Today’s News - Tuesday, February 16, 2016
• ArcSpace brings us eyefuls of Siza's Auditorium Theatre outside of Barcelona.
• It's a post-hearts-and-flowers world, it seems - lots of grumpy news today, beginning with Mills and Roche's calls for a re-thinking of the Eisenhower Memorial: Ike "would shudder at the idea of a biopic of a memorial" + the memorial is being held "hostage to one design that is too controversial to build" - it's time for a "do-over."
• Lest we forget London's Garden Bridge: Finch "finds it baffling that RIBA has entered the Garden Bridge debate - you'd think it had more important things to worry about" (the miserabalists smell blood).
• Holdsworth says all the debate has been "fun," but the "project should be iced."
• Moore x 2: the Garden Bridge has been "promoted and sold with half-truths, deceptions and evasions," with "dissenting voices" being "drowned out by relentless cheerleading."
• On a brighter note, he has high hopes that Hull being named UK City of Culture 2017 will "help to fulfill its nature as a place apart, where new things grow spontaneously."
• Flamer fans the flames further re: "the ugly dust-up over Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Stadium. Winning isn't always what it seems" (and the first time we've seen Yoshioka's "magnificent floating fountain design" that "will go down as the lovable hard-luck loser for whom we cheered").
• Lebrecht lauds Krier's counter-proposal to "another concrete monster" as a new home for the London Symphony Orchestra: "His solution has simplicity, charm and tradition - build it with beauty."
• Heathcote tackles Trump: "what do Trump's towers tell us about Trump the politician?" (how could we resist "a clumsy pavilion akin to the mating of a McMansion and a strip-mall funeral parlor").
• Litman takes issue with Cox and Pavletich's latest International Housing Affordability Survey: it "is little more than pro-sprawl propaganda; if it were more comprehensive and less biased, it could be a useful tool."
• Dickinson bemoans that "schools are abetting the ebbing of the profession of architecture as a building art - the student, the professor and the architect are not practicing, or preparing to practice, architecture; they are experiencing a really cool lifestyle."
• Guellerin, on the other hand, sees the shake-up in architectural education as "the forerunner of the participative management models championed by modern theories of organization. Being scholarly and learned will no longer be enough to earn your stripes as a professor."
• Hagberg Fisher proffers a "Design Patient's Bill of Rights": "in every hospital, I had rights. The buildings? They just happened to me. Keep yourself informed, because there are actually three things you can never avoid: Death, Taxes, and Architecture."
• Holmes takes a deep (and fascinating) dive into São Paulo's "controversial" 15-year master plan to help solve its housing crisis: despite politics and economics, "this plan is a good one, collaboratively developed and passed with broad-based support."
• Wainwright gets practically watery over Baca Architects' floating houses that address problem flooding (a "shimmering sea creature" included).
• Q&A with Jacobs, executive director of Architecture for Humanity's offshoot, the Chapter Network re: his "big plans for the newfangled Network, how to continue AfH's legacy without making its same mistakes, and how to create a sustainable organization on a shoestring."
• Kamin reports on Stantec's "surprise" acquisition of VOA Associates.
• Cheers to Architectural Review's shortlists for Women in Architecture Awards 2016 and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture - a stellar bunch!
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Álvaro Siza: Auditorium Theatre, Barcelona, Spain: ...located northeast of the urban fabric of the town of Llinars del Valles...The complex is part of a larger plan for the adjacent public land... By Kirsten Kiser [images]
It’s D-Day for Ike’s Memorial: The battle over plans for a Washington memorial to Dwight Eisenhower drags on: How would Eisenhower...have responded to the battle over his own memorial? Certainly, he would be sympathetic to the idea of completing it as soon as possible for the sake of the surviving World War II vets. But he would also shudder at the idea of a biopic of a memorial. By Nicolaus Mills -- Frank Gehry- The Daily Beast
A do-over for Ike: Scrap the pricey memorial design and hold a public competition: ...has become a contentious and expensive boondoggle...unelected commissioners are treating this as a public subsidy to keep lobbying for the same problematic design, refusing to recognize the budget setback as a signal to change course...holding progress on the memorial hostage to one design that is too controversial to build... By Sam Roche/Right by Ike -- Frank Gehry- Washington Post
You'd think the RIBA had more important things to worry about: Paul Finch finds it baffling that the institute has entered the Garden Bridge debate: ...noise is being made not because of genuine concerns about procurement...but because those concerned just don’t like the idea of this particular bridge. Unfortunately the miserabalist tendency has the bit between its teeth and...smells blood. It is a lively time for the tendency... -- Thomas Heatherwick- The Architects' Journal (UK)
You've Had Your Fun, But Let's Put The Garden Bridge To Bed Now: Rachel Holdsworth has weighed up the arguments for and against the Garden Bridge and is left unimpressed: Frankly, the project should be iced and a more sensible pedestrian and cycling bridge be developed...A scaled-back, elegant crossing would also cost less than the £175m... -- Heatherwick Studio- Londonist (UK)
Garden bridge: a project promoted and sold with half-truths, deceptions and evasions: Dissenting voices have been drowned out by relentless cheerleading for London’s proposed Thames crossing: When debate on a significant project is deflected and numbed, it is frustrating for those who want to raise reasoned objections...it is no way to make major decisions in a democracy. By Rowan Moore -- Thomas Heatherwick/Heatherwick Studio- Observer (UK)
City of Culture 2017: Will Hull have the last laugh? Hull’s selection as UK City of Culture 2017 caught many by surprise, not least the people who live there, but this once prosperous port has a rich history of art, design and free thinking: ...if being city of culture achieves anything, it must surely be about helping Hull to fulfil its nature as a place apart, where new things grow spontaneously... By Rowan Moore- Observer (UK)
The Ugly Dust Up Over Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Stadium: Erecting a new stadium is a fiercely competitive process...But buyer beware. Winning isn’t always what it seems: The process has gotten ugly - rife with bad blood and bad sportsmanship...Accusations are flying like javelins...Yoshioka’s magnificent floating fountain design will go down as the lovable hard-luck loser for whom we cheered... By Keith Flamer -- Kengo Kuma; Zaha Hadid; Tokujin Yoshioka [images]- Forbes
At last, a sensible proposal for London’s next concert hall: Léon Krier has been contemplating the half-billion pound disaster that will unfold if the London Symphony Orchestra is allowed to build another concrete monster...His solution has simplicity, charm and tradition...build it with beauty. By Norman Lebrecht [images]- Slipped Disc
Trump towers over his surroundings: Donald Trump is a builder...So, with the nomination tantalisingly close for the Republican frontrunner...what do Trump’s towers tell us about Trump the politician? ...[his] buildings, unlike his father’s, have failed to make any architectural contribution to the cities around them or address social needs...He builds big but often it is other people who pay. At least he is consistent: his wall on the southern border is to be paid for by the Mexicans it is intended to keep out. By Edwin Heathcote- Financial Times (UK)
Smart Growth Policies for Urban Affordability and Fertility: The new International Housing Affordability Survey contains various errors and biases...claims that compact housing reduces fertility. Really? The current IHAS is little more than pro-sprawl propaganda; if it were more comprehensive and less biased, it could be a useful tool... By Todd Litman -- Wendell Cox; Hugh Pavletich- PLANetizen
Architecture Has Become a Lifestyle Choice: ...the joys of the profession are transitioning from those found in getting a structure out of the ground, to the thrill of creating designs that are virtually beautiful...schools are abetting the ebbing of the profession of architecture as a building art...increasingly the student, the professor and the architect all share one mindset. They are not practicing, or preparing to practice, architecture; they are experiencing a really cool lifestyle. By Duo Dickinson- Common Edge
Shaking Up Higher Education: Teaching programs are reorganizing around complex themes to encourage collaboration and transversality...Teachers are reviewing their roles and transforming their top-down teaching approach to a form of coaching...It is the student who brings the talent and inspiration...may be the forerunner of the participative management models championed by modern theories of organization. By Christian Guellerin/Cumulus- Metropolis Magazine
Design Patient’s Bill of Rights: A What-If: ...in every hospital, I had rights. The buildings? They just happened to me...Why should bad architecture...be allowed, when bad doctoring is (at least ideally) caught in the early stages, before it’s metastasized? Keep yourself informed, because there are actually three things you can never avoid: Death, Taxes, and Architecture. By Eva Hagberg Fisher- Common Edge
São Paulo Is Betting Better Urban Planning Can Solve a Housing Crisis: ...has developed a model blueprint for progressive housing policy in developing countries: ...controversial new 15-year master plan...Political rivalry, economic interests, and finite time, space, and money...make affordable housing so complex in every capitalist democracy...But São Paulo, city of extremes, is taking them to the nth degree...this plan is a good one, collaboratively developed and passed with broad-based support. By Catesby Holmes- Next City (formerly Next American City)
'Like a shimmering sea creature': Britain's first amphibious homes: A luxury floating house on the Thames that rises and falls with the water levels is just the start for the architectural duo set on addressing problem flooding...has resulted in a timely new book, "Aquatecture." By Oliver Wainwright -- Robert Barker/Richard Coutts/Baca Architects [images]- Guardian (UK)
Architecture for Humanity's Next Chapter: Garrett Jacobs, executive director of AFH-offshoot the Chapter Network: ...has big plans for the newfangled Network...how to continue AfH’s legacy without making its same mistakes, and how to create a sustainable organization on a shoestring. [audio]- Archinect
Stantec acquires architect firm VOA Associates: The surprise move will expand Stantec's presence in Chicago, where it already has a 50-person office. By Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune
Women in Architecture Awards 2016 and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture: shortlists revealed -- [WIA]: Tatiana Bilbao/Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO; Jeanne Gang/Studio Gang; Kazuyo Sejima/SANAA; Charlotte Skene Catling/Skene Catling de la Pena architects; [Emerging]: Elisa Burnazzi/Burnazzi Feltrin Architects; Gabriela Etchegaray/Ambrosi Etchegaray; Petra Gipp/Petra Gipp Arkitektur; Anna Heringer/ Catherine Johnson/Rebecca Rudolph/Design, Bitches; Saija Hollmén/Jenni Reuter/Helena Sandman/Hollmén Sandman Reuter; Marie Zawistowski/OnSite; Di Zhang/waa (we architect anonymous)- Architectural Review (UK)
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