration of how design responds differently and very much regionally in achieving sustainability...looking at exemplar projects in Cascadia (the US North West), Japan, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Mexico and Australia, Michler draws out elements of design, materiality and delivery that link sustainable architecture firmly to its context. By Willow Aliento [images]- The Fifth Estate (Australia)
Keeping Up with China: DOM publishers is consistently producing the best architectural guides in the world..."China Architectural Guide" by Evan Chakroff, Addison Godel and Jacqueline Gargus may be the summit of this achievement: a tightly focused survey of 11 Eastern cities...Jinhua is overrated: an architectural zoo curated by Ai Wei-Wei, which has become a neglected folly and is no longer worth traveling to see...minor objections... By Michael Webb- FORM magazine
Holiday book gift guide: Architecture. By John King -- Improvisations on the Land: Houses of Fernau + Hartman by Richard Fernau; Road Trip: Roadside America by Richard Longstreth; Steven Holl by Robert McCarter ["uncommonly intelligent monograph"]; Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston by Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo and Chris Grimley; San Francisco: A Map of Perceptions by Andrea Posni; California Moderne and the Mid-Century Dream: The Architecture of Edward H. Fickett by Richard Rapaport; 50 Modern Buildings That Changed the World by Deyan Sudjic; 30 Years of Emerging Voices: Ideas, Form, Resonance by the Architectural League of New York- San Francisco Chronicle
The Razor’s Edge: For the first time, a book on origami architecture showcases heritage buildings in India: "The Fold" by Shivaram Ananthanarayanan...limited edition, handmade book is one-of-a-kind...combines the skills of an artist with that of an architect and a sculptor.- Indian Express
Emre Arolat Architects: Sancaklar Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey: The high walls surrounding the park...depicts a clear boundary between the chaotic outer world, and the serene atmosphere of the public park...Women are separated from the men by a perforated metal screen. This is the first time in mosque architecture women can pray in the same row as the men. By Kirsten Kiser [images]
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