Today’s News - Monday, January 4, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy New Year! It's good to be back (we think). Now we have lots of catching up to do...
• ArcSpace revisits Coop Himmelb(l)au's Dalian International Conference Center, a "small city within a city" in China.
• Lubell looks at the architecture of 2015 that "has wowed, seduced, and, occasionally, astonished us."
• Capps eulogizes some of the important buildings we lost in 2015: "Brutalism lost the good fight - a cautionary tale: Haste makes waste."
• A look at what London has "lost in its race to modernity."
• A fascinating look at Foster's massive Maspero Triangle megaproject in Cairo that "has locals asking: where do we fit in?" (and an Assemble-like collective hoping, but not all that optimistic, it will include participatory planning).
• Rome "has a logistical nightmare: juggling ambitious restoration projects with trying to run and update the city - and all without a mayor" + One we couldn't resist: Rome also has to deal with olive-bingeing birds and heavy rain "creating hazardous conditions" on streets and sidewalks.
• Davidson gives thumbs-up to NYC's new sanitation garage and salt shed, and thanks the celebrities who fought it: "they made it more visible, forcing the city to house a dirty job in the dignity of actual architecture."
• King is less kind to UC Berkeley's "hulking" new computer lab that, like other Bay Area research and medical buildings, makes an "awkward" neighbor: "State-of-the-art code requirements plus user expectations equal boxes that often seem to land with a thud."
• A "rebuffed" Hadid looks into similarities between her original and Kuma's new 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium designs (Ito notices similarities, too).
• Kimmelman explains why architects should think about sound: "it may be invisible, but that doesn't make it any less an architectural material than wood, glass, concrete, stone or light. It is shaped by design" (with sounds to prove it!).
• A great profile of the Kounkuey Design Initiative that thinks big by designing small, and in the process, "has completed a remarkable number of sustainable projects in its first decade, and increasingly, the international aid community is paying attention."
• Bernstein on Biederman, "the mastermind behind Bryant Park's rebirth - he's bigger on programming than on landscape architecture," so "it's not surprising that he has complex relationships with landscape architects."
• A look at some of the Swiss architects going "wild over zoo design - embracing the challenge to make lions, elephants and sea creatures feel at home."
• Eyefuls of a century-old Spanish church transformed into an insanely-colorful skate park called the Kaos Temple.
• Wanders considers the debate about whether non-architects should design buildings as "an endless conversation about nothing" (expletives included).
• Eyefuls of the Krakow Oxygen Home competition winners from Iran, U.K., and U.S.
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Coop Himmelb(l)au: Dalian International Conference Center, Dalian, China: A multi-functional "small city within a city" with conference and event rooms for 7,000 visitors. A landmark for the prospering harbor city. By Kirsten Kiser -- Wolf D. Prix
The Amazing Architecture That Captivated Us in 2015: Between its vegetable-shaped forms, urban generators, clever reuses, tech palaces, tree-scaped towers, and shiny stadia, the architecture of 2015 has wowed, seduced, and, occasionally, astonished us. Our obsession with “gee whiz” forms seems to be settling down. By Sam Lubell -- Gensler; MAD Architects; Bureau V; SANAA; Heatherwick Studio; Zaha Hadid; Rem Koolhaas/OMA; wHY Architecture; Toshiko Mori; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; TEN Arquitectos; JDS Architects; Stefano Boeri; Michael Maltzan; UNStudio; Renzo Piano; AHMM; etc. [images]- Wired
In Memoriam: Important Buildings Lost in 2015: It was a brutal year for concrete architecture: Brutalism lost the good fight in 2015....serve as a cautionary tale: Haste makes waste. Orange County Government Center; Morris A. Mechanic Theatre; Stage Theater/Mummers Theater; Birmingham Central Library; Greyfriars Bus Station; Shoreline. By Kriston Capps -- Paul Rudolph; Gene Kaufman; John M. Johansen; John Madin; Arup [images]- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
What has London lost in its race to modernity? London has never been so diverse, so attractive to global elites or so internationally envied and emulated...The city's extraordinary growth has many critics, with concerns ranging from extreme inequality to the damage done to longstanding communities. [video]- BBC News
Norman Foster's Cairo redevelopment has locals asking: where do we fit in? Glass towers, modernist boulevards and elegant roof gardens ... Can Foster + Partners’ vision for Cairo’s Maspero Triangle avoid the controversies of Egypt’s past megaprojects, and encourage a new era of urban design - and democracy? By Jack Shenker and Ruth Michaelson -- Madd Platform [images]- Guardian (UK)
Rome won't be rebuilt in a day: the challenge of city centre restoration: The Italian capital has a logistical nightmare: juggling ambitious restoration projects at the Colosseum and the Porta Maggiore basilica with trying to run and update the city - and all without a mayor. Can it cope? ...it seems the phenomenon of fashionistas funding restoration projects has become a trend. -- Mario Bellini- Guardian (UK)
Rome seals off roads caked with droppings from birds that binged on olives: Heavy rain over the weekend washed bird droppings from trees that line the Tiber onto the streets, creating hazardous conditions: ...made streets and pavements...too slippery and treacherous for pedestrians and traffic.- Guardian (UK)
A High-Style Garbage Garage on West Street: ...the rest of us should thank...the whole posse of outraged celebrities who fought it. Rather than killing the project, they made it more visible, forcing the city to house a dirty job in the dignity of actual architecture...we all live under the hood of a great machine, and we have to care for it with pride. By Justin Davidson -- Dattner Architects; WXY Architecture + Urban Design- New York Magazine
Hulking UC Berkeley computer lab sits awkwardly in neighborhood: ...new Shyh Wang Hall...resembles a mainframe computer itself. It’s a sleek metal cube that’s hard to disguise...yet another Bay Area example of how research and medical buildings, no matter how innovative they might be inside, are increasingly awkward neighbors...State-of-the-art code requirements plus user expectations equal boxes that often seem to land with a thud. By John King -- Perkins+Will [imges]- San Francisco Chronicle
Rebuffed architect Hadid probing ‘similarities’ in original, new 2020 Olympic stadium designs: Kengo Kuma’s team was declared the winner of the second competition...edging architect Toyo Ito...It is unclear whether the group will take legal action. -- Zaha Hadid Architects [images]- Japan Times
Dear Architects: Sound Matters: Architects often don’t think about sound. Here’s why they should: Sound may be invisible or only unconsciously perceived, but that doesn’t make it any less an architectural material than wood, glass, concrete, stone or light. It is shaped by design... By Michael Kimmelman [images/audio]- New York Times
Thinking Big by Designing Small: Kounkuey Design Initiative is learning from the urban design movement’s failures and in the process, discovering new ways to collaborate with communities: Sticking to nimble, low-cost design solutions and collaborative partnerships, KDI has completed a remarkable number of sustainable projects in its first decade, and increasingly, the international aid community is paying attention. By Lyra Kilston- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Pardon His Progress: Dan Biederman, the mastermind behind Bryant Park’s rebirth, is expanding his development ideas to harder sites. But he’s bigger on programming than on landscape architecture: Not everyone approves of Biederman’s approach...It’s not surprising that he has complex relationships with landscape architects. By Fred A. Bernstein -- Biederman Redevelopment Ventures; Office of James Burnett; Sasaki Associates; OLIN- Landscape Architecture Magazine
Swiss architects go wild over zoo design: Designing spaces for wild animals is not what most architects have in mind when entering the profession. But the creative Swiss are embracing the challenge to make lions, elephants and sea creatures feel at home. -- Markus Schietsch Architekten; Boltshauser Architekten; Urs Baumgartner/Vetsch Partner [images]- SwissInfo.ch
A Century-Old Spanish Church Transforms into an Art-Filled Skate Park: ...after decades of neglect, the Romanesque revival structure [Church of Santa Barbera, Llanera, Spain] has been transformed into a street art skatepark. Called the Kaos Temple, its walls and vaulted ceilings are painted in kaleidoscoping rainbow patterns by Madrid street artist Okuda San Miguel. -- Manuel del Busto (1912) [images]- Hyperallergic
Designers as architects debate is "f*cking opposite" of open-minded creativity says Marcel Wanders: ...has dismissed the ongoing debate about whether non-architects should design buildings as "an endless conversation about nothing"...the argument is a waste of time.- Dezeen
Krakow Oxygen Home competition winners: cited for the singularity of their architectural vision of a healthful, sustainable environment. -- Nima Nian/Behdad Heydari (Iran); Paul Jones/Chris Brown (U.K.); Cameron Kollath (U.S.) [images]- Bee Breeders (formerly HMMD/Homemade Dessert)
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