Today’s News - Thursday, January 7, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Apologies for not posting yesterday - we've been laid low by a miserable cold. If there's no newsletter tomorrow, you'll know why (and just in case, "Weekend Diversions" is in today's news).
• Betsky reflects on 2015 and "overcoming a year of fear": "critics are so wary of architecture they don't understand that they are willing to proclaim thoroughly mediocre and confused buildings as works of genius because they are so bland, but do no harm."
• Baillieu "dusts off her crystal ball and gazes into 2016": after a year when "architects were cock-a-hoop" at Assemble winning the Turner Prize, they are less happy about Heatherwick as "clients' favorite go-to designer," and H&deM's new Tate Modern is "a building out of time" (and not a good way).
• Wainwright minces no words about what he thinks of the U.K.'s new housing and planning bill that "is handing housing over to private developers" in "a drunken festival of deregulation."
• Capps itemizes "14 incredible objections" to an affordable housing project in Boulder, CO, that include "protecting a firefly habitat and curbing 'pet density'" (and we thought we'd heard it all).
• Snell delves into ways to think about - and critique - sprawl: "It's more than just automobile infrastructure."
• Anderton considers what's next for L.A.'s Pershing Square now the shortlist has been winnowed down to four: "Will the winning idea become a reality? Can they make over the square without over-designing it," as Legorreta did in 1994?
• Japanese historians still bemoan the loss of Tokyo's original Hotel Okura, claiming the city "is razing architectural assets to accommodate the 2020 Olympics" (promises to "'faithfully reproduce' several beloved artifacts" just doesn't cut it).
• Wainwright is pretty much wow'd on his visit to Russia's 1957 "Silicon Forest" in Siberia, "now, making a comeback - as a billion-dollar cradle of tech innovation - a gleaming orange ziggurat that rises out of this forest...like a monument from some techno-Mayan civilization."
• Chipperfield has really big plans for a Berlin brewery that was severely bomb-damaged during WWII.
• Goldschmied minces no words in an open, "outspoken 'letter of regret'" to Richard Rogers that "puts the boot into the firm which he accuses of abandoning of its founding principles."
• One we couldn't resist: "NIMBYism beyond the grave": the neoclassical mausoleum for the Washington Post's Bradlee "is suddenly on shaky legal ground - thanks to Georgetown griping" (one would think the architect would/should have known better!).
• Weekend diversions (in case we can't muster our energy above a miserable cold tomorrow):
• "Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art "demonstrates the teamwork behind architectural creativity."
• "Architecture" is the theme of this year's Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, presenting "worlds of structural fantasies" by outsider artists (amazing! H/T John Devlin).
• Per previous stories re: affordable housing and sprawl, Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner's "Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City" offers lessons for all from NYC's subsidized housing's successes and failures.
• Paletta parses two new books that explain "why suburbia looks so much the same" (except it really doesn't).
• Goldberger's Gehry biography is "engaging, warm and appealing, factual and philosophical."
• Economides gives two thumbs-ups to two new monographs marking the 50th anniversary of Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square.
• Call for entries: Re-Ball! Design Competition to reuse Snarkitecture's 650,000+ plastic balls from the NBM's "The Beach" in DC's Dupont Underground + 2016 AZ Awards: Social Good Award and Environmental Leadership Award + 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space.
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Architecture in 2015: Overcoming a Year of Fear: ...tactics that might help us defeat fear and build a more open society...critics are so wary of architecture they don’t understand that they are willing to proclaim thoroughly mediocre and confused buildings...as works of genius because they are so bland, but do no harm...some architects are kicking out the jams and enjoying the exuberance new technologies make possible. By Aaron Betsky [images]- Architect Magazine
Reshuffling parliament, the vanishing concert hall - and that bridge: Amanda Baillieu dusts off her crystal ball and gazes into 2016: Architects were cock-a-hoop when...Assemble won art’s main gong, the Turner Prize...but are less happy that Thomas Heatherwick has become clients’ favourite go-to designer...new Tate Modern...a building out of time. Such conspicuous consumption is deemed wrong...marks the end of an era. -- Herzog & de Meuron- BD/Building Design (UK)
A wholesale power grab: how the UK government is handing housing over to private developers: The new housing and planning bill is a raft of dangerous measures that will increase inequality and solely benefit the private sector: ...the effect will simply be to remove resources from the places that need it most...."It proves that localism is dead"...a drunken festival of deregulation. By Oliver Wainwright- Guardian (UK)
14 Incredible Objections to a Single Boulder Housing Development: Protecting a firefly habitat and curbing “pet density” are among the reasons some city residents are resisting an affordable housing development. By Kriston Capps- CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities)
Ways to Think About Sprawl - and to Critique It: What motivates sprawl? It's more than just automobile infrastructure: In "All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities" Michael Sorkin critically explores some of the agents that give cities their form. By Steven Snell- PLANetizen
DnA/Frances Anderton: Then There Were Four. What’s Next For Pershing Square Design Competition? Will the winning idea become a reality? ...can they make over the square without over-designing it, as was the problem with the Ricardo Legorreta design of 1994? [Q&A with Edwardo Santana/Pershing Square Renewal] -- SWA/Morphosis; James Corner Field Operations/Frederick Fisher; wHY Architecture/Civitas; Agence Ter/SALT [images]- KCRW (Los Angeles)
In a Renewed Hotel Okura, Japanese Historians Still See a Loss: The demolition of the postwar modernist hotel and plans to replace it led to complaints that Tokyo is razing architectural assets to accommodate the 2020 Olympics...promised to “faithfully reproduce” several beloved artifacts in the lobby... -- Yoshiro Taniguchi (1962); Yoshio Taniguchi- New York Times
Step into Silicon Forest, Putin's secret weapon in the global tech race: Akademgorodok was a science city in Siberia [built in 1957]...Now, it’s making a comeback - as a billion-dollar cradle of tech innovation: ...a gleaming orange ziggurat that rises out of this forest...like a monument from some techno-Mayan civilisation...a fluorescent pyramid of innovation... By Oliver Wainwright -- Space Structure [images]- Guardian (UK)
David Chipperfield reveals £185 million masterplan for Berlin brewery: adding a trio of new buildings to house a gallery, restaurants and a medical innovation centre [Future Lab]...former Bötzow Brewery near Berlin's Alexanderplatz was severely bomb-damaged during WWII... [images]- Dezeen
Marco Goldschmied launches attack on 'corporate' RSHP [Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners]: Practice’s former managing director also reveals he is abandoning redevelopment of Rogers’ old office: ...an outspoken “letter of regret” to Richard Rogers criticising changes at the practice which he helped found 40 years ago...puts the boot into the firm which he accuses of abandoning of its founding principles.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Ben Bradlee Could Be Exhumed from His Crypt Thanks to Georgetown Griping: NIMBYism beyond the grave: ...Washington Post executive editor was laid to rest at Georgetown’s Oak Hill cemetery. His neoclassical mausoleum...is suddenly on shaky legal ground. -- Stephen Muse/Muse Architects; Charles A. Birnbaum/The Cultural Landscape Foundation [image]- Washingtonian Magazine
Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit features Gehry collaborator: Architects design buildings and spaces, but they are dependent upon people seeing their creations and understanding their meaning and use..."Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design" demonstrates the teamwork behind architectural creativity. By Diane M. Fiske- Chestnut Hill Local (Philadelphia)
Amazing Art Brut Architecture: Worlds of structural fantasies: For its second Biennale designed to periodically expose...works by outsider artists that it owns, this year’s edition at Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne is dedicated to the powerful theme of "Architecture."- Time Out Switzerland
Researchers Unearth 100-Year-Old Affordable Housing Solution: Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner, editors of..."Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City," say...“We need to go back to Washington and make those same arguments we were making a long time ago for more robust support"...readers can glean lessons from subsidized housing’s successes and failures in New York. By Cassie Owens- Next City (formerly Next American City)
Why Suburbia Looks So Much the Same: Two new books explain how that happened: If it’s fair to lament how tremendously varied suburbia might have been, it is still inaccurate to say it’s all the same. "Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945-1965" by Barbara Miller Lane; "Detached America: Building Houses in Postwar Suburbia" by James A. Jacobs. By Anthony Paletta- The Daily Beast
"Building Art, the Life and Work of Frank Gehry": Paul Goldberger’s biography is an engaging exploration of the life and work of a skilled artist who has transformed modern architecture...biography is warm and appealing, factual and philosophical.- The Missourian
Toronto’s New City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square: Design Process, Product and Legacy: Marking the 50th anniversary of Toronto City Hall’s opening, two monographs...attend to the civic mindedness and democratic ideals that characterized the design process - and the designed product - of Toronto’s civic centre. "Competing Modernisms: Toronto’s New City Hall and Square" by George T. Kapelos; "Civic Symbol: Creating Toronto’s New City Hall, 1952-1966" by Christopher Armstrong. By Aliki Economides -- Viljo Revell [images]- Canadian Architect magazine
Call for entries: Re-Ball! Design Competition (international): reuse 650,000+ plastic balls from the National Building Museum’s "The Beach" as material to transform a raw, infrastructural space in the Dupont Underground (Washington, DC); cash prizes; early registration deadline (save money): February 4 (submissions due March 4)- Dupont Underground
Call for entries: 2016 AZ Awards: Social Good Award and Environmental Leadership Award (international): architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, products, concepts, and student work; deadline: February 22- Azure magazine (Canada)
Call for entries: 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space; open to projects within the geographic limits of the Council of Europe; deadline: February 22- Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
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
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