Today’s News - Thursday, February 25, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: We're hitting the road for Durham, NC, early tomorrow for a family gathering. If the weather gods are kind, ANN will be back Tuesday, March 1.
• Bernstein pens a most eloquent tribute to Ali Tayar, gone much, much too soon: he "was old-school, a gentleman with a distaste for anything trendy, flimsy, or ostentatious. But he was hardly backward-looking."
• Davidson x 2: he is totally taken by the WTC Transit Hub, "an extravagantly idealistic creation - Calatrava's skeletal dove joins the tiny circle of New York's great indoor public spaces, serving not just the city that built it but also the city it will help build."
• He weighs in on China's crackdown on "weird, wacky" architecture - for Western architects "the party's over."
• Lasky channels Bogie and Brasserie when she enters DS+R's Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and finds herself at the threshold "between something cool and cosseting, and something porous and intimate. Even bland spaces offer drama."
• Keskeys sits down with Gang to get the back-story about the Writers Theatre: her "enthusiasm for her latest building is palpable" (we really dig the "cat's paws").
• Wainwright gives a guarded thumbs-up to H&deM's Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford: "can a hermetically sealed building bankrolled by an oligarch be truly democratic?" Herzog's (rather depressing) quote: "As architects, we are not so powerful to have a say in this world," but hopefully it's "an environment that might help the students to go out and change it."
• Assemble assembles at Design Indaba in Capetown for a Q&A re: "their process, and how to create spaces that empower, not just awe."
• The V&A's Hyde ponders most thoughtfully: "Why does 'good' architecture rarely have anything to do with 'doing good'? Perhaps all it takes is courage" (he feels sorry for Schumacher, "a man out of his time").
• Sperry makes the case yet again for architects and the AIA "to take a stand against spaces intended to torture and kill. I'm happy to say that AIA is reconsidering."
• Venice Biennale's Baratta says: "It's desire, not ethics, that's missing from architecture - his aim with the biennale is to inject that passion back into the profession."
• Kaji-O'Grady warns that we should all be concerned that "new developments in architecture and technology are making pure air privately available. Shared air is a basis of public life."
• One we couldn't resist: a video of four coal plants being demolished set to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture; watching it is "insanely satisfying" (truly!).
• Weekend diversions:
• Mogilevich finds "Structures of Coastal Resilience" at NYC's Center for Architecture a "sweeping" project.
• Hartman finds "Creation from Catastrophe" at RIBA London "a modest show with a vital message. Community architecture is nothing new, but its practitioners remain too few" (and the "architects presented make for very odd bedfellows").
• Giovannini is quite taken by "Jean Nouvel/Claude Parent: Musées à venir" in Paris that "doubles as an exploration of the master and protégé relationship - a touching exhibition about a shared biography and a raw and tender subject."
• Wiles is wild for Hatherley's "The Ministry of Nostalgia": it is "perceptive, witty and timely," and "an exemplar of how design and architectural criticism can be used to reveal deep truths about a country and its people."
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Obituary: Ali Tayar, New York-Based Architect and Designer, 57: An affinity for high standards - and for those who followed them - pervaded Tayar’s work...was old-school, a gentleman...with a distaste for anything trendy, flimsy, or ostentatious. But he was hardly backward-looking. By Fred A. Bernstein- Interior Design magazine
Boondoggle or Beauty? A First Walk Through Calatrava’s Transportation Hub: ...an extravagantly idealistic creation unlike any in New York...The cost of beauty is often high...the illusion of motion contained in every view...Calatrava’s skeletal dove joins the tiny circle of New York’s great indoor public spaces, serving not just the city that built it but also the city it will help build. By Justin Davidson -- Santiago Calatrava- New York Magazine
China Is Breaking Up With Its Weird, Wacky Architecture: Thou shalt not be weird...The order threatens to rattle Western firms...architects have leveraged the eagerness of local officials to encrust their cities with costly icons...have kept Chinese patrons and Western architects in a state of co-dependency that the government may now be trying to break...the party’s over. By Justin Davidson- New York Magazine
Diller Scofidio + Renfro's New Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive: ...I had been at this threshold before, between something cool and cosseting, and something porous and intimate...This kind of palpable contrast makes sense, given that [BAMPFA] is a well-considered jumble, inside and out...demanding a Mutt and Jeff combination of bright, free-flowing galleries and hermetic theaters...Even bland spaces offer drama... By Julie Lasky [images]- Artinfo
Jeanne Gang Tells the Story Behind Her Newly Opened Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois: Sitting down with the architect in her New York studio...Gang’s enthusiasm for her latest building is palpable. By Paul Keskeys -- Studio Gang Architects [images]- Architizer
Blavatnik School of Government: a corporate temple among Oxford's dreaming spires: Herzog & de Meuron have designed a stately new faculty that holds its own...But can a hermetically sealed building bankrolled by an oligarch be truly democratic? Herzog is frank: “As architects, we are not so powerful to have a say in this world. We have simply tried to create an environment that might help the students to go out and change it.” By Oliver Wainwright [images]- Guardian (UK)
Turner prize-winning architects explain why finishing a project doesn’t mean the work is over: In a world of increasing specialization, Assemble makes use of a broad skill set and cross-industry collaboration to tailor new spaces to the communities they serve...Q&A re: their process, and how to create spaces that empower, not just awe. -- Design Indaba; James Binning; Paloma Strelitz- Quartz
What does it mean to be a “good architect”? Why does “good” architecture...rarely have anything to do with “doing good"...we have the precedents, we have the expertise, we have the critical praise, and now - with Alejandro Aravena’s Pritzker - we even have the awards. What’s stopping us from using architecture to do good? Perhaps...all it takes is courage. By Rory Hyde/V&A Museum -- Paul Pholeros; Patrik Schumacher; Herman Hertzberger; Kuehn Malvezzi- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
My Worst Project Never Killed Anyone: It’s time for architects - along with the American Institute of Architects - to take a stand against spaces intended to torture and kill: Our contribution is defined by what we build...and by what we don’t build...I’m happy to say that AIA is reconsidering, marking good news for not only architectural ethics, but civil society’s support of basic human rights. By Raphael Sperry - Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)- Common Edge
It's desire not ethics that's missing from architecture, says Venice chief: Conformism is the danger, warns Paolo Baratta: ...too many architects and developers are content to build merely because they have to. This attitude is having a damaging effect on quality...his aim with the biennale was to inject that passion back into the profession...- BD/Building Design (UK)
Private air: ‘bubble’ architecture’s ominous return: New developments in architecture and technology are making pure air privately available. We should be concerned: The exercise of economic privilege to avoid or defend against polluted air will have lasting architectural and urban impacts. Firstly, it doesn’t tackle the problem, and may even exacerbate it...Shared air is a basis of public life. By Sandra Kaji-O’Grady- ArchitectureAU (Australia)
Watching coal plants crumble to a Tchaikovsky score is insanely satisfying: ...giving environmentalists an awesome soundtrack to the death of the coal industry. [video]- Grist Magazine
Stormproofing the Atlantic Coast: The galleries of the Center for Architecture in New York City provide a small view of the large scope of the "Structures of Coastal Resilience: Designing for Climate Change," a new research and design project from Princeton University. The project is sweeping... By Mariana Mogilevich -- Paul Lewis/Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis/LTL Architects; Catherine Seavitt; Michael Van Valkenburgh,; Rosetta Elkin; Anuradha Mathur; Dilip da Cunha [images]- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
"Creation from Catastrophe" - a modest show with a vital message: ...the destruction of cities can present unique opportunities to radically rethink townscapes: The architects presented...make for very odd bedfellows...The links are tenous, and this treatment leaves the impression of a superficial helicopter tour...Community architecture is nothing new, but its practitioners remain too few; at the RIBA. By Hattie Hartman [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
The Anxiety of Influence: An exhibition of Claude Parent's and Jean Nouvel's unbuilt museums doubles as an exploration of the master and protégé relationship: ...a touching exhibition about a shared biography and a raw and tender subject. “Jean Nouvel/Claude Parent: Musées à venir” at Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, Paris. By Joseph Giovannini [images]- Architect Magazine
"The Ministry of Nostalgia": Owen Hatherley’s latest book examines the 1930s/40s/50s revivalism that has engulfed this country since the financial crisis and delivers a solid kicking to the austerity nostalgia of the left...perceptive, witty and timely. It’s an exemplar of how design and architectural criticism can be used to reveal deep truths about a country and its people. By Will Wiles- Icon (UK)
INSIGHT: The Case for Permanent Infrastructure: Water mains burst, gas mains explode, drinking water is poisoned by lead, bridges collapse, roads break down, vehicles collide, and trains derail. Are these the systems we want? What would be required, and when will we respond to this compelling need for change? By Peter Gisolfi- ArchNewsNow.com
ELEMENTAL/Alejandro Aravena: Quinta Monroy, Iquique, Chile: ...a social housing project...The site had been illegally occupied by 97 families since the 1960's, who they rehoused on the same site...'half-a-house'... [images]
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