Today’s News - Thursday, March 3, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days. We'll be back Tuesday, March 8.
• Kimmelman, mincing no words (or rather munching them), calls Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub "a soaring symbol of a boondoggle," but hopes "it will not suggest a pretend Palace of the People testifying to broken government and chutzpah" (and could also prove to be "a disaster for architecture and for cities").
• Iovine is not much kinder to Calatrava: the hub "has an undeniable and dynamic presence that has little to do with architecture. Is this the grand civic space we've been longing for? Not by a long shot."
• Pedersen offers a much-needed chuckle by channeling "a fond place in my heart for Calatrava's graceful, biomorphic forms," and feels "compelled to defend his new building, as best as possible" with a list of "10 excuses for Santiago Calatrava."
• Minutillo says "DS+R could not help but find itself behind the eight ball" with "its modest but still costly intervention" in creating the new BAMPFA, "a building that the university didn't regard highly enough to preserve in the first place."
• If "The Force isn't with George Lucas in Chicago, Oakland would be more than happy to help out" (we should know how the winds blow in the Windy City on April 21).
• Baillieu visits the Réinventer Paris competition exhibition and finds the "results tick the boxes of current metropolitan obsessions. Paris does not have all the answers - but its daring experiment should be an inspiration to the next London mayor to try something different."
• Kolson Hurley delves deep into Gallaudet University's DeafSpace Design Guidelines that "feels radical in an age of grand architectural form-making," but "has the potential to change architecture writ large."
• Levete's AL_A wins the competition to design a (striking!) mosque within Foster + Partners' World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi.
• BDP, the U.K.'s third largest firm, is bought by Japan's Nippon Koei - but it gets to keep its name.
• Six teams win the "Reimagine a New York City Icon" competition to redesign of the façade of 200 Park Avenue, a.k.a. Pan Am Building and/or MetLife Building, so will have to share $15,000 prize money.
• Just in time: Philip Johnson's Four Seasons Restaurant wins the inaugural Design Icon Restaurant Award from James Beard Foundation (we'll be bidding our adieus later today).
• One we couldn't resist: Kapoor gets exclusive rights to "the very sexy Vantablack, known as the blackest black," which, of course, "is pissing off other artists."
• Call for entries: Arch Record's international 2016 RECORD Interiors Awards.
• Weekend diversions:
• A good reason to head east (or west): Design Shanghai 2016 + Design Forum - "Language of Design."
• Voon cheers "Creation from Catastrophe" at RIBA London: "Most of the projects focus on looking ahead and anticipating problems rather than simply replacing destroyed infrastructure" (great pix).
• King says "Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" is both a "history lesson and labor of love" that "explores how 1960s Boston came to be a showcase of unapologetic, often superscaled masonry modernism."
• St. Hill finds "England's Post-War Listed Buildings" to be "full of heritage gems and treasures that show the true variety of post-war architecture. There's something for everyone, whether you like Brutalist monoliths or sculptural parabolic structures."
• Gardner had "great fun" reading Stern's "City Living" that "showcases a rare and first-rate body of work - the shoptalk about creating iconic buildings added some welcome and insightful substance to the visual delights of the book."
• "Generations: Six Decades of Art-Making by Herb Greene" documents his efforts to "articulate an exchange between a biological and cultural phenomenon."
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Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub Is a Soaring Symbol of a Boondoggle: The hub gives the city an Instagram-ready attraction and the most expensive train station ever: Assuming the best...[it] will not suggest some bloated Soviet folly, a pretend Palace of the People testifying to broken government and chutzpah. We'll see...But if the takeaway lesson...is that architects need a free pass, a vain, submissive client and an open checkbook to create a public spectacle, then the hub is a disaster for architecture and for cities. By Michael Kimmelman- New York Times
The New World Trade Center Transportation Hub Puts Dazzle Over Details: The almost $4 billion project is the apogee of a kind of architecture that wows rather than elevates: ...it has an undeniable and dynamic presence that has little to do with architecture...Great architecture can assume all kinds of shapes when it reflects a functional purpose. The Hub’s spiked wings, by contrast, are there mostly as metaphor...But heavy symbolism is not the same as resonant architecture...Is this the grand civic space we’ve been longing for? Not by a long shot. By Julie V. Iovine -- Santiago Calatrava- Wall Street Journal
10 Excuses for Santiago Calatrava: The verdict, apparently, is in. Both the New York Daily News and the New York Post recently blasted the new transit hub...The white, winged beast is clearly excessive. Logic...tells us that the building is fiscally irresponsible...But I have a fond place in my heart for Calatrava’s graceful, biomorphic forms. So I feel compelled to defend his new building, as best as possible. By Martin C. Pedersen- Common Edge
Cinematic Overhaul: Diller Scofidio + Renfro revamps a former printing plant as the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive: ...in taking on the renovation of a building that the university didn’t regard highly enough to preserve in the first place, DS+R could not help but find itself behind the eight ball, its modest but still costly intervention certainly unable to live up to the memory of the now beloved Ciampi building or to the excitement over Toyo Ito’s bold proposal... By Josephine Minutillo- Architectural Record
Oakland resumes pursuit of Lucas museum as plan in Chicago falters: If The Force isn't with George Lucas in Chicago, Oakland would be more than happy to help out...Lucas officials are starting to "consider other cities and other sites," which could "put the entire project in jeopardy"...That's where Oakland strikes back. Or hopes to...So far, like the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, this drama has no resolution. Stay tuned for... April 21 decision...- San Francisco Business Times
Lessons from competitive Paris: London’s next mayor would do well to look across the Channel: ...neither is building enough affordable housing and has pledged to do better...Réinventer Paris...results...tick the boxes of current metropolitan obsessions...it’s about shifting perceptions...Paris does not have all the answers. Competitions are slow and cumbersome but its daring experiment should be an inspiration to the next London mayor to try something different. By Amanda Baillieu- BD/Building Design (UK)
How Gallaudet University’s Architects Are Redefining Deaf Space: The world’s only liberal arts institution for the Deaf creates an architectural movement: DeafSpace Design Guidelines...feels radical in an age of grand architectural form-making...has the potential to change architecture writ large. So many of the measures seem like simple common sense... By Amanda Kolson Hurley -- Hansel Bauman; SmithGroup; George Balsley; LTL Architects; Quinn Evans Architects; Dangermond Keane Architecture; Gaudreau; Todd Ray/Studio Twenty-Seven Architecture [images]- Curbed
Amanda Levete wins Abu Dhabi mosque contest: London-based AL_A has scooped the invited contest to design a new 2,000m² mosque...will sit within the emerging World Trade Centre development, designed by Foster + Partners... -- Gross Max [images]- The Architects' Journal (UK)
Japanese engineer snaps up BDP: Architect to keep name after takeover by Nippon Koei: ...ending more than 50 years of independence...is the third biggest UK architect behind Foster & Partners and Atkins.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Meet the Winners of the 2016 Design Challenge: ...for the Most Innovative and Energy-Efficient Redesign of the Façade of 200 Park Avenue (formerly the Pan Am Building, now the MetLife Building) [in the] “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition...the jury decided to distribute the $15k prize money equally among the six teams. -- VOA Architecture; Werner Sobek; SHoP Architects; Heintges; CASE-RPI; StudioTJOA; FXFOWLE Architects; Thornton Tomasetti; Dagher Engineering; AECOM; Lemay [images]- Metals in Construction magazine / Ornamental Metal Institute of New York
Four Seasons Restaurant in New York wins inaugural Design Icon Restaurant Award from James Beard Foundation -- Philip Johnson; Mies van der Rohe (1959) [images]- CLAD (Community of Leisure Architects & Designers)
Anish Kapoor Gets Exclusive Rights to the World’s Darkest Material: ...a claim that, naturally, is pissing off other artists. The material is the very sexy Vantablack, known as the blackest black......developed by scientists at Surrey NanoSystems...essentially absorbs all light...creates an abyss free of creases that many have compared to a black hole.- Hyperallergic
Call for entries: 2016 RECORD Interiors (international): interiors-only projects that have been completed in the last year; deadline: June 1- Architectural Record
Design Shanghai 2016 + Design Forum - "Language of Design" will be enriched by an extraordinary selection of curatorial content from leading western and Chinese designers and brands; March 9 - 12- Design Shanghai
Rethinking Architecture After Catastrophe: From London’s Great Fire of 1666 to the Nepal earthquake, "Creation from Catastrophe: How Architecture Rebuilds Communities" focuses on...the designs that emerged in their aftermath out of necessity...Most of the projects...focus on looking ahead and anticipating problems rather than simply replacing destroyed infrastructure; at RIBA London. By Claire Voon [images]- Hyperallergic
"Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston" by Mark Pasnik, Chris Grimley, and Michael Kubo: At once history lesson and labor of love, this book explores how 1960s Boston came to be a showcase of unapologetic, often superscaled masonry modernism. By John King -- over,under- Architectural Record
"England’s Post-War Listed Buildings" by Elain Harwood and James O. Davies: ...profiles England’s extraordinary variety of buildings listed after 1945, from humble prefabs to top-secret Cold War bunkers..full of heritage gems and treasures that show the true variety of post-war architecture...There's something for everyone, whether you like brutalist monoliths or sculptural parabolic structures. By Cate St Hill- DesignCurial / Blueprint Magazine (UK)
The architectural eye candy of Robert A.M. Stern: Stern’s latest coffee-table tome "City Living" showcases a rare and first-rate body of work: ...with lavish and abundant photographs...shoptalk about creating iconic buildings in the Big Apple was great fun to read - and added some welcome and insightful substance to the visual delights of the book. By James Gardner- The Real Deal (NYC)
Art and Architecture by Herb Greene: [His] architecture may seem otherworldly, but it’s rooted solidly in two driving forces: the site and the psychological makeup of his client...his work articulates an exchange between a biological and cultural phenomenon...And "Generations: Six Decades of Art-Making by Herb Greene" [by Herb Greene wth Lila Cohen] documents his efforts to do just that. [images]- Architects + Artisans
Luigi Rosselli Architects: The Great Wall of W.A., Western Australia: these truly unique residences embody the landscape and vernacular of the Australian outback...earth-covered residences, providing short-term accommodation during the cattle-mustering season...A complex of built forms in dialogue with the landscape. [images]
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