Today’s News - Tuesday, March 1, 2016
• Giovannini pens a most eloquent tribute to Parent, whose "quiet demeanor, impeccable manners, and white Rolls-Royce all belied the fact that he was an instinctive subversive - though a highly successful one" (click "Yesterday's News" to read his equally informative review of the recently-closed Parent/Nouvel show in Paris).
• Betsky bemoans the dearth of good architecture outside of urban cores: "downtown is for strong forms that represent the will of the rich and the powerful. The true architecture of democracy must take place in the vast plains where everybody else lives."
• A great Q&A with the Mulago Foundation's Starr re: some of the "spectacular flame-outs and fiascoes in the world of global social impact": there's "too much tolerance of big failure, and too much fear of little failure."
• Hosey takes ADPSR's Sperry's call for architects not to design "buildings that kill" one step further: "Which is worse: buildings that are the setting for thousands of deaths, or buildings that are the cause of millions of deaths?"
• Cornell "has a proud tradition" of tapping the world's greats to design its signature buildings, so why is it also "building new structures that are bland and boring"?
• Kamin x 2: he says it's "time for Chicago's mayor and local architects to come up with creative alternatives to the contested lakefront site" for the Lucas Museum - and cheers one architect who "has risen to that challenge."
• He reports on Jahn's South Michigan Avenue tower getting a 200-foot trim, "a sleeker curving silhouette" - and "a loss of bragging rights."
• Jerusalem architect and planner Greenfield-Gilat says that "architecture will play critical role in any proposal to divide Jerusalem," but "architects are afraid - they feel it is not their place to deal with political issues - I say the opposite; that is exactly the role of architects."
• Merin visits Eldar Sharon's housing project in Gilo, Jerusalem, built after the 1967 Six Day War, "to trace the troubled history of a structure that never quite settled in."
• Wainwright has a field day exploring Palm Springs Modernism Week: "Welcome to a world of Martian landing pads, clifftop Bond lairs and Flintstones sofas" (and some pretty awful stuff being built now).
• The Kahn/ Tyng-designed Morton Weiss House "is poised for demolition to make room for senior rental housing" (still awaiting official word).
• Hatherley heads to the "Euroregion" of Aachen-Maastricht-Liège to find "each architecturally distinct, yet together providing an essential understanding of the affluent European heartland" (he's brought to his knees by one gigantic building: "an organism, hairy, sinewy and wiry - a Classicist's nightmare").
• Hawthorne parses the shortlisted teams for two L.A. parks that face the "tricky task of designing them to best serve the city."
• An impressive shortlist of six offers visions for the LSE's £100m Paul Marshall Building - with lots of anonymous images that make for a fun guessing game of which is whose.
• Saffron talks to Steiner, PennDesign's incoming dean, who "explains why gun law drove him from Texas."
• Saval delves into the "post-cubicle office" filled with napping lofts and lunch gazebos, and whether it makes "employees any happier or more productive" - there is an "insidious side" (with fab photos by Faulhaber).
• Two we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of Salina Turda, a former salt mine deep beneath Transylvania that now sports a glowing Ferris wheel, mini-golf, row boats on an underground lake - and free wi-fi.
• ARB is asked (by a sort-of architect) to rule on the legality of rock band named Architects: "it will not take action against the band for misuse of title" (whew!).
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Obituary: Claude Parent, Architect of the Oblique, 93: His quiet demeanor, impeccable manners, Issey Miyake jackets and white Rolls-Royce all belied the fact that [he] was an instinctive subversive - though a highly successful one...used the vertical and horizontal as mere jumping-off points. By Joseph Giovannini [images]- New York Times
Skyscrapers and Subdivisions: The Battle Between Cities and Suburbs: Aaron Betsky calls on architects to focus attention on what gets built outside of urban cores: ...downtown is for strong forms that represent the will of the rich and the powerful. The true architecture of democracy must take place in the vast plains where everybody else lives.- Architect Magazine
The Perils of PlayPumps and Other Cautionary Tales: Mulago Foundation Director Kevin Starr describes some of the more spectacular flame-outs and fiascoes in the world of global social impact and how to distinguish success from failure..."too much tolerance of big failure, and too much fear of little failure."- Impact Design Hub (formerly PublicInterestDesign.org)
Buildings That Kill: Architecture can be deadly - and not just in prisons: While architects are not necessarily liable for the health impact of our buildings, that doesn’t make us any less responsible for promoting better design...Which is worse: buildings that are the setting for thousands of deaths, or buildings that are the cause of millions of deaths? ...Raphael Sperry says, “My worst building never killed anyone.” Can we be so sure? By Lance Hosey- Common Edge
Cornell University’s Architectural Legacy: ...has a proud tradition of bringing in world-renowned architects to design its signature buildings...Yet, despite this tradition, today the University is building new structures...that are bland. They’re boring. They serve a function and that is all...However Cornell’s design process eventually evolves, one thing is clear: it’s got to change. By Timothy Vhay- Cornell Daily Sun
Mr. Mayor, move the Lucas Museum off the lakefront, stop demonizing parks group: It's time to expose this argument for what it is: A narrative with no basis in reality...time for the mayor and local architects to come up with creative alternatives to the contested lakefront site that has landed the Lucas plan in a legal quagmire. One architect already has risen to that challenge. By Blair Kamin -- Thomas Hickey & Associates [images]- Chicago Tribune
Helmut Jahn tower for South Michigan Avenue gets 200-foot trim: That trim means a loss of bragging rights...would have been Chicago's seventh-tallest building...also has a new look...a sleeker curving silhouette...Several speakers praised the design, but others expressed concern that the tower's west side...would be bland. By Blair Kamin [images]- Chicago Tribune
'Architecture will play critical role in any proposal to divide Jerusalem’: Specialist in connection between planning and conflict resolution says model of unified Jerusalem is ‘urban legend’: ...the collective fear and taboo among architects of participating in the planning required to divide the city must be addressed. “I think architects are afraid - they feel it is not their place to deal with political issues...I say the opposite; that is exactly the role of architects - to be involved in this kind of thing." -- Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat/SAYA/Design for Change- Jerusalem Post
Unsettled: Eldar Sharon’s housing project in Gilo, Jerusalem: The expansion of Jerusalem in the years following the 1967 Six Day War brought with it a period of conflict in architectural aesthetics...Writer and photographer Gili Merin visited the site to trace the troubled history of a structure that never quite settled in. -- Arieh Sharon; Salo Hershman; Moore Yaski Sivan; Ram Carmi; Alfred Neumann; Zvi Hecker [images]- Uncube magazine (Germany)
Two pools, 13 bathrooms and 300 for dinner: the modernist fun palaces of Palm Springs: In the 1950s, Hollywood decamped to the desert - bankrolling the world’s most daring modernist architects to create ever more experimental boltholes. Welcome to a world of Martian landing pads, clifftop Bond lairs and Flintstones sofas. By Oliver Wainwright -- John Lautner; Arthur Elrod; Albert Frey; William Krisel; E. Stewart Williams; Donald Wexler; Rick Harrison; Richard Neutra [images]- Guardian (UK)
Louis Kahn's Morton Weiss House May Be Demolished: Say it ain't so! An award-winning home designed by Kahn [and Anne G. Tyng] in the 1950s is poised for demolition to make room for senior rental housing...No official decision has been made... [images]- Curbed Philadelphia
Owen Hatherley’s Eurovisionaries: Aachen-Maastricht-Liège: This ‘Euroregion’ comprises three nearly contiguous cities in three different countries, each architecturally distinct, yet together providing an essential understanding of the affluent European heartland. [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Two downtown L.A. parks and the tricky task of designing them to best serve the city: ...Pershing Square, arguably the city's single most significant public space - and certainly its most consistently vexing...a second design competition...is underway to create a new public square [First and Broadway Park (FAB)]. By Christopher Hawthorne -- Ricardo Legorreta/Laurie Olin (1994); Agence Ter/SALT Landscape Architects; James Corner Field Operations/Frederick Fisher; SWA Group/Morphosis; Kulapat Yantrasast/Why/Civitas; Eric Owen Moss; Mia Lehrer/Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); AECOM; Brooks + Scarpa/Walter Hood [images]- Los Angeles Times
Stars reveal rival visions for £100m LSE job: London School of Economics and Political Science has revealed the six anonymous concepts shortlisted for its new...Paul Marshall Building [in Lincoln’s Inn Fields]. -- Amanda Levete/AL_A; David Chipperfield Architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Penoyre & Prasad; Grafton Architects; Herzog & de Meuron; Niall McLaughlin Architects/Scott Brownrigg [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
New PennDesign dean explains why gun law drove him from Texas: All things being equal, Frederick Steiner probably would have stayed in Austin as dean of the University of Texas' prestigious architecture program...leaving to take the identical job at the University of Pennsylvania's somewhat less-stellar design school...will take over from Marilyn Jordan Taylor... By Inga Saffron- Architect Magazine
The Post-Cubicle Office and Its Discontents: Beige partitions have given way to napping lofts, lunch gazebos and lots of open space. But are employees any happier or more productive? ...the "disruptive" thinking that insists a workplace ought to care not just for your average needs...but for your deepest psychological ones as well has its insidious side. By Nikil Saval; photos by Julian Faulhaber [images]- New York Times
The Underground Carnival: In this huge subterranean cavern deep beneath Transylvania, you will find old mine machinery and ... mini-golf? ...kids ride a glowing Ferris wheel in the dark. Nearby, some people are playing mini-golf, while others row boats on an underground lake...Salina Turda...is not your standard disused salt mine...also has free wi-fi. [images]- Atlas Obscura
Arb asked to rule on legality of metal band Architects: Regulator takes ‘pragmatic view’ of breaches of the law: ...has been forced to confirm that it will not take action against the band Architects for misuse of title.- BD/Building Design (UK)
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